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Article updated: 2/26/2013 4:14 PM

Barrington doctor offers women's health tips

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By Dr. Dympna Coll, MD

Dr. Dympna Coll, MD specializes in obstetrics & gynecology in Barrington. She received her education at Rush University and has 16 years of experience.

When it comes to your health it is extremely important to listen to your body. Changes in or concerns about your health should always be brought to the attention of your healthcare provider.

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Keep in mind; it is equally important for women to see their doctor regularly. Often times patients will postpone their appointment or even refrain from visiting their doctor altogether because they "feel fine." However, waiting for symptoms to arise is a risky strategy. It is often the case that physical symptoms do not become apparent until well after a serious underlying medical condition has had time to develop.

One of the best ways to maximize your healthy lifestyle is to attend regularly scheduled check-ups and screenings. Regular check-ups allow for early detection and treatment of underlying problems that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Another important component of a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a balanced diet. For example, during menstruation some women have a tendency toward becoming anemic. Depending upon your particular circumstances your doctor may recommend an iron supplement or perhaps a diet containing more iron-rich foods such as:

• Dark, leafy greens (ie. spinach, lettuce)

• Artichokes

• Egg yolks

• Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans

It has also been shown that eating Vitamin C with these iron-rich foods allows for easier absorption of the iron into your body.

Finally, the importance of your annual gynecologic appointment cannot be overstated. Your doctor will make sure your gynecologic healthcare screening is up to date and will address any concerns you may have. Remember, this is your opportunity to ask questions and speak openly with your physician about the state of your health. Your doctor is there to help you and will give you the best advice possible.

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