Is the food you are eating making you sick?

Is the food you are eating making you sick?

Is the food you are eating making you sick?

by Dr. Inda Mowett

Millions of people suffer from a range of symptoms, which can be attributed to undiagnosed food sensitivities. Only a small portion of the population have true “food allergies”, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Food sensitivities are more common and increase as we age.

Food Sensitivities are caused by the inability of the gastrointestinal tract to properly digest a particular food or group of foods, even when a person is eating healthy food. Also, the aging process can cause “weakening” of the lining of the gut, leading to tiny “leaks” and triggering an inflammatory reaction.

Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal system, as well as intestinal permeability or “leaky gut” can trigger the immune system to perceive certain foods as “intruders” thus causing a reaction when that food is consumed. If inflammation continues to occur in our bodies these reactions can harm us in a variety of ways.

Conditions such as those listed below, can cause undesirable gastrointestinal symptoms, weakened immune system, and systemic inflammation.

Do you experience?

  • Gas and bloating • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome • Muscle pain
  • Chronic diarrhea • Chronic fatigue
  • Heartburn/GERD • Chronic sinusitis
  • Celiac Disease & gluten sensitivity • Insomnia
  • Weight gain/loss • Fibromyalgia
  • Diabetes • Skin rashes & flushing
  • Brain fog • Migraine & other headaches

 

There are three types of food reactions:

  • Food Allergies are an immune system response caused by histamine release and are very serious. Symptoms usually occur within an hour of after ingestion. Only 1-2% of the population is affected. Examples of this type of reaction is allergy to shellfish or tree nuts.
  • Food Sensitivities are a delayed food reaction combined with an immune system response. Symptoms can occur from 45 minutes to a few days after ingestion. An example is gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
  • Food Intolerance produces digestive symptoms similar to food sensitivities, but it does not involve the immune system. An intolerance means the lack of an enzyme needed to break down and absorb certain ingredients. An example is intolerance to lactose, the sugar found in dairy products.

 

 

How can Food Sensitivity be tested?

In the past, food sensitivities were nearly clinically impossible to identify due to the fact that the reactions can be delayed, dose-dependent, and vary greatly among individuals. Food allergies, on the other hand, have been much easier to identify and diagnose.

Food sensitivities can now be diagnosed by a simple blood test. A variety of immunologic testing can be ordered to identify any sensitivity to a variety of foods, spices, vegetables, and gluten.

The results of the blood test are used to create an individualized healthy eating plan to help reduce or eliminate symptoms.

If you have been experiencing undiagnosed gastrointestinal symptoms or if you suspect you may have sensitivities to a variety of foods, call us at 941-749-0741 or email us at info@indam.sg-host.com . Initial consultation and follow-up visits can be provided at our medical facility or by telemedicine.

 

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services, or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos, or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist.

8 Ways to Boost and Repair your Metabolism

8 Ways to Boost and Repair your Metabolism

8 Ways to Boost and Repair your Metabolism

In our last blog, we discussed a few natural and self-induced causes of a slow metabolism. This time, I will be presenting how you can boost and repair your metabolic rate, helping you feel more energetic and less sluggish. If you feel that your weight gain or the lack of weight loss is due to a slow metabolism, this article is just for you. I recommend you read my previous blog “10 Causes of Slow Metabolism.”

As it was discussed, our metabolism plummets as we age, decreasing approximately one to two percent each year after the age of 30. However, research studies have shown that there are few things we can implement in our life to bump it up, helping delay the aging process.

1. Build/tone muscle: Since muscles use more calories at rest and even more while exercising, it is very important to start an exercise program. Weight training increases lean muscle mass, which will increase RMR. Every pound of muscle uses approximately six calories a day to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only two calories daily. That small difference can add up over time. After a session of strength training exercises, muscles are activated all over your body, raising your average daily metabolic rate.

2. Start eating/avoid starvation mode: Our bodies requires an ongoing amount of calories to maintain our bodily functions. This type of frequent caloric intake stabilizes blood sugar levels and creates internal hormonal balance. Skipping meals or not eating enough makes our bodies go into a starvation mode. As a preservation mechanism, the body responds to a lack of food by slowing down our metabolism in an effort to store calories and fat. This leads to a decreased metabolic rate and probably weight gain. To keep the metabolism running effectively, eat a small meal or snack every three to four hours.

3. Increase protein at every meal and snack. The body burns many more calories digesting protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. This mechanism is known as the thermic effect of food and it can burn up to thirty percent of the calories on your plate. The more complex the food eaten, the more calories are burned as it travels through the digestive tract. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some simple carbs with lean, protein-rich foods and complex carbohydrates can boost metabolism at mealtime.

4. Eat a balanced diet: To remain healthy, we need a combination of good sources of foods from all the food groups. Do not cut your carbohydrates completely, especially if you engage is a regular exercise program. If enough carbohydrates are not consumed, your body won’t be able to provide enough fuel (glycogen) to the muscles. As a result, you won’t have the energy to exercise as intensely, and your muscles will burn fewer calories during the workout as well as after exercising.

5. Increase/mix your workout: Combining cardio-aerobic and high-intensity interval exercise can increase your metabolism in the hours after a workout. Mixing these types of exercises increases the resting metabolic rate than low- or moderate-intensity workouts. Remember to add new types of exercises to your fitness routine.

6. Avoid dehydration: Your body needs water to process calories. If your body is even mildly dehydrated, the resting metabolic rate may slow down. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water or other unsweetened beverage before every meal and snack. Increase this amount during the summer months. Another good source is eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which naturally contains large amounts of water.

7. Avoid Crash Diets: Obese individuals who have recently have lost a massive amount of weight by eating very low calorie diets or undergoing bariatric surgery tend to lose a large amount of muscle. “Because muscle mass is the primary determinant of RMR, a large reduction in muscle mass is expected to slow the metabolic rate, therefore” reducing the weight loss, and may predispose one to weight regain. “Adding exercise to a weight-loss program, particularly resistance training, is thought to preserve fat-free mass and attenuate the drop in RMR during weight loss.”

8. Medications: If you are taking a medications that is causing fatigue, tiredness and weight gain, ask your medical provider if they can change the medication or reduce the dosage. Certain medications such as antidepressants, diabetic medications, steroids, anti-thyroid agents and hormone therapies have been associated with decreases in RMR. Discuss with your doctor if your RMR may be affected by any of these medications. Your physician may be able to prescribe a different medication or change your dosage.

Are you convinced you have a slow metabolism? Do you know your Resting Metabolic Rate? At The Aesthetic & Wellness Center we can determine if your metabolism is normal, fast or slow. A simple ten minutes breathing test can gives us information of your metabolic test and we can provide tips on how to rev up it.

Call us at 941-749-0741 to schedule your appointment.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist.

10 Causes of Slow Metabolism

10 Causes of Slow Metabolism

As an obesity medicine specialist, I frequently hear from my patients “they must have a sluggish metabolism interfering with their weight loss process. However, I have found that some of them are inadvertently slowing it down. Only a small percentage of individuals are genetically “blessed” for having normal to fast metabolism.

A person’s metabolism is affected by their genetic profile, however, others factors affecting it are self-induced. The great news is that we can speed up our metabolism if we can identify certain habits or conditions causing it to slow it down.

But let us start by defining what is metabolism.

Metabolism is the process by which our body converts what you eat and drink into energy.

Even when you are resting, your body needs energy for breathing, blood circulation, digestion and many other functions. The number of calories that your body is using for these basic functions is known as resting metabolic rate (RMR).

As I described previously, several natural and self-induced factors can affect our RMR. These factors are:

1. Age: As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. After the age of 30, our RMR decreases about one to two percent per year. This is one of several reasons why most people gain weight as they get older. Muscle mass decreases, while fat mass increases, cutting down the rate at which we burn calories.

2. Body size and composition: Athletic and muscular people burn more calories, even when they are resting, so they are more likely to have a faster RMR than obese individuals.

3. Gender: Men tend to have a lower body fat percentage and higher muscle mass than women of the same age, and this is the reason they burn more calories. One of the reasons is that men produce ninety percent more testosterone than women. Testosterone is a sex hormone that helps increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass.

4. Hormonal imbalance: Sex hormones for men and women decline as we age. The lack of estrogen in women and the amount of testosterone in both men and women can change the muscle/fat ratio. Testosterone helps regulate muscle mass, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even while resting. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormone deficit; ask your physician if you would benefit from hormone replacement therapy. I recommend natural hormone replacement treatment. For more information CLICK HERE (Hormone Replacement FAQ).

5. Poor nutrition/frequent crash diets: Patients who tend to eat food high in refined sugars and/or saturated fat, food with poor nutritional value or those ones who are on a very restrictive caloric diet on a regular basis tend to have slower metabolism. When you are not eating enough calories to meet your RMR, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy, and your body naturally responds by storing fat for future use. Crash diets cause muscle and water mass loss, rather than fat, slowing down your metabolism. Also, patients eating a non-balanced diet can have a deficiency of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. The deficit of these macronutrients and micronutrients can affect the rate of our metabolism. To maintain your metabolism or change it for the better, eat a well-balanced diet, rich in complex carbohydrates, lean meats, low or non-fat dairy and healthy monounsaturated fats. Supplementation with whole food vitamins and minerals are encouraged to keep your metabolism up and running.

6. Stress: Emotional stress causes your level of the hormone cortisol to rise, which can harm your metabolism. Increased cortisol levels can cause you to overeat, therefore, causing weight gain (fat gain). Often, individuals affected by life or emotional stressors could benefit from a regular exercise routine, helping release natural “feel good” brain chemicals (endorphins). Consult your physician if your symptoms are worsening or you feel that you need professional intervention.

7. Insomnia: Individuals who are having accumulative sleep deprivation may be affecting their RMR. Chronic insomnia can cause a dysregulation of certain hormones (cortisol, insulin and leptin). Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store fat. Sleep deprivation appears to have a harmful impact on carbohydrate metabolism. When carbohydrates are not metabolized properly, your blood sugar levels increase. High blood sugar levels spike insulin levels, signaling your body to store unused energy as fat.

A research study examined the effects of leptin, a protein involved in appetite control and the sensation of satiety. “Subjects who participated in the study showed reduced levels of leptin during the period of sleep deprivation, and returned toward normal during the period of recovery sleep, suggesting that sleep may play an important role in metabolic regulation and possibly the etiology of obesity and the night-eating syndrome”.

8. Medications: The metabolic rate can be affected by some drugs, such as antidepressants, diabetic medications, steroids, anti-thyroid agents and hormone therapies. Talk with your doctor if you suspect that a medicine is causing weight gain. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication or change your dosage.

9. Chronic diseases: Certain medical conditions such as obesity, hypothyroidism, diabetes or Cushing’s syndrome can slow down metabolism.

Obesity: Obese individuals with higher fat mass and lower muscle mass tend to have a slower metabolism. As it was described in the body size and composition section, individuals with more muscle mass will burn more calories at rest.

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid: Thyroid hormones play an important role in regulating the metabolism and overall energy production. When the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones, all bodily processes — including your metabolism — slow down. As a result, individuals affected by this condition may experience weight gain, tiredness, cold intolerance, constipation, and decreased heart rate, among other symptoms.

Diabetes: It is not fully understood why diabetic patients tend to have slower metabolism compared to non-diabetic patients. Research studies have shown that the higher blood sugar levels may actually fool the body into believing there’s lots of energy around, resulting in a slowed down metabolism.

Cushing’s syndrome: Cushing’s syndrome is a disorder that develops when the adrenal glands are producing an excess of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone responsible for maintaining blood pressure, regulating insulin, controlling the immune system and the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The excess of cortisol slows down metabolism, resulting in obesity and increased fat around the face and neck. It can also cause fatigue, high blood pressure, high blood glucose and mood swings.

Consult with your physician if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

10. Physical Inactivity: Lack of exercise or physical activity can cause fat gain and slow our metabolism. Once we start exercising, our heart rate increases and blood pumps through our muscles. When you are working out, your muscles are burning calories and your metabolism increases. Regular exercise and high intensity interval training can boost your metabolism over the long term.

Stay tuned for our next blog! I will be discussing 8 Ways to Boost and Repair Your Metabolism.

Are you convinced you have a slow metabolism? Do you know your Resting Metabolic Rate? The Aesthetic & Wellness Center can determine if your metabolism is normal, fast or slow. A simple ten-minute breathing test can give us information on your metabolism and tips to “rev up it.” Please call us at 941-749-0741 to schedule your appointment.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist.

Types of Body Fat

Types of Body Fat

Types of Body Fat

Contrary to popular belief, fat is an essential component of our bodies. In a previous blog article, I presented the benefits, functions and types of fats: Is Fat Good for Me?

How is body fat stored in the body?

Body fat can be divided into two categories: essential fat and stored fat.

Essential fat is necessary for the healthy functioning of our bodies. It is stored in small amounts in our muscles, bone marrow, muscles and central nervous system.

Stored fat is the fat found underneath our skin and deep inside our bodies and around internal organs.

What are the differences between body fat in men and women?

Women normally have a higher percentage of body fat compared to men. A higher amount of body fat is necessary for women to start their sexual development that occurs during adolescence. Also, it regulates their reproductive function. Professional athletes and exercise enthusiasts have much lower fat percentages compared to the average person.

It is important to mention that a body fat percentage below the recommendations for men and women can affect the healthy functioning of our bodies.

Total body fat increases as we age. Also, it varies according to the individual’s ethnic background. Women of African descent, southern Europeans, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics tend to have a higher fat percentage, compared to women of northern Europe and Asia.

What is the definition of obesity?

Obesity is a described as a disease where the affected individual has a body fat percentage greater than 30-32 percent for women and greater than 25 percent in men. For many years, scientists have taught that fat was an inactive organ, however, they have discovered that the fat cells are very active, producing several hormones and bioactive molecules. An excess of body fat can produce inflammatory agents, which play a role in the development of medical complications associated with obesity.

Obesity has been linked to a variety of chronic medical conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gastric reflux, gallstones and certain types of cancers.

How is the fat distributed in our bodies?

The distribution of fat in our bodies can determine the risk in developing some of the diseases mentioned previously. Individuals who carry excess body fat around their waist (also known as central obesity or apple-shape) are at higher risk than people who carry the same amount on their hips and thighs (also known as peripheral obesity or pear-shape).

ipl

Pear-shape obesity
If you have a high BMI (Body Mass Index) over 25, it is important to determine the percentage and total fat mass. Not all individuals with a high BMI have a high body fat. Most athletes or individuals who exercise on a regular basis, or those with a large bone frame, have larger and denser lean mass and a lower fat mass.

What is subcutaneous and visceral fat?

According to the location, fat mass can be divided into subcutaneous (underneath the skin) or visceral (inside the abdominal cavity and around vital organs).

Subcutaneous fat: found directly under the skin. This is the fat that can be measured using skin-fold calipers to estimate total body fat.

Fat localized in these areas may not be as bad as the deep fat found inside the body. Individuals who have this type of fat distribution can develop osteoarthritis and gait abnormalities. During peri-menopause and menopause, some women can have an increase in the amount of subcutaneous fat in their abdominal wall, hips and buttocks.

Visceral fat: located deep inside the body and around vital organs.

Men with a waist circumference of 40 inches or greater and women with a waist circumference greater than 35 inches are considered to have central obesity, therefore they have an increase in visceral fat. Some men have protrusion of their stomach and bowels due to the large amount of visceral fat around these organs. This type of obesity is commonly known as “pot or beer belly”. Visceral fat increases the risk for the development of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

Pot Belly

“Pot belly”
What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions, where the affected individual has:

• Central obesity
• High triglycerides
• High blood pressure
• High blood sugar and
• Low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)

Having only three of the five conditions can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and complications from diabetes.

How can body fat be measured?

Body fat can be determined by using a variety of methods. Simple methods to measure body fat are skin-fold calipers and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Other more sophisticated methods mostly found in university hospitals and research centers are hydrostatic weighing, DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) and air displacement plethysmography.

Bioelectrical impedance analysis measures the resistance of body tissues to the flow of a small, harmless electrical signal. The technology is relatively simple, quick, and noninvasive. It provides an estimate of total body water (TBW), which can then estimate fat-free mass (lean mass) and body fat.

How much body fat loss is recommended during weight loss?

As overweight and obese individuals start losing weight, they lose stored fat, water and lean body mass. The American Board of Obesity Medicine recommends at least 75% of the weight loss should be from the fat and less than 25% from the lean mass. The amount of total body fat loss should increase as the weight loss continues.

The purpose of a well-designed weight loss program is to help overweight and obese patients lose excess body fat while preserving lean mass. Rapid weight loss can be very gratifying to many patients; however, it does not promote body fat loss. Losing weight too quickly can cause serious health problems, also including the loss of muscle and water mass. The best weight loss programs are those incorporating healthy eating, cardio and strength training exercises and modification of a patient’s behavior.

The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is an accredited and certified medical weight loss center. We use bioelectrical impedance analysis equipment to determine the amount of initial body fat, and we have the expertise and knowledge to help you lose fat mass while preserving, toning and increasing lean mass.

Our goal is to help you through your weight loss journey, achieving a healthy new weight and to maintain it for many years to come.

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