Women’s Health Tips

All posts in the Women’s Health Tips category

Signs and Symptoms of Normal and Abnormal Periods

Published May 26, 2017 by teacher dahl

abnormal period

From time to time, every woman likely suspects that her menstrual cycle is abnormal for one reason or another. However, often what we think is an abnormal period is actually normal menstruation.

It’s important to know when you are having an abnormal period because it can be a symptom of a health issue that needs attention, including pregnancy, uterine cancer, and uterine fibroid tumors. So the question becomes, how do you know when you’re experiencing abnormal periods?
Abnormal Bleeding During Periods
You may be experiencing an abnormal period, abnormal uterine bleeding, or an abnormal menstrual cycle if the time between your menstrual cycles is longer than 21 to 35 days, or your period lasts longer than a week. If you need to change tampons or sanitary pads after only one or two hours because they’re saturated, this is a red flag (no pun intended!) as well.

For girls under 11 and post-menopausal women, any vaginal bleeding should be treated as abnormal and prompt a call to your healthcare provider.

When Menstrual Cramps Are Abnormal
While it’s normal to experience a small amount of cramping during your period, it’s not normal to experience severe menstrual cramps. If you suddenly begin having severe cramps you should be evaluated by your health care provider to determine the cause of the increased pain you experience during your period.

  • Some young women have more intense cramping during the first few years after their first period.
  • This typically decreases with age and after childbirth.
  • If you are over 16 and haven’t had a period yet, consult your health care provider to determine the cause and be sure and ask about the possibility of polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS.

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Period Symptoms That May Seem Abnormal But Usually Aren’t
The best thing to do when you suspect that you’re experiencing abnormal bleeding or menstrual cycles is to consult with your healthcare provider.

However, sometimes what appears to be an irregular symptom actually isn’t. For instance, blood clots, which are actually pieces of tissue in your vaginal discharge may look a little scary the first time you notice them. But this is no cause for alarm; blood clots such as these are perfectly normal.

Skipping periods or having irregular periods for the first few years of menstruation also is normal for many girls and young women.

If you’re extremely active you may skip a menstrual cycle or two from time to time. This is another normal occurrence among women who regularly participate in intense sports or other activities.

 

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Things to Remember About Menstruation
Here are some basics every woman should know to help determine if you’re having an abnormal period.

Normal menstrual bleeding lasts about 5 days.
The typical amount of blood lost during menstruation is about 2 to 8 tablespoons, although it may seem like more than that.
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days from the first day of one month’s period to the first day of the net month’s period. However, anywhere from 21 to 35 days between periods is considered a normal menstrual cycle.
If you’re ever unsure whether unusual bleeding or other menstrual symptoms are abnormal, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Finding irregularities with your menstrual cycle before they turn into serious problems is just one more reason regular exams are advised for women of childbearing age.

So much can vary from month to month and from woman to woman, that having a healthcare provider who knows you and your cycle is important for your health and your peace of mind.

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Look Younger : Secrets that Work

Published March 17, 2017 by teacher dahl

Primer

Start With Primer
If you’re old enough for laugh lines, a skin care makeover can give you a fresher, younger look. Our skin dries and thins with age, so products used five years ago may look quite matronly today. A better routine calls for skin primer, according to Robin Rylant, a celebrity makeup artist who’s worked with Celine Dion. A high-quality primer fills in small wrinkles, making them less visible.

Forgo Thick Foundation
If you still slather foundation directly over aging skin, you’re likely adding years to your look. That thick top coat tends to break into deep cracks, which look far worse than the fine lines you’re trying to hide. Instead, apply moisturizer, primer, then a light liquid foundation for additional skin-plumping moisture. Ryland suggests tapping it in gently with a sponge, rather than rubbing it in.

clown eyes
Avoid Clown Eyes
Applying flattering eye makeup requires precision. Unfortunately, eyesight tends to decline with age. “If you don’t see as well, you may not get the makeup on correctly,” Ryant says. The results can include clownish amounts of eye shadow or crooked eyeliner. The solution: “Get yourself a good magnifying mirror.”

Enhance the Shape of the Eye
As we age, the eyelids tend to droop, so the goal is to draw attention away from the lid and toward the actual eye. Eyeliner is the key. Apply it in a thin streak along the line where the lashes begin, top and bottom. This will enhance the shape of your eye and create the illusion of thicker lashes. Use soft shades and a light touch when applying eye shadow.

enhance
Put Eyebrows Back On
“Eyebrows are extremely important because they frame the face,” Ryant says. But the brows tend to grow thinner and grayer with age. To “put eyebrows back on,” Ryant recommends using eyebrow pencil that complements your hair color. Placing powder over the pencil will help it stay put. Some people choose to have eyebrows permanently tattooed, but the FDA and Consumer Reports has raised safety concerns about this practice.

bleeding lips

No Bleeding Lipstick

Don’t Let the Lips ‘Bleed’
Few things draw attention to wrinkles like bleeding lip color. This happens because lipstick is a cream, and it tends to slip into any low spaces — including the lines around your lips. To keep color from traveling, use moisturizer, then coat the lips with foundation before applying lipstick.

whiten teeth
Whiten Stained Teeth
Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains so your teeth look about one shade lighter. To go deeper, try peroxide-based whitening gels or strips. These products bleach the enamel of your teeth to change your natural tooth color. For the most dramatic results, an in-office treatment with your dentist can make the teeth visibly whiter in less than an hour. Several treatments may be needed to get the desired shade.

tired eyes

Rejuvenate Tired Eyes
If your eyes look tired, the most obvious solution may be to get more rest. Sleep triggers the release of hormones that help the skin remain thicker and more elastic. To reduce eye puffiness, cut back on salt and stay well hydrated. You can also try soothing swollen eyes with cool cucumber slices or moist tea bags.

dark circles

Reduce Dark Circles
Getting enough sleep can also minimize dark circles under the eyes. But in some people, the discoloration comes from too much pigmentation in the skin. In that case, creams containing lightening agents such as retinol, hydroquinone, green tea, or vitamin C may help. To camouflage dark circles, use a concealer one shade lighter than your skin and yellowish in tone. Wear SPF 30 sunscreen daily.

boosts thin hair
Boost Thinning Hair
You can give thinning hair the illusion of more body with some simple styling tricks. Use a large round brush to lift the hair and add volume. To set the style, use the cool button on your hairdryer. Styling with hot rollers is another good option. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to add body, Ryant suggests a perm.

pamper hands

Pamper Your Hands
The skin on the hands has very little fatty tissue underneath and can easily become crinkled when dry. Applying moisturizer throughout the day can draw water into the skin to help hands look plumper and more youthful. Look for a moisturizer that contains glycerin, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, or safflower seed oil. You can also use lightening creams to fade age spots on the hands.

dont smoke

Don’t Smoke
One of the surest ways to protect against skin damage is to avoid cigarettes. Studies of twins suggest smokers have skin that is more wrinkled and up to 40% thinner than nonsmokers. Researchers believe tobacco smoke releases an enzyme that breaks down collagen and elastin, compounds that are vital to the skin’s structure and elasticity.

Study Reveals That Starting Work Before 10am Is Ruining Your Health

Published January 15, 2017 by teacher dahl

early

In case anyone was after confirmation, yes – early mornings suck. They especially suck on weekdays when you have to go into your crappy job on your crappy salary on the crappy train in the crappy rain.

But until society collapses and we no longer need to invest our time in exchange for money in order to survive on this god damn earth, I guess we’ll just need to bite the bullet and go to work.

Considering the average person spends roughly 30 per cent of their life at work, does it not make sense to want to spend it in the least pain possible? Enter science.

Science has your back. Not only has it proven that drinking wine before bed will help you lose weight, it backed it up with proof that eating cheese every day is good for you.

And for its final act: science is pushing for a 10am start on work days, comparing 9am starts to ‘torture.’

less-sleep
The study out of Oxford University found that forcing staff to start work before 10am is making employees ill, exhausted and stressed. Before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults are totally out of sync with the average 9-5 working hours, posing a serious threat to employees’ performance, mood and mental health.

Study author Dr Paul Kelley says sleep deprivation is particularly damaging on the body’s physical, emotional and performance systems.

“Your live and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to,” Kelly said.

And despite contrary belief, no – you cannot change your circadian rhythms.

“We cannot change our 24-hour rhythms,” said Kelly. “You cannot learn to get up at a certain time. Your body will be attuned to sunlight and you’re not conscious of it because it reports to hypothalamus, not sight.”

Just one week with less than six hours sleep each night leads to 711 changes in how genes in your body function. Lack of sleep impacts performance, attention and long term-memory, and can also lead to exhaustion, anxiety, frustration, anger, impulsiveness, weight-gain, risk-taking and high blood pressure.

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So when you’re forced to wake up or go to work earlier than what your body wants to, your sleep deprivation is putting your body under a huge amount of stress, and “sleep deprivation is a torture.”

Your move? Maybe don’t (actually, just don’t) accuse your boss of torturing you, but instead raise the topic of coming into work a bit later and back it up with the potential benefits like higher quality work, a greater work ethic and an improved mood.

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health.

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Adding Folic Acid to Bread Flour May Prevent Birth Defects

Published January 9, 2017 by teacher dahl

corn-flour
If you’re a Filipina who’s expecting a baby, your diet may be missing a key ingredient believed to help prevent certain kinds of birth defects.
That ingredient? Folic acid, which has long been used to fortify, or strengthen, certain enriched grains.

However, as Jonca Bull, M.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Minority Health notes, “Many Hispanic women don’t benefit from the folic acid in cereal grain products because those products are not a mainstay of their regular diets—which often are bread flour-based.”

This could be a reason why Filipinas represent the highest percentage of U.S. women giving birth to children with neural tube defects (NTDs), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NTDs are birth defects of the brain, spine and spinal cord, such as anen¬cephaly and spina bifida.

The FDA has moved to help protect these women and their children by approving the addition of folic acid to corn masa flour, an ingredient in foods including tortillas, tacos, tortilla chips and tamales. Foods made from this flour are staple foods of Mexican and some Central and South American diets.

When consumed by pregnant women before and during pregnancy, folic acid—a B vitamin—may help to prevent neural tube defects.

folic

An Important Preventive Step
In 1998, in response to a recommendation by CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service, FDA made it easier for many expectant mothers to consume folic acid. The agency required the addition of folic acid to standardized enriched cereal grains, such as enriched rice and flour, and standardized enriched cereal grain products, such as enriched bread and macaroni.

Refined grains are enriched when certain B vitamins are added back after processing. Standardized foods contain ingredients required by FDA and are produced in a specified way.

“The reasoning was that enough people—including expectant mothers—eat enriched grains as a matter of course. And that could make a difference in the number of neural tube defects,” says Dennis M. Keefe, Ph.D., director of FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety. In fact, the number of NTDs in the U.S. for all populations has since declined.
However, the incidence of neural tube defects in some Hispanic American populations has not declined to the same extent as in the general population.

So, FDA reviewed and approved a food additive petition from five organizations—the March of Dimes Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Spina Bifida Association, the National Council of La Raza, and Gruma Corporation—requesting that folic acid be added to corn masa flour. Manufacturers may now voluntarily add the amount of folic acid (up to 0.7 milligrams) per pound of corn masa flour that is consistent with the levels in the enriched cereal grains mandated in 1998.

“With this approval, FDA is taking a powerful, preventive public health action,” Bull says. “By adding folic acid to corn masa flour, we have the opportunity to impact a large segment of the U.S. population and protect parents and their children from the devastating birth defects that are linked to insufficient folic acid consumed by the mother before and during pregnancy.”

If You’re Pregnant or Thinking of Becoming Pregnant
CDC recommends that for folic acid to help prevent some major birth defects, a woman should start consuming 400 mcg a day at least one month before she becomes pregnant and the entire time while she is pregnant. For masa, cereals and grain products, read the ingredient statement to see if the food has been enriched with folic acid.

folate

Some easy ways to make sure to get enough folic acid are to:
• Eat a bowl of an enriched breakfast cereal that has 100% of the Daily Value of folic acid.
• Eat other enriched cereal grain products mandated to contain folic acid.
• Take a vitamin or multivitamin supplement that contains folic acid each day.
Talk to your health care provider about what’s best for you.

Running Slows Development of Osteoarthritis: Study says

Published January 9, 2017 by teacher dahl

couple-running

Everybody believes running can leave you sore and swollen, right? Well, a new study suggests running might actually reduce inflammation in joints.
“It flies in the face of intuition,” said study co-author Matt Seeley, an associate professor of exercise sciences at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth.”
Seeley and his colleagues reached their surprising conclusion after analyzing the knee joint fluid of several healthy men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The researchers looked for signs of inflammation in chemical markers before and after a 30-minute run and found little difference.

warm-up
“What we now know is that for young, healthy individuals, exercise creates an anti-inflammatory environment that may be beneficial in terms of long-term joint health,” lead author Robert Hyldahl said in a university news release. Hyldahl is an assistant professor of exercise science at BYU.
The researchers said the study suggests running could actually delay development of degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis.
“This study does not indicate that distance runners are any more likely to get osteoarthritis than any other person,” Seeley said. “Instead, this study suggests exercise can be a type of medicine.”

 

SOURCE

Once A Week Habit To Cure Your Period Pain

Published December 21, 2016 by teacher dahl

tampon

Cramps, bloating, exhaustion… Periods are about as fun as a set of burpees after a long day at work. However, a new study has found a flexible new fix for period pain. Just one hour of yoga a week.

In the Korean study, a group of undergraduate nursing students attended an hour-long yoga session once a week for twelve weeks. Compared to the group that did no yoga, they had significantly decreased menstrual pain intensity levels after the program.
According to the study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, this is the formula for easing period pain:

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via GIPHY

Ten (10)  cycles of sun salutations for 15 minutes,followed by shavasana for five minutes. Then five cycles of cat, cobra and fish yoga poses for 10 minutes, followed by yoga nidra (a deep relaxation practice) back in shavasana for 30 minutes (yes!).
Bonus, you don’t have to hit up the studio every day to get the benefits. In the study, students only did one session a week, every Friday at 5pm – hello, yogi happy hour!

Source: Women’s Health

Normal for Women to Experience Sexual Decline Around Menopause

Published November 5, 2016 by teacher dahl

libido-pix

 

New research suggests that menopause is linked to a reduction in sexual function for most women, although race/ethnicity does play a factor in the magnitude of the decline.
Investigators from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center discovered women experience a notable decline in sexual function about 20 months before and one year after their last menstrual period, and that decrease continues, though at a somewhat slower rate, over the following five years.
The study, published ahead of print in the online issue of Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, also found that various factors that frequently co-occur with menopause have less direct influence on declining sexual function than menopause itself.

signs
“Sexual functioning in women declines with age, and there has been much debate about how much this is due to menopause, aging, or other physical, psychological or social factors,” said the study’s lead author, Nancy Avis, Ph.D.
“Our findings support that menopause has a negative effect on sexual functioning in many women.”
Additionally, the study found that women who have a hysterectomy before the onset of menopause do not experience a marked decline in sexual function immediately before undergoing the procedure but do so afterward, for as long as five years.
The researchers based their findings on information collected from 1,390 participants in the federally funded Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), which began in 1996.
These women, who were between the ages of 42 and 52 at the time of enrollment in the study and who had a known date of final menstrual period during their participation, responded to questionnaires dealing with various aspects of sexual function — including desire, arousal, satisfaction, and pain — between one and seven times over the course of the study.
The researchers analyzed 5,798 of these self-assessments (4,932 from the 1,164 women in the natural menopause group and 866 from the 226 women in the hysterectomy group) and tracked the changes in the respondents’ scores on the sexual-function questionnaires. They correlated the scores relative to either their final menstrual period among women who experienced a natural menopause or the hysterectomy.
Notably, in the natural menopause group, the researchers found that race/ethnicity played a major role in the decline of sexual function. They discovered African-American women experiencing a significantly smaller decline and women of Japanese descent experiencing a much greater decline when compared with white women.
“Sexual functioning is an important component of women’s lives. More than 75 percent of the middle-aged women in the SWAN study reported that sex was moderately to extremely important to them when the study began,” Avis said.
“It is important for women and their health care providers to understand all the factors that may impact women’s experience of sex in relation to both the natural menopausal transition and hysterectomy, and we hope our findings will contribute to better understanding in this area.”

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