Why You Should be Using NIA24 Treatment Catalyst Facial Oil By Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

NIA24 treatment catalyst facial oil girlKeeping your body and skin well hydrated is so important.  One of my favorite NIA24 products is our Treatment Catalyst Facial Oil.   Summer or winter, it works well year round. When you hear the term “facial oil”, you may be tempted to think OH NO- I don’t want to put oil on my face—but listen to all the great benefits this facial oil can offer you.

NIA24 Treatment Catalyst helps reduce sun damage, hyperpigmentation and allows your current products to absorb and retain benefits further then using them alone. Nourishing and fortifying, NIA24 Treatment Catalyst enhances and accelerates the results of other skincare products.

Our skin is made up of water and sebum (oil from the skin). So, facial oil can work with your skin instead of against it, keeping it balanced, soft and comfortable.  In most cases its all about balance.  Too much sebum can result in clogged pores and possible breakouts. Too little sebum can result in dry, tight and flaky skin.  In this case, its best to use a facial oil to keep your skin properly balanced.

Over exfoliation from products like granular cleansers, acidic cleansers and peels can strip the skin of its natural moisture barrier.  Your skin may try to compensate for this stripping (loss of moisture) by over producing sebum, which as mentioned, can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. If you think your skin may be imbalanced, try adding a facial oil like NIA24 Treatment Catalystto your routine and help restore your skin’s normal ph balance. Using the right high-quality facial oil will actually help cut through the excess oil that may accumulate.

I have found with loyal use of the Treatment Catalyst Facial Oil that my skin has continued to stay glowing, balanced and clear.  Your skin can be too, just give it a try or as always, I’m here for a complimentary consultation if you have any questions.

Run don’t walk to get your NIA24 Treatment Catalyst Facial Oil. Supplies won’t last long!

To healthy skin,

Leslie Ann Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

 

 

 

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How to Apply Current Health Trends to Your Lifestyle By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Just like fanny packs, brass fixtures, jelly sandals, and fitness trackers, the health and wellness industry tends to be just as trendy as fashion, architecture, and home decor. This year has proven no different with trending topics like macronutrient counting, avocadoes, the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting each becoming the main topics found in many forms of media, research journal publications, and marketing. None of these topics are wrong, however, are they right for you? The downfall of trending topics is as individuals, we never know how, when, and if the trend will actually provide the proper or intended improvements to our health, lifestyle or diet.
Trends may be popular, yet they are not always the right choice. People often forget the power food has on the human body. Just like medication, if a diet is not working, or the side effects make you feel worse when following, it is not the right diet for you.

Here are some tips when trying out new trends:

• Listen to your body. A healthy body does not feel bad. Do not ignore or try and justify symptoms. Symptoms are signs that something is wrong. A simple change in dietary intake can resolve many symptomatic problems.
• Implement small changes. Completely changing your intake or frequency of intake tends to decrease the chance you maintain compliance with the diet. Start with small, sensible changes.
• Who is recommending the change? Are they a trained medical professional with a nutritional background? Is someone trying to sell you something? Do they know about your medical history or current medications? Do you actually need to change? Ask questions. Do not assume.
• What are you changing? Are you giving up eating real food for “health products”? No amount of powder, bars or pills will replace the true power of a healthy diet.
• Investigate. Research. Look for reputable sources who have research to back up the health claims you are implementing.
• Realize you are an individual. No one diet should be recommended for everyone. We are not all the same. Every diet does not benefit everyone.
• Keep common sense attached. There is no one food, macronutrient, or supplement that is going to fix everything. Ask yourself if this dietary change is going to hurt you or help you in the long run. There are health benefits to most whole foods. Do not overuse or overeat anything. Too much of a good thing rarely is a good thing.
I regularly work with patients who are trying new products or diets. Some experience great success with weight loss, improved labs or the ability to eliminate medications, while others find themselves frustrated, fatigued, and fat (their words, not mine).

Finding the right dietary approach takes a few steps:

• An open mind. Most of the time, my recommendations for patients do not match their own thoughts. With an open mind, together, we can create the right plan for you.
• An integrative approach. Instead of focusing on a single-dimensional problem like losing weight or lowering blood sugar, let us help you look at your body as a whole. A full lab panel will not only help you understand your body; it will provide us with what we need to help you improve your health and outlook. Losing weight is not worth losing your health.
• Time and proper expectations. Losing 10 pounds each week is not realistic. Weight loss is generally estimated at one half to two pounds weekly, depending on the size, frame, and health of a patient.

With this integrative approach, I can help direct patients toward dietary choices and changes that will not only improve health, symptoms, and outlook but will also eliminate much of the confusion that comes with trying to understand dietary and lifestyle trends. If you are confused or are struggling with understanding your health, please call and schedule a free consultation to see how the Couri Center can help.

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

What’s Your Daily Routine? By Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

What’s Your Daily Routine?

What’s that, you don’t have a skin care routine?  Well, let me help you with that.  Our skin works 24/7 to protect our face and body from weather, UVA/UVB rays, injuries, disease, and aging. So taking a small amount of time twice a day to tend to your skin is very beneficial.  If you have any question of where to begin or in what steps products should be applied, the following should help you.  As always if you’d like to sample products or discuss your skin concerns, please schedule a complimentary skincare consult.

CLEANSE

Properly cleaning your skin is an essential step in taking care of your skin.  This step will remove impurities from makeup and daily environment. Try NIA24 Gentle Cleansing Cream.

TONE

Applying a low-grade solution to absorb excess oil or to speed up the ph balance level of the skin. Which, in turn, will cause products to absorb faster.  However, your skin will balance out on its own.

SERUMS

Serums help target specific concerns, (dull complexion, breakouts, pigmentation issues) and nourish the skin, promoting healing and fighting the signs of aging.  Here are some staples to try: NIA24 Rapid D Tone Correcting Serum, NIA24 Rapid Exfoliating Serum, NIA24 Intensive Moisture Double Serum, NIA24 Intensive Retinol Repair, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic or SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF.

EYE CREAM

The orbital skin is more thin and delicate than the rest of the skin on the face.  It’s essential to use a cream that is specific for the eye area. Most will target puffiness, fine lines, and dark circles.  Try NIA24 Eye Repair Complex.

MOISTURIZER

It is essential to choose a moisturizer that isn’t too heavy for your skin type.  You want one that will offer optimal moisture for dryness. Here are two favorites: NIA24 Skin Strengthening Complex and NIA24 Intensive Recovery Complex.

SPF

The best care for the skin both on your face and body is preventive care.  As I’ve told you before the sun is the #1 ager of the skin. ALWAYS wear sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply.  Try NIA24 Sun Damage Mineral Sunscreen.

 

Happy product picking! Just start with two or three products that fit your lifestyle.  It is that simple!

 

To healthy skin,

Leslie A. Gilstrap, LE

Creamy Kale and Broccoli Salad

Creamy Kale and Broccoli Salad

By Dr. Michele Couri

Serves: 4

Dressing:

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons Nonfat or 2% Greek yogurt

1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

 

Salad:

1 organic Gala or Pink Lady apple — washed, cored and thinly sliced (May place in 8 oz of water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice so they won’t turn brown while assembling the rest of the salad) — may substitute an Asian pear if desired.

2 scallions — chopped

1 bunch of organic lacinato kale — washed, stems removed and kale torn into bite-size pieces

2 cups of organic broccoli — washed and cut into small florets

1 cup organic blueberries — washed and allowed to dry

¼ cup chopped walnuts

 

  1. Make the dressing:  In a large bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, honey mustard and salt and pepper.  Then, whisk in the olive oil, Greek yogurt, and maple syrup.
  2. Assemble the salad: Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss with the dressing to mix well. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

The Benefits of the HPV Vaccine By Dr. Michele Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM

With all the ongoing controversy about vaccines that continues to circulate, I wanted to share some compelling evidence about the benefit of the vaccination against HPV or Human Papilloma Virus.  HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer as well as a significant factor in the development of anogenital warts, anal cancer and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and throat). HPV causes abnormal cellular growth, including condyloma (warts) and precancerous tissue changes known as dysplasia. More than 9 out of every 10 cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. HPV does not only affect women. Roughly 4 out of every 10 cases of HPV-related cancer occur among men. 70% of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV.   In fact, genital HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.

Fortunately, many of these cases of cancer can be prevented by the vaccine against HPV.  There is a recent study in the journal Lancet (June, 2019) that showed a significant reduction in HPV type 16 and 18, two virulent HPV strains that are most commonly associated with cervical, anal and oropharyngeal cancers.  This study also showed a significant reduction in anogenital warts among young men and women who had received the vaccination against HPV. Cervical dysplasia or “precancer” rates decreased among those women vaccinated.  There was a significant 51% reduction in CIN2 (moderate cervical dysplasia or precancer) in girls aged 15-19 years and a 31% reduction in women aged 20-24 years.  It also found that after eight years post vaccination, the prevalence of HPV 16 and 18 had significantly decreased by 83% among girls aged 13-19 years and by 66% in girls aged 20-24 years.  The prevalence of genital warts among vaccinated females decreased significantly as well — 67% reduction in 15-17-year-olds, 54% reduction in, and a 31% reduction among women aged 25-29 years.  Among boys, the rates of genital warts decreased as well — 48% decrease in 15-19-year-olds and by 31% among men aged 20-24 years.

These findings support the recommendation of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for routine HPV vaccination for females and males aged 9-26 years.  In fact, ACOG recommendations are further outlined as below:

ACOG Recommendations:

  • The target age for HPV vaccination is 11–12 years for girls and boys, but the HPV vaccine can be given to both genders through 26 years of age. However, as of October, 2018, the CDC approved the HPV vaccine for adults up to age 45.
  • For girls and boys who receive their first dose of HPV vaccine before 15 years of age, only two doses are needed. The timing of the two doses is 0 (baseline) and 6–12 months. If the interval between the two doses is less than five months, a third dose is recommended. If females or males receive their first dose at 15 years of age or older, three doses are needed and given at 0 (baseline), 1–2 months after the first dose, and six months after the first dose.
  • Testing for HPV DNA is not recommended before vaccination. Vaccination is recommended, even if the patient is tested for HPV DNA, and the results are positive.
  • Even if a patient previously has had an abnormal Pap test or history of genital warts, vaccination is still recommended.

 

To your health,

Dr. Couri

 

Sources:

Population-level impact and herd effects following the introduction of human papillomavirus vaccination programmes:  updated systemic review and meta-analysis.  The Lancet.  June 26, 2019

About HPV.  https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/cancer.html

HPV Vaccination.  ACOG Committee Opinion.  Number 704, June 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Growing! An Interview with Dr. Alexandra Mathern

We’re growing!  Meet the Couri Center’s new OB/GYN, Alexandra L. Mathern, MD.

Meet the Couri Center’s new OB/GYN, Alexandra L. Mathern, MD.  Dr. Mathern completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center through the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria.  She received her Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  She also received a Bachelor of Science and Minor in Spanish from the University of North Dakota.

Dr. Mathern’s Background

Dr. Mathern has explored many aspects of the medical field from an early age.  Her passion for women’s health began in medical school when she found herself surrounded by strong, compassionate women who prided themselves on taking the best, evidence-based care of the women in the community. She was inspired by their dedication not only to their craft but also the betterment of themselves and their families.

Her Passions

Dr. Mathern strives to make sure her patients are well informed and take an active role in their medical care.  She can offer a wide variety of medical and surgical options, stressing minimally invasive approaches, for multiple gynecologic issues. She has particular interest in reproductive age issues from menstrual irregularities, ovarian pathology, pelvic floor dysfunction, and perimenopause.

Born and raised in North Dakota she has made Peoria home with her husband and three children. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.

How to Schedule

Dr. Michele Couri and the Couri Center team proudly welcome Dr. Mathern, MD, to our practice, August 2019!  Dr. Mathern is now accepting new patients and looks forward to meeting you.  Schedule your visit today:  692-6838 or visit our patient portal

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Vulvovaginal Atrophy: Early Treatment Improves Outcome By Dr. Kaleb Jacobs, DO

In a new study, published in March of 2019, researchers have concluded that treatment of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) in postmenopausal women should start sooner than later.

Common symptoms of VVA include vaginal dryness, vaginal pain inside, pain during intercourse and exercise, bleeding during intercourse or sexual contact or bothersome burning, itching, or irritation. Some women experience leaking of urine during this time (urinary incontinence) which can also be a symptom of vulvovaginal atrophy. All too often, these symptoms go left untreated either because women are not aware that treatment is available, or they may not realize the impact the symptoms can have long term. The loss of estrogen associated with menopause affects the vaginal tissue. Eventually, the tissue becomes dry and pale. Over time, the labia may become fused, and the vaginal opening can narrow. Intercourse or other forms of vaginal contact can become painful and distressing.  An essential part of the annual well-woman exam is for her gynecologist to inquire about sexual health and these symptoms in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. It is equally important for women to report these symptoms early to avoid distressing long term effects. By delaying treatment, the changes become less reversible and possibly irreversible, regardless of therapy.

This recent study noted a significant reduction in these long term impacts in women treated with traditional systemic estrogen therapy for hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms, more commonly associated with menopause can begin well before the vaginal atrophy findings are noted. It is this early exposure to estrogen treatment which is thought to reduce the long term changes of vulvovaginal atrophy.

While a woman bothered by hot flashes and night sweats, along with vulvovaginal atrophy can find relief of all of her symptoms with systemic estrogen therapy, if VVA is her only concern, then local topical vaginal estrogen may be a better option. Not all women are candidates for estrogen therapy. MonaLisa Touch vaginal laser therapy is another option for treating VVA.  MonaLisa Touchis ideal for menopausal patients, post-menopausal patients, and breast cancer survivors who are often unable to receive conventional treatments for these debilitating symptoms.  A conversation with your gynecologist can help determine if you are a candidate and if you may benefit from treatment.

The takeaway is that the vaginal symptoms of menopause are common, can have long-lasting consequences if left untreated, and should not be viewed as a taboo topic. Treatment of vulvovaginal atrophy should be initiated at its early stages to prevent irreversible changes.

Best,

Dr. Kaleb Jacobs

 

The Origin of the Gynecological Speculum By Dana Humes Goff

For some women, the most dreaded aspect of the annual gynecological exam involves the speculum. A speculum, which can be either metal or plastic, is a device, which is placed into the vagina in order to visualize the vaginal walls and the cervix. While this procedure may be uncomfortable for some, it should not be painful, and it is a useful tool for assessing female anatomy.

Variations of the speculum can be dated back to 130 A.D., and early examples of the device have been discovered in archeological digs as far back as 79 A.D. amidst the ruins of Pompeii. The design of today’s speculum is primarily credited to a physician by the name of James Marion Sims, a gynecologist in the 19th century who performed numerous experiments on slave women, those of whom he purchased and kept as property in the back of his private hospital in Montgomery, Alabama.

One of the most common problems he encountered during his career was a condition known as a rectal or vaginal fistula, which can be caused by childbirth. A fistula is an opening that is formed between the bladder or rectum and the vagina. This tear can result in urine or stool collecting in the vagina, which can cause infections, pain, and incontinence. Repairing this type of tear required him to be able to look into and inspect the vaginal canal.

Dr. Sims was an imaginative man and utilized what he had at hand to draft a prototype of the first modern speculum: a gravy spoon. This allowed him better access to the vaginal tissues and he was able to perform the surgery necessary to repair the fistulas.

The introduction of the speculum by Dr. Sims, in the late 1800s, was very controversial and set off a vigorous debate within the medical community. The fear was that the use of a speculum might corrupt those women who were being examined and subsequently turn them into prostitutes or sex-crazed maniacs.

Thankfully, over the last 150 years, medicine has advanced, and the speculum design has improved and moved past the gravy spoon prototype, and gynecological exams have become routine. While there have been many attempts to improve upon the current speculum design, the basic design has remained unchanged.

So, for those women who avoid or fear gynecological exams due to perceived discomfort, I encourage you to discuss this with your provider. Often, the use of a smaller speculum, relaxation techniques, and gentle explanations with tips for making the exam easier can make your annual exam much more comfortable.

Recipe of the Month: Raw Exotic Avocado Truffles

If you want a quick, sweet and healthy vegan snack, make these raw exotic avocado truffles with just a few ingredients!

Prep time: 10 mins

Total time: 10 mins

Serves: 15+ truffles

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 kiwis, peeled
  • 6 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1½ Tbsp stevia powder (or any other healthy sweetener of choice, to taste)

 

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Put the avocado truffles composition in a bowl and start shaping the truffles – 1 tsp per truffle.
  3. It is best to leave them in a fridge for at least an hour before serving, but you can eat them right away too.

Recipe compliments of Author: Ruxandra Micu

Goumandelle.com