Dr. Abhinav Mahajan Awarded National Bariatric Board Certification

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Dr. Abhinav Mahajan, DPT, CCI, ITPT, CBC

Dr. Abhinav Mahajan, DPT, CCI, ITPT, a licensed physical therapist based in Modesto, California, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science he was recently credentialed as a Board-Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).

Dr. Mahajan is a Doctor of Physical Therapy practicing with California Rehabilitation and Doctors Medical Center, both in Modesto. At these centers he also serves as clinical director and instructor for clinical education, site services, for Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, and Speech therapy program student’s placements. He earned his master’s degree from A.T. Still University in Arizona and his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Northern Michigan University. Continue reading

Dr. Denise Hall Awarded National Bariatric Board Certification

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Dr. Denise Hall, CBC

Dr. Denise Hall, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist located in Norfolk, Virginia, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).

Dr. Hall has more than 15 years of experience in private clinical practice with specialty in conducting the requisite psychological assessment and evaluations for patients seeking bariatric surgeries. Currently she is practicing at a bariatric division of Sentara Medical Group located in Norfolk, Virginia. She continues to conduct psychological evaluations as well as actively facilitate several support groups for patients post bariatric surgery. Continue reading

Dr. Dalia Shawer, First Egyptian Health Professional Awarded Bariatric Board Certification

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Dr. Dalia Shawer, CBC

Dr. Dalia Shawer, CBC

Dr. Dalia Shawer, a pediatrician and licensed clinical nutritionist is the first Egyptian health professional to be awarded Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).

Dr. Shawer completed her medical training in Pediatrics at Alexandria University in Egypt and her Clinical and Therapeutic Nutrition training from the European Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. She also has been Certified as a Lactation Consultant by the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants. She specializes in pediatric and adult nutrition and weight management.

Her years of clinical experience in Egypt and Kuwait supports current research that demonstrates that a mother’s nutrition before and during pregnancy can contribute to their baby’s development of obesity. To offer her patients best practices she became a fellow with AABC and completed their specialized training and certification program.

Her scholarship and commitment to public health will further the AABC global mission of providing best practices in the care, treatment and prevention of obesity and related disorders.

American Association of Bariatric Counselors

For more information, please contact Carrie Moraites, Fellows Coordinator:
Email:carrie.moraites@aabc-certification.org

Tricia Cooke, MS, CDN, CNS, Awarded Bariatric Board Certification

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Tricia Cooke CBC

Tricia Cooke, MS, CDN, CNS, CBC

Tricia Cooke, a licensed clinical nutritionist-dietitian from Flushing, NY, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science, she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).

Cooke is an accomplished health professional with more than a decade of clinical experience counseling patients with complex chronic diseases. She has specialty in weight management and in the treatment of patients pre and post bariatric surgery.

Her training and education includes a BS in Nutrition from Queens College and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York Institute of Technology. She is a NYS Licensed and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist, in addition she has been Certified in Adult Weight Management by the Commission of Dietetic Registration.

Recognizing that obesities have biological mechanisms, psychological processes and social influences and requires specialized post-graduate training, she became a fellow with AABC and successfully completed their certification program. Her clinical experience, scholarship and commitment to public health will further the AABC global mission of providing best practices in the care and treatment of those suffering from obesity and related disorders.

American Association of Bariatric Counselors

For more information, please contact Carrie Moraites, Fellows Coordinator: Email: carrie.moraites@aabc-certification.org

Nicole Keating BS, CPT, CBC Awarded Bariatric Board Certification

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Nicole Keating, BS, CPT, CBC

Nicole Keating, BS, CPT, CBC, who resides in Arvada, Colorado, has been awarded National Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors, (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science, she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).

Her professional education includes a BS Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has been certified as a Personal Trainer by the American Council on Exercise as well as the National Academy of Sports Medicine. The American Fitness Professionals & Associates has awarded her certification as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Weight Management Consultant and Pre-Post Natal Exercise Specialist. Continue reading

EPIGENETICS: NATURE VIA NURTURE

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Science has historically been riddled with the nature vs nurture conundrum as it relates to human development. Perhaps this riddle has been solved with the emergence of the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics suggests that it is not nature vs nurture but rather nature via nurture that shapes human development.

Epigenetics recognizes that we all are born with a heritable genetic “blue print” that predisposes our development. Like father, like son; like mother, like daughter.  Developmental conditions like height and weight are more heritable then almost any other human condition studied. However, some of these inherited genes (nature) are malleable by outside influences (nurture) that can shape or reshape these predisposition potentials and affect our development.

Having tall parentage would likely predispose for tallness. But that predisposition potential cannot be realized unless weight baring activity and optimal nutrition (calcium, protein, Vitamin D etc.) is available. Continue reading

Avoidance Syndrome and  Dysregulated Eating Behaviors 

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Bariatric clinicians at The American Association of Bariatric Counselors have identified a frequently undiagnosed shame based dysfunctional psychological disorder that is pervasive amongst many obese patients that can help explain relapses: AVOIDANT PERSONALITY DISORDER DSM-5 30

As the diagnosis suggests, the main coping mechanism of those with avoidant personality disorder is avoidance. This chronic disorder is so deeply rooted, that shame riddled obese patients will avoid the pain of confronting anything that conjures up their obesity shame.

Feelings of shame triggers avoidant behaviors; interruption of self-monitoring, scale use, exercise, mindful eating, weight gain and especially not keeping appointments at your office/clinic This can explain how a minor weight gain can become a full blown relapse.

How Avoidant Personality Disorder Leads To Avoidance Syndrome and  Dysregulated Eating Behaviors

The best way we can explain how the Avoidance Syndrome leads to dysregulated eating behaviors and weight gain is by telling by a real story. There are many ways that this story can begin but this is the version that most patients identify with and how the story was told to me by a patient.

 

This completes part three our three part best practices series:

Subscribe to the Best Practices Blog below.

Part 1: Why Would Somebody Lose All The Weight and Then Gain It Back?

Part 2: Treating the Shame of Weight Gain

Metabolic Obesity vs Hedonic Obesity

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Some years ago Connecticut College undergrad students and a professor of psychology found that “America’s favorite cookie” is just as addictive as cocaine – at least for lab rats. And just like most humans, rats go for the middle first. (See video above)

Their study found that that Oreos caused a higher level of activation than cocaine or morphine in the same brain pathways related to drug addiction. This supports the hypothesis that processed foods like Oreos that synthesize flour, sugar and fat are contributors to the obesity pandemic and comparable to drug addiction. Continue reading

Does Obesity cause Diabetes, or does Diabetes cause Obesity?

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Even those of us in the bariatric science community can become prejudice to the familiar and can and be blinded by the science of public consensus.

Perhaps it is because we often recognize overweight/ obesity prior to a diagnosis of type II diabetes that we leap to a cause and effect relationship and thus conclude that obesity causes diabetes?  Maybe we are wrong. What we know now about Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome is that insulin resistance prevents glucose from entering our cells and results in elevated blood glucose. The elevated glucose is then converted in fatty acids and with the aid of insulin gets stored as fat in adipose tissue, resulting in obesity. Continue reading

Researchers Discover Thin Gene Hormone

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Asprosin hormone: Extreme Thinness Hormone May Prevent Obesity and Diabetes

Asprosin hormone the Thin Gene

The gut and brain have a multitude of very powerful chemical messengers that regulates eating behavior and weight.

In recent years bariatric scientists have been able to finally identify some of the messengers that can start and stop a meal. Being able mediate these messengers may offer the “the silver bullet” cure for diabesity treatment.

Current science thinking is that these gut brain cross-talking chemical messengers may be very different between the thin and thick. Continue reading

American Association of Bariatric Counselors Receives Approval by National Board for Certified Counselors

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Announcement

The American Association of Bariatric Counselors, Providers of Bariatric Education and Certification for Licensed, Registered and Certified Health and Education Professionals Has Become a Continuing Education Approved Provider for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Sheryl Phillips, Director of Academic Standards and Compliance for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors

Sheryl Phillips, Director of Academic Standards and Compliance for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors

Sheryl Phillips, Director of Academic Standards and Compliance for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC), has announced that AABC has successfully met all standards of education, and has become a Continuing Education Approved Provider for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Today, there are more than 60,000 National Certified Counselors in 40 countries. Certified Counselors have met high research based national standards set by the counseling profession. AABC shares the NBCC vision of enhancing society worldwide through quality counseling. Continue reading

American Association of Bariatric Counselors Receives Accreditation

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Stephen Phillips, Director of Public Policy and Legislation

Stephen Phillips, Director of Public Policy and Legislation

Stephen Phillips, Director of Public Policy for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC), has announced that AABC has successfully met all standards of education, and has become a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider for The Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR is the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Director Phillips stated that, ìthe Commission’s certification programs are fully accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence based in Washington, D.C. AABC’s accreditation reflects achievement of the highest standards of professional credentialing. Continue reading

Preventing Diet Hunger

Glycemic Index Pyramid Diet Hunger

Glycemic Index Pyramid

Diet Hunger

A common problem with reduced calorie diets is the nagging hunger that is generally experienced. So understanding which foods and combination of foods that offer optimal satiety be can be ideal for mitigating “diet hunger”. The longer it takes for foods to be digested and absorbed the greater the satiety. Meat, fish and fowl, contain fat and protein.. the two nutrients with the slowest gastrointestinal transit time (slow digesting).

Glycemic Index: All Carbohydrates Are Not Equal

All carbohydrates are not equal and have a great deal variability, some digest quickly and some very slowly. Continue reading

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex After Bariatric Surgery

How long do I have to wait to have sex after bariatric surgery?

How long do I have to wait to have sex after bariatric surgery?

Like all surgeries, the recovery period is very individual…as is the time to resume sex after bariatric surgery.  If the bariatric surgery was performed “open” as opposed to laparoscopically the recovery time will take a little longer. Patients are advised to listen their doctors as well their bodies.  Some patients are able to resume their sex life within a week to ten days and some take many weeks, even months.  The “rule of thumb” for sex as well as other physical activities; if the patient is not experiencing pain or discomfort there is no reason to abstain. However if a patient feels uncomfortable during sex or other strenuous  physical activities, have them wait a bit longer before they try again.

Most patients do report an increase in libido and improved sex life after weight-loss, and weight-loss also improves fertility for many men and women. Needless to say, improved fertility, and increased libido/sexual frequency requires careful attention to birth control.

For both the health of the developing fetus as well as the mother, pregnancy post-surgery is best deferred until the weight-loss stops and the mother’s weight stabilizes.

It should be noted that for those patients with minimal sexual experience or for couples that have had long interrupted sex lives, shyness, shame, body image dissatisfaction are realities and prudent bariatric counseling is essential.

QUESTIONS MOST PATIENTS ARE EMBARRASSED TO ASK

Continue reading

Kelly A. Johnson, RD, LD, Awarded National Bariatric Board Certification

Kelly A. Johnson, RD, LD, CBC

Kelly A. Johnson, RD, LD, CBC

Kelly A. Johnson, RD, LD, a registered and licensed dietitian from Houston, Texas, has been awarded Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC).

After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).

Ms. Johnson currently serves as a clinical dietitian/nutritionist at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center in Houston. She is an integral member of their NewStart program’s interdisciplinary bariatric surgery team. She provides outpatient bariatric nutrition counseling for weight-loss-surgery patients.

Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Texas in Austin. She then completed a specialized dietetic internship within the Baptist Heath System in San Antonio.

Recognition of the obesity pandemic and the need for specialized competency in bariatric science inspired her post-graduate training and certification with AABC. Her clinical experience, scholarship and commitment to public health will further the AABC global mission of providing best practices in the care and treatment of those suffering from obesity and related disorders.

American Association of Bariatric Counselors

For more information, please contact Carrie Moraites, Fellows Coordinator:

Email: carrie.moraites@aabc-certification.org
Website: www.aabc-certification.org 

AABC Developing Standards for Centers of Therapeutic Excellence

AABC DirectorSheryl Phillips, MPH, RDN, CBC, CDN, Director of Standards and Compliance for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors has announced the development of the Centers of Therapeutic Excellence (COTE) initiative.

Director Phillips said, “We are developing the standards and criteria to identify centers that have kept pace with emerging bariatric science and provide best counseling practices. Centers with bariatric science trained professionals that have the sensitivity, skills and training to recognize and treat the biological mechanisms, psychological processes and social influences of obesities.”

AABC has appointed a specialized advisory board comprised of some of their distinguished senior fellows and staff executives that will collaborate with Director Phillips in the development of COTE; Shaimaa Alasfour MD, CBC, Denise Hall PhD, CBC, Joseph Indelicato PhD, Clara Jerez MD, CBC,  Dale Jerez MD, CBC, Michelle Kasson Ph.D, Michelle Matoff Psy.D, LCSW, CBC,Carrie Moraites, Louise Petrou CBC.

AABC fellows that recognize the importance of the COTE initiative and would like to participate in the development can contact:  sheryl.phillips@aabc-certification.org or carrrie.moraites@aabc-certification.org

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Rosana Gilles-Lamontagne LPC Awarded National Bariatric Board Certification

Rosana Gilles-Lamontagne, Ed.S, MA.Ed, ACS, LPC, CBC

Rosana Gilles-Lamontagne, Ed.S, MA.Ed, ACS, LPC, a clinical supervisor and licensed professional counselor from Glassboro, N.J, has been awarded Board Certification by the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC). After completing a specialized training and education program in bariatric science she was recently credentialed as a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor (CBC).

Ms. Gilles-Lamontagne serves as a psychotherapist at the Inspira Behavioral Wellness Center in Glassboro N.J. She is an integral member of the Inspira Health Network bariatric care team and performs the requisite pre-operative candidate assessment testing.  In addition, she provides individual counseling for patients post bariatric surgery.

She received her graduate degrees in mental health from Seton Hall University and has more than 15 years of diverse clinical experience, providing individual, group and family therapy for patients from pediatrics to geriatrics. Continue reading