Living Proof: Lifestyle and Functional Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Sachin Patel   
Sunday, 06 January 2013 15:49

Living Proof: Lifestyle and Functional Medicine
As your resolutions rev up, our new "Living Proof" columnist offers five strategies for a smarter approach to your health with longer-lasting results.


As the new year begins, many of you are making resolutions to improve your personal health. My suggestion is to take a smarter approach that is sure to produce better results. As a Functional and Lifestyle Medicine Provider, my primary goal is to discover and eliminate the root cause of chronic health issues. Using this unique approach, I am able to produce remarkable results for my patients suffering from conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hormone imbalances, fatigue, depression, autoimmune diseases and countless others.



Functional Medicine is the most strategic and cost-effective method to achieve better long-term health. There are five key concepts to Functional Medicine that will produce dramatic results in a short period of time. After reading this article, you will realize that by channeling your energy and efforts in the right direction you will achieve extraordinary results as our patient do. Getting better at doing the wrong things just leads to further disappointment. This year work smarter, not harder.


1. You truly ARE NOT what you eat.
The food you eat today has been oversimplified and adulterated for the sake of making it cheaper and faster to produce. Food is much more than calories on a food label. What you eat has important implications with respect to your digestive, immune, circulatory, nervous and metabolic systems. Food and water provide all the building blocks for healthy cell function. The food that you eat relies on a healthy functioning digestive system, the right choices and proper waste elimination.


The reality is, you are what you eat, digest and absorb, therefore it is critical to eat the right foods. One of the most crucial changes I suggest to my patients is to eliminate gluten from the diet combined with eating real, whole foods. Ensure you are eating lots of leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and organic meats. For hundreds of healthy recipes go to


2. You were built to move.
The human body consists of hundreds of joints and muscles, all for the purpose of mobility. Movement not only burns calories, but it provides nourishment to the brain and promotes healthy waste elimination through the lymphatic system. Many of us are sitting for the majority of the day or, if we are lucky, squeezing in some exercise for 30-60 minutes. To work properly, these systems require the body to move and exercise frequently.


I suggest that you start with brisk walking and weight bearing exercises. A pedometer is a great motivational tool since it will give you an idea of how many steps you are taking per day. Your goal should be 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day spread throughout the day. Start with a reasonable goal and gradually work your way up. You will see results before you know it.



3. A Lipitor deficiency does not cause high cholesterol.
When you read this statement, it sounds a little silly. Unfortunately, many of us settle for quick fixes to whatever hurts, instead of tackling the real problem. I despise pain and suffering just as much as anyone else. I do, however, ask a different set of questions to myself and my patients. Instead of inquiring what drug or pill will mask this pain, I ask WHY the problem is occurring in the first place and how can I help the body instead of inhibit it. Many symptoms people experience such as headaches, stomach aches, mental fog, irritability and sleep issues are caused by deeper rooted conditions that require more attention, not just a bandage.


Advanced laboratory testing combined with a detailed medical history paint a much clearer picture of where the deeper issues lie. By examining test results and asking the right questions, we are able to uncover the root cause and apply an appropriate course of action to reverse the trends of chronic illness. A customized program of diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications can dramatically improve your health outcomes, compared to a medication that may be masking a bigger problem.


4. Toxic Turmoil
Unfortunately, we are exposed to toxins on a daily basis. From the water we drink, to the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the personal care products we use and the 85,000 chemicals we are exposed to on an annual basis. It can create a massive toxic stress on our body. Many of these chemicals have never existed in human history and can bog down our body’s natural ability to eliminate toxic threats. Toxins are not only chemical in nature, but can also result from harmful relationships, poor self-esteem or a highly stressful work environment.


By evaluating, exposing and eliminating the toxic burdens we face, the body can focus more on growth, giving ourselves a greater ability to heal. My suggestion is to begin with a personal purification program. Start using natural personal care products, change your air filters and use only natural makeup and cleaning products. Remember, your health is an expression of your environment, so keep it clean.


5. Stress is the salt of life
Much like the salt in your food, too much or too little stress is not a good thing. When I talk about stress at my seminars, I like my audience to understand that the body has a magnificent stress response. It works perfectly and predictably, every time. What people don’t understand is that this “alarm” system is designed to activate for only a few minutes per day, not 40 hours per week! Stress has been linked to virtually every chronic disease.


Stress comes in three forms; chemical, physical and emotional. Our goal is to help patients identify the types of stress they are experiencing and provide a support system and strategy for reducing it. These strategies may include learning to say no, meditation, time management techniques and nutritional support products based on needs.


Identifying the root cause of your health concerns and addressing these core issues with a customized program of diet modification, proper exercise and lifestyle changes will produce superior long-term results. Working harder is not the answer, it’s time to take a smarter approach to your health. Use these five strategies to start your new year off right. With the proper plan in place, your goals will become so much easier to accomplish.

Dr. Sachin Patel -

Dr. Patel is a Functional and Lifestyle Medicine practitioner. He takes a highly personalized approach to prevent the development of chronic disease and improve the health of his patients using customized laboratory testing combined with personalized lifestyle interventions. For more information: Call 513-785-0686, email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 12:03