There is something slightly heretical about Unconventional Medicine, and about time! I have been following Chris Kresser’s podcast and blog for some time now and really value his take on modern treatment of chronic disease. He has produced a very large catalog of well-researched articles on new approaches to chronic illness. His work is based around gut microbiota, paleo diet and a new model of functional medicine health care, which he contrasts with the existing Western system of disease management.
His new book Unconventional Medicine is his manifesto on this new model of health care. It outlines how we can manage the epidemic of inflammation-based chronic disease now prevalent in America and elsewhere. He points out the weaknesses in the existing system of diagnosis, treatment, funding and research that he suggests isn’t supporting the new paradigm.
I agree with him completely when he proposes:
- A functional medicine approach whose aim is to prevent and reverse chronic conditions, not just manage symptoms. This requires a holistic individualised treatment, diagnosing based on a comprehensive panel of tests (blood, urine, hair ..etc)
- An ancestral (think Paleo) diet and lifestyle, stopping us living in conflict with our genes
- A collaborative practice model, that supports delivery of functional medicine and lifestyle change interventions
Chris makes a lot of sense in this book, and I’m already on board with his ideas. I strongly believe that diet, lifestyle and behaviour changes are fundamental to healing from chronic disease and I use these principles in my work to support clients back to health.