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Posts for: February, 2018

By James A. Scales, MD
February 23, 2018
Category: Health Care
Tags: Annual Exams  

Your health is paramount to living a happy and active life. Regular check-ups are an important part of catching and treating potentially annual examsharmful conditions early, at their most treatable. Women’s health is no different, with annual well-woman examinations and mammograms allowing doctors to catch women’s health issues faster than ever before. Find out more about annual examinations with your Texarkana, TX, OBGYN, Dr. James Scales.

What does an annual examination include?

Exactly what happens during an annual well-woman examination usually varies depending on age, medical history, and sexual history. A basic exam for a young, healthy woman will include a pelvic exam, breast exam, and Pap test. As a patient ages, their doctor may recommend other procedures like mammograms. Your doctor may also talk to you about things like STD tests or birth control.

How can an annual well-woman exam help me?

These yearly visits with your OBGYN give you the peace of mind of being up-to-date on your reproductive health. During a well-woman exam, your doctor will perform a Pap test, which looks for cervical cancer and, if necessary, a mammogram, which searches for breast cancer. Doctors can detect and even help to prevent the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer. These visits give your doctor the chance to catch potentially dangerous issues like ovarian cysts, STDs, or cancer early.

Annual Women’s Health Examinations in Texarkana, TX

Seeing your OBGYN for an annual examination is a great way to keep your health in check and understand any conditions you do have. Making yourself and your health a priority can help you live a long and active life. Caring for yourself has only benefits and gives you an increased quality of life. For more information on annual women’s health examinations, please contact Dr. Scales in Texarkana, TX. Call (903) 614-3003 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Scales today!

By James A. Scales, MD
February 16, 2018
Category: Pregnancy Care

Safe Foods While PregnantOnce you find out you are pregnant there are so many things to think about to keep both you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy. One of the most popular questions OBGYNs hear pertains to foods that are safe to eat and which foods should be avoided during pregnancy. This is an important question, as your diet now affects not just your health but also the health of your unborn baby.

While there are a lot of foods that are safe for you to eat and even vital to eat to provide your growing baby with the nutrients and vitamins it needs, there are certain foods that should be avoided at all cost.

Uncooked Seafood and Raw Meats

Rare meats (e.g. beef; pork) or uncooked seafood (e.g. sushi) should not be consumed at all during your pregnancy. Why? There are a variety of different bacteria such as salmonella and toxoplasmosis that could be particularly harmful to a fetus. While meat certainly isn’t a no-no, just make sure it is cooked completely before consuming.

Deli Meats

While the idea of biting into a big Italian sub might sound like heaven, you might just want to put that sandwich down if you are pregnant. Deli meats often contain listeria, which can increase your chances of a miscarriage. This infection has the ability to cross the placenta. If you do want to consume deli meat, make sure to fully cook it before consuming.

Certain Fish

Besides raw shellfish (e.g. oysters; clams) and uncooked seafood, it’s also important to avoid certain fish that contain high levels of mercury because this element could cause brain damage or developmental defects. Fish to avoid include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, Ahi tuna and orange roughy. Canned tuna should be eaten in moderation since it still contains some mercury.

Raw Eggs

While pregnancy can lead to weird cravings we know you probably aren’t going to crave eating raw eggs; however, raw eggs can be in certain sauces and dressings such as Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, certain ice creams and Hollandaise sauce. Make sure to always read the labels on these products to ensure that raw eggs aren’t one of the ingredients.

Soft Cheese

We know that this is terrible news for cheese lovers, but a lot of imported soft cheeses such as feta, Brie and Camembert often contain listeria. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to nix cheese completely. Most non-imported soft cheeses that use pasteurized milk are often safe for pregnant women to consume. If in doubt, doesn’t hesitate to ask your obstetrician first.

Whether you have questions about diet, exercise or other lifestyle factors while pregnant, it’s important that you have a knowledgeable obstetrician on your side who can address all of your questions and concerns when you need it.

By James A. Scales, MD
February 06, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Endometriosis  

Endometriosis DiagramThere are many reasons why you may be experiencing abdominal pain, from minor issues to long-term diseases. It can be difficult to figure out what could be the cause of your pain but this is why you should always turn to your gynecologist for help. Your abdominal pain may just be caused by endometriosis, one of the most commonly diagnosed gynecological conditions.

What is endometriosis?

This female disorder is characterized by an overgrowth of uterine tissue whereby the tissue can actually develop on the ovaries, pelvis or fallopian tubes. This tissue, regardless of where it is growing, reacts the same way that regular uterine tissue does. It will thicken, deteriorate and bleed during menstruation; however, because this tissue is not supposed to grow on other reproductive structures there is no way for this tissue to be released. This ultimately leads to scar tissue on these organs.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

One of the most common symptoms is abdominal pain that gets worse during menstruation. You may notice this pain before your period and it may last a few days past your period. The pain may be so severe that it radiates to your lower back.

Your period may also be heavier than normal periods and you may experience breakthrough bleeding between periods.

Women often don’t realize that they have endometriosis until they have difficulty trying to conceive and come in for an evaluation. Other symptoms of endometriosis include pain during intercourse, bloating, nausea and fatigue, which often flare-up during your period.

When to seek care?

If you are experiencing any symptoms that are indicative of endometriosis it’s important that you seek medical attention right away. The sooner you seek care and treatment the better. Endometriosis if often treated with a combination of medications, therapy, and surgery. If you’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, we will discuss your treatment options to help you determine which ones are right for you.

If you are dealing with unexplained abdominal pain it’s important that you turn to an OBGYN that you trust. If you do have endometriosis it’s crucial to get a diagnosis as soon as possible so we can provide you with the treatment you need to feel better.