Central Georgia Family Medicine

Women's Health

Womens Health in Georgia

Individualized Women's Health Issues

Medical controversies are nothing new when it comes to medicine. New research and discoveries have revealed that there are some diseases and conditions doctors were not aware of before. When it comes to women's health, there is still a great deal to learn. In fact, some doctors may oversight these health conditions during annual checkups with female patients. Having a specialist in Women's Health is key to managing your female health as you age.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

This autoimmune condition often goes undiagnosed but has several symptoms. Studies show that about 1 in every 10 women of childbearing can will develop this condition at some point in their lives. Many women experience several miscarriages before finding out the cause. A number of women report very heavy periods or missed periods as a result of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Weight gain, facial hair growth and fatigue can also be signs of polycystic ovarian syndrome. When it comes to this women's health issue, patients often know that something is wrong, but may have a hard time explaining everything to their doctors. Women should educate themselves about possible health issues and attend doctor's appointments armed with information that can lead to thought-provoking questions and effective treatment options for this devastating condition.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It is thought that approximately 1 million people in the United States have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This is likely due to hormonal imbalance, stress and viral infections that have been dormant in the body. Women in their 40s and 50s are four times more likely to develop Chronic Fatigue Syndrome than men, and this may be because of the hormonal changes that come with menopause. The condition doesn't get better with rest and can affect a person's memory. Muscle pain and lack of concentration are also common. Light exercise to build stamina and staying away from alcohol and caffeine can be helpful. Some physicians may also prescribe psychostimulants like Ritalin for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Taking supplements or making dietary adjustments to balance the hormones can help to improve energy levels as well.

Fibromyalgia

The mysteries of fibromyalgia still exist. However, it is confirmed that the condition affects women much more than men. Between 3 and 6 million women in the U.S. have fibromyalgia, and physicians don't know what causes it. Pain and exhaustion are the main symptoms, and they usually develop during middle age. Lab tests and exams cannot detect the disease, so a doctor may perform a tender points test to determine whether a patient has fibromyalgia. Eighteen pressure points on the body are tested, and if at least 11 of those are painful to the touch, this constitutes a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Massage and stretching can help to ease the discomfort. According to Dr. James Leisen, the pain can intensify when a woman is upset or stressed, so calming exercises can prove helpful as well.

Lupus

90% of the 16,000 people who are diagnosed with lupus every year are women. There are four variations of lupus, but the most common one is systemic lupus erythematosus, which is when the body attacks itself. Chest pain, joint pain and stiffness, skin rashes and lesions and memory loss are all symptoms of lupus. Hormones could play a huge role in lupus, and taking painkillers can help some women manage lupus. Alternatives such as flax seed and omega-3 fatty acids can also reduce inflammation and assist with reducing joint pain.

Of course, these are just some of the women's health concerns that may not be readily diagnosed by doctors. Getting a second or third opinion can prove helpful when getting to the bottom of health issues. It's also important to find a trustworthy doctor who will listen to the concerns of patients and create customized treatment plans as needed.

Cervical Cancer and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Screenings

It is advisable for sexually active women to visit a physician for cervical cancer examination. However, chances of contracting cervical cancer are higher for women have a history of the disease in their family. The most common screening technique is the pap smears that are taken in the course of the vaginal exam. Medical practitioners advise women to have pap smears at least twice every three years. HPV is an emerging issue today not only in the teen population but also in the adult population when one is newly active with a new sexual partner. Blood tests can be performed to screen for this virus. A vaccination can be given to help with the prevention of contracting this virus. If left untreated it can cause genital warts, lead to cancer, and possibly death.

Breast Cancer Screening

Women at the age of 40 and above have higher risks of developing breast cancer. Therefore, they should begin a breast cancer diagnosis at the age 40 especially if there is a history of the complication in their family. At age 50, the women should visit a medical practitioner for both mammograms test and physical examination on an annual basis. The integration of mammograms and physical examination is vital since mammograms do not have 100 percent ability to detect breast cancer.