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Boomers Doing Better at Avoiding Eye Disease of Aging

18/11/2017 helen 0

THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Macular degeneration is a major cause of vision loss in older Americans. But new research shows that baby boomers are somehow avoiding the illness at higher rates than their parents did. Why the improvement? Th…

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Breastfeeding Problems and How to Solve Them

16/11/2017 helen 0

Not all new moms and babies get the hang of breastfeeding right away. For many, it’s challenging at first. You make a few mistakes or have some breastfeeding problems along the way. Before you know it, though, you and your baby can be on the path to a …

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Face It: Drinking, Smoking Takes Toll on Looks

16/11/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Don’t want to look old before your time?

A new study suggests that heavy drinking and smoking—besides posing serious health risks—make people look older than they actually are.

The research tracked more than 11,500 Danish adults, aged 21 to 93, for an average of nearly 12 years. Women consumed, on average, 2.6 alcoholic drinks a week, and men consumed 11.4 drinks a week. Smokers included 57 percent of the women and 67 percent of the men.

Heavy drinking and smoking were associated with visible signs of physical aging and people looking older than their age.

Specifically, signs of aging included earlobe creases; a grayish opaque ring around the cornea of both eyes; and yellow-orange plaques on the eyelids.

Light to moderate drinking was not linked with visible premature aging, the researchers said.

The study was published online Nov. 15 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The researchers noted that this was an observational study, so it wasn’t possible to make firm conclusions about cause and effect. They also pointed out that they were unable to account for any effects of stress, which is associated with both heart disease risk, smoking and heavy drinking.

However, they concluded that this “is the first prospective study to show that alcohol and smoking are associated with the development of visible age-related signs and thus generally looking older than one’s actual age,” which “may reflect that heavy drinking and smoking increases general aging of the body.”

SOURCE: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, news release, Nov. 15, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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The Heart Risks of a Desk Job

11/11/2017 helen 0

FRIDAY, Nov. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Your comfortable recliner and state-of-the-art office chair may be increasing your risk for heart disease. A sedentary lifestyle can raise cholesterol and threaten heart health. If you have a desk job, it’s espec…

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Will This Year’s Flu Shot Be as Weak as Last Season’s?

10/11/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Lots of people came down with influenza last year despite getting a flu shot—and researchers can’t promise this season’s vaccine will be any more effective.

Last year’s shot was only 20 percent to 30 percent effective because it was grown in eggs, according to the authors of a new report.

Learn More: What You Need to Know About The Flu

The egg process is not unusual. But a mutation in the predominant flu virus, called influenza A H3N2, limited the vaccine’s potency, said study co-author Dr. John Treanor.

When H3N2 comes in contact with eggs, it changes, making it different from the virus that’s circulating, he and his colleagues explained.

So last year, when H3N2 was the most common flu virus around, the shot was pretty lousy.

And what about the 2017-2018 flu season?

“It’s too early to say which strain of flu will be predominant this year,” said Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If it’s an H1N1 year, then the vaccine is closer to 60 percent effective,” Jernigan said.

Treanor pointed out that this year’s flu vaccine contains the same strain of H3N2 as the 2016 vaccine, so if the new flu season is dominated by H3N2 again, it could be another bad season.

Treanor, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Rochester in New York, said major efforts are underway to understand the factors that contribute to the less-than-perfect protection of flu vaccines.

“There are some emerging new findings that can contribute to developing better vaccines in the future,” he said.

Growing influenza virus in eggs, then inactivating it and purifying it is the traditional method. “But there are some downsides to using chicken eggs as the production material,” Treanor noted.

Two new methods of producing vaccines are being tried, he said.

One approach—using animal cells as the production material—allows the use of more standardized methods.

“Another approach is to use DNA techniques and to synthesize the vaccine directly from the genetic sequence of the virus,” Treanor said.

Both these methods—cell culture (Flucelvax) and DNA (Flublok)—are licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Jernigan said these new technologies are used for the production of new vaccines, such as the Ebola vaccine. He cautioned, however, that it is not yet known if these methods produce a more effective flu vaccine than using eggs.

Manufacturers would have to do studies comparing egg-grown vaccine with vaccine produced by these other methods to really see if they are better, he added.

“That’s information that’s really needed in order for us to really say one kind of technology gives better protection than another,” Jernigan said.

Flu vaccines work by inducing the body’s immune system to make antibodies against proteins found on the outer layer of the flu virus to kill it.

A mutation in the H3N2 virus several years ago led to the current circulating strain.

The 2016-2017 flu vaccine was updated to include the new version of the H3N2 protein. But Treanor’s team found that this new version also mutated when grown in eggs.

Their research showed that antibodies from ferrets and humans exposed to last year’s egg-based vaccine did a poor job of killing the H3N2 virus.

But when they tried a non-egg-based vaccine, they found the resulting antibodies were better able to kill the new H3N2 virus.

Jernigan said the goal is to find a universal long-lasting flu vaccine.

Each year up to 60,000 Americans die from flu and hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, he said.

“Even though flu vaccine isn’t perfect, getting a flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself from the flu,” Jernigan advised.

The report was published Nov. 6 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

SOURCES: John Treanor, M.D., professor, infectious diseases, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.; Daniel Jernigan, M.D., director, influenza division, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Nov. 6, 2017, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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7 Ways to Stop Overeating Once and For All

09/11/2017 helen 0

The mission of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is to get people moving. 

By Kelsey Graham

Overeating is easy to do, especially when you’re indulging in an unusually delicious meal. It’s also easy because there are many factors that cause us to overeat, including stress and noshing too fast—both of which we likely experience or do on almost daily.

Fortunately, there are many tactics you can use to stop overeating once and for all, from slowing down to learning your body’s hunger cues. Use these tips to get your eating on track so you can feel fueled and satiated instead of full and frustrated.

1. Look Ahead

If you’re constantly surrounded by unhealthy food, it can be easy to eat all day long, whether or not you are hungry. Here’s one way to avoid this temptation: Think about how you’ll feel after you eat too much—like those times when you know you’re full, but there’s still food on your plate.

A similarly powerful tactic is thinking about how you’ll feel if you don’t eat the food. In almost every case you feel proud, happy and more satisfied than if you’d indulged unnecessarily.

Stop Overeating Once and For All Tactic 1: Before you grab the doughnut from your office kitchen—especially if you’ve already had a full breakfast—think to yourself: How will I feel when I finish this? Better yet: How will I feel if I walk away right now? Make this a habit, doing it every time you reach for an unnecessary snack. Sometimes you’ll want to indulge and that’s OK. But you may find that you say “no” a lot more often than you say “yes.”

2. Eat Slower

It takes time for your stomach to tell your mind you’re full because the process of feeling satiated takes time.

“Stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water. These signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects the gut and brain stem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine,” explains Ann MacDonald, a contributor to Harvard Health.

This process of sending signals from your gut to your brain can take anywhere from five to 20 minutes, which is why it’s important to eat slowly. Eating too fast is a surefire way to overeat because we get this cue well after we’ve already eaten too much.

Stop Overeating Once and For All Tactic 2: The next time you eat, set a timer for 20 minutes and see how long it takes you to feel full, paying close attention to the cues your body is sending. This will give you an approximation of how long it takes your body to feel full, which you can use to stop overeating. Continue eating slowly until you notice that “I’m full” feeling. Note that those with type 2 diabetes may not get these same hunger cues, which makes this tactic less effective.

3. Eat Mindfully

In our on-the-go world, we’re often eating breakfast in the car, rushing through lunch at our desk and half-heartedly noshing on dinner while watching our favorites shows. In these situations, your focus isn’t on the food you’re eating. It’s on driving, working or watching television, which can lead to overeating.

When you’re not paying attention to your body, it’s easy to miss the “I’m full” cue—just like when you eat too fast.

Stop Overeating Once and For All Tactic 3: Make a rule to eat at least one meal a day without doing anything else. Notice the difference in recognizing your satiation (feeling full) cues and how satisfied you are. Slowly increase this to two meals each day and eventually to all three.

4. Get Your Stress Under Control

It seems there’s always something to stress us out, whether it’s a meeting at work or a family issue. This stress not only wreaks havoc on your body physicallycausing everything from chronic high blood pressure and diarrhea, to headaches, chest pain and more, it’s causing you to overeat.

When stressed, your body releases cortisol, which also increases appetite. Whether you’re hungry or not, your body is craving food, and to quell that “hunger” you eat. In many cases, you end up eating high-fat, sugary foods, making the overeating worse.

Stop Overeating Once and For All Tactic 4: If you can’t reduce the stress in your life right now, the next step is to recognize the potential for overeating and stop it before it starts. When stressed, rely on portioning your food, and when you go out to eat, get half of your meal put in a box for later before you even start eating. If you’re hungry for a snack, when you normally aren’t, check in with yourself: Is this stress or am I really hungry? Take author Michael Pollan’s advice: If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re probably not hungry.

5. Eat Before You’re Hungry

This idea may sound odd, but think about these two scenarios:

  • You eat dinner a little early, not because you’re very hungry but because you know you’re going out with friends and don’t want to order out—or wait until you’re starving and eat post-drinks. So, you take your time making dinner, eat until you’re relatively full and then head out.
  • You decide not to eat before going out because you’re not hungry. You wait to eat dinner at 8 p.m., after you’ve gone out for drinks. Now you’re ravenous. You dive into your cabinets looking for whatever is easiest to make and dig into the first thing you see. You eat fast you don’t realize how full you are—and now you’re stuffed and wish you hadn’t eaten so much.

In the second scenario, you’re so hungry that you may be experiencing slight nausea or a headache from the hunger. And you may eat unhealthy foods because you’ll likely eat the first thing you find—forget about taking time to make a healthy dinner.

You may have similar experiences if you wait too long to have lunch at work or eat breakfast late in the morning.

Stop Overeating Once and For All Tactic 5: Most people tend to eat around the same time every day. Set an alarm on your phone for an hour before you’d normally eat each meal so you remember to nosh earlier than usual. You’ll quickly find that you’re more likely to make rational healthy choices about what you’re eating and how much.

6. Give Yourself Time

How many times have you looked at your plate, knowing that you’re full, and cleaned your plate anyway? When you’re done, you feel full and mad at yourself: Why did I eat the rest of that? I didn’t need it and now I feel like crap. It’s hard to resist food in the moment, thanks to our need for instant gratification. But giving yourself time to decide whether to finish may be exactly what you need.

Stop Overeating Once and For All Tactic 6: The next time you’re in a moment where you would normally eat more, but know you shouldn’t, stop for 10 minutes. Give yourself time to decide if you want to eat the rest of the food on your plate. When the 10 minutes is up, you’ll almost always be happy to toss or save the rest of the food.

7. Pay Attention to All Your Hunger Cues

If you’re waiting for your stomach to growl, you may be setting yourself up to overeat, because we don’t all experience the same hunger cues. Sometimes it shows up as a headache or a bad mood that comes on suddenly. A nutritionist once said, “I always know I’m hungry when I’m happily working on something and all of a sudden I’m annoyed by what I’m doing.”

Knowing how hunger can show up in your body is key to recognizing it before it’s too late. Potential hunger signals include:

  • Growling stomach
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Low energy
  • Sudden irritability (“hangry”)

Stop Overeating Once and For All Tactic 7: Make note of which hunger cues you experience each time you eat. Slowly you’ll discover how your body signals “I’m hungry,” allowing you to eat right away rather than waiting until later, when you’re ravenous and therefore more likely to overeat.

Stop Overeating

It can be so hard to say no when food is right in front of you—and so easy to ignore that full feeling and eat until you’re so full you need to lie down because it hurts to sit or stand. Stop the cycle of overeating once and for all with these simple tips. Test them to see which one works best for you and then stick with it. 

Once it becomes a habit, you’re more likely to say no when you’re full and indulge when your body needs the fuel.

A version of this article originally appeared at ACEFitness.com. 

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Overeating is easy to do, especially when you’re indulging in an unusually delicious meal. It’s also easy because there are many factors that cause us to overeat, including stress and noshing too fast—both of which we likely experience or do on almost dai
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This Is Why You Think About Junk Food

04/11/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2017 (HealthDay News)—If cookies, pizza and potato chips seem to pull you in, you’re not alone.

A new study finds that images of junk food are, indeed, more distracting than those of healthy food. The researchers also found, though, that just a few tastes of junk food can significantly reduce its appeal.

“We wanted to see if pictures of food, particularly high-fat, high-calorie food, would be a distraction for people engaged in a complicated task,” said co-author Howard Egeth, a professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

The researchers showed the pictures to 18 participants, most of them undergraduate students.

“We showed them carrots and apples, and it slowed them down,” Egeth said in a university news release. “We showed them bicycles and thumb tacks, and it slowed them down. But when we showed them chocolate cake and hot dogs, these things slowed them down about twice as much.”

The researchers then repeated the experiment with 18 new participants, but first gave them two small candy bars before they began their task. This time, the study found that images of junk food were no more distracting than pictures of healthy food or nonfood items.

The findings were published online Oct. 26 in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

The researchers believe the study findings highlight people’s built-in bias for fatty, sugary foods and confirm the old saying that you shouldn’t grocery shop when you’re hungry.

Meet the Johns Hopkins researchers who describe their study

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins University, news release, Oct. 26, 2017
Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Ready for the Time Change on Sunday?

04/11/2017 helen 0

FRIDAY, Nov. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News)—It might sound like a great thing—getting an extra hour of sleep when Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday. Granted, it’s easier than losing an hour’s sleep in the time changeover that comes in the spring, but ad…

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Tips for Managing Anxiety

02/11/2017 helen 0

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2017 (HealthDay News)—A little bit of stress can motivate you, but too much might cause an anxiety disorder that can prevent you from living your life to the fullest. If you feel anxious on a daily basis, try making changes to your l…

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Get Your Flu Shot Ahead of Likely Severe Season

27/10/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Early signs suggest that the United States will see a severe flu season, so it’s especially important for Americans to get their shots, health experts say.

Australia had its worst flu season on record, and what happens in the southern hemisphere typically predicts what happens in the northern hemisphere, said Kevin Harrod. He is a professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s department of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine.

“These data tell us that we should see a worse-than-average flu season,” Harrod said.

Learn More: The Flu: What You Need to Know

This year’s vaccines are combating the H3N2 strain and B strains of influenza, according to Harrod. H3N2 viruses cause more severe disease in the elderly and young children, and they are associated with a high hospitalization rate, he noted.

The best protection against the flu is vaccination, Harrod said in a university news release.

“While getting the flu shot may not keep you from getting the flu, it will limit the severity and duration of the illness, and provide you with some protection against future infections in subsequent seasons,” Harrod said.

“Even in years when the flu vaccine is a ‘bad match,’ there is partial protection because one’s immune system can make antibodies that still recognize and bind to the influenza virus even when new strains emerge unexpectedly,” he added.

Dr. Leah Leisch, an assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at UAB, noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older—including pregnant women—get a flu shot.

“It is especially important for people at high risk for flu-related complications. This includes, but is not limited to, pregnant women, children younger than 5, adults older than 65 and people with certain medical conditions,” Leisch said.

Harrod said the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices does not recommend the use of the nasal spray flu vaccine in the 2017-2018 influenza season.

Leisch had some tips on what to do if you think you’re coming down with the flu.

“During flu season, if you experience flu-like symptoms, it is wise to let your doctor know within 24 to 48 hours of when the symptoms began,” Leisch said. “However, your doctor may not prescribe any medications, as most—otherwise healthy—adults under age 65 do not require prescription medication for flu.”

For most people, the best therapy is to stay home and get plenty of rest and fluids, she said. Young children, adults older than 65, and adults with certain medical conditions may require anti-viral medications.

“These medications are good at preventing complications of flu and shortening the duration of flu by one or two days,” Leisch said. “However, they will not make the symptoms go away immediately.”

Potential complications of flu include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as heart failure, asthma or diabetes.

In 2014, about 970,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu and more than 40 million were affected by flu-related illnesses, according to the CDC.

While most flu-related hospitalizations and deaths occur among people 65 and older, healthy children and younger adults can also develop severe problems and even die. Each year, nearly 100 flu-related deaths among children are reported to the CDC.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the flu.

SOURCE: University of Alabama at Birmingham, news release, Oct. 27, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Cyndi Lauper’s Psoriasis Battle Shows Her ‘True Colors’

27/10/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News)—With her pink tresses and eye-catching stage costumes, pop culture icon Cyndi Lauper was never one to hide. But that’s exactly what she wanted to do when she developed psoriasis, which spread to most of her body and sapped her strength before the skin disorder was controlled.

Learn More: 9 Common Misconceptions About Psoriasis

Appearing first on her scalp and later covering everything except her face, psoriasis struck Lauper in 2010 while the Grammy, Tony and Emmy award-winning singer-songwriter—famous for 1980s’ hits such as “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time”—was on tour. She soldiered through appearances despite crushing exhaustion and an inability to regulate her temperature, which left her zigzagging between hot and cold.

“It’s funny—you start wearing gloves, or this and that, hoping that [psoriasis] is invisible, but it’s not. I wasn’t wearing it like, ‘Woo-hoo, check this out!’ Doesn’t everyone hide it?” said Lauper, now 64 and also an actress and author.

“You’d be surprised how many people have it and don’t talk about it,” she added. “It’s one of those things that’s kind of invisible, so it’s good to talk about it.”

Psoriasis isn’t just a cosmetic issue, though it often leads to embarrassing physical symptoms. About 7.5 million people in the United States are affected by plaque psoriasis, the most common form of the autoimmune disease, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Marked by silvery, red skin plaques along with flaking, itching, scaling and bleeding, psoriasis has also been shown to raise the risks of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression.

“It’s not a rash, it’s an inflammatory disease and could lead to other problems,” emphasized Lauper, whose second album in 1986, “True Colors,” included the number-one single of the same name.

“Right now, cosmetology is the rage, and I love it, too, obviously. But when you have psoriasis, you have to research what’s best for you,” she added.

A longtime advocate for equality, Lauper founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. She’s now extending her advocacy efforts to the psoriasis community through a campaign with pharmaceutical company Novartis.

Lauper, whose albums have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, tried many psoriasis treatments over the years, including alternative therapies and several that didn’t lessen her symptoms. She now takes a biologic drug that effectively controls her disease, but acknowledges that each psoriasis patient’s approach to finding relief may vary.

Current psoriasis treatments range from topical skin creams and ointments to ultraviolet light therapy to biologic drugs that dampen overactive immune responses.

“I’m better now, I found a solution, but my solution may not be someone else’s solution,” said Lauper, who won a Tony Award in 2013 for writing the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots.”

“You’ve got to really do your research,” she said. “One thing I’ve found from others who had it was that they didn’t give up. They didn’t stop questioning and researching until they found something that works.”

Celebrities such as Lauper who go public about their experiences with chronic illness can help raise awareness about their particular disease and its treatments, said Dr. Jeffrey Weinberg, a former medical board member of the National Psoriasis Foundation.

“Obviously we live in a culture where celebrity is given attention, whether it be advertising or disease awareness or marketing,” said Weinberg, who is also an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

“I think it’s able to help people say, ‘If that person has [a disease] and they’re able to deal with it, I can also,’ ” he added. “Maybe they wouldn’t have thought that celebrities or people who are well-off deal with the same problems they have.”

Lauper’s upcoming projects include writing the score for the Broadway adaptation of the 1988 feature film “Working Girl” and contributing a song to the score of the Broadway musical “SpongeBob SquarePants.” She recently wrote a song, “Hope,” that depicts her own experiences with psoriasis and those of others who struggle with the same disease.

 

More information

The American Academy of Dermatology has more about psoriasis.

SOURCES: Cyndi Lauper; Jeffrey Weinberg, M.D., associate clinical professor, dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, and former medical board member, National Psoriasis Foundation

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 

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A Storyteller With Breast Cancer Shares Her Stories

21/10/2017 helen 0

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In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m pleased to bring you an essay written by Antoinette Truglio Martin, the author of an inspiring memoir, Hug Everyone You Know, A Year of Communit…

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Secrets of Good Sleepers

20/10/2017 helen 0

When you finally lay your head on the pillow, you likely want to go to sleep—and stay that way. But the same thing happens every time. You wake up at 2 a.m. and can’t fall back asleep. You’re worrying about the laundry that needs to be folded and you gotta make a bathroom run, too. You finally shut your eyes at 4 a.m., only to have your alarm sound two hours later. You’re stuck with another day of being tired, unenergized and bleary eyed.

Don’t suffer through another sleepless night. Follow the secrets of how good sleepers get a sound night of slumber. You’ll be on your way to being one yourself in no time.

They watch their caffeine consumption.
It shouldn’t be surprising that sipping on that cup of java while you eat dessert may interrupt your sleep. Caffeine can stay in your system for hours, so that midafternoon coffee run can haunt you. Also aim to avoid caffeine sources like cola, root beer, tea and chocolate. And don’t forget those coffee-flavored treats like cappuccino-flavored ice cream, which can also give you a dose of caffeine. If you find that you’re sensitive to caffeine, stay away from it in the afternoon as well as the evening. Read about the most common sleep disorders.

They don’t OD on water-filled fruits and veggies.
Fruits and veggies do the body good. But the water found in celery, watermelon, cucumbers and other produce may cause you to wake in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Why? Celery, for example, is a natural diuretic, which means it pushes water through your system. And that means you’ll need to use the bathroom a bit more than usual.

They adore their mattress.
A mattress is a long-term commitment. If possible, see if a friend or a hotel has the mattress you’re thinking about and test it out for a night. Some stores may let you sleep on it overnight. Or some mattress companies will give you a full refund if you don’t like your mattress after 30 days. What if you like a soft mattress and your partner likes a firmer one? Get two single-sized mattresses that work for each of you. Push them together and use king-sized sheets.

They avoid heavy meals before hitting the hay.
Put down the burger, fries, pizza and other fatty foods before bed. Fattier meals can disrupt your sleep cycle. Why? Eating a heavy meal promotes digestion, which makes it more likely you’ll have to use the restroom overnight. Plus, foods high in fat can give you stomach discomfort or heartburn. And that can make it tough to fall asleep. In fact, a recent study found that eating too much saturated fat is linked to sleep that’s lighter and more wakeful.

They don’t fight over the blankets.
How many times have you awoken in the middle of the night and been confused where the comforter has gone? The tugging and pulling of blankets and sheets truly can interrupt your sheets. Consider getting blankets for each of you. Then put a comforter or duvet over the top.

They avoid heartburn triggers.
Grapefruits and oranges may be nutritious but these citrus fruits are also acidic. That means they can trigger heartburn, which can keep you awake at night. Other foods and beverages that can cause heartburn include lemons and other tangy citrus fruits (as well as citrus juices); alcohol (especially red wine); carbonated beverages; spicy foods such as garlic, onions, and peppers; caffeinated food and drinks such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate; tomatoes; and peppermint.

They ignore the studies.
Studies have found that the right amount of sleep is what leaves you energized the next day. So, you may not need a solid eight hours of slumber to be ready to attack the day. See what works for you instead of focusing on the clock.

They watch their meds.
Unbeknownst to you, some pain relievers contain caffeine. Extra-strength Excedrin, for example, contains 65 milligrams of caffeine. Take two pills and you’re getting as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Check labels to see if caffeine is listed as an active ingredient. You also want to watch out for oral decongestants. While they can help you breathe better, they can raise your heart rate. And that makes it hard to sleep. Try a saline wash or spray at nighttime instead.

They avoid tyramine.
What’s that, you’re wondering. It’s an amino acid that causes the brain to release norepinephrine, a stimulant that increases your brain activity and delays your sleep. Foods boasting tyramine include tomatoes, soy sauce, red wine, eggplant and aged cheeses like brie.

They watch their bath time.
A hot bath may feel soothing before bed. But it raises your skin temperature and eventually lowers your core body temperature. If you want to bathe, do so 30 minutes or so before bedtime.

They write out their worries.
As soon as your head hits the pillow, your mind starts racing. You think about your long to-do list, the kids, chores, work and more. To help prevent your thoughts from doing circles at bedtime, write down your thoughts before attempting to fall asleep. It will help calm your mind.

The don’t sleep with their pets.
You may have to kick your pooch out of bed. Co-sleeping with a furry friend can distract your shuteye. And if you’re allergic to pets, your runny nose and coughing may be disrupting your sleep.


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12 Reasons You’re Experiencing Breast Pain

12/10/2017 helen 0

Ouch! Just rubbing your breasts the wrong way is painful. Your mind starts racing. You worry that you have cancer. Or maybe you fret that your contraception wasn’t doing its job and maybe this is an early sign of pregnancy. 

Breast pain is rarely something to worry, panic or be alarmed about. Here are just a few reasons why you may have sore breasts.

When in doubt, reach out to your health care provider to help figure out what’s going on.

ONE
You’re getting your period.

It’s totally normal to have breast tenderness and swelling right before the onset of Aunt Flo. It can happen for up to a week and you can have so much swelling that your bra size might change. Once your period starts, your breast size will return to normal and the tenderness will gradually subside. Why does this happen? Estrogen causes your breast ducts to get bigger. And progesterone increases the growth of your milk glands. Find out about period weight gain.

TWO
You’re pregnant.

Bust out the nonalcoholic champagne—you’re having a baby! Thanks to your hormones, breasts that are tender, sore, achy and swollen are often the first sign you’re pregnant. Early on in pregnancy, your breasts grow faster than your baby. As your estrogen levels rise, they increase the size of your milk ducts. And that can boost breast sensitivity and pain. If you have breast pain and have missed a period, take a pregnancy test to confirm if you’ve conceived. Read more about early pregnancy symptoms.

THREE
You’re breastfeeding.

When you’re pregnant, your milk ducts and breasts get larger so that you can breastfeed. (That’s why some pregnant women have crazy cleavage!) You may be in pain thanks to that growth. It continues once you’re breastfeeding and baby is sucking on your breasts nonstop. Contact a lactation consultation who can help you find a less painful breastfeeding technique. If you’re ready to stop breastfeeding, find out how to wean your child from breastfeeding.

FOUR
You’re taking certain meds.

Some medications trigger breast pain. Those medications include certain diuretics, digitalis preparations, methyldopa (Aldomet, for high blood pressure), spironolactone (Aldactone, for high blood pressure), oxymetholone (Anadrol, a powerful oral steroid) and chlorpromazine (an antipsychotic). If your breasts are uncomfortable and meds are to blame, your health care provider may be able to prescribe another medication.

FIVE
You have breast cancer.

Don’t worry yet that it’s the “C” word. Most people who have breast pain don’t have cancer. It’s still a valid concern, though. If you’re feeling pain, speak with your health care provider. Review your breast cancer risk factors and tell your provider if you’ve noticed any other changes in your body such as bloody or clear discharge from your nipple; a lump in your breast; or local redness, pus or fever. Your health care provider will decide if you should go for a mammogram or get other testing to dig further into what’s going on.

SIX
You need a new bra.

Has your favorite bra seen better days? Maybe the underwire is stabbing you. It doesn’t fit anymore. The fabric is itchy. Your boobs just hurt by bedtime. It’s time to invest in a few new supportive bras for the sake of your comfort and breast health. You don’t want one with shoulder straps digging into your skin or the back is riding up or where your breasts are coming out of the cups. A professional bra fitter can measure you and help you choose one that’s right for you. (And get a properly fitting sports bra while you’re there, too.)

SEVEN
You’ve experienced breast trauma.

Maybe you had a procedure done on your breasts. Or a basketball landed right on your boobs. These types of traumas can leave you with sore breasts. Most pain from such issues should go away quickly. Speak to your health care provider if pain persists to make sure you didn’t crack your ribs or are dealing with scar tissue issues.

EIGHT
You’re allergic to fragrant products.

Some chemicals can cause allergic reactions like pain, redness, inflammation and swelling. Culprits include moisturizers, laundry detergents (because clothing rubs your skin), sunscreens, cosmetics and hair products (they get on your chest when you bathe). Think about whether you’ve added a new product to your beauty regime. Remove it from your routine and see if the pain disappears.

NINE
You exercised too much.

Did you do extra pushups in your last class? Did you go for a long run in your old sports bra? Some exercises and the intensity at which you do them can strain your chest wall’s muscles. It can be hard to differentiate between breast pain and chest muscle pain because the two are so similar. If the pain goes away after you’ve skipped workouts and taken some over-the-counter pain relievers, you may just be dealing with a muscular issue. Learn more about post-workout breast pain. 

TEN
Your hormones are on the fritz.

Anything that affects your hormones can cause breast pain. Some culprits include fertility treatments, hormone replacement therapies, thyroid medications and birth control pills (even switching birth control regimens). These can cause sensitivity, tenderness and swelling because they impact your estrogen levels. The side effect of breast pain will lessen over time; your body needs time to adjust to the new surge of hormones. Speak with your health care provider to see if you need to switch anything in your health care regimen.

ELEVEN
You have fibrocystic breasts.

When you have fibrocystic breasts, you have multiple cysts throughout both breasts. Your breasts can feel tender, swollen or painful because their tissue is lumpy or rope-like. And your symptoms don’t come and go with your menstrual cycle. While fibrocystic breasts are noncancerous, your health care provider will still want to monitor them.

TWELVE
You have an infection.

If you have an infection, you’ll have breast redness, swelling and pain. Your nipple(s) may be leaking blood, pus, or brown, green or red discharge. You may be running a fever. Infections can be caused by factors such as ingrown hairs, clogged sweat glands or blocked milk ducts. Your health care provider can figure out what’s going on. Many infections can be treated with antibiotics.


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Does a Drug’s High Price Tag Cause Its Own Side Effects?

07/10/2017 helen 0

HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Oct. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News)—Pricey drugs may make people more vulnerable to perceiving side effects, a new study suggests—and the phenomenon is not just “in their heads.”

The study delved into the so-called “nocebo effect.” It’s the negative version of the well-known placebo effect, where people feel better after receiving a therapy because they expected good things.

With the nocebo effect, patients’ worries over treatment side effects make them feel sick.

In this study, researchers found that people were more likely to report painful side effects from a fake drug when told it was expensive.

But it wasn’t just something people were “making up.” Using brain imaging, the researchers traced the phenomenon to specific activity patterns in the brain and spine.

“These findings are a strong argument against the perception of placebo and nocebo effects as being only ‘fake’ effects—created purely by imagination or delusions of the patient,” said lead researcher Alexandra Tinnermann. She is with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, in Germany.

Dr. Luana Colloca, a researcher at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, agreed.

“This is not merely a reflection of people’s biases,” said Colloca, who wrote an editorial published with the study.

“Expectations do modulate symptoms and patients’ responses to treatment,” she said.

For the study, Tinnermann’s team recruited 49 healthy volunteers and randomly assigned them to test one of two itch-relieving “medical creams.”

In reality, both creams were identical and contained no active ingredients. However, people in both groups were told that the products could have the side effect of making the skin more sensitive to pain.

There was only one apparent difference between the two phony creams: One came in fancy packing with a high price tag; the other was cheap.

After participants applied the creams to their forearms, the researchers had them undergo a standard test that measured their tolerance for heat-induced pain.

It turned out that people who’d used the expensive cream were more sensitive to pain during the tests. On average, their pain rating hovered around a 15—within the “mild” pain range—whereas people using the cheap cream barely registered any discomfort.

It’s likely, Tinnermann said, that people expect a pricey medication to be potent—which could also make them expect more side effects.

Colloca agreed. We are all “vulnerable” to such outside influences, she said, be it a drug’s price or how it’s given (by IV versus mouth, for instance).

However, we are not just imagining those placebo or nocebo effects, both researchers noted.

Using functional MRI brain scans, Tinnermann’s team found specific patterns of nervous system activity in people who had a nocebo response to the pricey cream.

That included a change in “communication” between certain brain structures and the spinal cord, Tinnermann said.

According to Colloca, research like this can have practical uses. Doctors could, for instance, inform patients that drug prices or other factors can sway their expectations about a treatment’s benefits and risks—and that, in turn, can influence whether they feel better or develop side effects.

There is, however, no research into whether that kind of knowledge helps prevent patients from the nocebo effect, Tinnermann said.

But, she added, health professionals can be aware that patients’ expectations “play a huge role in medicine”—and be mindful of how they talk about a medication and its possible side effects.

It’s an important matter, Colloca said, because the nocebo effect can cause people to stop taking needed medications.

Colloca pointed to the example of cholesterol-lowering statins.

The potential for those medications to cause muscle pain has been widely reported. And one recent study found evidence that this knowledge can make statin users more likely to report muscle pain side effects.

Other research, Colloca said, has shown that when people stop taking their statins, their risk of heart attack and stroke rises.

The new study was published in the Oct. 6 issue of Science.

SOURCES: Alexandra Tinnermann, M.Sc., University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany; Luana Colloca, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, anesthesiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore; Oct. 6, 2017, Science

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Why Your Breast Cancer Might Be Missed

05/10/2017 helen 0

You know the significance of taking care of your body, and your breasts are way up there in the all-important surveillance category. But despite your best efforts—regular screening with mammograms; knowing what your breasts look and feel like; being aw…

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Do You Talk With Your Patients About Overactive Bladder?

30/09/2017 helen 0

Do your patients often have that sudden “gotta go” feeling that makes them nervous they’ll leak urine if they don’t get to a bathroom right away? If so, they may have overactive bladder (OAB).

What Is Overactive Bladder?

OAB is not a disease. It’s the name given to a group of troubling urinary symptoms. The most common is a sudden and unexpected urge to urinate that can’t be controlled. In some people, this “gotta go” feeling may result in urine leakage (incontinence). In others, it may not. 

Other OAB symptoms include frequent urination during the day and night. The number of times someone goes to the bathroom may vary from person to person. But many experts agree going to the bathroom more than eight times in 24 hours is “frequent urination.”

OAB affects millions of men and women. Some experts estimate as many as 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States live with OAB symptoms. But the number of people suffering from OAB may be much larger. That’s because many people living with the condition don’t ask for help. 

“A lot of people don’t talk to their doctors because they’re embarrassed about their symptoms or because they don’t know there are treatment options,” says Kathleen Kobashi, MD, chief of urology at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. “But there are plenty of things we can do to help. If you are having difficulty with OAB symptoms, talk to your health care provider today.”

Risks for OAB

The risk for OAB increases as one gets older. Women who have gone through menopause and men who have had prostate issues are also at higher risk. Conditions affecting the brain or spinal cord, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, also raise the risk for OAB. Food and drinks, such as caffeine, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and very spicy foods, can bother the bladder and make symptoms worse. 

How OAB Can Affect Your Patient’s Life

OAB can get in the way of your patient’s work, social life and sleep. Without treatment, symptoms may make it hard to get through the day without having to make many trips to the bathroom. Your patients may feel nervous about going out with friends or doing daily activities because they are afraid they may not be able to find a bathroom when they need one. OAB patients may shy away from social events and spending time with their spouse or family. 

This can result in feeling lonely and isolated and may affect their relationships with loved ones. OAB can also deprive people of a good night’s sleep, leaving them feeling tired and depressed.

Getting More Information From Your Patients 

When a patient tells you she has OAB symptoms, you should ask her to describe her symptoms. You may choose to refer her to a specialist, such as a urologist. Questions to consider asking are about medical history and symptoms—what they are, how long they’ve been having them and how they are affecting daily life. Gather information about past and current medical problems, as well as diet, including what they drink and how much they drink.

Many providers choose to give a physical exam to check for problems that may be causing OAB symptoms. 

Another useful tool is to ask your patients to keep a “bladder diary,” where they record how often they go to the bathroom and any time they leak urine. Other tests, such as a urine test, to look for infection or blood are also commonly used. In some cases, health care providers choose to do an ultrasound to see how much urine is still in the patient’s bladder after they go to the bathroom.

Taking Control

There are many treatment options for OAB. You may use just one treatment or several at the same time. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medications and other therapies.

The Truth About OAB

Knowledge is power! Don’t let myths about OAB prevent your patients from getting the help they need. Learn the truth about OAB:

  •  OAB is not “just part of being a woman.”
  •  OAB is not “just having an enlarged (big) prostate.”
  •  OAB is not “just a normal part of getting older.”
  • OAB is not caused by something you did.
  • Surgery is not the only treatment for OAB.
  • There are treatments for OAB that can help people manage symptoms.
  • There are treatments that many people with OAB find helpful.

It’s Time to Talk About OAB, by the Urology Care Foundation, gives you the information you need to manage this problem. It costs nothing, is offered in English and Spanish, and is based on up-to-date clinical guidelines. It includes: 

  • A survey to help patients learn if they have OAB or something else
  • Information about OAB and how to treat it
  • Answers to common questions 
  • Videos with the stories of people whove learned to manage OAB
  • Print materials, if you prefer

Please take a look at It’s Time to Talk About OAB or any of our resources when you need help with urinary problems. Dont let OAB get in the way of your patients lives.

This resource is provided by the Urology Care Foundation, the official Foundation of the American Urological Association.

Short Description: 
If your patients have sudden and unexpected urges to urinate, then you may want to talk with them about overactive bladder, or OAB. 

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Select ratingGive Do You Talk With Your Patients About Overactive Bladder? 1/5Give Do You Talk With Your Patients About Overactive Bladder? 2/5Give Do You Talk With Your Patients About Overactive Bladder? 3/5Give Do You Talk With Your Patients About Overactive Bladder? 4/5Give Do You Talk With Your Patients About Overactive Bladder? 5/5
Long Description: 
If your patients have sudden and unexpected urges to urinate, then you may want to talk with them about overactive bladder, or OAB. 


Do You Often Have That ‘Gotta Go’ Feeling?

29/09/2017 helen 0

Do you often have that sudden “gotta go” feeling that makes you nervous you will leak urine if you don’t get to a bathroom right away? If so, you may have overactive bladder (OAB).

What Is Overactive Bladder?

OAB is not a disease. It’s the name given to a group of troubling urinary symptoms. The most common is a sudden and unexpected urge to urinate that you can’t control. In some people, this “gotta go” feeling may result in urine leakage (incontinence). In others, it may not. 

Other OAB symptoms include frequent urination during the day and night. The number of times someone goes to the bathroom may vary from person to person. But many experts agree going to the bathroom more than eight times in 24 hours is “frequent urination.”

OAB affects millions of men and women. Some experts estimate as many as 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States live with OAB symptoms. But the number of people suffering from OAB may be much larger. That’s because many people living with the condition don’t ask for help. 

“A lot of people don’t talk to their doctors because they’re embarrassed about their symptoms or because they don’t know there are treatment options,” says Kathleen Kobashi, MD, chief of urology at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. “But there are plenty of things we can do to help. If you are having difficulty with OAB symptoms, talk to your health care provider today.”

Risks for OAB

The risk for OAB increases as you get older. Women who have gone through menopause and men who have had prostate issues are also at higher risk. Conditions affecting the brain or spinal cord, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, also raise your risk for OAB. Food and drinks, such as caffeine, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and very spicy foods, can bother your bladder and make symptoms worse. 

How OAB Can Affect Your Life

OAB can get in the way of your work, social life and sleep. Without treatment, symptoms may make it hard to get through the day without having to make many trips to the bathroom. You may feel nervous about going out with friends or doing daily activities because you are afraid you may not be able to find a bathroom when you need one. You may shy away from social events and spending time with your spouse or family. 

This can result in you feeling lonely and isolated, and may affect your relationships with loved ones. OAB can also deprive you of a good night’s sleep, leaving you feeling tired and depressed.

Talking to Your Health Care Provider

When you tell your health care provider you have OAB symptoms, he or she will likely ask you to describe them. Your provider may refer you to a specialist, such as a urologist. You’ll be asked about your medical history and your symptoms—what they are, how long you have been having them and how they are affecting your life. Your provider will also ask about past and current medical problems and about your diet, including what you drink and how much you drink.

You will be given a physical exam to check for problems that may be causing OAB symptoms. Your provider may ask you to keep a “bladder diary,” where you record how often you go to the bathroom and any time you leak urine. You may also have tests, such as a urine test, to look for infection or blood. Your health care provider may do an ultrasound to see how much urine is still in your bladder after you go to the bathroom.

Taking Control

There are many treatment options for OAB. Your health care provider may use just one treatment or several at the same time. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medications and other therapies.

The Truth About OAB

Knowledge is power! Don’t let myths about OAB prevent you from getting the help you need. Learn the truth about OAB:

  •  OAB is not “just part of being a woman.”
  •  OAB is not “just having an enlarged (big) prostate.”
  •  OAB is not “just a normal part of getting older.”
  • OAB is not caused by something you did.
  • Surgery is not the only treatment for OAB.
  • There are treatments for OAB that can help people manage symptoms.
  • There are treatments that many people with OAB find helpful.

Its Time to Talk About OAB, by the Urology Care Foundation, gives you the information you need to manage this problem. It costs nothing, is offered in English and Spanish, and is based on up-to-date clinical guidelines. It includes: 

  • A survey to help you learn if you have OAB or something else
  • Information about OAB and how to treat it
  • Answers to common questions 
  • Videos with the stories of people whove learned to manage OAB
  • Print materials, if you prefer

Please take a look at“It’s Time to Talk About OAB” or any of our resources when you need help with urinary problems. Dont let OAB get in the way of your life.

This resource is provided by the Urology Care Foundation, the official Foundation of the American Urological Association.

Short Description: 
If you often have that “gotta go” feeling and worry that you will leak urine if you don’t get to a bathroom quickly, then you may have overactive bladder, or OAB. 

field_vote: 
Select ratingGive Do You Often Have That 'Gotta Go' Feeling? 1/5Give Do You Often Have That 'Gotta Go' Feeling? 2/5Give Do You Often Have That 'Gotta Go' Feeling? 3/5Give Do You Often Have That 'Gotta Go' Feeling? 4/5Give Do You Often Have That 'Gotta Go' Feeling? 5/5
Long Description: 
If you often have that “gotta go” feeling and worry that you will leak urine if you don’t get to a bathroom quickly, then you may have overactive bladder, or OAB.