Women Physicians
GYN Medical Group
Care of Women by Women


Newsletter Index -- 4/1/2008

Barbara Dehn Awarded Nurse Practioner of Distinction

Women's Health from A to Z

Community Breast Health Project Changes Its Name



    Migraine Triggers

    Risk Factors

    Prevention and Self-Care

    Medical Treatments

    Complementary and Alternative Treatments

WPMG forms team for Mt. View Relay For Life

WPMG Health Care Services

Barbara Dehn Awarded

Nurse Practitioner of Distinction

The California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP) recently honored WPMG’s nurse practitioner Barbara Dehn with its annual "Nurse Practitioner of Distinction" award.

Barb was given the award for her efforts in providing quality health care to patients and for demonstrating the value nurse practitioners provide in California's health care industry.

"The NP of Distinction Award is given annually to a single nurse practitioner who goes above and beyond the call of duty consistently to deliver high quality health care and represent the industry," says CANP President Theresa Brown. "Barbara Dehn is a true health care hero who balances a full patient load with ongoing efforts to promote the industry in local and national media. CANP is proud to recognize and highlight her dedication to patients and her colleagues."

Barb has been a part of WPMG for 17 years.  In addition to her patient care, she is a national speaker on a variety of women's health topics, and is a regular on-air women's health expert for NBC's daytime show, "iVillageLive" and "In the Loop with iVillage."


Women’s Health from A to Z

Dr. Sutherland will be giving a talk on Women’s Health at the Elephant Pharmacy on May 15, 2008 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  She will allow time for audience questions so the information will be particularly geared to those present.   Bring your questions and your friends.  


Community Breast Health Project (CHBP )

Changes Its Name

Now in its 15th year of providing personalized information and support to anyone touched by breast cancer, the Community Breast Health Project in Palo Alto has changed its name to Breast Cancer Connections.  The new website is http://www.bcconnections.org




A migraine can be disabling — with symptoms so severe, all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down. Up to 17 percent of women and 6 percent of men have experienced a migraine.  We now know that many milder headaches, often mistaken for stress or sinus headaches, may actually be migraines and could benefit by migraine treatments. 

In some cases, these painful headaches are preceded or accompanied by a sensory warning sign (aura), such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg. A migraine is also often accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine pain can be excruciating and may incapacitate you for hours or even days.  Or at other times it can feel much milder and be mistaken for a stress or sinus headache.  If you experience aura, be sure to let your doctor know as you should then avoid oral contraceptives or estrogen therapies.   

Fortunately, management of migraine pain has improved dramatically in the last decade. If you've seen a doctor in the past and had no success, it's time to make an appointment at Women Physicians Ob-Gyn. Although there's still no cure, medications can help reduce the frequency of migraine and stop the pain once it has started. The right medicines combined with self-help remedies and changes in lifestyle may make a tremendous difference for you.


Migraine triggers

Though the exact cause of migraines is poorly understood, a number of things may trigger them. Common migraine triggers include:

·          Hormonal changes. Although the exact relationship between hormones and headaches isn't clear, fluctuations in estrogen seem to trigger headaches in many women with known migraines. Women with a history of migraines often report headaches immediately before or during their periods, and this corresponds to a major drop in estrogen. Others have an increased tendency to develop migraines during pregnancy or menopause. Hormonal medications, such as contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, also may worsen migraines.

·          Foods. Certain foods appear to trigger headaches in some people. Common offenders include alcohol, especially beer and red wine; aged cheeses; chocolate; fermented, pickled or marinated foods; aspartame; overuse of caffeine; monosodium glutamate (MSG) — a key ingredient in some Asian foods; certain seasonings; and many canned and processed foods. Skipping meals or fasting also can trigger migraines.

·          Stress. A hard week at work followed by relaxation may lead to a weekend migraine. Stress at work or home also can instigate migraines.

·          Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can produce head pain. So can unusual smells — including pleasant scents, such as perfume and flowers, and unpleasant odors, such as paint thinner and secondhand smoke.

·          Changes in wake-sleep pattern. Either missing sleep or getting too much sleep may serve as a trigger for migraine attacks in some individuals.

·          Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, may provoke migraines.

·          Changes in the environment. A change of weather, season, altitude level, barometric pressure or time zone can prompt a migraine.

·          Medications. Certain medications can aggravate migraines

·          .

Risk Factors

Many people with migraines have a family history of migraine. If both your parents have migraines, there's a good chance you will too. Even if only one of your parents has migraines, you're still at increased risk of developing migraines.

You also have a relatively higher risk of migraines if you're young and female. In fact, women are three times as likely to have migraines as men are. Headaches tend to affect boys and girls equally during childhood but increase in girls after puberty.

If you're a woman with migraines, you may find that your headaches begin just before or shortly after onset of menstruation. They may also change during pregnancy or menopause.  If pregnancy or menstruation affects your migraines, your headaches may get worse if you take birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or have a change in dose.

Prevention and Self-Care

Life style changes can help manage your migraines

·          Keep a diary — Note the severity and length of the migraines and what helps for relief.  Also note any possible triggers of stressors.

·          Avoid triggers

·          Exercise regularly

·          Learn relaxation exercises — Meditation, yoga, muscle relaxation exercises, or even a hot bath may cut down on the number and severity of migraines


Medical Treatments

Medicines can be taken to stop a migraine once it starts (pain-relieving) or can be used daily or regularly to prevent migraines.

·          Pain-relieving meds

·          Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, and others) or aspirin or combinations like Excedrin Migraine can be helpful for mild to moderate migraines, especially if taken early.  Excess use can lead to stomach ulcers or bleeding or to rebound headaches. 

·          Triptans are more effective, especially for severe headaches.  Examples of such medicines include Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Relpax, Frova, and Amerge.  These require a prescription and your doctor can help decide which might be best for you.  They can sometimes cause side effects of nausea, dizziness, or muscle weakness.

·          Ergots, butalbital combinations, and opiates have been used in the past but are rarely used now due to side effects, risk of rebound, and potential for dependence and withdrawal. 

·          Preventative Medicines — These are generally reserved for patients who have more than 9-12 migraines per month.  They don’t eliminate migraines completely but may cut the frequency and severity in half.  There are many different types of medicines that have been used for prevention, all with different side effects and sometimes health benefits.  Check with your doctor to see if you would be a candidate for such an approach.  

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

·          Biofeedback, Acupuncture, Massage, Cervical Manipulation — Studies vary as to the effectiveness of these techniques with the most convincing data for biofeedback and the least for cervical manipulation. 

Herbs, Vitamins, and Minerals — The herbs feverfew and butterbur have had some success, as well as high-dose riboflavin (vitamin B-2), coenzyme Q10, and oral magnesium sulfate (especially if there is a magnesium deficiency).  Don’t use feverfew or butterbur if you are pregnant.

Mountain View Relay for Life

Once again, Women Physicians Ob-Gyn has formed a team to participate in the American Cancer Society’s signature event, Relay for Life.  This will take place at beautiful Cuesta Park on May 31, 2008 at 10 am until June 1, 2008 at 10 am.  A team commits to have a walker on the track for a full 24 hours, reflecting the fact that cancer never sleeps.  And this year our team goal for fund-raising is $9,000.  Last year, we had a lot of fun, got some good exercise, and raised over $8,000.  This event Celebrates survivors, Remembers loved ones, and gives us all a chance to Fight Back.   To get a taste of Relay, watch the 4 minute video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn6y--FO2EU.  There are many different ways you can participate in Relay for Life.

·          Join our Team! 

We invite you and your family to participate on our team.  As a team member, you would agree to walk for one or more hours at your own pace along the path at Cuesta Park.  Other than your shift, you are free to come and go throughout the day and night, enjoying the entertainment, music, games, midnight movies, and beautiful luminaria that line the track after dusk.  You can set up a tent and camp over-night if you please.  We also encourage team members to try to raise at least $100 each.  You can join our team on-line at www.events.cancer.org/rflmountainviewca or call Lisa at 650-988-7557.  Lisa has the schedule of times available for walkers.

·          Donate to our Team!

If you are unable to join the team, but would like to donate to this great cause, you can do so online at www.events.cancer.org/rflmountainviewca or by contacting Lisa at 650-988-7557.

·          Walk the Survivor Lap!

Everyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer of any type is invited to join other survivors in the inspirational survivor lap that will take place right after opening ceremonies at about 10:15 am on May 31.  You do not need to be on a team, but in order to get a survivor t-shirt, you should register.  This can be done on-line at www.events.cancer.org/rflmountainviewca or a form can be printed out at our website, www.elacaminoobgyn.com, and mailed in. 

·          Purchase a luminaria!

Luminaria  are white bags, each decorated to honor a survivor or remember a loved one who has died of cancer.  At dusk, the bags are placed along the path and lighted by a candle from within, glowing with hope and remembrance.  The suggested luminaria donation is $10 each.  They can be purchased through our team on-line at www.events.cancer.org/rflmountainviewca or if you prefer to decorate the bag yourself, you can purchase it through our office.  

Women Physicians Ob-Gyn Services

Everyone knows that we deliver babies and do annual exams. 

Did you know that you can also have the following conditions treated at our office?


·          Excessive sweating of the underarms, hands or feet

·          Wrinkles including frown lines, crow’s feet, or forehead lines

·          Urinary leakage with cough or sneeze using a sling procedure

·          Unsightly spider veins

·          Excessive menstrual bleeding using endometrial ablation

·          Sterilization with a hysteroscopy procedure

·          Contraception with the 3-year Implanon insert


If any of these conditions are bothering you or someone you know, please call our scheduling desk at 650-988-7550 or visit our web site at www.elcaminoobgyn.com for more information.  


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.
Serving Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Atherton, Palo Alto, Redwood City, Burlingame, Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Campbell, San Jose, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, Milpitas, South Bay, East Bay, North Bay.
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