Sometimes I Feel Like I Can Fly! | Elaine Gibson

Va_Woman_Magazine_July_Aug_2016_Page_30 One of my dear friends gave me a wall hanging for my birthday that says “I am fairly certain that given a cape and a tiara, I can save the world.” Somedays I believe this is true.

Interestingly, I have learned that I am in total control of feeling this way.

I have stumbled on to a high alkaline, high raw lifestyle. The changes that flow to me and through me continue to be extraordinary…even magical.

Today I am a living testimonial for this lifestyle. When cancer struck my life for the second time I knew something had to change. The change had to come from within me and in the choices I was making. Soon, I discovered there were two steps crucial to my survival that I needed to take.

Step 1: Remove Interference

First of all, I had to remove the interference that was preventing me from being well. What do I mean by interference? What is the one thing we all do every day, at least three times a day?

That’s right, we all eat!

Unfortunately, the choices we make usually include:

  • Processed foods
  • White flour
  • Cooked food


Or to put it in simpler, more precise terms, dead food!

The simple act of eliminating these foods leads to a healthy and strong immune system. The body knows what to do when we allow it to do so.

Step 2: Facilitate Healing

The second step was to supply the body with what it needed to facilitate healing. Live food was the facilitator.

To function properly, every cell in your body needs an alkaline and oxygen-rich environment. This is the bottom line. If there were another way to achieve this one simple goal I would be the first one on the bandwagon, but I am here because raw food, live food, begets live cells and a living, healthy body!

You cannot find health in a bottle but you can find it in raw foods.

It all begins with diet and leads you to who you can become.

Va_Woman_Magazine_July_Aug_2016_Page_31Why Raw?

When you are seeking to look and feel extraordinary, “Why raw” is the right question to ask. These answers will set you on the path to renewed living with vitality and youthfulness.

How will a raw food lifestyle benefit you specifically? The same way it has benefited me and thousands of others. Raw food is living food; offering the life force we are all looking for. The digestion of raw food only requires a small amount of energy (20%) compared to the 80% cooked and processed food requires. This leaves the body rested and able to heal and maintain a strong immune system.

Raw food will bring you:

  • A nourished and satisfied body
  • The ability to attain and maintain a healthy weight
  • Bright eyes, glowing skin
  • More energy and a good night’s sleep

Before you roll your eyes, it is important to understand that high raw may be about 40% right now. That would be a fabulous step forward.

Enhancing your lifestyle leads to enhancing your family, business, the people you serve and the planet too. It lights you up from the inside to share your gifts with others, for the greater good. (Now I am definitely wearing my cape and tiara).

By Elaine Gibson

Optimum Health At Every Age | Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

The health system has changed considerably over the past two years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has allowed more people to obtain health insurance, albeit at the expense of higher deductibles. I dare to say most people may frown when hearing about the Affordable Care Act, but there have been some small perks for most insured patients; no copay for annual visits, free contraception, and most importantly, an affordable plan and increased access to health care. This change has impacted all medical practices that do not provide concierge services or have a large percentage of insured patients, leading into a large revenue loss for many practices. In some instances, this loss of revenue may cause scheduling adjustments, closure of practices, personnel
changes, as well as outsourcing of tasks. More work needs to be done at a higher level with the insurance companies, but that is a discussion for another day.

Review the following list of routine services that are performed based on your age and then call your health care provider to schedule an appointment. Remember that your personal medical history and family history are helpful when deciding on appropriate tests and immunizations are recommended based on age and possible risk of exposure.


By Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

Woman to Woman: Let’s Talk Teens & STDs | Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

LoudounMayJune2016HighResNoBleeds_Page_12The inspiration for my articles comes from not only my patients, but also reviewing the health awareness calendar and perusing what health issue will be highlighted during the upcoming months. I find myself wondering who chooses what topic, why this month, why these days and why not this topic? Some months are jam-packed with awareness and some months only acknowledge a few awareness topics during the month – although there a many more days in the month with no awareness.

This May and June, the calendar is booked solid with awareness activities – so many I found it hard to make a selection. Are we more aware or open to issues in the Spring, is there less clutter in our lives or do we lose some of the awareness because we have too much going on in our lives? I chose to discuss two topics that we don’t discuss openly but still go hand in hand. April was Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month. How many of you knew that?

Probably, not many because you are not worried about that ever happening to you or maybe just don’t even care. Regardless, I’m sharing a few statistics with you:
• Half of all people will have an STD/STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) at some point in their life;
• There are 19.7 million STD/STIs each year! 1:4 teens will contract a STD
• Only 1/3 of physicians routinely test for STDs
• Not all STDs are reported therefore the numbers are higher. 15% of women who are infertile have tubal damage from having had an extensive pelvic infection.

How many STDs do you know about? If we took a poll the list would be different depending on the generation you asked. Even though we don’t hear about them, doesn’t mean they have been eradicated and don’t infect people anymore. Let’s test your knowledge:

• Gonorrhea
• Syphilis
• Chlamydia
• Hepatitis B
• Crabs
• Herpes
• HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
• Trichomonas

LoudounMayJune2016HighResNoBleeds_Page_13The symptoms for these infections vary and in some instances are nonexistent. The result of these infections can be life altering and devastating. Sexually transmitted infections commonly affect ages 15-35 but it is not uncommon to find these infections in our nursing homes as well. Yeah, they still are “doing it” at that age and more so without fear and therefore no use of condoms or protection. Someone you know had one, has one or doesn’t even know they have one. How many ladies have been told that their pap smear came back ok except that it showed the presence
of a virus called HPV? This STD is on the rise as compared to others. It may not be one of those other “bad” ones on the list, but did you know that there are over 100 different strains of this virus and that more than 10 of them have been linked to cervical cancer. This STD/STI is one of those quiet ones that can sneak up on you with no warning No bells or whistles or should I say drips, discharges or bumps to let you know its time for me to see my healthcare provider. A pap smear screens for cervical cancer and although dreaded by most women, this quick and simple test saves lives.

Although the treatment in most cases is very simple and may only require antibiotics; prevention of STDs/STIs is the key. How do we prevent STDs/STIs: dare I say abstinence and risk being stoned? Since that’s not an acceptable option for many, use of a condom or barrier methods of contraception would prove to be useful. Use of condoms is not 100% since the spread of infection can be via sexual, oral or other intimate contact. The use of condoms and barrier methods have proven effective in decreasing the acquisition and spreading of STIs.

The non-use of condoms not only leads to infection but pregnancy as well. May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Awareness Month. Here are a few statistics:
• US has the highest teen pregnancy rate
• In 2012 86,000 teens ages 15-17 gave birth
• 77% of teen pregnancies are unplanned 30% end in abortion
• Interesting statistic: 82% of teens felt that teens should not have sex.

Both of these topics require some consideration and education and prevention is the key. Teen pregnancy makes us aware of so much inadequacy with regards to our teen population. Have we failed them with education regarding prevention, complications, abstinence, or contraception? Surely with statistics like that, they don’t know enough to protect themselves from disease or pregnancy.

Loudoun and surrounding counties are plagued with, dare I say, sex trafficking which makes awareness more paramount. One person sleeps with this person unprotected who has sexual relations with that person and who has sexual relations with the next one. Women you can’t judge a book by its cover or in this case no cover.

Here’s my advice, use condoms, get tested, require your partner get tested before engaging in any activities. Many of us have teenage kids or know teenage kids; look out for signs of possible sexual activity, educate them about engaging in early sex, talk to your healthcare provider for more information. Also let’s make sure our education system provides the education needed for our young kids. For those who feel if you offer info on contraception you are encouraging them to do it, remember knowledge gives us power. We may not always exert that power but no awareness leaves us vulnerable to so much more.

Don’t let our kids know more than we do. Start the conversation, listen and be proactive. Let them know if they don’t feel free to talk to you find someone who they can. Educate yourself on these diseases and don’t be afraid to entertain the thought that there are other issues on a deeper level which causes teens to seek affection and attention.

May is also Women’s Health Awareness Month. It goes without saying every day we should be aware of our health. Our number one killer of women is heart disease. Prevention with exercise, nutritional and lifestyle changes are just the start.  See a nutritionist, walk with a friend, enroll in a gym and get fit! Need help with weight loss call us to discuss our Serotonin Plus weight loss
program and watch those pounds drop off!

By Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe
Women Physicians of Northern Virginia
46179 West Lake Drive, Suite 350
Sterling, VA 20165

Lose Weight Change Your Vascular System | Dr. Kenneth M. Brooks

LoudounMarApr2016HRNB_Page_02According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 66 percent of American adults are considered overweight, and32 percent of them are obese. All that extra weight takes a toll on your body, increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. The American Heart Association says that, “Losing weight is one of the key health factors and behaviors
that keep your heart healthy.” We at The Healthy Weigh NowTM are committed to fighting this epidemic, and the abnormal metabolism accompanying it.

Here is what happens to your vascular system as you lose weight:

• Blood vessels: Losing weight reduces your heart’s workload. Blood vessels supply the heart with the blood it needs to keep pumping. As you shed pounds, there’s less fat lurking around and forming plaque that can build up and clog your coronary arteries, causing a heart attack. Reduce your weight, reduce your risk. There is a direct relationship between a healthy weight and blood pressure.

If you lose weight, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure medications or even eliminate them. The Cardiologists supervising The Healthy Weigh NowTM are always pleased to “unsubscribe” medications!

• Blood fats: The blood fats, or blood lipids, in your bloodstream change when you shed fat and weight. Weight loss can make your triglycerides go down, your LDL cholesterol go down, and your
HDL cholesterol go up. That means there are more good cholesterol and less bad cholesterol and fat floating in your bloodstream.

• Blood clots: Sometimes blood slows down and can form clots. Healthy weight and lower blood pressure generally mean fewer blood clots, so slimming down makes it less likely that a clot will
break away and travel to your heart, lungs, or brain.

• Your belly: Fat around the belly and the heart are especially detrimental to heart health. A 2011 study, published in the journal Cardiology, found that even normal-weight people with a “beer
belly” or “muffin top” and heart disease have an increased risk of death than those with differently distributed weight. And research shows that hidden fat around the heart may be an even bigger
indicator of cardiac disease than the waistline. Maintaining a healthy weight is, of course, an important part of heart health. The Healthy Weigh NowTM will help you lose the weight and teach you valuable tools to assist in weight maintenance.

LoudounMarApr2016HRNB_Page_03Obesity Is A Modern Scourge

Most of us are consuming too many processed foods,  refined sugars, and starches such as grains, sweets, snack foods, etc. In order to regulate blood sugar, our pancreas secretes insulin to metabolize sugar (glucose). We don’t realize that when carbohydrates are eaten, they are broken down into glucose, and whatever is not metabolized for energy is converted and stored as fat.

When too many carbohydrates are consumed, the pancreas has to work too hard, resulting in insulin resistance. This leads to a drop in blood sugar which causes cravings for sugar and carbohydrates, beginning a vicious cycle of overeating, fat storage, and weight gain.

The Healthy Weigh Now’sTM easy 3 Level Weight Loss Plan stops the cycle, promotes weight loss by using the fat your body has stored, and burns that fat for energy. Weekly meetings with our
trained coaches guide you on the journey to a healthy weight. After weight loss, we are committed to providing you knowledge and guidance to maintain your weight loss for a life time. Our
program is medically supervised by board certified Cardiologists who work closely with clients that have medical conditions.

Whether you have 10 pounds or over 100 pounds to lose, THE HEALTHY WEIGH NOW is your key to success.

Dr. Kenneth M. Brooks, FACC
The Healthy Weigh Now
1830 Town Center Drive Suite 401
Reston, VA 20910
44055 Riverside Parkway Suite 244
Lansdowne, VA 20176
3023 Hamaker Court Suite 100
Fairfax, VA 22031

Stop Suffering From PMS & Menopause Symptoms | Linda Coleman, MD

LoudounMarApr2016HRNB_Page_20“What Every Woman Needs to Know about SottoPelle® Therapy”

What are bio-identical hormones?

Bio-identical hormones are plant-based compounds specifically formulated to match the molecular structure of human hormones. Synthetics, however, are engineered not to match in order to be patented. The pellets are compounded according to the highest industry standards using the best quality botanical ingredients available. They are derived from a natural plant source of soy and other plant-based ingredients. No horse urine. No fillers – just pure, natural, biologically identical hormones – plain and simple.

Not all hormone replacement therapies are created equal 

SottoPelle® Therapy is a unique hormone replacement method that delivers the right kind of hormone (biologically identical), in the right amounts (based on testing and proper analysis of the results), using the right delivery system (pellets).

If you’ve tried other methods of hormone replacement, you probably experienced the emotional ups and downs they can produce. Why? Because your hormones were still unbalanced, something that SottoPelle® Therapy can address. Ask any of our patients. They can’t believe the difference SottoPelle® makes – from increased energy and vitality to a renewed sense of emotional and physical well-being. And there’s more good news… pellets can last from three to six months or longer!

How do I get started?

It’s easy. First schedule an appointment with our staff. They will go over our procedures and policies for having a consultation and your insertion. On the day of your appointment, the doctor will discuss the results of your blood tests with you and prescribe the right amount of hormone for your unique needs. It is that simple.

What is the procedure like?

The small hormone pellets are slipped painlessly under the skin, typically in the hip. A mild, local anesthetic is used and the procedure takes less than five minutes. Once the pellets are inserted, a steady, low dose of natural hormone flows directly into the blood stream whenever the body needs it. A woman’s body can then control the release of the hormone just as it did when the ovaries were working normally. Repeat treatments involve a brief visit to a SottoPelle® office a few times per year. That’s it!

SottoPelle® Therapy – preferred by thousands Thousands of women across the U.S. and internationally prefer using the SottoPelle® Therapy method to achieve a natural, healthy balance of hormones. Our patients report that they feel fabulous again! Some of the many benefits they report include*:
• Enhanced libido and/or increased sexual desire
• Decrease body fat and greater capacity to get in shape
• Reduced fatigue & increased energy levels
• Increased mental focus, clarity and concentration
• Improved memory
• Consistency in moods – reduction in feelings of anger, nervousness and irritability
• Relief from anxiety and depression
• Increased sense of overall well-being
• Protection from heart disease
*If you plan on becoming pregnant, please let someone in our office know

Linda Coleman, M.D.
Coleman Primary Care
2 Pidgeon Hill Drive
Suite 400
Sterling, VA 20165
(703) 430-7090


Lessons Learned In 2015, New Beginnings In 2016|Kristina Bouweiri

LoudounJanFeb2016HR_Page_23As one year closes and a new one begins, I like to take the time to look back and review lessons learned as well as create new goals for the new year. This year my goals are professional, personal and health related.

Last year was a very difficult one because I lost my beloved mother. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January and passed in August. I visited her nearly every weekend, spending more time in North Carolina than in D.C. I will cherish that time forever. What did I learn? I learned that life is too short and you never know when you are going to lose someone in your life. I learned that it is never too late to create a stronger bond than ever before and show someone you love how much you care for them.

Professionally, I was able to watch my team take care of business and let me spend time with my mother. Our biggest wins at Reston Limousine were taking over contracts where other companies were failing. Once again, our flexibility to start quickly and grow or retract for our clients helped us win new business. Being adaptable is always a great strategy.

For my health, I gained 20 pounds taking care of my mother! Whenever I visited her, she asked me to get her out of the house and take her to a great restaurant. We got to enjoy all of her favorite foods together. After she passed, I made my annual visit to the Optimum Health Institute’s San Diego Campus for a week of detoxing and cleansing. The diet consisted of only raw organic food and a lot of wheat grass!

For the new year, professional goals remain pretty consistent: Grow revenue, grow profit and reduce expenses. We are looking to expand in Baltimore and Prince George’s County. We continue to develop relationships with our affiliate partners all over the world and we look forward to collaborating. We continue to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. We are constantly looking at technology and looking for better ways to do things.

Personally, my goals for the new year include visiting my father, who is 79, every two weeks. He lives on the Eastern Shore. Now that my mother has passed, I plan to spend more time with him. I hope to talk to him, listen to him and videotape him. I want to record our family history before it is too late.

In terms of health, I hope to continue on my journey of eating healthy, working out and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. My six-month goal is to ride a bike for 20 miles! I plan to get up early, exercise daily, meditate and write in my gratitude journal. As you look at your plans for the coming year, I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Kristina Bouweiri
703-478-0500 ext 511

It’s A Mood Thing! | Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

LoudounJanFeb2016HR_Page_15Why is it that people around us can tell when it’s “that time of the month?” Do we look different, smell different, act different or what? If we took a poll and asked people the answer to that question most would respond: SHE ACTS DIFFERENTLY. Ever wondered why that is or what is actually happening during this time? No, your body has not been taken over by “Body Snatchers” and invaded by an alien. Most women admit they don’t feel like their usual selves and feel as though they are someone else. They don’t like what they are feeling, but still can’t seem to stop the behavior or outbursts. Why is that?

Let’s talk a little anatomy and physiology. Yeah, we had to learn it, but I’m going to give you the Cliff Notes. An average menstrual cycle is 21-30 days. Most fall in the average of 28 days with two phases: follicular and luteal. During the first or follicular part of the cycle, the follicle or egg starts to develop and the uterine lining grows anticipating implantation. The second phase or luteal phase is when the egg is released or ovulated. If the stars are in alignment, the egg and sperm meet and become one, traveling down the yellow brick road to the uterus where implantation occurs. 9 months later, you get a baby!

Both of these phases are controlled by a combination of Estrogen, Progesterone or Testosterone. Most problems with bleeding, mood, irregular cycles, infertility, no cycles, can be traced back to problems with the levels of your hormones. However, we commonly associate our moods to that time of the month. So what’s really going on here?

There is a condition we know as PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Most women are familiar with PMS. PMDD is a more serious form of PMS. Both are characterized by symptoms that usually occur 7 to 10 days before the start of the menstrual cycle and a few days when it starts. Women feel bloated, have mood changes, breast tenderness, fatigue, sleep changes such as insomnia and eating changes. You are not alone when you feel like you just got to have some chocolate or CARBS! Physical symptoms may also include joint or muscle pain, headache, weight gain due to fluid retention, acne and changes in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea.

Mood changes are common and no doubt is what puts folks on alert that your cycle is coming. The mood changes may be irritability, labile moods,
sadness, anxiety, depression, anger or any combination of these. These changes are occurring in most instances during the luteal phase when the predominant hormone is progesterone. Hence why some women will get relief with the use of progesterone supplements during this time.

Sadness, feeling down, overall dysphoria and even depressed moods can be related to hormones or low levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter released in the brain. Low levels of serotonin may be associated with dysphoria, sadness or depression, so we can use supplements such as St. John’s Wort and SSRI’s. SSRIs or selective serotonin uptake inhibitors are a class of meds which make serotonin last longer.

Common medications in this class are Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Lexapro, Celexa, etc. A common one is Serafim or Prozac, dosed in smaller amounts than what is used for depression and has been very helpful with the control of mood swings and premenstrual emotions.

There is help. SSRIs, progesterone creams and even birth control pills can regulate the imbalance. St John’s Wort, Chasteberry and essential oils all may be helpful, and exercise is always beneficial. For those who become totally debilitated by this time of the month, PMDD is the likely diagnosis and a combination of natural supplements, antidepressants, exercise and meditation may prove helpful.

By: Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe
Women Physicians of
Northern Virginia
44110 Ashburn Village Blvd
Suite 237
Ashburn, VA

5 Health Resolutions That Are Easy to Keep

LoudounJanFeb2016HR_Page_11New Year’s Eve brings to mind NYC’s Times Square, noisemakers and bubbly, but what a difference a day can make. The month of January signifies a fresh start, complete with a new perspective and for many, New Year’s resolutions. All right, for some it may have looked a little more like a hangover-filled day spent on the couch. But were you one of the many people who made a New Year’s resolution this year?

Resolutions can get a bad rap. They often aren’t specific enough, making them unrealistic and unattainable. But the notion of aspiring to be better is to be commended. Self-improvement shouldn’t be dismissed as “all or nothing.” You’re more likely to stick with your goals if you set gradual benchmarks. When it comes to establishing a healthy lifestyle, small changes can make a big difference. For example, if you want to lose weight, create a weekly weight loss goal, in addition to your final target number. Don’t give up even if there are weeks in which you don’t lose any weight. Establish ways to hold yourself accountable: Track and measure your progress with apps or create a journal outlining your goals and the steps you’re taking to achieve them.

These five resolutions are so easy to resolve to keep, they risk giving New Year’s resolutions a new reputation. An added plus: They also happen to be kidney-friendly.

  1. Avoid unnecessary painkillers. Pain medications provide pain relief (maybe you even relied on them to nurse your post-NYE hangover), but it’s important to balance the potential benefits with the risk of dangerous side effects, such as kidney damage, fluid retention, increased blood pressure, and digestive issues. Think twice before you reach into your medicine cabinet and check both prescription and over the counter (OTC) drug labels to evaluate the risks and benefits before taking a particular medication.
  2. Quit smoking (or never start). Many bars and restaurants across the country are smoke-free. It’s getting cold out, making it the perfect time to save yourself the trip outside while bettering your health. In addition to causing lung diseases and cancer, smoking acts as an accelerator for any disease that you may have. Smoking reduces blood flow to the kidneys and can also interfere with medications used to treat high blood pressure, reducing their effectiveness. Quitting can be difficult, but it is one of the most important lifestyle changes that you can make. For additional resources and tips on how to quit, visit the National Kidney Foundation.
  3. Sit less and stand more. In case you missed it, recent research has linked sitting for eight hours or more a day with developing kidney disease, as
    well as a host of other chronic conditions. This rings true even in otherwise physically-active people. Sitting for that length of time is typical for the average desk job, but most of us go way beyond that. We sit on the couch, while driving, while riding the bus, and during dinner, just to name a few! While sitting is mandatory for some activities, get creative and expand your comfort zone when it’s not. The human body was designed to be upright, but in modern society sometimes we need to help it out. Consider a standing desk and standing while talking on the phone.
  4. Catch more Zzzs. Hit the sack earlier to make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night. Studies suggest that irregular sleep patterns, eating
    before going to sleep and not getting enough sleep are all linked to obesity, while getting enough sleep is linked with maintaining a healthy weight. Sleep health is 50 percent habit and 50 percent fatigue. Obesity can cause kidney disease, because the kidneys have to work harder to filter out toxins and to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body mass index (BMI) in obese individuals. When it comes to a good night’s rest, most people require about seven hours. Cuddle up and snooze your way to a healthy weight. (Okay, I would be remiss if I  didn’t also encourage you to incorporate healthy eating and exercise routines alongside better sleeping habits.)
  5. Get organized. It’s helpful to make a checklist. Organize one “room” or aspect of your life at a time. When it comes to your health, tackle your medical records and lab documents. There are many apps that can help you keep track of all recent doctor’s visits, test results and immunizations. A trusty file cabinet will also do the trick. Don’t forget to clean out your medicine cabinet — expired medications and ointments have a way of lingering around. Make a list of all the medications you’re taking, including vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Share it with primary care practitioners and specialists alike. Some medications are kidney-toxic. It’s important for your health care providers to determine if any medications and supplements could interact with one another in negative ways. Doses of drugs can change as you age or your kidney function declines.

By: Linda Coleman, M.D.
Coleman Primary Care
2 Pidgeon Hill Drive, Suite 400
Sterling, VA 20165
(703) 430-7090

Stress, Depression and the Holidays – Tips for Coping | Linda Coleman, M.D.

LoudounNovDec2015HighResNoBleeds_Page_13Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health. Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help ward off stress and depression.

The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it’s no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression

When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

1 Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.

2 Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendshiaps.

3 Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.

4 Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.

5 Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.Try these alternatives:

• Donate to a charity in someone’s name,
• Give homemade gifts,
• Start a family gift exchange.

6 Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.

7 Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it›s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.

8 Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.Try these suggestions:• Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. • Get plenty of sleep.• Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.

9 Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.Some options may include: • Taking a walk at night and stargazing, • Listening to soothing music, • Getting a massage, • Reading a book.

10 Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Take control of the holidays

Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

By: Linda Coleman, M.D.
Coleman Primary Care2
Pidgeon Hill Drive, Suite 400
Sterling, VA 20165
(703) 430-7090

Are You Achieving Your Health Goals? | Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

LoudounNovDec2015HighResNoBleeds_Page_112015 will soon be over and we will be ushering in 2016: did you meet your financial, personal or health & fitness goals? If not, there are still a couple of months left for you to continue to work on those goals. Many of you may have health dollars left in your flexible spending and health savings accounts, which means NOW is the time to review your health calendar, plan accordingly and spend wisely. There is still time left to invest in yourself and enroll in a fitness center or schedule health and wellness consults or even go to a health spa. Plan how to spend those dollars wisely, or, if you didn’t set aside any or enough money in 2015 in those accounts, make the adjustments for 2016.

The health system has changed considerably over the past two years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has allowed more people to obtain health insurance, albeit at the expense of higher deductibles. I dare to say most people may frown when hearing about the Affordable Care Act, but there have been some small perks for most insured patients; no copay for annual visits, free contraception, and most importantly, an affordable plan and increased access to health care. This change has impacted all medical practices that do not provide concierge services or have a large percentage of insured patients, leading into a large revenue loss for many practices. In some instances, this loss of revenue may cause scheduling adjustments, closure of practices, personnel changes, as well as outsourcing of tasks. More work needs to be done at a higher level with the insurance companies, but that is a discussion for another day.

Review the following list of routine services that are performed based on your age and then call your health care provider to schedule an appointment. Remember that your personal medical history and family history are helpful when deciding on appropriate tests and immunizations are recommended based on age and possible risk of exposure.

Women In Their 20s:
• Yearly medical examination (height, weight, blood pressure and breast health).
• Laboratory work: Complete Blood Count (CBC), Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HIV, Thyroid, Electrolytes, Liver Panel, Urine.
• Pap included along with required gonorrhea/Chlamydia testing until age 26
• Possible Gardasil vaccination.
• Dental Evaluation.
• Monthly Breast Examinations.

Women In Their 30s:
• Yearly medical examination (height, weight, blood pressure, breast and skin health).
• Laboratory work: Complete Blood Count (CBC), Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HIV, Thyroid, Electrolytes, Liver Panel, Urine.
• Dental Evaluation.
• Tetanus Booster every 10 years.
• Monthly Breast Examinations.

Women In Their 40s:
• Yearly medical examination (height, weight, blood pressure, breast and skin health).
• Mammogram.
• EKG.
• Laboratory work: Complete Blood Count (CBC), Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HIV, Thyroid, Electrolytes, Liver Panel, Glucose, Urine.
• Dental Evaluation.
• Glaucoma testing.
• Tetanus Booster every 10 years.
• Monthly Breast Examinations.

Women In Their 50s:
• Yearly medical examination (height, weight, blood pressure, breast and skin health).
• Mammogram.
• EKG.
• DEXA Bone Scan every 3 to 5 years. Sigmoidoscopy/Colonoscopy yearly. Fecal Occult Blood Testing.
• Laboratory work: Complete Blood Count (CBC), Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HIV, Thyroid, Electrolytes, Liver Panel, Glucose, Urine.
• Dental Evaluation Glaucoma Testing
• Tetanus Booster every 10 years.
• Monthly Breast Examinations.

Women In Their 60s:
• Yearly medical examination (height, weight, blood pressure, breast and skin health).
• Mammogram.
• EKG.
• Yearly Fecal Occult Blood Testing.
• Pneumococcal Vaccine. Glaucoma Testing.
• Laboratory Work – Complete Blood Count, Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HIV, Thyroid, Electrolytes, Liver Panel, Panel, Glucose, Urine.
• Dental Evaluation.
• Monthly Breast Examinations.

Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe
Women Physicians of Northern Virginia
Visit one of our convenient offices:
44110 Ashburn Village Blvd
Suite 237 | Ashburn | VA
1830 Town Center Drive
Reston | VA
703 834 1071

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