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January 9, 2018

As women approach mid-life and start to experience menopause, many often wonder if hormone therapy is the right choice for them. Hormone Therapy is an important consideration for women, and for many, the choice as to which type to use, can be quite confusing. There are basically two types of hormone therapy: traditional, or the more natural approach, which is called bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

Traditional hormone therapy, sometimes referred to as “synthetic,” are FDA approved medications that have been most commonly prescribed for hormone replacement. Bioidentical hormone therapy, or sometimes referred to as “natural”, are compounded at special pharmacies. With natural bioidentical hormones, there is good evidence that women can find relief from symptoms of hormonal imbalance without the risks that come along with synthetic hormones.

What are Bioidentical Hormones? 

Bioidentical hormones are derived from naturally occurring sources, such as soy or yams, and are designed to replicate the same chemical structure as the hormones that are produced naturally by our bodies. Based on your hormone levels, a compounding pharmacy can individually tailor a bioidentical hormone regimen specifically designed for you by your physician. BHRT allows for the greatest ability to create custom therapy best suited for you as an individual. Typical cost should be $40-$45 per month.

Are Bioidentical Hormones Safer, More Effective than Synthetic Hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are more suitable to most when dealing with menopause because they are derived naturally and our bodies can metabolize them properly. Another advantage of using bioidentical hormones is that they are specifically designed to match your individual hormonal needs – unlike synthetic hormones, which often uses a one-size-fits-all approach to symptom relief.

There is much supportive literature that suggests bioidentical hormone therapy is safer and more effective than synthetic hormone replacement. However, it’s important to remember that no drug or supplement is completely safe – that is where the expertise of a women’s specialist is needed to decide the best approach for you and your specific medical needs. At Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, our physicians are board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and are experts in menopausal management.

What are the Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy? 

Some of the day-to-day benefits are as follows:

  • Stops hot flashes
  • Diminishes night sweats
  • Increases energy
  • Helps control anxiety and irritability
  • Decreases brain fog
  • Controls loss of hair, brittle nails and dry skin
  • Helps lift mood or depression symptoms
  • Helps manage weight
  • Increases libido
  • Reduces vaginal dryness

Hormone therapy also has long-term benefits that significantly impact life:

  • Protection of your heart (#1 killer for women)
  • Protection for your bones
  • Decreases risk of colon cancer
  • Good evidence suggests it decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

How Do I Know What Hormones and What Amounts are Right for me?

Based on your age, history, symptoms, whether you’ve had a hysterectomy, and other factors, one or more hormones will be suggested. On occasion, a blood test will be performed to check the hormone levels. Again, it is very important that you choose an OB/GYN that is an expert in menopause management and is up-to-date on the latest medical information.

What is the Best Way to take Bioidentical Hormones and How Long?

Usually the best route to take bioidenticals is through the skin, such as a roll-on gel or cream. Occasionally, oral medication or pills will be given. We know that menopause accelerates the aging process and causes challenging daily symptoms. Additionally, there are known health benefits of being on hormone therapy, so for most, it is recommended to be on HRT for the rest of your life.

Why Should You Choose Cherokee Women’s Health to Manage Bioidenticals?

Our method of managing your hormone therapy has your best interest in mind. We limit visits and lab tests to only what’s needed, using symptoms to monitor most of your progress. In an office visit and possibly a basic blood test, you can be given a prescription for bioidentical hormone therapy and be on your way to feeling your best. If your symptoms remain, we can tweak the dosage until your are at your optimal health.

At Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, our goal is to help women live the best life possible. When you give your body the attention and support it needs, you’ll look better and feel better because of it.

With bioidentical hormones and the help of our highly trained physicians, you can be on your way to feeling your best in no time.

Call our office at (770) 720-7733 for an appointment with one of our menopause management expert physicians.

January 2, 2018

By James Haley, MD, FACOG, FPMRS 

Dr. Haley photo

Dr. Haley

Traditionally, women turned to the youth-restoring practice of Botox treatments beginning in their forties. More recently, however, the trend has shifted toward a younger age. This is done to not only smooth out wrinkles and flaccid skin, but to actually prevent the slackening process from happening at all. 

Technically, there is no magic age to begin treatment – it varies from person to person. A good rule of thumb is to look in the mirror and smile, frown, and then relax the face. If significant lines and wrinkles still remain while your face is relaxed, you may want to consider preventative Botox treatments. You may notice this occurring at any point between the ages of 25 and 35. 

The Benefits of Early Botox Treatments 

When you begin early Botox administration, the collagen and elasticity breakdown that naturally occurs over the years is inhibited. Muscles that would ordinarily enable wrinkles and lines to form are literally held still” in a relaxed state. Botox no longer allows these muscles to over-contract in everyday frowns or squints, leaving your skin smooth and taut. Continued treatment allows you to retain a youthful appearance indefinitely – which in turn is great for your self-image! 

Trust Women’s Health Specialists  

To meet the high demand for Botox, numerous physicians and spas offer Botox injections. Though it is a fairly simple process with little risk, choosing the wrong provider occasionally results in negative effects, such as droopy eye or nerve damage. It is important that you locate an experienced, trained physician. 

As OB-GYN’s who care for women through all the stages of their lives, at Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists we are sympathetic to the fact that women want their outward physical appearance to mirror their inward physical health. Reconstructive surgery, and rejuvenation and cosmetic care are a natural extension of our services as women’s health care providers. Drs. Litrel, Gandhi and myself are doubly accredited OB/GYN’s and Urogynecologists with board certification in both Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) and OB/GYN. This unusual qualification allows us to expertly treat the unique health problems of women – including the “finishing touches” of cosmetic procedures for a youthful appearance. Thus, Botox and injectables have been part of my services for my patients since 2007. 

Beginning with an in-depth consultation, we can administer Botox so that you can enjoy its rejuvenating benefits.  Skilled hands can keep your outer appearance looking every bit as youthful as the age you feel in your heart. 

Call our office at (770) 721-6060 to schedule a free consultation. 

This article was originally featured in the January 2018 issue of Townelaker magazine. To view an online version, click here

November 22, 2017

Traditionally, women started turning to the youth-restoring practice of Botox treatments in their mid-thirties or forties. More recently, however, the trend has shifted towards a much younger age-not only to smooth out wrinkles and flaccid skin, but to prematurely prevent the slackening process from happening at all.

Experts agree that starting Botox treatments at a younger age is beneficial to prevent lines and wrinkles from ever occurring. But at what age should Botox treatments begin?

Benefits of Early Botox Treatments

Technically there is no magic age to begin treatment, and it generally varies from person to person. A good rule of thumb is to look in the mirror and smile, frown, and then relax the face. If lines and wrinkles remain while the face is still relaxed, it may be time to consider preventative Botox treatments. Most will notice this occurring between the ages of 25 and 35.

When you begin early Botox administration, the collagen and elasticity breakdown that naturally occurs over the years is inhibited. Muscles that would ordinarily be enabling wrinkles, folds, and lines to form over time are literally frozen into a relaxed state. Botox no longer allows these muscles to contract as they attempt to comply with everyday expressions such as frowns, squints, or grimaces, thus leaving skin smooth and taut. Continued treatment allows you to retain a youthful appearance indefinitely, which in turn raises confidence and boosts self-image.

Trust Your Women’s Health Specialists Are you considering botox treatments?

In order to meet the high demand for Botox at a younger age, there are numerous physicians and “medical spas” that offer Botox injections. Though it is a fairly simple and quick process with little risk, choosing the wrong provider could result in negative effects such as penetration or damage to untargeted muscles, unnecessary bruising, excessive redness, headache, nausea, and drooping or tearing in the sensitive eye area. As well, improper application can cause symmetrical imbalance, or even have no desired effect whatsoever. It is important, therefore, that you opt for an experienced, trained medical specialist.

At Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, we hold and maintain our outstanding reputation in women’s health, reconstructive surgery, and rejuvenation and cosmetic care by putting you and your individual needs first. Drs. Litrel, Haley, and Gandhi are doubly accredited OB/GYN’s and Urogynecologists holding degrees in both Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) and OB/GYN. This enviable certification qualifies them to treat all of your personal, unique feminine problems, including any cosmetic requirements such as Botox injections. Dr. James Haley has had experience and certification in Botox and Injectables since 2007.

Voted ‘Best OB-GYN in Towne Lake, Canton and Woodstock’, we strive to continue meeting the highest standards that earned us this recognition.

At Your Botox Consultation

Beginning with an in-depth consultation, we can administer Botox in a safe, long-lasting manner that adheres to all FDA guidelines, including precise serum dilution. Your process will take place in a pristine environment with focused attention to the muscle location necessary for effective and successful results.

There is no finite age when Botox becomes ineffective or must be discontinued. Women well into their eighties are enjoying its aesthetic rejuvenating benefits. You can too, by letting us do our skilled part in keeping your outer appearance looking every bit as youthful as the age you feel in your heart.

Call our office at (770) 721-6060 to schedule a free consultation.

Many people are afraid to ask important questions when it comes to their sexual health. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Separate fact from fiction when it comes to STDs and STIs.

Today, we’ll walk you through how STDs are spread so you can learn the best ways to treat and prevent them. Ask your doctor to clarify facts on any questions you might have regarding STDs and STIs.

Who Can Get STDs?

Anyone who is sexually active can get an STD or an STI. You are considered sexually active if you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

More young people have an STD than older adults. Nearly half of everyone under the age of 25 has an STD or STI. This is especially alarming considering this age bracket only makes up for one-quarter of people having sex.

Many STDs and STIs do not have any symptoms. Talk with your partner and get tested together before becoming sexually active.

How to Prevent STD/STIs?

The only way to 100% prevent STDs and STIs is to abstain from sexual activity.

However, you can reduce the risk of contracting a sexual disease by using a condom.

Even if you are on birth control, you should consider STD protection. While birth control can prevent you from becoming pregnant, it will not aid in the prevention of STDs.

How Are STDs and STIs Diagnosed? 

If you think you might have been exposed to an STD, get tested right away. The only way to know for sure is to get tested.

Remember, STD and HIV testing is not always a part of your regular doctor visit. If you’re sexually active, don’t assume you are STD-free without getting tested.

Testing for STDs is confidential, quick, and easy. For example, you can get tested for HIV with a simple oral cotton swab and know your results in as little as 20-minutes. Other STDs can be tested by a urine test, vaginal swab, or a quick blood test.

What if I have an STD?

Having an STD isn’t the end of the world. All STDs including HIV are treatable. Most are even curable.

It’s important to be open with your sexual partner. Having an honest conversation before sex (whether it be vaginal, anal, or oral) can help stop the spread of STDs.

While these conversations may seem hard, it’s better to have a responsible talk sooner than later. This way, you can both be vigilant in protecting against STD transfer to an uninfected partner.

Concerns About Sexual Health

When it comes to sexual health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you think you may have been exposed to an STD or STI, see your doctor right away.

Untreated, STDs can lead to serious health problems down the road. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about symptoms you may be having.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us with concerns regarding your symptoms. A member of our trained staff can answer questions about your sexual health or schedule a confidential appointment.

‘Tis the season to maximize your annual insurance benefits. Get the most out of your medical benefits before the year comes to a close. In many instances, preventative care treatments are available to you with no co-pay or co-insurance.

Plus, if you’ve already satisfied your health insurance deductible, it’s the perfect time to get last minute screenings. Your deductible will automatically restart at the beginning of the year, meaning you’ll likely be paying out-of-pocket for those same procedures.

Here are a few tips and tricks that you can do to maximize your annual check-up.

#1 Come Prepared Make the most of your annual exam

From the moment you schedule your appointment (or even before), keep a list of questions and concerns you’d like to speak to your physician about. Going through your checklist at the start of your visit will ensure you get the most out of your exam and that all of your concerns are addressed.

#2 Review Your Medical History – And, Your Family’s

Filling out medical forms 5 minutes before your visit can potentially leave vital information missing. Doing your homework beforehand can give your doctor the information they need to properly treat you. Include: family members who have had cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions that run in your family.

#3 Remember: Your Doctor’s Office is a Judgement-Free Zone

Don’t be afraid to bring up uncomfortable topics such as weight, fertility, or sexual health – even if it’s something small. You may not realize it but your doctor could recognize your problem as a sign or symptom of something bigger. Small problems, like being slightly overweight can also increase your risk for illnesses such as heart disease and certain cancers. Being open and honest with your doctor could help you set a plan for a better overall well-being.

#4 Talk About Vaccines

Just because you’re not in grade-school anymore doesn’t mean you get to escape the dreaded needle. When you get your flu shot, ask your doctor what other vaccines you’re due for. Adults still require a tetanus shot every 10-years for example. Your doctor may also suggest a pertussis vaccine for whooping cough – especially if you come in close contact with infants or small children.

#5 Bring Up Age-Related Issues

Even if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, you should get a mammogram annually starting at the age of 40. Starting between 35-40 you should also have annual blood tests done to check cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. After menopause, women should have thyroid tests done every 5 years as well.

#6 It’s Not Just Physical

Your emotional health is just as important as your physical well-being. Let your physician know if you’re not sleeping properly, you’re extra stressed, or are feeling down in the dumps. Your doctor might be able to suggest simple lifestyle changes that can benefit your emotional well-being.

Final Thoughts

Now is the time to start seriously thinking about last-minute preventative care. Use this opportunity to maximize your annual health insurance benefits. You’ll have your health care provider’s undivided attention–make the most of it.

Call our offices to schedule your annual exam today. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your well-being, don’t hesitate to call. A trained member of our staff will be happy to help.

Self-breast exams are important for adult women. Approximately 1-in-8 US women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Regular breast exams can help familiarize yourself with your body and provide early detection for breast cancer in many women.

How Often to Do a Self-Breast Exam

Feel free to do a self-breast exam as often as you like. The more familiar you are with your breasts, the easier it is to recognize noticeable changes. Typically, adult women should complete a self-exam at least once a month.

Breast cancer cannot be prevented but it can be detected early and caught before it spreads. If you discover changes in your breasts, seek medical attention as soon as possible for a professional evaluation.

What to Look for During a Self-Exam Breast exams are an important part of a woman's health and wellness.

Breast cancer can look different for many women. However, some of the things you should be looking for when doing a self-exam are the following;

  • A lump or hardened knot
  • Thickening or discoloration of the skin
  • Redness, soreness, or swelling
  • Changes in the contour of the breast
  • Changes in nipple color or inverted nipple
  • Unusual discharge from nipple

Keep in mind, not all symptoms of breast cancer are the same. If you suspect anything out of the norm when completing a breast exam, schedule a consult and mammogram with your physician immediately.

Self-Breast Exam Techniques

Some women prefer to do a circular motion using the pads of their fingers. Start at the center of your breast using a medium-firm pressure. Be sure to cover the entire area of the breast from armpit to cleavage.

Another way to evaluate your breasts is using a top to bottom method. Again, use a medium-firm pressure to run your fingers up and down your entire breast region. Start at your collarbone and glide your fingers down to your abdomen.

Where to Complete a Self-Breast Exam

An accurate self-breast exam will require three simple steps in 2-3 positions. When done correctly a self-exam shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes of your time.

In of the Mirror

Standing in front of a mirror allows you to visually inspect your breasts. Start with your arms at your sides and look at your breasts from the left, right, and frontal positions. After you’ve completed this portion of your exam, repeat the process with your arms high above your head.

Lying Down

For the second portion of your breast exam, you’ll need to be in a lying position. Lying down is advantageous because your breast tissue is flat against your chest cavity making it easier to spot something unusual.

Once you’re lying on your back, place a pillow under your right shoulder (or whichever side you’d like to examine first). Then, fold the same arm behind your head. Take the opposite hand and begin to use your preferred examination technique.

After you’ve covered the entire breast area, repeat the process with your other side.

In the Shower

During the final step of your exam, you’ll need to be standing upright. Many women find it easier to complete this stage of the self-examination in the shower where the skin is wet and slippery. Once again, use a medium-firm pressure to feel for anything out of the norm on both breasts.

At this time, lightly squeeze your nipple feeling for lumps and looking for any time of discharge.

Final Thoughts

Don’t hesitate to give us a call for further guidance regarding your self-breast exam. If you’ve discovered something unusual that you want a professional to evaluate, call to schedule a consultation immediately.

November 21, 2017

Your diet impacts every aspect of your body. And, yes, that includes your vagina as well. Making healthier choices can boost your sexual health, reproductive health and even help women navigate menopause with less severe symptoms.

A healthy vagina has naturally healthy acidic pH levels. A vagina that’s in good health has a host of healthy bacteria known as probiotics. These good bacteria ward off infections and keep your reproductive system working smoothly.

Today, we’ll take a look at several simple dietary adjustments you can make to maintain optimal vaginal and sexual health.

Alleviate Painful Cramps

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help ease your period pain. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce period symptoms such as cramps. Some omega-3 rich foods to add to your diet include:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • walnuts

If you’re craving something on the sweet side, try fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries.

If you’re experiencing cramps related to your period, you may want to avoid these foods; fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine, and salt.

Ward Off Yeast Infections

Probiotic-rich foods have been shown to promote a good pH balance within the vagina. The good bacteria Lactobacillus improves overall vaginal health and can help prevent yeast infections.

The best probiotic-rich foods to try for the prevention of yeast infections are:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir

While you’ve probably heard about the benefits of cranberry juice in the treatment of yeast infections, it’s also packed with unhealthy amounts of sugar.

Put an End to UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause annoyingly frequent bathroom breaks and a painful burning sensation. About half the women in the US have (or will have) a UTI at some point in their life.

Keeping your body hydrated by drinking lots of water is a great way to flush bad bacteria from your kidneys, bladder, and uterus. Another great way to keep UTIs at bay is to consume plenty of antimicrobial-rich foods such as green tea and ginger.

Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes, oranges, limes, and lemons.

Counteract Menopause Symptoms

There are even foods that can help you navigate menopause with less severe symptoms. Vaginal dryness, for example, is caused by reduced estrogen levels. Phytoestrogens (a natural plant-based estrogen replacement) can help reduce irritating vaginal dryness.

Some good phytoestrogen-rich foods include soy products such as:

  • Edamame
  • Tofu
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

These soy-based products are also hydrophilic, or natural lubricants, that attract moisture to your tissue.

Final Thoughts

Healthy foods equal a happy, healthy vagina. But keep in mind, the foods you eat only affect your body for 2-3 days after consuming them. It’s important to maintain a healthy diet for optimal sexual and vaginal health.

To learn more about your sexual health, give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have or schedule a nutritional consultation.

November 16, 2017

proteinWe all need it but can too much protein in your diet be deadly? Almost all of us grew up hearing that you can have too much of a good thing. As children, we probably learned that the hard way by drinking too much soda, or by stuffing ourselves with extra Halloween candy. The result was never pleasant. Though overdoing sensible portions may not always be dangerous, it can certainly have disagreeable repercussions. This applies to most over indulgences, including food the body may need such as fats, carbohydrates — even proteins.

What are Proteins and Why Do We Need Them?

To imagine what a protein looks like, picture an open charm bracelet lying on a table from a distance. Each charm is visible but indistinguishable from the one next to it. As you get closer, those charms begin to have distinct shapes and sizes, each with their own meaning.

Under a microscope, proteins resemble that bracelet. They are long strands linking together their own ‘charms’ called amino acids, and each one has its own unique formation and ‘memory’ to perform its purpose.

There are twenty different amino acids essential to the human body, and each protein can have all or only some of the ones you need to remain healthy. All twenty of those amino acids linked to proteins are vital to overall health and body function. Some proteins have the complete twenty, while others have only a few. This explains the different sizes of strands attached to each protein. Any or all amino acids can also appear on the same strand hundreds to thousands of times in varying sequences.

These amino acids literally keep you alive, creating enzymes, hormones, and multiple body chemicals. They build and repair tissue, blood, muscles, cartilage, and bones. Protein provides energy and even reproduces more protein such as your hair, skin, and nails.

Where Do We Get Protein?

Mother Nature, in her wisdom, has provided this planet with everything we need to sustain human life, and that includes numerous sources of protein. Though the body produces many of the twenty vital amino acids, you still need roughly half from various foods. There are only a few complete food sources, and these are:

  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Red meat
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Soy

Other foods rich in protein include beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, and legumes. The following are only a fraction of foods that fall into these categories:

  • Hummus
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Alfalfa
  • Clover
  • Fresh peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Edible Beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cashews
  • Flax seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds

Yet another excellent source is protein powder.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

The recommended daily protein guideline is 1.6 grams per kilogram of weight. This means that a woman weighing 50 kg or 110 lbs. would require 80 grams or 2.8 ounces. This amount is not carved in stone. Many factors, such as lifestyle, activity level and individual health come into play. You may need more if you are very athletic, or possibly less if you lead a more sedentary life.

What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Protein?

Not enough protein intake can cause the body to work less efficiently, especially if the composition of those proteins does not meet your basic physical needs with the necessary amount of amino acids. Though they may be high in protein, nibbling on handfuls of walnuts all day, may make you deficient in the other amino acids it lacks. By doing this, you may find yourself experiencing such negative effects as:

  • Sluggishness
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Trouble learning or absorbing new information
  • Fatigue or listlessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Lowered metabolism
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty healing
  • Joint, muscle, and bone pain
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Changes in blood sugar with a danger of developing diabetes
  • Difficulty losing weight or gaining muscle mass.

Can Too Much Protein be Deadly?

Though ingesting too much protein may have undesirable effects, there are no reported cases of excessive amounts of protein resulting in death. In rare instances, when massive protein consumption was reported to be fatal, it was later learned that there was an underlying disorder or disease that contributed to the event.

The body is unable to store protein for later use. Any surplus you don’t need is first turned into energy and then to fat. That, in turn, is stored away, causing weight gain. Overloading on protein rather than eating a balanced diet can also run the risk of you not getting other nutrients you need in the form of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals vital to good health.

Too much protein won’t kill you. You may, however, have some unpleasant reactions such as:

  • Irritability
  • Brain fog
  • Constipation
  • Thirst
  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Dehydration

Copious amounts of protein are only usually dangerous if you have a genetic, hereditary, or pre-existing problem. Excessive protein intake may accelerate further problems if you already suffer from weakened or compromised kidneys, liver, pancreas, or heart. Tainted or diseased food containing protein can be lethal in small or large amounts depending on the severity of the toxin. In short, too much protein can contribute to complications, but simply eating too much of it does not have deadly consequences.

If you have nutritional questions, call us at 770.720.7733.

BMR Rate CalculatorStatistics say that the average weight gain over the holidays is 15 pounds but understanding your BMR may help you boost weight loss over the holidays. You may have stumbled across the words, ’Basal Metabolic Rate’, more commonly referred to as BMR, in one of your many quests for a permanent weight loss program. The explanation regarding BMR probably seemed a little too scientific or complicated to completely understand, so you went on to look for something less confusing. If, instead, you researched and tried a few fad diets, lost weight and then gained it back with more, it might be time to take another look at that BMR information.

With the holidays quickly approaching, your caloric intake is probably on your mind —along with the fear of caving once you get to that food-laden table. Grandma or Mom will start circling your favorite pie under your nose, using their other hand to wave that delectable scent to your nostrils; someone will insist you be the judge of the best of three stuffings – and, oh my goodness, did Aunt Carol say she was bringing her famous candied yams?

What is BMR?

Very simply put, your body needs a certain amount of energy in order to function. Even while you’re sitting perfectly still or sleeping, calories are needed for all your organs to operate correctly – for your heart to beat, blood to circulate, kidneys to filter and flush waste. Even breathing requires energy. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimal amount of calories necessary to perform these functions when your body is in a state of complete rest and inactivity.

Why is This Important Regarding Weight Loss?

We’ve been taught that in order to maintain our ideal weight, women need to consume about 1,200 calories a day and that anything above and beyond that is excessive and leads to extra weight. This is not the case at all. The truth is that you may need more than that merely to keep your body running. Those factors include:

  • Your Gender – Women typically have more fat and less muscle than men, so their BMR will be a lower number.
  • Your Height
  • Your Present Weight
  • Your Age – As you age, activity levels typically drop, leading to more fat than muscle and a decline in metabolic rate.

Your Body is a Well-Oiled Machine

The human body doesn’t think. It’s a machine and its main function is to survive. It needs fuel (food and drink) to run properly. To do that, it needs a certain number of calories to do its job adequately. If you feed it more than it needs, it converts the excess into fat and stores it, much like a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter.

If you begin dieting before knowing the minimal calories you need just to keep everything working, your body feels deprived and begins to deplete its stashed hoard until it runs out of fuel. Once that reserve is gone, it starts to work less effectively. It doesn’t know you are eating less because you want to lose weight. All it knows is that, suddenly, its accustomed level of mandatory nutrients has decreased and it doesn’t have enough ‘fuel’ to keep things running smoothly.

By knowing your BMR, you have a starting point to begin a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise with a greater potential for permanent results. Weight gain is usually a slow process. It stands to reason that weight loss will be equally slow. However, as you start to eat sensibly, cut back on calories safely, and work out a little, your BMR level will drop accordingly until you reach a desirable number and can maintain your weight.

Are BMI and BMR the Same Thing?

No, BMI stands for body mass index. The number calculated from the body mass index formula is used by physicians to measure the amount of muscle, fat and bone in an individual. It determines if a person is obese, overweight, underweight or right on target. BMI numbers alert doctors to identify if their patient is at risk for potential problems such as diabetes, heart disease, anorexia or other disorders. BMI, along with BMR, is also helpful for nutritionists and dieticians in helping you plan a healthy weight loss program.

How is BMR Calculated?

Many BMR calculators are available online, but if you prefer to figure it out manually, this is the formula based on a woman who weighs 140 pounds, is 5’4”’ tall (64”), and is 35 years old.

Step 1) Multiply weight in pounds by 4.35.  (4.35 x 140=609.)

Step 2) Add 655 to the total.  (609 + 655 =1264) write down this total

Step 3) Multiply height in inches by 4.7. (4.7 x 64=300.8)

Step 4) Add this total to the amount in step #2 (1264 + 300.8=1564.8) Write this total down.

Step 5) Multiply age by 4.7. (4.7 x 35=164.5)

Step 6) Subtract the total in step #5 from your total in step #4. (1564.8 – 164.5=1400.3).

In short, based on this random woman’s gender, weight, height and age, this would be her formula to follow: 655+ (4.35 x 140) + (4.7 x 64) – (4.7 x 35) = 1400.3. The total of 1,400.3 is the basic number of calories she would need simply to maintain body function at complete rest. To determine your BMI number, you only need to substitute your own information.

Your daily activity level is equally important in calculating this result, and once you have your BMR number, you need to multiply it by the following numbers based on your personal lifestyle:

  • Very Inactive – If you work at a desk job with very little movement throughout the day, multiply BMR by 1.2.
  • Mild – If you do minimal exercise or participate in light sports once or twice a week, multiply BMR by 1.375.
  • Average Activity – If your exercise regimen or sports participation is moderate 3-5 days a week, multiply BMR by 1.55.
  • Heavy – If you exercise daily or participate in sports 6-7 days a week, multiply BMR by 1.725.
  • Extreme – If you exercise very heavily, have a physical occupation, body train, or practice extreme sports, multiply BMR activity by 1.9.

How We Can Help You

We offer individual medical weight loss packages and counseling and customize each program based on your specific needs. We assess your eating habits, modifying any vitamin, mineral or protein deficiencies with appropriate supplements. If stronger intervention is required, FDA-approved and natural appetite suppressants, fat-fighting injections, and HCG therapy are also available. We recognize that your needs are as unique as you are, and we treat you accordingly.

Call today to schedule your free weight loss consultation at 770.720.7723.

 

 

November 11, 2017

Placenta accreta can be discovered in the third trimester.When blood vessels and other parts of the placenta attach too deeply to the uterine wall during pregnancy, you have what’s known as placenta accreta.

As many as 1 in 2,500 pregnancies experience this condition.

Placenta accreta is a serious pregnancy condition that can cause serious blood loss after childbirth.

This condition can also be called placenta increta, or placenta percreta depending on the severity of the and deepness of the placenta attachment.

Symptoms Associated with Placenta Accreta

Generally, there are no symptoms or signs of this condition early on. During the third-trimester, some women who have placenta accreta may experience vaginal bleeding.

If you do experience bleeding, consult your doctor to discuss your risk level. If bleeding is severe, seek immediate medical care.

Who is at Higher Risk?

Placenta accreta is thought to be caused by abnormalities in the lining of the uterus. These abnormalities can be caused by a number of things such as scarring due to a past C-section or other uterine surgery.

You may at a higher risk for placenta accreta if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • Older than 35. Women above the age of 35 are more likely to have placenta accreta.
  • Previous childbirth. Your risk factor increases with each birth.
  • Past uterine conditions. Uterine conditions such as fibroids can cause scarring or damage to the uterine wall.
  • Previous C-sections. If you’ve had a C-section or other uterine surgery in the past, you’re more at risk for placenta accreta.
  • Placenta position. When the placenta is partially or totally covering your cervix, the risk factor for accreta increases. Placenta accreta is also more common when the placenta sits on the lower portion of the uterus.

If you suspect you may be at risk for this serious medical condition, ask your physician about your risk factor.

How is Placenta Accreta Diagnosed?

Fortunately, some indicators of this condition can be spotted early on during initial ultrasounds.

If your doctor suspects you may be at higher-risk for placenta accreta, they will schedule a follow-up visit to discuss the condition and form a plan to manage it.

A follow-up visit may also include:

  • An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Your doctor can better see how your placenta is attached to the uterine wall through an MRI.
  • A Blood Screening: Through a simple blood test your physician tests the levels of alpha-fetoprotein in your blood. A rise in these levels has been linked to placenta accreta.

Your doctor may suggest a scheduled C-section as early as 34 weeks to avoid an emergency premature birth.

How Can Placenta Accreta Affect Delivery?

After normal childbirth, the placenta typically detaches from the uterine wall. However, with placenta accreta part of the placenta remains firmly attached.

Women with this condition can experience severe blood loss after the birth of their child. Placenta accreta can also cause premature birth.

If you’ve been diagnosed with placenta accreta, your physician may recommend an early C-section.

You may also need a hysterectomy (the surgical removal of the uterus).

Final Thoughts

Placenta accreta can be a scary medical condition. Maintaining an open dialog with your doctor throughout your pregnancy can help alleviate some of your fears. Together you can develop a plan for a safe delivery.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding placenta accreta or any other pregnancy-related condition. A trained staff member will be happy to answer any questions or schedule a consult.

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