January 2019: The Girlfriend’s Guide to an Integrative Lifestyle

Girlfriend's Guide to integrative health event 2019

Free January Event: The Girlfriend’s Guide to an Integrative Lifestyle

Girlfriend, are you ready for a change?

What IS an integrative lifestyle anyway?  Why is it so vital to weight loss and optimal health?

Join us for a casual, FREE Q & A interview with Dr. Couri & our team of providers!  Couri Center’s Registered Dietitian, Leslie Rusch-Bayer, and our Couri Center providers for an open discussion on how food sensitivities, hormones & our personalized lifestyle programs have helped women lose weight, reduce medications, & restore health!  We’ll give you all the tools you need to achieve your wellness goals! From in-depth labs to personalized nutrition & fitness, we’ll guide you to feeling great again!

Invite your girlfriends.  RSVP today!

 

Wine & Wellness Intimate Health Event November 2019

Join us for a casual, FREE Q & A on revolutionary, FDA-cleared treatments for women’s intimate health:

Are these symptoms getting in the way of your intimacy?

  • vaginal dryness, burning, itching
  • painful intercourse
  • urinary symptoms/incontinence

Sit back & enjoy chocolate and a sip of wine as Dr. Michele Couri hosts a panel of women-JUST LIKE YOU-to share how MonaLisa Touch™ & Emsella have changed their lives!

RSVP as seating is limited

Osteoporosis: How to Prevent a Silent Killer By Deborah Collins, PA-C

Every year more than 200 million people will suffer from Osteoporosis, and 3 million new US cases will be diagnosed. In fact, half of all adults 50 years and older, are at risk of breaking a bone and should be screened before they require medication. The reason Osteoporosis is often overlooked is because there are usually no symptoms. “You cannot feel your bones becoming weaker.” It is for this reason that it is often called “a silent disease” until a fracture occurs.  What is especially alarming is that 80% of the people who suffer a fracture over the age of 50, will not be advised to be tested or treated for Osteoporosis.  If you knew that your risk of a fracture was equal to the combined risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer, would that change your mind about the importance of early screening?

At the Couri Center, our providers recognize the importance of your bone health. It is just as important to us as your breast and cervical cancer screenings.  We want to help PREVENT you from this disease before a fracture occurs. In fact, we have customized Couri girl MedPax supplements for this very purpose!  Couri girl Osteopenia is for women diagnosed or at high risk of developing osteopenia and Couri girl Osteoporosis, is for women diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Unfortunately, 24% of hip fracture patients, over the age of 50, will die in the first year following a hip fracture. Osteoporosis is not only costly, but it can be deadly. However, with early intervention, it is not only preventable but treatable.  If you have any one of the following risk factors, please have a conversation with your provider and consider a simple test for screening.

  • All women age 60 and over, independent of risk factors
  • Menopausal females under the age of 60 who have risk factors such as:
  • Low body weight< 130 pounds
  • Prior fracture- non-traumatic or low trauma as in falling from standing height or spine compression fractures. Basically, a break over the age of 50
  • High-Risk medication use – steroids, chemotherapy agents, Tamoxifen, Depo-Provera >5 years, anti-seizure medication
  • Chronic disease associated with bone loss (Hyperparathyroidism, Malabsorption, Malnutrition (Bulimia/anorexia), Premature Menopause, Hyperthyroidism, Chronic Liver Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes
  • Regular alcohol use, more than 3 drinks a day
  • Cigarette smokers

Here are a few tips to prevent Osteoporosis

  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, which can help slow or stop the loss of bone mass and help prevent fractures.
  • Talk to our registered dietitian to make sure you are getting enough calcium and Vitamin D in your diet.
  • Get a screening bone density test, which is the best way to diagnose low bone mass before it becomes Osteoporosis.
  • Let us help you determine a treatment plan. If your screening test indicates that you may have Osteoporosis, or have other significant risk factors for breaking a bone, call the Couri Center to schedule today:  309 692-6838.

 

 

Are You The One In Ten? By Dana Humes Goff, APRN, CNM, DNP

Did you know that it is estimated that 10% of women may be affected with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), but are undiagnosed? PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women who have infrequent, absent, or prolonged menstrual periods; excess facial or body hair; and excessive weight gain.

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment, along with weight loss, may reduce the risk of long term complications related to PCOS, such a type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and infertility.

In addition to those mentioned above, other complications to PCOS include miscarriage or premature birth; liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation; metabolic syndrome; sleep apnea; abnormal uterine bleeding; endometrial cancer; and obesity.

To diagnose PCOS, your health care provider will analyze your blood to measure hormone levels, glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, and insulin levels. A pelvic sonogram will also allow for evaluation of the uterine lining and ovaries.

Once diagnosed, treatment for PCOS includes lifestyle changes with a healthy diet and exercise since even a modest reduction of body weight can improve the condition. A dietary consultation with a registered dietitian can help your nutritional status and provide helpful strategies, as well as, suggest food sensitivity testing, which can help you achieve lifestyle goals.

Other treatment options include low dose birth control pills or cycling on a natural progesterone to achieve a hormone balance and regulate menses. If glucose or insulin levels indicate cell resistance to insulin, an oral medication such as metformin can help to avoid type 2 diabetes and help with weight loss.

Other medications such as spironolactone and Vaniqa can help with the effects of excessive androgen on facial hair growth. Laser hair removal and other procedures to remove unwanted facial and body hair are also options.

You can help to decrease the effects of PCOS by maintaining a healthy weight, limiting simple carbohydrates, which can increase your insulin levels, and being active.

So, if you or a loved one feel you may have symptoms of PCOS, please contact your health care provider or come and see us at the Couri Center so we can identify and develop an individualized plan of care for to live your best life.

 

Dana Goff

 

 

Feminine Wellness Quiz

TAKE THE FEMININE WELLNESS QUIZ:

After menopause, when estrogen levels decline, many women experience changes that can really affect their quality of life.  Symptoms include:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching

MONALISA TOUCH™ TREATS THESE COMMON FEMALE SYMPTOMS WITHOUT HORMONES OR SURGERY!

MonaLisa Touch™ addresses these problems without hormones or surgery. Dr. Michele Couri is thrilled to be the first physician in the greater Peoria region to offer this state of the art technology here at the Couri Center. It is ideal for menopausal patients, post-menopausal patients, and breast cancer survivors who are often unable to receive conventional treatments for these debilitating symptoms.

HOW IT WORKS:

MonaLisa Touch™ delivers gentle laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue that stimulates a healing response by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 18 weeks.

  • Painless
  • In-office procedure
  • Requires no anesthesia
  • No downtime
  • Minimal side effects
  • Each treatment is <5 minutes
  • FDA-cleared for gynecologic use
  • Thousands of women have been treated worldwide since 2012

If you struggle with these common symptoms, we can help. Schedule your consultation today to see if Monalisa Touch Treatment is right for you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Issue

Even with the passage of time, many women still retain their youthful energy and enthusiasm, but post-menopausal changes can affect a woman’s quality of life in unexpected ways. Now, there is a gentle laser therapy that can help millions of women who are silently suffering.

What is the MonaLisa Touch™?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is a gentle laser therapy that delivers controlled energy to the vaginal wall tissue. It restores vaginal health by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. The MonaLisa Touch™ was first available outside the US where thousands of patients have been treated worldwide.

Are there clinical trials on the MonaLisa Touch™?

Dr. Mickey Karram, Director of Fellowship Program on Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, and Dr. Eric Sokol, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Stanford University Medical Center has completed a multisite study.

The trial assessed the use of CO2 fractional laser therapy on 30 women with vaginal health issues due to natural or induced menopause.   All patients in the trial received MonaLisa Touch™ laser therapy. Results were:

  • Overwhelmingly positive and immediate
  • Highly statistically significant improvement in symptoms after the first treatment
  • Escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment
  • *Women in the study either experienced natural menopause or induced menopause as the result of hysterectomy or drug-induced suppression of ovarian function (chemotherapy, radiations, and anticancer drugs such as Tamoxifen).

Dr. Stefano Salvatore*, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vita- Salute San Raffaele University completed a study to assess the feasibility of fractional C02 laser in the treatment of 50 women suffering changes in their gynecologic health.

84% showed significant improvement in their physical and mental quality of life scores over baseline and were satisfied with the treatment.
In addition to the multisite study, there are currently eight published studies with six ongoing studies.

Where can I have this done?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is an in-office procedure that Dr. Michele Couri can perform right here at the Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health, in Peoria, IL. Dr. Couri is the first physician in Central Illinois to offer this treatment.

Does the procedure hurt?

The procedure is virtually painless and requires no anesthesia. Some patients may experience some discomfort when the probe inserted the first time, but the actual treatment is not painful. Many patients report that it feels like a gentle vibration.

How long does MonaLisa Touch™ take?

Patients receive three treatments, spaced six weeks apart, which each take less than five minutes to perform.

For which patients is this treatment appropriate?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is appropriate for any female suffering from issues from a decline in estrogen, as well as those who are experiencing symptoms as a result of a hysterectomy or breast cancer treatments, for any woman with vaginal atrophy due to physiological hormone changes, which become inevitable over time. In particular, MonaLisa Touch™ is the ideal treatment for those who are looking for a less invasive procedure, compared to traditional surgical or pharmaceutical treatments. Remember, no one can advise you better about MonaLisa Touch™ and what is best for you to achieve your best results than your doctor.

When will I see results?

Most patients feel improvement after the very first treatment, although the procedure calls for three sessions spaced over an 18-week period.

How long does MonaLisa Touch™ therapy last?

Patients should expect to come back annually for their maintenance treatment to ensure results last over the course of time.*

*Your doctor will determine if follow up treatments are required.

What are my limitations following the procedure?

Patients should refrain from sexual activity for 2-3 days. Your doctor will determine a post-procedure regimen that is right for you.

Is this MonaLisa Touch™ safe for women with breast cancer?

Yes, the MonaLisa Touch™ therapy is particularly well suited for patients who cannot, or prefer not to receive estrogen therapy.

How much will the procedure cost?

Patients should schedule a consultation or call 309.692.6838 for additional information.

Will insurance cover MonaLisa Touch™?

There is no processing code for this procedure.  We believe this is an investment in yourself and your quality of life.  We gladly accept CareCredit.

Are there any risks?

There are some minimal risks. MonaLisa Touch™ is an outpatient treatment. Most women report temporary side effects, slight redness or swelling, some discomfort that usually disappears in one or two days.

The MonaLisa Touch™ Laser system has been FDA-cleared as safe for gynecologic use; however, it has not explicitly been FDA-approved for treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy) or painful intercourse. MonaLisa Touch™ laser therapy is documented as an appropriate and efficacious treatment for vaginal symptoms due to menopause in the medical literature.

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

SUMMER 2019 Sale $50 OFF TLC™ Integrative Wellness Programs

Take advantage of our summer sale: $50 OFF all TLC™ Integrative Wellness Programs!  Sale ends August 30, 2019.

What is Total Lifestyle By Couri, TLC™

Science-based, TLC™ incorporates in-depth labs, nutrition, and exercise. TLC™ is based on traditional and integrative medicine principles.

Tailored just for you, TLC™ incorporates food sensitivity, hormone, metabolic and expanded lab profiles. Whether you need a boost to lose weight & improve eating habits or a comprehensive wellness program, we can help guide you.

In 2012, Dr. Couri, MD graduated from a 2-year Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under the direction of the all-inspiring Dr. Andrew Weil. Inspired to share the integrative principles gleaned from her Integrative Fellowship, with her patients, Total Lifestyle By Couri was born.  The TLC™ program combines the power of Integrative Medicine with the foundation of traditional Western Medicine for an unsurpassed experience that you will benefit from for years to come.

Is TLC™ a one-size-fits-all program?

No.  TLC™ is completely personalized!  Choose from a 60-minute integrative consultation, TLC™ Core, a 12-week program or TLC™ Plus, a robust 15-week program.  Each is customized just for you.  Schedule your complimentary consultation for details and to review pricing options.

How do I get pricing and learn more?

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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Monalisa Touch Laser Therapy for feminine wellness

MONALISA TOUCH™ TREATS THESE COMMON FEMALE SYMPTOMS

After menopause, when estrogen levels decline, many women experience changes that can really affect their quality of life.  Symptoms include:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching

How does MonaLisa Touch™ work?

MonaLisa Touch™ delivers gentle laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue that stimulates a healing response by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 18 weeks.

  • Painless
  • In-office procedure
  • Requires no anesthesia
  • No downtime
  • Minimal side effects
  • Each treatment is <5 minutes
  • FDA-cleared for gynecologic use

SCHEDULE YOUR CONSULTATION TODAY TO SEE IF YOU ARE A CANDIDATE.

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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