Allergies!! How allergies may be affecting you more than you know!
Q: What are some symptoms of environmental or food allergies?
Irritability Excessive restlessness • Depression • Anxiety • Personality changes • Seizures • Migraines Neurological • Coughing and wheezing • Chronic runny nose • Asthma • Recurrent bronchitis • Recurrent ear infections Immune • Chronic or recurrent infections • Chronic acne • Canker sores • Eczema • Itchy rash • Hives • Bed-wetting • Bladder infections • Fainting • Hypoglycemia • Anemia • Sinusitis • Eczema • Psoriasis• Chronic pain • Irritable bowel disease
Q: Are environmental allergies associated with endometriosis?
There is now increasing evidence that people who suffer from endometriosis have a higher incidence of environmental and food allergies as well as auto-immune or other immune disorders. In a study of 689 women, researchers found the relative risk of 4.2 (significantly increased) for prevalence of concomitant allergies.
Q: What role can allergies or atopy play in chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome and the fibromyalgia complex of neuro-muscular disorders have been associated with the body’s inability to fight with allergens. In layman terms, there is evidence that by being constantly under attack from allergens, the body’s immune system is busy fighting the allergens and becomes weakened to support a healthy immune system.
In a population based study of 42,558 patients with atopy (allergy) compared with 170,232 patients without atop from 2005 to 2007 with follow-up to 2011. The overall incidence rate of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was significantly higher ( 2.59 fold) in the atopy cohort compared with the non-atop cohort significantly after adjustment for age, sex, and comorbidities.
Q: Are there more people suffering from allergies now? And why?
The incidence of allergies is rising, and some scientists believe that increased chemical pollution in our air, water and food supply is causing the frequency and severity of allergic reactions to escalate. Natural and synthetic hidden ingredients in food, the genetic manipulation of plants, less diversity in the diet and poor digestive function also may be contributing factors. While the issue of food allergies is complex, testing can help identify offending substances. This information can be used to modify your diet – or your child’s diet – to experience.
Q: What are some other instances of allergies being the culprit in relation to Women’s health?
Vulvar irritative disorders, recurrent vulvo-vaginal infections may be either due to a person’s weakened immune system from chronic allergies or may be a direct response to ingested allergens from food or direct contact for example to detergents, creams, lotions etc.
Chronic pelvic pain, painful periods and painful sex have all exhibited association with high incidence of food and environmental allergies.
It is well known and proven that irritable bowel disease is an amalgamation of symptoms that may be arising from various food sensitivities and allergies, which may in turn increase the incidence of chronic pelvic pain conditions.
Q: How can we test for these allergies?
There are easy blood tests available now for testing of a host of environmental as well as food allergens. These tests are comprehensive and can help reveal some surprising results.
Q: Are there any treatments available?
Depends on the allergen. There are allergy shots available for a lot of the known environmental allergens. The process is called immunotherapy. The allergy shots are prepared specifically for that particular allergen and then given in a series of subcutaneous injections.
Q: Do I need to see an allergy specialist or can my regular doctor take care of this?
Your primary care physician can take care of the initial work up and then refer you accordingly. We do perform the testing and treatment at our offices as well and are happy to schedule a consultation to go over the details.
Stay tuned for more facts and figures….
Dr. Adeeti Gupta
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Dr. Gupta talks about the good, the bad and the ugly about Tampons. How safe are tampons? How scary or not scary are they?
Q: What are the most common ingredients in Tampon?
Most brand name widely available tampons contain, rayon, cotton and a polyester coating for the absorbent core.
The strings may be polyester or cotton and the applicator may be plastic or cardboard.
They may contain also fragrances and/ or odor neutralizers.
Q: Are the tampon ingredients harmful?
The cotton fibers need to be bleached before manufacturing, for which purpose, chlorine may be used. There is a doubt but no clear evidence that the bleaching with chlorine may cause release of a toxin called dioxin, which if absorbed into blood stream may cause cellular damage. Unfortunately, there are no clear, in vivo ( human) studies to show the amount of absorption of dioxin or polypropylene from the coating and how the ingredients are metabolized if absorbed into the system.
Again, there is no clear evidence as to short term or long-term dangerous side effects of these ingredients.
There is a possibility that the rayon and polypropylene after being in contact with body fluids may release some ingredients akin to BPA and other phthalates. Long-term exposure to the former chemicals has been associated with hormone imbalances and immune suppression.
Q: Forgotten tampon?
The main concern historically with tampons has been the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). TSS can happen with any foreign material left in the human body for a long time. The cotton or the tampon is basically a foreign body. A forgotten tampon used to be common cause of TSS in the pre-antibiotic era. The foreign body can get infected with Staphylococcus and cause widespread infection throughout the blood stream, which untreated can lead to death.
Q: Which tampon is safe?
Now, a safe to use tampon should be made of pure cotton with a cotton or inert covering. The covering has to be secure so that when the tampon is pulled out, it doesn’t leave any cotton fibers in the vagina. Unbleached cotton is the best and a cotton string is preferable.
Q: Recommended Tampon brands?
As far as the brands, there are many brands toting the words “organic”, “pure”, “unbleached” etc etc. We need to actually read every single ingredient, and not just rely on the highlighted packaging. Some pure cotton tampon brands are Natracare, Emerita, Seventh Generation.
- I strongly recommend reading every single ingredient and do allergy testing first if trying a new brand.
- Never leave a tampon in for more than 3 to 4 hours. For all those busy professional women out there, set an alarm if you need to.
- Retained tampon is the most common cause of unrelenting vaginal infections. And once the infections kick in, it is very hard to turn the pH back to it’s health state where the good bacteria are winning.
Stay tuned for more of our “Little Known Facts” series….
Dr. Adeeti Gupta
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Dr. Gupta explains in this candid interview why women of today still are not able to get simple easy preventative health care despite the myriad of options out there.
Stay tuned for more clarity in future posts…
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Birth Control Questions answered…
I missed my pill….
Which Birth Control should I use?
- What should I do if I miss a pill?– If you miss one pill, double up the next day. If you miss two pills, double up for the next two days. If you miss three pills, throw the pack away and use condoms; start a new pack on your next cycle.
- I realized I missed a pill after having sex, do I need the morning after pill? – if you have been dutifully taking your pill around the same time every day and you do not miss pills often, you will not need to do anything aside from taking two pills the next day.
- When should I start the pill/ Nuvaring/IUD?– For the pill: start on the first day of your period. If you start the Sunday after the first day of your period, you will need to use condoms for the first month on the pill. For the Nuvaring: insert the ring on the Sunday after your first day of your cycle, bleeding or not! For the IUD: Go to your gynecologist near the end of your period for easier insertion. (this is because your cervix is slightly open during your period allowing more room)
- When should I go on birth control? – Do you have irregular periods? Do you have painful cramps or heavy bleeding during your period? Are you sexually active? Do you have uncontrolled acne? Do you have PCOS? If so, you are a great candidate for birth control! (attention!!: birth control does not protect you from STDs)
- I have heard it is dangerous to take birth control pills.– There are serious, but rare, side effects from taking the pill. These include: blood clots, heart attack, stroke and death. You are safe to take the pill as long as you are not a smoker, have a history of blood clotting disorders, or have been diagnosed with classic migraines by a neurologist. Breathe easy, you will be monitored every 6 months while on the pill to head off any of the serious consequences!
- I do not want hormones going into my body but I want to be protected from unplanned pregnancies. – There is a non-hormonal option for the IUD. It is a copper IUD that can be left in for up to 10 years. How your periods are without birth control is how they will be with the copper IUD. Otherwise, there is always the condom!
- I can’t remember to take a pill every day, what are my other options?– Nuvaring: insert into vagina for 3 weeks, remove for 1 week and then insert a new one for another 3 weeks. Keep going. Patch: Place a new patch each week for 3 weeks, no patch for 1 week. Depo Shot: visit gynecologist for a shot every 3 months. IUD: placed by your gynecologist and left in for 5-10 years depending on the type of IUD.
- Will birth control affect me getting pregnant in the future? – Birth control causes no change in fertility. Whenever you decide to have children, just stop whatever form of birth control you are using
- I didn’t get my period while on birth control! – Stay calm, many forms of birth control can cause your period to become shorter and less heavy. Everything is probably fine and you should continue to take your pills/contraception regularly. If you are still concerned, visit your gynecologist for a pregnancy test.
- Will my parents find out I am on birth control?– Everything you share with your gynecologist is confidential. However, open and honest conversations with your parents is strongly encouraged! They may assume you are sexually active and ask you uncomfortable questions, but they are a good resource and may surprise you by being understanding
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PELVIC FLOOR THERAPY FOR INCONTINENCE
What is biofeedback or pelvic floor therapy for urine incontinence?
Biofeedback takes information about something happening in the body and presents it in a way that you can see or hear and understand. Getting on a scale to check your weight or having your blood pressure taken are very simple examples of biofeedback, which can be used to measure any body response such as heart rate or muscle contraction and relaxation.
In biofeedback, the measurement can be displayed on a computer screen or heard as a tone and used to learn about a subtle body function.
Who needs Bio-feedback therapy?
- Urine leakage while coughing, sneezing, running or any other physical exertion.
- Pelvic muscle weakness after child birth.
- Frequent urge to run to the bathroom leading to urgency and leakage.
- Menopause related muscle weakness and lack of bladder control.
- Early stage bladder or uterine prolapse ( also called Cystocele or Vaginal prolapse).
How is biofeedback used to treat incontinence and bladder problems?
Biofeedback has been proven effective in the treatment of urinary incontinence in numerous research studies. It can be used to help women learn to control and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles (PFM) are a group of muscles that play an important role in bladder control. Weakness or dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles can lead to problems with both bladder and rectal support and control.
Because you cannot see the pelvic floor muscles, you may have found it difficult to locate them. Perhaps you are uncertain if you are doing the pelvic muscle exercise correctly. This is where biofeedback can help.
Biofeedback therapy uses computer graphs and audible tones to show you the muscles you are exercising. It also allows the therapist to measure your muscle strength and individualize your exercise program. It does not do anything to your muscles. It is a teaching tool to help you learn to control and strengthen the pelvic floor area.
How is biofeedback done?
Two small sensors are placed with a sticky pad on either side of your anus, where the pelvic floor muscles are close to the skin. These can be placed under your loose clothing. Another set of sensors is placed across the abdomen. The sensors around the anus are connected to a computer screen and display a graph of your muscles as they are being exercised.
Since many women incorrectly use their stomach muscles when doing pelvic floor exercises, the sensors on the abdomen display a computerized graph to show you when you are using these muscles instead of those on the pelvic floor. The graphs also are helpful in measuring your growth in strength between biofeedback visits.
How long is each visit and how many will I need?
Biofeedback sessions are generally 30 minutes. The average number of sessions is six, but a few more or less may be needed to get the best results. Visits are scheduled every two to three weeks. Since biofeedback is a learning tool, it is important to practice pelvic floor exercises every day at home as well.
How does the device work?
The biofeedback device monitors and records muscle activity of each contraction of the pelvic floor muscles by using EMG-signals. The method offers accurate and fast measuring of pelvic floor muscle activity. Based on the measurement the trainer device gives direct verbal feedback to guide the user towards correct exercising technique.
Then the medical professional can transfer the stored results to a computer, set new training goals.
Individualized training program and interactive verbal monitoring increase user compliance and are responsible for the significant increase in contraction strength and the decreased incontinence seen in case-controlled clinical trials.
In the beginning of every training session the device determines the relaxation target level and the exercise target level.
The clear results from Biofeedback therapy can normally be seen after training of 8–12 weeks. However positive changes usually occur after regular training of a few weeks. To reach permanent results it is recommended to repeat the therapy period once a year.
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As featured in the Andrea Blair’s blog on monthlygift.com, Dr. Gupta talks about the G-spot.
” From a medical perspective, “the G-Spot is a plexus (or a collection) of nerves and blood vessels in the mid and upper or anterior wall of the vagina,” says Adeeti Gupta MD, FACOG, Gynecologist and Sex Therapy expert.
A ‘plexus’ might not sound very sexy or exciting but a collection of nerves and blood vessels means sensitivity and increased sensitivity leads to opportunity for heightened arousal because this collection “provides blood flow to the vaginal and clitoral area in times of need like during orgasm, labor and after delivery,” adds Dr. Gupta.
According to Dr. Gupta, it’s a common misconception that you need to (or even can) reinforce or ‘enhance’ the G-Spot. “Even if you try to make it thicker with artificial injections, you cannot make it more sensitive to touch to help with arousal,” she adds, “ It’s a myth. The nerve plexus is situated too deep.”
Dr. Gupta adds that elective surgery and/or injections like these can sometimes even cause more harm than good by scarring the tissue and resulting in less pleasurable and even painful sex. “
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