Engaging patients in high-quality, compassionate health care

What is Functional Medicine?

By Dr. John Kelley, MD
Family Medicine & Certified Functional Medicine Physician

As functional medicine pioneer, Dr. Mark Hyman states, “One disease, many causes. One cause, many diseases.” Functional medicine seeks to answer these questions:  “Where does disease come from?” and “What are the root causes of an illness?” The approach to answering these questions is very often unique with each patient.

Traditional American medical schools focus on diagnosing and treating specific disease states. Hence,  here in the United States, we are very good at keeping people alive, but often after a disease has developed without addressing its root causes. This paradigm is beginning to change.

Functional medicine looks beyond symptoms to discover underlying factors that may generate a specific disease. This approach is taking root in mainstream medicine.

As a family medicine physician with training in integrative and functional medicine, my goal is to bring an individualized approach to treating and preventing illnesses to promoting maximum wellness and quality of life. To find the disease’s progenitors, I investigate genetics, environmental exposures, lifestyle, and socioeconomic factors. I use these findings to create tailored treatment plans designed to optimize outcomes and keep my patients off of medications whenever possible.

Generally speaking, a functional medicine approach is a very personal, preferably long-term relationship established over the years between a physician and patient.

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Get to know John Kelley, MD
Family Medicine Physician
IFM-Certified Functional Medicine Physician (

Clinic Locations:  Erie and Louisville, Colorado

As a Family Medicine and Certified Functional Medicine physician, Dr. John Kelley practices holistic medicine in the broadest sense of the word. For him, every patient is approached as an individual with specific needs, focusing on the mind-body connection through a bio-psycho-social lens.

“I focus on diet, exercise, and healthy personal and spiritual lives in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease,” he says. “I am always seeking ways to get patients safely off of medications.”

In addition to Western medicine, Dr. Kelley utilizes evidence-based Eastern medicine, natural supplementation, and training in the ever-expanding field of Integrative and Functional Medicine. He is available for in-person and telemedicine appointments for patients of all ages.

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