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The Big Business of Disease

Jun 19, 2023 | Blog, Functional Medicine

Disease is a big business.  That’s the awful truth.  


The U.S. has one of the highest costs of healthcare in the world. In 2021, the average person in the U.S. spent $12,900 per year on their healthcare.  You’d think for an investment like that we’d be a really healthy nation, right? 


The truth is, Americans spend more on health care but are on average sicker than other people in the world despite these massive expenditures.  This leads one to wonder, “Does anyone actually want you to get healthy?”  


Follow the money.  


The pharmaceutical industry has more to gain when people are sick than when they are well.  Congressmen are outnumbered 2:1 by lobbyists so the pharmaceutical lobby almost never loses a political battle.  You don’t hear a lot about natural therapies because they aren’t able to be patented and therefore aren’t as lucrative.  


Here’s what I believe.  The body is designed to feel amazing and when it doesn’t there is a reason.  And the reason, the true root cause, is never the lack of a pharmaceutical drug. 


Have you ever noticed that there are a lot of diseases today that didn’t even exist 20 years ago?  The symptoms of many of these diseases are so pervasive that they seem to apply to a lot of people.  The hard truth is that many of these new diseases are created by pharmaceutical companies to sell drugs.  [1]


I used to think the high cost of prescription drugs was worth it.  It was necessary because the pharmaceutical companies invest so much leading to medical breakthroughs.  But if that were true, why are we as a whole getting sicker and sicker instead of healthier and healthier?  Why aren’t these breakthroughs leading to greater health as a whole?  It has happened so gradually, so insidiously, that it just seems normal.  When you really step back and look at it, it’s crazy.  


Doctors mean well.  They really do.  I have never personally met a doctor that didn’t want to truly help their patient.  But the system they were trained in, the system I was trained in, is broken.  


I believe my professors taught me what they believed to be true with pure intentions.  I took that knowledge and treated my patients with the best of intentions.  It wasn’t until I zoomed out that I began to see things differently.  The professors believed what they had been taught. I believed what I had been taught.  They passed that knowledge to me. I passed that knowledge on to my patients.  I don’t know exactly how it all works, but I believe that corruption comes from higher up than this.  It hasn’t been easy to step outside of the system I was trained in, the system I trusted, and speak the truth.  It’s so much easier to go with the flow and not rock the boat.  


But I can’t do it anymore.  People deserve to know the truth.  


When you go and see your conventional doctor who takes your insurance, the doctor will assign ICD-10 codes to your visit.  This is the communication tool used between doctors and the insurance company and it’s through codes like this that the visit gets paid for.  In 2015, there were 68,000 codes to choose from, now there are 72,000 ICD-10 codes. [2]  What does this suggest? It suggests that there are 72,000 things that can go wrong with you.  


It’s much simpler than that.  


True health requires getting out of the leaves and heading to the roots.  It requires accepting the truth that the body was designed to feel amazing and when it doesn’t, there is a reason.  It’s as simple as identifying and removing things that are keeping the body from thriving and replacing the things the body needs to perform optimally.  


This isn’t the way it’s done in conventional medicine.  Your body isn’t deficient in a pharmaceutical drug, that’s for sure.  The first line of defense in conventional medicine is not prevention . . . it’s medication.  [3]  


If you aren’t feeling great your body is trying to tell you something.  Like touching a hot stove tells us to remove our hand, immediately.  The symptoms your body presents with are alerting you to a problem.  Covering it up with the band-aid approach offered by conventional medicine helps temporarily but never gets to the root of the problem.  


There is a Chinese Proverb that states:


“The superior doctor prevents illness. The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness. The inferior doctor treats actual illness.” 


According to this proverb, all traditional doctors are mediocre or inferior. That seems harsh and I don’t agree. There are a lot of great doctors out there and there are people suffering who need the care they provide. They are smart, dedicated, and provide a valuable service.  But the system as a whole isn’t set up for the optimal health that my clients and I want.. We demand more.  We won’t accept “the line of fine” as the end goal.  


Finding the root cause can change your life.  It isn’t the traditional route which means it’s not a quick and easy fix, but the journey is oh-so-worth it.  


Trusting the system that I was trained in is another lie I learned in medical school.  



  1. Cavanaugh, Madison.  The One-Minute Cure.  Summerlin, Nevada, Think-Outside-the-book, Inc., 2021. 
  2.  ICD-10: there’s a code for that. Lancet. 2015 Oct 10;386(10002):1420. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00453-5. PMID: 26466024.
  3.  Myers, Amy.  “Functional Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine.”  Web blog post.  Dr. Myers’ Blog.  9 May 2021.

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