Can Multivitamins Increase the Risk of Death?

Published on Jun 29, 2016

Yes, you read correctly. Recent studies show multivitamin use in healthy people not only decreases healthiness but also increases the risk of death. The exact conclusion from one study is as follows:

“Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided. This message is especially true for the general population with no clear evidence of micronutrient deficiencies, who represent most supplement users in the United States and in other countries.”

All the essential vitamins and minerals that we need to stay healthy and avoid chronic disease are in the foods we eat. So, instead of supplementation we need to pay closer attention to our diet. A diet balanced in nutritional value as well as calorie intake is the key to our health and longevity.

A healthy diet should be high in protein, vegetables, fruits, and low in fat and processed or simple carbohydrates such as white rice and bread. Complex carbohydrates can be found in nuts, wheat bread, and brown or black rice and should be consumed in moderation. It is important to allow enough time for digestion and energy production, and to consume such carbohydrates mostly in the morning and at noon.

Many studies also reject the benefit of organic foods over non-organic. Organic labels do not necessarily indicate better or superior quality foods. The key is to avoid highly processed foods and stick to more natural sources of nutrition.

Bon appétit!!!

Adenomyosis can be Responsible for Heavy Vaginal Bleeding and Pain During a Menstruation Cycle

Published on Jun 23, 2016

One of the most common conditions women complain of is heavy vaginal bleeding and pain during their menstruation cycle. Adenomyosis, or uterine endometriosis, is one of the most prevalent conditions causing these symptoms.

Adenomyosis occurs when the lining of the uterus penetrates the muscle of the uterus and causes the uterus to act as a sponge. As a woman gets closer to having her period, the uterus becomes full of blood and congested and when the period starts, the bleeding pours out of the endometrial lining and the uterus, as if a sponge is being squeezed. The congestion causes fullness and pressure in the lower abdomen and once the bleeding starts, the large amount of blood trying to exit the uterus causes cramping and pressure that can be very severe.

How is the diagnosis made?

An ultrasound examination in the office can easily identify the many causes of pain and bleeding. We use transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound as needed and with the advanced technology in our ultrasound system, we can use 3D options to further evaluate the uterus and the ovaries. We also utilize Doppler to evaluate the blood flow.

In situations when the problem is hormonal or due to an enlarged uterus as a result of adenomyosis, identified treatment is usually hormonal. We use natural progesterone creams or pills, low dose hormonal birth control, or hormonal IUD as the first line of therapy. The hormone progesterone in these treatments helps decrease the congestion of the uterus and is usually extremely effective in resolving pain and heavy bleeding. Minimally invasive surgical options such as uterine artery embolization and endometrial ablation are also very effective in treating the more severe cases which do not respond well to conservative measures.

Prevention of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Published on Jun 16, 2016

My belly looks like a road map. What is going on?

As the baby grows, so does the uterus carrying the baby. This growth stretches the skin over the enlarging uterus. Stretch marks are the red and brown streaks which eventually turn white, and sometimes itchy, that appear on or around your belly. They are a representation of the damage the skin has sustained during pregnancy.

The weight gains that women experience during pregnancy, and increased fat that develops in the tissue under the skin, weakens the skin and causes it to crack as it is stretched. Some women also have a genetic predisposition to stretch marks. If your mother has stretch marks, you are most likely at a higher risk to have them as well.

Currently, there are no effective treatments for stretch marks. However, prevention is always possible through a careful diet. We have designed a diet program that is healthy for the baby and the mother and also helps reduce the chances of stretch marks from developing. We also recommend exercise programs to keep moms healthy and keep their skin healthy.

The best treatment is prevention, and it is certainly true for stretch marks.

How to Prevent Genital and Urinary Problems During and After Menopause?

Published on Jun 8, 2016

As the level of estrogen in women decreases in perimenopause and menopause, shrinkage and dryness of the vaginal and urinary organs occur. The tissues thin out and the blood flow to the genitalia decreases. These changes can result in genital tissue dryness, burning, irritation, pain with intercourse and urinary difficulty such as urgency, frequency and incomplete emptying. These symptoms affect approximately 50% of women.

The changes in a woman’s body that eventually result in the symptoms mentioned above start long before the actual symptoms present themselves, which is why physicians should be watchful during yearly exams for any early signs. Also, women going through these hormonal changes should be aware of changes in their body and report any symptoms to their physicians.

There are several treatment options and each needs to be personalized based on the current level of discomfort and need. However, prevention is always the best policy.

Early hormonal replacement can prevent these changes from occurring. In our office, we prefer natural hormone therapy as it offers minimal adverse effects and maximal benefits to the affected area. We synthesize the hormones naturally and therefore have control over the dosage and ensure that the chemical structure is similar to the ones naturally produced in a woman’s body.

Non-hormonal options are also available for few patients that do not qualify for hormone therapy. This type of medication increases lubrication and reduce symptoms associated with menopause during use.

Evaluation of the bladder can help your doctor determine the exact nature of the urinary problem that may have gotten worse after menopause. Many options are then available to address these issues before they turn into major problems.

Kegel exercise, modification of diet and fluid intake and weight loss help strengthen the pelvic muscles and improve the function of the genital and urinary organs, keeping you healthy and improve the quality of life during this next stage of life.

“I Am Not Myself Right Before My Period”

Published on Jun 3, 2016

I hear this so frequently in my office. Cyclic changes in mood and physical discomfort that usually starts after ovulation and ends with a period is called premenstrual syndrome and is often referred to as PMS. Feelings of depression, anxiety, nervous agitation, breast tenderness, and cravings are the typical symptoms of PMS. These symptoms can begin as mild but can become very severe. With age, they can get worse. Many patients complain of feeling excessively bloated. Others feel extremely sensitive, sad, annoyed or easily irritated. Some patients shyly tell me that their feelings are so unstable that they don’t know why they become excessively agitated with their significant other.

The effects of PMS can be disruptive, and cumulatively can take a negative toll on anyone’s mind and body, not to mention those around you or in contact with you on a daily basis including family and friends. I recently treated a 26-year-old patient who for one week prior to her menstruation could not leave the house. Another patient in her 40’s was so bloated she could not put her pants on before her menstrual cycle. Other times, I have received calls from husbands about the change in the mood of their spouse around the time of their periods.

The treatment we offer is in most cases very successful. A combination of special low calorie and low salt diet eliminates much of the bloating. Exercise, especially swimming also tends to mobilize much of the fluid collection in the extremities. Short duration of diuretics can also be used to relieve symptoms that do not respond to diet and exercise. For other symptoms, we try to use natural products to balance the bodies hormonal balance. Every patient is different and the range of unwanted PMS symptoms varies from patient to patient. With an individualized plan of care, we can properly address your symptoms to alleviate your monthly struggle and become as comfortable as possible with your menstrual cycle. In this day and age, there are mobile applications to monitor your menstrual cycle not only to remind you of your time of the month or how many days on average are in your cycle, but also to document and take note of your symptoms, cravings and feelings. If you are able to routinely keep track of certain things that are consistently appearing prior to and during your cycle, we can better address your needs and provide some relief to the symptoms that come and seem to stay too long.

We are happy to report that we have been able to successfully treat our patients and keep many husbands happy!