What can you do to overcome your current fear of the virus?

What can you do to overcome your current fear of the virus?

If someone would have told us in January 2020 that a supposed virus would bring all of human civilization to a standstill we’d have probably laughed (a lot) and asked them which apocalyptic movie from Netflix were they talking about. That joke is now our reality. 

Life as we knew it, has come to an abrupt end. All of humanity is on a pause mode because of the fear of a virus. Everyday we hear debates on the number of deaths, percentage of mortality, number of infected people and so on. The entire world except for Sweden and Belarus is under lock-down

Impact of lockdown on mental healthThese ongoing lock-downs are presenting their own set of problems. As people work from home, the boundaries between personal time and work time seem to have blurred. We’ve had people reporting to us how because of extra workload they are unable to fit in self care practices like cooking healthy meals and eating on time. With gyms closed, most people have given up on their exercise and workout routines. People have been reporting sleep issues. The social isolation is creating a whole new host of mental health problems, cases of domestic abuse and violence have increased. There is no doubt that the lock-down is harsh on us, but somewhere there all of us need to acknowledge our own responsibility for this scenario.

What? How is this our responsibility?

Well,  most of you are afraid of this mysterious virus. That it will somehow infect you and you may not be able to fight and it might kill you or your loved ones. Data from all over the globe has been consistently showing that it’s not the virus itself, but the body’s inability to fight it that results in death. If you have underlying conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, asthma you are more likely to die than others. You can read more about this here. The question then is why do some people get sick while others stay healthy? And among those who become infected, why do some people fare so much better than others of the same age and gender?  Over and over again, it turns out that a person’s diet and lifestyle makes an enormous difference.


Now, the probability of any of the Thrive tribe members succumbing to the disease is very, very low because we take 100% responsibility for our health and fix every underlying dysfunction with a warrior’s mindset. Our bodies are now so stable that a viral infection wouldn’t threaten our existence. For the last 3 years Thrive has been reversing people’s diabetes, helping them lose weight, getting rid of their high blood pressure and getting them off medication. In short, we’ve been healing the exact comorbidities that seem to increase the chances of death with this viral infection. Besides which Thrive is no stranger to viruses, bacteria and other pathogens- we’ve healed people from H.Pylori, Streptococcus, Epstein Barr Virus and other assorted microorganisms. We don’t fear them, we simply treat them and the root causes that allow them to create a dysfunction and they go away.


 

That being said, we know the rest of you genuinely fear for your and your loved ones lives because you don’t know if you’d survive the infection.  This article is for you. Please pay attention.  You fear the infection only because you don’t know if your body can fight it off.  This fear triggers an ancient primeval fear response in your brain and you start producing stress chemicals. Did you know, the more afraid you are- the less empathy you have, your relationship with logic changes and your intelligence drops?  Even if this particular supposed pandemic clears up, something like this can recur in the future.

The question all of you should be asking is “How do I prepare for that, not just for now but for the rest of my life?”

Right now, if you aren’t confident about your body’s ability to heal, it’s highly likely that you’ve never bothered to invest time and energy in fixing your health problems. You probably are one of those who valued your freedom to eat whatever you wanted to more than you valued being free of disease. You are one of those that’s shrugged off any information on becoming healthier versions of yourself because either you were too addicted to your comfort foods, your junk food and your unhealthy behavior patterns. Or you thought this wasn’t an important enough issue for you to address right now because you had your entire life ahead of you. Or you just didn’t want to invest the time, energy and money into learning about what your body needed and how to take care of it. This is what we mean by not taking responsibility for your own health.

Truth be told, your irresponsibility is now making you afraid. Your irresponsibility makes it easier for a supposed pandemic to take control of our lives. Along-with that you are now experiencing the mental and emotional repercussions of being under a lock-down. Your inability to take personal responsibility for your health, makes the entire situation worse for you and your family. It makes it worse for your world. Do you see the connection?

However, we are not writing this to make you feel guilty or ashamed. We write this to give you hope. To tell you that you don’t have to be afraid. That all is not lost. See, the human body is incredibly intelligent and resilient. We have seen it heal magically in a period as less as 3 months in most cases. All one needs to do is listen to every signal it sends to you, understand the message and take the appropriate action. 

Imagine a day in your life where your body is not a mystery, where you are not afraid of some mysterious virus coming and taking over your system and destroying it. Imagine a day where you didn’t feel fat, ugly, tired, in pain or dull. A day where you look and feel beautiful and courageous. Imagine a day in your life where from the moment you wake up till you go to bed you are filled with confidence, inspiration and drive. A day where you accomplished everything you wanted to. Now imagine another day like this and another and another, until your whole life looks like this. 

Close your eyes and really, really imagine this.

Isn’t this a much better future than the one you are currently creating- one filled with anxiety, fear and dread about your health and your loved one’s health? 

 What if we told you this alternative future isn’t an elusive dream but a real possibility? Would you be willing to talk about this possibility? Well then, what’s stopping you? You are not alone in this. We’ve got you. Talk to us and we’ll help you create this future.  Because if you don’t do this now, then when would you? It’s a decision whose time has come. 

Share this article with your loved ones too so that they don’t have to be afraid either.

Call us on +91 77966 92504 to learn more or click below for a free consultation

How to Thrive amidst the Coronavirus scare?

How to Thrive amidst the Coronavirus scare?

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses and COVID-19 is a new strain discovered in 2019. As of 26 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports over 4, 00,000 positive cases and more than 20,000 deaths, with the numbers rapidly increasing with new cases being reported from different territories.

From what experts know so far, certain comorbidities place those who test positive for COVID-19 at higher risk of mortality. A study on COVID-19 hospitalized patients from Wuhan found almost half of the cases (48 percent) suffering from underlying chronic diseases. Of the total cases, 30 percent had hypertension, followed by diabetes (19 percent) and coronary heart disease (8 percent).

Other countries are also seeing how pre-diagnosis health plays an important role. Italy reported that of the first nine people younger than 40 who died of COVID-19, seven were confirmed to have “grave pathologies” such as heart disease. According to a report on patient characteristics from Italy’s National Institute of Health released March 17, 99% of COVID-19 patients who have died had at least one pre-existing condition (from heart disease to high blood pressure diabetes to kidney diseases) and nearly 50% of the patients who died had three pre-existing conditions.

According to the World Heart Federation, “non-communicable diseases (NCD), specifically chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes are major risk factors for developing severe symptoms of COVID-19.”

To begin with, NCDs are today 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 NCDs, with 23 percent at risk of premature deaths.

Atleast 27 of Indian COVID-19 patients (out of the total 38 at the time writing this blog) had one thing in common — they all had underlying conditions like diabetes and hypertension that are believed to have compromised their body’s fight against the pandemic.

The need to reverse chronic dysfunctions thus takes on deeper urgency in India because the country is estimated to have over 8 crore hypertension patients, and around 7.29 crore diabetes cases among adults.

As COVID-19 diagnosis continue to rise across the globe and death counts due to assorted health reasons increase, most of those have been attributed to underlying diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and poor respiratory health.

Louisiana Department of Health states that out of the total deaths resulting from COVID-19, 41% had Diabetes, 31% had Chronic Kidney Disease while 28% and 23% suffered from Obesity and Cardiac problems. 18% of the total deceased had pulmonary ailments.

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. Maintaining a healthy diet with food that boosts immunity can help fight infections. Physical activity and nutrition have known to boost the immune system.

“Your immune system is (the) best weapon against corona-virus,” as said by a Turkish scholar. Strengthening the immune system with healthy nutrition may help equip people with a defense mechanism against viruses.

Building immunity along with fixing internal dysfunctions is the best strategy one can have in today’s time. 

Speak with us now to learn how to do both- improve your immunity and get rid of chronic health problems. If not now, then when will you do it?

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References:

https://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/2020/03/27/top-underlying-health-conditions-covid-19-deaths-include-diabetes-obesity/2928137001/

https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200311-sitrep-51-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=1ba62e57_8

https://www.vox.com/2020/3/23/21190033/coronavirus-covid-19-deaths-by-age

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e2.htm

https://www.businessinsider.in/science/news/the-10-most-common-health-conditions-seen-in-people-who-died-from-coronavirus-in-italy-including-diabetes-and-heart-disease/articleshow/74783607.cms

https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/common-questions-and-answers-about-covid-19-for-older-adults-and-people-with-chronic-health-conditions/

https://globalnews.ca/news/6747664/coronavirus-age-risk-disease-severity-covid/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/new-cdc-data-on-underlying-health-conditions-in-coronavirus-patients-who-need-hospitalization-intensive-care/2020/03/31/0217f8d2-7375-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html

https://theprint.in/health/what-is-comorbidity-the-factor-that-likely-led-to-3-covid-19-deaths-in-india/383692/

https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/food-for-thought-in-the-wake-of-covid-19-pandemic-63787/

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/03/us-covid-19-deaths-top-chinas-data-show-impact-those-chronic-disease

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

https://www.sciencealert.com/more-than-70-of-americans-hospitalised-with-covid-19-had-at-least-1-underlying-health-condition-the-cdc-says

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200401-coronavirus-why-death-and-mortality-rates-differ

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Debunking the Keto diet: 7 most dangerous misconceptions about the keto diet

Debunking the Keto diet: 7 most dangerous misconceptions about the keto diet

Keto diet or a ketogenic diet is arguably the most popular dietary trend in today’s times. Especially for someone looking for quick weight loss or for someone trying to control their diabetes. It’s quite possible that you’ve been tempted to follow the Ketogenic diet to lose weight fast, reduce HbA1C and lower your blood glucose levels. Given the benefits you’ve heard of of, it might seem really tempting to enter a metabolic state of ketosis. I’d like you to avoid the mistake I made, as in the past, I was lured into following this diet too. It’s important you know the limitations of this diet so that you are aware of the risk of developing long term complications from following this diet. To do this, I am going to take you through the 7 most common statements that the ketosis community throws around about biology and physiology of ketogenic diets and we’ll cross examine each of these statements to see if they have any biological validity or not. You’ll discover the truth underlying ketosis and I’ll refute statements based on misleading science, incorrect biology and a fundamental lack of understanding of human biology.

But first, what is ketosis?

A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet by design. You are allowed to eat a maximum of 30 grams of dietary carbs per day. The keto food pyramid has eggs, dairy, meat, oil and fish at its base. All delicious starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes are avoided. Thankfully, green leafy vegetables are included (this is the only redeeming factor). A small quantity of fruits are allowed. You aren’t allowed to have any whole grains or legumes.  When you go this low carb, muscles and liver switch from oxidizing glucose as primary fuel to using fatty acids as primary fuel source. To withstand this, your liver manufactures Ketones as a emergency back up fuel for your brain. Being in this state is called as ketosis.

It seems like a great idea because now your pancreas is provided with an opportunity to reduce insulin production due to the low amount of dietary carbohydrates. A lot of people on keto diets flat-line their blood glucose (aka don’t have elevated blood glucose levels) and have reduced their need for medication while on the diet. If you’ve tried keto, you might have experienced this and you might think ‘great, eating keto is keeping my diabetes in check!’ You might have experienced other short term benefits too like rapid weight loss. reduced glucose levels, reduced postprandial blood glucose, reduced A1C, low fasting insulin. low total cholesterol low LDL etc. The problem though, these are all short term benefits and I can guarantee eating a ketogenic diet increases your risk of chronic disease and early death in the long term.

After researching advice from top ketosis gurus, I have identified seven common dangerous misconceptions about the ketogenic diet.

Myth 1: Insulin is your fat storage hormone

And by adopting a low carb diet you can prevent insulin from causing spikes blood glucose levels after a meal. Now, any biology textbook will tell you the primary function of insulin is to help glucose exit your blood and enter tissues. Sure, insulin also helps fatty and amino acids enter blood and tissues. However, the primary function of insulin is to help transport glucose from blood to tissues and secondary function is to help transfer fatty acids and amino acids to tissues. Simply because insulin has ability to transfer fat to tissues it is incorrect to label insulin as fat storage hormone. It is a scare tactic and is used to make people believe that any amount of insulin in your blood stream is bad. See, insulin triggers macro-nutrient absorption as follows:

  • Priority function No 1 is to transport glucose to tissues to be used a fuel for energy or to be stored as glycogen for later use.
  • Then it is to transport fatty acids to tissues be burnt for energy or to be stored as triglycerides for later use.
  • Followed by transport of amino acids to be synthesized into new protein or to be burnt for energy or to be converted into other compounds.

It is important to understand this order of priority because it reinforces the concept that primary role of insulin is to handle all things related to glucose metabolism before it does anything with fatty acid or amino acid metabolism. Insulin is the most anabolic hormones in the body which means it provides more cell growth and more fuel storage than any other hormone. Ketogenic dieters exaggerate this fact condemning insulin saying that insulin will make you fat. The truth is that all mammals secrete insulin because insulin is required for life- your dog secretes insulin, your neighbors cat secretes insulin, your non diabetic colleague secretes insulin, your thin cousin secretes insulin. Insulin is so important that if you stop manufacturing insulin, you’d die.

In truth, a physiologically normal amount of insulin is required to stay alive. However, injecting excess insulin is what increases risk of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Also, excess insulin due to insulin resistance can lead to weight gain. That’s the only way insulin can be harmful.

Myth 2: Eating carbs spikes blood glucose levels and leads to weight gain

Fans of the keto diet argue that eating any food containing carbs will spike blood glucose and the only way to avoid blood glucose spikes is to avoid carbohydrate rich foods.  Purely technically speaking, when you eat carbohydrates, your blood glucose will spike and technically reducing carbohydrates will keep blood glucose stable- for this useless ‘technical’ reason keto diets keep total carb intake to below 30 gm. Those in ketosis don’t understand that the amount of glucose in your blood is not only determined by amount of carbohydrate intake but is a reflection of both, your dietary carbohydrate AND your dietary fat  intake. Keto dieters are unaware of the detrimental role that excess dietary fat plays in development of insulin resistance leading to high blood glucose, beta cell death, high cholesterol and increased risk of many chronic diseases.

Only paying attention to how much carbohydrate you are eating misleads you into thinking that this single macro-nutrient affects your entire blood glucose profile when it is in fact primarily determined by how much fat you eat and secondarily by how much glucose you eat.

Why does your blood glucose remain flat on a keto diet? It’s simply because of a near absence of any carbohydrate rich foods and in this way eating a high fat diet is every good at flat-lining you blood glucose levels. As long as you avoid carb rich foods like fruits, potatoes, whole grains, legumes your blood glucose is likely to stay very stable but the minute you eat a delicious carbohydrate rich food like bananas or potatoes or quinoa or brown rice, your blood glucose is going to rise immediately due a fatty acid induced state of insulin resistance.

The Standard American and Indian diet is perfect example of a diet that is high in both carbohydrates AND fat which increases your risk of high blood glucose, insulin resistance and diabetes. In these diets, because both the nutrients are present in large quantities controlling your blood glucose becomes increasingly difficult over time. However, because a low-fat plant based whole food diet is low in dietary fat, your carbohydrate tolerance or your ability to eat carb rich food increases substantially resulting in maximum insulin sensitivity and provides the opportunity to completely reverse insulin resistance all together.

It is quite easy to maintain a flat-line blood glucose on a plant based whole food diet as long as total fat remains controlled below 30 grams per day and your carbohydrate intake comes from whole foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes and not from products containing refined sugar. In my own case, my post prandial insulin on a high fat diet, low carb was 144 and after I switched to a plant based, high carbohydrate diet my post prandial insulin is 19. It’s not just me, I’ve seen the same pattern consistently repeat with all our patients at Thrive.

Myth No. 3: Diabetes is carbohydrate toxicity and insulin resistance a state of carbohydrate intolerance.

Diabetes is often labelled as a problem of carbohydrate toxicity suggesting that dietary carbohydrates are the primary cause of disease. In addition keto dieters believe insulin resistance is caused by insulin itself, triggered by excess consumption of dietary carbohydrates. In order to find out if these statements are factually correct it is necessary to go back to basic biology principles that have shown that vast majority of people who develop insulin resistance develop it due to eating a high quantity of dietary fat. The research world has know this for 85 years. This was first established in 1930 by Dr. Hemsworth and by Dr. Walter Kemper in 1950 and by Dr. JW Anderson in 1970.  Despite this, the cause of insulin resistance remains the most debated subject in the world of diabetes even today. I’d like you to think of insulin resistance as a series of metabolic of dominoes and the dominoes are arranged this way:

  1. You eat a diet containing dietary fat greater than 15% of total calories,
  2. You eat a  banana, potato or rice and check your blood glucose after 2 hrs and you find your blood glucose reads 200 or higher. You then say bad banana, bad potato, bad rice, saying that these foods increased my blood glucose.
  3. Now, the reason that this happened is not because bananas and potatoes are bad foods, but because the insulin receptors in your muscles and in liver have become dysfunctional due to too much dietary fat. Under normal circumstances the glucose from these carbohydrate rich foods is accompanied by insulin into your cells. Insulin says knock knock, would you like to take this energy up and normally the receptor cells in your liver and muscle would say yeah sure, but when you go into insulin resistance the receptors say you got to be kidding me.. do you see how much energy I’ve already have inside? First I have to burn this only then I can allow glucose. Now, when glucose becomes trapped in your blood due to dysfunctional insulin receptors, you have two choices- either you avoid carbohydrates  like the plague and continue to remain in ketosis or drop your fat intake and gain the ability to eat carbohydrate rich food.

Diabetes is not a problem of carbohydrate toxicity but a problem of fat toxicity. Insulin resistance and the weight gain that accompanies it is a state of carbohydrate intolerance first created by excess dietary fat.

Myth No. 4: Carbohydrate is not an essential nutrient

Keto followers often say there are no essential carbohydrates while there are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Technically this sounds correct, however, let’s return to basic human physiology for a moment. Liver, muscles and other tissues are capable of oxidizing either glucose, amino acids and fatty acids for energy. Your beautiful brain however, can’t oxidize amino acids or fatty acids. Your brain can only run on glucose for energy plus the brain can’t store glucose. As a result, the brain must oxidize glucose on demand. Carbohydrate rich foods are your brain’s primary fuel source. When you consume a low carb diet you force your liver to make an emergency back up food called ketone bodies to prevent brain from starving. You go into ketosis and and ketones become the brain’s primary food.

Keto diets were invented for people with epilepsy and can reduce seizures but they come with a laundry list of unwanted side effects including diarrhea, nausea, constipation, vomiting, acid re-flux, stunted growth in children, hair-loss, kidney stones, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, hypoglycemia, impaired cognition, impaired concentration, mood swings, ,disordered mineral metabolism, increased risk of bone fractures, acute pancreatitis, high cholesterol, high cortisol, menstrual irregularities, amenorrhea and premature death. In short, people on low carbohydrate diets die sooner and suffer from more diseases. Therefore, labeling carbs as non essential is not just factually inaccurate, it results in a wide variety of chronic health conditions and can decrease quality of life.

Myth No. 5: Low fasting insulin means high insulin sensitivity.

People in the keto community often measure their fasting insulin levels as indicator of their insulin sensitivity and fasting tests measure the amount of insulin your pancreas have to secrete to control your blood glucose level. The lower the number the higher your insulin sensitivity. Low numbers are a good thing. Keto dieters report very low fasting insulin numbers and then draw the conclusion their insulin sensitivity has increased. This is untrue. The only way to actually measure your insulin sensitivity is to utilize a glucose challenge which is done either by drinking a glucose solution or by eating a food containing carbohydrate energy. You measure insulin sensitivity is with the oral tolerance test by drinking 75-100 gm glucose dissolved in water. You then measure your serum insulin and glucose levels at 60, 120 and 180 mins. The higher your glucose and insulin, the worse you perform on the test and conversely the lower the numbers, the better your insulin sensitivity. The reason why this test is so good is because it measures the ability of your liver and your muscles to uptake glucose from the blood when challenged by a food or drink containing glucose. Simply measuring fasting insulin or glucose independent of glucose challenge is insufficient information.

However many keto dieters fail to understand this concept entirely. If you never challenge your glucose metabolism with carbohydrate rich foods or glucose solution, it is impossible to measure insulin resistance. Despite this those in ketosis often claim their insulin sensitivity has increased even though they avoid eating carbs completely.

Myth No . 6- Low carbohydrate diets are not high protein diet

The question to ask here is what proportion of total calories constitutes a high protein diet according to this scientific evidence? According to the evidence.. diets containing more than 10-15 % calories from total protein increase risk for cardiovascular and diabetes mortality. Especially if majority of protein comes from animal foods. Many studies have shown that a diet that’s got protein calories more than 15-20% of total calories can lead to heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis. Any diet containing excess of 10-15% of total calories from protein is a high protein diet. It is practically impossible for a keto diet to be low in protein.

Why? Because cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, seeds, avocados, vegetables and coconut oil make up bulk of calories and with exception of vegetables and coconut oil every food listed here is high in fat and also higher in protein. So, low carb diets are in fact high protein diets too.

Myth No. 7- Evidence based research shows low carb diets are effective

Low carb dieters are great at documenting effectiveness of their diet using studies with small population sizes as is conducted over short time periods (often over weeks or months). While these studies are useful in documenting short term benefits of ketosis they fail to document long term effects of the same. A classic example is a paper that was published in 2017 documenting results of 10 weeks of ketogenic diet in 262 patients following a diet containing less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day and an average of 175 grams of protein per day.

Researchers document how 10 week of ketosis resulted in drop of average A1C by 1%, an average weight loss of 7.2% and how more than 56% of participants reduced their need for all medication. These are all great outcomes. The problem is the study was conducted in a small cohort of over a relatively short period of time.

In order to determine the true effectiveness of any diet you have to do two things. First, study your diet in large number of people which is atleast tens or hundreds thousand of people and study the outcome of following your diet over a long period of time which should be greater than approximately 5 years. Studies conducted in thousands of people over twenty years indicate that low carbohydrate diets promote the following disastrous outcomes

1. increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease

2. increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke

3. increased risk for hypertension

4. increased risk for atherosclerosis

5. increased risk for diabetes mortality

6. increased risk for obesity

7. increased risk for cancer

8. increased risk for all cause mortality (premature death from any cause)

Low carbohydrate diets trick patients and doctors into believing that ketosis is an excellent long term dietary strategy. In reality the long term consequences are worse than the initial disaster the diet was trying to avert.

If you are a keto dieter or are planning to go on one, ask yourself a simple question. Are the long term consequences worth the short term benefits? If your are answer is no, and you need to talk to someone regarding your health goals, book your free consultation with Thrive. We can help you uncover the root causes of your health problems and solve them permanently.