A stroke at age 37 is rare for most any one, but as an active adult who had adventures like scuba diving and skydiving, it just didn’t make sense to me. I knew my body.
The day it happened, I woke up with a headache. After going for a 3 mile run later that day I noticed my pupils were unequal. I should have gone to the hospital right away but I didn’t. I just didn’t think I could have a stroke. But I did.
It would take a year before my doctors could explain why I had a stroke so young: fibromuscular dysplasia. The diagnosis would inspire me to start a movement around a rare vascular disease that affects women in the prime of their lives.
The two most common symptoms of fibromuscular dysplasia are headaches and high blood pressure. Think about how many people are walking around with those symptoms that could have FMD but they are treated as every day symptoms that millions of Americans have.
It’s why FMD has been called the rare disease that isn’t. FMD has always been considered a rare disease, and is still classified as a rare disease. But because it manifests so differently it’s likely underdiagnosed. Some research suggests as many 5 million Americans have FMD. Continue reading →
Seems like the minute you discover you are pregnant, people start reminding you that you are eating for two and to take it easy. While decades ago that was the advice given to women (and is still what many of those around you may be saying), research has shown that a healthy diet, appropriate weight gain and staying active during pregnancy is the best approach for both you and your baby.
Guidelines for how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy were most recently updated in 2009. Continue reading →
Radiologist Alexis Nees and surgeon Lisa Newman consult over a mammogram
News outlets this week reported on recently published data from a mammography screening study from Canada that was highly critical of the benefit of screening mammography.
First, it should be noted that this is not a new study. The study was conducted in the early 1980s – three decades ago – and the recent report is merely a re-review of the data.
The results of the so-called Canadian trial, first published 22 years ago, showed no benefit for screened women and as expected, the recent re-review showed the same results. The Canadian trial results are different than other randomized clinical trials, which do show benefit. When nine randomized clinical trials are combined together, including the Canadian trial, screening mammography has been shown to significantly decrease breast cancer mortality for women age 39 and older.
Ask women when they’re at risk for heart disease, and they may say they have until after menopause to start thinking about their cardiovascular health.
Not only is this wrong, it’s also dangerous because it prevents women from taking signs of heart disease seriously.
“The idea that heart disease is not a major risk for women is the biggest myth we need to counter,” says Claire Duvernoy, M.D., chief of cardiology at VA Ann Arbor Healthcare and an interventional cardiologist at the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center. “The truth is that more women die from cardiovascular disease than all forms of cancer combined.”
The good news is that women can lower their risk for heart disease, and campaigns like Go Red for Women, which celebrates National Wear Red Day, Feb. 7, inspires women to stand together for what is the fight for their lives. Every minute a women dies from heart disease, and 1 in 3 women’s deaths are caused by heart disease. Continue reading →
We reported our first case of influenza this season to the public health department in Oct. 2013 and have since hospitalized hundreds of patients with suspected or confirmed flu.
Many of those patients are young and otherwise healthy, and some were transferred to U-M from other hospitals because their flu was so severe. Most cases are the H1N1 strain of flu.
Estimated flu activity level in Michigan has been upgraded to ‘widespread’ activity to reflect recent increases in lab-confirmed influenza cases in the southwest and central regions of Michigan.
Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the flu:
Q: What are the symptoms of H1N1? Are the symptoms for the H1N1 strain different than a seasonal flu?
A: The symptoms of H1N1 are not different from other strains of influenza. These include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. The onset of symptoms is frequently rapid. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea as well as respiratory symptoms without a fever. Continue reading →
When you are trying to make an important decision about your treatment options, it’s not uncommon to feel bombarded with information from many sources. For many women considering surgical options for gynecologic conditions, trying to know where to start and what (or who) to believe can be a bewildering process.
Here are 8 tips for sorting through the information and educating yourself as a patient. In my practice, we care for women with pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, or fecal incontinence, but many of these same principles can help you when you’re faced with making any type of medical decision. Continue reading →