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Morgan Stewart details scary thyroid signs, urges awareness

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For about two months, Morgan Stewart would get dizzy from standing up quickly and experiencing joint pain, tension in her calf muscles, and pain in her right eye. At first she suspected that her new mother was stressing her body differently. As her symptoms worsened, she sought help and shares her story to encourage others to see their doctor if something doesn’t feel right.

“If you are feeling bad, please don’t wait as long as I do to check things out, especially if you are a new mom,” the co-host of the E! Show “Daily Pop” shared in her Instagram stories.

At first Stewart thought, “That was my new ‘normal’ and my new ‘groove’ with a newborn baby.” Stewart had her daughter in mid-February. She originally believed that all of the time she spent hopping Baby Row to calm her down was causing her newfound pain. But about seven weeks ago her symptoms got worse.

“My whole right arm went numb and I felt myself vanish again, but I was more afraid,” wrote Stewart. “I just began to panic more and more and extreme fear set in. My arm didn’t work. It felt hard to pick it up. “

After several other days of worrying symptoms such as increased anxiety, swollen tongue, and a heavy throat and jaw, Stewart visited her doctor who did blood tests. Your doctor explained what could have happened.

“My thyroid is so off the charts in overdrive, it’s basically in space. Thyrotoxic was the term (my doctor) used to describe it, ”she wrote. “It could be one of three things: a lump in my thyroid, Graves disease, or subacute thyroiditis (all things that can be triggered by pregnancy). So basically three things that I had no idea about. “

Stewart announced that she does not have Graves’ disease as she is awaiting answers about the other conditions.

Why do thyroid problems occur after childbirth?

Thyroid changes are not uncommon in postpartum and pregnant women.

“Out of 100 women, 5 will have some type of thyroid dysfunction in the post-pregnancy period,” said Dr. Gloria Bachmann, Director of the Women’s Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, TODAY. “It’s a common phenomenon… if women aren’t asked about thyroid symptoms by their doctors, they should bring it up and say, ‘You know I don’t really feel like me. I have a pathological tremor. I do not sleep.'”

Thyroid changes are common during pregnancy because the body’s immune system is suppressed to carry the baby. After the birth, the immune system sometimes recovers on a large scale.

“One speaks of a postpartum rebound in immune activity,” said Bachmann. “The changes that the body has with pregnancy were basically what protected you until you no longer have the foreign body in your uterus and your immune system becomes active again.”

In Graves’ disease, the thyroid is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone.

“The woman will have all this fear, irritability, etc.,” said Bachmann. “You will obviously have a fast heartbeat. You will have inexplicable weight loss. “

These treatments, which may include radioactive iodine or surgical removal of the thyroid gland, stop the overproduction of the hormone and reduce symptoms.

Hypothyroidism, which can be caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, causes the thyroid to become sluggish and not produce enough hormone. In these cases, patients often gain weight and struggle to lose it. You can also feel lethargic. Then patients take synthetic thyroid drugs to make enough hormone.

Thyroid nodules are fluid-filled cysts that grow on the thyroid gland that people often find by touching the base of their necks where the thyroid gland rests. Although nodules can be carcinogenic, very often they are harmless. Bachmann said that around 95% are benign and only require regular monitoring by a doctor.

“Often they just cause swelling,” says Bachmann. “Thyroid nodules usually don’t cause symptoms, but when they get big enough they certainly can … they can also cause breathing and swallowing problems.”

The lifelong risk of developing thyroid cancer is around 1%, she added. Still, she recommends that women think about their thyroid in their health.

“It’s good for women to self-monitor if they think something is wrong with their thyroid,” she said.

Subacute thyroiditis occurs when something is wrong with the thyroid gland but it doesn’t interfere with life on a regular basis.

“There are irregularities and either under- or over-production of the thyroid, but they can cause ‘subtle’ symptoms or symptoms that you don’t associate with your thyroid,” said Bachmann.

Often women reject thyroid symptoms such as exhaustion or feelings of anxiety, especially in the postpartum period. But Bachmann says it’s important that they let their doctors know when they notice changes, no matter what they are.

“A lot of women blame themselves. “I’m not doing well and I just haven’t slept enough” or “I didn’t eat well yesterday,” says Bachmann. “We have to break out of this form and just say, if something is wrong, say it.”

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Women’s Health

Editorial: Roe v. Wade could soon be history. What will you do in this moment? – Decaturish

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By State Sen. Elena Parent

A political earthquake struck the United States on Monday, May 2, 2022. Politico published a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that showed 5 conservative Supreme Court justices had voted to explicitly overturn Roe v. Calf.

For half a century, since Roe in 1973 (reaffirmed in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey), women across the country have had a constitutional right to end a pregnancy pre-viability. That will end if this draft opinion becomes official, devastating women’s reproductive rights in many states across the country, including Georgia. While not completely unexpected, the draft opinion is extreme in both its rhetoric and judicial philosophy. The impact will be seismic, and more than half of US women could lose their right to abortion or see it severely restricted.

The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, rests on an originalist judicial philosophy: rights that are not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution nor deeply rooted in the country’s history and tradition are not worthy of constitutional protection. Taken at face value, this can logically be extrapolated to mean that no right based on the right to privacy given over the past 60-plus years is a right after all, and all should be returned to legislatures to decide. gay marriage? Interracial marriage? Right to use contraception? All in question.

For women’s health specifically, the decision could have ramifications for access to birth control, the morning-after pill, and medication abortions. The Georgia Senate passed a bill with restrictions on medication abortions this past session, which did not pass the House. I expect that this bill, and others more restrictive, will see a renewed push when we reconvene. Some states, like Louisiana and Tennessee, have already begun to criminalize abortion, which could put women who have had miscarriages, already facing stress and heartbreak, in jeopardy of being falsely charged. Women’s rights to control their bodies, their families, their careers, and their lives are at risk. This means that women’s equality is at risk. According to the Brennan Center, one of the leading indicators of the health of a democracy is the status of rights for women. I do not overstate the risk of this decision could have on not just women, but our entire democracy.

If this opinion is adopted, the impact on Georgia would be profound. Even though a majority of Georgians support the right to choose, the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed HB 481, also known as the ‘heartbeat bill’, in 2019. This banned all abortions after fetal cardiac activity is first detected, at approximately six weeks of pregnancy—prior to when many women know they are pregnant. This law was blocked by the courts, but a Supreme Court decision undermining federal protection for abortion would pave the way for its implementation. Republican candidates in Georgia have already promised to pass an outright ban on abortion, without exceptions. A majority male Legislature, Governor, and Supreme Court making these hypocritical decisions for women is infuriating.

Ironically, Georgia otherwise does a poor job elevating women and children. Georgia is number 1 in maternal mortality and ranked 38th on an index of child well-being by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which looks at 16 categories from poverty to access to education. Implementation of HB 481 means that women will have to remain pregnant, but upon birth, the state will not be as concerned about the outcomes of this woman or her child.

But HB 481 is even more radical than that. It grants personhood to an unborn fetus, giving it rights equal to the woman carrying it. The “logic” here is to set the foundation for a complete and total ban on abortion. This opens a legal and ethical minefield that was not vetted during the consideration of the legislation and could lead to all kinds of restrictions on the lives and freedoms of pregnant women. The law requires that the father provide support for prenatal care, but there is no safe way to test for paternity that early in a pregnancy. What if women engage in risky behaviors? What actions could be taken and by whom? Could women be surveyed for their pregnancy? How will this effect fertility treatments like IVF? Will this limit a couple’s ability to fertilize more eggs than they wish to carry? Much of this will be decided when the lawsuits begin. The father of the fetus, and friends and family members of the pregnant woman, will also be under a microscope should something go wrong with a pregnancy.

If this decision is confirmed, what can we do? First and foremost, we must exercise our power and vote. 68% of Georgians oppose overturning Roe v. Wade according to a recent AJC poll. This upcoming midterm will be critical for women and all Georgians. We must elect pro-choice candidates like Senator Raphael Warnock. Stacey Abrams as Governor and Jen Jordan as Attorney General will have a significant influence on how these laws are implemented. We have the chance to flip legislative seats all over the state. We can advocate for pro-choice policies. This may be as simple as writing an email to State and Federal lawmakers, or as complex as organizing to wield the immense political and economic power held by pro-choice Americans. We can donate to organizations that are advocating and litigating these issues like Planned Parenthood or to organizations supporting access for poor women and women of color, who will be disproportionately impacted by this decision.

When the public so disproportionately favors abortion rights, the cause is not hopeless. Yes, abortion opponents have stacked the courts and gerrymandered the districts. But if the people rise up, these rights can be restored. What do you want to do at this moment?

State Senator Elena Parent was elected to the State Senate in 2014. She represents District 42, which includes portions of central and north DeKalb County

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Report calls out gaps in women’s heart disease research, care |

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American Heart Association News

Women continue to be underrepresented in research for heart disease, and extensive changes are needed in how women’s heart health is studied, taught and treated, a new report says.

The report, published Monday as a presidential advisory from the American Heart Association in its journal Circulation, seeks to address problems that range from the way basic science is conducted to how women receive care.

“We are losing ground on key indicators of cardiovascular health among women, including blood pressure control, weight management and diabetes,” advisory co-author Dr. Véronique L. Roger said in a news release. Roger is a senior investigator at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

Some heart disease risk factors are specific to women, the advisory said. For example, risks are higher for women who start their menstrual cycle younger than 11 or enter menopause younger than age 40.

Women also face risks related to high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy, as well as from oral contraceptive use and hormone replacement therapy. Depression and anxiety are associated with heart disease more frequently and at younger ages in women than in men.

Women also are disproportionately affected by inflammatory and autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma, which are associated with increased risk of heart inflammation, heart and valve disease and heart attacks. And women face heart risks related to treatment for breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.

Despite all that, women continue to be underrepresented in research, leading to gaps in knowledge and understanding of how heart disease affects women.

“Comparing data from women with data from men inherently positions data from men as the gold standard,” said Roger. “For example, the belief that women having a heart attack will present more often with atypical symptoms carries an undertone that women present in the ‘wrong way.'”

Using data specific to women could improve diagnosis and treatment for heart disease, the advisory said. But nearly 7 out of 10 post-graduate medical trainees reported little to no training regarding gender-based medical concepts. Only 22% of physicians and 42% of cardiologists said they felt prepared to adequately assess heart disease specific to women.

“We must urgently address the pervasive gaps in knowledge and health care delivery to reduce gender-based disparities and achieve equity,” said report co-author Dr. Nanette K. Wenger, emeritus professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

The advisory said that declining heart health among US women who are considering pregnancy, and less-than-optimal levels of heart health among pregnant women, was particularly worrisome. Heart problems may lead to pregnancy challenges for the mother and health risks or complications for her and her children.

Solving that will take cooperation from experts in several fields, Wenger said. “We recommend cardiologists, primary care physicians and obstetricians and gynecologists work together to quantify and reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease throughout a woman’s life.”

According to AHA statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of death for US men and women, and 44% of women age 20 years and older between 2015 and 2018 had some form of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure.

But awareness among women, which rose before 2009, is slipping. In 2019, only 44% of women understood that heart disease was women’s leading cause of death.

The advisory recommended several actions, such as:

‒ launching new, culturally sensitive heart health awareness campaigns that emphasize the benefits of prevention and education.

‒ conducting more research studies focused on women, especially women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and at younger ages.

‒ collecting and analyzing data to help deliver more effective health care.

Affordable health insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs are the two most important factors affecting whether people get health care, the advisory said, noting that under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, women between the ages of 19 and 64 saw the largest coverage gain of any demographic group.

In recent years, Medicaid coverage expansion through the ACA has been shown to increase coverage and health care among low-income women of reproductive age.

“We need to help women develop a ‘lifetime approach’ to their health, where they are empowered to proactively manage their heart disease risk in every life stage,” said Wenger.

If you have questions or comments about this American Heart Association News story, please email editor@heart.org.

Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, for individuals, media outlets, and non-commercial education and awareness efforts to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News.

Other uses, including educational products or services sold for profit, must comply with the American Heart Association’s Copyright Permission Guidelines. See full terms of use. These stories may not be used to promote or endorse a commercial product or service.

HEALTH CARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. If you are in the United States and experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or call for emergency medical help immediately.

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Photos: Aspen Democrats rally in support of women’s rights

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A woman wearing a “my body, my choice” sign listens to the speakers during a pro-women’s rights rally put on by the Pitkin County Democrats on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The Pitkin County Democratic Party hosted a rally on Saturday afternoon at Aspen’s Paepcke Park in support of women’s reproductive rights. The event was in response to the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft decision on Roe v. Wade, which could potentially take away a woman’s right to an abortion at the federal level.

The organization said the event was “in support of a woman’s constitutional right to make her own reproductive health decision without a Republican in her uterus.”

The speakers included the Pitkin County Democrats’ own Howard and Betty Wallach, as well as current Aspen City Councilwoman Rachel Richards. Numerous women also took to the stage to share their stories and feelings when the microphone was opened up to the audience.

Next on the schedule for the Pitkin County Democrats is a town hall session at the Aspen Public Library on Monday from 5 to 6 pm with Colorado State House of Representatives District 57 Democratic candidates Elizabeth Velasco and Cole Buerger. The two candidates are seeking to run against District 57 incumbent Perry Will, a Republican from New Castle.

The entire Roaring Fork Valley, including Aspen and Basalt, will be part of District 57 next year as part of recent redistricting.

Monday’s event is not a debate, and will largely be Howard Wallach asking questions to the two candidates.

Howard Wallach of the Pitkin County Democrats talks during a rally on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Josie Brands, who was among a group of middle school students raising money for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, at an abortion clinic in Mississippi, accepts a donation during a pro-women’s rights rally on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen .
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

People gather to take a photo with their signs after a pro-women’s rights rally put on by the Pitkin County Democrats on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Aspen city councilwoman Rachel Richards talks during a pro-women’s rights rally on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

People gather to listen to the speakers during a pro-women’s rights rally put on by the Pitkin County Democrats on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Eleanor Carroll, right, and Josie Brands were among a group of local middle school students raising money for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, at an abortion clinic in Mississippi, during a pro-women’s rights rally on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspens.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Betty Wallach of the Pitkin County Democrats talks during a rally on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

A sign for the Pitkin County Democrats was on display during a pro-women’s rights rally on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Eleanor Carroll was among a group of middle school students raising money for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion clinic in Mississippi, during a pro-women’s rights rally on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Paepcke Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

acolbert@aspentimes.com

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