Cellulite is that pesky dimpling of the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and love handles in women, and is caused by the accumulation of fat just under the skin. Estrogen receptors under the skin cause fat to accumulate—and the higher the number of estrogen receptors under the skin, the worse the dimpling. As opposed to how much you weigh, how you eat and how many estrogen receptors you have affects cellulite. This is the reason you will rarely see a man having any need to get rid of cellulite—they rarely develop it in the first place.
If you’re looking to get rid of cellulite, call us at 301-476-4760 or keep reading to learn more!
Although exercise can help reduce the appearance of cellulite, it is not enough. So, what do you do? At Atlantis Medical Wellness Center, we have the solution to cellulite—it’s Mesotherapy!
Mesotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment to aid in the elimination or reduction of cellulite. This treatment involves small doses of medications, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids microinjected beneath the skin. These medications are specifically designed to target fat cells.
Depending on the degree of cellulite, 4-6 treatments are recommended at two week intervals. This treatment has been featured on Oprah, 48 Hours, and 20/20. It has been commonly practiced in Europe, especially France, for the past 50 years and has gained popularity in the United States over the last decade.
Anyone looking to reduce and/or get rid of the appearance of unwanted cellulite or fat deposits is a candidate for Mesotherapy. Typical areas that are treated include thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and love handles. Other areas, such as the chin and neck, can also be treated to eliminate excess fat around the facial areas.
Mesotherapy is not a substitute for SmartLipo or any other type of true liposuction—nor is it a method of weight loss.
Schedule your consultation today. At Atlantis Medical Wellness Center, we can show you how Mesotherapy—along with some nutritional modifications and exercise—can eliminate or reduce cellulite and fat stores. I will also be able to guide you to a treatment that can be done at home after your Mesotherapy to maintain optimal results.
-Rich Long, R.N.
Written on May 1st, 2013 at 2:44 am in Uncategorized
Did you know that being female puts you at an increased risk of getting osteoporosis and broken bones? It’s true. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million—or 80 percent — are women. Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. A woman’s risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports osteoporosis is the disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone, make too little, or a combination of both. As a result, bones become weak and can break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions—like sneezing or bumping into furniture.
Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” If you look at healthy bone under a microscope, you will see that parts of it look like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. This means the bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal. As your bones become less dense, they also become weaker and more likely to break.
There are two major reasons women are more likely than men to get osteoporosis. First, women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men. Also, estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause. If you’re age 50 or older and have broken a bone, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider and ask if you should have a bone density test.
The good news is that there are a few things you can do to protect your bones starting today. They include:
Besides maintaining bone health, calcium protects the cardiovascular system and helps lower blood pressure, as well as the risk of hypertension, a major contributor to heart disease.
Some recent medical studies also suggest that calcium derived from diet, rather than supplements, is more effective in preventing bone loss. Calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, fortified orange juice, soy milk, rice milk, canned salmon, sardines (including the bones), almonds, kale, and broccoli.
Did you know Vitamin D is a powerful steroid hormone? Vitamin D is crucial for bone health. Sources include getting out in the sun and foods such as fortified milk and cereal, egg yolks, and fatty fish. If taking supplements for Vitamin D, make sure you have your Vitamin D level measured for appropriate advice.
And don’t forget to exercise! Regular weight-bearing or strength-building exercises—such as weight lifting, walking, running, and working out on resistance machines—are also effective in maintaining bone health and strength. Exercise has been shown to increase bone strength, as measured by bone mineral density (BMD), in people of all age groups.
Written on April 30th, 2013 at 5:21 pm in Wellness Care
If you’re like many menopausal women, you may be experiencing some of the following symptoms due to hormonal fluctuations: tiredness, weight gain—especially around the waist, mood swings, low sex drive, and insomnia.
Hormones are messengers that communicate with the cells of the body and are an essential part of the metabolic process of living. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), insulin, melatonin, and growth hormone are some of the major hormones in our bodies.
Hormone production declines as we age, suffer from diseases, and expose ourselves to toxins or trauma. Fortunately, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can serve as an effective treatment.
To learn more, call Atlantis Medical Wellness Center at 301-476-4760.
More and more physicians are now using bio-identical hormone replacement therapy to treat their female patients. This type of replacement therapy helps to improve or eliminate hormonally created symptoms—including the difficult symptoms of menopause. These include hot flashes, night sweats, dry skin, memory loss, fatigue, etc. Bio-identical hormones are natural and identical to the hormones that the human body produces and therefore, unlike synthetic hormones, are very safe and effective.
Studies show that natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy treatment for women significantly improves their quality of life and health, while decreasing the risk of developing chronic illnesses in the future.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), like many other medications, must be prescribed with care. A complete and proper evaluation, that includes lab testing, may find a simple underlying hormone issue. Treatment may help lower cholesterol levels, decrease the need for diabetes medications and prevent diabetes altogether, help with weight loss, increase bone strength, and decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
At Atlantis Medical Wellness Center, we practice bio-identical hormone replacement therapy because we are dedicated to giving our patients the best treatment available to promote their health and well-being. We will work with you to define your goals for hormone replacement therapy and create a treatment plan that’s right for you.
If you live in the Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. area, call us or contact us online to schedule your initial hormone replacement therapy consultation—given your health and needs.
So I am sitting at the airport this very moment and across from me is a beautiful young woman with her carry-on bags and a large cooler food bag. About 10 minutes ago she pulled out a small baggie of cut apples and began to eat. There is something about how she is eating…looking at the slices….placing it in her mouth…and chewing quickly, swallowing fast and shoving another slice before it seems like she even tasted the last one. The bag of apple slices is empty now. She then reaches into this fancy food bag and pulls out a yogurt granola bar. It is small, you know…one of those “diet bars.” She bites into it and as with the demise of the apple slices, so goes the yogurt bar. Then, she reaches into the bag again and pulls out another bar, looks around and it disappears into her gut. It is then that I really notice the bag…It is more like a large purse, you know, the fancy big New York purses. It is large and full of foods. I assume they are health foods like what I am currently watching her eat. She is a “Healthy Binger.”
She is overweight. I see people like this all the time in public, in my clinic, everywhere. I can visualize her now grocery shopping….picking out “diet foods.” I know she is thinking she is eating in a healthy way. Justifying each bite with the fact that the food she is eating is healthy. But she is binging. As I am writing this she is eating a 3rd granola bar and washing it down with a diet soda.
I often wonder when overweight patients tell me that they eat healthy foods all the time if they are “Healthy Bingers” or are perhaps addicted to food or the physical act of eating. I ask them and they usually tell me they think they are eating the right portions. I think it is kind of like when I ask patients how many fruits and vegetables they eat each day. The answer is almost always “oh, about 4 or 5 servings.” Then when I specifically ask what they ate today or yesterday, they realize they overestimate how many servings of fruits and veggies they really eat each day.
How do I approach this issue? It is a difficult one. I feel that keeping a diet diary; just writing down what you actually eat each day, can help you realize exactly what it is you really do eat each day. How many servings of fruit and fresh veggies do you actually eat each day? It is fine to eat a large amount of those fresh whole foods. They come with the fiber and natural enzymes that help you metabolize and maintain proper physiology. However, the calories in all those “healthy snacks” you eat each day add up and are not so natural. Those “diet bars” and small “diet cookies and diet pretzels” have more processed and simple sugars than you think. A snack is supposed to be just that…… a snack, not a meal between meals.
She is still sitting in front of me. She just pulled out a bag of chips. The chip bag looks fancy, like diet chips. Still eating…
Written on March 28th, 2013 at 7:11 pm in Wellness Care
For the majority of Americans, our daily lives are often full of stress, both at home and on the job. Unfortunately, for many of us, stress has become so commonplace that we now consider it as part of our normal way of life.
Stress isn’t always bad, however. It can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best, for instance, when giving a presentation, or save your life in an emergency situation, such as stomping on the brakes to avoid a car accident. But when stress starts to become chronic, it can cause major damage to your health.
Prolonged and chronic stress can have a detrimental and lasting effect on your health. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Alarmingly, it is estimated that nearly 80-90 percent of doctor visits are due to stress-related illness or conditions.
Although symptoms of stress can vary from person to person, there are some common ones that present themselves. These include, but are not limited to, pain of any kind, heart disease, digestive problems, sleep problems, frequent colds, headaches, depression, obesity, autoimmune diseases, alcohol or substance abuse and skin conditions.
If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, it’s important to take action quickly and to see your doctor for a full and thorough physical evaluation, which may include labs for cholesterol, hormone levels, thyroid and any others that might be recommended. Be prepared to have a frank discussion with your physician about what’s going on in your life and your level of stress so that, together, you can work to reduce its harmful impact on your health.
Heavy individuals have to spend more on health care—pretty straightforward. The more you weigh, the more likely you are spending more on not only health care, but also on weight loss programs, supplements, and diets. Worse, you may perpetually spend money only to find yourself at the same weight in which you began. According to the National Business Group on Health, the annual medical expenditure for a person with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 is $1,938, BMI of 30 $2,086, BMI of 35 $2,963, BMI of 40 $5,510 and BMI of 45 over $13,000! Worse, employers will generally charge individuals with higher BMI extra for their health insurance. Did you know if you are overweight and you lose 10 percent of your body weight, you will significantly improve your health even if you are still overweight?
Unfortunately, trying to lose weight on your own and keep it off without professional guidance is difficult. Worse, there is no real one stop shopping for a true overall approach to weight loss. Here are the numbers:
The cost per pound of the “Big Three” major commercial weight loss programs Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, and Jenny Craig was reported in a June 2011 Money Magazine report. Weight Watchers averaged $97/pound, NutriSystem averaged $130 to $139/pound, and Jenny Craig averaged $131 to $174/pound. They also looked at a generalized dietitian-tailored diet which averaged $118 to $126/pound. In general, all of these programs have been shown in studies to work in the short course. None of these, however, offers physician directed evaluation of how your physiology and hormones are affecting your difficulty for weight loss. So if you have an undiagnosed pre-hypothyroid condition, a low testosterone issue, low Vitamin D levels, which directly affects how insulin drives glucose into every cell in your body, a pre-diabetes issue, or other combination of endocrine issues, then you are throwing money away. Do you see yourself eating NutriSystem food for the rest of your life? What is the plan to maintain the weight loss you have worked for with each of these systems?
On the hCG Protocol the average cost per pound would be between $40 to $50. What do you get with the hCG protocol that you don’t with the “Big Three?” You get a physician’s direct involvement, a full evaluation of a complete metabolic blood panel, you get true metabolism improvement, and you get the tools to maintain your weight loss without having to do the protocol. Now this is an unfair comparison to the “Big Three.” The hCG Protocol is not meant to be followed as a standard diet to maintain the weight loss. It is meant to improve your metabolism with medical supervision. But that is what you want. More importantly, the ability to maintain that weight loss as you age.
Call us or contact us online to learn more about the hCG protocol.
Today a patient brought me a Magic Pill. She thought it could fix her high cholesterol, bowel issues and pre-diabetes problems. She ordered this pill, a supplement touted as a cure for her gut problem which would also “cure” her high cholesterol and diabetes. In fact, the mailer she learned about this pill from said it would put hospitals out of business in 5 years. Funny, I received a mailing last week saying the pill they were touting would put doctors out of business by 2014. This patient has been seeing me over the last few months for weight management and hormone imbalance issues. She wanted my opinion on this pill.
I said, “I suggest start exercising regularly and follow my advice on improving your diet to improve your metabolism and lose weight.” Then I tactfully went on to let her know this pill is not the answer to all her problems but I would look closer into the ingredients, the science that supports it and try to find someone who this has helped. She then said, “But should I begin taking this pill now to see if it will work?” I looked her straight in the eye and said, “Regular exercise and following the program I outlined for you to improve your metabolism will guarantee you will lose weight and improve your health.” I went on to let her know this pill is unlikely to do so and will not likely put hospitals out of business in 5 years. Then she said, “But I think this might help so I will take it if you don’t think it will hurt.”
I almost let it go at that but I could not help myself, “Ms. M, You weigh 255 pounds. Your cholesterol is 256, your Vitamin D level is 12, your other hormones are out of whack and you refuse to exercise and eat properly. You are wasting your money and your time. You are looking for a lazy way out and this pill will not fix your cholesterol, gut issues or your looming cliff of diabetes. In fact, it enables you to ignore my advice, which is dangerous to you. Begin exercising and follow my protocol or you will continue to get worse and then we will need to deal with your new problems that you are asking for.”
She looked at me, put the pills in her bag and said, “I will try these pills. Maybe they will help.” I was not even sure I thought I was in the same room, let alone the same conversation with this patient.
This is not an unusual conversation for me at the clinic. I have this type of interaction in one form or another every week. People are looking for that Magic Pill or Simple Solution to complex health issues. In fact, many people come in to my office expecting, nay, demanding that I give them “The Answer” to all their medical issues without taking the first steps to promote their own health. I have news: There is no Magic Pill or Single Answer. But there are purposeful steps to take to improve your own health. First, understand that food is the most powerful medication for improved health. Proper diet is key to disease prevention and optimizing your health. Second, exercise, regular exercise of any kind should be as important in your daily activity as brushing your teeth. Make it a real habit to just MOVE, to do anything from a 10 minute stretch and breathing exercise to a 20 to 30 minute cardio workout 3 to 4 times a week. Do more if you can, but don’t do less. Simply be CONSISTENT. Excuses are stories we tell ourselves to make us feel better about not doing what needs to be done. We like to share these stories to try to get others to feel better about us not doing something that needs to be done. Stop making excuses about not eating better and not exercising.
The Magic Pill is simple. Stop with the excuses and just do what you know needs to be done.
Written on February 28th, 2013 at 7:05 pm in Uncategorized
Sleep is vital to our well-being – physically, mentally and emotionally. A surprising number of vital tasks are carried out during sleep that help maintain good health and enable us to function at our very best during the day. For instance, during sleep, your brain forms pathways that are necessary for learning, creating memories and developing new insights. Lack of sleep has been associated with mood problems, and there is growing evidence that it can also increase the risk for developing obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other serious health issues. Healthy adults generally need between 8 and 8 ½ hours per night on average, though this can vary more or less, depending on an individual’s sleep needs. Most medical experts agree that at least 4-5 hours of unbroken, or quality, sleep is necessary for you to feel energized and ready to take on the world the next morning. Sleep well!
Written on February 28th, 2013 at 7:03 pm in Uncategorized
As if you needed another reason to exercise, a recent study indicates that being physically fit in midlife can lower the risk of dementia. The fitness levels of nearly 20,000 adults were studied over a 24-year period, most of whom were men and women in their 40s and 50s. Those that exercised regularly were found to have a 36 percent reduced risk of developing dementia. The physical activity guidelines, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, call for 150 minutes per week, or about 30 minutes a day, of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity or an equivalent combination of the two. Even people who are past midlife can still make changes. It’s never too late to reap the health and cognitive benefits of exercise.
Studies have shown that lutein is an effective antioxidant which has been proven to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases such as cataracts. Lutein protects the eyes from harmful high-energy light waves, such as some ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Studies suggest that high levels of lutein in eye tissue are associated with better vision, especially in dim light or where glare is a problem. Your body does not make lutein so proper nutrition is essential. Lutein is found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. Other foods rich in lutein include collard greens, turnip greens, corn, green peas and broccoli. Daily supplements can also provide the proper amount of this antioxidant for optimal eye health. Check with your doctor for additional guidance. Call Atlantis Medical Wellness Center to learn about Dr. G’s favorite lutein supplement.