Want to live a long and healthy life? Which ‘Pillar’ will you work on first?

Katherine Whitby, 22nd January 2018


I was lucky enough to go to an event on Friday with Dr Rangan Chatterjee of BBC’s ‘Doctor in the House’, who is shaking up the way not only we, but doctors look at health. He spoke about how modern medicine has become about looking at one symptom and giving one treatment ‘What’s the Pill for the Ill?’. This is partly due to GPs having only 10 minutes to see patients. Also, he argues that as our lifestyles and society have changed, putting massive pressures on our health, so medicine also needs to change. He says there is a lack of awareness and knowledge in the medical profession that many symptoms are connected and a multi-pronged approach is required. As a result, treatment is not getting to the bottom of the problems or preventing a multitude of long term health issues but merely supressing symptoms. The strain on our NHS health system is catastrophic, which I witness everyday whether in A&E or visiting families at home.

After a near tragic incident with his son, Dr Chatterjee has spent the last five years looking at how lifestyle and changes in society, over time has had a crippling effect on our health resulting in many chronic illnesses. In his bestselling book ‘The Four Pillar Plan’ he outlines how simple changes to our lifestyle in the areas of ‘Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep’ will profoundly improve our health now and in our future. The results he has seen in his practice and on BBC’s ‘Doctor in the House’ are staggering and wonderful! He even claims Alzheimer’s can be reversed. With support from big names such as Jamie Oliver and Nutritionist Amelia Freer, I truly believe he is going to make massive differences to the way we and the medical profession view health and how problems should be addressed through the growing movement of ‘lifestyle medicine’.

Just as we now understand ‘We are what we eat’ Dr Chatterjee has found in extensive research the accumulative effect of stress, sleep deprivation, eating processed foods, lack of movement in our day to day lives, the inability to switch off and relax because we are always ‘switched on’ due to our phones, social media, TV, bright lights. We have moved away so far from what our bodies we intended to do.

As parents, we need to consider how our children will cope with this effect on their health as they grow up. Huge rises in depression, mental health problems, high blood pressure, dementia, gut related illnesses, allergies - the list goes on are a result of years of pressure on often at times, seemingly ‘healthy’ bodies resulting in chronic illness. Type 2 diabetes now accounts for 10% of the NHS’s budget - £1 million an hour!

Here are the simple changes he recommends to slowly introduce. He says to aim to work on each pillar equally say 2 or 3 changes in each rather than aiming for all in one pillar as all 4 pillars have equal importance.


Relax and Eat pillar

Move and sleep pillar


I am so excited to see the changes ahead in the world of health and working on my pillars! I highly recommend the book, it’s easy to dip in and out of even if you don’t have much time to read it. Have you read Dr Chatterjee’s book and tried any small lifestyle changes? Let me know what you think.


Pillar image


Here’s to a healthy 2018.

Katherine x


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