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Are you Feeling Constipated?

Healthy Foods

Constipation affects an estimated 20% of the population, there are many causes of constipation, but the most known causes are a delay in the colonic transit or a decrease in the movement of food through the digestive system. A low-fiber diet, old age, lack of fluids, medications, and physical inactivity can also be contributing factors to constipation. While most of us use over the counter remedies such as laxatives, stool softeners, and fiber supplements, incorporating a few regularity-boosting foods into your diet can be a safe and effective alternative.

1. Apples 

Apples are a good soluble fiber source, with one small apple (5.3 ounces or 149 grams) providing 4 grams of fiber. Fiber passes through your intestines undigested, helping with the formation

Fiber passes through your intestines undigested, helping with the formation of stool and promoting regular bowel movements. Apples also contain a specific type of soluble fiber called pectin, which is

Apples also contain a specific type of soluble fiber called pectin, which is known for its laxative effect. In one study, 80 participants with constipation took pectin supplements. After four weeks, pectin sped up transit time in the colon, reduced the symptoms of constipation and even improved digestive health by increasing

In one study, 80 participants with constipation took pectin supplements. After four weeks, pectin sped up transit time in the colon, reduced the symptoms of constipation and even improved digestive health by increasing

After four weeks, pectin sped up transit time in the colon, reduced the symptoms of constipation and even improved digestive health by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Apples can be used as a healthy topping for foods like yogurt and oatmeal or enjoyed on their own as a convenient and nutritious snack.

2. Prunes

Prunes are often used as a natural laxative — and for good reason.

Not only do they contain 2 grams of fiber per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, but they’re also a good source of sorbitol.

Sorbitol is a type of sugar alcohol that is poorly digested in the body. It helps alleviate constipation by drawing water into the intestines, spurring a bowel movement.

One review looked at four studies measuring the effectiveness of prunes on constipation. It found that prunes can help soften stool, improve consistency and increase stool frequency.

Another study showed that 40 participants with constipation who were given prunes experienced improvements in both stool frequency and consistency, compared to participants treated with Psyllium fiber supplements.

Prunes add a hint of sweetness when used to garnish salads and pilafs. A small glass of prune juice with no added sugar can also be a quick and convenient way to get the same constipation-busting benefits found in whole prunes.

3. Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit is especially high in fiber, which makes it an excellent food to help promote regularity.

Just one medium kiwi (2.7 ounces or 76 grams) contains 2.3 grams of fiber.

Kiwifruit has been shown to stimulate movement in the digestive tract, helping to induce a bowel movement.

One 2007 study gave 33 constipated and 20 non-constipated participants kiwifruit twice daily over a four-week period.

Kiwifruit helped to speed up intestinal transit time, decrease laxative use and improve symptoms of constipation.

Try adding kiwifruit to your next smoothie for a tasty, high-fiber treat.

4. Flaxseeds

In addition to their wide variety health benefits, flaxseeds’ high fiber content and ability to promote regularity definitely make them stand out.

Each one-tablespoon (10-gram) serving of flaxseeds contains 3 grams of fiber, including a mix of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

One animal study supplemented mice with flaxseeds for 14 days and
studied the effects of constipation.

Not only did flaxseeds speed up intestinal transit, but they also increased stool frequency and stool weight in both normal and constipated mice.

Another animal study showed that flaxseed can help treat both constipation and diarrhea. It was found to increase stool frequency and also have an anti-diarrheal effect, reducing diarrhea by up to 84%.

Flaxseeds can add extra fiber and texture when sprinkled onto oats, yogurt, soups, and shakes.

5. Pears

Pears can help alleviate constipation in a few different ways.

First, they are high in fiber. One medium pear (6.3 ounces or 178 grams) contains 6 grams of fiber, meeting up to 24% of your daily fiber needs.

Pears are also high in sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that acts as an osmotic
agent to pull water into the intestines and stimulate a bowel movement.

Furthermore, pears contain fructose, a type of sugar that can only be
absorbed in limited amounts.

This is due to the way in which fructose is metabolized in your body. Not only is it absorbed at a slower rate, but also large amounts of fructose can only be metabolized by your liver.

Moreover, some individuals may have fructose malabsorption, a condition that affects the body’s ability to absorb fructose.

Like sorbitol, unabsorbed fructose acts as a natural laxative by bringing water into the intestines.

Pears are incredibly versatile and easy to add to your diet. They can be included in salads and sandwiches or consumed raw for a sweet snack.

6. Beans

Most varieties of beans are high in fiber and can help maintain regularity.

For example, black beans boast 7.5 grams of fiber per cooked half cup (86 grams), while a half cup (91 grams) of cooked navy beans contains 9.5 grams of fiber.

Beans also contain good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which help ease constipation in different ways.

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like consistency, softening stool and making it easier to pass.

On the other hand, insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract intact and adds bulk to stool.

One 2016 study showed that including a mix of both soluble and insoluble fiber in the diet can effectively reduce constipation while reducing bloating and gas.

If you’re looking for an easy way to increase your fiber intake, beans are a good way to do so. Add them to soups, dips or side dishes for a delicious dose of fiber.

7. Artichokes

Research shows that artichokes have a probiotic effect, which can be beneficial for gut health and maintain regularity.

Probiotics work by feeding the good bacteria found in your colon, helping to optimize your digestive health.

Consuming probiotics may also help relieve constipation.

A 2017 review looked at five studies including 199 participants and
concluded that probiotics increased stool frequency and improved

One study had 32 participants supplement with fiber extracted from globe artichokes. After three weeks, they found that concentrations of beneficial bacteria had increased, while amounts of harmful gut bacteria had decreased.

Another study looked at the effects of artichoke leaf extract on 208
participants with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Not only did artichokes reduce the incidence of IBS, but they also helped normalize bowel patterns.

Artichokes are available in both fresh and jarred form and can be used in everything from creamy dips to flavorful tarts.

8. Figs

Figs are an excellent way to get more fiber into your diet to encourage regular bowel movements.

Dried figs, especially, can provide a concentrated dose of fiber.

A half cup (75 grams) of dried figs contains 7.5 grams of fiber, which can fulfill up to 30% of your daily fiber needs.

A 2011 animal study looked at the effects of fig paste on constipation over a three-week period. It found that fig paste increased stool weight and reduced intestinal transit time, making it a natural remedy for constipation.

Another study in humans found that giving fig paste to 40 participants with constipation helped speed up colonic transit, improve stool consistency and alleviate abdominal discomfort.

While figs can be consumed on their own, they can also be boiled into a tasty jam that goes great with brochette, pizzas, and sandwiches.

9. Chia Seeds

Just one ounce (28 grams) of Chia Seeds contains a whopping 11 grams of fiber.

In fact, chia seeds are made up of about 40% fiber by weight, making them one of the most fiber-dense foods available.

Specifically, chia seeds are a good source of soluble fiber, which absorbs water to form a gel that softens and moistens stool for easier passage.

One study found that chia seeds could absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, allowing for even easier elimination.

Try mixing chia seeds into smoothies, puddings, and yogurts to pack in a few extra grams of soluble fiber.

10. Oat Bran

Oat bran is the fiber-rich outer casing of the oat grain.

Though it’s not as widely consumed as rolled or old-fashioned oats, oat bran contains significantly more fiber.

Just one-third cup (31 grams) of oat bran contains about 5 grams of fiber, which is about 43% more than traditional oat varieties.

One study gave 15 elderly participants oat bran over a 12-week period and compared the results with a control group.

Not only was oat bran well tolerated, but it also helped participants maintain their body weight and decreased laxative use by 59%, making it a safe and effective natural remedy for constipation.

Though oatmeal and oat bran come from the same oat grout, they vary in terms of texture and taste. Oat bran works especially well when used in recipes for granola mixes and bread.

Constipation is a common problem that affects most people at some point. Though medications and supplements can help, achieving regularity is possible for most people with a high-fiber, healthy diet and a few regularity-boosting foods. Including a few servings of these foods each day, along with plenty of water and regular physical activity, can help increase stool frequency, improve consistency and eliminate constipation once and for all.

Your Skin…

Skin care is an age-old phenomenon.  The ancient Egyptians wore cosmetics, as they believed it had magical powers.  In 1400 B.C. the Egyptians used herbs and oils to help protect their skin from the harsh sun filled environment.  Thereafter the Greeks used a similar barrier to protect athletes during the games.  Lactic Acid was developed in Ancient Egypt for skin rejuvenation and used by the nobles.  It goes without say that skin care and skin protection is just as important to us as any other facet of our health and has been integral part of our lives since the dawn of time.

First and Foremost, protect yourself from UV light!!!  A lifetime of sun exposure can cause premature aging in the form of wrinkles, age spots, and a variety of skin problems, worst of which is cancer.  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.  There is about one death every hour from melanoma, the most viscous form of skin cancer.  Most of us assume that it is only important to protect ourselves during warmer days or when going to the beach or pool.  Yet the risk of UV exposure during the winter months can be equally high. 

This is especially true when hitting the slopes.  Time can fly by when we are having a great time, and when it’s cool out there; one doesn’t really pay attention to the sun.  But all that accumulated UV exposure, over the years, can be extremely detrimental.  So definitely make that bottle of SPF part of your Ski-gear. 

So how do we pick the best sunscreen?   The ideal sunscreen would completely block harmful UV rays that cause sunburn AND block those that cause damaging free radicals (what ages our skin).  It would remain effective for hours and not be harmful for the skin as it breaks down.  Finally, it would smell and feel very pleasant.    Washington DC’s, Environmental Working Group  (the EWG) has determined currently in the United States, mineral sunscreens have the best safety profile.  These products are relatively stable, do not penetrate the skin, and offer a good amount of UV protection, not available in many sunscreens sold over the counter.  Titanium and Zinc Oxide are great examples of these mineral-based sunscreens available in the US market.  Another great contender is Avobenzone, which offers wonderful UVA protection without other competing products that may disrupt natural hormones.

Look for an SPF of about 30-50.  There is no evidence that shows higher than SPF 50 products have more of a benefit and in fact are very misleading.  The SPF only is an indicator of UVB protection, not really UVA.  This means that a person wearing an SPF of say, 80 may be tempted to stay in the sun longer because she is not burning, all the while she is getting an increased dose of the very harmful UVA light.  The Beautologie Be-blocked sunscreen provides the perfect blend of mineral blockers,  Avobenzone and goes on smoothly without a greasy feel. 

In addition to finding that perfect sunscreen we need to use common sense.  Seek shade, especially when the sun is at its strongest, between 10:00 am and 4 pm.  Also wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, full-length pants and wide brimmed hats.  Avoid tanning beds, which concentrate the UV light onto the body.  We all need and love the sun, but remember what they say about too much of a good thing.

What about skin care and skin treatment products?
Unfortunately we live in a world of quick fixes and large retailers who sell us brand name products, that over promise and under deliver.  Are these over the counter products sold to us at department stores and pharmacies really worth all the money and the hype? Do they really work? The answer is maybe, BUT not nearly as much as they promise.  They are not prescription products and therefore will never be as effective as medication.  The problem is that they are marketed as almost prescription products but are usually substandard.  Most consumers buy these overly expensive quick fixes in a bottle; and just use them once or twice.  After seeing no satisfying results they are left to sit on the vanity, never to be used again.

The truth is, you will probably never really find an over the counter face-lift-in- a bottle.  Of course the other big issue with OTC regimens is, whom do you go to for advice on what to pick?  Where do you go if you have problems or reactions with them?  The best solution for someone looking to truly improve the appearance of his or her skin is to seek an expert, your physician.  Unlike physician prescribed creams, cosmetics do not change or affect the skins structure or function.  Cosmetic makers can sell products without FDA approval.  Fortunately there are proven medical & pharmaceutical grade skin care regimens that have shown time and time again to dramatically reverse the signs of aging.  Consulting your physician about what products would best suit you individual needs will most likely lead you on a path of turning back the clock and maintaining very healthy skin.

There is so much more to maintaining that beautiful healthy glow.  Do not smoke!!! Smoking narrows blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin, which leads to less oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the skin.  Tobacco and nicotine also damages collagen and elastin, the components that give your skin its elasticity and overall fullness.  Eat a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.  What you eat affects every organ in your body.  Your skin, being largest organ, depends greatly on what you eat.  Manage stress! Uncontrolled amounts of stress can lead to acne breakouts and other skin problems.  We know stress raises cortisol levels in the body, which can impede wound healing and affect the skin general. 

As we can see there is so much that our skin depends on.  It is, again the largest organ in our body.  We have to take care of it with all the tools in our box.  If you have any concerns about keeping you skin healthy and reversing damaged skin call us at Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center 661.327.3800 or visit beautologie.com 

Milan R. Shah M.D.  Laser and Aesthetic Medicine
Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center

Sweeten up your Valentines Day with Beautologie

February is just one of those months that’s chock full of good things. First off, there’s Valentine’s Day and really, who doesn’t love a Valentine’s Day card, whether you are 5 or 55? Maybe it’s the flowers or chocolate that you look forward to every year. Then, there’s the Tax Refund Check. Ok, maybe you won’t actually get yours until March or April, but usually by February, you have met with your accountant and you know that a refund is on its way. The big question then, is how to spend it wisely?

Some may go out and buy a new pair of shoes, flat screen TV, or even a great handbag. All fun choices, but are they wise choices? What kind of return do you actually get on a pair of stilettos? At Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, we think one of the wisest ways to spend your tax return is with us.

Think about it. Investing your money in a mommy makeover transformation, facial rejuvenation surgery such as a facelift, brow lift, eyelid lift, chin augmentation or a neck lift is the kind of investment in yourself that yields results that will last a lifetime. Botox®, fillers, laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels are not frivolous indulgences. They’re treatments that can literally take years off your face by removing the fine lines, brown spots and wrinkles that make you look and feel older than you are. In the competitive marketplace that is life these days, looking and feeling your best can give you a much needed leg up over your competition and help you land that new job, new deal or new date. Sometimes it even brings back the old you, and that’s an investment we are proud to help with.

So this year, why not think about living with that old TV for a while, and invest your money in you? To find out more about all of the refreshing, rejuvenation options, both surgical and non-surgical, at Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, call us today at: 844-BEAUTOLOGIE (844) 232-8865, or visit Beautologie.com.

The advantages of our MedSpa

Since their inception in the late 1990‘s, the medical spa hybrid, commonly referred to as a “MediSpa”, has become so popular throughout this country that they’re now the fastest growing segment of the $11 billion dollar spa business. It turns out that men and women like getting their non-surgical cosmetic treatments like Botox, fillers and chemical peels in a relaxed, comfortable, spa-like atmosphere. The downside of many of these MediSpas, though, is that the aestheticians and technicians do not always have the proper oversight of a medical professional.

Since many of the services offered at a MediSpa qualify as a medical procedure, they must be performed or supervised by a doctor. Flip open the phone book and you will find dozens of “MediSpa’s” doing these treatments, but you will not find a Doctor actually located there. RN’s, business people, and even aestheticians are the only ones on site, which is technically not in the best interest of the patient.

Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center is 100% owned and operated by Medical Doctors who have the best interest of their patients and their own reputation on the line. We are much more than abiding by the laws; we exceed the guidelines set for Medical Spa’s. Our doctors are on site, ready to see patients daily!

Because we pride ourselves on always putting safety first and delivering the best possible care to our patients, Beautologie has a full time nursing staff and Doctor on site during all office hours. Dr. Milan Shah is a medical aesthetic specialist and the Director of our Medical Aesthetics Department. Not only does he bring his expertise in aesthetics and anti-aging medicine to every Medical Aesthetic patient, overseeing their charts and tracking their progress with his team, but also actually sees each and every patient at some point during his or her treatment. So whether you are visiting us for laser hair removal, Restylane, spider vein removal, Venus freeze, professional skin care products, laser skin resurfacing, Endermologie, Botox or a chemical peel, you can rest assured that you’re in the hands of a qualified team of professionals who are under the constant supervision of one of the most qualified medical aesthetic doctors in the state.

So, come on and treat yourself to a Medispa day…but one that is properly supervised by an MD on site. You deserve it.

Beautologie puts the MD in MeDispa!