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Women's Health Services

Habersham OB/Gyn is here to serve the total needs of women's health. We offer primary care services from colds to injuries. We are here to serve you. Contact the Habersham OB/Gyn Demorest office to make an appointment to see Sandy Robb or Andrea Fuller for your primary care needs.

For many women breast and ovarian cancer are a main concern. Although these are devastating diseases, the number one cause of death in women is heart disease. Obviously this does not mean you may "skip" your annual mammogram or gynecological exam! What this does mean however is that each one of us should have a discussion with our primary care provider concerning our own unique health risks. This is done normally at the time of an annual evaluation by means of a personal health history, family history, laboratory analysis and physical examination. By looking at all of this information your provider can evaluate what steps you may take to optimize your health.

The following is a list of top health risks for women and serve to open up discussion with your provider concerning your individual risk:

No. 1 - Heart disease: The bad news is that in the United States more women than men die of heart disease! In fact, more deaths occur from heart disease in women than all cancers combined. The good news is that heart disease is mostly preventable with the following guidelines: -Stop smoking. Avoid second hand smoke as well. -Get your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. -Exercise. -Manage your weight to control your cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.

No. 2 - Cancer: Although it may come as a surprise, lung cancer not breast is the number one cancer in women. Breast cancer is number two, followed by colorectal cancer. Avoiding smoking is again one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk followed by these controllable lifestyle habits. -Exercise -Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. -Avoid excessive sun exposure -Limit your alcohol -Regular health screenings -Know your personal family history

No. - 3 Stroke: Death from stroke affects approximately 160,000 people each year, with women being the majority affected. Although not always fatal, stroke is the leading cause of disability. Like heart disease you can decrease many factors leading to stroke risk. -Stop smoking -Control high blood pressure -Control your weight, cholesterol and saturated fat intake with healthy eating -Exercise

No. 4 - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD): Years ago the group of conditions we now refer to as "COPD" were more frequently called "emphysema" and "chronic bronchitis". This disease is caused by damage to the lung tissue by smoking or inhalation of damaging second hand smoke. Death from this disease often comes after years of disabling symptoms of shortness of breath and activity limitations causing those affected to rely on supplemental oxygen and wheelchairs to breathe and move about. The risk reduction is easy for this one: Don't smoke! Don't expose yourself to secondhand smoke!

No. 5 - Alzheimer's Disease: Alzheimer's is a progressive degenerative brain disease effecting women twice more than men. Sadly, we do not understand the disease enough at this point to discuss preventive measures. Treatment currently relies on early recognition for early intervention and treatment to slow progression of symptoms.

No. 6 - Diabetes: Commonly referred to as Type 2 Diabetes or Noninsulin dependent diabetes, this disease is unfortunately on the rise due to the rate of obesity in this country. Currently over 60% of the United States population is considered obese. This type of diabetes normally develops after age 40 but unfortunately we are now seeing the disease in alarming rates among our children. Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and blindness. Risk reducing steps: -Maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy diet and exercise. -Have your blood sugar checked during your annual exam.

No. 7 - Accidents: Unintentional death occurs not only from motor vehicles but also falls. Risk reducing steps: use of seat belts, avoid driving while drowsy or after consuming alcohol or sedating drugs, maintain safe driving speed, and exercise to improve balance and muscle strength

No. 8 - Pneumonia and Influenza: Both pneumonia and influenza combined attribute to death of 36,000 women each year. Some conditions that increase the risk of death from these diseases are asthma, COPD, heart disease and diabetes. A simple annual flu vaccine will reduce your chances of getting the flu by 70-90% and contrary to belief will not cause the flu because it is a "killed" viral vaccine. The Pneumonia vaccine will decrease a person's chances of getting pneumonia by half.

You have probably noticed a common thread when reviewing risk reduction in many of these diseases. Easily attainable levels of health can be reached by exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoke and not smoking and regular health maintenance visits to your primary care provider. As always we are here to assist you in obtaining your best level of wellness.

The information on the Habersham OB/GYN web pages is provided for educational purposes only. You should consult a qualified health care provider if you have a question about your particular medical condition.

Please feel free to email us We will respond as soon as possible. However, in an emergency situation, please do not email us. Call the office or 911 immediately, so that your emergency may be handled in a responsible amount of time.