Facts about Functional Medicine

Friday, 01 Jun 2018

Have you heard about functional medicine? Julia Ward, MD, a primary care physician in Sugar Land, would like to introduce you to this holistic way of restoring health.

Functional medicine considers each individual as a whole — including nutritional habits, vitamin deficiencies, hormones, and sleep patterns — and searches for the underlying causes of illness. A doctor who practices functional medicine will uncover what may have caused the illness to begin with, and then determine how to best restore function and vitality.

For example, imagine you have a chronic condition like asthma. (The term “chronic” means that it’s persistent and long-lasting). In traditional medicine, you would see a doctor for an evaluation, diagnosis, and medication to control your asthma.

A functional medicine doctor looks deeper, beyond just the medication. The solution may also include supplements, bioidentical hormones, and nutritional therapy, as well.

With over 20 years of experience as a primary care physician, Dr. Ward practices functional medicine in Sugar Land, partnering with her patients for a more holistic approach to treating chronic illness. Having experienced functional medicine as a patient herself, Dr. Ward truly believes it is the most effective way to bring patients to better health and wellness.


All of our body’s systems are intricately connected, and what affects one system may cause illness in another. Here are a few examples:

  • Adrenal fatigue, caused when adrenal glands are overworked and depleted (most often due to chronic stress and poor diet), can lead to tiredness and decreased functioning.
  • Poor digestive health, brought on by unhealthy choices in food, bacteria, and antibiotics, often leads to “leaky gut” and an impaired immune system. Your body may not process hormones, vitamins and minerals properly, leading to a host of medical concerns.

With a careful assessment including medical history, examination and screenings, Dr. Ward can get at the root cause of your illness and help you overcome it.

Now back to our asthma example.

Chronic wheezing can be caused by a number of things, including allergens, pollutants, food additives, reflux, and stress. Dr. Ward may recommend lifestyle changes to help you overcome the chronic asthma for good, including supplements to boost your immune health and energy, an eating plan to help heal your digestive tract, and help for managing the stress in your life.

Functional medicine considers every aspect of your body’s care. Would you like to know more?

Schedule time to meet with Dr. Ward at her medical practice, Balanced Body Image, in Sugar Land, Texas. It’s her goal to help patients live fulfilled, productive, and healthy lives.

Contact Balanced Body Image at 281-710-3380 today.

Probiotics and Digestive Health

Friday, 01 Jun 2018

Many of us spend a good part of each day washing our hands to avoid potentially harmful germs, so the notion that we should be eating bacteria might be confusing. Yet, according to digestive health specialists, that’s precisely what we should do! “Good” bacteria helps to combat the “bad” bacteria found in the gut, which is often the source of digestive troubles and other health issues. By infusing your diet with the good bacteria found in probiotics, you can prevent, and even treat, some health conditions.

The Importance of Gut Health
Keeping the digestive tract healthy is a cornerstone of good health in general. The body’s immune system, for one, is linked to the digestive tract, and when gut health is suffering, there’s a strong likelihood the immune system is too.

Many digestive problems, like heartburn or diarrhea, also occur when there is an imbalance of bacteria. This is often the result of a poor diet that’s high in sugars, alcohol, and caffeine, which can cause bad bacteria to quickly multiply and cause digestive discomfort.

“Good” bacteria wages war on the bad, and when in good supply, can bring your body into a better, more healthful balance. Probiotics can help relieve all sorts of digestive troubles including heartburn, gas and diarrhea.

Good Gut Health and Beyond
Numerous medical studies have demonstrated that the benefits of probiotics extend beyond the gut.

First, probiotics support the immune system, which results in a more robust defense against infections. Some studies have also shown that probiotics may help prevent common ailments like yeast infections. Other benefits of a diet rich in probiotics may include better skin health and weight loss.

Holistic Treatments for Gut Health
At Balanced Body Image, a functional medicine practice in Sugar Land, Dr. Julia Ward employs holistic strategies to help patients achieve optimal gut health.

In many cases, Dr. Ward prescribes probiotics to help restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract. She may also suggest lifestyle changes and better choices in food and beverages to promote better health.

Are you experiencing chronic digestive issues? Consider a holistic approach to your health. Contact Balanced Body Image at 281.710.3380.

Get Your ZZZZZ’s! The Benefits of Restful Sleep

Friday, 01 Jun 2018

Many people understand that sleep deprivation can leave them feeling cranky or even unable to function well at work or school, but missing out on quality sleep on a regular basis can definitely detract from one’s well-being. At Balanced Body Image, Julia Ward, MD counsels her patients on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. By ensuring that you’re getting plenty of rest, you can actually safeguard your mental and physical health.

Reduce Inflammation
Medical research has demonstrated links between poor sleep and inflammation. Adults who get less than six hours of sleep tend to present with higher levels of inflammation-causing proteins. Inflammation is associated with conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and even heart disease. By getting plenty of sleep, you can reduce inflammation and, ideally, help keep these life-altering conditions at bay.


Improve Concentration
The key to improving cognitive function is getting plenty of rest. Studies have shown that an optimum amount of sleep leads to better memory retention as well as improved concentration. If you aren’t getting good rest, you may find that concentrating on tasks is more difficult. To ensure that you don’t make critical errors during your day, be sure to get eight hours of restful (and that means uninterrupted) sleep each night.

Sunny Mood
When you don’t get enough sleep, you may find it more difficult to regulate your mood and emotions. People who experience frequent bouts of insomnia may find that they’re on an emotional roller coaster with increased negative emotions like anger or anxiety. Those who feel pressured by stress find that sleep helps enhance coping skills.

Improved Weight Control
Did you know that getting adequate sleep could help you maintain a healthy weight? Studies have shown that a lack of sleep could wreak havoc with a particular hormone associated with feelings of fullness. People who don’t get enough sleep produce less of this hormone, so they may feel hungrier than when they are well rested.

Dr. Ward practices holistic medicine in Sugar Land, and it’s her mission to improve the lives of her patients through natural, healthy alternatives. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, Dr. Ward will get to the root cause of your troubles. Once any medical conditions have been ruled out as the origin of your insomnia, she’ll help you change your lifestyle to include better nutrition and improved good sleep habits.

Convincing yourself that good sleep is important to your body’s ability to restore and regenerate itself each day is key. Visit Dr. Ward at her Sugar Land medical spa and get ready for a good night’s sleep! Call us today for an appointment at 281.710.3380.

Holistic Medicine in Sugar Land offers Bioidentical Hormones

Monday, 20 Mar 2017

Over the course of our lives, we’re exposed to toxins (both environmental and dietary). These toxins contribute to a natural decline of hormones as we grow older. The side effects of hormonal imbalances can mimic those of other more serious health conditions. That is why it is so important to have our hormones evaluated by a highly trained physician as we grow older.


As synthetic hormones have been prescribed by doctors for years, numerous studies have indicated that synthetic hormone therapy may increase the likelihood of various types of cancer and heart disease. Because of the risks associated with synthetic hormones, many people are looking to a more natural approach to treat hormonal imbalances — bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).


What’s the Difference between Synthetic and Bioidentical Hormones?

Synthetic hormones are produced to treat the most common side effects of hormonal imbalances. Unfortunately, however, synthetic hormones are produced on a one-size-fits all basis. Since everyone has unique and different needs, synthetic hormones are less effective for some people than others.


Bioidentical hormones are derived from natural sources like soy and yams. Their purpose is to replicate the chemical structure of the hormones that our bodies naturally produce. Specialized compounding pharmacies work with prescribing physicians to create a unique bioidentical hormone regimen designed specifically for each patient.


Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

  • They’re naturally derived.
  • They can be metabolized properly by our bodies.
  • They can be compounded to treat one individual, unlike synthetic hormones that use a one-size-fits all approach.
  • Studies have indicated that bioidentical hormones are safer than synthetic hormones.


Dr. Julia Ward’s Approach

Julia Ward, MD is a bioidentical hormone doctor in Sugar Land, Texas. At Balanced Body Image, Dr. Ward uses BHRT to help patients who experience symptoms related to hormonal imbalance, including fatigue, depression, headaches and weight gain.



Contact Dr. Ward in her Sugar Land medical spa for optimal health and wellness options – including bioidentical hormones.

Improve Your Health with IV Nutrient Therapy by Holistic Medicine Doctor in Sugar Land

Monday, 20 Mar 2017

In holistic medicine, there are a variety of safe and effective ways to heal the mind and body while also addressing thecause of symptoms.  At Balanced Body Image, your source for holistic medicine in Sugar Land, Dr. Julia Ward believes in healthy aging with a personal touch. A service she offers, IV nutrient therapy, improves health and well-being through vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.


How does it work?


Intravenous (or IV) therapy is used across the medical field for numerous conditions such as infections, multiple sclerosis (MS), and cancer; however, IV therapy also benefits those seeking to boost their overall health and wellness. IV nutrient therapy means vitamins, minerals, and other naturally-occurring nutrients (such as amino acids) are infused directly into the bloodstream through an IV.


While it can take up to eight hours for oral supplements to be absorbed into your body, IV therapy allows nutrients to be available instantly with immediate access to the bloodstream. The effects are often felt instantly, which is the reasons why IV nutrient therapy is gaining in popularity.


Besides its support of overall wellness, IV nutrient therapy has been shown to benefit many health conditions such as:


  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Infections


At Balanced Body Image, our quiet, comfortable office offers a private and relaxing IV therapy experience. Boost your energy, strengthen your immune system, and restore your body’s natural supply of nutrients.


Call our Sugar Land, Texas medical spa at (281) 710-3380 and find out if IV nutrient therapy is right for you.

Renew Your Skin with Botox at Sugar Land Medical Spa

Monday, 20 Mar 2017

Age isn’t always very kind to our skin.  The decreasing amount of collagen and elastin in the skin — plus repeated facial expressions (such as frowning) — can eventually cause skin to wrinkle and sag. Daily pollutants and sun exposure only add to skin troubles, making some people feel as if achieving healthier looking skin is a lost cause. There’s no reason to stop smiling, though. Skin rejuvenation therapies have come a long way, and safer options for enhanced skin are more available today than ever before. Dr. Julia Ward and her team at Balanced Body Image, a medical spa in Sugar Land, offers services to improve the appearance of your skin and reverse the effects of aging and the environment.


One such skin rejuvenation service is the facial injectable, Botox.


Botox, made from onabotulinum toxin A, essentially paralyzes facial muscles to smooth the skin’s surface. Recent studies have also indicated that Botox may increase the skin’s natural ability to stretch and promote the production of collagen and elastin. Those two proteins together can make skin tighter, firmer, and more flexible.


Botox is FDA-approved, safe and painless. While anesthesia isn’t needed before the injections, you may have the area numbed beforehand with a cold pack or anesthetic cream. The procedure is quick — typically lasting 10 minutes — and requires no recovery time. Results can be noticed within a few days of treatment and last for months.


With injectables like Botox, Dr. Ward helps enhance your skin so that you’ll feel younger and more confident about your appearance. The most common uses for Botox include:


  • Smoothing horizontal forehead wrinkles as well as the fine lines and wrinkles between the brows (frown lines), around the eyes (crow’s feet), and around the mouth
  • Eyebrow shaping and enhancement
  • Brow lifting


Dr. Ward also offers many other anti-aging and functional medicine therapies at her Sugar Land medical spa, with services such as IV nutrient therapy, bioidentical hormones, and micronutrient testing. She also addresses health concerns such as adrenal fatigue, intestinal health, and the effect of environmental toxins.

Start looking and feeling better through proven holistic and functional medicine therapies. Contact Dr. Ward today at (281) 710-3380.