It’s no surprise that so many people feel stressed out. We’re living in a hyper-connected world where we’re always “on,” and multi-tasking is the new normal. Add in the constant fear-mongering by our ratings-driven news media and the fact that paying the bills is an increasingly difficult goal for many, and it’s little wonder that stress is on the rise.
Category: Health & Wellness
I believe that there is a continuum between optimal health and disease. And what I see in my practice everyday is how different grades of sub-optimal functioning can appear at any point along it. For example, before your car’s brake pads give in and your brakes fail, years of wear and tear have been slowly eroding the pads. The same thing happens with our health. Before we develop a disease, or even symptoms, there have usually been months or years of progressive “wearing down” of optimal functioning. Our body has a large reserve, which it uses to maintain health, but it can be depleted or worn down over time. Only then do we experience disease, it doesn’t just happen out of the blue.
To use a natural metaphor, when a plant is sick or not doing well, it is crucial to look at the environment within which the plant is growing – what is the quality of the soil, is it getting enough nutrients, does it have enough sun or water, are roots or bugs from other plants impinging on its growth. This is exactly how I see our health and my role as a physician is to improve, promote and boost the bodies natural healing ability. This fosters immunity and resilience to illness, allowing us to truly blossom and experience good health.
My method is simple but effective: I remove what may be harming the body or preventing healing while at the same time replenishing it with what is needed. Unfortunately, most doctors do not see the health this way as we are trained to treat symptoms of disease as opposed to learning what keeps people healthy. We are taught crisis care medicine in hospitals and how to take care of acutely ill patients. But most of us are not sick enough to be in hospital and we have chronic conditions that are not dealt with well by this medical model. So we need to use Western Medicine wisely and appropriately, which often means looking beyond it, for solutions to our chronic and ongoing health problems.
It may be hard to believe, but poor diet now contributes to more disease and death than physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol combined. We have been consuming sugar, refined carbohydrates and industrial vegetable oils as never before, with devastating consequences for public health. In the UK alone, type 2 diabetes and obesity have cost the National Health Service (NHS) more than £20 billion.
Whenever I tell people I used to be on eight different types of medication, they immediately look shocked. I think it comes from the fact that I’m 5 feet tall and petite. From the outside, I don’t look like I’d be a candidate for that many meds.
Have you ever wanted to try acupuncture but weren’t sure how it worked? Acupuncture is a type of Eastern holistic medicine that was developed over 2,000 years ago. It uses a unique system to diagnose any imbalance the body may have and uses specific points on the body in order to restore and regain balance. By using this method of therapeutic intervention, acupuncture allows us to treat a wide variety of illnesses.
Veronica Arreola’s schedule seemed to sneak up on her. Her job at the University of Illinois at Chicago required long hours, and she did some pro bono freelance writing for a local nonprofit. Weekday mornings, she drove her 6-year-old daughter to school and picked her up after work. She also fit in errands, housework, and social obligations. It felt manageable—but just barely. She was constantly running behind schedule.
Buzz around the microbiome is growing louder.
You may have read in the news: Our bodies are home to a vast community of microbes, forming “the human microbiome.” Research at this point is centered largely around the gut microbiome, and studies have been done on such diverse topics as obesity and the gut microbiome, fecal transplants to combat c. diff infections, and which bacteria can be returned to the gut via various foods and probiotics.
Endocrine disruptors—they’re everywhere. And they mess with your hormones. They block or promote estrogen as well as other hormones, throwing off the balance. In some cases, they affect the levels of your hormones. In other cases, they affect the function of your hormones. If we encountered them only once in a while, there’d be little cause for concern, but because they’re so ubiquitous, most of us are receiving constant low-grade exposure, and that’s no good for hormonal health. And while it’s tough to completely purge all toxins from your life, you can significantly cut your exposure by making smarter choices.
Summer reading is great for the beach, but for those times when you need some respite from the sun, there are plenty of educational health documentaries to binge on. Here are a few of our favorites:
As United States citizens, we are considered innocent until proven guilty. This is a comfort we are guaranteed, and as a country we value our rights. Is this right something that should be given across the board—not just for citizens, but for industries as well? When it comes to consumer goods and ingredients, should suppliers enjoy the same luxury? Currently, suppliers and manufacturers of cosmetic ingredients in the U.S. do; this is in contrast with other countries that have more stringent premarket regulations. Since these manufacturers of ingredients and products do not have to prove their safety, the burden falls on consumers to determine toxic from safe, right from wrong, good from bad. Without sufficient information and education, we have to be our own advocates for our health and well-being.
When I was a kid, olives were one of those foods I just didn’t quite get. They were salty and had a pit in the middle—a bit of a nonstarter for a kid in the market for sweeter treats. Fast-forward a few decades (OK, more than a few), and now my eyes light up at the sight of olives. Why? Because they’re a wonderfully tasty snack and/or mealtime ingredient that’s also a good-for-you indulgence.