Balancing Our Lives for Better Health and Nutrition

cropped-mountain1.jpg

The image above represents a person in the yoga “tree” position—perfectly balanced and in harmony with their surroundings. Good for them. But, how come every time I try that pose I look and feel like a frazzled flamingo with a fractured leg? I can never get it quite right or keep in balance for long. But, that’s exactly why our yoga instructor says we need to practice this tree pose. To improve our balance, we often need to clear our mind (of doubt, worry, nagging questions like why am I here or what’s for dinner?).  Sometimes if we steady our gaze on a fixed target just ahead or simply re-position our feet, it works and feels right. Just like trees, we can learn to bend with the wind. But, to be able to bend, our “roots” need to be firmly planted or we will get blown away, snap, not grow or maintain our best health over the years.

How is your “tree” of life? Are you in balance? 

If not, do you remember when you were? Perhaps it was a time in childhood, high school, before you became pregnant, before a loved one’s departure, before you became injured, lost a job, moved or took on a new job. What has changed over the years gradually or suddenly that has blown you off course? Knowing that we are out of balance is the first step toward better health.

Often unbalanced eating and/or an unbalanced diet are symptoms that other parts of our life are out of balance.  When work, finances, family, illness, addiction, thoughts, emotions, sleep time or you name it, hijack our time, we look for what appear to be short cuts like fast food, too many meal replacement bars, energy drinks, supplements or fad diets.  Other short cut “coping” behaviors that may tip us out of balance are eating at our desk, eating while driving, eating too fast (chewing takes too much time?!), meal skipping altogether, or risky food grazing (or is it craving?).  Sadly, sometimes we may even restrict fluids or foods for all kinds of reasons! On the activity side of the energy balance equation, we miss our stretch breaks, walks or gym time. Life becomes compressed. Our “tree” can bend no more and we snap…or worse.

Let’s be honest, eating healthy takes some time and practice until we get our balance. Who told us we don’t have time for this basic human function? Relying on trendy short cuts can quickly empty our wallets and drain our body of the energy, nutrients, sleep and daily activity we need. The good news is that when we take time to make a meal plan for just 3-4 days, create a simple shopping list, and buy more healthy food, we do end up eating better. Taking back some “me time” to do these basic human tasks can be nurturing to more than just our bodies. Nutrition is the foundation of health that we need to practice daily. Ah, now doesn’t that feel better?

Call us at (302) 892-9900 to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians to discuss your goal to live a healthier life and take control of your weight!

Dr. Caitlin Halbert Joins CHRIAS Team of Surgeons

We are pleased to welcome a new surgeon at CHRIAS! Dr. Caitlin Halbert, DO MS is a general surgeon whose expertise in bariatric and foregut surgery makes her an excellent new addition to our team of board certified surgeons. Dr. Halbert specializes in weight loss surgery, in particularlaparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and roux-en-y gastric bypass. Additionally, she specializes in foregut surgery with an emphasis on achalasia, gastrointestinal reflux disease, and hiatal and diaphragmatic hernias.

Previous to working with CHRIAS, Dr. Halbert completed her Masters of Science in Biomedical Science and continued further to receive her medical degree at the Philadelphia College or Osteopathic Medicine. After medical school, she completed her general surgery residency trainings at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware. After, Dr. Halbert received specialty training in minimally invasive bariatric and advanced gastrointestinal surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Continue reading “Dr. Caitlin Halbert Joins CHRIAS Team of Surgeons”

Colorectal Surgery: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Colorectal surgery is a necessary treatment option for many different reasons. While cancer is a common cause, patients may also have colorectal surgery services at CHRIAS to repair damage, reduce scar tissue, or to remove an obstruction in the colon, rectum, and/or anus. Learning that you need to have surgery can be intimidating, but understanding what to expect during colorectal surgery can help alleviate fears and prepare you for your upcoming surgery.

What does Colorectal Surgery Treat?
Colorectal surgery is typically prescribed for the treatment of certain diseases or cancer when medication is not enough to treat the issue. Common causes for colorectal surgery include:

Continue reading “Colorectal Surgery: What to Expect and How to Prepare”

Are You Ready to Have Bariatric Surgery in 2015?

Choosing to have bariatric surgery is a big decision. While weight loss in general requires extreme dedication, weight loss surgery, by nature, typically requires total dedication to the weight loss process. Unlike a diet, you can’t just “fall off” bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is a permanent decision (with exception of gastric banding like the LAP-BAND or REALIZE Band) that can dramatically improve your weight loss efforts and may help you to achieve a healthier life. With the decision to have a bariatric surgery also comes the expectation that you will follow a special bariatric diet plan and incorporate fitness into your daily routine. For many patients, weight loss surgery at our Delaware weight loss surgery center has been the missing tool that helps them to finally lose weight and keep it off long-term. As stated, though, bariatric surgery is a tool and a patient’s success relies on his or her own efforts, not just on the weight loss surgery.

Continue reading “Are You Ready to Have Bariatric Surgery in 2015?”

Obesity is Putting You at Risk for Diabetes

For a period of time obesity rates in the United States were beginning to stand still and even decline slightly. Sadly, the number of overweight and obese American men and women has begun to rise again, and with it are complications that can dramatically affect your quality-of-life. Diabetes is a killer disease that affects nearly 115 million people each year and costs the healthcare industry approximately $245 billion annually. If those numbers surprise you, the fact that the number of worldwide diabetes cases will double from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million by 2030 should astound. It’s no surprise that as obesity rates raise, so does the occurrence of diabetes. To put it bluntly, obesity raises your risk of developing diabetes.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes, often called diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disease that causes a person to have high blood sugar due to inadequate insulin production, poor response of body cells to insulin, or a combination of both. While Type 1 diabetes is the result of the body producing no insulin, either insulin resistance or too little insulin production causes Type 2 diabetes. 90% of diabetes cases are Type 2.

How Does Obesity Raise the Risk of Diabetes?
According to a paper published by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researchers found that ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress, which is brought on through a high fat diet, increases glucose production in the liver and can lead to insulin resistance. Additionally, the study explained that, “obesity promotes insulin resistance through the inappropriate inactivation of a process called gluconeogenesis, where the liver creates [increased] glucose for fuel and which ordinarily occurs only in times of fasting.” Not every obese person goes on to become insulin resistant, however, the researchers discovered that thinner mice in the study were able to control glucose levels, while obese mice experienced increased glucose resistance.

Complications of Diabetes
It’s unfortunate, but obesity and diabetes are undisputedly interlinked. Additionally, diabetes can bring with it its own host of health issues, including:

  • Blindness and Vision Problems
  • Heart Attack Risk
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular Death Increase
  • High Cholesterol
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Amputations
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hypoglycemia

Diabetes Treatment at our Delaware Weight Loss Surgery Center
It’s not uncommon for morbidly obese patients to come to our Delaware weight loss center with a host of illnesses, including diabetes. One of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing diabetes is to change your diet and incorporate 30 minutes of vigorous exercise into your schedule 5 times a week. Numerous studies have also shown that bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery have proven to be effective at eliminating or controlling diabetes. To learn more about bariatric surgery in Delaware, contact our office at 302-892-9900, sign up for a free weight loss surgery seminar, or contact CHRIAS online.

Is the LAP-BAND a “Fit” for Patients Wanting to Lose 30+ Pounds?

When people think about weight loss surgery, many people think that only the morbidly obese are eligible for surgical help losing excess weight. A few years ago that may have been true, but in the last two or three years the FDA approved the LAP-BAND System for patients with lowerBMIs (between 30 and 35) who suffer from at least one co-morbidity, like diabetes or hypertension.

More dramatic surgeries like the gastric bypass or gastric sleeve may not be appropriate for smaller weight loss, however, the LAP-BAND can be a great tool for patients who want to lose 30 or more pounds but who need additional help to encourage or maintain weight loss.

Considering that 2 of 3 people are overweight or obese, and that the average adult over 35 gains 1-2 pounds a year, the LAP-BAND may be a way to help tide the rising weight issue we are experiencing in the U.S.

Benefits of LAP-BAND surgery for moderate weight loss:

  • Regular adjustments help prevent weight regain and support long-term weight loss.
  • 45% of patients with obstructive sleep apnea experienced resolution.
  • Cholesterol improved by 71%.
  • Patients felt more confident, experienced enhanced productivity, and spent more time being active, according to clinical studies.
  • Reduction in type 2 diabetes by 20-59%.

Additionally, the LAP-BAND surgery itself causes minimal discomfort or trauma, has fewer side effects than other procedures, and can be reversed at anytime if a patient decides to have it removed.

One of the benefits of having the LAP-BAND surgery at our Delaware weight loss surgery center, CHRIAS, is our commitment to helping patients through their entire weight loss experience. We offer total weight loss support through frequent expert-led support groups, nutrition counseling, and caring follow-up with your surgeon.

Learn more about whether the LAP-BAND is a fit for your weight loss needs by contacting our Delaware weight loss surgery center online, calling us at 302-892-9900, or registering for a free informational bariatric surgery seminar. Or, share your weight loss experience with the LAP-BAND on our Facebook page with the hastag #itfits.

CHRIAS Welcomes Dr. Singh to Our Practice!

We are excited to announce a new member joining our staff at CHRIAS! Dr. Rahul Singh is a board-certified general surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgery and bariatric surgery. Previous to working with CHRIAS, Dr. Singh worked in another private practice in Delaware and currently performs operations at Bayhealth Hospital. Dr. Singh is the only bariatric surgeon at Bayhealth that performs all three bariatric procedures, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric banding, and is also been highly trained in robotic surgery. He will continue to operate at Bayhealth after joining our team at CHRIAS.

Before completing a fellowship in laparoscopic and bariatric surgery at the University of Missouri– Columbia and a general surgery residency at the University at Buffalo– State University of New York, Dr. Singh earned his medical degree from Crimea State Medical University in the Ukraine and served an internship at Sawai Man Singh Medical College and Hospital in Jaipur, India. Since graduating, he has focused on the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques, including robotic and laparoscopic surgery, which is performed through a scope to reduce incisions, decrease pain, and shorten recovery time.

Dr. Singh shares our dedication to outstanding care, stating “Joining the surgeons & staff at CHRIAS is very exciting. I’m proud to be part of a community that shares the same commitment to excellent patient care as I do. I am eager to continue my care with such a wonderful practice, and look forward to watching CHRIAS continue to grow.”

Dr. Singh is respected by his peers and patients in the community because of his hard work and commitment to offer the best, most advanced care available. He is skilled in performing all three bariatric procedures (gastric bypass, gastric banding, and sleeve gastrectomy) in addition to extensive experience performing general surgeries. Additionally, he is fluent in Hindi, Russian, and English.

Currently Dr. Singh is accepting appointments for both new bariatric and general surgery patients. Please contact us online or call us at 302-8992-9900 to schedule an appointment. If you are interested in learning more about bariatric surgery at CHRIAS, please register for a free seminar.