Women Physicians
GYN Medical Group
Care of Women by Women

WPMG Newsletter, Volume 6, Issue 3  -- 10/1/2009




WPMG Now Hosts a Blog

As you all know, we are dedicated to health care of women.  Many times, issues come up where our patients are interested in timely information.  Examples would include the current H1N1 virus and how it affects pregnant women or breaking news on hormone management.  We now have a blog where we can discuss timely topics as new information becomes available.  To visit our blog, go to www.elcaminoobgyn.com/blog.   

If you would like to be notified each time we post a blog, you can email us at info@elcaminoobgyn.com and we will let you know by email.  Alternatively, if you have an account with Twitter, you can follow us there by searching under Women Physicians. We will tweet each time we post. 

If you have suggestions for blog topics or if you have information of value for women’s health that you would like to contribute as a guest blogger, send us an email at info@elcaminoobgyn.com.     

We will continue to publish our quarterly newsletter with information on women’s health care.  To view past issues, go to http://www.elcaminoobgyn.com/newsletter_index.htm.  We have now published 22 issues including 37 topics on women’s health.     

El Camino Hospital Near to Grand Opening


El Camino Hospital is preparing to open its new state-of-the-art hospital in November of 2009. The project is on time and on budget.  The new building has enabled new approaches to patient comfort, convenience and safety, as well as meeting strict state seismic standards.  The public is invited to view this fabulous new facility on the Community Preview Day on Saturday, October 3 from 2 PM to 6 PM.  No registration is required.  



Seasonal Flu Shots Now Available

Women Physicians has a supply of thimerosal-free (no preservative) seasonal flu shots in our office available now for $30 per injection.  We strongly recommend all pregnant women and high risk categories (over 65, chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, and health care workers) be vaccinated.  Because we have an ample supply of this vaccine this year, low risk patients may also be vaccinated to minimize their risk of developing the seasonal flu.  We are also happy to administer the vaccine to friends and family of our patients, even if they are not patients in our office.  No appointment is necessary, but please call  first (650-988-7550) before coming in so our nurses can be prepared. 


Helping Your Teen Develop a Healthy Body Image

  by Pamela Carlton, M.D.

“You can never be too rich or too thin.” 

This was written on a refrigerator magnet in the kitchen of my childhood home.  We all know that obesity is a real problem in the United States.  We hear about it daily on TV, on the radio and in the newspaper.  However, what we need is not a battle against obesity.  We do not need a diet that cuts out fats and carbs in a frantic push towards thinness.  What we need is to learn moderation and how to have a healthy, realistic relationship with our bodies and food.  The truth is, there are medical risks at either extreme of the weight spectrum, but there’s a lot of room in the middle.

As a physician who treats teens and young adults with eating disorders, I constantly see the consequences of our society’s obsession with the “thin ideal” and the fear of fat.  I care for children, some as young as twelve years-old, who have weakened hearts and brittle bones because they are not eating, over exercising and/or vomiting in an attempt to "not get fat." There is no one reason why a child develops an eating disorder but one of the factors can be living in a society that demonizes fat and emphasizes unrealistic body images.  With a balanced diet and appropriate physical activity, people can be healthy at a great variety of weights.  We need to shift our focus from weight and body size to physical health and body satisfaction.

Our children learn by emulating what they see and hear.  If we send them healthy messages at home, hopefully, we can counter some of the dangerous messages they are bombarded with in the media.  There are three simple things that we can focus on.


Everybody’s body is different

It’s commonplace in our society to freely comment on body size.  Comments such as; “I hate how fat I am.” and “Wow, you look great. Have you lost weight?” reinforce that it’s good to be thinner and bad to be heavier.  Instead of making comments such as these, we should teach our children that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and we must appreciate and celebrate this diversity.


There is a place for all foods in a healthy diet

A balanced diet that includes all of the basic food groups is essential for good health.  However, because of various fad diets our society has managed to demonize fats, sugars and carbohydrates, labeling them as “bad foods.”  However, eliminating these foods from our diets would cause serious nutritional deficiencies and medical complications.  I am not saying that having doughnuts at every meal is healthy.  I am, however, promoting a healthy balance.  None of the food groups are bad.  We need them all in our diet in reasonable amounts in order to be healthy. And we need to explain this to our children.


Exercise is FUN

While part of a healthy lifestyle is being physically active, today's focus on exercise seems to only be about losing weight.    When we say, “I have to go to the gym to get rid of these last 5 pounds," we are sending a message that exercise is something to be dreaded.  Instead, physical activity should be promoted as a fun integral part of a healthy lifestyle.  Getting out and doing active things as a family can accomplish this.  Go ice-skating, hike or just splash around in the pool with your kids.  Try different activities until you find a few that your family enjoys.

By taking the focus off of body size and instead focusing on a balanced diet that includes all food groups, and appropriate physical activity you will increase the chance of your children developing a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food.  However, even with the healthiest messages at home, people sometimes develop eating disorders.  Some of the warning signs that might indicate that your child is struggling with an eating disorder are:

      Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder

  • Large changes in weight

  • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams and/or dieting

  • Preference to eat alone or excuses to avoid family meals

  • Development of food rituals such as limiting food choices, eating very slowly or cutting foods into small pieces

  • Cutting out whole food groups such as meat, carbs, fat, etc.

  • Rigid exercise regimen despite weather fatigue, illness or injury

  • Loss of menses, dizziness and fatigue

  • Social isolation, depression and moodiness


      What to do if you have concerns

      If you are concerned that your child might have an eating disorder it is crucial to get help immediately.  Eating disorders are life-threatening illnesses and the sooner one gets treatment the better the chance that they will recover.  Call your child’s doctor and explain that you are concerned that your child may have an eating disorder.  If the doctor is comfortable treating eating disorders he or she can evaluate your child and help you to establish a treatment team if needed.  If your child’s doctor is not experienced in treating children and teens with eating disorders, he or she can refer you to a specialist.

Over the years I have thought about that saying, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” And I realize, I’m not sure if you can be too rich, but I know that you can definitely be too thin. 


About Dr. Pamela Carlton

Dr. Pamela Carlton is an Adolescent Medicine specialist in private practice in Mountain View.  Her practice is focused on providing medical treatment and care coordination for adolescents and young adults with eating disorders.  Prior to   going into private practice, Dr. Carlton was clinical faculty in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford where she developed and directed their Adolescent Eating Disorder Parent Education and Support Program.

Dr. Carlton’s book, “Take Charge of your Child’s Eating Disorder: a parent’s step-by-step guide to defeating anorexia and bulimia” was named by Library  Journal as one of the best consumer health books of 2007.

You can visit Dr. Carlton’s website at http://www.doctorcarlton.com.  


Digital Magazines for Women’s Health

Digital magazines are increasing in popularity and afford many benefits to the readers, including timeliness, unparalleled interaction, portability, and environmental-friendliness.  Several magazines and websites are particularly useful for different aspects of women’s health.  



  6th Annual Breast Cancer Conference

Breast Cancer Connections is hosting  their 6th annual Breast Cancer Conference on Saturday, November 7, 2009 at the Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto from 8 am to 5 pm.  Topics will include: 

Hormonal Treatment of Early Stage Breast Cancer: Where Are We Now?,  Advanced Breast Cancer: Clinical Trials and Research, Breast Surgery and Reconstruction,  Breast Cancer Lymphedema: Current Concepts and Future Directions, Breast Cancer and Fertility, Osteoporosis Risks for Breast Cancer Survivors, and more.  Online registration is available at www.bcconnections.org  or by calling 650-326-6686.  Registration is $25 before 10/21 and $35 thereafter. 


Free educational program for parents of teens and young adults

Pamela Carlton, MD, specialist in adolescent medicine and eating disorders, is offering monthly meetings  on topics around nutrition, exercise and the psychological health of teens and young adults.  Some topics are specific to eating disorders, but most are geared to the general population.  For more information, please go to www.doctorcarlton.com.


The Army of Women is seeking Recruits for Breast Cancer Research

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation for Women have joined forces to launch the Love/Avon Army of Women.  This revolutionary initiative has two key goals:  1)  To recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high-risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer,  2)  To challenge the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.  All women are invited to join  this movement that will take us beyond a cure by creating new opportunities to study what causes breast cancer—and how to prevent it.  You can join at http://www.armyofwomen.org    As of 9/26/09, there were 307,817 participants. 

El Camino Women's Medical Group provides comprehensive Obstetric & Gynecologic care for patients throughout the Bay Area. Minimally invasive surgery, infertility, women's mental health, and the MonaLisa Touch are just a few of the specialized services we offer.
The MonaLisa Touch treatment is available at El Camino Women's Medical Group. Call the office (650-396-8110) or email Shar (Shar@ElCaminoWomen.com) for more information.
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