June 15-21, 2009 - Original Health Articles

What's the Latest in Birth Control?

The latest news in birth control is actually a new slant on old news.  Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills have been around for decades and do far more than just prevent pregnancy.  They also regulate, shorten and even eliminate periods, decrease bleeding and cramping and treat acne.

How Many Calories Are In That Drink?

A study in the journal Pediatrics found that 84% of teens consume sugar sweetened beverages every day.  These contribute about 356 calories extra to their daily diets. Consuming just 500 extra calories a day, one would gain about one pound a week.

Are You Giving Your Body the Nutrition It Needs?

Whether you're a young woman, pregnant woman, or golden girl, nutrition is essential for women's ever-changing bodies. Read on for five important nutrients, essential for women's nutrition. 1) Vitamin D - "the sunshine vitamin," is an essential nutrient that promotes calcium absorption for healthy bones, heart and metabolic processes.

What Can Melatonin Do For Your Heartburn?

Melatonin is a hormone our body produces that helps regulate sleep. It is produced naturally in the pineal gland at the base of the brain, but it can also be taken in tablets, which people who travel a lot or suffer from mild sleep disorders take to improve their circadian rhythms (which has some scientific backing).

Menopause and Sex

Few positive images come to mind when you think of menopause. Bouts of moodiness, hot flashes, increased weight, sleeplessness, menstrual changes, and vaginal changes seem to define the process. Then there are all the myths surrounding menopause and sex.

5 Must-Read Tips for Working Mothers

The words "working" and "mother" are redundant. Parenting is a tough job;   tougher still for working mothers juggling responsibilities at home and work. The US Department of Labor says, "Nearly three-quarters of all mothers are in the labor force.

Do Pheromones Work?

Can a perfume or cologne with pheromones turn you into a love magnet? The prevailing wisdom is that you should hold on tightly to your purse for now. Pheromones are defined as chemicals secreted by an individual that produces a change in the sexual or social behavior of another individual of the same species.

Bathroom Safety and Arthritis

Every year thousands of falls and accidents occur in bathrooms. Having arthritis, fatigue, stiff joints or weak muscles makes your risk even higher. Exercises can improve your strength, flexibility and range of motion, but there are also easy fixes you can make to improve bathroom safety when you're living with arthritis.

Diabetic Nerve Damage: An Overview

Sixty to 70 percent of people with diabetes suffer some form of nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC). While the brain and spinal cord aren't usually affected, neuropathies can develop in many other parts of the body, such as the extremities (feet and hands), internal organs and genitalia.

Antioxidants for Breast Cancer

We routinely hear reports about antioxidants protecting us from serious illnesses, such as cancer. Many women have taken this information to heart and regularly take antioxidant vitamins and supplements. However, there are conflicting reports as to whether antioxidants help-or hurt-during chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Your Period

If you're an average woman, you'll have your period 500 times in your life.  That's 500 cycles of ovum (egg) development, uterine lining buildup and, if you don't get pregnant, breakdown.  That's what we call a menstrual cycle.  Most girls start menstruating around age 12 and quit (menopause) around 52.

Can Ginger Provide Relief from Nausea?

Zingiber Officinale. Unless you are an herbalist or botanist, you probably are not familiar with this plant by its official name. However, the plant's humble stem is a key ingredient in many ethnic dishes and you would quickly recognize its distinctive taste and smell.

Exercise and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer statistics can be scary and may leave you feeling like you have no control over whether or not you develop this disease. However, simple lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthy diet can help put you in charge of your own health.

New Developments in Colon Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common, and second deadliest, type of cancer. CRC includes all cancers of the colon and rectum. The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 106,000 patients will be diagnosed with CRC in 2009. However, the overall survival rates for cancers of the colon and rectum are increasing, thanks to early detection and improved treatment options.

Destress to Help Your Heart

With the economy in shambles, the environment on the verge, and a collective lifestyle whose pace seems to get faster by the minute, it's hard for even the most Zen among us to feel stress-free nowadays. And all this stress can have an adverse effect on the cardiovascular system.

5 Tips for a Healthy Picnic

What do you think of when you think of picnics? Fried chicken, mayonnaise-y salads and sandwiches, sweetened lemonade...right? But it doesn't have to be that way. A picnic is simply a meal you eat outdoors. You choose what to bring, and you choose whether to make it healthy or not.

Is There a Perfect SPF Number?

SPF 30, SPF 15, SPF 70, SPF 4. The numbers seem to rush at you from the drugstore shelves as you stare at the dizzying array of brightly colored sunscreen bottles. If an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 is good, is 70 better? Is there a minimum SPF you...

Low Serotonin Levels May Be Causing Your Depression

If you're at all familiar with depression and its causes, you may have heard talk about serotonin. But what exactly is this substance found inside our bodies? It turns out that serotonin juggles multiple roles. It not only plays a part in depression but helps regulate our sleep patterns, appetites, blood-vessel tone, body temperature, secretion of certain hormones, and our perception of pain.

Will Aloe Vera Juice Help Your GERD Symptoms?

People who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) suffer from a variety of symptoms. The primary one is heartburn, the burning sensation behind the breastbone that usually comes when you eat fatty too many fatty foods, eat too quickly, or lie down too soon after eating.

Are You Eating the Wrong Food Combinations?

No one likes a digestive problem. Whether it's not going to the bathroom enough (constipation), going to the bathroom too much (diarrhea), a burning behind the breastbone (heartburn), or a pain in the epigastric area (indigestion), anything that makes us feel uncomfortable in relation to eating is an annoyance.

5 Cardio Exercises That Won't Destroy Your Knees

Cardio/aerobic exercise is key to a healthy heart, normal weight, overall fitness and, of course, great legs but what do you do when your "great legs" include weak or injured knees?  The Mayo Clinic reports one in three Americans over age 45 have experienced knee pain resulting from an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage, certain medical conditions, including arthritis, gout and infection.

The Best Foods to Eat Before a Workout

There are lots of opinions about how to eat before a workout.  Some say eating a pre-exercise meal gives them the energy they need to keep up the pace or go the distance.  Others say food sits like a gut bomb and gives them cramps. We all grew up with Mom's rule about no swimming for an hour after lunch.

Fight Back Against Pollen Allergies

Pollen are tiny particles that are released by trees, flowers and grasses. They travel through the air, making spring, summer and sometimes even early fall miserable for people whose bodies react to this foreign invader by kicking the immune system into high gear.

Yoga for Arthritic Hips

Yoga is an ancient Eastern art and exercise that's growing in popularity every year in America. Aside from giving your muscles some serious work, it helps you to relax, and can alleviate bone, joint and muscle-related pain, according to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

When Depression Leads to Suicide

Many of us don't think of depression as a life-threatening illness in the same way we do cancer, but it's important to remember that in severe cases, depression can lead to suicide. And suicide cuts across all age, gender, racial and socioeconomic lines.

Stock Your Kitchen With These Must-Have Foods

Keeping a well-stocked pantry, refrigerator and freezer helps make healthy meal planning quick and easy.  Imagine preparing healthy meals in as little time or less than it would take to run through a drive-through.  With careful planning, you can.

SAMe for Depression: Legitimate or Not?

S-adenosylmethionine, or SAMe, is an over-the-counter dietary supplement that's a synthetic version of a compound found naturally in the human body. Besides being used to treat osteoarthritis and liver disease, some practitioners have recommended it to treat depression.

Could You Be Exercising Too Much?

While few people run the risk of over exercising (most people run the opposite end of the spectrum), some people use exercise as an emotional crutch or allow it to control their lives and ruin their health. These are the folks who go running the day after surgery or the gym-junkies who take every class, every day.

5 Quick Energy Boosters (No Caffeine Needed)

Is that 3 pm trip to the corner coffee bar a must in order to get through the afternoon? It's normal to experience a mild energy slump a few hours after lunch, but there are ways to perk yourself up without resorting to caffeine. Try these tips and you'll soon feel more alert and alive-naturally! See the light.

Do You Know Your Perfect Body Weight?

Determining a healthy weight that's right for you is an important key to feeling your best and living a healthy life.  Achieving and/or maintaining that weight involves a lifestyle that combines healthy eating and regular exercise.  Over the years, there have been many different ways to determine ideal body weight for adults.

Drink for Health: The Benefits of Drinking Water

Ever wonder why it seems like nothing can quench your thirst quite like water? Well,  more than half our weight comes from water.  The body actually loses about 2-3 quarts of water every day.  And if you're exercising or doing physical work in the heat, the loss can be much more.

Sports Creams: Help or Hype?

What's the story behind sports creams? They claim to rub away the pain of achy joints and muscles but are they a help or a hype?  It depends on whom you ask. Manufacturers of products like BenGay, Thermacare, IcyHot and others say their topical pain relieving creams and gels work to decrease pain caused by exercise, injury or illnesses like arthritis.

Midlife: Transition or Depression?

Does just hearing the words "midlife crisis" conjure up a tired old stereotype? Maybe a forty- or fifty-something man who ditches his family sedan for a flashy sports car and his wife for his young secretary? While this example may be a cliché, there's certainly some truth to the idea that middle age is when we start taking a hard look at ourselves and our satisfaction with our lives.

Stress and Diabetes

When you have diabetes, stress is a double whammy. While the medical community is reluctant to say stress can cause diabetes, they believe it may play a role in its onset—plus, it can make the symptoms worse. Also, diabetes can increase stress in your life, as does any chronic illness.

What You Should Know About Heartburn and Vitamin C

When you feel that burning pain in your breastbone, you know it all too well: heartburn. Almost everyone experiences it sometimes, as heartburn causes range from food to exercise to stress.[1] So one way to minimize the chance of having it is to scale back on those activities.

Kidney Disease in Diabetics: What You Need to Know

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, making up 40 to 50 percent of all cases. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to suffer severe kidney disease. However, if you have type 2 diabetes you are still at risk, especially if you also have hypertension.

How to Keep Children with Diabetes Safe at School

Sending your child with diabetes off to school can be a harrowing experience, especially if she's very young. Most children (along with many adults) wrestle with insulin injections and pumps, blood glucose monitors, and other diabetes tools. Plus, your child may have difficulty recognizing when her symptoms are severe, or when she needs to eat.

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