Conditions We Treat

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OBESITY AND WEIGHT GAIN

What is "obesity" and how is it measured?  Obesity is defined as an unhealthy weight, typically determined by measuring your Body Mass Index (BMI).  If your BMI is over 30, you are - by definition - considered obese.  However, this is not the best method of testing to see if one is at an unhealthy weight.  At TMC, we utilize biometric scales that measure estimated body fat, visceral fat (aka "belly fat"), and muscle percentage, in addition to waist measurements.  As you proceed through our program, we track your progress via these tools.

Our Approach:  We utilize personalized education and the latest scientific research to help you achieve a healthy weight.  We prefer to use "nutrition" when referring to food intake, rather than "diet".  Why?  Diet has many meanings in our society, and is typically associated with a "quick fix" that is temporary, and results are typically not able to be maintained when returning to previous dietary habits.  We:

  • will NOT promise a "quick fix"
  • are NOT going to put every individual on the same nutrition plan
  • are NOT going to make you spend hours in the kitchen every day  
  • WILL encourage and highly recommend fruits and vegetables 
  • WILL recommend cutting out "man-made" food (i.e. food that lacks nutrients), such as junk food, fast food, and liquid sugar
  • may utilize metabolic testing to evaluate how fast/slow your metabolism is (only available at the Austin location; contact our Austin location for a free test and consultation!)

Click here for a link to our blog post on hidden causes of obesity and weight gain.

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TYPE 2 DIABETES

What is Type 2 Diabetes?  Type 2 Diabetes is a medical condition in which high blood sugar levels prevent the body from using insulin properly, leading to a build up of sugar in the body.  As sugar builds up, nerve damage occurs (often in the form of pain/numbness in the feet), the risk of heart and blood vessel damage increases 3-fold (including heart attacks and stroke), the immune system is compromised (leading to infections necessitating amputations), and even the brain is affected (research suggests that Alzheimer's disease may be "Type 3 Diabetes"). 

Statistics about Type 2 Diabetes: With more than 29 million Americans—that’s almost 10% of the population of the U.S.—afflicted by type 2 diabetes, chances are you or someone you know is affected by the disease.  In fact, if you have a family member with this disease, you have a higher risk of developing it.   And if you are Hispanic, Asian, or have African ancestry, your risk is even higher!

Cost of Type 2 Diabetes: People with diagnosed diabetes incur medical expenses of about $13,700 per year—more than twice what healthy non-diabetics would. And more than half of these costs are from prescription medications!  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by 2050, 1 in every 3 Americans will have type 2 diabetes.

Our Approach:  At TMC, we treat diabetes aggressively - with a combination of prescription medications, nutraceuticals, and lifestyle intervention.  Anyone with Type 2 Diabetes is starch and sugar intolerant - meaning the body cannot metabolize a large load of sugars and starches.  With this fact in mind, we know that over 80% of diabetes improvement and/or reversal is dependent on lifestyle choices.  Research is showing us that starting in the prediabetic state, the cells that produce insulin (the "sugar-regulating" hormone) start to decay, and once these cells are gone, the body can no longer produce insulin (which leads to the need for insulin injections).  By the time someone is diagnosed with diabetes, 50% of the the cells are affected by this process.  If a patient is motivated to save the remaining cells, we are on their side and have the tools to help!  

Check out these two articles on insulin resistance (which affects all diabetics), and on functional medicine's approach to treating diabetes.

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PREDIABETES

What is prediabetes?  Prediabetes is the clinical name assigned to the period of time—usually anywhere from 1 to 10 years—during which your body’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes.  This process is usually preceded by a condition known as “insulin resistance," which is characterized by high levels of insulin (not often looked at during routine blood tests) and weight gain. Unfortunately, prediabetes is not considered a disease, so it is often not addressed until it progresses to type 2 diabetes.

Why should we worry about prediabetes?  What makes prediabetes so dangerous is that irreversible damage can be occurring within the body, and usually without noticeable symptoms.  In fact, the pancreas (which produces insulin), may lose 50% of its function during this time (i.e. 50% of the cells that produce insulin die).  It is estimated that there are more than 86 million Americans with prediabetes. That’s one out of every three people in this country. Prediabetes can be halted in its tracks, and often reversed. But without intervention, prediabetes is likely to become type 2 diabetes.

Our Approach: Just as with diabetes treatment, we treat prediabetes aggressively through the use of prescription medications, nutraceuticals, and lifestyle interventions.  Anyone with prediabetes is starch and sugar intolerant - meaning the body cannot metabolize a large load of sugars and starches.  Part of this is due to our genetic makeup, but our genes do not need to predict our future health.  Environment (including lifestyle habits) will turn on or off certain genes - if your family members had diabetes, it does not mean that you are predestined to have diabetes.  With the right guidance, we can help you prolong the onset of diabetes and often times we are able to prevent diabetes from even occurring!  Research is showing us that starting in the prediabetic state, the cells that produce insulin (the "sugar-regulating" hormone) start to decay, and once these cells are gone, the body can no longer produce insulin (which leads to the need for insulin injections).  By the time someone is diagnosed with diabetes, 50% of the the cells are affected by this process.  If a patient is motivated to save the remaining cells, we are on their side and have the tools to help! 

Check out this article on why you should be concerned if you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with "borderline diabetes" or prediabetes.

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THYROID DISORDER

What is the thyroid gland?  The thyroid gland—a butterfly-shaped organ, located along the front of your neck—helps to regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance. 

What are the most common symptoms associated with thyroid gland dysfunction?  The most common type of thyroid disorder is called "hypothyroidisim", meaning that the gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.  There are over 300 symptoms associated with thyroid hormone imbalances, but the most common symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid gland include weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, muscle weakness, "brain fog", infertility, and troubles with sleep.  

What causes thyroid gland dysfunction?  There are a lot of hypotheses as to the cause of thyroid disorders.  In our practice, we know for sure that lifestyle choices play a significant role, especially stress and nutrition.  We also know that women are particularly susceptible to thyroid disorder, particularly any women over the age of 35.  A few theories on this focus on estrogen's role and on the chemicals we are exposed to (particularly in what women put on their skin/hair, since 80% of what is applied to the body is absorbed by the body). 

Our Approach:  In our complimentary screening testing, we look for a potential problem with the thyroid by measuring the amount of TSH in your blood.  However, this will only tell us part of the story of what may be causing your symptoms.  For the most accurate assessment, we look for nutrient imbalances, inflammation, other hormones that may be affecting thyroid health, the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, in addition to looking for auto-antibodies to your thyroid hormones.  Auto-antibodies are akin to the body creating "soldiers" that mistakenly identify your thyroid molecules as an "invaders".  Their exact role is not known, but we do know that it is estimated that these "soldiers" appear often times 10, even 15 years, before we see changes in thyroid hormone production.   

Once we know your symptoms and your lab numbers, we start optimizing health by working on the lab results (nutrients are part of the "ingredients" needed to make hormones in the body - if there is an imbalance in these, there will be an imbalance in hormone production).  Part of our work also involves looking for other "hidden" triggers that may be affecting your thyroid.  For example, you may be making enough thyroid hormones, but the body may not be using them (due to a variety of causes, including chronic inflammation, chronic stress, and digestive disorders). 

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MENOPAUSE

Menopause, the “winding down” of the reproductive system is a natural biological process that every women will experience at some point in her life. Each year, more than 2 million women in the United States will reach menopause—that’s more than 6,000 new cases per day. 

Common menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, memory problems, depression, mood swings and more. Osteoporosis has also been closely linked to the onset of menopause. Although menopause is a naturally-occurring event in the female body, age of onset and severity of symptoms can vary dramatically between women.

Fortunately, menopause does not have to be an experience that diminishes your quality-of-life. Texas Metabolic Centers offers a number of tools and treatment processes—including estrogen replacement therapy—designed to ease symptoms and help women transition into this stage of their life.

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FATIGUE AND FIBROMYALGIA

What is fatigue?  Unrelenting fatigue (UF) is a complex condition involving multi-system disturbances and abnormalities. As its name implies, the most common symptom of UF is a feeling of being “run down” or not being able to keep up with basic daily demands. The condition is frequently misdiagnosed or missed altogether by physicians.

Symptoms that often accompany fatigue: Ancillary symptoms of UF include a weakened immune system, depression, muscle and bone weakness, hormonal imbalances, skin problems, low sex drive, menopausal symptoms, trouble waking in the morning and problems with memory.

What is fibromyalgia?  Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by an energy crisis in the body - the body spends more energy than it is making.  Hallmarks of this condition include generalized pain, insomnia, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and feelings of being overwhelmed/overstimulated.  There is no lab test that can detect this condition, so it is often diagnosed based on symptoms.  Recent research has shown that almost 60% of people with fibromyalgia are misdiagnosed, and often the underlying cause is not due to a problem with the central nervous system but rather an issue stemming from thyroid imbalances, digestive infections/imbalances, and neurotransmitter imbalances (often due to inadequate nutrient intake).  

Our Approach:  At TMC, we know that 80% of people who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia and/or fatigue have a cause to their lack of energy.  We look at lifestyle habits (nutrition, level of activity, sleep quality/quantity), hormones via labwork, identify potential health "triggers" that may be influencing your energy, and utilize nutraceuticals as indicated.  Often with these tools alone, we are able to dramatically improve energy levels.  

 

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