Horror Autotoxicus, literally translated as the horror of self-toxicity, was how the father of modern immunology, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, described the theory of the body having the capacity to turn against itself in an autoimmune fashion. This was in 1908, and the Nobel-Prize winning physician and researcher believed that the concept of a body creating a molecular battle directed against itself was incompatible with life.
One of the hardest questions I find myself struggling with is simply the question of what is “Functional Medicine”?
The relative “newness” of the medical specialty may play a part into some of the challenge. Many observers might not even recognize what I do as a medical specialty at all. Let’s look at how a conventional specialty is defined and how through specialized treatment of the human body, mind and physiology have been splintered into limited subsets and categories.
I think that one of the most compelling pieces of science to make it into the cultural consciousness recently is that of a “leaky gut.” This term has been bantered about by the alternative medical practitioners for years, but it has recently come to the attention of the general surgeons, who are perhaps the most stringent and unmoving of the mainstream medical providers. Recent research, in association with some pretty old clinical testing, makes it rather convincing that the gut has the capacity to “leak” and that this porousness can contribute significantly to our health.