The Office on Women's Health estimates that up to 80 percent of women have uterine fibroids by the time they reach the age of 50. They are growths on or around the uterus that can become larger and more prevalent, especially in women who are in their reproductive years and menstruating. Get a better understanding of uterine fibroids, and what can cause fibroids in women when you visit a women’s health professional at Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
A fibroid is a usually benign muscular tumor that forms on the wall of the uterus. They are classified as submucosal (in the cavity of the uterus), intramural (within the uterus), and subserosal (outside the walls of the uterus). Fibroids are the reason why some women have bloated or larger bellies as they get older. Patients can have one or several fibroids of different sizes, and some can grow as large as a fist. Though fibroids are generally benign, they can cause discomfort and heavy bleeding when a woman is menstruating. They can also cause incontinence and pain in the lower back.
What Causes Fibroids?
While there is no definitive reason why fibroids form, there are a few possible contributing factors to consider:
- Many cases are genetic—it’s common for women in the same family, from different generations, to develop them.
- Hormonal imbalances may contribute to the development uterine fibroids.
- Diet, nutrition, and obesity may have an impact on fibroid formation.
Treatments for Fibroids
Fibroids can be treated by your Woodbridge, VA women’s health specialist in a number of ways. The treatment plan will depend on where the fibroid is located, its size, your symptoms, your age, and your desire to become pregnant in the future. These are some potential solutions:
- Medication to relieve pain, especially during periods of menstruation.
- Birth control to calm heavy bleeding or similar hormonal drugs.
- Surgical removal of fibroids (called a myomectomy) or removal of the uterine lining (endometrial ablation).
- A procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization, which deprives fibroids of their blood supply.
See a Women’s Health Doctor
At Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, a women’s health doctor will be able to evaluate and treat your case of uterine fibroids. Call the office today at (703) 494-4116 to set a time for your upcoming visit with Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb.
Find out the early warning signs so that you can detect and treat heart disease early on.
Heart disease refers to a variety of heart conditions that can affect everything from the blood vessels to the valves. Some forms of heart disease are congenital, which means that they occur at birth, while others can develop as a result of genetics or certain lifestyle factors. Our Woodbridge, VA, physician Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb wants patients to be armed with the tools they need to prevent heart disease; however, it’s also important to recognize the warning signs.
Symptoms will vary depending on the type of heart condition you are dealing with. Common symptoms include:
- Chest pain and tightness
- Pressure or discomfort in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Fluttering heart
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Irregular heartbeat or changes in heart rhythm
- Swelling in the legs, feet, ankles, or abdomen
- Being easily tired after exercise
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Heart disease is easy to detect if treated early on by our Woodbridge, VA, physician who can then refer you to a cardiologist for more specialized care and treatment. It’s also important to understand that heart disease is often preventable. If you have a family history of heart disease it is particularly important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Factors that can put you at increased risk for heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor diet high in saturated, trans fat, and/or sodium
Treating Heart Disease
If you have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease your doctor and cardiologist will work with you to create a treatment plan that will help manage your condition for the long run. There is no cure for heart disease but with the proper care we can help you manage your symptoms. Treatment options generally include:
- Lifestyle modifications: losing weight if overweight or obese, exercising, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking
- Medications: medications may be prescribed to reduce cholesterol levels or to correct arrhythmias
- Cardiac rehabilitation: this includes specific exercises to improve your cardiovascular health
- Surgery: this includes bypass or heart valve surgery
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms above? If so, it’s important that you have a heart doctor you can turn to for immediate and thorough care. Call your physician at Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, today.
At Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, your physician, Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb, promotes your best health at every stage of life. This includes middle age, a period that for women poses a number of issues related to menopause. Read below to learn more about menopause and how we can help you more easily transition through it!
FAQS about menopause
What is menopause? Menopause is a natural part of the female aging process, and it indicates the finish of the childbearing years. Due to drastically reduced estrogen levels, women at this stage stop both ovulation and menstruation. Most doctors, including your Woodbridge, VA, physician, affirm that women are post-menopausal when they have not had a period for one full year.
What is the average age of menopause? In the United States, the average age is 51.
What are the symptoms of menopause? There are many symptoms, and they vary from woman to woman. Typically, symptoms begin several years before actual menopause and can include:
- Spotty, light, and infrequent periods
- Hot flashes (feelings of intense warmth and skin flushing)
- Mood swings
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Insomnia (trouble falling to sleep and staying asleep)
- Night sweats
- Vaginal and urethral dryness
- Painful sexual intercourse due to vaginal thinning
What is the relationship between bone loss and menopause? While both men and women lose bone and muscle mass as they age, this loss tends to accelerate in women after menopause. The thinnest areas are the hip, wrist, and spine. A test called a bone scan can determine if a woman has very weak bones (osteoporosis) and needs medication to strengthen them and reduce the risk of fracture.
What are the best strategies to deal with menopausal symptoms? Adequate rest, a healthy diet, and regular exercise maintain a woman's overall health and well-being during this time of transition. Other helpful interventions are:
- Vaginal lubricants to ease dryness and pain during intercourse
- Antidepressants to mitigate mood swings and hot flashes
- Herbal supplements to reduce hot flashes, headaches, and insomnia (black cohosh is commonly used)
- Seeing your primary care physician at Ridgeview Internal Medicine for an annual check-up and pap smear or as often as she advises
Stay healthy and happy
For answers to other questions about menopause, contact Ridgeview Internal Medicine for a consultation with Dr. Al-Khateeb and her team: (703) 494-4116.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines chronic disease as a medical condition which alters daily activities or needs ongoing treatment for more than a year. Are you one of the millions of Americans struggling with COPD, depression, diabetes, hypertension, or other continuing condition? Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb of Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge is the primary care physician who can help you achieve optimal wellness.
What causes chronic disease?
Heredity plays a role in many chronic diseases. Both type-1 and type-2 diabetes, for instance, does not seem to have a genetic marker necessarily; however, the risk for developing diabetes appears to run in families, reports Everyday Health. The same can be said for high blood pressure and many other chronic health problems.
So, why would one person develop Coronary Artery Disease or another chronic issue more easily than another would? Lifestyle factors appear to play a significant role--things such as:
- Being sedentary
- Consuming a fatty, high-salt diet
- Not eating enough fiber
- Consuming too many calories, leading to an unhealthy weight
- Drinking alcohol to excess
- Smoking (and second-hand smoke)
How your Woodbridge physician can help
At Ridgeview Internal Medicine, Dr. Al-Khateeb and her team help their patients identify and live well with chronic health conditions. She recommends an annual physical examination for all adults with more frequent check-ins to monitor people who have asthma, diabetes or another continuing problem.
Harvard Health says that your primary care physician is your very best resource for:
- Managing your medications
- Helping you coordinate services from specialists such as a cardiologist or physical therapist
- Ordering and interpreting test results, both from lab work or at-home monitoring of variables such as blood pressure and blood sugars
- Helping you find a support group or other community resources which will assist you with the stresses of chronic disease
- Avoiding complications such as amputations (for diabetics), depression (often associated with heart disease) and kidney failure (from heart failure and diabetes)
Live healthier longer
At Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, we want to help our patients through acute illnesses, injuries and of course, the chronic diseases which can cause so much worry and impact on daily life and function. Please call our office to arrange for your annual physical or any time you may have a question or concern about your health. Phone us at (703) 494-4116.
Positive habits could protect you against developing certain serious and long-term conditions.
While genetics can certainly play a major role in what disorders or conditions you may develop, there are also a lot of lifestyle modifications that you have control over that can affect your health. Our Woodbridge, VA, physician Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb wants to do whatever possible to help YOU promote a healthier lifestyle in her patients. Here are some changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing certain chronic or severe illnesses.
Eat a Healthy Diet
What you eat provides your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to remain healthy, so it should come as no surprise that if you are eating processed foods or junk food that your body isn’t getting what it needs to function properly. A poor or lacking diet can lead to everything from obesity and chronic pain to diabetes and heart disease. Avoid junk foods and foods that are high in sugar and try to maintain a diet that is rich in lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fruits and fibrous vegetables.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle can also greatly impact your health and many people can blame sitting at a desk all day for their inactivity; however, getting daily exercise can reward you with a host of health benefits, from reducing stress and improving depressive symptoms to reducing your risk for heart disease. Getting about 30 minutes of exercise every day or most days of the week can greatly improve your health.
By now most people understand the serious repercussions that smoking can have on a person’s health. From increasing your chances for lung cancers to dealing with tooth loss, smoking or tobacco consumption is one of the worst habits that can lead to serious and long-term consequences. If you want to quit smoking but are having trouble ditching the habit for good talk to our Woodbridge, VA, doctor about different and effective methods to help you quit smoking.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress is one of the most detrimental issues for your health. It’s important that you find ways to combat your stress levels. This may include getting regular massage therapy, meditating or turning to yoga. If you are having trouble managing your stress talk to our doctor today.
Safeguard yourself from serious health concerns by visiting your Woodbridge, VA, doctor at least once a year for routine checkups and screenings. If it’s time to schedule your next visit call Ridgeview Internal Medicine today.
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