Stressed Out and No Place To Go


If you are alive and breathing at this moment then you have probably had stress in the last 72 hours in some form. The American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress, New York, completed a survey in April of 2012 of the U.S. population and reported the following statistics about stress:

Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress 77 %
Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress 73 %
Feel their stress has increased over the past five years 48 %
Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress 76 %
Reported lying awake at night due to stress 48 %
Annual costs to employers in stress related health care and missed work. $300 Billion
Fatigue 51 %
Headache 44 %
Upset stomach 34 %
Irritability or anger 50 %
Feeling nervous 45 %
Lack of energy 45 %

Did you catch the very first statistic? 77% of the population of the US regularly experiencereduce-stress physical symptoms from stress. No wonder we are spending $300 billion in health care annually on issues related to stress. That is very likely every adult that works in this country plus some children and retired folks and/or the elderly! It seems it is at epidemic proportions. Why is it such an important factor in our health?

The stress cascade, hormonally in endocrinology, is extremely intricate. Hormones appear to affect neurotransmitters, the adrenal gland, the thyroid gland and the intestines.

Cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland, is the main so-called stress hormone. We already know that over-secretion of cortisol over a long period of time is associated with diabetes, cancer and heart disease, as well as obesity.

Many people do not understand how these particular events occur simply because one is stressed. When stress occurs, the increased cortisol secreted by the adrenal gland increases blood sugar which is then stored as triglycerides, cholesterol, and glycogen. So stress and aging go hand in hand. Emotional triggers such as anger, fear, death of a family member, a move, a job change, marriage, divorce and financial worries, all influence cortisol and, subsequently, our blood sugar.

Because stress can cause a cascade of events that influence cortisol, insulin, thyroid, sex hormones, etc., it eventually translates into cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and depression. Stress has a huge impact on aging and related diseases.

What stressors do you have that you think might be creating problems for your health and wellness?

Our blog next week will focus on how stress can be reduced and controlled in order to begin to combat the impacting health issues that will occur if left unchecked. Stay tuned.

Is it Getting Hot in Here?

HormoneTherapy_1-Fan_500_313_80_s_c1_center_top_0_0Hormones are vital in protecting and telling the body what to do. An important part of age management medicine is measuring and, where necessary, supplementing important hormones that decline, but contribute to longevity. Often patients come to the Baucom Institute with complaints of fatigue, decreased libido, poor concentration, and weight gain despite proper exercise and nutrition. The missing piece to their puzzle is often hormonal restoration and balance. When we restore and balance hormones to their youthful level, we use bio-available hormones. These bio-available hormonal messengers are the same as our bodies produce and can be utilized as natural restorative factors to qualify aging. Hormone restoration and balancing requires precise testing and monitoring. It should only be performed under the medical management of a qualified physician.

Comparing Herbs and Bio-Available Hormones

Bio-available hormones require a prescription by a physician. Often people confuse the difference between bio-available hormones and herbs that stimulate hormones. Herbs, or holistic naturopathic medicine, can be a contributor to the wholeness of a being, but instead of using naturopathic herbs to simulate what these hormones can do, as physicians we can have these hormones compounded by a pharmacy. In today’s world of medicine, many pharmaceutical companies are also now beginning to produce bio-available hormones.

A Personalized Hormone Balancing and Restoration Plan

Hormones work in concert with one another. The vital glands that send these important messengers throughout our brain and the rest of our body do so in a synchronized balanced manner. It’s our job, at the Baucom Institute, to identify if hormone balancing and restoration is appropriate and, if so, format for that patient a hormonal balancing and restoration plan designed to achieve increased vitality and youthful exuberance.

Learn More about Bio-Available Hormones

What symptoms do you struggle with?


glass_2015Quality” isn’t a word you can use for just anything. There is a standard by which we decide if something has quality. That standard must also be consistently used in order to establish whether something has quality.

Medical care, these days, seems to be getting more “watered down” all the time. We go in to a doctor’s office and we come out none the wiser, just several hundred dollars poorer. We often leave wondering what we got out of it and, more often than not, we don’t feel as though we had a quality experience at all!

It’s a rare thing to have medical care that you know was specifically tailored made for you. But there is a place where it is still happening. The Baucom Institute is such a place. Dr. Karan Baucom is at the helm of the Institute and has determined that her patients will get no less than a high standard of care. “We get lots of hugs from our patients.” That’s just one of the personal rewards that Dr. Baucom has experienced through her private practice  in southern Johnson County, Kansas.

Dr. Baucom spends an hour with each new patient getting to know the patient’s symptoms and complete medical history; that is just the beginning. Dr. Baucom also asks a patient detailed questions about their diet, exercise regimen and sleep habits.

At the Baucom Institute they don’t treat just symptoms; their goal is to determine the root causes behind health issues and map out a treatment plan that addresses the cause.  They take a holistic approach to both diagnosis and treatment. For example, when diagnosing a thyroid issue, normally two or three tests are run.  Dr. Baucom finds that she can make a more exacting diagnosis if she includes nine elements in her testing workup.

Dr. Baucom is Board Certified in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine as well as in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has served on staff in hospitals in Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky. In addition, she has taught classes at Truman Medical Center, an affiliate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Her extensive medical experience and knowledge has in no way limited her appreciation of alternative healing practices. “We care about people,” Dr. Baucom says. “We are willing to embrace whatever means serves them best to live longer, healthier lives.”

“American society is experiencing an epidemic of gut related diseases,” according to Dr. Baucom. Acid reflux, Crone’s Disease and food allergies are becoming common diagnoses. “The gluten issue is REAL,” Dr. Baucom says. White flour, sugar, genetically altered foods and the abundance of processed foods in our diets are all contributors to this growing problem, according to Dr. Baucom.

The Baucom Institute focuses on increasing both longevity and quality of life. Achieving hormonal balance, for both men and women, is an important part of accomplishing those goals. “All of our hormones work together,” says Dr. Baucom. That’s why she doesn’t simply focus on the male and female hormones that most people associate with aging; all the other hormones, thyroid, insulin and cortisol are important factors in a fully, balanced hormonal system.

Rather than accepting symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido and loss of muscle tone as the natural, irreversible byproducts of aging, the Baucom Institute has encouraging news – these symptoms are often the result of hormonal and nutritional imbalance. That means that restoring balance to your body’s internal system can often reverse these symptoms and return much of the vitality lost through diminished hormonal production.

Quality of life can be improved at any age with the right help and resources. And it’s this belief and standard of care that keeps her patients coming back and giving those hugs.

What kind of standard of care would you like to see in medicine?

Falling Head Over Heels for Gluten—We’ve Got it All Backwards!

We live in a very carb-rich society—convenience in a box. With cereals or protein bars for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and then pasta for dinner, we have a very unbalanced diet. But who doesn’t like a good bagel and schmear?

Much of the grain-type foods are “comfort” foods. They actually stimulate the pleasure center of our brains in a way that creates a craving because what you are eating is converting into sugar. Nothing new, right? But what would you say if food had a morphine-like effect when you ate it? Gluten 3d-small-intestineshas just that – an exorphin compound. No wonder you can’t just have one Oreo!

Well, the word itself should cause you to take notice; “gluten” comes from the Latin which means “glue”. Gluten is a protein that, put simply, helps bind food together. It’s why the cookies don’t crumble.

In a portion of an article entitled “Gluten: A ‘Cereal Killer,’” Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT, states that gluten is part of the more modern processing of foods. It gives bread elasticity and bakery goods chewiness. It’s everywhere, even in make-up and hair care products! She goes on to say that gluten isn’t just an additive that isn’t good for you, it is actually lethal, especially in people allergic to it. She states that it “can affect all organ systems (including your brain, heart and kidneys), your Johnson-Gluten-Graphic-2-1024x680extended nervous system, your moods, your immunological functioning, your digestive system, and even your musculoskeletal system . . .” She also is so bold as to say that there really isn’t any reason anyone should have to include grains in their diet if they want optimal health.

If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of food items popping up in grocery stores and restaurants across the country offering “gluten-free” items. This is just the beginning of a revolution in nutrition.

What’s your take on “gluten-free?”