Five Bullet Friday: Women’s Health January 26, 2020

NB** Sorry friends – I emailed this out on Friday but forgot to post it here… enjoy!


Happy Friday!

Today’s Five Bullet Friday:

1. Are Women Getting Incorrect Treatment When it Comes to Their Heart?

2. Why Can’t We Talk About Periods?

3. Patient HANDOUT: Common Food & Drink That Can Worsen Incontinence

4. Our Biological Clock Plays a Crucial Role in Healing from Surgery

5. Teens with Obesity & PCOS Have More ‘Unhealthy’ Bacteria

Five Bullet Friday: Women’s Health is meant to be a quick, easy to skim resource for you and other health and medical professionals to keep you up to date with all things related to women’s health. My goal for these emails will be to bring to you pertinent and helpful resources for patients (such as short videos or handouts), new research and guidelines, clinical pearls, or anything else interesting related to women’s health! If you’d like to be added to my email list to receive my Five Bullet Friday: Women’s Health, or if you would like suggest particular topics you are eager to hear about, please send an email to

Thank-you, and happy reading!

1. Are Women Getting Incorrect Treatment When it Comes to Their Heart?
A paper published recently in Nature Medicine showed that many cardio-metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, are alarmingly difficulty to successfully treat in women.
Author, Professor Eva Gerdts believes health services are not considering the biological differences between men and women when treating heart disease. She explains “men and women have different biologies, and this results in different types of the same heart diseases. It is about time to recognize these differences.”
According to their study, authors of this paper found that women are more at risk of receiving the wrong treatment because health service professionals fail to spot symptoms or risk factors that are unique to women.
What were these risk factors and symptoms the authors were talking about, exactly?
Obesity was one – as women and men store fat differently and the mechanisms behind this process being different in women creates an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. After obesity, the authors spoke of the benefits of estrogen women have in impeding metabolic syndrome, but how this changes during menopause when estrogen decreases. Researchers also talked about the different lifestyle risks women experience, all of which can be read at the reference below.
Prof. Gerdts hopes that her research will incite action among the medical community and lead to future research to discover the best way to treat heart disease in women.
Ref: Gerdts, E., Regitz-Zagrosek, V. Sex differences in cardiometabolic disorders. Nat Med 25, 1657–1666 (2019).
2. Why Can’t We Talk About Periods?
Dr. Jen Gunter, OB/GYN, Pain Medicine, and author of ‘The Vagina Bible’ recently gave a TED talk on menstruation. Dr. Gunter is doing amazing things to empower women and teach everyone about their bodies. I love to share this information with clients and patients, and highly recommend her talk!
Check it out, here!
“It shouldn’t be an act of feminism to know how your body works,” says gynecologist and author Jen Gunter. In this revelatory talk, she explains how menstrual shame silences and represses — and leads to the spread of harmful misinformation and the mismanagement of pain. Declaring the era of the menstrual taboos over, she delivers a clear, much-needed lesson on the once-mysterious mechanics of the uterus.
3. Patient HANDOUT: Common Food and Drink that Can Worsen Incontinence
This is a handout that I use A LOT in the clinic. Check out some common food and drink that could irritate the bladder and lead to worsening symptoms of incontinence, urge, and/or frequency.
Shoot me an email if you’d like a copy of this handout!
4. Our Biological Clock Plays a Crucial Role in Healing from Surgery
A recent study from McGill University found that timing of medication – based on our circadian clock – dictates their effectiveness when healing from a surgery.
Researchers found that taking anti-inflammatories in the morning or at noon were effective in promoting post-operative healing and recovery, but that they were much less effective if taken at night. In fact, research shows that if the anti-inflammatories were taken in the afternoon or at night, they actually severely DETER healing and bone repair following surgery.
The reason for this finding – that anti-inflammatories can both promote healing post op (if taken in the morning or noon) or hinder healing post-op (if taken in the afternoon or evening) is based on our circadian clock genes that are involved in healing.
Inflammation, following surgery, is crucial to healing since part of the process involves both destroying any bacteria that may be in the area, and signaling to attract the cells that will rebuild the tissues. But the process is not a constant.
“There are periods of inflammation that are actually very destructive, and there are periods that are constructive and important for healing,” said Faleh Tamimi. “So many pharmaceutical companies have been trying to develop drugs that will inhibit the destructive processes during inflammation but not interfere with the helpful ones.”
He adds, “The idea that I came up with in the shower one morning is that we could perhaps use the circadian variations in inflammation to our advantage. The destructive component of the circadian rhythm as it relates to bone healing occurs during the day, when cells known as osteoclasts break down bones. The constructive cells, known as osteoblasts that rebuild bones are active at night. By limiting the use of anti-inflammatories to the mornings and giving analgesics at night for the pain, I thought we might get better results in terms of bone healing than if anti-inflammatories are given throughout the day.”
For more details, see the reference below.
Side Note: as a therapist this research is fascinating to me and I believe it will have huge implications in the use of both anti-inflammatories and ice in the future in terms of optimizing the healing stages post injury!
Ref: H. Al-Waeli, B. Nicolau, L. Stone, L. Abu Nada, Q. Gao, MN. Abdallah, E. Abdulkader, M. Suzuki, A. Mansour, A. Al Subaie, F. Tamimi. Chronotherapy of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Enhance Postoperative Recovery. Scientific Reports, 2020; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-57215-y
5. Teens with Obesity and PCOS Have More ‘Unhealthy’ Bacteria
New Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that the microbiome may play a role in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS affects 6-18 percent of women of reproductive age and is characterized by elevated testosterone levels in the blood that cause acne, excess hair growth and irregular periods. Teens with PCOS often also struggle with obesity and have higher risk for type 2 diabetes, infertility and depression.
Researchers discovered that “in adolescents with PCOS and obesity, the bacterial profile (microbiome) from stool has more “unhealthy” bacteria compared to teens without PCOS. The unhealthy bacteria related to higher testosterone concentrations and markers of metabolic complications.”
This information can be useful in the future as a new path to treatment – looking at the gut microbiome. Future research is still needed.
Ref: Beza Jobira, Daniel N Frank, Laura Pyle, Lori J Silveira, Megan M Kelsey, Yesenia Garcia-Reyes, Charles E Robertson, Diana Ir, Kristen J Nadeau, Melanie Cree-Green. Obese adolescents with PCOS have altered biodiversity and relative abundance in gastrointestinal microbiota. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2020; DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgz263

Published by Cassie Dionne, PT

Lead Orthopedic and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, Taylored Training Health Centre

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