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THRIVE is a collaborative platform of conventional, integrative, & functional medicine practitioners coming together in one setting to provide personalized healthcare to clients.
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Functional and Integrative Medicine

Thrive Carolinas / Functional and Integrative Medicine

It is Not All in Your Head: A Discussion of the Role Lifestyle and Diet Play in Mental Disease

Nancy A. Palermo MD We have always suspected that ultra-processed diets were linked to chronic diseases, including psychiatric diseases like depression and anxiety, but a recently published in JAMA (September 2023) showed that women who consumed the most ultra-processed foods (foods high in salt, sugar, refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, and artificial additives) were 50% more likely to suffer from depression than those women who avoided these foods. This is yet another study to support the fact that mental disorders are not distinct entities and have a tremendous overlap with other physical disorders. A poor diet can largely influence both mental disorders and physical disorders. Some researchers, like Dr. Christopher Palmer, a Harvard Psychiatrist and researcher and author of Brain Energy, have even suggested that many mental disorders can...

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Autumn & Acupuncture

In traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we look at seasons and consider them as elements. With each season, there are elements and meridians (channels) that correspond. During each season, we look at the meridians and elements and how they affect or correlate to both the physical and emotional aspects of our lives. One of the basic theories of Eastern Medicine is to look for a balance of the meridians and a balance between Yin and Yang. This is very similar to Western Medicine, where we look for homeostasis in the physiology of the body, like blood pressure and the PH in the blood. We are now going from the high energy and carefree attitudes of summer (Yang in nature) to the more serious and introspective energies (Yin) that are...

What is the InBody 570?

Go beyond the scale with the InBody Test, a non-invasive, quick, and accurate body composition analysis that provides a detailed breakdown of your weight in terms of Skeletal Muscle Mass, Percent Body Fat, BMR, Total Body Water, Visceral Fat assessment, and other vital measurements. Stand on the device and hold the hand electrodes. 45 Second Test Quickly measure fat mass, muscle mass, and body water. Auto-calibrated, user-friendly, and non-invasive, testing is fast and easy—stand on the device and hold the hand electrodes. No Empirical Estimations No empirical estimations are based on age, sex, ethnicity, or body type. Instead, Direct Segmental Multi-Frequency BIA technology measures body segments separately for an accurate analysis based on your unique body. Advanced Outputs Get essential outputs for evaluating overall health and wellness. Draw more insights from...

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Epigenetics: Were You Born This Way?

Epigenetics: Were You Born This Way? Your Genes Make You You Genes found within your DNA create the building blocks of each person. They determine hair color, eye color, affect height, and control any number of things about you. In essence, every aspect of yourself, from physical characteristics to personality, can be partially attributed to your genetic makeup. This is the basic premise of the "nature vs. nurture" discussion. But what if "nature," your genes, were themselves affected by your environment? This is where epigenetics comes into play. At its heart, epigenetics is how and why specific genes are expressed and why others are dormant. For example, the COL1A1 gene is present in all cells, but it is only utilized (or expressed) in skin cells that need to...

A Recap from the 2023 Annual Institute of Functional Medicine’s International Conference

[caption id="attachment_8097" align="alignleft" width="171"] Dr. Nancy Palermo[/caption] Harlee and I were thrilled to be a part of the annual IFM International conference held in Orlando Fl in June. After three years of meeting virtually with IFM, this was the first in-person conference. There were over 1000 attendees from all over the world were present, and it was exciting to be with our tribe-individuals who want to change the practice of Medicine by optimizing health with Functional Medicine.   Topics covered included Functional Medicine approaches to Oncology Care, Integrative Rheumatology, Deprescribing and helping patients safely get off medications, Oral Microbiome and Dental Health and its relationship with Systemic Disease, Using Wearables to help patients Optimize Health, Managing Long COVID patients, the Science of Longevity, and so much more. We...

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What is a Health Coach, and Would I Benefit from Working with One?

Health coaches can support patients in creating specific action steps in foundational domains, including nutrition, stress management, sleep optimization, and the creation of optimal physical activity programs. Coaches can be essential members of your medical team, especially when they work closely with your doctor. At Thrive, our health coaches work with the doctors to help create positive change. They do this by working with the doctors in implementing and supporting the recommendations. You can think of health coaching as sitting at the intersection of health information, recommendations, and successful behavior change. They can also understand the personal contributors to a patient’s health and how they might affect the body. They can understand and empathize with each patient’s health challenges by providing one-on-one personalized care. Although there have only been a...

Cruciferous Vegetables

One of the best things you can do to improve your overall health is to start making small changes in your diet. This season brings a new year and an increased motivation to participate in cleaner eating, detox programs, and new exercise plans. We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is a foundation aspect of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Unfortunately, only about 1 in 10 Americans consume the recommended 5-9 servings of these foods a day. Despite the mounting evidence of the health benefits of including these in your diet, most of us are falling short. Making a small change in just this area of your health can have big results! One easy place to start is to expand the variety of vegetables in your diet. As...

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Why Strength Work Needs to Be a Priority at Every Age

By: Nancy Palermo “Every day is another chance to get stronger, to eat better, to live healthier, and to be the best version of you.” In 2020 the Baltimore Sun did an article on an 84-year-old grandmother, mother, and retired secretary, Ernestine Shepherd, who won the Guinness World record for the oldest female competitive bodybuilder in the world. This record won her the title of “6-pack Granny” What makes Ernestine’s story so amazing is she did not start working toward this goal until her mid-50s after the death of her sister. Prior to that she rarely visited a gym. Ernestine’s story is a great reminder that it is never too late to get in shape, and you are never too old to build muscle. There are many reasons we want...

Suggestions for Better Sleep

Suggestions for Better Sleep Courtesy of the Institute of Functional Medicine  MINIMIZE OR AVOID STIMULANTS Avoid alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages or foods after 2 pm; if sensitive to caffeine, avoid it after 12 noon. Avoid Sudafed or other decongestant cold medicines at night. Some medications may have stimulating effects. Complete any aerobic exercise before 6 pm.   NIGHTTIME TENSION AND ANXIETY Avoid anxiety-provoking activities close to bedtime. Avoid watching the news before going to bed. Avoid reading stimulating, exciting materials in bed. Avoid paying bills before bed. Avoid checking your financial reports or the stock market before bedtime. Avoid arguments before bedtime. Try to achieve some action plan or resolution of a discussion or argument before trying to go to sleep. Avoid repeated negative...

Lifestyle Measures to Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Whether you suffer from type 2 diabetes or are afraid your body is becoming insulin resistant, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to address your insulin levels. Exercise, dietary changes, and reducing stress can improve your insulin sensitivity.   Workouts and Insulin Levels   Regular exercise is perhaps the best way to regulate insulin levels. When you exercise, your body moves sugar into muscles for storage, leading to less insulin resistance. Depending on the type of exercise, workouts can improve insulin levels for 24-48 hours after you finish your workout. Cardiovascular exercise has been found to moderate insulin levels. A 2008 study found 60 minutes of cycling increases whole-body insulin sensitivity for 12-24 hours after the workout ends.   While any exercise is helpful in addressing insulin, a 2019...

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