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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

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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A Functional Approach to Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune disease is the most common medical condition managed in our healthcare system, ahead of heart disease and cancer. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from some form of autoimmune condition yet it hardly gets the recognition it deserves. There are over 100 known autoimmune conditions and a significant number of them have increased over the past ten years. For example, Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory condition of the bowel, has increased as much as 300%. An NIH study done in April of 2020 showed that an increasing number of people have a positive ANA, signaling autoimmunity. In the study, they took blood samples of 14,211 individuals who were 12 and older and found that in 1988-1991 the incidence of positive ANA was 11%. This number rose...

Functional Medicine is Designed for the 21st Century Patient

Functional Medicine is Designed for the 21st Century Patient If you are standing on a tack no amount of aspirin or pain medication will make the discomfort of the tack completely disappear. The medicine will only subdue the pain temporarily.  You must remove the tack to allow the discomfort to abate. If you are standing on two tacks removing only one is not enough to make you feel better. You must address both triggers to be completely free of the pain. Functional Medicine does this. Unfortunately, our current medical system addresses disease just this way. Instead of getting to the root cause of a problem, symptoms are simply treated with disregard for what is causing the problem in the first place. When a disease process has multiple symptoms...

What Questions To Ask Your Functional Medicine Provider?

Questions for Functional Medicine Practitioners Is getting to the root cause of your health issue a goal of yours? Our Functional Providers are all certified by the Institute of Functional Medicine and believe in delivering a whole-health approach towards healing. If you're interested in becoming a patient of Thrive's or consulting with a functional medicine provider here are some questions that you may consider asking a clinician who practices Functional Medicine: How would you describe your practice? Do you work with other clinicians – Nutrition Professionals, Health Coach, etc.? Do you have any information you could send me about your practice? Do you have experience treating my condition(s)? Please describe your Functional Medicine training. Do you take insurance? Or are you a cash practice? What are the main...

Food Diversity can Help Optimize Health

Nancy A. Palermo MD As we begin to learn more about the impact of our gut health, we realize we may only be as healthy as our gut. Our gut microbiome, the microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa living in our digestive tract, appears to play a significant role in our metabolism, immune and neuroendocrine responses. Roles of the microbiome include nutrient and mineral absorption, synthesis of important enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids, and production of 70% of our neurotransmitters, like serotonin and melatonin. Our gut bacteria are also responsible for producing compounds called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Science shows SCFAs are the drivers of gut health. They appear to improve the gut environment by helping commensal or good bacteria grow. SCFAs repair intestinal permeability, referred to as “leaky...