Doctors innately have an inspiring quality about them. Here is one such Dr. Arpitha Komanapalli who has personally encountered medical hardships and is now on a journey to bring in holistic health and positivity in the world with the concept of ‘Functional Medicine’. Read on to get inspired.
Tell us a little about your childhood…
My childhood was good. My father was a Government employee and my mother got married to him at a young age of 17. Due to a demanding work schedule, my father was constantly transferred to different places in India and we had to travel with him. I am the eldest daughter with 3 siblings. Until my 5th grade, we went along with my father to every place he was transferred to. Once I entered the 6th grade, my mother insisted on staying back with the kids in Hyderabad (my hometown) for the sake of our studies and stability while father had to continue. Being the eldest among 4 children, responsibility and fun were always in sync.
Where did you do your schooling, college and further studies?
My schooling and college was in St. Ann’s in Hyderabad. After completing my schooling my mother expressed that she has always wanted to see me as a doctor. However, even though I had deep respect for the profession, I did not have much interest in pursuing my career in medicine. But, like many of us do, I wanted to fulfill my parents’ dreams. I got admission in Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad and pursued my MBBS. After graduation, I got an internship at Harvard, Boston and then I worked for a brief period of time at Boston Medical Center. I still had not finalized on my majors yet and during this time, I was slightly inclined to become a cardiologist or an oncologist.
How did you navigate towards Functional Medicine?
Since I was weighing different branches in medicine for my majors and where I would be able to serve the best of my abilities, we were struck by crisis that required me to return back to India. After I returned, I wanted to pursue my further studies in Hyderabad. I was then given an opportunity in Sarojini Devi Hospital, Hyderabad in the field of Ophthalmology. But due to the unfortunate situations in the family, I had to stick to the thought of studying further till after marriage.
It was now that Benjamin Komanapalli, my husband, came along. As we were planning the wedding and were in the celebratory time, one of the most painful thing happened, my father breathed his last. This incident shook us all emotionally. When you face a loss you seem to try and comprehend deeper things in life and this occurrence helped me get in touch with my personal emotions a lot. I hail from a huge family of doctors and my father was under the best medical care of my family. It got me thinking how at a younger age of 53, we were unable to do anything to save him. This was the first nudge for me towards something bigger and more credible treatment, which later turned out to be Functional Medicine.
Share with us a little about your family and Kids…
After the event, we got married. Soon after out marriage, I moved to the USA with my husband and started following their lifestyle closely. This helped me introduce myself to a larger picture in life.
In the first year of marriage, I conceived my beautiful baby girl and came back to India for delivery. I had a perfectly normal delivery. But, my first pregnancy was not very easy on me, emotionally. Considering the past happenings, I wasn’t upbeat after the delivery. At this juncture was my second and hard nufge towards Functional Medicine. It completely shifted my attention. I started reading many books like Dr. Mark Hyman to expand my knowledge in the field. I then decided to do an online course on Functional medicine.
Why such a keen interest in Functional medicine?
It is a fascinating field in medicine and it is extremely important to analyze the root cause of symptoms and ailments. Without understanding why the issue, it is impossible to answer how to come out of it. Another positive reinforcement was that during my course, my mother became a victim of arthritis and could barely walk. I trusted my studies and treated my mother with the help of functional medicine and she is now cured of the ailment. She is comfortable strolls and can go on long walks even. Also, functional medicine was the reason my second pregnancy was a successful and a happier one. My trust in the field is because it is extremely credible and I have personally seen the cures work wonders.
What gave you the motivation to start vlogging?
Once I realized that there are many people out there who can make the most of Functional Medicine I wanted to share my knowledge with everybody. My husband is an extremely supportive and encouraging one in my life and it was his encouragement that helped me take it up as well. The aim behind vlogging was to pass on the knowledge and information to as many people as possible and help them better theirs and their family’s health.
Here is my answer to the question "How to control sugar craving?"
Posted by Dr. Arpitha Komanapalli on Wednesday, July 20, 2016
I thought that I could start and my first 3 minute video on Sugar was shot by my husband on my personal page. Without any ads or external push, on the very first day, that received 38,000 views. This reassured my venture in vlogging because it made me realize that many people out there are consistently looking for answers to help themselves or their loved ones.
How are you able to juggle between career and family so seamlessly?
Motherhood is surely one of the biggest changes in any woman’s life. But, the amount of joy your children bring in your life is incomparable and magical. Having said that, after my first delivery, when I wasn’t fit enough, everything around me looked slightly distorted, but once I regained my energy and will, the second one was an absolute delight. It is extremely important for the mother to be fit as a fiddle during pregnancy as pregnancy is considered a ‘rebirth’ for the mother. As a wife, I am extremely blessed and lucky to have married Ben. He is a pastor for a Church and a backbone for our family. It is with his support and understanding that I have been able to do a good job at both career and family.
What are your future plans in the medical field?
My goal in the field of medicine is to firstly increase awareness amongst people. Lack of awareness is detrimental and leaves you no scope towards betterment as well. Subtle and small changes in everybody’s lifestyle can really have significant impacts in our lives.
This especially applies to women. With immense tolerance and enormous sacrifice, every woman deserves to know what can help her lead a healthier and in turn happier life. Women are the backbone to any family and being healthy is tremendously important.
Lastly, could you please share a tip or two for our readers?
- Practice cooking and eating home-cooked food. It is surely difficult at times especially if you a working woman but, an hour spent cooking for you and your family will prove to be fruitful in the present and future. Eating outside food should be avoided as much as possible.
- Second is sleeping. Women work tirelessly and most of the times sacrifice/ ignore their sleep for the sake of work or family or both. But this can take a toll on both physical and mental health. Make sure that you get a mandatory sleep of 7 hours at the very least.