Bell's Palsy refers to a partial or total weakness or paralysis of the face linked to viral infections. Symptoms typically come on suddenly and may worsen progressively over 48 hours. Traditionally, patients eventually recover from the condition with or without intervention.
However, it is important to note that during a Bell's Palsy episode, one is very likely to experience tingling or numbness of the affected side of the face due to facial nerve involvement. One may also experience difficulty closing the eye on the affected side.
Disfigurement caused by the condition typically leads to many taking a proactive approach to resolving facial weakness or paralysis. Unlike conventional treatments such as steroids and antivirals, functional medicine takes a more holistic and individualized approach by assessing the patient to develop an effective treatment plan.
Below we've outlined three ways functional medicine can support with managing the condition.
- Micronutrient and Trace Mineral Supplementation via B vitamins and zinc. B vitamins support the nervous system, minimize inflammation, and support eye health, while zinc is a natural immunity booster and supports thyroid function. A functional medicine physician may also address other nutrient deficiencies via supplementation during an initial workup to minimize the worsening of symptoms.
- Eye Care is paramount to protect the eye from further irritation and debris if the eye does not close properly. A functional medicine physician will assess the best plan to ensure the eye stays moist and protected during the day and night, including wearing an eye patch during certain hours.
- Facial exercise is often used to keep the facial nerve engaged, stimulate facial muscles, and improve brain-nerve function. A trained functional medicine physician will know what exercises to prescribe to assist with recovery.
Other treatments for Bell's Palsy may also include meditation, biofeedback therapy, and massage, which have also been proven to improve the condition.
Dr. Fors is an experienced functional medicine physician who has successfully treated patients with Bell's Palsy by taking an individualized approach that meets the needs of his patients.
About Dr. Greg Fors
Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. As the director of the virtual Pain and Brain Healing Center, he specializes in a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post-graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.