Feb 20

Evidence-based weight loss procedures

Many people are confused about the subject of bariatric surgery. Some are fearful because of misinformation or lack of understanding. This can be made worse by well-meaning friends or relatives who spread this misinformation, or by internet and television commercials that intentionally mislead people. The ‘cloud’ is full of cure-all remedies for obesity that have …

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Feb 18

Ghrelin, the Hunger Hormone

What do you know about ghrelin, the so-called “Hunger Hormone?” Ghrelin is involved in telling your brain that it is time to eat. Like everything involved in the endocrine system, the relationship between ghrelin and eating behavior is not completely understood. Still, many patients would benefit from a basic understanding of this hormone and its …

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Feb 15

Read “The Sugar Mill”

Imagine looking at a grocery store shelf with a row of 27 five-pound bags of sugar standing side-by-side. Those 27 bags contain the amount of sugar consumed each year by an average American! The American Heart Association recommends no more than nine teaspoons of sugar a day for adult men and six for women; this …

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Feb 14

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day from Dr. Birkedal and staff.

Feb 11

Bariatric surgery misconceptions

Even though surgery for weight loss has become well accepted by professionals in academic medicine, public health and medical insurance, myths about bariatric surgery persist. Experts know that weight loss surgery has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing obesity-related disease. Insurance companies recognize that the cost of weight loss surgery is recovered by lowering future medical expenses, …

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Feb 08

Yoga and Weight Loss

Yoga does not burn calories as fast as walking, swimming or aerobic exercise does, but it can offer an activity that is both low impact and non-competitive. Even severely overweight people can practice many forms of yoga without fear of injuring joints, feeling self-conscious or appearing inferior to fitter competitors. Yoga can be done in …

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Feb 06

Weight Loss Surgery and Insurance

Some surgical procedures are unquestionably necessary and automatically covered by any good insurance policy. Others, like some cosmetic surgery, are entirely optional and not commonly covered by any insurance. Weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) sometimes falls into a middle ground. It may help to have participated actively in an exercise program in a supervised bariatric …

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Feb 04

Seniors and Obesity

Obesity is a “growing problem” (no pun intended) for Americans of all ages, and seniors are not an exception. The Centers for Disease Control reports that about 35% of adults aged 65 and over were obese in the period 2007–2010, and these numbers have almost certainly increased in the past decade. Medical obesity is a …

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Feb 01

Is your doctor board certified?

We often comment on how quickly things change in surgery and medical practice. It is absolutely essential that your primary care doctor and any specialist or surgeon you choose is current and up-to-date in his or her field. Getting and keeping board certification is one of the ways this level of high-quality practice is assured. …

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Jan 30

Medical practice and surgery do not stand still for long

Modern practice means that there are constant demands for learning new material or using new technology. Today’s doctors should base their decisions on objective evidence rather than on past practice or what was taught in medical school years ago. But “new” is not always “better,” and how do surgeons and doctors decide? Good physicians practice …

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