Long-term use of oral contraceptives (OCs) and of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have been linked to increased blood coagulation, with its increased risk of cardiovascular problems. Their long-term use also has been linked to altered immune and inflammatory factors, suggesting an increased risk of chronic immune disorders with an inflammatory component, including cancer. This report reviews these various risks.
Diminished ovarian reserve, a natural process by which the follicular pool diminishes with time, is often clinically asymptomatic but presents a challenge to those wanting to become pregnant. Although pelvic ultrasonography and day 3 serum hormone testing have long been common methods of assessing ovarian reserve, there is promising research to suggest the utility of anti-Mullerian hormone testing to identify patients with diminished ovarian reserve.
A low-protein diet can be beneficial to a patient with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but the source of that protein is important as well. Many clinicians assume that a vegan diet is superior for kidney patients, but this may not be the case.
More than 50 years has passed since the hypothesis of thermography in breast imaging was proposed. During this time, thermography has gone from a legitimate, promising technology to one relegated to the shadows outside conventional medicine. While thermography is not well evidenced for use as a screening tool, its use as an adjunctive imaging procedure alongside mammography should be considered, particularly for those with dense breast tissue. However, validation of protocols, equipment, and analytical techniques is needed in the context of large, randomized trials before its use can be considered truly evidence-based.
Anxiety disorders are among the most common primary care challenges in a women's health practice. A comprehensive approach includes identifying the symptoms, characterizing the disorder, and evaluating whether the patient has a medical condition such as hyperthyroid, substance abuse, supraventricular tachycardia, or asthma that manifests as anxiety.
Bitter melon has many historical and theoretical uses, ranging from an abortifacient to a hemorrhoid treatment. It also has a long history of use as a hypoglycemic agent. Its hypoglycemic effects have been explored to the greatest extent and have aided in our understanding of its pharmacology and mechanism of action, leading to several studies looking at bitter melon as a hypoglycemic agent in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Celery extract has been shown in animal studies to help prevent stroke, improve blood flow, and act to protect the brain and enhance energy production.
Boswellia is an ancient remedy with numerous modern clinical applications. Extracts of the gum resin with 20% to 30% AKBA represent viable alternative treatments of osteoarthritis. Boswellia extract is also a promising treatment for other inflammatory conditions, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and cerebral edema. Further research is needed to adequately assess its efficacy for these applications.
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has steadily grown in recent decades, followed by an increase in insurance coverage for various CAM providers (eg, naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists, massage therapist, chiropractors). However, with rising healthcare costs, insurers and policy makers have expressed concerns about the cost-effectiveness of healthcare, both conventional and CAM. Although more prospective outcome studies are needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of CAM, there have been published research studies demonstrating that CAM is cost-effective and may present cost-savings due to inexpensive treatments, lower technology interventions, and its emphasis on preventative medicine.