Prayitno via Flickr

Prayitno via Flickr

As most of our HEALTHGIST members know, I enjoy sharing stories of actual cases I come across everyday in my practice. The ones I feel affects our women readers are the ones I am most compelled to write about.

Summer is often wedding season and often I am asked by engaged girls how they can regulate their menstrual cycles or stop it all together.

If they came in early enough I am usually able to help them, but sometimes I am asked if I will prescribe them something to get off the last 10 pounds so they can look their best in their wedding dress and for the photos.

For this request I always say ‘no’ and that’s simply the best answer for their health.

One such case that speaks volumes and say it all is described below:

27 year old woman, engaged to be married in 2 months with a body mass index (BMI) of 27; about 15 pounds overweight has been taking phentermine (a common diet pill) for 6 weeks prescribed by another healthcare provider,  presents to my urgent care clinic with a complaint of intermittent shortness of breath and chest pain since the night before.

Her exam is unremarkable but an ECG ( electrocardiograph) showed some concerning signs. I recommended that she transfer to our hospital ER so that we could runs some more test and observe her for a few hours and maybe overnight.

I informed her that it is not unusual to see women on diet supplements present with chest pain, arrhythmias, and  kidney and liver abnormalities.

The reason here is that these stimulants on their own and in conjunction with restricting food, over exercising and in combination of usually benign medications for migraines, antibiotics and birth control could co- mingle and cause serious symptoms.

Blessedly, this time, once the pill wore off and her heart recovered she was released with the good news that there was no long term damage.

The email of thanks she sent me the next day summed it all up;

“I decided to accept myself as my fiancé does and work with him as husband and wife to be healthy in a sane and chemical-free way.”

So how about you? Will you take such a pledge? Share your thoughts in the comments.

The Private Affairs Series: Get answers to those women’s health questions you’ve been too shy to ask your doctor.

Everyday for a week, get answers to these women’s health questions and much more;

1.Why am I always wet “down there”?
2.How to tell if that discharge is a sexually transmitted infection
3.What the color of your poop says about you
4.How to never need adult diapers
5.How shaving could make you sick

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About the author

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Dr. Carol

Dr. Carol- doctor, wife, mom and maker PB&J!
One of my passions is to help people Embrace change, Try new things and be BOLD for a healthier and balanced life!

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