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Popular Supplement Proved Ineffective January 12, 2010

Posted by feminestra in Health, Healthy living, Prevention.
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The popular supplement ginkgo biloba was proved to be ineffective for preventing age-related mental diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s. Studies also showed that it provides no benefit for those of normal mental states.

A clinical study, which spanned six years, studied the effects of ginkgo biloba in adults aged 72-96 showed that there was no measurable difference in cognition between those who used the placebo and those who did not. The patients were tested twice a year which measured various aspects of mental function such as attention span, memory, language, etc. Similar studies were conducted earlier in 2009 but tested the overall cognitive benefit from ginkgo biloba. No such evidence was found supporting the common belief in these studies as well.

However, critics state that mental decline is caused by a number of different factors and there is no fix all cure. The Council for Responsible Nutrition also recommends that the study should not be viewed as the final work on ginkgo biloba. Many doctors say that they have seen the benefits of ginkgo biloba first hand and will continue to recommend it to patients.

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Video: Menopause Pt. 2 September 25, 2009

Posted by feminestra in Feminestra, Health, Menopause, senior health.
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Symptoms of Menopause

Video: Menopause Pt.1 September 24, 2009

Posted by feminestra in Feminestra, Health, Menopause.
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Understanding Menopause

Video: Osteoporosis Pt. 2 September 23, 2009

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Consequences of Osteoporosis

Life After Menopause: Osteoporosis September 14, 2009

Posted by feminestra in Feminestra, Health, Prevention.
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Contents
Causes
Menopause
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Prevention

Osteoporosis is a disease which weakens bones making them more prone to breakage. Many times, osteoporosis is not found until a fracture has already happened, which, unfortunately, increases the risk of having another fracture due to the disease. It is hard to catch osteoporosis early because it does not have any visible or painful symptoms. However, there are steps that you can take to prevent the onset of osteoporosis, or slow the progression if you already have the disease.

Causes

The exact cause of osteoporosis is not yet known, however, we do know how it develops. Bones consist of two parts, a hard outer shell, and a sponge-like inner core. Your bones, like most of your body, are made up of living tissue which grows and dies just like any other tissue in your body. Normally, the body can build more bone than it loses. But when a bone is weakened osteoporosis: Before and Afterby osteoporosis, the inner core becomes less dense and loses mass. In other words, the “holes” in the “sponge” part of your bones become larger. This loss in bone mass is a normal part of the aging process starting around the age of 30, but when it reaches a certain point then osteoporosis has set in.

Menopause

Osteoporosis has been linked to menopause as well. The lack of estrogen and absence of menstrual periods can cause and/or accelerate the progression of osteoporosis. Women who have or are experiencing early menopause are at an even greater risk for the disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of osteoporosis may not be initially seen until the disease has progressed quite a bit. It is often called the “silent disease” because many people do not know they have osteoporosis uosteoporosisntil they suddenly break a bone. The symptoms that do show, besides a broken bone, may be stooped posture, loss of height, and back pain caused by collapsed vertebrae. To determine if you have osteoporosis you should receive a bone mineral density (BMD) test. These are painless, accurate test using low-power x-rays to determine bone strength. These tests can provide information about your bone health and determine if you have osteoporosis before problems begin.

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that are linked to osteoporosis. These include age, gender, ethnicity, bone structure, and family history. Maximum bone density is reached around the age of 30 after which, bone mass begins to decline naturally with age. The greatest risk for the disease occurs around the age of 50. Women are also at a higher risk for the disease, as much as four times as likely as men. This may be due to women’s naturally lighter, thinner bones, longer life spans, and loss of estrogen due to menopause. Ethnicity also plays a big part in the onset of osteoporosis. Studies have shown that Caucasian and Asian women have the greatest risk for the disease. Studies also showed that Caucasian women are more likely to have hip fractures then Asian and African-American women. Your natural body structure may also put you at a greater risk. People who have smaller frames are at a greater risk for the disease because they have less bone to lose than people that have bigger frames. Probably the biggest factor for whether or not you may get osteoporosis is your family history. If your parents or grandparents had or showed signs of osteoporosis, you may be at a greater risk of the disease.

Prevention

There are ways to protect against the onset or progression of osteoporosis. Most of these are simple lifestyle and dietary changes that can have a greatly change your risk for the disease. Exercise is a good way to help make your bones stronger and prevent bone loss. Try to establish a regular exercise program that has you doingmilk weight-bearing exercises at least four times a week. These can be as simple as jogging, playing tennis, and dancing. Your diet plays a big role is the health of your bones. Try to increase your intake of calcium (1,500mg a day) which can be found in milk, salmon, and dark green vegetables, and vitamin D (400-800 IU a day) which can be found in eggs, fortified milk, and fatty fish like salmon. Also limiting your alcohol consumption and not smoking can reduce your risk.

Osteoporosis can be a debilitating disease, even deadly. However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent or slow the progression of the disease. Those preventative steps will help you live a longer, healthier life.

Feminestra

Life After Menopause: Tests and Screenings to Protect your Health September 9, 2009

Posted by feminestra in Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Early Menopause, Feminestra, Health, Healthy living, Prevention.
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Menopause is a very important life transition for women. It signals a new period of life for women with its own inherent risks. After and during menopause, the body starts to change in ways that might not be apparent at first, but can lead to so serious health risks if not correctly managed. You may be aware of some of these risks already, risks such as osteoporosis, breast cancer, and cervical cancer, and are receiving regular screenings for these conditions. However, there are several other conditions that you should be aware of.

Heart Diseaseheart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women. Because of this, you should have cholesterol screenings at least every five years, regardless of age. This should also be done with routine blood pressure tests. Your doctor may also recommend other related tests to check your hearts overall function and its response to different types of stress and activities. A recent study found a correlation between menopause symptoms and risk for heart disease, which found that woman with the worst menopause symptoms have the highest clinical risk for heart disease.

Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, as you may know, is the thinning of thosteoporosise bones making them weaker and prone to breakage. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that women should have their bone density tested regularly starting at the age of 65. However, it is also recommended that women with a higher risk for osteoporosis should start screening at the age of 50. Risks factors include early menopause, tobacco use, a small frame or low body mass, history of anorexia, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or a family history of osteoporosis. Bone density screenings are usually non-invasive, outpatient procedures. The two most common tests are ultrasound and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).


cancer screeningColon Cancer
Around the time that you begin menopause screening for colon cancer is a very good idea. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for Americans over the age of 50. A colonoscopy can detect this deadly cancer in its early stages which makes it a good idea to take advantage of this potentially lifesaving procedure. You should talk to your doctor about when to start these examinations and how often they should be conducted.

Breast Cancer
In one of our previous articles we talked about things that yobreast cancer prevention ribbonu can do to prevent breast cancer. As a review, you should start annual mammograms, if you have not done so. In addition to these screenings, you should conduct a self-breast exam every month. This is especially important after and during menopause as a woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer doubles after the age of 40. To learn more about breast cancer prevention please read “Breast Cancer Prevention”.

Menopause can be a trying part of life as you deal with all of the changes that your body goes through. To make sure you live to your full potential after this change, you should make these screenings and tests a part of your life. Don’t think of menopause as the end, rather as the beginning of a new chapter in the book of life, and make it a good read.

Feminestra

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Life After Menopause: Tests and Screenings to Protect your Health by Feminestra is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Live a Longer and Healthier Life September 3, 2009

Posted by feminestra in Health, Healthy living.
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In order to live a longer, healthier life, you need to make a few, simple lifestyle changes. In today’s world, people are living much longer than previous generations. We are seeing more people living active lives well into their 70’s and sometimes longer. The secret to living longer is living healthy. So here are a few steps to follow in order to achieve this:

stop_smoking
Tip #1: Stop smoking! I don’t care what study you read, or which doctor you ask, every expert agrees that smoking is the number one cause of cancer related deaths. It’s also an addiction, and many psychologists will tell you that you are smoking for a reason: and it’s probably not a good one! If you are a smoker, quit today! If you are having problems, have a picture of a love one (preferably a young child who looks up to you). Picture the child and ask yourself, if I smoke this cigarette, this child will be crying at my funeral one day soon.

exerciseTip #2: Exercise! You don’t have to look like a fitness model, but getting your heart and body exercise each day is critical. Experts agree that a half an hour each day will increase your life by ten years! Don’t have the time? Do you watch a TV program each night? If you do, instead of sitting down and doing nothing while you watch it, do sit-ups, or run or walk on the treadmill. Like listening to music? Do it while you take a two mile walk. Although you may not see results on the outside, your insides will thank you!

Tip #3: Get between six and eight hours of sleep a night. Your body needs rest, and getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night not only increases your lifespan, but also makes you much more productive. They say that shift work takes eight years off of your life. That is because of sleep disruption. So not only get six to eight hours of sleep a night, but also make sure that there are no distractions or interruptions. Some ways to help this would be to unplug the phone at night, close the windows, and keep the temperature of the house at a comfortable one so there will be no need to change it in the middle of the night.

laughingTip #4: Laugh. No really, laugh! Experts suggest that laughing and smiling will increase your lifespan, for if nothing else, laughing burns calories! And let’s be honest; when you are laughing you are essentially happy, and happiness and healthiness do go hand in hand. Some ways to help with is perhaps go to various websites which have different jokes, or watch funny video clips. Whatever gets your funny bone going, do it! It will do more than just make you feel better!

Tip #5: Fall in love. If you are already in love, try and stay that way. Loneliness is not only a terrible feeling, but it also lends itself to death. Stats say that if you are married for over fifty years and your partner dies, the average lifespan for the surviving partner is only four years! And it’s more than just about being heartbroken: it’s about being alone. So if you don’t fall in love, join a group, make more friends, or get involved with a charity or club.
These simple lifestyle changes will, hopefully, help you live a much longer, happier, and healthier life. The ultimate secret to living longer and happier is to actually live life. Who knows, maybe skydiving at 100 will be common if a few years.

Feminestra