Team Blog > Dr Sundhya Raman

Lifestyle medicine physician

Dr Sundhya Raman has a degree in Pharmacology & Physiology, a Medical degree from Guys, King’s and St Thomas’s, London, a PhD in Genetics & Epigenetics from Oxford University and is a qualified Lifestyle Medicine physician with the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine/British Society of Lifestyle Medicine (IBLM/BSLM)

Dr Raman qualified as a medical doctor in 2007. Since then she has worked in a broad range of clinical specialties including acute and general medicine, cardiology, general surgery, endocrinology, gastroenterology, respiratory medicine and infectious diseases.

Prior to working as a doctor Dr Raman completed her PhD (D.Phil) at Oxford University in Genetics/Epigenetics. She has worked with well known scientists in labs around the world including Cancer Genetics at Yale University (USA), Chemotherapy drug modelling at Sydney University (Australia), and Alzheimers’ cellular physiology at the Wolfson Centre in London.

She has always considered suboptimal lifestyle factors to be the underlying driver to most chronic illness and unnecessary suffering. She has therefore taken a keen interest in the evolving evidence base for lifestyle medicine throughout her working life, and has regularly seen first hand the extraordinary benefits that can be attained through implementation of a holistic lifestyle approach.

My first degree was in Pharmacology & Physiology. I knew I wanted to do a PhD, but wasn’t quite ready to settle into being sensible, so I spent a couple of years travelling around Asia, Australia and the US, mainly by myself. I had read so many books romanticising the experience of wandering off the beaten path. It was one of the best things I ever did. Though I hope my kids don’t follow in my footsteps!

When I returned to the UK, I got stuck into a DPhil (PhD) in Genetics and Epigenetics at Oxford. I was in my early 20s, and it was during this time that the human struggle of chronic illness first touched my life. My father was diabetic and we discovered that the arteries supplying his heart were severely blocked and that his heart was failing. This threat overshadowed our lives. We waited with enormous trepidation for a date for his bypass operation -fearful he would either die whilst we were waiting, or die on the operating table.

My family and I are forever grateful for the decades of life the surgeons gave my father. However, the underlying problems that led him to this point continued. So whilst he lived to the age of 81, his quality of life was significantly impaired by blindness and frailty from diabetes.

Meanwhile, I went on to do a medical degree and worked as a hospital doctor for some years.

During a career break to focus on family I found that many of my friends and family were struggling with health issues, and the conventional medical approaches left them suffering with side effects from medication, or they were deteriorating despite their best efforts. When I went back to the science, I realised that there was a huge evidence base around the enormous power of lifestyle to prevent and even reverse disease.

The first person I practised lifestyle medicine on was a family member. He seemed to be doing everything right, yet couldn’t get his diabetes under control. His kidneys and eyes were showing signs of diabetic damage and he was fearful of going blind. We started by modifying his diet and exercise and within a few months all organ damage was reversed.

Typically these would have worsened, potentially leading to blindness and dialysis.

Since then I have seen the enormous power of lifestyle to reverse diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, reduce symptoms of (& medications for) rheumatoid arthritis, gout and other inflammatory conditions.

I completed the diploma in Lifestyle Medicine with the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine and the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine in 2020.

Aside from my passion for lifestyle medicine, I am almost always pottering around my garden (my happy place!), I love oil painting, DIY and cooking whole food plant-based meals.

My remaining ambitions are for my kids to go to bed before me, and to uncover the identity of ‘H’ from Line of Duty.


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