Maintaining a healthy gut biome and one’s digestive health is a key part of staying well. The ability to absorb the nutrients we consume affects all the other systems of the body. However, achieving balance in the gut is often easier said than done given the array of factors that might impact each individual person. Things such as inflammation, gut microbiota imbalance, and more can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome which could allow potentially concerning substances to pass through the intestinal wall.

In fact, recent research from the University of Maryland displays that stressors such as poor diet, genetic predisposition and more can affect what the researchers coined as the zonulin pathway, a key part of maintaining gut health. However, there is a common protocol, known as “the 4R protocol,” that can aide individuals in supporting gut healing and health if something is amiss. The four steps are as follows: remove, replace, reinoculated, and repair.

In step one, removing inflammatory triggers and pathogens commonly known to affect the gut will make way for other steps to be more effective. Examples of these triggers include alcohol, gluten, refined starches and sugar, and other food sensitivities. Generally, these are the foods and beverages known to be less healthy for you.

The second step, replacing, marks an effort to replace the triggers removed in the first step with more gut-friendly alternatives. High-fiber foods including vegetables, fruits, and nuts are an easy first choice. Other nutrient dense foods like omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, extra virgin olive oil, mushrooms, and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices can all aide in getting your gut back on track.

Step three, reinoculate is geared towards realigning the intestinal microbiota with beneficial bacteria. As such, probiotic supplements and fermented foods such as cultured dairy, fermented vegetables, fermented soy products, and beverages like kombucha are all incredibly helpful. The friendly bacteria residing in everyone’s gut need these probiotics to say in top shape.

The final step of repair strives toward repairing one’s intestinal lining with specific nutrients and herbs known to decrease intestinal permeability and inflammation. Depending on an individual’s diets, dietary needs, and supplement needs, this could look different for everyone. Common examples include zinc, Vitamin D, polyphenols, and more, but it is best to consult a health and wellness expert like the ones at Pria regarding your specific, individual needs.

These four steps, especially followed under the guidance of one of Pria’s health and wellness experts, can cure signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut. If you suffer from an upset stomach, unintentional weight changes, sleep disturbances, or any other experiences you believe might be alleviated by reexamining your gut health, reach out today. Call our office at 410-565-6552 to speak with us today!



Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Though testosterone levels are typically associated with men on a societal level, from a medical standpoint both men and women have key levels of testosterone and estrogen in the body. Both play a role of utmost significance in every individual’s health, male or female. This week’s focus on the testosterone levels of women touches on a topic of undervalued importance.

In fact, testosterone is one of the most abundant hormones present in all women and is furthermore essential to female health. However, a drop in the natural levels of testosterone present in females can occur in many women starting as early as age 20. A more significant reduction in testosterone production occurs starting around age 35. This drop can cause many adverse effects in older female patients.

But can anything be done to combat these impending effects? Yes, as restoring testosterone to optimal levels can help elevate mood, increase energy levels, improve muscle mass and definition, and help manage weight. Furthermore, many women report a return of libido after optimizing hormones, as is reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. By reintroducing the proper balance of testosterone into the body, vital systems regulating mood, energy levels, physical fitness, and overall physical and mental health in aging women are regulated.

The medical professionals at Pria Wellness possess expertise in the science of hormone balancing and can make sure yours are balanced to your own specific needs. If you feel you may benefit from a potential treatment, please reach out to 410-565-6552 or book an appointment on our website today!



In taking a holistic approach to one’s health, good quality sleep is a key, if under-appreciated factor. When thinking about achieving a healthier lifestyle and shedding extra pounds, it is instinctual to think of the foods you’re eating and daily exercise. However, the quality of your sleep may be undermining results and ultimately become detrimental, as studies from the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin, and published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity present.

The recommended amount of sleep for the average adult is between seven and nine hours a night, as stated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. In studies, when this average sleep pattern is altered, the effects are startling. For example, sleep-restricted participants in a study consumed 130% of their caloric requirements, doing a large part of this additional eating in the late evening following dinner. The on average 550 additional calories during the night hours resulted in the study’s sleep-restricted group gaining 1 kg (2.205 pounds) after just five nights. On the other side of things, for sleep-deprived obese patients who increased their nightly amount of sleep, effects such as a reduced body mass index, a greater willingness to exercise, and fewer cravings for sweet and salty foods were noted.

A third study conducted in 2016 featured ten overweight nonsmoking adults with an average age of 41. The intervention in this group featured a moderate caloric restriction, typical to most weight loss efforts, but with either 8.5 or 5.5. hours of sleep an evening. The results of this study were indicative: the curtailment of patients’ sleep decreased the proportion of weight lost as fat by 55% in the just 14-day study. The conclusions of the study note that results “shed new light on the paradoxical association of human obesity with loss of the most energy-efficient and sedentary human behavior: sleep.”

The illogical nature aside, the results due not lie. A crucial component to a healthy lifestyle, especially for an individual interested in losing weight in a healthy manner, is to get between the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep. By slipping into bed a few hours earlier or rising a few hours later, you can remarkably impact the present and future of your own health. Used to a nightly four hours and supplementing that with a cup (or four) of coffee? The experts at Pria Wellness can help put you on track. Book an appointment online or call today at 410-565-6552.



These days, many of us are contemplating the best ways to keep ourselves well. A key factor in maintaining peak wellness is having a healthy immune system, which serves as the body’s primary defense mechanism. The immune system guards against potentially harmful invaders such as viruses, toxins, bacteria, and fungi.

An overall healthy lifestyle is beneficial to preserving a healthy and effective immune system. Efforts such as eating a balanced diet focused on whole, unprocessed foods high in antioxidants can aide greatly. Other lifestyle choices such as engaging inthree or more hours a week of moderate exercise and seeking at least seven hours of good-quality sleep a night can also assist in strengthening your immune system. Managing stress in a variety of ways, from counseling to practicing mindfulness and meditation additionally helps. While aspiring to the best quality of health as possible is beneficial to the immune system, research supports that the following supplemental ingredients provide a vital boost to the body’s defense system whenbattling viral infections.

Probiotics

Probiotics are the healthy, helpful microorganisms that live in each of our guts. Probiotics support immune healthy by harmonizing immune response and preventing the growth of harmful pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, unpasteurized pickled vegetables, and tempeh are all full of probiotics and can be easily woven into any diet. Besides traditional food options, probiotic supplements are available and may work to protect individuals against a variety of ailments including respiratory infections, colds, and influenza.

Vitamin C

The familiar advice of being told to consume citrus when feeling a little under the weather comes from the power Vitamin C. Not only found in citrus, but in foods such as broccoli, kiwi, yellow peppers, kale, and a host of other fruits and vegetables, Vitamin C is a major player in supporting the immune system. A deficiency may result in lowered immunity and a higher risk of infections and thus if your diet is lacking in foods such as the ones listed above, it might be worth investing in a Vitamin C supplement.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin required for mineral metabolism, bone health, and immune function, according to research displays a prominent position in supporting immune tolerance in autoimmune conditions. Supplements in Vitamin D are available, but can be found as well in foods such as fish and mushrooms, plus fortified milks, cereal, and oatmeal.

Zinc

Though many may be familiar with Zinc’s importance in battling a bad sunburn, it is also recommended to fight against the common cold. Options such as seafood, animal proteins, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and cashews, as well as supplements, all contain Zinc. Research has found that when zinc lozenges, when consumed at the start of a cold for a minimum of one to two weeks, may assist in reducing symptoms of and the duration of colds.

Omega-3s

The particular Omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) exert their health benefits from their anti-inflammatory properties. These Omega-3s additionally may help lower the risk of chronic diseases including cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Found highly concentrated in the brain, these Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to cognitive functions such as memory. Being deficient in this key area creates a host of problems, among which are fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, and more. Seafood, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are all great sources of Omega-3s.

In order to preserve your health, maintaining a well-balanced and strong immune system plays a key role. By living a healthy lifestyle and focusing on these nutrients you’ll be feeling better and your immune system will thank you for it! If you want to learn more, have a wellness evaluation and find out what supplements are right for you, call us at 410-565-6652.

Image source: iStock



During trying times, especially ones framed by a global pandemic, it is only natural to contemplate one’s own personal health and well-being. Perhaps the global and national situation have prompted you to reconsider your own relationship with wellness, especially those who are at home.

Pria Wellness is still open and eager to serve you during this pandemic, whether you are reflecting on new goals, re-evaluating old habits, or anywhere in between. Read on to learn all the different ways Pria Wellness can guide you from home, specifically on our expert weight management and hormone balancing services.

Regarding communication with patients, Pria Wellness continues to strive for excellence. Tele visits are offered during regular office hours using HIPAA compliant video conference software. Or, communicate with us through messaging in our electronic medical record patient portal. Both ensure personal, private, and effective consultations.

Despite the current situation, progress and developments in your health goals are still more than possible. A convenient phone application allows patients to monitor their nutrition, weight, blood pressure, sleep, physical activity, water intake, and exercise from their own devices. Most of Pria Wellness’ nutritional products including meal replacements and supplements can be easily ordered online and shipped to your door. Additionally, lab work orders are sent directly to most labs electronically and electronic prescriptions are the norm. All of these combined efforts ensure the efficient and thorough care of your wellness needs.

If anything can be learned from this moment, it is that there is no time like the present to value your own personal health and well-being. Contact Pria Wellness for more information on any of our services or to book an appointment today. Reach our office at (410) 565-6552.



Losing weight is already tough on its own, but some people are making the task harder on themselves with how much sleep they get on a nightly basis.

A new study from Uppsala University found that even just one night of sleep loss can have a significant impact on the tissue that affects the body’s regulation of gene expression and metabolism in humans.

The researchers studied 15 individuals who began the experiment at a healthy weight. They participated in two in-lab sessions where their daily activity and meal patterns were kept uniform. Those researched then alternated between shifts where they slept more than eight hours during one session, and were kept awake the entire night during the other. The following morning, small tissue samples were taken from the participants’ subcutaneous fat and skeletal muscle. These two tissues often exhibit disrupted metabolism in conditions such as obesity and diabetes. At the same time in the morning, blood samples were also taken and were found to comprise of sugar molecules, as well as different fatty and amino acids.

“Our research group were the first to demonstrate that acute sleep loss in and of itself results in epigenetic changes in the so-called clock genes that within each tissue regulate its circadian rhythm. Our new findings indicate that sleep loss causes tissue-specific changes to the degree of DNA methylation in genes spread throughout the human genome. Our parallel analysis of both muscle and adipose tissue further enabled us to reveal that DNA methylation is not regulated similarly in these tissues in response to acute sleep loss,” Jonathan Cedernaes, who led the study, told Science Daily.

Epidemiological studies have shown that those who suffer from chronic sleep loss, or who carry out late-night work shifts, are more likely to be at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Other studies have found that disrupted sleep and adverse weight gain were directly associated. In those cases, fat accumulation increased at the same time that muscle mass reduced — a mix associated with numerous adverse health consequences. It wasn’t until this study that experts could definitively say whether sleep loss per se can cause molecular changes at the tissue level that can confer an increased risk of adverse weight gain.

Now, we know that not only is a good night’s slumber important for memory retention and focus throughout the day, but it’s also important for maintaining a healthy weight.

“It will be interesting to investigate to what extent one or more nights of recovery sleep can normalize the metabolic changes that we observe at the tissue level as a result of sleep loss. Diet and exercise are factors that can also alter DNA methylation, and these factors can thus possibly be used to counteract adverse metabolic effects of sleep loss,” Cedernaes added.

If you feel like your sleep cycle is getting in the way of your weight loss goals, contact your primary care physician. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!



The benefits of a high-protein diet continue to grow as more and more research is done on the subject.

The latest study on the subject — courtesy of the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism — found that protein-heavy diets may reduce the liver’s fat content and lower the risk of diabetes in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The American Physiological Society gathered 25 volunteers, including 15 who had been previously diagnosed with NAFLD, to participate in a low-calorie diet to lose eight percent body weight. After the participants reached their weight loss goals, they were told to maintain weight through a moderate- or high-protein diet averaging from 0.8 to 1 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.

Researchers found that after two years of weight loss, the dietary protein increase led to a reduced liver fat content. They also found that over half of the participants previously diagnosed with NAFLD no longer had a fatty liver.

“These findings stress the clinical implications and potential benefits of increased protein intake after weight loss for people with NAFLD at risk to develop diabetes,” the researchers wrote.

NAFLD — more colloquially called “fatty liver” — is a result of the liver’s total weight being made up of more than five percent fatty tissue. This extra fat in the liver may lead to scarring, which may increase the risk of liver cancer or failure. This also comes with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Coincidentally, those with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop NAFLD — an estimated 70 percent of people with type 2 diabetes also have a fatty liver. Obesity is also a major risk factor for NAFLD.

Interested if you are at risk for NAFLD, or even type 2 diabetes? Contact your primary care physician to find ways to better your liver health. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!



When people typically think about what parts of the body affect emotions, they’re more likely to think of the brain or the heart first. But, believe it or not, the most mentally influential organs within ourselves are the large and small intestines.

The trillions of bacteria, known as the microbiota, have some important jobs within our intestines. They help us digest our food, protect us from disease, neutralize toxic by-products that stem from the digestive process, and make it more difficult for unhealthy bacteria to thrive within our stomachs. Considering they make up around 4.5 pounds of our body, they are quite a strong force.

The microbiota also affects things outside of the stomach. One connection is on the obvious side. Feelings of anxiety tend to disrupt our stomachs by making us feel queasy, and depression causes constipation. But a research group in Ireland found that this also goes the other way around. Probiotic-fed mice were more suited to handle anxiety-inducing scenarios and less likely to feel depression than the control group, that received a bland broth.

Another connection centers around our personalities. A study at McMaster University found that when the gut bacteria of two groups of mice were switched with one another, the mice began to switch personalities as well. Originally, the two groups of mice were separated into an “extrovert” group and an “introvert” group. By the time the experiment concluded, the mice had the exact opposite personality that they had started with.

A third connection comes from a theory on cravings. Certain sections of the microbiota actually crave certain foods more than others. When food that is popular among the bacteria gets consumed, they produce particles that get sent to the brain and turned into dopamine and serotonin. The source of anger and frustration that comes shortly after starting a diet may actually come from bacteria in your stomach. This is an untested theory, but a well-formed on nonetheless.

Interested in how this can be changed? Contact your primary care physician to find healthier ways to create lasting change in your diet that your microbiota will enjoy. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!



The carbohydrate composition of diets increased the risk of osteoarthritis (OA) in laboratory mice, a new study from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation found.

Tim Griffin, Ph.D., and his lab placed groups of mice on different high-fat diets to test the effect of obesity on OA. Researchers noticed that fiber and sugar in the diets were enough to alter the mice’s chances of developing OA. The high-sucrose diet caused joint inflammation, and the high-fiber diet changed cartilage genes as well as cellular stress-response pathways.

Though the experiment was performed on mice, Griffin pointed out that the study could be translated to humans.

“It’s important to understand how our diet affects the health of our joints,” Griffin said to Science Daily . “We were surprised to see so many OA-related differences between the two high-carb diets even though body weight and body fat were the same.”

OA occurs when the cartilage that cushions bones in the joints breaks down and wears away, causing the bones to rub against one another. It affects nearly 27 million people in the U.S., and is the most frequently diagnosed arthritis. It’s also the most widespread form of disability in the country.

Though there are several factors that could contribute to an increased risk of OA (i.e. previous joint injuries, genetics and age), carrying extra weight is the most common.

Even if the root cause of this disease isn’t certain, shedding weight — particularly in the form of cutting carbs — is the best way to avoid this affliction at all. Contact your primary care physician to see if your weight puts you at risk for OA. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!



De-Bunking “Diet” Soda
Ever since diet soda was popularized in the 1970s, scientists have been researching it. Here are some of the things they have found.

We all know that soda really isn’t good for us. It’s packed full of lots and lots of sugar and all sorts of other things that humans really shouldn’t consume. This is how diet soda was born. Soda manufacturers developed a “healthier” alternative to their regular sugary beverages. But is diet soda really any better for you? Sure, it’s lower in calories: some varieties don’t have any calories at all. But is it better? The short answer to that is no, it is not. In some cases, it’s actually worse.

Ever since diet soda was popularized in the 1970s, scientists have been researching it. Here are some of the things they have found.


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