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This CEO Would Have Gone Blind but Reversed It with Lifestyle Changes

“I think community and having loving relationships around you is probably one of the single most important things you can do to keep stress at bay.”

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In a recent interview with Jason Wachob, the founder and co-CEO of mindbodygreen, Jason Karp, the co-founder and chair of Hu Kitchen and founder and CEO of HumanCo said that he has revered what seemed to be an incurable condition through nutrition.

Karp joined Wachob on the mindbodygreen podcast to talk about his health journey and share what one can do to lead a healthy life.

At the age of 23, Karp had double vision, brain fog, and hair loss. He consulted with his ophthalmologist who told him that he had a degenerative corneal disease and would have gone blind.

He then went to another doctor (to whom he credits for saving his life) who found that his cortisol (stress hormone) levels were significantly high. He advised Karp to change his lifestyle; otherwise, he would not live until the age of 40.

After eliminating his usual diet for three months, which included packaged food, caffeine, and alcohol, and starting to do more exercise, it was surprising to see that his degenerative corneal disease had reversed.

Though Karp is much healthier today, he still has issued with autoimmune issues and discovered that he is sensitive to stress. He said, “I find stress to be much more potent of an inflammatory agent than anything else, including sleep and food.”

Here is what the CEO recommends to someone who struggles with medical conditions or hopes to boost their health:

Start exercising

Karp noticed how detrimental it was to not exercise after college. He was an athlete in college but once he started working, he completely stopped exercising. After knowing about his health, he started exercising and within a few days, he saw remarkable improvements in his health.

Get adequate sleep

Karp was in a demanding job and living an unhealthy lifestyle. He used to stay up late at night and rely on caffeine to stay awake. He realized that sleep deprivation played a great role in affecting his body and mind. Over a few months, he started getting enough sleep and noticed significant improvements in his health. He tries to sleep for more than seven hours a night.

Practice breathing techniques

To bring down his significantly high cortisol level, he started with breathing exercises. In association with medication, he does breathing exercises, which helped him to come into the state of awareness.

Build supportive relationships

Karp said, “I think community and having loving relationships around you is probably one of the single most important things you can do to keep stress at bay.” He talked about his relationship with his wife and kids, who have been his great support system. For Karp, eating a paleo diet, avoiding food additives and refined sugar, exercising, and reducing stress have made all the difference.

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