Minggu, 26 April 2015

Top 3 Birth Control Options for Your Teenage Daughter
While a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that teen pregnancy rates are on the decline in 15- to 17-year-olds, there are still 1,700 births a week in this age group, meaning there's plenty of room for improvement.

So don't wait to sit down with your teenager and discuss safe sex practices and the possibility of birth control. And don't forget to talk about emergency contraception and the use of condoms for protection against sexually transmitted diseases. We know these discussions aren't easy—but they are important.

There are many methods of birth control, but not all are ideal for teenagers. Each method has its pros and cons, and it's important to discuss these with your daughter and her health care provider before choosing a method. Her health care provider should be the go-to resource when figuring out which birth control will be the best fit, but here are some of the top birth control methods for teenagers to get your discussion going.

1. Birth control pills
Pills are one of the most popular forms of birth control because they're effective, convenient, safe to use and easy to obtain with a prescription. Women take one pill each day, which delivers hormones that prevent eggs from leaving the ovaries and makes cervical mucus thicker, which keeps sperm from getting to the eggs. Combination hormone pills contain both estrogen and progestin. Some are progestin-only pills.

There are many additional benefits of birth control pills, including reduced menstrual cramps, lighter periods and some protection against pelvic inflammatory disease. Some types even help reduce acne, prevent bone thinning and alleviate premenstrual symptoms. Certain types let you have just four periods a year. However, there can be some side effects of birth control pills, like bleeding between periods, nausea and breast tenderness, which usually only last for the first few months.

They may be good for your daughter if she can be counted on to take the pill at the same time every day (progestin-only pills, also known as mini-pills, require more precise timing). If not, they won't be as effective. Find out more about how to effectively use birth control pills.

2. Birth control shot
The birth control shot (Depo-Provera) is a good option for women who aren't good at remembering to take a pill every day, since the injection is once every three months. The shot contains the hormone progestin to help prevent against pregnancy by working in the same way that birth control pills do.

In addition to effectively preventing pregnancy, the shot can also protect against endometrial cancer and iron-deficiency anemia. It has possible side effects like weight gain and irregular menstrual bleeding.

This is an easy option for your daughter if she's OK with getting regular injections and can make it to her doctor's office whenever she needs to get the next shot.

3. Birth control vaginal ring
The birth control vaginal ring (NuvaRing), is a small, flexible ring that a woman puts into her vagina for three weeks every month. It's easy to obtain with a prescription and is very effective. It works by releasing progestin and estrogen, and therefore has many of the same benefits and side effects as the pill and the shot. It may also cause increased vaginal discharge, vaginal irritation or infection.

A vaginal ring could be a good option for your daughter if she's comfortable inserting it and taking it out every month.

Resource: healthywomen.org

Top 3 Birth Control Options for Your Teenage Daughter

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Kamis, 23 April 2015

A sore throat can be the first sign of a cold, a side effect of strained vocal cords, or an indication of something more serious (like strep throat).

Regardless of the cause, your immediate concern when soreness strikes is how to get relief, fast. You may be tempted to run to your doctor, but some of the best treatments are home remedies and over-the-counter meds, says Jeffrey Linder, M.D., an internist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston.

Here are 5 to try the next time you're feeling scratchy, hoarse, or just plain sick.

1.    Anti-inflammatories
One of the most effective treatments for sore throat is probably already in your medicine cabinet: an over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Advil or Aleve.

"These medicines are combination pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, so they'll make you feel better and they'll also reduce some of the swelling associated with a sore throat," Dr. Linder says. "If you have a fever that's also contributing to your symptoms, they can help reduce that as well."

2.    Saltwater gargle
Several studies have found that gargling several times a day with warm salt water can reduce swelling in the throat and loosen mucus, helping to flush out irritants or bacteria.

Doctors generally recommend dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water. If the salty taste is too unpleasant for you, try adding a small amount of honey to sweeten the mixture slightly. (Just remember to spit the water out after gargling, rather than swallowing!)

3.    Lozenges and sprays
Sucking on cough drops stimulates saliva production, which can help keep your throat moist. But many varieties are no more effective than hard candies, Dr. Linder says. For an added benefit, choose brands with a cooling or numbing ingredient, like menthol or eucalyptus.

Over-the-counter sprays like Chloraseptic produce an effect similar to cooling lozenges. They won't cure your sore throat or help you fight off the underlying cold, but they may help dull the pain temporarily. Chloraseptic's active ingredient, phenol, is a local antiseptic that also has antibacterial properties, Dr. Linder says.

4.    Cough syrup
Even if you don't have a cough (yet), over-the-counter cough syrups can help ease soreness. Like drops and sprays, they coat the throat and provide temporary pain relief.

If you're headed to work, be sure to choose a non-drowsy formula. But if you're having trouble sleeping due to a sore throat, a nighttime formula like NyQuil (which contains a pain reliever and an antihistamine) or Robitussin AC (guaifenesin and codeine) can relieve pain and help you get some shuteye.

5.    Fluids
"Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you're sick and your throat is irritated or inflamed," Dr. Linder says. "You should be drinking enough fluid so that your urine is light yellow or clear. This keeps your mucous membranes moist and better able to combat bacteria and irritants like allergens, and makes your body better able to fight back against other cold symptoms."

What you drink is up to you, Linder adds. Water always works (ice cubes, too!), but you can also change it up with something slightly sugary, like a watered-down fruit juice, or something salty, like chicken broth.

Resource: Health.com

5 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat

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An experimental drug has cured monkeys infected with the Ebola virus, US-based scientists have said.

The treatment, known as TKM-Ebola-Guinea, targets the Makona strain of the virus, which caused the current deadly outbreak in West Africa.

All three monkeys receiving the treatment were healthy when the trial ended after 28 days; three untreated monkeys died within nine days.

Scientists cautioned that the drug's efficacy has not been proven in humans.

At present, there are no treatments or vaccines for Ebola that have been proven to work in humans.

University of Texas scientist Thomas Geisbert, who was the senior author of the study published in the journal Nature, said: "This is the first study to show post-exposure protection... against the new Makona outbreak strain of Ebola-Zaire virus."

Results from human trials with the drug are expected in the second half of this year.
Gene blocking

Mr Geisbert said the drug, produced by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, could be adapted to target any strain of Ebola and could be manufactured in as little as eight weeks.

It works by blocking particular genes, which stops the virus replicating.

The two-month production time compares with the several months needed to make ZMapp - another experimental drug, which cured monkeys with a different strain of Ebola than the one in the current outbreak.

Since March 2014, more than 10,602 people have been reported as having died from the disease in six countries - Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the US and Mali.

The total number of reported cases is more than 25,556.

It has been the deadliest occurrence of Ebola since its discovery in 1976.
Resource: BBC News

Ebola drug cures monkeys infected with West African virus strain

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Senin, 20 April 2015

What You Should Know About Waist Training
The Kardashians are “obsessed.” Jessica Alba claims it helped her return to her pre-baby body. But what exactly is “waist training,” and does it work? More importantly, is it safe? We talked with health and fitness experts to get the skinny on Hollywood’s latest must-have accessory: a modern-day corset.

Famous sisters Kim and Khloe have fueled plenty of interest in this trend, by posting Instagram photos of themselves in recent months wearing waist-training devices—essentially, bands of material that wrap tightly around the waist and lower rib cage to provide an instantly slimming, hourglass look.

Other models and celebs have touted the benefits of waist trainers, while actresses Brooke Burke-Charvet and Jessica Alba have credited similar products with helping them get back into shape after giving birth. (Alba says she wore an actual corset.)

Burke-Charvet even created her own line of waist wraps; one is designed for new moms and intended to reduce water retention and swelling of the uterus, “all while supporting that unwanted baggy baby skin.” Another product—a sport body wrap made of nylon and neoprene—is meant to be worn around the waist during exercise, with the intention of promoting “intense sweating.”

But do they deliver?

Not if you’re looking for anything more than temporary results, says Caroline Apovian, M.D., professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and a spokesperson for The Obesity Society.

“If you’re going out and want to look really thin, I don’t see a problem with wearing one of these for an evening,” she says. In fact, wearing a waist trainer may even help boost some women’s confidence and encourage them to exercise and eat healthy. “If you look in the mirror and like what you see, it can potentially be a good thing.”

But as for the claims that these devices can actually reshape the body or trigger fat loss, there’s no evidence. “In my opinion, that is complete nonsense,” Dr. Apovian says.

In fact, some experts believe that regularly wearing a waist trainer can actually decrease core strength—exactly the opposite of what you want if you’re aiming for a sexy stomach, says celebrity trainer Nicole Glor.

What are the risks?

If a waist trainer is too tight—which many of them appear to be, if recent celeb photos are any indication—it could cause discomfort, interfere with breathing, or contribute to heartburn. “Your stomach might get pushed up beyond the diaphragm, which could cause reflux,” says Dr. Apovian. “If you’re wearing one and you experience those symptoms, that’s a definite sign that you need to loosen it or take it off.”

Wearing a waist-cinching device for a workout isn’t a good idea either, says Glor, especially if it restricts your mobility or your ability to take full, deep breaths. “It can really affect your ability to work hard,” she says. “Plus, I would worry about back acne from the tight apparatus and extra sweat.”

What about for new moms?

Working out with a tight (but not too tight) waist band may help women who recently gave birth feel more comfortable, says Dr. Apovian. “If it helps everything feel a bit tighter and there’s less jiggle around your stomach, it may help you feel better about exercising.”

But having some extra support around the waist shouldn’t be an excuse for new moms to push themselves too hard or too fast, she says. And the devices’ other purported post-baby benefits are much less convincing. “The uterus is going to shrink when it feels like shrinking,” she says, “and you can’t get rid of water weight with a corset—that’s simply not true.”

Glor says she was instructed by a physical therapist to wear a post-natal waist band during certain core exercises after she had a C-section, because she’d developed a condition called diastasis recti that caused her ab muscles to separate and her intestines to push through the abdominal wall.

However, she says the device itself didn’t do much to help her condition. “And if it couldn’t fix the abs that were recently forced to separate, that doesn’t bode well for other women’s waistlines that has been formed over many years,” she points out. “Seems like a lot of pain, no gain.”

The bottom line

Waist trainers won’t have any lasting effect on waist size, shape, or appearance, Dr. Apovian says. They’ll make you look slimmer while you wear them, but you may have to put up with some discomfort—and maybe even some health risks—in return.

If you want tighter abs, Glor says, core exercises like planks (see video below) and twisting crunches can help define those stomach muscles. And to really lose inches around your waist, you have to do it the old-fashioned way: with proper nutrition and hard work, in the form of moderate- to high-intensity exercise. “People are always looking for a way to cheat or a quick fix to fitness, and the answer is there isn’t one.”
Resource: Health.com

What You Should Know About Waist Training

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How to Tell When Feeling Tired Is a Sign of a Health Problem
When should I see my doctor about my low energy?

In our go, go, go lives, it’s not always easy to spot problematic lack of energy. But if you’re sleeping a solid seven to eight hours a night and still feeling sluggish, that should raise a red flag. The best advice is to pay close attention to exactly how it feels so you can describe it to your doctor in detail. If your fatigue is more like weakness, for example, the problem might be your thyroid gland, which regulates energy levels; either an overactive or underactive thyroid can zap you. Blood tests will show if there’s an issue, and your doctor can prescribe medicines that help.

More general daytime sleepiness or fogginess, on the other hand, is more likely related to stress or a lingering infection. Your doctor might order a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea, which causes your breathing to pause while you snooze. This can disrupt your z’s, even if you don’t notice. To treat it, your doctor might prescribe a mouthpiece or breathing machine so you can get good rest.

If you also have breathlessness, that’s a possible sign of a heart condition like cardiomyopathy, a disease that causes overgrowth of the heart muscle. Treatment ranges from diet changes to surgery to remove tissue or implant a pacemaker. Finally, if you feel apathy, too, that’s a sign of depression or grief. Thankfully, most of the time persistent tiredness can be solved with a little detective work.

Resource: Health.com

How to Tell When Feeling Tired Is a Sign of a Health Problem

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4 Tips for Doing a Whole Food Cleanse
A cleanse means different things to different people. For some it’s simply about starting to eat clean and steer clear of indulgences, like sugar, alcohol, and processed foods. Others take a more extreme approach, nixing all grains, legumes (no hummus!), and even some or all fruits.

While I think a strict, ultra streamlined “jump start” is fine short-term, if you’re looking to “cleanse” for more than 5 to 7 days, here are my four rules of thumb for meeting your nutrient needs, and being able to stick with it (in other words without giving up and triggering a rebound binge).

Make a list of can- and can’t-live-withouts
For a lot of my clients, coffee, an occasional glass of red wine, or dark chocolate are deal breakers—if they can’t have these faves they know they just won’t stick to a plan, no matter how great they feel. And that’s OK, because the truth is the benefits of following a “modified cleanse” (mostly ideal with some extras) that lasts for 30 days or longer far outweigh the benefits of following a stricter plan that fizzles out after a week. You know yourself better than anyone, so do a reality check, and be honest. If you realistically can ditch bread and dairy, go for it. But if starting your day with green tea in place of java makes you downright miserable, find healthier compromises, like using almond milk in place of cream, and stopping at one cup. In order for a plan to work it has to be sane and sustainable.

Aim for balance
One of the reasons whole food cleanses have become popular is because liquid detoxes are too limiting. Many people have told me that they felt weak and cranky after trying juice-only plans, and the idea of only drinking produce just didn’t seem right. I agree. Within your “cleanse,” be sure to include not only plenty of veggies, but also some clean, lean protein, good-for-you fat, and portions of whole food starches that are in line with your body’s fuel demands—less before sedentary times, more prior to being active. For example, instead of just protein and steamed veggies, try greens and veggies tossed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs, topped with protein, and a small scoop of cooked, chilled quinoa. If you’re going to be on your feet or getting your heart rate up rather than sitting at a desk, add some fresh fruit. Balanced meals provide a broader spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and a healthier mix of the macronutrients needed to best support your metabolism.

Don’t ditch healthy whole foods
I’m all for living gluten free, as long as you replace gluten-containing grains with nutrient-rich alternatives, like quinoa, wild rice, pulses, potatoes, or squash. Some whole food cleanses abolish most or nearly all carbs, even whole food sources. Not only does that limit nutrients (and variety) but in my 15+ years of experience it’s also extremely difficult to stick with. When I tried it myself I was constantly frustrated. Yes, I could have guacamole, but only with veggies, not black beans. Almond butter was OK, but I couldn’t enjoy it swirled into oatmeal or spread onto apple or pear slices. I got bored with food fast, and found myself daydreaming about potatoes and chickpeas.

Plus, without adequate carbs my normally calm demeanor was replaced with chronic edginess. Everything got on my nerves. I had trouble concentrating, and getting through workouts, I couldn’t sleep, and my digestive system was, well, I’ll spare you the details! The experiment solidified my viewpoint on low-carb diets: even if you’ll lose more weight or shed pounds faster, eliminating carbs doesn’t promote optimal health. Also, it’s not necessary in order to lose weight. I’ve seen many people lose 50, even 100 pounds while still eating carbs—it’s all about eating the right kind (whole food versions) and not overdoing the portions.

Focus on making clean eating a lifestyle
In a previous post I noted that for some people, detoxes and cleanses have become a new way of purging. Bouncing back and forth between freewheeling overeating and a super strict cleanse isn’t balance. In fact, it may be a form of disordered eating. Rather than an all-or-nothing approach, aim to eat whole, healthy foods most of the time and build in splurges here and there. Just like with exercise, being on either end of the extremes (e.g. too much or none) doesn’t feel good. So if you’ve found yourself in a pattern of starting yet another “cleanse” after weeks of overindulging, work on breaking the cycle and finding a manageable middle ground.

Resource: Health.com
Read More: Best Tips for Succesfull Blogger

4 Tips for Doing a Whole Food Cleanse

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