Becoming Healthier Pt. 2

To pick up where we left off, we tried answering the question: Why doesn’t reducing caloric intake result in weight loss? Can it be due to genetics, age related, hormones, type of foods we are eating, or our gut bacteria?

The answer is………. All the above.

Weight loss is not the result of one cause. Many different factors come into play, and that is where losing weight can get frustrating. additionally, those factors can be different for each of us. We all know people who can eat pizza and doughnuts and not gain an ounce.  We also know those who can walk by a doughnut shop and gain 5 pounds!

So, what do we do?

We have to start somewhere. In the last post, we went over the question of whether weight loss is about calories. I don’t feel that calories is the main culprit. So, if calories is not the cause, where do we start? From researching and examining different theories, I think insulin is the best place to begin.

Insulin is a hormone that helps control glucose in our body. The more glucose we have, the more insulin is produced. The job of the insulin is to get the glucose out of the bloodstream and into tissues for use. Problems arise when we have too much excess glucose. The insulin has to do something with the extra glucose. Where do you think the glucose goes?

It gets stored as fat!

Think of insulin as a fat storage hormone, however let me digress. The process is more detailed and insulin is much more complicated. I’m just trying to give you an idea of the big picture.

So, if insulin is like a fat storage hormone, then it makes sense to attempt to control the production of insulin. Before we begin to look more in depth at insulin, remember that other factors can also play a part in weight control. Some factors we can control, like what type of foods we eat. Other factors we can’t control, like our genetics.

I want to share a personal experience from within my clinic. I’m going to use a patient who gave me permission to tell you her experiences . She has had her ups and downs with weight loss x years. Some weight loss approaches worked and some some didn’t . Weight would go up and down. Then, after some convincing, she decided to try some new methods we were practicing here at the clinic, a little over 2 months ago. Since then, she has lost over 40lbs! While I know that each person is different and all results vary, looking at the science behind weight loss and what works for each person is the key to long standing weight loss and more importantly- getting healthy and feeling better.

Join the conversation here , like our facebook page and share with all your friends. If you would like to get help with your health and see how we could help, please call our office to schedule an appointment.

Stayed tuned and we will further explore the role of insulin and how we can control it for our benefit.

Becoming Healthier Pt. 1



Over the next few weeks we will be exploring our frustrations with weight loss and getting healthy. Before we begin, let us define our goal to be: become healthy and not just lose weight. If we do this, then years from now, the benefits will help us live a more active, fulfilling life.

So, where do we begin? Let us start with something we ALL have tried: reducing our calorie intake. Our body is made to maintain homeostasis, that is, to maintain itself at a current weight. For example, theoretically we are eating a 2000 calorie diet. Then to maintain our weight, our body is burning 2000 calories. When we decrease our caloric intake to 1500, what happens? We lose some weight, but then weight loss stops after a week or so. The thought is, to lose one pound, we need to decrease our calories by 3500. So, 500 calories a day reduction, for 7 days, should be 1lb of weight loss in 1 week. If we do this for 30 weeks we should loss 30 lbs. However, we know this doesn’t work.

Why? Because our metabolism slows down to burn 1500 calories, instead of the previous 2000 calories at the beginning of our journey. Our body wants to maintain homeostasis, so our output of calories will try to maintain our input of calories. Then we all get frustrated and go back to our original diet of 2000 calories and regain the weight we just lost. This is when most folks quit. We are trying our best, but I think the problem is that we are trying the wrong way. I have some theories, but I am curious as to your thoughts as well.

Could it be:

  • Genetics?
  • Age related?
  • Hormones?
  • Type of foods we are eating?
  • Our gut bacteria?

Check back with us and we will continue our journey and see how we can help you reach your goals!

The Importance of Getting a Yearly Flu Shot

Flu season is fast approaching, and now is the time to begin preparing.  The peak months for the spread of influenza virus are between October and March.  According to the CDC, influenza vaccinations are most effective when administered at least one month before flu season begins.  Each year the influenza virus changes genetically. Which means, last year’s vaccination will not combat this year’s virus as efficiently.

Protect your body, and save yourself some trouble by scheduling an appointment this month to get the latest influenza vaccination.


World Hepatitis Day

Today marks 2017’s World Hepatitis Day. Viral hepatitis ( A, B, and C) is a disease that attacks the liver. The most common symptoms of hepatitis include;

loss of appetite, fatigue, mild fever, muscle or joint aches, nausea and vomiting, and belly pain.

Other symptoms include;

dark urine, light-colored stools, jaundice, itchy feeling, and bleeding inside the body.

Hepatitis can be caused by the use of recreational drugs and prescription medications. The first step in diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis is completing a blood test. If you have any of these symptoms, please call Knott County Family Healthcare today to schedule an appointment.

For more information about Hepatitis click here.

Sunscreen or Sunblock?


Many people do not realize that there is a difference between sunscreen and sun block. It is important to chose the right protection for you skin.There are two types of protective lotions; chemical and physical.

Sunblock (physical) contains organic and non-organic ingredients that remain on top of the skin to form a barrier between your skin and damaging UV rays by reflecting UVB light. Look for sunblock products with octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, and octocrylene.

Sunscreen (chemical) penetrates the skin and absorbs the UVA rays before they are able to damage your dermal layer. Look for sunscreen products with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and ecamsule.

Sunblocks are formulated to shield against UVB rays, while sunscreens protect against UVA. In order to fully protect your skin, choose a broad-spectrum protection formulated sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Formulas often contain a mixture of both sunblock and sunscreen.

Ideally, you should use a lotion with SPF of 30 or higher, apply 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply after each hour of sun exposure.

Dangers of Sun Exposure

Sunbathing and sun exposure can put you at risk for serious medical problems. Below are forms of skin damage that can result from overexposure to the sun.

  • Suntan


Darkened skin that results from tanning is actually a sign of skin damage. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Always use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen when in the sun.

  • Sunburn (First-Degree Burn)


Excessive sun exposure causes your skin to turn red. This redness is known as sunburn and is actually a thermal burn to the outer layer of the skin. Treatments for sunburn include over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, cold compresses, and moisturizing creams, all of which attempt to reduce pain and discomfort.

  • Sunburn (Second-Degree Burn)


Severe sunburn can lead to blistered skin. This type of sunburn is considered to be a second-degree burn. Nerve endings found in deep tissues are damaged. The blisters that form should not be broken, as they are the body’s natural protection for the damaged skin. You should seek medical care if blisters develop on your sunburned skin.

  • Wrinkles


The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light can damage the layers of the skin. Over time, this damage shows up as sagging, stretched, wrinkled skin.

  • Uneven Skin Tone


The UV light from the sun can also cause irregular pigmentation of the skin. This causes the skin tone to appear uneven or discolored.

  • Freckles


Freckles may become more prominent after sun exposure. Most of the time, freckles are normal and do not pose any health risk. However, some early stage cancers may resemble freckles. See a doctor if a freckle has an unusual size, shape, or color, or becomes painful.

  • Melsma (Pregnancy Mask)


Melasma (chloasma) is an abnormal patch of brown skin on the cheeks, nose, or forehead, usually developing during pregnancy. Always use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, as if you have melasma, sun exposure may cause the condition to worsen.

  • Age Spots (Solar Lentigines)


Age spots (solar lentigines) are harmless spots that appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin, most commonly on hands, face, and neck. They occur after repeated  sun exposure. Consult your doctor or dermatologist to monitor any abnormal skin discoloration you may have

  • Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)


Small, scaly red or brown papules, known as actinic keratosis, are the result of excessive sun exposure. They are more common in people with fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes. They may progress to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

  • Actinic Cheilitis (Farmer’s Lip)


Actinic cheilitis is related to actinic keratosis, and appears on the lower lips. This precancerous condition includes the symptoms of scaly patches or dry, cracked lips. It can become squamous cell carcinoma, so see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma


Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that can appear as a firm red nodule, or a crusted, scaly wound that does not heal. It is not usually brown-pigmented like melanoma. It often occurs in sun-exposed areas of the body such as the head, face, lips, ears, and hands. It is curable in its early stages.

  • Bowen Disease


Bowen disease is referred to as squamous cell carcinoma “in situ.” It is a noninvasive skin cancer that remains on surface of the skin. It typically appears as reddish-brown, scaly, or crusty plaque.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma


Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It is the most easily treated because it grows very slowly. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a lump or an irregular ulcerated area on the skin. It can also appear as a flat, scaly, scab or a white, waxy scar-like lesion on some skin-damaged areas.

  • Melanoma


Melanoma causes the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Melanomas usually appear on the skin as irregularly shaped moles or freckles. Their irregular shape, size, and coloration are indicators that they are cancerous. Consult your doctor or dermatologist if you are concerned about any moles or lesions on your skin.

  • Cataract


Cataracts can develop in the lens of the eye due to overexposure from UV sunlight. Cataracts are not painful, but can cause cloudy vision, double vision, and glare from lights. You can help prevent cataracts by wearing sunglasses and hats to shield the eyes from the sun.

  • Five Steps Towards Prevention
  1. The best way to avoid skin damage from the sun is to avoid sun exposure.
  2. Stay out of the sun midday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  3. Wear SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen when outdoors.
  4. Wear protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses.
  5. See a doctor to check any skin changes.


Defeat Diabetes Month


As April wraps up, Defeat Diabetes Month comes to a close.  Diabetes is a metabolism disorder that has three main forms; type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.  One can be more susceptible to diabetes depending on family history, weight, and ethnicity. Common symptoms include hunger, fatigue, urinating more often and being thirstier, dry mouth, itchy skin, and blurred vision.  If you’re older than 45 or have other risks for diabetes it’s important to get tested.  When you spot the condition early, you can avoid nerve damage, heart trouble, and other complications.  Call Knott County Family Healthcare today to schedule your appointment to get tested for diabetes.

KCFHC Phone: (606)785-9440

For additional information about diabetes please visit the link below.


Allergy Season


Spring is upon us! As the temperature increases so does the amount of pollen, mold, and mildew. Many people are triggered by specific allergens such as Ragweed, Bermuda grass, and Cypress trees. The best way to manage your allergies is to know your triggers. At Knott County Family Healthcare we offer in office blood testing for allergies. Call (606)-785-9440 to schedule an appointment to learn your triggers and how to keep your symptoms at a minimum.

February is American Heart Month

This month is American Heart Month. We all wish that our family and friends will live a long and healthy life. Living a long life begins with taking care of your health. The best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is by knowing  and managing your personal risk factors. Risk factors include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, and/or high blood glucose. Call Knott County Family Healthcare (606-785-9440) to schedule a screening test to learn about your potential risk factors.