CONNECT 2020: An Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Approach to Treating Metabolic Disorders ~ Virender Sodhi, ND, MD (Ayurved)




Metabolic syndrome is defined as a collection of interconnected physiological, biochemical, and psychosocial factors that directly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. It is a major and increasing public health problem and clinical challenge worldwide in the wake of urbanization, rising obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. According to the World Health Organization, around 1.6 million people across the world died due to diabetes in 2016. It is estimated that 425 million people are living with diabetes all over the world. By 2045, projections show this number rising to roughly 629 million diabetics globally. There are 650 million clinically obese adults worldwide, which has nearly tripled since 1975. By 2012, more than a third of all US adults met the definition and criteria for metabolic syndrome, and its prevalence continues to grow. The global impact of these disorders is immense in terms of human suffering and economic burden. There is an urgent need for a more effective management of these disease processes, including the use of natural treatment strategies that are both affordable and efficacious. Metabolic syndrome is a multi-factorial disease with its major features including central obesity, raised triglycerides, low levels HDL cholesterol, hyperglycemia, and hypertension. This syndrome is linked with multiple risk factors that are responsible for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. While conventional medicine touches on diet and lifestyle, they are often quick to progress to medications such as antihypertensives, hypoglycemics, and statins which do not stave off disease, and likely only cause further damage in the long run. The conventional approach has fallen short of developing effective strategies as evident by this escalating public-health challenge. On the positive side, nutraceutical support including plant-based medicines offer many more advantages over synthetic drugs and exogenous insulin for treatment of metabolic syndrome and disease such as Type 2 Diabetes. The most important treatment for metabolic syndrome is a healthy lifestyle. This includes a nutrient-dense diet plan consisting of abundant vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, limited lean meats, and healthy fats. Avoiding sugars, red meat, and processed/packaged foods are equally critical. Additionally, aiming for a healthy weight, getting quality sleep, quitting smoking and alcohol, incorporating regular physical activity, and managing one’s emotions and stress with practices such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises are habits which must be adopted. If these lifestyle changes are not enough, there are a host of herbal medicines in the naturopathic toolbox to support patients. Tailoring our recommendations of diet and other lifestyle changes for each individual patient is valuable in ensuring compliance as well as achieving the best outcome. In Ayurveda, the diet is considered as medicine and is classified according to their taste, habitat, and pattern of metabolism. The quantity of diet, time or season of intake, mode of preparation, environment, and digestive power of individuals also play a significant role in the acceptability of a wholesome diet. Through implementation of dietary regimens aligned with the laws of nature, herbal medicines, exercise, and yoga therapy, panchakarma detoxification, as well as emphasis on the mental and emotional aspects of healing, Dr. Sodhi has guided thousands of patients into lowering their blood pressure, A1c values, cholesterol numbers, and more including safely tapering and removing dependency on prescription medications. Join Dr. Virender Sodhi as he discusses successful approaches in the prevention and management of metabolic disorders through the principles of naturopathy and application of the Ayurvedic philosophy, the most ancient form of medicine dating 5,000 years.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Virender Sodhi was the first Ayurvedic and Naturopathic physician in the United States. He was graduated in 1980 from the Dayanand Ayurvedic Medical College in Jalandar, India. After arriving in the United States, Dr. Sodhi received his ND degree from Bastyr University in 1988. He was subsequently invited to join the faculty at Bastyr to teach Ayurvedic sciences. Dr. Sodhi completed a fellowship in Integrative Oncology with Dr. Mark Rosenberg in 2012. For the last 8 years, his focus has been on Oncology patients. He authored a book on Ayurvedic medicine, Ayurvedic Herbs, The comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions. Additionally, he is the most quoted naturopathic physician in the reference book Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide and is featured in The Textbook of Natural Medicine. Along with his three brothers, he envisioned and formed Ayush Herbs, Inc., which offers the highest quality Ayurvedic herbal products and supplements worldwide. For over 30 years, Dr. Sodhi has attended to patients from all over the world at the Ayurvedic & Naturopathic Medical Clinic in Bellevue, Washington.

*Certified by the WANP for 1 Category 1 continuing education credit for Washington NDs*

(Originally presented on October 11, 2020)