Your Body: Friend or Foe?

Your body can be a touchy subject (no pun intended). Is your body friend or foe to you? Many if…
What Gratitude Does For You

What Gratitude Does For You

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Many are gathering to celebrate with family, food, — and football. It’s…
prayer for healing

God Help Me! I’m Sick!

Sickness and disease: is it simply a fact of life on this miserable, sin-filled, messed-up planet? Is it our own…

3 Ways to Start Your Day Right

Have you ever wished you could go back and start your day over again? You’re frustrated, irritable, and nothing seems…

Why You Must Find Your WHY

Brianna sat down to chat yesterday. Her second child is nine months old, and she and her husband are planning…
Healthy weight loss

10 Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Healthy weight loss is a big deal. Losing weight – or trying to – is big business. Researchers tell us…

Preparing For Menopause

It seems that every time I’m around a group of women and they find out I’m an OB-Gyn doctor the…
Senior Couple in Love

Enjoying Sex After Menopause

Some men complain their wives lose interest in intimacy around the time of menopause. Some women complain they can’t enjoy…

What the Bible Says About Health

I often see honest Christian people who are not at all healthy. Sometimes they become frustrated and discouraged, even wondering…

The Message Of Your Life (Or, Why Nobody Likes To Eat With Me)

It’s almost become a joke: nobody likes to eat with Dr Carol! Almost without fail, when eating around me people comment about how they should be eating healthier, and try to convince me how they really are trying. I don’t breathe a word about healthy eating when we’re in public. I order what I want, right off the menu. And I don’t think they really believe him when Al tells them (truthfully!) that he’s lost all his weight without dieting once, or missing a meal.

Smiling Child

10 Reasons You Should Smile More

Smiles are contagious!
That’s only one reason to be conscious of how often you smile. Smiling is good for your body, mind, and soul. It’s good for the people around you. And it can demonstrate an inner hope and peace that speaks of God’s work in your heart.
So, here are some specific reasons you should consciously make an effort to smile more often.

Sleepy boy

8 Things To Do When You’re Tired

If you’re tired because you are behind on your sleep, that may be the very best thing to do.
But not so fast. Sometimes sleep may work against you.
Often it’s not a medical problem that’s causing fatigue. There are many lifestyle factors in our modern world that just wear you out!
So what can you do when you’re tired?

Number One New Year’s Resolution: Losing Weight

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year? If so, there’s a pretty good chance that losing weight is at the top of your list.
If weight is YOUR challenge, the costs are much more personal. You pay in ways such as decreased energy, self-esteem, or perhaps a sense of discrimination. I see women in my office regularly who break down in tears over their struggle with weight.
But now it’s a new year, and you’ve resolved to do something about it. And before taking any other action, I want you to think FIRST about what’s eating you!

10 Things to Leave Behind in 2014

A new year provides a wonderful opportunity to leave behind things that aren’t working.
At least briefly review your physical lifestyle, money habits, thoughts and emotions, use of time, personal relationships, and spiritual practices. Ask a few important questions about each area, and it’s likely you will find things that you can do without in 2014.

Weight loss

Does God care if you’re fat?

If approximately two thirds of Americans are overweight, and one third are obese, surely God has something to say about the situation.
Christian preachers and gospel singers have a reputation for being seriously overweight. Some data asserts that Christians are more frequently overweight than those of other religions, or no religion at all.
But again, what is God’s perspective on this?

Does Being a Christian Make You Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise?

Some of God’s best friends were healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Some of God’s best friends were also poor, weak, and outcast.
Does God enjoy blessing you with financial means, good health, and a good life here and now? Yes, He does. But don’t ever make the mistake of judging someone’s Christianity, or your own, by their bank account, popularity, or physical health.

5 Ways to Get Through the Holiday Season Happier and Healthier

Too much food. Too much stress. Too much spending. Too much drinking. Too much unhappy family time. No wonder many people start the new year heavier, unhappy, and in more debt.
There’s no holiday magic that gives you a free pass on what it takes to be healthy physically or mentally. The principles of healthy living apply during the next six weeks just as they do the rest of the year. It’s not too late to plan some better strategies.

Happy woman

For the Christian Woman Struggling with Hormones

Every part of your being impacts every other area. There are times you may not immediately understand what the root cause of your distress is. But menopause is one time when physical changes may lead to very real emotional and spiritual problems.
It’s no wonder that the physical, emotional, and spiritual pressures become heavy for many women to carry.
Here are some specific things you can do that become especially important at this time of life:

What Is God’s View of Healing?

Like everything else about Him, God’s view of healing is much bigger than ours.
Throughout history people have sought healing from sickness and disease in many ways. The God we serve has a lot to say about healing. Jesus had only one attitude toward sickness: He is against it!
But His goal in our healing is much broader than we usually realize.

Having a bad day

18 Things To Do When You’re Having A Bad Day

Sometimes it’s a bad hair day. And sometimes it’s a whole lot more than hair that’s going bad! Sometimes everything that can go wrong does go wrong, your stability feels threatened, and you’d just like to go away somewhere and forget everything.
When you’re having a really bad day, here are some suggestions on what to do. Choose one, or two, or three, and see if you don’t feel more able to get through the difficulty:

25 Small Things That Make A Difference

Small changes in direction may make a huge difference in your destination. You know that. But it’s easy to fall into a routine and end up some place you would rather not be.
So many areas in life follow this principle. Here are some things where very small actions may make a huge difference down the road:

Senior Moments, or Alzheimer’s?

One of the biggest fears many people have as they get older is the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s or some other dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in this country. One in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s or some other dementia. Direct costs of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States will top $203 billion this year.
But these numbers don’t really touch on the personal cost of dementia. Many of both the patients and family members affected feel like Alzheimer’s steals what should be some of the most meaningful years of one’s life. Family members put careers on hold. Financial savings are wiped out. And the physical and emotional toll of caregiving becomes overwhelming.

Why You Should Care About Your Health If You’re A Christian

Some Christians have been criticized for not caring enough about their health in the here-and-now. You know, being “so heavenly minded they are no earthly good.” It seems Christians on the whole do not have a very good track record for being healthy.
While not the deciding factor in your eternal salvation, doing all you can to maximize your health leads to increased effectiveness in what God has given you to do, allows you to hear God’s voice better, helps you experience God’s restoration now, and more.

Where Is Your Body Vulnerable?

Stress exacts a toll on your body, mind, and soul. But how your body responds is unique to you. The same outside stressor may create a very different reaction in your body than in mine.
If you are paying attention, your body will tell you when you need to take action to prevent further damage. Each of us has one or two body systems that are most vulnerable. Some common vulnerable areas are:

How Do You Handle Stress?

In preparation for being part of a group I hope to work with, I underwent a behavioral interview this week. A behavioral interview focuses on such things as how you deal with people, how you handle situations you dislike, what excites and energizes you, and how you handle stress.
How DO you handle stress?
There are many different ways of handling stress. Here are a few:

Why Seeing Yourself as “Body, Mind, and Soul/Spirit” is a BAD Idea

“I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body.” Have you been in Christian gatherings where the preacher asked you to say that out loud, or something similar?
Some readers may issue with this position. But I believe this discussion really misses the point. God didn’t take a bit of this and a bit of that and weld it together with some cosmic superglue when He made you.

When Arms Are Empty: Infertility

There’s something intimate and beautiful about new parents holding their newborn baby in their arms. But sadly, many couples do not have an opportunity to experience that joy, and do not have a baby to hold in their arms.
As a Reproductive Endocrinologist I’ve seen couples struggle with these issues, and have seen the stress it puts on their relationship. Helping couples experience that miracle is a privilege I enjoy. And my hope and prayer is that you can experience that miracle when you so desire.

5 Actions to Take With Almost Any Problem

If it wasn’t one thing it was another. The very professional woman broke down in tears, hoping for some help from me as her doctor.
I explained to Linda how inter-connected a women is in her body, mind, and soul. And we talked through these action steps that I’ll share with you. When faced with almost any problem, here’s what to do.

birth control pills

Should I Use Birth Control? A Christian Doctor’s Answer

When I think of contraception, a number of images come to mind. Talking about contraception is often an emotionally charged issue. The debate really has nothing to do with birth control. The debate has to do with sex.
If you’ve read this far, you want to know how I deal with these issues, and what I tell patients. As a Christian, as a gynecologist, as a minister, what’s the RIGHT thing to do?

Body

Women and Hormones: No Excuse!

A woman is beautiful, complicated, fascinating, strong, and loving. Much of a woman’s fascinating, complicated nature comes down to a woman and her hormones.
As a gynecologist, I see women at some of the most intimate and challenging times of their lives. And I’m honored to help. I’ve also seen some women use their hormones as an excuse for bad behavior.
Here are a few suggestions I make to women struggling with their hormones, and the men who love them:

The Ripple Effect: How One Lifestyle Change Creates Another

Making lifestyle change takes a lot of effort. And it can get discouraging at times. Setbacks are common. Your original motivation becomes cloudy. Is all that effort really worth it?
But when you start to notice benefits in other areas, it may be easier to find the motivation to stick with the change you know is important. Here are a few ripples that are easy to understand:

7 Sure Ways to Stay Young(er)

Yes, you are only as old as you feel! But none of us enjoys having to face grey hair, skin wrinkles, loss of strength, or “senior moments.” People have been searching for the fountain of youth for centuries.
There are many things you can do that either speed up or slow down the aging process. No, none of them will make you live forever. But they will make a big difference in how your body, mind, and soul look and feel. Here are seven ways:

7 Things I Would Say To You As My Patient

You’re tired, you don’t feel well, and you want some help. You come to see me in my office, hoping I will have an answer.
How I wish I could fulfill your hopes! I wish I could fix you. That would make your life, and mine, so much easier. Most of the time it’s a matter of you and me figuring things out together. Here are a few things I’d like to tell you:

Baby and father alseep

Sleep – Good for Your Body, Mind, and Soul

I’ve never especially liked going to bed. There’s so much to do.
We all know that our human bodies need sleep and rest. But that’s not all. Your mind, emotions, ability to handle stress, and how you relate to your children, spouse, God, and others are all affected.

How I Got My Husband to Change

I got my husband to change. When we first met Al was a smoker, and had been for 45 years. He was seriously overweight, and had been much of his life. He ate – and loved – the typical unhea
lthy American diet.
Today things are completely different. He hasn’t smoked since we got married: that was a huge accomplishment, and made a big difference in his health right away.
How did I get him to change?

7 Benefits of Healthy Living Beyond Being Healthy

For many people, lessening the risk of disease or living longer is a rather boring, un-spectacular motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Understanding more of the “other” benefits of healthy living can help us find more of the motivation necessary to actually make those healthy lifestyle choices. Here are some of those benefits.

What Your Lifestyle Can – and Can’t – Accomplish

Going to extremes is only human, but it’s not healthy. Many people have a difficult time finding a healthy balance in lifestyle choices.
On one extreme are those who throw caution to the wind. On the other extreme are those who wouldn’t eat a piece of bacon or a candy bar if they were starving. And then there are those who jump between those two extremes – with no better results.

Nature or Nurture: Managing Your Genes

The more than 3 billion base pairs that make up the DNA in each of your body’s cells provide a blueprint for everything about you. But are you doomed to live out the results of whatever your parents passed on to you – good or bad?
The genetic package we are each left with simply means we have to work harder in some areas than others.

Lifestyle

10 Tips for Losing Weight

Losing weight is one of the top resolutions people make every year, and yet one that people find hard to follow through on. The emotional, physical, and relationship cost of being overweight is heavy!
Here are some tips that I give to my patients when they want help to lose weight. I believe a lifestyle change is the safest, healthiest, and wisest way for most people to lose weight, but you may need some help along the way. Here are some tips to provide some of that help.

The Supplements I Recommend, and Why

Americans love supplements! Roughly half of us use them. We spent $11.5 billion on supplements last year, and that number is consistently climbing.
Here are the criteria I use in choosing whether to recommend a given product or supplement.
And here are the supplements I take, and those I recommend to my patients.

5 Different Kinds of Hunger

There is a difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Feeding emotional hunger with physical food may lessen the “Feed me!” screaming in your brain, but that only lasts a little while.
Understanding – and meeting – the different needs we have with appropriate “nourishment” will make a huge difference in our health and happiness.

4 Heart Reasons to Change

Any significant change in our habits, patterns of behavior, ways of thinking, or lifestyle is tough.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Doing something different will become easier and easier as new pathways are established in your brain.

What God Will NOT Do For You

There are a few things God will not do for you. We human beings sometimes presume on God’s grace and think that will excuse our bad behavior.
So don’t be angry with God when you experience some “natural consequences.” Do seek God for His grace in changing your character.

Nobody Wants to be Healthy

I have assumed everyone wants to be healthy. But that’s not true!
The most powerful lifestyle changes come from the inside out. For most of us a desire to “be healthy” is too nebulous, too temporary, too easy to compromise. It takes something deeper.

It’s Never Only Medical

When can you ever put stress, time, and money aside? Medical care does not exist in a vacuum. There are times when a serious illness demands something be done right now – sometimes something intense and expensive. But there are many more situations where there are choices involved. And I believe those choices are available many more times than most people realize.

7 Things to Do Intentionally Every Day

Do you remember learning the classic laws of thermodynamics, perhaps in seventh grade science class? The basic idea goes something like this: any system will seek equilibrium where the least amount of energy is expended.
Doing something on purpose makes the difference. So, for myself, here are some things I must do intentionally:

7 Things to Check when Not Feeling Good

I’m feeling good today.
But there are certainly days when I don’t feel good. Something’s definitely off. Occasionally it’s immediately obvious what’s wrong, but other times it’s frustrating to just feel bad and not be sure why.
We can’t expect to feel good every day. That’s just life.
Here’s my checklist for when things are looking bad, and most of the time it will help determine why I’m not feeling good.

Doctor, Doctor: Ignoring the Symptoms

I could probably use her real name: she’s been dead over 20 years. I met her one night in the emergency room during my residency training. She had been bleeding for months, and finally became so weak that she allowed her family to bring her to the hospital. She hadn’t seen a doctor in years.
Periodically it’s a good idea to do a mental check of the different areas of your life, and see if there are symptoms you might be ignoring. Symptoms that need to be dealt with before they get worse, and before the problem becomes deadly.

Doctor, Doctor: Are You Addicted?

Alcohol. Drugs – legal and illegal. Tobacco. Those are the “usual suspects.”
But there are a whole lot more: food, pornography, sex, gambling, internet/tech use, exercise, and more.
Is addiction a physical problem? A mental health issue? A spiritual matter?
Yes, yes, and yes. It’s all those. And if you struggle with any addiction and you don’t address each one of these areas, you are very unlikely to experience any real healing or relief. As with most things, it’s a matter of body, mind, and soul.

Healing begins

Where Does Healing Begin?

As a doctor I can give you pills. I can recommend changes in your lifestyle that can improve your health. I can do surgery at times. Once in a while I might even save someone’s life. But can I heal you?
As someone wanting to be healthy you might get all the exercise you need. You might follow careful healthy eating habits. You might get enough sleep and take plenty of vitamins. But will that heal you?
As a minister I can pray for you. I can teach you about having a relationship with God, and faith. I can introduce you to Him and help bring you into His presence. But can I heal you?

Doctor, Doctor: Your Physical Health

You don’t feel good, so you snap at your spouse. You’re tired, so you make a quick unwise decision you later regret. You wake up with a headache, so you try to sleep in, and skip your morning quiet time.
Our physical health impacts every other area of our lives. If you are in shape, at a healthy weight, with good nutrition, and well rested, you are a comparatively formidable force against any obstacle in your way. On the other hand, if you are sick and tired, overweight, full of junk food, and never exercise, you have no reserve to handle even the “normal” stuff life throws at you.

What is Your Body Telling You?

Our physical body takes a hit when we experience stress. Even if that stress is not especially negative or traumatic, our body takes the wear.
And if the stress involves danger or trauma, or continues over a significant period of time, our body may just “shut down” in some way.
It has been estimated that 75% or more of the time a patient visits a primary care physician the true reason is stress, psychological difficulty, or something related.

Doctor, Doctor, Tell Me

I do it almost every day. Someone doesn’t feel well. They come to see me as a doctor and talk about their symptoms. I ask questions, do an exam, order tests, and prescribe treatment. For some “simple” medical problems, that is enough.
But more often than not there are so many more issues beyond just the physical symptoms. If I ignore these other factors, the patient may or may not get better. And I have done the patient poor service.

The Bad (or Good) News about STDs

There’s one part of my job as an OB-Gyn physician that I dread. And I’ve had to do it several times in the last two weeks.
I dread telling a woman that she has just been diagnosed with an STD.
Within just the past few days I’ve had to address HIV, HPV, herpes, and chlamydia. There’s just no easy way to tell someone that kind of news. The tears, the physical distress, the fear, often the shame, in a woman’s face just tears at my heart.

A Salute to all Caregivers

I have not been a caregiver in the sense that many are. But if the statistics hold, one day I may be. The number of adults serving as caregiver to a parent, a spouse, or another family member is enormous.
With more of us living longer, the number needing care for illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or other dementia, stroke, or other brain disorders is only getting larger. Numbers can’t describe the emotional, financial, and physical toll caregiving takes on one’s life.
Not having experienced caregiving myself I’m sure anything I say would be inadequate to honor those who take on the responsibility for caring for a loved one. But I do want to say Thank You!

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Scary Thought

What was I going to write about? Oh yes, I remember. I just had a senior moment there.
Have you ever felt like that? Are you worried about whether it’s “just” a “senior moment”, or something much more scary – Alzheimer’s?
Losing one’s mental capacity ranks near the top on any list of fears about the future as people get older.

Staying Healthy On the Road

Keeping a healthy lifestyle is a challenge at any time. But when you’re traveling it takes special determination to keep from falling back into less healthy eating and exercise patterns. These tips for eating healthy and exercising on the road will keep you feeling better and healthier.

It’s Not Just About Me

“I’m not hurting anyone but myself.” “It’s a victim-less crime.” “It doesn’t matter what I do: nobody cares.” On the…

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