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Women-Specific Primary Care Leads to Better Outcomes

Women-Specific Primary Care Leads to Better Outcomes


Women-Specific Primary Care Leads to Better Outcomes

Over the past several years, women’s health has become a more prevalent focus in the news, on social media, and among physicians. For decades, women-specific healthcare has lacked the research and attention it deserves, so it’s exciting to see it finally come to the forefront.

All too often, “women’s health” is reduced to gynecological care and breast health – so-called “bikini medicine.” While these are certainly an important part of a woman’s health plan, it is not all-encompassing of the women-specific health issues and treatments that should be part of primary care. Women face unique and complex health issues, such as perimenopause, menopause, hormone imbalance, weight and nutrition management, mental health, cardiovascular health, sexual health complications, breast cancer, and cancer survivorship, among others. Disease diagnosis and treatment by a specially trained women’s health provider can produce optimum results for patients, and there are several ways in today’s healthcare setting that women can receive the care they deserve.

Historically, a decentralized approach to healthcare was the most common option for women—usually consisting of a primary care physician for the basics, an OBGYN, as well as a number of specialists for more complex women’s health topics. While having different providers and specialists for various care needs is still a sufficient option for women’s health today, new models have emerged for women to consider. A women’s integrative health center can offer a more holistic approach to care that supports a woman’s wellness needs. Additionally, a single-source, concierge medicine model with a focus on women’s and gender-specific health can offer individuals an exceptional level of care.

Often, a provider who understands the differences between men’s and women’s health is a great choice for patients because the disparities in how men and women develop diseases and exhibit symptoms are numerous. Let’s explore this through the lens of cardiovascular health. Although heart disease is often thought to affect men primarily, it’s actually the number one killer of both men and women. Women, however, have different risk factors for heart disease, including precursor conditions unique to women, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis. Women also present with different symptoms of a heart condition, such as back, neck, and stomach pain that can often be overlooked, putting them more at risk for long-term issues. In addition, women respond to medication used to treat heart disease differently than men and should be prescribed accordingly. Specialists in gender-specific care can help prevent serious cardiovascular-related health issues in both men and women. When it comes to your health, the most important thing is to find a provider you feel comfortable talking to, who has the time to listen, and the expertise to properly treat you. Remember to advocate for yourself in whatever healthcare setting you choose, and never compromise on obtaining your best health possible.

This article appeared in the April 2022 issue of Your Health Magazine (Virginia edition)

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Eileen West, MD about 12 hrs ago
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The scenario plays out like this… you’re sitting at home watching reruns of Friends when your vision blurs. Minutes later your head feels like it's set in a vice, and someone is cranking the lever. With your head throbbing, the nausea kicks in. After making a bathroom stop (goodbye lunch), you climb into bed and pull the covers over your face, lying still in the dark. Can you relate? This is called migraine, and sadly this illness is all too common. ● Approximately 39 million people in the US and 1 billion people worldwide have migraines ● Most people with migraine have 1 to 2 attacks per month which can extend from 4 hours to 3 days ● 36 billion is spent each year on healthcare and loss of productivity due to migraines Add onto those staggering stats this surprise—WOMEN are at greatest risk. Studies show that 8 out of 10 people with migraine are females. While research isn’t fully conclusive as to why, the data points to women’s hormone levels changing. ➡️ If you are battling migraines, please know that you do not need to suffer alone. At Eileen West, MD, and Associates, we are here to help you find the right treatment to prevent migraines and make them less painful. You have a life to lead. We’re here to help you on that journey and provide exceptional care. ⭐️ June is National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. Share your migraine questions below… We’d love to help. #youdeservebetter #msmedicine #fairfaxphysician #conciergemedicine #lifestylemedicine #doctorsofinstagram #femalephysician #womenshealth #fairfaxdoctor #fairfax #fairfaxva #fxva #dc #washington #loveVA #fairfaxcounty #virginia #northernvirginia #nova #dcarea #dmv #va #nham

Eileen West, MD
Eileen West, MDabout 2 days ago
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IT’S SELF-CARE SUNDAY. We’re back this week to focus on the importance of self-care and giving you tips on how to practically care for the physical, mental, emotional, & social parts of you. Today’s self-care tip is simple but necessary: Find Ways To Relax Our American society prides itself on doing, doing, doing. Here’s the truth - busy doesn’t equal beneficial. We need a balance of work, play, and rest. Your mind, body, and emotions need periods of relaxation in order to refuel. Here are 10 Ways You Can Relax: ● Meditate ● Do Yoga ● Get a massage ● Take a nature walk or hike ● Journal ● Swim ● Listen to calming music ● Sit in the sun ● Color ● Read a book Self-care isn’t selfish, it is essential. Your brain and body need downtime. Do yourself a favor & RELAX. ➡️ What is your favorite way to relax? Tell us in the comments. #youdeservebetter #msmedicine #fairfaxphysician #conciergemedicine #lifestylemedicine #doctorsofinstagram #femalephysician #womenshealth #fairfax

Eileen West, MD
Eileen West, MDabout 6 days ago
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More than 80% of women experience hot flashes during menopause. Hot flashes can occur during the day or night and have a range of severity. If you fall into the category of moderate to severe, here are 6 tips to help you find relief: 1. Keep the temperature in your home cool. 2. Reduce stress with yoga, tai chi, meditation, biofeedback, acupuncture & massage. 3. Eliminate hot drinks, hot foods, alcohol, caffeine, and cigarette smoking 4. Wear light, breathable clothing during the day and to bed. 5. Sleep with cooling products, including sprays, gels, and a cool-fabric pillow. Use layered bedding that can be easily removed during the night. Cool down with a bedside fan. 6. When a hot flash is starting, try “paced respiration”—slow, deep, abdominal breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe only 5 to 7 times per minute, much more slowly than usual. ➡️ There are some prescription treatments to help with menopausal symptoms. Talk with your primary care doctor to discuss the best path for you. If you currently are seeking a provider, we are here to advocate for your total wellbeing and provide knowledgeable and personal care. Please reach out to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help! References: The North American Menopause Society (mnflashes.pdf), Stat from National Library of Medicine #youdeservebetter #msmedicine #fairfaxphysician #conciergemedicine #lifestylemedicine #doctorsofinstagram #femalephysician #womenshealth #fairfaxdoctor #fairfax #fairfaxva #fxva #dc #washington #loveVA #fairfaxcounty #virginia #northernvirginia #nova #dcarea #dmv #va #menopause

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