Women’s Health and the Summer Heat

Women’s Health and the Summer Heat

By Patricia Yarberry Allen, MD  (Womensvoicesforchange.org)

With record high temperatures this summer, women should take proper precautions to stay hydrated and protected from the extreme heat. This is crucial for overall health and wellness.

The fireworks may not be all that we see in the sky this Fourth of July as much of the country deals with prolonged and excessive heat due to a “heat dome.” According to Accuweather, a heat dome is a sprawling and unusually intense area of high pressure that results in sinking air and sunny, storm-free conditions for the areas it covers.

When people are exposed to extreme heat, they can suffer from potentially deadly illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Hot temperatures can also contribute to deaths from heart attacks, strokes, and other forms of cardiovascular disease. Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States, even though most heat-related deaths are preventable through outreach and intervention (see the EPA’s Excessive Heat Events Guidebook).

“Heatstroke” is a common term used to describe two distinct entities:(1) Severe, non-exertional hyperthermia (overheating of the body) that generally affects the young, disabled, elderly, poor, or those who are iso-lated because of mental illness. (2) Exertional heat illness which mostly affects otherwise healthy adults and adolescents. These two groups are linked due to underlying causes and effects like too much heat or sun exposure along with a lack of hydration and future health impacts like extreme elevations of body temperature leading to bodily dysfunction.

Heat exhaustion sometimes occurs when a person exercises and works in a hot environment, and the body cannot cool itself adequately. Dehydration happens with water loss from excessive sweating, which can cause muscle cramps, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. This makes it difficult to drink enough fluids to replenish the body’s water supply, and the lack of body water impairs further sweating, evaporation, and cooling. If the humidity is too high, sweat on the skin cannot evaporate which makes the body’s temperature cooling system fail.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are caused by environmental conditions. As outside temperatures rise, the body reacts by sweating. This evaporation of water from the skin and respiratory tract is the most effective way of ridding the body of excess heat. Less effective reductions in temperature occur from the direct radiation of heat into the environment. This results in the transfer of heat to air or liquids moving over the body. These normal cooling mechanisms become ineffective when the humidity rises above 75% and the air temperature rises above normal body temperature.

Recognize the most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and get treatment early to prevent heat stroke:

1. Confusion
2. Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
3. Dizziness
4. Fainting
5. Fatigue
6. Headache
7. Muscle or abdominal cramps
8. Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

The M Family Foundation Distributes Its First Checks to Founding Honorees

The M Family Foundation Distributes Its First Checks to Founding Honorees

The M Family Foundation is pleased to announce the distribution of their first checks to the Founding Honorees. The M Family Foundation was created by the Marcantel, Meury, and McCarthy families to raise awareness and funds for Ovarian & Pediatric

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Cancer.

 

Both Ovarian Cancer & Pediatric Cancers have limited funds dedicat-ed to their research. These are deadly cancers with low survival rates. For the past two years, we have held our Cancer Superhero’s 5k & Family Fun Run to raise money for the Foundation. Our event coordinator, Jill White, was able to make the first 5K a successful event even in the midst of a hurricane. Last year, our 2nd annual event exceeded our expectations with more than 300 participants.

Our Founding Honorees are:
Ovarian Cancer: Rebecca Marcantel, Bridget Mahoney-Jenkins, & Michelle Owens all who lost their lives to ovarian cancer.
Pediatric Cancer: Andrew Rypien, Noah Larson, & TJ Reilly all who lost their lives to cancer.
We are excited to announce this year’s date: September 8th at 7:30am @ Lakeside Park in Celebration! Please visit www.MFamilyFoundation.org for more information and to register for this year’s event!

Thinking Outside the Box About Pelvic Pain

Thinking Outside the Box About Pelvic Pain

by Kanisha L. Sierra-Ríos, MD, FACOG –

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is pain in the pelvic area that lasts for 6 months or longer. CPP can present a major challenge for health care providers because of its complex nature and numerous etiologies. In the United States, estimated direct costs for outpatient visits for CPP are close to $1 billion per year. An estimated 15-20% of women between the ages of 18-50 have pelvic pain that has been present for more than a year. CPP causes missed days from work or school, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, and overuse of painkillers including narcotics. The numbers are alarming, so we need to address the issue and get the conversation started about pelvic pain.

Some possible causes of pelvic pain include:

Gynecologic

Fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, dysmenorrhea (pain during your periods), adhesions (scar tissue from prior surgeries), pelvic inflammatory disease, ovulation pain, and pelvic congestion syndrome can all cause pelvic pain.

Urinary:

Kidney stones, interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder wall), recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI), and tumors can all cause pelvic pain.

Gastrointestinal:

Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diverticuli-tis, and tumors can cause pelvic pain.

Musculoskeletal:

Disc disease, nerve pain, low back pain, myofascial pain, and being overweight/obese can cause pelvic pain.

Identifying the correct cause of pain will determine the most adequate course of treatment. Because gynecologists are actively involved in the primary care of women, we are typically the starting point for CPP evaluations. We have learned that not all etiologies of CPP are gynecological in nature. For this reason, CPP is a medical issue best managed using a multidisciplinary approach that could include referrals for Gastroenterology, Urology, and/or Pelvic Rehabilitation.

We invite you to open up about pelvic pain so we can better under-stand, diagnose, and manage your symptoms. Make your appointment today, so we can help start you on the path of living a pain-free life!

Celebration of Wellness, April 2019

Celebration of Wellness, April 2019

Influenza Vaccination during Pregnancy

Spring 2019 has experienced a unprecedented trajectory with the most recent rise in confirmed flu cases. At Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology, we are taking the opportunity to ensure that our patients are protected from all active strands. The US flu season is already a long one, with illness activity still widespread in 44 states and expected to continue for several more weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its latest weekly update.

Though the level of clinic visits for flu peaked in February, the latest markers show little change from the previous week, with H3N2 viruses causing anApril 2019 increasing number of infections.

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to influenza infection and its resulting morbidities; therefore, influenza vaccination is an integral element of pre-pregnancy, prenatal, and postpartum care. It is imperative that obstetrician–gynecologists, other health care providers, health care organizations, and public health officials continue efforts to improve the rate of influenza vaccination among pregnant women. Doing so will benefit women and their newborns.

 

 

Celebration of Wellness, March 2019

Celebration of Wellness, March 2019

Cervical Cancer Screenings and Well Women’s Examinations

Dr. LemertBy: Robert F. Lemert, MD, FACOG

Over the past few years, the recommendations for Cervical Cancer Screenings (Pap Smears) have changed. We now understand more about the virus that causes cervical cancer, and the technology to improve screenings has improved.  A Pap Smear is just part of a Well Woman’s Examination. A Well Woman’s Examination also usually covers the following topics: birth control counseling, vaccinations, health screenings, preconception care, and the latest information about your reproductive health.

 A cervical cancer screening is when your ob-gyn or other health care professional takes cells from the cervix and sends them to a lab for testing.  A Pap test looks for abnormal cells.  An HPV test looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be linked to cervical cancer. Due to improvements in the screenings for cervical cancer, the recommendations have changed for certain patient populations and age groups. If you are under the age of 21, you do not need a Pap test. If you are ages 21–29, you may have a Pap test every three years. If you are ages 30–65, you choose one of three options. You can have a Pap test and an HPV test (co-testing) every 5 years. You can have a Pap test alone every 3 years. You can have an HPV test alone every 5 years. If you are 65 years or older, you do not need screening as long as you have no history of cervical changes or have had three negative Pap test results in a row or two negative co-test results in a row within the past 10 years. The most recent test needs to have been performed within the past 5 years.

It is important to remember that even if you have been vaccinated against HPV, you still need to have screenings. Women also need to have screenings after a hysterectomy if they still have a cervix. Exceptions to the above recommendations include: 

  • You have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You have a history of cervical cancer
  • You were exposed to diethylstilbestrol before birth

You may need more frequent screenings if any of the above applies to you. If you have had a hysterectomy in which your cervix was removed and you have a history of cervical cancer or moderate to severe cervical changes, you should continue to have screenings for 20 years after your surgery. If you have had a hysterectomyMarch 2019 Full Newsletter in which your cervix was removed and you have no history of cervical cancer or cervical changes, you do not need screening.

 These recommendations are for the Pap Screening test. Your Well Women’s visit is important for several other reasons. You can learn about choosing the right birth control method for you. Some examples include the birth control pill, an intrauterine device (IUD), the patch, condoms, or an implant. You can learn more about breast cancer, colon cancer, and other types of cancer. You can get vaccinations against the flu, human papillomavirus (HPV), and more.  You can be screened for high blood pressure, diabetes, bone density for osteoporosis, and more. You can also talk about your mental health at these visits. Depression is a common but serious illness. Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe. To diagnose depression, your obstetrician–gynecologist or other health care provider will discuss your symptoms, how often they occur, and how severe they are. You can also be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital herpes. You can discuss what happens during intercourse, pain during sex, hormonal changes related to sex, or different forms of sex. You can learn about body mass index (BMI), exercise, obesity, diet, surgery, and health problems associated with being overweight. You can discuss premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, your first period, heavy bleeding, or irregular periods. If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a good idea to have preconception counseling. Your obstetrician–gynecologist or health care provider will ask about your diet and lifestyle, your medical and family history, medications you take, and any past pregnancies. Your Well Women’s examination is also a good time to begin getting help with menopause symptoms, urinary incontinence, getting pregnant, or relationship problems.

 

Celebration of Wellness, January 2019

Celebration of Wellness, January 2019

Taking the confusion out of Copays, Coinsurance and Deductibles

Many health insurance plans require you to pay a copay and/or coinsurance when you receive healthcare services, including doctor’s office visits, hospital visits and prescriptions. These payments are necessary until you reach your out of pocket maximum, but how they work with your annual deductible is different. Learning the difference between these expenses can help you better understand your total annual healthcare costs, above and beyond your monthly insurance premiums.

Coinsurance: The percentage you pay for covered health services after meeting your deductible.January Flipbook

Some health insurance plans also include coinsurance, which is the percentage you and your insurance provider share to pay for the cost of care. As more of the cost of healthcare shifts to the patients, you may be feeling the impact of rising premiums and deductibles. Since these are often the first expenses you’ll pay for healthcare, it’s important to understand what these terms mean and how they affect your budget.

Premium: What you pay each month for your health insurance plan.

When you have health insurance, you pay a premium to be enrolled in the plan. Premiums are paid in addition to your plan’s deductible or copay or coinsurance.

Deductible: How much you have to pay out-of-pocket before insurance pays.

Every insurance plan has a deductible which varies based on the details of your plan. Your deductible must be met before your insurance will pay for covered expenses—excluding any copay or coinsurance required by your plan. Deductibles reset once a year, which means you’ll have to meet it again each year you are enrolled.

 How do premiums and deductibles work? Think of it like this:

  • You are going to have a baby. The cost for the physician is $2,300.
  • You have health insurance with a $300 monthly premium, which doesn’t apply to your pregnancy.
  • In addition to your premium, you have a $2,000 deductible you’ll have to pay on your own before insurance will cover any of the remaining costs.
  • Once you meet your deductible, you pay any coinsurance responsibility per your plan requirements.

 Our goal at Celebration ObGyn is to provide the best customer service possible by helping our patients better understand the confusion around insurance, copays, coinsurance and deductibles. We always recommend patients to also contact your insurance company for further understanding of your plan and financial responsibilities.

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!! 

Each year, an estimated 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and, of those, about one-third will die as a result of the cancer. But cervical cancer is also a highly preventable and treatable cancer, thanks to improved screening and vaccination.

The American Social Health Association (ASHA) and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition have named January Cervical Health Awareness Month to encourage women across the country to get screened for cervical cancer and receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine if they’re eligible.

Today, detection tools and inoculations make cervical cancer a condition that is relatively easy to prevent and treat. In women who are not vaccinated and not screened regularly, either due to a lack of information or inadequate health care, cervical cancer can still be a serious, even fatal, illness.

“Science has put us in a remarkable position to protect women from cervical cancer, but technology is only half the battle,” said ASHA president and CEO Lynn Barclay. “It’s imperative we continue efforts that not only promote greater access to health care, but that we also inform women about cervical cancer and the marvelous means we now have to prevent this disease.” For cervical cancer screening information, give us a call at 407-566-BABY.

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