May 17

Eulogy for Alan H. Weigand, M.D.

 

The Island of Ischia across from Capri

The Island of Ischia across from Capri

01 Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
 
This is the long overdue eulogy for my husband Alan H. Weigand, MD.
A copy will go to Grove city College, Jefferson Medical College,  Temple University Law School,  UMDNJ,  and all our  friends on Facebook.
The psychiatric panacea of denial lasts a few months but eventually the pounding of reality must be recognized.
Alan died on June 26th, 2013 after a long illness.
 
 
He was born in Sacramento, California on February 16th 1934 to Kathryn Edmiston and Harvey Weigand.

He is survived by his wife, Tina, the writer of this Eulogy, two daughters,  Kathryn and Angela,  who he affectionately  named  Princess 1 and Princess 2, his 2 sons-in-Law, Jeffrey Seltmann and Neill O’Reilly,  his 4 grandchildren, Emily Seltmann and Reagan, Aine and Niall O’Reilly, his sister Sharon Powell and her husband Gerry, and his nieces Laura and Tami.

His favorite picture of Princess 1, Kathryn on the left, and Princess 2, Angela on the right

His favorite picture of Princess 1, Kathryn on the left, and Princess 2, Angela on the right

Another picture that remained on his desk. Taken at least 25

Angela went on to study the harp since Dad was relentless. He hauled that harp everywhere she played…transported with JOY!

 These two pictures were on his desk for at least 25 years.

Angela went on to play the Harp.Some of his most joyous

moments came after hauling her harp to her performances

and listening to her play.

Kathryn joined in on occasion but, like her mother,

if it doesn’t come instantly find something that will!.

 

 

As a child Alan moved frequently since his father was involved in building the St Lawrence Seaway and  similar projects around the United States.

Despite the constant upheavals he was consistently voted,  “ the most likely to succeed”.

Alan on the far right.  A freshman at Grove City College. The beginning of a brilliant career

Alan on the far right. A freshman at Grove City College. The beginning of a brilliant career

Graduation from Grove City College led to his career in Medicine.  Because of his outstanding accomplishments in Organic Chemistry, he was awarded the honor of Cum Laude and invited to 4 medical Colleges, no application necessary.

He chose Jefferson Medical College and graduated in 1958.

Always in pursuit of more knowledge he picked the specialty of Legal Medicine and started Law School at Temple University.

It wasn’t until his children were born that he decided to return to Medicine to take a residency in Rehabilitation Medicine at Albert Einstein in NY City so he could be home by 4:30 to spend more time with his family.

He and his wife shared a successful private practice in Ho-Ho-Kus , and Ridgewood, NJ.

He was quickly promoted to Head of the Department at UMDNJ ,  the medical school in New Jersey, and was nationally recognized as the “Best Electromyographer on the East Coast”.

He was very comfortable with needles and numerous wires.

His children called him “Wires Weigand”

He found his medical niche as Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine.  He trained the young doctor residents to detect neuro-muscular diseases and institute possible therapies .

His patients in the Spinal Service and the Wounded Warriors thrived under his care.

Despite unspeakable tragedies and deformities his genuine love for all of them,  his clever wit, gave them the strength to overcome their difficulties and stick to their rehabilitation exercises with great enthusiasm.

Rather than crumble under the devastating effects of wars and accidents his patients came alive with his sense of humor, and humility.

"I admired his honesty . A true humanitarian who gave hope and humor to his patients."

Nephew and Legacy Tom Valenti www.OrthoRemedy.com

The Ortho Remedy,  Inc. Cliffside Park,  New Jersey

The Ortho Remedy,
Inc. Cliffside Park,
New Jersey

His love for his patients made him very popular helping thousands of patients.

His legacy came with his nephew, Tom Valenti.  Although he was very fond of his brother Nick and sister MaryAngela Valenti, Tom went on to fill his Uncle’s Rx . He created The Ortho Remedy with his wife Maureen.

Today his children are carrying on this great tradition.

 

 

Tom claims my father, Grandpa Nick, was his other inspiration.  Grandpa saw that Tom was very successful and entrepreneurial at a very young age. He created his own business while working on cars on the week-ends and after school.

Grandpa was very proud of him but did not like getting his hands dirty.

That’s when he asked Alan to direct him to the right school and the rest is history.

Alan was Tom’s inspiration to specialize in Prosthetics and Orthotics and today he enjoys one of the most successful practices  in the US, located in Cliffside Park, New Jersey .

Pinot Grigio, the canine tenor,  waited for Alan to play the organ. On the second note he would start to sing. He loved the opera and sang only in Italian

Pinot Grigio, the canine tenor, waited for Alan to play the organ. On the second note he would start to sing. He loved the opera and sang only in Italian

Tom says” what I admired about Uncle Al was his honesty and his sense of humor.

It’s that sense of humor that helps these patients start to heal!”

Tom adopted that same style of humor lifting the spirits of some very tragic cases …a true humanitarian like his uncle.

Tom…..He was so proud of you and  he’s still gloating! 

His dog Pinot Grigio. the canine tenor, was his musical partner.

Whenever Alan played he would accompany him loudly and proudly.

Pinot was an IG or Italian Greyhound.

He preferred the Italian Opera to Bach but never missed an opportunity to  show off.

 

Alan  felt his greatest contribution to the world were his two daughters. He was completely involved with their lives.

During his long illness just the sound of their voices gave him extra time.

Holding court with Barbara delli Bovi, M.D.

Holding court with Barbara delli Bovi, M.D.

Dancing to "Daddy's Little Girl"  at Angela's wedding. He looks so serious because he's about to cry

Dancing to
“Daddy’s Little Girl”
at Angela’s wedding.
He looks so serious because he’s about to cry

A very proud day when he danced with Angela at her wedding. He was very fond of Neill  when he invited us to lunch and  announced that he wanted our daughter’s hand in marriage. Parents still love that old-fashioned touch.

Alan was unable to dance with Kathryn at her weddding to Jeffrey Seltmann.

Alan and Emily reading a book in Italian.
Having Emily close brought back many happy memories of Kathryn, his Magnum Opus

He was disappointed when he was unable to dance with Kathryn at her wedding and was comforted with his picture with Emily while reading an Italian book.

 

 

 

Alan, “The Renaissance Man “continually amazed all of us with his genius. He spoke several languages including the Sicilian dialect so he wouldn’t miss anything.

He loved Italy, particularly Sicily,a climate which was reminiscent of his growing up in California.

Italy provided his insatiable quest for the Arts, Music and Architecture.  His appreciation of Italian culture extended all the way from Federico Fellini to The Godfather on TV.

Alan was very much at home in Sorrento with the Vesuvio background

Alan was very much at home in Sorrento with the Vesuvio background

Pompeii Italy

Pompeii Italy

Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.

Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Lots of people that he loved in there including Pinot's predecessor Farinelii.

Someone made this montage. It has a hint of Cookie but I think his daughters put it together

He resisted for years. "It's always green" convinced him.

The permanent move to Florida.
“Every thing is always green!”

 

He resisted the move to Florida for many years. Once there he didn’t want to go up anymore.

And “Pinot would freeze up North”!

He was an accomplished musician.  He wrote music, played the piano the violin and the accordion.

His love was the Hammond Organ. Watching his 6 ft 1 presence tapping the foot pedals was quite a site. He filled our home with Bach’s Fugues, roller rink specials, Neapolitan sing-a longs, as well as every Sesame Street tune which the children enjoyed immensely.

Christmas carols were something else. He started around October and went well into the next year.

The huge room on the right featured Alan on the organ and lots of kids dancing and singing to the music overlooking the lake.

Our home in               HoHoKus, New Jersey

After work and on the week-ends the girls and their friends would assemble

in that huge music room overlooking the lake in HoHoKus. (Click on the picture and enjoy old memories)

He supplied each of them and their friends with an instrument, or noise maker, and they danced and sang and filled our home with great happiness as he played their favorite tunes.

I know Alan is forever embedded in their memories with the many performances and happy times he created at our house in HoHoKus, NJ.

The Drs Alfano and Weigand

Always on the dance floor but stayed in one spot!

 

Alan’s death has been a life-changing loss. His Energy lives on in that mysterious

 ”Al Di La”…

I know him very well. I’m confident that he is spending his time with Beethoven, Bach, Irving Berlin and smiling patiently at us as we try to figure it all out.

 

 

 

Constance Alfano-Weigand, MD

April 17, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 12

Welcome patients and new friends.

 

Welcome new friends and former patients to my cyber office!

“Where Traditional and Alternative Medicine Meet for Your Good Health”

 

Very early in my career I became aware of the serious consequences of some of the drugs I was taught to use.  There were times when veritable “miracles” happened after I took patients off the drugs they had been using for years. My reputation as “The Doctor of Last Resort” came after I saved my Rx pad for last and focused more on the CAUSE and not the symptoms of disease processes.

The Secret of my success was:

  • Diet and Lifestyle adjustment
  • Detoxification and removal of Inflammation
  • Detecting and Supplementing nutritional deficiencies

All done after targeted, individualized,   laboratory testing.

So Stay With Me…

You owe it to yourself and to those you love

I’m retired from the practice and now have more time to research and, more importantly, more time to answer your questions or, just say Hello!

Constance Alfano-Weigand, MD,CCN,ND

 I wish I could see you face to face!

 Dr. Alfano

For the meantime have a seat! There’s an empty chair for you.

 

 

Oct 07

Ovarian Cancer Prevention

Dr. Constance Alfano-Weigand,
Jupiter, Florida
September 22nd 2012

Dear Ann Romney,

During the Democratic Convention, Sandra Fluke, Georgetown University’s law graduate and Women’s Rights Activist spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Wednesday night, September 5, 2012                                                              

Ms. Fluke made some startling statements regarding the medical use of Sonograms. These statements are very disturbing, misleading and could severely threaten women’s lives, by convincing women not to have certain tests.

These quotes are taken directly from her speech:

1.       “…Many women are shut out and silenced…”
I went to medical school in the 60’s. Not one single problem ever. In fact, I felt being a woman was advantageous!
2.       “…An America in which States humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don’t want and our doctors say we don’t need…”
This is a very dangerous statement.
3.      “…in which no one can deny us affordable access to the cancer screenings that could save our lives…”
This statement contradicts the previous statement.

 

Attached is a copy of the letter I’m sending to Ms. Fluke in order to get her to dispel the ludicrous accusation of the so-called, “War on Women”.

Your own health experiences are testimony to your credibility. You are the ideal messenger.

Please help get this message to all women.

I’m very grateful, and I wish you the very best of health for a very long time!

Sincerely,

Constance Alfano-Weigand, MD,CCN,ND

www.DoctorAlfano.com

www.ovariancancerprevention.com (under construction)

Dr. Constance Alfano-Weigand

Jupiter, Florida

September 22nd 2012

 

Dear Ms. Fluke,

I’m always very happy to see talented women joining the respected professions and I wish you every success and a brilliant legal career.

As a physician of almost 30 years with a large female practice, I was surprised to hear your position on medical sonograms, invasive sonograms, and that the doctors don’t want them either. This is extremely disturbing and a severe threat to women’s health. You said:

1. “…Many women are shut out and silenced…” I went to medical school in the 60’s. Not one single problem ever. In fact, I felt being a woman was advantageous!

2. “…An America in which States humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don’t want and our doctors say we don’t need…” This is a very dangerous, misleading statement.

3. “…in which no one can deny us affordable access to the cancer screenings that could save our lives…” This statement contradicts the previous statement.

Ovarian Cancer is very difficult to diagnose.

Symptoms are varied. Unfortunately, sometimes the first symptom indicates the cancer has spread.

My own niece was treated for GERD and “indigestion” for 3 years until she experienced severe abdominal pain. She was rushed to the local ER where a cantaloupe size cancer was found.

Another one of my patients was on a weight loss regimen for about a year until she experienced symptoms localized to the ovaries. By the time she came to me the cancer had spread to the abdomen. By this time we had become close friends.

I cannot adequately express the frustration, the sorrow, and yes the anger, and the desperation I felt to save her life.

I managed to keep her alive for almost 4 years. I even got in trouble with the Medical Board for using alternative methods unknown to the FDA.

I lost the battle.

To this day, many years later, the vision of her 3 children sitting in my office is fixed in my brain.

An overwhelming helplessness was with me for a long time until I decided to go after this enemy with a vengeance.

I created a protocol that would prevent this from ever happening again.

Every female in my practice started with a baseline sonogram of both ovaries included with the basic History and Physical. This was repeated every 3 years. I was determined to find a possible cancer in the early stages where it could be removed and trashed.

Now I was in charge and my patient was safe.

Isn’t this what a doctor should do?

Ms. Fluke, it’s the invention of the Sonogram that you mentioned that enables us to do that.

The “invasive sonogram” is another life saver. The visibility is far greater and any lesion is seen with specificity. Diagnosis is much more accurate.

I can’t imagine any doctor that would oppose that.

Gilda Radner lost her life at a young age to Ovarian Cancer. Ella Grasso, the governor of Connecticut was a menopausal female and she also became a victim. Age is not a barrier. We are all susceptible!

So my dear Ms. Fluke, please retract these statements.  Encourage all women to follow my protocol, to have sonograms, mammograms, colonoscopies and all those wonderful medical tools we have, to get the cancer before it gets us.

Today more doctors are aware of the difficulty in detecting ovarian cancer. The slightest suspicion should have the doctor perform a complete pelvic exam, a transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound, and a CA-125 blood test. Used individually, these tests are not definitive; they are most effective when used in combination with each other. Doctors may also use a CT scan or PET scan as part of the diagnostic process. As time and progress move on in a medical society where doctors are free to use their skills aggressively, our diagnostic abilities will improve and hopefully this deadly disease will be eradicated.

The only definitive way to determine if a patient has ovarian cancer is through surgery and biopsy but a high index of suspicion and preliminary testing must be and should be done on all patients.

Your last quote:

“…in which no one can deny us affordable access to the cancer screenings that could save our lives; “

On this, we are in complete agreement.

Again, I urge you to encourage all women to follow my protocol, to have sonograms, mammograms, colonoscopies and use all those wonderful medical and diagnostic tools we have, to get the cancer before it gets us.

Sincerely,

Constance Alfano-Weigand, MD,CCN,ND

 

References:

This article *http://www.ovariancancer.org/about-ovarian-cancer/statistics/ describes the statistics and Ovarian Cancer.

Researchers make headway in ovarian cancer detection, reports Harvard Women’s Health Watch

April 2010

“When it comes to ovarian cancer, silence can be deadly. About three-quarters of ovarian cancers are diagnosed after the cancer has quietly spread to other parts of the body, making treatment difficult. Researchers are slowly making headway in developing tests to identify ovarian cancer in its earlier, treatable stages, reports the April 2010 issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Detecting ovarian cancer early is tricky for many reasons. The ovaries are difficult to feel during a pelvic exam, making early-stage tumors hard to spot on a routine exam. Ovarian cancer doesn’t start with any known precancerous lesion. And while ovarian cancer may produce telltale chemicals, such as cancer antigen 125 (CA-125), no biomarker specific to ovarian cancer has yet been identified. Taking ultrasound images of the ovaries via the vagina could potentially spot early ovarian tumors, but most ovarian tumors aren’t cancerous, and surgery is the only way to tell if a suspicious growth is cancerous or benign. Two trials are under way to find out if screening with ultrasound plus CA-125 testing improves survival, but the final results aren’t expected for several years.

 

Dec 02

Something’s rotten in the state of health

This article was written a while back. I wanted to include it so you would know the prejudice surrounding  all the physicians brave enough to protect your rights.
 Robert Atkins, MD knew,  I knew, and many other ‘out of the box physicians” knew,  we had to learn how to let the body heal itself. An Rx for a symptom was only part of our treatment. The whole treatment was to love your patients, listen to them,  give them hope,  and individualize a program they could follow using our innate intelligence and not the pressure from the Boards.
 

New Hope! Thanks to Dr. Oz who has taken over where we left off!

 From the “Ask the Doctor” Column

In Memory of my friend Robert Atkins, MD

The news of the suspension of  ”Dr. Atkins” medical license this past week has caused me, my staff and thousands of people in the health field to question the validity of the governing officials. We are all frightened to use our intelligence. Can they simply rip your life’s work away from you if you use experience and knowledge to care for your patients?  Will we have to turn patients away out of fear of having our licenses revoked?

A  US Senator remains in office after leaving a young girl to drown. He has admitted a serious problem with alcohol. His brother entertained many women in the building where his wife and children lived as he used his executive powers to run the government..

The FDA just removed  two dangerous drugs which it had previously approved, from the market.  We are all supposed to understand this and ignore it.  Nobody’s perfect. Right?

An update for this year…A powerful drug company has set six and a half billion dollars aside for legal defense because their drug caused  strokes and cardiovascular incidents which it had previously claimed to prevent.

Why is it that medical doctors, who have earned everything the old fashioned way, are subjected to such suspicious scrutiny?  It’s as if we studied eight years longer than is required for most degrees; stayed on call 24, 36 and 48 hours at a time; exposed ourselves to all the diseases; listened to problem after problem; read seven or eight medical journals a week; constantly assumed enormous responsibilities; and protected ourselves financially from a litigious society looking to profit from our work—just to cheat everyone and overcharge them?

There are times when I look at my staff and think, “There will never be enough money to pay these special, dedicated people.”  When I see them working so hard to satisfy and comfort everyone in trouble, I thank God that these are the people who surround me. I asked Linda, my office managed, to represent our feelings. I ask you, the reader, to think of us as kindly as we do of you. I ask that you respect the illustrious contributions of Dr. Robert Atkins and all those medical scientists who spend their lives making yours better.

Although I am retired from the practice,  my love and respect for my girls remains the same.

Linda’s letter follows:

  Linda Katz

“When I chose a career as a medical assistant approximately 29 years ago, it was because I loved people and wanted to help. I looked forward to making a difference in their lives and comforting them when they were in need. Things have changed greatly since I made that choice.

“I remember when patient care was the most time-consuming part of the physician’s day, and mine. I remember when patients paid their bills and were immediately reimbursed by their insurance companies. I remember when collection agencies for doctors’ offices were unheard of. I remember when “Code” meant a patient was in cardiac arrest. Now “Code”—procedure code and diagnosis code—brings frustration to each staff member who hears the word.

“Doctors can no longer run their practices with just someone to answer the phone and a nurse. They need to have an office manager, an insurance coordinator, a receptionist, a computer specialist and many clerical assistants. Instead of devoting all their time to patient care (which is their primary concern!) doctors must now divert their attention to matters such as meeting the payroll, answering the many letters from insurance companies requiring more and more information, and patients who are just looking for them to make one small mistake. What has happened to Medicine?

The patient, doctor and office staff long for the “old days” when a patient was sick and just came to the doctor for loving, supportive and professional care; then time was taken up thinking about medicine and not economics; and when insurance companies paid for care without millions of questions and unnecessary paper work.

“Oh, yes, many things are different now, but one thing has always remained the same: I love my patients and want the best for them, more than anything else. That’s what medicine should be about!”

Linda Katz, Office Manager

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 02

Success!©

 
This is my favorite Testimonial. When he came to see me his chief complaint was a tremor he had in both hands. He was a writer and often took his pad and pen with him to capture his inspiration. When he had his fill of Rxs he came to see me.
 
 This is his  letter after he learned the power of delayed food allergies:

Patient to Doctor – Success!©

“Growing older” always seemed to mean counting the years and boring young folks with tales of how I won World War II single handedly. Lately, it has meant trying not to notice each new physical complaint.

“Luckily, my doctor had the standard treatment for each symptom: Vasotec for elevated blood pressure; Motrin for back pain; Valium for shaky hands; more Motrin for knee pain; antacids for bloating; and more Valium just for feeling lousy.

“Years ago, I discovered that my mother and New York State were both wrong. Milk was not good for me. Without milk, my digestion improved, but I was still bouncing from constipation to diarrhea with constant heartburn.

“Every morning I ate a sesame bagel with a coughing spasm that made me guess that I had a wheat sensitivity, but I wouldn’t back away from my favorite breakfast.

“I’m blessed with a sunny disposition, but that smile was wearing thin.

“Now comes the good part. I went to see Dr. Alfano. Having read her columns about food sensitivities, I thought she could help me feel better. Now, three months later, what has happened is unreal. The results of a blood test uncovered a plan that I could follow. At last my body wasn’t fighting my food intake.  My life and mood have completely changed.

“My blood pressure is now normal without medication. My back pain is gone, and my hand tremor has subsided. My knees don’t hurt, and my digestion is as good as it was in 1944 when I was in the Army and could eat nails.

“Although this was not a reducing diet, I’ve shed 30 pounds. My waist size has gone from 40 to 36, and I feel great! I can hardly believe it myself, Dr. Alfano, I love you!”.

(By the way, this gentleman is not sensi­tive to the wheat in the bagels. The sesame seeds were the problem!

S. V., was the editor of the local newspaper that published my articles. I love you too S.V.)

Nov 19

Here’s the EVIDENCE, your Honor

Blood test for nutritional def. Patients with shopping bags full

Nov 19

The Great Impersonator©

 Patient to Doctor — The Great Impersonator©

Disguised under many hats lies a disease that threatens the life of the individual and all those around him or her. Deceptively, this disease can present itself as an eating disorder such as gluttony, bulemia or anorexia. The victim may be hyper or total­ly immobile. He or she could be monk-like in religious fervor, or a derelict abandoned to hedonism.

“I never touch liquor,” one person might say, while another with the same disorder could be lost in a drunken stupor. The per­son might be always in pain, or may never feel a thing.

The many faces of depression come without labels. If you think this is easy to recognize, think again. The patient who is stricken with this ailment has worked every­thing out so well, you would never suspect. He or she could be the life of the party.

Anhedonia, the Greek word for the ab­sence of pleasure, is the common thread that weaves the painful thoughts of the depressed patient. There is never any light at the end of the tunnel. Decisions are difficult; concentration is difficult. There is a dark cloud just about above everything.

The fear of being found out is always present. Many patients feel, “it’s just a chemical disorder”! Many times it is. I have witnessed incredible results by improving the diet, removing food allergies, and correction of nutritional deficiencies. If the condition os recognized ealy enough, it may work and it is definitely worth a shot! Ignoring it, pretending it will go away, never results in anything other than disatrous complications.

“I don’t want anyone to think I’m crazy,” some say. They hesitate to tell people how they feel so no one will think less of them. A physician, an attorney or a judge or a senator doesn’t want others to think he or she is incompetent.

It is time to recognize depression as an llness. Just like diabetes or high blood pressure, this may be an inherited illness over which the patient has no control whatsoever. Learn about it. Don’t be afraid of it. Caught early, it may be entirely curable.

We didn’t catch my friend early enough. He was only 40 when he died. Actually, the death started the first day he was introduced to the effects of alcohol, which took 20 years to kill him.

Of the five sons his parents proudly raised, he was the most caring and sensitive. Immediately, people would fall in love with him. Was he missing anything in his life? Most people wouldn’t think so. Were any of the ingredients that make a healthy child missing? Not one. I have known his parents all my life. His mother is dedicated, and his father is hard working and successful. What happened? How does a young person lose his existence to a bottle?

Alcoholics don’t necessarily start out as derelicts. They drink because they feel bet­ter when they drink. Their personalities are liberated and they become the people they want to be. For awhile, the pain seems to go away.

It does not take long to recognize the early “benefits” of alcohol. Just a drink or two makes some feel “normal.” How could something that seems to improve life be bad?

Insidiously, it becomes difficult to func­tion. It’s not that you’re a bum; you just need it to fall asleep, work, calm your ner­ves, help you relax, face your boss, give a speech… Eventually, it’s not even you doing it. Your wife/husband nags, your parents won’t stop, or the kids upset you.

Now the disease spreads to the “enablers” around him or her. “Don’t get your father upset,” is a statement that carves the disease directly into the minds of the children. They become “responsible” for their parent’s abusive behavior. They must be bad kids to cause such problems. Their repressed anger blossoms into their own depression later in life.

There are no more highs, just lows that get deeper and deeper.

The depression which made the alcoholic takes the victim and all those who love him or her. Could we have saved my friend? Depression is treatable. Look at the people around you. Tell them it’s not their fault. Love them and direct them to help. It takes strength to go for a cure.

[Anne,

This article is important.  There are studies showing that alcoholism, or any addictions, can be caused or facilitated by a lack of SEROTONIN.  We can boost serotonin levels with nutritional supplements.  A Dr. Jaffe in NJ and a Dr. Bucci of Texas have been very successful in this (60%).

Nov 18

The Fat Molecule©

From the “Ask The Doctor” Column

Never has a molecule been so maligned as the fat molecule.  We think of it as an ugly, deplorable blob, depriving us of sex appeal and popularity.  The ominous threat of cellulite and flab leaves us desperately searching for the quick fix—one diet after another.

Actually, the energy in fat is a cleverly stored nutrient. 

Fat has more than twice the caloric content of carbohydrates or protein.  Layers of nine calories per gram (fat) placed around our bodies insure the preservation of the species, especially the all-important,  female species!

Supermarkets weren’t always around.  As we were crawling out of the sea, we needed energy, in the form of food, to live.  The fittest—or fattest—survived if they were nourished.  A good man was supposed to bring a dragon home for dinner.  Mommy would cook and serve and  the family would eat and eat.   They ate enough so the excess was stored as fat.

There were no refrigerators in the caves, so if George couldn’t get a dragon the next week, there was no danger of death.  You could just crack open a fat molecule for plenty of energy.

Fat is like money in the bank.  So nature, or God, thought up a very clever system for the preservation of life.  Just in case…

This soft layer provides insulation as well as energy. The cave got too cold…no problem!

Daddies were leaner than mommies.  The hunt kept Dad thinner and more muscular.  Mommies were left in the cave to nurture.  Mom was programmed to take care of everyone. Probably endowed with more fat to begin with, and a lower metabolic rate,  she could survive with just the leftovers  (Sound familiar?).

Nature made sure that she could get along with a lot less, and adjusted her metabolism to stay that way.  In fact, modern science has shown that the female’s set point is up 20 pounds for each child she bears.

The typical basal metabolic rate for most females is about 1,500 calories, while the male’s is approximately 2,500.  That means men can eat 1,000 calories more than women and not gain weight. (that’s an extra meal of 2 beers, a plate of Alfredo pasta, and some bread)

Think of fat as a separate organ with a mind of its own, directed by primitive instincts dating back millions of years.  Your fat loves you.  It’s protecting you against daily fluctuations.

 Not only is it money in the bank—it’s drawing interest!  No matter how much you spend, it seems to keep growing!

The system is very efficient, as evidenced by the yo-yo syndrome.  Just go on a diet and restrict your caloric intake.  You will probably lose a pound or so in the first week, or if you’re lucky, three pounds in a month.  Then it seems to plateau.  Your body says, “No food!  We’ll have to lower the metabolic rate.”  In response, you may reduce your calories to 1,000 or 800 per day.  Maybe another pound will come off, but you are hungry.  The fat cells are nudging you to eat.  There is nothing else on your mind but food.

Saturday is David’s bar mitzvah, or Michael’s confirmation, and you promise that you won’t eat, but once you get there, you know what happens.  Unable to resist the urging of those all-wise cells, you’ll get on the scale and find that you’ve gained all the weight back in one day.  It’s discouraging, isn’t it?  You may give up, thinking that you’ll start again on Monday.  We all know that something came up Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and so forth.

We have learned that counting calories doesn’t work.  Calories are not all the same.  Now we know to keep our fat content at 30 percent or less.  However, we’re told to increase the good fats.  What are they again??

If you’re eating something that totals 100 calories and contains three grams of fat, multiply by nine (the number of calories per gram of fat) times three grams to arrive at 27 calories.  Divide that number by the total number of calories in the food, and you’ll find that 27 percent of the food is made up of fat.

Carbohydrates and proteins have only four calories per gram.  Our bodies don’t store carbohydrates or proteins—only fat is stored.  This diet means eating plenty of grains, more pasta, and breads.  It works very well for some people, provided they do not have allergies or sensitivities to wheat or yeast.  For many it has unraveled and attacked with the Syndrome X and Hyperinsulinemia. So the low-fat diet is not the solution, either.

Defective insulin production has been incriminated in obesity.  In other words, the ingestion of some carbohydrates in some individuals causes the pancreas to pour out excessive amounts of insulin.  Insulin makes you feel hungry.  As a matter of fact, in days gone by, Anorexia Nervosa was treated with insulin to increase the appetite. Atkins was on to something.

Dr. Michael Weintraub published a study several years ago showing that obesity is a chronic illness and must be medically treated for life.  He used anorexic agents (diet pills) on a regular basis, totally disregarding the prejudices many of us have against these drugs.  His study indicated that, if the patients were properly treated, they maintained a steady, healthy weight loss, and were able to maintain that weight loss if the medication was systematically prescribed.  He showed the side effects of the drugs to be far less than the side effects of obesity. I’m not sure that approach is justified.

Aside from assuring  steady visits to the doctor, an addiction might be the outcome while weight stays the same!

Recently, one of the women’s magazines in the supermarket reviewed the article and showed a very positive interest in this method of weight loss. It seems that “what goes around, comes around!”

Waist fat and hip fat are other considerations in our Anti-fat battle.  The more we learn the more confusion we create.

The truth lies somewhere amidst all these theories.  Fat was a good thing.  As we evolved, chocolates, The Big M, fettuccini, tortellini, and fried chicken at every corner of our existence made the creation of the fat molecule unnecessary.  We do not need to store fat anymore.  We eat 3 and more times daily with snacks in between. Our fat cells, once thrilled to add a few more cells, are now inundated with bulging excess.

Eat less or exercise more? Is that’s all there is?