Can’t Lose Weight? Maybe You Have A Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid Woman

A thyroid disorder called hypothyroidism means you have an underactive thyroid gland. If you have trouble losing weight no matter what you do, it could be because you are hypothyroid. There are almost 30 million Americans with thyroid disease and women are 7 times more likely than men to have it. Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder and often misdiagnosed by doctors.

You may get this because it is inherited, or because of previous problems, such as nodules, goiter, thyroid cancer, previous thyroid surgery, another autoimmune disease.

This is a condition where the thyroid gland, a small butterfly shaped organ located at the base of the neck, does not produce enough hormone to function properly.

What happens is that it takes in iodine, combines it with tyrosine (an amino acid) and converts it into the hormones T4 and T3. If your thyroid is normal, 80% will be T4 and 20% T3. These hormones travel through the bloodstream, converting oxygen and calories into energy. If this process doesn’t work properly, then the calories and oxygen cannot convert the energy properly and you may gain weight or incapability to lose weight.

The symptoms can include : weight gain, depression, forgetfulness, fatigue, hoarseness, high cholesterol, constipation, feeling cold, hair loss, dry skin, low sex drive, tingling hands or feet, irregular periods, infertility. You may even experience recurrent pregnancy loss, resistant high cholesterol, difficult menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, or mitral valve prolapse.

Do you feel sluggish and fatigued on a regular basis, or do you get bouts of depression and sadness? Are you always feeling cold, especially your hands and feet, or do you have brittle nails? These are just some of the possible signs of the disease. There may be other causes, but at least this may give you a clue as to why you do not feel well. Check with your doctor in all cases to be sure.

When your metabolism doesn’t work right because you have this disorder, you may find that there’s no amount of dieting or exercise that takes the weight off. You may in fact put on extra pounds, even though you are doing just what you are supposed to.

What can you do? Meet with your doctor and ask if you need a thyroid examination and blood test. These likely will be a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test, along with T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3 tests.

A drug called levothyroxine (often called Levo-T, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid) may be prescribed for you. It is usually inexpensive, has minimal side effects, and has uniform potency. However, all thyroid hormone replacement therapies, whether natural or synthetic, have the ability to restore thyroid hormone levels.

Supplements that contain the following might also help:

– L-Tyrosine – is one of the amino acids that your body needs to make thyroid hormones. It is included in some weight control products because it works to stimulate your metabolism. It’s also an element in helping your brain operate more efficiently which makes you feel better.

– Guglipid – an extract from the Indian guggal tree, may improve thyroid function and assist in controlling your weight. Scientists are finding that guglipid lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, and thus can help somewhat to prevent heart disease.

If you know you have normal thyroid levels and are still struggling to lose weight and have tried everything, please schedule an appointment with our Fairfax Weight Loss Center. To learn a little more about our Physicians weight loss system, click here. Our Weight loss clinic here in Fairfax VA  has surged in popularity in the last 3 years mainly due to our patients having a 100% weight loss success rate. Watch what our patients are saying about our program.

There is always hope and lots of help out there for you. If you suspect that you have this condition and you are not sure what to do, talk to your physician for guidance and advice.

To begin a rewarding journey towards increasing the quality of your life, call us at 703-573-5500703-573-5500 to schedule a weight loss consultation.

Dr. Shirine Hegazi is a premier chiropractor in the Northern Virginia area, specializing in sports rehabilitation and alternative health care. Dr. Hegazi takes a scientific approach to accurately diagnose and eliminate the causes of his patients symptoms. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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Northern Virginia Doctor provides Conservative Shoulder Pain Treatment

Kinesiotape shoulder

Help for your Chronic Shoulder Pain

by: Dr. Shirine Hegazi

                Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint among our patient population. It is likely you have had shoulder pain because within any year nearly half the adult population has at least one episode of shoulder pain according to one study. Another survey found over 14% of adults had shoulder pain at the time of the survey. Fortunately, Fairfax chiropractic care is often very helpful for shoulder pain as a new study that we discuss below reveals.

The high incidence of shoulder problems may be due to the amazingly large range of motion we normally have in our shoulders which is referred to as circumduction. The structure of the shoulder joint is very complex and allows a wide range of  movement which makes it very easily prone to injury from instability. This anatomical dynamic makes it hard for health care providers to determine what really is causing problems with a particular shoulder joint and to agree on what to do for them. For instance, rotator cuff tears often show up on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of people with shoulder pain and were often blamed for problems until they scanned a large series of people with no shoulder pain or symptoms and still found complete tears in 15% of them and partial tears in another 20%. For those over 60 years old, 28% had complete tears but still no symptoms. So while rotator cuff tears might cause symptoms, they often don’t. You could go to a doctor complaining of shoulder pain and have an MRI done that shows a torn rotator cuff but it may not be the source of your pain. That is why before having surgery for it, ruling out other causes is important.

Chiropractic doctors in Fairfax and Vienna have had success with treating a number of shoulder problems. Sometimes pain is referred from the spine where chiropractic adjustments can address the cause. A herniated disc in the neck can cause pain to radiate into the trapezius (the broad muscle between your neck and shoulder blade), into the shoulder and even all the way down to the hand causing numbness, tingling and weakness. Shoulder pain that is triggered by active neck movement is typically referred from the spine in the neck – chiropractic care of the spine , may work wonders. If this sounds like your type of shoulder pain,  we are very likely to help you eliminate neck pain, increase your strength and regain functionality

Chiropractic treatments may also help when the spine is not the obvious cause as a new study shows where relieving trigger points in the soft tissues of the shoulder was highly effective. Watch this slideshow about a revolutionary soft tissue technique that directly relieves trigger point pain and soft tissue discomfort.

In the new study they excluded patients with shoulder pain from neck movement where the pain was deemed to be referred from the spine.  And they excluded patients with arthritis or other diseases that affect joints throughout the body, as well as acute bursitis or capsulitis of the shoulder. That left all the patients where the cause of their shoulder pain was unknown and they selected those who had shoulder pain on a daily basis for at least the previous three months. Fifty nine patients were eventually selected and randomly put in either an experimental group or a control group. The experimental group got 15 sessions of therapy, 3 per week over 5 weeks. The therapy is called trigger point therapy (it goes by other names too including acupressure, Nimmo technique, or ischemic compression.)

Trigger points are pressure sensitive taught nodules or “knots” that can be felt when you touch the soft tissues near or related to a painful area of condition. When you push on them they reproduce or intensify the chief complaint, in this cause – shoulder pain. Trigger points occur in the other places throughout the body too. They usually are felt in muscles but also in tendons, ligaments and other soft tissue. The trigger point therapy used in the study involved applying pressure of 15 seconds with one thumb on top of the other thumb on the trigger point, starting with light pressure and increasing it to the bearable pain tolerance of the patient. For the experimental group they felt for trigger points in the biceps tendon and in the deltoid muscle and two other muscles around the shoulder.

If they found a trigger point, they applied the pressure, but if none were found in the muscle or tendon nothing was done. The control group got similar 15 seconds of pressure on trigger points but in the muscles of the back or neck that were believed to be unrelated.

The main outcome measure was based on a questionnaire that measured pain and functional impairment. On a hundred point scale where zero was no pain or impairment, the experimental group started with an average score of 67 and had that drop over 41 points to 25.5 at the end of the 15 sessions. That went even lower 30 days later to 22.9. At six months it was still low at 28.8. The control group only dropped 13 points after the 15 fake sessions. Interestingly, they then gave the control group 15 real therapy sessions around the shoulder and their average score dropped to over 40 points from baseline.

They also asked the patients what percentage of the original problem had been relieved. Relief was reported as high as 96% but the average was 75% relief at the end of the therapy sessions.

Now these patients were not selected because they had trigger points. These were all the patients left that were not excluded for other obvious causes so we would expect some of them to have shoulder pain from a verity of causes other than trigger points and they would not be expected to get much relief in this study. So that makes the results even more dramatic and significant.

Certainly if you suffer with shoulder pain, before submitting to surgery, steroid injections, or other invasive and dangerous interventions, try chiropractic care.

Call Concept Chiropractic and Rehab today at 703-573-5500703-573-5500 and schedule an appointment to get your condition comprehensively evaluated.

Dr. Shirine Hegazi is a premier chiropractor in the Northern Virginia area, specializing in sports rehabilitation and alternative health care. Dr. Hegazi takes a scientific approach to accurately diagnose and eliminate the causes of his patients symptoms. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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What do Chiropractors do exactly?

Chiropractic Wellness Photo Blue

It Starts with You

                Like most people, your body normally has the amazing ability to heal itself given the right circumstances. Proper nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and a spine that is functioning ideally all work together to enable this self healing process and prevent all types of chronic disease, improve fitness, and allow your body to perform at its very best. It is at this level that the self healing properties of your body are fully released allowing your immune system to keep chronic disease in check.

                Of course this makes sense to us. After all, if you eat a sensible healthy diet combined with routine exercise you reap huge benefits. Maintaining an ideal weight and a fit body helps avoid diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, and many more chronic diseases. However, the reality is that chronic diseases are all around us. Obesity is rampant not only in adults but also now in children. Unfortunately it seems our health care system is just not doing much to help.

                Some say that our health care system has let us down. They say that we spend twice as much on health care as any industrial country yet we rank 42nd in life expectancy worldwide. The fact is that our health care system is designed to treat sickness and disease, not promote health. The uncontrollable cost of health care is being driven by the relentless increase in chronic illness and disease and so we say the health care system has let us down. But have we placed the blame on the wrong door step? If we sit on our couches and eat foods that nurture inflammation in our bodies and eat genetically modified foods laced with toxic herbicides and pesticides is it no wonder why we develop chronic diseases as we age?

                The fact is that in order to bring down the exorbitant costs we will have to address these chronic diseases. Perhaps the best way to do that is to promote wellness and health. If you are not already, you need to eat a healthy diet, pay a bit more for organic foods, exercise far more, and maintain your spine. This sort of reform, people taking responsibility for their own wellness, is just not happening much on its own but here and in Fairfax chiropractic offices all across the country we are working toward that very reform – to promote health rather than only treat disease. As the president of National University wrote, “It’s impossible to treat people into health; at best, you can sometimes treat them out of disease.”

             If you been following my blog posts, you know that I am very passionate about preventative health care and Chiropractic wellness in general. As you know my name is Dr. Shirine Hegazi and if you live in Fairfax, Vienna, Falls Church or Merrifield you can watch our practice video or visit the Treatments page on our website to learn about exactly what a Chiropractor does. To get a preliminary idea of how Chiropractors think, take a look below about the three levels of Chiropractic Care.

Level One: Pain Relief

                Those who become our patients will immediately see that we take a different approach. Most patients who come to see us (or medical doctors, in general) initially do so with a painful condition seeking relief. Very likely that is exactly why you may have visited us or maybe if you are not our patient it is why you are thinking of doing so. Of course our first goal is to get you feeling better as quickly as possible. We usually avoid saying we “treat” things but at first, like medical care, we address your condition to treat and relieve your pain. This is the first level of care, but chiropractic goes further with two additional levels.  

    Level Two: Correction

                Once we have your pain controlled and you are able to function again our next step is to try to correct or eliminate what caused your condition in the first place and  prevent it from recurring in the future. This is where we periodically check your spine and adjust it if needed to keep it functioning right and to maintain it until it is stable. Our goal is to maximize the ability of your nervous system to function and to communicate between the brain and the body through the spinal cord within the spine. We are working not only to prevent the recurrence of the condition but to insure your entire spine is functioning. At this point we are considering all your systems  and evaluating your whole body, not just the symptoms which brought you to us in the first place. One of the great aspects of Chiropractic Wellness and of this second stage is that often after the initial condition for which you sought help resolves, you might find that other health conditions improve that you did not expect.

                Maintaining chiropractic care at this second level was found to be highly effective and worthwhile in a recent study. Patients with chronic low back pain received a month of level one care until much of their pain was relieved. Half of them then continued with supportive care once every two weeks for the following nine months and they improved even more. The other half, who did not continue with the maintenance care, lost most of the relief they had gained with pain and disability levels returning to near where they started.

Level Three: Wellness Care

                The third level of chiropractic care is what we call wellness care. We offer wellness care to help you be all that you can be, to help you reach optimum health. At this point we adjust your spine not to treat any condition but to insure ideal function of the spine. Then in addition to spinal care we counsel you on nutrition, exercise, and healthy habits that prevent all manner of chronic diseases, improve fitness, and allow your body to perform at its very best. It is at this level that the self healing properties of your body are fully released with a life force that keeps chronic diseases in check.

                Ultimately many of our patients recognize that wellness care is the choice of those who seek to live to their fullest potential with health and vitality well into their old age. If you desire this kind of health, there may be no better place to start than right here with regular chiropractic care.

Dr. Shirine Hegazi is a premier chiropractor in the Northern Virginia area, specializing in sports rehabilitation and alternative health care. Dr. Hegazi takes a scientific approach to accurately diagnose and eliminate the causes of his patients symptoms. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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Should I see a Chiropractor for Back Pain?

Harvard Back Pain

What Harvard Says to Do for Back Pain

                Back before about 1990, Harvard and most of the medical world described chiropractic care as “unconventional” and “alternative” at best. Despite many studies showing chiropractic very effective for many painful back and neck conditions, many still viewed it with skepticism and remnants of that view still persist. But due to the mounting evidence of the effectiveness of Merrifield chiropractic care, in the 1990’s Merrifield chiropractic services were introduced into the Harvard hospital system. Now after a few decades of medical doctors working side by side with chiropractic doctors in their hospital system Harvard Medical School, in stark contrast to earlier times, now endorses chiropractic care as a “complementary” form of care.

                Their medical school has just published a 48 page booklet titled Low-Back Pain: Healing your aching back in which they include a lengthy section on chiropractic. Here are some of the points they make:

                “A 2010 review of 12 different studies involving 2887 people with low-back pain concluded that combined chiropractic care improved short- and medium – term pain more than other treatments, including exercise, physical therapy, and medication.” “People who saw chiropractors also reported being less disabled over the short term (one month) compared with people who received other treatments such as standard medical therapy.”

                “The best candidates for chiropractic manipulation are people who have no sign of nerve impairment” and “for them chiropractic care tends to be satisfying and effective for acute low-back pain”

                “Spinal manipulation has long been used as a therapy for back pain” and “is most often performed by chiropractors.”

                “When treating people with low-back pain, chiropractors commonly also use a variety of other interventions, including massage,  heat and cold therapies, and electrotherapies, as well as advice about nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle choices.”

                This is a strong endorsement for chiropractic care from one of the most respected and scholarly medical organizations in the world. Their new booklet only addresses back pain but chiropractic works with the entire musculoskeletal system and can be effective for a wide variety of painful symptoms as well as for maximizing sports performance and overall health.

Dr. Shirine Hegazi is a premier chiropractor in the Northern Virginia area, specializing in sports rehabilitation and alternative health care. Dr. Hegazi takes a scientific approach to accurately diagnose and eliminate the causes of his patients symptoms. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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Six ways to prevent Cancer

Cancer Picture

Six Ways to Prevent Cancer

1.       Exercise. Even a small amount of exercise can offer substantial protection. Men who exercise just once a week lower prostate cancer risk by 30%. Other studies suggests that the more active you are the lower your risk of colon and breast cancers (the biggest killers after lung cancer). One study showed regular physical activity reduced risk of colon cancer by 25-40% while another showed even a few hours of vigorous activity per week compared to non reduced breast cancers by 30-40%.


2.       Don’t smoke and avoid as much secondhand smoke as possible as well. Smoking causes more than 1 in 4 cancers. Nonsmokers who worked in a smoking workplace had three times the amount of carcinogens in their urine compared to those working in a smoke-free workplace.


3.       Sleep 7 hours a night. A large 2012 study showed that those who sleep about 7 hours a night were less likely to die of cancer and other causes than those who slept either substantially more or less than that. The reasons are unknown but the statistics seem clear enough.


4.       Foods to eat: Add broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage to your diet. This family of veggies contains chemicals that help cells repair DNA, which may help prevent them from becoming cancerous. Eat blue blueberries as they help protect against colon cancers. Drink pomegranate juice as studies show it may inhibit the growth of lung cancer and delay growth of prostate cancers. Seaweed sheets, used to wrap sushi, may protect against skin cancer so try some sushi. Dr. Culveyhouse suggests vegetarian types if you worry about raw fish.


5.       Avoid fat and red meat: A major study of half a million Europeans, focused on 13,000 women and found those who ate the diet highest in saturated fat (over 3.2 ounces a day) were twice as likely to develop breast cancer as those who ate the least (less than 1.4 ounces/day). Saturated fats include full fat dairy products and fatty meats, especially sausage, bacon, and most processed meats. The same study found bowel cancer risk a third higher for those who ate more than two small servings (2.86 ounces each) of red meat or processed meats a day compared to those who ate less than one serving a week. Red meat included beef, pork, lamb, or veal.


6.       Take supplements: Men who took a daily selenium supplement (200mcg) for 4.5 years cut their prostate cancer risk by 49% and if their initial levels were abnormally low the protection was even greater. Women who took 1000IU of vitamin D daily lowered risks of all cancers by 42% compared to those taking a placebo over a four-year study. Vitamin D causes early death of cancer cells. The body makes vitamin D in the sunlight but low light in winter, dark skin, or sunscreens use prevents most people from getting enough so we suggest at least 1000IU a day in supplements.

Dr. Shirine Hegazi is a premier chiropractor in the Northern Virginia area, specializing in sports rehabilitation and alternative health care. Dr. Hegazi takes a scientific approach to accurately diagnose and eliminate the causes of his patients symptoms. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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