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How To Be A Centenarian

Here are the factors that are responsible for chronic inflammatory metabolic condition and accelerated ageing, which can all be addressed by Functional Medicine Integrated therapy protocols

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Functional Medicine is a legitimate approach to live a happy, healthy and long life. It encompasses a whole-body approach and it pays attention to addressing the root cause of all chronic lifestyle diseases. I had an opportunity to closely watch the lifestyle of some centenarians and it surprised me to notice the simplicity of lifestyle they follow, and that’s the reason for their happier healthier long life!

No fancy food, mostly eating unprocessed raw real food, no fancy cars, basic comfortable housing, community living, extending support to each other are the key areas to focus upon in life! Everything is need based and not based on insatiable wants!

Functional medicine is one such approach which works by connecting the dots and addressing the root cause of all chronic lifestyle “man-made” diseases.

Ageing is a result of some or all the following factors, which can be addressed with functional medicine approach:

Nutritional Deficiencies
In olden times food eaten was whole, nutritious, freshly cooked, unprocessed and not stored for long, however in current times food available is lacking in nutrients, as it is stored for a long period of time in cold storage before it reaches the end consumer. Soil is becoming deficient in nutrients and is loaded heavily with pesticides and toxins. Most of the crops are genetically modified to increase the yield. Therefore, the lack of basic micro-nutrients is becoming too common and this is leading to disrupted metabolic pathways. People in general are consuming more sugar and high glycemic index foods which lack in nutrients and rich in calories. Sugar is already established to be the addiction of the 21st century and it is highly inflammatory. Sugar is responsible for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases as well as various brain and skin related disorders, such as wrinkling and acne!

Functional medicine advises paleo, keto meal plans and we prescribe required nutritional supplements based on extensive blood work and other physical investigations.

Toxic overload
We are living in a world where there are toxins in the food, air and water! Our body has pathways to get these toxins out, however our organs such as liver, kidneys, lymphatic system give up due to excessive accumulation of toxins and poor lifestyle which does now allow these organs to function well, such as lack of sleep, no physical activity, excessive eating of wrong foods and so on... 

Functional medicine helps detox by opening of various clogged detoxification pathways with the help of Oral, Intravenous (Glutathione/ NAC) and Intra rectal supplements (Probiotic enemas, colon cleanses). This detox helps improve the cellular oxidation and better performance of cells and in turn reverses the signs of ageing.

Disrupted gut microbiome
Our Intestines have a healthy bacterial flora, which requires pre and probiotics to stay alive. These bacteria are responsible for keeping gut healthy as well as help absorb the required nutrients. Disrupted gut microbiome is a common problem in today’s time due to multiple factors such as frequent use of antibiotics, eating food which feeds pathologic bacteria and fungus.

Functional medicine helps improve gut microbiome in more than one way, by supplementing probiotics as well as recommending prebiotic rich foods such as garlic, onions, asparagus, saurkraut etc. Functional medicine advises a meal plan which is nutritious and free from direct sugars and provides therapies for  improvement in gut microbiome, and supplementation with healthy bacterial flora (probiotics and prebiotics) support this further.

Chronic infections such as Candida, Lyme, EBV, Herpes etc…
Chronic undiagnosed infections are far too common as our conventional medical system mostly ignores these for the reason, they do not cause acute symptoms and person looks otherwise physically healthy, however feeling of anxiety, depression, fatigue lethargy, various neuronal disorders may be associated with such chronic underlying infections.

Functional medicine identifies these infections by running extensive tests from international laboratories and advise the protocol to clear this infection.

Heavy metal accumulation
Lead mercury, cadmium, Aluminum, Arsenic etc are not required by our body. These heavy metals are responsible for many neurological as well as metabolic disorders such as cancer, autoimmunity etc…

Functional medicine protocols after identifying heavy metal load in the body with the help of Oligoscan, Hair Urine test, firms up a protocol to chelate these heavy metals with the help of oral or IV chelation.

Chronic stress
A little stress is good for us, as it keeps our cortisol levels healthy. However, pathologic stress which lasts for long periods can cause adrenal fatigue and in turn serious hormone imbalances. These days, people live at a frantic pace and in a nearly constant state of competition. Stress has huge impact on the body functioning and excessive stress, which is faced by all of us in today's lifestyle is responsible for developing chronic inflammatory condition and can lead to adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, mental health disorders etc. Balancing hormones with the help of natural bioidentical hormone therapy helps keep moods better and improve stress taking capacity. 

Functional medicine protocols involve hormone balancing with natural transdermal hormones which do not pose risk as these are extracts of yama and soya beans, and they bypass the intestinal tract completely. 

Sleep deprivation
Insomnia, again related to multiple factors such as stress, poor gut health, neurotransmitter imbalance, hormone imbalance etc.. only adds fuel to the fire and worsens the chronic inflammatory condition.

Functional medicine advises natural calming herbal supplements to keep calm and have good sleep.

Lack of physical activity
Due to extremely busy schedules and stressful work conditions physical activity and recreation has taken back seat. Most of the people are prioritizing high stress work over relaxing activities and this is taking its own toll.

Food Intolerances
Unhealthy gut endothelial lining, which is the result of many of the above-mentioned factors, cause multiple food intolerances, due to repetitive exposure to intolerant food products such as gluten, lactose, and many other foods endothelial damage occurs, and it causes gaps to develop in the endothelial lining. This leads to a condition called leaky gut, which means food particles, bacteria viruses can leak out and incite an immune reaction. These immune cells mis identify body’s own organs as foreign and leads to various autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s. Lupus, MS, Fibromyalgia, colitis etc…

Functional medicine approach involves extensive testing of these food intolerances and sensitivities and in turn remove these from diet to ensure healing the gut.

Pollution
Air pollution is causing severe damage to lungs and other body organs. Our environment is damaged due to excessive smoke, and suspended air particles which are regularly inhaled by us and leads to inflammatory reactions.

All the above factors are responsible for chronic inflammatory metabolic condition and accelerated ageing, which can all be addressed by Functional Medicine Integrated therapy protocols. It is strongly recommended to go back to basics and look at a simplified clean lifestyle to arrest accelerated ageing and prevent the epidemic of chronic lifestyle diseases.

CAVE DWELLERS

MODERN HUMANS

Relaxed most of the time

Stressed   most of the time and are alert to any and all threats

Stress only in very specific situations

Online or waiting for notifications from their cell phones twenty-four hours a day

Threats were real: A   predator could end their lives at any moment

Associates the ping of a cell phone or an e-mail notification with the threat of a predator

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Dr. Kalpana Shekhawat M.D.

The author is a medical professional in functional & metabolic medicine in India

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