What Is Body Composition?

What Is Body Composition?

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center, in New York, we want to share with you and we want you to know that understanding how your total body weight is shared across your soft-tissues and bones can be a great guide to your overall general health.      

  Your total body weight is made up of two parts: 

 

  1. Body fat.

  2. Lean body mass. 

Globally, there are currently more people that are obese than are underweight. There is now more demand than ever for weight loss treatments, medications and more.    

But, before taking medications and beginning treatments, people need to understand what their body is made up of before looking to lose weight.

 What your body is made up of is more important than what you weigh. What is inside your body is what can have a detrimental impact on your health.

How does nutrition fit into body composition? 

The nutrients you consume and your daily physical/mental activities, ultimately determine your health, vitality, and body appearance. 

Your body is constantly using and metabolizing amino acids, sugars, and fats. They are needed to sustain vital tissues, repair cells, build new cells and provide energy.  

There is a constant balance at work between the nutrients we consume — taken in the form of protein, carbohydrates, and fats — and their absorption, utilization, and storage in the body. 

When deficiencies occur, cellular components are ultimately harvested to meet the immediate needs of critical systems. When the balance tips in the other direction, excess nutrients end up getting stored for later use. 

The body’s main storage vault is the fat cell. After your body is done metabolizing all of the nutrients it needs, any excess will be used to produce fatty acids, which are then stored in the fat cell. 

 

Weight Loss Does Not Always Mean Fat Loss 

 

When you lose weight, you often lose fat, muscle, and water (not just fat). 

The vast majority (if not all) of patients would be thrilled if their weight loss caused a loss in body fat alone, preserving their skeletal muscle mass. Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works.

When you first lose weight, you may lose a great deal of lean tissue (muscle) and water weight. If your total body weight and BMI decreases, but you look the same in the mirror, it’s a sign you aren’t losing fat.

 

Skinny Does Not Always Mean Healthy 

 

It’s possible and common to have a low BMI while still having a considerable amount of fat on one’s body. 

There are two types of fat: visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. 

 

  • Subcutaneous fat is the fat that lays just below the surface of the skin. 

  • Visceral fat, on the other hand, crowds around your organs, and is considered to be far more dangerous to your health. 

 

Too much visceral fat on the body can lead to a number of health risks, including certain types of cancer, heart disease, and even diabetes.

A person with a high percentage of visceral fat tissue could appear trim and healthy on the surface (leading to the common phrase, “skinny fat”). Therefore, it’s important to understand the percent of total body fat, muscle mass, total body water weight, and bone mineral weight in the body.

How can you improve your body composition

Body composition plays a critical role in the individual’s health across all age groups.  Recent research has shown that it is especially important for children. In fact, poor body composition during childhood is a precursor to a variety of lifelong health issues. 

The two major body composition components that the individual can change are their fat mass and their muscle mass. 

Fat mass can be decreased and muscle mass can be increased. 

Though losing fat and gaining muscle usually require different nutritional and exercise requirements, the combination of the two achieved together is considered the holy grail of health and fitness. 

Use Body Composition Measurements To Tackle Your Health Goals 

Your weight and BMI are often used as baseline measurements for wellness. Unfortunately, neither measurement gives an accurate depiction of how healthy you truly are.

The human body is made up of water, bones, muscle, and fat — which can only be measured through a body composition analysis. 

While body composition measurements are difficult to calculate and more expensive than other health measurements, they are (by far) the most accurate.

Once you measure your body composition, at Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we can use it to set realistic goals and a targeted training and nutrition plan. 

What Is Autonomic Nervous System Monitoring?

What Is Autonomic Nervous System Monitoring?

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center in New York, we know that your autonomic nervous system is a part of your overall nervous system that controls the automatic functions of your body that you need to survive. 

These are processes you don’t think about and that your brain manages while you’re awake or asleep.

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we all know the importance of our brain, but did you also realize that without an efficient autonomic nervous system to maintain homeostasis in body functions such as heart rate and blood pressure; everything from digestion to temperature regulation would be impaired. 

Our mental processes rely on this intricate monitoring network for their very survival!

What is the Autonomic Nervous System?

The autonomic nervous system controls all the automatic functions of the body, from breathing to heart rate. 

It’s a complex network of neural pathways that can be classified into two parts: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. It ramps up the body’s energy levels and prepares it for action. 

The parasympathetic nervous system is the “rest and digest” response. It slows down the heart rate and relaxes the body.

Both systems work together to maintain a stable balance in the body. When one system is activated, the other system counteracts it. This allows the body to respond to stressors quickly and efficiently.

The autonomic nervous system is a vital part of health and well-being. It helps the body respond to stress and maintain balance in the face of change. Knowing how it works can help you better understand your own body and take steps to improve your health.

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Where does the autonomic nervous system fit in the overall structure of the nervous system?

Your overall nervous system includes two main subsystems:

  • Central nervous system: This includes your brain and spinal cord.
  • Peripheral nervous system: This includes every part of your nervous system that isn’t your brain and spinal cord.

Your peripheral nervous system also has two subsystems:

  • Somatic nervous system: This includes muscles you can control, plus all the nerves throughout your body that carry information from your senses. 

That sensory information includes sound, smell, taste and touch. Vision doesn’t fall under this because the parts of your eyes that manage your sight are part of your brain.

  • Autonomic nervous system: This is the part of your nervous system that connects your brain to most of your internal organs.

Your autonomic nervous system breaks down into three divisions, each with its own job:

  • Parasympathetic Nervous System

  • Sympathetic Nervous System

  • Enteric nervous system
  • Parasympathetic nervous system: This part of your autonomic nervous system does the opposite of your sympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for the “rest-and-digest” body processes.
  • Sympathetic nervous system: This system activates body processes that help you in times of need, especially times of stress or danger. This system is responsible for your body’s “fight-or-flight” response.
  • Enteric nervous system: This part of your autonomic nervous system manages how your body digests food.

How does the autonomic nervous system help with other organs?

Much like a home needs electrical wiring to control lights and everything inside that needs power, your brain needs the autonomic nervous system’s network of nerves. 

These nerves are the physical connections your brain needs to control almost all of your major internal organs.

Where is it located?

Your autonomic nervous system includes a network of nerves that extend throughout your head and body. 

Some of those nerves extend directly out from your brain, while others extend out from your spinal cord, which relays signals from your brain into those nerves.

There are 12 cranial nerves, which use Roman numerals to set them apart, and your autonomic nervous system has nerve fibers in four of them. 

These include the third, seventh, ninth and 10th cranial nerves. They manage pupil dilation, eye focusing, tears, nasal mucus, saliva and organs in your chest and belly.

Your autonomic nervous system also uses most of the 31 spinal nerves. These include spinal nerves in your thoracic (chest and upper back), lumbar (lower back) and sacral (tailbone).

The spinal nerve connections are how your autonomic system controls the following:

  • Heart.
  • Lungs.
  • Liver.
  • Pancreas.
  • Spleen.
  • Stomach.
  • Small and large intestine.
  • Colon.
  • Kidney.
  • Bladder.
  • Sexual organs.

The part of your brain that runs autonomic functions is your hypothalamus. This structure isn’t part of your autonomic nervous system, but is a key part of how it works.

CONCLUSION

The nervous system is an incredibly complex network of neural pathways that can be classified into two parts: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. 

The first deals with our automatic functions like breathing, digestion, heart rate etc. while the latter controls things like arousal and emotional reactions to stimuli. 

As you may have guessed by now, these systems work together in order to keep us functioning properly.

What Is PCOS? How Can You Get Help?

What Is PCOS? How Can You Get Help?

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we know that some medical conditions have the potential to change your life, and once diagnosed, you’ll naturally want to learn as much as possible about them.

 Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a perfect example. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their health. The condition is common among women of reproductive age and can include symptoms such as an irregular menstrual cycle, acne, thinning hair and weight gain.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is an endocrine disorder that may affect as many 10 million women and teenage girls worldwide. The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Researchers think that there are environmental and genetic factors that may play a role in the development of PCOS. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance which creates problems in the ovaries. These ovarian issues, in turn, lead to irregular or missed menstrual periods.

 PCOS is the leading cause of infertility and can be linked to symptoms that affect both health and appearance.  In addition to infertility, some common symptoms include:

  • Weight gain

  • Fatigue

  • Unwanted hair growth (also known as hirsutism)

  • Thinning hair on the head

  • Acne

  • Mood changes

  • Pelvic pain

  • Headaches

  • Sleep problems

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There is no cure for PCOS. However, early diagnosis and management is important and can help manage your symptoms. Following a healthful diet and exercising daily are important strategies you can use if you’ve been diagnosed. These diet and lifestyle changes can also reduce your chances of developing other health concerns. 

PCOS is a Rare Condition

It is estimated that between five to 10 percent of U.S. women of childbearing age have PCOS. That’s about 5 million women, which makes the condition one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age.

But, according to the PCOS Foundation, less than half of all women with PCOS are actually diagnosed correctly, meaning that millions of women are potentially unaware of their condition.

The PCOS Foundation estimates that this condition is the cause of fertility issues in women who have trouble with ovulation around 70 percent of the time.

You Can’t Get Pregnant if You Have PCOS

This isn’t true for everyone. Give your body a chance by talking with your doctor at Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center about fertility treatment. A number of medications can stimulate ovulation, which is the main issue that women with PCOS face.

Other fertility treatments for women with PCOS include assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization.

If you have PCOS and are not trying to get pregnant, don’t assume that you’re in the clear. While it is certainly harder to get pregnant with PCOS, many women still ovulate intermittently. Therefore, it’s important to still use contraception.

 

 PCOS Only Affects Overweight Women

 

It is true that many women who have PCOS are overweight or obese. And it’s also true that obesity can make PCOS symptoms worse. However, PCOS does not discriminate and can affect women of all shapes and sizes.

 

The relationship between weight and PCOS has to do with the body’s inability to use insulin properly, which can lead to weight gain.

 

That’s why getting into the habit of eating healthy and exercising regularly is recommended as part of most women’s treatment plans.

By separating fact from myth, you can empower yourself to live a complete, healthy life with PCOS.

 

Inflammatory PCOS

 

In inflammatory PCOS, chronic inflammation causes the ovaries to produce excess testosterone, resulting in physical symptoms and issues with ovulation. Signs of inflammation in this type of PCOS include headaches, joint pain, unexplained fatigue, skin issues like eczema and bowel issues like IBS. Typically, you will see raised inflammatory markers on a blood test, such as a high CRP (C reactive protein). Other tests such as fasting glucose and insulin are in the normal range, but can sometimes be affected as inflammation can affect these numbers.

 

To help treat inflammatory PCOS:

  • Address gut health. Repairing leaky gut tissue, balancing gut bacteria, improving digestive enzymes and eliminating pathogenic bacteria are all important steps to reduce overall inflammation.

  • Remove food triggers. Addressing potential food sensitivities and removal of inflammatory foods is a vital step to help address inflammation. It can sometimes be quite difficult to figure out what foods might be driving your inflammation, so it’s best to work with a nutritionist on this who can help you.

  • Natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, omega 3 fatty acids as well as antioxidants like NAC can help to support this type of PCOS. Always speak to a practitioner first to see if these are right for you, and in what dosages to take for them to be effective.

Obesity Is Complicated

Obesity Is Complicated

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we know that obesity is a complicated disease that is affecting more and more people everyday. It isn’t simply a body image concern, it is a medical condition that can lead to serious illnesses if not treated. The fact is, some people are genetically predisposed to this condition but for others it’s through years and years of poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle that can cause this excessive weight gain.

Obesity isn’t just about energy balance, i.e., calories in/calories out, that’s simplistic, and if the equation were that easy to solve we wouldn’t have the prevalence of obesity that we have today. Not only is the energy balance theory wrong, but the focus on that simplistic equation and blaming the patient have contributed to the obesity epidemic. Stigma, blame, and shame add to the problem, and are obstacles to treatment. Indeed, over 36% of adults in the United States have obesity, and the world is not far behind.

obesity-is-complicated

Causes and Symptoms of Obesity?

Obesity can be considered to be a disease that is highly linked to food intake and exercise, although it also can be caused by certain medical conditions. Here are some top causes of obesity:

1. Diet

Eating high energy density foods such as breads, pastas, pastries and fast food items can lead to obesity if eaten frequently and over a long period. Not eating healthy foods such as fiber-rich fruits, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables can not only create havoc in the digestive system but can also lead to weight gain.

2. Medical conditions

Certain health conditions can lead to weight gain. These conditions include: Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing syndrome, hypothyroidism and osteoarthritis.

3. Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is overeating in response to negative emotions such as stress, boredom, anger or frustration. Around 30% of overweight people report that they have issues with binge eating.

4. Genetics

Around 400 genes have been said to contribute to overweight or obesity. These genes can influence factors such as appetite, metabolism, food cravings, satiety, emotional eating and body fat distribution in the body. Genetic influence can vary from person to person and can range from as low as a 25% influence to as high as a 80% influence.

5. Frequency of Eating

How often you eat can actually play a role in weight gain. Overweight people tend to eat less often than people with normal weight. Studies show that those who eat smaller meals four or five times a day have lower cholesterol levels and more stable blood sugar levels than people who eat only two to three meals per day.

6. Sleep Habits

Lack of sleep can cause hormonal changes in the body and can affect hunger and appetite. Sleep deprivation over a long period can have serious effects on your metabolism and set you up for weight gain. How do you know if you are obese? Here are some top symptoms to look out for:

  • Breathlessness
  • Snoring or sleep apnea
  • Unable to do physical activity
  • Excessive sweating
  • Exhaustion or tiredness on a day to day basis
  • Back and joint pain
  • Hormonal imbalance (irregular periods, mood swings,etc)
  • Skin and hair issues
  • Lack of confidence and low self-esteem
  • Feeling alone/isolated

Risks Associated With Obesity

Unfortunately, obesity can pose many health risks for the individual. Some of these risks include:

1. Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin is required to lower blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your cells are unable to respond to insulin. For those with type 2 diabetes, too much glucose and sugar build up in the bloodstream. This can cause health complications and can even reduce the body’s ability to produce insulin.

2. Heart Disease

Heart disease is an umbrella term that refers to many different types of heart conditions. Some of other conditions include Arrhythmia (an irregular heart beat), Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), Cardiomyopathy (heart muscles harden or grown weak), Congenital heart defects (irregularities of the heart from birth), Coronary artery disease (caused by build-up of plaque of heart’s arteries), Heart infection (infection caused by bacteria or parasites).

3. High Blood Pressure

Also known as hypertension. High blood pressure occurs when blood pressure rises too high. Extra weight can raise the heart rate and reduce the body’s ability to transport blood through the vessels and higher pressure on the artery walls increases the blood pressure. It can be a precursor to heart attack or stroke.

4. Certain Cancers

Obesity can put someone at risk for certain types of cancers. These types include Meningioma (cancer in the tissue covering brain and spinal cord), Thyroid, Liver, Gallbladder, Upper Stomach, Pancreas, Ovary, and Kidney. Breast cancer, colon cancer and endometrial cancer are especially affiliated with obesity and should be monitored if the individual is considered obese.

5. Fatty Liver Disease

Also known as hepatic steatosis. Fatty liver disease occurs when fat is built up in the liver over time. Too much fat in the liver can cause inflammation which can lead to scarring (liver fibrosis), which can then lead to liver failure.

6. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition when breathing pauses repeatedly through the night while sleeping. Those with sleep apnea may feel tired throughout the day and wonder why. When left untreated, sleep apnea can cause health complications such as diabetes, heart disease and other serious illnesses.

Improvements to obesity health risks with 10% weight loss

In a recent study of people living with overweight or obesity, people in the weight loss group had a median weight loss of 13% and experienced improvements to their obesity health risks. For example, there was a reduction of: 

  • type 2 diabetes (41%) 
  • sleep apnoea (40%)
  • hypertension 22%
  • dyslipidemia (19%)
  • asthma (18%)

These are some of the benefits you can expect when you lose 10% or more of your body weight.

What is Metabolism and How Can We Improve Our Metabolic Rate?

What is Metabolism and How Can We Improve Our Metabolic Rate?

Every cell in our body is constantly working to produce the substances and energy needed to sustain life, and metabolism is a process that’s essential for the continuity of these processes.

 

Despite the fundamental importance to our health and functioning, there’s quite a lot of ambiguity around the concept of metabolism – especially what it means when ours slows down and what we can do about that. 

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we often hear people say, “I have a slow metabolism” or “they just have a fast metabolism,” and we all nod our heads in agreement. But do we understand what that means?

What is your metabolism? Can it be fast or slow? Does having a slow metabolism make you more inclined to gain weight? Does your metabolism really “break” when you diet?

Your Metabolism Is More Than One Thing

We often refer to our metabolism as a singular thing, like it is this black box or small engine that stuff goes into and then comes out of. But the truth is, our metabolism is a collection of many things. In reality, our metabolism is the sum of all the metabolic processes in our body.

One of the most straightforward ways to understand your metabolism is to refer to it as your total energy expenditure. This means that your metabolism is the cumulation of all the energy your body expends to function. We will refer to this as our total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). 

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What Does Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) Mean?

This TDEE can be further broken down into three main categories: 


  1. resting metabolism (what most of us call our metabolism)

  2. the energy it takes to process the food you eat

  3. physical activity (more on that in a bit)

Resting Metabolism

Your resting metabolism is the sum of all the metabolic processes that are required for you to live. This means your cells use energy to do things like breathe, think, pump blood, etc. This represents about 60-70% of your TDEE.

The Thermic Effect Of Food (Tef)

The next piece is what we call the thermic effect of food (TEF). This is simply the energy it requires to extract the energy you get from your food. This is a relatively small amount of energy and represents about 10% of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). 

Physical Activity

The last piece that makes up your TDEE is your physical activity, meaning the amount of movement you do throughout the day. This is often broken down into two separate categories: physical activity that is from structured exercise (we call this exercise activity thermogenesis) and physical activity from non-structured exercise (we call this non-exercise activity thermogenesis).

How does Metabolism Work?

When we eat food, our digestive system starts functioning. The digestive system uses different kinds of enzymes to do the following processes:

  • The initial process is the breaking down of proteins into amino acids. 

  • Enzymes also convert fats into fatty acids. 

  • Carbohydrates have been converted into sugars (Glucose) with the help of enzymes.

When the enzymes convert proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into amino acids, fatty acids, and sugars, the body can use them anytime as an energy source, and these compounds are absorbed by blood which helps in carrying them to different cells for their functioning. 

After the blood carries them to the cells, and they enter into the cells, other enzymes start their functioning and act upon it, and a lot of chemical reactions also take place that involve “metabolizing” different compounds. The energy made by these compounds can do different purposes, including being used by the body for performing different tasks, and it can also remain stored inside the body into tissues, such as muscles, liver, and body fat.

Enzymes

A protein acting as a catalyst that facilitates reactions in biological systems is called an enzyme. Each reaction step in Metabolic pathways is catalyzed by an enzyme and it takes control of the biochemical reactions.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

It is an organic compound that provides energy for facilitating many processes in living cells, for example, muscle contraction, chemical synthesis and nerve impulse propagation. It is found in all forms of life, and is often referred to as the “molecular unit of currency”. When consumed in metabolic processes, it is either converted to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) or to adenosine monophosphate (AMP).

Your metabolism adapts to calorie increases and decreases, with a large part of the adaptation coming from changes in physical activity. While metabolisms can decrease, they do not “break.” Lastly, lower resting metabolisms do not appear to be predictive of weight gain and by themselves are not overly helpful measures for most people.

In short: the answer to controlling our metabolic rate lies in following a healthy lifestyle, where we stay physically active, maintain a balanced diet (with plenty of protein) and find ways to de-stress and manage cortisol levels.

Signs That You Need to Have Your Thyroid Checked

Signs That You Need to Have Your Thyroid Checked

When your thyroid stops working as it should, you can experience a variety of symptoms that might seem unrelated or even odd. From chills and brain fog to thinning hair and weight gain, if your thyroid isn’t functioning well, you may be experiencing symptoms that are subtle and hard to characterize.

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center Women are more likely to experience issues with their thyroid, but anyone can suffer thyroid problems. Recognizing the symptoms of an overactive or underactive thyroid is the best way to get the treatment you need.

 

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Possible Signs or Symptoms of a Thyroid Condition

If you’ve experienced any of the following signs or symptoms of a thyroid problem, it might be time to get your thyroid checked.

Your weight has changed significantly, even though your habits remain the same

Significant and unexplained changes in your weight could be the result of either hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). In hyperthyroidism your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine which causes your body’s metabolism to hasten, leading to weight loss. In contrast, in hypothyroidism, your body is unable to produce enough thyroxine which causes the metabolism to slow down, thus aiding in your weight gain.

You’ve noticed a change in your appearance

In addition to fluctuations in your weight, look for changes in your appearance including weaker or more brittle hair, dry, red, itchy, thinning or irritated skin, swelling in your joints, a puffy face, or swelling at the base of your neck. It may be easy to dismiss these issues as normal skin problems, but if you’ve noticed changes in your skin’s appearance along with one or more of the other factors mentioned here, it may be time to have your thyroid checked.

You feel depressed 

Your physical appearance isn’t the only thing affected by your hormones; they also play a big role in your overall mood and mental wellness. Hyperthyroidism may cause you to feel anxious, nervous, and irritable whereas hypothyroidism can cause depression.

You’re always tired

Hyperthyroidism can make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night, thus leading to fatigue, whereas hypothyroidism’s lack of thyroxine can deplete your body from all of its energy. Additionally, with both of these conditions you’ll likely experience muscle weakness which causes your body to feel tired and worn down.

Menstrual cycle changes

Both an overactive and underactive thyroid can cause changes in your menstrual cycle. For example, if your periods become closer together, heavier, or longer, you may be dealing with an underactive thyroid that isn’t producing enough hormones. When your thyroid is producing too many hormones your period might get lighter and cycles more spaced apart.

Infertility and miscarriage

Low thyroid function can affect ovulation, causing infertility or even a miscarriage. An overactive thyroid can also cause problems for pregnant women, leading to miscarriage or other serious health problems for your baby.

Heart rate symptoms

Overactive thyroids can cause heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and an increased heart rate. 

What Happens if You Don’t Have any Signs or Symptoms of a Thyroid Problem

Just because you’re not showing any signs or symptoms of a thyroid disorder, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Thyroid nodules, defined as being “very common masses within the thyroid gland” are not always as easy to identify as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Physicians say that “Sometimes, patients notice or feel a bump on their neck, or sometimes their doctor detects a lump during a physical exam.” The lack of other symptoms can make it more challenging to detect. Thyroid nodules are often found incidentally during neck imaging for other conditions and are picked up in CT scans or MRIs.

Catching a thyroid nodule early on can help decrease your chances of developing an overactive thyroid. Additionally, it can also help you to detect and treat more serious conditions early on including thyroid cancer.

If you think you might be experiencing symptoms related to thyroid disorders or notice a change in appearance to your thyroid, consult with your primary care provider.

When to call a doctor

In most cases, problems with your thyroid aren’t an emergency. If you feel you have some of the symptoms above, you can simply make an appointment with your doctor to discuss testing and treatment options. However, you should call your doctor immediately if:

  • You’re very drowsy, cold, and lethargic. This could be the start of a myxedema coma, which is caused by hypothyroidism that eventually leads to unconsciousness and in some cases death.
  • You have a rapid pulse, accompanied by a fever, agitation, or delirium.  This can indicate thyrotoxic crisis, a complication of hyperthyroidism.

It’s not always easy to know if you have a problem with your thyroid. Knowing some of the common symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid will help give you an idea of why you need to talk to your doctor.

Talk with your primary care provider about testing and treatment of thyroid issues. They may refer you to an endocrinologist or thyroid specialist for follow-up care.

Diseases Digital Retinal Imaging Can Help Detect Sooner

Diseases Digital Retinal Imaging Can Help Detect Sooner

 

What is Digital Retinal Imaging?

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center a digital retinal imaging, or fundus photography, offers detailed views of the retina, making it easier to detect disease. Early eye disease detection helps ensure that the proper treatment is put in place to hinder disease progression, or cure it all together. Consistently tracking anomalies in the eye with retinal imaging can lead to early detection of the following diseases:

 

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  • Glaucoma

Retinal imaging can reveal damage to the optic nerve caused by excess pressure or increased pressure on blood vessels in this area. Early detection of glaucoma is crucial, as it can often lead to permanent vision loss for the patient. The Huvitz HFC-1 Non-Mydriatic Fundus Camera includes red-free imaging, which gives a clear comparison of nerve fiber layers to better assist in the diagnosis of glaucoma.

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Retinal imaging can expose symptoms of age-related macular degeneration, including fluid leakage or bleeding in the rear of the eye. Age-related macular degeneration is one of the primary culprits in vision loss for patients over age 50. Adding retinal imaging to a patient’s eye exam at this age threshold could be the difference between being adequately treated and being oblivious to serious concerns.

  • Retinal Detachment

For patients who report seeing flashes of light or floaters, you can quickly find evidence that the retina has become detached with retinal imaging. Retinal detachment is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment to prevent permanent vision loss, so early detection is key.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy

Patients with diabetes can be screened for early signs of damage to the retina with retinal imaging. Ophthalmologists can also check for other abnormal changes, such as the formation of new blood vessels or leakage in this part of the eye. Swelling in the retina is also a common sign of the disease.

  • High Blood Pressure

Veins and arteries of the eye are important to observe, especially because they are the only veins and arteries in the body that can be inspected without making an incision. Observation of these veins and arteries can quickly indicate if the patient has high blood pressure. Classic signs of high blood pressure are the blood vessels becoming narrower, bleeding in the rear of the eye, or retinal spots. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can go unnoticed and untreated for months or years, putting the patient at risk for heart problems or stroke.

  • Cancer

Retinal imaging can significantly increase a patients’ chances of successfully treating certain types of cancer. High-resolution images of the retina can reveal early signs of cancer in the eye, such as dark spots that indicate a melanoma. When these symptoms are noticed early, patients can undergo diagnostic testing and seek treatment promptly to prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. The longer it takes to find and diagnose signs of cancer, the more difficult it becomes to treat, especially if it enters the bloodstream.

Getting in Focus

The most commonly used device for fundoscopy is the standard direct ophthalmoscope, and this procedure can be properly done in a dimly-lit environment. First, the patient’s and doctor’s eyeglasses must be removed, but not contact lenses. It is advisable to give the patient some tissue in case of tearing. The patient is instructed to fix his gaze on the spot around 1 meter ahead. Doctors should refrain from talking with the patient during the procedure, because patients may tend to move their gazes involuntarily. Depending on the eye to be examined, the instrument is then held with the hand belonging to the same side as the examining eye. The patient’s left fundus is examined with the left eye and the right fundus with the right eye. The ophthalmoscope is turned on with the light intensity set at a two-thirds strength and the lens wheel at 0 diopters.

The first step in the fundoscopic procedure is to look for the patient’s red reflex. The patient’s eye is illuminated from a distance of around 12 to 15 inches to examine the red reflex (R/R) of the retina, where the eye appears to glow red. Once this has been achieved, the lens is adjusted to +10 diopters and standing from the patient’s side; the doctor slowly moves toward the patient while looking through the viewing aperture until he is 1-2 inches from the patient’s eye. While moving toward the patient, doctors usually place their hand on the patient’s forehead or shoulder. At +10 diopters, the anterior structures of the eye, such as the cornea, are the first ones to come into focus. Dialing the magnification from +10 to 0 effectively shifts the focus from the front to the back of the patient’s eye, towards the retina.

Understanding the TM-Flow System and How it Can Help You

Understanding the TM-Flow System and How it Can Help You

The TM-Flow System is a comprehensive medical tool data system that we’re proud to make available at our Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center office. This system assesses a number of vital signs. They include Galvanic Skin Response, blood pressure, SpO2 (Oxygen Saturation) percent, and, last but not least, heart rate. The TM-Flow system provides users with vital sign mathematical evaluations that offer invaluable insight into both vascular dysfunction and autonomic neuropathy. It makes an effective and efficient vascular health and autonomic nervous system testing device.

 

understanding-the-TM-flow-system-and-how-it-can-help-you

The TM-Flow test employs three distinct technologies in the measurement and assessment of vital signs. These technologies are TM-ABI, LD-Oxy and SweatC. Research indicates that the precision of the test’s markers is similar to that of the OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test), DNS (Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms) scores and coronary angiography, among a handful of others.

How can TM-Flow System Help You?

With a patient wellbeing report, the TM Flow takings ANS Testing to a whole new level. This Wellness Report has proven to be an excellent supplement to the information because it now provides physicians and medical professionals with empirical data.

It helps the patients with diet, exercise, food groups, and supplements, all of which are suggested by the Wellness Report based on the findings of each patient.

With the TM-Flow System, you may get a faster diagnosis

TM-Flow focuses on quick detection. It also focuses on potential problems of all kinds. It’s a system that’s designed for those with chronic metabolic issues, such as diabetes.

It is made up of several tests that are used to assess clinical outcomes. Ankle-brachial index, Cardiac Autonomic Reflex or EWING, photo-plethysmography assessment, and sudomotor function tests are examples of these examinations.

These many tests are used for a variety of purposes. In general, they cover a lot of ground. Pneumo-plethysmography is used to perform ankle-brachial index tests. Postural adjustments and deep breathing exercises are included in Cardiac Autonomic Reflex testing. Sympathetic skin reaction is required for sudomotor function tests.

Improved Technology Means Better Conveniences

There are numerous conveniences associated with this test. It’s simple to use, first and foremost. It’s not at all invasive. It doesn’t call for a significant time commitment at all, either. This test generally takes anywhere between seven- and 10-minutes total. Its reports aren’t at all difficult to comprehend.

This exhaustive medical device data system combines elements of ankle brachial indices, Ewing, sudomotor and photoplethysmography analysis testing. Neural and vascular disorders have a lot in common. Vascular and autonomic neuropathy diseases often have signs that are alike in many ways.

Single Test for Multiple Issues

There are several conditions for which autonomic nervous system testing can be done. With the TM-Flow system, the process is expedited, and it is advised when a patient displays some signs of autonomic dysfunction.

Furthermore, testing is often used when clinical data and routine laboratory testing fail to provide accurate diagnosis data.

TM-Flow System is often recommended to patients who suffer from any of these:

  • Syncope
  • Postural Tachycardia Syndrome
  • Resting tachycardia
  • Pre-diabetes or diabetes
  • Impaired tolerance to glucose
  • Insulin resistance
  • Suffering from chronic pain in the feet
  • Numbness in the feet and hands

Apart from these, Automatic Nervous System Testing (ANS)can be done to investigate conditions like

  • Cardiac dysrhythmia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Allergic conditions

ANS testing can be advised to identify any of these conditions along with the TM-Flow System. The latter helps get vital clinical information about the efficacy of the medical therapy the patient undergoes for these conditions.

TM Flow System is the future of any medical practice, mainly when most patients who visit the clinic suffer from early signs of lifestyle ailments. When a doctor implements the TM-FLOW System into the patient’s annual physicals, it is possible to detect the early disorders in the autonomic nervous system and prevent them with proper medication.

Moreover, with TM Flow System, it is easy to diagnose any such ailment while also determining the medicine’s efficacy in case of a chronic condition.

Does Menopause Cause Osteoporosis?

Does Menopause Cause Osteoporosis?

Menopause And Osteoporosis: What’s The Connection?

For many women, menopause is about more than just hot flashes and disappearing periods. Even though it signals the end of a woman’s reproductive years, menopause can also change the body in ways that might seem less obviously related to hormones.

Does-menopause-cause-osteoporosis

One of these sometimes unexpected—but still related—issues is osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones increasing your risk of fractures. Osteoporosis can progress quietly without any symptoms or pain until sudden breaks occur, usually in the back and hips.

Menopause and just after menopause is a time when osteoporosis commonly presents itself, so it is important to be aware of the facts!

A closer look at osteoporosis

Your bones are hard and stiff, which may give the impression they’re stronger than they really are. But inside your bones, there’s a network of growing tissue that resembles a sponge. The countless tiny holes constantly change size and shape as your bone cells renew and grow over the years.

Your bones are the repository for calcium and other minerals, so when your body needs some calcium, it draws from the store in your bones and rebuilds more, keeping those sponge-like holes tight and small. However, around age 30, you begin to lose more bone than you gain, the holes get bigger, and the problem progresses each year beyond that. 

By your late 30s, the process speeds up, and your bones lose mass. This is normal progression, but if the loss happens at a rapid rate, you end up with osteoporosis.

The connection between menopause and osteoporosis

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center many of our patients ask us if menopause causes osteoporosis, and the answer is: yes and no. The exact cause of osteoporosis is unknown, but the risk factors are very clear, and menopause is one of them. 

Several factors contribute to osteoporosis and put you at a higher risk, including:

  • A poor diet deficient in calcium and vitamin D
  • Genetics
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian, African American, Asian American, and Latina women are more at risk
  • Body weight and composition: smaller, thinner people are at greater risk
  • Medical conditions: overactive thyroid, celiac disease, blood diseases — to name a few
  • Menopause

We place menopause on this list because it’s the time in your life when your ovary function declines. That means they slow down their production of estradiol, a hormone which normally protects against bone loss. 

Not every menopausal woman gets osteoporosis, but it certainly increases your chances. Two significant factors are the level of your bone density at its peak prior to the decline and how quickly your body loses bone density. Your maximum density and rate of loss play a big role in whether you get menopause-related osteoporosis.

Myths and Facts

Here are some myths & facts about menopause and osteoporosis.

Myth or Fact: Osteoporosis isn’t something to worry about unless you have a family history of bone disease

Myth

Osteoporosis is the most common kind of Bone Disease. And while having a family history of osteoporosis can increase your chances of developing it, there are other risk factors, including:

  • Amenorrhea – the absence of periods for a length of time
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Low body weight
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity

Myth or Fact: Going through menopause can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis

Fact

One reason that a woman’s chances of developing osteoporosis increase during menopausehas to do with hormones—specifically estrogen.
Estrogen protects your bones. When you reach menopause, your estrogen levels drop. In some cases, this decrease in estrogen can lead to bone loss, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF).

Another reason menopausal women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis has to do with not getting enough minerals  helping your body maintain healthy bones.

When you aren’t getting enough calcium, your body uses the calcium stored in your bones, leaving them weakened and vulnerable to fractures and breaks. Your body also needs vitamin D to absorb calcium.

Myth or Fact: Some women don’t know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone

Fact

Early-stage bone loss can be painless and symptom free until a break occurs.

These injuries can occur suddenly, even during routine activities like climbing the stairs or bending down to lift an object, according to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH).

Osteoporosis can even cause vertebrae in the back to collapse secondary to weakened bones. Symptoms of this can include:

  • Back pain
  • Curved back
  • Loss of height
  • Hunched posture

Myth or Fact: There’s nothing you can do to reduce the risk of long-term damage from osteoporosis

Myth

There are lots of ways for women in menopause to decrease their chances of developing osteoporosis by protecting and strengthening their bones.

Exercise Regularly

In general, exercise can help your bones by:

  • Slowing the rate of bone loss
  • Improving muscle strength
  • Improving balance

Try to include weight-bearing activities—exercises that involve working your body against gravity, such as walking and dancing—in your routine, suggests the OWH.

Eat Foods That Promote Bone Health

Calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients for bone health.

You can get calcium through foods as well as supplements. Vitamin D is also found in some foods and supplements, and you can get it from spending time in the sun.

Other nutrients that are good for your bones include:

  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Protein

In addition to calcium and vitamin D, milk contains lots of these nutrients. Other foods, such as lean meat, fish and leafy green vegetables, also have many nutrients that promote bone health.