Carol received her B.A. from Boston University in Chemistry and her Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Biology. Her area of specialty was ecological physiology, which involves determining how animals detect and respond to environmental changes such as day length, temperature, and food availability to determine when to breed and what time of day to be active.
After deciding to change careers, Carol received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at the University of Utah, with an emphasis in diabetes care.
Upon moving to the Central Coast of California, she met up with fellow nurse practitioner Kris Dilworth. Together, they co-founded Diabetes Wellness Center. For several years, they worked together in diabetes management and education. Eventually, Carol left to work with Thomas Najarian, MD, in Los Osos. Dr. Najarian is a pioneer in the field of using combinations of medications for decreasing appetite in patients struggling to lose weight.
Carol has a good understanding of the challenges people face trying to lose weight and keep it off. She also follows the scientific literature in this field and participates in Obesity Medicine Association conferences. As you may have seen, she and Dr. Najarian published two papers in the online journal, Thyroid Science, providing an explanation of why they believe that most of the health care community does not interpret thyroid lab values appropriately. This is particularly a problem for people trying to lose weight. Carol N. Rowsemitt, RN, FNP specializes in weight loss in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
II think about the human body based on our history. Despite modern society, our bodies are very primitive in the way they respond to food availability. We are designed to live in an environment where we had to work hard to get enough food to survive and produce offspring. Each of us is here today because we had ancestors eons ago who were good at cramming in as much food as possible when it was available. And when times weren’t good, they burned fewer calories to save energy.
So, your body is designed to do the opposite of what you and I want when we are trying to lose weight or avoid gaining weight. High calorie foods are still very appealing. And when we eat fewer calories than we burn, the body says, “We’d better burn fewer calories or we’re going to die of starvation.” This is known as the famine response. No wonder it’s so hard!
Some people don’t have these problems. They can easily say no to extra portions and treats. They feel they have more will power than those who struggle. We now know that the “will power” involved is strongly controlled by brain chemistry. Just as we don’t all have the same genes for hair color or height, we don’t all have the same brain chemistry.
Being aware of these issues and the serious health problems of excess weight, I believe it is often appropriate to use medications for both appetite suppression and adjustment of thyroid hormone levels to normalize metabolism.
But it isn’t just about controlling appetite and keeping the metabolism normal. Food is love, comfort, and distraction from problems. Food is social, sharing. Food is something we do for friends, and they do for us. Our primitive bodies put food right up there as the most important immediate need. And, in our society today, you see food everywhere: online, billboards, TV, gas station, you name it and you will see a reminder to eat.
Given all of this, working on habit changes, stress management, and strategic planning are needed to lose weight and keep it off. We’ll work on these things. For many, deeper issues exist around food and psychotherapy can be important.