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In this episode, we talk to Chris Kresser about how to make healthcare more practical, sustainable, and better at treating chronic disease.
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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 271: Chris Kresser Practices Unconventional Medicine
- News and Views (0:41)
- Our guest today is Chris Kresser! He’s a practicing functional medicine doctor, blogger, author and “voice of reason” we really admire.
- He was a guest on Episode 86 as well.
- Chris’s new book is about changing how we approach healthcare. It’s titled Unconventional Medicine and comes out November 7th
- Stacy discovered Chris Kresser through Robb Wolf’s podcast where he challenged Robb Wolf on Fish Oil. It was refreshing to see two thought leaders debating a topic and one change his mind.
- Chris’s old book was called The Paleo Cure.
- Chris was interested in how he could change health care practices through his own work in his clinic.
- Conventional medicine doesn’t treat chronic disease very well and it could be disastrous for the economy of the United States.
- Doctors give the recommendation of “eat better, exercise” but don’t really give details, follow up, or help you get there.
- Chris got very sick from parasite infections in his early 20s and while he recovered from the acute infection easily, the chronic remnants of the disease continued until he figured out how to heal himself.
- Functional medicine is a systems biology approach to medicine.
- Chris’s analogy: If you have a rock in your shoe, conventional medicine diagnoses you with foot pain and gives you a tylenol. Functional medicine tells you to dump out the rock.
- People are on all kinds of medicine when better approaches might lead to fewer. Instead of suppressing systems, Functional medicine tackles the causes of disease, especially diet and lifestyle factors.
- Stacy recently had an experience with a regular doctor that made her wonder if patients are part of the problem: they want a pill to fix it rather than working on their diet and lifestyle.
- Chris’s practice follows up and provides resources to help patients do it.
- One in Two people has chronic disease and one in four have multiple chronic disease. We have to reverse this!
- Meanwhile, Sarah is very concerned that she wasn’t getting enough interventions with conventional medicine.
- Chris says doctors are upset with modern medicine as well. They’re burned out, don’t have enough time, and half want to quit!
- Doctors are being pushed too hard. They see twice as many patients as they did a few decades ago.
- Chris envisions a system where someone who comes in with pre-diabetes is assigned a nutritionist and a personal trainer and a gym membership rather than pills and no follow up. He sees this as cost effective: $1 million over the course of a lifetime vs. $10000
- Chris sees this as a virtuous cycle rather than a vicious cycle. Things actually get better over time.
- We spend 3.2 trillion dollars per year on healthcare. That’s $10000 per person, or 1/3 of the median income.
- We need to stop accepting chronic illness as normal. It’s not normal, its common. As Angelo Coppola says, “Humans are not broken by default.”
- The health insurance model has only been around for 60 years or so and people paid for their own. This kept costs down.
- Catastrophic Care gives the example of people giving the options of either taking statins covered by insurance or paying on their own to change diet and lifestyle and exercising. These are not equivalent choices and few would not choose the “free” pill option.
- Rate and review us. Goodbye!
- Outro (1:01:21)
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