What is Lifestyle Medicine?

What is Lifestyle Medicine?

Lifestyle Medicine, sometimes referred to as Functional Medicine, is an integrated approach that treats the whole person, rather than a set of symptoms.  

This approach aims to understand and address the underlying causes of symptoms and ill health, and may be particularly beneficial for people for long-term, chronic illness or disease and/or multiple health issues.


What can I expect?

The initial consultation lasts at least 1 hour to allow Dr Shilpa to fully understand your medical history, health issues and goals, and to evaluate your diet, sleep, exercise and environment.  Relevant testing may be recommended to provide insight into what may be contributing to your ill health and to inform your plan.

A bespoke package of care is then developed with you to promote healing and restore health which may include:

  • dietary and lifestyle advice
  • referrals to recommended experts
  • personalised supplement plan


How can Lifestyle Medicine help?

Lifestyle Medicine may be beneficial for a range of health conditions including:

  • Digestive issues such as heartburn and indigestion, constipation and diarrhoea and IBS & IBD 
  • Thyroid problems
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and fibromyalgia
  • Hormonal imbalances and fertility issues
  • Autoimmune diseases 
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Neurological conditions

In 2016, a case report was published which detailed how a 72-year-old man with long-term fatigue, depression, IBS and chronic pain achieved significant improvements in all the above when the previously unrecognised causes of his symptoms were identified with relevant testing and addressed with nutrition and lifestyle recommendations and a personalised supplement plan (1).

In 2019, a 2-year study from the Cleveland Clinic in the U.S. found that patients treated with a Functional Medicine approach experienced significantly larger improvements according to physical and mental health questionnaires than those patients who received the conventional medicine approach (2).


Key differences between Lifestyle Medicine and Conventional Medicine:

Lifestyle Medicine                                         Conventional Medicine

Health-oriented                                                Disease-oriented

Collaborative and patient-centred               Expert, doctor-centred

Biochemical individuality                                Everyone treated the same way

Relieves symptoms by addressing cause   Suppresses symptoms with drugs


As a GP with over 20 years’ experience, Dr Shilpa is able to combine conventional medicine with lifestyle medicine to offer her patients a truly personalised treatment plan.

If you have any questions about Lifestyle Medicine, book a FREE 30 minute discovery call to see if it might be right for you.  

Book at www.privategp.org/book or call 0203 303 0326.


February 2020



  1. Plotnikoff, G. & Barber, M. (2016) ‘Refractory Depression, Fatigue, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Chronic Pain: A Functional Medicine Case Report.” The Permanente journal 20(4), pp.15-242. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27768569
  2. Cleveland Clinic Study Finds Functional Medicine Model is Associated with Improvements in Health-Related Quality of Life. Available at : https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2019/10/25/cleveland-clinic-study-f...