Celebrate Go Red for Women: Wear Red, learn your risk for heart disease

Meet three women meeting the challenges of heart disease

Ask women when they’re at risk for heart disease, and they may say they have until after menopause gored.fwto 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

Answers to your questions about flu vaccination and prevention

Bottom line: it's not too late to get your vaccination

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.  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

Making an informed decision about your treatment options

decision about treatmentWhen 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

Vaginal Mesh: Is your television your doctor?

Navigating the many sources of information around surgery for pelvic prolapse and urinary incontinence

pelvic meshYour phone blinks constantly with news alerts. Your electronic tablet is full of news apps. The Internet provides thousands of websites within a second of your search. Facebook and other social media sites suggest many references you might be interested in. Your mother just saw a commercial on daytime television, and your friend is full of stories of things that definitely happened to her friends.

Today we are bombarded with information from many sources, and trying to know where to start and what to believe can be a bewildering process. The amount of direct-to-patient marketing has never been higher. While this is true of all topics in medicine, recently the controversy concerning vaginal mesh has taken center stage. FDA alerts and new research studies, along with many patient complications, have fueled a litany of legal advertisements on television, radio and the Internet.

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Pregnant and snoring? When to worry

Maternal snoring puts women at greater risk of health issues such as high blood pressure and poor delivery outcomes but how do you know if you need treatment?

BlogPregSo your partner tells you that in addition to all of the obvious physical changes from pregnancy, you have also started to snore.

Is it just another irritant on the list of pregnancy nuisances or a serious concern for your health and your baby’s health?

I’ve been studying the link between maternal snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and mom and baby health for several years. My most recent study found that chronic snoring  (snoring before and during pregnancy) makes women 65 percent more likely to deliver small babies and more than twice as likely to have a C-section as non-snorers. This is true even after other known risk factors, such as obesity, are accounted for.

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Keeping Communication Strong During Infertility Struggles

marriage during infertilityBeing ready to have a baby and facing infertility struggles can be a frustrating, challenging time in a couple’s relationships. Infertility is a challenge people face in different ways. No way is necessarily right or wrong. The important thing I tell my patients is to understand and respect your partner’s way — his or her needs, coping mechanisms and communication style — and work together to support each other.

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