The annual gynecologic exam gives us an opportunity to discuss your overall health and focus on your GYN health and concerns.
We encourage you to eat a well balanced diet focused on foods you prepare at home. Try to include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy protein sources. Try to avoid foods that are processed or contain saturated fats and fast food. Great resources for nutrition are the dieticians at Northside Hospital at 404-851-6023. We refer many patients to them for consultation.
Unless you have a history of coronary artery disease, all healthy adults should exercise for a minimum of 3-5 days a week for at least 30 minutes. Cardiac activity is most important, and a good rule of thumb is to break a sweat while exercising. Stretching and relaxation exercises, such as yoga, are a great addition, as well.
We perform pap smear testing for prevention of cervical cancer starting at age 21. If you are 30 or older, we perform HPV testing for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is the virus that can cause cervical cancer. For those women >70 with 3 consecutive normal pap smears & no abnormalities in 10 years, your doctor may tell you that you can discontinue screening pap smears. Nevertheless, you should still go to the gynecologist annually for a checkup that includes a pelvic exam. For those women who have had a total hysterectomy (removal of uterus and cervix), for reasons unrelated to cancer or cancer precursors, your doctor may tell you that you can discontinue screening pap smears. Nevertheless, you should still go to the gynecologist annually for a checkup that includes a pelvic exam.
- We recommend annual screening mammogram beginning at age 40.
- We recommend colonoscopy beginning at age 50.
- We recommend for screening cholesterol starting at age 20 and at least once every five years. If you have not had screening in recent years, please come to the office fasting, which means do not eat or drink anything for 8 hours other than water.
- We recommend for screening glucose to begin at age 45 if no risk factors. If you have other risk factors, we may advise diabetes testing before age 45. This test is preferably done fasting.
- We offer testing for sexually transmitted diseases to all patients.
- We offer bone density testing to our postmenopausal patients and have a bone density machine at our Northside office.
We recommend adequate calcium intake. It can be difficult to get all of your required calcium from food sources. Adults ages 20-50 need 1000 mg a day, and postmenopausal women need 1200 mg a day. Dairy products are the main source of calcium. On average, 1 cup of milk provides 300-350 mg of calcium, 6 oz of yogurt has 250-300 mg, and 1 oz or slice of cheese has 100-200mg. Foods such as orange juice & soy can provide 300-350 mg per cup. Beans, tofu, & some vegetables, like collard greens and broccoli, also contribute to daily calcium intake. For patients who don't like to take pills, calcium, including vitamin D, can be found in the form of gummies or chocolate calcium chews. Calcium Calculator
While vitamin D frequently can be replaced along with calcium supplements, we recommend all patients get 600 units of vitamin D3 daily. Some patients with risk factors for bone health may need lab testing for vitamin D levels. Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, fish such as salmon or mackerel, cod-liver oil, and to a lesser extent, eggs. There are several ongoing studies to try to determine if wide spread screening for healthy persons is recommended.
A good vitamin company we recommend is Theralogix . You can order by phone or email and their prices are competitive with over the counter vitamins. They offer a calcium with vitamin D called Theracal-D. They also offer a good multivitamin and a prenatal vitamin.SAFETY
We do recommend you wear your seat belt and use sunscreen with a least 15 spf daily. We also advise that you avoid smoking and drink in moderation, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake to 1-2 drinks a day.