If you have diabetes, an endocrinologist may be part of your care team, or you may work with an internist to manage your care. If you haven’t yet been diagnosed with diabetes but want to lose weight to avoid developing the type 2 form of the disease, an internist can also help you succeed with a medical weight loss plan . If you want to lose weight in Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County area, or if you have diabetes, here is a look at the role that an internist can play.
Endocrinologists and Internists in Diabetes Management
An endocrinologist is a specialist who provides care for people with disorders of the endocrine system, including people with thyroid disease and diabetes. Internists are primary care doctors who specialize in adult patients and often work closely with patients on chronic disease management.
If you have type 1 diabetes—the autoimmune form of the disease—then an endocrinologist will likely manage your care. For people with type 2 diabetes, your internist may manage your treatment plan, unless you experience complications, in which case your internist may refer you to an endocrinologist.
Internists and Weight Loss
Being overweight dramatically increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight can decrease your dependence on diabetes medicine, and if you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, weight loss can reduce your chances of developing it. Your internist can help you achieve weight loss success by helping you find a plan that works and by identifying and treating underlying conditions that could be leading to weight gain. Your internist can also help you lose weight with prescription-strength appetite suppressants and other treatments that are only available as part of a medical weight loss program. If you have type 2 diabetes, your internist may provide weight loss support as part of your overall treatment plan.
Internal medicine practitioners are similar to family physicians, as they diagnose, treat, and work to prevent diseases and conditions. However, unlike family doctors, internists focus exclusively on adult patients. If you’ve been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, consider adding an internist to your care team, such as Dr. Briones, who serves Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County.
Heart failure patients will usually be prescribed a combination of medications. Although there is no cure for heart failure, medications can help suppress the symptoms, and make it easier for your heart to pump blood. Taking your medications as prescribed will help prevent your condition from becoming worse. When patients take combinations of medications, managing them becomes even more important. Some heart failure medicines may require dietary modifications, such as aldosterone antagonists. These drugs can elevate your potassium level to a potentially dangerous point, and so your internal medicine practitioner may give you a low-potassium meal plan to follow. Another consideration is side effects. All drugs have the potential for side effects, and you won’t necessarily experience any major problems. If you do, talk to your internist—he or she may be able to prescribe a different drug within the same class.
Good nutrition is important for everyone, regardless of health status. However, it’s even more crucial for heart failure patients to eat a heart-healthy diet. Your internist will work with you to design a meal plan that you’ll enjoy and find easy to follow. An ideal diet for heart failure includes:
- Lots of vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains, rather than refined grains
- Lean proteins
- Nonfat or low-fat dairy products
- Negligible amounts of sodium
Too much sodium in your diet leads to water retention. This is indicated by swollen legs, ankles, and feet. Water retention forces your heart to work harder, causing shortness of breath.
Weight Loss Counseling
Heart failure patients are often advised to lose weight as obesity can lead to cardiovascular problems. Following the internist’s recommended meal plan is an effective way to reach a healthier weight. Your doctor will also likely discuss your exercise recommendations, and help you stay on track with your lifestyle plan.
Weight loss is difficult even in the best of circumstances. When you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it might seem downright impossible. People with special medical concerns who are having trouble losing weight can consult a functional medicine doctor for weight loss in Mt. Kisco or the surrounding Westchester County.
Identifying the Obstacles
A functional medicine doctor will work with you to identify the specific symptoms you’re experiencing that are getting in the way of your weight loss program. Fibromyalgia patients typically experience relentless fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, and depression. All of these problems can affect a patient’s ability to stick with a diet and exercise program. Additionally, fibromyalgia is often associated with other medical problems, such as thyroid disease, which affects metabolism. Other hormonal imbalances may contribute to an increased appetite. If you take medications for fibromyalgia symptoms, some of these may stimulate your appetite. Your doctor will help you find effective solutions, such as switching medicines and balancing hormone levels.
Getting Started with Exercise
Widespread pain discourages patients from exercising. However, the more inactive you are, the more daily tasks will hurt. Start your exercise program by swimming, preferably in a heated pool. If you plan to go for a walk or a bike ride, take a quick shower with hot water first to warm up your muscles. Only stretch after your muscles are warmed up.
Recovering from Exercise
Fibromyalgia patients tend to do better when they focus on exercising consistently, rather than aggressively. This means gradually making your workouts more difficult. If you do find that you’ve pushed yourself too hard, treat yourself to a massage. If possible, look for a massage therapist who has experience treating people with fibromyalgia. A therapeutic massage can release trigger points, ease muscle spasms, and improve circulation.
Conquering Sugar Cravings
Another common obstacle to losing weight is food cravings. Fibromyalgia patients with depression often crave sweets, because they cause the brain to release chemicals that induce pleasant feelings. Those struggling with fatigue may turn to sweets for a boost of quick energy. Your doctor can help you to tame your sweet tooth, such as by recommending fresh pineapple or stone fruits instead of cookies. People often find that, after they’ve gone a few weeks without a lot of added sugar, they no longer crave it.
Stress is so deeply ingrained in modern society that it often seems like a natural, inevitable part of life—but it doesn’t have to be. Conquering your stress should be a top priority, given that chronic stress can cause physical health problems. These include hormonal imbalances and weight gain due to stress eating. It’s difficult to reprogram your relationship with food and lose weight by yourself. You’ll need a structured weight loss program in Mt. Kisco or the surrounding Westchester County. Ideally, your program will include dietary guidance, exercise counseling, and emotional support. You can also benefit from practicing mindful meditation.
Understanding Emotional Eating
Stress eating is common. It happens when you turn to a favorite comfort food after a disheartening parent/teacher conference or an unexpected car breakdown. Food is used as a coping mechanism. It offers temporary distractions from life’s many problems. Fatty and sugary foods also alter the chemical balance in the brain, causing people to associate unhealthy junk food with pleasant sensations. There are many possible triggers for stress eating, but the underlying characteristic is eating despite the absence of physical hunger.
Getting Ready to Meditate
Now that you know why you eat when you’re stressed, you can remind yourself that you’re not really hungry when a craving strikes. Meditating every day is a helpful tool for resisting the allure of junk food. Multiple forms of meditation exist. The best way to meditate is whichever way works for you. Get ready by finding the right time. You’ll need at least a few minutes of time all for yourself, with no interruptions from your family. Turn off your cellphone and shut your laptop. Decide if you want to meditate sitting, lying down, or standing up. You can even meditate while taking a stroll outdoors.
Practicing Mindful Meditation
To start meditating, do not try to clear your mind of all thoughts. Instead, choose a focal point for your attention. It may be your breath or a phrase. Get comfortable and focus on being in the moment. Your attention will inevitably start to wander. You might start thinking about deadlines at work or the chores around the house that need to be done. Gently nudge your attention back to your breath or the phrase. With continued practice, you’ll find that the inner peace you develop in meditation can extend to your other waking hours. Your new approach to stress management can help you cease overeating.
Losing weight isn’t easy, but many people make it even harder to achieve because of simple mistakes. Perhaps the most impactful mistake is assuming that following a weight loss program by yourself is more effective or easier than working with a doctor. In fact, patients are typically far more successful in reaching their weight loss goals when they seek help at a medical weight loss center in Mt. Kisco or the surrounding Westchester County. Your doctor will help you stay on track and avoid the following common mistakes.
Drinking Your Calories
It’s hard to give up habits, like your morning cappuccino or glass of wine at dinner. Take a few minutes to write down all the beverages you typically drink during the day. Then, cross zero-calorie beverages off your list, including water and sugar-free, black coffee. Estimate the calorie count of the remaining beverages and remind yourself of that number every time you get tempted to add whipped cream to your coffee shop beverage. Know that even beverages that seem healthy, like fruit smoothies, can significantly boost your calorie intake. Instead of drinking your fruit, choose whole fruit.
Failing to Get Enough Fiber
Fiber is crucial for good health in general and weight management. Unfortunately, many people cut back on fiber sources when they’re trying to lose weight. It’s definitely a good idea to limit your intake of pasta and bread, but you’ll need to make up for the lost fiber elsewhere in your diet. Increase your intake of beans and crunchy vegetables. Apples are also rich in fiber. Your doctor may suggest taking a fiber supplement to help fill in the gaps in your diet.
Drowning Vegetables in Salad Dressing
Salads have long been regarded as an essential staple of weight loss diets, but when it’s drowning in half a cup of olive oil, blue cheese, or Ranch dressing, an innocent-looking salad might contain more calories than you’ll burn at the gym. Try adding just a sprinkle of olive oil and vinegar, and grind fresh black pepper on top. Or, eat a deconstructed salad. Take whole, washed Belgian endive leaves and dip them in hummus. Hummus is also excellent for dipping pepper strips and carrot sticks, and it has enough flavor to make you forget you’re eating a healthy meal.
During a typical day, an average person might hastily grab breakfast on the way out the door or in a fast food drive-thru. He or she might work while eating lunch and watch TV while eating dinner. This is the opposite of mindful eating, and it’s one reason why so many people find it difficult to lose weight. When you become a patient at a weight loss clinic serving Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County, you’ll learn the effective strategies—like mindful eating—that will help you finally reach your weight loss goals .
Understanding Mindless Eating
To manage your appetite by eating mindfully, it’s helpful to understand exactly what mindless eating is. Mindless eating is the act of consuming food without experiencing it. It often involves eating while working, texting, watching TV, studying, or even driving—which is dangerous as well as unhealthy. Mindless eating is also characterized by:
- Eating food to satisfy an emotional need
- Eating while isolated from others, at random times that aren’t mealtimes
- Ignoring the body’s satiety signals
- Eating to reach an end goal
Understanding Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is done to satisfy hunger, but it’s the process that matters—not the end result. With mindful eating, diners pay attention to each bite they take. They chew slowly, taking the time to experience the flavors, textures, odors, and even the temperatures of the food. A mindful eater can identify when he or she is half-full, full, or still hungry. Mindful eaters also pay attention to how they feel while eating, and after eating as they digest their meal. Considering how the food was grown or raised, processed, and cooked is another part of eating mindfully.
Practicing Mindful Eating
Mindful eating can be more difficult than you might think, as it’s easy to let the mind wander, or to get bored and turn on the TV. Try to start by eating a few mindful meals each week, and gradually increase their frequency. The following tips can help you get started:
- Turn your cellphone off
- Sit down to the meal with your family
- Face away from the TV
- Eat in companionable silence—don’t force conversation
- Eat slowly
Focusing your mind on the experience of eating can help you understand your appetite and manage it better. You’ll see concrete benefits as you lose weight.
Weight loss programs that include doctor-supervised diet and exercise plans are the most effective ways to lose weight. However, you can complement your efforts with non-surgical weight loss methods to sculpt your body more quickly. Dr. Briones, serving Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County, is a leading provider of non-surgical fat reduction options that use laser, ultrasound, and cryolipolysis technology.
Laser Fat Reduction
You may be familiar with the term “laser liposuction,” which combines conventional liposuction with laser technology. This involves liquefying the fat to suction it more gently out of the body, and it also stimulates collagen production to tighten the skin. The problem with laser lipo is that it’s still surgery, which many patients prefer to avoid. Instead, consider a noninvasive method of laser fat reduction. This innovative technology doesn’t require any incisions or recovery time. Instead, the laser safely penetrates the skin to destroy the fat cells underneath, causing the body to naturally eliminate the fat. The result is an impressive loss of inches around the treated areas, which may include the abdomen, hips, and thighs.
Ultrasound Fat Reduction
Another popular method for reducing fat without surgery is the use of ultrasound technology. Like the laser method, ultrasound fat reduction doesn’t require anesthetics, incisions, or a recovery period. It’s a safe, FDA-approved method that directs pulses of ultrasound energy at the target areas. This energy selectively destroys the fat cells, without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. Best results are typically seen with three to four sessions. Patients report a virtually discomfort-free experience, with no telltale redness or swelling afterward.
Cryotherapy Fat Reduction
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is available under the brand name CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting uses cryolipolysis technology to direct intense cold at the fat cells. The fat cells freeze and die, and are gradually eliminated from the body. CoolSculpting can be used to treat pockets of stubborn fat on the thighs, abdomen, hips, and even under the chin. Although fat cells can’t come back once they’re destroyed, it is possible for the remaining fat cells to grow larger. Sticking to a healthy diet and workout program will help you maintain your slim physique.
As you age, it is natural for the levels of hormones in your body to dip. Unfortunately, this hormone imbalance can lead to a range of unpleasant side effects, from weight gain and low libido to memory loss and mood swings. If you are suffering from these symptoms, hormone replacement therapy could help. Hormone replacement therapy in Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County area can help you lose weight, reclaim your memory, and finally feel like yourself again.
Hormone replacement therapy using bio-identical hormones replicates the way natural hormones work in your body. Because the hormones are identical to the ones your body produces, they are used efficiently and don’t cause any negative side effects. Bio-identical hormones are available as pills, injections, pellets, gels, creams, and patches and are safe for both men and women. Talk to your doctor at your medical weight loss clinic to find out if a hormonal imbalance could be affecting your health and if replacement therapy could be right for you.
In recent years, multiple studies have demonstrated the correlation between obesity and cardiovascular disease. In light of these findings, weight loss programs near Mt. Kisco and the surrounding Westchester County have become even more important for individuals who struggle with overweight and obesity . At a weight loss clinic, a successful approach to non-surgical weight loss may help patients reduce their risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease.
You can learn more about this research by watching this interview with a cardiologist. He explains the dangers of the “fast food society” and asserts that there is a link between belly fat and the rise of inflammatory factors in the body. This systemic inflammation can contribute to damage to the blood vessels and to the organs throughout the body. Fortunately, effective weight loss programs can help patients preserve their health.
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