41 posts tagged health
Guide to Your Breasts
Info on all things boobs: The best bras and sports bras, health tips, and intriguing opinions
This page is so great that it just won a Best of the Web award from min (media industry newsletter) for Microsite/Custom Website!
Is Red Meat Killing You?
A new study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that eating red meat—any amount and any type—raises the risk of early death.
Through “food frequency questionnaires” (with questions like “How often, on average, do you consume beef, pork or lamb as a main dish?”) sent every other year, researchers examined the eating habits of 37,698 men and 83,644 women, all of whom were healthcare professionals and in good health.
After collecting data for more than 20 years, researchers found that eating one serving per day of unprocessed red meat (like fresh beef, pork and lamb) raises your risk of death by 13% while the processed stuff (meat that’s been frozen, canned, or altered, like sausage and bologna) raises it by 20%. Bacon and hot dogs are the worst offenders.
Researchers link the saturated fat, iron, and cholesterol content in red meat to heart problems, including fatal coronary heart disease. Although both processed and unprocessed red meats have similar amounts of saturated fat and iron, processed meat is far worse health-wise.
Since processed meats go through a preservation process, they contain nitrites and nitrates. Although nitrates are relatively non toxic, in the body they are converted into nitrites, which have been shown to impair insulin response and are possible carcinogens. Plus, higher levels of sodium in processed meats can raise blood pressure—and the risk of heart problems.
If you can’t bear the thought of a steak-less future, stick with unprocessed meats and don’t eat red meat more than two or three times a week, researchers say.
Better yet, swap red meat with a healthier protein source. The study also found that replacing one serving of red meat with one serving of fish lowers your risk of early death by 7%, poultry drops it by 14%, nuts by 19%, whole grains by 14%, and legumes and low fat dairy by 10%. Try them all in these beef-free, protein-packed recipes!
8 New Superfoods!
Eating healthfully just got a lot more interesting. Introducing eight fresh cancer-fighting, age-defying, energy-boosting ingredients to add to your plate now.
Learn why they’re awesome and how to incorporate them into your diet:
5. Black Garlic
Adult Acne: It’s Not a Myth! How to Get Blemish-Free Skin
It’s easy to associate a pimply face with backpacks, braces, and Bieber fans—but things can get spotty later on too. Research from the University of Pennsylvania has found that low-grade, persistent acne is common among women in their twenties, thirties, and forties (yep, that magical time when wrinkles start to appear).
While acne may be nonexistent or dormant for years, certain factors—like stress, hormones, and diet—can eventually cause it to surface, with frustrating emotional side effects.
“I’ve seen patients shy away from certain situations—they’ve canceled dates and rescheduled meetings at work—because they’re ashamed of their breakouts,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Because no woman should have to endure extra bumps in the road (or on her face), here’s a simple zit-erasing plan.
1. STRESS LESS
First things first: Don’t freak out if bumps show up; it’ll only make things worse. Shamban recommends getting eight hours of sleep each night—it’s how much you need to reduce excess cortisol and let your skin regenerate—and making time for stress-relieving activities like a 30-minute daily workout or even (yes!) sex to stay Zen. “These reduce excess cortisol and produce endorphins, which have a calming effect,” she says. A bonus? Exercise delivers oxygen to your skin cells, making it hard for CVhating acne bacteria to thrive.
2. TREAT TOPICALLY
Though the same ingredients that clear up teen acne also work for the adult kind, grown-up skin is thinner and more prone to irritation—so you need a gentler, more moisturizing approach. “Using an acne wash, an acne lotion, and an anti-aging cream simultaneously may dry out the skin,” says Fusco.
Start slowly: Wash your face twice a day with a salicylic acid cleanser to help dissolve dirt and oil and gently exfoliate the skin (if skin is on the dry side, cut back to once a day). Try (c) Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser ($19.50, origins.com). If zits persist, cover them in a thin layer of a lotion with 0.5 to 2 percent salicylic acid at night Zeichner likes La Roche-Posay Effaclar K Daily Renovating Acne Treatment ($30, at drugstores). After two weeks—the amount of time it takes for your skin to get used to a new product—bump it up to twice a day. Got wrinkles too? Try a retinoid cream instead. “It smooths lines and speeds up the shedding of dead skin cells so they don’t block pores,” says Zeichner. Try RoC Multi Correxion Night Treatment ($26, at drugstores).
Either way, slather on SPF every morning, as zit fighters can make skin sun-sensitive. Try (f) Olay Professional Pro-X Clear UV Moisturizer SPF 15 ($30, at drugstores).
3. BE STARCH-SMART
High-glycemic-index (GI) carbohydrates like white bread and sugar-laden foods aren’t just waistline saboteurs: “They raise blood sugar and insulin levels, another male-hormone-boosting process that may lead to breakouts,” explains Glenn Kolansky, M.D., a dermatologist in Red Bank, New Jersey. Balance your hormones with low-GI eats-think whole grains and veggies—that won’t aggravate acne. As for chocolate, despite past research that put the sweet stuff in the clear, a more recent study by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found that men who consumed six ounces of 100 percent pure cocoa daily got breakouts in a week. “It’s likely that chocolate affects a woman’s skin the same way,” says Zeichner.
4. CONSIDER POPPING A PILL
If your pimples come out to play about a week before your period, your doctor may prescribe an oral contraceptive to help stabilize hormone levels throughout the month. “Birth control pills like Beyaz, Yaz, and Yasmin contain analog hormones that may help clear the skin,” explains Shamban. (Or you can try spironolactone, a drug that may help nix breakouts and is available by prescription.) Birth control pills can also help women who overproduce male hormones, as in the case of PCOS (ask your doctor for a blood test if you have other hormone-related issues, such as an irregular cycle).
5. VISIT A DERM—STAT!
If you’re plagued with deep, painful red bumps that just won’t go away, schedule a doctor’s appointment ASAP. “Cystic acne heals slowly and can leave permanent marks,” says Zeichner. Your dermatologist will prescribe a topical retinoid (like Retin-A), antibiotic (to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation), or Aczone—an anti-acne, antiinflammatory gel that’s great for those with sensitive or aging skin. Curious about Accutane? It works as a last resort for severe teen acne, but it won’t combat the underlying hormonal issues of adult acne, and Zeichner says it “may come with unpleasant side effects,” like depression, headaches, and thinning hair. Plus, you can’t take it while pregnant—it can cause birth defects—or breastfeeding.
The Scary Rise in Adult Eating Disorders
Editor’s note: We’re happy that Tumblr has discouraged the use of tags like “thinspo” and “pro-ana.”
By Jenny Deam
Eating disorders leaped into the national conscience in the 1970s and ’80s, when the number of diagnosed cases exploded. The patients were adolescent girls, many of whom became anorexic or bulimic as a means of controlling their bodies—and, by extension, their lives—as they made their way through puberty. So many girls fell victim that eating disorders were branded a teenage disease. (And experts continue to see a troubling number of cases among teen girls, says Ovidio Bermudez, M.D., board member of the National Eating Disorders Association.)
Yet lately doctors have noticed a disturbing spike among a different group: women in their late twenties, thirties, and forties. At the Renfrew Center’s 11 treatment locations, the number of patients over age 35 has skyrocketed 42 percent in the past decade.
Likewise, a couple of years ago at the Eating Recovery Center in Denver, an estimated 10 percent of patients were over age 25; today, a whopping 46 percent are over 30. And when it opened in 2003, the University of North Carolina’s Eating Disorders Program was designed for adolescents—now half of its patients are over 30 years old.
Just like their younger counterparts, adult eating disorders deliver a mind-body punch that kills more people than any other mental illness. Patients of all ages can suffer impaired brain function, infertility, dental decay, or even kidney failure or cardiac arrest.
But while the teen and adult diseases share physical symptoms, and both can be tied to deep psychological roots, their catalysts are quite different, says psychotherapist Jessica LeRoy, of the Center for the Psychology of Women in Los Angeles.
“As women get older and their lives evolve, so do their stressors and triggers,” she says. These can nudge the door open for an eating disorder. But research on the adult-onset versions is lacking—and without sufficient tools and awareness, women are being misdiagnosed.
For decades, the eating disorder lexicon had two main entries: anorexia and bulimia. But modern research reveals that these fall woefully short of encompassing the many facets of disordered eating. In the early ’90s, the American Psychiatric Association introduced a new diagnostic category: eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS).
A catch-all label that includes dozens of subdiagnoses, EDNOS applies to patients who don’t meet the exact criteria for anorexia or bulimia but still have very troubled relationships with food or distorted body images. Today, EDNOS diagnoses significantly outnumber anorexia and bulimia cases.
It’s National Wear Red Day for heart health! Women’s Health staffers sport red in the office.
Learn more about heart disease, the #1 killer of U.S. women, including the symptoms of heart attack and stroke and how to prevent heart disease.
Again, heart disease kills more women than ALL FORMS OF CANCER COMBINED.
Wear Red Tomorrow for Women’s Heart Health!
Mind-numbing fact: More women die of cardiovascular disease than from all forms of cancer combined, according to the American Heart Association.
Eye-opening fact: 80 percent of cardiac events in women—which include heart attacks and strokes—could be prevented if women made the right choices for their hearts involving diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking, according to the AHA. And nearly half of American women have no idea that heart disease is their number 1 killer.
The American Heart Association wants to change that. Its Go Red For Women campaign educates women about their heart disease risk, how they can reduce their risk, and how to identify the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke (check out the info below). Tomorrow, February 3, is National Wear Red Day and women are encouraged to don something red to raise awareness that heart disease is not an “old man’s disease.”
Women’s Health staffers are going to get decked out in red and we invite all of you to join us. But simply wearing crimson won’t accomplish much—you’ve got to tell other women why you’re doing it. Our suggestion? Post a picture of yourself wearing red to your blog or Facebook or Twitter profile, along with a link to this story. (Twitter-ers: The hashtag is #GoRedForWomen.) Who knows? One of your friends might learn something that could save her life.
How to Protect Your Ticker
“It’s important to take care of your heart even before you have any symptoms,” says Arthur Agatston, M.D., a Miami cardiologist and author of The South Beach Heart Program. “Quite simply, the earlier you start, the easier it is to prevent heart disease.” The best ways to reduce your risk for heart disease:
1. Eat More Plants and Fish: Certain fruits and vegetables are good sources of heart-protecting antioxidants and potassium, which regulates blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish decreasing your blood pressure and triglycerides.
2. Cut the Fat: Reduce your intake of saturated fat and trans fat; the latter can raise levels of bad cholesterol and also lower levels of good cholesterol.
3. Know Your Risk: have your physician to check for high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, and signs of diabetes. Know your family’s medical history.
4. Be Active: The AHA recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week
5. Quit Smoking: Besides the fact that cigarettes cause cancer, are expensive, and just plain smell bad, they could very well kill you.
What exactly does a heart attack look like? Actress Elizabeth Banks, who graces the March cover of Women’s Health, teamed up with Go Red For Women on a 3-minute video in which she plays a mom having a heart attack. “This little film is about a super mom who takes care of everyone except herself and learns the lesson that she better look at herself as well,” Banks says.
Heart attacks are no laughing matter, but Banks manages to make viewers smile when her son in the video looks up heart attack symptoms on her iPhone and hands it to his chest-clutching mom, who previously insisted that she was fine. Banks finally calls 911. Study up on the signs of heart attack and stroke from the AHA so you know when to make that important call.
Signs of a Heart Attack:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Signs of a Stroke:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
BIRTH CONTROL PILLS RECALLED
U.S drug company Pfizer has recalled around 1 million packets of birth control pills because of a packaging error that may leave some without enough contraceptive to prevent pregnancy.
The affected pills include 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and 14 lots of Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets with expiration dates between July 31, 2013 to March 31, 2014. All the pills are marketed by Akrimax Rx Products and have been distributed to warehouses, clinics and retail pharmacies throughout the U.S.
A statement released by Pfizer Tuesday says that “These packaging defects do not pose any immediate health risks,” however some of the pills contain too few or too many active pills, which “could leave women without adequate contraception, and at risk for unintended pregnancy.”
If you think you have the affected pills (lot numbers appear in the photo) notify your doctor and return the packet to your pharmacy asap!
— Kristen Dold
Smoothies With Health Benefits!
These pureed powerhouses can do much more than help you hit your nutrition quotas. We’ve whipped up the six best smoothie recipes designed with ingredients that tackle a variety of health concerns:
By Jill Waldbieser
The mention of Paula Deen used to provoke a Pavlov-like response to the deliciously unhealthy recipes that made her a household name. But in the wake of her admission that she has type 2 diabetes, the TV chef has prompted a much different reaction.
Deen has come under attack for everything from the amount of butter in her down-home cooking to her new position as spokesperson for a diabetes drug maker. She’s been criticized for not making her diagnosis public sooner, called a hypocrite for continuing to promote the same kind of cooking that made her famous in the first place, and roundly mocked.
This seems unfair, on a number of levels. Setting aside the fact that we don’t know Deen’s daily diet, or whether she has any other risk factors, she is far from the only chef obsessed with butter, or the only one with diabetes. And while being in the spotlight certainly makes her a target, when did it become okay to blame someone for having a disease, or for how they choose to manage that disease? Surely no one was actually mistaking recipes like Chocolate Cheese Fudge for health food?
If anything, Deen’s been singled out for criticism because she’s too representative of the rest of us. Her cooking struck a universal chord because Americans, let’s face it, like a little more butter than is good for them. We like excess. And we were fine with that when Deen was just a happy-go-lucky TV personality. But when she suddenly became a cautionary tale, a face to put on the diabetes epidemic experts have been predicting for years, we didn’t like what we saw so much anymore.
But Deen can be more than just an unpleasant reminder of an inescapable fate. With any luck, she can become the face of diabetes awareness, and use her platform to get the word out about a disease that affects so many Americans. And I hope people will stop criticizing her just for having it.
RELATED: Type 2 Diabetes on the Rise
—Additional reporting by Jessica Szafoni