A true pioneer in Functional Medicine, Susan Blum MD, MPH has been treating and healing chronic diseases for nearly two decades. Her passion and dedication for identifying and addressing the root cause of chronic illness through the groundbreaking whole body approach known as Functional Medicine, has helped thousands of people and is transforming our healthcare system.
We are excited to announce her new book, Healing Arthritis, a roadmap that looks beyond medication with a simple 3-step blueprint to treat chronic pain and inflammation at it’s root cause. No matter what kind of arthritis you have, Dr. Blum shows that by healing the gut, using food as medicine and by addressing stress, you can break the vicious cycle of inflammation once and for all. To help better illustrate how she’s used this program successfully with thousands of people in her clinic, Dr. Blum shares many patients’ stories and treatment plans, so that you can see clearly how to follow this program for yourself. With so many misconceptions about arthritis pain and treatment, we asked Dr. Blum to explain her insights on treating arthritis naturally.
Dr. Blum, why did you choose arthritis to be the focus of your book?
I wrote Healing Arthritis because new research has shown us that there are natural and simple ways to approach arthritis by treating the root causes, and I wanted to share this information with the world, in a book offering many patient stories, a simple summary of the research and an easy to follow treatment program. I was also inspired to write the book because arthritis has become very common in my medical practice, and in fact, I had my own run-in with it after a long period of stress which triggered digestive issues. After curing myself with the same approach that I use with my patients, I woke up to the realization that I needed to get the word out.
Doesn’t arthritis affect mainly older people? Is this book relevant for me?
Arthritis has become a 21st century epidemic, affecting 1 out of every 4 people. The statistic that is more shocking, is that 30% of adults age 45-64 have doctor diagnosed arthritis! This is not your grandma’s arthritis anymore. Something has changed in our environment, making all types of arthritis more and more prevalent. I can see the truth in this because It is very common in my medical practice in younger people.
How can you write one book for all kinds of arthritis? Aren’t they all different?
Our current health system is very focused on finding a diagnosis in order to prescribe the right treatment to reduce symptoms. We call this “downstream” medicine. Using this approach, every diagnoses gets a different treatment. However, if we look “upstream” to where inflammation begins, we find that most chronic arthritis conditions have common root causes upstream, like poor food choices, stress, gut imbalances (something called leaky gut and dysbiosis). When you treat the origin of the inflammation, you can lower pain and heal all types of arthritis. Of course, there are some differences between for example, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis, and so each type of arthritis does have it’s own chapter.
How is gut health related to arthritis?
In the past decade, we have learned that the influence of the gut microbiome (a.k.a. gut flora, beneficial bacteria) goes way beyond the walls of the digestive tract. In fact, the health of your gut, is probably the most important determinant of your immune health and the levels of inflammation in your body. In recent years, published research has shown us the direct connection between these microbes and arthritis, and have also shown that by healing your gut, you can reduce inflammation and heal your joints. I have successfully been treating the gut for almost two decades and wrote Healing Arthritis to show this connection. In fact, repairing the gut is the foundation of the simple 3-Step Arthritis Protocol that is presented in the book and in our online Simply Arthritis Program.