Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Medication Dependency

With the recent loss of Micheal Jackson and also the passing of Anna Nicole Smith, this is a wake up call that medication is no joke. Many people get through their lives on pills and are not enjoying what life really feels like. Rather than going out and smelling the fresh cut grass or going for a hike people are becoming too doped up on a cocktail of meds and just are not enjoying reality. I remember... I worked with a lady who was in her mid 30's and she was taking about 15 pills a day; one to offset the effects of another. Everyone warned her that she was damaging her body -- sure enough she eventually had a stroke. I'm not certain that all those medications caused this, but it's something to keep in mind. Please read this article if you have any concerns that you or someone you may love are over dependent on meds. - Health Girl

This article was found at Priority Health.com.

What Is Medication Dependency?
If you use some prescription medications long-term, you can become physically dependent on them. A person who is dependent on a medication has a physical need to take it in order to function.

Signs & Symptoms
People who are physically dependent usually need progressively higher doses of a medication in order for it to maintain its effect. This condition is called drug tolerance. If the medication is suddenly reduced or stopped, it causes withdrawal symptoms, which can include:
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Body aches
  • Sweating

Who's at Risk?
There are addictive and non-addictive medications that can cause physical dependency. Three kinds of prescription medications most often associated with medication dependency are:
  • Opioids (narcotics), prescribed to treat pain
  • Central nervous system (CNS) depressants, used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders
  • Stimulants, prescribed for the sleep disorder narcolepsy and to treat attention deficit hyper
  • activity disorder (ADHD)

Being physically dependent on a medication doesn't necessarily mean you're addicted to it. In fact, people often confuse dependency with addiction, which is a compulsive, uncontrollable use of drugs despite the harm they may cause.

Professional Help
If you're taking a medication that results in physical dependency, do not stop taking it suddenly or on your own. When it's time to discontinue or change your medication, your doctor will advise you on how to reduce your dosage gradually. This helps your body adjust so you can avoid symptoms of withdrawal.

If you're taking an addictive medication such as a painkiller, follow your doctor's instructions exactly on how to take it. He or she knows how much medication to prescribe for you so that you'll get relief without becoming addicted.

Priority Health members can check here for information on getting substance abuse assistance.

What You Can Do
  • See your doctor regularly. Your doctor will monitor you to adjust dosages or change medications as needed. Some medications need to be stopped or changed so that you don't become addicted.
  • Tell your doctor how medications affect you, physically and emotionally, especially during the first few days while your body adjusts.
  • Read all instructions from the pharmacy carefully. Pay attention to any other medications or activities you should avoid. If there's anything you don't understand, ask your pharmacist about it.
  • Don't take other peoples' prescriptions and don't share your own. These are specifically prescribed and may be harmful to someone else. It's also illegal to give prescription medication to someone it's not prescribed for.

Depression in women

I found this article at priorityhealth.com. I hope this can help anyone who is suffering. - Health Girl

What is depression in women?

Depression can happen to any woman for any number of reasons, no matter what her age, ethnicity or income. Depression is not a normal part of being a woman, and the condition is very treatable. Some things to know:
  • About 12 million women experience depression in any given year.
  • Women suffer depression at about twice the rate of men.
  • One out of eight women will develop depression sometime in life.
  • Depression occurs most frequently in women between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • Research shows a strong relationship between depression and eating disorders in women.
  • Misdiagnosis happens in about 30% to 50% of cases.
  • Fewer than half of all women with depression get treatment.

Signs & symptoms

Only a doctor can determine if you have depression. Despite advances in diagnosing the condition, it is often overlooked because people don't talk about their feelings or mood changes. It's important to talk honestly about your mood just as you would talk about any other health concern. Here are some questions to help you evaluate your own situation:
  • Have you been feeling sad or nervous for a while?
  • Do you feel gloomy or "out of it"?
  • Have you lost interest in hobbies or things you like to do?
  • Is it harder than usual to concentrate, remember things or make a decision?
  • Do you stay awake longer or oversleep more often than usual?
  • Has your appetite changed? Your weight?
  • Do people tell you that you're irritable or you're not paying enough attention?
  • Do you often think about death or suicide?
If you answered "yes" to more than half of these questions, or if you have frequent thoughts about death or suicide, tell your doctor.

Who's at risk?

Many factors unique to women's lives may play a role in development of depression, including reproductive events and the accompanying hormonal changes that can affect emotions and mood. These events include:
  • The menstrual cycle
  • Pregnancy
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Post-pregnancy
  • Pre-menopause
  • Menopause
About 10% to 15% of new mothers develop "postpartum" (after birth) depression. When hormonal changes combined with the new responsibilities of baby care cause depression lasting longer than two weeks, you need to seek immediate help from your doctor.

Women also may suffer more depression because of social and relationship stresses unique to them, such as:
  • Major responsibilities at home and at work
  • Single parenthood
  • Taking care of children and elderly parents
  • An unhappy marriage
  • Changing roles and expectations in society
  • Higher rates of abuse and poverty

Professional help is available

Treatment for depression varies and may include the following:
  • You may have to change your diet, change the medications you are taking or exercise more often.
  • You may have to take a medication called an antidepressant.
  • You might be encouraged to begin talk therapy.
While treatment is usually effective, it may take time to find what works for you. Fortunately, more than 80% of people with depression find ways to reduce or eliminate the condition and its symptoms.

Priority Health members can check here for information on getting mental health assistance.

What you can do

If you're worried about depression, the best place to start is by talking to your doctor. He or she can help you decide whether you need help from other professionals. It also helps to learn more about depression and its effects. Read more:

article found at priority health.com

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Black Women at Higher Risk for Aggressive Breast Tumors

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Black women are three times more likely than women of other races to develop aggressive breast cancer, a U.S. study finds.

The United States has the highest rate of cancer in the world. Black women have a lower overall rate of breast cancer than white women, but when black women do get breast cancer, it's often more advanced when it's diagnosed, is more likely to return after treatment, and has a less favorable outcome.

In this study, Boston University School of Medicine researchers analyzed data on 415 breast cancer cases. They looked at clinical features such as patient age, weight and race/ethnicity, and pathological features including the "triple negative" pattern -- tumors that lack expression of the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor, and the HER2 gene.

"The odds of having a triple negative tumor were three times higher for black women than for non-black women in the study," research leader Dr. Carol Rosenberg said in a news release. "Previously, it was known that premenopausal black women had more triple negative tumors. What we found that was new was that these tumors were just as common in black women diagnosed before or after age 50, and in those who were or were not obese."

"The higher prevalence of triple negative breast tumors in black women in all age and weight categories likely contributes to black women's unfavorable breast cancer prognosis," Rosenberg said.

The study was published recently in the journal Breast Cancer Research.

-- Robert Preidt

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Provided by www.about.com. Enjoy - HealthGirl

Boredom Buster 45-Minute readmillIntervalWorkoutThis 45-minute workout is perfect for people who bore easily, taking you through a variety of speeds and intensities to keep your body working and your mind engaged.

Boredom Buster 30-Minute Treadmill Interval WorkoutThis intermediate/advanced treadmill workout takes you through a variety of speed and incline settings to spice up your workout and bust boredom at the gym.

Burn 300 Calories in 30 MinutesGym workouts can start to lose their luster after awhile. These workouts, done on a treadmill, elliptical trainer, bike or outside, will help you burn more calories in less time...without being bored.

Endurance Workout Build your cardiovascular endurance by doing this 45 minutes cardio workout on the machine of your choice.

Interval Training 1The most effective way to build endurance and burn calories is interval training. This interval workout is 30 minutes long and will have you gasping for air. Only do this one once a week!

Interval Training 2Ouch! Intervals kick butt and this one is a bit longer than the other one at 32-37 minutes.

Interval Training for Beginners .Choose from 3 different beginner interval workouts that take you through cycles of high intensity and low intensity exercises. A great way to boost endurance and burn calories.

Speed and Endurance.This workout is great for anyone. Do the 15-minute, 30-minute or 45-minute version for great endurance and calorie-burning.

Treadmill Medley.The following workout involves changing your incline and speed throughout the work out to both burn more calories and make your gym workouts a little more interesting. You'll do four different cycles of 5-minute intervals.

Boredom Busters.Three workouts that will help you burn more calories and lose weight. Equipment used: treadmill, elliptical trainer and stationary bike.workouts provided by: "www.About.com: Exercise"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Can a Bad Marriage Hurt Your Health? Maybe, If You’re a Woman

Getty Images
By Theresa Tamkins

THURSDAY, March 5, 2009 (Health.com) — When a marriage is rocky, it can make both partners feel depressed. But only middle-aged women—not men—seem to have health problems associated with marital strife, such as high blood pressure, excess belly fat, and other factors that boost risks for heart attack and diabetes, according to a study being presented Thursday at the American Psychosomatic Society meeting in Chicago.

“I think we’ve got to get used to the fact that a toxic relationship is toxic to your whole health,” says cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of New York University’s Women’s Heart Program.

In the study, University of Utah researchers looked at 276 couples to see if depression was the real reason poor marriages have been found to be harmful to health. The couples were middle-aged or older Utah residents who were mostly married for a long time—on average more than 27 years; they ranged in age from 32 to 76.

The researchers found that bad relationships were bad for health—for women at least. Women in troubled relationships were more likely than other women to be depressed. Plus, they were more likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors including elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides, low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, abdominal obesity, and elevated blood sugar—all basically steps on the road to heart attack or diabetes.

“For husbands, we didn’t see, on its own, that negative marital stuff was related at all to metabolic syndrome. The only thing it was related to was their depressive symptoms,” says Nancy Henry, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Utah. “For men, having a problematic marriage is still emotionally, but not physically, problematic healthwise.”

Although the researchers didn’t specifically ask the subjects about religion, many Utah residents are Mormons, who may be less likely than people in other religious groups to get divorced, says Henry. “Because we have this really traditional value of marriages here in this state, in this area, then I think we have surveyed couples that are staying together no matter what,” she says.

Next page: Why getting a divorce won’t solve the problem

Sunday, July 5, 2009



I found this article. Once again -- I'm posting something that can relate to oral sex and your health. If there's one thing that scares the crud out of me... it's the thought of getting herpes. I want to warn women out there to be aware of how easily it can be spread. Remember.... If he has a cold sore on his mouth -- even the smallest sign of one.... he should be nowhere near your "area". You can get genital herpes that way. Stay free and clear. -Health Girl


On this page we will delve into the topic of two types of herpes: herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 and various aspects of living with and learning about both.

For anyone living with genital herpes – the most common attempt at disclosure will be to compare the infection to that of oral herpes or “cold sores.” There always seems to be an underlying need to somehow “lesson” the severe perceptions that one may have by drawing attention to the herpes virus that is socially acceptable. Contrary to scientific fact, many believe there will always be a “good” herpes virus (oral herpes) and a “bad” herpes virus (genital herpes).

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Based on the various up to date information resources and the assistance of Dr. H of Herpes.org, we will explore the two types of herpes based on varying criteria.

According to The American Social Health Association, under a microscope herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 are virtually identical, sharing approximately 50% of their DNA. Both herpes type 1 and herpes type 2 infect the mucosal surfaces of the body – most often the mouth or the genitals and then establish latency in the nervous system. For both herpes simplex 1 and 2, it is estimated that two thirds of those infected have no noticeable symptoms or no symptoms at all. Studies have shown that both herpes 1 and herpes 2 can be spread when there are no symptoms present.

The primary difference between herpes 1 and herpes 2 is their “site of preference” when establishing latency in the body. Herpes simplex 1 usually establishes latency in the trigeminal ganglion, a collection of nerve cells found near the ears. Recurring herpes outbreaks will generally occur around the mouth or facial region. Herpes simplex 2 usually establishes latency in the sacral ganglion, a collection of nerves found at the lower base of the spine. HSV-2 recurring outbreaks will generally occur in the genital region.

Though this is the most commonly noted difference, it is not absolute. Herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 can reside in either or both parts of the body and infect orally and/or genitally. Unfortunately, many are unaware of this and this lack of knowledge contributes to the ongoing spread and to the growing number of herpes type 1 genital cases being responsible for genital herpes.

With many years of believing that herpes type 1 is only related to oral herpes, many people are not aware that herpes type 1 can and is being contracted both orally and genitally and can cause genital herpes. So many people are under the presumption that there is that “Good versus Bad” herpes virus and with these beliefs social stigmas are thriving. While the “Good Virus” is believed to be “just a cold sore” – society has that euphemism to hide behind and don’t have to acknowledge that cold sores are indeed Herpes.

Common myths give indication that herpes simplex 1 causes a mild infection that is at times bothersome, but never dangerous. The reality is that herpes type 1 is usually very mild when affecting the lips, face or genitals. Herpes type 1 has been known to occur spontantiously in the eye “ocular herpes”. Ocular herpes can be very serious and could potentially lead to blindness. In some very rare cases, herpes has spread to the brain causing herpes encephalitis, an extremely dangerous infection that can result in death. These are however, Very rare! Herpes can be spread to the finger “herpetic whitlow”. Herpes is also quite common among wrestler’s “herpes gladiatorium” (a herpes infection of the chest or face).

Though society believes herpes type 1 to be the “Good Virus”, researchers are finding herpes type 1 to be more “risky” than previously perceived. Some medical professionals are finding herpes type 1 to be a more “significant” infection than herpes type 2 and the prevalence of herpes type 1 is severely underestimated.

Herpes type 2 is believed to be a painful and dangerous infection that affects people with an “overly active sex life”. This couldn’t be more false. Genital Herpes can infect anyone who has sex, even if only once. An estimated 25% of adults from varying backgrounds, income levels and ethnic groups have Herpes type 2 causing genital herpes. Herpes type 2 1s often so mild that an estimated two thirds of those infected don’t even realize they have it. Herpes type 2 rarely causes complications and more rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

Herpes type 2 is the most common cause of neonatal herpes, a rare but often dangerous and potentially fatal condition that affects newborns. Herpes type 1 is the primary cause of one third of neonatal infections. You can find comfort in knowing that both are completely avoidable with proper education, instruction and testing.

Because herpes type 1 and herpes type 2 have a “site of preference” both can behave very differently depending on the infected person. Herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 are quite common and neither poses a serious health threat. Due to their common existence in society, many health care providers dismiss them easily; even considering the long-term emotional effects a positive diagnosis of the herpes virus will have on their patient.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) – though not life threatening, it is stealing the quality of life of many of those who are infected. At the same time, many of us who carry the herpes virus, regardless of location, realize its common place in society and know it’s nothing more than a “cold sore.”

Herpes Outbreaks? And how often?

The physical problem that herpes poses is primarily based on the individual and three varying factors. Those being; the strength of their immune system, how long they have had the herpes virus, and is the herpes virus affecting the “normal site of preference?”

Obviously a challenged immune system will have a strengthening affect on many “viruses” and is the main reason people are bothered by more frequent outbreaks and the primary reason herpes types 1 and herpes type 2 are a greater threat to infants who have limited immune response. This also causes the herpes viruses to greatly affect those with compromised immune systems due to other illnesses such as cancer, HIV, severe burns, etc.

How long a person has the herpes virus also plays a large role in frequency of outbreaks. It is not clear why a decrease of herpes outbreaks occurs over time, but is believed to be due to the build up of antibodies in the infected persons system.

It is estimated that 100 million American’s who are infected with herpes simplex 1 contracted the virus as a young child. Due to the substantial time of living with the herpes virus, by the time they reach adulthood only about 5% will find it to be a medical problem and seek treatment.

The estimated 40 million American’s infected with herpes simplex 2 almost always acquired the virus as a teen or as a sexually active adult by having unprotected sexual contact with someone who has genital herpes. Those infected with genital herpes will, on average, experience 4-6 outbreaks that first year, with a decrease in outbreaks occurring over time.

Due to Herpes type 1 and herpes type 2 having their sites of preference and though HSV can account for both genital herpes and oral herpes cases, regardless of type, both are known to be milder when they are “outside their site of preference.” You could easily say the type located in its “site of preference” has the home court advantage.

An example of this is most people infected with herpes simplex 1 genitally have reported fewer genital herpes outbreaks if any in a single year. It is estimated that herpes simplex 1 now accounts for as many as 30% of all genital herpes cases in the U.S and 2-5% of the recurring outbreaks are associated with the herpes type 1 virus.

Herpes type 2 oral infections are Very rare and in those few known cases, recurring outbreaks are extremely rare.

Spreading the herpes virus?

One of the most common “haunt’s” of those infected with genital herpes is the concern of transmitting the herpes virus to a non-infected partner. At the same time, those infected with oral herpes often show little concern if any at all of possible transmission of the herpes virus.

In reality one type is just as easily transmitted to their site of preference, and can be spread to other locations as well. Both herpes type 1 and herpes type 2 are most contagious during active outbreaks; however the herpes virus can be transmitted during times of viral shedding, when no symptoms of an outbreak are present. Herpes type 1 is shed through the saliva approximately 5% of the time when the person is symptom less.

Typically in the first year of infection with herpes type 2 from genital herpes, one will shed about 6-10% of those days when there are no symptoms. This of course will decrease over time as well.

There are always questions of transmittability as it pertains to those who already have one type of herpes. It has been found that oftentimes, having one type of herpes will offer a resistance to the other type. This is due in large to the body having built up antibodies against the already existing type. This immune response will offer some resistance. When a person with one type of herpes does acquire the other type, it will generally result in a much milder first episode.

Herpes simplex 1 is the most easily acquired form of herpes and is typically spread through a social kiss such as that of a family member. Due to the lack of immune response in children, new herpes type 1 infections typically occur in childhood.

By the time that child reaches adulthood, they will be one of 50% of American’s living with herpes type 1. By the time a person reaches the age of 50, they will be one of 80-90% of those who carry herpes type 1.

Nearly all herpes simplex 2 infections are encountered after childhood when they began having sex. Those who have a prior infection of herpes simplex 1 have an acquired immune response that lowers – but will not eliminated the risk of acquiring herpes simplex 2. According to some studies, a previous infection of herpes simplex 1 reduces the acquisition of subsequent herpes simplex 2 by as much as 40%.

A prior infection with herpes simplex 1 orally greatly lowers the risk of contracting herpes type 1 genitally. Studies have shown that the majority of herpes type 1 genital cases causing genital herpes are occurring in those with no prior history of HSV of either type.

In the absence of prior oral infection, herpes type 1 spreads easily to the genital area, usually through the practice of oral sex. In some countries, genital herpes caused by herpes type 1 account for as many as half of their entire genital herpes cases.

The question of immunity to herpes always lurks in the backs of minds. Some studies have suggested that the ganglia may acquire immunity to HSV after they have been exposed to one viral type of herpes. Studies have also shown that a herpes infection of the ganglia with more than one type is difficult, indicating that it may be more difficult to acquire a second HSV where one already exists. Example: A prior infection of herpes type 1 genitally will offer resistance to a genital herpes infection of herpes type 2.

Some researchers have stated that a prior infection of herpes type 2 genitally will protect against infection of herpes type 1.

Another common question is – If you have genital herpes from herpes type 2 will your partner contract it orally through oral sex? The answer is most probably not! Almost 100% of all recognizable cases of herpes type 2 are genital.

If you have herpes type 1 in the genitals can you give this to your partner through genital sex? The answer is Yes! Though the risk is reduced due to the infection not being located in its “site of preference” which means there is far less shedding and much fewer outbreaks.

So now the question is, “If herpes is so easily spread from oral to genital, then why are people not taking stronger more precautionary measures?” This is due largely because of the social stigma’s that are associated with “The bad herpes virus”. It is all a matter of public education and social acceptance. So many time’s there will be no convincing that person who has a history of cold sores that those have nothing to do with a “cold” but are in fact herpes, because “they went away!” The nearest thing to a cold linked to oral herpes is the fact that a challenged immune system will on occasion lead to an outbreak. Typically during times of colds or flu’s and the symptoms associated with the primary infection of herpes that includes flu like symptoms.

Health Care Provider’s, Researcher’s and other informed people can offer as much data and information on the differences between herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2, but reality is that as long as society chooses to remain the judge and jury with their opinions and remain locked in the belief that genital herpes is “the bad herpes”, there is little that can be done to begin to erase the social stigmas or alter the mindset of those who choose not to become more educated.

Regardless of all efforts being made, the common belief that “oral sex is safe sex” will also continue. So long as this practice continues without proper precautions and testing, American’s could see the numbers of genital herpes continue to incline. In fact, Dr. H of herpes.org has stated that within the next 5 – 10 years we could see the number of genital herpes cases rise from the current 1 in 4 to as many as 1 in 3 or even 2.

Because an infection that is associated with the genitals and through the act of sex, regardless of how sex is portrayed on television, viewed by society or practiced by as many as 98% of adults, there will always be something “taboo” about any virus that is associated with sex, period.

We can only hope that one day, through the continued efforts of concerned organizations, the walls of social stigma and a judgmental society will begin to fall. Today living with the herpes virus and realizing that you are indeed a part of a majority rather than a minority can offer you the first step to emotional freedom.

Regardless of location, herpes is herpes is herpes. It is only a “cold sore” and is a virus that is treatable, controllable and in many cases avoidable even with a partner who carries the herpes virus. By taking the time to become educated, learning your body, your triggers, your symptoms, etc. you can take control over your life and the herpes virus.

It is all a matter of how proactive and educated you choose to be.

*This information has been provided with special thanks to Dr. H of Herpes.org, The American Social Health Association, Global Health Services, Centers For Disease Control and input from many who live with the Herpes virus.