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The Importance of Functional Biomarkers In The Management of Chronic Illness

Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACN, FACB

By the time a disease is diagnosed, significant pathology already exists. Medicine has historically focused its evolution on the refinement of the diagnosis of the specific pathology with which the patient presents. The ultimate objective of this medical paradigm is to establish a descriptive term for the pathology that we call a disease. The driving force in medicine is in establishing the differential diagnosis that then leads to an intervention or therapy acknowledged by the standard of practice to be specific to that disease. This medical model is based philosophically upon the assumption that each disease state is independent from all other diseases. This approach gives rise to the development of a medical paradigm that is dominated by subspecialties that compartmentalize diseases into different organ systems. The histopathology-based medical system has served us well for the past 80 years, during which the dominant focus of medicine has been on acute disease. This model was supported by the tremendous success in the early 20th century that resulted from breakthroughs in the understanding of the etiology of acute infectious diseases of bacterial origin. The development of antibiotic medications that were specifi c for the bacterial origin of disease resulted in the birth of the modern pharmaceutical industry and the use of specific medications to treat specific bacterial diseases.

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