Cardiovascular Conditions

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. About 81 million people in the United States have some form of heart/cardiovascular disease—that’s about 35 percent of the population. Many of these deaths and risk factors are preventable, and food choices have a big impact on your heart’s health, even if you have other risk factors.

Only a few risk factors, such as age, gender and family history, cannot be controlled. You can prevent and control many risk factors of heart disease, such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, excess weight and obesity, with lifestyle changes and medications.

Lifestyle Changes

A healthy lifestyle–following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, quitting smoking and managing stress—can lower your risk for heart disease and may prevent current heart disease from worsening.

A Heart-Healthy Diet

To lower your risk of heart disease, follow these recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

• Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight
• Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood
• Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains

If you are at high risk for heart disease or already have heart disease, your first step should be to meet with a registered dietitian. Together with your health-care provider, your LWell Registered Dietitian can help you lower your risk or improve your existing condition by developing a personalized eating and lifestyle plan.


What happens during diabetes education?

During initial visits, your LWell Registered Dietitian will spend time with you developing a plan that helps you overcome the barriers you face in managing your diabetes, develop problem-solving and coping skills and adopt healthy behaviors.

Some examples of the many activities you may work on together are:

• Helping you understand exactly what diabetes is and how it affects your body
• Explaining how diabetes medications work
• Figuring out what types of food are best for you and how to plan meals that fit your life and budget
• Determining the best type of glucose monitoring device for your specific circumstances
• Suggesting charts, apps and other tools to provide reminders and help you track your progress
• Offering tips to help you cope with stress and solve problems as they arise

Importance of follow up

Meeting with an LWell Registered Dietitian is a great first step. 

Depending on your specific situation, your insurance and your doctor’s preferences, you may meet with your Dietitian several times, either individually, in a group or both. Insurance plans typically cover up to 10 hours of diabetes education the first year you have been referred, with varying levels of coverage after that. It of course depends on your specific insurance plan.

Gastrointestinal Conditions

Digestive diseases range from irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease to lesser known afflictions including diverticular disease and peptic ulcers.

If you suffer from persistent stomach aches, diarrhea, constipation or heartburn, contact us to help you achieve optimal digestive health with guidance and to identify the appropriate meal plans and recipes to support your individualized condition.

Inflammatory Conditions

Inflammation is a protective process you are probably more familiar with than you think.

It’s the body’s method of healing itself in response to an injury or exposure to a harmful substance. This is useful when, for example, skin is healing from a cut; however, inflammation is not always beneficial.

Chronic (or ongoing) inflammation occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells leading to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, states of immune deficiency including Crohn’s disease or skin conditions including psoriasis. Underlying chronic inflammation also may play a role in heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Evidence supporting the impact of specific foods on inflammation in the body is limited. We know that some foods have the capacity to suppress inflammation, but it’s unclear how often and how much is needed for this benefit.

Though there’s promising research for the impact of foods such as fatty fish, berries and tart cherry juice, but beware of anything touted as an anti-inflammatory miracle.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Five percent to 10 percent of young women have a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance (the body does not use insulin well), resulting in too much insulin in the body. Excess insulin has been related to an increase in production of androgen, a male hormone made in fat cells, ovaries and adrenal glands.

PCOS Symptoms

PCOS tends to run in families, but the exact cause is not known.

Symptoms include:

• Infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods and/or irregular bleeding
• Infertility because of lack of ovulation
• Increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs or toes
• Acne, oily skin and dandruff
• Weight gain, especially around the mid-section
• Insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes
• High cholesterol and/or blood pressure
• Thinning hair on head
• Pelvic pain
• Depression


You are a special and wonderful human being. It is not about what you weigh, it’s about being healthy.

Carrying too much weight has harmful effects on your health. So, let’s get the weight off in a way that allows you to continue bringing your special gifts to this world without worrying about your own health and weight.

As is the case with adults, obesity in children is rising. And like adults, kids who are obese are at a much greater risk for health problems now and later in life. Studies have found obese children are much more likely to be obese as adults. If a child is overweight before age 8, his or her chance of more severe obesity during adulthood goes up.

Causes of Extra Weight

There are many reasons for extra weight. We will explore the reasons with you so we can find the individualized solution for you.

Extra weigh is be affected by:

• Family history and genes
• Food choice and quantity
• Medications. Some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, steroids and beta blockers may cause weight gain.
• Social networks and economics.
• Lifestyle habits, eating behaviors and stress.
• Too little sleep. This can affect hormones that increase appetite.
• Medical problems, such as hypothyroidism, Prader-Willi and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Weight loss therapy should be based on four components:

1. Diet
2. Physical activity
3. Lifestyle
4. Behavior therapy (such as recognizing triggers for eating or learning to pinpoint obstacles that hold you back from making lifestyle changes)

This combination has been found to be more successful than using any one intervention alone.

Get on Track

Call to schedule your appointment with an LWell dietitian and get on track to better health.

(833) 516-0454

1309 Jamestown Road, Suite 102
Williamsburg, VA 23185