One of India’s biggest health influencers, Dr Vishakha Shivdasani is a medical practitioner who helps reverse chronic metabolic ailments such as obesity, diabetes, fatty liver, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) using functional medicine, which is a combination of medication, nutrition and lifestyle. Dr Shivdasani has helped many patients get off insulin and other drugs with her holistic approach.
Can you explain what functional medicine is?
In conventional medicine, we are taught how to treat the symptoms and effects of a disease. In functional medicine, you go to the root cause of the disease. It’s not so much for infectious diseases but for chronic metabolic diseases. Most of them have a common denominator of chronic inflammation.
Many people think that diabetes and fatty liver are not reversible. What would a typical consult look like?
I would need your medical reports for the last few months because no two people with the same disease have the same medical parameters. I would need to know your family history. Most people whose parents have diabetes come into the clinic asking if it’s their destiny. There are certain tests that tell us if you are predisposed to the condition; and that’s the time that I can help you prevent the disease. If you come to me at a time when you already have it, then the blood reports will tell me how metabolically broken you are and how long it will take me to get you back. I have a team that will draw out a chart and tell you what you need to eat. Functional medicine is not just about nutrition. It’s about what you eat and how to take care of your stress.
When someone predisposed to diabetes comes to you, how would you prevent them from getting it?
Through Lifestyle. There’s something called genetics and something called epigenetics, which is above your genes. That’s your lifestyle. The genes load the gun and the epigenetics pull the trigger.