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The need for a new health paradigm is irrefutable and well documented. The ever increasing number of complex chronic diseases that cannot be managed by the "pill for an ill" model of traditional healthcare has necessitated a medical paradigm that deals with the underlying causes of complex chronic diseases instead of the symptoms they manifest. A systems biology approach to medicine adopts the abundant scientific evidence that the human body operates through a web of interconnected systems, not as individual organs or organ systems working alone and independent of one another. Consider life as a tree, where the branches represent different organs and their corresponding specialties of medicine (eg, cardiology, pulmonology, psychiatry). These branches and specialties operate largely independently of one other in the current medical model, yet all of the branches are joined together at the trunk of the tree. Functional medicine addresses the state of the "trunk," recognizing that there are core, unifying imbalances that are common to many chronic diseases, such as inflammation (Figure).