Monday, April 25, 2011

Ask Us Anything: Why Do I Keep Getting Urinary Tract Infections?

"I frequently experience urinary tract infections (more than once a month). I buy over-the-counter medicine to treat them, which eliminates the symptoms, but there is always a recurrence.

I visited my physician for this problem in the past (more than five years ago) and she prescribed medication that was effective. It is only in the last two-three years that I have experienced such frequent UTIs.

What could cause such frequent infections and how can I prevent them in the future?"

Dr. Ali Ghomi Responds:

Dr. Ali GhomiRecurrent urinary tract infections, caused by germs that enter the urethra and then the bladder, are not uncommon.

Symptoms include pain or burning with urination and a strong need to urinate often, even right after the bladder has been emptied.

A urine sample will allow your physician to perform a urine culture. If a urinary tract infection is present, the culture will show conclusive growth of bacteria.

The urine culture will also prevent over-diagnosis. Anatomic abnormalities (such as "dropped bladder," which can cause unwanted urine leakage and incomplete emptying of the bladder) or urologic conditions such as poor bladder emptying or obstruction must be excluded. To prevent recurrent urinary tract infections, these conditions must be addressed when found.

Another condition with similar symptoms to a urinary tract infection is "bladder pain syndrome." The hallmark of bladder pain syndrome is urinary frequency, urgency, and pain, without painful urination per se. The diagnosis of "bladder pain syndrome" is made based on obtaining a careful medical history and physical examination. Behavioral modifications such as avoiding bladder-irritating ingredients/beverages, adequate hydration along with medical therapy improve the condition most of the time.

Please visit your gynecologist or urologist for a diagnosis.

— Dr. Ali Ghomi

Dr. Ghomi is the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and Chair of The Robotic Surgical Committee at Sisters of Charity Hospital. He is the only physician in Western New York who performs Sacrocolpopexy Prolapse surgery using the da Vinci® robot. Sacrocolpopexy is a proven “gold standard” procedure worldwide to repair severe pelvic prolapse. Click here to learn more about Catholic Health's OBGYN services.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ask Us Anything: Is Diet Soda Bad for You?

"I think that I have an addiction to diet soda. I drink it every day and become irritable if I am without it for a few hours. I've tried to drink water or tea, but I don't like the taste.

Are there any health concerns or side effects in consuming so much soda? Should I search for an alternative? If so, how can I cut down on my consumption?"

Registered Dietitian Jennifer Turesky Responds:

Registered Dietitian Jennifer TureskyThere are some health concerns in regards to diet soda consumption.

Research has found that drinking diet soda daily is linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular-related deaths. Drinking two or more diet sodas a day may increase your risk of declining kidney function.

Also, diet soda is low in important health-promoting nutrients, so keeping your consumption of diet soda a small part of your daily intake can be beneficial.

It has been found that people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal. In fact, over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake.

If you miss the carbonation, consider trying sparkling calorie-free water as an alternative.

— Jennifer Turesky, Registered Dietitian

Jennifer provides nutrition counseling at Sisters Hospital in Buffalo and leads a 12-week LIFESTEPS© program to help adults change their eating and physical activity behaviors.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ask Us Anything: Should I Have a Primary Care Physician, a Gynecologist or Both?

"I just moved to the Buffalo area and need to choose a physician. What should I take into consideration?

Also, in the past, I've had only a primary care physician who provides my yearly pap smears. Should I see a gynecologist instead? What are the benefits of having both providers?"

Dr. Ali Ghomi Responds:

Dr. Ali GhomiThank you for your inquiry.

Most OBGYN's in the community are well qualified to manage most conditions.

Unless you have a specific condition needing special attention, location and insurance would be the common variables dictating which provider one would select.

Primary care physicians are qualified to perform routine gynecologic screening examinations (i.e. routine pap smear, breast examination and pelvic examination). However, a gynecologist may be more experienced to make an earlier diagnosis of a gynecologic condition/complaint.

Ultimately, the decision is rather subjective as to whether to have a primary care physician perform the initial evaluation or have a gynecologist perform the annual well-visit examination.

— Dr. Ali Ghomi

Dr. Ghomi is the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and Chair of The Robotic Surgical Committee at Sisters of Charity Hospital. He is the only physician in Western New York who performs Sacrocolpopexy Prolapse surgery using the da Vinci® robot. Sacrocolpopexy is a proven “gold standard” procedure worldwide to repair severe pelvic prolapse. Click here to learn more about Catholic Health's OBGYN services.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ask Us Anything: Can I Carry My Baby to Term if I Have Pulmonary Embolism?

"I am 10-weeks pregnant and have pulmonary embolism. Is it possible to carry the baby to term? Is the childbirth high-risk? Can pulmonary embolisms be treated?"

Dr. Paul Anain Responds:

Dr. Paul AnainYes, you can carry your baby to term.

But you need to consider what caused the pulmonary emboulus.

Pulmonary emboulus occurs when one or more arteries in your lungs become blocked. It can be caused by Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in a vein deep in the body, usually in the lower leg or thigh, that travels through the blood stream to the lungs.

It is not uncommon to have DVT's during pregnancy. To make sure that you do not have a DVT, you should have an ultrasound of your legs now and right before you deliver.

You should be maintained on anticoagulation (pharmaceuticals that stop blood from clotting), which can help just prior to delivery, but your delivering physician should know of your condition and that you are taking these medications.

Following delivery, treatment will continue as before for a total duration of 6-9 months.

— Dr. Paul Anain

Dr. Anain is a Vascular surgeon at Sisters Hospital. Dr. Anain was one of the first surgeons in New York State to implant the Endurant Stent Graft in a patient suffering from an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.
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