Women's Health Update - Spring 2019

Here is some interesting and important health information for women regarding breast health, bladder health, postmenopausal genital pain, and more!

Breast health:  Please, please get a baseline 3-D digital mammogram at age 40 if you have a first degree relative who has a history of breast cancer.  A first degree relative is a mother or sister(s).  A 3-D mammogram allows the radiologist to see breast tissue more clearly—kind of like parting the clouds in the sky that overlap so you can see what's between them.  Get a baseline 3-D mammogram at 45 if you have no family history of breast cancer.  Of course, if you feel a firm, non-painful lump, have a nipple discharge, or have discoloration or redness of one or both breasts, please see your doctor or NP right away!!

Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day increases your risk of breast cancer (who knew?).  It turns out that most physicians do not discuss alcohol intake with their female patients as much as they should.  And, patients often under-report how much alcohol is consumed.

Obesity is linked to post-menopausal breast cancer and uterine cancer because we store estrogens in our abdominal fat cells.

Bladder health:  After menopause the bladder lining thins out. Post-menopausal women who get recurrent bladder infections could benefit from vaginal estrogen treatment to help plump up the bladder lining.  Hot baths are a no-no after menopause as the bladder and vaginal tissue are thin and therefore susceptible to heat damage/irritation.  I often compound vaginal estrogen with aloe-vera gel for soothing genital pain or irritation—caused from decreased estrogen levels.

Younger women who get recurrent urinary tract infections may have a short perineum (the tissue that is between the anus and the entrance to the vagina).  This should be evaluated by your health care practitioner.  Do not wear thong underwear as these can wick bacteria from the anus up to the bladder.

We carry several products for bladder health like D-Mannose, Berberine, and herbal tinctures.

All women should eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables as these are protective against many cancers, especially breast cancer.  These include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes and kale.   Do NOT eat these raw if you take thyroid medication (Levothyroxine, Naturthroid, Armour thyroid).
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Vaginitis:  Candida (yeast) infections and BV (Bacterial vaginitis) are very much influenced by the bacterial flora found in the vagina.  The vagina like an acidic environment and Lactobaccilli help keep it this way.  This is why women will often get a yeast infection or BV during/after a round of antibiotics.  Here at Genesis NMC we carry specific lactobaccilli probiotics to protect against vaginal infections.


Be well and stay well!
Dr. Nancy Aton

Author
Nancy Aton, NMD

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