Spotlight On Women's Health

By+Kelli Stopczynski

Do you ever find yourself exhausted after a long day?  Think about all you accomplish – from work, to cooking, cleaning, parenting, working out, and maybe grabbing a few minutes here and there to relax – chances are high you’re also dealing with common ailments that affect lots of women in your age group.

We tapped into the expertise of Dr. Don Warren of Warren Chiropractic to offer more natural and safe options when it comes to treating typical discomforts experienced by women of all ages.

In Your 20’s

Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) affects 85% of women, especially between the peak childbearing years of 20 and 40.  One common symptom is menstrual cramping, and while each woman is unique in the level of discomfort caused by cramps, there are several researched natural alternatives that have helped ease the pain for many women. 
Calcium / Magnesium 

Taking a calcium/magnesium supplement and spreading out your daily dosage throughout the day (i.e. taking a small dose three times daily) can help settle the muscular cramping.  Some forms of calcium are difficult for our bodies to digest, so make sure to get a good quality supplement at a natural health food store.

Evening Primrose Oil / Omega 3 Fish Oil (or Flax Seed Oil for vegetarians)

These oils are involved in the metabolism of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that regulate pain and inflammation in the body.  They have also been shown to be helpful with depression and cardiovascular disorders related to inflammation.  The omega fatty acids need to be from a certified laboratory and mercury-free.  The top two trustworthy companies Warren Chiropractic recommends for fish oil are Nordic Naturals or Carlson Labs.

General Diet Considerations

Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates, which will help         to regulate blood sugar levels and balance a person’s mood.
Reduce salt intake.  This will help with bloating, swelling and breast tenderness. 
Increase potassium intake with green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit (the darker, more colorful vegetables have more power-packed nutrition).
Decrease caffeine intake as this will also decrease breast             tenderness and anxiety.
Eliminate hydrogenated fats/trans fats as they can lead to         inflammation, pain, and have many other potential health risks.
Increase water consumption and decrease drinking soda/pop.
Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care has shown some amazing results in helping reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of PMS, without the potentially harmful side effects of over-the-counter and prescription medications.  Warren Chiropractic has helped many of its female employees overcome PMS symptoms.  Simply put -- if the nerves going to the female reproductive organs have pressure on them as they exit the spine, it can cause irritation and problems.  Gentle chiropractic adjustments help to reduce pressure and stress off the nerves and help with the cramping and pain.

In Your 30’s

Back pain is another common source of discomfort, often experienced during pregnancy.  It is not unusual for expecting mothers to be concerned about the safety of seeing a chiropractor during this exciting time in their life.

Chiropractors have been safely and gently treating thousands of pregnant patients for years.  In fact, many OB/GYN doctors and midwives routinely refer their patients to experienced chiropractors for care throughout the entire pregnancy.

Many chiropractors utilize special techniques that are safe and work well to reduce pressure on the nerves in the back and pelvis.  The experts at Warren Chiropractic also discuss many customized stretches that are unique to each patient’s posture for the duration of their pregnancy.  Also, childbirth can be much easier and less painful when the spine and pelvis are functioning properly, without restrictions. 

In Your 40’s

You may begin noticing a difference in posture – specifically, humping of the back – or Dowager’s Hump (also commonly known as “granny hump”). Unfortunately, neither exercise nor basic adjustments will correct the structural humping of the upper spine.  But when specific chiropractic care is set up individually for each patient based on their unique spine - such as mirror-image traction and exercise protocols – Warren Chiropractic sees significant decreases in the humping of the back and shoulders.  Another added benefit? Patients usually feel remarkably better.

In Your 50’s

Osteoporosis, a change in sleeping patterns and frequent mood swings are a common concern and problem for women in this age group.
Osteoporosis can be a serious and progressive condition if it is not taken seriously.  While calcium and vitamin D3 supplements are the common choice to relieve symptoms, they have not been shown to be effective at reversing or even stopping Osteoporosis. 

The hormone changes a woman goes through actually have a much bigger role in the way that calcium is absorbed.  A woman could take all the right calcium pills and drink lots of milk, but if the hormones are not causing the body to absorb and utilize calcium correctly, even a “healthy female” could still develop Osteoporosis.  Research has shown bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can be effective when taken with a proper diet, appropriate calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements alongside appropriate exercise – which stimulates bone growth.

One of the newest technologies to hit the market in the last year is Biodensity Acceleration and Vibration Therapy through a company called Be Strong for Life.  The company has only a few centers nationwide, but their advancements appear very promising – showing both significant increases in bone density and muscle strength with only one 15 minute session per week. 

Warren Chiropractic hopes to add this exciting new technology to its practice and begin helping patients in our region this summer. 
In regards to sleeping issues and mood swings, bio-identical hormone therapy, calcium, and Vitamin D3 are all helpful.  Vitamin D3 has been shown to combat depression and mood swings.  Another interesting fact: in the Michiana area, we are all more prone to Vitamin D3 deficiencies due to the lack of sunshine in the winter months.

In Your 60’s

Pain, stiffness and swollen joints are commonly experienced by women in their 60’s. Staying active within your limits and maintaining a healthy weight are two important components to battling these discomforts, but your diet can be crucial to reducing inflammation in your joints and throughout your body.  

To reduce inflammatory diet reactions

Eat fewer refined carbohydrates and red meats.  
Eliminate hydrogenated and trans fats
(look at ingredient labels).  
Eat dark, colorful vegetables more often.  Choose romaine lettuce, spinach, or other dark green salads instead of iceberg         lettuce (which has almost no nutritional value).  
Increase Omega Fatty Acids in your diet through quality fish oil and flax seed oil supplements.