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What is Functional Medicine

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What’s Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is a systems based approach of fusing modern medical testing and diagnostics, with the safety and efficacy of natural medicine treatments and therapies.

Functional Medicine is the future of medicine – and it’s available right now.

Functional Medicine consists of a treatment of WHY? not WHAT?

This part is worth repeating to ensure that the philosophy of Functional Medicine sticks in your head.

Functional medicine doesn’t ask, “What disease do you have and what drug should you use?” but, “Why do you have those symptoms and how can we fix the root causes and optimize your health?”

Here are a few key differences between Functional Medicine and Conventional Medicine:

  • Functional Medicine is health-oriented rather than disease-oriented. This means that doctors of Functional Medicine are interested in building health, not simply fighting disease.
  • Functional Medicine is patient-centered. It focuses on you, the person, rather than what’s easy or convenient for the doctor.
  • Functional Medicine is biochemically individualized whereas Conventional Medicine prescribes the same drugs for every person with the same condition.
  • Functional Medicine has a proactive, preventive approach while Conventional Medicine is more reactive to problems that arise.

Conventional Medicine is Important, But…

In fact, I thank God every day that we have doctors, nurses and physicians trained at saving lives when a situation is critical.

Whether it’s traumatic injuries, sudden and unexpected health emergencies, broken bones and raging infections – medical care is hands down the best at treating emergencies.

However, conventional medicine is not the approach we need to prevent, treat, and reverse chronic disease.

It is definitely not the best approach to treat depression, autoimmune disease, diabetes, arthritis, gut dysfunctions or any other chronic condition.

It’s more important now than ever before to understand Conventional Medicine’s inherent incompetence when it comes to these chronic diseases because despite all the advancements in medicine today, we are in the midst of the worst chronic disease epidemic in human history.

Let’s take a look at the unhealthy reality of today:

  • A billion people suffer from diabetes and obesity combined (1).
  • 30% of kids aged 2-19 are now obese.
  • Obesity rates have quadrupled in the past 30 years (2).
  • Even though more people are taking statins and blood pressure medications than ever before, 600,000 people die of heart attacks every year (3).
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have an autoimmune disease.
  • More than 50% of US adults take prescription drugs.
  • 40% of the elderly take more than five medications and more than 90% take over the counter drugs daily (4).
  • The number of people diagnosed with depression increases by 20% each year (5).

If these facts alarm you, then you’re not alone.

And if they don’t alarm you, it’s because poor health has become so widespread that it’s normalized. And that is alarming!

This is the first time in modern history that our lifespans are decreasing and unfortunately, it’s almost certain that things will get worse before they get better (6).

We currently have the first generation of kids in modern history with shorter expected lifespans than their parents.

If you believe health care is bankrupting us, imagine the situation that your children will face.

The cost of diabetes alone is $250 billion a year and this disease is set for exponential growth worldwide.

To put that into perspective, the World Health Organization estimates that the cost of ending world hunger – ending it! – is $30 billion per year.

We should be reversing and preventing chronic disease, while doing minimal harm – not simply treating it.

And all the statistics that I’ve mentioned show that we’re doing the exact opposite.

The ineffectiveness and outright danger of treatment itself is horrifying.

Studies in The British Medical Journal, the Journal of American Medical Association, and John Hopkins all suggest that medical care and treatment is the third leading cause of death (7,8,9)!

These studies have found that medical errors are responsible for 200,000 deaths, $77 billion in extra costs, 8 million hospitalizations, and 77 million extra drug prescriptions.

Why is Current Healthcare So Ineffective?

Because it’s not health care!

Its Sick Care or Disease Management.

If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or depression and you’re taking a medication to treat it, you’re simply being managed.

By taking medication, you’re not working towards actually healing your body.

Even if you’re happy with the fact that a particular drug makes you feel a certain way or lowers your blood pressure, it may be impossible to understand what other effects that drug is having on your body.

Drugs don’t just suppress your symptoms, they also suppress functions.

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a good example of what I’m talking about.

Many people take these over-the-counter medications to cope with joint pain, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions.

NSAIDs are effective for alleviating pain, but they also reduce blood flow to your cartilage.

Your blood carries all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy and also carries powerful immune substances vital for tissue repair.

So while NSAIDs may help you cope with joint pain in the short-term, they also contribute to joint damage and play a central role in continuing a vicious long-term cycle of chronic illness.

The common behavior of habitually taking NSAIDs (and other similar behaviors) is why so many people are walking around with what can be referred to as “FLC syndrome.”

That’s short for “Feel Like Crap syndrome.”

And regardless of how common FLC syndrome may be, you don’t have to accept it. It’s not normal and it’s not something you deserve to endure.

It should be obvious that a paradigm shift is desperately needed in order to turn this whole sick care system into one that actually supports health.

I’m just one doctor in this movement to create that kind of change, but there are many others like me with the same goal.

We want to empower you to help change the future of medicine by taking your health into your own hands and standing up for all the things that are right with you, rather than just treating symptoms of what’s wrong.


If you’re interested in optimizing your health and finding a doctor willing to help you get there, I’d be happy to help.

To get started, simply visit https://www.drdaniel.com/membership

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