By Cynthia S. Rudert, MD, FACP

Through closer attention to your medications and diet, you can enhance your digestion and avoid common digestive complaints.yogurt

The Good

Ninety percent of the cells responsible for our immune system are found in the digestive system. Our immune system is enhanced by the presence of good bacteria, which should number in the trillions. When we’re in balance, our bodies contain approximately 10 times more bacteria than our own body cells.

The Bad

When these organisms are not in balance (dysbiosis), this may result in a commonly missed condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Bacterial overgrowth can result from antibiotic therapy and may also be found in people with lactose intolerance, celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and decreased gastric acid production. Unfortunately, symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth such as gas, bloating and loose stools are easily confused with irritable bowel syndrome.

The Solution

Evaluate your medications. Many medications have gastrointestinal side effects like constipation to diarrhea or fecal incontinence, and virtually all antibiotics can negatively affect normal bacterial balance. In addition to taking stock of medicinal influences, people should examine their diets. Patients should avoid high fructose corn syrup, which can aggravate bacterial overgrowth. To restore that balance naturally, nothing beats yogurts and other fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles, all of which contain a variety of good bacteria.

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Dr. Anna Paré from Dermatology Consultants, PC is here to answer a reader’s question about the new FDA approval for Botox.

dr anna pare

Q: I recently heard about a new FDA approval for Botox. How is it different than others?

A: In addition to FDA approval for treating frown lines, Botox Cosmetic is now FDA-approved for the treatment of “crow’s feet.” The appearance of crow’s feet is the number one are of concern in women for wrinkles. The average woman spends over $500 a year on products trying to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet. Botox Cosmetic provides quick results that eliminate wrinkles within five to seven days of treatment.

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Dr. Anthony C. Carantzas from Resurgens Orthopaedics answers a reader’s question about her soccer playing daughter’s ACL.

Dr Anthony Carantzas

Q: My teenage daughter has taken an interest in soccer, but I’m concerned about her tearing her ACL. Is there anything she can do to prevent this?

A: Injuries to the anterior ligament (ACL) in the knee are common in soccer players. Females actually have a slightly higher risk of tearing their ACL than males. While no one can prevent an ACL tear entirely, important things to do to minimize injury are to keep the quadriceps and hamstring muscles strong, avoid landing knock-kneed (knees pointing inward) and stop playing when your muscles are feeling fatigued. Bracing has not been shown to prevent ACL injuries and is therefore not routinely recommended for prevention.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email them to

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Guest blogger Alexa Lampasona, from the blog Active Tasty Life, ( gives us an inside look into her interview with Irene Lewis-McCormick about why women need to be building their strength. 

“We’ve worked so many years to challenge the fear that strength training is bad for women, yet the myth still exists. Women believe they have to be rail thin. They think that by lifting a load more than ten pounds will make them look bigger, but research has shown that is not the case.”

-Irene Lewis-McCormick, certified NSCA-CSCS, ACE, AFAA, YogaFit, Pilates and AEA

Irene Lewis-McCormick

We’ve seen it before- men with muscles bulging out their cut-off shirts, sweat glistening off their shoulders, rows of intimidating dumbells lining the wall- and why do the fluorescents seem to be dim and uninviting? The weight room is often dominated by Y chromosomes and bulky muscles, causing women to avoid the area and head straight for the cardio machines.

But strength training is highly beneficial to women, leading to increased muscular strength and endurance, stronger bones, definition, and leaner fat-free body mass. We talked with Lewis-McCormick about her book, “A Women’s Guide to Muscle and Strength” to get her opinion on the importance of incorporating strength training into a woman’s daily fitness regime.

In your book, you talk about women that appear to be thin but are actually “skinny fat.” What makes this unhealthy?

Depending on a woman’s genetic make-up, she can remain thin until her mid-30s.
But if she doesn’t exercise, she tends to have lower levels of lean mass and higher body fat percentages, even if she looks skinny. Lean mass is more important for your health- it is your muscles, bones, connective tissue and organs.

So why are you not an advocate of the scale?

It gives women the wrong message. Research shows that the quality of tissue, for example having more muscle content, is more important than the size of a person.

As women age, what kinds of consequences can inactivity cause?

Fast-twitch muscles decrease over age. If you are always doing the same slow-twitch cardio daily, such as the elliptical, then you never address fast-twitch muscle fibers. Your body adapts over time and you will have to work harder and longer to get the same results.

How is resistance training different?

Weight-bearing aerobic exercise will help with bone formation, making it beneficial for aging women. You can manipulate you muscle fibers based on the type of training you do. And yes, it is possible to do an anaerobic strength workout that will make you breathless.

What kind of weekly workout regime would you prescribe to women looking to incorporate this strength workout?

You can’t go 100 percent in every workout, but you can work out every day of the week if you combine different stimuli. Focus on two high-intensity workouts, like HIIT (high intensity interval training), then do cardio two to three days a week, and once a week do a mind/body discipline like yoga or pilates. This will connect strength with flexibility and range of motion.

What muscles do you believe are most important for women to strengthen?

Women usually focus on chest and quads, because that is what they see in the mirror, but I suggest women do lats and glutes because that has more influence on overall body strength.

What about women who are worried about being bulky and big?

You have to have the genetics to become “big,” and if that is the case, then you focus on other parts of the body to become balanced. For instance, if you get big thighs, do upper body weights.

If you had to choose a favorite workout, what would it be?

I love suspension training, like TRX. You manipulate the intensity based on what you want. By changing loads, it keeps your body fresh.

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Lavender Beauty Bar’s Meia Walton is here to give you her best advice about makeup trends for the summer.

Meia walton

What element of makeup application should people pay extra attention to for summer?

I’ve noticed that we’re neglecting to moisturize or exfoliate year round. Those are key to healthy skin and glow for our makeup regimen.

If someone is looking to revamp her makeup, where can she start?

Change your current habits. Go for a tinted moisturizer, nude lip shades and sexy lashes. Very basic, but it can change your look dramatically.

What should someone avoid overdoing?

Stop caking makeup on. Natural looks are so much more appealing.

What do you do personally to get ready for summer?

I start with a body scrub. Next, Nars Body Glow multipurpose body oil is my secret weapon for my bronze look. My favorite glam touch is my link lashes.

What are the must-have summer products?

Rodial Bee Venom moisturizer, Nars blush and bronzing powder, Elf lip exfoliator, Clarisonic Deep Pore Brush and MAC Well Loved Lipstick.

What makeup colors will be hot for this summer?

“Natural beauties” are totally in. Pastel eye shadows, nude skin and lips are perfect on any woman.

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Play racecar driver for a day at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. On May 23 and 24, drive a real NASCAR racecar for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, exotic drivingor wait until June 13 through 15 for the Exotic Driving Experience. Take your pick from Ferraris, Lamborghinis or a Porsche that you can drive for six luxury laps around the racetrack. If the passenger seat is more your speed, sign up for their thrill rides with a professional driver. Prices vary depending on which drive you choose.

Details: 1500 Highway 19 and 41, Hampton, GA,

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Dr. Taz Bhatia from Atlanta Center for Holistic Medicine answers a reader’s question about multivitamins.

Dr Taz Bhatia

Q: Do I need a multivitamin?

A: I am often asked by my patients if they need to take a multivitamin. I am not a huge believer in multivitamins, as I feel that the absorption of all those micronutrients is often ineffective. Instead, I believe supplementation should be targeted and individualized to meet specific health conditions, rather than sporadic or excessive.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email them to 

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Bloomingdale’s Sheila Frey is here to give you her best advice on how to get your closet ready for summer. Sheila Frey

What fashion statements should people pay extra attention to for summer? 

Since your skin will be more exposed during the summer, get your feet in condition for wearing pretty sandals by breaking out the exfoliating scrubs, moisturizers and sunscreen.

If someone is looking to revamp her wardrobe, where can she start?

Try a new bra that fits right. It can give you the results of plastic surgery but with a lot less pain.

What do you do personally to get ready for summer?

I buy a pair of new white jeans, and I purchase a new trend of the season – this year it will be palazzo pants.

What is the must-have summer accessory?

Trade those skinny pants for a flowy silhouette that can be paired with a tee or dresses up with a sequin tank or silk halter top. A panama hat is also a sassy and functional look to try.

What wardrobe colors will be hot this summer?

According to Pantone, the official colors are placid blue, violet tulip, paloma, hemlock, sand, freesia, cayenne, celosia orange, dazzling blue and radiant orchid. Mix and match these colors and throw in a few floral patterns to create an interesting summer palette.


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The scoop on what’s new around Atlanta. 

Everyday Heroes 


Put on your running shoes and best superhero costume and join in the fun at Strong4Life Superhero Sprint on June 7 at Piedmont Park. This annual event benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life movement, dedicated to reversing the epidemic of childhood obesity. Enjoy a 5K and one-mile fun run, costume contest and more.


Get Pampered at the Atlanta Women’s Expo 

Atlanta Women's Expo

If you’re like most women, it’s far past time for a pampering session. Plan to attend the Atlanta Women’s Expo on June 7 and 8. This two-day event includes shopping, delicious food, fashion shows, free health screenings, cooking demonstrations and even relaxing facials. You can stroll through 275 exhibits at the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMArt along with thousands of other attendees looking for tips and products to help them look and feel their best.


Best Pet Selfie Photo Contest 

Best Pet Selfie

We let them sleep in our beds. We feed them healthy food. We dress them up and show them off to friends and family. No, they’re not our kids – they’re our pets! It’s time to show your four-legged babies some extra love this month in our Best Pet Selfie contest. Between May 15 and June 1, snap a selfie with your pet and email it to or upload it to our website. Then from June 16 to June 30, vote on Facebook for the cutest pets. The top three winners (determined by votes on Facebook) will receive up to $500 for their pet-related charity, plus a prize package to pamper their pets. The contest will end with a pet-friendly party on the deck at Nancy G’s Café.


Summer Reading 

The One and Only

While the kids study the classics, give yourself a literary treat this summer by reading Emily Giffin’s new book. On May 20, Atlanta’s own New York Times bestselling author of “Something Borrowed” and “Something Blue” releases her newest work, “The One and Only.” Protagonist Shea Rigsby is forced to reexamine her life choices when an unexpected tragedy comes up in her tight-knit community of Walker, Texas.







Band Together at Race for the Cure


On May 10, join 14,000 Atlantans at Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta‘s Race for the Cure. This year, the race starts from Lenox Mall and welcomes survivors and supporters of all ages and fitness levels. Wear a tutu as part of Komen’s Do You Tutu? campaign, and be sure to add a neon pink headband to your race day outfit. The “Band Together” campaign will kick off at the race and will encourage hundreds to band together in the fight against breast cancer. The six-month initiative will end in October with proceeds benefiting Komen Atlanta. Sponsors include Best Self Atlanta, Kaiser Permanente, Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa, Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine and Vein Clinics or America. Follow us on Facebook to learn how you can get your pink headband and give back.





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Jessica Shops Pick of the Month 

On a recent visit to Barnsley Resort, I had the opportunity to try sporting clays with a group of my girlfriends. We agreed that this sport is easier than it looks, as well as fun and challenging. Jessica Shops Not to mention it’s the perfect opportunity to wear camp skinny jeans.

Sporting clays is a form of clay pigeon shooting, often called “golf with a shotgun” because it is played over a course of 10 to 15 different shooting stations laid out over natural terrain.

SpringBank Sporting Club, in conjunction with Barnsley Resort, has a 12-station course with a diverse layout of shots. Personal instruction is available and if you really love it, annual memberships can be purchased.



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