Healthy Mama: More questions? More answers.

In September, we were among the more than 1,000 women at the annual Business Women’s Conference and had the privilege of enjoying a variety of great break-out sessions.

One of those sessions was on women’s health and was led by an all-female panel of health-care providers from Mercy Health System.

The panel invited the audience to text them health questions during the session, but there were so many that they couldn’t answer them all!  So they asked if we’d  post the answers to those questions here on Motherlode which is great because they’re good questions that many of us would benefit from reading about.

carney.jpgThis is the second in a series of question-and-answer articles and video podcasts with these answers, which are provided by female nurses and doctors in our community. We’ll run the next article in two weeks and continue until we’ve published all the answers to questions asked at the conference. (Click here to see the first round of questions that published on Motherlode.)

The following six answers were provided by panelist Kim Carney, APN at Bentonville Medical Associates, 1000 SE 13th Court.

Q: Since Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, how can I teach my daughter to eat right without making her obsessed about her weight?

A: Her diet should be balanced based on the Food Guide Pyramid.Information about nutrition and weight appropriate for her age and height can be found on the CDC web site. Another great website is also have a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who is also a dietitian, Natalie Seabolt, at the Mercy Health Center. She can counsel her on diet and exercise.

Q: What is the best exercise to lose 15 pounds on a busy schedule?

A: The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the AHA (American Heart Association) recommends the following for healthy adults under age 65:

  • Moderate intense cardio 30 minutes daily, 5 days weekly OR
  • Vigorous intense cardio 20 minutes daily, 3 days weekly AND
  • 8-10 strength training exercises at 8-12 repetitions of each exercise twice weekly
  • Moderate intense exercise means your heart rate needs to be high enough for you to break out in a sweat but you should still be able to carry on a conversation.

For you to lose weight or maintain your weight loss, they recommend 60-90 minutes daily and the 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain good health and reduce their risk of chronic disease.Make sure you have clearance from your doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes.Visit the ACSM website for tips on their recommendations.

Q: What are your top five tips for weight loss?

A: Here are six:

  • Calorie counting appropriate for your age, height, and weight goal;
  • Exercise that includes cardiovascular/aerobic 5 days weekly for a minimum of 30 minutes, 60 min is better;
  • Diet changes to include more fruits and veggies;
  • Decrease stress;
  • 7-8 hours of sleep daily;
  • laughter and fun.

Q: I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years ago, and since then it seems that one out of every four people I speak with struggle with the same problem.  Has the prevalence rate of hypothyroidism increased in the last several decades?  If so, why?  Is there something besides taking thyroid hormone that can be done to prevent or manage the condition?

A: Low thyroid or hypothyroid is more common among women than men.The prevalence of hypothyroidism increases with age and as women start to go through the changes particularly in peri-menopause, changes in hormones can cause an imbalance that affects the thyroid.Taking thyroid hormone is important once you have been diagnosed to manage your thyroid as your thyroid plays several roles in your body, particularly in metabolism.Your diet can also support your thyroid function and should include all of the B Vitamins including adequate iron, iodine, and is a website that can review all of this information or talk to your healthcare provider.

Q: At what age does your metabolism slow down, and what can you do to offset it?

A: Metabolism is mostly influenced by age and as a rule of thumb, it slows down about 5% per decade after 40 y/o.Sex also affects metabolism and men usually burn more calories than women at rest.The proportion of lean body mass also affects metabolism so that the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism tends to be. Your genes also play a role in your metabolism.Exercise can offset and help to maximize your metabolism.Aerobic workouts burn more calories in the short term but weight training builds muscles that can boost your metabolism in the long term.Small frequent meals can also boost your metabolism.(This information was found on WEBMD, Make the Most of Your Metabolism, by Colette Bouchez, reviewed by Dr. Louise Chang.)

Q: What are the symptoms of early menopause?

Menopause occurs after you have not had a period in a year.Symptoms leading to menopause can include irregular menses, hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, insomnia and others, this phase is known as peri-menopause and can last 5-15 years or more.Most women start to go through changes at about 35y/o, earlier if there is a family history.To be absolutely sure, discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider and they will order the necessary tests to confirm your symptoms.

Q: I have hypoglycemia and would like to know if I should be concerned that it will eventually turn into diabetes.  This concerns me as my craving for white refined sugars has increased tremendously and eating fruit for natural sugar doesn’t subside these cravings.  Also, I’m extremely tired the next day after eating any type of candy or ice cream treat.

Yes, you should be concerned because hypoglycemia can be a result of an increase in insulin secretion from your pancreas.Ultimately, your pancreas will get tired and this can put you at risk for diabetes.Your cravings sound more like your adrenal glands are stressed.Lab work that your healthcare provider can order will evaluate both hypoglycemia and your adrenal gland function.