Archive for Author menopause

Treatment of The Month: Salt Therapy

salt therapy

Salt therapy (halotherapy) is a natural therapy, which uses medical technology to reproduce the environment of a salt cave. It emits fine particles of dry salt aerosol and has proved to be an effective treatment for respiratory illnesses, coughs and colds and skin conditions in adults and children. It is preventative healthcare and works in a natural, drug-free way.

Salt therapy is not a new practice – it was used for similar purposes by the ancient Greeks, and is widely used today in various parts of the world. Speleotherapy (using natural salt caves) is practised in Russia and Europe and involves patients spending two to three hours in a salt mine or cave over a period of several months to gain the full health benefits. In 1989 an artificial method of salt therapy using controlled environmental conditions (the indoor salt cave) was introduced in Russia. The first salt cave opened in the UK in 2009.

What Medical Conditions Can Salt Therapy Treat?

Numerous studies have been conducted to evaluate the health benefits of salt therapy. It has been proven effective in treating various respiratory and skin conditions in adults and children, including:

  • asthma
  • bronchitis
  • coughs
  • sinusitis
  • ear infection
  • rhinitis
  • hay fever
  • respiratory allergies
  • cystic fibrosis
  • tonsillitis
  • eczema and dermatitis
  • repeat viral infections
  • cystic fibrosis
  • snoring – helps to clear nasal passages

The Salt Cave in Wandsworth, South London

The UK’s first indoor salt cave is based in Wandworth, London. It uses a microclimate halo generator to reproduce the natural climate of a salt cave. The room has salt on the floor, ceiling and walls for hygiene purposes, and fine salt particles make the room comfortable and relaxing to sit in. Unlike a natural salt cave, the indoor cave is a controlled environment – the aerosol particle size, temperature and humidity level, which means it is highly effective in shorter doses. The fine particles of salt penetrate deep into the lungs.

How Salt Therapy Works

A salt cave therapy session involves sitting in the room for an hour and listening to calming music. Being relaxed and breathing normally enables the fine salt particles to clear the lungs and nasal passageways. Negatively charged ionized fine salt particles travel through the respiratory system to the root of the lungs. This helps the body to get rid of impurities through coughing or via the bloodstream. It destroys bacteria and viruses that create respiratory conditions. Salt Cave UK describe the therapy as a “bronchial brush” for the airways.

Clinical studies have shown that inhaling the salt particles can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract; absorbing oedema (swelling) caused by fluid in the tissues, and can help free blockages in the bronchial area. This helps the body to get rid of allergens and residual tar in the lungs, which is good news for smokers and ex-smokers.

Regular sessions will clear a patient’s respiratory system, reduce reliance on medication, and reduce asthma attacks. The first session is free and several are recommended to gain maximum benefits, depending on the condition being treated. Results can be seen within a week to a month.

Salt Therapy for Children

Children are highly receptive to this type of therapy. They need help to clear toxins and viruses because their lungs do not fully develop this ability until around the age of nine. Studies have found that 85-95% of children have no symptoms of respiratory illness after three sessions of salt therapy. The Salt Cave in London has a play area with stuffed toys, books, a rocking horse and playpen to create a normal play environment for children.

Salt therapy is a natural way of treating respiratory and skin conditions, which can benefit adults and children alike. It targets the root source of the problem by penetrating the deepest area of the lungs rather than simply treating or masking the symptoms. It is relaxing to receive and good for the nervous system. It calms and relaxes the body, aids concentration, and helps cancels out the effects of WiFi and electromagnetic technology at work and at home.

Salt therapy can also help reduce and prevent snoring – an added bonus in the bedroom, too.

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You’ve done hundreds of situps. You’ve tried every diet known to man, and you still can’t get rid of that tummy bulge. Oh, and having given birth several times hasn’t helped either. You might be a candidate for abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck. This operation tightens the abdominal area by removing excess fat and skin.

If pregnancy has made the skin around your middle loose and saggy instead of taut and firm, a tummy tuck may be the only way to tighten your abdominal muscles. This procedure is also an option for women who were once obese and are now faced with excess loose skin. But you should consider a tummy tuck as a last resort and not an alternative to weight loss.

Who is not a candidate for abdominoplasty?

  • A woman who is planning to have more children. During the operation, abdominal muscles are tightened. Future pregnancies could cause a hernia.
  • If you plan to lose more weight. Don’t have a tummy tuck until your weight has stabilized.
  • You are worried about scarring. The scar is long and visible. If this bothers you, talk to your doctor about your options.

Complete abdominoplasty

This is the most corrective surgery. Your surgeon will make an incision low on your abdomen, about the same level as your pubic hair. He/she will cut from hip bone to hip bone, countouring the skin and muscle along the way.

Partial abdominoplasty

If your fat deposits are just below your navel this procedure might be for you. A partial or mini abdominoplasty requires shorter incisions. Your doctor may perform this surgery with an endoscope (small camera on the end of a tube) The operation may take up to two hours as opposed to a five hour complete abdominoplasty.

After surgery

  • Whether you have a partial or complete abdominoplasty, you’ll have stitches with a bandage over them. You may even wear a special garment after surgery.
  • No strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks after surgery. Abdominoplasty is a major operation. You may need to take up to one month off of work.
  • When you arrive home make sure you have a supply of loose comfortable clothing that you can take on and off easily.
  • You’ll need a hand held shower and bathroom chair. You won’t be able to stand in the shower for a while.
  • You’ll experience pain and some swelling following the operation. Your doctor will talk to you about pain killers and other options.
  • You may feel sore for several weeks. You may also feel numbness and bruising that may last up to a month or more.

Risks with abdominoplasty

Complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding under the skin
  • Blood clots

These complications are rare, but you are at a greater risk if you have poor circulation, diabetes, heart, lung or liver disease, or if you smoke.

Remember the scars from abdominoplasty will fade slightly, but they will never go away completely.

Maybe diet and exercise are worth another try? If you decide a tummy tuck is for you, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons offers a pre and post operative photo gallery so you can see how your abdomen might look after the operation.

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Understanding Cystitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) such as cystitis are usually easy to treat and more likely to affect women than men. Cystitis is often referred to as a “water infection” and while it is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is recognised as being common in women who engage in heterosexual sex.

Understanding Cystitis – Causes and Symptoms

There are several factors which can contribute to suffering from cystitis, such as not drinking enough (such as when on holiday in a hot climate), frequent sex, not wiping from front to back after going to the toilet, tight fitting clothing (such as bodysuits and skinny jeans) and bath cosmetics. In addition, the use of perfumed cosmetics in the genital area may cause further irritation.

In Travel Health, Jones (2004) identifies the main symptoms associated with suffering from a bout of cystitis, being as follows:

  • frequency in passing urine
  • sudden urgency to pass urine
  • burning pain on urinating
  • difficulty initiating urination
  • foul-smelling urine
  • blood-stained urine

There are also some key signs that cystitis may have spread to the kidneys, such as fever, pains in the small of the back and lower abdominal pain. As it is always a possibility that untreated cystitis could develop into more severe kidney infections, always aim to seek treatment earlier rather than later.

How to Treat Cystitis – Natural Methods and Antibiotics

Cystitis is usually diagnosed by reporting symptoms to a doctor, although the only way to be totally sure is to have a urine sample tested. There are a range of treatments available for cystitis, including natural methods and a course of antibiotics. In The Essential Guide to Travel Health, Wilson-Howarth (2009) highlights the following natural remedies for cystitis:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Drink water with a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda.
  • Drink cranberry juice.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid sex.

In addition to the above approaches, Jones (2004) recommends drinking blueberry juice, home-made parsley tea, chewing fresh parsley and the homeopathic remedy cantharis. A short course of antibiotics such as trimethropin may be prescribed, or amoxicillin, if signs are indicating the kidneys may be affected. However, trimethropin should not be taken whilst pregnant and amoxicillin is unsuitable for those with an allergy to penicillin.

As highlighted above, cystitis episodes often relate to increased heterosexual activity, with symptoms including pain on urination, blood-stained and foul-smelling urine. While antibiotics may typically be necessary, natural remedies for cystitis involve drinking cranberry juice, parsley tea and plenty of fluids.

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Understanding Bioidentical Hormones for HRT

bioidentical hormones

For years, doctors have prescribed synthetic hormones such as Permarin for Hormone Replacement Therapy, also known as HRT. Now many other forms of hormones are available for patients seeking alternative and natural remedies.

What are Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones are very similar to the hormones that are made in the body, much more naturally functioning than synthetic hormones. Bioidentical HRT is desirable because it reacts on a molecular level in the body the same way human hormones function.

Where do Bioidentical Hormones Come From

The source of the natural version of hormones is from plants and sometimes animals. Some people picture natural hormones as coming straight out of the ground, like an herb but in reality, most are processed in a lab or manufacturing facility.

Who Prescribes Natural Hormone Therapy

It used to be that the majority of doctors who prescribed natural hormones were considered alternative, natural or sometimes complementary, health care practitioners who embrace both traditional and alternative medicine. However, today, many mainstream doctors are also working with patients and compounding pharmacies for prescribing natural HRT.

A prescription isn’t the only alternative for obtaining bioidentical hormones. Many compounding pharmacists can test people for hormone levels and recommend specific products. Online self care is also available. Some sites offer ways for patients to check their own hormone levels with a saliva test. This kind of testing is a preferred method and is considered more accurate than blood tests. The late Dr. John Lee, authority and author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause Hormone and Balance Made Simple considered saliva testing the only viable option for evaluating precise hormone levels.

How to Use Natural Hormones like Progesterone and Estrogen, DHEA and Testosterone

There are many different options in strength and types of HRT. The best way to know what the correct type and amount of hormone needed is to either be tested by a health care practitioner or pharmacist who uses bioidentical hormones or research symptoms thoroughly and self-test. Most professionals diagnosing hormone replacement therapy use a combination of test results combined with patient symptoms to decide on treatment.

Natural HRT can be administered through creams, oils and gels, called transdermal, or as supplements, lozenges and even suppositories.The transdermal method is one of the most popular forms because it is easy to use and allows for rapid absorption of bioidentical hormones. Most are applied once or twice a day.

Natural progesterone is available prepackaged, without a prescription and can be used to balance a lack of progesterone orcounter estrogen dominance, having too much estrogen. Progesterone HRT can be used for perimenopause, menopause, PMS, and for male and other hormone issues. Progesterone can even be used to help with migraine headaches. Natural HRT cream is usually rubbed on locations where skin is thinner: the wrists, inner arms, stomach, thighs, ankles and neck. It’s important to rotate the location where transdermal hormones are applied to avoid building up a resistance at the site.

Estrogen is not one, but a group of hormones and is available in multiple forms as well. Natural Estradiol and Estriol are used in natural estrogen supplementation and are applied transdermally. Black cohosh is an herb with estrogen properties that is taken as a supplement in pill form. DHEA and testosterone usually come in cream form. A compounding pharmacist is a good source of information on the best way to use specific types of hormones for individual situations.

What’s Best in Natural HRT

Everyone is different and there is no one single “best” HRT. Because of the complexity of symptoms and possibility of individual hormone fluctuation, the most effective way to use natural HRT is to keep track of how a person is feeling and accurately test hormone levels. Sometimes trial and error is needed for success.

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Unmasking Osteoporosis


One of the most important systems in the human body is the skeletal system. It protects important organs and gives the body a shape, making it indispensible. Our bones are designed to support us for an entire lifetime. But today, osteoporosis is on the rise, affecting the young and old alike, age not discriminating, and shortening the life span of our bones.

With any popular medical condition, abundant information breeds abundant myths. Needless to say, myths associated with osteoporosis are also in abundance. The only way to treat or prevent this condition is by debunking these myths, looking at the disease holistically and not in isolation and making amendments to improve bone health.

The Modern Day Definition Of Osteoporosis

Traditionally, osteoporosis has always been linked to a decline in bone mass. But is a decreased bone mass the only indicator of the disease? Maybe not! Research proves that more than 50% of people diagnosed with ‘osteoporotic bone’ never fracture. Statistics have shown that people with less intake of calcium in their diets don’t necessarily develop osteoporosis. This brings us to understand the most applicable definition of osteoporosis in the modern day. Osteoporosis may be defined as a skeletal disorder characterised by decreased bone strength and quality, predisposing a person to an increased risk of fracture. Architectural deterioration and poor self-repair mechanisms make bones very fragile and prone to osteoporosis.

Myths And Facts

Myth 1: Osteoporosis Is An Aging Woman’s Disease

Fact: It is true that bone loss accelerates with menopause, but osteoporosis takes years to develop and often begins at a young age. Bones begin building their density from infancy through early adulthood. Lifestyle preferences like lack of exercise, increased caffeine intake, lack of nourishment and chronic stress impair achieving maximum bone density. Diminished bone density males an individual prone to the disease. It is never too late to implement healthy lifestyle choices to prolong life of bones.

Myth 2: Consumption Of Dairy Products Prevents Osteoporosis

Fact: Calcium is undoubtedly required for bone strengthening. However, effective absorption of calcium depends on intake of bone building nutrients and other factors such as digestive health; rate of consumption of calcium depleting substances such as excess protein, salt, fat, sugar; use of drugs; stress etc. Therefore just adequate calcium intake without presence of other nutrients is not enough to prevent osteoporosis.

Myth 3: Low Bone Density Causes Osteoporosis

Fact: This isn’t always true. In persons undergoing fluoride treatment, the bone matrix often appears dense due to fluoride deposits, but this is hardly ever as strong as a calcium matrix. Medicine today recognises the absence of ‘self-repair’ mechanisms as the strongest indicator of osteoporosis. Bones are constantly undergoing breakdown and repair. Therefore presence of a self-repair mechanism is indispensible for a healthy bone and keeps bone disorders at bay. It is proven today that a woman with low bone density but strong self-repair capacity is not prone to osteoporosis, as one with strong bone density and poor self-repair capacity.

Myth 4: Oestrogen Supplementation Reduces Osteoporosis

Fact: Oestrogen increases calcium absorption in the gut and inhibits loss of calcium from bones. Therefore, women resort to oestrogen replacement to make up for its deficit during menopause and maintain healthy bones. But research has proven that oestrogen replacement only decreases bone loss but does not increase bone density. Moreover, oestrogen replacement increases a woman’s risk of breast and uterine cancer. One needs to understand that our body makes hormones strictly on a need basis. Laying more emphasis on other factors that promote calcium absorption post menopause will also help maintaining bone health.

Myth 5: Osteoporosis Is Hereditary

Fact: While family history does put an individual at a higher risk, not having a history doesn’t make you immune to it. Adopting healthy lifestyle practices at an early age like nutritious diet and exercise is a sure fire way to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

For women, many factors like being post menopausal, never being pregnant to a full term, premature menopause, amenorrhea, lack of muscle mass when compared to men, makes them more susceptible to osteoporosis. This is perhaps one of the reasons why it is labelled as a ‘woman’s disease’. Whatever the reasons, taking early steps to prevent, halt or reverse osteoporosis by clearing up facts is beneficial.

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When Mom Needs a Break

maternal stress

Mothers today, whether they work or stay at home, are more stressed out than ever before. Due to the rise in nuclear families most mothers, both single and married, perform more domestic duties alone. This along with society’s changing expectations regarding “ideal motherhood” compounds the daily stress mothers face today. This maternal stress, combined with stress faced by working mothers, can be detrimental to one’s health and well-being.

Stressed Mothers More Likely to View Their Children as Being Difficult

A study from the Journal of Pediatric Psychology revealed that maternal stress is more likely to cause mothers to view their children as being temperamentally difficult. The study, led by Stephen J. Sheinkopf, was conducted at Bradley Hospital, Brown Medical School and Women & Infants’ Hospital and consisted of asking a group of mothers, some of whom had indulged in cocaine use during pregnancy, how temperamental they viewed their infants to be.

The result was that extremely stressed out mothers, regardless of whether they engaged in drug use or not, were more likely to view their babies as being temperamental. It also found that low socioeconomic status exacerbated maternal stress. Past studies have revealed that high maternal stress is related to children exhibiting poor behavior. In addition to its negative impact upon children, built up stress can cause long-term health problems for mothers, ranging from ulcers to depression and anxiety.

Some Mothers Rebel Against Standards for Ideal Motherhood

Society’s changing expectations regarding ideal motherhood further aggravate maternal stress. Modern mothers today are expected daily to handle the housework, plan and prepare meals, ferry the kids to and from school/after-school activities, be actively involved in the PTA, entertain kids, help them with homework, break up the kids’ fights, maintain bedtime routines, and/or work outside the home all at the same time primarily on their own.

On top of this today’s mothers are expected to live by the latest trends in childcare and household maintenance, which include things like exclusively breastfeeding, preparing health conscious meals, sustaining an eco-friendly home life, busying kids with lots of kid-friendly outings and activities, and so on. While living by these trends is admirable, it becomes difficult to maintain when mothers are stressed by their more mundane domestic duties.

In response to modern society’s enormous expectations, some mothers have decided to openly rebel against it. French philosopher and feminist Elizabeth Badinter claims that mothers today have become slaves to their children. In her new book Le Conflit, La Femme et la Mere (The Conflict, the Woman, and the Mother), Badinter states that women should value themselves as being women first, mothers second, by ditching the latest mothering trends, engaging in some intermittent freedom away from home, and going back to work if they haven’t already.

In Australia Amanda Cox, mother of three, has formed the Bad Mothers Club, where she and her fellow “bad” mothers commiserate over having given up in the race to become perfect parents.

Some Helpful Tips for Stressed Mothers

Mothers can significantly reduce maternal stress through the following solutions. First, mothers should learn to make a schedule every day listing all the chores they intend to do. Next they should categorize these chores based on discovering which chores need to be done right away, which can be done later, and which don’t need to be done at all. Mothers should then simply perform all the necessary chores they are capable of doing, thereby significantly lowering their daily stress levels.

Secondly, mothers should learn to delegate chores and responsibilities to others. This can mean having both fathers and older children help out more around the house. It can also mean hiring someone to help out, whether around the house like a housekeeper or around the children like a nanny or teenage babysitter. Mothers can also form Mommy Co-ops within their communities and swap services with friends and neighbors facing the same predicament of having too much to do with so little time.

Thirdly, mothers should learn not to take on too many chores and activities at once. If for example the local community group asks a mother to volunteer for them on their upcoming project and she does not have the time and energy for it, politely decline the offer.

Finally mothers should take time out intermittently to relax and unwind, whether through shopping with friends, spending a romantic weekend with one’s spouse, or simply getting a makeover. Regular exercise can also help to significantly reduce one’s stress levels.

Mothers Should Not Stress Themselves Out

In living up to today’s standards for ideal motherhood, mothers face incredible amounts of stress. Such stress can lead mothers to experience long-term health problems and regard their children as being difficult. Some mothers have started defying society’s high expectations; most mothers however can benefit from applying a few simple and effective tips for reducing stress.

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Women Who are Juggling Work and Family

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According to the United States Census Bureau, as of October 1, 2008 there were over 154 million women in America, nearly four million more than the total number of men in the country during that same time period. More than half of the women were mothers; several operated their own businesses. As a whole, women-owned businesses employed more than seven million people. In fact, over $939 billion was generated from women-owned businesses in 2002. Additionally, women comprised 59% of America’s workforce which includes self-employed and other work forms.

Demands on Women to Perform

An August 2008 Consensus report stated that 90% of employed Americans commute to work each day. The average length of the daily commutes is from less than 20 minutes to 45 minutes or more. For mothers, before they begin their commute they wake, dress, feed and get their children off to school. It is no small wonder that working mothers are able to maintain their health and sanity.

It is not easy to put in a full day at the office, clean a home, cook hot meals, check a child’s homework, get that hour workout in at the gym and make it to the Saturday family get together at one’s mother-in-law’s wearing a wide grin. Yet, millions of women pull this off every day. Consequences of this hurried life are varied. For many women the madness starts in the morning.

Steps Working Mothers Can Take to Ease the Morning Rush

To help smooth out the at-home morning rush, climb out of bed half an hour before waking one’s children. Give children plenty of time to prepare for daycare or school. Rushed children can become agitated and irritable which only increases the stress a woman experiences. Take advantage of the school breakfast program. Prepare school lunches at night prior to going to bed. Fill the car with gas on the way home from work. Of course, married women should solicit and receive support from their husbands on a daily basis.

Working mothers will also benefit from setting aside an hour a day to relax and do an activity that they enjoy. Do not wash the dishes. Do not sweep the porch. Do not write out checks to pay monthly expenses. Relax. Make this one’s own time. Go on the front porch and sip a favorite tea. Put on headphones and listen to a smooth jazz CD. Stretch out across the sofa and flip through an enticing novel. If met with resistance from other family members, clearly tell them why one is resting and inform them that this hour is going to be incorporated into the daily routine. With consistent effort, the pattern will stick. After all, women aren’t born rushing around as little girls. Women learn this behavior and can therefore, unlearn it.

Change One’s Behavior and Influence Others to Follow Suit

Modern day demands placed upon working mothers are not easy to meet. Many of these demands are placed on working mothers from within. Women observe their own mothers and grandmothers being the jack-of-all-trades and making efforts to insure that everyone in the family is happy, fed and cared for. However, these demands can take a toll on working mothers and create stress.

To ease these burdens and reduce or eliminate stress, working mothers might well benefit from waking earlier than usual, giving their children enough time to prepare for daycare and school without feeling rushed and take care of regular activities such as putting gas in the car and preparing school lunches at night. Build in an hour a day to relax and engage in pleasant activities. This might be one of the most challenging tasks for a working mother as many women have a strong belief that they must stay busy and work for their families 24/7. If not, that familiar enemy called “guilt” may appear.

Overcome this by starting new patterns. A working mother should clearly communicate to her family that she is going to rest for an hour a day and then be consistent and do just this. In time, working mothers and their families will see that this beneficial change is not threatening and that the change, in fact, comes with a bounty of rewards. These positive yet simple behavioral changes will yield surprising and beneficial results for working mothers who are juggling a myriad of daily tasks.

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YAZ Potentially Unsafe Drug

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Women have been coming forward in increasing numbers in the last few months to file suit against Yasmin birth control, YAZ birth control, and the generic form Ocella. These contraceptives allegedly cause hyperkalemia and can lead to serious illness or death.

According to legal news sources, YAZ controls roughly 20% of the birth control pill market and is the most popular form of “the pill” in the United States. In the last year Bayer, which manufactures the YAZ and Yasmin pills, collected $1.8 billion in global sales off the products, making YAZ and Yasmin products the company’s highest-selling drug worldwide.

Serious Side Effects of Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella

While YAZ and Yasmin differ in dosage, they contain the same amount of drospirenone (DRSP), which is a synthetic progestin not found in other birth control pills. This compound allegedly elevates potassium, a condition also known as hyperkalemia.

Hyperkalemia can lead to disrupted heart rhythms and blood clots. Other side effects include stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis and even sudden death. Because YAZ and Yasmin are contraindicated for women over 35, these medical problems are more likely to occur in young women between the ages of 14 and 34, on whom Bayer has focused its advertising campaigns for YAZ.. The risks for women over the age of 35 are even higher.

FDA Warnings to Bayer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent multiple warnings to Bayer about their promotion and manufacturing practices regarding YAZ.

One such letter, sent in October 2008, warns the company that their advertisements distract the viewer from the side effects of the pill and undermine allowing the viewer to take seriously the dangerous and even life-threatening risk factors in taking YAZ. It also argues that certain YAZ commercials overstated the value of the drug to cure acne, when in fact such results have not been clinically proven.

In August 2009, Bayer received another warning from the FDA regarding a manufacturing plant in Germany that makes the DRSP for YAZ and Yasmin. The company was warned that its laboratory controls were deficient and that impurities had been found in their work. At least eight batches of DRSP were tested with a method unapproved by the FDA and shipped for use into the United States.

What Women Using YAZ Can Do

Women currently taking YAZ, Yasmin or Ocella need to consider strongly whether the risks are worth the cost. Other birth control options do not contain DRSP.

Any woman who is on YAZ, Yasmin or Ocella or has been on it in the past and who is experiencing symptoms of cardiac problems, respiratory illness or any other recently-developed health problems should see a doctor as soon as possible to check for any serious side effects to the drug.

Many personal injury attorneys are prepared to represent women and their families in court who have suffered from the use of these popular contraceptives. Any woman who has been the victim of stroke, heart attack or other illnesses potentially caused by the drug is entitled to speak to an attorney and become aware of her rights. She should seek out a qualified firm that is already prepared to take YAZ-related cases.

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Urinary Incontinence

urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is not a topic that turns up in most social conversations. In fact, it is an embarrassing affliction that affects nearly 30% of American women, and most oftentimes tends to go untreated for this very reason. Understanding incontinence is the first step in getting help and treating the problem.

There are different types of incontinence, each with easy-to-recognize symptoms:

  • Stress Incontinence – Urine leakage, either in drips or spurts, which occurs from stress on the bladder, usually from sneezing, coughing, laughing, late-term pregnancy, exercising or lifting heavy objects.
  • Urge Incontinence (also known as Overactive Bladder) – The inability to hold urine long enough to reach a toilet.
  • Overflow – The bladder often feels full, creating almost constant urgency, yet with very little output.
  • Combination – Several people suffer combinations of urinary incontinence.

The causes of urinary incontinence are many. It was once believed that age was a factor, however, according to the National Institute on Aging, this is not the case. Studies have shown that urinary incontinence can arise in anyone at any age from one or more of the afflictions listed below:

  • Damaged nerves that control the bladder
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Medications
  • Constipation
  • Tumors in or near the bladder, spinal cord or brain
  • Weak or inactive bladder muscles
  • Pregnancy (can resolve after childbirth)

Some of the problems that can be associated with a loss of bladder control are lack of sleep, social anxiety, decrease in sexual activity, urinary tract infections, rashes or sores, and depression, to name a few.

Before seeking a doctor, take this Self-Help Test to determine if there is a need for treatment. If it has been determined that there is an incontinence problem, there are medical tests that can determine the cause(s). Some are quite simple, such as urine tests, and others are more invasive, such as blood tests or tests that measure how well the bladder empties. A doctor will determine which tests are needed, based on the answers provided upon a medical history and examination of the patient.

Treatments are varied, depending on the type of incontinence that is diagnosed. Below are some of the treatments prescribed for incontinence:

  • Kegel Exercises – Used for strengthening the pelvic floor.
  • Bladder Control Training – Retraining the bladder by scheduling several visits to the bathroom each day. This type of treatment works well with the use of a Void Diary and taking careful notes of the times, urgency and amount of urine voided.
  • Medication – Doctors may prescribe medications to block the nerve receptors that receive or send signals to the bladder.
  • Surgery – When all else fails, surgery may be necessary. A surgeon may use a sling to suspend the bladder in place. The surgeon will discuss all options available to help the patient make an informed decision.

Preventing urinary incontinence is simple:

  • Fluids – Less is not more. Be sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. This helps helps the kidneys to function properly and keeps the bladder trained to recognize the need to void. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which promote extra urine production. Other drinks, such as acidic juices (tomato and grapefruit) can irritate the bladder. Avoid these drinks.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Even a few extra pounds can put pressure on the bladder and create incontinence. Exercise and diet are key components to a healthy bladder.

If any of the above symptoms applies to you or someone you know, the best course of action is to contact a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Incontinence doesn’t have to be a barrier to living a normal life.

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Understanding Perfume Allergies

perfume allergies

The difference between being “attractive” and having an “attractive personality” is that the latter is more than just good looks. Those with an “attractive personality” carry the right dose of confidence and high self-esteem, and are a perfect blend of “looking good” and “feeling good”. Perfumes are known to contribute to the ‘feel good’ factor. Just for this one reason, you find a lot of people dousing themselves in perfumes whether at work, social gatherings or even at home. However, there are some who are sensitive to perfumes and are known to have allergic reactions when exposed to certain fragrances.

What is “Perfume Allergy”?

Perfume allergy refers to the hyperactivity of the immune system due to agents present in certain fragrances which cause respiratory discomfort and eventually manifest as rash, nausea, vomiting, tingling of lips and even muscle and joint pain. Studies have proven that almost 1% of the population suffers from respiratory threats caused by allergens in perfumes and fragrances, sometimes even leading to asthma attack in severe cases. Perfume allergy is not limited to only those who wear it. Being in the presence of others wearing perfumes can also trigger an allergic reaction.

Classification of Perfume Allergy

According to experts, there are broadly three types of perfume allergies that are:

  1. Caused by direct contact with the allergen
  2. Caused by allergens in the air
  3. Caused by air borne particles of the perfume itself

In the first case, an allergic reaction often develops in the areas of application of the perfume. Classically, people with this type of allergy would first notice a skin rash or eczema of the armpits upon using a deodorant. However, this is the easiest to deal with and simply identifying and avoiding the use of certain fragrances can stop allergy.

In the second type, the allergic reaction is usually situational and is caused by allergens present in the scents in the air. For example, being in a confined room with someone else wearing a perfume or walking past the fragrances section in a store triggers allergy. This however is short-lived and can be resolved by simply moving away from the source.

The third type of allergy can be serious as it means extreme sensitivity to airborne particles of the perfume. Such individuals are prone to an allergic attack on a daily basis. Common symptoms of an acute case of perfume allergy are dizziness, vomiting, chest congestion, sore throat, asthma or even passing out.

“Perfume” and “Fragrance”- What’s The Difference?

We often use the words “perfume” and “fragrance” synonymously. The truth is, perfumes are a complex mixture of multiple fragrances that work together to give a characteristic scent. Therefore when we say “perfume allergy”, it refers to an allergy caused by a certain fragrance present in the perfume.

Fragrances are present everywhere starting from cleaning products to soaps, lotions, room fresheners and tissues. It is best if one can identify the fragrance causing the allergy and stay away from it.

What You Can Do to Avoid an Allergic Reaction

It is a must to visit your physician for the slightest of sensitivity experienced due to perfumes or fragrances. Perfume allergy is known to get worse with continuous exposure to allergens, making it necessary to take adequate precaution to avoid complications. A patch test or blood test is mostly done to identify the allergen.

Read labels thoroughly and buy products that are “fragrance or perfume free”. If you are sure of a particular fragrance that bothers you, avoiding just that would be sufficient. Most often, all fragrances are listed by their chemical components and therefore being well versed with them is advisable. The following list of fragrance and its corresponding chemical component could be a handy tool:

  • Odor of Hyacinth- Cinnamic alcohol
  • Warm spicy odor with a taste of cinnamon- Cinnamic aldehyde
  • Powerful spicy odor of clove and a pungent taste- Eugenol
  • Odor of clove weaker than that of eugenol- Isoeugenol
  • Sweet floral odor of rose- Geraniol
  • Intense odor of jasmine- Alpha amyl cinnamic alcohol
  • Sweet fresh odor of lily of the valley- Hydroxycitronellal
  • Earthy, wooden, masculine odor- Oak moss absolute

Create an allergen free zone at your home. Use HPEA filters for your heating and cooling system; get HPEA vacuum cleaners and HPEA air purifiers for your room.

Trade carpeting, drapery and even upholstered furniture for stuff that won’t hold on to allergens in the air.

Some of the compounds listed above are also present in certain foods. Consult your doctor and see if you need to avoid consuming such foods.

It can be extremely challenging to live with perfume allergy. It is possible to take precaution at home, however it can get extremely risky when one ventures out. Taking timely medical advice and changing your lifestyle can effectively help manage the condition.

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