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Lifestyle Medicine

Thrive Carolinas / Lifestyle Medicine

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...

3 Benefits of Strength Training for Women Over 50

You probably know some of the benefits of strength training, such as how it increases your physical strength and helps you lose weight faster. What you might not know is that those benefits increase as you age. In fact, strength training can help women over 50 improve their metabolism, fight muscle deterioration, and maintain good bone health. Let’s discuss the health benefits as well as how to get started with a strength training routine.   Improve Your Metabolism   The higher your muscle mass, the faster your metabolism will be. One of the best ways to increase your muscle mass, and thus speed up your metabolism, is strength training. Good metabolic health is crucial to a number of health functions, most famously maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight....

The Gut Brain Connection: Your Gut and Brain are More Connected than You Think

Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach or hangry when you went too long without eating? We often feel emotions in our gut while poor gut health and chronic intestinal problems influence our mood and cognitive functioning. This is because of the gut-brain connection, one of the primary indicators of overall health. Today, we wanted to cover why this connection exists and the easy steps you can take to improve both your brain and gut health.   What is gut-brain health?   First off, what exactly is gut-brain health? It’s the idea that your gut health directly impacts your brain health and vice versa. The biochemistry between the brain and the guts means they often communicate with each other, including sending messages back and forth about your mood,...

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

[caption id="attachment_4834" align="alignleft" width="300"] Dr. Scott Greenapple[/caption]  May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and April is Stress Awareness Month.  So, we will combine a few theories, thoughts, and “tools” with helping people become aware and educated and offer some guidance for you or any you may know who suffers from these diseases.   Globally, mental health issues are on the rise. From COVID, political unrest, the war in Ukraine, climate change, inflation, and government involvement in woman’s rights, there is a sense of angst with so much uncertainty and division among us.  With that being said, I am not sure if I have ever witnessed in my lifetime more depression, anxiety, and general anxiety disorder (GAD) being reported in the media or seen in health care professional practices.  Some...

Could An Elimination Diet Cure All Your Woes?

Fifty percent of Americans believe they have some form of food sensitivity yet until recently medical specialists did not give this any consideration. Gluten sensitivity has recently received the most attention with gluten-free foods lining aisles in the grocery and gluten-free options finding their way onto restaurant menus. Many people just decide they have intolerance and remove the food from their diet.   Medical science is now recognizing that food sensitivities may be causing more than stomach aches, gas, and bloating. Some chronic conditions are now being blamed on the body’s reaction to certain “trigger” foods. Eliminating these “triggers” may help those suffering from chronic ailments including digestive problems and IBS, headaches, chronic sinus pressure and drainage, low energy, skin irritations, joint pain, and weight fluctuations...

Akkermansia Mucinophila: Your New Best Gut Friend

[caption id="attachment_4067" align="alignleft" width="251"] Dr. Nancy Palermo[/caption] In the past 15 years, there has been a great deal of attention on the gut microbiome. In fact, since 2013 there have been over 19,000 published papers on this topic. If you search PubMed you can see that numerous studies have shown associations of the microbiome with disorders like obesity, diabetes mellitus, autoimmune disorders, cancers, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and even neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Recent genetic tools like DNA sequencing have helped researchers further characterize the composition of microbes in the gut and successfully delineated their specific roles. In 2004 researchers first isolated a gram-negative anaerobe called Akkermansia mucinophila in the Netherlands. They now know a great deal more about this gut bacteria and what they have learned...

How Does Alcohol Affect Gut Health?

Overindulging in alcohol damages a variety of bodily functions from your liver to your mental health. An often overlooked area affected by alcohol is your gut. But how exactly does alcohol affect your gut and what are the signs your gut isn’t happy with how much you’re drinking?   Alcohol and the Gut   Gut health is about more than your stomach–it can impact your mind, immune system, the risk level for certain types of cancer, and more. Basically, it’s one of the major determinants of health in your body.   When you drink alcohol, it can affect your gut health in two primary ways. First, once it's metabolized, it will enter the small intestine and decrease intestinal permeability. This can lead to a leaky gut syndrome, a condition that can...

Getting to Know the ”P Vitamins”- Phytonutrients

Most of us are familiar with macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and many are aware of micronutrients and vitamins. These are all listed on food labels and are components of a healthy diet. Few, however, are familiar with the phytonutrients and phytochemicals. Phytonutrients are plant-based compounds once referred to as Vitamin “P” Turns out these compounds have not been considered a vitamin and do not even have a daily recommended dose. Yet, phytonutrients have been at the forefront of nutritional research and the findings have many quite excited, but you will not find them listed anywhere on nutrition or food labels. We have been told to eat our fruits and vegetables because they are good for us, but researchers are learning the distinct properties of the phytonutrients...

What is a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?

The whole food plant-based diet is recognized as one of the healthiest in the world. It decreases your chances of certain chronic conditions, facilitates weight loss, and improves your health overall. What exactly is the whole food plant-based diet? How does it impact your health beyond weight loss, and how can you incorporate it into your lifestyle?   What is a whole food plant-based diet?    The word diet might be deceiving because it’s not a diet at all; the whole food plant-based diet is a loose set of guidelines that act as a lifestyle. This diet can vary greatly and can work for vegetarians, vegans, and those who want to keep some meat in their diet.   No matter how you choose to customize it, the whole food plant-based diet has some...

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Are You Metabolically Healthy?

When Americans are asked if they are metabolically healthy 75% of them will answer yes.   However, a recent study done at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health showed that the metabolic health of Americans is “alarmingly low”. In fact, in the study of over 8700 individuals, the researchers found that only 12% of Americans were metabolically healthy. That means over 1 in 8 or 88% have some degree of cardiometabolic dysfunction. Cardiometabolic dysfunction is based on elevations of blood sugar and insulin, triglycerides, lipids, or blood pressure. The study researchers claimed several reasons for the findings but one of the most remarkable was that less than 37% were aware of their personal findings despite having regular care. Many patients feel...