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Women’s Health

photo if attractive african american womanWomen’s health care includes preventive care. The act of taking control of one’s health is one of the best ways a woman can prevent health issues from developing. Scheduling of regular screening tests is another element of prevention. These tests can help the physician determine if the patient has high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes or other serious conditions. Choosing a physician to assist the woman on her health journey is important, because the interactive relationship between patient and doctor is an essential component of her preventive lifestyle. The physician can assist the patient in selecting the best diet, physical activities, and other ways to decrease health risks. This kind of health care doesn’t treat illness where it doesn’t exist and actually promotes wellness. Johns Creek Dermatology and Family Medicine is a resource for each member of the family on the journey of health and wellness.

Since a woman is often a caretaker of children and/or parents in the family unit, women’s health—maintaining and improving health—is often one of the female patient’s top priorities. Proactive health care is one of the best ways for each woman to prevent or protect herself from decreased vitality and illness. The wellness-minded family practitioner (FP) like Johns Creek Dermatology and Family Medicine uses the following tests and tools towards this aim:

Annual Mammogram

Today’s high definition mammography screens assist the doctor in identifying tumors of the breast. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests an annual mammogram for each woman above the age of forty. A mammogram is important for early identification of breast cancer and an important tool in maintaining women s health. Most cancers of the breast are treatable if diagnosed in time.

Pap Smear

A regular pap smear is another important preventive health care measurement. The test identifies cervical cancer. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and medical research suggests that any woman (aged twenty-one to sixty-five) who has ever been sexually active should receive a paper smear in every one to three year period.

Regular Blood Tests

The American Heart Association recommends that each woman know her numbers to help her doctor identify any potential health concerns. For instance, regular blood tests help the doctor know if the woman’s “bad” cholesterol (LDL) or triglycerides are too high. Blood fats and cholesterol are considered one of the leading indicators for the propensity to develop heart disease or to have a stroke. High blood sugar levels are also an important indicator in the identification of diabetes. A low blood sugar level can also help the doctor to identify hypoglycemia.

Healthy, Active Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to maintain and improve a woman’s health. The American Health Association (AHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages all women to eat a high fiber, low fat and cholesterol diet. A diet that focuses on fresh fruits, vegetables, beans/legumes, whole grains, low fat proteins (such as fish or chicken), and hearty-healthy fatty acids and oils is one of the best ways for each woman to protect and promote a healthy body. Some women need help and encouragement about how to transition from a diet high in processed or fried foods. Other women want to reduce body fat. Johns Creek Dermatology and Family Medicine supports women’s health and encourages all women and their families to eat and enjoy a healthy diet.

Smoking cessation is also very important to a healthy body and lifestyle. A woman who smokes has an increased chance of developing life-threatening illnesses such as lung cancer over time. She also passes along dangerous secondhand smoke to children and family members who do not smoke. A physician-partner can help the female patient to stop smoking once and for all with encouragement and tools that work.

Drinking alcohol is another risk factor for many patients. Patients who drink alcohol should limit their consumption of beer, wine, and cocktails each week. The family-focused practice can help each woman understand how much alcohol is too much and assist them in lowering alcohol consumption for a healthy lifestyle.

Exercise is also very important in maintaining and improving each woman’s health. Regular exercise helps to maintain healthy body weight: obesity is one of the prevalent risk factors of less than ideal health. Exercise helps to naturally lower LDL cholesterol if it exists in the body so that the patient doesn’t need prescription medications to perform this task. Importantly, though, regular exercise naturally reduces stress and lowers the potential to develop heart disease or high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends regular exercise and states this exercise doesn’t have to be high intensity or strenuous. The female patient can garden or perform household chores for at least thirty minutes and five days each week.

Conclusion

Choosing the right doctor is important for a woman’s health. Women shoulder multiple roles and are often responsible for the management of the family’s health and well-being. A family-focused health practice is a smart idea for many women. For instance, children in the family may get sick from other children at school. Their mother or father may also come down with the same case of sore throat or viral illness. Since the FP treats the entire family, it’s possible to identify and treat all family members at once.

Patients in and around South Forsyth, Gwinnett, and North Fulton counties, and North Atlanta residents in Alpharetta, Dawsonville, Suwanee, Roswell, and Cumming should contact Dr. Zack Charkawi at 770-771-6591 to learn more about the benefits of woman’s health and family-centered health care.