Hormones Matter TM

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Mittelschmerz – what should you know

February 29, 2012

  Have you ever experienced severe midcycle pain? Does pain and cramping seem to occur during ovulation? What you are experiencing may be Mittelschmerz (German: “middle pain”) which is a medical term for “ovulation pain” or “midcycle pain”.  About 20% of women experience mittelschmerz, some every cycle, some intermittently. Mittelschmerz is characterized by lower abdominal and pelvic pain that occurs roughly midway through a woman’s menstrual cycle. The pain can appear suddenly and usually subsides within hours, although it may sometimes last two or three days. In some cases it can last up to the following cycle. In some women, the mittelschmerz is localized enough so that they can tell

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Hypersensitivity to pain, my arse!

February 27, 2012

A multitude of reports have emerged in recent weeks denoting the over use of pain killers and other medications. With narcotic pain killers, in particular, data suggest a four-fold increase in opioid use since 1999, and over 100,000 deaths by opioid overdose during same time period. The data also indicate a close correspondence between the increase in prescriptions for pain killers and pharma sponsored marketing,  ‘research’  and policy changes that have inculcated medical agency guidelines over the last decade. For women, this is a particularly troubling trend, as other research indicates we are the primary targets of narcotic prescribing; women take 50% more pain killers than men. We also take 36% more medications than

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The need for thyroid testing during pregnancy

February 21, 2012

One in five women of reproductive age suffer from some form of thyroid dysfunction, mostly hypothyroidism (Gharib et al. 2005; Hollowell et al. 2002). In adult women, 95% of clinical hypothyroidism results from primary disease of the thyroid gland, generally, the autoimmune condition Hashimoto thyroiditis (Wartofsky et al., 2006). Autoimmune thyroid disease is also common among women with Type 1 diabetes mellitus, Sjogren syndrome, Addison disease, or pernicious anemia. Up to 25% of patients with Type 1 diabetes will develop postpartum thyroid disease (Alvarez-Marfany et al., 1994). But what happens when someone with untreated thyroid disease gets pregnant? Depending upon the diagnostic criteria, hypothyroidism affects 0.3% (Casey & Leveno, 2006)

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Are women equal under the law?

February 20, 2012

When I was in my 20s, I was adamantly non-feminist.  I considered myself equal to any man.  I had control of my reproductive health. I could vote, hold office, play sports and saw no point in fighting those old battles.  Boy was that naïve.  I still consider myself equal to any man. I realize now, however, that much of the world does not agree.  And rather than progressing towards more equality, as a country we seem to be moving towards less. Here we are over a decade into the 21st century and we are once again arguing about a woman’s right to manage her own health. Partly because of the

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Taking Control

February 16, 2012

The path I’ve taken from being a chronic head and neck pain patient to patient advocate for Migraine and headache disorders has been nothing short of remarkable. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible about Migraines and headaches during this unexpected journey, and met wonderful patients and doctors. At times, I’ve received more support than I’ve given from patients and advocates just like me. Whether I’d care to admit, I tend to be a curious, some would say even, stubborn person. When I don’t understand something I feel compelled to search for a satisfactory answer. On December 9, 1996, I slipped and fell, cracking the back of my head

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The Mental Pause of Menopause

February 13, 2012

I had my first mid-life trifluckta this week –three pretty Big Deal screw ups in the same day. First, a very nice young police officer pointed out to me that my tags had expired – two months ago. Then, I missed a gathering at Boy C’s school that included every major official on staff there. THEN, while I was happily making dinner for my husband’s Boy C, my girlfriend called to let me know she was on the way to OUR dinner appointment – the one we had to reschedule from last week after I forgot her then, too. If it had just been one “goof up”, I’m sure I

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Vitamin D3 and Pregnancy

February 12, 2012

When a pregnant woman is asked if she is hoping for a boy or girl, her inevitable response is similar to, “I only care that my baby is healthy.” Many expectant mothers do their best to have a healthy baby by leading a wholesome lifestyle and following doctors’ orders. Nonetheless, millions of babies are born with medical conditions, many of which affect children throughout their lives.  Medical research suggests a number of health issues may be prevented if pregnant mothers enjoy sufficient vitamin D3 levels, ideally prior to conception. Vitamin D3 is vital to pregnant women’s health. An expectant mom with adequate vitamin D3 levels may enjoy a decreased risk

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Redefining Health (care) for Women

February 7, 2012

As the dust settles on the Komen Foundation decisions of last week, I am reminded once again how compartmentalized and politicized the notion of women’s health has become.  Boobs and wombs seem to represent the sum total of interest in women’s health.  And if the Komen fiasco is any indication, one can’t care about both, because where one stands or one’s employer stands on reproductive issues is now becoming the litmus test that permits or denies access to care. If you are a woman, that is. No such criteria exist in men’s health. Women’s health is inherently political. We carry the responsibility of continuing the species. With that responsibility inevitably

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Precocious Puberty

The fact that I attained menarche at the young age of 9 years was such a distant memory but when my daughter got hers at 10 years, I was sent into a frenzy. Precocious puberty is what they call it. I was told that girls normally grow for a year and a half after attaining menarche. Based on her current height and situation it seems like I’ll have a daughter who will be a little shy of 5 feet tall. Not being tall myself, I always wished there were options available to me some 30 years ago. Would I have enjoyed being a couple of inches taller? I think my height has

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The Silence is Deafening

February 2, 2012

A few months ago I was approached about contributing to an advocacy book for special needs children. When I first decided to take this project on I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea what direction it would take me in or what if anything I would contribute. It started with a few articles I had written that were read and picked up by bloggers and special needs websites. Soon, I began meeting a lot of people that were very passionate about these children and the struggles of their families. They are an eclectic group with different perspectives and theories on the causes of emotional disorders in

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