81 minutes | Jul 11, 2022
High Functioning Depression
High functioning depression is a condition being increasingly seen by psychiatrists. Imagine that friend who is very successful and seemingly has it all. A perfect example is Kate spade who seemed successful on the surface and just like that with no one expecting it she took her life. This discussion is to bring awareness to this condition and also to seek the right kind of treatment and solution. As always any questions or follow up reach out to me at email@example.com
27 minutes | Dec 12, 2021
The Three hormones that impact your weight loss/gain
3 Hormones That Prevent Weight Loss Thanks to the modern sedentary lifestyle, obesity is one of the most common public health issues these days. A common complaint from people these days is unstoppable weight gain. Almost 42.4 percent of adults in America are overweight. From the obese population of the U.S., half of them are at a high risk of developing chronic conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Along with this, the modern lifestyle has also normalized stress, increased fatigue, and brain fog—conditions people try to live with; till they can’t take it anymore. If you are someone with weight loss issues, facing fatigue and memory loss, wondering why you aren’t losing weight, this blog is for you. You will learn about specific hormones that you should get checked first thing while facing weight loss issues, understand their function and dysfunction, and how to resolve it. In this blog, we’ll be delving into three hormones that might be contributing to your weight gain: Leptin Adiponectin Cortisol Grab a pen and notebook, and let’s get started! Please note that the following hormonal imbalances are not limited to morbidly obese individuals—they can be observed in skinny-fat individuals with a normal BMI too. Hormone #1: Leptin The first hormone is produced by the fat cells called leptin. The function of this hormone is to signal the brain to regulate appetite. Back-story: The food you eat provides glucose to the cells of your body to produce energy. This glucose in your blood is transported to the cells via a mediator called insulin. Now, in the modern life of abundance, people tend to eat more than what their cells need, so there's always some extra glucose left in the blood. Insulin stores this extra glucose in the liver and muscles. Even after that, if there's still some excess glucose, new storage called adipocytes (fat cells) is created. These adipocytes also have endocrine functions: the production of the leptin hormone. What is the function of the leptin hormone? The leptin hormone signal the brain to stop sending the hunger signal to the body when there is excess energy in the cells. Nevertheless, having a lot of leptin is not actually a good thing. Your levels of leptin go up indicating that your fat cells are increasing. When your fat cells increase, they take up most of the glucose from the blood; glucose that the body cells need to produce energy. As the body cells are deprived of glucose, the brain gets the signal to increase the hunger cue; resulting in incessant hunger and overeating. This turns into a condition called leptin resistance. The most common abnormality with people who gain weight but have normal blood glucose is leptin resistance. The high levels of leptin not only affect the brain but also the beta cells in the pancreas—increasing fat storage, insulin levels, and insulin resistance. All of this drives up inflammation. How do you know if you have leptin resistance? You probably have leptin resistance if you: Wake up with no hunger and go hours without the first pang of hunger hitting you in the middle of the day You feel hungry till bedtime, even after eating. You face a lot of difficulties losing weight. Ways to resolve Leptin Resistance: Intentional Fasting: This fasting cycle intends to shift your metabolism—shifting the use of energy from glucose or carbohydrates to the utilization of fat through a process called ketosis. As this shift happens, your leptin resistance starts to go down. Leptin resistance can be handled by postponing your first meal and preponing your last meal. To practice Intentional Fasting: Stop eating after dinner. Avoid bedtime snacks. Have dinner three hours before bedtime. If you feel the hunger before bed for the first few weeks, drink a little water. After waking up, break the fast around midday, but check the ketose level before doing that. Caloric Deficit: Leptin resistance happens when you eat more than your body needs, turn it around by a slight caloric deficit. Track your calories, reduce your caloric intake. Do HIIT workouts: Start small and slowly build up the speed and number of reps. Start with ten squats or wall push-ups. Anything that gets your muscles moving and induces sweating. Consistency is the key. The next hormone is completely in contrast with leptin as it has all the opposite functions. Hormone #2: Adiponectin Adiponectin is a protein hormone secreted by the adipose tissue that regulates glucose levels and aids fatty acid breakdown. As the adiponectin levels go up, fat cells go down, as adiponectin stimulates glucose utilization from fat cells for energy expenditure. One of the early signs of metabolic syndrome is low levels of adiponectin. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that involve: Increased Triglycerides Low HDL cholesterol Increased fibroids High abdominal fat (Men: 40-inch in; Women: 35-inch) High fasting blood glucose What does adiponectin do? Adiponectin helps in: Reducing inflammation Improving insulin sensitivity Increasing the anti-orthogenic, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties of the body Reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases Improving glucose metabolism Getting the adiponectin high (in double digits) is what doctors look for when resolving metabolic syndrome. Ways to increase Adiponectin Levels: Adiponectin cannot be injected to increase its levels in the body. However, some simple lifestyle measures can increase the levels of adiponectin in the body. Follow all the afore-mentioned measures for resolving leptin resistance, and long with these: Add aged garlic to your diet: Increases your adiponectin. Eat monounsaturated fats like avocados, nuts, olives, and olive oil. Consume fiber-rich foods daily. Hormone #3: Cortisol In the modern lifestyle, with the abundance of stress, people experience a chronic alleviation of stress. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland in this chronic state of stress. The hormonal imbalance is the impairment of the hormonal rhythm of cortisol in the body. When we look at the normal rhythm of cortisol—every hormone in our body has a rhythm—it gets high in the morning and goes down as the day goes by and becomes a little lower at night so you get to sleep. This normal rhythm gets disrupted when a person is stressed at all times, and chronic stress is not sustainable. (insert a graph showing the hormonal rhythm) Study on Cortisol Rhythm A study was conducted among a group of people about psychosocial stressors. These people were divided into two groups: People with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) People with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) While performing the interventions, the researchers took 4-point measurements of the levels of cortisol: Morning Midday Late afternoon Night The two specific interventions they did to observe the rhythm of the cortisol were: Measuring the participants’ cortisol after eating lunch Measuring the participants’ cortisol after giving them dexamethasone (external steroids) The reason behind these interventions was to check the response of cortisol levels to stressors like food or external source of cortisol which should suppress your internal production of cortisol so your body doesn’t get an excess of cortisol. Results: Group A: The rhythm of cortisol in the people from group A was normal—high in the morning, gradually lowering by the day, low at night. After eating lunch, their cortisol levels would peak. Ingesting dexamethasone would suppress the internal production of cortisol in their body. Group B: The cortisol rhythm of people in group B was rigid. It did not have the specific ‘S-shaped curve in the cortisol rhythm. Their brain-adrenal connection had become rigid to all the stressors, stimuli, and suppression. When they had lunch, there was barely a peak in the cortisol levels. There was no response after the ingestion of dexamethasone. Conclusion: The brain-adrenal connection is an indicator of excellent health. The absence of this connection and the rigidity of hormonal rhythm puts you at a high risk of chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. What does cortisol do to the body? Cortisol impacts our health by affecting glucose metabolism. Chronic stress, resulting in high, non-responsive, and rigid cortisol has metabolic implications that promote inflammation and disease. High levels of internal cortisol production result in: Increased blood glucose Increased visceral fat accumulation Increased leptin and insulin resistance Decrease in the sex and growth hormones Increased risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels) High blood pressure High risk of cardiovascular diseases Effect of Cortisol on the Memory When your cortisol levels are persistently high and rigid, it damages the hippocampus—the area responsible for information retention and learning. So, what can be done about this rhythmic impairment? The rise in cortisol levels and the rhythmic impairment of cortisol are due to chronic stress. People feel stressed when they feel helpless about problems that are not under their control—work problems, issues in relationships, financial stressors, etc. Over time, these stressors build our cortisol because we think the same way every day resulting in chronic stress. Cortisol rhythmic impairments should be addressed by managing stress and clearing the mind: Right after waking up, shut off all external stimuli by closing your eyes. Spend five minutes listening to calming music or sounds around you, and breathe. Focus on your breath. By doing so, you are changing your physiology and bringing your cortisol levels down. Then, no matter how busy your day gets, you will know how to ground yourself. Hopefully, this information has opened your mind to a different way of thinking and different ways of living. Health is intuitive and it's your business. Look at your habits and shift them little by l
46 minutes | Nov 7, 2021
Diabetics confused about what you can do- listen to this
3 Healthy Diets for Diabetes Patients and Prediabetics There’s no one diet that fits all. This is why there’s an abundance of various diets out there that deliver different results. The question is—which one is sustainable for you? How can you shift your health? This blog will answer the infamous question—what to eat when you’ve been diagnosed with Diabetes or Metabolic Syndrome? Nutrition is the core pillar of how you shift your health. Yet it’s also a complex question to answer, even after the tons of research done about it already. As you keep reading, you will learn about the science behind: The Plant-based Diet The Low-carb High-fat Diet The Carnivore Diet Let’s dive right into it! The Plant-based Diet A plant-based diet consists of foods that are only obtained from plants. It includes everything from fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, to nuts, seeds, and beans. No animal-sourced or processed foods. Going on a plant-based diet is not equivalent to going vegan. This diet has been a part of the nutritional world and has been studied extensively in the field of nutritional sciences since the 1940s. Why should you go on a plant-based diet? More Sustainable: As Dr. Dean Ornish said, “It takes 10 times more energy to eat higher on the food chain i.e. when you're eating animal-based food as opposed to a plant-based diet, it takes ten times more resources to make that possible.” The plant-based diet is good for your body and the planet. Scientifically Proven Safe: There’s countless evidence to support the benefits of the plant-based diet—culturally and scientifically. Research shows that countries that eat mainly plant-based have less mortality rates and a lower ratio of chronic diseases that are relatively high around the Western world with an abundance of animal-based protein. Helps in Lowering High Cholesterol: The plant-based diet is proven to lower bad cholesterol levels from about 15% to 30% as it is relatively low-fat and removes oil from the diet. Good for Heart Patients: This diet is confirmed to be good for the heart as eating multicolor, leafy food, and fiber can reduce the risk of stroke, and lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Beneficial to people with Metabolic Syndrome: The plant-based diet has demonstrated efficiency in lowering each of the five risk factors—high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar, abdominal fat, and high triglyceride level—for developing metabolic syndrome. It also helps in the prevention of metabolic syndrome with the removal of oils and processed food from the diet. All in all, plant-based diets are designed to get to the root cause of the disease and shift your health on a diet-and-lifestyle level. When causality is treated with plant-based nutrition there is: No mortality from the diet No morbidity from the diet And the health benefits improve with time. If you have been eating predominantly the Standard American Diet (SAD), the easiest transition into a healthy lifestyle with a safer diet is going plant-based. Foods included: Fruits Vegetables Whole Grains Legumes Seeds Nuts Foods to avoid: Oil Meat Fish Fowl Dairy Coffee Loopholes in the Plant-based Diet Even though there are numerous benefits to the plant-based diet, people still tend to fail in seeing results or sticking to it. Especially for diabetics, the transformation is slow because when you have high insulin resistance, getting the blood sugar down at the start is very difficult and takes a long time. Reasons: People may not have involved a variety of plants in their diet. People may not have stopped consuming oils totally. They might consume too many fruits, dried fruits, and grains that increase sugar surges and don’t help with overcoming sugar addiction. Involving too many fruits and fewer plants can lead to severe insulin resistance. They are gluten-sensitive. The Low-carb, High-fat Diet (LCHF) The low-carb, high-fat diet is mainly low in carbohydrates, high in fats, and moderate in protein. The diet demands the complete removal of processed carbohydrates and a 38% increase of healthy fats in the diet. The Rules of the LCHF Diet Avoid all processed or low-fat foods. Consume whole foods. No GPS- Grains, potatoes, and sugars. Eat foods you like, only when you are hungry. Foods included: Cheese and butter Avocados Fish Eggs Meat Leafy green vegetables Broccoli, asparagus & cauliflower Brussels sprouts Berries Olive and coconut oils Chia and flax seeds Foods to avoid: White rice White pasta Bread Baked goods Low-fat foods Diet drinks Food and drinks with added sugar Beer Sugary coffee How does it help with diabetes? The low-carb, high-fat diet aka LCHF diet helps in improving insulin sensitivity and aiding weight loss, both of which help in managing type 2 diabetes. When a body is in the LCHF diet, it replaces glucose that comes from carbohydrates with ketones from fat to produce energy. As a person reduces their carbohydrate intake by the day, the body is forced to use fat stored in the cells as fuel, which may aid weight loss. It also reduces leptin resistance and helps improve the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Cons of the LCHF Diet This diet can significantly increase caloric intake. If the ketosis doesn’t go off well, the diet can backfire with some weight and fat gain. People can experience increased levels of LDL and Non-HDL cholesterol on a low-carb diet. The Carnivore Diet The carnivore diet is a nutrient-dense diet that is full of animal-sourced foods with a limitation of plants to the degree necessary to provide health benefits and restrict all carbohydrate intake. How does it help with Diabetes? Foods that are high in added sugars are considerably challenging for diabetics as they increase blood sugar levels. This diet demands a complete elimination of high-carb foods, refined carbs, and sugars that is often recommended to manage diabetes. Benefits of the Carnivore Diet Appetite regulation; increases satiety Easy transition for those who hate vegetables Eliminates sugar addiction Regulates blood sugar Helps with hyperinsulinemia Lessens a load of processed food in the diet Foods included: Meat Fish Eggs Dairy products Bone marrow Bone broth Foods excluded: Processed sugars Fruits Vegetables Legumes Grains Nuts Seeds Cons of the Carnivore Diet Boosts the levels of highly oxidized LDL cholesterol: High LDL levels thicken the walls of your blood vessels which increases the chances of stroke, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, and heart attack. Leads to a deficiency of plant-based micronutrients. High in sodium and fat. Fiber deficiency. Due to the lack of fiber in the diet, the risk of Diverticulosis shoots up. Diverticulosis is a condition in which small, bulging pouches develop in the digestive tract, because of high consumption of meat and processed food. Higher the fiber in the diet; the lesser the diverticulosis. Tip: Consider getting certain tests—such as your cholesterol profile, Omega-3 indexes, inflammatory markers—done before going for any of these diets. All these diets have their pros and cons. What's going to work for you might not for another body. It all boils down to how sustainable the diet is for you. All three diets have one thing in common: eliminating processed foods and refined sugars from the diet. If you do this one thing, it will be a huge step in the right direction of making the right dietary changes for your body and living a healthier life. The root cause of most diseases is the lifestyle choices that we make each day. Always remember that our bodies are extraordinarily self-healing, as long as they are provided the right nutrition and conditions to thrive in. Diet and lifestyle can be prevention; but they can also be the treatment. Health is intuitive and it's your business. This blog covers the highlights from the latest episode of Chillin with Dr. Chellam on The Eternal Diet Question Answered by Dr. Nisha Chellam, Board Certified Internist, and Founder of Holistic ICON. You can check out the full video on our YouTube channel by clicking this link: Hoping this blog was helpful. If you have any other questions related to diets, please drop us an email with your question and a brief about yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org , and we will get back to you shortly
54 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
Type I Diabetes another way to handle it.
Reverse Diabetes With Plant-based Vegan Diet Whenever we hear of disease, medicine is always ready as a cure. We know that particular medicine will tackle the problem at hand but what we miss out on is - what are the other direct effects of the same medicine. Medicines can never be the long-term solution. Diabetes is a very big problem in today’s time. But here’s a fact, you can reverse type 2 diabetes with a plant-based vegan diet. And here’s another fact, when it comes to diet, there is no diet fits all. However, a type of diet can work wonders for you. The question is- are you willing to make the change? Are you ready to make the shift? In this blog, we will discuss: WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES? WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET? HOW DOES THE VEGAN DIET WORKS FOR DIABETICS? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A VEGAN DIET? HOW TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF A VEGAN DIET? KETO DIET AND ITS SIDE EFFECTS Before we dive into the blog and delve into all the information, first let us know about someone who has had Type 2 diabetes for a very long time but has been able to live a medication-free healthy life for the past eight and half years now, Marc Ramirez. He is a B.S. Kinesiology, is a TEDx presenter, motivational speaker, and certified Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Marc and his wife Kim run a non-profit called Chickpea and Bean, which helps all people achieve health through the healing power of plants. In 2011 Marc made a shift to a plant-based lifestyle and his health greatly improved. He reversed Type 2 diabetes, psoriasis, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol, obesity, frequent heartburn. WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES? Type 2 diabetes is often characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and a relative lack of insulin. It is a chronic condition that results in more than the required amount of sugar circulating in the bloodstream. In type 2 diabetes, there are two interrelated problems. Your pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells) Hence, the cells respond poorly to insulin and take in less sugar Managing type 2 diabetes is very much possible. By losing weight, eating well and exercising regularly you manage your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can lead to disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems. WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET? A person who follows the diet of abstaining from the consumption of animal products is called a vegan and the philosophy is called veganism. There are multiple distinctions between Vegans. Dietary vegans, also known as "strict vegetarians" avoid consumption of meat, eggs, dairy products, and any other animal-derived substances. An ethical vegan, also known as a "moral vegetarian", not only follows a vegan diet but also extends the philosophy to the treatment of other humans, and opposes the use of animals for any purpose. "Environmental veganism", refers to the avoidance of animal products and opposes the industrial farming of animals as it is environmentally damaging and unsustainable. In simple terms, a Vegan diet is a diet exclusive of animal and dairy products and inclusive of only plant-based products. This means no cow milk, no eggs, no chicken, no meat, no cheese. A vegan diet is full of while fruits and vegetables along with legumes and nuts. Vegans in the USA have been increasing at a very high rate. More and more people are shifting to a plant-based diet. People have realized that their diet plays the most important role in maintaining a healthy and problems free life. If you follow a healthy vegan diet, you are less likely to get heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, cholesterol. Studies have also shown that vegans are less likely to be overweight and tend to have a lower percentage of body fat. Thus, reducing the risk of other chronic diseases. However, a vegan diet has proved to be very beneficial for those suffering from diabetes. Adopting a vegan diet plan will help you bring down your blood sugar levels. HOW DOES THE VEGAN DIET WORKS FOR DIABETICS? People with diabetes have a high risk of Cardiovascular disease, are usually overweight and have high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. A vegan diet or plant-based diet helps fight the problem from the root cause and eliminate the chances of most chronic diseases. A vegan diet has less saturated fats and is high in fiber. It has high amounts of fruits and vegetables which are very useful for people with diabetes. You must consult your dietician and doctor when you decide to shift to a vegan diet. They will ensure that all the key nutrients are present in your diet. A balanced, nutritious and whole-food diet is necessary for a person who is just making a shift in his diet. Based on a lot of factors, from the type of diabetes you have to your physical activity level, sex, age, and others, your dietician and doctor will help you identify the ideal amount of carbs, proteins along with other vitamins, needed with each meal. You can either make a complete shift and turn to a plant-based diet at once or can gradually increase the amount of plant-based meals, slowly eliminating animal products from your diet. People with diabetes are suggested to keep the intake of carbs consistent throughout the day. Carbs have a direct effect on blood sugar levels than protein and fats. Therefore, the meals and snacks must be balanced with carbs, protein, and healthy fat. A plant-based diet might be a little challenging initially, but it is the best choice to bring down the blood sugar levels. Listed below are examples of carbs, proteins, and fats that you can use to prepare meals and snacks if you’re following a vegan diet for diabetes: Carbs: whole grain flour (bread, pasta), rice, potatoes, oats, quinoa, fruit (fresh, frozen, or unsweetened canned), corn Proteins: soybeans and soybean products (tofu, tempeh), beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, tree nuts, nut butter, seeds, plant-based meat alternatives Fats: olive oil, avocado oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, coconut, plant-based spreads Many plant-based foods, such as beans and grains, contain a mixture of carbs, protein, and fat, so they can pull double or triple duty in your meal planning Additionally, fiber which is a type of indigestible carb is found in most plant-based foods. Fiber is very helpful as it makes these foods more filling and also helps in reducing your blood sugar level. Most of us worry that the amount of protein that we intake following a vegan diet is very low. However, unknowingly most of us eat far more protein than our body requires. Gorilla shares the same DNA as humans to 98.3%. They are almost human from a genetic standpoint. Guess what? They are vegan. They get their huge structure and strong muscles from consuming plants and plant-based food. Even animals as big as an elephant or a giraffe or a rhinoceros or a stallion all of these are vegetarian. They have got their strong structures and muscles by eating plants and plant-based food. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A VEGAN DIET? Animal-based food is rich in saturated fats which are most harmful to our body. These food items lead to inflammation and belly fat. They also make your body resistant to insulin and increases blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, a vegan diet is rich in unsaturated fats which are not harmful. Plant-based food items are also high in fiber, antioxidants, minerals. These nutrients protect your body against diseases and always manage your blood sugar levels. A vegan diet also helps in managing weight. As the diet is rich in fiber, you tend to get rid of all the unhealthy and hard-to-digest food items, Hence, making digestion an easy process for your body. HOW TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF A VEGAN DIET? After deciding that you want to turn vegan, there are few things that you should consider to ensure the success of the diet. Plan ahead: Meal planning and having some healthy snacks handy will be very helpful. Also, check out the menu in advance when you’re planning to dine out always. Eat plenty of non-starchy veggies: Non-starchy food is low in carbs but full of fiber and nutrients. They have the least effect on your blood sugar and help you feel full and satisfied. Balance each meal and snack: A healthy balance of carbs, fats, and protein, along with some non-starchy vegetables is the most ideal combination of meals and snacks. Mix up your proteins: include a variety of plant-based protein sources in your diet. It will ensure that you are getting essential amino acids in the required amounts for optimal health. Monitor your blood sugar regularly: If you have diabetes, and are following a vegan diet, you should check your blood sugar regularly to stay aware of the fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Supplement wisely: If your doctor suggests, take the supplements. At times, your diet might not be able to fulfill the exact requirements of different nutrients. It is ok to include a few supplements like iron, B12, Vitamin D to ensure your body is never nutrient deficient. KETO DIET AND ITS EFFECTS The Ketogenic Diet or Keto Diet involves cutting down the carbohydrates, to almost 50 grams a day or less. By doing this you help your body achieve a state of ketosis, in which it has to burn fat (rather than sugar) for energy. The diet’s unsustainable nature has led to many questions being raised by doctors and health experts. A Keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. It promises quick weight loss. However, health experts worry about the side effects and complications are way more than its benefits. The Keto Flu: Keto Flu usually happens in the early stages of commencing the Keto Diet. It includes headaches, nausea, fatigue, and diarrhea. Constipation: your body is losing water weight which means you are clogging your pipes increased risk of kidney stones: High intake of animal proteins can increase both calcium and uric acid lev
69 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Is Fish all that Safe?
Effect of Mercury Exposure on Your Health Mercury is a metal element that naturally exists in nature as found in air, water as well as soil. Its presence starts to impact our health if it gets in direct contact with this metal through breathing, intake or physical contact. This can then lead to various neurological, cardiovascular (heart-related), digestive, hormonal as well as dermatological (skin-related) issues. The last 50 years have seen an evident rise in the level of mercury exposure, a big contributor being the industries using coal as fuel which when burned releases mercury in vapour form thus inevitably making it a part of our direct ecosystem. It has subsequently caused a tremendous rise in medical cases with harmful mercury exposure at its root. In this blog we will delve deeper to understand this phenomenon of mercury exposure, how it happens, what are its signs, what can you do to reduce it and more. Let’s get started, shall we? What is Mercury Poisoning? Mercury is a natural metal found in the air, water and soil and is also commonly referred to as Quicksilver. It’s found in a thick, silver-shining liquid state under standard temperature and pressure. However, it can also vaporise and be inhaled by us as well as bind with certain molecules (especially all enzymes) causing serious issues in our biochemistry and subsequent metabolic problems. High levels of mercury in our body can really harm the body systems especially the brain and kidneys leading to a condition called Mercury Poisoning. Mercury most commonly enters our body in a vapour state via inhalation of contaminated air, intake of contaminated food or getting in through our skin if it gets in direct contact. Factors that determine the impact of mercury exposure on your health The impact of mercury exposure on your body depends on: How much mercury gets into your body? In which forms has it entered your body? How did the mercury get into your body? How long have you been exposed to mercury? How does mercury poisoning affect our health? An abnormally high level of Mercury in our body may have significant negative impacts on our overall health, especially our brain, heart and gut health. It’s observed that its impact are even more dangerous for babies and children since their brains are still under development. What are the signs of Mercury exposure on your health? Abnormal levels of mercury exposure may lead to detrimental impact resulting in both short-term as well as long-term signs such as below. Short-term signs of unhealthy mercury exposure Severe respiratory irritation Digestive disturbances Marked renal damage Memory loss Impaired hearing, vision, speech Tremors Lack of coordination (while walking, writing etc.) Skin issues Difficulty in chewing and swallowing Long-term signs of unhealthy mercury exposure Deteriorates nervous system Weakness Fatigue Anorexia Weight loss Disturbance of gastrointestinal function If not identified and treated on time, it might also manifest itself into or worsen certain diseases and health conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer's, colitis and even cancer. What are the common sources of mercury exposure? Mercury exposure commonly occurs in two ways: General Exposure Large predatory fishes (like shark, tuna, swordfish etc.) Dental amalgam used for fillings that contain mercury Vegetables & fruits from contaminated soils Soaps & cosmetics Use & damage of mercury-containing products (eg. batteries, fluorescent lamps) Waste Occupational Exposure Manufacturing products containing mercury (eg. medical devices, paints, fluorescent lamps) Gold mining Industry (eg. cement production, metal production, Chlor-alkali industry) How to get tested for Mercury level in your body? The most common tests done to access mercury exposure in our body are urine and hair tests. However to get a more precise analysis of its presence in our tissues. What can you do to reduce the risk of mercury exposure? Don’t undergo medical treatments involving mercury usage, such as Dental amalgam & medical treatments Look for alternatives to replace products/ services containing mercury (commonly found in batteries, fluorescent lamps, paint) Carefully handle & dispose of products containing mercury (eg. Thermometers or fluorescent light bulbs) Prefer to eat smaller sized fishes over big fishes Limit intake of seafood Live & work in places free of toxic Mercury exposure Hope you found this blog helpful. This blog is based on the recent episode of Chilling with Dr Chellam published on YouTube. To get a more in-depth view on this topic, please see the full video by clicking this link: And in case you have any questions, please feel free to email us at your email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org question at and we will get back to you at the earliest. ---xxx---
46 minutes | Jul 10, 2021
What is the best diet for a diabetic
3 Healthy Diets for Diabetes Patients and Prediabetics There’s no one diet that fits all. This is why there’s an abundance of various diets out there that deliver different results. The question is—which one is sustainable for you? How can you shift your health? This blog will answer the infamous question—what to eat when you’ve been diagnosed with Diabetes or Metabolic Syndrome? Nutrition is the core pillar of how you shift your health. Yet it’s also a complex question to answer, even after the tons of research done about it already. As you keep reading, you will learn about the science behind: The Plant-based Diet The Low-carb High-fat Diet The Carnivore Diet Let’s dive right into it! The Plant-based Diet A plant-based diet consists of foods that are only obtained from plants. It includes everything from fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, to nuts, seeds, and beans. No animal-sourced or processed foods. Going on a plant-based diet is not equivalent to going vegan. This diet has been a part of the nutritional world and has been studied extensively in the field of nutritional sciences since the 1940s. Why should you go on a plant-based diet? More Sustainable: As Dr. Dean Ornish said, “It takes 10 times more energy to eat higher on the food chain i.e. when you're eating animal-based food as opposed to a plant-based diet, it takes ten times more resources to make that possible.” The plant-based diet is good for your body and the planet. Scientifically Proven Safe: There’s countless evidence to support the benefits of the plant-based diet—culturally and scientifically. Research shows that countries that eat mainly plant-based have less mortality rates and a lower ratio of chronic diseases that are relatively high around the Western world with an abundance of animal-based protein. Helps in Lowering High Cholesterol: The plant-based diet is proven to lower bad cholesterol levels from about 15% to 30% as it is relatively low-fat and removes oil from the diet. Good for Heart Patients: This diet is confirmed to be good for the heart as eating multicolor, leafy food, and fiber can reduce the risk of stroke, and lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Beneficial to people with Metabolic Syndrome: The plant-based diet has demonstrated efficiency in lowering each of the five risk factors—high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar, abdominal fat, and high triglyceride level—for developing metabolic syndrome. It also helps in the prevention of metabolic syndrome with the removal of oils and processed food from the diet. All in all, plant-based diets are designed to get to the root cause of the disease and shift your health on a diet-and-lifestyle level. When causality is treated with plant-based nutrition there is: No mortality from the diet No morbidity from the diet And the health benefits improve with time. If you have been eating predominantly the Standard American Diet (SAD), the easiest transition into a healthy lifestyle with a safer diet is going plant-based. Foods included: Fruits Vegetables Whole Grains Legumes Seeds Nuts Foods to avoid: Oil Meat Fish Fowl Dairy Coffee Loopholes in the Plant-based Diet Even though there are numerous benefits to the plant-based diet, people still tend to fail in seeing results or sticking to it. Especially for diabetics, the transformation is slow because when you have high insulin resistance, getting the blood sugar down at the start is very difficult and takes a long time. Reasons: People may not have involved a variety of plants in their diet. People may not have stopped consuming oils totally. They might consume too many fruits, dried fruits, and grains that increase sugar surges and don’t help with overcoming sugar addiction. Involving too many fruits and fewer plants can lead to severe insulin resistance. They are gluten-sensitive. The Low-carb, High-fat Diet (LCHF) The low-carb, high-fat diet is mainly low in carbohydrates, high in fats, and moderate in protein. The diet demands the complete removal of processed carbohydrates and a 38% increase of healthy fats in the diet. The Rules of the LCHF Diet Avoid all processed or low-fat foods. Consume whole foods. No GPS- Grains, potatoes, and sugars. Eat foods you like, only when you are hungry. Foods included: Cheese and butter Avocados Fish Eggs Meat Leafy green vegetables Broccoli, asparagus & cauliflower Brussels sprouts Berries Olive and coconut oils Chia and flax seeds Foods to avoid: White rice White pasta Bread Baked goods Low-fat foods Diet drinks Food and drinks with added sugar Beer Sugary coffee How does it help with diabetes? The low-carb, high-fat diet aka LCHF diet helps in improving insulin sensitivity and aiding weight loss, both of which help in managing type 2 diabetes. When a body is in the LCHF diet, it replaces glucose that comes from carbohydrates with ketones from fat to produce energy. As a person reduces their carbohydrate intake by the day, the body is forced to use fat stored in the cells as fuel, which may aid weight loss. It also reduces leptin resistance and helps improve the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Cons of the LCHF Diet This diet can significantly increase caloric intake. If the ketosis doesn’t go off well, the diet can backfire with some weight and fat gain. People can experience increased levels of LDL and Non-HDL cholesterol on a low-carb diet. The Carnivore Diet The carnivore diet is a nutrient-dense diet that is full of animal-sourced foods with a limitation of plants to the degree necessary to provide health benefits and restrict all carbohydrate intake. How does it help with Diabetes? Foods that are high in added sugars are considerably challenging for diabetics as they increase blood sugar levels. This diet demands a complete elimination of high-carb foods, refined carbs, and sugars that is often recommended to manage diabetes. Benefits of the Carnivore Diet Appetite regulation; increases satiety Easy transition for those who hate vegetables Eliminates sugar addiction Regulates blood sugar Helps with hyperinsulinemia Lessens a load of processed food in the diet Foods included: Meat Fish Eggs Dairy products Bone marrow Bone broth Foods excluded: Processed sugars Fruits Vegetables Legumes Grains Nuts Seeds Cons of the Carnivore Diet Boosts the levels of highly oxidized LDL cholesterol: High LDL levels thicken the walls of your blood vessels which increases the chances of stroke, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, and heart attack. Leads to a deficiency of plant-based micronutrients. High in sodium and fat. Fiber deficiency. Due to the lack of fiber in the diet, the risk of Diverticulosis shoots up. Diverticulosis is a condition in which small, bulging pouches develop in the digestive tract, because of high consumption of meat and processed food. Higher the fiber in the diet; the lesser the diverticulosis. Tip: Consider getting certain tests—such as your cholesterol profile, Omega-3 indexes, inflammatory markers—done before going for any of these diets. All these diets have their pros and cons. What's going to work for you might not for another body. It all boils down to how sustainable the diet is for you. All three diets have one thing in common: eliminating processed foods and refined sugars from the diet. If you do this one thing, it will be a huge step in the right direction of making the right dietary changes for your body and living a healthier life. The root cause of most diseases is the lifestyle choices that we make each day. Always remember that our bodies are extraordinarily self-healing, as long as they are provided the right nutrition and conditions to thrive in. Diet and lifestyle can be prevented, but they can also be the treatment. Health is intuitive and it's your business. This blog covers the highlights from the latest episode of Chillin with Dr. Chellam on The Eternal Diet Question Answered by Dr. Nisha Chellam, Board Certified Internist, and Founder of Holistic ICON. You can check out the full video on our YouTube channel by clicking this link: Hoping this blog was helpful. If you have any other questions related to diets, please drop us an email with your question and a brief about yourself at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you shortly
53 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
Can Chronic Disease be Reversed by Nutrition?
What is the Nutritarian Diet? Can it Prevent and Reverse Chronic Diseases? When faced with disease, many of us don't prefer taking medicines. Medicines are an option but they aren't a long-term solution. So, could you shift the health of your cells by changing your nutrition? In this blog, you will discover just how big of a role nutrition plays in the prevention and reversal of illness. This comprehensive blog with answers to all of your nutrition and diet-related questions: The Connection between Nutrition & Chronic Illness The Issue with Most Types of Diets About the Nutritarian Diet What are the G-BOMBS? The Importance of Including Nuts & Seeds in the Diet Oils vs. Seeds Veganism & Deficiencies Is there a natural source of Omega 3 to replace supplements? Macronutrients—too much or too little? Ready to dig in? Let’s go! But before that, here’s what you need to know about the creator of the Nutritarian diet, Dr. Joel Fuhrman: Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a long-term Board-certified family physician and seven times New York Times bestseller author who has a retreat center in San Diego called the “Eat to Live” retreat. His specialty is preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. Dr. Furhman has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss, reverse heart disease, diabetes & many other chronic illnesses using smart nutrition. In his medical practice, he keeps delivering this life-saving message to people around the globe. Now, let’s dive right in! The Connection between Nutrition & Chronic Illness Modern nutritional science gives us the power to treat chronic diseases to a large degree. Access to processed & high-calorie nutrient-deficient foods more readily available at low prices has given rise to obesity and poor health conditions that follow. Things have gotten worse, not better. The idea, proposed by Herbert Shelton in the 1950s, that the body is a miraculous self-healing machine and disease is unnatural is imperative. Dr. Fuhrman believes that it's not normal to live with diseases. One has to earn all diseases by living an unhealthy lifestyle. A species can be protected from disease if you feed it properly, taking care of all essential nutrients. This underlying premise will never change. Studies reveal that wholesome organic plant-based diets can prevent chronic fatal diseases. So making healthy shifts in diet can provide longevity and help in reversing heart diseases, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, reducing daily migraines, getting rid of arthritis, and whatnot. As such, Nutritional excellence can be utilized as a therapeutic modality. It can not only prevent disease but also reverse disease. So, while we’re living in a world of information with all the research readily available around us, Why is there still so much confusion about nutrition? The fast-food and the restaurant industry with billions of dollars to spend on promotion whereas the organic food producing industry doesn't put out information at that scale. Nobody is promoting those industries. With such a massive level of promotion of processed food and meats; it’s easier to make people buy a full meal quicker for money, rather than try to eat whole foods. The different types of diets out there and the media also have a role to play here. The vegan diet, the paleo, or the ketogenic diet, etc. For instance, seeing people lose weight with the keto diet can be tempting to anyone who wants to lose weight. The Issue with Most Types of Diets As we know, most types of diets are targeted towards either weight loss or reducing cholesterol levels etc. Yet, short-term change doesn't mean that a certain diet is sustainable. Dr. Fuhrman believes that short-term benefits shouldn’t be utilized as a measurement of the success of any diet. Like medications, while they might be a good short-term solution, diets too might have some long-term consequences (such as the shortened lifespan of a person). Likewise, for various diets, you could give credence & generate a hypothesis for short-term changes. However, you shouldn’t draw conclusions based on short-term changes; instead, you should see the observations drawn from credible researches conducted over decades of people doing these interventions. For example, when people are given a proton pump inhibitor for reflux esophagitis: in the short run, they feel better in the long run, we know that it increases the risk of heart attack or cancer; it’s dangerous as a long-term solution. The same thing goes for various weight-loss diets, we must conduct studies before concluding. What are the criteria for validating the effectiveness of a diet? There are three criteria for giving high credence to a study on diet for long term use: The study should be conducted on thousands of people; not just 50 or 100 people. Hard endpoints should be given more importance over soft endpoints. Soft endpoints are lost weight, lower cholesterol, etc. Most doctors make soft endpoints as the parameters to measure a diet’s effectiveness. Hard endpoints are the increased risk of a heart attack or cancers etc. For Instance, some drugs that might help lower cholesterol in the short run might increase the risk of developing cancers in the long run. So, it’s important to consider a diet’s response to the impact on these hard endpoints. The study should go on for decades not years. Short-term studies should be corroborated with long-term studies. Some studies support that as people’s dietary intake of animal products goes up, their hard endpoint death rates go up, and as they increase plant protein their longevity increases. There are also studies showing that both high-protein paleo diets & keto diets are extremely dangerous too in the long run; they shorten people’s life span. Including a lot of animal products and restricting various phytochemicals can be harmful. About the Nutritarian Diet The nutritarian diet is a very nutrient-dense, sustainable diet with a moderate caloric restriction and micronutrient surplus for optimal health. It’s different from a whole-food, plant-based diet. The nutritarian diet tries to cultivate nutritional excellence by including a wide variety of food that covers the full spectrum of human needs for nutrients; the G-BOMBS. What does the Nutritarian diet include? The diet includes all the foods that are proven to have anti-cancer & longevity benefits—beans, mushrooms, nuts & seeds, fruits & vegetables, etc—including the most effective foods that enable people to push the envelope of human longevity, get to be in great health & live a hundred years long. For instance, if you have a 1500 calorie limitation per day, what are the most nutritious foods that you can fit into the caloric pie for the day. What are the G-BOMBS? G-BOMBS are the six foods that have the most scientific support for extending the human lifespan & protecting against chronic illnesses. In the Nutritarian diet, it is recommended to include all of these foods on a daily basis. Greens Beans Onions Mushrooms Berries Seeds “The G-BOMBS are the foods with the highest nutrient-to-calorie ratio and the most scientific evidence to prevent cancer. Eat them almost every day.” —Dr. Joel Fuhrman The Importance of Including Nuts & Seeds in the Diet Studies show that the inclusion of nuts & seeds in the diet decreases the risk of cardiovascular death by 40%. It’s amazingly consistent across various studies—with every study having different cohorts with different ages, genders, ethnicities, high & low animal product intake, vegans or non-vegans, etc. With every cohort looked at, the consistency was that the exclusion of nuts and seeds increased risks of cardiac diseases by 40%, and their inclusion of about an ounce a day reduced heart attack rates by 40%. Therefore, reducing mortality. Here, conclusions are drawn based on consistency from one study corroborating another. Oils vs. Seeds Oil is a fat-promoting food. Dr. Fuhrman explains that there’s a huge difference between an oil concentrated from a seed and the seed itself. Walnuts are healthier than walnut oil, sesame seeds are healthier than sesame oil. It’s much healthier to include the whole nut or seed, rather than the oil from that nut or seed because the components of seeds are fine for people in small amounts when eaten a handful of seeds, but when people consume highly processed oils made from seeds, they end up consuming those components—such as phytic acid, omega-6 fatty acids, lectin proteins, etc.—in much larger amounts than what’s healthy for them. In the nutritarian diet, recipes are created with whole nuts and seeds being utilized to prepare the creamy or fattiness of the food dressing, instead of just the oils. Percentage of Animal Products in the Diet It’s important to establish what percentage of the diet should be animal products. For a diet to be optimal, the animal product percentage should be between 0-5%, even 10% of calories from animal products on a consistent basis is enough to prevent you from maintaining optimal health. A diet that has a 0-5% of animal products has a sub-optimal range of zinc, B12, K2 & DHA. Nutritarian diet includes the judicious use of supplements to ensure that an individual is not missing out on those nutrients. Veganism & Deficiencies It has been noted that people who have a vegan diet for all of their lives tend to develop dementia or Parkinson’s disease in old age over those who have a plant-based diet rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. The reason is the deficiencies caused by the vegan diet that exacerbates the problems faced in old age. There are studies to prove that as y
68 minutes | May 28, 2021
Women's Menstrual Health and Nutrition
Let’s Talk Women’s Health: Everything from Menstrual Health, Pregnancy to Menopause and more! Most women live decades of their lives away putting up with many physical annoyances such as the discomfort of menstrual cycles, body ache, insomnia, swelling, and anxiety. Yet they continue to function doing what they’re supposed to; pushing themselves through it all. Their name is way down in the list of the people they take care of—children, parents, partners, and so on. It's not until they experience complete well-being that they realize the burden they were carrying. In this blog, we cover the highlights of a conversation between Dr. Nisha Chellam Board Certified Internist and Founder of Holistic ICON, and Dr. Marilyn Glenville Ph.D., a registered nutritionist the founder of Glenville Nutrition, talking about the various phases of a woman’s life and how we can change the underlying physiology by changing the lifestyle and the pattern of eating. You will learn about: Pre-menstrual Syndrome—All Questions Answered The Barriers on the Path to Healing The Increasing Rate of Menstrual Abnormalities in Young Women Advice for Tampon Users Effect of Pregnancy on Women's Health Role of Alcohol in Fertility An Outlook on Perimenopause The Possible Osteoporosis Epidemic The Mindset You Need to Regain Your Health How to Eat Healthily? How to Stay Consistent? Get your notepads ready and keep reading! Who is Dr. Marilyn Glenville? Dr. Marilyn Glenville Ph.D. is the founder of Glenville Nutrition, a registered nutritionist, psychologist, author, and broadcaster. She focuses on the natural nutritional healing of many chronic problems that women face—from menstrual irregularity, PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, infertility to menopause, and osteoporosis. Helping women understand and naturally manage these diseases. Pre-menstrual Syndrome—All Questions Answered What is Pre-menstrual Syndrome? Pre-menstrual syndrome is a change in a woman's emotional and physical health 7 to 10 days before her menses. PMS involves a cluster of symptoms such as: Water retention Breast tenderness Bloating Mood swings Food cravings The timing of the symptoms is more important than the symptoms themselves in this situation as the symptoms are varied and can be diverse from month to month. Is it abnormal? Certain symptoms that notify you of your periods are normal. However, when it affects your quality of life—physically and emotionally—that’s when it becomes abnormal. If a woman faces major personality shifts that affect her relationships, the syndrome can turn into pre-menstrual disorder; a psychiatric disease. Is Pre-menstrual Syndrome heritable? While there might be some genetic snips that put you at a high risk of hormonal imbalance, understand that it’s the habits that run in the family, not the condition. There could be a genetic component, but there are also patterns of eating in how the family eats together. PMS is something that a woman can take control of. You can heal the symptoms by making lifestyle changes. What can help with PMS? Foremost, sorting out blood-sugar levels and get them under control. This is the crux of hormonal imbalances—from the cortisol and progesterone to the thyroid; everything gets disrupted by blood sugar fluctuations. The Barriers on the Path to Healing Not trusting the process: The first step to healing is to believe that it is going to be worth making the effort to heal yourself. Dependence: A person can be prescribed as many pills to control symptoms, but that's not the goal here. Doctors can give as many solutions, but it's you who has to make the effort and take the action. Make better choices daily. Change is hard: Most women seem to choose to belong to a community over feeling alienated as they change their lifestyle to a healthy one. The Victim Treatment: Psychologically, part of the reason people want to stay in that phase is for comfort’s sake. Somehow it suits them to stay where they are rather than to move out of it. Without their even knowing, the disease has become their identity. They want to receive everyone’s sympathy and support. The Increasing Rate of Menstrual Abnormalities in Young Women Nowadays, younger women ages 18 to 25 are facing more health-related issues — irregular menstrual cycle, gut-related issues, anemia, skin problems, etc. It’s an accumulation of lifestyle factors, stress, eating processed food, and the normalized lack of exercise. People rarely eat home-cooked food now. Everything that’s impinging on them at such a young age. Plus, the endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment, in the toiletries, pesticides, etc. All of it differs from what women were exposed to a couple of generations ago. Advice for Tampon Users Lifestyle-wise tampons may seem useful but they act as a dam and stop the blood from flowing when it’s supposed to. Use organic cotton pads instead of tampons for regular use. Before spending money, consider the presence of chemicals in the tampons or pads you use. The presence of chemicals such as dioxin in the paper used to produce them can have a carcinogenic effect. Sometimes leaving the tampon in for too long can cause a toxic shock syndrome which can be fatal. Start choosing the products you use as meticulously as food the food you eat. Try going as close to nature as possible. Will changes in lifestyle and diet save you from all these chemicals in the air and products? We are always going to be up against things we can't control, yet we can always make better choices. Having a healthy diet, a sleep schedule, regular exercise, and good mental health help provide our body with all the tools it needs to fight against anything alien that enters the body. Learn to handle the stress, move away from processed foods, be aware of all the chemicals you put on and inside yourself to help your body function and fight efficiently. Role of Alcohol in Fertility Alcohol affects fertility negatively. It also may have such a major impact on women’s liver and hormones that they may have to bear for the rest of their lives. As generations have changed, the consumption of alcohol in younger girls has significantly increased. Binge drinking as a practice of socializing has become common, but it comes with long-term consequences. In terms of pregnancy, the quality of the egg gets affected too by regular consumption of alcohol before pregnancy, even if you quit drinking while you’re pregnant. What Does Pregnancy Do To Women? After giving birth, the female body changes significantly. Often times pregnancy leads to depletion of resources from a woman's body. Priorities change and she puts up with those symptoms for years while the baby grows. Dr. Chellam asks her female patients when was the last time they felt well and the answer in most cases is before childbirth. On asking the age of the child, the answer usually is 20 to 25 years. Meaning she has spent decades being unwell. An Outlook on Perimenopause As the biological clock ticks, women go through another transition in their 40s: perimenopause. For most women, perimenopause comes with irregular periods, fatigue, insomnia, vaginal dryness, lower libido, mood swings, and anxiety. The quality of life post-menopause depends on how motivated you are to make lifestyle changes to sustain your health in this stage. The quality of life matters more than longevity. “Healthspan is more important than lifespan.” — Dr. Marilyn Glenville The Possible Osteoporosis Epidemic One out of two women will have osteoporosis after they are 50, says Dr. Glenville. Osteoporosis is becoming more common in younger women. A lifelong lack of calcium results in diminished bone density causing osteoporosis. The reason behind this can be the raging Vitamin D deficiency as Vit-D is crucial for the absorption of calcium. Women reach their peak bone mass around the age of 25 to 30. Research shows that regular consumption of colas and fizzy drinks containing phosphoric acid increases the risk of fractures in girls as young as 8 to 16 years of age. These young girls aren’t even reaching their peak bone density by the time they’re supposed to. The major factors that have a tremendous impact on women’s bone health are: Lack of Vitamin D Consumption of Cola & Fizzy Drinks Processed foods Lack of exercise Consumption of alcohol at a young age Note: You can’t go overboard with exercise either. Running 9 miles a day causes dilution of calcium off the bone to neutralize all the lactic acid produced with muscle activity. Ultimately, it’s all about moderation. The Mindset Needed To Regain Your Health People must understand if they want to move towards something better, they have to abandon the beliefs they used to have. They should leave old mindsets and habits for them to move forward. Change is scary for everybody. Look at this as a phase of growth. Be ready to make all the changes it takes for you to become healthier, even if you haven’t made them already. How to Eat Healthily? Eat healthy 80% of the time and the rest 20% the body can cope up with a little treat. It’s all about moderation. Look at it as a way of eating that becomes a way of life. It’s not a quick-fix diet, but developing eating habits that transform our health so we can continue like this in the future. This is a long-term solution where the body can heal itself. On rare occasions, like a holiday or birthday party, for instance, treat yourself. Your body will cope with that. How to Stay Consistent? Remember that the disease starts decades before the diagnosis. Understanding this time frame will help you be patient and consistent with your journey. For instance, if a person is smoking a cigarette, they don’t get lung cancer. However, if they smoke cigarettes for 30 years, the potential to get lung cancer is high and no one’s surprised. But with lifestyle changes, eating a couple of salads, and exercising for a month
106 minutes | Mar 27, 2021
Episode 59- Vaccine a Volatile topic
Things To Know Before Going For Your Next Vaccination All the talk going around lately about the vaccine leads to a lot of confusion, raising a lot of questions. We are living in a world of information overload. Whether one should go for the vaccine or not? Do different people have different reactions to it? Should you trust your physician blindly when asked to get vaccinated? Keep reading to find the answers. In this blog, Dr. Nisha Chellam, Founder and Internist at Holistic ICON in conversation with Dr. Cammy Benton, MD and Founder of Benton Integrative Primary Care, delves deeper into the volatile topic of Vaccinations in today’s day & age on topics like: Vaccine Reactions The Indoctrination of Physicians The Truth behind Vaccine Placebo Should we be mandated to take vaccines? Do vaccines prevent the transmission of the diseases? Red Flags & what can be done about them? Informed Consent for Vaccine Understanding the reactions The Bottom Line Let’s get into it! Vaccine Reactions Different bodies have different reactions to vaccines. Some children go through a mitochondrial dysfunction when you immunize them; resulting in a reaction. The best way to examine their reaction to the vaccine would be to studying the kids: Nourishment: Were they breastfed or formula-fed? Environment: Were they in daycare or home care? Influence: The habits of the mom. The immune response in every individual is very different. Some people get tenfold antibodies while others barely get any response. The Indoctrination of Physicians Correlation does not mean causation, so why do we have such a visceral reaction when it comes to vaccines? That's because a judgment comes before listening to the facts. People themselves are confused about whether or not the vaccine is the way to go; the reasons behind this can be religious or dogmatic. We change our minds all the time based upon new data. We are thankful for science, but if that’s the only source of truth, it becomes dogma. Dogma is something you can't question without retaliation against your character, without societal pressure. While in reality, science is the ever-debate of how much you can observe. The perspective isn't to dismiss the parents when they come inside reporting a vaccine reaction. Instead, physicians should look for patterns & study the risks that exist. The Truth behind Vaccine Placebo In medicine, a truly inert substance called placebo is used in the study. This substance has no physiological effect on you. On the other hand, vaccines are considered biologics. They have a different set of rules applied to them. Their placebos are either another vaccine, or they will have aluminum adjuvant solutions present in them to help them create a stronger immune response in people receiving the vaccine. These aluminum adjuvants have certain proteins that are used as placebos. People or kids can be allergic to them; so how does one know that it’s not going to cause an activation against those proteins giving the same vaccine to all? Unfortunately, no one’s questioning this combination of aluminum adjuvants with these food proteins. The idea that you are going to inject this aluminum adjuvant with this antigen and have a perfect immune-response isn’t always correct. In reality, some people under-respond, and some people over-respond, developing an autoimmune disease. So how can pediatricians or other healthcare service providers ensure safety when there are all sorts of activation with these solutions? While there have been studies for every vaccine, there need to be more studies about placebo. And how did that manage to have any scientific acceptance? Should we be mandated to take vaccines? When we know that there’s going to cause issues, such as disability, skin infections or digestive problems, due to the vaccine reactions, the mandate should not exist. People should have a choice whether or not they want to get the vaccine, after getting well-educated about the specific vaccine — the risk, the reactions, the benefits, everything. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) should be taken seriously, because if you’re just going to give this vaccine to the people for the greater good while there’s a possibility of collateral damage; we just want to know how significant this collateral damage is going to be. For instance, if a disease is going to cause the death of 1% of the population but the vaccine causes mortal damage to just 0.25% of the population, is that a risk vs. benefit scenario? However, if the mortality rate by the vaccine is 0.25% of the population while 10% succumb to disability as an anti-reaction to the vaccine, is it something that we all should be mandated to take? As for societal mandates, most people know nothing about vaccines. For instance, if you don’t get the vaccine for the coronavirus, even if the government doesn’t mandate it you might lose your job or access to social spaces. Even though we know that the vaccine might not certainly help in decreasing the disease transmission rates. So, when there's a risk, how can you mandate something? It’s only reasonable to get vaccines depending on one’s environment. For instance, people can get vaccines depending on a change of environment (say, moving to another country). It just simply shouldn’t be mandatory. Do vaccines prevent the transmission of the diseases? Most vaccines tone down the severity of the disease, vaccines: Don't prevent the transmission of the disease. ( except in the case of heard immunity) Don’t decrease the hospitalization rates. Don't decrease the complication rates. Only effect 20%-40% of the time. For instance, the IPV for polio does not prevent the transmission of polio. It just decreases the neurologic risk. Red Flags & what can be done about them? We may find a lot of mothers who simply avoid taking their children for vaccination because of all the information that’s floating around. They don't know how to figure out whether their child is or isn’t going to react to vaccination. The reasons why mothers stop vaccinating their kids could be: They’ve had kids with vaccine reactions, so they stop vaccinating. They’ve had family members with severe vaccine reactions. So, what parents can do about this is: Educate themselves about the VAERS. Look out for patterns in your family before deciding whether or not you wish to vaccinate your child. Trust your eyes, look for anecdotes & then ask questions. If you see or sense that your child is having a neurological reaction after a vaccination, don’t disregard it & go to the physician right away. Discuss the patterns with your physicians. As for physicians: Do not dismiss a patient just because you've been taught differently. Expose yourself to the possibilities; that’s how you learn new things. Educate people about the VAERS. Informed Consent for Vaccine Informed Consent is the process in which healthcare providers educate a patient about the risks, benefits, etc of the procedure. Doctors are afraid to give out any informed consent because they know about the repercussions. That doesn't change the fact that the patients have the right to understand the risk of fatality or disability through the disease versus the risk of a vaccine reaction from the vaccine for the disease. The patient should be communicated about each & every detail. Considering the information that there is to expose, informed consent cannot be given in a matter of fifteen minutes. As a matter of fact, just to touch the tip of the iceberg a physician would need at least 60 minutes of discussion about the vaccine. Parents should study this by themselves before going to their physician. Understanding the reactions It is essential to recognize the severity of the reactions considered as common reactions after vaccinations, and if they are causing neurologic issues. Since you can have a common reaction that is quite a pathological reaction. For physicians, this is where you must start learning what are the real side effects. How do you recognize them? If you see a neurologic reaction in a child then you must warn her parents & go slower with her. Just wait for, say nine months of age, rather than rushing through it & going for vaccines upon vaccines. Waiting & going slower will surely help prevent even severe reactions. Physicians must respect the opinions of the parent if they say that the child is reacting, as they know their child better than anyone. Instead of looking for scientific proof in documentation & giving the vaccine anyway. The Bottom Line Understand that it’s not one size fits all. You have to choose for your child & yourself. Get educated & do whatever it takes to make the right choice because you know your child better. Doctors should listen to what the parents have to say, instead of shunning them. This kind of response only increases distrust among people. Each parent understands their child in a way you don’t, so listen to them and you might learn even more. As doctors, we know the disease better. Keep yourself updated. There’s so much to learn. Listening should begin with the physician. This blog covered the highlights from our latest podcast by Dr. Nisha Chellam, Board Certified Internist and Founder of Holistic ICON, and Dr. Cammy Benton, MD ABIHM & IFMCP. If you wish to listen to a more detailed version, you can listen to the entire podcast on our YouTube channel by clicking this link: In case you have any questions related to vaccinations, please drop us an email with your question and a brief about yourself at xxx or xxx, and we will get back to you shortly. Hoping this blog was helpful! Listen to our newest podcast episode on vaccinations hosted by Dr. Nisha Chellam, Board Certified Internist and Founder of Holistic ICON in conversation with Dr. Cammy Benton, MD ABIHM & IFMCP for the enlightening discussion on the topic. Tune into
43 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
When Traditional Medicine Manages, Functional Medicine can help resolve
Is Traditional Medicine The Answer? Arnold Rodricks*, 62, a resident of the United States, had started experiencing pain in his left knee in the last couple of months. It wasn’t something common for Arnold since he has had a blessed and healthy life for the most part, without any alarming medical history. Moreso, Arnold was a health-conscious person himself who lived a healthy lifestyle. He went for the second doctor visit hoping to understand the root cause of his left knee pain along with the test reports as prescribed by the doctor. Reviewing his test reports that were mostly normal, the reply he received left him deeply confused “You are just getting old”, to which absolutely puzzled Arnold replied, “But I have two knees so why just one is facing the heat?” Now, we all have heard, seen, or experienced a similar story but just because something is common, does that make it normal? Moreover, who wouldn’t agree to the undeniable truth in Arnold’s innocent question. It inevitably bounds us to question is traditional medicine and treatment systems the answer? Is it enough? The Traditional Approach In the traditional medical system, you visit a doctor and explain to her your symptoms. After which she will most likely ask you to get some tests done. Based on the test results, the diagnosis is done and you are given medication to help you get rid of your symptoms. This is the commonly followed process. While it does work well in cases demanding urgent medical attention and intervention, in general, this process stands a few major challenges. The Challenge The challenge is that the traditional medical system focuses on disease management by keeping the symptoms in control instead of finding and eliminating the root cause of the problem. As such, the patient although would get relief as long as they are taking their medications but the moment they stop taking their pills, the symptoms return. Besides, the side effects of infusing the body with artificial, and in most cases unnecessary, chemical compositions (/medications), further another set of symptoms. It’s almost like going into the downward spiral of symptoms. Metabolic Chaos Most of the chronic illnesses and auto-immune conditions are caused because of the metabolic chaos that is going on within our bodies. This transition or disease process usually happens over a period of years. These conditions if not taken care of at the right time can eventually take a severe/ ugly turn. However, if identified and taken care of time, many cases of people becoming dependent on lifelong medication can be turned or stopped. This is why it’s important to look upstream for any dysfunctions and choose a holistic healing approach. Functional Medicine Functional Medicine, which is a systems-biology based approach that focuses on identifying and eliminating the root cause of the disease, helps patients do just that. The 3-Step Approach Relief In the case of a medical emergency, the patient should definitely go for traditional medicine (supplements, medication, or a medical procedure as required) for faster results. Corrective steps and healing opportunity Step 1: Educate patients on their symptom and the stressors causing them Step 2: Empower patients with the knowledge to reverse their symptoms and heal from within Step 3: Guide the recovered patients to maintain their health and keep getting better at living a healthier life. Holistic Plan A functional medicine practitioner works on the DRESS principal working with their patients/clients to get to the root cause of disease or symptoms and addresses them. DRESS stands for: D: Diet R: Rest E: Exercise S: Stress management/ reduction S: Supplements In Conclusion To sum it up, while consulting your physician for any medical urgency is imperative, it’s almost equally crucial to not look the other way when your body is asking for YOUR attention most commonly reflected in the form of symptoms. And to trace back their exact cause, addressing and healing the from the root is where functional medicine can help you. It provides the holistic healing that the body needs by identifying the: Contributors to the disease and symptoms that need to heal and addressing them Inhibitors to the process of healing that need to be removed Hope you found this blog helpful and in case you have any questions, please send them to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you shortly. *Name of the patient is changed for privacy reasons.
74 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Misperceptions In Cardiology
Misperceptions in Cardiology As common as cardiovascular issues are, unfortunately, so are the misconceptions people have surrounding cardiovascular diseases & cardiology. In this blog, Dr. Nisha Chellam, Founder and Internist at Holistic ICON conversation with Dr. Regina Druz, Board Certified Cardiologist and Functional Medicine Physician, FACC and FASNC, clears up all the misperceptions pertaining to cardiology, such as: Preventive Cardiology vs. Cardiac Surgery Cardiovascular Diseases Traditional Cardiology vs. Functional Medical Approach Risk Factor: Hypertension Risk Factor: High cholesterol A Heart-friendly Diet—Do’s & Don’ts All the answers from a functional medicine perspective. So, lie back & keep reading. Preventive Cardiology vs. Cardiac Surgery When talking about cardiovascular diseases, the first image that comes to one’s mind is of a person clutching their chest during a heart attack, followed by taking the person to a cardiac surgeon for a stenting procedure. While this is a common notion, it’s certainly not true. Procedural cardiology (such as surgery or stenting) is the end-stage management of cardiovascular diseases; just the tip of the iceberg. This notion has given the preventive aspect of cardiology a low priority. On the other hand, preventive cardiology is the study & analysis, followed by the treatment of chronic heart diseases; to effectively prevent or fix them. Most of the curing of heart diseases isn’t always as dramatic as putting in a stent or a defibrillator. Dr. Druz explains this through an exceptional analogy of forest fires; where heart diseases are uncontrollable fire in someone’s vascular system. “Through the normalization of these acute treatments like surgeries & stenting, what we’re doing here is putting out the fires, but not preventing the forest from getting dry.” — Dr. Regina Druz, Board Certified Cardiologist and Functional Medicine Physician So, how do we prevent these diseases from a global standpoint? We need to stop adding fuel: By paying attention to apparent risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity, and not normalizing them. We need to take care of the forest so that it doesn’t become too dry and susceptible to catching fire by taking care of the foundations of health—eating the right food, managing stress, etc. Cardiovascular Diseases All the heart conditions concerning damaged or diseased parts of the human heart are called cardiovascular diseases, as simple as that. However, people still fail to realize that there are multiple other forms of heart disease other than heart attacks, cardiac arrest, or coronary artery disease (CAD). Structural diseases Heart failure Blood Clots Deterioration in the function of the heart muscle Diastolic dysfunction Arrhythmia Vascular diseases This understanding will help clear the misconception that all of the cardiology is concerned with just bypass surgeries & stent placements. Traditional Cardiology vs. Functional Medical Approach When a person goes to a traditional doctor, they will put the person on medications related to what their situation is. Then, the doctor might send them back after stenting that one dangerous vessel & ask them to follow up for elective stenting. Unlike the traditional approach to cardiovascular assessment, functional medical cardiologists go to the root cause of the problem. The functional medical perspective asks more “why” questions to reveal the history behind the risk factors, depending from patient to patient. They delve deep into the root cause of hypertension, or obesity, or stress, or high cholesterol, etc. Practitioners assess the impact of the environment, genetics, diet & even pollution on the person's condition. Thus, functional medicine provides the foundation that traditional cardiology doesn’t. Risk Factor #1— Hypertension Most people tend to exaggerate the numerical measurements when it comes to high blood pressure. The functional medical cardiologists approach such situations by helping the patient realize that the blood pressure measurement is more than just a separate measurement at a specific time; there’s so much more to it. Such involvement in the whole journey helps them understand the gravity of their reactions to numbers and even calms them down. Root Causes Before looking for the root causes, the doctor considers the context & the timeline of the condition and cross-checks any secondary causes. After this, the doctor confirms if the patient is hypertensive or not. Whether the patient has labile blood pressure or established hypertension, there are two causes: Insulin resistance: Insulin resistance is one of the most overlooked causes of hypertension, ignoring which you may/may not increase your chances of gradually developing type 2 diabetes. Sympathetic Activation: While most people are not aware of their sympathetic reactions, being in this state of fight or flight causes consistent changes in the vascular tone, changing the vessels without the person even realizing it. Being in this zone of an increased heart rate contributes to hypertension. Risk Factor #2—High cholesterol Cholesterol alleviation is a stress reaction or an indicator of imbalance. In functional medicine, cardiologists strive to find the reason behind the high cholesterol levels instead of just prescribing cholesterol decreasing medications. Misperceptions: No need for statin drugs if there’s an optimal level of cholesterol. Wrong. The patient still needs to be put on statin drugs for LDL because of the residual risks of cardiovascular problems. Having high levels of HDL or the “good” cholesterol protects you from cardiovascular diseases. Not always. At times people have HDL cholesterol levels that are just too good to be true. In such cases, patients should check: the amount of LDL & HDL particles the size of LDL & HDL particles Having extremely high levels of HDL can be a sign of zygosity that can cause dementia. Medication—Statin Drug Statin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, increases the coronary arterial calcification causing the more unstable plaques to come to their final healing stage and get calcified, which is a good thing. The likelihood of memory-related issues only increases when the cholesterol level goes to less than 150. The decision to take Statin drug depends on: Total cholesterol production Cardiac risk Cognitive risk Genetic risk (direct or polygenic) Lipoprotein (a) levels A Heart-friendly Diet Cardiologist-recommended diet for a healthy heart has clean eating, hydration, timely eating & elimination of sugars as the foundation. Do’s Follow the Mediterranean-style diet Incorporate healthy fats Avoid processed foods Cut off all saturated & trans fats Follow time-restricted eating patterns Don’ts Consumption of simple sugars Opt for a Ketogenic diet as a long-term solution Over-consumption of fish oils (Omega 3 & Omega 6) Supplements Optifibre, by Xymogen Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) (for patients with insulin resistance) BergaCor Plus, by Xymogen Metamucil This blog covered just the highlights from our latest podcast by Dr. Nisha Chellam, Board Certified Internist and Founder of Holistic ICON, and Dr. Regina Druz, Board Certified Cardiologist, Functional Medicine Physician, FACC, and FASNC. If you wish to listen to a more detailed version, you can listen to the entire podcast on our YouTube channel by clicking this link: In case you have any questions related to cardiology or cardiovascular diseases, please drop us an email with your question and a brief about yourself at xxx or xxx, and we will get back to you shortly. Hoping this blog was helpful!
83 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
5 Steps to track your recovery
5 Factors To Fast Track Your Treatment Recovery We've all heard of some of the miraculous patient recovery stories at one point or another. Cases where patients who were in the last stage of their disease process have not only reversed their disease but in many cases overcome it completely. In fact, after their getting over the disease, they continued to maintain and live a healthy and fulfilling life. Based on research, there were certain similarities found in the patients’ attitudes and their actions that are suggested to have supported their recovery journey. Here are the top 5 qualities that were analyzed to be the most common among those who experienced a transformative treatment and recovery journey: Being vigilant and aware The sooner you catch your disease or condition, the higher are the chances for it's complete and speedy recovery. One way to do this is by taking note of any abnormalities you observe in your body's functioning and taking an action right away. For instance, if you're continuously experiencing tiredness and fatigue that too just by half-day then perhaps you should get it examined by your doctor. Another part of it is keeping yourself aware via credible resources so that you understand what's going on within your body and can ask the right questions to your care providers. Accountability Perhaps, this is the most important factor to determine a speedy recovery. It's because by taking the responsibility of your treatment, you're actually coming on the driver's seat and are committed to doing everything that will help your heal better and faster. Even if it means making some uncomfortable lifestyle changes or anything else. Unlike how patients mostly become dependent on their care providers for their treatment and become obliged to everything they say or act, a patient who has taken accountability for her treatment won't give in until she feels satisfied with her treatment. She will continue asking the right questions and look for options until she finds one that works for her because she has taken control of her body and recovery in her own hands. Nutrition Needless to say, nutrition is a big differentiator. In fact, it's a key factor that contributes to your disease condition happening in the first place. What we choose to put into our bodies indefinitely creates an impact on our health, it's a fact known by all. So it's very important to be mindful about it and make healthy dietary choices. Lifestyle After food and nutrition, living a healthy lifestyle is the second most important factor that impacts the health and wellbeing of a person. Also, plays a crucial role in his/her recovery from any disease. It includes everything right from your workout to your socializing activities or the absence of them. Basically how and where do you choose to spend your time and is it in congruence with what's best for your body or not. Environment Last but not the least, environment in which you live and breath inevitably impacts your health and wellbeing as well as your recovery journey. So many conditions surface due to someone's unhealthy environment. So many times a disease is majorly found in people in a certain working environment/ region. For example, Asbestos exposure is the number one cause of work-related deaths in the world. This alone shows how important is the external environment is for your health and it is just one example of it. There are so many such examples that will validate this fact. If you or your loved one is in their recovery journey right now and you are reading this blog, it itself is a proof that you are taking the responsibility of healing well and faster, and doing everything in your hand to get there. Just a last piece of advice, as you continue to make yourself aware and adapt practices that will facilitate your recovery, be patient and give yourself sometime for the positive impacts of your actions to be visible. Because while decline to reach a certain stage in your disease process might be a swift journey however, reversing it and building a sustainable health takes time like anything worth having in life. Because in the end, health is precious and priceless. Hope you found this blog helpful and in case you have any questions, please send them to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you shortly.
49 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
What if Dialysis can be avoided? Would you?
Things to Know Before Opting for Dialysis And the role of nutrition in treating kidney disease Kidney disease is the first socialized medical condition. As such, in the traditional medical system, it's sometimes observed that patients whose treatment is possible via approaches other than dialysis are also put on dialysis. To anyone who knows a little about dialysis and its process would agree it's not an easy process and almost like a part-time job that you don't get paid for. In our latest podcast with Jessianna Saville, RD, Renal Nutrition Expert and Founder of The Kidney RD, she says that: “If patients knew they had an option other than dialysis, they wouldn’t sit in that chair.” This and other sensitive issues related to the treatment of kidney disease (/ n-stage renal disease) were also be discussed in the podcast. Here are some highlights: Two Key Aspects of Kidney Treatment Preserving kidney function Preventing any complications Who is at risk of kidney disease? Some of the symptoms that indicate an issue with kidney function include: High BP Diabetes Deficient (depression) IBUProfen Age (over 65 years) People who experience one or more of the above symptoms should go for an annual kidney check-up, be aware of their test results and reach the specialist as they observe any discrepancies. "The more functional your kidneys are, the less restrictive the dietary approach becomes." Is it possible that ppl have kidney disease without any high blood pressure or high cholesterol and regardless of age? Yes, below are some factors that may contribute to a kidney disease irrespective of BP, HC, or age related factors: High protein diet Lifestyle Kidney gut access (IBS, Skin rashes, Joint problem) A point to note is that all of the above are related to gut. This means your gut health plays a major role in your kidneys’ efficient functioning. “The body can heal itself if you get in the right condition and getting in the right condition is like getting into the right diet.” “Nutrition hands down is so powerful in preserving kidney functions.” The Traditional Medicine Approach when it comes to kidney function: “I’m watching you fail and when you fail 4 years from now, I’ve the solution to keep you alive.” Message of Moderation It's a diluted form of advice or recommendations given to people looking for help to improve their kidney function. It most likely leads to moderate results and at worst no results at all. This is because, a message of moderation: May have a place in a diet crazed world, hyperfocused on the latest and greatest, bio-hack, etc. Have no place in case of serious/ chronic kidney disease. For people who don’t want to end up on dialysis and have a long healthy life "Message of Moderation has no place in case of serious/ chronic kidney diseases." Plant-Based Approach for Treating Kidney Disease No moderation: Fewer meat meals to 100% plant-based diet “Go plant-based cause stakes are high.” Start with the most aggressive/ restrictive approach and liberalize as you know the person well “Diet is not hard, dialysis is hard.” Signs of Improved Kidney Function Kidney function resilience Pro-health Its impact on the rest of the body “The power to shift your health is how you nourish yourself. It is that simple.” Two Major Areas of Focus What needs to shift? Ignorance of doctors/ lack of focus: Most of them focus on are treating sickness by managing symptoms and not on getting well The current insurance system Signs of an Aware Patient And what can you do to be one? Proactively ask relevant questions Expect answers Change the doctor if you don’t get an answer Focus on your own lifestyle Get your lab reports checked 3 Questions People Should Ask About Their Medication What is its side effect? How long will I be on this? Is there any way I can get off this? Summary The kidney is often ignored until it’s a crisis Ask your physician if your kidney is OK, especially if you’re in a high-risk condition Find the right kind of dietician Be cautious and alert, act on the right time To know more, check out our latest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWFARQr3UYQ In case you have any questions, please send them to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you shortly.
91 minutes | Jan 1, 2021
What if it is not depression? With Dr. Achina Stien
2020 has been a trying year for all . We begin 2021 with great intentions and a vision for a bright future to al. Here is my conversation with Dr. Achina Stein a psychiatrist who helps us understand when mood disorders can actually be resolved. 5 Things to Know Before You Visit a Psychiatrist Are you someone who is frequently experiencing severe mood fluctuations, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, lack of concentration, or other mental health-related symptoms? Perhaps your condition has become painfully unbearable and you are now planning to visit a psychiatrist for help? Well, then this blog is for you. This blog will introduce you to a fascinating approach to look at, understand, and go about finding a resolution to your issue. Not only will it empower you to be in better control of your condition by making a radical shift in outlook toward your health and wellbeing but also potentially introduce you to an elevated and fulfilling life that you never thought existed. So make sure you give this blog a good read before going to your next (or first) appointment with your psychiatrist. The ‘What do I have?’ Phenomenon Often if someone undergoes a feeling of depression and feeling low on a frequent basis, they or at times tend to start labeling it as depression or start to immediately start working towards identifying what’s wrong with them and the question they wrap their heads around becomes ‘what do I have?’ What’s wrong with it? They can’t be blamed for it, after all, we are painfully human when we are trying to figure out the issue so that we can fix it. The problem is that if you only allow yourself to look at your issue from the conventional lens of traditional medicine, then you might never find out the actual cause of your symptoms. All that you will be aware of in your treatment process is the diagnosis that your visiting psychiatrist made based on your system and the medication to manage your symptoms. But is that enough? Instead, Try The Why and the How Approach Do you truly believe that managing your condition or symptom is the answer to your mental health issue with understanding the root cause? The problem with the former approach besides the expected side-effects is that there is always a risk of the symptoms to return at the slightest of trigger or if the treatment/ medication is stopped. Why? Because no one actually did the digging to reach, treat, and resolve the root cause. This is also why you should drop the what and instead try the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ approach. And it’s where functional medicine as a practice comes into the picture. As you work with a functional medicine practitioner alongside your psychiatrist, you peel off your symptoms one layer after another until you arrive at what triggered your condition. Interestingly, you don’t just remain on the receiving end as in the case of the traditional approach but become an active participant in your treatment process along with your functional medicine practitioner. It empowering and almost immediately brings to the driver’s seat and take control of your health. Everything starts with the gut As a matter of fact, did you know that nearly 90 percent of the body's serotonin, also known as the Happy Chemical, is made in the gut? Let alone mental health concerns, you take diabetes, most heart conditions, thyroid issues, fatigue, and almost all auto-immune or chronic disease, the source of all them comes down to gut health. Perhaps, what if it’s not depression? So, it’s very much likely that your feeling low could have an underlying connection with your gut health and it got trigger by your biological, social, and/ or psychological situation. Perhaps, what you are experiencing is not depression and can be totally resolved provided the right thoughts and lifestyle shift. And the first steps always starters with paying attention to your gut health and noticing if there are any abnormalities there. Patient Story 14-year-old John*, who was an otherwise charming teenager had off-late started to experience extreme difficulty in reading. Matters suddenly got worse when one day John attempted suicide standing on the edge of the 5th-floor of the building he lived in. It came as a complete shock to his family as they could never gauge-in any symptoms that would indicate that John was facing any challenge that was so severe that it got him to think about committing suicide. John’s mother, who was a psychiatrist herself, in an effort to find out the root cause started navigating for the treatment options. It was then that she came across a well-known functional medicine doctor. It was with his intervention that it was identified that John who had always struggled with constipation and eczema, had inflammation in his body. The onset of puberty, with all the drastic changes happening in the body, triggered his gut issues which severely impacted his mental health along with other symptoms like impacting his vision. John worked with his doctor to learn what he needed to do to get back on track and started practicing it. Subsequently, his gut issues were resolved, he got rid of the mental health issue he was facing and started living a healthy and normal life. Hope you found this blog helpful and in case you have any questions, please send them to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you shortly. *Name of the patient is changed for privacy reasons.
43 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
Emotional Eating- Understanding the Emotion
Are you someone who's constantly trying to get control over your frequent overeating but always end up right where you started? Then this post is for you. The PEP Test, as coined by Emotional Eating Expert, Tricia Nelson, helps to identify the plausible reason(s) behind it. To learn more about it and on how to overcome emotional eating, watch our latest podcast: https://youtu.be/EewxjEoGdoM What is Emotional Eating? Are you someone who chooses to turn to food if you face stress and anxiety? Does stress eating make you feel better? Do you want to quit emotional eating? If the answer to all of those questions is yes, then this blog is for you. In this blog Dr. Nisha Chellam, Founder and Internist at Holistic ICON in conversation with Tricia Nelson, Emotional Eating Expert and Founder of Heal Your Hunger, delves deep into exploring answers for frequent questions about Emotional Eating such as: What is Emotional Eating? What makes some people become emotional eaters? What are the root causes that trigger emotional eating? Who is more susceptible to emotional eating? How can you control emotional eating? So without any further adieu, let's get started! What is Emotional Eating? Emotional eating is when food becomes a frequent go-to resort for someone when they face any kind of stress, anxiety, or high-pressure situation. It's particularly unhealthy if the person becomes so obsessed about eating when in stress that it almost becomes an obsessive-compulsive disorder. What starts off an Emotional Eating? A person's inability to channel their stress emotions is the root cause of emotional eating. There can be a lot of reasons for someone to get started with emotional eating but the most common factor that's seen in most of the emotional eaters is that they've undergone a trauma of some kind. For example, it could be a mental illness, sexual abuse, alcoholism, physical abuse, or some kind of addiction in your family that could have squeezed someone towards addiction and since food is most easily accessible so they generally go back to it as a coping mechanism to get their fix. It almost becomes like a vicious cycle where the person gets an emotional trigger, they go in distress and turn to eating as their coping mechanism, then feel a sense of guilt or shame for feeling this way and this cycle goes on. What are certain personality traits that make an emotional eater personality? Two traits that are commonly found in most of the emotional eaters are: Emotional eaters are people's pleasers and resentful They are caretakers and supportive people Most emotional eaters didn't have a strong sense of self while growing up, could be because of their family dysfunction or due to some other trauma and they don't know who they are, where they stop, and where the other person begins. They start looking for validation from outside and seek a sense of worth from outside of themselves. And often when they don't get the level of response for which they put all the efforts or did all the work but somehow it didn't get the expected response or praise or validation, they become resentful about it and they say "ok, they didn't see my effort, but I see it and I deserve it" and reward themselves by starting to eat incessantly, as a mechanism to give themselves the compensation for the praise they never got. How can anyone recognize that they have the problem of emotional eating? To some extent we are all emotional eaters, we are all on the spectrum. The problem happens when someone gets on the extreme end of the spectrum. Simply put, the less you have control over yourself when it comes to emotional eating, the greater will be the impact and the more control you have on yourself the less will be the impact of emotional eating. What tools can anyone use to recognize or be aware of it, to get some degree of control? For anyone who believes that they're overeating or have a problem of emotional eating can be watchful of any of the below three signs or feelings that usually become a trigger to turn to emotional eating and these three are: Pain, Escape, Punishment, short for PEP test as designed by Tricia. The PEP Test P: Pain When you face a deep effect of some past trauma and pain erupts from it and you want to numb that pain. So food becomes that source which helps you numb the pain and you start consuming it obsessively as it has become your pain killer. E: Escape When you are afraid of someone or something and don't know how to control your fear, you are just looking for ways to escape reality. So you turn to food as a mode to check-out from what's making you fearful, worried, or anxious. P: Punishment When you are guilty of doing something that you did or believe you don't deserve something positive as a compliment on losing weight or resent something that you did and want to punish yourself, then again you turn to food for it. What can they do by themselves before finding someone like you to help with the nitty-gritty? Give yourself some time: Don't be ready to say yes every time someone approaches you for help. Take some time to check-in with yourself if this is something you really want to do or can handle. Don't give an impulsive 'yes' just to please someone, give yourself some time and get back with an authentic answer corresponding to what you truly feel. Learn to say no: Only do as much as you won't regret it even if you didn't get the expected reward. Create a morning routine: Morning routines help in creating a reservoir of strength right at the beginning of the day which you can access later anytime in the day as you feel you're getting surrounded by stress. How do you make a shift? Get a coach: Seek professional help and support to address this issue Go for group coaching because in group coaching people heal from each other, they share their stories with each other and the love that comes from each other is what becomes the healer. Join or build a community: Be a part of a community of others who are in their healing journey just like you.
8 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
Ten Myths About Hypothyroidism that may help you
People take thyroid medications and still have symptoms. Why? I explain the common myths in this very short podcast. How you take your medications, when you take it and what tests determine how the medication should be adjusted is all discussed. Remember it is only information not medical advice. Watch the Youtube channel for the video here Also, become more engaged in living a healthy lifestyle by making yourself more aware of it by following us on: YouTube: Holistic ICON Facebook: @NishaChellamMD Instagram: @holisticicon Twitter: @HolisticICON
38 minutes | Nov 9, 2020
Before you become pregnant, ask your gut if it is ready
Like our skin is the barrier to the outside dirt, our gut is the barrier to the outside world. It protects us and any kind of medical issue at one level happens because that barrier has been damaged or violated. This is why the gut is the center of our overall health and wellness, and it's crucial to take care off your gut if you want to take care of the overall health of you and your family. 7 Powerful Ways to Help You Build a Healthy Child Right from the beginning Resolve your gut issues before planning a baby Prefer vaginal delivery over C- section Prefer breastfeeding over other alternatives Don't introduce grains to your child's diet until 2 Yr. of age Keep yourself aware of nutrition from trusted sources Don't fall for marketing campaigns Avoid packaged or processed foods If you want to learn more about how good gut health helps you build a healthy child? our latest Women Wired for Wellness podcast with Dr. Nisha Chellam, Internist and Founder of Holistic ICON and Dr. Malina Roberts, Naturopathic Doctor and Clinic Director at Advanced Naturopathic Medical Clinic. Contact Dr. Roberts https://advancednaturopathic.com/about-us/our-team/dr-melina-roberts-nd/
36 minutes | Oct 25, 2020
When Creativity helps Burnout in life and work
As a patient to be successful it is important to understand the human being who is helping you. Listen to this chat I had with Dr. Lara Salyer a family p0ractitioner from small town Monroe in Wisconsin explain what we can do to shift the system. While most physicians want to work with their patients in a way that they teach, not tell their patients what needs to be done and why. However due to some evident blockages in the traditional medical system like insufficient patient and appointment time ratio, unreasonable performance metrics just to name a few, that more often that restrains them. This impacts their performance, causing burnout and frustration that bleeds into almost all other areas of their lives, cause doctors are humans too. To prevent this from happening, it's very important for physicians and all healthcare professionals to keep that creative flow alive in their day to day work and practice which prevents burnouts and subsequently leads to re-energizing their careers, decrease in stress, and experiencing a prolific joy. Our guest on this episode of Women Wired for Wellness podcast, Dr. Lara Salyer, OD, IFMCP, shares more on this and what steps can physicians take to make a positive shift in that direction.
53 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
What is a longevity diet?
Top 5 Things to Know About Longevity Diet Are you someone who fears to live longer because you think you won't live well? Then this blog is for you. In our latest podcast, Dr. Nisha Chellam, Internist and Founder of Holistic ICON along with Dr. Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences and Director of the Longevity Institute at USC Davis School of Gerontology, address this issue that does living longer has to accompany ill-health and share how a longevity diet can help you live a healthier and longer life. This blog brings to you the top 5 things that you should know about a longevity diet.
33 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
Can Diabetes be resolved?
If you are a prediabetic or someone who has a family history of diabetics, thyroid, metabolic syndrome, or any chronic condition that you have seen occurring in your family line and you want to understand more about its symptoms, triggers, early detection, and prevention, then this blog is for you. In this blog, you’ll get to understand: What is the difference between early detection and prevention and why does that matter? How does the traditional medical system function? What is it that the traditional medical system is not checking when it comes to disease prevention? What is the need for and availability of other options? What is the reason that triggers certain diseases to keep occurring in a family line? What are the two different types of diabetes, what is the difference between them and how do people acquire them? How to catch Type 2 Diabetes early? Does being thin exempts you from acquiring Type 2 Diabetes? One piece of advice for people who say I come from a family line of diabetics. So without further adieu, let’s dive right in. Listen to this conversation with Dr. Shilpa Saxena to understand with great clarity the options you have to take charge and resolve type II diabetes.