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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We are proud to sponsor these important give-back initiatives.

Publisher Sherri Adair

Publisher Sherri Adair

10th Annual Blue Ties Luncheon

This event on Sept. 7 benefits ProstAware,
an important Georgia organization focused
on educating men and their loved ones about prostate cancer. David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Tickets are $100. ProstAware.org

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 4.37.51 PMLittle Hands … big LOVEFEST!

Presented by Children Helping Children, this free
philanthropic family festival on Oct. 21 brings together youth from the Atlanta area to assemble service projects. There is no better gift we can give our children than teaching them kindness and to be of service to others. To make this free fest possible for all to enjoy, join us on Sept. 8 for Cocktails in the Clouds. One-hundred percent of your $150 ticket makes LOVEFEST! 2018 possible. CocktailsInTheClouds.com

Betting on a Cure

This casino night fundraiser on Oct. 27 at the Capital City Club in Brookhaven benefits The Eric R. Beverly Family Foundation. The foundation provides support to lower income BOAC+Logo-products+copybreast cancer patients by removing financial barriers along the way—from the beginning to the successful completion of their treatment. Tickets are $150. BeverlyFamilyFoundation.org

Remember, one of the best ways you can give back doesn’t cost a dime. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities that only cost your time. Check them out on BestSelfAtlanta.com.

Sherri's Signature

Sherri's Signature

 

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Arby’s Foundation raises over $400,000 for Atlanta nonprofits with a throwback night of music featuring the band Smash Mouth and singer Alex Guthrie

Alex Guthrie opens for Smash Mouth at the Dream Big Atlanta event

Alex Guthrie opens for Smash Mouth at the Dream Big Atlanta event

What do you get when you combine the musical prowess of pop-rock band Smash Mouth and local folk-pop star Alex Guthrie? A powerhouse event at the Coca-Cola Roxy that makes raising funds for a good cause even more entertaining.

Stuart Brown

Stuart Brown, executive director of the Arby’s Foundation

The Dream Big Atlanta event kicked off July 17 with its purpose in mind, featuring an onstage presentation of donations from the Arby’s Foundation to local nonprofits, Horizons Atlanta and Enduring Hearts, and a scholarship grant to Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School student Nala Bishop.

“At Arby’s, we believe every child deserves to dream big,” says Stuart Brown, executive director of the Arby’s Foundation. “In Atlanta, we work with organizations like the Atlanta Community Food Bank to make sure kids get the food they need to fuel their dreams, Horizons Atlanta to help kids have the experiences necessary to expand their dreams, and 100,000 Opportunities to help kids get the opportunity needed to pursue their dreams.”

After the presentation, the venue filled with the soulful sounds of East Cobb resident Alex Guthrie. The smooth crooner was stoked to be a part of the event playing for his second time at the Coca-Cola Roxy, previously opening for Kelly Clarkson. “I’m super thrilled to be a part of this evening. It ties in really well with what I have been doing with the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta. I’ve had the privilege of working with their Notes for Notes program that provides musical teaching and recording for kids in downtown Atlanta as well as other places.”

Alex Guthrie belts out favorites like Colorado and Movin' On

Alex Guthrie belts out fan favorites like “Colorado” and “Movin’ On”

Reunited for the first time in decades, Smash Mouth proved that they aren’t stuck in the early 2000s. The band followed Guthrie’s performance with a set of fresh tracks from their upcoming EP. After playing songs new and old that got the crowd moving, the group closed with their smash hit “All Star.”

Looking back on the evening, Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell says, “The energy at Dream Big Atlanta was contagious. You could tell that everyone felt good knowing they were giving back. Music is a powerful way to bring people together, and we’re grateful to the Arby’s Foundation for inviting us to headline this event.”

Smash Mouth gets the crowd moving and shaking

Smash Mouth gets the crowd moving and shaking

Along with the musical acts, the night to remember also included a silent auction with everything from a signed Chipper Jones baseball to tickets to a private performance by Alex Guthrie. Between the proceeds from the silent auction and ticket sales, the third annual event raised over $400,000 dollars for efforts to end childhood hunger and promote youth leadership and career readiness initiatives.

Details: ArbysFoundation.org, AlexGuthrieMusic.com, SmashMouth.com

Photography by: Frank Gibson Photography

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