Are you getting enough calcium?

Information about women and calciumWhen we’re young, we’re often told to drink our milk. That’s good advice for adults as well. Whether it’s drinking milk or getting calcium from other food sources, it’s important for adult women to get 1,000 mg of calcium daily. That number jumps to 1,300 mg daily for women over the age of 71, possibly due to lower estrogen levels or because poorer utilization makes it harder for their bodies to store and use calcium.

You can get the amount of calcium you need daily by drinking three glasses of milk (8 ounces each), or the equivalent of soymilk fortified with calcium, or eating 3 ounces of cheese or about 1 1/2 cups of tofu. There are other foods that contain calcium, but these are the three most common sources. For example, kale contains calcium, but you’d have to eat about 15 servings to get enough calcium.

Look at your daily diet and if you’re not getting enough calcium through your food choices, add a calcium supplement. You may only need to supplement 60 to 100 mg of calcium daily.
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Talking openly about vaginal prolapse

Five years ago during an annual exam by my gynecologist, my doctor told me I had vaginal prolapse and should go to the University of Michigan Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital for a consultation. I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms and hoped that living a healthy life and exercising would control the situation. Three years ago, I started to experience some symptoms, but they weren’t bad, so I continued with positive thinking and a healthy lifestyle. I did not want to interrupt my workout routine with surgery. I work out six or seven days a week taking a weight-lifting class, doing Pilates and walking.

By April 2013, I knew I had let it go on too long. Continue reading

Young woman’s stroke launches Fibromuscular Dysplasia movement

Pam Mace, founder of FMDSA, urges patients to join patient registry

A stroke at age 37 is rare for most any one, but as an active adult who had adventures like scuba PamMace3.fwdiving 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

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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Fight Fatigue

What's normal, and when to seek medical attention

wh blog - fighting fatigueWomen are often pulled in multiple directions throughout their week — children, work, parents, home…our To Do lists seem never-ending. It’s no surprise that women often complain of fatigue. So what’s normal fatigue and when is it something that needs medical attention?

Here are some red flags that should prompt you to discuss your fatigue with your doctor:

  • Fatigue is accompanied by feeling down and depressed
  • You are not rested even after a good night’s sleep
  • You are dizzy or lightheaded
  • Your skin is exceptionally dry or you’re losing hair

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