How to Treat Food Allergies in the Tampa-St Pete Area

Posted by Anne Hermann on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 @ 01:30 PM

Dr. Anne Hermann

We all know that severe food allergies, caused by IgE antibodies, can be lethal.  But food allergies, caused by IgG antibodies, are more subtle.  We sometimes call the IgG allergy a food sensitivity because it will not kill you.  IgG allergies do cause sinus congestion, headache, achiness, constipation, diarrhea, rash, autism and a variety of vague symptoms.

There are two ways to determine whether you have a food sensitivity.  One is to do an elimination diet.  If, after eliminating specific foods from the diet, you feel better, then we know that something you are eating is causing your symptoms.  Then, we add back one food at a time to determine what food or foods caused the symptom.  The second and easiest way to determine whether you have a food sensitivity is blood testing.  A blood test will tell you if you have an allergy and how severe the allergy is.

In the old days (not too long ago), if someone had a food allergy, their only option was to eliminate that food from their diet.  This is difficult to do because certain foods, like soy, wheat, corn, dairy, and egg are found in small amounts in many food items.  Now, patients have the option of taking sublingual allergy drops by Allergy Easy.  These drops provide treatment for 59 different foods.  Allergy drops have allowed us to help many people who have multiple food allergies and have not been able to fully eliminate the foods they are allergic to from their diet.

We are proud to be offering the full spectrum of food sensitivity testing and treatment in a safe medical environment.  Anne Hermann, MD is double board certified in Internal Medicine and as a Physician Nutrition Specialist.  She has been practicing in Tampa Bay since 2003.

To schedule your appointment in either our Tampa or St. Pete Beach office, please call 813-902-9559.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Botox vs Dysport: Which Treatment is Right For You

Posted by Anne Hermann on Thu, Mar 08, 2012 @ 12:29 PM

Anne Hermann, MD

The three cosmetic Botulinum toxins are Botox, Dysport and Xeomin.  My patients often have questions about what the difference is between Botox vs Dysport and which product will give them the best result.   So, I have taken the time to share what I tell them in the article below.  Since Xeomin is the newest of these products, I discuss that in another post.

Botox has been FDA approved for muscle spasticity for over 20 years.  It was FDA approved for cosmetic
treatment of fine lines and wrinkles in 2002. Botox is made by Allergan, the same company that makes Juvederm.  Prices will vary; we charge $10 to $12 per unit.  Typically 0.01 cc of Botox is one unit of Botox.  So, an average amount of Botox for frown lines is 25 units.  If you receive 25 units, you will be receiving 0.25 cc of Botox.  At $12 per unit, 25 units cost $300.

Dysport was FDA approved for cosmetic use almost three years ago.  It is made by Medicis, the company that makes Restylane and Perlane.  Dysport costs around $5 per
unit, but the dosing is different.  With Dysport,

0.01 cc contains two units.  However, a typically brow treatment would be 50 units.  So, at $5 per unit for 50 units, you would pay $250.  This makes Dysport about 10 to 20 percent less expensive than Botox.

The active ingredient in both of these products is a naturally occurring protein derived from the bacteria, Botulinium.  The protein temporarily prevents muscles from contracting.  Because Botox is a protein, your body breaks it down within three days of the injection.  Even though the botulinum proteins are metabolized in days, the effect lasts three months after injection with Botox and three and half to four months after Dysport injection.  If you continue to use Botox or Dysport, the effects will last longer, so that after a while, you may only need treatments every six months.

The results of both Botox and Dysport treatments are gradual.  Dysport spreads out more after injection.  This makes it ideal for areas that you want to cover a lot of space, like the forehead and crows feet.  Because Botox does not spread as much, it is ideal for the brow and eleven lines.  This is because if the injection spreads too far over the eye area, the patient can get an eye droop.  With both treatments, you will begin to notice results anywhere from three days to one week after treatment and reaches maximum benefit at two weeks.

Most times there is no bruising from the injections, and if there is any bruising, it is typically small.  However, we advise that if you want to look your best for an occasion or event, get the treatment two weeks prior to that event.   This will give any bruising time to heal and botulinim takes 10 to two weeks to reach maximum benefit.

Post treatment instructions are not to lie down on the treated area for 4 hours and no deep massage on the area for two days; is ok to wash your face and apply make-up.

To give you an idea of price difference of Botox vs Dysport:

  • Brow lift or 11 lines average $250 with disport or $300 with Botox*
  • Upper forehead lines vary greatly based on what people need.  Can be anywhere from $50 to $250*
  • Crows feet average 215 to 288 with Botox and 180 to 240 with Dysport*
  • Sweaty underarms $450 for 50 units, last over six months*
  • Neck bands or Platysma muscle: $300 per band with Botox and $250 per band with Dysport

Other areas that Botox help include downturned mouth, gummy smile (show too much gum when you smile), chin wrinkles, bunny lines (lines on upper nose when you smile)

*Please note, men have larger muscles than women and require 50% more than women with cost increases accordingly

The medical offices of Dr. Anne Hermann are conveniently located in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL.  To schedule your appointment, call 813-902-9559.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Complementary Treatments: More than Standard Medical Care

Posted by Anne Hermann on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ 10:31 AM

Anne Hermann, MD

Comprehensive patient care is the concept of treating the entire person and not just the disease.  At the offices of Dr. Anne Hermann, we provide medical care, x-rays, bloodwork, medication and complementary therapies.  Complementary therapies provided effective, non-pharmacologic treatments that reduce many of the symptoms of disease.  We provide acupuncture, massage, nutrition, physical therapy, hormone balancing and reflexology.  Massage and reflexology decrease the symptoms with effects lasting at least two days following treatment.  Acupuncture is very beneficial for symptom management without adverse consequences.  It is proven to reduce pain caused by a variety of factors, nausea, hot flashes and stress.  Regular exercise and healthy dietary habits can significantly decrease side effects of medication.  Anti-inflammatory diets reduce allergies and pain.

Our on-site medical doctors track the progress of those who choose to use complementary
services.  All of the therapies can be used in conjunction with standard medical treatments.  As a Board Certified Internist, Dr. Hermann, MD, can communicate with other
doctors to ensure that a treatment is appropriate and to provide comprehensive patient care.  Our goal is to ensure that you get the healthcare you need while minimizing the use of medication and invasive procedures.

The medical offices of Dr. Anne Hermann, MD, are conveniently located in St. Petersburg and Tampa, FL.  To schedule your appointment, call 813-902-9559.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Why Thousands of Women are Choosing Acupuncture Facelift Over Surgery

Posted by Anne Hermann on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ 06:43 PM
Laura Bertoncini, DOM

Do you want to slow down the signs of aging? Acupuncture facelift is a non-surgical, relative pain-free anti-aging procedure that effectively reduces the signs of aging. Recently Dr. Oz featured the acupuncture facelift. The acupuncture facelift will make you look and feel younger. The rich and famous are using acupuncture facelift as an anti-aging protocol. It is the perfect solution for anyone concerned about surgery, scaring, incisions that causes swelling and down time for healing.

Research shows: The 1996 International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture revealed the results of an eight-year study on the facial acupuncture. They conducted 300 case studies having just one course of treatment, 90% saw a marked improvement in elasticity, a reduction of fine lines and a smoother complexion.

Acupuncture facelift has been around for thousands of years. However, only recently has this method reached the general public. Thousands of years ago the royal families in China used acupuncture. They received regular facial massages in certain acupuncture points. The results were increased dramatically when acupuncture needles were used instead of massage.

How does the Acupuncture facelift work? First, you complete an intake on medical information.  Our questions are more detailed than your traditional western doctor.  We ask ten questions regarding lifestyle, digestion, sleep, bowel movements and more. Next, we perform a physical and mental balancing treatment on the back known in TCM as the
back shu treatment which puts the body in homeostasis or balance.  This balance will help the body accept the front treatment.  Afterward, we turn you to the spine position and insert
approximately 25 fine, hair thin needles to specific points on the face. The needles gently stimulate andactivate the energy flow along the pathways to generate and circulate blood and restore collagen. This has the effect of nourishing, hydrating, toning and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles.  The doctor adds an electrical stimulation machine to energize certain acupuncture points. Finally, the doctor uses another modality to the face called cupping. Cupping uses small plastic cups that help promote blood and circulation to the face. We usually perform additional points to help enhance treatment and wellness. The result is a firmer, healthier and more
radiant complexion.

Laura Bertoncini, DOM, practices in the holistic medical office of Anne Hermann, MD in Tampa, FL.  To schedule an appointment, please call 813-902-9559.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

How to Achieve Natural Beauty

Posted by Anne Hermann on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 @ 03:38 PM

Anne Hermann, MD

Vitamins for Skin, Hair and Nail Health:  Vitamins C, E, Niacin, Zinc, Selenium, CoEnzyme Q10 and Biotin are powerful anti-oxidants that prevent collagen breakdown.  Vitamin K reduces bruising under the eyes.  Retinols, derived from Vitamin A, exfoliate the skin and prevent skin cancer in addition to fighting fine lines and discoloration.  Alpha lipoic acid and Omega 3 are natural skin plumping agents. Studies show that these vitamins are the most effective when they are all used together, rather than one at a time.  Omega 3, Selenium and Biotin are best taken in oral preparations, while Vitamins C, E, Niacin, zinc, Alpha-lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q10 are very effective when used topically.

You are what you Eat:  Detoxification:  Detoxification diets can clear up acne and rosacea, jump start weight loss, reduce inflammation and energize the body.  We accumulate toxins in our body through air, food, smoke, pesticides, and medications.  Just like your car needs an oil change once in a while, you need to clean out your system.  The best way to do this is a detox diet, which is an organic diet devoid of toxic substances.  Typically, you should follow the diet for one to four weeks depending on your goals.  After a detox program, most people have less inflammation which means they feel less aches and pains.  Often people lose 10 to 20 pounds and radiate with vitality.

Natural Skin Tightening:  Radiofrequency is technology similar to laser treatments that is FDA approved for removing fine lines, wrinkles, cellulite and skin laxity.  The beauty ofradiofrequency is that it is comfortable, noninvasive and leaves no scars or down-time.  The procedure uses heat to break up collagen.   As the collagen remodels, skin becomes firmer and tighter.  Radiofrequency technology can be used anywhere on the body or the face to turn back the clock naturally.

Hormone Balance:  Hormone fluctuations are a big part of aging.  Thyroid, cortisol, and reproductive hormone imbalances will affect energy level, weight, hair growth, sex drive, skin health, and even mood. A holistic medical doctor can correct imbalances through nutrition, supplements and bio-identical hormone replacement when indicated.

Acupuncture Facelift:  Our St. Petersburg Acupuncturists trained in this technique, insert tiny needles to increase circulation and open blockages of the channels of the face. The treatments decrease wrinkles and sagging naturally without negative side effects. There are many other benefits of acupuncture, including improvement in sleep and energy.

The integrative medical offices of Dr. Anne Hermann, MD, are conveniently located in St. Petersburg and Tampa, FL.  To schedule your appointment, call 813-902-9559.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Best Supplements for Weight Loss and Detox

Posted by Anne Hermann on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 @ 04:01 PM

Anne Hermann, MD

Why All Supplements Are Not Created Equal

The variety of weight loss shakes and bars available is overwhelming.  As an Internal Medicine Physician and Board Certified Physician Nutrition Specialist, even my physician friends often ask me which supplements are best for themselves and their patients.

I recommend two brands of meal replacements for weight loss.  The first, XYMOGEN®’s i5, is my favorite because it is a powerful anti-inflammatory food that my patients use along with a detox diet.  This all natural, fructose-free shake has ingredients that promote gastrointestinal health, optimize the body’s ability to detoxify harmful substances and respond to inflammation.

XYMOGEN’s i5 patented ingredients, provide 21 grams of pea and rice proteins that are free of gluten and lactose, are generally considered hypoallergenic foods, and have a low level of flatulent sugars, negating the concern of intestinal gas. The blend also contains non-GMO chicory, a source of soluble fiber.

Sometimes, my patients will read the label of other products and compare it to the ones we have in our office.  While some of the ingredients may look the same as the Xymogen i5, the quality of Xymogen is the best that I have found.  For example, the pea protein isolate in i5 is naturally obtained by simple water extraction, keeping all the nutritional qualities intact. It has a protein content of 90%, excellent digestibility (98%), and a well-balanced amino-acid profile, including a particularly high content of lysine, arginine, and branched-chain amino acids. The combination of rice protein and pea protein achieves an Amino Acid Score of 100%.  Other products that contain rice and pea proteins cannot claim to have the same nutritional content unless they are extracting the protein with water.

In addition to the perfect amino acid score, Xymogen i5 stimulates the immune system with IgG andsulforaphane glucosinolate.  It’s Arabinogalactan is a non-digestible, soluble dietary fiber derived from the Larch tree.  For weight loss, we recommend using i5 two times per day and an alkaline, wheat free, milk free diet for one to two meals a day.  People lose as much as 10 pounds the first week.  Because they are eating an allergen free diet, people also feel more energy, less gas, bloating and achiness!

As mentioned above, I do offer two brands of shakes.  The second, Optifast, is not anti-inflammatory, but is the only weight loss shake that is safe to use for a full liquid diet.  When we replace all our food with shakes, the nutritional value of the shakes needs to replace 100% of the protein, essential fats, and vitamins required to maintain health.  We use Optifast because it has been proven to be safe for full meal replacements for thirty years.  There is no other full liquid diet that comes close to this.

So, whether you are looking to detox and lose some weight, or aggressively loose over 50 pounds, choosing the right type of meal replacement will be a big part of your success.

The integrative medical offices of Dr. Anne Hermann, MD, are conveniently located in St. Petersburg and Tampa, FL.  To schedule your appointment, call 813-902-9559.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Acupuncture for Symptom Management in Cancer Patients

Dr. Anne Hermann

From the emotional impact of the diagnosis to the side effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, cancer can be traumatizing. Over the past decade, acupuncture has become an accepted part of cancer treatment centers all over the country, from Harvard’s Dana-Farber to the famed Mayo Clinic. As more physicians and hospitals offer acupuncture, the medical community has become less skeptical about acupuncture. There are many well-done studies that demonstrate that acupuncture does indeed relieve pain, nausea, hot flashes, improve saliva production and reduce stress. I have taken the time to summarize the studies that demonstrate that acupuncture is helpful for cancer symptoms because I would like doctors and patients to have this information when they are deciding how to treat the symptoms below. Below is a summary of well performed studies, published in medical journals that demonstrate that acupuncture is effective for these cancer-related symptoms.

Hot Flashes: In one study, 50 patients with breast cancer received 12 weeks of acupuncture or
venlafaxine (a prescription medication for hot flashes).  Both groups had decreases in hot flashes, depression and  improvements in mental health from pre- to post-treatment.  Acupuncture was as effective as venlafaxine. Two weeks after treatment, the medication group had return of hot flashes while hot flashes in the acupuncture group remained low. The venlafaxine group experienced 18 adverse effects; the acupuncture group experienced none. Acupuncture had the additional benefit of increased sex drive, improvement in energy, clarity of thought, and sense of well-being.  Acupuncture is as effective in treating hot flashes and has no side effects compared to medication.

J Clin Oncol 2010,Feb,01;28(4):634-40

Peripheral Neuropathy: We are performing a pilot study on chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy at Moffitt.  So far, about 75% of patients do improve with acupuncture.   One study on people with carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS), a form of peripheral neuropathy, compared 4 weeks of prednisolone to 4 weeks of acupuncture.  After 13 months, acupuncture group reported 81.6% improvement versus 48.7% in the steroid group. The acupuncture group had a significantly better improvement on neurologic testing when compared to the steroid group as well.  It is important to note that the improvement lasted over a year.  Acupuncture has been proven to improve carpal tunnel syndrome 2:1 over steroid medication.

Yang CPWang NHLi TCHsieh CLChang HHHwang KLKo WSChang MH., A randomized clinical trial of acupuncture versus oral steroids for carpal tunnel syndrome: a long-term follow-upJ Pain. 2011 Feb;12(2):272-9., 2010 Nov 26

Nausea and Vomiting: There are so many studies that prove that acupuncture helps with nausea and vomiting, that I think it’s best to mention the Cochrane Database review of 40 trials involving 4858 participants.  This review compared sham treatment to acupuncture for nausea; vomiting, and the need for rescue nausea medications. Acupuncture was found to be as effective as standard anti-nausea medication typically used in chemotherapy.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009,Jan,01;(2):CD003281

Pain after Surgery: Randomized controlled trials of acupuncture with electricity report reduction in pain after surgery.  In one study, 23% of patients having received acupuncture with electricity required no morphine-like medication after lung surgery.  They also had shorter stays in the recovery room and better tolerance to physical therapy.  Acupuncture can aid physical therapy and replace the need for medication. 

Thor Surg 1985; 39462-5

Joint Pain Caused by Chemotherapy: Breast cancer patients treated with a chemotherapy called aromatase inhibitors may experience joint pain.  A study performed at Columbia University compared true acupuncture versus sham acupuncture twice weekly for 6 weeks in women who had musculoskeletal pain related to their chemotherapy. Women treated with True Acupuncture had significant improvement of joint pain and stiffness, which was not seen with Sham Acupuncture.

Crew KDCapodice JLGreenlee HBrafman LFuentes DAwad DYann Tsai WHershman DL.  Randomized, blinded, sham-controlled trial of acupuncture for the management of aromatase inhibitor-associated joint symptoms in women with early-stage breast cancerClin Oncol. 2010 Mar 1;28(7):1154-60.  2010 Jan 25.

Xerostomia or Poor Saliva Production: A study of 46 patients with reduced saliva after radiotherapy for head-and-neck cancer .  Two 6-week courses of acupuncture were given.   Saliva production was measured at baseline and up to 1 year after treatment completion.  All acupuncture patients had improvement on questionnaire and increase in measured saliva production at 3 and 6 months aftertreatment.

Wong RKJones GWSagar SMBabjak AFWhelan T. A Phase I-II study in the use of acupuncture-like transcutaneous nerve stimulation in the treatment of radiation-induced xerostomia in head-and-neck cancer patients treated with radical radiotherapyInt J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 Oct 1;57(2):472-80.

Depression or Anxiety: In this study, 56 patients with  depression or anxiety were randomly assigned to true acupuncture vs. sham acupuncture.   After 10 treatments, the true acupuncture group had 60.7% improvement vs. 21.4% in sham. Acupuncture addressess depression and anxiety.

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2000 Mar;68(3):137-44

Anne Hermann, MD: I treat cancer patients in my private practice and at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, where I am the medical acupuncturist in the Integrative Medicine Department.   As an Internal Medicine physician and holistic medical practitioner, my goal is to help patients tolerate their treatments as well as possible.  Again, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at 813-902-9559 or 727-278-3992 – Anne Hermann, MD

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.