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22.2.16

Cranky? Drink a Glass of Water

Mild dehydration can trigger headaches, fatigue, and poor concentration among otherwise healthy men and women, according to two recent studies from the University of Connecticut.

Turns out trips to the water cooler boost your brainpower and improve your mood, in addition to providing a healthy dose of gossip.

In two separate studies, researchers from the University of Connecticut studied the effects of mild dehydration on both men and women.

Women experienced headaches, fatigue, and struggled to concentrate. They also perceived tasks as more difficult, though the low-level dehydration didn’t hinder their cognitive abilities. Slightly dehydrated men had trouble with mental tasks, particularly those involving memory and attention to detail. Overall, the studies concluded that women are more susceptible to such dehydration-induced changes in mood than men. So drink up, ladies.


The trouble with mild dehydration: You feel it mentally before you do physically.

Mild dehydration is measured as a roughly 1.5 percent loss in normal water volume in the body, but according to Lawrence E. Armstrong, PhD, one of the studies’ lead authors and a professor of physiology in UConn's Department of Kinesiology in the Neag School of Education, we don’t feel thirsty until we are anywhere from 1 to 2 percent dehydrated. “By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform," he said in a release.

21.2.16

A Stroke Prevention Guide for Women


When you’re living a heart-healthier lifestyle, you’re not only working to protect your ticker, but you’re also helping your brain ward off stroke. There are two types of these “brain attacks”: The most common is ischemic, in which a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked; the second type is hemorrhagic, in which a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. (behind heart disease and cancer), and women are more likely to die from it than men. In fact, this year, more than 100,000 women under 65 will suffer one, according to the American Stroke Association. Serious side effects can result, including vision problems, paralysis, memory loss, and speech and language problems, and sometimes even death.

While many of the risk factors for stroke and heart disease are similar (high-blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise and a diet high in fat and salt), some are unique—especially for women. Here’s the lowdown.

19.2.16

The X Factor: How Heart Disease Affects Men and Women Differently


By Austin O’Malley



Heart disease may be the number one worldwide killer of both men and women, but that doesn’t mean it affects us in the same way. In fact, there are some key differences in how the condition manifests—and knowing what they are is one of the first steps in warding it off. Neica Goldberg, M.D., author of Total Heart Care highlights a few of the unique factors in men and women, along with a few tips that can benefit us all:

Women and Heart Disease

  • One third of women have some form of cardiovascular disease.
  • Women tend to develop heart disease 10 years later than men. Scientists believe the estrogen produced prior to menopause helps regulate cholesterol, decreasing heart attack risk, according to the American Heart Association.
  • However, when heart attacks strike early—before age 50—they’re twice as likely as men’s to be fatal.
  • Heart attack symptoms in women tend to be different, and often more subtle, than those in men. According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, early heart attack signs in women can mimic the flu: extreme weakness, unusual fatigue, headaches, nausea and stomach upset. Chest pain may not be present. Other commonly reported symptoms are sleep disturbance, jaw pain, and shortness of breath.

Men and Heart Disease


  • The average age for men to have their first heart attack is 66.
  • Men are at greater risk for heart attacks, even after women experience menopause according to the AHA. One possible reason why: Much lower levels of estrogen.
  • Arterial plaque in men tends to form in clumps, which makes it easier to find, according to WHF. Women’s tend to develop more evenly throughout blood vessel walls, and thus, more difficult to spot.
  • Typical male symptoms of heart attack include chest discomfort or pain, upper body pain, stomach pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, lightheadedness and sweating.

What everyone needs to know:

If you experience any of the heart attack symptoms described above—regardless of your sex—call 911. Early, rapid treatment offers the best odds for treatment. If it turns out to be a false alarm, so be it. You can rest easier knowing that you put your health, and yourself, first.


18.2.16

Home Remedies for Smooth Skin


Smooth skin can be achieved using natural ways. The texture of your skin, pigmentation and tone can be improved with the help of some natural ingredients. Many of the time we are not aware of what miracle a simple ingredient in your kitchen cabinet can do for you.

Here is a collection of some less popular home remedies for smooth skin which are very effective and reliable. See how you can use the natural ingredients to get the smooth and glowing skin.

Turmeric Powder, Milk and Gram Flour Natural Scrub
Gram flour since many decades has been used to cleanse and beautify the skin. Gram flour helps in removing tan, lightens the dark skin tone and even helps in fighting pimple and pimple marks.

Milk contains lactic and this makes it the ideal ingredient to be used for skin lightening remedy. Try this awesome remedy of turmeric powder and gram flour scrub to lighten your skin tone naturally in just one application of this remedy!

Things you need

  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Gram flour – 1 tbsp
  • Milk – 3 tsp
  • Lukewarm water – ½ cup
  • Bowl
Process

  1. Take a bowl and add the turmeric powder and the gram flour in it and mix it well.
  2. Now into this gram flour and turmeric powder mixture add the milk and mix it well to form a smooth paste like consistency.
  3. Later apply this gram flour and turmeric powder paste all over the face and neck area.
  4. Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes or until it dries completely.
  5. Later splash your face with lukewarm water and using the tips of your fingers gently massage the paste deep into your skin and scrub it gently in circular motions.
  6. This process needs to be followed once in a week for two weeks to have a smooth skin.

Attention Men: Here's the Basic Guide to Looking Good in 4 Easy Steps


For those who think that following a face-care regime is only for women, think again! Men have harder skin which undergoes pollution. When their shaved skin is exposed to pollution and sweat, it gets more susceptible to pimples, blackheads or even skin discolouration. Men and women alike should follow basic facial care regime including cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and so on. A bit of indulgence in personal grooming will not only make you look good but also keep those years and wrinkles off your face. According to Chandrika Mohan, who works in the area of personal care, research and development at The Himalaya Drug Company, men should opt for face wash with natural ingredients, use after-shave products according to skin-type and more to take care of their facial skin.

Apart from that, she summarizes in few points some of the most basic facial care tips for men.

For daily face cleaning, a face wash with natural ingredients must be used to remove surface impurities to refresh the skin without over-drying it and subjecting it to any chemicals.

A right shaving routine is a must for every man. Usage of after-shave products that suit your skin is ideal more so, since after shaving men's skin pores get exposed to outside air. If needed, usage of natural or herbal face washes for cleansing post shave makes sure you are cleaning the skin naturally.

Moisturizing your skin is essential to avoid dryness. For a well-nourished skin it is recommended to use moisturizers according to your skin-type.

17.2.16

Do You Need a Prescription for Exercise?

People who lead sedentary lifestyles could benefit from a medically prescribed, slow and progressive approach to physical fitness, one Mayo Clinic researcher argues.

Physical inactivity should be treated as a medical condition, rather than simply a cause or a byproduct of other medical conditions, Michael Joyner, MD, a physiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., writes in a position paper in this month's Journal of Physiology.

Americans spend about 10 hours a day participating in sedentary activities, from sitting at a computer to watching television to driving, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. All that couch time is widely seen as a great health threat — one recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine even linked sitting to a higher risk of all-cause mortality. (The more hours per day you spend sitting, the worse your health outlook, the study reported.) Numerous studies have found a correlation between sitting and cancer risk, diabetes, heart disease, and more chronic conditions.

“I would argue that physical inactivity is the root cause of many of the common problems that we have,” Joyner says in a release. “If we were to medicalize it, we could then develop a way, just like we’ve done for addiction, cigarettes and other things, to give people treatments, and lifelong treatments, that focus on behavioral modifications and physical activity. And then we can take public health measures, like we did for smoking, drunken driving and other things, to limit physical inactivity and promote physical activity.”

16.2.16

How Fit Are You? A Fitness Test for Adults

Simple fitness tests – most of which you can do at home – will clue you in to your heart strength, balance, and flexibility and give you a blueprint for improvement.

You owe it to yourself to make fitness a priority. Physical fitness can help prevent more than 40 chronic diseases including potential killers such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and even cancer.

But how do you know whether you're fit? Your overall fitness is a measure of four physical abilities — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility — and body composition or body mass index (BMI). BMI tracks height and weight only while a body composition test, which calculates your fat and lean muscle mass, is an excellent indicator of overall fitness. For a more hands-on approach, try these personal trainer-approved fitness tests to see how you stack up.

Endurance and Cardiovascular Fitness Tests
Your endurance level reflects the health of your cardiovascular system — your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.

The VO2 Max Test: When you exercise intensely, you'll eventually reach a point when your body cannot breathe any harder to keep up. That's your VO2 max — the milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight (ml/kg/min). The more oxygen that circulates throughout your body when you exercise, the fitter you are. This is a test endurance exercisers might want to determine how much oxygen they use during intense workouts, says Mario Serban, co-founder of the LA Training Room in Los Angeles and trainer of Dancing With the Stars contestants. Because the VO2 max test requires a special face mask and other equipment, it has to be administered by a professional, usually an exercise scientist or physiologist. Talk to your doctor about your heart health before pursuing a test.

The Step Test: A simpler way to test your cardiovascular strength is the step test, says Mark Reifkind, owner of Girya Russian Kettlebells in Palo Alto, Calif. To perform the test, you need a 12-inch-high step and someone to time you. Step on the block with your right foot and then with your left so that you're standing on the step, facing forward. Reverse, going down with your right foot and then your left. Repeat this process at a consistent pace for three minutes. Rest in a chair for one minute. Then, take your pulse for six seconds and multiply that number by 10 to determine your heart rate for one minute.

The results will vary depending on your age and gender. For men ages 18 to 25, a 60-second pulse rate between 85 and 100 is average to above average; 84 or less is good to excellent, while 101 or higher is fair to poor. For men ages 46 to 55, a pulse rate of 93 or lower is good to excellent, while 113 or higher is fair to poor.

14.2.16

6 Toothpaste Ingredients You Need to Avoid

You're brushing your teeth to take care of your health, so don't use counterproductive ingredients.
"Brush three times a day!" You probably grew up hearing that conventional oral-hygiene wisdom, but unfortunately, doing so today could pose an unnecessary threat to your health, thanks to certain bad-actor ingredients cropping up in popular toothpaste brands. The kicker? Some of the worst ingredients don't even help keep your teeth cleaner. "Does the risk outweigh the benefits?" asks Linda A. Straub-Bruce, BS Ed, RDH, author of Dental Herbalism. "It's what I always ask my patients to consider."

She recommends avoiding these six ingredients that just aren't worth the risk.

#1. Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)
SLS seems to fuel canker sores. Researchers have linked SLS to higher numbers of canker sore outbreaks. As if that's not enough, SLS also seems to cause more frequent outbreaks that last longer, too, Straub-Bruce says. She also points out that there is a definite correlation with cold sensitivity. No one likes canker sores or sensitive teeth, so manufacturers must have a really good reason to justify its inclusion, right?

Nope.

"All it does is foam," explains Straub-Bruce. "There is no other viable purpose other than the experience. This doesn't translate into better health or lower microbial load, but people associate foaming with clean." In fact, she suggests that you get more cleaning power from the scraping action of brushing or flossing (or even just eating a carrot) than you do from SLS.

#2. Triclosan 
"About 15 years ago, triclosan came to oral care because it fights the bacteria in plaque for up to 12 hours," says Straub-Bruce. Unfortunately, research is now showing that, much like BPA, triclosan is a hormone disruptor.

The Crazy Way Seltzer Water Could Actually Rot Your Teeth


Seltzer water, or sparkling water, may seem like a natural alternative to regular water or a healthy swap for diet and regular soda, but a new collection of findings shows that your drinking habit is going to wreak havoc on your teeth. 

The fascinating question sparked immediate interest, and Khazan, who once drank a dozen cans of La Croix sparkling water in one day, discovered the awful truth about the popular beverage.

First, for the good news.

"Unless they're flavored with citric or other acids, seltzers tend to have more neutral pH values than soft drinks like Coke," Khazan writes. "While bottled flat water has a pH of about 7—or totally neutral—that of Perrier is about 5.5."

But when you add in the flavors, the essentially harmless drink starts to get worrisome. One 2007 study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry observed what happened to teeth after 30 minutes of exposure to flavored sparkling water and discovered that the drink was just as damaging to the teeth as the acidic orange juice.

The carbonic acid, which helps carbonate the water, starts to wear away tooth enamel over time. That news may cause some die-hard seltzer water drinkers to abandon their habit.


Source : www.prevention.com

13.2.16

What a Good Depression Treatment Plan Looks Like

A good depression treatment plan may require you to change the way you exercise, eat, sleep, and take care of your overall health. Find out why.

Major depression is a complex illness, and the most effective depression treatment attacks it from a number of fronts. When you sit down with your doctor to map out a plan, expect a wide-ranging discussion about medication, therapy, your overall health, and even your eating, exercise, and sleep habits.

During your first appointment, you’ll need to schedule enough time for your doctor to review your medical history and diagnosis, says Sanjay Mathew, MD, a psychiatrist and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

A good rapport with your doctor is a must. Research published in 2014 in the journal Health Communication showed that women who feel their doctor listens carefully to them are more likely to stick with their depression treatment. This is especially important because follow-through is essential to recovery.

Elements of a Good Depression Treatment Plan

Because each person is different, each person’s depression is different, and various factors can affect depression, a good treatment plan must encompass a range of treatment options and lifestyle changes. These may include:

  • Therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), behavioral activation, psychodynamic, and interpersonal therapies have been shown to be effective treatment options for major depression. “Most people with depression could benefit from therapy,” Dr. Mathew says. And therapy can take place one-on-one or in a group setting. If you try one type of therapy and it doesn’t work for you, don’t give up. Ask for a referral to a different therapist who might be a better match.
  • Antidepressant medications. Don’t assume that you’ll automatically be prescribed medication. “The decision is often a question of severity,” Mathew says. “If depression is severe, medication is likely to be used early. If the problems are more chronic, perhaps milder, but not associated with much disability in daily functioning, then other interventions might be

6 Ways to Take a Mental Vacation

Sometimes you need to get away, but you don't have the time or money. Don't despair: A mental vacation can help reduce your stress.  


Small stressors can quickly add up to major stress and one big stressful event can send you reeling, with no idea of how to start addressing it. If you could just get away for a little stress relief, you know you would be okay. But too few of us have the time — or the money — to run off on an impromptu vacation.

Well, you don't have to spend a dime or go anywhere other than a quiet spot nearby to take a mental vacation.

Stress Relief: Take Off on a Mental Vacation

If you don’t find a way to reduce stress, your health will pay the price, both mentally and physically. It’s not necessary to get a lengthy massage or head to a beach to relax — you can unwind every day in simple ways and still get a major benefit.

"People who are under a lot of stress have physical problems related to constantly being under stress," says Sally R. Connolly, a social worker and therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. "And if you don’t find ways [to relieve it], even in small periods of time, you can have long-term consequences." It's crucial to add stress relief to your everyday routine, she says.

12.2.16

Sleep deprivation can get you into serious trouble: Study

According to the study, sleep-deprived people are more prone to signing false confessions, leading to wrongful convictions. Makes you think what other kinds of trouble they could get into.
    The odds of signing a false confession were 4.5 times higher for participants who had been awake        for 24 hours than for those who had slept eight hours the night before.

Sleep deprived people are more likely to falsely confess to wrongdoings that never occurred, according to a new groundbreaking study that has important implications for police interrogation practices.

The odds of signing a false confession were 4.5 times higher for participants who had been awake for 24 hours than for those who had slept eight hours the night before, researchers found. “This is the first direct evidence that sleep deprivation increases the likelihood that a person will falsely confess to wrongdoing that never occurred,” said Kimberly M Fenn, associate professor at Michigan State University.

“It’s a crucial first step towards understanding the role of sleep deprivation in false confessions and, in turn, raises complex questions about the use of sleep deprivation in the interrogation of innocent and guilty suspects,” Fenn said. False confessions in the US are thought to account for 15-25 percent

Eat barley to reduce blood sugar level, risk of cardiovascular disease

You can use barley in salads, soups, stews, or as an alternative to rice or potatoes.
       Barley leads to increase in gut hormones which regulate metabolism and appetite.

Eating a special mixture of dietary fibres found in barley can help reduce appetite and blood sugar levels, finds a new study.
According to researchers, barley can also rapidly improve people’s health by reducing risk for cardiovascular disease.

“It is surprising yet promising that choosing the right blend of dietary fibres can — in a short period of time — generate such remarkable health benefits,” said Anne Nilsson from Lund University in Sweden.

Approximately 11-14 hours after their final meal of the day, participants were examined for risk indicators of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The study was conducted with healthy middle-aged participants who were asked to eat bread largely made out of barley kernels (up to 85 percent) for three days — at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

11.2.16

The Beauty Benefits of Exercise

By 
Working out not only helps your figure, but also improves your complexion. Learn why exercise may be one of the best skin remedies for acne, wrinkles, dull skin and more.

There are plenty of reasons to exercise. For some, it’s because you booked a beach vacation, while others are focused on staying healthy. No matter what your motivation is, we can all agree that the benefits of exercise are obvious. But there’s a stealthier payoff: healthy skin. Read on to learn more about the skin and beauty rewards that come from regularly working up a sweat.

Instant Glow 
When you get your heart pumping from aerobic exercise, you’re supplying your skin with a nice dose of oxygenated blood, says NoĆ«lle S. Sherber, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Baltimore, Maryland. “It gives you that great post-workout glow.”

Wrinkle Reduction 
Working out also helps maintain healthy levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, Sherber says. “Elevated cortisol levels are linked to increased sebum production, which means more acne breakouts,” she says. Too much cortisol can also cause the collagen in the skin to break down, Sherber says, which can increase wrinkles and sagging. “Exercise actually supports the production of collagen,” says Amy Dixon, a Los Angeles–based exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer. “The boost in this protein helps to keep your skin firm, supple, and elastic.”

Acne Relief 
Regular exercise boosts circulation. “It nourishes your skin, bringing more blood flow and oxygen to it,” says Mauro C. Romita, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Ajune Center for Beauty Synergy in New York City. “This will help draw toxins out of the body.” Plus, all that sweating cleans out the pores of congested skin. “Working out corrects the hormonal imbalance that can cause adult acne,” Romita says.

To reap the beneficial skin effects of working out, a few extra steps are required, Sherber warns. “If you're acne prone, make sure to keep gentle, fragrance-free cleansing wipes in your gym bag.” Be

Facelifts May Make Women Seem More Likable

But this doesn't mean they'll be happier, expert says.
Lower eye lifts and full facelifts garnered the most positive responses from those involved in the study.

A facelift might make you look younger and friendlier at the same time, a new, small study suggests.

A team of plastic surgeons found that various facial procedures — from full facelifts to eye lifts or chin implants — can significantly boost the way a woman is perceived by strangers.

Women who'd had "work" done were perceived as more likable, attractive and feminine, said the researchers who showed before-and-after photos of 30 patients to 170 people.

"One of the goals of this study was to try and figure out, in a scientifically credible and accurate way, what other people are actually 'seeing' when they see the results [of facial plastic surgery]," said study author Dr. Michael Reilly, an assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Can Vibrator Use Prevent Climaxes During Sex?

Dr. Laura Berman
Last night I had sex with someone I've been sleeping with for a while. He was doing everything right, but I could not climax (which is not like me). The only thing I can think of is that lately I've been masturbating a lot with my vibrator. Could that vigorous stimulation have kept me from climaxing with a man? Can using a vibrator have any impact on my sex life?

There is no evidence that vibrator use can desensitize a woman's sexual response. This is a common urban legend that has spread because of fear and ignorance that people have concerning female sexuality and masturbation.


Rest assured, masturbation is a perfectly safe and healthy activity — indeed, it is the only sex that is 100 percent safe! Furthermore, a recent study that I performed, in conjunction with the K-Y brand, at the Berman Center found that women who use vibrators have a happier and more fulfilling sex life with their partners than women who do not use vibrators. That you were unable to achieve orgasm during sex with your partner may be because you did not receive enough foreplay or clitoral stimulation. Remember, only 30 percent of women reach orgasm through intercourse alone — the rest need clitoral stimulation to achieve gratification in the bedroom!


Source : http://www.everydayhealth.com

10.2.16

5 Reasons Why Skin Cancer Surgery Isn’t So Scary

Get the inside scoop on Mohs surgery, the most popular treatment option for basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat to minimize your sun exposure.

Veva Vesper has dealt with more than her fair share of skin cancer in the last 25 years. The 69-year-old Ohio resident has had more than 500 squamous cell carcinomas removed since the late 1980s, when the immunosuppressant medication she was taking for a kidney transplant caused her to develop them all over her body — everywhere from the corner of her eye to her legs.

While Vesper’s story is unusual, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, it’s currently estimated that one in five Americans will get skin cancer in his or her lifetime.

Mike Davis, a 65-year-old retired cop, and like Vesper, a patient at The Skin Cancer Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a more familiar story. Earlier this year, he had a basal cell carcinoma removed from his left ear — the side of his face most exposed to UV damage when driving on patrol.


The buildup of sun exposure over your lifetime puts you at greater risk for developing basal and squamous cell skin carcinomas as you age. Both Vesper and Davis had Mohs surgery, the most effective and precise way to remove the two most common types of skin cancer.

“The benefits of Mohs surgery are twofold: One, you’re going to remove just the cells you need to without having to take a lot of unnecessary tissue, and two, Mohs surgery can tout cure rates of 99 percent,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in New York City and the

How to Actually Get a Good Workout on the Elliptical Machine

By 
To reap maximum benefits, put away distractions and pick up interval training.

Doing the same workout day after day may be effective at first, but it will eventually lead to a fitness plateau.
Out of all the cardio machines, the elliptical probably gets the most side-eye. People tend to think it's boring and ineffective (research even says so!), and the go-to source for an easy, mindless workout, if even that. But it turns out there are plenty of science-backed benefits to the elliptical, like raising your heart rate even more than the treadmill and improving fitness just as efficiently as the treadmill or Stairmaster.

What's more, there's actually a right and wrong way to use it. With the correct form and plan of attack, you can get a truly killer workout on the machine. To find out how to make the most of every stride, we asked top fitness experts for their best advice, plus an effective 20-minute workout.

Do: Make a plan before hitting “start.”

Before even stepping foot on the machine, set an intention for the workout. “Ask yourself what you want to achieve that day,” says Leanne Weiner, a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. “Then monitor your perceived level of exertion — where zero is like going for a leisurely stroll and at 10 you’re completely out of breath — throughout the workout to make sure you’re not just dialing

10 Ways to Make Your Treadmill Workout Safer

Using a treadmill is a good way to get aerobic exercise, but there a few rules of the road you'll want to follow to use it safely.

With the news of SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg's accidental death on a treadmill, we are reminded that there are risks to exercise, particularly when using gym equipment. Because a treadmill is powered by a motor, rather than self-propelled, accidents can happen, especially when people lose their balance. Injuries can include bruises, sprains, broken bones, concussions, and sometimes, even death.

While the Consumer Products Safety Commission reported over 24,000 emergency room visits associated with treadmills in the United States in 2014, deaths are rare. That said, it's important for people to know their physical limits and keep safety in mind when using a treadmill.

"On those days when you can't walk or run outside due to heat, cold, or rain, treadmill exercise can offer the same benefits plus the added benefit of being able to add hill-specific workouts and pacing strategies," advises Chris Eschbach, PhD, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.

Treadmill Training and Safety Tips

Exercise can help you lose weight, make your bones and muscles stronger, relieve depression and stress, and lower your risk for diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure,

9.2.16

Sex Secrets You Should Know

By Dennis Thompson Jr. | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

Men who want to enjoy a good sex life should know their partner can be the best source of sex secrets. From erection to orgasm, communication is key.

Good sex with your partner can get even better. There are many ways men can both enjoy sex more and better please their partners. Just keep in mind that while there are some solid guidelines for improving your sex life, the best kept sex secrets are the ones waiting to be unearthed in your relationship.

"I think each guy is different and each relationship is different," says Paul Joannides, PsyD, a research psychoanalyst in Waldport, Ore., and author of The Guide To Getting It On. "You need to appreciate that what might work for your best friend and his wife might not work for you and your partner."

Start Talking About Sex
Ironically, some of the best sex secrets are those men and women keep from each other, Dr. Joannides says. To have good sex, you need to talk about your likes and dislikes.

"One of the most important things to do is to ask and to listen," says Joannides. "A lot of guys are terrified that some people may think they don't know all the answers. Also, some guys think they do know all the answers."

It can be difficult to broach the subject of sex. But here are tips from Joannides that can clue you in to

How Jealous and Possessive Are You?

By Laura Berman, PhD
Jealousy is the green-eyed monster that can attack when you least expect it. Sometimes your possessiveness might be set off when you see an attractive stranger checking out your partner, or maybe an "unknown" caller on a cell phone sets off your jealousy. We all know that trust is key for a happy and healthy relationship, but sometimes that can be hard to come by! Take this quiz and find out if you are too jealous and possessive of your partner:

1. When you see your sweetie with another person:
A. You freak out and yell at your partner.
B. You feel a stir of jealously and keep it in.
C. You feel depressed and inadequate.
D. You're not disturbed at all.

2. If your partner starts talking to an attractive person when you are out:
A. You drag him away and start a fight.
B. You feel deeply hurt and use silence as punishment.
C. It depends on the person. Sometimes you might feel put off.
D. I am secure in my love and never worry.

3. Have you ever checked your partner's phone to see who he or she has been talking to?
A. All the time
B. A few times over the years
C. Just once because of strange behaviour
D. Never

4. When your partner goes out with friends, how many times do you call or text?

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The number of hours of sleep you need to stay healthy and alert differs according to your age.
Teenagers need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep, while adults should get 7 to 9 hours.

Sure, you’re eating your vegetables and fruits and squeezing in exercise at least 20 minutes a day, but are you getting enough sleep, too? The latest sleep recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation may make you want to think twice about skimping on essential shut-eye. Sleep is key to your physical health and emotional vitality, but just how many hours of sleep you need depends on your age and stage of development.

“Sleep is important for mental function: alertness, memory consolidation, mood regulation, and physical health,” says Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Too few hours of sleep or poor sleep could pave the way to a myriad of emotional and physical problems, from diabetes to obesity, explains Dr. Zee. “In fact, data shows that with sleep loss, there are changes in the way the body handles glucose, which could lead to a state of insulin resistance (pre-diabetes),” says Dr. Zee. “There is also evidence that lack of sleep alters appetite regulation, which may lead to overeating or food choices that can also contribute to overweight and obesity.”

8.2.16

Can juice cleanses really eliminate toxins? Experts don't seem to think so.

Juice cleanses (or juicing), and other detox diets, have been touted for their ability to eliminate "toxins," control weight, and improve the workings of your digestive health.

Although fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a good overall diet, health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) caution that fad diets generally don't work long-term and may not be as healthy as they seem. And, in some cases, they might even be risky, according to a review of studies examining the effectiveness of detox diets published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics in December 2014.

There is no credible scientific evidence that a detox diet or juicing is actually effective, the study states. According to the review, the few studies that suggested these diets may have some benefit were small and flawed.

What We Know About Juicing and Health

The first step in juicing extracting juices from raw vegetables and fruits. To do this, you use a juice extractor that grinds up and then spins down the food, separating the juice from the pulp.

The idea behind the juicing movement is that raw fruit and vegetable juice can cleanse or detoxify your body and help you lose weight, according to the National Center for Health Research (NCHR). Some people also believe that juicing can help ward off disease and certain problems associated with

Are you being poisoned by your Teflon pan?



Did you know that nonstick cookware is made with highly reactive and toxic fluoride chemicals that can turn to toxic gas at everyday cooking temperatures?

Although numerous chemicals are used to produce nonstick coatings, all of them are in the family known a perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). These toxins have been linked to a wide array of health problems, including thyroid dysfunction, lowered infant birth weight, liver inflammation, high cholesterol and weakened immune function. They build up in the body and are nearly impossible to flush out or destroy. They have been found in the bodies of nearly every U.S. resident tested.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFCs – including those released by your Teflon cookware – exhibit "persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity properties to an extraordinary degree."

Canary in a coal mine

So how exactly do PFCs get from your nonstick pan and into your body? Particularly when, according to DuPont, Teflon is made from a chemical known as PTFE which is biologically inert?

4 Healthy Ways to Make Sex Feel Better Tonight

By Amy Levine, MA, CSE, Special to Health


Three simple letters that elicit myriad thoughts and feelings. Sex has the potential to involve all of the senses, turn us on, happen solo or with a partner, allow us the opportunity to give and to receive, and be incredibly pleasurable. But for many people, sex isn’t the connected and fulfilling experience we know is possible. Sometimes pain or discomfort is to blame. Other times it’s sabotaged by common issues like body-bashing thoughts, anxiety, or stress. Often with subtle adjustments, sex can feel and be a lot better.

As a sex coach, I often play detective with my clients to figure out what they need to elevate their sexual experiences. Here are some of the solutions I share with them that I think will help you have a more pleasurable sex life too.

1. Sex Shouldn’t Require Mind-Reading
Here’s a four-letter word that will make sex better: T-A-L-K.

We can’t expect our partners to read our minds. It’s essential we know what we need, want, and desire. Communication is directly related to our pleasure potential.

7.2.16

CDC Adds New Zika Warning for Pregnant Women and Their Sex Partners

The CDC said the precaution is in place "until we know more" about the dangers of sexual transmission of the mosquito-borne virus, which is linked to thousands of cases of microcephaly in newborns in Brazil.

"The potential hazard to the fetus is so substantial and so tragic that this looks like a very prudent recommendation until we learn more," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist from Vanderbilt University Medical School, told The New York Times.

In the same advisory, the CDC added two new countries, Jamaica and Tonga, to its travel alert list of nations that pregnant women should avoid due to ongoing Zika virus transmission.

While the Zika epidemic first surfaced in Brazil last spring, Zika virus has since spread to 30 countries and territories in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Though a cause-and-effect link has not been proven, many public health experts fear the virus can cause microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with permanent brain damage and very small heads.

On Tuesday, local health officials in Texas confirmed a case of Zika virus infection that was transmitted by sex, and not by the bite of a mosquito.

The Dallas County Health and Human Services Department said that an unidentified patient had become infected with the Zika virus after having sex with an individual who had returned from

Too Much, Too Little Sleep During Pregnancy May Prompt Weight Gain

"We know that poor sleep in pregnancy has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes," wrote researcher Dr. Francesca Facco, who's with the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

"Our findings provide a potential mechanism [weight gain] for poor sleep in pregnancy and adverse outcomes," she said in a news release from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Previous research has suggested that poor sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity in women who are not pregnant. The authors of this new study wanted to examine a possible link between sleep and weight gain during pregnancy.

The study included 751 pregnant women whose sleep was monitored for seven straight days. About two-thirds of the women slept between seven and nine hours a night.

The researchers found that short or long sleep duration was associated with extra weight gain during pregnancy.

The study is to be presented Thursday at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, in Atlanta.

Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

-- Robert Preidt


Source : medicinenet.com

6.2.16

80% of heart attacks in men can be prevented through healthy lifestyle behaviors


Due to the results of a recent study, researchers stress that people can save a lot of money and preserve their well-being by living a healthy lifestyle. The study examined various aspects of healthy living as well as the rates by which men experienced myocardial infarction (MI) or a heart attack.

An estimated 1.5 million cases of MI occur in the U.S. each year. This condition leaves the muscle tissue in the heart irreversibly damaged, according to Medscape.

The study's aim was to examine the benefit of a combined low-risk diet with healthy lifestyle practices on MI occurrences in men. To explore this goal, the researchers reviewed detailed questionnaires filled out by men regarding their diets and lifestyles.

Medical records were also examined, which included checking the men's history for cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high cholesterol levels. The participants included more than

Are you putting Monsanto in your vagina? 85% of tampons and feminine hygiene products contaminated with cancer-causing glyphosate herbicide

 Are you putting Monsanto in your vagina
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, over 50 American women were killed by their tampons. Although the FDA and the feminine hygiene industry have gone to tremendous lengths to try to memory hole this true history (and label it just a "rumor"), tampons made from certain non-natural fibers were found to harbor deadly bacteria and release a sufficient quantity of chemicals to kill or injure over a thousand women.

As the Organic Consumers Association has published:

The worst offenders were Procter and Gamble’s ultra-absorbent Rely tampons. According to the book Soap Opera: The Inside Story of Procter and Gamble, the company dismissed consumer complaints about the tampons for years. A 1975 company memo disclosed that Rely tampons contained known cancer-causing agents and that the product altered the natural organisms found in the vagina. Rely tampons were taken off the shelves in 1980, but many women claim they left a legacy of hysterectomies and loss of fertility.

Among health-conscious women, the toxicity of mainstream tampons has long been an issue of concern. "Just as I say heck no to Cottonseed oil, it is for the same reason I say heck no to sticking

5.2.16

Fast-Tracking Drugs Leads to Weaker Post-Market Review, Study Finds

By Susan E. Matthews, Everyday Health Staff Writer
New research shows that drugs that are expedited for approval are tested on fewer patients and don't get proper follow-up research.

A new paper out in JAMA Internal Medicine questions whether FDA fast-tracking of drugs is safe for patients.

Researchers at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Horsham, Penn., and at Wake Forest School of Medicine looked at track records on the 40 percent of new drugs the FDA approved in 2008 that were fast-tracked. They found that fast-tracked drugs had been tested in fewer patients than drugs that went through the regular approval process, and that required post-approval follow-up studies still have not been conducted on many of the drugs.

“We’ve placed all this emphasis on approving drugs quickly,” said study author Thomas Moore, A.B., of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. “The questions we left on the table get answered very slowly.”

The researchers analyzed all of the drugs the FDA approved in 2008. Of the 20 that were approved, 8 had been expedited to increase the speed of the process, which is done for particularly promising or novel drugs, or those for life-threatening diseases.

The drugs that were expedited that year were approved after only an average of 5.1 years of clinical development, with the shortest time to approval being 1.6 years and the longest 10.6 years. For drugs on a normal track, the average length of clinical development was 7.5 years, with the fastest being 4.7 years and the slowest coming in at 19.4.  Additionally, the researchers found that expedited drugs had been tested only on a median 104 patients, while normal-track drugs had been tested
on a median 580 patients.
Reasons for Expediting Drug Approvals

The FDA expedites drugs “in situations of serious and life-threatening diseases with unmet medical need,” according to Tara Goodin, a spokeswoman for the FDA. “Patients and physicians who treat them have told us repeatedly that they are willing to accept greater uncertainty about risk in order to have access to the hope of improved treatment today,” Goodin wrote in an email. These examples include diseases as unknown as HIV/AIDS was in the 1980s, or deadly, fast acting cancers with no foreseeable cure.

Additionally, drugs focused on certain diseases may also have a smaller pool of patients to draw from for tests, Goodin added.

Furthermore, for expedited drugs, the FDA required 85 post-market commitments, in the form of follow-up studies on the drugs’ success and safety. By the time the new study was underway, in 2013, only 26 of those post-marketing studies had been completed; an additional eight had been submitted to the FDA and are under review.

In an accompanying commentary in JAMA Internal Medicine, David Carpenter, PhD, a government professor who specializes in health regulation Harvard University, pointed out that according to his own research, he found that it takes an average of 11 years for post-market safety information to appear on prescribing information, emphasizing the problem of slow post-market reviews on approved drugs.

Goodin responded to the claim that post-market review happens slowly by stating that, according to the Wake Forest researchers' own numbers, “40 percent of the studies have been completed.” Furthermore, Goodin noted, 71 percent of the studies expected to be completed by 2013 had been either fully completed or submitted for review.

As to why 29 percent of the studies expected to be completed by 2013 had not been done, Goodin wrote that “agreement on final protocol, recruitment and training of investigators, and recruitment of patients” can contribute to delays.

Carpenter said that though he hadn’t seen the data to back up the FDA’s numbers, a 2013 study had found that “nearly half of the commitments agreed to in a single calendar year hadn’t even been started yet.” The FDA faces enormous time pressure to get drugs on the market, but once they’re on the market, the time pressures evaporate. “They need to mandate deadlines that are as stringent for getting a drug tested post-market as they are for getting a drug approved," he said.

The lag in post-marketing studies is particularly concerning when you consider their importance in assessing safety and efficacy in the general population. For example, the FDA approved a powerful opioid, Zohydro, last week that is not formulated to protect against addiction -- that is, formulated so it's impossible to crush up.

"I am counting on the FDA to perform rigorous post-marketing studies and analysis to ensure this drug doesn't create another new wave of addiction," U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (R-Ky.) wrote in a statement to MedPage Today in response to the approval.

What’s Best for Public Health?

The Wake Forest study made clear that drugs approved under expedited pathways do in fact reach the market sooner, said Caleb Alexander, MD, MS, co-director of the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The fundamental question that society needs to answer in response to these results is whether the process is successful, he said.

“Are we striking the right balance between access to innovation and public health?” Dr. Alexander asked.

The study shows that the amount of FDA testing is “often very modest,” which Moore said doesn’t surprise him, but is troubling. “It doesn’t help if you don’t know how to use it wisely and you’re not sure the drug has benefits clinically,” Moore said of expedited approval, adding that this often makes it more difficult to understand long- or short-term benefits and risks.

Carpenter wrote that there are continued lobbying efforts  to broaden the rules that allow drugs to be expedited. But this could result in lowering the barrier of evidence for all pharmaceuticals, he argued.

“In the absence of sound, independent evidence and underlying trust, just about everything can go wrong,” Carpenter wrote.

Ask Your Doctor: Was My Drug on the Fast Track?

Consumers should ask their doctors about the approval process for drugs they’re prescribed, and research drugs themselves if their doctors are unsure how a drug was approved, Moore said. “It’s almost as easy for a poorly tested drug to hurt them as it is for the drug to help them,” he said.

When asked if the FDA notifies patients who are receiving newly approved drugs that went through an expedited process, Goodin replied that the organization was “not aware of a formal notification process,” and suggested patients check the FDA.gov website for information.

Carpenter said he thought it would be possible to include a physician warning that doctors could pass on to patients, explaining that the drug had been expedited because of its promise or the deadliness of disease, but that researchers don’t know as much about it as they do about other drugs.

“The news here for consumers is all drugs have risks,” Alexander said, but “drugs that have been on the market for longer have a greater chance of being scrutinized.”


Source : http://www.everydayhealth.com

Infection-Protection: 10-fun-Ways-to-Boost-Immunity




Several million years ago, it is hypothesized, the first Stone Age human caught the first cold. Ever since then, doctors, nurses, herbalists, shaman and healers of every sort have been confounded by colds and flu. Over the years, these devilish pathogens have been treated with cold baths, wet feet, chili peppers, tobacco, and the application of blood-sucking leeches.




Now we understand that colds and flu are caused by viruses -- but we're still no closer to a cure. The only defense is a good offense. But who says it has to be a drag?


Besides eating right, washing your hands regularly and getting enough sleep, you can maximize your pathogen-fighting potential with a handful of entertaining activities.



Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com

4.2.16

Ask Dr. Berman: Low Self-Esteem Can Plague Your Relationships

By Laura Berman, PhD
Does low self-worth negatively impact your relationships?
Q: I struggle with maintaining healthy self-esteem in my relationships. Sometimes I don’t feel like my partner really wants to be with me or that I am worth the effort a relationship takes. What are some ways I can improve my self-esteem and have better relationships in the future?

A: You are certainly right that healthy self-esteem is crucial in establishing and maintaining a long-term happy relationship. If you don’t feel worthy of a loving, passionate relationship, then you are probably going to settle for less when it comes to picking a mate who is deserving of you. Or, perhaps you will find a wonderful mate, but your own lack of self-esteem will lead to trust and insecurity issues within the relationship. Whatever the case, low self-worth can definitely throw a wrench into your love life — and into your bedroom. After all, how can you really let go and enjoy sexual pleasure if you feel ashamed or unhappy in your own skin?

The good news is that there are several ways you can improve your self-esteem.

First, it’s important to find the source of where your feelings are coming from so you can address the root of the problem. For example, does your low self-esteem stem from negative experiences

What You Need to Know About Vaginal Dryness

A dry vagina is a common problem for women that affects their enjoyment of sex.

Although many women are embarrassed to discuss vaginal dryness, the truth is that it is something most of us will grapple with a dry vagina at some point in our lives. There are many causes for vaginal dryness, but perhaps the most common is menopause. In fact, research indicates that 40 to 60 percent of women suffer from vaginal dryness as a result of menopause.

Menopause causes a dip in estrogen which can sometimes lead to vaginal dryness. Estrogen plays a role in vaginal lubrication, and it also helps to balance the pH of the vagina; so when menopause strikes, women are more likely to suffer from vaginal dryness along with yeast infections (which result from the pH being off-balance). As if hot flashes weren’t bad enough!

Menopause isn’t the only culprit behind vaginal dryness. It’s also linked to hormonal birth control, douching, infection, and stress. Sadly, some women don’t ever discover the cause for their vaginal dryness because they are too embarrassed to broach the topic with their doctor. Yet a dry vagina can negatively interfere with a woman’s sexual enjoyment. It can make sex painful and lead to problems in a couple’s relationship. If the pain and dryness a woman experiences continues untreated for a long period of time, she may begin to cringe at the very idea of sex. This can lead her to resist sexual advances from her partner altogether, and even if the

3.2.16

Train Like an Olympian With Lindsey Vonn's Lower-Body Workout

Lindsey's lower-body workout torches calories and builds muscle in all the right places.

Lower-Body Workout-1

1.Tone your legs and thighs
by Alison Prato

Lower-Body Workout-2
Why not train like an Olympian? Lindsey is sharing her secrets. These moves tone and trim everything from your core to the floor. Do this series three or four times a week, and a better bottom half awaits.



2.Single-Leg Box Squat

Stand on right leg in front of a plyo box (or bench), with toes of left foot resting on box and arms at sides, an 8-pound dumbbell in each hand (A). Lower body down until right leg forms a 90-degree angle (B). Return to "A." Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
Lower-Body Workout-3



3.Single-Leg Lift


Start on hands and knees, with abs tight (A). Squeeze butt as you lift left leg up to form a 90-degree angle (B). Return to start. Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch legs and repeat.





Best and Worst Foods for Sex

Libido-boosting foods
by Ashley Macha
                                     It can take more than just a few candles and a Marvin Gaye song to feel sexy. A healthy lifestyle—from the food you eat to the exercise you do—can make you look and feel better, and improve your sex life, too. At the same time, some foods can be mood- and libido-killers. 


"The link between food and sex drive isn’t just wishful thinking" says Cynthia Sass, RD, author of S.A.S.S Yourself Slim "Studies show that certain foods or nutrients do play a role in boosting libido and supporting a healthy sex life."

Here are a variety of foods that can put some sizzle—or fizzle—in your sex life.   
Strawberries
Best

We'll say it: Strawberries are sexy. Here's why. Good circulation is thought to be crucial for sexual functioning in both men and women, and strawberries are rich in antioxidants that benefit your heart and arteries.

What's more, they're rich in vitamin C, which along with antioxidants, has been linked to higher sperm counts in men. Try dipping the berries in dark chocolate, which contains methylxanthines that may activate the libido. 

Alcohol
Worst

A glass of wine can make you feel relaxed and chatty on a date, and it's the social lubricant that often gets strangers talking to one another in a bar.

But in reality, alcohol can be one of the worst things for your love life. Too much alcohol dampens sexual desire, decreases

2.2.16

Effects of cancer screening on overall mortality overstated, says report


There is insufficient evidence to claim cancer screening saves lives, argue experts in a report published in The BMJ, who call for future studies to assess the impact of cancer screening on overall mortality rather than disease-specific mortality alone.


Screening tests are available for a number of cancers, including breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, prostate and ovarian cancers.

Numerous studies have suggested cancer screening can reduce disease-specific mortality risk. A study reported by Medical News Today last month, for example, claimed ovarian cancer screening can reduce long-term mortality from the disease by 20%.

But what about the effect of cancer screening on overall mortality?
According to Vinay Prasad, assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University, and colleagues, despite most studies finding a reduction in disease-specific mortality with cancer screening, few have shown reductions in overall mortality, and some have even found an increase in overall mortality.

Furthermore, the authors note that in cases where cancer screening was associated with falls in both disease-specific and overall mortality, the effect was still stronger for disease-specific mortality.
Screening studies 'underpowered' to identify benefits to overall mortality

In their report, Prasad and colleagues suggest two key reasons why studies have identified a significantly greater reduction in disease-specific mortality than overall mortality.

They say studies may be "underpowered" to identify small benefits in overall mortality, explaining that such studies fuel assumption and uncertainty about benefits rather than a true assessment of the scientific evidence.

Additionally, the team suggests any reduction in disease-specific mortality could be offset by deaths as a result of the negative effects of cancer screening. "Such 'off-target deaths' are particularly likely among screening tests associated with false-positive results, overdiagnosis of non-harmful cancers, and detection of incidental findings," they explain.

The authors use prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing as an example, noting that the screening method - which leads to more than 1 million prostate biopsies annually - often leads to false-positive results.

Such results have been associated with increased risk of hospital admission and death, and some studies have linked prostate cancer diagnosis to increased risk of heart attack and suicide.

"The overall effect of cancer screening on mortality is more complex than a disease-specific endpoint can capture, owing to the harms of further testing, overdiagnosis, and overtreatment," note the authors
General public have an 'inflated sense' of cancer screening benefits

But despite these shortfalls in scientific research, Prasad and colleagues say data has indicated that the general public have an "inflated sense" of the benefits of cancer screening, but they are less aware of the harms such screening may cause.

The authors cite a study that found 68% of women believed mammography - a screening method for breast cancer - would reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, 62% believed the screening halves breast cancer rates, while 75% believed mammography would prevent 10 deaths from breast cancer in every 1,000 women.

However, they point to a Cochrane review of mammography that found no reduction in breast cancer deaths "when adequately randomized trials were analyzed."

So, what is driving this "inflated sense" of cancer screening benefits? The authors believe supporters of cancer screening have focused on promoting the benefits of screening rather than harms, and they suggest that some screening advocates even engage in fear-mongering.

"But as long as we are unsure of the mortality benefits of screening," say the authors, "we cannot provide people with the information they need to make an informed choice. We must be honest about this uncertainty."

Zika Update

The virus continues to spread as countries issue pregnancy advisories and drug firms pick up on vaccine development.
As the mosquito-borne Zika virus has now spread to at least 23 countries in the Americas in recent months, the World Health Organization (WHO) is convening an emergency meeting on International Health Regulations Monday (February 1), Director-General Margaret Chan announced today (January 28).

Meanwhile, four countries—Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Colombia—have asked women to delay getting pregnant for fear the virus can cause severe brain damage in fetuses. And some airlines have offered refund to pregnant travelers who booked trips to countries where Zika is circulating.

President Obama chimed in this week, calling for an acceleration of “research efforts to make

1.2.16

Exercising With Physical Limitations

As Dom Lassonde felt the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis creep into his body, the 40-year-old Vancouver Islander knew he needed a different way to stay fit. The autoimmune disease inflamed his synovial membranes—a connective tissue in joints that produces lubricating fluid for smooth movement—so much it felt like shards of glass were lining his joints. Ultimate Frisbee and hockey, two of his regular activities, were no longer feasible.

After beginning a new medication regime about a year after his diagnosis, Lassonde could cycle and swim—activities that put less stress on his joints. He was right to keep moving: according to the American College of Rheumatology, regular aerobic exercise, especially when combined with strength training, can reduce joint pain.

Lassonde is one of many Canadians living with a physical limitation that makes exercise difficult. Two common issues, chronic pain and heart disease—which affect 3.9 million and 1.3 million Can­adians, respectively—make it challenging for individuals to achieve the 150 minutes of weekly moderate aer­obic exercise, or cardio, recommended by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (CPAG).

Zika virus 'spreading explosively,' WHO leader says

The Zika virus is "is now spreading explosively" in the Americas, the head of the World Health Organization said Thursday, with another official estimating between 3 million to 4 million infections in the region over a 12-month period.

"The level of concern is high, as is the level of uncertainty," Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general, told her organization's executive board members. "We need to get some answers quickly."

The lack of any immunity to Zika and the fact that mosquitoes spreading the virus can be found most "everywhere in the Americas" -- from Argentina to the southern United States -- explains the speed of its transmission, said Dr. Sylvain Aldighieri, an official with the WHO and Pan American Health Organization.
Aldighieri gave the estimate for Zika infections (including people who do not report clinical symptoms) based on data regarding the spread of a different mosquito-borne virus -- dengue. He acknowledged the virus is circulating with "very high intensity."

Some 80% of those infected with the Zika virus don't even feel sick, and most who do have relatively mild symptoms such as a fever, rash, joint pain or pink eye. But there are major worries about the dangers pregnant women and their babies face.

Chan said that, where the virus has arrived, there's been a corresponding "steep increase in the birth of babies with abnormally small heads and in cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome." Having small heads can cause severe developmental issues and sometimes death. Guillain-Barre is a rare autoimmune disorder that can lead to life-threatening paralysis.

The WHO's Dr. Bruce Aylward cautioned there was no definitive link between Zika and these disorders but sees a legitimate reason for concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dr. Anne Schuchat said there is a "strong" suggestion they are connected.

Complete Zika virus coverage

While studies are underway to determine any links, millions of people live in areas with real fears about what this virus can do.

Pregnant women, their babies at high risk

After first being detected in 1947 in a monkey in Uganda, Zika was most often found along the equator from Africa into Asia. Nine years ago, new cases popped up in islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The children of Zika: Babies born with disorder linked to virus


Last year, the virus made its way to the Americas -- with devastating results.
Since Brazil made its first discovery of Zika in May, the number of cases there and elsewhere in the Americas has grown exponentially. The virus had been thought to be relatively harmless over the long term, but that view changed late last year.
Health authorities began to suspect a connection between Zika and neurological ailments, especially in fetuses and newborns. Brazil alone has reported more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly -- a neurological disorder resulting in the births of babies with small heads -- in infants born to women infected with Zika while pregnant.


Since Brazil made its first discovery of Zika in May, the number of cases there and elsewhere in the Americas has grown exponentially. The virus had been thought to be relatively harmless over the long term, but that view changed late last year.

Health authorities began to suspect a connection between Zika and neurological ailments, especially in fetuses and newborns. Brazil alone has reported more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly -- a neurological disorder resulting in the births of babies with small heads -- in infants born to women infected with Zika while pregnant.

Map: Tracking Zika virus


"Zika is not a new virus," the CDC's Schuchat said. "But what we are seeing in the Americas is new."




The mosquito-borne disease is in 23 countries and territories in the Americas, according to Chan.

There have been 32 documented cases in 12 states and the District of Columbia, though all of those people got infected in other countries. (There have been 19 laboratory-confirmed cases in Puerto Rico and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

The states where Zika virus has been confirmed among travelers returning from affected countries are Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia, according to health departments.

Schuchat expects the number of travel-associated U.S. cases to rise and for people to contract the disease from mosquitoes here (though she downplayed widespread transmissions).

There will likely be more outside the United States as well.

"We expect more countries to be affected," Schuchat said.

WHO calls emergency meeting

Chan has called an emergency committee meeting Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the Zika virus' spread and its ramifications.

The gathering will aim to determine the appropriate "level of international concern," recommend measures for the most affected countries to take and assess Zika's possible association with neurological disorders, the WHO's Aylward said.

"There is a lot of uncertainty about some of the real basics about this disease," Aylward said from Geneva.

U.S.-based researchers Daniel Lucey and Lawrence Gostin had called for just such a meeting this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, criticizing the WHO for not stepping up sooner.

"The very process of convening the committee would catalyze international attention, funding, and research," Lucey and Gostin wrote in an article published Wednesday. "While Brazil, PAHO and the CDC have acted rapidly, WHO headquarters has thus far not been proactive, given potentially serious ramifications."