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Category Archives for "Women’s Health"

Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer May Become Possible

Finally there’s hope for possibly saving a lot of lives by detecting ovarian cancer at an early stage and thus allowing for treatment before the disease develops too far:
A new version of a screening test for ovarian cancer may reduce deaths from the disease, but it needs more study to determine whether the benefits hold up, researchers reported on Thursday.

The findings come from a 14-year study of more than 200,000 women in Britain, published in The Lancet.

“We need to follow up to confirm that this is absolutely significant throughout,” said Dr. Usha Menon, an author of the Lancet article and head of the gynecological cancer center at University College London. She said, “This is almost there, but not yet.”

Her reason for caution was that the study passed only two of three tests of statistical significance, which means that the apparent benefits of screening might have been due to chance. She said a few more years of monitoring the participants would resolve that question.
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Deborah Denehy received chemotherapy directly to her abdomen to treat ovarian cancer, a treatment that remains underused in the United States.

The study results have been long awaited because ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis. The disease has no symptoms in its early stages and can progress rapidly, so most cases are advanced by the time they are found. Only about 45 percent of ovarian cancer patients are still alive five years after a diagnosis.

This year, 21,290 new cases and 14,180 deaths from ovarian cancer are expected in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

Past efforts to find a screening method have focused on two tests: ultrasound examinations of the ovaries, and a blood test to measure CA125, a “tumor marker” sometimes linked to early-stage disease. But in previous studies, those tests did not work: They did not lower the death rate and they produced too many false-positive results that led healthy women to have unnecessary surgery.

The Lancet study also used CA125, but in a different way. Instead of declaring a certain level abnormal, the researchers developed a mathematical formula that took into account a woman’s age and the degree of change in CA125 over time, and calculated a risk score.

Experts not associated with the Lancet study agreed that the test was not ready for routine use, and they varied in their optimism about it…

Read on

The Truth about Estrogen and Heart Disease

Having just read the article herebelow I have just copied this Yale School of Medecine article for my wife and will ask her to read this asap and suggest you do the same:

In 2002, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute stopped a major clinical study testing the health benefits of combined estrogen and progestin therapy in menopausal women three years early after discovering an increased risk of breast cancer.

More than a decade later, women are still suffering from the fallout of that study, known as the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). But not in the way many people might imagine.

“Women are dying because they are not using estrogen,” said Dr. Phillip M. Sarrel, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, describing the confusion following the WHI report as “a muddle.”

“The age of muddle is where we are now,” he said. “And we’re hoping to get out of that.”

Dr. Sarrel joined a panel of experts for a continuing medical education seminar last month at Yale School of Medicine, urging practitioners and the public to re-think the role of estrogens in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in women.

“Re-thinking means re-searching,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Cohen, a cardiologist and the Ebenezer K. Hunt Professor of Medicine Emeritus at Yale School of Medicine. “We must look again at old concepts as science moves ahead and we learn more about the topics.”

More than 290,000 women die of cardiovascular disease in the United States each year, making it the number one killer of women and responsible for one of every four female deaths. From 2002-2012, a study led by Sarrel found that the declining use of estrogen-only therapy after a hysterectomy contributed to the premature deaths of a minimum of 18,601 and as many as 91,610 postmenopausal women.

The WHI involved two separate studies. One enrolled women who still have a uterus taking a combination of equine estrogens and a progestogen. Women who had their uterus removed in a hysterectomy took only estrogen.

The women with an intact uterus had increased risks of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, blood clots and stroke. News headlines following the study’s cancellation in 2002 stressed this threat to women’s health. And people took notice…

Read on at this link

The Female Guide To Getting Lean, Trim, And Hard

Fit is the new hot. Long gone are the days where skinny women are considered the best looking. Society has finally woken up to the fact that strong women are sexy. However, because of our chemical makeup, it can be hard for women to get a lean and trim body. If you are determined to whip your body into shape, all you need is to follow this guide and you’ll see success.

Start By Evaluating Your Lifestyle

The best way to start is by making small lifestyle changes that can make a BIG difference.
•    Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, especially after a good workout. Your muscles will need that time to repair.
•    Manage your stress levels through a hobby, meditation, or yoga. As women, hormones make a big difference in our ability to burn fat. Stress is the evil enemy in this regard. Do whatever you can to diminish the sources of stress in your life.
•    Look for ways to increase you activity level, especially if you have a desk job. Schedule fun outings with friends that include sports like beach volleyball or ultimate Frisbee. Take your family on a hike in the weekends. Use the stairs, walk during lunch, or google a desk office workout- https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/exercise-at-your-desk

Nutrition for a Lean, Trim, Hard Body

You would think that the most important part of getting good muscle mass is your workout but without providing your body with the right fuel, you’d be wasting your time with even hour long workouts (You do not need hour long workouts to get fit, so don’t freak out!). So, how are your eating habits?

In order to shed fat and reveal muscle you need to have a calorie deficit. To do this you need to calculate your BMI and daily caloric need to achieve this weight in a steady and consistent manner.

To calculate your daily calorie needs go here: https://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/calories-burned
The number you calculated is the amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight. You need to shave off around 500 calories to lose a pound per week. Add in the calories burned through your workout and you’ll see a healthy loss of about 2-3 lbs per week. If you eat right this weight loss will be pure fat.


•    A healthy diet to create a lean body needs to have plenty of protein, about 80-90 grams of lean protein per day. Chicken breasts, fish, and vegetable proteins are good sources of lean protein.

•    Next, you need to calculate your carbohydrates, which should be complex carbs at all times, no processed yucky stuff.

•    The rest of your nutrition should come from fruits and vegetables with a few healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and healthy oils. Always hydrate your body with at least 64 oz. of water.

The Workout

Finally! It’s about time we get to your workout, right? The absolute best workouts for busy women to effectively sculpt a beautiful lean body would be quick, include cardio, and work every major muscle in the body.

I know what you are thinking, but this workout does exist!

It’s called High Intensity Interval Training. I’m sure you heard of it. It’s very popular and for good reason.

It can take as little as 20 minutes and will leave you feeling like you’ve wrestled a lion. This workout is a sample of what the perfect workout will look like. You can vary your workout constantly to include your favorite bodyweight moves and focus on any of your trouble zones.

Just follow this formula for circuits and timing and you can’t fail!

Circuit 1:

50 seconds burpees
10-second rest
50 seconds jump squats
10-second rest
Repeat 4 times

Circuit 2:

30 seconds push-ups
30 seconds butt kicks
30 seconds side plank pulses (left)
30 seconds high knees
30 seconds push-ups
30 seconds jumping jacks
30 seconds side plank pulses (right)
30 seconds butt kicks
Rest 1 minute
Repeat 2 times

Love to run? Try this interval workout after a quick warmup:

2 min 65% max speed running
30 sec 90% max speed
1 min of bodyweight exercise of choice
Repeat 6 times

Increase muscle mass by making it to the gym once or twice a week for heavy lifting. Don’t worry, this won’t make you bulky, but it will set fire to your metabolism and have the fat melting off your body like butter.

How Hormones Can Affect A Woman’s Moods

Women have a relatively unique hormonal system when compared to men. Men have a relatively static hormone system with stable levels of pituitary and gonadal hormones throughout their daily lives, suffering from decreasing levels of testosterone after the age of 30-40. Usually this gradual change does not markedly affect male mood.

Women, on the other hand, spend much of their reproductive lives with a cyclical pattern of hormones that change on a day-to-day basis. The cycle repeats itself every month and the fluctuations alone can contribute to changes in everyday mood.

In the beginning of the cycle, the LH and FSH levels are low. The FSH gradually rises in order to stimulate an egg to grow and mature on the ovaries. An LH surge happens at the time of ovulation so that the egg is released and the ovary creates a large amount of estrogen and progesterone in the last half of the cycle. This is when many women experience hormonal changes consistent with premenstrual syndrome. It is possible for any woman to develop mood changes during the last half of the cycle but some women have hormonal changes so significant that it interferes with daily life. When it involves the ability to get through daily life, it is called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD.

What are the symptoms of PMDD?

Women with PMDD often experience mood swings along with physical symptoms that make it difficult to get through daily life. When the period arrives, the symptoms tend to abate for another two weeks until ovulation happens again and PMDD symptoms arrive.

Some symptoms of PMDD include the following:

•    Fluctuations in mood that can change by the hour or by the day.
•    Depressed feelings such as sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness.
•    Increased anger, often leading to interpersonal relationship difficulties
•    Anxiety and increased mental tension
•    Lessened interest in hobbies and other activities you used to enjoy
•    Increased irritability
•    Problems with concentration
•    Tiredness, sleepiness or fatigue during the day
•    An increase or decrease in appetite
•    Insomnia or other sleep difficulties
•    Feeling out of control or overwhelmed by life’s challenges
•    Uncomfortable physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, bloating, headaches, joint pain, muscle pain or swelling

These symptoms can mean that, for two weeks out of every month, a woman can have difficulty functioning in life; this can affect her home life, her work life, and relationships in her life. If the symptoms are relatively mild, she can take vitamins, eat healthy, and exercise in order to improve many of the mood symptoms. If the symptoms are severe and a woman does not wish to become pregnant, oral contraceptives can even out the symptoms. Still other women see their doctor and get prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs like Prozac, Lexapro, or Celexa. These can reduce many of the emotional symptoms so typical of having PMDD or even milder premenstrual symptoms.

Hyperthyroid Conditions

Women are at a higher risk of hypothyroid or hyperthyroid conditions when compared to men. This means they have a higher risk of these hormonally related conditions affecting mood and outlook on life. Hypothyroidism is much more common than hyperthyroidism but both syndromes can lead to mood disorders and mental symptoms.

In hypothyroidism, the main mood symptoms include the following:

•    Depressive symptoms
•    Tiredness or fatigue even when getting enough sleep at night.
•    Difficulty sleeping

If the woman has hyperthyroidism, she likely has Grave’s disease, which has mood and mental symptoms of its own. These include:

•    Nervousness
•    Moodiness
•    Fatigue
•    Mental and emotional weakness
•    Tremulousness

Many times, these symptoms can be overlooked as a normal part of being a woman or due to menstrual symptoms, when in actuality; they are due to a physical problem with the thyroid gland. While jokes are often made about these types of mood conditions and PMS, these serious issues can be debilitating for women, and can seriously affect their lives and relationships.

Only a careful history, physical examination, and a laboratory analysis can allow the doctor to identify which symptoms are just mental and which are due to thyroid pathology. Take the time to look into these issues as help is available and there is no reason to let these problems fester.

How Yoga Can Improve Women’s Health

Yoga has been a cultural buzzword for almost a century. Its practices and techniques have made claims to affect everything from blood circulation to insomnia. Whether by a friend’s anecdote or through a new story shared on a Facebook feed, women have heard of this practice. There are benefits to women’s health through the practice of yoga exercises.

What is Yoga?

It is important, however, to define exactly what “yoga” is, as definitions and practices can vary wildly.

The most common exercise practiced in the West is called Hatha Yoga, (though many other disciplines exist), which originated in India 2,000 years ago. Yoga made its first large-scale appearance in the Western world in the late 18th century and since then has become a wide umbrella of techniques from different religious backgrounds.

It wavered in and out of the culture for a few decades but became a permanent fixture in the 1980s, when Dean Ornish popularized the technique for purely physical benefits. While some conservative groups still frown on the practice, it has become a cultural norm since this time.

Today more than 20 million Americans practice yoga and many more millions around the world.

Holistic Benefits of Yoga

Geeta S. Lyengar believes that due to her study of yoga, she was able to overcome a childhood disease without medication, even after spending four days unconscious in a nursing home with severe nephritis.

She also studied the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu holy book, fervently and practiced meditation as well. Iyengar wrote largely of the holistic benefits of yoga.

She stated that it is a culture of:
•    External and internal cleanliness
•    Dietary control
•    Proper exercise of the limbs and organs
•    Physical and mental poise
•    Rest

However, she also cited its ability to help women specifically, especially in childbirth, menstruation, and menopause. It can be an art, science, and philosophy- or depending on the practitioner, none of the above.

More secular sources like the American College of Sports Medicine have called it an inwards and outward transition. How much of it is used in lifestyle versus physical exercise varies widely with each person who practices these poses, but common sense says that changing things like diets and cleanliness will improve lifestyle.

Health Benefits Of Yoga

Yoga has been cited by scholarly sources to show improvement of common ailments for women, including the American College of Sports Medicine.

Many Benefits Of Yoga

•    Yoga improves flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance.

•    It teaches the practitioner to reduce stress and better cope with stress.

•    Yoga teaches mindfulness by shifting awareness to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that naturally accompany a particular pose.

•    A study from Duke University Medical Center shoed that yoga benefits those who suffer from mental disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety

•    Yoga promotes good sleep and ease anxiety.

•    Practicing yoga in a class setting promotes the production of oxytocin in the brain a feel good hormone that naturally promotes wellness. Something that is especially useful for aging women.

•    Yoga along with meditation also results in higher serotonin levels, which is the mood boosting happiness hormone that can boost quality of life and general contentment.”

•    Couples often turn to yoga to increase chances of conception. Yoga promotes relaxation and reduces stress in the mother to be, both of which improve chances of conception. Yoga also plays a role in promoting blood flow to the reproductive organs, which improves organ function and hormone function.

•    Posture improves because yoga strengthens the core.

•    Yoga helps build lean muscle tone.

•    Quality time in a class setting allows for social interaction, comradery and an emotional connection to others, which improves a woman emotional health helping to improve her physical health and reduce risk for heart disease.

•    Being aware of and knowing how to stretch core muscle groups can be beneficial in managing menstrual cramps and childbirth without medication. They are also used in back strengthening techniques in older women at risk of osteoporosis.

•    Core strength improves with yoga. Using yoga to strengthen core muscles can increase flexibility in women, which can improve overall health as well as comfort during pregnancy. These techniques are also valuable in sports practiced more often by women such as gymnastics and cheerleading.

•    Proper breathing techniques have been used to help women in childbirth for decades. It can also be used to relieve anxiety and help with insomnia.

There is also evidence, though less conclusive, that yoga can benefit those under more severe ailments:

•    Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Though yoga cannot change the physical consequences of cancer, many have reported a higher quality of life after practicing these techniques regardless of the severity of their condition.

•    Depression: No conclusive evidence has been made, but the physical act of stretching and communicating with others in a class setting can help improve quality of life and alleviate mild depression.

Yoga can have positive effects on overall health as well as some specific disorders. Injuries are rare, and there is little equipment or training needed. It is easy to find certified yoga instructors at the local gym, or by visiting the site one of the most recognized organizations, Yoga Alliance. It can give women the extra punch they need to be in excellent overall health.

Is the Paleo Diet an Optimal Choice for Women?

The Paleo diet is all the rage now and some men swear by it for weight loss and building lean muscle mass.

But, Is it an optimal choice for women?

Does it give women the nutrients they need to reach their weight loss goals without lacking a vital source of vitamins and minerals?

It’s no secret that men have a different bodily makeup than women and so it’s only fair that each diet be valued with gender in mind. The Paleo diet does have some disadvantages but as a whole, it is a very good choice for women.

Here’s why…

•    Restricts Sugar – Sugar is evil for women. It’s one of our biggest cravings but wreaks havoc on our hormones. It’s also really easy to over eat sugar causing unnecessary weight gain. Being overweight causes excess estrogen. Excess estrogen makes women crazy women with mood swings, cramps, and really bad PMS. On the flip side, consuming too much sugar causes testosterone to be produced in the ovaries of all places. This can decrease fertility and libido, and cause acne and facial hair, not something that anyone woman wound want.

•    Eliminates Grains – Grains are a hard thing to give up. They are a big source of energy but come with a price. Grains are things like pasta, bread, and cereals and they are called carbohydrates. Our bodies use this for energy but what is not used is broken down into sugar, which as previously mentioned wreaks havoc on a woman’s body. Most grains contain gluten, which many have an intolerance for and can lead to digestion problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Many also become addicted to starchy carbs and overeat them.

•    Easy To Follow – Unlike many other diets, the Paleo diet doesn’t make you count calories or cut back drastically on your food consumption. It teaches you to be in tune with your body and eat when it tells you to and stop eating when you are full. This balances out our hormones to a good level. There is nothing worse than feeling as if you only have half of your energy because you haven’t eaten enough to keep you going. With this diet, you will have plenty of energy to face the day.

•    Whole Food Diet – The Paleo diet only allows for whole food and nothing processed. This eliminates junk food and its harmful effects and includes only natural real food that supports healthy weight management and overall good health.

•    Highly Nutritious- Another factor that gives you plenty of energy is the quality of the foods you are eating. In the Paleo diet, all of the food you eat is very nutrient-dense. Berries and green veggies have the highest content of antioxidants and in a Paleo diet; it is a regular part of your meals. Eating animal products that are grass fed and pasture raised keep the meat full of the good nutrients the animals eat from the ground and not from hormones that are fed to them by traditional farming methods.

•    Good For PMS- The foods included in the Paleo diet have a naturally high content of healthy fats and minerals that aid in a woman’s fertility and menstrual cycle. It is also low in any foods that may lower fertility and exasperate PMS. This is a nice added perk for women who practice the Paleo eating pattern.

There Are Only A Few Drawbacks To The Paleo Diet…

First, it can be expensive to follow. Have you seen the prices of grass fed beef? Nuts aren’t cheap either.

A good thing to do is to budget this diet into your plan before you start or you may end up without the necessary nutrition before the end of the week. There is a severe restriction on carb sources allowed in this diet. Without carbs, it can be really hard to have maximum energy level. You need to be creative in your energy sources but it can be done.

In addition, dairy isn’t allowed so finding another source high in calcium is essential because calcium is a very important mineral for women to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis in older age.

Calcium is plentiful in plant foods that are allowed on the Paleo Diet, including:

•    Orange juice, fortified with calcium
•    Tempeh and tofu
•    Tahini
•    Almond butter
•    Turnip greens, raw
•    Kale, raw
•    Edamame,
•    Almonds
•    Figs
•    Bok choy
•    Mustard greens
•    Broccoli, raw

Of course, supplements are also available, including vitamin D that helps with absorption of calcium

Overall, following the diet with a few cheats every now and then could be a very successful diet to women and can really help one to kick-start the road to eating whole real food, which is always the best option for good health, weight loss, energy, and longevity.

Women who sit too much have increased risk of cancer

Well here’s some rather bad news for all those women working sitting down so read on:
Study reveals that women who sit too much have increased risk of cancer

A new study published in “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention” reveals that women who sit too much during their leisure time have an increased risk of cancer.This is the latest study showing that the sitting disease, too much time on our rumps, negatively impacts our health.

“I think this is a really interesting result. There’s been a growing body of literature over the past couple of years that too much sitting carries risk above just lack of exercise. Only in the past few years have we seen studies address cancer specifically,” says Karen Basen-Engquist, director of the Center for Energy Balance and Cancer Prevention and Survivorship at MD Anderson Cancer Center, who was not involved in the study.

The prospective included 184,000 adults aged 50 to 70, who were enrolled in American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. Participants answered a questionnaire about how many hours they work, exercise, complete household activities, and sit for leisure, which is sitting to watch TV, reading, or playing with electronic gadgets. Then the researchers followed the 69,260 men for about 13 years and the 77,462 women for about 16 and compared their behaviors to their health.

For women, the news isn’t great. Those who sat more than six hours a day had a 10 percent greater risk of getting any cancer compared to ladies who sat for less than three hours. Those sitting for more than six hours daily had a 65 percent increased risk for multiple myeloma, a 10 percent increased risk for invasive breast cancer, and a 43 percent higher risk for ovarian cancer than their peers lounging for three hours or less…

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