Chronic disease, as a rule, is slow to develop. Examples are diabetes, cardiovascular damage, hypertension, low thyroid, cancer, mental illness, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, and back problems. Long-term predictions for such chronic diseases keep rising because the physical, emotional, and mental effects of stress are overwhelming us. This stress comes from poor diet, a toxic environment, drugs, accidents, nervous system impairments, emotional reactions to life, mental overload, lack of exercise, and insufficient sleep. Even falling in love is stressful (eustress)!
Diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic, so traditional medicine is planning to target “high risk” individuals with ever-more dramatic drug interventions. Researchers, of course, hope to enhance quality of life while Big Pharma hopes to enhance profits. Yet, the physical, emotional, mental, and economic side effects of drug interventions leave us with a sobering message, one having little to do with healing or quality of life. Isn’t it time for a “sanity check”?
Functional medicine works to keep you from becoming a high-risk disease candidate in the first place. The rule is simple: prevent disease states from developing now so there’s nothing to “treat” later. But if you already happen to be riding the risk rollercoaster (typical for people over 30), you can start reversing some or most of the acquired stress damage by enabling your body to heal itself. This is very different from suppressing disease signs or symptoms with drugs, as is done with statins or thyroid medications to make lab measurements look better.