What is Lifestyle Medicine?
Lifestyle medicine, is a rapidly emerging field of medicine, growing from the failure of traditional medicine alone, to treat, optimize and even reverse many of our epidemic chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, chronic pain/neuropathy, autoimmune conditions, cancer and heart disease.
Lifestyle medicine is not alternative medicine, it is evidence-based from peer-reviewed scientific journal published, large scale studies, meta-analyses and systematic reviews.
Lifestyle medicine is not a replacement for traditional medicine, but an adjuvant therapy, that can optimize health and longevity, and may decrease need for medications, and in many cases, prevent and reverse chronic diseases, or at least improve them to some degree.
Lifestyle medicine should be used in conjunction with your doctor, as another tool to optimize health, combined with evidence-based medications and surgical procedures.
If you have any diagnosed disease, or take any medications, I recommend regular check-ins with your primary care physician whilst making lifestyle changes, as results can at times, be dramatic, and you may need rapid titration of medications during this time, specifically those for diabetes and/or high blood pressure.
So what does Lifestyle Medicine focus on?
For anyone wanting to optimize their health and longevity, I recommend, based on all the very best evidence, the following guidelines:
1. Follow a whole food, plant based diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds);
2. Get regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes, 5 days per week);
3. Manage stress with daily meditation, yoga, mindfullness, relaxation etc;
4. Get good quality and sufficient sleep every night, 7-8 hours for most;
5. Connect with others, have good friendships and loved ones;
6. Live with purpose, have a reason to wake up everyday;
7. Have a faith (whatever that means to you), self-love, and positive attitude towards life;
8. Avoid toxic substances as much as possible: smoking, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, processed foods, environmental chemicals, and animal products.