Functional medicine is leading the charge for change

Accepting the current state of health and wellness in this country as “its as good as it gets” is insanely unacceptable. If a change does not occur with individuals, families and community mindsets, the trajectory we are headed in health and wellness is beyond concerning. It’s time for change!

We have a massive problem on our hands

The statistics have spoken, are very clear, and projected to exponentially worsen over the next decade.

Currently as reported by the CDC, 60% of Americans suffer from a chronic illness and at least 40% suffer from 2 OR MORE chronic illnesses1. Chronic illness has become so prevalent in our society it is the number one driver in the nations 3.8+ trillion in health care costs2 and will continue to grow, not just as a result of the aging Baby Boomer generation, but also due to increased disease prevalence among children and younger adults.

The frequency to which patients who visit our office and have accepted their chronic illness(s) as normal (they had no idea that their ailment was abnormal) is alarming; and yet fascinating to see this shift in mindset of what people accept and tolerate as normal or healthy. Our goal at in2GREAT is to shift that mindset back to a state of hope, healing, high vibrational resonance, and optimal health.


60% of Americans suffer from a chronic illness and at least 40% suffer from 2 OR MORE chronic illnesses.1

Generally speaking, conventional medicine, big pharma, government, and insurance companies are not helping us solve this problem.

Much of the conventional medical model today simply is surface based. It is only trimming back the surface symptoms or manifestations of an underlying disease mechanism and then attempts to control or reduce those symptoms through toxic medications, watchful waiting, and surgery.

Please recognize, conventional medicine has its niche – which is mostly in emergency and urgent care. The technology and advances in this system and format are amazing and we are grateful to have access to these technologies today.

However, it is failing with magnitude in helping people return to a state of wellness of sustainability and free of chronic illness. The reason is, in this sick-care model it keeps people in the system ran by big pharma, government, and insurance companies.


Chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths in the U.S., killing more than 1.7 million Americans every year.3

The solution

Functional medicine, an integrative approach, and empowered patients

When it comes to working with and treating chronic illness the medical community has to begin to look at everything regarding that patient. We have to start to work and think OUTSIDE the box. We have to look much further up the chain at where the problems are actually beginning, versus down stream and the end by products, or manifestations of symptoms, from a chronic illness.

Functional medicine inherently does this.

Taking a functional medicine approach gets to the root-cause of disease and identifies the true dynamics of what is really happening in a person’s particular health continuum. It is vital to not rely on symptoms alone. Pruning back symptoms and reducing symptoms is not health, that is simply quieting the squeaky wheel with a band-aid approach. Health and wellness is defined as achieving a person’s optimal state of being at any moment in time. If the underlying complications, triggers, or issues are not addressed – illness and chronic disease will never be resolved – it will only continue to manifest, worsen, and snowball out of control.

It’s more comprehensive

Functional medicine is a comprehensive and holistic approach to providing complete health. It isn’t a specialist approach, focused on a singular specific thing. We are not robots or machines. Instead, we are elaborate, amazing, and complex living organisms that require understanding, compassion, and a comprehensive understanding of how the human body works. The body is a connection of systems that work together to produce a person’s optimal health. If one system is off, it will eventually affect other systems. Functional medicine, combined with an integrative approach treats the entire body.

It’s science and evidence based

Functional medicine practitioners have the training, and physiological and biochemical knowledge to look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that are causing these imbalances and illnesses. This skill set has come through years of elaborate training, researching the science, and working in the clinical setting putting these advanced theories to test. These practitioners have the ability to consider genetic makeup, mental and energetical contributions, along with environment factors such as social and physical factors and how it all meshes together to affect each individual in a unique way.

It’s patient-centered

Functional medicine practitioners spend more time with their patients. At in2GREAT, we spend 2 hours with our new patients and 45-60 minutes with them on follow up appointments. In contrast, conventional medicine doctors spend 15 minutes with patients in a single appointment.3

It’s individualized

A functional medicine approach is personalized. Depending on the practice, this is done in varying degrees, some more than others. At in2GREAT, we go above and beyond in our efforts to personalize our patients’ care. We recognize every single person walking through our doors is a person with unique needs, unique circumstances, and a story. We have learned early on that a cookie cutter approach is not adequate to recover from chronic illness. While there are some standard actions and recommendations that can be done by the majority of people, resolving, and correcting chronic disease and illness requires a comprehensive individualized built plan.

It’s empowering

Functional medicine gives the patient the opportunity to take back control of their health. Through its patient centered approach, it puts the keys to their health, back in their own hands; instead of being controlled by insurance companies and politicians dictating what they can and cannot do. The more information a patient knows about their health. The more questions answered and concerns addressed. The more informed they become. And the more power they have.

And what we do, is integrative

Integrative medicine is different than functional medicine. An integrative medicine approach takes multiple modalities and comes up with the best approach for a person’s health care needs. Integrative is not functional necessarily. While a functional approach looks at a person’s health care needs from a functional set of lenses, and if done correctly can incorporate an integrative approach. What is often missed in this healthcare arena, is not enough providers are blending these two disciplines. Here at in2GREAT, we are passionate about considering all angles and approaches to develop the best set of recommendations for a patient. We believe this requires a functional integrative approach.

Get help with a long list of illnesses and conditions

Combining functional medicine with our integrative approach, we have the capabilities to help with so much!

  • Gut health
  • Chronic inflammation and infections
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Fatigue and thyroid issues
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Arthritis and other bone/joint issues
  • And more!

Let’s look at a few case studies

Case study #1

Lipid management

Let’s take a look at a patient with elevated Total and LDL cholesterol levels. Both practices have seen the lipid panel, and are beginning to work with the patient to address the issue.

Functional medicine:

Getting started

During the discovery process, functional medicine practitioners will consider the patient’s cardiovascular risk factors BEFORE developing a personalized plan to address the issue.

We consider:

  • Inflammatory markers – hs-CRP, Homocysteine, Insulin, Blood Sugar regulation, Vit D levels, Thyroid levels, Liver function assessment, Lipid subfractions, LDL Particle breakdown, and hormone levels
  • Familial history risk factors
  • Genetic risk factors like APOE Genotype
  • Gut function and TMA production
  • Hormones levels
  • Lifestyle and exercise
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • The health and function of the liver – where 95% of the body’s cholesterol is produced
Treatment & Support

Once the patient’s unique health needs have been discovered, the functional medicine practice helps the patient implement treatment with safe supplementation (not dangerous organ damaging medications like statins), make diet and lifestyle changes, discuss proper exercise approaches along with potential genetic factors, then will monitor progress, and provide other resources to support a healthy lifestyle and healing environment.

End result

The patient will likely have corrected the elevated cholesterol levels. And because of the comprehensive and whole-body approach to addressing the issue, will now be healthier and more likely to prevent future illness and disease.

Conventional medicine:

Getting started

The majority of the time, after seeing elevated Total and LDL Cholesterol levels, the person will be started on a Statin, Fibrate or Selective Cholesterol Absorption inhibitor medication, or some sort of or a combination of any of those, to simply get the cholesterol and LDL number as low as possible.

Treatment & Support

After putting the patient on medication, little follow-up is done beyond regular blood work to check levels.

End result

The patient will likely be on medication for the rest of their life. And the medication may result in additional health issues.

Case study #2


Let’s take a look at a patient with depression.

Functional medicine:

Getting started

Functional medicine practitioners understand there can be a deeper cause, or combination of deeper causes, contributing to the depressive disorder. During the discovery process, the root cause(s) must be identified to truly correct or bring back balance to help the patient resolve their depression.

We consider:

  • Familial history
  • Genetics
  • Nutritional deficiencies – like vitamin B and D, amino acid imbalances, and fatty acid imbalances
  • Neurotransmitter imbalances
  • Environmental toxin burden like heavy metals, pesticide, herbicide overload, and VOCs
  • GI Inflammation triggering excessive neurotransmitter production – like too much histamine or glutamate
  • Sex Hormone dysregulation – like low testosterone, estrogen dominance, low progesterone
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Medication interactions
Treatment & Support

Once the patient’s unique health needs have been discovered, the functional medicine practice helps the patient implement treatment ranging from addressing fatty acid imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances with amino acid therapies, fatty acids and other co-factors and herbal supports, make lifestyle changes that could help balance out or reverse depression, monitor progress, and provide other resources to support a positive lifestyle and healing environment.

End result

The patient will likely have corrected the depression. And because of the comprehensive and whole-body approach to addressing the issue, will now be healthier and more likely to prevent future illness and disease.

Conventional medicine:

Getting started

The majority of the time, the person will be started on a plethora of medical cocktails ranging from SSRIs, SNRI, to Benzodiazepines, to lift the mood and alleviate the symptoms. With ZERO consideration for lab objective data to help determine the safest most effective medication for the patient and their unique circumstance.

Treatment & Support

After putting the patient on medication, little follow-up is done beyond monitoring the situation. Medications change and/or new medications are introduced.

End result

If the mood improves the patient is cured. However, as we all know as time goes on those medications stop working, or the patient does not like feeling numb to the world, therefore a new set of medications will be tried. All the while these medications begin to deplete the system of vital nutrients necessary for healthy functioning neurochemistry.

Let’s dive a little deeper

Functional medicine’s start

Technically, one could say the concept of a functional approach really started back around the mid-1950-70s, when research scientists began identifying nutrients and vitamins and the biochemical roles they played on the human body. Then forward thinking laboratories began popping up to to measure these nutrients, amino acids, fatty acids, environmental toxins, antioxidants, hormones, and pre-hormones and how they influenced the human biology and biochemistry.

It was then after several decades, the term ‘Functional Medicine’ was born in the early 1990s, by Susan and Jeffery Bland. Functional Medicine was conceived by the Bland’s as a systems-biology approach to the prevention and management of chronic illness. A true functional approach will utilize all the appropriate tools to coach a patient back from chronic illness through modalities like nutrition support, lifestyle enhancement, exercise implementation, environment assessments, structural balance, cognitive therapies, emotional regulation, and pharmaceutical therapies and genetic considerations to meet the individual needs of the patient.

During the next decade functional medicine’s philosophy and concept gained momentum and traction to what it is today. Now there are numerous accredited organizations training and teaching providers how to incorporate this concept of health care into their daily practices.

To us, functional medicine is a movement or concept of health care in which by definition is foundational.

Foundational approach to better health

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Disease Overview page. Available at: Accessed April 6, 2007.


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