Archive for the ‘Abortion Information’ Category

We know fecal bacteria shoots into the air when a lidless toilet flushes — a phenomenon known, grossly, as a “toilet plume.” But in bathrooms where such plumes gush regularly, where does all that fecal bacteria go?

Into a hand dryer and onto your clean hands, perhaps. That’s what a new study suggests. Researchers examined plates exposed to just 30 seconds of a hand dryer compared to those left in, you know, just plain feces-filled air.

The findings: Air-blasted plates carried 18-60 colonies of bacteria on average, whereas two minutes’ exposure to the mere bathroom air left fewer than one colony on average. What’s more, the inside of the dryer nozzles themselves had “minimal bacterial levels.” The results were published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

For the study, a Connecticut-based team looked at 36 bathrooms at facility of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Newsweek notes, where one lab produces large amounts of spores of PS533, a specific but harmless strain of bacteria Bacillus subtilis. Colonies of that strain made up about 2-5% of the bacteria found on the air-blasted plates, regardless of how far the specific bathroom was from the lab where such spores were made.

“These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers, and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers,” the authors said.

What’s unclear, they admit, is just why the air-blasted plates showed so many more spores. Dryers could act as  “reservoir” for bacteria, they suggested, or perhaps their intense blowing simply provides more exposure to the already contaminated air. And while evidence shows dryers can cover hands in bacteria, they said, it’s not certain whether they deposit bacterial spores.

Regardless, as Newsweek reported, study author Peter Setlow perfers paper towels, which are now stocked at all 36 bathrooms used in the study.

“Bacteria in bathrooms will come from feces, which can be aerosolized a bit when toilets, especially lidless toilets, are flushed,” Setlow told Newsweek.

Source: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/04/12/hand-dryers-suck-bathroom-bacteria-and-blow-them-all-over-your-hands-study-finds/511723002/

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This winter, we’re thinking about how to stay active (and motivated) even when the cold weather hits. Seasonal changes can cause changes in our mood, sleep, and energy, which could have an effect on our motivation to exercise and our movement routines. While it’s tempting to stay in our cozy beds, winter can be a great time to dig deep and eliminate our self-limiting beliefs about exercise, reach out to a friend and start a new class, or develop a simple at-home exercise plan. We asked mbg movement experts to weigh in on what keeps them motivated to exercise in the winter—and we’re already jumping out of bed.

Remember your why.

“I remember that movement always warms me up and makes me feel better, especially if I wake up chilled and a little stiff. Knowing that I’ll eventually open up and heat up—and generally feel more balanced—encourages me to get a literal move on, whether it’s 10 minutes or 1 hour.” Sasha Nelson, yoga instructor, wellness lifestyle coach, and sustainability enthusiast.

Stay accountable.

“I’ve learned the key to staying motivated in the cold winter months is to run with friends early in the morning. I set my alarm for 6 a.m., brush my teeth, drink some water, grab my shoes, then get out the door! If I didn’t feel a responsibility to show up for someone else when it was below freezing, I wouldn’t have been able to show up for myself. The first 10 minutes are always a little bit of a drag. I fantasize about getting back into my warm bed, but after a mile or so, I get swept up in the energy of a good conversation and the joy of getting fresh air.” Kait Hurley, founder of kaithurley.com

Stretch at home.

“Yoga is a daily, so I’m always stretching no matter what time of year it is. Traveling for work, I am in multiple climates each month, so yoga helps me to stay balanced and consistent no matter whether I’m in the snow or the sun.” Sara Quiriconi, certified yoga instructor and health coach and author of Living Cancer Free: A Warrior’s Fall and Rise Through Food, Addiction & Cancer

Build strength.

“A must in my movement routine are lunges and turned-out squats and planks. You can engage almost every muscle in your body through these three exercises in just four to five minutes. The lunges and squats balance out the different muscle groups and also work on joint mobility.” Jill Dailey, kinesiologist, barre dance enthusiast, and founder of The Dailey Method

While everyone has different tried-and-true ways to keep active during the winter months, they can all agree, movement in the winter looks good on everyone.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/heres-what-you-can-do-to-stay-active-this-winter

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When it comes to your face, your anti-aging routine is a well-oiled machine: UV-shielding sunscreens, hydrating creams, wrinkle-reducing serums, the whole nine yards. Your hands? Not so much. But if you don’t have a youth-preserving plan for the delicate, oft-abused skin and nails on your hands, it’ll be a dead giveaway of your age, says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a Boston-based dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine.

Here, 7 things that are making your hands look old—and how to reverse them.

1. Age Spots
The funny thing about age spots is that they actually have nothing to do with age: “Age spots are the result of sun exposure,” explains Eileen Lambroza, MD, clinical instructor of dermatology at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center. Though sun-worshippers may get them earlier, they most commonly show up in the 50+ crowd, who’ve accumulated more sun exposure than their younger counterparts. Short of wearing gloves 24/7, you should be smoothing on a dime-sized dab of hand cream with SPF 30 before heading out the door each day—and reapplying after you wash your hands or every two hours if you’re exposed to even a little sunlight, says Deborah Sarnoff, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at New York University. Tackle existing spots with an OTC fade cream with 2% hydroquinone like Glytone Fading Lotion ($46, skinstore.com), Lambroza says. Make sure to follow the directions carefully even at that low dose, since the bleaching ingredient can backfire if used improperly. Darker spots may need a 3% solution, but you’ll need a dermatologist’s prescription—and guidance—to give them a try.


Photo by Ross Whitaker/Getty Images

2. Crepey Skin 
If the backs of your hands are starting to get a crumpled look reminiscent of gift bag stuffing, use a prescription retinoid cream to improve texture and jumpstart the growth of thickening collagen, says Sarnoff. She recommends Renova ($100) or Retin-A ($120), which are pricey, but more effective than OTC retinols, she says. And, since they’re prescription-only, your dermatologist will explain how and when to use them so you get the benefits without common retinoid drawbacks like skin irritation.

3. Prominent Veins 
We’ll start with the bad news: The only way to get rid of them for good is to invest in vein removal, which is exactly what it sounds like: the removal of the veins right at the surface of your skin (the deeper network of veins will do the work of taking blood to and from your hands). The good, less invasive news: heavy duty concealers like Dermablend Leg and Body Cover Crème ($30, dermablend.com) can instantly cover dark veins. You’ll have to reapply after washing your hands, but it still beats surgery.

4. Scaly Skin 
Nothing about dry, scaly skin says “young and healthy.” Return them to smooth-and-plump status overnight with this quick pre-bed routine: First, slough off rough, dead skin with a gentle scrub like Freeman Bare Hands and Cuticle Renewal Scrub ($4, freemanbeauty.com), and then create an all-night moisture mask by smoothing on a glycerin and plant oil-containing hand cream like Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Cream ($24, aveda.com) and covering hands with plastic wrap and putting cotton gloves on top (skip the plastic and you’ll just end up with really well moisturized gloves).


Photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images

5. Stained Nails 
First, figure out why your nails are turning yellow or brown. If the discoloration persists or is accompanied by pain, it’s likely a fungal infection—check with your doctor ASAP to treat it—something that causes about half of all nail discoloration. If you see your doc and it turns out the problem isn’t fungal, you can relax, as the discoloration is likely a harmless side effect of things like psoriasis medication or wearing dark polish. Run your nails with a lemon wedge, just like you would when you’re rubbing off nail polish (the natural fruit acids will lighten the nail bed), or soaking in denture cleaner for 15 to 20 minutes to remove the stains. Also make sure to apply a base coat before you reapply your favorite oxblood lacquer.

6. Brittle Nails
Water or chemical exposure, seasonal weather changes, and even genetics, can all lead to brittle, breaking nails. But the right supplements can help. Taking a 2.5 mg dose of the B vitamin biotin improves nail strength and reduces brittleness after six to nine months, says a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Learn more about brittle nails with 8 reasons your nails keep breaking.

7. Outdated Manicure 
Popular nail shapes and shades are constantly changing, and keeping up with them is a simple way to make hands look more youthful. Right now, shorter nails are the norm; keep nails no longer than ¼ inch beyond your fingertips, says Jan Arnold, of CND, a nail care company. Bonus points if you follow up with bold polish, which draws attention to your nails and away from any wrinkles or spots you’d rather not highlight. Try a classic shade like true red or regal purple (here are 20 of our non-toxic favorites), rather than a too-trendy shade like neon yellow or green.

Source: https://www.prevention.com/beauty/a20473036/anti-aging-tips-for-hands/

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Between domestic duties and emotional labor, research shows, women are more stressed than men are — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s what the data says, and how to take care of yourself.

“I was a workaholic. I love to create things, grow them and solve problems,” said Meng Li, a successful app developer in San Francisco. “I didn’t really care about my mind and my body until they decided to go on strike.”

Ms. Li said her stress led to insomnia. When she did sleep, she experienced “problem-solving dreams,” which left her feeling unrested when she woke up. “After I became a first-time mother, I quickly realized between work and family, I was so busy caring for other people and work that I felt like I’d lost myself,” she said. “I’d put my own physical and mental needs on the back burner.”

It’s a common story — one we frequently ridicule and readily dismiss (for example, when we call women nags), despite the growing sum of research that underscores the problem. Women are twice as likely to suffer from severe stress and anxiety as men, according to a 2016 study published in The Journal of Brain & Behavior. The American Psychological Association reports a gender gap year after yearshowing that women consistently report higher stress levels. Clearly, a stress gap exists.

“The disparity is not really news to me, based on my training as a clinical psychologist,” said Erin Joyce, a women and couples therapist in Los Angeles. “It’s been well documented in our Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, for example, that prevalence rates for the majority of the anxiety disorders are higher in women than men.”

Skeptics may argue that this is merely reported data, playing down the disparity (and along with it, women’s experiences) altogether. Dr. Joyce said the skepticism also lay in the fact that many men feel the same pressures as women in terms of fulfilling responsibilities at work and home. In other words, we’re all really, really stressed.

“The difference, however, is in the nature and scope of these responsibilities in the home environment in particular,” Dr. Joyce said. For example, the United Nations reported that women do nearly three times as much unpaid domestic work as men. The problem is, housework is often overlooked as work, even though it is often as laborious (or in some cases, more so) as any paid job.

As the scholar Silvia Federici put it in 1975, the unpaid nature of domestic work reinforces the assumption that “housework is not work, thus preventing women from struggling against it, except in the privatized kitchen-bedroom quarrel that all society agrees to ridicule, thereby further reducing the protagonist of a struggle.”

It’s not just inside the home, though. Research from Nova Southeastern University found that female managers were more likely than male managers to display “surface acting,” or forcing emotions that are not wholly felt. “They expressed optimism, calmness and empathy even when these were not the emotions that they were actually feeling,” the study said.

Surface acting is a prime example of “emotional labor,” a concept that the writer Jess Zimmerman made familiar in a 2015 essay for The Toast. The essay sparked a massive thread on MetaFilter, with hundreds of women speaking up about their own experience with emotional labor: the duties that are expected of you, but go unnoticed.

These invisible duties become apparent only when you don’t do them. I’m reminded of the time I went on an emotional labor strike. I asked my husband to manage an event we were both invited to, and when we showed up two hours late, per his mistake, all eyes were on me. “We expected you much sooner,” the host said — only to me.

Like domestic labor, emotional labor is generally dismissed and not labeled work, but research shows it can be just as exhausting as paid work. Emotional labor can lead to insomnia and family conflict, according to a study published in Personnel Psychology. Sure, circumstantial stress, like losing a job, may lead to these same issues, but emotional labor is not circumstantial. It’s an enduring responsibility based on the socialized gender role of women.

Like Ms. Li, many women try to manage the added stressors to reach what Dr. Joyce said was an unattainable ideal. “Some professional women aspire to do it all: reach the top of the corporate ladder and fly like supermom,” she said.

When women don’t reach this ideal, they feel guilty and even more stressed. After her own bout with this, Ms. Li took a step back to regroup, then used her experience to build Sanity & Self, a self-care app and platform for overworked women. “The realizations I had in that process helped me gain insights and ultimately got me ready to incorporate self-care into my daily life,” she said.

The stress problem extends beyond mental health when you consider the link between chronic stress, anxiety and heart health. Worse, most of what we know about heart disease — the leading cause of death in both men and women — comes from studies involving men, but “there are many reasons to think that it’s different in women,” Harvard Medical School reported.

While research is beginning to explore these differences, Harvard reports that women are “much more likely than a man to die within a year of having a heart attack” and “many women say their physicians never talk to them about coronary risk and sometimes don’t even recognize the symptoms.”

The good news is, women are more likely than men to take charge of their stress and manage it, the American Psychological Association reports. Here are a few methods to do so.

The concept of self-care is often confused with overindulging or treating yourself, but at its core, self-care is much simpler than that. “The basics of adequate sleep, healthy diet and exercise are a good place to start,” Dr. Joyce said. “Support from trusted relationships is vital, including professional support from various health and wellness providers if stress is becoming increasingly overwhelming.”

Disconnecting from stressors like work and home responsibilities is also obviously important, but much easier said than done. Ms. Li said she built the Sanity & Self app to help women ease into self-care when they may not have much time to do so. The app includes various self-care sessions ranging from two to 45 minutes. You can choose from breathing exercises, pep talks, writing prompts and fitness routines, among other options.

It is also useful to understand what causes your stress in the first place. “Get really specific with what’s stressing you out,” Ms. Li said. “We often chalk up our stress to broad experiences like work, but work stress can take many different forms. Is a colleague being disrespectful of your time? Is a boss disempowering you in your day-to-day decision making? These are different kinds of stressors and can benefit from different kinds of self-care.”

Working with a therapist can help you discover these triggers, too. “In part because of the greater emphasis on overall health and wellness in society as a whole, more men and women are employing healthier methods of self-care for stress, like exercise, meditation and psychotherapy or talk therapy,” Dr. Joyce said. The mental health resource Psychology Today includes a database where you can find therapists that deal with women’s issues.

Thanks to skepticism about the gender disparity in stress, it is easy for women to feel their added anxiety is unwarranted or overblown. This is why it is important to seek validation — reminders that no, you’re not crazy, and the amount you have on your plate is kind of a lot. “This is important for individual, the family, the kids and the society,” Ms. Li said.

Bookstore self-help sections are a good place to start. “I feel super validated when I stand in front of the self-help section in Barnes & Noble, because every book is tackling an issue I had,” Ms. Li said. “I feel less alone and like it’s not that bad. When we built our app, we wanted to give women the same sense of validation. It’s O.K. to feel not O.K., and we want to help you get through it.”

Ideally, your spouse or partner will be supportive, rather than dismissive, of your stress. It is important to talk through these issues before they come to a head. “Women working outside of the home should make an effort to have a conscious conversation with their partners about more equitable sharing of household and family responsibilities,” Dr. Joyce said.

Of course, in an ideal world, these conversations wouldn’t need to happen. Paradoxically enough, the effort falls on women to convince their loved ones that emotional labor exists, then to campaign for equal help. If only this was a task you could monetize.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/smarter-living/stress-gap-women-men.html?fbclid=IwAR2ZBZENt4CWWqWFyLTi-CGfQKeYPdE2D120RGxKY9saTCgFGhhKGxvZkLM

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Argue better — with science.

Anyone who has argued with an opinionated relative or friend about immigration or gun control knows it is often impossible to sway someone with strong views.

That’s in part because our brains work hard to ensure the integrity of our worldview: We seek out information to confirm what we already know, and are dismissive or avoidant of facts that are hostile to our core beliefs.

But it’s not impossible to make your argument stick. And there’s been some good scientific work on this. Here are two strategies that, based on the evidence, seem promising.

1) If the argument you find convincing doesn’t resonate with someone else, find out what does

The answer to polarization and political division is not simply exposing people to another point of view.

Recently, researchers at Duke, NYU, and Princeton ran an experiment where they paid a large sample of Democratic and Republican Twitter users to read more opinions from the other side. “We found no evidence that inter-group contact on social media reduces political polarization,” the authors wrote. Republicans in the experiment actually grew more conservative over the course of the test. Liberals in the experiment grew very slightly more liberal.

Whenever we engage in political debates, we all tend to overrate the power of arguments we find personally convincing — and wrongly think the other side will be swayed.

On gun control, for instance, liberals are persuaded by stats like, “No other developed country in the world has nearly the same rate of gun violence as does America.” And they think other people will find this compelling, too.

Conservatives, meanwhile, often go to this formulation: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

What both sides fail to understand is that they’re arguing a point that their opponents have not only already dismissed but may be inherently deaf to.

“The messages that are intuitive to people are, for the most part, not the effective ones,” Robb Willer, a professor of sociology and psychology at Stanford University, told me in 2015.

Willer has shown it’s at least possible to nudge our political opponents to consider ideas they’d normally reject outright. In 2015, in a series of six studies, he and co-author Matthew Feinberg found that when conservative policies are framed around liberal values like equality or fairness, liberals become more accepting of them. The same was true of liberal policies recast in terms of conservative values like respect for authority.

So, his research suggests, if a conservative wanted to convince a liberal to support higher military spending, he shouldn’t appeal to patriotism. He should say something like, “Through the military, the disadvantaged can achieve equal standing and overcome the challenges of poverty and inequality.” Or at least that’s the general idea.

How to sway the other side: Use their morals against them

Willer’s work is based on moral foundations theory. It’s the idea that people have stable, gut-level morals that influence their worldview. The liberal moral foundations include equality, fairness, and protection of the vulnerable. Conservative moral foundations are more stalwart: They favor in-group loyalty, moral purity, and respect for authority.

Politicians intuitively use moral foundations to excite like-minded voters. Conservative politicians know phrases like “take our country back” get followers’ hearts beating.

What moral foundations theory tells us, however, is that these messages don’t translate from one moral tribe to the other. “You’re essentially trying to convince somebody who speaks French of some position while speaking German to them,” Willer says. “And that doesn’t resonate.”

Willer cautioned that it’s still extremely difficult to convert a political opponent completely to your side, even with these techniques. “We found statistically significant effects,” he says. “They’re reliable. But in terms of magnitude, they are not large.”

The chart below shows how well the moral reframing worked for each policy area in Willer’s study. To be clear, there’s only so much that reframing in terms of values can do: It can’t turn an anti-Obamacare conservative into a proponent, but it can soften his stance and get him to listen to counterarguments.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Still, it’s significant that Willer found any results at all, considering the difficulty political scientists usually have in getting partisans to sympathize with the other side on issues such as health care, military spending, same-sex marriage, and English as an official language.

Willer’s conclusions may not heal American democracy, but they could help, let’s say, lower tensions in a heated family argument.

Here’s an example more grounded in current events. If you’re trying to convince a conservative of the merits of kneeling for the national anthem in protest, emphasize the traditional values around political and religious freedom, Willer suggests, “arguing that the founding fathers were deeply concerned with protecting our rights to social protest.” (Though he hasn’t used this argument in his tests, directly.)

More recently, Feinberg has followed up on the work with an experiment using moral reframing during the 2016 presidential election. In his study, when he framed an argument against Trump in terms of loyalty (a conservative moral foundation), conservative participants reported they were less likely to support him.

“For instance, the loyalty message argued that Trump ‘has repeatedly behaved disloyally towards our country to serve his own interests’ and that ‘during the Vietnam War, he dodged the draft to follow his father into the development business,’” Feinberg and his co-author writein the study.

Feinberg found a similar effect when framing an argument against Clinton in terms of fairness, a liberal moral foundation. The fairness argument mentioned “while so many Americans have suffered during the recent recession that the Wall Street Banks helped cause, Clinton has accepted millions of dollars from them in exchange for giving a few speeches” and claimed Clinton “is willing to sacrifice fairness and equality to achieve her own goals.’”

Liberal participants who were shown this argument felt colder toward Clinton, and indicated they were less likely to vote for her.

2) Listen. Your ideological opponents want to feel like they’ve been heard.

Willer and Feinberg’s work suggest there’s a way to change minds on policy. But what about on prejudice? How can you effectively argue a person out of a prejudicial opinion? Because as Vox’s German Lopez explains in great detail, simply calling people racist is a strategy sure to backfire.

In 2016, the journal Science published a remarkable bit of insight: It’s possible to reduce prejudice, and sway opinions on anti-transgender legislation, with one 10-minute conversation. What’s more, the researchers found that the change of heart can last at least three months and is resistant to anti-transgender attack ads.

It worked because the canvassers in the study did a simple thing: They listened.

Dave Fleischer, a longtime political organizer, calls it deep canvassing. The key to it is that Fleischer has the voter do most of the talking.

Instead of pelting voters with facts, “we ask open-ended questions and then we listen,” Fleischer told me in 2016. “And then we continue to ask open-ended questions based on what they just told us.”

In talking about their own lives, the voters engage in what psychologists call “active processing.” The idea is that people learn lessons more durably when they come to the conclusion themselves, not when someone “bitch-slaps you with a statistic,” says Fleischer. Overall, it’s a task designed to point out our common humanity, which then opens the door to reducing prejudice and changing opinions.

How “deep canvassing” works

Here’s a video example of deep canvassing. It’s of a real voter and a canvasser from the Leadership LAB, a program of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, in March. The woman in the video starts off ambivalent on transgender issues. But through deep canvassing, the activist is able to turn her around.

Specifically, the canvassers ask the voters to recall a time when they were discriminated against. And then toward the end of the conversation, the canvassers nudge the voters into thinking about how that experience can relate to the plight of transgender people. The idea is that people learn lessons more durably when they come to the conclusions on their own.

In the video above, notice how the voter starts to come around on the issue when the canvasser asks if she’s ever been on the receiving end of discrimination. She talks about being picked on at work and feeling different. He responds by telling his own story of being discriminated against for being gay. It’s a real heart to heart between strangers.

And in that moment, the canvasser points out that a transgender nondiscrimination law would help people who feel discriminated against at school or work.

“Oh, okay, that makes a lot of sense,” she says.

This technique has only been proven to work with identity issues, like transgender rights. It’s hard to say how to adapt it for talking a relative out of their support for gun control.

But the main message of the strategy couldn’t hurt to try: Listen to people, get them to think about their own experience, and highlight your common humanity.

You might at least get your foot in the door to a breakthrough.

Source: https://www.vox.com/2016/11/23/13708996/argue-better-science?fbclid=IwAR13NZLTtpXMFUilk4wCK-FR7NDmZ8xE1Fvhl1QgD8EFpiRjfm5rAPSGNiM

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This sudden feeling of intense heat can happen for a number of reasons.

You’re doing your thing, minding your own business, and then you start to feel the heat. It’s like someone injected your skin with whatever comes in those little hand-warming gel packets. Hot flashes are sudden feelings of intense heat that you usually experience over your face, neck, and chest.

Hot flashes are annoying, and they can leave you with a pounding heart, flushed skin, and—when they pass—a sweat-stained shirt and a case of the chills. While it’s true that they are usually associated with menopause and perimenopause, women (and men) of any age can experience them, says Beth Battaglino, RN, CEO and women’s health expert with the nonprofit HealthyWomen. “Hot flashes can strike at any time and for a lot of different reasons,” Battaglino explains.

Before diving into those reasons, it’s important to point out that experiencing one doesn’t mean anything scary is going on, says Alexandra Sowa, MD, founder of SoWell Health, a private practice focused on disease prevention through nutrition, fitness, and medicine. “It’s not clear why some people experience them and some don’t, but for many it’s a benign or transient condition,” she explains.

If you feel like you’re having hot flashes on a consistent basis, Dr. Sowa and other docs recommend jotting down some notes in your phone or on a pad of paper every time you experience one. “Write down the time of day and what you were doing before they started,” Dr. Sowa suggests.

“Keeping that kind of diary may help you make associations or identify your triggers—things such as red wine or stress,” adds Lynn Simpson, MD, a gynecologist at Cleveland Clinic. This info could also help your doctor figure out the underlying cause of your hot flashes, she says.

What causes hot flashes

That said, there are a number of reasons you could be experiencing hot flashes. Here are the most common triggers—and what to do about them.


It’s no secret that menopause is the most common cause of hot flashes. During menopause, your ovaries stop releasing eggs and the levels of estrogen and progesterone are lower. These hormone changes can affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature.

Cool off: If your symptoms are severe, your doctor might suggest hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This type of medication includes estrogen to help manage hormone levels and relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. However, there are risks to undergoing HRT. Studies have associated HRT with a higher risk of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Breast cancer treatment

That said, hot flashes and night sweats can be a side effect of breast cancer treatment, the National Cancer Institute reports. Oftentimes, radiation and chemotherapy can cause premature menopause in young women, and older women can go into menopause as a result of chemo.

Cool off: To help manage your symptoms, limit your consumption of spicy foods and hot drinks, avoid hot showers, saunas, and triggers like stress and alcohol. Take a cool shower before going to bed and lower the temperature in your bedroom. Sleep in cooling sheets and comforters made with natural materials like cotton, linen, and silk.

Prescription meds

Hot flashes are a side effect of many common prescription drugs, Dr. Simpson says. She mentions opioids, antidepressants, and some osteoporosis drugs as a few of the common medication triggers. Some steroids that are used to treat swelling can also trigger hot flashes. Men who have had surgery to remove one or both testicles can also experience hot flashes.

Battaglino recommends looking for symptoms soon after starting a new course of medication. “If they coincide, you’ll know that’s probably the cause,” she adds.

Cool off: Let your health care provider know what’s up. He or she may be able to switch you to a similar drug that doesn’t leave you hot under the collar. “It may also be that the hot flashes will go away as your body gets acclimated to the medication, so your provider can reassure you the discomfort won’t last long,” Battaglino adds.

Excess weight

By now you’ve probably heard that body fat is metabolically active, which helps explain the links between obesity and some cancers. And because excess weight can mess with your metabolism, it can also promote hot flashes, Battaglino says.

Cool off: It’s a predictable remedy. But diet and exercise can bring relief, especially if you’re overweight or obese, according to a 2010 study from the University of California, San Francisco. Compared with overweight and obese women who did not attempt to lose weight, those who ate healthily and exercised 200 minutes per week were twice as likely to report fewer hot flashes. Try these effective exercises for weight loss.

Food allergies or sensitivities

Almost all of us experience something like a hot flash when we eat very spicy foods, Dr. Simpson says. But if you have an unidentified food allergy or intolerance, something else in your diet could be the cause, Battaglino explains.

Cool off: Alcohol, caffeine, and additives like sulfites are some common triggers, Simpson says. Pay attention to how your body reacts the next time you ingest any of them, and you may find a correlation. If that doesn’t help, consider speaking with your doctor or a registered dietitian about a structured elimination diet.


While you’ll often hear the words “stress” and “anxiety” used interchangeably, mental health experts tend to use the term “anxiety” to refer to the physical side of emotions like stress, fear, or worry. A racing heart and nervous fidgeting are two of the classic anxiety symptoms. And feeling anxious can also set off uncomfortable symptoms, Battaglino says.

Cool off: “Reminding yourself to breathe is a simple exercise that can help calm anxiety,” Battaglino explains. Exercise, meditation, and yoga are also effective anxiety busters. If those don’t work, you may be suffering from a more serious form of anxiety. Consider speaking with a doctor or cognitive behavioral therapist.

Medical conditions

Almost any medical problem related to your hormones or endocrine system could lead to menopause-like symptoms. In particular, thyroid issues—especially an overactive thyroid—could explain your bouts of feeling warm, Battaglino says. Infections or viruses can also cause them, Dr. Sowa explains.

If the problem is your thyroid, you’ll likely experience other symptoms besides hot flashes. A racing heart, unexplained weight loss, lots of trips to the bathroom, and feeling extreme fatigue at certain times of the day are all symptoms associated with an overactive thyroid. When it comes to other health issues—including infections—look for an elevated temp and symptoms like diarrhea or bowel discomfort, Dr. Sowa says.

Cool off: If you’re experiencing any of those associated symptoms along with your hot flashes, talk to your doc about getting a diagnosis and treatment plan.

A hot bedroom

Your body temperature naturally fluctuates throughout the night, Dr. Simpson says. So it’s common for women (and men) to wake up in the middle of the night feeling overheated or sweaty.

Cool off: “It may be as simple a fix as turning down the thermostat or sleeping with fewer blankets or clothes,” Dr. Simpson says. You can also try these cooling sheets and lightweight comforters to prevent night sweats.

Source: https://www.prevention.com/health/a20484754/6-common-causes-of-hot-flashes-that-arent-menopause/

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How couples fight is just as important as how they love, and it’s one of the most predictive factors for a successful relationship. All couples have conflict and will cause each other distress from time to time. There are two partners with different brains, two different personalities, many different moods, and many different thought patterns: What could possibly go wrong? Anything and everything. Many couples I see think that because they’re in love, they should never fight. And when they do, especially when they have that first major blow-up, they’re concerned there’s something wrong, even unrepairable, with their relationship. While this is true in some cases, more often it’s because couples don’t know how to communicate without inflicting harm.

Since conflict and distress are the norm, it’s essential that you learn to fight well and repair quickly. You’re far more likely to get what you want and prevent what you don’t. Arguments typically begin because you’re fighting for something. It’s possible to learn to fight well so you can handle any conflict that comes up in your relationship. Remember, you’re a two-person psychological system, so you move in tandem as in a three-legged race—and, if not, you lose. This applies to all aspects as you live life together, including fighting.

The No. 1 rule in arguing.

You’re more likely to be heard when you take care of yourself and your partner at the same time. Taking care of your partner includes responding accurately to your partner’s signals. Take care of only yourself and you get nothing. Take care of only your partner and you abandon your own needs and desires.

Often, taking care of your partner is what’s most difficult. You have to know how your partner thinks and feels about specific matters. You have to put yourself in their shoes before doing anything at all and prove to them verbally that you fully understand what they want, need, worry about, and are afraid of. If you don’t lead with this knowledge, your partner will assume that they have to do that for themselves. When that happens, not only is valuable time wasted for both of you, but your partner is already heading toward a fight-or-flight response. They will think they have to defend their interests since you obviously aren’t looking out for them.

The first rule of taking care of both you and your partner at the same time is to lead with relief. We all know it’s better to think first before speaking or acting, but in the heat of the moment, the primitives—those areas of the brain that recognize lightning fast anything that seems threatening, including words, facial expressions, gestures, etc.—are mostly running the show. So lead with relief when talking about something stressful or distressing. This will disarm your partner’s primitives and assure them that you’re disarmed before doing anything else. Not doing so will result in your partner remaining in suspense as to whether you’re a friend or a foe. Remember, we’re animals, and when threatened, our brains tilt toward war. I see partners get into trouble immediately when they fail to lead with relief and instead present their view, their needs, and their fears only. That forces the other person to be on guard and think of their interests only. That’s a situation that leads to squaring off, and once there, you’re both in an adversarial position that’s difficult to break free from.

When in distress, keep it short and do it quickly.

It’s vital that during distress the two of you move as quickly as possible toward mutual relief. Don’t dilly-dally. That means you both will work as fast as you can to make matters right and good for both of you.

At the start of a conflict, remain face to face and eye to eye. We’re visual animals. We receive and process crucial information when we pay attention to this region of the body. But what does this mean in terms of real life and how we relate to our partner in moments of tension? It means we need to face our partner directly. Our eyes see the world in high definition through the fovea, which is part of the macula. The fovea is the size of a pin. We’re legally blind through the area outside of the fovea, meaning our vision is clearest when looking dead ahead—to the side, not so much. Because of our eyes’ rapid movements, we’re not aware of this limitation.

We should also never fight by email, text, or phone. Again, because we’re visual animals, vision is the most important co-regulator of our nervous system. Sound comes in second. Touch can be the greatest influencer in calming us down, but it alone can also do the opposite.

Take care of one issue at a time.

When in conflict with each other, don’t get sidetracked. Stick to one thing, and one thing only. Never move on to another topic or issue before taking the current issue off the table completely. So if your partner brings up a complaint about anything, your job is to take care of yourself and your partner at the same time by leading with relief and doing whatever is necessary to disarm and relieve your partner. If your partner is relieved and signals completion, then and only then can you explain your side of it, your intentions—whatever you feel like doing, as long as it isn’t undoing the relief you just created.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-number-one-thing-to-do-when-arguing-with-your-partner

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