How To Make Health Decisions While Sifting Through Conflicting Internet Information

In today’s fast-paced world, taking charge of your health has never been more crucial. The age-old adage, “putting yourself first is not selfish, it’s charitable,” holds truer than ever. Prioritizing self-care isn’t about neglecting others, but about ensuring you’re the best version of yourself when you show up to help others. This sentiment is echoed by Paul Burgess on the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #92.

Paul Burgess, the founder of Global Telehealth practice, Paul Burgess Functional Medicine Ltd. and the owner of Paul Burgess Wellness, has over two decades of experience in treating patients by guiding them on how to live a happy and fulfilling life. Paul advocates Self-Care practices, such as regular exercise, meditation, stress management, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet for ultimate healing.

The following information are just a few of the golden nuggets from my insightful conversation. Listen to the entire episode here.

The Pitfalls of Dr. Google

In an era dominated by technology, it’s natural to turn to the internet for answers, especially when it comes to health. However, this “Dr. Google” can be a double-edged sword. While it’s excellent for fixing a washing machine, applying a one-size-fits-all solution to health issues can lead to missteps. Generic information online often overlooks the individuality of each person’s health, including genetics, history, and unique bodily responses according to factors such as age, height, weight, blood pressure, liver function, cholesterol levels, glucose management, pathogen loads, toxin exposure, health history, vaccinations, medical interventions, and gastrointestinal functionality. The challenge lies in the impracticality of applying generic health advice to unique individuals. Individuals often seek solutions to symptoms without delving into the underlying causes.

This superficial approach parallels taking a sleeping pill for insomnia without addressing the root cause of the sleep disturbance. Rather than succumbing to the allure of easily accessible solutions online, a more nuanced and personalized approach to health management is essential, emphasizing a comprehensive understanding of underlying issues rather than symptom-focused remedies.

I invite you to listen to my amazing podcast with Kashif Khan “Decipher YOUR Genetic Code For Optimal Wellbeing”, episode #36, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.

Navigating the Cost of Personalized Health

Online search does have its merits, albeit lacking the personalization required to unveil the complete picture and address root causes. It provides individuals with a starting point, furnishing them with information that can be presented to their healthcare providers. In the US, the landscape of integrative care is marked by exorbitant costs. Each visit entails a substantial financial commitment, with individuals often parting with $1,000 or more. While I advocate for the notion that investing in integrative approaches is a wise decision, the reality is that not everyone can bear the financial burden associated with naturopathic, holistic nutrition, and homeopathic healthcare.

I agree with Paul’s aspiration which is for a convergence of both systems, reminiscent of an era predating the 1920s when a harmonious integration existed. The financial implications of integrative care are justified by its comprehensive nature. While it may appear costly, it pales in comparison to the economic and emotional tolls experienced by conditions like cancer. The significance lies not in the immediate monetary expense but in the long-term quality of life. Consider the alternative: a $35,000 investment for a year’s worth of personalized care that extends your healthy, vibrant years. This investment yields not only increased longevity but also a profound understanding of one’s unique health needs. The knowledge gained empowers individuals to navigate their dietary preferences, toxin avoidance, and other lifestyle choices tailored specifically to their well-being. The monetary commitment becomes inconsequential when weighed against the prospect of a vibrant and thriving life marked by vitality rather than succumbing to the rising tide of chronic diseases. In the face of escalating rates of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular diseases, it becomes evident that the frugal approach to health is no longer tenable.

I always tell my clients “It is better to pay now than later”. There are cost-effective measures that people can adopt, such as going for walks, connecting with nature, and socializing. It’s essential to communicate that positive health changes don’t always require a hefty financial investment.

Listen to this motivational podcast with Dr. Gina Di Giulio, “The connection Between Self-Care & Mental Health and 9 Simple Ways To Boost It.”

Beyond Symptom Management

The prevailing medical paradigm, centred around symptom management through prescription medication, has persisted for years. However, the distinction between symptom and root cause is imperative for a comprehensive approach to health. For example, Statins, a widely prescribed medication for cholesterol management, and has become a controversial topic in the health world. Despite millions of prescriptions being issued annually, the effectiveness of statins in preventing heart disease remains debatable. Statins merely modifies biochemistry, rather than cure underlying issues. As long as you continue their usage, your biochemistry remains altered; however, if you discontinue them, your physiological state reverts to its pre-intervention condition. This implies a perpetual dependency, necessitating ongoing consumption. From a business perspective, the allure of having individuals commit to a lifelong regimen translates into substantial recurring revenue. The potential of convincing a vast consumer base, (40 million people) to consistently purchase a product each month could result in a lucrative $3 billion industry. Paul says that “those prescribed the standard dose of statins exhibit a higher overall mortality rate compared to those abstaining from statin use”. In simpler terms, individuals taking statins are more likely to succumb to mortality than those who opt not to take them.

While statins may lower cholesterol levels, cholesterol serves as a physiological thermostat, indicating underlying issues when elevated. As a protective response, the body increases LDL production. By artificially diminishing the production of LDL through enzymatic interference, statins merely address the symptom—lowered LDL levels—without tackling the root cause of the initial cholesterol elevation. The danger lies in perceiving improved cholesterol metrics as a resolution to health concerns, while the underlying inflammatory response or pathogenic presence responsible for the initial cholesterol increase remains unaddressed. This parallels the approach taken with blood pressure medications, where elevated blood pressure is treated as a symptom rather than delving into the underlying cause. Blood pressure concerns are more than numeric values; they represent a deeper issue that often intertwines with the individual’s nervous system state. The majority of individuals on blood pressure medications often overlook the importance of transitioning into the parasympathetic nervous system, crucial for relaxation and recovery. Chronic stressors, such as new life circumstances or job changes, can push individuals further into the sympathetic nervous system, perpetuating a fight-or-flight response that hinders the ability to attain a calm and relaxed state, essential for overall well-being.

I invite you to try out my new “HASH ‘n’ HERBS recipe here.

Mindset Mastery

A key aspect while making health decisions is altering people’s perspectives. Initiatives like the Self-Care Goddess Podcast actively raises awareness, in this regard. More platforms that foster awareness and less of those promising a miraculous, one-size-fits-all solution are essential. It’s crucial to dispel the notion that health improvements can be instantaneous or achieved through a shortcut. The human body operates on ancient software, and true health transformations require patience and dedication. The influence of social media further complicates matters, with promises of easy fixes and affordable subscriptions for instant wellness. The focus should shift from the immediate and convenient to the sustained and meaningful. The human body doesn’t operate on the same timeline as our devices. It takes months, sometimes even years, to recalibrate the body, repair the gut lining, and fortify the immune system. Unlike an instantaneous state change induced by drugs, achieving lasting health improvements demands patience and consistent effort.

On a different note, Paul talks about ways to stimulate Neuroplasticity, he loves engaging in card tricks for brain stimulation and fostering neuroplasticity. The idea of keeping the mind active with such activities is intriguing. Also, try exploring dancing as a new and different avenue for mental and physical engagement. Continually learning and engaging in something novel is what Paul and I encourage to keep those brain cells healthy.

I invite you to listen to the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #75, “Living with Herpes: A Woman’s Story”.

5 Pillars of Health

Paul shares with us his 5 pillars of health to help you on your wellness journey.

  1. Comprehensive Testing

When it comes to health, comprehensive testing can be a game-changer. Traditional tests offered by general practitioners often provide limited information, overlooking critical markers for overall well-being. In contrast, in-depth testing that considers a wide range of parameters offers a more accurate picture of an individual’s health status. This detailed understanding allows for more precise and effective interventions.

  • Navigating Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting, while beneficial for many, is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Tailoring fasting practices to individual lifestyles and stress levels is essential. For some, intermittent fasting may enhance health and longevity, but for others, especially those under high stress, it may be advisable to focus on regular, balanced meals throughout the day.

  • Three by Five Rule for Sustainable Nutrition

A simple yet effective approach to nutrition involves following the three by five rule: three meals, five hours apart. By incorporating protein, good fats, and vegetables into the first two meals, individuals can stabilize blood glucose levels, increase energy, and reduce hunger. The evening meal, comprising protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables, replenishes glucose stores and aids in achieving restful sleep.

  • Retraining Your Body to Burn Fat Efficiently

The body possesses the option to utilize either fat or carbohydrates (specifically glucose) as its primary fuel source. Frequently, it tends to lean towards relying on carbohydrates, forgetting the efficient process of burning fat for fuel. Stimulating the reactivation of this cellular mechanism, fostering the ability to burn fat once again aids in reducing body fat percentage, particularly around vital organs, but also ensures a consistent and stable energy supply. The aim is to prevent drastic energy slumps, common in the afternoon when the effects of a lunchtime sandwich wear off, leading individuals to resort to quick fixes like candy bars or excessive coffee consumption.

  • Prioritizing Sleep

Inadequate sleep profoundly affects functionality. Older individuals need the same amount of sleep as their younger counterparts but may struggle to manage it due to disruptions like frequent bathroom visits. Determining the optimal duration of nightly sleep is crucial. It’s strongly recommended to aim for eight hours of sleep each night. This implies being in bed for at least eight hours, considering that the actual sleep duration may be around seven hours. Ideally, if one can allocate nine hours in bed, it increases the likelihood of obtaining a solid eight hours of sleep.

I invite you to read this blog post for a deeper dive into the 6 Pillars of Self-Care.

Take Home Message

In the pursuit of health, taking shortcuts rarely leads to long-lasting results. Instead, it’s crucial to invest the time and effort required for sustainable well-being. Whether it’s in relationships, work, or health, doing the necessary work yields more profound, lasting rewards. In today’s world inundated with conflicting health information, it’s essential to approach decisions with discernment.

Prioritizing self-care, seeking comprehensive testing, and embracing individualized approaches to nutrition and fasting are key steps towards achieving certainty in health decisions. By eschewing shortcuts and committing to holistic well-being, individuals can embark on a journey towards lasting vitality and fulfillment.

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Listen to the full podcast episode #92 on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.

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I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about your story and your health and wellness goals. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.