Six Root Causes of Disease

Finding Out What is Going On Under the Surface…

I don’t treat or diagnose disease. But what the heck does that mean – if not that, then what are we doing here???

Picture a train wreck: the accident site is clear. The disaster is right there, people are hurting, everyone is busy trying to clean up the mess. It’s horrible and anyone involved wants the catastrophe fixed – pronto!

In chronic disease, symptoms are like a train wreck: painful, messy, urgent. For someone who is suffering, getting rid of the symptoms is the whole point. That’s why they need my help.

But…I come at it a different way.

Symptoms are not my focus as a practitioner of Functional Healthcare. I don’t do medical triage. For one thing, I am not a medical doctor, and I do not diagnose or treat disease. What I do is different.

Where did the train first jump its track?

If we picture that  train wreck again, and compare it to illness, what I do is look way farther back up the track. I want to know where the train first went off its course. To find that, I am going to focus on your systems, not your symptoms.

What I’m looking for is root causes.

All chronic disease is caused by one or more of the following Six Causes of Disease. By testing for these, and evaluating all eleven systems of the body, we hope to get to the root cause of your chronic illness, beginning a journey of a thousand steps with the proper first step.

The Six Causes of Disease

  1. Unresolved Trauma
  2. Allergies
  3. Microbial Imbalance including bacterial, viral and parasitic
  4. Genetic Variability
  5. Nutritional Deficiency
  6. Toxic Exposure

1. Unresolved Trauma

I’m not a psychologist or a psychiatrist. But I am looking for trauma, which can be physical or other (emotional, mental, etc), because the body doesn’t forget.

If you have suffered trauma of some kind, your body registered that, likely with a very strong stress response. And if the trauma was not resolved, your system may be stuck in that stress response still, which causes all kinds of havoc with your nervous system.

You may be stuck in the sympathetic-dominant state – “fight or flight” – rather than a parasympathetic state – “rest and digest/feed and breed,” and that’s a problem…

Traumas, for example head traumas (especially concussions), affect the “super highway” connecting the head with the gut called the Vagus Nerve.

The vagus nerve is one of the many miracles in your body. It keeps things calm, in “rest and digest/feed and breed” mode, going along as it should. But in stress, the body mounts a “fight or flight” response. If a bear is chasing you, you need that mode to enable you to fight or run. But if you stay stuck there, you are systemically stressed, not calm. Stress has its foot at the throat of the vagus nerve, choking it.

If trauma goes unresolved, the vagus nerve never gets to reactivate, and you are kept in a stress response long past the moment of danger. This affects your hormones, including your serotonin and dopamine. Sleep problems, mood, weight gain, pain, even irritable bowel conditions all can be signals of a nervous system out of whack. If trauma goes unresolved and unaddressed, your health suffers in many dramatic ways.

2. Allergies

What would happen if you continually poked a sleeping bear with a pointed stick? Just little pokes, but relentless. Can you see the bear eventually awakening with a roar and causing all kinds of mayhem? This is what it’s like to consume, or expose yourself to, what you are allergic to. At first your body may shrug it off, but eventually your bear of an immune system will awaken, and it will not be happy!

Allergies can be acute, in which case you are probably aware of them (like an allergy to cats, or shellfish, or peanuts). But they can also be subacute, causing a delayed immune response, which makes it difficult to connect symptoms with cause. When I did an allergy test on myself, I was shocked to discover several items identified that I consumed and was being exposed to (in my home) on a very regular basis – I was definitely poking my own bear until I knew better!

3. Microbial Imbalances: Bacterial, Viral, Parasitic, Mold, Yeast

No one wants to think that they are walking around with worms or bugs in them. Or pathogenic bacteria or viruses. Or overgrown yeast or mold.  Especially not in their gut. However…I have seen many a sneaky parasite, or an infection such as Epstein Barr, klebsiella, E. coli, C. Diff or H. Pylori revealed to be at the root of a chronic illness. Many times these bad guys masquerade as other things, too, and remain undetected unless tested for. Lyme Disease (now pushing epidemic status in the US) may currently be the most famous bacterial infection in this category, with systemic yeast and mold close company.

4. Genetic Variability

Are you genetically capable of processing grain? You might be surprised to find that 93% of us are not genetically equipped to consume grain without responding with inflammation! This is one of the genetic variabilities that can be tested for. Others include MTHFR, and Apolipoprotein E for those with risk factors for Alzheimer’s Disease.

5. Nutritional Deficiency

Chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression, fibromyalgia, inflammation: all of these may have roots in nutritional deficiencies. These are actually just the tip of a huge iceberg of conditions that can be caused by nutritional deficiencies. Also important to note: many deficiencies can be actually caused by common prescription medications, such as those prescribed for blood pressure or cholesterol control.

Unless you are tested for the deficiency, you risk getting medicated for the symptom.

6. Toxic Exposure

Mold, solvents, heavy metals, bisphenol A, pesticides, herbicides, industrial chemicals, pollutants. None of these are on anyone’s ideal breakfast menu.

But over 200 pollutants such as these have been identified in newborn babies’ umbilical cord blood. The typical US woman has already been exposed to 300 artificial chemicals by the time she leaves her house in the morning! 

Our bodies have inborn mechanisms to process toxins, but overload can overwhelm our system, not to mention if our system is already compromised in some way. This is a huge problem I see often.


If the starting point of evaluating your chronic illness does not include evaluation of the above Six Causes of Disease, you have not been properly evaluated.

I consider this a baseline component with every client, especially when someone has been seeking results for a long time, going from doctor to doctor without success. A new baseline must be set by going back to the beginning. I use extremely specialized Functional lab testing to find all six of these causes of disease, so that when my clients and I decide on a course of treatment to address their weaknesses and insufficiencies, the starting point is defined and clear, we have an orderly progression laid out, and we are able to retest to be sure we have reached our goals (for example, eradicating parasites, removing heavy metals, or restoring a healthy microbiome in the gut).

There IS a proper Start-Middle-End to treatment. Proper

Functional testing for the Six Causes of Disease is the beginning.

If getting to the root causes makes more sense to you than just chasing symptoms…

If you – or someone you care about – is ready to resolve issues rather than just control symptoms…

If you – or someone you care about – needs help getting to the bottom of what is bothering you, please reach out. 

Are you ready to figure out what is going on beneath the surface?

I’m here for you.

Dr. Wade




Dr. Wade Binley, DC CFMP

Dr. Wade Binley, DC CFMP

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