5 things Doctors don’t want you to know (About their knowledge of Nutrition)

As doctors keep your problems confidential, they often also keep their problems a secret to the outside world. If they let you know their every thought, you might trust them less. They are not experts for every health problem, especially when it comes to lifestyle diseases. These are chronic, food-driven conditions and can be reversed, if dealt with closely. 

Here are top 5 things your doctor does not want you to know about their Nutrition knowledge.

  1. Not specialists in Nutrition science

This fact stands true and proves that doctors have a dearth of Nutrition knowledge- Education/ training in nutrition. A doctor, throughout his course of MBBS or the other related courses, undergoes approx 2-hours training on the subject of Nutrition. Quite less as compared to a full-blown Nutrition degree program!

Nutrition and Dietetics programs typically involve either 3‐year Bachelor’s and 2‐year Master’s level training to develop competence and enable accreditation in providing dietary counselling services and medical nutrition therapy to patients. It is therefore understandable that doctors report having a lack of confidence and knowledge or indeed the complex skills required for effective, person‐centered nutrition counselling.

ThriveFNC’s is a team of qualified Functional Nutritionists who’ve excelled in their work by helping people reverse their chronic, debilitating lifestyle conditions and giving them a deep hope of living healthy.

  1. Root cause analysis 

Doctors often order medical (blood) tests and fail to address them optimally. By giving just a superficial look at  the deranged tests, they try to fix the problem primarily with medications and at best with their super-speedy-general dietary advice.

Your blood report is the way your body speaks. It reveals the overall internal health and helps you find out a lot of information and processes that might be going wrong inside the body. At ThriveFNC, a thorough blood report analysis forms the very first step of finding the root causes of all the lifestyle- related problems followed by a detailed explanation of the same.

(Click on the link to know what CBC tell you about your health: https://www.thrivefnc.com/blog/things-you-need-to-know-about-cbc/)

It sometimes also happens that your doctor might give you a mis-diagnosis or an extreme diagnosis while the problem is totally due to faulty eating and lifestyle practices. So you should really be aware of whom you put your trust when trying to deal with lifestyle problems.

  1. Time constraints

On an average a doctor does not spend more than 5 minutes with his patients. Dietary and lifestyle plans in just 5 minutes? Does not sound like a disease-healing plan! Although patients trust their doctor and hold their advice in high regard, their doctor might not have the time and skills to effectively communicate optimal diet advice that can enable their patients to make behavioral change.

  1. One-on-one healing approach

Your doctor may not really have time for diet counselling because it requires proper intervention and one-on-one connection in order to counsel people with correct dietary choices. This can only be done by expert nutrition coaches who spend time onto and have relevant experience of coaching and counseling people.

Our coaches are expert Functional Nutritionists and follow an one-on-one healing approach to reversing lifestyle problems as opposed to a 5-minute generalised advice by a doctor.

One thing that we have discovered and your doctors definitely do not want you to know is that one-on-one healing approach involves bio-individuality which is the most sustainable way of addressing and treating any health issue.

  1. Medications create a havoc, until absolutely necessary

Doctors are pundits when it comes to suppressing symptoms of a health problem. They think by waving the magic wand of prescribing various drugs, they are doing good if not the best to help the patient. This is, however, deteriorating conditions all the more because lifestyle diseases can easily be treated, or even reversed with a dietary regimen alone.

Long-term intake of certain drugs, for e.g NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) cause hormonal imbalances, massive gut health issues which further result in poor immunity.

One of the main objectives of nutrition coaches at ThriveFNC is to bring down and eventually stop the use of medications with its tailor-made protocols.

ThriveFNC is a functional nutrition based healing approach which involves a holistic and comprehensive process of dietary and lifestyle protocols, which makes it possible for us to heal all the modern day diseases efficiently. With our unique, real time response and one-on-one strategies, ThriveFNC holds and stands by the ‘disease-reversal’ claim adeptly.

About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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3 crucial steps in the process of Thrive

Thrive uses Functional Nutrition as your healing foundation to ensure that partnering with us gives you the roadmap for a sustainable health and wellness journey for life. It’s one of our core values to offer stellar disease reversal and wellness service to our clients by making their journey completely personalised, and aided by a comprehensive support system. 

With the help of these 3 crucial steps, your health journey with Thrive becomes like no other:

Thrive is an expert when it comes to reversing chronic lifestyle diseases because it starts with finding all the possible root causes of that disease. We go beyond treating your symptoms, by getting to the cause of the disease; ensuring that our treatment doesn’t stop till all the root causes are worked upon comprehensively, thus assuring you a symptom-free life.

Every client is assigned a personal health coach, who not only tracks your day to day journey, but also advises you in dealing with real time, lifestyle challenges. Our coaches become your therapists, not just for your health, but for your overall mental and emotional journey. Our focus is on becoming the support system that most people lack. We go beyond your blood work data, to create a strong relationship of trust, knowledge sharing and emotional support. Our coaches guide you, lift you up on difficult days, and ensure that you achieve your health goals.This unique, one-one-one approach of healing keeps you motivated, all day, everyday!

Thrive gives you the whole wellness package with Functional Nutrition, mental wellness guidance, lifestyle change tips, delicious and simple diet guides, community connections with other Thrive clients, and special events like free workout sessions with fitness experts. We empower you with every resource that helps you own your body in the most sustainable way. With its holistic care involving the power of FOOD and mind-body-soul healing, Thrive makes you a warrior, being able to swiftly go through any health crises in life.

About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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5 ways Thrive can help you regain your health

Thrive is a whole lot more than Functional Nutrition. It helps you improve not only your physical health, but provides you with an ultimate, life-changing experience which makes you want to love your body, for your body is a temple you should worship. Here are 5 ways Thrive can help you recreate an optimal health like no other.

  1. Root cause analysis

Treatment of any health condition requires going to the depth of what is actually causing it. Just checking the symptoms can be misleading in some cases, but your blood reports never lie. At Thrive, we dig deep into finding all the possible root causes of all your deranged parameters and fix them in a way that is sustainable. But how?? Read the next sections.

  1. Individual-specific approach

Giving out food advice without considering individual makeup is a big No-No. It’s a well known but often overlooked fact that diseases don’t happen overnight. They creep up and become the silent killers that lifestyle diseases are known to be. These diseases affect every person differently and needless to say this individual-specific approach has been working the best for the overall healing of clients at Thrive.

  1. Going beyond coaching

At Thrive, the Functional Nutritionists are beyond coaches because coaching at Thrive comes with all the necessary hand holding that is needed in order to follow the steps needed to achieve your desired health goal. Your health coaches, at some point, become your therapists during an emotional setback; Your friend when you want to share something new. They will support you with whatever that is drawing you away from your health goal.

  1. Real time response

The 3-month health journey with Thrive is a ‘No- prior appointment’ event. To put it in short, When in doubt, call Thrive. Real time response is the USP of Thrive. We believe that working towards your health should be an effortless experience and we are all in with you in this. Let’s say, a party is coming up where you are awaited eagerly and this becomes an unavoidable situation. In such cases, you can immediately contact your health coach and he/she will guide you to choose the best suited foods available without letting you compromise on your social life. Sounds cool, right!

  1. Mind, body, soul healing

This is the most significant part of signing up with Thrive for regaining your health. Everyone is made to be disease-free and it is each and every person’s sole right to lead a disease free life. It is impossible to bring changes in the physical symptoms if your mind and soul are not brought together. A holistic approach to bring about an overall healing. Meditating and reading books that would assist in calming your mind and soul forms an integral part of the comprehensive care provided at Thrive.

About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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Top 8 Benefits of Sunlight

In the past, benefits of sun exposure were thought to be limited only to vitamin D. Below are the top 5 benefits of being in sunlight, apart from getting the immunity boosting-bone protecting-anticancer agent vitamin D.

  1. Helps in decreasing high blood pressure and glucose intolerance

UV radiation from the sun induces the production of nitric oxide (NO) which is responsible for a variety of effects such as vasodilation, meaning widening of blood vessels, with a consequent decrease of blood pressure.

  1. Release of the ‘feel-good’ hormone- Endorphin

It has been found that UV rays from the sun can cause release of endorphins in the body. These are the ‘feel-good’ hormones which are released whenever there is a rewarding state. So folks, those times when you feel low or depressed you know what to do! 

  1. Acts as an analgesic- pain reliever

Noteworthy properties of sunlight exposure include its analgesic effects. In a prospective study of patients undergoing spinal surgery, when exposed to 46% higher intensity of natural sunlight during their hospital recovery period, perceived marginally less pain and required use of fewer analgesic medications (6).

  1. Helps improve sleep

Solar exposure helps in improving sleep by the effect of melatonin. It is a hormone produced in the skin through sun exposure and which helps with inducing sleep. UV rays induce the production of melatonin along with regulation of the circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock which manages the sleep-wake cycle.

  1. Helps with the autoimmune responses

It is known that both UVA and UVB have a direct immunity suppressing effect. This mechanism may explain the benefit of sun exposure in the protection from certain autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.

  1. Helps in enhancing mood

Being in sunlight triggers the release of brain hormones too, one of them is serotonin. Sunshine is thought to increase the levels of serotonin in the brian which is associated with boosting mood and helping you feel calm and focused.

  1. Improves Cognitive function

In terms of cognitive benefits, a study published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience found that subjects who were exposed to six hours of sunlight felt significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening and less sleepy at the end of the evening compared with those who were exposed to artificial light.

  1. Great impact on human life span

A study from the journal Medical Hypotheses concluded that specific wavelengths of UVR, experienced at critical times in development as at conception or early gestation, and with specific intensity or rate of change, modulates the expression of human diseases and affect the length of our lives (7).

Lastly, in what might be one of the most phenomenal discoveries of our time, findings point to man’s ability to derive energy directly from the sun- a constant, daily, guaranteed source of energy.

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of sunlight exposure, the main question that arises is what about skin cancer? Well, for every person who dies of skin cancer, more than 100 die from cardiovascular diseases. Melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, accounts for only 1-3 percent of diagnosed cases; and curiously, Jacobsen reports (8), people who work outdoors have half the melanoma rate of indoor workers. Is skin cancer something to be afraid of? Or is it an unnecessary fear-mongering campaign vilifying sunlight exposure created by the sunscreen industry?

Sunlight reduces the risk of prostate, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. It improves circadian rhythms. It reduces inflammation and dampens autoimmune responses. It improves virtually every mental condition you can think of. And it’s free.

Skeptical? Just think how our ancestors lived in bygone centuries. They were outside all the time in hot and cold climates, relying on melanin as a natural protector for the skin. Jacobsen writes, "Our dark-skinned African ancestors produced so much melanin that they never had to worry about the sun." Melanin, the central pigment within our skin, and distributed throughout our bodies, is one of the most interesting biomolecules identified thus far.

Melanin’s proposed ability to convert sunlight into metabolic energy—akin to the way chlorophyll harvests sunlight in plants—means that our species should be reclassified from heterotrophic to photoheterotrophic, and, even more significantly, may raise the prospect that melanin offers protection against ionizing radiation while transforming it into metabolically useful energy.

It turns out that getting a bit of sunlight on your bare skin, without a protective layer of sunscreen, offers numerous health benefits. 

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2018/02/28/why-sunlight-is-actually-good-for-you/?sh=167442e95cd9
  2. https://www.treehugger.com/great-sunscreen-fallacy-lack-sun-exposure-might-be-killing-us-4856325
  3. https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/441266
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6830553/#:~:text=The%20most%2Drecognized%20benefits%20of,treatment%20of%20seasonal%20affective%20disorder.
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27876126/
  6. https://scihub.wikicn.top/10.1097/01.psy.0000149258.42508.70 
  7. https://scihub.wikicn.top/10.1016/j.mehy.2010.01.015 
  8. https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/richard-weller%28b59ff560-1756-497d-81d8-ab17082a4f5b%29.html
  9. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026702
About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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How to recover quickly from Covid-19 weakness?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The health complications attributed to the virus include pneumonia, respiratory failure, heart problems, liver problems, gastrointestinal distress, septic shock, and death. These complications are known to be caused by a condition known as ‘cytokine storm’. In this condition, an infection triggers your immune system to fill the bloodstream with inflammatory proteins called cytokines. These cytokines can kill tissue and damage your organs.

Depending on your age and underlying metabolic condition, Covid-19 infected people have shown various rates of recovery. On an average, the recovery is above 95% in most cases except the very old/ elderly patients. 

Despite this high recovery rate, the one trend that seems to be emerging though is that most COVID-19 patients do not seem to fully get back their pre-covid vitality. 

Some complain of lingering chronic fatigue symptoms, weakness and exhaustion and others struggle with mental health problems. These COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ face fatigue, breathlessness, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, brain fog, depression, anxiety and/or chronic pain for three weeks or even longer.

Is this because of the experimental drug regime that’s being used in hospitals, is it because of depletion of nutrients from the body in fighting an infection or is it because of social isolation (which is known to trigger inflammation in human beings), or is it because of the psychological impact of the all pervasive media induced fear or is it because of all of these factors put together? 

In the past, research has found an interesting link and compelling connection between poor gut health and chronic fatigue and mental health problems. Interestingly, coronavirus uses the ACE2 receptor to gain entry into the cell, and the greatest number of ACE2 receptors are found in the cells that line your gut. The infection, thus, then spreads and affects the gut microbiome. Altered gut bacteria is found to be one of causes of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and related symptoms. Incidentally, your gut microbiome is also known to influence your mental health, and has been linked to depression and anxiety and a large portion of your immune system also resides in your gut.

Whatever the root causes for the long term health complications that seem to be arising post a Covid-19 infection, here are some recommendations from Thrive that will speed up your recovery. 

With a well mapped out holistic plan that focuses on food, supplements, movement along with fixing internal dysfunctions, recovering from Covid-19 doesn’t have to take you too long. Reach out to us if you need to talk to us, we’d be more than happy to help you recover quickly.

About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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10 Reasons Why Conventional Medicine Cannot Solve Chronic Diseases

What is conventional medicine and why is it not the answer for solving chronic diseases?

Conventional medicine is a system in which doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. One might also hear it called as Allopathic medicine/ Western medicine/ Orthodox medicine/ Mainstream medicine/ Biomedicine or something also as a Standard medical care.

But after all these years this so-called ‘standard care’ has proven unsuitable for the treatment of chronic diseases. But why? You will find out soon.

First of, as CDC defines them, Chronic Diseases are conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. These are consequences of risk behaviours like poor dietary choices, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, stress, excessive alcoholism and smoking, too much use of electronics and more. The major chronic diseases are known to be-

Also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), these are responsible for more than half of total deaths each year worldwide, and the incidence has grown tremendously over the last fifty years. (Chronic diseases aka NCDs are non-infectious health conditions that cannot be spread from person to person usually resulting from genetic, physiological, lifestyle, and environmental factors).

Indians need to think deeply about chronic diseases given India’s rising distinction of becoming the diabetes capital of the world. At the present stage, chronic diseases account for 53 percent of total deaths each year in India, which is expected to grow up to 67 percent by 2030.

Now, conventional medicine evolved during a time when the leading causes of death were acute, infectious diseases. Today things aren’t quite so simple. People, now-a-days visit a doctor not only for acute problems but also for the chronic ones. This complicates matters because chronic diseases are difficult to manage, expensive to treat, require more than just a doctor and typically last for a lifetime. Here are 10 pitfalls of conventional medicine and why it is not the ideal option when it comes to treating chronic diseases:

  1. Failing to address the root cause of problems

Conventional medicine focuses on treating a particular disease by suppressing the symptoms rather than addressing or finding the root cause of the disease. For e.g., there is rarely any serious investigation into why your blood sugar or blood pressure is high in the first place. 

  1. Failing to apply the right way of treatment

New technological inventions have been adopted as a part of conventional medicine treatment and are doing some stunning things with the potential to fight cancer, reattaching limbs, to name a few. These technical approaches, however, might not be the best ones to cure or treat a chronic disease because more than 85% of these are caused by poor lifestyle and dietary behaviours.

  1. Misconception about being a  ‘cure all’ model

As we can see during the time when conventional medicine evolved, the treatment was relatively simple. For e.g., back when someone developed Pneumonia or other acute problems, he went to see a doctor, got an antibiotic and either got well or died. This kept on evolving the same way, catching people’s attention as if it were to reverse all the health problems there are, in short, being a cure-all model. However, it fails miserably when it comes to curing lifestyle driven diseases such as diabetes or obesity.

  1. Low quality primary care

Chronic diseases are difficult to manage and require special attention. In a hospital set up, a doctor typically has to deal over hundreds of patients on a daily basis. If a patient has multiple chronic conditions, is taking several medications, and presents with new symptoms, it is nearly impossible to provide quality care during that 5-minute visit.

  1. Unsustainable treatment quality

Statins are widely prescribed to lower “risk” and “risk factors” that are involved in heart disease. But do these liver-toxic drugs hold demonstrable therapeutic potential? Not so much. Same with other medications, most of them only suppress the symptoms simultaneously causing liver and kidney damage

  1. Very less emphasis on diet and lifestyle changes

The risk factors of chronic diseases boil down to people making wrong choices about diet, physical activity, sleep, stress management, etc.—over and over again, throughout a lifetime. As it works, once a disease is identified, medications are prescribed as a treatment strategy. There is hardly any time or attention that is given to discussing diet and lifestyle that might be contributing to the existing problem. Besides, nutritional deficiencies, toxins, heavy metals, antinutrients, food contamination, lack of sleep and other major drivers of poor health and disease  are also not addressed in the conventional medicine treatment strategy.

  1.  A mechanistic approach

Conventional medicine does not see an individual human as a whole and thus does not consider his/her physical, psychological, social and spiritual make-up.The patient presents his body to the doctor as he would his watch to a watchmaker or his car to a mechanic so the expert can fix, add, remove, replace, tighten, loosen,adjust or recharge whatever piece needs work so that the machine functions as it should. 

  1. Too much reliance on scientific methods/knowledge

Conventional medicine firmly believes that, apart from scientific knowledge, no other form of knowledge is valid because only scientific knowledge is true and real. In contrast, traditional medicine is the fruit of hundreds of years of observation by hundreds of practitioners helping thousands of patients in actual life situations.  

  1. High dependency and prescription of medications (drugs, pills)

The conventional medical system is designed to keep you on pills, very expensive pills, as if the economy needs you to be sick, to stay on these pills so that Big Pharma executives can get filthy rich.

  1. Lack of transparency

Ever tried finding prices for the various healthcare services provided by the hospitals  or their performance reviews? Such information is only available for automobiles, hotels and so on. This lack of transparency is one of the important things for conventional medicine to be questioned for. Doctors are often indemnified from health issues arising due to malpractices in patient care. Besides which iatrogenic deaths ( aka deaths caused by medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of deaths in hospitalized patients). It’s not surprising that even with the Covid-19 plandemic, patients that self-isolated and home quarantined themselves had much better outcomes than the ones that got hospitalized and were put on ventilators and experimental drugs

This is a gap that Functional medicine and Functional nutrition fills in  beautifully. We aim at addressing the imbalances in the body by restoring function through food, lifestyle and supplement interventions. We transform dysfunctioning bodily systems into optimal, functional healthy systems which is the only permanent and sustainable solution. 

References-

  1. https://kresserinstitute.com/two-reasons-conventional-medicine-will-never-solve-chronic-diseas/
  2. https://drcrisafi.com/en/article/conventional-medicine-why-it-is-failing
  3. https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/conventional-medicine-failed-my-mission/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6894631/
  5. https://pullenouthestops.com/pros-cons-medicine/
  6. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2729795
  7. https://thedrswolfson.com/8-ways-conventional-medicine-failing/
About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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The Reality of Health Related Productivity Loss

With the lockdowns, most Indian employees have had the longest working hours compared to their global peers.  Current estimates show that Indian employees are now averaging nearly 60-72 hour work weeks while working from home. In addition, dealing with the stresses and pressures of their job has had enormous negative impacts upon their health.

Even pre-covid-19, the WHO reported a tenfold increase in the incidence of diabetes, from 1.2% of Indians in 1971 to 12.1% in 2000. A 2018 Optum Health Risk Assessment survey with 800,000 respondents from over 70 Indian employers found that over half of professionals suffer from high stress.

Pre-covid forecasts had estimated that the GDP Burden of Chronic diseases in India would $ 4.28 Trillion by 2030. In addition $153 Billion Per Year were the total annual costs arising from absenteeism due to chronic health conditions. These numbers have only changed for the worse in today’s scenario. 

The WEF/Harvard study mentions that 42% of Indian business leaders have serious concerns about the impact of chronic illnesses on revenue, profitability and productivity. 

The lack of employees’ physical activity (62%) and stress (55%) are the top lifestyle risk factors identified by employers in India, according to the India Health and Wellbeing Study by Willis Towers Watson. The other top concerns were obesity (43%), followed by poor financial wellbeing (27%) and tobacco use(25%).

To add to this, now there is a perennial scare of ‘death by a virus’. What data has shown us is that lifestyle diseases, specifically diabetes,  heart disease, hypertension are major risk factors for developing severe symptoms of COVID-19 and for increased mortality.

Even before this scare, lifestyle disease had become the world’s biggest killers, leading to 71 percent of all deaths in 2018. Sixty-three percent of all deaths in India are attributed to lifestyle diseases, with 23 percent at risk of premature deaths.

Our country is estimated to have over 8 crore hypertension patients, and around 7.29 crore diabetes cases among adults.

We now know that people who have underlying medical conditions including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension face higher odds of getting really sick or dying because they make our immune systems grow weaker, which makes it more challenging to fight off infectious diseases.

The risk for positive COVID-19 diagnosis is higher in people with weak immune defenses. Adding to the burden can be emotional stress, lack of sleep and physical exhaustion, which can further make one prone to diseases by weakening immunity.

For a typical senior corporate employee there always are never ending deadlines with a mounting pressure to increase productivity along with the high stress of adapting to a remote working environment leads him/her to make some really detrimental choices which includes consuming multiple cups of tea and coffee, eating poor quality food and smoking just to get through the day. Does this sound familiar?

Since work is so arduous, you often feel like you’ve earned the right to indulge, because sometimes dinner is the only good part of your day, you might ‘treat’ yourself to unhealthy stuff. Which will eventually lead to elevated blood cholesterol, high homocysteine, fatty liver, high blood pressure, and this in turn reduces your work related productivity even further. 

Chronic diseases often advance silently and without warning plus most people are unaware of their poor state of health because they make up for lack of energy, fatigue etc with stimulants such as tea/ coffee and cigarettes.

The reality of health-related productivity loss cannot be dismissed. What are your hidden chronic health problems costing you and your organization?

Reach out to us to find out how you and ThriveFNC can partner towards creating a healthier, vibrant, energetic (minus stimulants) working day!

Who knows how profitable that might turn out to be for you?

About the Author

Ria Jain
With a Master’s degree in nutrition and two decades’ experience in health and wellness, Mugdha has successfully healed many people at ThriveFNC since 2017. Mugdha herself was struggling with finding solutions when her health took a nosedive. With modern principles of functional medicine and ancient wisdom about food, paired with spirituality, she beat several chronic illnesses.
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The Stress Response

What is Stress?

You might have heard a myriad of definitions/meanings of the word ‘Stress’. But what are we actually talking about when we discuss stress?

Normally, many of us use the word stress to direct the negative experiences of life that make us feel overwhelmed. Merely thinking about it gives us a false impression of its true nature.

However, stress is actually our body’s reaction to the changing and demanding environment around us. It is more about our capacity to deal with change than it is about feeling good or bad. Change is the only constant, they say. Changes happen all the time and stress is in large part what we feel when we are reacting to it. Thus, we can define it by saying that it is a series of emotional, physical and cognitive responses to a change. 

Stress Overload

The most threatening thing about stress is it can easily creep up on you and you get used to it. Before you even start noticing, it starts affecting you. It starts to feel familiar, normal and eventually takes a heavy toll on your body in the form of what is called ‘Stress Overload’. Hence, it is very necessary to be conscious about the typical warning signs and symptoms of stress overload-

Cognitive symptoms:

Emotional symptoms:

Physical symptoms:

Behavioural symptoms:

What are the causes of Stress? Answer- ‘The Stressors’

The situations and pressures that can cause stress are known as Stressors. Scientists at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) classify stress into the following 4 categories-

Physiological (or physical) stressors

These are stressors that put strain on our body (i.e.: very cold/hot temperatures, injury, deficiencies, toxins, pathogens, dysfunctional organs or pain).

Psychological Stressors

These are events, situations, individuals, comments, or anything we interpret as negative or threatening (i.e. : inability to accept uncertainty, rigid thinking and lack of flexibility, negative self-talk, all-or-nothing attitude).

Absolute Stressors

These are stressors that everyone exposed to them would interpret as being stressful. These are objective stressors that are universal (i.e.: earthquakes, a tsunami).

Relative Stressors

These are stressors that only some exposed to them would interpret as being stressful. These are subjective stressors that cause different reactions in different people (i.e.: time pressure at work, traffic, paying taxes, writing an exam).

Briefly said, a stressor is anything that causes the release of stress hormones. 

We’ve seen this stress in every case we’ve worked with- a constant, underlying primordial fear based response to the environment around us. 

How does it impact your health though?

Stress is a complex phenomenon and each individual has his/her own level of stress tolerance.

Exposure to stressors results in a series of coordinated responses often referred to as ‘stress responses’ which are composed of series of reactions in the body including alterations in behaviour, autonomic function, secretion of multiple hormones and various physiological changes in the body. (See images)

*Amygdala- It is the integrative center for emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation inside the brain.

*Hypothalamus- It is a small region at the base of the brain that is responsible for releasing hormones, regulating body temperature, maintaining daily physiological cycles, controlling appetite, managing sexual behavior and regulating emotional responses.

*Adrenal gland- Adrenal glands are composed of two parts(the cortex and the medulla) each responsible for producing different hormones that help regulate metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress and other essential functions. 

*CRH-Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is a peptide hormone involved in the stress response. Its main function is the stimulation of the pituitary synthesis of ACTH, as part of the HPA Axis. 

*ACTH- Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is made in the pituitary gland and  is needed for adrenal glands to work properly and help the body react to stress. ACTH stimulates the release of another hormone called cortisol from the adrenal gland.

*Adrenaline- Released by the adrenal glands in response to stress,  it works by increasing the heart rate, increasing blood pressure, expanding the air passages of the lungs, enlarging the pupil in the eye, redistributing blood to the muscles and altering the body’s metabolism, so as to maximise blood glucose levels.

 *HPA axis- It is short for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The HPA axis is a term used to represent the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands It is the body’s second component of the stress response system.

Effects of long-term stress

The body’s stress-response system is usually self-limiting. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems perform their regular activities.

However, long-term or chronic stress is challenging. Under constant stress, the body does not receive a clear signal to go back to its normal functioning.

Over time, continued strain on your body from stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, including mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.

How to cope up with this stress?

Stress is a fact of life, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. You cannot avoid stress, but you can learn to manage it so it doesn’t manage you. 

When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress. Rethink your stress response to stress as something helpful. 

A study revealed that stress makes you social. The hormone Oxytocin is released that fine tunes your brain’s social instincts. Oxytocin is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps in healing your heart from the stress induced damage. 

Moreover, our body has a built-in stress resilience mechanism known as Human Connection. When you reach out to others under stress, you release more oxytocin and your response to stress becomes healthier and you recover faster from it.

At Thrive’s here’s what we do to help people perceive  and respond to stress better

  1. Fixing your deficiencies of nutrients essential for your adrenal glands to function well.

During a stressful event, your adrenals are overworked and are constantly pushed to release Adrenaline and cortisol along with other hormones.

Some specific nutrients like complex carbohydrates, proteins (tryptophan, phenylalanine and tyrosine, theanine) Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Magnesium, and Selenium play a very important role in reducing the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body and also the stress chemicals that activate fight and flight response(6). 

These nutrients play a very specific and important role in stress management. Hence, fixing the deficiencies of these nutrients is an essential step towards ensuring an optimal adrenal health.

  1. Bringing down both pathogen and toxin load from your body

Toxins and photogenic load as physiological stressors in the body can cause hormonal imbalances,  improper functioning of your enzymes, displacement of structural minerals, and can damage your organs(7). It is very important to look for these toxins and pathogens and flush them out of your body.

  1. Incorporating adrenal healing protocol

Chronic stress and adrenal dysfunction floods our body with excess adrenaline, which eventually begins to impact other organ systems. Our adrenal healing protocol is designed to give your body the right mix of glucose and mineral salts your adrenals need for optimum function. 

  1. Correcting organ dysfunctions

Stress brings about physiological changes almost throughout the body. All your organs strive to cope up with the stress. Overtime, stress can cause some organs to not function properly. Hence, it becomes necessary to make sure that your organs are working to their fullest capacity.

  1. Meditation

Meditation helps you to calm down and focus your attention. It produces a deep state of relaxation and helps you to eliminate negative and jumbled thoughts, causing enhanced well-being. It primes you perceive and respond to stress better. 

  1. Learning to breathe

Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. It is impossible to be stressed and anxious while you are breathing deeply. 

  1. Finding your tribe

We as humans were meant to exist in a tribe, to work together towards the greater good of the tribe out of feelings of mutual love, trust and connectedness. In return, as a whole, the tribe always had your back. It’s the loss of this collective that makes everyone stay on their guard. 

The best way to resolve your stress though is by finding the root causes for the same which is  something we are exceptionally good at. If you’ve been struggling with stressful episodes, and would like to learn more about how we can help you.

References:

  1. https://www.gulfbend.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=1229
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579396/
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/stress-hormonehttps://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/stress-and-your-health
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response
  5. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body
  6. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/nutrient-and-stress-management-2155-9600-1000528.pdf
  7. https://naturemed.org/how-toxins-cause-disease/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079864/
  9. https://www.uakron.edu/armyrotc/MS1/14.pdf
  10. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm
  11. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255
About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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Importance of a good night’s sleep

Deliberate sleep deprivation has been used for centuries, as both a form of torture and a means for interrogation. If we leave that interesting yet vile factoid aside, sleep is a basic human need, like food, water and breath

Like these other needs, a good night’s sleep is a vital aspect of creating good health and well-being throughout your lifetime. On average, we spend about 30% of our lives asleep. It is the body’s natural rest cycle. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.

But what makes you sleep? Answer- The internal body clock

The body clock typically has a 24-hour repeating rhythm (called the circadian rhythm). Two processes interact to control this rhythm. The first is the hunch to sleep that builds with every hour that you are awake. This drive for sleep reaches a peak in the evening, when most people fall asleep.

The second process involves your internal body clock. This clock is in sync with certain cues in the environment. Light, darkness, and other cues help determine when you feel awake and when you feel sleepy (1).

Sleep is a complex and dynamic process that affects how you function and the term ‘Sleep Health’ is often used to encompass all the different aspects of it. 

What is Sleep Health?

Sleep health is a multidimensional pattern of sleep-wakefulness, adapted to individual demands that promotes physical and mental well-being. Everyone needs sleep, but its biological purpose remains a mystery. Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body – from the brain, heart, and lungs, metabolism, immune function and finally to a good mood.

That said, the cumulative effects of sleep disruption and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences.

However, there is a difference when it comes to sleep deprivation and sleep deficiency.

Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep while Sleep deficiency  is a relatively broader concept and can lead to physical and mental health problems, injuries, loss of productivity, and even a greater risk of death. An individual is sleep deficient  if he/she has one or more of the following:

Whatever may be the reason, a disrupted sleeping pattern ought to have negative repercussions on your health. 

But what can possibly cause this sleep disruption?

Researchers suggest certain risk factors to be reasons behind a disrupted sleep (2).

Some of the important ones are-

Lifestyle factors– Consuming excessive amounts of Caffeine, drinking alcohol, drug abuse, shift work, jet lag

Environmental factors- Excessive noise or light.

Psychosocial factors– Stress, anxiety, worry

Other disorders– Insomnia, Obstructive sleep apnea, Restless leg syndrome, Narcolepsy (a neurological disorder that involves a decreased ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles) cite

Physiological factors– Bruxism (grinding your teeth), talking in sleep or sleepwalking (Somnambulism), hot flashes during Menopause (3).

In addition, in our work at ThriveFNC we have found there are two major factors that lead to impaired sleep. 

Adrenal dysregulation– 

Adrenals are two glands which produce a variety of  hormones. Among those are steroid hormones- Adrenaline and Cortisol.  The stress system works on these two hormones. Adrenaline and cortisol do not operate in isolation. They are part of a complex system known as the HPA axis (HPA is short for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) which combines parts of the central nervous and endocrine systems.

These hormones are produced in the adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland, located in the brain, monitor their levels and send messages to the adrenal system to adjust the production as a response to stress.

Activation of the HPA results in wakefulness and these hormones (Adrenaline and Cortisol ) and others including corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), are associated with attention and arousal (4)

Dysfunctional liver

People with a dysfunctional liver often experience sleep problems as a result of impaired melatonin metabolism. Liver is the main organ responsible for metabolism of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle (5)

Lack of sleep not only affects your quality of life. It can also be dangerous because it increases your chances of having accidents. This makes it important to find out the underlying cause if you are regularly sleeping poorly.

But how much sleep do you need?

Usually, most healthy people are structured for being awake for as long as 16 hours and need an average of 8 hours of sleep per night (6). In spite of this, some people are able to function even after as little as 6 hours of sleep without sleepiness while others cannot perform to their fullest unless they have slept for 10 hours. And, contrary to common myth, the need for sleep does not decline with age but the ability to sleep for six to eight hours at one time may be reduced (7). Nevertheless, sleep needs vary across ages from person- to- person. The National Sleep Foundation along with experts from sleep, anatomy and physiology, as well as pediatrics, neurology, gerontology and gynecology recommended sleep ranges across various age groups (8).  A summary of these new recommendations includes  

Moving ahead, there are complications associated with a disturbed sleeping pattern. Both short-term and long-term impacts have been observed.

Short-term and long term impacts of sleep disruption-

Short-term consequences  include increased response to stress, reduced quality of life (QoL), emotional distress, mood disorders, reduced memory and performance and other mental health problems in otherwise healthy people. Individuals with underlying medical conditions may face poor health-related quality of life (9).

Hypertension, dyslipidemia, CVDs, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, and T2DM are some of the long-term impacts of sleep disruption. 

Evidence also suggests that sleep disruption may increase the risk of certain cancers and may also worsen the symptoms of some gastrointestinal disorders.

However, too much sleep — as well as not enough sleep — raises your risk of chronic diseases. Yes you heard it right, excessive sleep can also lead to negative health impacts.

Sleeping too much — 10 hours or more — can harm your health. It may be a sign of underlying health problems, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Findings include:

Also, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in people suffering from sleep apnea is linked with insulin resistance, irrespective of the person being obese (10).

 Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea. The main types of sleep apnea are: Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax.

Apart from these various consequences related to excessive sleepiness and sleep deprivation, what makes a good night’s sleep so necessary and important? 

Let’s find out why,

Importance of good sleep

A good sleep serves a multitude of purposes that are important for your health. Some important ones are-

  1. The first purpose of sleep is ‘taking out the trash’ from your brain

Everyday our brain accumulates metabolic waste while performing its normal activities. During sleep our brain cells shrink by  60% making a way for the glymphatic system, i.e., the brain’s waste removal system to “take out the trash” comfortably (11). The result is you wake up with a clear mind feeling refreshed. That’s one importance of a good night’s sleep.

  1. The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation

The timing of your sleep is very crucial. Proper amount of sleep is essential for memory consolidation (12), meaning maintaining and strengthening all your long- term memories. Inadequate or a fragmented sleep can hinder your ability to form both concrete memories (facts and figures) and emotional memories.

  1. Ultimately, Sleep is paramount for metabolic health. 

Studies have shown that when you sleep for just 5.5 hours or so every night instead of 8-8.5 hours, a higher proportion of energy burn comes from carbs and protein and comparatively lesser from fats(13). The result? You become prone to fat gain and muscle loss. Moreover, insufficient or abnormal sleep cycles can increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Tips for a good night’s sleep-

Sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.  Good sleep hygiene is characterized by personal satisfaction and appropriate timing, adequate duration, high efficiency, and sustained alertness during waking hours (14).

One of the most important sleep hygiene practices is to spend an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed, not too little or too excessive. Other good sleep hygiene practices include:

 Napping does not make up for inadequate nighttime sleep. However, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance. 

As mentioned, these stimulate and awaken our brain, making it difficult to fall asleep. If you are dependent on caffeine then make sure your last cup of coffee is no later than 2 pm, so that your body has an opportunity to clear out the caffeine before its bedtime. Caffeine dependency though is really harmful and learn more about it here https://www.thrivefnc.com/caffeine-quitting/ 

As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality.  For the best night’s sleep, most people should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime.

Heavy foods like fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion for some people. When this occurs close to bedtime, it can lead to painful heartburn that disrupts sleep.

Exposure to sunlight during the day, as well as darkness at night, helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

A regular nightly routine helps the body recognize that it is bedtime. This could include taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches. When possible, try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before sleeping.

Mattress and pillows should be comfortable.Bright light, cell phone and TV screens can make it difficult to fall asleep, so turn those lights off or adjust them when possible. Avoid watching something that disturbs your mind which would further make sleeping difficult. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades and ear plugs that can help you fall asleep.

Stress is the primary cause of adrenal dysfunction which might be a reason behind your sleeplessness. Also, compromised liver health, overtime, can lead to sleep problems as a result of the toxins. Harmful substances and byproducts cannot be flushed out of the body when the liver is not functioning properly, as a result, these toxins circulate in the blood causing sleep disturbances.

When receptors in our eyes are hit with bright light for an extended period of time, they send a message to the brain saying it is time to be awake. The brain, in turn, stops secreting a hormone called melatonin, which makes people sleepy and helps regulate the internal sleep clock and switching to yellow light prevents this.

 In addition, by positioning ourselves in front of electronic devices that project quite a bit of blue light into the evening and night hours, we’re receiving strong signals to be active at a time when our internal clock is trying to help us wind down, and it is a good idea to install blue light filters on all your electronic devices. Blue light filters prevent melatonin imbalance and allows for the natural sleep rhythm to build up. 

If you have any sleep issues and you are not able to figure out the underlying cause, feel free to call ThriveFNC and we would be happy to help.

References:

 1) https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency

2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449130/)  

3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279322/

 4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538178/

5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220431/

6)  https://www.apa.org/topics/sleep/why 

 7) Van Dongen & Dinges, Principles & Practice of Sleep Medicine, 2000

8)https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times)

9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449130/

10)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18535117

11) https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/3956/to-sleep-perchance-to-clean.aspx

12) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768102/

13) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951287/

14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3902880/

15) https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-hygiene

16)https://www.premierhealth.com/your-health/articles/women-wisdom-wellness-/Too-Much-Sleep-Can-be-Bad-for-Your-Health/

17) https://jamesclear.com/sleep

18)https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(12)70222-3/fulltext

19)  https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-13-7908-6_17

About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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