Wellness and Weight Loss
Our Shift 9 wellness principles and practices encompass a total mind-body approach to the prevention and and treatment of many of our modern health problems including obesity. We have found that the measures to prevent and treat the major Western debilitating illnesses of obesity, cardiovascular issues, cancer and diabetes are the same principles and procedures to prevent and treat many hundreds of other health problems.
First Things First: Get Your Energy UP
The first category of Shift 9 deals with ‘Shifting and Mastering Your Energy.’ This is a no brainer – you need to have high energy for your immune system to function optimally and to lose weight.
The first step is to assess your lifestyle. You can’t drink bottles of wine every week, eat junk food and sit around like a couch potato and feel great (some younger people do manage to function at a fairy high level under the age of 30, but after this – watch out! Many of these folks run on Red Bull and coffee mistaking ‘false’ energy for optimal natural metabolic functioning).
However, if you have increased your high water content foods (veggies, salads and fruits) and decreased pro-inflammatory foods (i.e. processed foods, red meat, coffee, alcohol), taken up exercise, reduced stress and you still feel whacked out every day, lab tests can help give you accurate feedback as to what is occurring in your body. Taking your temperature throughout the day as well as regular blood pressure checks and pulse readings can also reflect metabolic health, but I will cover this topic in other posts.
The Healer Within
Our premise is that there is a powerful intelligent healer within you, that when functioning at a high level, can heal you. In order to unleash the healer within, we need to look at various factors that may inhibit its optimal functioning. If you’re like many people, you tend to judge your health based on how you look and a little on how you feel. You’re not that out of shape or you are. You generally feel pretty good, although you’d like to feel a little better or you feel lousy. But you’re not really sure you’re healthy on the inside, you just hope so.
A variety of different markers of metabolism can help identify how healthy you really are such as:
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Free T4
- Free T3
- Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO)
- Salivary cortisol
- Fasting insulin
- Cholesterol, total
- HDL cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol
- VLDL cholesterol
- Cholesterol/HDL ratio
- LDL/HDL ratio
- Vitamin D 25 hydroxy
- Vitamin B12
- C-reactive protein
Over the next few weeks, we will delve into overall metabolic functioning for optimal long-term health and vitality. We will explore such topics such as thyroid function, adrenal stress response, glycemic regulation, lipids, sex hormone balance, inflammation and vitamin D status among others.
How You Feel First, Lab Tests Second
Of course lab tests are only a part of a good overall assessment of your health. How do you feel? How are your energy levels most of the time? These subjective assessments are as important as the objective data from labs.
Sometimes you may fall into the ‘normal’ range as given by the parameters of low and high lab values on your results pages, but you could still have a problem. For example, when I discuss thyroid test results and their interpretation from a holistic slant, conventional medicine may have somewhat of a different perspective. Many progressive doctors are also questioning some lab tests and their accepted norms such as the TSH test to ascertain thyroid health. Endocrinologists have changed their ‘normal’ range numbers for this test years ago to reflect experiential reality, but sometimes these necessary changes take years to trickle down to mainstream medicine.
In the next post I will discuss: glucose levels in your body, pre-diabetes and diabetes, candida and weight gain. If you are carbohydrate sensitive and can’t lose weight no matter what you try, you must read this next post!
Note too that pre-diabetes/diabetes has become a worldwide epidemic. There are 57 million people in the United States alone who have pre-diabetes and most don’t know it, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Unfortunately, many people who believe they’re ‘borderline diabetic’ or have ‘a touch of diabetes’ think that they’re safe. However, research has shown that some long-term damage is being done to the body, especially to the heart and circulatory system.