Chris Kresser – Functional Medicine, the Sick Care System, and Why Health Is More Than the Absence of Disease

Chris Kresser Functional Medicine

Chris Kresser
Functional Medicine, the Sick Care System, and Why Health Is More Than the Absence of Disease

Chris Kresser M.S., L.Ac is the founder of Kresser Institute, the creator of, and the New York Times best selling author of The Paleo Cure and Unconventional Medicine. He is one of the most respected clinicians and educators in the fields of Functional Medicine and ancestral health, and has trained over 1,500 practitioners and health coaches around the world in his unique approach. Chris was named one of the 100 most influential people in health and fitness by, and his blog is one of the top-ranked natural health websites in the world. Chris lives in Utah with his wife and daughter.

For more info about Chris, visit his website and check out his books The Paleo Cure and Unconventional Medicine.

Books, People, and Surf Spots mentioned in the episode: 

03:58  Chris Kresser is an expert in functional medicine and functional health and nutrition
05:08  Defining functional medicine
05:30  Functional Medicine is just the way medicine should be practiced
08:05  The current state of medical care is a systemic issue
09:30  Burnout amongst physicians and other healthcare practitioners is astronomically high
11:18  Juliet is a 2x cancer survivor and found traditional care great for cancer, but she has had terrible experiences dealing other chronic conditions with conventional healthcare system
12:18  Chris’ second book, Unconventional Medicine, traces the history of conventional medicine
13:46  It’s all about using the right tool for the job
14:40  Juliet struggles with chronic anemia has only seen results with functional medicine practitioners
16:20  Patients have been conditioned from birth to expect that the solution to every problem is a medication or in some cases surgery
18:25  The congressional budget office has admitted that by 2030 – 2035 that healthcare expenditure will consume the entire federal budget if it continues to increase at this pace
18:54  The Starretts are having the same conversations around the state of physical movement / behavioral health; Ivan Iliach
19:45  Chris explains his experience with chronic illness and what led him to functional medicine; Lakey Peak
22:20  Paleo Diet; Robb Wolf
24:00  Traditional medicine puts you back in the world at the lowest bar of success/health
25:06  There is no real definition of health in medical books
25:29  One of the definitions of health that Chris likes is from Moshe Feldenkrais and the idea is that “health is the ability to live your dreams”
25:55  Health is not just the absence of disease, it’s the presence of something
27:04  The Starretts are working on a new book called Built to Move which focuses a lot on the idea of durability rather than longevity
27:59  Chris’ kids have a ski/horse instructor that is 80 years old and she is one of the best skiers on the mountain – she is amazingly active and functional
28:46  We don’t have many models of health going into older age
29:23  Focus in conventional medicine is treating disease rather than preventing it so Chris calls it “sick care” or “disease management” rather than healthcare
31:35  The ancestral health argument – populations still living in traditional ways age way better than western cultures
32:28  So what’s different: they are eating whole foods diets, very little processed foods, moving in functional ways regularly (not necessarily exercise), better sleep, live in close knit tribal groups, lots of social connection, they make time for play…
34:40  On other side, we have the biohacker mentality that often leads to the idea that people can cut corners with tech
36:52  We have a profound disconnection from our bodies and environment
39:30  The role of supplements
41:11  Supplements are an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle, not a replacement
42:00  We need to look at data (like a blood panel) from a preventative health mindset since it is much easier to reverse “high normal” than full blown disease
44:10  A comprehensive blood panel is the single most important tool we have for monitoring health and wellbeing
45:15  Juliet just had an experience with a doctor that told her that at Kaiser they no longer test for vitamin D
48:52  Iron overload in men
52:10  Kresser Institute is the home for Chris’ two courses/certifications – one for health professionals that want to practice functional medicine and another for non-healthcare professionals that want to be health coaches
54:24  Chris talks about how his thinking has evolved over the last decade
57:45  Chris’ socials

Full Transcript


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