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Category: Health

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 3, 2017

liposuction candidate photoIs liposuction right for you? Certain requirements must be met in order to ascertain whether this surgery will be a potentially successful one for you. An appointment for a preliminary consultation with your physician should always be made so that you fully understand the benefits, risks, and exactly what the procedure entails. It is necessary to be completely honest and open with regards to the expectations you may have and the results you expect.

Many women assume that this procedure is the answer to all their prayers – that it will magically give them the firm, svelte body they’ve always dreamed of having. This is not the case.

Liposuction is not a quick fix for weight loss. Nor does it miraculously get rid of excessive cellulite or stretch marks. The purpose of liposuction is to remove resistant bundles of fat that stubbornly refuse to respond to regular diet and exercise, especially after you have reached and maintained a healthy weight. If you are in good enough physical condition to undergo this surgery, only strong determination, good eating habits and regular exercise will keep the weight from returning. Liposuction cannot do that for you. Its results are only permanent if your weight remains stable.

It needs to be mentioned that liposuction only removes what is referred to as ‘adipose tissue’. This is fatty connective tissue that consists of those lingering fat cells you want to banish from your body. That is liposuction’s sole purpose. It does not remove excess skin nor does it tighten or repair anything internally or externally the way a tummy tuck or breast lift might, though it is on occasion, used to extricate small, leftover fat deposits during a tummy tuck procedure. Generally, it simply removes bulges, lumps, and bumps via suction to give the trouble spots in question a more sculpted, smoother appearance. Liposuction is, however, often performed simultaneously with other cosmetic procedures like the ones mentioned.

Additionally, positive change will not show overnight. It can take up to three months to see the benefits, and to see optimum results, all precautionary instructions you are instructed to follow regarding your aftercare must be adhered to. This includes wearing a pressure garment for the specified amount of time. Some discomfort and swelling should be expected, along with leakage at the incision site for several days. The extra effort on your part should, in time, bring about a more pleasing appearance.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?

• Women who are within 15% to 30% of their ideal body weight according to body mass index (BMI) calculations.

• Women who have fat deposits confined in their necks, thighs, abdomens, arms, back and other areas that have proven to be unresponsive or genetically resistant to diet and exercise.

• Women in good physical health who have no critical illness or chronic condition that may hamper healing.

• Non-smokers.

• Women who no longer plan to get pregnant.

• Women with a positive mental and emotional outlook.

• Women with a strong determination to maintain their current health and weight long term.

• Women of any age who presently have strong, firm skin elasticity.

Are There Ever any Medical Reasons to Perform Liposuction?

Yes. Liposuction is usually considered an elective surgery, but there are exceptions where it is warranted for medical reasons. These include:

• Profuse armpit perspiration (axillary hyperhidrosis)

• Fatty benign tumors (lipomas)

• Fat metabolism problems (lipodystrophy)

• Enlargement of the dorsoscervical pads (buffalo hump) which can be caused by adrenal disease or certain medications such as anti-HIV drugs or steroids.

What Conditions or Issues Might Disqualify a Woman From Receiving Liposuction?

Since liposuction is a surgical procedure, certain medical or physical conditions may prove dangerous or even fatal depending on their severity. Sometimes general anesthesia is used, usually when the operation is coupled with another cosmetic procedure. These problems, depending on their severity, could prevent patients from withstanding the procedure safely. Therefore, the following disadvantages may preclude them from being prime subjects:

• Women who suffer from depression: Depression can be a possible after-effect of any surgery, including liposuction. Any pre-operative depression can worsen the condition. Furthermore, certain antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications can be extremely dangerous when combined with anesthesia.

• Significantly overweight or obese women: Typically, skin elasticity is lost with the stretching that occurs with considerable weight loss, making it less likely that the surgery will give the smooth, firm, desired appearance.

• Women who have been diagnosed with scarring/collagen or connective skin diseases such as collagen vascular disease, etc.

• Women with extreme stretch marks.

• Women with acne who have used Accutane up to 6 months prior to surgery.

• Women suffering from Lupus erythematous, endocrine problems, lung or heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, vascular and circulation problems, healing complications, and blood clotting disorders.

Can I Continue to Take My Daily Medications?

It is mandatory that your doctor is aware of every single medication, herb, and supplement you take regularly or even occasionally. This includes all recreational drugs and alcohol. They are not there to judge, only to take every precaution to ensure absolute safety before, during, and after your procedure. Many of the above may have a detrimental effect on you physically and emotionally. You may be required to discontinue some of the products you are taking, and only your specialist knows how to advise you in this matter.

Liposuction has evolved considerably since its introduction into the world of cosmetic surgery. Though it is much less invasive than ever before, it is still surgery and should only be performed by a qualified, board-certified specialist experienced in the procedure.

To schedule a confidential consultation or for more information, please call our private number at 770-721-6060.

liposuction photoLiposuction may be right for you if you’ve been struggling with excess weight in certain areas that just won’t budge, even after trying every exercise and diet known to man.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a procedure that removes fatty deposits from the body using a suction method. The process is quite simple to understand. A thin tube called a cannula is inserted under the skin into a small incision near that troublesome mass you want gone – and just like that vacuum you use at home to inhale the dust bunny from under your couch, that cannula sucks out the fat.

What is the Purpose of Liposuction?

Many women are under the false assumption that liposuction is a quick fix for weight loss and can eliminate cellulite or stretch marks. This is not the case at all, and the procedure is never recommended for these reasons. In fact, even the most intense liposuction procedures only result in a difference of under five pounds, which is hardly enough to warrant undergoing any surgery.

Liposuction is recommended as a final effort to correct, reshape and sculpt those trouble spots that have been resistant to diet or exercise. Stubborn fat deposits tend to become squatters in the abdomen, buttocks, outer thighs, face, neck, hips, legs, upper arms, back, and waist. Liposuction eliminates these clusters, leaving your skin with a smoother, shapelier appearance.

What are the Benefits?

Your self-confidence and mental outlook are just as important as your physical health. Liposuction can offer you the opportunity to walk into a room poised and self-assured, instead of agonizing over whether anyone notices that unwanted bulge you’re trying to conceal with tight, torturous undergarments. Self-esteem rises with positive self-body image, and though beauty is, indeed, only skin deep, it’s your skin and only you can decide when you’re comfortable in it.

Is it Painful?

New techniques have made liposuction much safer, less painful, faster and easier. Depending on the particular process being used, and the amount of fat to be removed, you may only need local anesthesia and a sedative to keep you calm throughout the process. If larger amounts need to be extracted, or if you are undergoing additional surgery such as a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), facelift, breast reduction or other cosmetic surgery, general anesthesia may be required. If necessary, your doctor will prescribe pain medication.

What is the Recovery Time?

Typically, depending on the amount of fat removed, any major discomfort eases within 2 to 4 days and normal activity can be resumed within a few days. Swelling and bruising at the entry site can be expected to last 7 to 10 days and you may be required to wear a compression garment for a specified amount of time. Some fluid drainage is to be expected and an antibiotic might be prescribed before and after to ward off infection. You may not see the complete effects for quite some time, especially if a significant amount of fat was drawn out. You will, of course, be advised about aftercare and what to watch out for, such as swelling, numbness etc., before being discharged, either from the clinic or hospital where your process takes place. In many cases, you will be allowed to leave within a few hours following your procedure.

As with any surgery, there are always risks, and liposuction is indeed surgery. Therefore, it should always be performed by an experienced, board-certified specialist who will brief you thoroughly and take the time to answer any and all questions you may have.

For more information or for a confidential consultation, please call our private number at 770-721-6060.

 

October 12, 2017

 

std signSexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs/STIs) have accelerated to alarming levels. Disturbing statistics show that, in the United States alone, 20 million cases are reported annually. Half of these are found in millennials, which are younger people between the ages of 15 to24. Syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea are the three top STDs affecting the younger population today. 820,000 cases of sexually transmitted infections are attributed to gonorrhea alone.

What is the Difference Between an STD and an STI?

Though used interchangeably, there is a difference, albeit a slight one.  An STD is a catch-all term for all sexually transmitted diseases. An STI is an infection that has not yet become a disease. Since most STIs can be treated with the proper medications when caught in time, they do not always evolve into a disease. For example, if you are unaware you have the STI, chlamydia, or are staying quiet hoping it will go away, it can blossom into an STD called pelvic inflammatory disease.

The term STI is used more often now to counteract the stigma that was once associated with STDs. It’s a gentler and more optimistic acronym, since people associate the word ‘infection’ with ‘cure’, thus implying the condition has a hopeful outcome.

Other than Intercourse, How Does One Get an STI or STD?

Bacterial and viral STIs are typically transmitted sexually via oral, vaginal or anal sex. Exposure to infected blood, skin, mucous membranes, seminal or vaginal fluids, bodily secretions, and open sores place you at high risk for STIs. Unclean shared needles used for tattooing, piercing and drug injection render you highly susceptible as well. Other STIs, such as pubic lice and scabies can be spread via physical personal proximity or infested fabrics.

Who Gets STDs?

From birth to death, no one is immune. There is no racial, economic, age or gender barrier. Sexually transmitted infections are impartial, in that they don’t discriminate.

What are the Symptoms?

Each STD/STI has its own list of multiple symptoms. You may have some or all of them. In many cases, there are no symptoms at all. If you are sexually active, especially with plural partners, or if you indulge in oral sex, pay attention to your body’s signals. Sudden pelvic, abdominal, back, tongue, mouth or throat abnormalities, should always be reported to your physician. Even your dentist can detect oral STI issues.

It is important to insist your partners use protection or provide proof of ‘cleanliness’. Use condoms and/or a dental dam regularly. Have yourself tested on a regular basis. Just as you can get an STI, you can also unknowingly transmit one.

What are the Risks of Untreated STIs?

Repercussions can be severe, even fatal. Untreated STIs can lead to STDs, affecting you physically and mentally, destroying your nervous system, organs, bones, joints, tissues—every part of you. Some may lie dormant for years. If you have an STI and are pregnant, your baby can be born with that same condition, or be stillborn. Even if you firmly believe you are in a completely monogamous relationship and are suddenly afflicted with some of the tell-tale symptom associated with STIs, see a physician. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

What are the Treatments?

Treatments vary based on the individual infection you have. Only your physician can prescribe the correct regimen after proper diagnosis. Antibiotics are usually effective for bacterial, parasitic or yeast STIs. There are however, some resistant strains of gonorrhea emerging that have become immune to antibiotics. Early intervention is important. Viral STDs cannot usually be cured, but they can be managed with antiviral medications. Vaccinations can help prevent hepatitis and some HPV types. Remember, STIs can recur. Even if previous treatment cured your gonorrhea, you can still contract it again from another partner.

Why are so Many Young People Suddenly Getting STDs/STIs?

There are a number of reasons for the astronomical rise:

  • Multiple Partners: Risk rises in non-monogamous relationships.
  • Unprotected Sex: Misplaced trust, inhibitions lowered by drug or alcohol use, and other factors can make women less cautious, leaving them vulnerable to these infections.
  • Oral and Anal Sex: Many females opt for oral or anal sex, either because of homosexual preference, desire to preserve virginity, fear of pregnancy or other reasons. The human mouth is just as ideal a location for STIs as the vagina, and venereal disease plays no geographical favorites. It’s as enthusiastic growing north as it is south. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes simplex 1&2, syphilis, human papillomavirus (HPV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can all be transmitted and contracted orally and anally.
  • Casual Sex: One night stands are becoming more frequent and acceptable, increasing the odds of infection.
  • Internet Dating: Wining and dining a woman for weeks, even months to eventually ‘get lucky’ has become less of a seduction ritual. Many social sites are devoted to individuals who aren’t interested in relationships or are too busy to devote time to them. They admittedly seek only physical encounters. The possibility of engaging in sex with one-or even more- sexual partners a week dramatically raises the chances of getting an STI.
  • Less fear of pregnancy and long term physical repercussions: Because there is now access to so many forms of birth control, fewer cautions are being taken. Where women once refrained from sex for fear of getting pregnant, those ‘accidents’ are preventable or easily ‘rectifiable’ now. Likewise, knowing that a few days of taking antibiotics can cure just about any infection has made people less cautious about protection.

I Heard That Mouthwash Can Cure Oral Gonorrhea. Is This True?

In a word, NO! Though research has shown that mouthwash does indeed kill some gonorrheal bacteria in the mouth and a little past the tonsils into the throat, there is no evidence to support that it has any healing qualities beyond that.

Believing a quick gargle will make you spit out all traces of gonorrhea is a dangerous assumption to make. This home remedy is as effective on oral STIs as covering an atomic bomb in bubble wrap to muffle the explosive sound. In fact, using mouthwash as a cure or preventative may actually mask some important symptoms that your physician needs to know about in order to identify and treat you effectively.

Statistic show that one in four Americans will contract an STD in their lifetime. Many won’t even know it. If you think you may have an STI or STD and wish to schedule an appointment for screening, call 770.720.7733.

 

 

 

 

October 4, 2017

romantic couple photoLoss of sexual desire after fifty does not have to be the norm. If you find yourself uttering “not tonight” excuses more and more lately, Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists can provide treatment options so you can say goodbye to your low libido and get back to feeling “alive” again.

Many women after fifty weren’t raised talking about sexual health so it may be an uncomfortable topic to bring up to your GYN. However, after over forty years of combined specialized experience in women’s health, our providers can assure you that, although you are a unique individual, your struggle with a lowered libido is not unique at all. Nor is it something you should be embarrassed about.

Declining sex drive is often something older women keep to themselves. They may feel isolated and abnormal in a world of uninhibited sexual openness. Additionally, new libido medications for men increase the pressure for women to perform when desire is nonexistent. They avoid bedtime until their partner is fast asleep. Some fear their unresponsiveness may cause their significant other to seek gratification elsewhere. Others, wanting to please the person they love, dutifully ‘fake it’, which results in eventual resentment and even feelings of being violated.

Without intervention, waning desire can lead to a sense of inadequacy, self-loathing, insecurity and depression. It can cause misunderstandings and hurt feelings, sometimes ultimately leading to shattered relationships. None of this has to happen. For menopausal and post- menopausal women looking to recapture lost desire, help for the following problems is available:

• Dryness and pain: Dryness after menopause is common. The vaginal walls grow thinner, the opening can get smaller, and the canal shorter. Causes include a drop in the hormone, estrogen, which previously kept your lady parts firm, plump and moist. These changes can make intercourse unpleasant enough to embrace celibacy. We can recommend different hormonal therapies, topical creams and water based lubricants that have come a long way from the petroleum products and creams recommended by your grandmother.

• Sagging and loss of sensitivity:  Just as your body shows signs of aging, time can impact your genitals. Vaginal childbirth delivery can stretch and displace internal organs and tissue. Estrogen loss can leave your vulva and labia loose and flaccid. This can affect sexual pleasure attained through friction. Orgasms become harder to achieve.

Today, there are more options than ever to correct these problems. ThermiVa, a non-invasive, gentle warming laser treatment, can restore the youthful appearance and function of your vulva and vagina by tightening and treating their external and internal tissues.

Vaginal rejuvenation, which includes labiaplasty and vaginoplasty, reshapes, trims and alters the appearance of the vagina and labia. It not only offers aesthetic enhancement but can renew your self-confidence exponentially.Various reconstructive surgeries can secure genital organs back into their original position with a relatively short recovery period. We even have the technology now to transform your genitalia to a virginal state if you so choose.

• Incontinence: Fecal and bladder incontinence are usually a result of internal organ trauma from childbirth. If you’ve been avoiding sex because you’re worried about accidents or being seen in adult diapers, we offer solutions ranging from simple exercises to surgical repair.

• Post hysterectomy issues: Removal of reproductive parts does not mean the end of intimacy. In fact, a high percentage of women report that they enjoy sex even more after a hysterectomy so whether you’ve undergone a partial, total or radical procedure, sex doesn’t have to become a memory.

Your hormones may be out of whack for several weeks and depression, whether psychological or triggered by abrupt hormonal changes, may occur. The extent of your surgery will determine how your estrogen and testosterone levels will be affected. You may possibly enter menopause and experience hot flashes, insomnia, and other symptoms. These temporary after-effects should abate with time. If not, and you are still disinterested in sex, talk to us. Once we determine if hormonal levels, medication, scarring, or other problems are causing your low libido, our FPMRS urogynecologists can help determine treatment options.

If loss of sexual desire is a concern for you, call us to book an appointment at 770.720.7733.

September 26, 2017

Can post pregnancy exercise help a woman get back to her post-pregnancy weight.If you’re like many new moms, you’re ready to shed that extra baby weight… and now! It’s a perfectly natural feeling but if you’re not careful it can lead to a never-ending cycle of harmful weight loss that doesn’t last.

There is hope, however.

A healthy combination of nutrition and exercise can get you back to pre-baby weight in a matter of mere months. Be sure not to rush it though. Remember, it took 9-months to get to where you are now. Don’t expect lasting weight loss to happen overnight.

Incorporate Exercise into Your Daily Routine

Exercise can be a wonderful tool for new moms for many reasons. Physical activity can help reduce stress and help you sleep while keeping your muscles and bones strong.

Before starting a new routine, take care to get proper guidance on what to you can expect from your post-baby body. Heading to the gym for a workout right away can be harmful to your body, especially if you’ve had a c-section.

So what can you do?

  • Start slow. Having a newborn doesn’t leave you much time for anything, much less exercise. Try incorporating 30 minutes of walking into your daily routine broken into short 10 minute breaks as you can.
  • Incorporate strength training into your routine. Strength training with medium to light weights can help increase bone density as well as building muscle.
  • Don’t go it alone. You’re more likely to stick to an exercise program if you’ve got support from friends, family, or other new moms. Try joining a gym that has classes dedicated to new mothers.
  • Avoid jumping into old routines. Instead of worrying about what you could do before your pregnancy, focus on what your body can handle now. While you’re pregnant your body releases hormones that loosen your ligaments, making giving birth easier. It can take time for them to get back to normal.

Remember, don’t start any exercise until you feel ready. Women that have had c-sections or complicated births should consult a medical professional before starting any exercise programs.

Create A Healthy Diet Plan

Although exercise plays a strong role in meeting your weight loss goals, healthy nutrition is a primary factor for lasting weight loss. No matter how much you workout, exercise does not counteract an unhealthy diet.

It’s often hard to eat right when balancing life with a newborn. But it doesn’t have to be.

Try some of the following tips to get on the right track for reclaiming your body through healthy eating.

  • Eat at least 1,800 calories a day, especially if breastfeeding. Avoid crash diets. Pushing yourself to the max can leave you stressed which actually promotes weight gain.
  • Stock up on healthy snacks. Noshing on foods like sliced fruits, veggies or wheat crackers throughout the day is a healthy way to keep cravings at bay.
  • Choose a well-balanced variety of foods. Stick to foods high in the nutrients you need while low in calories and fats. Try a variety of lean meat, chicken, and fish as your primary source of protein to keep your energy levels up.
  • Drink lots of water. Not only does water keep you feeling full but some studies have shown that water can also aid in speeding up your metabolism.

When you were pregnant you likely changed your eating habits to support your baby’s growth and development. Making the change back to your old routine can seem daunting. Seek support from friends, family, or other new moms when necessary.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your post-baby weight loss. Every woman and every situation are unique. Here at Cherokee Women’s Health, we have a medically supervised weight loss program designed especially for women.

We can help nursing moms like you find a sustainable diet plan. Feel free to give us a call to learn more about our weight loss programs tailored just for you.

September 6, 2017

by James Haley, MD, FACOG, FPMRS

Dr. Haley photo

Dr. Haley

As many as 86 million people in the United States have prediabetes, yet 90% of them don’t even know it. Prediabetes is the condition that exists when you have higher than normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to classify as diabetes. Someone with prediabetes has a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other serious health issues, including stroke and heart disease.

Since this condition has no symptoms, it can easily go undiagnosed. However, there are risk factors to look for, and certainly ways you can decrease your risk of becoming a Type 2 diabetic. Type 2 diabetes is a major public health issue, and more people need to know they are at risk.

Know the Risk Factors for Prediabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has guidelines that list a total of 11 specific risk factors that determine if you should be screened for prediabetes. They include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25
  • History of Heart Disease
  • Physical Inactivity
  • 1st Degree Relative with Diabetes
  • Over 45 years old
  • Had Diabetes in Pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • African-American race
  • Latino ethnicity
  • Asian-American race

bmi-photo

If you’re over 45 and have any of the other risk factors, you should see your doctor. A simple blood test can let you know if you are prediabetic. Unfortunately, most Americans these days have a body mass index (BMI) over 25, not realizing the risks associated with it. If you have a calculator, you can easily figure your BMI. Below is the standard formula. If you are in good shape and have extra muscle, it may be a little off. Nevertheless, it is still a good method and will give you a close estimate.

How to Calculate Your BMI

  1. Figure out how many inches tall you are. (Example: if you are 5’4″ you are 64 inches).
  2. Multiply the number by itself. (Example: 64 x 64 = 4096)
  3. Write the total down and clear your calculator.
  4. Now, punch in your weight in pounds and divide by that saved 4-digit number (For a 125 woman, 125 divided by 4096 = .03051758)
  5. Multiply your result by 703. (.03051758 x 703=21.4538)
  6. Here, 21.45 is the BMI

If the result you get is less than 18.5, you are considered underweight. If your BMI is between 18.5-24.9, you are normal weight. But if your BMI is 25-29 you are considered overweight, and over 29 is considered obese.

No matter how undesirable you find your calculations, don’t despair. Make today the first day of positive changes. It’s never too late to start a sensible diet and exercise plan. Change begins with that first step. Get committed!! Get going!

For guidelines on nutrition and weight loss, discuss your concerns with your doctor at your next annual exam.

by James Haley, MD FACOG, FPMRS

Dr. Haley photo

Dr. Haley

As a physician and fitness enthusiast, I’ve read a plethora of articles, books, and journals on weight loss. My patients continually tell me their struggles with dieting, lamenting that the weight always returns, usually along with a few extra pounds. Personally, I can relate. It’s not a dilemma exclusive to women. Men struggle, too. As you age, you just can’t eat like you used to – even if you exercise regularly.

After reading numerous books and trying different diets myself, I finally discovered an author who not only pinpoints the problem of obesity, but also the answer to those last ten pounds.

In his book, ‘The Obesity Code’, Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist, states that the real culprit of weight gain isn’t overeating. It’s excessive insulin. He is emphatic that many of his patients would need less medical intervention if they lost weight. Since most of his patients are Type 2 Diabetics, a disease associated with too much insulin, he has been able to determine the common link – SNACKING.

In the past few decades, the number of times we eat daily has increased. People have gone from eating three meals a day to about six, counting snacks. Go on, admit it. It’s what you do – what I’ve done. it’s a cycle, and it makes sense once you understand the reason why. Every time you eat, you stimulate insulin, keeping it at a constant high level. This fools the body into thinking it’s always hungry. Your body is constantly thinking you are hungry because your insulin stays in a high range.

woman weighing on scaleObesity is a hormonal disease. Insulin, a hormone, tells you how much to eat and how much to burn. The body behaves as if the weight is set on a thermostat. So, obesity is not about caloric imbalance. Thus, it makes sense that the idea of cutting calories is totally wrong.

You may not be obese. Maybe you have a few obstinate pounds that won’t melt – a jiggle around the middle resistant to diet and exercise. ‘Fat’, ‘plump’, ‘chubby’ – whatever you call it, a surplus of insulin is causing it. The longer you have higher amounts of it, the more resistant your body becomes, which produces even more and causes that crazy, never-ending cycle.

So what’s the solution?

  • Avoid insulin-stimulating foods like sugar and refined grains. These are the enemy.
  • Eliminate between-meal snacks.
  • Designate mealtimes.

Meal timing and insulin levels work together to regulate our weight. We need periods of time when we aren’t eating, so insulin can go down, leaving our bodies in energy burning mode. If we leave more time between meals…. we burn energy.

And when we burn energy, we lose weight.

To learn more about the other secret to regulating insulin for weight loss, read here.

 

September 5, 2017
Dr. Haley photo

Dr. Haley

by James Haley, MD, FACOG, FPMRS

I have always had a personal interest in nutrition and fitness, and more so after I became a doctor and needed that knowledge to benefit my patients. After reading volumes of research on these subjects and hearing my patients’ struggles with weight gain, I came across nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung’s book, ‘The Obesity Code’.

Most of Dr. Fung’s patients are Type 2 diabetics, and he explains clearly how obesity is a problem due not to caloric intake, but to constant high levels of insulin in the body retained through frequent eating.

In short, Dr. Fung states that the more often you eat, refueling with snacks between meals, the longer your insulin levels remain elevated. Since insulin is a hormone that tells your body how much to eat and how much to burn, high insulin levels fool the body into thinking you are always hungry. Those messages cause you to eat more, and of course, gain weight.

How do you overcome this vicious circle?

1. Stop Snacking

This is the first step. Avoid especially the sugary and refined, processed foods which make your insulin levels spike and fall all day, perpetuating the cycle of hunger and sluggishness, making you think you’re hungry.

2. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well  

Drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods like vegetables, nuts, salads, fruit and protein-rich chicken and fish, which keep your insulin levels steady.

woman fasting fruit photo3. Fast

Fasting! The word may make you shudder. I’m not talking about a three-week, Gandhi-type fast. Dr. Fung suggests a “mini- fast”: going without breakfast. And yes, this goes against everything you’ve ever been told, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You don’t need to do it daily, but skipping breakfast gives your body about 14 hours of fasting from the night before. We need periods of time when we aren’t eating, when insulin can go down, leaving our bodies in energy burning mode. This one step will dramatically lower your insulin, which in turn acts to lower the body’s set weight. You’ll start to feel better, have more energy – and you may just get rid of that last, lingering ten pounds.

4. Consult Your Doctor

Fasting is never recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, or people with certain diseases.

If you simply need a jump start to weight loss, try the mini-fasting route and let your body’s insulin levels drop to burn energy. You will be surprised at how much better you feel. Once you change your mindset about food, regulate your insulin, and time your meals, you will see many positive results. Whether you need to lose weight or not, you will definitely have more energy, and hopefully live a longer, healthier life.

To learn more about the other secret to regulating insulin for weight loss, read here.

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