Chronic Illnesses

At Valia Lifestyle, we use a proactive approach to chronic illnesses, emphasizing prevention, wellness, and comprehensive care. Chronic illness demands ongoing medical attention and frequently requires comprehensive lifestyle adjustments for effective management.

Managing these illnesses is best accomplished with a holistic approach that addresses their multifaceted nature, including their genetic, environmental, and lifestyle components. Mental health, often less acknowledged, is also an important determinant in the outcomes of chronic conditions.


Obesity is a complex health concern, influenced in part by biology, lifestyle, and environment. Factors that interact with one other to contribute to obesity include:

Genetics: A number of genes have been identified that are associated with body weight and fat storage, and variations in these genes can affect how the body processes and stores energy. While genes may provide susceptibility to excess weight, they often are not the exclusive determinant of one’s body composition. 

Inflammation: Chronic low-grade inflammation in the body, often combined with conditions like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, is associated with obesity. Inflammatory processes can affect hormones and how the body stores and uses energy.

Gut Microbiota: The composition of the microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract can influence energy absorption and metabolism. An imbalance in gut bacteria may contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can contribute to obesity or make weight management more challenging. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism can affect hormones and increase the risk of weight gain.

Medications: Some medications, such as certain antidepressants, corticosteroids, and antipsychotic drugs, can lead to weight gain as a side effect.

Age: Muscle mass decreases with age without a regular resistance training program and without adequate intake of protein, making it easier to gain body fat over time. 

Mental Health: Depression, which includes a disruption in neurotransmitters along with symptomatic behaviors, has a two-way loop with chronic illnesses like obesity, making it harder to treat by just addressing the body or mind alone.

However, a number of Lifestyle Medicine strategies are effective for treating obesity:

  • Balanced Diet: A calorie-reduced and balanced diet that includes a variety of food groups, with an emphasis on whole plant-based foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats tailored to one’s dietary preferences for the long term is foundational. 
  • Physical Activity: Incorporating regular physical activity, with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with 2 days of full body strength training exercises is a minimum for health. 
  • Setting Realistic Goals: Setting achievable, realistic goals for weight loss and lifestyle changes to help stay motivated and track progress.
  • Regular Monitoring: Keeping track of food intake and physical activity to make necessary adjustments and stay accountable is a tactic used by those who successfully keep their weight off. 
  • Sleep: Prioritizing good-quality sleep, as sleep deprivation can disrupt hunger and satiety hormones and lead to overeating.
  • Stress Management: Learning stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing to prevent stress-related overeating.

How We Can Help with Obesity

At Valia Lifestyle, we believe obesity is a condition that goes beyond simple weight gain and is intertwined with your physical health and mental well-being. 

Our team focuses on identifying the root causes of weight gain and provides medical treatment and personalized coaching for sustained weight loss and improved overall health. Our programs include tailored nutrition plans, fitness routines, and mental health support, all guided by medical expertise.


Diabetes is a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, which can have a profound impact on your health and quality of life. 

This condition stems from an underlying issue with insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, which regulates glucose absorption into cells. Insulin's role is to facilitate the entry of glucose into cells, providing them with energy. In diabetes, the body struggles with this process, leading to abnormally high blood sugar levels. 

There are two primary forms of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

  • Type 1 Diabetes: This type is often diagnosed in childhood or adolescence and is an autoimmune disorder. With Type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly targets and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This type of diabetes necessitates careful monitoring of glucose levels and precise insulin dosing to prevent complications.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: This type typically develops later in life and occurs when the body doesn't use insulin effectively or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with lifestyle factors like diet, physical activity, and excess weight. 

High blood sugar levels over long periods of time can damage many parts of the body, especially if left unchecked and untreated. 

Complications for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes include:

Eye problems (retinopathy)

Some people with diabetes develop an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy which can affect eyesight. However, it can be treated if diagnosed early, preventing vision loss.

Heart attack and stroke

When you have diabetes, high blood sugar for a prolonged period of time can damage your blood vessels. This can contribute to the risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

Kidney problems (nephropathy)

Diabetes can cause damage to your kidneys over a long period of time making it harder to clear waste from your body. This is known as diabetic nephropathy or kidney disease.

Nerve damage (neuropathy)

Some people with diabetes may develop nerve damage caused by complications of high blood sugar levels. This can make it harder for the nerves to carry messages between the brain and every part of our body so it can affect how you see, hear, feel, and move. 

How We Can Help with Diabetes

If you are at risk for diabetes, we recommend a proactive approach to help detect and treat the condition early to prevent complications. The good news is that a lot of treatment options are available to successfully prevent, manage, and even reverse diabetes. 

Lifestyle Medicine interventions play a crucial role in healing diabetes by helping to control blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of complications, and improve overall well-being. Here are some key lifestyle interventions:

Balanced Diet: Focus on whole foods and a balanced diet that includes a variety of plant foods, including plenty of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and legumes that are complex carbohydrates and have a low glycemic index, lean proteins that promote satiety, and healthy fats. 

Physical Activity: Regular physical activity can improve insulin sensitivity and help control blood sugar levels. Aim for a combination of aerobic exercises (e.g., walking, swimming) and strength training.

Weight Management: Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly improve blood sugar control. Weight loss, when appropriate, can reduce insulin resistance and the need for medication.

Stress Management: Chronic stress can affect blood sugar levels, so incorporating stress-reduction techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, and yoga, helps support the nervous system from the harmful effects of a dysregulated stress response. 

Sleep: Aim for quality sleep of 7-9 hours per night since consistently poor sleep patterns can affect blood sugar and make healthy choices during the day more difficult.

At Valia Lifestyle, we offer a holistic approach to managing diabetes. Our team, led by Dr. Ingrid Edshteyn, is experienced in developing personalized programs that include tailored nutrition plans, fitness programming, and mental health support, all integrated with traditional medical care. 

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is found in the cells of your body and in your blood. Your body needs some cholesterol to build healthy cells, but having high levels of certain kinds of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. 

Cholesterol is carried through your bloodstream by lipoproteins. There are two main types:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): Often called "bad cholesterol," high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL): Often called "good cholesterol," HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Cholesterol comes both from the foods you eat and your body's own production in the liver. When there is an imbalance, it can lead to high cholesterol levels in the blood, which, in turn, can increase the risk of heart disease and other health issues.

High cholesterol is influenced by various factors, including genetics, diet, and lifestyle. A diet high in saturated and trans fats, along with not getting enough physical activity, can contribute to high LDL and low HDL cholesterol. 

High cholesterol is often referred to as a "silent condition" because it often doesn't have noticeable symptoms. Therefore, it's essential to have your cholesterol levels checked regularly, especially if you have risk factors, such as a family history of heart disease, stroke or high cholesterol, obesity, or not the healthiest diet.

How We Can Help with Cholesterol Issues

At Valia Lifestyle, our tailored programs for cholesterol include dietary changes, physical activity programming, and guidance on any necessary medications.

Our team takes the time to understand your specific health profile, lifestyle, and medical history to create a personalized plan to manage and lower your cholesterol levels.


Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the force of blood against the walls of your arteries is consistently too high. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers, such as 120/80 mmHg. 

The first number, known as systolic pressure, measures the force when your heart beats, pumping blood into the arteries. The second number, diastolic pressure, measures the force when your heart rests between beats.

When your blood pressure consistently exceeds the normal range, it can put extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this increased pressure can damage the arteries and lead to various health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney issues.

Hypertension may not have noticeable symptoms, and patients might not realize they have high blood pressure until it's measured during a health check-up. 

Risk factors for hypertension can include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy, high-salt diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Genetics
  • Stress

How We Can Help with High Blood Pressure

Our team focuses on understanding the unique factors contributing to your high blood pressure. We craft personalized solutions, which may include nutrition plans, supplements, and fitness programs to help you manage your condition effectively. 

Additionally, our holistic lifestyle coaching program provides valuable support in stress management and can help you achieve a balanced, healthy lifestyle. 

Heart Disease

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a broad term that includes a range of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, including:

  • Coronary Artery Disease - This occurs when the blood vessels supplying the heart become narrowed or blocked due to the buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits.
  • Arrhythmias - These are irregular heart rhythms that can cause the heart to beat too quickly, too slowly, or irregularly.
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease - This is a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs and is a sign of fatty deposits and calcium building up in the walls of the arteries. 

These conditions can inhibit the heart's ability to function normally, interfering with overall health and well-being. Often, heart disease develops over time, and early detection and proactive management are vital.

The most important behavioral risk factors for heart disease and stroke are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and harmful use of alcohol. These can lead to raised blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, overweight, and obesity, which can be measured to assess one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. 

The encouraging news is that as many as 80% of all heart attacks and strokes are preventable.

How We Can Help Manage Heart Conditions

Valia Lifestyle empowers you to make informed choices about your heart health. We promote prevention as well as the management of heart disease, ensuring you can lead a heart-healthy life.

Our solutions include medical management and customized nutrition plans to manage cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as exercise programs to strengthen your heart and improve overall cardiovascular health. We also offer support and guidance to help you quit smoking and address other lifestyle factors that may be contributing to heart disease.

Manage Chronic Illness in Los Angeles, CA

At Valia Lifestyle, we recognize that chronic illnesses are complex and deeply impactful on your life. Our approach is grounded in the belief that there is always potential for change and improvement, no matter where you are on your health journey.

We believe the best way to approach chronic illness is through prevention, comprehensive care, and transformative lifestyle changes.

To schedule a consultation, call Valia Lifestyle at 323-282-7280 or contact us online

Beverly Hills Office
9229 Wilshire Blvd,
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Woodland Hills Office
21550 W Oxnard St. Suite 300
Woodland Hills, California 91367

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Additional and regular office hours are available by appointment only.
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