Functional disorders and prevention : what is it about ?

Over 80% of the reasons cited by patients for consulting the general practitioner are to do with functional disorders. These functional disorders may or may not be complex.

Isolated functional disorders

These are disorders relating to :

• mood (sleep, anxiety, depression, poorly managed stress, disquiet)
• digestive system (transit disorders, flatulence, indigestion)
• immune system (repeated infections, intolerances and allergies)
• locomotion system (osteo-articular pain, muscle - tendon pain, etc)
• circulatory system (vein and lymph system disorders, microcirculatory disorders, etc)
• in relation to the skin and skin appendages (dry skin, brittle nails and hair loss)

These disorders may be the result of an insufficient intake of essential nutrients and micronutrients in the diet.

Complex functional disorders

These are disorders related to :

• chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), true asthenia
• fibromyalgia
• withdrawal : tobacco, alcohol, medicinal products, etc
These disturbances are the result of a failure of the major regulation functions in the body to adapt : three are principally concerned and have clearly established roles :
• the immune function (the body defends itself against aggressors, tolerates its own cells, eliminates substances and defective cells)
• the hormone system (the body activates or slows certain functions in line with need) 
• the nervous system (the brain adapts our behavior, thoughts, emotions, motivations to a given situation).

Depending on the context, healthcare professional may use diet questionnaires and biological examinations in order to confirm or disprove the initial diagnosis and adjust the patient’s dietary behavior as a consequence.


Individualized prevention of the risk of illness

Scientific research in the medical field has provided us with indicators to future illness.

For example :

• diabetes, a disease of civilization, is now diagnosed when glycaemia is higher than 1.26 g. Today several studies have demonstrated that people with a polymetabolic syndrome have an increased risk of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease : these pathologies may be a logical evolution of this “intermediary state” if nothing is done. 
• another example : sudden death as a result of cardiovascular disease is responsible for over 40,000 deaths in France. Studies reveal that consuming 400 g of oily fish or omega-3 fatty acids every week in the form of dietary supplements would prevent 90% of these premature deaths : a biological test (the omega-3 index) is now able to detect people at risk. 

With nutritional biology, we are able to identify a certain number of micronutrient deficiencies that are risk factors for illness. For example in relation to :

• cardiovascular disease
• non-insulin dependent diabetes
• degenerative diseases : osteoporosis, cataract, ARMD, early ageing, etc
By combining the simplest screening tests (iron deficiency, vitamin D, iodine, etc) with more sophisticated analyses (for neuro-immuno-endocrinological disorders) nutritional biology is able to identify any excesses and / or nutritional and micronutritional deficiencies. A highly effective personalized prevention plan can then be put in place.