Functional Medicine Approach

  1. Our health is not predetermined by our genes. No single gene controls the presence or absence of a chronic disease.  Our patterns of health and illness is determined by how families of genes are expressed, and that expression can be influenced and indeed altered by a range of lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors—exercise, stress, pollutants, radiation, specific foods, phytonutrients, and more—that send signals to the cells of our body.
  1. Chronic illness is a result of an imbalance in one or more of the core physiological processes. Such an imbalance derives from the interaction between our genome and our lifestyle, diet, and environment.   The imbalance alters function.  Over time, that altered function is evidenced in specific signs and symptoms that we collectively label a disease.  Changes to lifestyle, diet, and environment can bring our core physiological processes back into balance.
  1. The absence of illness does not necessarily equate to the presence of wellness. A diagnosis of chronic illness comes after a period of declining function.  If your ability to function has not yet begun to decline or has only just begun to decline, now is the best time to execute a personalized lifestyle intervention, for now is when it will have the greatest positive impact on your health.
  1. Each person’s physiological response to lifestyle, dietary, and environmental factors is unique to his or her genetic makeup. Every individual’s genetic makeup is unique, and each of us therefore experiences unique responses to lifestyle, diet, and environment.  A lifestyle, diet, and environment that are optimal for one individual might be poison for another.
  1. Drugs effective for the management of acute disease may be inappropriate for the long-term management of chronic illness. Most pharmaceutical drugs are designed for potency in blocking a specific step in the complex physiological network associated with the target condition of ill health.  Over time, however, their potency may have a collateral effect off-target, with potential adverse impact.  Since most chronic illness needs to be managed for the long term, the safest use of drugs will be as late as possible in the progression of the symptoms of illness and in the lowest dose possible to maintain healthy function.

This is the background against which the functional medicine approach of personalized lifestyle healthcare has been designed.  It focuses on treating the cause of a chronic illness—that is, imbalances in the core physiological processes—not the symptoms and signs that are the effects of the cause.

—taken from the book, The Disease Delusion by Dr. Jeffrey Bland

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