A study shows a variety of stress, fatigue, and quality of life measures can be improved through functional medicine, a field utilizing lab-based supplement programs, including lifestyle and nutritional counseling.

The research team included Daniel J. Kalish, founder of the Kalish Institute, and Susanne M. Cutshall and Larry R. Bergstrom, currently practicing at Mayo Clinic.

The 28-week study assessed the effectiveness of a specific functional medicine approach for improving stress, energy, fatigue, digestive issues, and quality of life in middle-aged women exposed to high-stress work environments. This method, known as the Kalish Method and taught through the Kalish Institute, provides a systems approach to chronic illness addressing the “whole person” rather than an isolated set of symptoms, and restoring three key body systems: hormones, digestion, and detoxification.

“The Kalish Institute has been offering training in functional medicine for over 10 years and we’re pleased this study confirmed our approach is effective in treating key health issues that affect so many people on a daily basis, including stress and fatigue,” says Kalish in a release. “As the first research study to test this type of holistic approach, we’re hopeful these positive results will open doors for future studies of this kind and continue to boost the adoption of functional medicine practices.”

In this study, 21 women ages 30 to 55, received a functional medicine treatment consisting of lifestyle interventions, protocols to treat HPA-axis dysfunction and various gut infections. The analysis showed:

  • A 38% average decrease in fatigue, which was measured through a Profiles of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire
  • A 27% average decrease in stress, calculated through the Visual Analog Scale (VAS)
  • An increase in vitality by an average of 39%, calculated through the SF-36 quality of life questionnaire
  • A 22% average decrease in confusion, measured through a POMS questionnaire
  • Reduction in H. pylori infections, which can be associated with chronic inflammation and digestive symptoms

The study, which was completed in April 2015, has been published in the May 2016 issue of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.