Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Women’s Health’ Category

 

You can do it too!

Read Full Post »

Video Link:

//players.brightcove.net/533384139/Vy9Xjifax_default/index.html?videoId=5627156714001

 

If there’s one thing that can make you uncomfortable all day, it’s dealing with lower-back tension. And try as you might, between at-home remedies and stretches, sometimes it just keeps lingering. Luckily Women’s Health’s With Yoga DVD is here to help you deal. It features a lower-back routine from yoga instructor Rebecca Pacheco that’s just nine minutes long, but delivers major relief. In fact, Pacheco’s students even refer to the simple moves as “back magic” for their healing powers. You don’t need to head to a class at a yoga studio for this one, all you need is a small space in your home. Here, the three moves that address a tight, achy lower back from the Women’s Health’s With Yoga DVD.

SUN SALUTATION

At the top of your mat, stand relaxed with feet hip-width apart. Inhale, reach overhead. Exhale, bend your knees and slowly bow down. Inhale, rising to a flat-back position. Place your hands on the floor, and step back to downward facing dog. Take a breath or two.

LOW LUNGE

Step your right foot forward between your hands, drop back knee down, curl back toes down. Lean hips forward. Grab a block and set it beneath your left hand. Pivot your left femur (thigh bone) toward your back heel (to the right). Hold. Slowly come back to center. Now, pivot your left femur toward your block to face the other direction (your left). Release.

Go back into your downward-facing dog. Raise your left leg into the air. Swing through to a low lunge on the other side. Repeat the low lunge sequence on this leg. When finished, end in downward-facing dog.

STANDING FORWARD BEND

In downward-facing dog, take right leg in the air, keeping head down. Swing leg through and place foot between your hands. Step up, bringing your left foot to meet your right. Feet hip-width distance apart, hang down with your head toward the floor. Nod your head ‘yes’ and shake your head ‘no’. Fan your feet, relax toes. Slowly roll upright. Lift shoulders to ears, take a big breath. Inhale and exhale twice more.

Ahhh. Sweet relief. Now, check your standing. You should feel more balanced with your weight back into your heels, spine aligned. Your back should feel more spacious and have more mobility. All that to say, you should feel good.

And if you like this sequence, pick up a copy of Women’s Health’s With Yoga DVD for more great yoga flows to get your whole body feeling amazing.

Read Full Post »

As the years pass by, many women find that the lifestyle that worked in their 20s and 30s fails to achieve the same results in their 40s and 50s. As women reach their 50s (the average age of onset for menopause), they’ll have to compensate for hormonal, cardiovascular and muscle changes.

Weight gain in aging women is common because of decreases in muscle mass, the accumulation of excess fat and a lower resting metabolic rate. Hormonal shifts can cause a range of symptoms and increase overall risk for heart disease and stroke. And absorption of certain nutrients may decrease because of a loss of stomach acid. Clearly, your diet at 50 should look a bit different from your earlier diet.

The goal of the “50 and over” diet is to maintain weight, consume heart-healthy foods and, above all, stay strong! Use the following 5 tips to live your 50s in fabulous shape.

 

22851977_1164594607007605_2877290852195473301_n

1. Add B12 to your daily supplements

B12 supports healthy nerve and blood cells and is needed to make DNA. B12 is primarily found in fish and meat. It is bound to a protein in food and must be released from it by digestion in the stomach. As we age, our stomach acid decreases, making it more difficult to absorb nutrients such as B12.

Older adults are at a greater risk for B12 deficiency, but adding the vitamin to your diet in a supplemental form (either by pill or shot) can help prevent symptoms — which can take years to appear — well before they start.

2. Really cut back on salt

The older we get, the more likely we are to develop hypertension (high blood pressure) because our blood vessels become less elastic as we age. Having high blood pressure puts us at risk for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease and early death.

About 72 percent of salt in the American diet comes from processed foods. You should significantly decrease and ideally forgo your consumption of processed foods (chips, frozen dinners, canned soup, etc.) and aim for 1500 mg or less sodium per day, which is about ½ tsp. You can start adding flavorful herbs in place of salt when you cook at home. Many herbs provide anti-cancer benefits as well; oregano, thyme, and rosemary are all high in antioxidants. Ditching processed food also means consuming more whole foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This will increase your fiber consumption. Fiber helps you stay fuller longer, meaning you’ll eat less throughout the day and be more likely to maintain your weight.

3. Check your multivitamin for Iron — and toss it if it has it

The average woman experiences menopause and the cessation of her menstrual period around age 50. After menopause, the need for iron decreases to about 8 mg of iron a day. While the body can’t live without iron, an overabundance can be dangerous as well. Iron toxicity can occur because the body doesn’t have a natural way to excrete iron; too much can cause liver or heart damage and even death. Postmenopausal women should take iron supplements only when prescribed by a physician. If your multivitamin has iron in it, replace it.

4. Pay more attention to calcium and vitamin D

Due to gastric and hormone changes, D levels and calcium absorption tank around age 40. Furthermore, evidence shows that postmenopausal women have an increased risk of osteoporosis because of their lack of estrogen. To make matters worse, after 50, the body will break down more bone than it will build. This puts women over 50 at risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.

It’s ideal to consume adequate calcium before age 30, but it’s never too late to increase rich calcium sources in your diet. Fabulously delicious sources of calcium include sardines (a double dose of omega 3 through the fish and calcium through the bones), spinach, broccoli, kale, and low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. In addition, your physician should test your vitamin D levels and provide additional supplementation as needed (vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium).

5. Eat like a Greek!

As we age, our blood vessels become less elastic, and the force of blood moving through our veins gets stronger. This puts women in menopause at an increased risk of heart disease. But there is a diet to help decrease our risk — and it’s delicious!

When researchers looked at the populations in the world that had the most people over the age of 100, they noticed these individuals shared a few common themes in their lives. The most prevalent commonality was their consumption of a Mediterranean diet. A 2000 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a diet that adheres to the principles of the traditional Mediterranean diet (which includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, moderate wine consumption and olive oil) was associated with longer survival. Further, a 2004 study in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention found that a Mediterranean diet was associated with lower risks of cancer and heart disease. And a 2010 review of studies in the American Journal of Clinical Research affirmed the diet’s powers to protect against major chronic diseases.

Taking a Mediterranean cruise when you retire is a great stress reliever, but switching to a Mediterranean diet may be an even better idea!

 

Conventional wisdom holds that people who eat breakfast are slimmer and more inclined to eat healthy, but German researchers found that eating breakfast did not mean people ate less throughout the day, while Cornell studies have shown that skipping the morning meal can actually aid with weight loss.

Schenker and Bee advocate a diet rich with, among other things, iron (women approaching menopause are more likely to become anemic), vitamin C (to boost skin health), vitamin D (which helps with calcium absorption and immunity) and healthy fats (which help “oil” the aging body by lubricating the joints).

For dinners, the pair recommends dishes such as grilled sea bass with sweet potato and broccoli, a tofu stir fry, and a meat dish like turkey-and-bean chili once or twice a week.

“You only get one life,” says Schenker. “And don’t you dare skip on a glass of wine — it makes more of a merry time!”

5 tips for an ageless body

Go ahead, skip breakfast. Women over the age of 35 who try it say it makes a difference in their weight, and they tend to eat healthier throughout the day. Breakfast is not nutritionally “better” than brunch, so don’t feel guilty if you’re not peckish enough to chow down at a certain time of the day.

Feel full longer. To stay satiated, eat protein at every meal. While you shouldn’t ban carbs from your diet, build only one meal a day around them, and make sure they’re from whole grains.

Modal Trigger
Getty Images

Fruits and fats are OK. Fruits are chock-full of fiber and nutrients and can jazz up a savory meal. A range of fats both healthy (nuts, oils, seeds) and saturated (lean meats), in moderation, is OK.

Don’t fuel (or refuel) your workouts. The idea that it’s necessary to eat before a workout is a misconception, and a cottage industry of energy bars and sugary sports drinks has been built around it. Eating well will suffice for the level of exercise you’re doing — 45 minutes a day, four times a week.

Less exercise is more. As you age, less exercise will serve you better in the long run, though you’ll need to up the pace and intensity. Plus, overexercise leads to dreaded “gym face” — that gaunt look when one has sunken cheeks and hollow eyes.

 

Read Full Post »

OUT-OF-WHACK ESTROGEN EXPANDS YOUR FAT CELLS

Although estrogen is responsible for making women uniquely women, it’s also the hormone that can be the most troublesome in the fat department. At normal levels, estrogen actually helps keep you lean by goosing the production of insulin, a hormone that manages blood sugar. When estrogen gets thrown off, though, it turns you into a weight-gain machine.

Here’s how: When you eat, your blood sugar rises. Like a bodyguard, insulin lowers it by escorting glucose into three different places in your body. When insulin is in good working form—not too high and not too low—it sends a small amount of glucose to your liver, a large amount to your muscles to use as fuel, and little to none to fat storage. When you’re healthy and in good shape, your pancreas produces exactly the right amount of insulin to have your blood sugar softly rise and fall within a narrow range (fasting levels of 70 to 85 mg/dl). But when your estrogen levels climb, the cells that produce insulin become strained, and you can become insulin resistant. That’s when insulin starts to usher less glucose to the liver and muscles, raising the levels of sugar in your bloodstream and ultimately storing the glucose as fat. Your fat tissue can expand by as much as four times to accommodate the storage of glucose.

How do estrogen levels climb? Meat is one of the primary reasons. You take in a lot less fiber when you eat meat; research suggests that vegetarians get more than twice as much fiber as omnivores. Because fiber helps us stay regular, and we process excess estrogen through our waste, eating less fiber drives up our estrogen.

Meat also contains a type of fat with its own estrogen problem. Conventionally raised farm animals are overloaded with steroids, antibiotics, and toxins from their feed and the way they’ve been raised. When you eat them, those substances are released into your system. They can behave like estrogen in the body, adding to your overload.

hormones weight loss
SHUTTERSTOCK

BELEAGUERED TESTOSTERONE SLOWS YOUR METABOLISM

You are confronted with an astounding number of toxins each day, including pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, and about six different synthetic hormones in meat. Toxins are lurking in face creams, prescription drugs, processed foods, your lipstick, the linings of tuna fish cans, the fire-retardant materials in couches, and even the air you breathe. The list goes on. Many types of these toxins, such as pesticides, plastics, and industrial chemicals, behave like estrogen when absorbed in the body. Experts believe that our increasing exposure to toxins helps explain why so many girls are entering puberty earlier and earlier and why many boys exhibit feminine characteristics such as developing breasts. Xeno-estrogens, as these particular toxins are called, have been associated with an elevated risk of estrogen-driven diseases like breast and ovarian cancers and endometriosis.

All this fake estrogen overwhelms your body’s testosterone—which is vital for hormone balance—and contributes to estrogen overload. Testosterone contributes to muscle growth, which in turn supports metabolism. And, as we already know, estrogen overload raises insulin insensitivity. The combination adds pounds to your frame: A study from Sweden published in the journal Chemosphere showed that exposure to a particular type of pesticide called organochloride was linked to a weight gain of 9½ pounds over 50 years.

And that’s just one type of toxin. Your risk of weight gain and disease from exposure to toxins may be greater than you realize. A survey by the CDC demonstrated that 93% of the population has measurable levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in store receipts and canned foods that disrupts estrogen, thyroid, and androgen hormones. Endocrine disruptors have been shown to interfere with the production, transportation, and metabolism of most hormones.

Now you know the “whys” of your broken metabolism, the reasons regular diets don’t address the root cause of your weight gain. Hormones dictate what your body does with food. Fix your hormones and your body will slim down without any extra effort from you.

Read Full Post »

BY ALISON FELLER October 13, 2017

 

Three years ago, Sheeva Talebian felt an itch on her right chest. When she went to scratch it, she noticed something under her skin. “It was like a round, circular pea,” she says of the lump in her breast. “I thought maybe it was a pimple because it was right at the top of my skin. So I ignored it and went to bed.”

 

Talebian, an M.D. who is director of third party reproduction at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in New York City and is a co-founder of Truly-MD, had received a mammogram just six months prior. But she called her ob-gyn anyway. Her doctor said the small lump in her breast was probably nothing, and an ultrasound and second mammogram didn’t show anything concerning. But when she sought a second opinion, Talebian’s phone rang within 24 hours: “I dropped the phone and gasped,” she says. “They told me I had invasive breast cancer.” The 6-millimeter lump was tiny—small enough that Talebian herself had forgotten about it for a few months after she first noticed it—but her entire right breast had pre-cancer cells, and it had spread to surrounding tissue.

 

Fortunately, Talebian and her doctors caught her case early. She underwent a double mastectomy to remove the breast lump and surrounding tissue and was able to avoid chemotherapy treatment. “I’m a doctor, but I have to be honest, I wasn’t doing a self-breast exam every month,” she admits. “I barely had any breast tissue, so in my head, I was like, ‘What am I even feeling?’ There was nothing really there.” Now, of course, Talebian is adamant that women take control of their breast health. And turns out, that doesn’t necessarily mean monthly self-exams.

 

“We’ve always told women to do self exams in the shower or lying down with one arm up, and to slowly and deliberately feel their way around the breast and nipple and into the armpit,” Talebian says. “But now there’s this new concept of breast awareness.” That phrase about knowing something like the back of your hand? Today, ob-gyns are advocating that you know your breasts that well. “Once you reach late adolescence or your early twenties, you should know what your breasts look and feel like,” Talebian says. “Know their size, shape, how they look in the mirror, how they feel, run your fingers across them occasionally—that way you know if anything suddenly feels different.” Like Talebian, many women aren’t diligent about performing regular and frequent self-exams. So embracing breast awareness—particularly after ovulation but before your period—could be the key to noticing changes in your breast tissue.

 

So let’s say you feel something. Now what? “Do something relatively quickly,” says Talebian. “You don’t need to page your doctor at midnight, but if you’re 100 percent certain what you’re feeling is new, call your gynecologist, primary care physician, or internist. Explain that you feel something that wasn’t there before, and stay calm.” The reason to act quickly isn’t necessarily that the case can worsen within 24 hours—it probably won’t—but so you don’t forget about it. “If you put it out of your mind, eight months down the road it may be bigger and you’ll remember you never made that call,” Talebian says. “It’s never too early or too silly to bring your concern to a healthcare provider’s attention.”

And remember, the earlier you can catch potential signs of breast cancer, the better. “Breast cancer is one of the very few cancers we do have screening tools for, and if it’s caught early, that can have a huge impact on your overall prognosis,” Talebian says. “Breast cancer can start as a small bump, and it may take several years before it metastasizes and you start to experience pain or symptoms from it. So there are no excuses. Most often it’s nothing or it’s benign, but in the off chance it iscancerous, the earlier you deal with it, the sooner you can put it behind you forever. If you feel something, don’t ignore it.”

Read Full Post »

Fifteen years ago, Dr. Naomi Rance was at work when she experienced her first hot flash. Rance, a physician and researcher at the University of Arizona College of Medicine — Tucson, took note.

th

As it turns out, her basic scientific research on estrogen’s involvement with hot flashes may lead to a promising treatment for them.

Hot flashes can range from mild to severe and occur a few times a week to several times an hour.

Rance, also a UA professor of pathology and neurology, originally became interested in menopause during her neuropathology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.

“I started off with a very straightforward project,” she explains. “I was going to examine the hypothalamus in women’s brains before and after the menopause. I found that a group of neurons got bigger in the brains of postmenopausal women and that was what was shocking at the time. Usually, with aging, things don’t get bigger, they get smaller.”

Rance knew from previous research that the enlarged neurons were in the hypothalamic area known as the arcuate nucleus, named for its arc shape. The tiny area contains a microscopic collection of neurons, which contain the neuropeptide, neurokinin B, and control reproduction.

Rance later discovered that those same neurons also influence how estrogen alters body temperature.

“That was really a sign that the reproductive axis is integrated with thermoregulation,” she says. “The two systems are intimately integrated.”

So much so that Rance was able to show through laboratory experiments on rodents that stimulation of the receptor for neurokinin B, called neurokinin 3, causes changes in body temperature similar to a hot flash, and that destruction of neurokinin B neurons alters thermoregulation.

These experiments led to a hypothesis that hot flashes occur when estrogen levels are diminished, causing increased release of neurokinin B into the brain areas that control body temperature. Theoretically, an antagonist could block this biological reaction by binding to the neurokinin 3 receptor and preventing the actions of neurokinin B.

Rance presented these findings at the 2012 Second World Conference on Kisspeptin in Japan.

As it happened, Dr. Waljit Dhillo, an endocrinologist and professor at Imperial College, London, was in the audience along with a few of his colleagues.

“Dhillo said that he and his colleagues heard the talk, and they realized that neurokinin 3 antagonists could be used as a treatment for hot flushes,” Rance says. “He took the idea to the clinical arena very fast. The first thing he did was infuse women with neurokinin B, and found that it caused hot flashes.”

Recently, Dr. Julia Prague, along with Dhillo and colleagues, tested the neurokinin 3 receptor antagonist (MLE4901) in a phase 2, randomized, double-blind clinical trial with 68 women. They found that the drug significantly reduced the total weekly number of hot flashes by 73 percent and was well tolerated.

If successful, the drug could be used as an alternative to estrogen, a development especially important to women with estrogen-dependent breast cancer.

Meanwhile, Rance is continuing to study more of the basic mechanisms that regulate hot flashes.

“People think everything you do has to be translational, but I want to emphasize that it was basic research that has driven me all the way along,” she says. “This would not have happened without the National Institutes of Health budget for basic research. You just don’t know if something is going have a clinical application when you start.”

source :  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170628172151.htm

Read Full Post »

Effect on the chance of subsequent pregnancy quantified for first time

Date:July 3, 2017

Source:European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

For the first time, a large population study has quantified the chance of pregnancy after treatment for cancer diagnosed in girls and women aged 39 or under. This landmark study, which linked all cancers diagnosed in Scotland between 1981 and 2012 to subsequent pregnancy, found that the cancer survivors were 38% less likely to achieve a pregnancy than women in the general population. This detrimental effect on fertility was evident in almost all types of cancer diagnosed.

“This analysis provides the first robust, population-based evidence of the effect of cancer and its treatment on subsequent pregnancy across the full reproductive age range,” said presenter Professor Richard Anderson from the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, Queen’s Medical Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

“The major impact on pregnancy after some common cancers highlights the need for enhanced strategies to preserve fertility in girls and young women.”

Professor Anderson will present the results of the study today at the Annual Meeting of ESHRE in Geneva.

The need for better access to fertility preservation has become more pressing in recent years for two reasons: first, the improved rates of survival in young women and girls diagnosed with cancer; and second, improvements in the techniques of freezing eggs and ovarian tissue to restore fertility.

This latest study, which cross-linked 23,201 female cancer survivors from the Scottish Cancer Registry with hospital discharge records, revealed 6627 pregnancies among the cancer survivors when nearly 11,000 would have been expected in a comparable matched control group from the general population.

For women who had not been pregnant before their cancer diagnosis, 20.6% of the cancer survivors achieved a first pregnancy after diagnosis (2114 first pregnancies in 10,271 women), compared with 38.7% in the control group. Thus, women with cancer were about half as likely to achieve a first pregnancy after diagnosis as were controls.

The analysis also found that the chance of pregnancy was reduced in all age groups, with substantial variations between different cancer diagnoses — notably, reduced pregnancy rates in women with cervical cancer, breast cancer and leukemia. However, those cancers diagnosed later within the study period (2005-2012) were associated with higher rates of pregnancy than those diagnosed earlier (1981-1988), suggesting that for some cancer treatments the impact on fertility has reduced.

The diagnosis and treatment of female cancers are known to affect fertility for several reasons: some chemotherapy regimens can cause damage to the ovary, and this can occur at any age; radiotherapy can also compromise female fertility through effects on the ovary, uterus and potentially those brain centres which control the reproductive axis.

However, Professor Anderson stressed that the results of the study related only to subsequent pregnancy itself, and not to the incidence of infertility caused by cancer treatment. “Some women may have chosen not to have a pregnancy,” he explained. “Thus, while these results do show an expected reduction in the chance of pregnancy after chemotherapy and radiotherapy, having a pregnancy after cancer does involve a range of complex issues that we cannot address in this study.”

With rates of cancer survival increasing in both young male and females, fertility preservation ahead of treatment has an increasing role to play in fertility clinics. However, Professor Anderson described such services in all parts of the world, including the USA and Europe, as “very variable.” “Oocyte and embryo freezing are regarded as established,” he said, “but ovarian tissue cryopreservation is considered experimental, although it is the only option for prepubertal girls.”

He added that the results of this study would allow clinicians to advise girls and women more accurately about their future chance of pregnancy. “They emphasise the need to consider the possible effects on fertility in girls and women with a new cancer diagnosis. The implications of the diagnosis and planned treatment and, where appropriate, options for fertility preservation should be discussed with the patient and her family. Even for patients considered at low risk of infertility as a result of treatment, a fertility discussion is recommended before treatment begins.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »