Women: Let’s Do This!
As a woman, you’re often the one most responsible for your family’s health — yet too often, you put the well being of those you love ahead of yourself, which in the long run could harm both you and your family. Now’s the time to make changes for the better, for you — and by doing so, for those you love, too.
Be good to yourself. Taking care of everyone else sometimes leaves you little time to care for yourself. Start by taking a few moments to assess your overall health. How’s your weight? What’s your stress level like? Do you take a few moments each day to relax, to exercise, or simply to reconnect with yourself? If not, start today.
Do well by yourself. There are many ways you can do your body, mind and spirit well. Pay attention to what you eat and how you prepare foods — and when you can substitute healthier choices in diet and nutrition, do that. Examine lifestyle habits that you could change or improve, then go about implementing them. Doing the right things by your body and mind will certainly improve your spirit, too.
Get screened. Pay attention to the regularly prescribed health screenings that are so important to a woman’s health — mammograms, Pap smears and even colonoscopies. These simple tests can catch a developing cancer and save your life. It’s as simple as that.
Talk to your doctor. It’s important to share with your doctor your health hopes and dreams. From diet or weight loss, to exercise or nutrition, to all the vital concerns women need to be aware of — from breast cancer to heart disease, pregnancy to menopause — your doctor can help guide your way.
You’re feeling healthier already, aren’t you? Ladies — Let’s Do This!
Women’s Health Center
Many women may not be aware that heart disease and stroke are major threats to their health. But heart disease is the most common cause of death among women in the United States, and stroke is the third most common. The most common form of heart disease is coronary heart disease, in which plaque builds up on the walls of the arteries. Over time, the buildup causes the arteries to narrow and harden, keeping the heart or brain from getting all the blood they need. As a result, blood clots may develop that can cause a heart attack or a stroke.
The good news is that you can take steps to lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, or other health problems, with the combination of a healthy lifestyle and regular medical care. Routine checkups and screenings are critical for detecting hidden problems and staying healthy. It is best to try and detect and address medical problems in their early stages, when many conditions are more treatable and less threatening to overall health. Seeing a doctor for age-appropriate screenings and establishing a preventive healthcare plan is key to good health.
The age at which you begin screening depends on several things, including family history and your personal health profile. You and your doctor will decide which screening method is best for you. For more information about the important issues and guidelines for women’s health, review our online Women’s Health library.
Pregnant? As soon as you discover you are pregnant, you should establish a schedule of prenatal care with a healthcare provider that takes you through the entire duration of your pregnancy. For normal pregnancies without significant complications, prenatal exams are usually scheduled as follows:
- Every month from the 1st week through the 28th week
- Every two weeks from the 29th week through the 36th week
- Weekly from the 37th week until delivery
This schedule may vary depending on your personal medical condition and your healthcare provider’s preference. Additional prenatal care may be necessary if there are any pre-existing medical conditions (i.e., diabetes) present in the mother and/or if complications arise while carrying the baby to term. By making your regularly scheduled visits, you can rest assured you are significantly improving your chances of having a happy, healthy baby and being a happy, healthy mom.
Trying to conceive? The path to pregnancy is not always smooth. Age, hormones, and the health of your reproductive system can all become obstacles to pregnancy. Keep in mind that it’s common for both partners to have factors that decrease fertility. And sometimes the cause is unknown. As you venture down the path to parenthood, we can help. Our OB/GYNs understanding fertility issues and are trained in medical interventions to help you conceive the baby you’ve been waiting for.
Pregnant or trying, we can help. Let’s Do This!
Breast development and changes occur in distinct stages throughout a woman’s life: before birth, at puberty, during the childbearing years, during menstruation and upon menopause. During each of these stages, it is important to monitor your breasts for changes externally and through self-exams. In addition, you should begin having annual mammograms by the age of 40, at the latest.
The thought of having breast cancer is frightening to everyone, and can be especially devastating to women. However, ignoring the possibility that you may develop breast cancer or avoiding the processes to detect cancer can be dangerous.
Although there are some women who are at higher risk, the fact is that all women are at risk for breast cancer. That’s why it’s so important to learn as much as you can about breast health and plan for preventive care. Although breast cancer can’t be prevented at the present time, early detection of problems provides the greatest possibility of successful treatment.
If you are lacking adequate insurance coverage, we can help. Our mammogram voucher program exists to ensure no woman is turned away due to lack of insurance. Don’t wait. We can help. Let’s Do This!
Women are always on the go, so it’s hard to believe that your bones could be causing you to slow down — even stop — living your day-to-day life as you know it. Osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans, so you are not alone. It is a disease in which there is a loss of bone mass and destruction of bone tissue. This process causes weakening of the bones and makes them more likely to break. The bones most often affected are the hips, spine, and wrists.
Factors that may increase your risk of having osteoporosis include:
- Aging. Bones become less dense and weaker with age.
- Race. White and Asian women are most at risk, although all races may develop the disease.
- Body weight. Obesity is associated with a higher bone mass: therefore people who weigh less and have less muscle are more at risk for developing osteoporosis.
- Lifestyle factors.The following lifestyle factors may increase a person’s risk of osteoporosis:
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
- Dietary calcium and vitamin D deficiency
- Certain medications
- Family history of bone disease
It’s bound to happen at some point — menopause. While the average age of onset is 51, menopause can actually occur any time from the 30s to the mid-50s or later. Women who smoke and are underweight tend to experience an earlier menopause, while women who are overweight often experience a later menopause. Generally, a woman tends to experience menopause at about the same age as her mother did.
Often called the “change of life,” this stage signals the end of a woman’s ability to have children. Many healthcare providers actually use the term menopause to refer to the period of time when a woman’s hormone levels begin to change. Menopause is said to be complete when menstrual periods have ceased for one continuous year.
There are many different considerations a woman needs to take as she approaches menopause. This section provides an overview of some of the most important things to know about this stage in your life.
- Introduction to Menopause
- Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Estrogen’s Effects on the Female Body
- Staying Healthy After Menopause
If you are going through menopause or have questions about managing it, let us know. We have many options to help make this change as comfortable as it can be. Let’s Do This!
Of the 13 million Americans that experience incontinence issues, 85 percent are women. This is due to the many correlations between common events in women’s lives and various types of incontinence. Such events include:
- Giving birth
- Older age
- Bladder stones
- Frequent Bladder Infections
- Lack of estrogen following menopause
- Pelvic prolapse
It’s important to remember that incontinence is merely a symptom of an underlying cause, and we will seek to treat the cause, as well as the condition.
Call your healthcare provider for an appointment if your symptoms are causing you problems, if you have pelvic discomfort or burning with urination, or if your symptoms occur daily. There are a number of exams and tests that can be performed by a physician or urologist to evaluate the type of incontinence you may be experiencing, and to determine the best course of treatment. The choice of treatment will depend on how severe the symptoms are, and how much they interfere with your lifestyle.
You know that it is better for you and your family to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods. But, sometimes it’s hard to know what that means. You don’t have to become a vegetarian to eat a healthy diet, although you may need to put some thought into your meals to make sure you are getting the best variety.
Fort HealthCare Nutrition Services team offers a multidisciplinary team approach, with staff experienced in a variety of highly specialized diagnostic and treatment areas. Registered dietitians can assist with:
- Planning and developing healthy eating guideline
- Nutrition education Recommendations on tube feedings
- Post-hospitalization nutrition instruction
- Follow-up care for long-term nutritional needs
- Consultation to patients
Avoid the drive-thru in favor of the slow cooker. Cancel your reservations and cook with the family. Forget the carryout in favor of the produce aisle. We can help. Let’s Do This!
Stress. We all have it. It’s what pushes us to make a deadline or perform well in a big game. But it can also make us feel like we have a tremendous weight on our shoulders when we’ve got too much to bear. Chronic stress can lead to negative consequences like weight gain, trouble sleeping, depression, high blood pressure, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes. Just thinking about what stress can cause is enough to stress you out.
During stressful times, your body produces various chemicals, including cortisol, an immune-suppressing hormone. The more cortisol produced, the weaker your immune cells become and the more susceptible you are to illness.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help.
Recognizing the symptoms of stress in your life is one step toward managing it. We’ve put together a comprehensive resource center to help you limit unnecessary stress in your life. Take a breath and see how it can help. Let’s Do This!
Losing weight or maintaining your optimal weight can be a challenge, there is no doubt about it. This much you know: The more body fat you have and the more you weigh, the higher your risk for health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
But with a busy schedule and little time to fit in exercise and healthy eating, how do you begin your weight loss journey? The first step is to find your motivation. Which is more important to you — being able to wear the jeans you wore five years ago, or being able to move better, have more energy and improve your health? Once you know the answer, you can put our wealth of resources to good use.
- Find out your BMI
- How many calories do you burn?
- How much should you be eating each day?
- Simple behavior changes that make a big difference
- What’s your target heart rate?
Losing just five to ten percent of your body weight can lower your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Modest weight loss can also help prevent diabetes. Let’s Do This!
Substance abuse is a pattern of substance (drug) use that causes significant problems or distress, such as failure to attend work or school, substance use in dangerous situations (driving a car), substance-related legal problems, or continued substance use that interferes with friendships and/or family relationships.
Alcohol and tobacco are two of the most often abused substances, but others, like street drugs, prescription drugs, or inhalants are also common. If you feel you have a problem with substance abuse, don’t be ashamed. You are certainly not alone. Standing up to your addiction means admitting you can use some help – and that’s OK. We are here for you.
Depending on your situation and needs, Fort HealthCare Behavioral Health center can provide individual, family or group counseling to help your loved ones overcome both physical and emotional problems.
Not sure if you have a problem?
A variety of recovery programs for substance abuse are available in the area. Programs considered are usually based on the type of substance abused. Detoxification and long-term follow-up management or recovery-oriented systems of care are important features of successful treatment. We can help. Let’s Do This!
Fort HealthCare Behavioral Health Center is here for you and your family when you need help. Our convenient location provides a comprehensive outpatient program of assessment, counseling and treatment available to help you and those you care about work through mental illness and substance abuse.
Developed for adults and youth, Fort HealthCare Behavioral Health Center focuses on the destructiveness of addiction and mental illness. Depending on your situation and needs, Fort HealthCare Behavioral Health Center can provide individual, family or group counseling to help your loved ones overcome both physical and emotional problems. Our services help with:
- Social Skills and behavioral management
- Eating disorders
- Anxiety and stress disorders
- Family and relationship problems
- Sexual Identity
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse
- Career-related difficulties
- Grief Counseling
Your mental health is critically important to quality of life. If you need someone to talk to, we can help. Let’s Do This!
You know that eating right and staying active are vital to your health and well being. Not only does exercise help prevent or limit many health problems, it can even minimize the effects of aging. Regular exercise (3 or more times per week for at least 30 minutes) is good for your body — and your mind. It reduces your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. And, it boosts your mood.
Exercise is anything that gets you moving, from vigorous household chores to briskly walking the dog. Try to do something active every day. Your workout should include both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises.
If you need some inspiration, try a few of these:
- Stretch and Flex: Stretching after your workout will help keep you flexible, an important part of being fit.
- Build Endurance and Strength: A balanced fitness program includes aerobic exercise for endurance and exercises to increase muscle strength.
- Walk: Walking is a great way to get exercise because it’s safe, easy to do and inexpensive.
- Run and Jog: When increasing how far you run or jog, do so gradually, over several weeks.
- Try Something New: Exercise comes in many forms, from swimming to skiing. Variety can help keep you motivated.
- Join a challenge: Throughout the year we offer a variety of activity related challenges to help motivate you in your fitness endeavors.
If an injury — old or new — is keeping you on the sidelines, our Therapy & Sport Center or Orthopaedic Associates teams can provide the care you need to get back on track. What are you waiting for? Let’s Do This!
Healthcare systems are changing their focus from solely treating sickness and disease to a system that is focused on wellness and prevention. Focusing on prevention in our communities will help improve everyone’s overall health, quality of life, and prosperity. Doing so creates healthier homes, workplaces, schools and communities so that people can live long, productive and independent lives — and reduce healthcare costs.
Here are some guidelines for good preventive healthcare practices:
- Screening tests and vaccinations. An important part of preventive care. Get regular checkups, preventive examinations, and immunizations. Do not forget self-examinations, too. Find out which tests and immunizations are recommended by age group and gender, using these guidelines, and discuss a disease prevention plan with your doctor.
- Be informed. Learn about health promotion and disease prevention and ask your physician for specific information regarding your needs.
- Avoid illegal drugs and alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines a drink as one 5-ounce glass of wine, one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Remember that the alcohol content of each type of drink can vary widely. Where illicit drugs are concerned, there is no such thing as “moderate” use.
- Take medicine wisely. Read the labels, follow the instructions carefully, and remind your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines or supplements you might be taking that could interact with your medication. If you have any questions about possible side effects, call your doctor or pharmacist.
- Play it safe. Avoid injuries. Buckle up. Wear a bike helmet. Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Wear sunscreen and UV protected sunglasses. Use street smarts and common sense. Practice safe sex.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in our country.
- Eat smart. It is the secret to good health. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Enjoy a variety of foods, balance foods from each food group, and exercise moderation.
- Get moving. The other secret to good health: just 30-60 minutes of physical activity, accumulated over the course of each day, can radically improve the way you look and feel, both physically and mentally.
- Be happy. Take time for yourself. Get connected with family, friends, and community. Do things you enjoy!
We believe that a lack of insurance should never prevent someone from getting quality healthcare. After all, we can’t be the healthiest community in Wisconsin if we can’t provide care to everyone. That’s where LiveWell-Community Program comes in.
The program is free for eligible participants and includes, on an annual basis:
- Fasting lipid panel
- Glucose screening
- Biometrics assessment
- One hour, one-on-one coaching session with a Fort HealthCare clinician
- Health risk assessment
- Monthly Health365 eNewsletter
- Wellness challenges
- Cerner Health account to access personal health-related information.
The goals of the LiveWell-Community Program are:
- To allow participants access to basic wellness care
- Introduce community members to Fort HealthCare and Cerner Health
- Provide information on: how to best utilize services, like when to use emergency or urgent care and when to make an appointment for primary care
- Completing a Personal Heath Assessment and having results reviewed and explained by a health care professional
- Providing wellness coaching to encourage healthier choices
- Educating individuals about health risks associated with lab, biometric and health assessment results.
To become a member of the LiveWell-Community Program, interested persons will receive a brochure and lab slip from a participating organization, such as Fort HealthCare Community Health & Wellness, Rock River Free Clinic, Workforce Development, Health & Human Services or other affiliated organizations.