Top10MD Blog

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS THAT CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN

 3 weeks ago    Leave a comments (0)



Over 2/3 of the US population is overweight or obese, yet many of the medications used to treat obesity-related medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and depression can actually cause weight gain – even several pounds or more a month.

It can be the drug itself or side effects from the drug. Some medications can stimulate appetite, and as a result you eat more. Drugs that trigger increases in appetite may work in the brain and affect your satiety (fullness). Others may affect how your body absorbs and stores glucose, which can lead to fat deposits in the midsection of your body and affect insulin resistance. Some drugs cause fluid retention. Some drugs cause calories to be burned slower by changing your body’s metabolism. Other drugs cause fatigue and shortness of breath making it difficult for people to exercise. Weight gain may increase the chance for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and sleep apnea. It is often difficult to distinguish between weight gain from a drug and weight gain from other reasons, like diet or lack of exercise, because it can be a slow process. For many drugs, it is not known exactly what causes the weight gain.

Both patients and doctors need to be more aware of possible weight effects from medications. “One of the first things I review in initial weight loss consultations are medications,” states Obesity Medicine Specialist Dr. Theresa Garza. “I ask them how long they’ve been taking the medication(s), and if they’ve noticed any weight related changes.

The effects aren’t the same for everybody, though. One person might gain 15-25 pounds on one drug. Another might not gain anything. Even if you suspect you are gaining weight from a medication, do not lower the dose or stop taking the medication without speaking with a healthcare professional first.

Common medications that are weight-positive (cause weight gain) include (but are not limited to):

  • Diabetes – Insulin, Glyburide, Glipizide, Actos
  • Anti-depressants – Celexa, Lexapro, Remeron, Zoloft, Paxil, Amitriptyline
  • Mood stabilizers – Lithium, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Risperdal, Clozaril
  • Seizure/migraines – Depakote, Lyrica, Neurontin
  • Blood pressure – Metoprolol, Propranolol, Atenolol (older B-blockers)
  • Antihistamines – Zyrtec, Benadryl, Allegra
  • Steroid Hormones– Corticosteroids (prednisone), Depo-injections

Better alternatives (medications that are weight-neutral or promote weight loss) include (but are not limited to):

  • Diabetes – Metformin, Victoza, Byetta, Januvia
  • Anti-depressants – Wellbutrin
  • Mood stabilizers – Geodon
  • Seizure/migraines – Topamax, Zonegran, Lamictal
  • Blood pressure – ACE inhibitors, Angiotension II Receptor Blockers, Ca2+ Channel Blockers
  • Allergies – Nasal spray
  • Steroid Hormones – Avoid corticosteroids (use NSAIDs if possible), low-hormone contraception

What Can You Do?

  • Ask – when you are prescribed a new medication, ask if the drug is known to cause weight gain and express your concern for weight gain. Discuss any alternatives that are less likely to cause weight gain.
  • Be aware – if you have been gaining weight after starting a new medication, ask your doctor. Most weight gain is seen early on – within six months of starting. However, sometimes it can be slow and you don’t realize it’s medication-related weight gain until several months later. Be keen with your body’s eating, activity, and response to medication.
  • Be smart – know about medications prescribed for your medical condition(s) that may cause weight gain. Research online. While some medications don’t cause weight gain, they may make it more difficult to lose excess weight.
  • To offset weight gain or to help work off excess weight, consider keeping a food diary and activity log. Become a mindful eater (avoid junk food, soda, and sweets). Increase activity. Aim for increasing protein and lowering carb intake.

Dr. Theresa Garza is a Dallas Weight Loss Specialist who is Board-Certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. She has been in private practice for weight management for nine years. Dr. Garza specializes in non-surgical weight loss, weight management programs, and metabolism testing. Dr. Garza has been named Top10MD – an honor 1-in-3 doctors succeed with in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Garza, click on her profile or call her office at 972.303.8955.


IT’S NOT A RACE, IT’S A JOURNEY | WEIGHT LOSS

 2 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



As we settle into 2017, this year’s most popular new year resolution is weight loss with life improvement trailing behind in second place. These two resolutions are mutually beneficial. With life improvements, such as better eating habits, physical activity, and an overall general positive attitude, comes the increased opportunity to lose weight. In addition, weight loss can have huge benefits for improving your daily life, such as having more energy, feeling better mentally and physically, and lowering your risk for diabetes and heart-related conditions. Why not try for both? After all, you can have your cake AND eat it too!

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a surprising 1 in 3 Americans are considered obese – that’s somewhere between 26-32% of the US population. For some diet, exercise, and moderation can only take you so far in achieving the body you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re looking for a drastic change in your life this year, there is help out there! Dr. Sheetal Patel is one of Dallas’ premier bariatric surgeons. If your BMI is above where it should be perhaps its time to look at a gastric sleeve or other weight loss procedure. Call today to learn more. Monthly seminars are available.

Dallas Bariatric Surgeon Sheetal Patel, MD is Director and Founder of 360 Bariatrics. Dr. Patel is Fellowship trained and Board Certified by the American Board of Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Patel uses the Da Vinci Robotic System to perform robotic weight loss procedures, foregut surgery (hiatal/para-esophageal hernias) and uses single site robotic technology for the removal of the gallbladder. 360 Bariatrics enables patients to lead healthy, happy and productive lives without experiencing unhealthy weight gain in the future. Dr. Patell has been named 2016 | 2017 Top10MD an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeeds with this recognition in the United States. Call Dr. Patel’s office today and schedule an appointment at (972) 596-5225.


YOUR METABOLISM & WEIGHT LOSS

 4 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



When you were younger, it seemed like you could eat anything and not gain a pound. Now that you are older, everything sticks to you like glue, and the tricks you used in your 20s to lose a few pounds just don’t work anymore. Metabolism is one factor that makes it more challenging to lose weight. Understanding how metabolism affects your body can give you greater success with losing those holiday pounds and keeping true to a healthier New Years resolution.

Calorie burn is driven by metabolism. This is the process by which calories are converted into energy to power your bodily processes. Metabolism is not just about calorie burning, but it’s also about calorie storage. While there’s only one way for calories to enter your body (chomp chomp), there are several ways for calories to leave. The higher your metabolism, the quicker that food is processed into energy. The lower your metabolism, the slower the energy conversion.

Common FALSE statements you may have heard:

  • If I lose weight, my metabolism gets better” – When a person loses weight, there is less weight for the body to support, thus less calories burned. In addition, weight.
  • I have to eat 6 small meals a day to keep my metabolism going.” – If the quality and quantity of your food stays constant, three square meals are just fine.
  • I have to exercise to lose weight.” – The primary tool for weight loss is diet – what a person eats and doesn’t eat. Exercise plays an extremely minor role in weight loss.

A few things you can do to improve your metabolism:

  • Drink at least 8-10 ounces of cold water per day. Your body works a little harder to heat the water to room temperature.
  • Eat more fiber (25 grams daily for women, 38 grams daily for men), protein (1.2-1.5 grams/kg/day) and less processed foods.
  • Increase non-exercise activity such as stairs, stretching your legs, standing to talk, parking further away.
  • Manage stress levels. Increased stress releases cortisol, which worsens metabolism and increases abdominal fat.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise

No matter your metabolism is, it is possible to reach and maintain your weight loss goals with hard work, meal planning, and exercise.

Dr. Theresa Garza is a Dallas Weight Loss Specialist who is Board-Certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. She has been in private practice for weight management for eight years. Dr. Garza specializes in non-surgical weight loss, weight management programs, and metabolism testing. Dr. Garza has been named Top10MD – an honor 1-in-3 doctors succeed with in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Garza, click on her profile or call her office at 972.303.8955.


WHAT IS A LOW CARB DIET?

 6 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Everybody is on a low-carb diet these days. What does that mean? Low-carb can be defined in different ways. The Obesity Medicine Association defines low-carb within the parameters of a restricted carb diet:

  • Low Glycemic Index diet – Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbs in foods according to how they affect blood glucose (sugar) levels. Carbs with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood sugar, where carbs with a high GI value cause spikes in blood sugar and spikes in insulin levels.
  • Low-carbohydrate diet – 50-150 grams of carbs/day
  • Very low carbohydrate diet – < 50 grams of carbs/day

Casually, sometimes a person who says he or she is eating “low-carb” means reducing overall carbohydrate consumption but not necessarily following actual carbohydrate counts or numbers. This mainly focuses on reducing or eliminating added sugars or other refined sugars. This includes the “no white foods” approach of eliminating white rice, white potatoes, and white flour.

“Good” Carbs & “Bad” Carbs

Refined carbs are forms of sugars and starches that don’t exist in nature. Refined carbs are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. The more insulin we secrete, the more fat we store and the more fat is prevented from breaking down. A diet that lowers the amount of insulin secreted is beneficial for weight loss.

Foods on a low-carb diet include non-starchy vegetables, meats and/or eggs and other sources of protein, low-sugar fresh fruits such as berries, dairy foods such as cheese and yogurt, nuts and seeds, and foods with healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil. Low-carb tortillas, condiments, and even baked goods and desserts are available. Spaghetti squash is a healthy eater’s favorite. Kitchen goods such as the Spiralizer have made it handy to use vegetables (such as zucchini) as a pasta substitute. Cauliflower can be used in mashed potatoes, rice, pizza crust, and bread recipes. It is not about eliminating carbs completely; it is about reducing overall carbs and eating better carbs.

Lowering your carb intake will help facilitate weight loss, but remember that when you add in carbs, add them in slowly to allow your body to adjust to some initial water weight gain. Stick to low glycemic index carbs. Avoid carb binges. Keep an eye on calorie intake. The more conscious you are about carb intake, the better success you will have at losing and maintaining weight.

Dr. Theresa Garza is a Dallas Weight Loss Specialist who is Board-Certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. She has been in private practice for weight management for eight years. Dr. Garza specializes in non-surgical weight loss, weight management programs, and metabolism testing. Dr. Garza has been named Top10MD – an honor 1-in-3 doctors succeed with in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Garza, click on her profile or call her office at 972.303.8955.


HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY – BIOTE

 6 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Back in the good old days, life was different for women. Childbirth was a game of heads and tails if the mother was going to survive, PMS was considered by others as an imaginary problem or women were crazy, and menopause was just another stage of life that every woman had to endure. Thanks to advancements in medicine and science, women don’t have to accept the results of hormone imbalances.

Women across the country now have an improved quality of life thanks to hormone replacement therapy. There’s no need to have to endure the struggles of menopause if the remedy is simple, just replacing your missing hormones.

Estrogen Pellet Therapy

The most important hormone for women is estrogen. Without proper levels of estrogen, woman are at risk for serious health consequences such as osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, impaired vision, premature ovary failure, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and tooth loss.

Estrogen receptors are located throughout the body and brain when estrogen levels are low, or our body is not manufacturing estrogen such as when you have a hysterectomy the symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as moodiness, bone loss, loss of skin elasticity, and cognitive functions decline. Working with a physician than understands the consequences of low estrogen can help women avoid the trouble hormone imbalances can cause.

Testosterone Pellet Therapy

The testosterone hormone provides a woman with muscle tone and mass, mental clarity, and libido. When testosterone is low, women often complain of brain fog, weight gain, and even with regular exercise, poor muscle tone. Low testosterone can also be dangerous to a woman’s overall health. When a woman lacks testosterone, she can suffer from anxiety, insomnia, anger, sadness, and depression. Without hormone therapy, the imbalance of testosterone can lead to osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, and muscle and joint pain.

Bio-Identical Hormone Pellet Therapy

Hormone deficiency can have severe effects on the brain, muscles, bones, heart, and metabolism. Without balanced testosterone and estrogen levels, women suffer more than need be. To gain back your vitality, to avoid or prevent the pains of menopause, and to stay healthy for the long-term bioidentical hormone therapy can be your best friend.

Dallas Gynecologist and Functional Medicine Specialist Maryann Prewitt, MD is Director and Founder of HealthWellnessMD. Dr. Prewitt is Fellow and Board Certified by the America College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Prewitt holds a Master’s Certification in the da Vinci Surgery System – this minimally invasive technology has revolutionized the way surgery is performed today. Dr. Prewitt has been named 2016 | 2017 Top10MD an honor only 1 in 3 doctors in the United States succeeds with this recognition. Call Dr. Prewitt’s office today and schedule an appointment at 469-619-1066.


WEIGHING IN ON WEIGHT LOSS MEDICATIONS

 8 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



When used in combination with medical weight loss programs, FDA-approved weight loss medications can be helpful not only with increasing both speed and amount of weight loss but also with reducing the sensation of hunger and increasing fullness. Prescription weight loss medications are not a substitute for a proper diet and exercise program – they are designed to complement the behavioral program.

FDA-Approved Weight Loss Medications

  • Phentermine
  • Phendimetrazine
  • Benzphetamine
  • Diethylpropion

Available by prescription since the 1950s. These are commonly known as stimulants. These have been FDA-approved for short-term (3 months) use, although many Obesity Medicine Specialists use stimulants for a longer duration, even as long-term weight maintenance medications.

Four New Weight Loss Medications

  • Qsymia
  • Belviq
  • Contrave
  • Saxenda

These weight loss medications have been approved for long-term weight loss and weight management since 2012.

Am I a candidate for prescription weight loss medication? 

  • Search for an Obesity Medicine Specialist or Clinician through the Obesity Medicine Association (obesitymedicine.org).
  • Ask your primary care physician if he/she is comfortable prescribing these medications. If not, ask if he/she can refer you to a reputable weight loss or weight management specialist.
  • Ask friends, associates, or colleagues for referrals.
  • Go online and do research on medical weight loss specialists in the area.
  • Go through reputable local marketing sources (such as magazines) for weight management specialists.

Do not seek prescription medications from a physician or provider who does not require at least one face-to-face visit with you. Do not purchase any prescription medication over the Internet unless it’s a reputable pharmacy; you never know what you’ll receive.

Dr. Theresa Garza is a Dallas Weight Loss Specialist who is Board-Certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. She has been in private practice for weight management for eight years. Dr. Garza specializes in non-surgical weight loss, weight management programs, and metabolism testing. Dr. Garza has been named Top10MD – an honor 1-in-3 doctors succeed within the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Garza, click on her profile or call her office at 972.303.8955.


A SUMMER SEASON SLIM DOWN

 10 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



As we’ve settled into the summer season, are you finding that you are still trying to lose that stubborn weight? Have you tried, every summer, to lose that excess belly fat without success? Make this year different! Make the needed changes to take back your health. If that happens to include weight loss, then finding the underlying causes will help you reach your goals.

For some people, diet and exercise changes are sufficient for losing weight. However, for most it isn’t quite enough to get them to their weight loss goal. If you are one of these people, it is very likely that there are underlying health issues to blame.

  • Toxic Overload

In today’s world, which is filled with dangerous chemicals such as: medications, heavy metals, and other toxins, your endocrine (or hormone) system has to put up quite a fight. Many of the products you use daily such as shampoo, lotion, and makeup, can mimic the activity of hormones in your body. When these chemicals disrupt our natural hormone cycle, it can become very difficult to lose weight.

  • Underactive Thyroid

If your thyroid is underactive, your metabolism slows down and your energy production decreases. In addition to difficult weight loss, hypothyroidism can lead to mood swings, hair loss, constipation, fatigue, and brain fog. With 20 million Americans suffering from thyroid problems, the number one symptom of hypothyroidism is the inability to lose weight along, with unexplained weight gain. Most conventional doctors use only one or two tests to assess your thyroid function. If you think you may have an underactive thyroid, a full thyroid panel will provide the best answers.

  • Stress

We’ve all heard that stress contributes to weight gain. However, it has far less to do with eating that tub of ice cream at night to soothe the troubles of the day than you might think. When your body is under stress, it releases a surge of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.” Cortisol’s natural levels should be higher in the morning and gradually decrease throughout the day. These levels coincide with our natural circadian rhythm.

Although cortisol is our friend when it powers our fight or flight response, it can also break down lean muscle tissue, and cause an increase in belly fat. If you are chronically stressed, your body will continue to produce high levels of cortisol throughout the day, causing your body to store fat.

Take an honest look at your stress levels. If you find that you are feeling run down and overworked, it might be time to make some changes. Take some time throughout your day to include stress reduction techniques. These techniques will help regulate your cortisol levels so that your body will not continuously store fat.

  • Other Hormonal Imbalance

In addition to weight management problems caused by toxins, your thyroid, or cortisol levels, imbalances in insulin and sex hormones often produce weight issues. Erratic blood sugar levels can lead to difficulty in losing weight, muscle loss, memory problems, and sexual difficulties. Working with a functional medicine doctor who can order functional hormone testing to better support your body’s natural hormone production, can help your balanced body find its appropriate weight.

No matter the direction you decide to take in your weight loss, please keep a few things in mind:

  • Stay away from fad diets, and always notify your doctor if you are going to try a restricted diet.
  • Building lean muscle mass is going to be the key to permanent weight loss. If this is not a priority, you will be far more likely to gain it all back.
  • Don’t focus on the scale! Your goal should be to lose fat, not pounds.” Focus instead on losing overall inches

Susan K. Linder M.D., P.A. a Diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Aging, Functional & Regenerative Medicine. She is also board certified in Physical Medicine &amp; Rehabilitation, with a subspecialty board certification in Pain Management. Dr. Linder is the Medical Director of HealthSpringMD conveniently located in Fort Worth, TX. For more information on nutritional health, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and getting back to feeling great visit her website: www.healthspringmd.com or call today to schedule a consultation 817-926- 7671.


DIABETES | THE SUGAR STRUGGLE

 10 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Although diabetes is an extremely common disease, nearly 28% of the population does not know they have it. This is a very high percentage and a sad statistic. Sometimes people are not diagnosed until they fall into a diabetic coma. When it comes to diabetes, it is important to know the symptoms and risks. There is not one type of diabetes but many. Even understanding the different types can help you understand the treatment as well as the possible cures.

We hear the term sugar diabetes, but that is redundant. Diabetes is a disease that leads to too much sugar in the blood. Whenever you eat, your body processes the food by breaking it down into its different components. Most foods have sugar in them. The more sugar you eat, the more that will end up in your bloodstream. Sugar levels that are too high can be very dangerous and lead not only to negative symptoms but also other serious diseases. Two main mechanisms can cause diabetes. The first mechanism is the body’s inability to produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that takes the sugar out of the blood and restores it to normal levels. When the body is not making enough insulin, your sugar levels are too high. The second mechanism is the body’s inability to process the sugar properly. There is no insulin problem, but the body just does not handle sugar.

Whenever there is a malfunction in insulin, you are considered to have Type 1 Diabetes. If there is a malfunction in sugar processing, you are regarded as having Type 2 Diabetes. Gestational diabetes is also common but among pregnant women. With gestational diabetes, you may only have diabetes while pregnant. This occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin support the increase sugar levels due to the baby. Normally after giving birth, the sugar levels return to normal.

If you know the symptoms of diabetes, you can prevent it before it starts. When you are experiencing symptoms, you may already be in the prediabetes stage. It is important to get control now before you are diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

Early Symptoms Include

  • Blurred Vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Increased Hunger
  • Increased Thirst
  • Increased Urination
  • Numbness

A lot of times we do not pay attention to these symptoms. We just think it is temporary. If you notice these symptoms are ongoing, you should see a physician and have a blood test as soon as possible. If you ignore these symptoms, diabetes can get out of control leading to neuropathy, slower healing processes and a greater risk of yeast infections.

Diabetes is nothing to joke about. It is very serious, and when left uncontrolled, it can be deadly. So many people ignore the signs and end up in the hospital. Getting an early diabetes diagnosis can help you manage the disease better. Just changing your diet can cure Type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy diet and exercising can help prevent diabetes. If you notice you are having symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Get control of your diabetes and you can get control of your life.

Dallas Vascular Surgeon Dr. Gregory Pearl is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Vascular Surgery and a Fellow of Peripheral Vascular Surgery. Dr. Pearl is named Top10MD – 1-in- 3 doctors succeeds with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Pearl link to his profile or call his office today 214-821- 9600.


FROM TOP10MD TO YOU…

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

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MOMS, KEEP THOSE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ALIVE!

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



The sad truth: By June, only 40% of people have stuck with their New Year resolutions. Studies show that by midyear, less than half had kept their January promises. Busy moms get hit the hardest – with the kids back at school and their extracurricular activities starting up, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.  With the right attitude and approach, you can improve your own odds and make 2016 your greatest year yet!

Reward yourself along the way.

Rewards, however, small they may seem, can motivate you. They remind you the progress you have made and make things more fun.

For short-term goals, rewards should be simple, like taking time out for yourself. Watch your favorite movie, enjoy a massage or a manicure, or buy a new pair of shoes. For reaching bigger goals, give yourself larger rewards such as a nice piece of jewelry or a vacation you have been wanting to take.

Defeat one bad habit at a time.  

It can be very difficult to change too many things at once, especially when you’re juggling so much responsibility. It can be easy to turn to unhealthy options. Just as it takes time to form bad habits, it also takes time to replace them with good ones. Conquer one habit, and then move on to the next.

Make your goals positive, not negative.

For example, instead of saying that you want to stop procrastinating, say you want to plan your work ahead of time.  When goals are created in a positive way you are more likely to succeed. When setting your goals, use terms that focus on a good behavior you want to build. It’s often easier to build a new habit than to quit a bad one.

Shout it from a mountaintop!

Make a public declaration about your goals, don’t go at it alone. Find another mom who has similar goals to help support each other. Look for support groups or classes. Tell your family or friends about your goals. Even get the kids to join in! Having support can help keep you on track. Sharing your challenges and successes makes the work easier and exciting.

Be forgiving of mistakes.

Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Everyone has slips when trying to build a healthy new habit. The small lapses are just part of the process, it does not mean you have failed. Dust yourself off, rise up and continue on. Use it as an opportunity to learn your triggers for slipping up. For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, maybe you are not ready to handle being around friends who do.

Give yourself time.

It takes a different length of time for everyone to make a habit, and research shows for some it is within 21 days. However for some people, it is not so simple and can take 2 months or more. Don’t get down on yourself if the habitual changes aren’t happening as fast as you expected, it does not mean it won’t get there. Give your brain time to make your new habit second nature.

Make your goals reasonable.

When your goals are too large to accomplish soon you can become frustrated and want to give up. Break them down into several smaller, easier steps.  For example, if your goal is to lose a pound a week, replace your dessert with a delicious cup of fruit. Keep track of these choices and these steps you are taking. People who do are more likely to succeed.


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