…up to date?
Recent studies have concluded that healthcare is going mobile. Thanks to convenient inventions like smartphones and tablets, healthcare professionals can deliver more assistance in less time and patients can get care without ever setting foot in the doctor’s office.
In 2011, more than 1 billion visits were made to the doctor’s office, but in a survey, more than 40 percent of doctors said they agreed many visits could be reduced through mobile technologies.
Sometimes, patients just have simple questions about their health and don’t need to be in the office in person – follow-up appointments are often a series of questions and some paperwork. With the technology we have today, I can chat with a patient and send over related collateral instantly. In the future, I may be able to get a patient’s vitals from a mobile upload.
This is the future of healthcare – 78 percent of consumers are interested and 250% more physicians own a tablet than other consumers.
Over the last several months activists have been busy drudging up the cold, hard facts society must face – all the advancements made in technology and modern conveniences has contributed to an increase in dangerous environmental toxins. As a doctor, I have become increasingly aware of these additional threats to the health of my patients, as well as my own family.
That is why it is so important that we care the earth as much as ourselves. If the earth is well, it is likely that we will be well too. I tell my patients, ‘don’t just eat right, eat clean.’ Organic, whole-foods are best and shopping at the local farmers’ market if possible. I would even go so far as to be cautious with your choices in household cleaners. Lemon, vinegar and baking soda are equally as effective, less costly and non-toxic.
Toxic exposure runs deep – humans are exposed to toxins even before leaving the womb – studies have found more than 200 toxins in fetal umbilical cord blood. Toxic cosmetics, contaminated water sources and basic household products contribute to the decline of your health, including and especially, endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors cause dangerous hormonal imbalances, which can lead to metabolic disorders, fertility issues, cognitive impairment and cancer. This is why it is important to monitor your hormone levels throughout the lifespan and make lifestyle changes to inhibit exposure and improve hormone balance.
In honor of Earth Day (April 22), take the time to care for your health and the health of the Earth by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle:
- Go organic - Try to incorporate more organic foods into your diet and limit your intake of processed foods. You can find these products in health food stores like whole foods, but many grocery stores are making it very easy by offering more organic products and in some cases entire sections dedicated to organic goods. One tip I give my patients all the time as a rule of thumb for diet is “If it wasn’t considered food a 100 years ago, don’t eat it today – stay close to nature with whole foods.”
- Choose organic/all-natural products for your home & body – Stop using scented products found in lotions, perfumes and scented candles. They may contain parabens that can interfere with your hormones and liver. Instead, incorporate natural essential oils, soy-based candles and natural mineral-based cosmetics.
- Eliminate the Chemicals – Many of the household cleansers we use to keep our homes clean pose a wide variety of health risks including hives, asthma, hair loss, breast development (in men), facial hair growth (in women), liver damage and cancer. Natural cleansers work just as well and don’t contain toxic ingredients. Using products instead like lemon, vinegar and baking soda offer a safer solution and cost less too.
- Drink filtered water from BPA free bottles – Many companies have created BPA free plastic bottles, but to be certain or your safety and the safety of the environment, metal and glass bottles are becoming popular. You can protect yourself and the earth, by reducing waste and using non-toxic containers.
- Don’t microwave in plastics or unmarked containers - The FDA requires companies to mark containers that are suitable/ not suitable for microwaving. If a plastic container is marked “microwave safe,” the FDA required testing prior to the approval, however unmarked containers from restaurants should not be microwaved – this is true for glass, ceramic and paper containers as well (metal is not suitable for microwaving.) Some studies actually suggest that chemical migration from plastics can occur regardless of temperature change or exposure to microwaves, so you are better off storing foods in glass or ceramic containers.
A study published in the April 2011 issue of Science Translational Medicine concluded that poor sleep patterns lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Shift workers and pilots are among the most likely to suffer from these conditions, due to constant disturbances to the sleep/wake cycle.
The study observed 21 men and women, ages 20 to 60 for six weeks in a dimly lit room with no windows. Over the course of the study, researchers varied the amount of sleep the subjects achieved each night. Upon conclusion of the study, researchers observed decreased metabolism – as high as 8 percent – and blood glucose spikes following meals, each time the circadian rhythm of the subjects was disturbed. A situation like this can translate to as much as 10 pounds of weight gain per years – and shift workers don’t have much hope of achieving a regular schedule.
The effects of poor sleep compound to affect multiple aspects of your health. If you do not sleep well, you tend to make poor food choices, eat more and feel too tired to exercise. Sleep is an integral part of achieving optimum health.
One of the most common complaints we see in both men and women is hair loss. This is a very complex issue with multiple potential causes. It is imperative that one’s hormones are balanced and continuously monitored. One of the most common hormones attributed to this problem is dht . This is basically a bi product of testosterone. In both men and women this hormone can be elevated and associated with the typical male pattern baldness that we think of as the natural aging process.
There are many tools available to us that will decrease dht. This can range from oral prescription drugs, to topical solutions or even specific supplement regimens.
It is also important that we balance ones stress hormone ,called cortisol ,as well as all of the other hormones. Thyroid disorder is often the culprit ,as well ,whether the levels are too high or low
We also check for food as well as the heavy metal burden to one’s system.
This is a complicated issue but there are quite a few treatments that offer good results to patients
I saw an interesting patient today that presented with persistent anxiety, insomnia, moodiness despite her doctor giving her increasingly higher doses of estrogen and eventually resorting to antidepressants. She had a hysterectomy 2 years prior for uterine fibroids, but was only ever put on different estrogens , but never any of the other hormones
This is a very typical presentation of female patients that we see that never really get better because they are only given one of the essential hormones they may need. After saliva testing , it was determined, as predicted ,that she would need progesterone. We provided a small amount of oral progesterone, to help with her sleep and anxiety, and she very quickly improved and within 2 weeks had near resolution of her symptoms
It is essential to measure and replace deficiencies as seen by testing. Once balanced, it is quite pleasing ,to both the patient and doctor ,on how much better one can be.
We are often asked which nutrition or diet plan one should use . It really depends on what they are trying to accomplish. In would never sway someone from eating all organic or vegan. However, many patients do not want to pursue this type of lifestyle. So, in general , I would recommend eating essentially like a diabetic. This means five small meals throughout the day with the primary focus on higher protein and low/moderate carbs and avoid simple sugars . This plan can usually provide good nutrition and stabilize ones blood sugar whether it is high or low.
During the holiday season , stress can be overwhelming. It is very important to try and maintain some sort of stability during this time of year. This will include trying to control sugar and alcohol intake, continuing to exercise , and trying to keep healthy hormone levels.
We can certainly provide guidelines to help with each of these parameters, but calming herbs might be the most important. There are certain herbs that have been in Chinese medicine for many years that can help protect from spiking cortisol levels. These would include such herbs as ; ashwaganda,lemon balm, chamomile,and valerian root.
During the Holiday season we get many requests about how to either lose weight or just not gain too much. It is easy to say ” eat less and exercise more” , but in reality this time of year is quite perilous when trying to lose weight. Obviously, if able, try to minimize one’s sugar and carb intake. If hunger is a problem try to increase fiber and vegetable intake. No matter what party you are attending, there is usually some form of protein and veggies that you can fill up on. Try to also limit alcohol intake ,but there are some beverages which have less calories than others.
Besides proper nutrition , it is also imperative that one’s hormones are properly balanced,these include the sex hormones, thyroid and cortisol.
If able , do one’s best to maintain a proper exercise routine as well.
If you can keep nutrition , hormones, and exercise properly balanced, then there will not be so much to lose after the season.
We see so many people in the practice that complain about steeds and the effects it has on their life. I tell patients it really does not matter if it is good or bad it is still stress and will cause a change in their cortisol levels. Your body does not care that the cortisol became elevated because you just won the lottery or someone died in your family, it will still release cortisol.
The problems typically occur when the stress is not a short term issue. As you continue to release cortisol in excess over time, your brain basically will tell your adrenal glands to stop producing as much . We then see patients that are severely fatigued, have gained weight , and have very poor recovery mechanisms.
Through proper supplementation, rest, nutrition, stress management techniques, and bioidentical hormones, if needed, we can usually recover patients very well
We see many patients in the office for bioidentical hormone therapy that at the same time have some sort of glucose or sugar metabolism disorder. Many patients have been to their primary care doctor and are simply told to diet and exercise when they find out their blood sugar is elevated We tend to have a much more comprehensive approach at Bodylogicmd of Atlanta.
In addition to hormone balance, we focus a great deal on nutrition and proper food choices. We discuss at length the proper protein, fat and carb intakes necessary to maintain proper levels. We also discuss proper supplementation and medical foods that have been shown to appropriately lower one’s glucose.
Of course , we design an exercise protocol specific to each individual’s capabilities and needs .
We now also have the capability thru a test called Pre-dx to determine one’s 5 year risk of becoming a diabetic. This is a new test available to our patients and really helps us focus on those in need of more urgent treatment plans.
Of course , none is this works optimally , if we do not balance hormones as well. Many studies show the positive effects that testosterone has on blood sugar levels . Just as many show the ill effect that high insulin and cortisol can have on glucose. Our goal will be to balance all of them