Evaluation of a functional medicine approach to treating fatigue, stress, and digestive issues in women

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 May;23:75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.03.005. Epub 2016 Mar 24.


Fatigue, stress, and digestive disorders are common among adults, especially women. We conducted a 28-week pilot study to assess the efficacy of a functional medicine approach to improving stress, energy, fatigue, digestive issues, and quality of life in middle-aged women. Findings showed significant improvements in many stress, fatigue, and quality-of-life measures. The treatment program increased mean salivary dehydroepiandrosterone levels and the cortisol-dehydroepiandrosterone ratio. Stool sample analyses suggested that these treatments reduced Helicobacter pylori infections. This study suggests that functional medicine may be an effective approach to managing stress and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Keywords: Cortisol; DHEA; Functional medicine; Stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / analysis
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Visual Analog Scale


  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Hydrocortisone