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Am I Getting Enough Protein?

As we juggle work and family responsibilities, most of us try to keep an eye on the scale and on good nutrition in general.  But making good nutritional choices gets more confusing with each new diet fad that crosses the Internet. Keto? Paleo? Whole 30? South Beach? Atkins? …Really?

Most of these plans restrict carbohydrates, some more severely than others. The “allowed foods” list is weighted toward high-protein choices. Low-carb plans appeal to the common belief that most of us need more protein. Unfortunately, many people will substitute fats or high-fat protein sources for the carbs they…

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Our Mammography Technologist Discusses 3D Mammography

 

Most of our patients (beyond that “certain age”), have met Mrs. Charlene Aitken, Sparks & Favor’s Mammography Certified Radiologic Technologist. Mrs. Aitken’s professional experience spans three decades. This month, we celebrate her 20th year promoting breast health for our patients!

To kick-off two important events—Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the launch of our new 3D mammography system—we have asked Mrs. Aiken to answer a few questions.
Q: What drew you to specializing in mammography?
A:  I am passionate about mammography because it’s such a powerful tool. I tell my patients that this simple…

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An Announcement from Dr. Sparks

As many of Dr. Sparks’ patients have already heard, beginning October 1st, he will be limiting his practice to gynecology. He looks forward to directing his full-time focus to his patients’ gynecologic care needs and to his long-time interests in minimally-invasive gynecologic surgery, screening and risk-reducing strategies for women’s cancer risk, the menopause transition, and osteoporosis. In 2009, Dr. Sparks was one of the early Birmingham gynecologists to begin using the minimally-invasive procedure known as “robotic surgery.” He is still amazed at how his patients benefit from this technology. More women are able to…

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For Our Expectant Families–Birth Planning 101 and 102

We proudly announce a new service at Sparks & Favor PC to help you sort through the overload of pregnancy and childbirth information. Whether you’re pregnant for the first time or just want a refresher, we are now offering Birth Planning 101 and 102.
What is Birth Planning 101 and 102?
Our program is designed to help you navigate the maze of choices about your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Its focus is to provide you with the information you need to maintain a healthy pregnancy and help you prepare for a delivery that will be a cherished, family-centered…

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Dr. Favor Discusses Recent Outbreak of Whooping Cough in Greater Birmingham

Especially for new and expectant parents
August always a busy time for families rushing to purchase school supplies, arrange bus and carpool schedules, and perhaps slip in one more family outing before settling into school-year routines!  Not coincidentally, August is also National Immunization Awareness Month—a reminder that updating Alabama blue immunization forms is one of the items on most back-to-school checklists.

This week, a press release from the Alabama Department of Public Health shows us again how important immunizations are to our families’ health. From its announcement:

“The Alabama Department of Public Health’s (ADPH) Immunization…

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Ask Your Ob-Gyn—Dr. Sarah Whitehead Answers Questions about Endometriosis

What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis in a condition in which tissue normally found in the lining of the uterus begins to grow in other areas of a woman’s abdomen. It is normal tissue, not a cancer, but it can still cause great discomfort and other medical problems. Endometriosis is very common, affecting about one in ten women.

The misplaced endometrial tissue can become attached to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the outside surface of the uterus, the bladder, bowel, or other places in the pelvis.
What problems does endometriosis cause…

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Shingles and the New Vaccine–Preventive Health Info from Your Ob/Gyn

The shingles vaccine has been well-accepted by older adults—most likely because so many people are familiar with the misery that the itching, burning rash causes. Now there is a new vaccine against shingles, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending it for most healthy adults over age 50.  As Ob/Gyns we also focus on women’s preventive health. We welcome your questions about this and other preventive health issues. Here is a list of common FAQs about protecting yourself against shingles.

What is Shingles (herpes zoster)?

Shingles is a painful rash that most often…

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From Dr. Sarah Whitehead—Optimizing Your Chance of Becoming Pregnant, an Obstetrician’s View

You’ve decided you’re ready to start a family. In fact, you’ve decided that the next few months would be “ideal” to begin a pregnancy. But a month goes by, and then another, and no little + sign appears on the magic stick. You’re not exactly worried, nor should you be. Statistics say that around 20% of couples who will eventually have a spontaneous pregnancy do not conceive during the first six months that they attempt getting pregnant.  Obstetricians define infertility as the inability to achieve a successful pregnancy after twelve months of regular, unprotected intercourse. So, during…

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What I learned in the NICU

In 1978 I had just completed medical school and moved from Birmingham to Washington DC to begin my OB/GYN residency training. Within a few weeks, I felt fairly confident on labor and delivery. I had already accomplished several dozen deliveries as a medical student. But my training program required each OB resident to spend a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We were expected to learn basic newborn emergency care to support an infant in the delivery room until a pediatrician arrived. The NICU is an overwhelming place, certainly for parents, and even for a young doctor. Back…

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Physician News

 

We proudly share this announcement and congratulate Dr. Sparks:

“The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Jimmy M. Sparks has successfully met the criteria and has passed the examination necessary to become a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP). Founded in 1989, NAMS is North America’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health and quality of life through an understanding of menopause.Those who hold the NCMP certification have demonstrated special interest and competency in the field of menopause. We congratulate Dr. Sparks on achieving this important certification.”

Dr. Sparks has long maintained an…

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