I have always been in the pursuit of health and longevity. I had a dedicated fitness practice when I was a teenager that grew into a healthy obsession as an adult. I don’t feel right if I don’t sweat daily.
As a twenty-year-old with great health insurance, I started to peel back the layers of the healthcare system (in the US), understanding how to navigate different options and practitioners specialising in categories of wellness I never knew existed. I immediately subscribed to living a life of prevention versus waiting to get sick. I remember the moment I discovered my insurance would cover a midwife and birthing centre (in NY, not HK), not just the hospital where my OBGYN was, where the chance of an emergency C-section was 70%! I was beyond ecstatic and switched my birth plan (at 35 weeks) without a second thought.
This was my Pandora’s box. I have been exploring all kinds of medical and non-medical health options since that day over 12 years ago and I am a firm believer in a hybrid model of both functional and Western medicine. I still take prescription medication, but I will opt for a vitamin or supplement if it can do the same job. I’m not an anti-medication person, I just like balance (I’m a libra). As I get older, I have chosen to pro-age, not anti-age. There’s nothing sweeter in life than being healthy, mobile, and free in your body, mind and spirit. I’ll be documenting my journey of pro-ageing and biohacking with LifeHub; I hope my exploration can shift your perspective on health and ageing too.
I have always had issues with my stomach, now commonly referred to as the “gut.” If your gut isn’t healthy, your entire body doesn’t function efficiently. Gut health can manifest differently in everyone, from skin flare-ups to poor immunity and even affecting the brain, which may contribute to low mood. For me, I know when my gut isn’t operating at 100% when I bloat instantly from whatever I eat, when my bowel movements change in frequency or consistency, when I start to crave sugar more than usual (and I have a sweet tooth), and especially when stress starts to take over my entire body and I feel like I’m going to snap – both physically and mentally. Nine out of 10 times that I’m sick to my stomach, it has nothing to do with my digestive system or anything I ate – it’s almost always correlated to stress. A doctor in NY once told me, “you basically get migraines in your stomach, there’s nothing you can really do for them.” I was defeated.
At the age of 38, I have had two colonoscopies and four endoscopies; this is clearly not normal but my digestive system was not responding to any course of treatment I was trying — I’ve done every test and tried most treatments – nothing helped. None of these exploratory procedures resulted in anything substantial or abnormal besides confirming that my acid reflux was doing a number on my stomach and oesophagus. So I surrendered to taking a prescription level daily dose of medicine that reduces my stomach acid so I don’t suffer with acid reflux day and night.
LifeHub has a goal of removing this medication from my daily routine because it has a mission of providing optimal health for everyone. Fundamentally, it is about ‘health care’ not ‘sick care’. LifeHub aims to manage any health imbalances before they manifest as diseases and to empower individuals to reach their fullest health potential. For my situation, I was introduced to digestive enzymes (to help me break down my food), Body Protection Compound BPC (a peptide made of amino acids that are found in gastric juice that help repair soft tissue), and supplements that specifically protect and strengthen the lining of my stomach. I will slowly reduce the dose of my prescription medication (with the dream situation of not having to take them at all anymore) over the next few weeks and see if the enzymes, peptides, and supplements have had a positive result.