Controlling Glucose Levels

Monday, 01 Oct 2018

Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body uses glucose (also known as blood sugar). Essential for good health, glucose provides energy for every cell in your body. There are two types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes means that your body does not produce insulin the insulin needed to control blood sugar; it is most often diagnosed in children and young adults.

Type 2 diabetes results when your body does not use insulin properly.

Julia Ward, MD, is an expert in holistic medicine in Sugar Land, and she helps patients develop eating plans that are filled with key nutrients designed to help control glucose levels. Patients who have a condition known as prediabetes can prevent their condition from escalating by focusing on food and fitness. Patients with diabetes can keep their disease in check by maintaining a healthy diet and fitness plan designed just for them – and designed to keep those glucose levels in check.

Controlling Glucose Levels
While many with diabetes must take medications to help control their condition, a beneficial diet is essential too. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and affect the kidneys, eyes, and other parts of the body. By getting the right nutrition and minimizing foods that cause a spike in your blood sugar, you can protect your health.

Do you know the symptoms of diabetes? Watch for these common signs:

  • Constant hunger, even when you’re eating
  • Severe fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Numbness in the hands or feet

If you exhibit any of these symptoms of diabetes, consider consulting with Dr. Ward. She will order tests to confirm a diagnosis, and then will provide holistic treatments that consider every aspect of your health and well-being.

Call our medical office in Sugar Land at (281) 710-3380 — or request an appointment — and start feeling better today!

Healing the Gut

Monday, 01 Oct 2018

Protecting digestive health is important for preserving overall health. Yet, many people suffer from excessive bouts of indigestion, stomach cramps, heartburn, and other complaints associated with the digestive tract. Dr. Julia Ward of Balanced Body Image works with patients to boost or repair their GI health. Amazingly, once gut health is restored, these too-common complaints often ease.

Combating Leaky Gut
Leaky gut refers to intestinal permeability. If intestinal lining becomes ruptured or damaged, food particles, digestive juices, and even toxins associated with the intestinal process can leak into the bloodstream. Not surprisingly, this can lead to a host of problems that include chronic diarrhea, bloating, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, rashes, joint pain, poor concentration, anxiety, and depression. When left unchecked, leaky gut may even lead to the development of an autoimmune disease.

Gut health can be restored. In her holistic medicine practice, Dr. Ward works with patients to develop a personalized plan for dealing with their leaky gut symptoms or other digestive complaints. Dr. Ward is a medical doctor, so she is able to effectively combine elements of conventional medicine with holistic measures to achieve the best outcomes for her patients.

What Happens during an Appointment?
Careful assessment is important for individualizing a care plan for patients. During an initial appointment, Dr. Ward will ask questions about symptoms, stress, diet, and any other element that might be causing the intestinal complaints. She then develops a treatment plan for repairing the gastrointestinal tract that may include eliminating toxins and restoring optimum health to the gut.

Healing the Digestive Tract
Can someone who suffers heartburn every other day suddenly arrive at a state where heartburn doesn’t occur? Yes, yes, and yes!

For some sufferers, adding probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir do the trick. Other individuals might require more considerable dietary changes like food eliminations or a medical intervention. Dr. Ward often tells her patients that minimizing symptoms isn’t the answer. Yes, it’s possible to take an over-the-counter medicine to treat heartburn or alleviate constipation. But what is the genesis of these problems? That’s where Dr. Ward shines. Her holistic treatments get to the root of the problem so that symptoms disappear — and over-the-counter drugs stay put on store shelves.

If your digestive health is concerning you or you are experiencing symptoms related to leaky gut, contact Balanced Body Image and schedule a consultation with Dr. Ward. Getting your digestive health back on track is key to physical and even aspects of mental health. Call today.

 

 

 

 

 

Menopause, Symptoms, and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Monday, 23 Jul 2018

Menopause — the time of life that all women anticipate. It can be the cause of a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms – from hot flashes to mood swings – that can make life miserable.

While there’s really no avoiding menopause, there are simple lifestyle changes that may make symptoms more manageable. Holistic medicine, designed with a whole-patient approach to medical care, considers every aspect of the mind and body for overall health and wellness. Julia Ward, MD specializes in holistic medicine in Sugar Land, and it’s her mission to offer natural and healthy alternatives – including symptom relief during menopause.

Common Menopause Symptoms

Some of the more common symptoms women may experience during menopause include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Irregular periods
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Night sweats
  • Low libido
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain

Not everyone experiences symptoms in the same way; however, if you or someone you love has experienced some of the more unpleasant symptoms of menopause, you might already realize how disruptive they can be.

How Hormone Replacement Therapy Helps

During menopause your body stops producing certain hormones. The result is that your hormone levels may become unbalanced, which is the underlying cause for many of the symptoms women experience. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often helps.

Conventional HRT uses synthetic or animal-based hormones, which aren’t the same as naturally occurring human hormones. The result is that the body often doesn’t recognize the artificial hormones, so women may not notice any improvement at all.

By comparison, bioidentical HRT at Balanced Body Image uses hormones that are identical on a molecular level to the hormones that women’s bodies need to function at their best.

As a primary care physician who specializes in holistic medicine, Dr. Ward may also suggest some other natural ways to help reduce the severity of menopause symptoms. For example, incorporating more exercise into your day and making sure you get a good night’s sleep can help too.

Likewise, making healthy food choices may help manage symptoms more effectively. Add more fresh fruit and vegetables into your meal plans. Drink more water (and less soda or caffeinated drinks) to help reduce bloating. Micronutrient testing at our Sugar Land medical spa can help determine nutritional deficiencies; IV nutritional therapy may restore the proper balance.

Call Dr. Ward at Balanced Body Image today — and discuss how bioidentical HRT can help you look better, feel better and live better!

Diabetes, Lifestyle Changes, and You

Monday, 23 Jul 2018

Diabetes has become increasingly common in the United States today. You probably know someone (or it may even be you) who has been diagnosed with it.

What exactly is this disease and why is it so rampant? There are two types of diabetes, and for many, lifestyle changes can make a significant difference when it comes to getting this disease under control. At Balanced Body Image, a metabolic health practice in Sugar Land, Dr. Julia Ward helps her patients understand their bodies, symptoms, and overall health — and the lifestyle changes that may help improve it.

First, let’s dive in and learn more about diabetes.

The two types of diabetes
You may have heard about “Type 1″ and “Type 2” diabetes. What’s the difference?

With Type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t make insulin, which is the hormone that helps glucose move from your bloodstream to the cells that power your body. Only 5 percent of people with diabetes have Type 1. If you are within that number, your doctor may prescribe insulin therapy.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body makes insulin but doesn’t use it properly. You become resistant to the insulin that is available. The pancreas tries to pump out more insulin to accommodate the problem, but over time, it simply can’t make enough.

Regain control with lifestyle changes
No matter which type of diabetes you have, lifestyle changes may help you keep your blood sugar closer to target levels. As a holistic medicine physician, Dr. Ward not only practices evidence based medicine, but she also seeks natural ways to help her patients return to health.

For example, she counsels her patients to make changes in what they eat and how they exercise. Swapping refined sugars (such as white bread and soda) for complex carbs (like vegetables and whole grains) and pairing them with protein will release the glucose into the bloodstream more slowly. Smaller, more frequent meals often help to keep blood sugar levels constant, as well.

Exercise helps with diabetes because it increases insulin sensitivity; that means your cells are able to absorb and use glucose more easily. You don’t have to be a weight lifter; even just 30 minutes each day of light to moderate exercise (such as walking or biking) will help.

Supplementing everyday care
Dr. Ward works with her patients from day one to develop a nutrition and exercise regimen that fits specific diabetes requirements. Would you like to learn more about diabetes? Contact Balanced Body Image in Sugar Land at (281) 710-3380 or click here to request an appointment.

Fighting Fatigue?

Monday, 23 Jul 2018

Chronic fatigue affects many aspects of life. More than just an “I’m tired” feeling, fatigue can also be very debilitating. It’s like carrying around 50 pounds of wet towels on a hot day. You feel completely zapped, and no matter how much you “rest”, you never quite recover.

We’ve all experienced that feeling, and let’s face it. Life’s hectic pace of work, school, kids, and pets can leave you feeling totally drained. But before you blame your lifestyle, know that many health conditions can cause fatigue too.

Knowing the root cause of your fatigue is key, and when it begins to affect your quality of life, it may be time to consult a physician. Julia Ward, MD, is a family practice doctor who specializes in holistic medicine in Sugar Land. It’s her mission to help her patients feel better and live better – and that includes overcoming the draining effects of fatigue.

Her first step? To find the cause.

What Causes Fatigue?

It’s important to first determine if an illness is the cause of the fatigue. Dr. Ward may order diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, to help her detect the reason. If an illness is discovered, she’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Sometimes, though, fatigue is caused by a poor diet and hectic routine. When your body doesn’t get all of the nutrients it needs on a regular basis, you may start to feel sluggish and tired.

Micronutrient testing provides Dr. Ward with details about the vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids nourishing your body. If you’re deplete in any of these areas, Dr. Ward may recommend IV nutritional therapy. Far more effective than supplements, this outpatient procedure delivers nutrients directly into your bloodstream for immediate results.

Nutrition isn’t the only way to combat fatigue.

Our bodies are often fraught with toxins obtained in the very air we breathe and water we drink. Poor diets can lead to toxic buildup, as well, which makes it difficult for your liver and kidneys to perform efficiently. Detoxification removes heavy metal and environmental toxins from your body, and the result is invariably a feeling of rejuvenation and renewed energy.

Hormone imbalance is another possible cause of fatigue. If diagnostic tests reveal this is the case, bioidentical hormone replacement is a natural way to safely restore energy.

Working Together for Better Health

As your partner in health, Dr. Ward will work closely with you to identify the source of your fatigue. Then together, you’ll decide on treatment options that will restore you to health. It may be medication, but also supplements, nutritional therapy, bioidentical hormones, or other holistic approaches.

Schedule time to meet with Dr. Ward or contact us for more information. If you’re fighting fatigue, we’ll go into the battle with you!

The Pros and Cons of Protein

Monday, 23 Jul 2018

Without a doubt, good nutrition is vital to health and wellness. What you eat and drink has a significant impact on how your body functions and feels.

We’re inundated daily with ads for diet plans and programs that are “guaranteed” to help you drop inches and transform your body. These days, the buzzwords are “high protein” and “ketogenic”. With all of these hot trends and information overload, how do you know what is actually good for your health?

At her functional medical practice in Sugar Land, Balanced Body Image, Dr. Julia Ward helps you break it down.

High protein benefits

Nutritionists often recommend high protein diets because, with fewer carbohydrates available, your body is forced to burn fat for energy. This process, known as ketosis, is thought to support weight loss. Protein can also help you feel satisfied and full, so you may not be as tempted to continue eating (and consuming more calories).

Protein is required for many bodily processes too. In addition to building muscle, protein helps manufacture hormones, repair and build skin and bone, and produce enzymes that are involved in thousands of biological chemical reactions. Proteins also help strengthen your immune system.

Current research is also investigating the positive effect of a ketogenic diet in Alzheimer’s disease.

Potential drawbacks

Consuming a high protein diet may come with some risk, though. Consider the source of your protein. If you’re cutting back on carbs in favor of red meat and full-fat dairy, you may be increasing your fat/cholesterol intake – which is not so great for your risk of heart disease. High protein diets may also be hard on kidney function.

Fully eliminating carbs from your meals may also mean that you’re not eating enough natural fiber. Insufficient fiber can cause constipation.

The bottom line

Always consult a physician before putting yourself on a high protein diet. At Balanced Body Image, Dr. Ward addresses every aspect of your health, including nutrition and healthy eating.

Services she offers at her Sugar Land medical spa, like micronutrient testing, assess nutritional deficiencies – and help Dr. Ward determine the best nutritional course for your optimal health.

To learn more about your health and ideal nutrition, contact Balanced Body Image today!