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How to deal with women’s health challenges

With Mother’s day around the corner we want to put our focus on women’s health. Women and men have many health issues in common, but each group has its own specific concerns that evolve throughout life which is especially true for the female part of the population since women’s body is an ever changing organism and often a big mystery for the male in our society. womens health Calgary

Embracing your period
They say that a girl becomes a woman when she gets her first period, also known as Menarche. It’s experienced at different ages based on genetic and environmental factors. For many women their period is that dreaded time of the month coming along with cramps, bloating and mood swings.

In the ancient cultures the menstruation time was an opportunity for women to stay away from everyday hustle and rest. It’s not that easy today, you can’t just go hiding in the Red tent, but what you can do is to be more gentle to yourself, put hot water bottle on your lower abdomen when you have cramps, have a cup of relaxing tea or bowl of a warm soup and just spend some time alone. If your symptoms are persistent though and the pain is overpowering go visit your family doctor who may refer you to a gynecologist.

The miracle of conception
The times when young women were getting married and had children right after they finished high school are long gone (at least in the western society). The infinite career, travel and education possibilities our time offers make young people put marriage and starting a family to the back burner. In Canada (2011) the average age of a woman having her first child was 30.2 years. Age is probably the most critical factor influencing woman’s ability to conceive. Starting at about age 32, a woman’s chances of conceiving decrease gradually and significantly. There are other causes of infertility such as tubal factor, previous abortion, overweight or underweight or hormonal imbalance. If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while with no success it may be a good idea to see a specialist who will assess both you and your partner.

Birth of a mother
When a child is born everybody is excited about new addition to the family and the gift of new life, which for sure is a beautiful and special thing to celebrate. But people, including the moms, tend to forget that together with the baby there is also a new mother born.

After 9 months of carrying the baby in her womb and giving him everything he needs to grow to become a healthy little human-being and bringing him to this world through painful and sometimes even life threatening delivery the mother is facing more challenges now. Breastfeeding and pumping or bottle-feeding and choosing the right formula, cloth or disposable diapers, hardly any sleep (is the baby still breathing?), fatigue, postpartum depression, you name it. While still expected to be a good wife, friend, daughter, sister or mother to an older child.

For some women this all happens smoothly and almost effortlessly, others may experience mental or physical health issues. There should be that little voice in every new mother’s ear saying “Take care of yourself too. You matter. You can’t help your child if you are not feeling well yourself”. And the same voice should speak to fathers, friends and family to help, support, cook a meal, watch the baby for couple of hours or just be there and listen to lament of the new mother.

prenatal family doctors calgary SEWith age comes wisdom… and menopause
Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. It does not happen overnight, it is a process during which the function of ovaries discontinues and woman cannot become pregnant anymore. Symptoms may consist of hot flashes, mood swings or vaginal issues. It usually comes after age of 50 and the symptoms may occur even years before and after the last bleeding.

Again, every woman experiences menopause differently; it’s an ordeal for some and dignified transition to the age of wisdom and creativity for others. And one good news, menopause does not mean the end of your sex life, actually it can be the other way around as recent studies show.

Staying sane and healthy through it all
Yes, it is not always easy to be a woman. Female body itself brings constant challenges due to its nature that is always on the move, the hormones levels change pretty much every day, it almost seems like it has life on its own. Add stress of every day life with juggling work, family, exercise, hobbies and whatever life brings, and it can get overwhelming once in a while. And if you don’t have enough rest, your nutrition is lacking essential ingredients and instead of taking a walk outside you spend that extra hour in the office, you might find yourself tired, frustrated or even sick.

Being a woman is beautiful.
Being happy and healthy woman takes effort and commitment to yourself.

At PrimeCare Health, we believe that most threats to women’s health can be prevented. Some of our female family doctors in Calgary have a special interest in the area of women’s health and offer consultations to help women achieve physical and emotional wellbeing during all stages of life. We are here to help.

Cold weather and your health

How cold weather can affect your body and
what you can do to protect yourself

Winter-time is celebrated by some and hated by others. For those who love winter activities like skiing, skating, sledding, snowshoeing or snowmen building it’s the best part of the year. Other people spend most of their time indoors in front of the fireplace with cup of hot tea and the luckier ones somewhere south escaping the frosty weather both looking forward to first sings of spring.cold weather, protecting your health in cold weather in Calgary

No matter which group you belong to the cold weather has an impact on our overall health in general. Let’s have a look at some of the areas that may be at risk.

Skin

In cold weather our skin loses moisture and becomes dry and tight and the heated air inside our homes or offices makes it even worse. You can experience irritation, flaking or even cracking of your skin. You should wear a sunscreen outdoors and keep covered as much as possible plus upgrade your lightweight summer cosmetics to heavier creams suitable for cold weather conditions.

For indoors consider using a humidifier and don’t overdo it with the heat. Soaking in hot bath is very comforting in wintertime but can lead to more dryness so don’t forget to moisturize with your favourite lotion.

Immune system

 Winter, beside cold weather, also bring flu and cold season. It’s almost some kind of tradition – as soon as the outside temperatures drop the world is suddenly full of coughing, sneezing and sniffling people and the sales of tissues soar.

If you want to stay healthy:

  • Focus on boosting your immune system with the help of antioxidants and vitamins preferably coming from fresh fruits and vegetables. And if you didn’t get a flu shot yet, it’s never too late.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours every night, our desire to sleep increases naturally with less light, so don’t fight it and get that much needed rest.
  • Stay active during the day though, even short walk every day will make a difference.
  • Using massage, especially with warm oil is also a good and pleasant way to strengthen our immunity in winter.

Heart

Cold weather is not the best for the heart. Low temperature can decrease the flow of oxygenated blood to your hear muscle and is one of the risk factors of heart attack. We can also over-strain ourselves easier in winter, walking in deep snow against the cold wind, shoveling the sidewalks and digging our cars out of snowdrifts. The rule is to always dress warm, don’t forget to cover your head and if you have heart condition avoid alcohol which might make you feel warm at the beginning but as it expands the blood vessels it takes the heat away from vital organs.

Eyesightwinter activities and protecting your health in Calgary

 Lovers of winter sports pay attention. You probably will not find riskier environment for your eyes than high snowy mountains. The most dangerous for your eyes is UV light that can cause “snow blindness” and contribute to development of cataract.  Good quality sunglasses with high UV filter are a must during all on-snow activities. Make sure that the eyes of your children are protected too since they are even more vulnerable.

Winter season is a busy one with all the holiday parties, family dinners and winter sports. It also brings more risk of injuries and sicknesses. Our health should always be our number one priority even though it’s harder to find the motivation at this time of the year. So listen to your body, move regularly, eat healthy balanced diet and keep the good spirits. Spring will be here sooner than you think. Until then stay warm!

3 Reasons Why You Should Get the Flu Shot

With the colder weather hand in hand comes the season of runny noses, colds and flu….and the usual debating on whether to get or not to get the flu shot this year. The truth is that even the healthiest and strongest of us are at risk of getting sick or even ending up at the hospital since every human body reacts to influenza differently.flu shot, Calgary flu season, why get a flu shot, Grande Prairie, Alberta

Of course, it’s up to each individual to decide if they are going to take the risk of not getting the flu shot in the hopes that they can avoid the flu this winter by chance or  actually take the preventive step and get immunized.

We should think about our family, friends and coworkers too. You don’t want to infect those closest to you. If you are still unsure about getting the flu shot this fall or not, here are a few reasons why you should go for it.

  1. New virus, new vaccine

Even though you might have had your vaccination done last year or few years ago, you should still get vaccinated this year as well. Why? Because the virus is changing, new strains keep constantly emerging and based on that new vaccines are developed to fight the most prevailing flu strains.

  1. Protect children and elderly

Thousands of children are hospitalized every year due to influenza. Children under 2 year are especially at risk. Even if you don’t have children on your own, there is still a chance you will spend time with someone else’s child this winter. Just like the children, the elderly people over 65 years are at greater risk of serious complications because the immune system becomes weaker with age.

  1. Even your phone can make you sick

Have you ever thought about how many times a day you touch your phone with your fingers? How many times does it touch your face? And the most important question – where is the phone in the meantime? How many counters, tables, objects in your bag or car has it touched? If you do not disinfect it daily, which most people don’t, it becomes a carrier for thousands of germs.

flu shot, influenza, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Carstairs, sick with the flu, germsIt’s true that the flu vaccine is not 100{b6e88ae49ccf12da45e74f711f1365e10853bfaff7856757db12eb61ca4e7f7b} effective in preventing flu, but it drastically decreases your chances of infection, and lessens the severity of symptoms if you get sick. Of course washing your hands and avoiding those with the flu is very important, too.

The 2017/18 Influenza Immunization Program began October 23, 2017. Influenza immunizations are offered, free of charge, to all Albertans six months of age. Flu shots are offered by many pharmacies and physicians in Calgary.

 

Tips to Staying Cool on Hot Summer Nights in Calgary

What a wonderful summer we’ve been having this year in Calgary; the sun and its heat has been out in full force.  Many of us are having a hard time sleeping in the heat and don’t have the luxury of air conditioning. It’s unusual for Calgary to have such long stretches of warm weather and our sleep quality suffers.  Sleep is crucial for our mental and physical health and it is important we try to beat the heat as best we can.  Tips from our health clinic and walk in clinic in Calgary

We read up on sleep hacks and tricks for getting through these hot summer nights and picked our  6 favorite tips.  Some seem like common sense and others are pretty wacky.  However, when it’s 30 degrees inside our bedroom and we have to get to sleep anything is worth a try.

Use Cotton Sheets

Save the satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.

Freeze the Sheets

Stick sheets in the freezer for a few minutes before bed. We recommend placing them in a plastic bag first. Granted, this won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a brief respite from heat, hopefully long enough for you to fall asleep and for the cooler night air to make its way into your bedroom.

Use a Hot (Cold) Water Bottle

Buy a  hot water bottle In winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes without cranking the thermostat. During summer, stick it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.

Turn the Fan Around

If you thought fans are just for blowing hot air around, think again! Point fans out the windows so they push hot air out, and adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room.

Make your own A/C

Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.

Hydrate

Get a leg up on hydration by drinking a glass of water before bed. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H20 in the tank beforehand. (Pro tip: Just eight ounces will do the trick, unless you’re really into those 3 a.m. bathroom runs.)

For more great tips and hacks on how to beat the summer heat check out the full article

24 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC).

If you think you got too much sun exposure,  suffered a heat stroke or require medical attention please come in see one of our family doctors at our health clinic in Douglasglen, Calgary SE or at our health clinic at the Calgary Airport. Walk-ins are welcome, and the wait time is usually very short or none at all.

Mental Health Week

Did you know it’s mental health week?

This week CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) has its 65th annual mental health week from May 2nd to May 8th. Psychiatrist Douglasglen Calgary, SE

Visit their website, they have a lot of helpful information about various mental health issues and understanding mental illness. You can find info about: anger, grief, stress, work/life balance, and much more.

Dr. Asha Nair, Psychiatrist at PrimeCARE Health Medical Clinic in Douglasglen accepts new patients by referral.

You can call 587-471-6089 for more information.