How Can Chia Seeds Improve My Health?

chia seeds and wordChia seed has been used as a nutritious dietary staple in Mexico and Central America since ancient times.  Chia seed oil contains 60% alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that promotes cardiovascular health.  It is also an excellent source of iron and fiber.

Recent research has also studied how chia seeds may be utilized as a weight-modifying food.  Patients within the studies who consumed foods containing chia seeds rated their satiety (fullness) levels higher and had reductions in both body weight and waist circumference.  Also of note, participants receiving chia seed products in the studies had decreases in their serum triglycerides (cholesterol) and glucose (blood sugar) levels.

Chia seeds are available in a variety of forms including whole seeds, oil, chia meal, and “chia snacks”.  There is no standardized recommended dose, but a typical serving of seeds (whole or ground) is a quarter-cup.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Dr. Hermann is also board- certified in nutrition and offers a number of weight loss and dietary counseling services to her patients.  For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact the office at 813-902-9559.

 

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Holistic Help For Depression

depression holisticApproximately 50% of patients newly diagnosed with major depressive disorder relapse after achieving remission on the first antidepressant prescribed.  There are multiple factors associated with relapses such as:  prior history of depression or anxiety, ethnicity and prior functional status.

There are many classes of antidepressant medications that can be utilized for treatment.  There are also many natural agents/therapies that can be useful in treating depressive symptoms.  These include L-methylfolate, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), creatinine, B complex vitamins, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, and acupuncture.   Often times, these therapies are used as adjuncts with prescription medications for depressive symptoms.

L-methylfolate is a nutritional food (neutraceutical) that spurs the production of more neurotransmitters.  These neurotransmitters are serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which help regulate our moods and alleviate depression.

SAMe is a crucial component of three metabolism pathways.  One of these pathways boosts levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

Creatinine plays an important role in brain energy metabolism balance; studies have shown that altered cerebral energy metabolism may be a precursor to depression development.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  She offers many natural treatment options for depression, including those discussed above and  acupuncture.   For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the office at 813-902-9559.

 

 

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Adult Hypertension

High Blood PressureNew guidelines recently released from the Joint National Committee proposed less restrictive BP targets for certain individuals.  These include adults aged 60 years or older, as well as individuals with diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

The new 2014 guidelines have increased the blood pressure treatment goal from less than 140/90 to 150/90 for individuals aged 60 and older.  For adults with chronic kidney disease and diabetes, the new blood pressure guidelines are 140/90.  This is an increase from the previously recommended blood pressure guideline of 130/80.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery wall as it circulates through your body.  Hypertension (high blood pressure) typically has no warning signs or symptoms until the disease is advanced.  It is estimated that 67 million American adults have high blood pressure – 1 in every 3 adults.  Having hypertension greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

It is important to keep your blood pressure within the target range for optimal health, and to limit the risk of serious health complications.  Measures you can take to maintain your blood pressure include keeping a healthy weight, limiting sodium (salt) intake, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco use and limiting alcohol consumption.

Dr. Anne Hermann is double board certified in internal medicine and as a physician nutrition specialist.  Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Qsymia- A New Medication For Weight Loss Management

qsymiaQsymia is an FDA approved combination medication of phentermine and topiramate (Topamax) indicated for chronic weight management.   Although the precise mechanisms of action are not known, multiple mechanisms regulate hunger.  Qsymia works on multiple pathways to help achieve and maintain weight loss.  According to the CDC nearly 40% of adults in America are obese or extremely obese.

Qsymia is indicated as an adjunct to increased physical activity and reduced caloric intake in obese and overweight individuals.  Eligible patients should have a  body mass index (BMI) of 32 or greater (obese) or a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) with a weight -related comorbidity – such as high cholesterol, hypertension or type 2 diabetes.  Qsymia is prescribed for once daily dosing in the morning.  Physician follow-up is usually monthly.

Dr. Anne Hermann is double board certified in internal medicine and nutrition.  She offers many weight loss and nutritional treatment options to her patients, including Qsymia.  Office locations are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

 

 

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Can Zinc Help Alleviate Common Cold Symptoms?

zincOral zinc therapy initiated within 24 hours of common cold symptom onset, may reduce duration of the common cold in healthy people.    The common cold is caused by human rhinoviruses that attach to the inside of the nasal passages.  Zinc ion blocks this attachment.  Thus, an antiviral effect is elicited.

In one recent multi-country study, zinc was associated with shorter duration of cold symptoms but not severity.  Zinc formulations included in the study were syrup and lozenges.  Prophylactic zinc use in children resulted in reduced cold incidence; prophylactic use was not studied in adults.  The study was unable to quantify a recommended dosage of zinc as release of the zinc ion varies across formulations (syrup and lozenges).  Side effects were minimal, study participants reported bad taste and nausea with zinc lozenges use.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Can Exercise Help Improve My Gut Health?

gut floraBritish researchers have recently reported that exercise can increase the diversity of bacteria in the gut, in turn boosting the immune system and positively affecting long- term health. Increasing dietary protein may also be beneficial for gut health. Life expectancy continues to increase, underscoring the importance of good health. Gut microbiota richness and diversity is essential for overall wellbeing.

Athletes involved in the recent British study had lower levels of inflammatory markers and better metabolic profiles than the control group. They also had greater diversity and quantity of good gut flora. In particular, the athletes had much higher numbers of one particular type of bacteria linked to reduced rates of obesity. Consuming a variety of foods including protein, vegetables and fruits was also identified in the study as essential for gut health and immunity.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers a variety of meal planning and weight loss services as well as food sensitivity testing to her patients. Dr. Hermann is also board-certified in nutrition. Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Could I Have Celiac Disease?

celiac word in letterpress typeCeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to digest gluten.   Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye.   It is an abnormal immune reaction to gluten and a disease of malabsorption.  Currently 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease.  However, there are estimates that an additional 2.5 million more are affected but have not yet received a diagnosis.

Symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly amongst individuals.  Digestive symptoms are more common in young children and may include chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating and weight loss.  In adults, the following symptoms are more likely:  iron deficiency anemia, fatigue, bone or joint pain, depression, anxiety, dermatitis herpetiformis and canker sores.   Some patients with celiac disease have no symptoms.  Even if no symptoms are present, long-term complications include liver disease, malnutrition and cancers of the intestine.  Treatment for celiac disease involves eliminating all gluten from the diet.  This is a lifetime requirement.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers celiac and food sensitivity testing to her patients.   Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.


 

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Sublingual Immunotherapy Now FDA Approved For Grass And Ragweed Allergies

iStock_000040681136SmallSublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) uses rapidly dissolving oral tablets or oral solution placed under the tongue to treat allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma, offering convenience to the patient. It has been approved in Europe for many years, and is now available in the United States. The sublingual drops take the place of subcutaneous immunotherapy injections which have, until now, been the mainstay of allergy therapy.

SLIT for grass allergy is approved for patients aged 5-65, SLIT for ragweed allergy is approved for patients aged 18-65. Like conventional subcutaneous injections, SLIT prevents new sensitization and progression to asthma. It is a disease- modifying therapy. The optimal duration of SLIT is 3—4 years. Most patients will need retreatment in 7-8 years. Side effects of therapy are minimal and include itching of the mouth and throat and a sensation of swelling in the mouth.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers comprehensive allergy treatments including sublingual immunotherapy to her patients. Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Is Prometrium A Bio-Identical Hormone?

prometriumPrometrium is progesterone replacement that is synthesized from plant source material and is chemically identical to progesterone made in the human ovary. Thus, it is considered to be bio-identical. Bio- identical hormones can be used and metabolized as our body was designed to do, thus potentially minimizing side effects. Prometrium tablets can be prescribed alone, or as part of a bio-identical hormone treatment regimen in combination with other hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and DHEA.

Decreased levels of the hormone progesterone can cause insomnia, brain fog, irritability, and menstrual irregularities. Progesterone is also prescribed to counteract “estrogen dominance” and to minimize the risk of endometrial cancer in women who are receiving estrogen hormone replacement.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Dr. Hermann prescribes bio-identical hormones to her patients for a variety of reasons. Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Be Friendly To Your Bones!

bone healthNearly 52 million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis or low bone density.  One out of every two women and one out of every four men will suffer a bone fracture because they have osteoporosis.  Bone density can be built until approximately age 30.  During menopausal hormone shifts, bone density starts to decrease.  If there are not adequate reserves, you are at a greater risk for developing osteopenia or osteoporosis.

How Can I Increase Bone Density?

Bone friendly foods include dairy products, soy, dark leafy greens (spinach and kale), orange juice, grain cereals and almonds.  Calcium from food sources are better absorbed than calcium from a supplement.  Approximately 250 mg of calcium can be absorbed at one time.  The recommended dosage of calcium is 1000-1200 mg daily.   Vitamin D is another important component of bone health as is magnesium, which helps regulate vitamin D levels.  The main way our bodies process vitamin D is from sunlight.  Vitamin D is also found in fatty fish and dairy products - experts recommend 800-1000 IU daily.  Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods such as avocados, black bean, bananas, and almonds.   The recommended daily intake is approximately 320 mg.  Vitamin K also plays a role in bone health.  Food sources include spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts and broccoli – try to ingest 90mcg daily.

Weight bearing exercise is also essential to building bone density.  Weight bearing exercises include walking, jumping, dancing and strength training.

Dr. Anne Hermann, is board certified in internal medicine and is also a physician nutrition specialist.  Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please call the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

 

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