The Armor Men's Health Hour

Increasing Your "Health Span:" Shefaly Ravula on How Everyday Nutrition and Lifestyle Factors Impact Longevity

September 05, 2020 Dr. Sandeep Mistry and Donna Lee
The Armor Men's Health Hour
Increasing Your "Health Span:" Shefaly Ravula on How Everyday Nutrition and Lifestyle Factors Impact Longevity
Chapters
The Armor Men's Health Hour
Increasing Your "Health Span:" Shefaly Ravula on How Everyday Nutrition and Lifestyle Factors Impact Longevity
Sep 05, 2020
Dr. Sandeep Mistry and Donna Lee

Thanks for tuning in to the Armor Men’s Health Hour Podcast today, where we bring you the latest and greatest in urology care and the best urology humor out there.

In this segment, Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee are joined by NAU Urology Specialists' partner, Shefaly Ravula, PA-C. Shefaly is a nurse practitioner who specializes in food as medicine, nutritional sciences, gut health, and total systems body health. During today's episode, Dr. Mistry and Shefaly discuss lifestyle factors that can contribute to a longer, healthier life. Central to this discussion are the concepts of life span vs. health span. As Shefaly explains, life span is how long a person lives, but health span is a measure of how long a person can be living healthfully before they are diagnosed with a chronic illness. When examining the "Blue Zones," or the geographic areas with the largest centenarian communities, researchers found that factors such as nutrition, community, spirituality, routine, and stress affected how long residents lived before contracting chronic illnesses. When it comes to our own lives, we tend to ascribe longevity to factors outside of our control, when in 90% of cases, it is our daily habits and choices that impact our health. If you or a loved one are interested in learning how to take control of your health span through functional nutrition and holistic medicine, please give us a call!  

If you enjoyed today’s episode, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share us with a friend! As always, be well!

Dr. Mistry is a board-certified urologist and has been treating patients in the Austin and Greater Williamson County area since he started his private practice in 2007.

We enjoy hearing from you! Email us at [email protected] and we’ll answer your question in an upcoming episode!

Phone: (512) 238-0762

Email: [email protected]

Website: Armormenshealth.com

Our Locations:

Round Rock Office

970 Hester’s Crossing Road
 Suite 101
 Round Rock, TX 78681

South Austin Office

6501 South Congress
 Suite 1-103
 Austin, TX 78745

Lakeline Office

12505 Hymeadow Drive
 Suite 2C
 Austin, TX 78750

Dripping Springs Office

170 Benney Lane
 Suite 202
 Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Show Notes Transcript

Thanks for tuning in to the Armor Men’s Health Hour Podcast today, where we bring you the latest and greatest in urology care and the best urology humor out there.

In this segment, Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee are joined by NAU Urology Specialists' partner, Shefaly Ravula, PA-C. Shefaly is a nurse practitioner who specializes in food as medicine, nutritional sciences, gut health, and total systems body health. During today's episode, Dr. Mistry and Shefaly discuss lifestyle factors that can contribute to a longer, healthier life. Central to this discussion are the concepts of life span vs. health span. As Shefaly explains, life span is how long a person lives, but health span is a measure of how long a person can be living healthfully before they are diagnosed with a chronic illness. When examining the "Blue Zones," or the geographic areas with the largest centenarian communities, researchers found that factors such as nutrition, community, spirituality, routine, and stress affected how long residents lived before contracting chronic illnesses. When it comes to our own lives, we tend to ascribe longevity to factors outside of our control, when in 90% of cases, it is our daily habits and choices that impact our health. If you or a loved one are interested in learning how to take control of your health span through functional nutrition and holistic medicine, please give us a call!  

If you enjoyed today’s episode, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share us with a friend! As always, be well!

Dr. Mistry is a board-certified urologist and has been treating patients in the Austin and Greater Williamson County area since he started his private practice in 2007.

We enjoy hearing from you! Email us at [email protected] and we’ll answer your question in an upcoming episode!

Phone: (512) 238-0762

Email: [email protected]

Website: Armormenshealth.com

Our Locations:

Round Rock Office

970 Hester’s Crossing Road
 Suite 101
 Round Rock, TX 78681

South Austin Office

6501 South Congress
 Suite 1-103
 Austin, TX 78745

Lakeline Office

12505 Hymeadow Drive
 Suite 2C
 Austin, TX 78750

Dripping Springs Office

170 Benney Lane
 Suite 202
 Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to the Armor Men's Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee .

Dr. Mistry:

Hello and welcome to the Armor Men's Health Hour. I'm Dr. Mistry, your host, here as always with my cohost, Donna Lee.

Donna Lee:

I think we should create a game where we wonder what you're going to call me.

Dr. Mistry:

Me, too. I never even really know I'm gonna introduce you until I speak it.

Donna Lee:

That's right. That's true. And then I have to act it out, whether I'm bubbly or effervescent, or sad.

Dr. Mistry:

For those of you that don't listen to the show regularly, Donna Lee is a professional comedienne.

Donna Lee:

Until covert hit.

Dr. Mistry:

Until covert hit. It was really gonna take off, our little comedy career.

Donna Lee:

It was , we were starting to tour...figure out locations.

Dr. Mistry:

No , I never, I never realized I never realized how hard it was to do a comedy routine until I tried to write one. And it's pretty easy to offend everybody. It's hard.

Donna Lee:

Especially now .

Dr. Mistry:

Now it's really easy.

Donna Lee:

You can't say a word.

Dr. Mistry:

Well that's right. I'm a board certified urologist. This is a men's health show. What we like to discuss are any range of men's health topics or just health topics. We've had wonderful guests on the show for low testosterone, for pellet therapy, for management of high cholesterol or hypertension. We had Dr. Ozer on. He gave a great talk on thyroid...

Donna Lee:

Y'all geeked out a little too much...

Dr. Mistry:

Maybe, maybe. You know, I do absolutely love being a doctor. I love it. I love treating patients. I love it. People will say, people will ask all the time, "Do you want your kids to do it?" I say, "Of course I want my kids to do that. It's the best job on earth. Why wouldn't I want that?" After they become a urologist, they can do whatever they want.

Donna Lee:

And after you have six urology children, you're set for retirement.

Dr. Mistry:

That's the joke. You know, I don't pressure my kids--they can become any kind of surgeon they want to.

Shefaly Ravula:

Such an Indian, such an Indian dad .

Dr. Mistry:

And, you know, speaking of just kind of progressing in life, one of the interesting things that I come across in practice is how differently different patients think about mortality and living longer. It's a fascinating way for me to think about it. There are some 60 year old men who are diagnosed with bladder cancer that tell me that, say, "I don't want to do anything. If it's my time, it's my time." And then I get some 86 year old guys that are like, "Doctor, I woke up yesterday and I had erectile dysfunction. What's wrong with me?" I said , "You know..." And they're like, "Well, I planned on going until I was 120!" You look at the same person and you sometimes wonder, we make a joke, like what did that guy do to live so long?

Donna Lee:

He certainly didn't drink Diet Coke.

Dr. Mistry:

That's right. In our practice, we really want to help you live longer, but live your best. Nobody wants to drag their ass sick on 40 medicines to 92. They want to run to 92 and die in a hang gliding accident on Mount Everest...meaning that people that are our patients really value their health and their longevity. I thought we would talk about a little bit of that with one of our newest additions to our practice , Shefaly Ravula. Thank you for coming and joining us today.

Donna Lee:

Welcome.

Shefaly Ravula:

Thanks for having me. I'm super excited. I love talking about longevity.

Dr. Mistry:

I love it. He probably spent a long time talking about longevity, too. See, I am kind of a comedian!

Donna Lee:

No. Nope.

Dr. Mistry:

Shefali is a physician's assistant. She handles our nutrition and functional medicine program here, so if you are really interested in getting a second look or a second take, or another opinion about your health condition...

Donna Lee:

...or a first opinion.

Dr. Mistry:

...yeah, please come and see us. Just this week I had a patient with an enlarged prostate. He has a large prostate that's obstructing his bladder and needs surgery, and the first thing his wife asked was, "Wait, wait, wait, wait. Let's try a natural approach first." And it made me feel so good knowing, I said, "Absolutely, this is our natural approach. This is our dietary approach. I'm going to send you to Shefaly and she's going to take care of it." So thank you so much for being a part of our practice.

Shefaly Ravula:

I can't wait. I'm so glad you guys have this vision. You know, it's not a vision that is shared , been able to be represented in lots of medical practices. So...

Donna Lee:

It's cause you're smart, Dr. Mistry.

Shefaly Ravula:

You've got a vision, you've got a vision.

Dr. Mistry:

We are trying. So Shefaly, when it comes to living longer, what is your take on those aspects of health that help people live healthier, longer?

Shefaly Ravula:

So the aspects that help people live longer. Okay. So first let's talk about lifespan, I love talking about lifespan versus health span. Like those patients that you're talking about, and this is like my mom, too. She's, "I mean , it'd be okay if I die at 65." I'm like, "Oh, what? You know, that's...why?" Some people are just okay with that. But I think that that's because historically the thought is that you die not well, right? You age, and you think that you're not gonna feel well, you can't walk around you're in pain, whatever, whatever it is. But the idea of your lifespan is how long you live. But really we need to be thinking about health span. How long can you be living healthy until you get diagnosed with a chronic illness? You know, I love the blue zones. We need to talk about the blue zones one day in more detail. But the blue zone project is talking about how in a study of all the centenarian communities, so the communities where you have the most, the highest rate of people that live to one hundred, right, or longer. So there's about five that were studied: Ikaria; Okinawa, Japan; the Nasara peninsula, I believe, in Costa Rica...a couple other ones. So the studies of the blue zones basically looked at so many different factors. So there was food and nutrition and community, spirituality, routine, stress...everything. But, so there were a lot of common factors, but the idea is that when you look at those people, it's not that their chronic disease is necessarily, they're not living with their chronic disease longer, they're living longer until they get the chronic disease. So our goal here should be that we basically prohibit the onset of our chronic disease as long as we can. And that's what's doable.

Dr. Mistry:

And so, you know, there's genetic factors that play a role in longevity, but there's also controllable factors. And I think that sometimes, I find patients that seem so fatalistic about dying early because their parents died early, and others that are so confident they're going to live long because their parents live long. And I'm like, "Listen, you're a 60 pounds overweight with diabetes and hypertension. I'm not sure I would compare yourself to your, you know, your very healthy mother who lived to 96, who exercised every day and ate clean." I mean, there's a lot in your own control.

Shefaly Ravula:

There's so much in your own control, so that's where I come into play. Like I want to make sure people can realize that you have so much empowerment, you just need the tools. And I feel like I can give our patients these tools to understand that, you know, every choice you make can lead to a long life in most cases. You know, 90% of the world will not die of a trauma or whatnot--only 10%. So that one out of nine people will have a chronic disease or illness that's going to be the cause of our death. So that's huge. You know, I didn't really get that statistic until I read it. I thought, "Oh, you know, what's the , my mom would be like, 'Oh, like if a car hits me, then it I'm dead anyway.'" That's one out of 10 .

Dr. Mistry:

You only have a 10% chance of dying the easy way. 90 % of the you are going to die the hard way. And the longer that you can go in your life without being diagnosed with hypertension or hypercholesterolemia, or something like diabetes, the longer you can really expect to live. I mean, there are some things that are going to take us out, you know--an early childhood cancer, you know, something like that. But for the most of us, we are going to die of a chronic disease, and trying to go as long as we can without getting it is really the key to a long life. But, you know, unfortunately, and we talk about pain points as reasons for people to change their behavior...unfortunately, getting diagnosed with the chronic disease is usually that pain point. You know, it would be nice if somehow we could urge people earlier and earlier on to really adopt a more preventative lifestyle, and nutrition plays a very big role in that prevention. Is that right?

Shefaly Ravula:

Totally. I mean, but also you're right. The message needs to also come from all of us as medical providers that yes, we're going to treat these patients when they, and we're going to diagnose them and give them a diagnosis, but how can we get them before? How can we get them before? So that's, you know, I don't know how we're going to do that mission. We're going to do it.

Dr. Mistry:

So what we try to look for, you know, what I find is good ways, it's kind of like inventing in a way, a mini pain point. When you find something early on in a disease process, genetics are a great one. I mean, if your father died of a heart attack or had a heart attack when he was 50, that should be your pain point, because you have a genetic predisposition. And so I think that we are going to be able to use genetics as a way of convincing people that prevention will have an impact on their chronic diseases.

Shefaly Ravula:

Yeah, I mean advanced lipid profiles are great for that kind of scenario.

Dr. Mistry:

Insulin sensitivity tests. These are great things to help identify those people at risk even before they're sick, because I think that's going to be a key to helping them live a long life.

Shefaly Ravula:

Yup.

Dr. Mistry:

Donna Lee, if people are out there interested in getting a second opinion on their medical condition or getting a first opinion on their urologic condition or learning more about their prostate cancer or any opinion whatsoever...

Donna Lee:

You can call us.

Dr. Mistry:

That's for sure. Donna Lee, you're willing to give people opinions on everything.

Donna Lee:

I will do it for free though, since I'm not a medical provider. You can just call me and I'll say, "No more Diet Cokes." When you're talking about the hang gliding guy, you know how people always say, "Oh, he died doing what he loved to do." And I think, "Screaming and tear and falling to the ground? That's w hat he loved doing? B ecause that's how he died."

Dr. Mistry:

That's a weird hobby.

Donna Lee:

If you want to make an appointment or just ask questions, our phone number is (512) 238-0762. Our website is armormenshealth.com, where you can see Dr. Mistry's happy, smiling face . And our email address is [email protected] We will answer all of your questions on air. I will respond to each of them and we've so very much appreciate y'all listening to our podcasts . They're free and they're everywhere.

Shefaly Ravula:

Thank you .

Donna Lee:

Thanks, Shefaly!

Shefaly Ravula:

Thank you guys!

Speaker 1:

Dr. Mistry wants to hear from you. Email questions to [email protected] We'll be right back with the Armor Men's Health Hour.