How becoming a vegetarian can CURE diabetes: Plant-based diets improve blood sugar levels, scientists claim
Instead, women need a lot more to be turned on, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. "Women's interest in sex is extremely complicated," said Dr. John Randolph, a study author.
Today marks the start of the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund campaign, a time when we ask our readers to turn their thoughts to supporting local nonprofit agencies and services that care for those in need year-round. It's also a timely effort.
Women with healthier diets before an ovarian cancer diagnosis are less likely to die than women with poorer diets, according to study. A healthy diet before diagnosis may indicate a stronger immune system and, indirectly, the capacity to respond favourably to cancer therapy, says lead author Cynthia A. Thomson of Health Promotion Sciences at the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
But he believes privacy should take a back seat to the pap test at an early age for this major screening. The doctor calls the pap test one of the oldest and best screening tests for women.
Before: 326 pounds
After: 172 pounds
I was about nine years old when I really started to gain weight, but I've been heavy my entire life. By age 10, I was wearing a women's size 10 pant. When I reached my preteens, I weighed 210 pounds, and everything snowballed from there. I've tried diets—maybe losing 10, 15, 20 pounds—but the weight would come right back. If I had to pinpoint my exact problem, it'd be my eating habits. I ate everything, especially when I was feeling extra-emotional. It was entirely mindless eating. Growing up, I was always teased about my size; I couldn't dress like my friends. I felt like I needed to control something, and food was my only option.
On my 30th birthday in May 2012, I’d had it. I don't know what really pushed me to make this decision, but I knew that I couldn't weigh this much forever. I have a 10-year-old (she was seven back then), and her father had passed away a few years earlier. I'm all she had left, and I realized that I have to be someone who's going to be around to watch her grow up.
It was a very slow progression, but it was worth the time spent. First, I eliminated soda from my diet and lost about 20 pounds. Then, I cut back on the junk food and my calorie intake and dropped another 25 pounds in a year. I didn't have a big goal in mind, so that accomplishment made me excited to continue along this path. By May 2013, I'd lost 50 pounds—which felt like a major milestone, so I kept at it. I really paid attention to my food. I quit eating out—and cooked more meals at home. Basically, I replaced all the bad things going into my belly with healthier choices. I consciously think about what I'm eating—it's what gets me to stop emotionally noshing on the bad stuff. Since I have a child around, I do keep some sweet stuff in the house. But whenever I feel the urge to make a poor choice, I ask myself, "Is this worth it?" Some days, I think it is! But I'm only human—nobody's perfect.
It wasn't until around August 2013 when I started to work out. I've hit the weight room with some strength training and do total-body exercises three days a week. The other days I run. Before I started losing weight, I couldn't even walk a mile—it felt like I would die. But I forced myself to walk a little bit every day. Eventually, I motivated myself to start running 5-Ks. I finished my first 10-K this past October, and I'm currently training for a 15-K this upcoming February.
Last year, my daughter and I went to Disney World after I had lost roughly 50 pounds. I still couldn't fit on a rollercoaster, so neither of us could go on the ride. She was really disappointed, but I looked her in the eye and told her, "Never again will I not be able to do something that you want to do because of my weight." After I lost more weight, we went to another amusement park that's closer to where we live, and the two of us fit into the seats.
Later, when my daughter hugged me and her arms wrapped around my entire body for the first time, she said, "Mommy, my hands touch!" It really motivated me to continue this journey. I want to teach her that things won't be easy, but the payoff is phenomenal. I'm actually smaller now than I was at age 10!
Record what you eat. Whenever I eat, I log it in an app and jot down everything I've eaten—sort of like a food journal—to see exactly what I should (and shouldn't) be putting into my mouth. It really makes me aware of my diet and keeps me accountable.
Make a workout schedule. Once you learn to make exercise a priority—which you can do—this will become a habit. So what if you show up late to a party? At least you're sticking to your goals.
Do it for yourself. Nobody could ever tell me to lose weight—I had to realize that I was ready to do it for myself. If you're not ready to do it, you're not going to be able to do it.
Jessica Welch, 32, stands at 5'6" and lives in Waco, Texas.
In case you haven't heard, some experts are warning that gonorrhea could soon be very difficult to treat. This worry is based on the infection's history of becoming resistant to certain antibiotics, which is actually downright terrifying.
According to the CDC, they updated their treatment guidelines in 2010 after lab data found that the antibiotic cefixime was becoming less effective against it. They changed the guidelines again in 2012 to ditch cefixime altogether and instead suggest an injectable antibiotic called ceftriaxone plus an oral antibiotic (either azithromycin or doxycycline). New data from the CDC seems to show that these bacteria are becoming easier to treat with these drugs, at least in the U.S., though more research is needed.
Unfortunately, there are still a few cases of drug-resistant strains of the infection popping up around the globe, the most recent of which occurred in December 2013 in Australia.
This particular case, detailed in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, involved a young woman who had sex with a new partner while traveling through Australia. She first developed vaginal discharge and visited one clinic, where she was tested for STDs and given antibiotics. When she continued having symptoms, she visited another clinic, where she told doctors that she had since received a phone call from the first office telling her she had gonorrhea.
"When we tested the gonorrhea bug from this patient for antibiotic resistance, we found that it was technically resistant to ceftriaxone," says study co-author David M. Whiley, M.D., of Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute. "We had never seen this type of gonorrhea resistance in Australia before, and so [it] was quite alarming. The patient was successfully treated with a combination of two drugs, ceftriaxone plus azithromycin."
So what do these reports tell us about the future of gonorrhea? "The history of gonorrhea resistance tells us that once the bug starts to show signs of resistance, then it is generally not very long, perhaps only a few years, before such strains become commonplace," says Whiley. "Reports of ceftriaxone-resistant gonorrhea have only been very sporadic, with only four to date. But combined they provide mounting evidence that gonorrhea may soon become very difficult to treat."
The CDC confirms that they still only have one first-line of treatment, so new treatments are needed in case resistance to the current cure develops again, which can definitely happen. They are currently addressing this issue and monitoring trends through several initiatives, including the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (GISP), which looks at strains of gonorrhea in the U.S.
Okay, so this is all generally nightmare-inducing, but here's the good news: The vast majority of cases of gonorrhea are currently curable with antibiotics, and there are researchers working to ensure that we stay on top of any future antibiotic resistance. That said, this is just one more reason to practice safe sex (that means using a condom every single time until you're both mutually monogamous and know you're disease-free because yo've been tested).
"There are already plenty of reasons why people should consider practicing safe sex, and, in my opinion, HIV remains on the top of that list," says Whiley. "The potential to acquire gonorrhea, including drug-resistant gonorrhea, is simply another good reason."
The CDC recommends annual screening for gonorrhea for any at-risk, sexually active women, so be sure to ask for it if you've been with anyone new since the last time you were tested. Here's why: Gonorrhea is often symptomless in women, though you may experience pain urinating, increased vaginal discharge, or bleeding between periods, according to the CDC. If you do test positive for gonorrhea, take the antibiotics according to your doctor, and check in with them. "If you are diagnosed with gonorrhea and you still have symptoms following treatment, then definitely get back to your doctor and let them know," says Whiley.
The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network, an initiative of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine, recognized Pen Bay Medical Center with a gold level award for taking steps to create a tobacco-free hospital environment and supporting tobacco-free lifestyles for patients, staff and the community. The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence awards program celebration, held at the Maine Hospital Association Nov. 20, highlighted the efforts of Maine hospitals.
A group of Wall Street analysts predicted Friday that enrollment in health law insurance plans will be higher than the 9 million projected by the Obama administration because insurers are aggressively courting new customers and more small businesses are likely to send workers to the online exchanges in 2015.
Health sector analyst Carl McDonald of Citi Investment Research said he expects about 11 million people to enroll in individual health plans, based on his firm’s survey of clients in October.
“I’m more optimistic,” McDonald said at the 19th annual “Wall Street Comes to Washington” roundtable, sponsored by the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy.
More aggressive outreach by insurers and fewer glitches with the online marketplaces will create a “robust 2015,” agreed Ralph Giacobbe, an analyst at Credit Suisse.
But the analysts noted continuing challenges for insurers, from improving what McDonald called a “pretty poor” first-year effort to inform consumers about which doctors and hospitals are in their networks, to controlling spending as high-priced drugs hit the market.
Insurers are also projecting that this year’s enrollees will be younger and healthier than those who signed on in 2014, when the average age was 41, McDonald said. That was a problem for insurers who based this year’s premium rates on the expectation they would see younger customers, he said.
The analysts agreed that enrollment would be unaffected by the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a lawsuit challenging the provision of subsidies to residents of states that are relying on the federal exchange. Only 14 states ran their own marketplaces this year.
Nick Leventis, an independent health care sector analyst, said concerns about the case are overblown because the government “could easily give some type of waiver to the states to shift from the federal to the state exchange.”
But McDonald was less sanguine, although he said insurers are already discussing workaround ideas with state insurance officials. Still, he said that not all of the states would act if the court invalidated the subsidies. Some governors and state legislators would be unlikely “to do anything to help reform,” he said.
Giacobbe predicted that governors and lawmakers in such states would be under great pressure, not only from the hospital and insurance industries, but also from consumers, to find ways to keep the subsidies flowing.
It’s hard to take away a program once people are using it, he said, predicting, “This is not going to derail the ACA.”
Should subsidies be cut off by a ruling from the Supreme Court, the marketplaces where the subsidies were no longer available would essentially cease to function since all but the sickest customers would likely drop coverage, the analysts said.
Most women's priorities after having a baby are pretty predictable: Nurture and care for their little bundle of joy, get as much sleep as they can, and get back to their pre-pregnancy weight ASAP. Putting that last item on your to-do list, however, is one of the biggest mistakes that new moms make, says Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You're Expecting.
Recently, Murkoff released a new edition of What to Expect the First Year (which hasn't been updated in 11 years!). And this time around, nutrition—both for baby and mom—was a big focus.
"Eating well has so many benefits for busy new moms," says Murkoff, who notes that getting the right nutrients gives mothers the stamina they need to function. "Energy depends on a steady flow of fuel." But skipping meals or skimping on nutrients in an attempt to lose pregnancy weight is a fast route to exhaustion.
What's more, trying to lose weight too quickly could backfire: "Good nutrition speeds recovery, and when part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, it can help you lose the baby weight at a steady rate," says Murkoff.
Those aren't the only reasons to focus on getting adequate amounts of all your essential nutrients when you're a new mom, though.
"Probably some of the most important research [conducted since the last edition of the book came out] has been around the impact of mom's eating well on a baby's development and future health, particularly during the first 1,000 days," says Murkoff. "Once solids are introduced—at six months—a baby begins to model eating habits that tend to stick, for better or worse."
Murkoff recommends making it as simple as possible to eat well. "Having ready-to-grab healthy snacks on hand is key," she says. "And take shortcuts to healthy meals—make extra chicken breast to freeze, buy bags of ready-to-eat veggies and salad, cans of wild salmon." Need some inspiration? Check out what nutritionists eat when they only have five minutes to prepare a meal.
Just like there’s a lot women don’t know about how their vaginas change with age, so much happens to your breasts as you get older. The changes range from their appearance to how they feel, so it’s smart to stay in the know with what’s going on. Ready to get familiar with your chest? Read on to learn what you can expect as the years go by.
In Your 20s…
Tons of Changes
Your breast size can fluctuate for various reasons in this decade, according to Lisa Jacobs, M.D., associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine. First, you may be dropping the freshman 15, your metabolism may slow, or perhaps you’re otherwise settling into your adult weight. “The breasts will change in size as you gain or lose weight,” says Jacobs. Beyond that, there’s pregnancy. “In their 20s, many women get pregnant, so there’s the breast enlargement that happens with that weight gain and preparing for lactation,” she says. After the lactational changes, your breasts may seem either smaller or larger than they were before pregnancy. Pregnancy can also make your areolas darker and your nipples larger, though those both return to their pre-pregnancy states after delivery.
Common Lumps and Bumps
Fibrocystic change, which is a very common condition characterized by benign lumps in one or both breasts, often emerges when women are in their 20s, says Jacobs. Women at this age might be dealing with changes in their menstrual cycles, which means differences in hormones like estrogen. That can cause breasts to get swollen lumps, which are often totally normal. If you feel a lump that hurts but also feels a lot like another area in the same breast or the other one, that’s a sign it’s probably fibrocystic change rather than something worrisome (lumps associated with cancer usually aren’t painful, according to Jacobs). Still, be sure to check with your doctor if you notice any major changes.
In Your 30s…
After having a few kids, the skin of your breasts can start to stretch because of the associated weight gain and loss. “That can lead to stretch marks or ptosis, which is a drooping of the breasts," says Jacobs. This is especially true if you’ve had to deal with significant weight changes during and after pregnancies, so don’t be alarmed if stretch marks appear, though they’re still more likely to show up on your stomach.
In Your 40s…
A Little Bit Softer Now
In your 40s, menopause leads to more breast changes as your ovaries start to produce less estrogen. At this point, your breasts go through what’s called involution, which is when the breast tissue is replaced by fat, which is softer, so they don’t feel as firm, says Jacobs. Involution doesn’t happen uniformly, so one part of the breast may get fatty, leaving the tissue next to it feeling like a lump in relation. If the lumps are soft, like the side of your nose, that’s not a red flag. If they’re a bit firmer like the bridge of your nose, they should be evaluated. Either way, doing frequent self-exams can help you notice any differences you might want to bring up to a doctor. “We encourage women to do them regularly so they can stay on top of how their breasts are changing,” says Jacobs.
Decrease in Density
Although you can experience ptosis after major weight loss or pregnancy, it’s more likely to come on naturally as you age. The elasticity of your breasts can decline because the sag-preventing collagen starts to give way. This is also when your breasts become less dense. That's one of the reasons why mammograms are advised after age 40, because doctors are able to see better due to reduced density, says Jacobs.
More from Women’s Health:
How Dense Are Your Breasts?
7 Ways to Keep Your Breasts Healthy
31 Ways to Have More Fun With Your Boobs Every Day