Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility in women and is a normal biological process.  Menopause can be caused by various different causes including the natural decline of reproductive hormones, a hysterectomy, and chemotherapy or radiation therapy to name a few.

Symptoms

  • Irregular periods
  • Decreased fertility
  • Hot flashes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Thinning hair
  • Loss of breast fullness

 

It is always best to check with your physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.  Your doctor may need to do an evaluation including blood work to make a diagnosis.  To read about more about menopause, click here.

 

Although most people think of heart disease as a “man’s disease,” it can and does affect women.  In fact, it is the number one killer of women in the United States.  Know the risk factors, preventative measures along with the signs and symptoms.

Common signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain-pressure, tightness or ache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Pain in one or both arms

“Atypical” signs of a heart attack:

  • Back, neck or jaw pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness 

Risk factors you can’t control:

  • Increasing age
  • Gender- men are more likely than women to have a heart attack
  • Heredity
  • Previous heart attack or stroke

Risk factors you can control:

  • Smoking-tobacco use is a major cause of heart disease among women
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

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Breast Cancer affects 1 in 8 women and for women in the United States.  The good news is, early detection through screening, increased awareness and advances in treatment have helped decrease the number of breast cancer deaths in recent years.

Regular breast cancer screening is vital.   Three main tests are used to screen the breasts for cancer. Talk to your doctor about which tests are right for you, and when you should have them.

  • Mammogram. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Mammograms are the best method to detect breast cancer early when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms starting at the age of 40 for as long as the woman is in good health.  If you have a family history of breast cancer, your doctor may recommend you get a mammogram earlier than usual.
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE). A clinical breast exam is an examination by a doctor or nurse, who uses his or her hands to feel for lumps or other changes.  A CBE should be done every 3 years or so for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and older.
  • Breast self-exam. A breast self-exam is when you check your own breasts for lumps, changes in size or shape of the breast, or any other changes in the breasts or underarm (armpit).