By David Martin, RN

Many people seek treatment for varicose veins because they’re self-conscious about the bulges and discoloration that varicose veins cause. Once their damaged veins are closed and/or removed, they notice a number of improvements in the way they look and feel.

Great legsYou’ll Feel Better

When you have your vein disease treated, the heaviness, fatigue, discomfort, swelling, and pain that are often associated with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency will be relieved. Furthermore, the legs are less tired at the end of the day. Simply put, they feel better. When you feel better, you want to do more, so our patients generally work out more and enjoy activities that they were held back from prior to treatment.

Your Circulation Will Improve

Varicose veins are often caused by damaged or weakened valves inside the veins that prevent blood from owing upward as it should. Therefore, once the impacted veins are removed through one of our minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins, your circulation, which is an important part of your overall health, will improve. The blood flow that was moving incorrectly in the major vein, called the greater saphenous vein, will be rerouted to healthier veins in your legs that are working properly.

You’ll Have a Reduced Risk of Serious Venous Issues

When damaged veins are closed and/or removed, you’ll have less chance of developing blood clots that can be serious and potentially fatal if they are in your deep veins. Before doing any vein treatment, we use the latest in ultrasound technology to diagnose underlying vein problems. That means that we’ll be able to pinpoint the exact nature of your vein disease before it gets worse. When vein disease is left untreated, you may develop more varicose and spider veins, swelling in your legs and ankles, skin changes in appearance and texture, and even skin breakdown and ulceration due to the high venous pressure.

No More Compression Stockings

If you’ve been managing your varicose veins by wearing compression stockings, you’ll no longer have to do that. Many primary care doctors may recommend wearing compression garments when any symptoms of vein disease may be present but this is simply conservative therapy and will not cure vein disease. The compression will help the blood ow while the stockings/ socks are on your legs, but when removed, the same problem will persist. However, vein disease treatment has improved dramatically in the last 15 years and now the medical standard is an ablation of the greater saphenous vein to correct the problem.

You Can Dress Appropriately for Our Hot Atlanta Summers

After vein treatment, you’ll no longer have the unsightly varicose veins, bulging and swelling in your legs and ankles that can keep you in long pants when you’re on the golf course, at the beach or going on a walk.

VEININNOVATIONS • (678) 731-9815 • veininnovations.com

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By Karen Foley

What mind/body programs does WHAC offer?

We offer Power Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Inversion/Handstand Class, Ashtanga Yoga, Beginner Yoga, Restorative classes, Yin Yoga and 15-minute guided meditation classes currently. One-on-one yoga sessions are also available for those who want to learn more.

Many of the teachers that work here have been recognized by the yoga community. Jason Anderson, a public figure who has been featured in Yoga Journal and holds retreats all over the world, teaches three classes here a week. Lilian Denise Cox, one of our amazing restorative yoga teachers, has published articles pertaining to yoga and back health. Alyssa Owen, our Power Yoga teacher, was asked to teach in the famous and well- respected, Dirty South Yoga Fest this year.

We also have a beautiful Pilates studio. We offer small group classes and one-on-one sessions. This is a favored department! We have four amazing teachers that have done extensive research and training to give our members the very best experience. We offer mat classes along with Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, and MOTR® classes and one-on-one sessions.

Look out for the Ladder Barrel apparatus coming soon! Also be on the lookout for trigger point therapy class and, starting in September, our advanced Reformer Class on Thursdays. We have many fun events for mind/body throughout the year. Our next event will be Oktober-Pilates-Fest on Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m. Come join us! (Attendees must sign up online ahead of time. Space is limited!)

What benefits can be gained through mind/body fitness?

A healthy body needs both strength and flexibility. Just as bones crave space, muscle craves contraction. Working Pilates and yoga into your weekly routine can give you strength and also allow your bones and joints to thrive. With strength and flexibility comes protection against the breakdown of cartilage and bones, increased blood flow, immunity, lung health, and more. Plus, the release of dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin in the brain, cause you to leave the experience happy and relaxed. This helps to reduce stress, which also benefits overall health and keeps disease down.

Susan Walker, Mind/Body Program Director

Susan Walker, Mind/Body Program Director

Susan Walker, Mind/Body Program Director

Susan has worked in the fitness industry since 2006 and has certifications and continuing education in personal coaching, group exercise, cycling, strength training, water aerobics, Pilates, and yoga. She is certified with Yoga Alliance RYT-200 under Tim Miller of the Ashtanga Yoga Center and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She was a teacher at Kennesaw State University in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education for six years. Her coursework covered wellness and health, functional movement, yoga, and Pilates.

Susan found yoga and Pilates around 11 years ago. She noticed what a profound feeling and sense of calm she received after class. Susan eventually went through yoga and Pilates training and went deeper into her yoga practice. After dealing with a chronic back injury, she went on a quest for answers on anatomy and how to not only do yoga safely but to also make it accessible for everyone. During this time, she worked with some of the most knowledgeable teachers of our time and her back began to heal. This process changed her life. It also changed her approach to teaching. Susan believes that yoga is accessible to all of us and can be a healing modality if we use it in that capacity.

 

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By Grattan Woodson, MD, FACP

It is important to distinguish between natural aging, which is unavoidable, and hormone deficiency due to menopause, which is a compromise natural selection made with humankind to ensure its survival. Aging is simply due to copy errors that accumulate in the DNA during cell replication. This is the cause of the aging process and occurs in all of us. It is what places a cap on our longevity at about 105 years. Gina, pictured here with her baby, Jaya, is the first ape found to have undergone a menopause. This biological process was originally thought to be exclusive to humans. This suggests humans are not as dissimilar from orangutans as first thought.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 11.42.33 AMMenopause developed for an entirely different reason that has nothing to do with longevity or aging. Menopause is much more fundamental because it was needed for the very survival of our species. Menopause as we know it has been with us for millions of years and all of our nonhuman primate buddies go through it too. This includes gorillas, baboons, and chimps.

So how did all of us end up with this really lousy deal? Why is it that women have to suffer the hormone deficiency that accompanies ovarian failure at an average age of 50 when she has another 30 years of life expectancy remaining? Studies show that the loss of these hormones promote numerous chronic diseases including heart disease, dementia, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer to name a few of the major concerns. Why would Mother Nature do that to her innocent children? It makes no sense. These are the questions I struggled with for years until I finally realized that our Mother had to make a terrible choice, one that had short-term benefits but long-term consequences. These consequences are the medical problems mentioned above but they would not manifest until her children lived long enough to experience them. That time is now and today we are confronted with the consequences of the “Great Compromise.”

The question is what is the best and safest way to manage the impact of hormone deficiency on postmenopausal women with what we know? Menopause is something that occurs with age but I argue is not a consequence of aging. Rather it is an intelligent compromise that nature recognized as a survival necessity for our ancient ancestors. Specifically, can you imagine what would happen if women in their 50s and beyond routinely had children?

My goodness, the medical and social complications would be enormous. Our situation today is the same as it was then. It would obviously be a calamity if women did not lose their fertility at midlife. Every woman would have her tubes tied. While we do not wish to reverse the loss of fertility due to menopause, we absolutely do want to remedy the mandatory state of hormone deficiency produced by gonadal failure. Today, we can safely restore a healthy and balanced hormonal environment for postmenopausal women that does not restore fertility or require the return of the menstrual cycle. Who could ask for more? The advantage of nature’s compromise is honored but without women having to pay the terrible price.

At Women’s Optimal Health and Wellness, we offer a suite of services including bioidentical hormones to restore and conserve the health, fitness, and beauty of women around menopause. For more information contact our director, Kim Teasley at 404.574.2373 or visit us at www.FemeRegen.net

Grattan Woodson, MD, FACP • 404-574-2373 • 1418 Dresden Dr., Suite #225 Atlanta, GA

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By Robin L. Dennis, MD

Cervical myofascial pain stems from the muscles and connective tissue, including tendons, ligaments, and joint capsule that support the neck’s underlying structures—vertebrae, intervertebral discs, and facet joints. Commonly referred to as a sprain or strain, muscular neck pain involves tearing or excessive stretching of the muscle’s connective tissue that produces microscopic contusion, hemorrhage, or both. A strain also can be a pulling of the muscle, tendon, ligament or joint capsule, but without tearing.

Neck Pain DiagramWhat is the usual course of treatment for cervical myofascial pain?

Pain relief and decreasing inflammation of the tissues involved is first-line treatment. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and analgesics are prescribed, occasionally along with muscle relaxants. These medications facilitate early mobilization and stretching as well as decrease sleep disturbance due to pain. Physical modalities such as therapeutic massage, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation can increase blood circulation, decrease pain, and facilitate exercise. Cervicothoracic stabilization therapy trains and coordinates muscles of the neck area, shoulder girdle and shoulder blade to limit pain, maximize function and prevent further injury.

Should I wear a soft collar to help with the pain?

Initially, soft collars (orthotics) help to immobilize the neck minimally and reduce the workload of the postural muscles of the neck. However, these should be discontinued after 48 to 72 hours to prevent tightening of soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) and weakening of the neck muscles.

Causes and Symptoms of Neck PainDo I have to go to physical therapy for treatment or can I do this at home?

Many patients are unaware of just how poor their posture is (e.g., sloped shoulders, neck leaning forward, etc.). Because this posture is often the initial cause of their neck pain, it is optimal for a trained, objective practitioner to evaluate each patient’s biomechanics to customize the most effective and appropriate stabilization program. Restoring normal range of motion and good posture is necessary to prevent repeated microtrauma to the neck structures from poor movement patterns. Once the patient has mastered the proper techniques and skills required for their stabilization program, transition to an independent home-based program should continue to help—especially if done daily.

Conclusion

Muscular neck pain is a common problem most of us will experience sometime in our lives, whether from acute accidents or chronic posture problems. But despite its cause, adequate and appropriate treatment with conservative measures can provide long-lasting results.

Resurgens Spine Center • Non-surgical & Surgical Spine Care • 24 Convenient Atlanta Locations • resurgens.com/spine

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By Alpesh D. Patel, MD

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnetic energy to derive images of the body for diagnostic purposes. For many issue indications, this is the ultimate form of imaging of the body. MRI applications are vast but the modality is most commonly used for imaging of the brain, head and neck, spine, and the extremities. It is also excellent for imaging of the abdomen and heart.

Magnets Make a Difference

Many factors go into producing high- quality images and the magnetic field strength of the MRI magnet is one of the most important factors. The quality of
the images produced by MRI is directly proportional to the strength of the magnet. Up to a point, the higher the magnetic field strength, the better the quality of the image, and therefore, the better its diagnostic capability.

Open MRI One of the most common limitations of MRI for the general population has been claustrophobia. Most high-field-strength MRI units are enclosed, which makes many patients feel claustrophobic and makes the unit untenable for certain patients. Also, since most exams take 30 to 40 minutes to complete, the size of the population that was unable to tolerate MRI and not benefit from its outstanding diagnostic capabilities was considerable.

Open MRI units were developed specifically for this large population. However, in the past, these units typically had very low-field-strength. As a result, image quality suffered considerably. Because of the suboptimal diagnostic quality of the images, use of these units fell out of favor. Unfortunately, some of these low- field MRI units are still around.

Cutting out Claustrophobia for Good

Recently, technological advancements have led to the development of high-field open MRI units. These newer units combine a wide, open design to mitigate claustrophobia and simultaneously maintain high-field-strength (and thus maintain the high diagnostic quality of the images). These high-field open units are very well tolerated by most claustrophobic patients and can be used even for patients without claustrophobia, as the image quality is excellent.

Because of the expense of these units, there are very few of them available. It is imperative for patients who can’t tolerate high-field closed MRI units to make sure that they are imaged in a high-field open MRI unit.

When scheduling a MRI, it is important to question the imaging facility in order to be certain that the open unit they will have their imaging in is a high-field open unit.

OutPatient Imaging • 2284 Peachtree Road N.W., Atlanta, GA 30309 • (404) 225-5674 • outpatientimaging.net

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By H. Sooki Hon, MD, PhD

If you remember listening to music on your transistor radio, then this message is for you.

The Hepatitis C (Hep C) virus is a serious health concern for the baby boomer generation, but it isn’t talked about often. People born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely than any other age group to have Hepatitis C. And now, approximately 1 in 30 baby boomers have it.Hep C discussion

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many were infected during a time when infection control standards were not what they are today. As a result, 3 out of 4 people with Hep C are part of the baby boomer generation— and millions don’t even know they’re infected.

People can live with Hep C for years (even decades), feel healthy, and show no symptoms. Plus, it’s not tested for in routine blood work. This makes getting screened for the virus critical.

The CDC recommends all baby boomers get tested. With a simple, one-time blood test, people can know for sure whether they are infected and need to seek treatment.

Hep C is a contagious virus spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. It causes liver inflammation and can range from a short-term illness to a chronic infection attacking the liver.

Hepatits C to-do listApproximately 75% to 85% of people who become infected with the virus develop a serious, lifelong illness. If left untreated, this infection can cause severe liver damage, including cirrhosis and liver cancer—even liver failure. Hep C is one of the leading causes of liver cancer, and the CDC reports that more deaths occur from Hep C each year than from HIV or any other infectious disease.

For those who test positive, there is good news. We are living in a new era of treatment for Hep C. There are a variety of options, including new medications that can eradicate the virus in almost all patients. The physicians at Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates can help patients navigate the latest treatments and strategies.

Talk to your doctor and request getting tested for Hep C.

Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates • AtlantaGastro.com

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By Jill M. Golsen, DMD

If your tongue and cheeks have ever felt like they are stuck to your teeth or your mouth has felt like it is stuffed with cotton, then you know what I am talking about. What you are experiencing is called xerostomia, also known as dry mouth. Other signs include sores in the corner of the mouth, general plaque, dry nasal passages, bad breath, being thirsty, and trouble swallowing.

Xerostomia Dr. GolsenWhat Can Cause Dry Mouth?

Medications: chances are, if you are taking any medication, from antihistamines to antidepressants, you can experience dry mouth. Look at the label for side effects and see if dry mouth or xerostomia is listed.

Smoking: nicotine dries the tissue inside the mouth and dehydrates it. Don’t smoke or “dip.”

Disease: Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cancer treatments and more can cause dry mouth.

Why is Dry Mouth a Bad Thing?

We need our saliva to flow like a river through our teeth, over our cheeks and gums to lubricate the tissue, digest our food, and control the bacterial and fungal population.

When the flow is slowed, the first thing we encounter is an overgrowth of the bacteria that can cause everything to spiral downhill. Once the more than 200 types of bad bacteria take hold to the sticky plaque in your mouth, the bacteria go to town by eating enamel, poisoning your gum tissue, and causing decay and bleeding red gums. All of this leads to dental decay and periodontal disease if left alone.

When we see a patient with dry mouth symptoms, they usually don’t recognize what has caused this problem. If we can’t identify a medication they might be taking that could be the cause, we look for a disease that might be creeping up on them.

If it’s a medication, the patient needs to limit sugary drinks, simple carbs, and stick to water to hydrate their mouth while taking that medication. Sometimes another medication can be substituted—ask your doctor or pharmacist. There are some over-the-counter mouthwashes and lozenges available for rehydration for the chronic issues caused by a disease.

Jill Golsen

The Final Word 

If you are experiencing dry mouth (xerostomia), see a dentist and make sure your gums and teeth are not experiencing the bad effects of it! Decay and gum disease are expensive to treat and if you can catch this early, we can prevent bad things from happening.

Golsen Family Dentistry • Jill M. Golsen, DMD • (770) 667-0669 • GolsenDental.com

 

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Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 4.51.38 PMGluten-free, paleo, vegan or just plain hungry? There’s something for you at the new health-focused restaurant Flower Child. At this airy and bright eatery, you can build your own plate with fresh produce and all-natural proteins or select simple dishes such as the Vegan Ingredient salad with cauliflower, avocado, and lemon tahini vinaigrette.

Details: 3400 Around Lenox Dr., Atlanta; IAmAFlowerChild.com

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Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 4.46.22 PMCelebrate Labor Day weekend at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival. Returning Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, highlights on the adult stages include fan favorite Karin Slaughter and her suspense novel “Pieces of Her” and Atlanta-based

James Beard Award-nominated chef Todd Richards discussing “SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes.” Plus, don’t miss the keynote speaker, internationally-acclaimed director and stage, film and television actor, Kenny Leon.

Details: DecaturBookFestival.com

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Sarah Diller's PhotographsPampering isn’t just for the ladies anymore. Today, it’s not uncommon for a handsome man to have snagged the last waxing appointment for the
day at your go-to salon. More men are making grooming a priority and I believe I speak for the majority of women when I say, “We approve!”

In our annual Men’s Issue, we take a look
at the latest grooming and aesthetic trends among males. From the smartly styled haircut to careful facial enhancements, “Man, You’re Looking Good!” gives you a peek inside the world of aesthetics from this growing phenomenon. Salon owners, top plastic surgeons, and more weigh in on what’s hot and what’s not (p.51).

A large part of looking good on the outside is feeling good on the inside, which isn’t always easy. From tackling Mount Everest to using each minute to prioritize their fitness goals, ve Atlanta men share how they maintain active and healthy lifestyles. Take a page from their book (p.43) when it comes to balancing the responsibilities of career and family, not to mention, the temptation to skip workouts and abandon diets.

Speaking of food, you’ll be ready to devour the nutritious recipes we share in “Lunches to Love.” If you’re in a lunch rut, these creative dishes will add some much-needed flavor and variety to your midday meal. We didn’t forget about the kids either! They won’t even realize they are eating vegetables as they dig into the brightly colored beet hummus or take a produce-packed turkey an cheese wrap to school with them.

We conclude this issue with a My Best Self Q&A with Sean Palani. This foodie founded an inclusive men’s dining group that explores Atlanta’s culinary scene while giving back to local organizations.

If you’re in need of inspiration on how you can make a difference in the community, be sure to explore our Best Cause and Give-Back Guide sections in every issue.

Happy reading,

Alex McCray

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