Systemic inflammation has been a hot topic recently, even in the mainstream media. We talk a lot about how th right diet helps calm systemic inflammation and the wrong foods trigger it. The term "functional medicine" is new to me but it's got some interesting ideas.
From The Huffington Post: How to Stop Attacking Yourself: 9 Steps to Heal Autoimmune Disease
Inflammation is "hot" topic in medicine. It appears connected to almost every known chronic disease -- from heart disease to cancer, diabetes to obesity, autism to dementia, and even depression. Other inflammatory diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, andautoimmune disease are increasing at dramatic rates. As physicians we are trained to shut off inflammation with aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or Motrin, steroids and increasingly more powerful immune suppressing medication with serious side effects. But we are not trained to find and treat the underlying causes of inflammation in chronic disease. Hidden allergens, infections, environmental toxins, an inflammatory diet, and stress are the real causes of these inflammatory conditions.
Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. These are often addressed by powerful immune suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That's like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.