CELL HEALTH OVERVIEW: INNOVATION-INTEGRATION-OPTIMIZATION
As a whole, we are not heading in the right direction from a health perspective. We are growing more obese as a population, with obesity rates soaring and soon to be close to 40 percent of our population. Chronic lifestyle-driven diseases, like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, back pain and inflammatory disorders, are plaguing our population.
Patients come in to see me every day with pain, arthritis and body breakdown from the aging process or injury. Many of them have the layer of fatigue and lack of vitality on top of their pain and disability from lifestyle diseases. The disease processes are treated with multiple medications that address the symptoms, but not the root cause of their problem. These medications have their own set of side effects that compound the patient’s situation. It is a never-ending cycle of disease, dysfunction, medication and more dysfunction.
If we do not address the root causes of the initial disease process, then we will never create a healthy thriving population. We will age with the pain and disability of chronic diseases. Our bodies will NOT have the ability to repair and REGENERATE even with the advancements in medicine like PRP and Stem Cell procedures. To REGENERATE, we first must get the cell health of our bodies tuned up to perform and tap into the body’s innate ability to repair itself.
One problem that is not allowing a global health movement is the outdated recommendations and advice from the government and many medical leadership organizations around nutrition.
Current dietary standards are not based on up-to-date science and research. They still follow recommendations promoting 60% percent of our dietary intake be from carbohydrates, like fruits and vegetables and “healthy” whole grain foods. The current recommendation of around 200-300 grams of carbohydrates a day presents a society that will continue to gain about 1.5 pounds of fat a year.
The current system is flawed, broken and not based on research or the physiology, biochemistry and endocrinology of the body. The current recommendations have bias towards the grain, corn and food industries. We need to care less about the food markets profits and more about our own, our families and our community’s health.
Current Food Pyramid Recommendations As you can see with the base of the food pyramid, the majority of food intake recommended is in the form of processed grain-based foods (6-11 servings) – 60% of our dietary calories! These are nutrient-poor foods, highly processed and refined and quickly breakdown in the body to surge the sugar and insulin. Most also contain gluten and other antinutrients that can cause inflammation and disease.
What is a bit disturbing is that this is the “healthy” recommendation. In reality, most people consume much more.
We see that with the standard American diet, where there is a much higher intake of pure sugar foods, snacks, drinks and sodas, sweets and candy “treats” that push average American intake around 300 grams a day. Remember that a hot Starbucks Mocha 20-ouncer has a “delicious” 450 calories and 55 carbohydrates. Use that drink to wash down the medium blueberry muffin with another 61 carbs and 345 calories, and you have a total of 785 calories and 116 carbs. Then, two hours later after the commute to work, you are crashing and craving a treat from the office brownie tray. We need to take control of our health and follow what science, research and that voice deep down inside has always known.
Those large doses of carbohydrates, regardless of the form they come in (sugars, whole wheat grains, fruits or vegetables), will ALL be broken down into simple sugars in the body. The problem is not the fruits and vegetables; it is in the promotion and allowance of such high amounts of grains (cereals, pastas, breads and crackers) with the current food pyramid allowance. They will all spike the insulin and, as we will soon see, an increase weight gain and disease risk. Unless you are an elite athlete, most of us do not need those high-energy carbohydrates daily.
There is a new paradigm and it is starting to gain momentum in many heathy societies focusing on lifestyles to decrease our risk of disease and which can cure many of our epidemic lifestyle-related diseases. As Hypocrites so wisely said, “Let food be your medicine.”
Now this is the exciting part. Cell health is what underlines all our body’s ability to repair and regenerate, and it has a big impact on chronic disease prevention and treatment. It is critical that we understand the different influences that can affect the body in both positive and negative ways. Once you understand cell health and your ability to influence it, you will be empowered to make a positive change in your life!
Over the next few chapters, we will analyze nutrition, exercise, hormones, inflammation, hydration, stress and sleep, and how all these can influence your body in positive and negative ways. We will give you INNOVATIVE strategies to INTEGRATE them into your life as well as how to make new healthy lifestyle habits. We will discuss how our health as a whole has gotten our society to where it is and some of the strategies that are available to us to make positive change. It is time to focus on the future and what we can do to make positive changes in our lives that, in the end, will help the body to heal and, ultimately, REGENERATE. Using the INNOVATION of the C.F.A.N. model, we can INTEGRATE a strategy to OPTIMIZE our body’s functions and help turn back the clock, restoring vitality, energy and passion. The first, and possibly the most important, aspect of the C.F.A.N. model is cell health.
I have been practicing regenerative orthopedics for over 12 years. At first, our outcomes were good, but I soon knew we could improve them by increasing the baseline health of our patients prior to their procedures. That’s when I made the decision to start improving my patient’s health as I approached their pain and degeneration.
Prior to performing a procedure, we started to focus on healthy nutrition, micronutrient supplementation and fitness. What we began to notice is that our patients who made healthy lifestyle changes were responding much more quickly to our procedures and had better outcomes during their follow-ups. I had patients who were coming in for a stem cell regenerative procedure two month after their initial consultation and had lost 30 or more pounds at the day of their procedures. Their pain levels had improved, and they had a profound increase in energy and quality of life without any procedures. I then knew that CELL HEALTH is the foundation for healing and that all the different issues that contribute to cell health will be important to optimize the patient’s internal environment for healing.
General questions to screen for issues in CELL HEALTH:
- Are you overweight?
- Do you have trouble losing weight?
- Do you feel fatigued?
- Do you sleep less than 8 hrs. / night?
- Do you wake up refreshed?
- Do you eat healthy?
- Do you lack exercise?
- Do you feel stressed?
- Do you have any gut issues?
- Do you take time to relax and recover?
- Do you take more medications then you would like?
- Do you get less than 4 servings of vegetables a day?
- Do you drink half your body weight in water ounces a day?
If you have four or more yes answers, you may have an issue with CELL HEALTH.
When we talk about cell health, we’re referring to the inner health of the individual on a cellular level. How healthy they are on the inside sets the stage for healing and repair to take place once stimulated by regenerative procedures, an injury, or simply as a result of the aging process. This is important to consider when trying to optimize the healing environment prior to regenerative procedures. It is also critical to the outcome after the procedure, because individuals who start out at a healthier level have a much more robust and thorough healing process after the initiation of healing takes place with Prolotherapy, PRP or Stem Cell procedures.
For example, let’s compare two individuals. The first individual wakes up in the morning after a restorative 8 ½ hours of sleep, has a healthy breakfast composed of fruits, vegetables and healthy lean protein sources. They then go for a relaxing walk prior to going to work. At noon, they take advantage of the down time and go for a workout followed by a heathy lunch. After a productive and successful workday, they go home to a supportive family, have a healthy dinner, relax a bit playing with the kids and get to bed early so their body has a chance to heal and recharge before the next day.
On the contrary is the overweight man who wakes up after a non-restorative sleep due to his sleep apnea. He rushes downstairs, grabs some coffee and rushes to work. His workday is extremely stressful, and he skips lunch only to work on a presentation while eating a “healthy” granola bar and slurping down more coffee to stay alert. After work, he is starving and heads to a drive-through and pounds his whopper during his long commute home. Once home, he argues with his wife about the dripping sink faucet, goes out back for a smoke, watches TV till midnight and finally falls asleep on the couch.
Even though these examples are on the extreme on both sides, they do show that people can make lifestyle decisions that will affect their health. The first example, when coming in for a consultation, will have a much better outcome with any medical procedure due to their healthy cell health and optimal potential to heal and repair their body.
Fitness and exercise have a great impact on our cell health and the body’s ability to heal as well as prevent and treat chronic disease. The lack of exercise and poor nutrition habits is a risk factor for developing chronic diseases including hypertension, heart disease, strokes and many cancers. I like to call this ‘medical fitness’ because becoming healthy has an enormous impact on long-term disease treatment and prevention. As Hippocrates also said, “Fitness and exercise truly are the best medicine.” The best way to change healthcare is to inspire our population to make healthy changes in their daily habits focusing first on nutrition and exercise. Nutrition is the cornerstone and is of critical importance so if this is resonating with you, start with your nutrition.