Obesity and Thyroid Function

leonor-corsino-md-face-mhsBy: Leonor Corsino, MD, FACE, MHS, Endocrinologist, Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery

January is Thyroid Awareness Month. The thyroid is an endocrine gland, located at the base of the neck, responsible for producing thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s energy use as well as the function of the brain, heart, muscles and other organs to make sure they are properly functioning.

Research has shown individuals suffering with obesity are potentially at an increased risk for developing autoimmune thyroid disease as well as thyroid cancer. On the other hand, thyroid malfunction is usually cited as a potential cause of obesity, but this remains very controversial.

A research study looked at weight loss surgery and its effect on thyroid function for individuals with morbid obesity. Results found that in a small group of patients treated with a thyroid hormone before surgery, 43.5% had improvement with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) after surgery. If you are obese and have a thyroid problem, talk to your doctor to see if weight loss surgery is right for you.

For more information about weight loss surgery at Duke, attend a free seminar. Register at www.DukeWLS.org.

Raftopoulos Y, et al. Improvement of hypothyroidism after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity. Obes Surg. 2004 Apr;14(4):509-13.

Padwal R. et al. A systematic review of drug absorption following bariatric surgery and its theoretical implications. Obes Rev. 2010 Jan;11(1):41-50


Duke Medicine Women’s Health Initiative presents Stronger Together 2015

On Saturday, April 11, 2015, Duke Medicine’s Women’s Health Initiative will host its biennial Stronger Together regional conference on important and timely women’s health topics. This year’s conference will focus on matters of women in midlife, including sexuality, menopause and pelvic floor disorders.

Come learn about healthy living options in a fun, positive environment with free health screenings, vendor exhibits, demonstrations and educational breakout sessions with leading healthcare experts.

Duke’s oldest co-ed a cappella group, Rhythm and Blue, will perform and New York Times best-selling author, Iris Krasnow, will speak about her newest book, Sex After. Her address will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

For more information and to register, click here.

Events honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

496664943(1)Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” Each year, people across the country—including members of our Duke Regional family—answer that question by coming together to serve their neighbors and communities.

January 19, 2015, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is also observed as a national day of service, providing a perfect opportunity to honor King’s legacy. We encourage you to volunteer, if you are able, during the Day of Service and help give back to the community. Some of our employees will be packaging thousands of meals for United Way of the Greater Triangle through Stop Hunger Now.

Events at Duke Regional
Duke Regional will hold two events to honor King’s life and work. A chapel service with guest preacher Reverend Jerome Washington, pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Durham, will be held at 1 pm January 20 in the hospital chapel; and a candlelight vigil will be held Tuesday, January 20 at 2:30 pm, on the hospital’s second floor.

Thank you for helping make our community a great place to live.

Enjoying Fruits and Veggies During Winter

106211_keenan001By: Elizabeth Villalta, MS, RD, LDN, Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery

Winter may not seem like the best time of year for getting fruits and vegetables into your diet, but this is a great time for cabbage-family vegetables and citrus fruits.

In the cabbage family, brussels sprouts, collard greens and kale are all plentiful this time of year. All are excellent sources of vitamin C (to help ward off that cold) with brussels sprouts also being a good source of fiber and folate (also known as vitamin B-12). Collard greens and kale are excellent sources of vitamin A and good sources of calcium.

Brussels sprouts can be easily roasted or steamed and added to a pasta dish. They can also be candied by dusting with brown sugar and heating in the microwave. Collard greens can replace lettuce as a base for your salad or added in stir fry. Kale can be a side dish by simmering with broth, garlic and salt. Kale can also be steamed and seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Try adding it to soup or substituting it for spinach.

Clementine, grapefruit, kiwifruit, papaya, passion fruit, oranges and pomegranate are citrus fruits that are easily accessible this time of year. Much like the cabbage-family vegetables, citrus fruits are all high in or excellent sources of vitamin C. Many citrus fruits are also good sources of fiber and high in vitamin A. Kiwifruit and pomegranate are good sources of potassium.

All these fruits can be eaten fresh or added to oatmeal, yogurt, salad, chicken wraps and smoothies. If you want to get creative (or need to be sneaky adding in new foods) try making a citrus salsa to top your fish or chicken.

Don’t forget frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables can be enjoyed all year. Be sure to look for fruits without added sugar or syrups. Canned items should be low in sodium.

Durham County Hospital Corporation Board of Trustees Announces Open Positions

Durham County Hospital Corporation Board of Trustees, with the authority of the Durham Board of County Commissioners, announces the vacancy of five positions resulting from expiration of terms on the Board of Trustees of the Durham County Hospital Corporation. Terms are for three years (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018). The governing body is responsible for managing the business and affairs of the Corporation and for carrying out retained responsibilities as set forth in the operating agreement by and among Durham County, Durham County Hospital Corporation, and Duke University Health System dated July 1, 1998, as amended January 1, 2009.

Applicants must be residents of Durham County. Property tax listing must be current. County and City taxes must not reflect any delinquencies before an application is submitted. Applications are due January 30, 2015.

For more information, click here.

Weight Loss Surgery & Diabetes

Weight loss surgery is proven to be more effective than medical therapy alone when it comes to treating diabetes in morbidly obese individuals.

In a study of morbidly obese individuals with diabetes, researchers compared intensive medical therapy alone versus bariatric surgery to see which treatment had the greatest impact on diabetes. Over a three-year period, patients who received bariatric surgery enjoyed significantly better outcomes versus those who received intensive medical therapy. In fact, most patients who received medical therapy alone had worse hemoglobin A1c levels (a marker of long-term blood sugar control) and required higher doses of medications as the study progressed, while a number of surgery patients were able to stop taking diabetes medications within days of the operation.

To find out more about the most effective treatment for your diabetes, or to learn more about weight loss surgery, the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery invites you to attend a free seminar. Visit dukewls.org to register for an upcoming seminar.

(*Schauer, et al. Bariatric surgery versus intensive medical therapy for diabetes: 3-year outcomes. NEJM 2014)