The Functional Medicine Approach: How (And Why) It Works by Chris Kresser
Chronic disease is climbing in the United States at an alarming rate. Six out of 10 adults have a chronic disease, and four in 10 have two or more conditions. Our life expectancy has dropped—for the third year in a row—and
heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in the nation.
The global cost of treating chronic illnesses is projected to reach $47 trillion by the year 2030, unless something can be done to stop this epidemic. That’s where Functional Medicine comes in.
Functional Medicine is a holistic, patient-centered, collaborative approach to healthcare.
By using ancestral health strategies to align our bodies more closely
with our environment, it shifts the focus away from treating illnesses
as they occur to preventing them from developing in the first place. The
Functional Medicine approach deals directly with the underlying cause
of a health issue and treats each patient as a whole, unique individual.
Practitioners work together with health coaches, nutritionists, and
other allied health providers to support patients as they make their
journey toward wellness.
While the Functional Medicine approach is all about preventing or reversing chronic illnesses, the conventional approach focuses on disease management.
Rather than encouraging true health, conventional practitioners simply
diagnose an illness and try to suppress the symptoms with prescription
drugs. Those drugs seldom address the root cause of the problem.
Instead, they mask symptoms and sometimes even suppress vital bodily
functions, leading to unintended side effects—and additional
prescriptions to deal with them. That medication treadmill effectively
creates patients for life, and it never solves the underlying cause of the illness.
Here’s how it typically works in conventional healthcare: A person
with high blood pressure, for example, would sit through a 10-minute
appointment with a doctor and leave with a prescription for a new drug.
After that, she’s on her own until her next appointment. A Functional
Medicine practitioner would instead take the time to uncover what was
causing the problem before determining which diet, lifestyle, and
environmental interventions would address it. Then, he would develop an
individualized treatment plan together with health coaches and other
trained professionals to support their patient as she takes steps to
improve her cardiovascular health. That approach leads to profound, longer-lasting results for patients—and greater satisfaction for practitioners.
Ready to learn more about how the Functional Medicine approach works? Check out the resources below.
How the Functional Medicine Approach Can Prevent or Reverse Chronic Disease
Functional Medicine approach is collaborative, holistic, and focused on
truly healing patients, not masking symptoms of a chronic illness.
Learn more about why it’s different from the conventional approach to
Medicine is the key to reinventing healthcare, reversing chronic
disease, and building a medical practice you love. Find out why—and join
Back to TopWhy Ancestral Health Is the Solution for the Chronic Disease Problem
Why are so many of us suffering from chronic illnesses? Put simply, there’s a mismatch between our bodies and our environment.
All organisms on Earth are adapted to live in a specific environment.
A mismatch occurs when that environment changes dramatically—and the
organism has no time to adapt. In humans, that mismatch between our genes and our modern lives is the primary reason why chronic disease has become the monumental problem it is today.
To solve that problem, we need to correct the mismatch through ancestral health.
By following the example set by our Paleo hunter–gatherer ancestors, we
can enjoy long, healthy lives free from chronic illness.
That means eating whole, nutrient-dense foods (not processed toxins), exercising often (not leading sedentary lives), and embracing time-tested stress management techniques, sleep habits, and other ancestral lifestyle approaches (not leading lonely, busy lives).
Want to learn how to live every day like our Paleo ancestors? Find out more about ancestral health.
How to Use Ancestral Health to Fight Chronic Disease
designed for the hunter–gatherer lifestyle, yet we live sedentary lives
that often lead to chronic disease. Ancestral health can help us
correct the mismatch between our genes and environment and get back our