Effective and sustainable weight loss has been a topic of interest for many people worldwide. With various diets, exercise routines, and supplements being marketed as quick-fix solutions, it can be overwhelming to choose the right approach. However, integrative medicine offers a unique perspective on weight loss by addressing the root causes of obesity and focusing on long-term solutions.
A strong player in the field of integrative medicine, in particular, focusing on the role gut health plays in health, is Christine Bishara, MD, the founder of From Within Medical, a medical wellness practice that emphasizes the mind-body and gut-brain axis to prevent and manage diseases. Dr. Bishara has made groundbreaking discoveries in gut health, including being the lead author of the first published scientific study identifying a deficiency of a gut microbe, Bifidobacterium, as a cause of COVID-19 severity.
The study, published in early June 2020, was the first to connect gut health and certain microbial deficiencies and COVID-19 severity. It explains why children are not getting as sick as adults from COVID-19, as children have much higher concentrations of this beneficial gut microbe in their guts. Bifidobacterium down regulates the pro-inflammatory mediators that lead to COVID-19 severity.
Since this study was published, there have been numerous clinical studies globally that have identified deficiencies of this same microbe in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 (Sars Cov-2). Dr. Bishara made this discovery before anyone else was talking about it or aware of why children were protected mainly from severe COVID-19 infections and why certain people were not.
At the time of the discovery and publication, there was a lot of skepticism about the role of the gut and COVID-19. But fast forward 2.5 years, and there are now over 15 established scientific studies stating exactly what Dr. Bishara and her colleagues published. Not only that but long COVID-19 symptoms are also linked to poor gut health and persistent deficiencies of these beneficial gut microbes.
The gut-brain axis is a two-way communication pathway between the gut and the brain. It has been shown to play a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including appetite, digestion, and metabolism. Integrative medicine approaches weight loss by restoring the balance of the gut-brain axis, which stress, poor dietary choices, and antibiotic use can disrupt.
Dr. Bishara's approach to weight loss is centered around identifying the root causes of weight gain and developing a personalized plan that addresses those factors. This can include dietary changes, stress reduction techniques, exercise programs, and supplements. Her practice also offers gut microbiome testing to identify any imbalances in the gut and provide targeted treatment plans.
One of the key factors that Dr. Bishara emphasizes in weight loss is the importance of a healthy gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is a collection of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, that live in the digestive tract. It has been shown to play a critical role in regulating metabolism, inflammation, and other physiological processes.
Regarding natural supplements, Dr. Bishara recommends a personalized approach based on individual needs. She emphasizes the importance of high-quality supplements and advises against fad supplements or those with unproven claims. Some supplements that have shown promise in weight loss include probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber supplements.
In conclusion, effective and sustainable weight loss requires a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of weight gain. Integrative medicine, emphasizing the gut-brain axis and the mind-body connection, offers a promising solution for those struggling with obesity.
Dr. Bishara's groundbreaking work in gut health has provided valuable insights into the role of the gut microbiome in COVID-19 severity and highlights the importance of a healthy gut for overall health and well-being. By working with a qualified practitioner and taking a personalized approach, individuals can achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall health and quality of life.