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    Sharing information from NAMS

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | September 29th, 2019

    Sharing information from NAMS

    I was in Chicago last week for The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Conference and now the challenge is to take 28 hours of information and distill it to less than 500 words. Not really possible, so I decided to summarize my top five lectures:

    1. In March of this year, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released a report on the primary ways to prevent heart disease. It comes down to the ABCCDDE of preventing heart disease. This can be for both women and men.
    2. Aspirin – this should only be used for high-risk patients – must talk with your doctor.
    3. Blood pressure – the aim is to have your blood pressure less than 130/80.
    4. Cholesterol – You should get your lipid profile (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglyceride). Your doctor will plug in your numbers into app and will be able to tell your 10 year risk of having a major heart problem. Depending on the number, you might need to be on special medication to reduce your cholesterol.
    5. Cigarettes – Quit smoking, If it is difficult, you may ask your doctor for medication to help you quit.
    6. Diet/Weight – Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, fish and whole grains.
    7. Diabetes – Along with your medication, you can control your diabetes through diet and exercise.
    8. Exercise – You should try to work out at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous physical activity.
    • Genitourinary Symptoms of Menopause (GSM) – There are changes that happen to the vulva, vagina, urethra and bladder as a woman gets older and it can be summarized as GSM. Do not be silent about pain during intercourse, vaginal dryness, itching, burning on urination – You cannot assume it is due to getting older. Get checked out to make sure there are no medical problems and talk to your doctor about having your symptoms relieved.
    • If you are suffering from low sexual desire, you may want to complete the Decreased Sexual Desire Screener and bring it to your health care provider’s office.  There are medicines to help with low sexual desire once the diagnosis is made.
    • If you are over 65 years old and your doctor has stopped performing pap smears, make sure they know your history. In order to stop doing pap smears over age 65 years, your doctor must make sure that you have had at least three consecutive negative pap smears or two consecutive negative cotesting (pap smear and HPV) within the previous 10 years and you have not had any precancerous lesions within the past 20 years. If your doctor does not have your pap smear history on file, then you will need to get a pap smear even if you are over 65.
    • What is good for the heart is good for the breast when it comes to reducing the risk of breast cancer.  The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research came out with recommendations for cancer prevention.  These recommendations are to help reduce your risk of most cancers. You can go on dietandcancerreport.org for more information.  The recommendations are:
      • Be a healthy weight
      • Be physically active
      • Eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans.
      • Limit consumption of ‘fast foods’ and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars.
      • Limit consumption of red and processed meats,
      • Limit consumption of sugar sweetened drinks.
      • Limit alcohol consumption
      • Do not use supplements for cancer prevention
      • For mothers: breastfeed your baby, if you can.

    Not exactly 500 words, but it is less than 600 words. 

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

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