Women’s Health

Eight Tips for Heart Health

Posted in Diseases & Disorders, Exercise, Workouts, & Fitness, Men's Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss - Weight Gain, Women's Health on March 15th, 2011 by marie – Be the first to comment

There are certain risk factors for heart disease that you have no control over and cannot change, such as getting older or having a family history of early heart disease. But you do have control over other major risk factors for heart disease that you “can” change, such as being physically inactive, not maintaining a normal weight, being overweight, smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, not eating healthy, and diabetes.

1. Physical Activity
You can become physically active and stay physically active. Physical inactivity is one of the several major risk factors for heart disease, and the good news is… you can do something about it. Get up and get moving!! Regular physical activity helps to lower your risk of heart disease by burning extra calories, which helps you to lose excess weight or stay at your desirable weight. read more »

Many Women Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Posted in General, Women's Health on February 10th, 2011 by marie – Be the first to comment

Women are not getting enough sleep and this is harming their health. If you get 5 hours or less of sleep every night, you are:

  • 50 percent more likely to be overweight.
  • Doubling your risk of a heart attack.
  • Driving dangerously. Lack of sleep is just as dangerous as driving drunk. 1 in 6 fatal car accidents is due to driver fatigue, being tired.

read more »

After a Heart Attack

Posted in Diseases & Disorders, Exercise, Workouts, & Fitness, Men's Health, Women's Health on February 3rd, 2011 by marie – Be the first to comment

Some people are afraid to be physically active after they have had a heart attack. The good news is… regular, moderate physical activity can

  • Help reduce a persons risk of having another heart attack.
  • Improve a persons chances of survival.
  • Help a person to perform everyday tasks more easily and to do so without chest pain or shortness of breath.

If you have already had a heart attack, it is very important for you to talk with your doctor. read more »

Small Steps Toward Better Health

Posted in Children's Health, Men's Health, Women's Health on November 15th, 2010 by marie – Be the first to comment

There are many simple steps you can take each and every day to achieve a happy and healthy lifestyle for you and your family. Even small changes in your life will add up to big results.

  • Do NOT go to the grocery store feeling hungry.
  • Do not skip breakfast.
  • Use fat free milk instead of whole milk.
  • In the morning, get a whole grain head start with oatmeal or whole grain cereal.
  • read more »

Bladder Control Problems – Weak Pelvic Muscles

Posted in Women's Health on August 28th, 2010 by marie – Be the first to comment

Many events in a persons life can weaken their pelvic floor muscles:

  • Not keeping your pelvic muscles active
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Being overweight
  • Constipation
  • Getting older
  • Heavy lifting
  • Coughing for a long time, such as asthma, bronchitis, or smoker’s cough

Pelvic Floor Muscles
The part of your body including your hip bones is the pelvic area. At the bottom of the pelvis, several layers of muscle attach to the front, back, and sides of the pelvic bone. These muscles are your pelvic floor muscles that hold up your bladder and help keep your bladder from leaking urine. Urinary leakage or loss of bladder control is also called incontinence.

Weak pelvic muscles can cause bladder control problems. You may think bladder control problems are something that happens only when you get older, but it is a common health problem for women of all ages. Men leak urine too, but the problem is more common in women.

Kegel Exercises for Weak Pelvic Muscles
If your pelvic muscles get weak, you can help make them stronger by doing pelvic muscle exercises – called Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises can help you to regain control of your bladder. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles every day strengthens muscles that hold the bladder and many other organs in place. To do Kegel exercises, you just squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Once you learn how to “Kegel,” you can Kegel anywhere.

Here are a few ways to find the right pelvic muscles to squeeze:

  • 1. Try to stop the flow of urine when you are sitting on the toilet. If you can do it, you are using the right muscles. (Do this to learn which muscles are the right ones to use – but only do this once a week, as your bladder may not empty the way it should if you stop and start your stream of urine more often than that).
  • 2. Imagine that you are trying to stop passing gas. Squeeze the muscles you would use. If you sense a “pulling” feeling, those are the right muscles for pelvic exercises.

Many women have trouble finding the right muscles to squeeze. It is best to see a doctor, nurse, or physical therapist to learn how to do Kegel exercises correctly. Kegel exercises are most effective when you have received proper instruction from a health care professional. You can also exercise by using special weights or biofeedback. Ask your doctor about these exercise aids.

  • 1. First, empty your bladder. Then find a quiet place to practice so you can concentrate, such as your bedroom or bathroom.
  • 2. Start Kegel exercises lying down. This is the easiest position. When your muscles get stronger, you can do Kegel exercises sitting or standing as you like. Lie on the floor. Pull in the pelvic muscles and hold for a count of 3. Then relax for a count of 3. Try to do 10 to 15 squeezes, 3 times a day, but don’t overdo it.

Every day, use three positions: lying down, sitting, and standing. Using all three positions makes the muscles strongest. You can do these exercises any time, while lying on the floor, sitting at a desk, in the car, waiting in line, or standing in the kitchen doing the dishes.

Be patient and don’t give up. You may not feel your bladder control improve until after 3 to 6 weeks. Most women do notice an improvement after a few weeks.

Word of Caution When Doing Kegel Exercises:

  • Be careful not to tighten your stomach, legs, or other muscles at the same time. Squeezing the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder control muscles. Just squeeze the pelvic muscle.
  • Don’t hold your breath.
  • You may feel that if you increase the number of repetitions and the frequency of your exercises, you will speed up your progress, but overexercising these muscles can instead cause muscle fatigue and increase urine leakage.
  • If you feel discomfort in your abdomen or back while doing these exercises, you are probably doing them wrong.

Sneezing, Lifting, or Jumping
You can protect your pelvic muscles from more damage by bracing yourself. Squeeze your pelvic muscles tightly and hold on until after you sneeze, lift, or jump. Sudden pressure from such actions can hurt pelvic muscles.

Note:
Not all bladder control problems are alike. Urine leakage has many possible causes. Some other bladder control problems are caused by:

  • Damaged nerves.
  • Medicine that dulls the nerves so that you can sleep or relax. This medicine may dull the nerves in the bladder and keep them from signaling the brain when the bladder is full.
  • Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can also cause these nerves to fail.
  • Caffeine – Caffeine drinks such as coffee and cola also cause the bladder to fill quickly. Make sure your drinks are decaf.
  • Constipation.
  • Tumors in the brain, spinal cord, or bladder.
  • Infection – A urinary tract infection can irritate bladder nerves and cause the bladder to squeeze without warning. This type of incontinence goes away once the infection has been cured.
  • Excess weight – Being overweight can put pressure on the bladder and contribute to stress incontinence.

Your doctor or nurse will try to help solve your bladder control problem by identifing the type of incontinence you have. You will need to find a doctor who is skilled in helping women with urine leakage. If your primary doctor shrugs off your problem as normal aging, for example, ask for a referral to a specialist – a urogynecologist or a urologist who specializes in treating female urinary problems.

Females and Iron

Posted in Vitamins - Supplements, Women's Health on July 8th, 2010 by marie – Be the first to comment

Most people get enough iron by making healthy, balanced food choices and eating iron-rich foods. But some groups of people are at greater risk for low iron levels. Based on blood values, substantial numbers of adolescent females and women of childbearing age are iron deficient.

Iron deficiency anemia can be associated with:

  • Low dietary intake of iron.
  • Inadequate absorption of iron.
  • Excessive blood loss.

Women and teenage girls are at great risk of developing iron deficiency anemia because they have the greatest need for iron:

  • Women of childbearing age.
  • Pregnant women – About half of pregnant women have iron-deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy can increase risk for small or early (preterm) babies. Small or early babies are more likely to have health problems or die in the first year of life than infants who are born full term and are not small.
  • Women with heavy menstrual losses and long periods can lose a significant amount of iron.
  • Women can lose iron and red blood cells from uterine fibroids, which can bleed slowly.
  • Women who have had more than one child.
  • Women who use an intrauterine device (IUD).
  • Women who engage in regular, intense exercise (female athletes).

Iron deficiency is uncommon among adult men and postmenopausal women. Individuals should only take iron supplements when prescribed by a doctor because of their greater risk of iron overload.

Some Food Sources of Iron Include:
Clams, canned, drained 3 ounces – 23.8 mg
Chicken liver, cooked, 3 and 1/2 ounces 12.8 mg
Ready-to-eat cereal, 100 percent iron fortified, 3/4 cup 18 mg
Oysters, eastern, wild, cooked, moist heat 3 ounces – 10.2 mg
Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared with water, 1 cup – 10 mg
Soybeans, mature, boiled, 1 cup – 8.8 mg
Lentils, boiled, 1 cup 6.6 mg
Beans, kidney, mature, boiled, 1 cup 5.2 mg
Beans, lima, large, mature, boiled, 1 cup 4.5 mg

Daily Recommended Dietary Allowances for Iron mg = milligrams
7 to 12 months – 11 mg
1 to 3 years – 7 mg
4 to 8 years – 10 mg
9 to 51+ years – 8 mg

14 to 18 years – Males – 11 mg
14 to 18 years – Females – 15 mg
14 to 50 years – Pregnancy – 27 mg
14 to 18 years – Lactation – 10 mg

19 to 50 years – Females – 18 mg
19 to 50 years – Lactation – 9 mg

Anorexia

Posted in Diseases & Disorders, Women's Health on June 10th, 2010 by marie – Be the first to comment

A person with anorexia, called anorexia nervosa, has an intense fear of gaining weight.

  • A person with anorexia thinks about food a lot and limits the food they eat.
  • A person with anorexia thinks they are fat even when they are very thin.
  • A person with anorexia may talk about weight and food all the time.
  • A person with anorexia may not eat in front of others.
  • A person with anorexia is usually female, but males can be anorexic too.
  • A person with anorexia has a low body weight for their height and resist keeping a normal body weight.
  • A person with anorexia may wear baggy clothes.
  • A person with anorexia may weigh themselves many times a day.
  • A person with anorexia may not act like themselves.
  • A person with anorexia may be moody or sad, or not want to go out with their friends.

A person with anorexia may use extreme dieting, excessive exercise, or other methods to lose weight:

  • They throw up.
  • They take diet pills.
  • They take pills to urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • They weigh food and count calories.
  • They eat very small amounts of only certain foods.

Females will miss 3 menstrual periods in a row.

Anorexia is more than just a problem with food, it’s a way of using food or starving oneself to feel more in control of life and to ease tension, anger, and anxiety.

People with anorexia may also have other psychiatric and physical illnesses, including:

  • Obsessive behavior.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Issues with the heart and/or brain.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Problems with physical development.

There are many consequences of anorexia that can cause a person to have medical problems for the rest of their life. Being anorexic is a dangerous way to try to control your weight!! With the help of a health care team of doctors, nutritionists, and therapists, someone with anorexia can get better.

Heat Stroke

Posted in Children's Health, Diseases & Disorders, Men's Health, Women's Health on June 6th, 2010 by marie – Be the first to comment

Heat Related Illnesses
Being hot for too long can cause many illnesses, all grouped under the name hyperthermia: heat cramps, heat edema, heat syncope, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. In this post we will be discussing heat stroke.

Almost every summer there is a deadly heat wave in some part of the country. It is important for a person to get relief from the heat quickly. If not, they might begin to feel confused or faint. Their heart could become stressed, and maybe stop beating.

Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Doing too much on a hot day, or spending too much time in the sun, or staying too long in an overheated place can cause serious heat related illnesses. read more »

Electrolyte Imbalance

Posted in Children's Health, Men's Health, Women's Health on June 4th, 2010 by marie – Be the first to comment

Electrolytes are the salts and minerals that affect the amount of water in your body, muscle activity, and other important functions. Electrolytes are in your blood, urine and body fluids. When you maintain the right balance of electrolytes, this helps your body’s blood chemistry, muscle action and other processes.

Calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphate, chlorine, bicarbonate, and magnesium are all electrolytes, which you get from the foods you eat and the fluids you drink. read more »

Abuse of Laxatives

Posted in Children's Health, Men's Health, Women's Health on June 3rd, 2010 by marie – Be the first to comment

Laxatives are medicines you buy in a store that will make you have a bowel movement. One common cause of constipation can be the abuse of laxatives.

The common belief that people must have a daily bowel movement has led to self medicating with OTC (over-the-counter) laxative products.

Although people may feel relief when they use laxatives, typically they must increase the dose over time because the body grows reliant on laxatives in order to have a bowel movement. As a result, laxatives may become habit-forming, can lead to dependency and decreased bowel function. read more »