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Women's Institute for Gynecology & Minimally Invasive Surgery, LLC.

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Did You Know This Can Keep You Healthy?

As cold season begins to wane, many of us have been practicing ways to stay healthy -- like washing our hands and taking our vitamins. But there’s another secret weapon to keep you on your feet: sleep.  While we all could probably all say that we know sleep is important to staying healthy, it’s not often that we actually prioritize it.

This week is National Sleep Awareness Week. And, here’s what you need to know about sleep:

Sleep to Live

  • Chronic lack of sleep has been linked to conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Your cells and tissues need to recover from use during the day. While you sleep, your body repairs tissues, builds up muscles, and uses protein to create energy.
  • Lack of sleep alters hormones, affecting metabolism and your responses to stress.
  • If you depend on caffeine throughout today, feel sleepy while driving, or regularly feel exhausted, you might be on the low end of enough sleep.
  • Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re getting on the low end of that and you don’t feel rested and energized, aim for an hour more.
  • Drinking alcohol close to when you go to bed, while it can make you fall asleep, will cause you to wake up during the night.

Sleeping is always at the bottom of the to-do list. Since there will never be enough time in the day, maybe consider making a short list of the “essential tasks to do today/tonight”; when the clock hits a certain time, drop everything and head upstairs.

We’ll be learning to stick to our own advice! If you are looking for any ideas on how to get more or better sleep, don’t hesitate and click on the button below to make an appointment. 


Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Eat for Your Heart

Eating foods with lean protein, lots of vitamins, and low levels of fat and salt are what you should aim for to have a heart-healthy diet. While many of us strive to eat healthy, how often do you check the sodium content of something you’re eating? Or forego dessert even though you had a salad? Most of us splurge or aren’t aware of how the foods we eat can affect our heart. Try this easy chicken chili to warm up and keep your heart on track.

Easy Chicken Chili

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, any color, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 15.5-oz. canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium beans (red, pinto, kidney, or navy), drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 medium chopped jalapeño
  • Fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup fat-free sour cream

Remove visible fat from chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. Spray a large pot with cooking spray. Add chicken, onion, garlic, chili powder, and jalapeño, cooking over medium-heat until chicken is no longer pink (about 7 minutes). Lightly mash the drained, rinsed beans with a fork. Add all remaining ingredients to chicken mixture and simmer on high for 10 minutes. Spoon chili into bowls and top with chopped fresh cilantro and/or dollop of sour cream. Calories per serving are 344, with only 3 grams of fat and 174 milligrams of sodium.

Many recipes are full of nutrients as well as tasty ingredients to keep your heart healthy. Watch the sodium and fat content in particular to keep your arteries clear and your heart strong. For more ideas on how to make quick, easy meals, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Are You at Risk?

For many of us, heart disease or problems are rarely front-of-mind. Errands, schedule, responsibilities, and home upkeep all take so much effort, it’s hard to focus on something that doesn’t seem as pressing. However, even if you think you’re pretty healthy, you might be sabotaging your cardio health without realizing it. Eighty percent of heart attacks can be treated and prevented if you know what steps to take. Some of the risks are genetic, so check to see if heart disease runs in your family. Others are lifestyle risks that you have the power to change.

What You Can Change 

  • Work on improving your cholesterol levels, which do not discriminate based on age. Especially if you have a family history of it, you’ll need to work on lowering them to keep your heart at lower risk.
  • Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure does not only affect those who are “Type A” or high-strung, it can affect even the most calm of us.
  • Get active every day. Increased physical activity is tied to decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Cease smoking if you haven’t already. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease by up to four times, as it increases the heart rate and blood pressure while damaging blood vessels.
  • Be careful of your diet and be aware of family history, to avoid developing diabetes. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease – it’s the same level of risk as smoking.
  • Watch your weight. Not to have a magic number on the scale, but because carrying excess weight can strain your heart as well as increase your blood pressure. 

Following all of these steps certainly can sound daunting. You first need to be aware of any risk factors you have, whether by blood or habits, then work on changing each one. Of course, all this while still staying on top of the rest of your life. But think of it this way: without a healthy heart, you won’t be able to accomplish much of anything else you need to do. For help coming up with plans and support to help you overcome any heart health risks you have, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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How to Know if Your Heart Isn't Healthy

Since heart disease affects women of all ages, even those who are active and seem healthy can face it. As you’re going about your busy life, your heart might be at risk without you even realizing it. Heart disease can be an unexpected killer, affecting surprising victims. Make sure your heart is as healthy as can be so you can accomplish everything you set out to do and be there for your friends and family.

Symptoms of Heart Attacks

  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating too much
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Pain in the jaw or back
  • A feeling like a strained muscle in the upper arms or chest
  • Prolonged fatigue
  • Discomfort in the chest

Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are also common for other ailments, such as anxiety or the flu. And sometimes we attribute them to being worn out from the stress of everyday life.

The great news is that you can work to avoid heart disease and a heart attack, keeping your body strong. Track your blood pressure and cholesterol, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking. If something doesn’t feel right, contact your doctor.

If you’d like to know how your heart is doing or explore your risk factors and how you can work to keep your heart in shape, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Could Heart Disease Affect You?

We think of heart disease as something that affects only the elderly or chronically unhealthy. Yet cardiovascular issues can hinder women of all ages, sometimes regardless of whether you eat nutritiously or exercise. And while many of us know to look for symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain, other problems might occur that we don’t know are related to heart issues.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer. While it might seem like there are so many things to pay attention to already in life, it’s worth forming some particular healthy habits now, and paying attention to important details.

What You Need to Know

  • Heart disease affects women at any age
  • For younger women, birth control pills and smoking combined can increase heart disease risk by 20 percent
  • Even if you are active and healthy, things like high cholesterol, smoking, and poor eating habits can affect your heart at any age
  • Chest pain isn’t the main symptom of a heart attack in women. Instead, you’ll feel shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain
  • 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease
  • Since 1984, more women than men have died of heart disease, or about one in three women

If you have pain in your neck or back regularly, feel sweaty without cause, or feel nauseous regularly, talk to your doctor. Such common symptoms can sometimes be confusing to diagnose, so check into your family history and review any heart disease problems. To discuss any concerns or learn more about how heart disease might be affecting your life, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Only You Can Make It Happen

Now that you have your goal (or more than one) for the year, and you have a plan to reach it and track it, how do you keep at it? We’ve talked about a lot of ways this month to hold yourself accountable, and those are all great suggestions. But one of the most important ways to ensure you reach your goals is: support yourself. Like many things in life, focusing on achievement will take a lot of other healthy living steps. Try to work on the following to help you reach success:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Aim for at least 7 hours each night, and that includes before the alarm goes off if you’re a chronic snooze-hitter. It’s amazing how much more focused and energized you can be with the right amount of sleep.
  • Set aside time daily or weekly to focus on your goal. Even if it’s just five minutes each day, and then building on that, you need to start somewhere!
  • Set aside time to review your goals on a monthly basis. Take yourself out for coffee, or leave an evening free of your to-do list. Actually, do that whether or not you have a goal for 2015.
  • Practice other healthy habits such as drinking lots of water every day, eating nutritious snacks, and getting outside for a few minutes.
  • Make time to invest in yourself, doing whatever it is you most enjoy. Those moments will help revitalize you and keep you committed.

Whatever you’re looking to accomplish to improve your life, you know it’s the right thing to do. So take the time this year to stick with it, and even if you fall off the wagon, dust yourself off and get back on. You can do it.

For other help making changes to your life, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Don't Break the Habit!

You’ve been doing great with your goal this year! Kudos to you. But maybe now you’re wondering how you keep it up for another month, or even the rest of the year. Or what about come July when you realize you want to re-focus again? You got this. Here are some tools to help.

  • 21habit: an app that lets you not only keep track of reaching your goal, but can motivate you with cash to do so. You can either use the free version, or pay $21 to use the committed mode. In that mode, you’ll get $1 back for each day you succeed, and donate $1 to charity for each day you fall short.
  •  Aherk: A service that sets you up for social pressure. You set your goal and then let your Facebook friends decide if you’ve reached it. And if not, the app will upload a compromising photo of you to the social media site.
  • Habitform: Also a social interaction, this app tracks regular actions until you form a habit. It will send you a daily reminder, and you can join public groups of people working on similar goals. For free, you can work on one habit. For $9.95/year, you can have an unlimited amounts of goals with all the bells and whistles of reminders and interaction from other users.
  • StikK: An app that has you create a commitment contract for your goals. You add a stake – some sort of investment or something you’ll lose if you don’t meet the goal, and then are subject to a referee to judge your accountability.
  • Weekplan: Many of us are better at completing things if they’re added to our calendar. With this app, you have a weekly window with time added to focus on your goal, break it down into weekly achievables, and mark to-dos as important or as urgent.
  • Goalmaster: Some of this app is standard for a goal-setting software, but this comes with reminders, stats, and a way to share both your goal and your results on Facebook. And as a perk, you’ll see motivational quotes as well!

While you certainly don’t have to be tied to technology to complete a goal, things like daily reminders, social sharing, stat calculations, and motivational quotes can certainly help you get there! If you find yourself at a loss a few weeks down the road, it’s OK to restart, or come up with a new, more manageable goal. Set a timeline, action steps, and find your sweet spot to help you stay committed.

For more help with reaching your goals, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Track Your Progress

It’s awesome that you’ve been working hard at reaching a new goal. If you’re looking for a better way to keep track of your progress, there are a myriad of apps and online tools you can use to keep yourself motivated. And also, you’ll be able to look at your kick-butt progress. Test these out and find one that’ll keep you moving forward.

Best Goal Tracking Apps

  • Lifetick: Track multiple goals, work on plans and action steps for each one, and review your progress. It even uses graphs and charts to quantify your path. You can filter goals by topic, and the app is free for up to four goals. For more, it’ll be $20 per year.
  • Goalscape: This service has similar break downs and reporting to Lifetick, but arranges the information in concentric circles, sorting by importance. You can separate the goals out as well. Use a template or create your own action plan. Available via the web as well as Windows, Mac, and iPhone apps. A 14-day free trial is available, but then it will require $63 annually for the web use or $114 annually for the other versions.
  • Mindbloom Life Game: It turns goal tracking into a game, offering suggestions and mapping your goals by area of your life. The app also allows you to collaborate and share progress, using both a web application and an iPhone app.
  • Joe’s Goals: This is one of the most simple apps you can use, and it’s easy to navigate. Add your goals and action steps to a calendar, and then just check it off every day. Works with both positive and avoidance goals, and it’s easy to see your progress at a quick glance.
  • Milestone Planner: This one is more useful for group projects than for individual goals. You can drag and drop tasks to organize them together, and easily run a report to see what items are finished and the timeline for when they are due. It can send reminders and let you assign tasks. You can use it for free with three goals, or pay $14/month for the pro version.

Whatever tool you try, we are sure you’ll succeed at reaching your goals this year! For other ideas on how to get there, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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How Do You Get There?

Now that you’ve settled on a goal, how can you make sure you get there? At first, you are so focused its easy, but after a few days, it might be hard if you haven’t incorporated it into your routine. Follow these ideas to help you on your path to meet your goal.

 

 

Step One, Step Two

  • Track your goals however it best works for you: marking on a calendar, using an online to-do list, or even a pen and paper each day.
  • Involve your friends by partnering together on the same or similar goals. A 30-day challenge where you can compare notes and text each other when you’re done can be fun.
  • Get an accountability partner. It doesn’t have to be someone you’re completing the goal with, but someone who will definitely check in with you regularly.
  • Don’t break the chain. Every day that you take an action toward completing your goal is another day closer to achieving it. So even when you don’t feel like it, try not to break the chain.
  • Review your goal monthly. Sit down after 30 days and measure your progress, see if you need to adjust your goal, or think of new actions to take if you’ve been floundering on how to get there.

Along the way, write down what you’re proud of, what didn’t work, and any new goals or action steps you plan on taking. It doesn’t matter if your goals are about health and fitness, spiritual change, learning how to let go, ways to improve your family life, or anything else you’d like to work on – you have the strength to get there!

 

We’re planning on incorporating some of these ideas into our own personal and business goals this year. For more ideas on how to improve your life, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Goal-Setting: How Do You Decide What To Reach For?

It’s the time of year when many of us reflect on what we accomplished in the past 12 months, and decide on what we’d like to do in the next 12. And while we might already have identified some things we want to change, how do we know we’re taking the right actions? Or if you’re not sure what goals to set, how do you find out?

The good news is that you’re on the right track. Research has shown that just setting a goal makes you more likely to achieve the things you want, and the process will make you happier.

Questions to Ask

  • What do you hope to accomplish in the next ten years?
  • How do you want to improve your mental health?
  • How do you want to improve your physical lifestyle?
  • What bad habits would you like to address?
  • Are there any relationships you want to improve?
  • What new skills do you want to learn, or are there any you want to improve upon?

Now that you’ve jotted down some ideas, time to distill them down into something you can accomplish. First, pick just one goal. You will likely remain more committed to it. Next, make sure it’s realistic, and that it’s about you. If it doesn’t fit that bill, see if you can refocus it so that it is. Now, try to make sure it has a positive feel to it. For example, instead of saying you want to feel less anxious, write that you want to feel calm more often. And lastly, work on identifying specific behaviors defining howyou’ll accomplish that. Practice a specific letting go mental exercise, tackle your hardest task first in the morning, etc.

Now that you have a defined goal and some action steps to get there, you can outline the time-frame you’re giving yourself to accomplish it. You’ll need to get the hang of doing something every day for at least three weeks before it’ll become a habit.

Need to schedule an exam? Give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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So, Will Your Holiday Travels Be Smooth?

Many of us travel to visit family over the holidays, whether it’s an hour or a day-long trip. Many things can change abruptly while traveling: traffic, schedules, comfort, and keeping your cool. Even if it’s a trip you take regularly, the added pressure or energy of the holiday season can complicate things.

 

Over the River and Through the Woods

  • If you’re driving, make sure your vehicle is ready. Fill the windshield wiper fluid with winter-grade liquid, make sure your wipers are sturdy, and check your battery power. Make sure your tires have the right pressure and your tread isn’t too worn.
  • Plan your route and schedule ahead of time. If flying, know when you have to be where, and build in time to eat and get between places. If driving, know the way you’d like to go, as well as any backup routes.
  • Leave early to arrive early. It’s hard to gather everything and get out the door, so if you aim to leave earlier, you’re likely to leave in good time. Maybe buy some coffee on the way!
  • Bring lots of entertainment options. For adults, consider books on tape or favorite tunes. For teenagers, different screens or books can be great. For the younger crowd, a movie, activity books, or even surprise treats at different moments along the way.

While the traveling can be long, keep in mind all the memories you’ll make when you arrive at your destination! For more ideas on how to help navigate the holidays, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Will Your Holiday Travels Be Smooth?

Many of us travel to visit family over the holidays, whether it’s an hour or a day-long trip. Many things can change abruptly while traveling: traffic, schedules, comfort, and keeping your cool. Even if it’s a trip you take regularly, the added pressure or energy of the holiday season can complicate things.

Over the River and Through the Woods

  • If you’re driving, make sure your vehicle is ready. Fill the windshield wiper fluid with winter-grade liquid, make sure your wipers are sturdy, and check your battery power. Make sure your tires have the right pressure and your tread isn’t too worn.
  • Plan your route and schedule ahead of time. If flying, know when you have to be where, and build in time to eat and get between places. If driving, know the way you’d like to go, as well as any backup routes.
  • Leave early to arrive early. It’s hard to gather everything and get out the door, so if you aim to leave earlier, you’re likely to leave in good time. Maybe buy some coffee on the way!
  • Bring lots of entertainment options. For adults, consider books on tape or favorite tunes. For teenagers, different screens or books can be great. For the younger crowd, a movie, activity books, or even surprise treats at different moments along the way.

While the traveling can be long, keep in mind all the memories you’ll make when you arrive at your destination! For more ideas on how to help navigate the holidays, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Can You Survive the Holidays With Your Family?

Toasty warm hot chocolate, twinkling lights, carols, and of course, interacting with your immediate and extended family. For many of us, not all of these things about the holiday season are enjoyable. Every family has its own dysfunctions, but the key is minimizing disagreements while acknowledging your different family circumstances. 

Find Balance

  • Don’t take things personally. Even if things get heated and you think someone meant something to be hurtful, developing a thick skin can keep the situation from escalating.
  • Make a plan before an event. Perhaps think of some neutral topics or questions to bring up, and be aware of discussions you should stay away from. If there are certain people you know you react against, plan to minimize your interaction with them.
  • Pause before speaking. It’s easy to bite out a quick retort, but if you pause first, you can offer a less tense response, or perhaps disappear to the bathroom or another room instead.
  • Don’t take sides. If an argument heats up, don’t pick a side. Answer noncommittally, and if pressed, say that you’d rather not talk about it right now.
  • Be aware. If someone has experienced a loss, a divorce, been added to the family, or is in a tough financial situation, give them their space. Let them express any pain and don’t try to force them to be happy or feel right at home.
  • Allow yourself time for recovery. Realize it can be draining or painful to spend time with your family. That’s OK, so allow yourself to decompress after and recover.

Spending time with your family can be one of the most rewarding things, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard or doesn’t take some strategy. If you’d like more help getting through the holidays, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment.  

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

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Are your holidays about joy, or about stuff?

As the rush of the holidays continues, we have the drive to overdo everything. And, as many parents realize, our kids aren’t the only ones who have trouble resisting temptation. Buying your child the perfect presents that you know they will absolutely love is now inexorably tied to how we celebrate holidays.

But as the holidays seem to swirl with more pressure and materialism than ever before, many families are beginning to carve out deliberate steps to combat it. Try out these possibilities to limit the focus on things, and instead redirect it to a focus on family, quality time, and traditions.

Less is More

  • Tone down the technology. Set aside specific times when you’re together with your immediate or extended family and there are no cell phones, tablets, iPods, etc. Maybe watch an old Christmas movie together, head out walking to view neighborhood holiday lights, or play a game instead.
  • Limit the number of presents per child or per family member. And encourage one or more of those presents to be from one child to another, not just from Santa or parents.
  • Pick out a charity that you will support as a family each season. Whether it’s through a financial gift, hands-on serving, or sending presents to others, this will reinforce the giving part of the season.
  • Decide as a family to spend money on experiences rather than on more gifts. You can visit a light display, cut down your own Christmas tree, go caroling, or see a live holiday show. The memories will last longer than the stuff.

We’ll be getting out “It’s a Wonderful Life” and looking into local organizations to support as we work on this list as well. For more ideas on how to bring your life into the right focus, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

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Do You Feel Too Busy?

The holidays are now fully upon us, and – can you feel it? That constriction in your chest when you think about the massive to-do list you have to accomplish over the next few weeks, from the events to the cooking, the baking, the gifts and the decorating. There is a way to survive. Here are some tips!

 

How to Stay Afloat

  • Delegate, delegate, delegate. Whether it’s at work to a coworker, in your home to a child or partner to help more with chores or errands, or with event planning or buying gifts, you don’t have to do it all, nor should you.
  • Stick to your routine. When everything is disrupted with extra responsibilities, it makes you feel more out of control. Identify regular parts of your daily routine and strive to keep those unchanged.
  • Carefully examine events, especially because you know many are coming. Pick one or two as top priorities – say no to the rest or limit your attendance to an hour or less.
  • Be mindful. This means that you stay focused on what you are doing, when you are doing it. If you are with family, focus on them. If you are at work, focus on work. Carve out time to hit your to-do list rather than trying to juggle it all day long.
  • Protect unscheduled time. This one is probably the easiest to ignore. We have tendencies to view open spots on our schedule as holes to fill; however, it’s often down time that we can use to either catch up on things or take a much-needed break.
  • Preparing more or larger meals than usual can be draining. Try to be extra-organized – plan out lists of every dish and each dish’s ingredients, including a timeline of how you’ll prepare them. Or go with a potluck!
  • Tone down the decorations. Even simple decorations make a statement and save you time. Also, consider using food as decorations – a bowl of limes and deep red apples can be just as appealing as those hand-crafted, hours-long crafts with the hot glue gun and hand-stitching.
  • Stop complaining. Even though you feel the need to vent, the more you complain about how crazy and busy your life is…the more crazy and busy it will feel. Stick to joyful, positive comments, and you’ll realize you probably feel better about what you have to accomplish.

We’ll be trying many of these tips in our office and at home this holiday season. For more ideas on how to de-stress your life, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Easy, Tasty, and Great for Sharing

As the potlucks, parties, and holiday family gatherings begin to fill your calendar, don’t sweat it. There’s no reason to head for the complicated, took-me-all-day-I-ground-my-own flour recipes. 

You can make dishes that are tasty, healthy, and don’t take all day. Or even the whole length of your favorite TV show. Below, find a seven-ingredient recipe that gives vitamin-rich offerings like squash and carrots just the right flavor while maintaining their nutritional value. 

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrots

3 carrots 
1 butternut squash 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 tablespoons maple syrup 
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 
salt and pepper 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and chop carrots and squash into one-inch pieces. Remove seeds from the squash as well. Toss with olive oil and maple syrup and then place on a large baking sheet. Season with the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes and turn. Roast for another 10-20 minutes until tender and brown around the edges. 

The outcome will be colorful, a little sweet, and contain all the nutrients from these two hearty vegetables. For more details on what foods are worth eating and ways to make them yummy, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 


 

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

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Creamy But Still Good For You?

As the holidays approach, you begin to avoid counting the calories you plan on consuming. How many of us in the weeks before Thanksgiving eat fewer calories, cut back on sugar, or maybe even exercise more, in preparation for a weekend of indulging? (Think of the pies alone!) It doesn’t have to be like that. This month we’ll cover several favorite Thanksgiving foods with a healthier twist.

We’ll start with a staple in many households at a big family meal: a green bean casserole. But with the cream of mushroom soup and other high-fat ingredients, this vegetable dish can be hard to redeem. Try this version from the Food Network that contains 60 percent fewer calories and 80 percent less fat than traditional preparation methods.

 

Green Bean Casserole

 

  • 3 to 4 medium shallots, in their skins
  • Kosher salt, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, stemmed, and halved crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups mushroom, vegetable, or chicken broth (not Asian-flavored)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  •  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Put the shallots (in their skins) on a small baking dish, roast until soft, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, skin, and coarsely chop the shallots. Set aside.

 

Bring a medium-large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add kosher salt to taste. Add the green beans and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer the beans to a large bowl.

 

In the same saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned, about 7 minutes, then add the mushrooms to the beans.

 

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the shallots, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir to combine evenly.

 

Spray a 2-quart baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the pan. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme to bread crumbs and scatter over the vegetables. Bake uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the crumbs brown, about 20 minutes.

 

A recipe like this can bring down the calorie count and keep your dishes healthier, leaving room for a few more bites of something else you love! For other healthy eating ideas, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

 

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What has breast cancer research found?

Breast cancer awareness is one of the most successful medical campaigns, which is a fantastic statistic for women and men around the world. But what progress has actually been made with research and information?

Since the formation and funding of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, much has been discovered. We know today how cancer originates within our bodies. The roots of the disease, known as breast cancer stem cells, have been identified. This will enable researchers to better find ways to target the root causes of the disease to stop progression.

Breast cancer itself is not actually one specific cancer, but rather, several different diseases. This means that depending on the type an individual develops, different therapies will be useful. There are four major sub-types, with each broken down into further categories.

You might have heard that genetics is an important factor in someone’s breast cancer risk, and in the past few years two genetic mutations have been identified. There also now exists a comprehensive database of breast cancer genes, which will help toward identifying any other gene mutations.

Along with these many discoveries, breast cancer therapy and treatment is more customized than ever before. This includes a decrease in over treatment for those with early stage development, who can forego chemotherapy and still receive effective treatments.

Now one of the major focuses of research is in understanding metastasis, or how cancer spreads or recurs. Researchers look for markers in the bloodstream or DNA to help measure risk and explore strategies.

We’re glad breast cancer research has come so far, and are proud to support both raising awareness and continued research. For more info on breast cancer or other common women’s issues, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

  

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

 

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Increase your chances

Since breast cancer affects one in 12 women, it’s important to keep tabs on any possible symptoms. The first sign is usually (but not always) a lump or change in your breast tissue.

One of the best things you can do regularly is a monthly breast self-exam: touch your breast all over, from the nipple to under your arm, feeling every part of it. Examine your breasts with your arm down, and again with your arm up, to feel all of the glands underneath. While some breasts are more dense than others, and caffeine can make your breast tissue seem slightly lumpy, you should easily be able to tell if anything seems different than normal. A hard lump or tender spot should be examined by your doctor.

 

Another step you should be taking for early diagnosis is to receive an annual mammogram once you turn 35. Those with breast cancer identified in early stages have between 72 and 100 percent likelihood of recovery from the disease. During a mammogram, abnormal areas might be seen on the screen.

Whether a mammogram or a breast-tissue exam show abnormalities, to determine whether it might be cancer or not requires a follow-up test. Generally a biopsy, it might be performed either as a surgical procedure or as a needle insertion. A laboratory then identifies the makeup of the cells within the tissue sampled, and sends the primary doctor a pathology report. Depending on tumor size and type, characteristics, and other factors such as the response of lymph nodes, the doctor can then assess and discuss treatment options.

 

A cancer diagnosis can be a scary moment. If there’s something you’ve been meaning to get checked out, call your doctor to make an appointment, since early detection can make an incredible difference. To find out other ways to monitor any possible health problems, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Let's talk about tatas

While some of us are more at risk of developing breast cancer than others due to genetics, we all have the potential to be impacted depending on our lifestyle. Many of us know someone, or more than one person, who has suffered from breast cancer. Some were fortunate enough to beat it. Others lost a valiant fight, and we remember their courage.

There are several healthy lifestyle choices and habits you can make on a regular basis to help lower your risk of developing breast cancer. Many of these can also help prevent other forms of cancer. Even if you are currently at high-risk, these have been shown to lower your chances of a cancer diagnosis.

  • Don’t smoke: Particularly for women who have not yet gone through menopause, a distinct link between smoking and breast cancer has been identified. It’s not a healthy habit for a variety of reasons, so if you need help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW today.
  • Limit your alcohol intake: The more you drink, the higher chance you have of developing breast cancer. If you do choose to partake, limit your consumption to no more than one drink/day.
  • Exercise: While it might seem like this is listed as an answer to many health issues, it remains true that our bodies were made to be active. Exercise keeps our heart, muscles, and emotions healthier, and can affect your weight.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Overweight or obese women have a higher risk of breast cancer, especially those who have already gone through menopause.
  • Avoid radiation and environmental pollution: Some medical imaging practices use high levels of radiation, which have been linked to breast cancer risk. Research also has found that some chemical exposure such as gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust can increase your risk.
  • Breast feed: If you have or might have children, breast feeding has been shown to help prevent breast cancer. The longer you breast feed, the longer the protective effects last.

We all want to reduce the risk of serious diseases so that we can continue to spend time with our family and friends, following our passions. For more information on how to prevent chronic or severe illness, or to speak to someone about possible medical problems, give us a call a717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

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Not sure if you knew...

Many of us have heard the stats that breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women other than skin cancers. In 2014, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Another 62,000 more will be diagnosed with carcinoma in situ (CIS), a non-invasive and very early form of breast cancer. Of those 300,000 people in total, about 40,000 women are likely to not survive.

Most breast cancers found in stages 1, 2, and 3 are successfully treated with high survival rates. Stage 4, however, when the cancer has often spread, is trickier to eradicate.

The good news is that breast cancer incidence rates decreased or have remained stable in recent years, possibly because of a decline in the use of hormone therapy after menopause. Also, the rate of death from breast cancer has been declining for the past 20 years, particularly in women younger than 50. Earlier detection from screening and higher levels of awareness seem to be contributing to the decrease, as well as improvements in treatment.

Today, more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors are in the U.S., including those still being treated. Support to help find a cure through the Susan G. Komen foundation continues to grow. To find ways to help, visit the foundation’s website. While you are at it, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment for your annual exam. 

 

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

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I want you to stay calm

When we feel ourselves becoming tense, there are many steps we can take to stay calm. A great way to help you when those inevitable stressful situations arise is to design the space around you to have a calming effect.

 

Color is a major influence on moods, with greens known to be very soothing, yellows shown to be mood-brightening, and blues reminding us of the ocean and the open sky. Adding as much light as possible, whether from windows, daylight-mimicking lamps, or even quiet, softer lights, can add a cozy feel to the space.

Think about scents as well, including those that are known to relax in general, such as peppermint, rose, or lavender, or those that you know relax you personally. Candles, diffusers, or hand lotion and soap can be an easy way to add natural and relaxing scents to your room.

 

Music can be a powerful tool as well. Make a collection of soothing playlists, and have them at the ready when you know you might be facing a stressful situation.

Lastly, surround yourself with things you enjoy – tools you use regularly for work, photos of loved ones, a very comfortable chair, flowers, or whatever works for you. Feeling at peace in your space will help you feel at peace in your life.

We each add our own calming elements to our spaces too! For more information on how you can face stressful situations, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 

 

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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The one thing you can control

While it would be awesome if we could control circumstances to keep us from feeling anxious or tense, unfortunately, we can’t. And while we can work on controlling our reactions, sometimes we need to take extra steps to calm down. Whether you’re looking for a way to cool down after a stressful day, or something to commit to for the long term to de-stress your life, follow some of these suggestions.

  • Exercise: It’s not always what you want to hear, but regular exercise can change your whole outlook on life. You’ll feel better on a daily basis even when you aren’t sweating, and the boost you’ll feel from the release of endorphin during and after your workout can give you a new perspective on what was stressing you out.
  • Meditation: Even just five minutes a day to purposefully relax and take a break can have an impact. Find a comfortable position and concentrate on breathing slowly in and out. Then, relax the muscles in your body one at a time, starting with your face and moving down.
  • Journal: Sometimes organizing your thoughts and getting them out on paper helps to tone down any intensity you may be feeling. It can help you discover a silver lining or really understand how you feel and equip you to face the circumstances.
  • Lose the agenda: Take a break without a to-do list, or give yourself permission to procrastinate. Find an activity you’ve always enjoyed, maybe one that brings you back to your childhood, and have fun with no guilt for a set amount of time. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle anything.
  • Nature: Being outdoors can have a calming effect. Take a hike on a trail, up a mountain, or along a river. Or just stroll down the street – the fresh air, sounds of nature, even the smells, can make the tension leave your body.
  • Yoga: A form of exercise, this combines steady breathing with poses. The combination has an extremely calming effect, while also strengthening your muscles and helping to tone your body.

Finding ways to relax every day can brighten up sometimes dreary or intense situations, giving you a much more calm outlook on life. For more ideas on how to relax, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 


 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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These foods will make you feel so...

We’ve all eaten not-so-healthy foods while under stress. That habit can actually help you remain calm if you eat the right foods. Try keeping some of the following on hand and you might circumvent any feelings of anxiety.

  • Tea: Known for being soothing, tea has been shown to help people reduce stress. Green tea features an amino acid known as theanine, also shown to reduce anxiety and help calm.
  • Omega-3 rich fish: Fish such as salmon and tuna caused a 20 percent lower anxiety level among those who ate them regularly. The food keeps stress hormones from increasing.
  • Green vegetables: Found in many leafy, green vegetables such as spinach, the mineral magnesium is important to help calm nerves and make muscles relax.
  • Dark chocolate: Chocolate contains antioxidants that are known to help soothe; those who eat chocolate regularly have been shown to have lower levels of stress hormones in their body.
  • Vitamin C: Found easily in oranges, it’s been demonstrated that those eating vitamin C were more quickly able to recover from stressful situations. Blood pressure and stress hormones both decreased more readily because of the vitamin.

If you feel like you are often stressed or tense, try adding some of these foods to your diet on a regular basis. For more ideas on ways to relieve stress, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment. 


Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Protect Yourself

Sexually transmitted infections and diseases continue to spread around the globe, contracted via contact with the genital area through sexual intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex. Some, such as hepatitis, can also be spread through contact with blood.

The surest way to avoid contracting an STD is to avoid having sexual relations, or to have intercourse only with one person who has been tested for STDs. Vaccinations can also help avoid infection, such as the HPV and hepatitis B vaccines.

Have you and your partner been tested?

If you are engaging in sex with someone who has not been tested for STDs or it hasn’t come up in discussion, the best way to protect against infection is to use a condom correctly every time. If you’ve had a sexual partner in the past and you’re not sure if you might have been infected, visit your doctor to get tested and see if there’s any treatment you need.
           

If you have any questions about STDs or how you can stay safe, please give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.



Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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What Can I Do?

Many sexually-transmitted diseases can be treated with antibiotic and antiviral medications. These diseases include chlamydia, herpes, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Others need more analysis or treatment in a doctor’s office.

 

There are many treatment routes

For genital warts, your gynecologist can treat you in his or her office or provide a prescription medication you can apply at home multiple times each week. The warts can also be removed with surgery, whether by freezing them off, using a laser, or making incisions to remove them.

Cases of HIV and hepatitis B require consultation with a specialist for evaluation and then treatment planning. The types of medications chosen will be dictated by the condition of the liver, presence of antigens, and the proliferation of the virus.

Early detection and treatment is key

Regardless of the type of STD, there are treatment options available. While some sexual infections can be fatal, early detection can help. If you have had an active sexual life or are experiencing some pain, discharge, or abnormal bleeding, please give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.



Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Do you know the signs?

Anyone having sexual relations can contract a sexually transmitted disease, even if it's "just" oral sex. Condoms are the best method of protection, but when not used as directed infections can still spread.

Beth, did you know you could have an infection without any symptoms appearing and still be passing the infection on to sexual partners? Gynecologists can provide non-invasive testing regularly to catch any infections. Common STDs are:

  • Chlamydia 
    Symptoms do not always occur, but when they do, it’s usually a few weeks after exposure to the infection. They can include painful urination, vaginal discharge, pain in your abdomen, or painful intercourse. 

  • Gonorrhea 
    You can be infected for months before symptoms might be present, or they can arise only a couple of days after exposure. Signs include thick or bloody discharge, abnormal menstrual bleeding, or anal itching and painful bowel movements. 
  • HIV 
    Some people develop a flu-like reaction, such as fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, and fatigue, usually between two and six weeks after being infected. HIV can lead to AIDS, a chronic condition that can be fatal. The symptoms of HIV often fade after about a month, and worse or more regular signs might not crop up for another decade or more. Those later signs can include soaking night sweats, high fever for several weeks, and chronic diarrhea. 

  • Genital Herpes 
    Often has no symptoms or such mild reactions that they are unnoticeable. Some people, however, can suffer more intense reactions over several years. The signs include red bumps, blisters, or open sores in the genital and nearby skin, and itching in the same area. 

Other common STDs include syphilis, hepatitis, genital warts, and trichomoniasis. All involve painful or unusual occurrences in the genital region.

For information about how to receive free testing for sexually transmitted diseases or how to lower your risk, please give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.


Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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No one wants to talk about it

More than 1 million people contract a sexually transmitted disease every day. These infections are caused by more than 30 bacteria, viruses, and parasites spread by sexual contact – vaginal, oral, and anal sex. They can also be transmitted between a mother and child during childbirth and through contact with infected blood.

 

Common Symptoms

Common signs of these diseases for women include vaginal discharge and abdominal pain. Eight infections are the most common. Four of those, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis, are curable. Four others, hepatitis B, herpes, HIV, and HPV, can be moderated through ongoing treatment. Some of these diseases triple the chance of contracting HIV, and all can cause problems with conception and intercourse, and open the body to contracting other chronic illnesses.

What can I do to protect myself?

The best ways to avoid contamination by one of these pathogens is to minimize your sexual partners and to use always use condoms, and be sure to do so correctly. See your gynecologist if you’ve had intercourse without using a condom to test for sexually transmitted infections, or to ask questions about the best ways to stay safe.

For information about how to receive free testing for sexually transmitted diseases or how to lower your risk, please give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.



Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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What to Know About Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer develops in the lower part of the uterus connected to the vagina. Most diagnosis of cervical cancer can be traced to the human papilloma virus, known as HPV. The virus is a sexually transmitted disease that can survive for years in a woman’s reproductive system, and in some cases will play a role in the process that leads to cancer cell development.

 

What are the signs?

Recently developed cervical cancer cells don’t cause symptoms until the disease has begun to progress. Signs of the cancer developing can include vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between your monthly cycle, or following menopause. Your vaginal discharge can also turn bloody, watery, or have a foul scent. Pain in your pelvis while you have intercourse can also be a sign of cancer developing.

Should I be worried?

While no one is sure what exactly causes cervical cancer, several risk factors have been identified through research: having many sexual partners, having sex at an early age, contracting other sexually transmitted diseases, smoking cigarettes, and a weakened immune system. If you’re receiving a pap test annually, you are already being screened for cervical cancer. Your gynecologist might also order an HPV DNA test, and conduct an exam to further check.

 

If you have concerns about cervical cancer or are due for an annual exam, please give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Cysts of Concern?

Many women develop ovarian cysts. While some do not affect you and dissolve on their own, others can cause painful periods or intercourse. Some might even cause ongoing pain.

 

What is a cyst?

An ovarian cyst is a small sac formed with fluid inside, existing inside or on the exterior of your ovaries. Sometimes they form when the sac holding an egg doesn’t break and release it, or when the sac reseals itself after the release of an egg during ovulation. Both of these types of cysts, known as functional, resolve themselves in a few weeks and are rarely cancerous. Other types of ovarian cysts develop when uterine lining-like tissue forms outside of the uterus or when multiple eggs grow cycle after cycle in the same sac but are not released.

 

What symptoms should I look for?

Signs of an ovarian cyst can include pressure or pain in your abdomen, pain during sex or your period, breast tenderness, or nausea. Call your gynecologist to discuss any issues like this. Your doctor can perform an ultrasound, or run hormone level or blood tests to determine the cause of the issue. If you seek treatment, it can include minor surgery to remove the cyst or hormonal birth control pills to prevent more cysts forming.


If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, please give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.


Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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What's Normal?

Many women experience normal bleeding from their uterus. But what makes such bleeding abnormal? 


Uterine bleeding is classified as abnormal if it occurs

  • between periods,
  • after sex,
  • as heavier or longer periods, or
  • after menopause.

Sometimes these instances are minor and nothing to be concerned about, such as when a woman is pregnant, has recently had an intrauterine device inserted, or has been diagnosed with fibroids. However, even in these cases, you should chat with your gynecologist and discuss your bleeding and any other symptoms, just to be sure.

When Is It Common?

Uterine bleeding is much more common at certain times of life: during the first few years after a woman starts her period and when a woman is nearing menopause. However, other possibilities can be the cause of the issue, including miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, infections, and certain types of cancer. 

If you are affected by abnormal bleeding, your physician will explore your family’s health history and possibly order some tests, such as an ultrasound. Treatment can include hormonal medications, anti-inflammatory medication, and vaginal cream. 

Mark, if you are experiencing abnormal bleeding, please give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click the button below to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.



Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Why would you call us?

An obstetrician/gynecologist can help you with a variety of symptoms and issues beyond an annual checkup. The following are a few examples of three common problems we help with: 

1.  Urinary Tract Infection

Develops when bacteria gets into the urethra and infects the lower part of the tract and possibly the bladder; the infection causes burning when urinating or feeling a frequent urge to urinate even when you don’t need to. Women are more prone to these than men, and particularly contract the infection when they begin having sex or start to have it more often. Women are more likely to get a UTI if they have had one before, have had several children, have diabetes, or are obese. Physicians can provide a prescription for treatment. 

2.  Vaginal Yeast Infections

Occurring in women who have regular periods, yeast infections happen when natural bacteria overgrow in the gastrointestinal tract and vagina because of stress, medication changes, or injury. Symptoms include itching or irritation of the vaginal area, pain with urination or intercourse, or a reddened genital area. Physicians can prescribe medication to clear the infection. 

3.  Painful Periods

Medically known as dysmenorrhea, more than half of women report experiencing pain for one to two days during their menstrual cycle. While it can be a symptom of certain conditions, the pain is generally caused by chemicals in the body called prostaglandins, which are found in the lining of the uterus. This problem can be treated through over-the-counter pain relievers, hormonal medications, and lifestyle changes such as exercise and getting enough sleep. 


If you are experiencing any of these common issues, please give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to schedule an appointment to discuss treatment options.

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Could you use a massage?

During the time in her life when your daughter begins to rely on and look to her friends for advice, you can still plan to spend time together to keep your relationship strong. Know that becoming more engaged with her peer group is a normal development step, and not a reflection on your parenting or relationship.  

A little pampering is a great way to spend time together while you chat about your lives. A pedicure, manicure, or a facial can be great options. Going out for some food that's different than the norm – perhaps a special place you always go together – could be special and fun. Something like a tea shop, frozen yogurt place, or taco truck can be tasty and memorable. If your daughter enjoys cooking or baking, you can look through recipes together and tackle the ones you find. You could also head to a movie together, go for a walk, or even just make it a point to chat as you drive her to and from her activities.

Whatever way you choose to try to bond with your daughter, know that remaining consistent is paramount. While teens often seem hard to communicate and connect with, consistency has shown to be the one important ingredient in relationships with them that builds trust.

Set up an appointment for yourself or your daughter by June 5, 2014, and you’ll receive a FREE chair massage at our office. Simply click here for a member of our team to contact you, or give us a call at 717-840-9885. Don’t forget to mention this email!

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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We're all awkward

Regardless of the age, as your daughter or someone you're close to hits puberty, she'll likely feel frightened, embarrassed, and confused. Development can begin as early as 8 years old, but might be as late as 13. Breasts begin to grow, pubic hair arrives, and your daughter experiences a growth spurt.

Being available and honest in discussions with your daughter or friend about these changes can help. Another way you can show support of these changes could be going bra shopping together. Ask her if she's more comfortable with sports-like bras that might flatten rather than accentuate her breasts – some girls prefer that until the shape of their breasts develop more fully. While she should probably have a neutral-colored bra for wearing under light shirts, picking out some fun colors and designs can help her enjoy the experience. Also consider investing in camisoles, as that added layer might make her feel more comfortable.

About two years after her breasts begin to develop, your daughter will have her first period. While the experience will most likely be painless (cramps don't occur until several months into regular menstruation), you can help her have an emotionally pain-free experience. Your attitude about your own menstruation even before it happens to her will likely affect her thoughts. Treating it like a celebratory entrance into womanhood rather than a curse can help immensely.

There’s no doubt that we all have that “awkward” school photo from our tween years. Share a photo of yourself on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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Where do babies come from?

While younger children are often satisfied with vague or redirecting responses to questions about where babies come from, school-age students will likely ask more specific questions. And as they become more direct about the questions, if you’re too embarrassed to answer or think they are too young to know, they might turn to friends or other sources to find out.

It’s a good idea to ask your daughter what she already knows. Then you can clarify any bad information, and answer her questions until she’s satisfied. Be careful not to make her feel small for asking by laughing at her questions or misconceptions. Also, be sure to use the real names for what you’re talking about – nicknames might trigger her to think she should be ashamed of her own body.  

You can consider books with diagrams or illustrations to help you explain. Even though you might feel awkward, it’s better to be honest and explain now. Then in the future, you’ll have a foundation to continue important discussions with your daughter. And it’s better for her to gain the information from you, with the right perspective, instead of the television, Internet, or friends without the right context or attitude about the information.

As she grows older, if your daughter is concerned about how “normal” her body is as it develops at its own pace, remind her that everyone is different. Perhaps share some stories from your own years before or during puberty. Try to use everyday moments to talk about sex so that it seems normalized and not something to be hidden. Also, discussing it regularly makes it seem not so novel, and can wear off any urge to bring it up at inappropriate moments.

Teaching your daughter about taking care of herself starts with you setting the example. Are you overdue for your annual exam? Simply click here or call 717-840-9885 to set up your appointment today.

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

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First Time?

As Mother's Day approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on your relationship with your daughter, reminisce about your memories, and plan for some bonding experiences. It's also a good time to think about the advice and example you can give her.

Between the ages of 13 and 15, it's recommended to introduce your daughter to a gynecologist. The first visit will likely not include a pelvic exam, but rather a way for her to become familiar with what a gynecologist specializes in, how they can help, and why it's important to have a good relationship with your doctor.

During the visit, you can go into the exam room with your daughter, or she can go in by herself. It's a good idea to discuss what you’ll do before you get there, letting your daughter know that what she says to the doctor will be confidential. The gynecologist will ask questions about your family medical history, your daughter's menstrual periods, and her sexual activities. The visit also will likely include a general physical exam and an external genital exam, and perhaps some vaccinations.

A gynecologist can be a great resource for discussing any female concerns your daughter might have beyond her menstrual cycle. Topics such as acne, weight, emotions, alcohol, birth control, and sexuality are all something a gynecologist can speak to, offering a listening ear and answering questions.

If you’ve been delaying setting up an appointment for your daughter, now is the time to check it off your list. Just click here, fill out this form, and someone from our office will contact you to schedule. Or, you may always give us a call at (717) 840-9885.

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

P.S.Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

I Think It Is Time!

 When you’re sure you don’t want to have any more children – or don’t want any to begin with – it’s time to discuss permanent contraception options with your doctor.


First, you need to be sure this is the right choice for you. Considerations might include your age, financial status, relationship status, health, and family dynamics.

Then, decide which method of permanent contraception is the best fit. For a nonsurgical female option, a physician can insert a small barrier into each fallopian tube, which then will form a natural stoppage after three months to block the tubes. This can be done right in a doctor’s office, with only a local anesthetic if needed. Your physician will need to ensure the contraception is effective at a three-month follow-up visit.

For surgical options, a woman can also have minor surgery to close the fallopian tubes through either burning shut or severing and closing them. Performed in a hospital, the surgery requires general anesthesia.

With either of these steps, a woman’s menstrual cycle and hormones will remain unchanged – your sex drive will continue as before, and menopause will not begin earlier.

For a male, a vasectomy can be performed in a doctor’s office. The procedure will sever the tube that sperm travel from the testicles in, and then close it off. A man will continue to ejaculate, but the semen will no longer contain sperm.

Even if you aren’t completely positive that you are finished having children, there are some longer term contraception methods that may suit your lifestyle. Give us a call at 717-840-9885, or fill out this form for someone to contact you.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

 


Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

 

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

 

Sometimes it doesn't work...

We all have that story of a friend who got pregnant while on the pill or some other form of birth control. Very few forms of contraception are 100 percent effective – however, many come close. Aside from permanent contraception, the Mirena IUD or the Nexplanon implant are the most effective.

Also very successful are the hormonal patch, shot, vaginal ring, and pill. If used correctly, about one in every 100 women will still get pregnant while using these methods, because occasionally the hormones do not entirely counteract the possibility of pregnancy. If used incorrectly (missing a pill, forgetting to insert the ring or put the patch on, or missing an appointment to get the injection), eight in 100 women will likely become pregnant.

For options using a membrane, such as a condom or diaphragm, there’s a slightly higher chance of pregnancy occurring. Male condoms, if used correctly, carry about a two in 100 chance of pregnancy, although if not used correctly (tearing, sliding off, incorrectly put on) the incidence rises to 15 out of 100. For a female condom, 5 out of 100 women will get pregnant if used correctly, whereas 21 out of 100 will likely conceive if not used the right way. A diaphragm that’s fitted by a health care provider results in 6 out of 100 women conceiving, and if not used well in 16 out of 100. For all of these methods, spermicide can improve the results.

Moderately effective types of contraception include the cervical cap, which comes in small, medium, and large sizes; the morning-after pill; and a sponge. How soon the morning-after pill is taken helps determine its success rate, and the sponge is not nearly as effective (32 out of 100) for women who have given birth and don’t use it correctly.

Was the story of a friend who got pregnant while on birth control actually YOU? Share your story on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a FREE chair massage at our office!

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

 

 

 

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

 

Rings, Pills, Patches...Oh My!

There are a variety of contraceptive options available to women, and many of them are now covered (per your health insurance guidelines) under the Affordable Care Act.  Each works a different way and requires a different commitment from you. Here's a quick overview:

  • Depo Provera Injection:  Given by a shot once every three months, the hormone medroxyprogesterone acetate enters the bloodstream. The result affects the uterine lining so that pregnancy does not occur. The hormone also prevents the release of hormones from the pituitary gland, stopping ovulation.
  • Intrauterine device: the Mirena IUD is a small plastic “T” shaped device inserted into the uterus through the vagina, and releases the hormone levenogestrel. The hormone changes the uterine lining, as well as ovulation, through its ongoing release. It can be kept in for up to five years.  The Copper IUD releases copper making the uterine environment inhospitable for the sperm or egg.
  • “The pill”: taking a daily tablet containing progestin and sometimes estrogen hormones, which both keep the menstrual cycle regular and prevent release of hormones from the pituitary gland, stopping ovulation.
  • Using the patch: a square patch placed on the arm, stomach, or rear, releasing estrogen and progestin through the skin into the blood stream. These hormones keep ovulation from happening. The patch must be changed once each week for three weeks, and then left off on the last week.
  • Inserting a vaginal ring: A stretchy ring releases continuous small doses of progestin and estrogen just like the pill but with less risks of nausea. A woman places it into her vagina, and leaves it for three weeks, during which time the hormones work to prevent ovulation. After three weeks the ring is removed, and one week later a new one is inserted.
  • Nexplanon: a small plastic rod about one inch long and very thin is placed by a doctor just under the skin of a woman's arm. It releases a progesterone-like hormone called etonogestrel that prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation and thinning uterine lining. Can be used for up to three years.

For permanent contraception, a woman can have the fallopian tubes blocked either through minor surgery or an in-office procedure with no incision. Some not as highly effective methods of birth control also exist, including a fitted diaphragm, condoms, cervical caps, emergency contraception, and a sponge.

If you aren’t sure which options may be right for you, give us a call today at 717-840-9885, or
fill out this form for someone to contact you. 

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

 

How DOES it work?

To make sure your method of contraception is effective, it’s a good idea to understand how it works.

The most common type of contraception is hormonal, whether a pill, patch, implant, IUD, ring, or injection.  Each of those options contains varying amounts of hormones such as estrogen and/or progesterone (or similar hormones that mimic the effects).   As these hormones enter the bloodstream, they interact with the pituitary gland in the brain by altering the release of substances that dictate egg development and ovulation.  They also affect the uterus by thinning the inner lining.  Hormonal intrauterine devices also cause some of the same effects.  Some may also thicken the cervical mucus, which makes it hard for sperm to travel to an egg.

Other methods of contraception serve as a membrane barrier, keeping sperm from traveling through the cervix and fertilizing an egg. These include a diaphragm, a cervical cap fitted over the cervix; a male condom, fitted over the penis; and a female condom, lining the length of the vagina. If used correctly (without tearing, in place only for the recommended amount of time, and not reused if not intended for that), and especially when paired with spermicide, these methods can be almost as effective as hormonal birth control.   The vaginal “sponge” releases a substance that affects the quality and life of the sperm. 

Permanent methods of contraception include tubal ligation, which prevents eggs from reaching the uterus, or a vasectomy, which is minor surgery barring sperm from entering the semen.  Both prevent contact between the egg and sperm.

For any questions about which contraception method might be right for you give us a call at 717-840-9885.

Many forms of birth control are now covered (per your health insurance guidelines) under the Affordable Care Act. To find out more, click here.

If you have any questions about birth control coverage, you can contact us at any time.

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

What Treatments Might Help

If you suffer from frequent urination, you’re not alone. Whether from childbirth, lifestyle habits, or as a symptom of a larger issue, many women face several trips to the restroom throughout the day, which can get in the way of you staying on top of your routine. Along with lifestyle changes such as what food and drinks you consume, maintaining a healthy weight, and performing kegel exercises, there are a few treatment options you can talk with your doctor about.

  • Bladder training means you’ll be taught ways to increase the length of time between feeling you need to use the restroom and actually doing so. Usually a several-week course, this might happen in tandem with pelvic floor training. 

  • A physician might recommend pelvic floor training, assessing your ability to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and putting you on a routine.   In order to help “hold your urine” when an urge comes about at an inopportune time. 
  • Medication to tamper your urges, usually begun at a low dose to test effectiveness and adjusted as needed. 
  • Neuromodulation therapy: if behavior and muscle trainings or medication doesn’t work, your doctor might discuss with you the option of using electrical impulses to change how your nerves respond to certain signals.

Have you tried tracking your urination patterns, kegal exercises, and every other technique under the sun without seeing results? It may be time for you to speak to a physician to get to the root of your frequent urination. Give us a call today at 717-840-9885, or fill out this formfor someone to contact you.

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet


P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Managing Frequent Urination

While it’s never fun to face frequent urination, there are several steps you can take every day to help manage your symptoms, and hopefully cope with the occurrence.

  • Pay attention to how much you drink. While you should never be dehydrated and you should drink when you’re thirsty, try not to drink  More than 8 glasses/day unless exercising strenuously.

  • Keep track of your fluid intake in writing. Write down everything you drink for a week, and how much. Keep track of the times you drink, and also the times you visit the restroom. You might notice a pattern in what’s causing more trips. The tracking can also help your doctor diagnose and treat the issue.

  • Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, which are both diuretics and will make you urinate more often.

  • Eat foods high in fiber, which can keep your bowels empty and from pressing on your bladder.

  • Aim to maintain a healthy weight, because excess weight can stress your bladder.

  • Perform kegels, exercises tightening the muscles you use to stop urination, to help with urinary incontinence.

Do you have a technique that helps you control your urges? Share with us via private message on our Facebook page and we’ll post it as an anonymous tip to help other women.


Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

 

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Why me?

Frequent urination plagues many women. At times, it’s caused by harmless (and even good!) practices in your daily life – such as drinking lots of water. The symptoms can be from a mild problem, or be telling of a larger issue.

Some situations that can cause you to need to visit the restroom regularly:

  • Prolapse or dropped bladder
  • Changes in your muscles or nerves that control your bladder
  • An infection or  chronic inflammation of your bladder
  • Certain medications or beverages
  • Conditions that can increase your urine production such as diabetes
  • Bladder stones or tumors

Depending on what is causing your frequent urination, the problem is often paired with other issues, such as pain while urinating, difficulty urinating, losing control of your bladder, or the strong urge to urinate. More than one of these symptoms might occur regularly. If you are experiencing frequent urination with one of these effects as well, make an appointment to see your doctor. If frequent urination by itself is causing disruption to your life, also consider talking to your physician. After talking with your doctor, he or she will likely order some testing.

If you haven’t had a chance to download our free guide on How to Take Back Your Life from Incontinence, I invite you to download it now by clicking here.

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

How Often is Too Often?

It’s OK if you’re one of the many women suffering from frequent urination. An issue a woman of any age can face, some might feel the stress only at night, while others face the challenge throughout the day as well.

What is considered a normal amount of times to urinate in a day? While this will vary from person to person, you’ll likely need to visit the restroom six to seven times in a 24-hour day, but as few times as four and as many as 10 can also be normal. Some medications necessitate visits to the bathroom more often, while a low intake of fluids will lessen it.

While it can be normal to visit the bathroom if you have a large intake of fluids, caffeine or alcohol, if you are experiencing an increase in urination without obvious cause, and especially if the problem is interrupting your sleep, daily routine, or you are worried, it should be a reason to call your physician.

You should also call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Painful urination
  • Pain in your side, lower stomach, or groin area
  • Difficulty urinating
  • The strong urge to urinate
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Fever
  • Red or dark brown urine
  • Blood in your urine

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, I strongly encourage you to give us a call today at 717-840-9885, or fill out this form for someone to contact you.

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Menopause: When to Get Help

Not everyone needs treatment for their menopausal symptoms. Some don’t feel strongly affected by symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings, while others see their symptoms fade quickly. You should be aware of what changes are not normal for approaching menopause, and call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Menstrual bleeding that requires changing pads or tampons every hour
  • Menstrual bleeding for more than eight days
  • Menstrual bleeding that passes clots
  • Bleeding in between periods or after intercourse
  • Getting your period less than 21 days apart on a regular basis
  • Having issues with incontinence
  • Suffering from depression

If you are facing any of these, get in touch with your doctor, as it is possible they are symptoms of a different issue. Normal symptoms many women experience during perimenopause include: irregularity in their menstrual cycles (more or less frequent, heavier or lighter flow, and/or last for fewer or more days at a time), hot flashes or night sweats, vaginal dryness, weight gain, problems with sleeping, heart palpitations, mood swings, or headaches. If you have trouble dealing with normal symptoms, talk with your physician, as there might be treatment options available to manage them.

Are you concerned that you may be experiencing abnormal symptoms? If you have questions or concerns about the changes in your body, simply reply to this email or give us a call at 
717-840-9885 to schedule an appointment.

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Help!

When going through challenging periods in our lives, we often feel very alone. Fielding the symptoms surrounding perimenopause, fortunately, is not something any of us have to work through by ourselves. Here are a few tips to help you make use of the community around you as you face the changing days ahead:

  • Find someone (or several someones!)  to exercise with. People who will help motivate you and you also enjoy spending time with can help you feel your best and commiserate with you.

  • Begin a recipe-sharing group with your friends, to trade easy and healthy recipes and keep your body fueled with the right energy.

  • Consider counseling sessions – From the physical toll and the emotional ups and downs, it can help as you look to your future to talk about what you’re going through.

  • Find something you love with a passion, whether it’s a new hobby or old. Gardening, hiking, volunteering, or anything that you enjoy and provides solace and feels soothing. If it’s something you enjoy doing with others, join a club or find friends to gather with.

  • Take time to care for yourself, even if it means saying no to others sometimes or changing your schedule. The people around you will understand.

  • Surround yourself with those who understand what you’re going through: older mentors, women in the same spot you are, and those knowledgeable about perimenopause.

Have you found some great effective ways to manage your perimenopause symptoms? Share on our Facebook page!

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Is it hot in here?

The symptoms of approaching menopause seem to come from around every corner sometimes. From hot flashes to trouble sleeping to urinary incontinence, it often seems to get worse before it gets better.

 

 

For some problems, there’s not a lot you can do to combat the symptoms. But for others, some simple changes to your life and intentional steps can help you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Hot flashes: Avoid things that might trigger them, such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods. Set up a small fan at home or in your workplace to keep you cool.

  • Vaginal dryness: Try water-based lubricant, or an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer such as Replens.

  • Insomnia: Make it a point to stay physically active during the day (but not right before bed). Also avoid smoking, large meals and caffeine late in the day. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet, and go to bed and get up on a regular schedule every day.

  • Mood swings: Try getting enough sleep and exercising regularly to feel your best. Learn new techniques to manage stress.

What’s the most surprising menopause symptom you’ve had? Share on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a copy of “What Can I Eat? Menopause Diet -- A Quick Reference Guide to the Right Foods That Will Get You Through Menopause with a Minimum of Symptoms.”

 

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Change Is Not Bad

Many of us look forward to but simultaneously dread menopause, the disappearance of monthly cycles with their emotional roller coaster and physical discomfort forever. But first, we have to endure a variety of symptoms that come and go with no warning. Many of these symptoms disturb our sleep or concentration: hot flashes, fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and hair loss.

These changes occur because of the biochemistry within our bodies. Estrogen can be elevated at times as we near menopause, causing the mood swings or headaches.  The conversion of another hormone into estrogen occurs in adipose (fat) tissue, which naturally increases to body fat (you knew you’d cut back on those brownies!). Also, your body’s metabolic rate naturally falls.

As estrogen levels decrease, the areas in your body with estrogen receptors are affected. Those areas include your bones, brain, blood vessels, central nervous system, and skin; thus, all of those areas experience changes. Low levels of estrogen also reduce the production of an anti-anxiety neurotransmitter, resulting sometimes in heightened anxiety during menopause.

Needless to say, some women stress when menopause rolls around. The important thing is not to over-think it and welcome this natural life change.

These are just some of the ways a woman’s body undergoes change as menopause approaches. If you have questions or concerns about the changes in your body, simply give us a call at 717-840-9885 to schedule an appointment.

Here's to you

One thing most women seem to regret every year: not taking enough time for ourselves, whether it’s to work on our relationships, relax a little, or broaden our horizons. It’s important to meet our many obligations as women, but it can be equally as important to make sure you are at the top of your game, both for yourself and those around you. Follow some of these tips to recharge and have the best year ever.

  • Treat “me time” as a priority. You wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment for your child or a work responsibility – and those are essential to keep everyone functioning. Consider whatever refuels you or relaxes you to be just as important. Whether it’s a night out with the girls or 20 minutes of yoga daily, put it in your schedule just as seriously as anything else you do.

  • Insert “productive” relaxing activities into your everyday life. Helping with homework, filling out paperwork, or waiting in line? Give yourself a foot massage with a massager kept nearby, rub luxurious lotion on your hands and neck, or read a book.

  • Take advantage of those who can help you with your children or your to-do lists. Get your groceries delivered, or visit a store or a gym with childcare provided. Ask for partners with any events you’re coordinating or ask someone else to run an errand for you.

  • Say no sometimes. Whether it’s to a child, helping out a friend, or taking on an extra responsibility, learn to be OK with saying you’re already booked or need to slow down.

What do you do to take time for yourself? Share on our Facebook page for a chance to win a $5 Starbucks gift card.

Do you Have a Plan?

A majority of New Year’s resolutions made each year have to do with living healthier and weight loss. But how do you get from the hope to do so and achieving some results?

Here are some steps to help you get from “I hope I’m thinner by June” to losing some inches from your waist and some pounds from the scale.
  • Make a plan. To begin to be healthier, you need to be able to focus on your weight loss goals. Addressing other stressors in your life that might take away your focus (financial concerns, relationship issues) can help you stay on point.

  • Write down all of the reasons it’s important to you to lose weight or live healthier – it will help you stay focused in moments you waiver.

  • Find resources for information and support – check out local gyms, consider a personal trainer, or talk to your doctor about how to make and eat healthier meals.

  • Ensure you’ll have the right kind of support every step of the way. Find friends who will work out with you or who have a passion for healthy living and eating, rather than those who will use shame or embarrassment to try to encourage you.

  • Define realistic goals. A healthy amount to lose each week is one to two pounds. Make sure your goals are measurable (30 minutes of walking every day; three servings of vegetables each day).

  • Get active, and make it a habit. To lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. Cutting 500 calories each day, either through cutting down on unhealthy fat or sugar, or exercising, will help you reach your goal.

  • Most of all, you’ll need to change your perspective for the long-term to keep up on your weight and healthy living habits. Do you eat when stressed? Do you tend to get fast food for lunch or dinner regularly? Find out why you have bad habits such as these, and work to change your outlook. Remember one step at a time, one pound at a time.

If you start with a realistic plan and focus on it every day, you’ll begin to see a change in your life slowly but surely.

What’s your goal for 2014? Share on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a $10 Subway gift card!

Once a Year

While it’s hard to make time for all of the things you “should” do on top of all the things you must do, it’s important to prioritize a physical exam at least once each year. Even though going to the doctor seems like something only necessary when you’re feeling ill, regular visits can catch serious diseases before they fully develop, provide baselines to compare with later, and build a relationship with your practitioner. Did you know that most insurances do not require any copays for a preventative well woman exam?

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist still recommends an annual well woman exam. In this visit the provider will perform a breast and detailed pelvic exam, as well as evaluate your BMI and blood pressure. Even though the collection of the Pap smear may not be recommended yearly for everyone, you still have breasts, a bladder, and vagina that require a physician’s attention.

Identifying risk factors for disease and adjusting your lifestyle through discussion with your healthcare provider at an annual exam can be life-changing. Whether for a common diagnosis such as diabetes or a more immediately life-threatening one such as a type of cancer, your doctor can watch carefully for signs. If you go each year, your physician can use previous years to compare your screening results and measurements, ensuring the most accurate findings. Having a good relationship with your doctor,
whether specialist or family doctor, can help you feel comfortable with any proceedings.

Consider these statistics:

  • One in three women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in the U.S. in their lifetime.
  • Heart disease and lower respiratory diseases were two of the three leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2010.
  • More than 25 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, with an estimated seven million of that number undiagnosed.
  • About 40,000 women are estimated to die from breast cancer in 2013.

Knowing your doctor well and visiting annually for a check-up will help you stay ahead of any health developments you might not yet detect, and help you come up with the best plan to continue to live a healthy, hearty life.

Make it your goal for 2014 to get all of the recommended testing done, starting with your annual gynecological exam. Schedule your appointment with us by January 31 and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

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