What should I know when I'm pregnant?

Posted by Andraya J. Huldeen, MD on Oct 30, 2014 10:08:00 AM

Three pregnancy and miscarriage myths and tips

This is the second in our 10-part blog series on women’s health issues. Today, we’ll share some pregnancy tips and myths from Andraya Huldeen, MD. An OB/GYN at Western OB/GYN, A Division of Ridgeview Clinics, Dr. Huldeen isn’t simply an expert on pregnancy tips and myths; Minnesota Monthly named her one of the 2013 “Best Doctors for Women.” 

Myth: “If I get an epidural, I will end up with a C-section.”

Epidurals do not cause C-sections. They are the most common pain relief used in the United States for women in labor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says epidurals are given to about 61 percent of women who deliver one baby vaginally.

Dr. Huldeen says women with longer or harder labors are much more likely to request an epidural. Labor is usually longer or more difficult because the baby is not ideally positioned or is bigger in size.

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Topics: Women's Health

Three common fertility myths debunked

Posted by Andraya J. Huldeen, MD on Oct 28, 2014 10:01:00 AM

Fertility tips and myths for women's health

This article kicks off our new 10-part series on women’s health myths. There is a great deal of information available about women’s health issues, from any number of sources, and of course women tend to talk with one another about everything from fertility tips to diets. But the “facts” they share aren’t always accurate.

With this series, we hope to set things straight for women who want to take an active role in promoting and maintaining their own health.

Today, we’ll get some fertility tips from Andraya Huldeen, MD, and dispel three common myths about women’s health. 

Myth #1: “If I go off birth control in May, I’ll be pregnant by September.”

It takes the average couple three to six months of “trying” to get pregnant, so there is some basis for this myth, but taking longer than six months doesn’t necessarily mean you have a problem.

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Topics: Women's Health

Break free: Bladder health questions answered

Posted by Dr. Michael Valley on Oct 24, 2014 11:22:48 AM

Is it normal for aging women to develop bladder leakage?

As women get older, it is common for bladder and pelvic floor problems to develop. Female bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence, affects 18 million women in the United States alone. But more than half of these women wait at least one year before to seeking help. Although these issues are common, it’s not “normal” to have a leaky bladder or pelvic floor problems at any age. Further yet, one in four women wait over five years before seeking help. No woman should have to go through life feeling embarrassed or in discomfort; there are easy ways to minimize these bladder health issues.  

Treatment is available

As women age, urge incontinence becomes more common. This occurs when one gets an urge to go, without sufficient warning, and has an accident prior to getting to the bathroom. Women with this complaint often report coming home after being out and getting a sudden, strong urge as soon as they come in the driveway. Knowing the bathroom is close, they are unable to make it to the bathroom without leaking. Urge incontinence can sometimes be treated with pelvic floor exercises but may also require a medication. These medications can have side effects, such as dry mouth, but there are multiple medications that women can use. There are other treatments available if a medication doesn’t work, such as injecting Botox into the bladder using a scope. Botox works by relaxing the bladder muscle so that it doesn't contract without warning. This procedure is done in the office with local anesthesia only.

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Topics: Women's Health

Strength training tips for beginners

Posted by Sandra Hanson, ATC, Ridgeview Rehab Specialties on Oct 21, 2014 10:38:23 AM

Getting started: strength training 101

If you aim to lead an active lifestyle, strength training can be an effective way to stay in shape, reach your fitness goals and lose weight. Sandra Hanson, ATC, is an athletic trainer and exercise physiologist at Ridgeview Rehab Specialties in Chaska, Minnesota. With expertise in sports performance enhancement, medically supervised weight loss, adolescent nutrition and emergency care, she shares some advice on how to strength train.

Cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility are all necessary components of a well-rounded fitness program. Strength training generates the most questions. Most people can easily accomplish their cardio regimen, but they struggle to develop a comprehensive strength-training program.

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Topics: Women's Health, Fitness/activity, Wellness

No excuses: Five common barriers to exercise

Posted by Jessica Hess, MA, ATC, Ridgeview Rehab Specialties on Oct 16, 2014 11:05:56 AM

Top exercise excuses and how to beat them

Most of us know that regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of various diseases. But sticking to a regular exercise program isn’t easy; this is something we can all agree on. Everyone experiences common barriers to exercise, so just how do we get past these roadblocks to a healthy lifestyle?

Fortunately, our sports medicine coordinator at Ridgeview Rehab Specialties, Jessica Hess, MA, ATC, has some great advice to help you overcome your barriers and make exercise a part of your daily life. Jessica examines five of the most common "exercise avoidance" excuses men and women give and explains how to overcome them.

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Topics: Women's Health, Fitness/activity, Wellness

Does healthy food cost more than junk food?

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Oct 14, 2014 11:36:00 AM

The cost of a healthy diet vs. an unhealthy diet

You may have heard that it costs more to eat a healthy diet, or maybe it just seems that way when you do your grocery shopping. Well, it's true, healthy food costs more than junk food. The cost of eating healthy comes at a price, but the difference may surprise you. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that, on average, a healthier diet costs about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy of diets. Costs were calculated based on a 2,000-calorie daily food intake.

"That $1.50 difference may be less than what many of you had expected," according to the study’s senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, who is also an associate professor at HSPH (Harvard School of Public Health) and at the Harvard Medical School. Mozaffarian notes that “this price difference is small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets.”

Still, that small daily amount adds up to about $550 per person over a one-year period, or about $2,200 for a family of four. This rise in price can be hard on any individual or family’s budget, but it can represent a significant hardship for lower income families. Additionally, researchers suggested it might be necessary to develop policies to help offset the costs of eating a healthier diet.

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health, Wellness

Eat less, exercise more: fact or fiction?

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Oct 9, 2014 11:05:00 AM

Is it better to eat less and exercise more to lose weight?

Most of us know the key to weight loss is eat less, exercise more, right? It turns out there’s more to maintaining a healthy weight than simply doing more of the one thing and less of the other. What you eat can make a noticeable difference in whether or not you gain weight, and how much.

Weight gain can creep up on you – typically, healthy non-obese Americans add about a pound a year. Why does this happen? 

A study conducted by researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health followed three groups of men and women, two groups over 20 years and the third group over 12 years, in an effort to understand the long-term effects of both diet and lifestyle changes on weight gain. They measured lifestyle and diet factors every four years and saw similar results in men and women. On average, study participants gained 3.3 pounds or 2.4 percent of body weight every four years, gaining 16.8 pounds over 20 years. 

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health, Wellness

Stay active with outdoor exercise all year long

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Oct 7, 2014 2:43:43 PM

Exercising outside is made easy with fitness apps

We all have different ways of staying active and healthy. Some people love to go to the gym to work out, where they have a spot to formalize their fitness goals in an atmosphere that provides camaraderie. Some people prefer to exercise in the privacy of their own home, perhaps with the help of their favorite music or fitness DVD. And some people enjoy getting their exercise outdoors for fresh air and sightseeing.

It can be boring just walking around the block to get outdoor exercise. It might be time to change it up, but how? You may be stumped about alternative locations, or you may think there isn’t anything reasonably close by that matches your ability range. 

If you love being outdoors and have a smartphone, there’s a great outdoor fitness app to help you keep up with staying healthy and active all year long. The app is called AllTrails, and it is designed specifically to help you find nearby locations for your favorite type of physical activity. Not only is it free, but it's also easy to use and is available via the Android Marketplace or the iTunes App Store.

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Topics: Women's Health, Fitness/activity, Wellness

Exercise motivation tips

Posted by Stephanie Smith on Oct 2, 2014 9:33:28 AM

Fitness inspiration comes from motivating yourself

The first step in leading a healthy and active lifestyle comes from motivation. This motivation is always easier when first starting down the path of accomplishing any new fitness and health goals, right? We always start out strong, but the passion and energy driving us toward our fitness goals or actively following a weight loss journey can quickly dissipate and die. As Zig Ziglar says, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Exercise motivation tips

I lay in bed in the morning for up to 10 minutes looking on the Internet (hooray for smartphones!) for exercise motivational quotes until I’m inspired to get up and go work out. It works every time, no matter how tired I am! Reflecting on motivational phrases and seeing how motivation and hard work has paid off for other people pushes me to get up and do better. I suggest you Google, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram “#motivation” to find your own favorite quotes or people to follow that inspire you. Getting "fitspiration" emails or seeing encouraging words from others when you open up your social media pages stimulates you to want to be better. 

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Topics: Women's Health, Fitness/activity, Wellness

Does junk food make you lazy?

Posted by Ridgeview Staff on Sep 30, 2014 10:49:33 AM

Studies show unhealthy eating decreases energy levels

Junk food. We all know it's bad for us, but what about the way it makes us feel? It turns out that unhealthy eating can, in fact, make you lazy. At least indirectly. The consumption of unhealthy "junk food" contributes to obesity, and that in turn, means being overweight. This means having those extra pounds on your frame inevitably leaves you feeling tired, sluggish and unmotivated. These effects create detrimental road blocks in your efforts to reduce obesity or in leading an active, healthy lifestyle

Feeling lazy isn't just a possible side-effect of junk food, there is actually scientific evidence behind this claim. In this final installment of our eight-part series on diet and health, we’ll take a look at the rising evidence of the undeniable relationship between unhealthy eating and laziness. Our results come in from a study conducted by a team at UCLA.

Aaron Blaisdell and his team at UCLA broke down the unhealthy food vs. laziness issue by studying two groups of 16 rats for six months, feeding each group a different diet. One group received a standard diet: relatively unprocessed foods, such as fish meal and ground corn. The second group received highly processed, low-quality foods that contained considerably more sugar: a diet comparable to human junk food.

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Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Women's Health

Medical and health information presented here is intended to be general in nature, and should not be viewed as a substitute for professional advice. Please consult with a health care professional for all matters relating to personal medical and health care issues. In case of an emergency, please call 911. 

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