Category Archives: Health

How Do Period Delay Tablets Work?

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Every month you wait for your dreaded period to arrive and sometimes your period can arrive when it just isn’t convenient for you. Period delay tablets are absolutely perfect for such scenarios and can help you out hugely. Let’s take a look at how these pills work and how they can assist you when you need them.

How They Work

Medication such as ‘Norethisterone’ and ‘Utovlan’ work by affecting the hormones inside the medication sustaining the lining of the womb for longer than usual. This will result in you not coming on your period until you stop taking the medication (e.g. if you take Norethisterone for a week when your period usually occurs, you will delay it by a week or so.) Please note that these kind of pills are not contraceptive and you can still get pregnant while taking them, so you should take other medication/contraceptive methods as and when you need to.

Perhaps you have a hot date coming up or just want to go swimming with your friends during the time which your period would usually strike. These things might not be out of the question when you get your period but they are definitely not preferred for most people.

Taking medication such as Norethisterone or Utovlan would be perfect for such occasions. They are not only used for these methods however, you might be advised to use these by a medical professional. Your doctor might prescribe you with these types of tablets if you suffer from heavy/abnormal bleeding. They can help to normalize your cycles by balancing the hormones in your body.

Are They Safe?

These kind of products are FDA approved and are completely safe to take for the average woman. However it is always wise to consult your local doctor before you take any kind of medication. You should also not take these kind of products TOO often, they should not be used every month and not for a prolonged period of time.

Period delay tablets could definitely be the right option for you if you have a holiday/party coming up, where being on your period is just not convenient for you. Coming to rely on these pills is not good because you could mess up your cycles but using them occasionally is absolutely fine. They in a way, let you decide when you get your period and also give you time to prepare!

How Hospitals Are Using Software

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The use of software in medicine has come on leaps and bound over the last two decades. In the same way we’ve graduated from small mobile phones to fully fledged smart phones that can do just about anything, hospitals up and down the country are also going through a technical revolution that is helping doctors and nurses save time, resources and money for their wards and all while pushing patient satisfaction to an all-time high. So what is medical software and what can it be used for? In this short piece we’ll let you in on the types of software clinics use, why they use it and what results they’re seeing. Continue reading

Can Online Counseling Against Addictions Be Effective?

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Millions of adults are addicted. Psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral therapy are the most common treatment options. Usually, addicts attend sessions at a psychotherapist’s office or in specialized clinics and treatment centers. Self-help groups can be a complementary offer as well. During the past ten years, self-help programs with online assistance and counseling have become available, too. Psychotherapy through the internet – can that work?

Some important elements are missing

The great thing about one-on-one sessions of a patient and a counselor is the immediate interaction. Questions and answers, listening, body language, mimic, physical presence and energy are all elements of personal counseling that are missing on the internet. The patients don’t get the interaction with other addicts like in an addiction center and the intensity of a 24 hours-a-day therapy is also missing.

Five reasons why 90% of addicts never ever receive help

However, many statistics show that more than 90% of all addicts who recognize their problems, nonetheless, never start any conventional treatment. There are five reasons for it: Firstly, many addicts believe that they can’t afford it. Secondly, they don’t want to interrupt their jobs and family lives. Thirdly, a specialized treatment center isn’t available where they live. The fourth reason is that therapies aren’t available immediately. Waiting times can be three to nine months. The fifth and possibly most important reason is that many addicts don’t feel comfortable opening up to complete strangers. They are horrified by the idea of talking about their most intimate problems to somebody who they’ve never seen before.

Online help is accessible to everybody

For those five reasons, anonymous help through the internet – online counseling and self-help programs – can be an interesting alternative. Help is inexpensive, it can be integrated into patients’ normal lives, it is available everywhere and immediately and participants remain anonymous. Several conditions need to be met, though, in order for online help to work.

Preconditions for effective online help

Patients need to work through the program at least one hour per day during a period of several weeks or months. This requires a certain amount of discipline and addicts don’t always have this. As patients don’t talk face to face with a counselor, they need to read a lot of texts. They will be provided with a lot of checklists, questions and answers, quizzes, background information, exercises etc. Things that a therapist would normally tell them in individual sessions are brought across through pdf and mp3 audio files. Patients need to spend a lot of time reflecting their own lives. Therefore, being open-minded to ‘psychological approaches’ is another precondition for self-help programs to work.

High motivation is key to success

Patients must be motivated to see their problems from new angles. Psychoanalytical approaches ask participants to reflect upon experiences from childhood and adolescence. Not all addicts like this. Elements of cognitive behavioral therapy ask patients to try new behaviors, new attitudes and new strategies how to deal with their problems. Putting this into practice can be difficult if patients aren’t open-minded. The most important precondition to success is the participant’s high motivation. Highly motivated patients will use email communication and chat functions in order to have an active dialogue with the team of counselors available in self-help programs with online presence. In many cases, self-help programs can be an effective first step. Addicts receive many advices, tips and tricks and they start questioning their behaviors. Often, they become more open to visit a psychotherapist, a self-help group or a treatment center afterwards.

An example

Lavario is an example of therapists offering self-help programs and individual coaching through email and chat functions. Participants download all material from the internet and can send all questions, problems, reports on progress etc. via email. Extensive answers are provided within two or three days. Lavario points out another advantage of online counseling. As online presence is global, patients can find help at times of the day when no therapist is available in their home towns. For example, Lavario’s head office is in Brazil. When an addict in London, Sydney or Delhi feels desperate and looks for help at midnight over there, the call center in Sao Paolo can still be available. 2 am in Los Angeles means that it’s daylight in Brazil already.

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  • License: Image author owned

By Frank Lavario

I am Frank Lavario, founder and author of the Lavario self help programs against addictions. My colleagues and I have been working a lot with addicts all over the world during. Sometimes we put our experience into short articles.

7 Eating Disorder Warning Signs

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Eating disorders can be life-threatening when untreated. If you suspect that someone you love is suffering from the symptoms of an eating disorder (E.D.), check out these 7 warning signs.

1. Food-Related Behaviors

Eating disorders are, in the simplest of terms, an unhealthy relationship with food. If you see changes in the way your loved one approaches meals, this is a sign of E.D.

Restricting food is a symptom of anorexia. Certain types of food can become the enemy, and eventually, when not addressed, all food is viewed as harmful. An intense fear of gaining weight trumps the physical need for food.

Binging and purging are symptoms of bulimia. Eating in front of people, or alone, often in large, physically unnecessary quantities leads to guilt, shame, and the desire to rid the system of all the food just consumed. Excessive exercise can also indicate an eating disorder.

2. Unhealthy Mindset

The mind of someone with an eating disorder can seem foreign to those who have never experienced the symptoms. Beliefs about food and perceptions of what will alter one’s body weight start to seem normal to the E.D. sufferer.

3. Distorted Body Image

When you look at the E.D. sufferer, you see someone skinny, operating at an unhealthy body weight. When he or she looks in the mirror, there is a fat person reflected back. Sadly, the inability to see his or her true physical form is a sure sign of an eating disorder.

4. Damage to Career and Relationships

When food and body image have taken control of someone’s life, little else matters. If your loved one has experienced problems at work and in personal relationships as a result of an unhealthy interaction with food, this indicates an eating disorder.

5. Psychological Problems

Mental illness often accompanies an eating disorder. Is your loved one depressed or anxious more often than not? Has a formal diagnosis been made in the past? The progression of an eating disorder may have been influenced by an existing mental illness and the two may be working together to keep him or her very sick.

6. Substance Abuse

Drug and alcohol use is common among those with E.D. In an effort to lose weight or maintain a certain body size, someone may use stimulants, for example, to suppress appetite. The drug appears to help, but the scale always tips and substances become only harmful.

If your loved one is self-medicating with any substance, this can indicate an eating disorder. Dual diagnosis for E.D. plus a substance abuse disorder or a mental illness can create quick and positive change when appropriate treatment is administered together.

7. Physical Health Problems

Irregular periods in females, constipation, abdominal pains, trouble sleeping, dry skin, frequently feeling cold, irregular heart rhythms, low blood pressure, dehydration, and malnourishment are all signs of E.D. Organs can shut down when the body does not have the fuel it needs for daily functioning.

An eating disorder can lead to death when not properly addressed. Help the person in your life seek treatment and start the fight against a debilitating eating disorder.

Jared Friedman has his masters in psychology from Pepperdine University and currently works for Sovereign Health Group, a dual diagnosis clinic that provides eating disorder treatment learn more at their website.

What Is Life Like After Cancer Treatment?

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Going through the entire treatment program and surviving cancer can be an overwhelming experience, given that the treatments themselves are very harsh and have severe side effects.

When patients begin treatment, they are eager to finish it off quickly so that they can get back to their normal life again. However, it may not always be as simple as that. Since you would have given up on many things and changed many habits during the long course of the treatment, you may find it difficult to snap back to your old routine. For some patients, this changeover can be quite difficult, and cause additional complications.

After the completion of treatment, you will see less of your cancer care team. Although you may be eager to get back to your earlier life, you could also feel sentimental about leaving the protective shelter of your doctor and the caregiving team. It is important to remember that it is not just the body that is recovering, but also the mind. Patients tend to feel lonely, sad, depressed and scared after the treatment is completed. Acknowledging these fears and fighting them is the key.

Fear of recurrence

One of the most common fears faced by patients who have recovered from cancer is the recurrence of the dreaded disease. Most cancer survivors say that the fear of recurrence is always there at the back of their minds. Living in perpetual fear is difficult to cope with and has many adverse effects. A simple pain or an ache can trigger this fear and bring in a lot of negative thoughts. The fear does tend to fade over the years, but it can be difficult to deal with immediately after recovery.

Cope with the fear of recurrence not by avoid it or pushing it behind your mind, but instead facing it head on and dealing with it. Take positive steps towards addressing this issue. Speak to your doctor about your chances of recurrence and what you can do to avoid it. Once you have taken all the necessary steps, you will feel more relaxed.

Depression

Another major issue faced by cancer survivors is depression and anxiety. As you leave the protection of your doctor, you will be on your own and will be expected to take many decisions. This responsibility takes a toll on many survivors and if they are unable to cope with it can lead to depression.

Anger, anxiety and depression are common and it is important that you face them all with the help of your loved ones. Alternatively, you can also enroll in a cancer support group where you can discuss your fears with fellow cancer survivors.

Change in relationships

Cancer battle not only takes a toll on the person but also on their relationships. Spouses, children, parents and friends may all change drastically during this testing time. Once you return, they may not know how to respond and how to behave. Many may also shy away from you and have no idea how to reach out and bridge the gap. This can take a toll on the cancer patient, feeling unloved and uncared for is common. Caregivers must go the extra mile to provide full support to the patient so that he can overcome his negative feelings and get back to normalcy.

Life after cancer treatment can be challenging, but the love and support of family and friends can help the survivor lead a normal and successful life.

Author bio: Ralph Coleman is a medical writer who writes well-researched, in-depth cancer articles which provide relevant information to help patients combat the deadly disease. Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) prides in providing the best cancer treatment solutions to patients who have endured to various cancer types. With cancer centers in Philadelphia, Tulsa, Chicago, Newnan etc., CTCA aims at providing the best treatment options to cancer patients. Learn more: http://www.empowereddoctor.com/8012/cancer-treatment-center-philadelphia/

Does Your Sleeping Position Affect Your Health?

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What is your position when you fall asleep? Some people prefer to lie on their backs, others like to sleep either on their left or right side, and there are also those who sleep with their face down. There are really so many different sleeping positions, and you probably favor one more than the others. But did you know that the way you sleep can give clues about your overall health and your personality? Here’s what your favorite sleeping position says about you.

— Fetal or Womb Position

Some people say that if you sleep in the fetal position, this means that you want to comfort yourself or to be comforted. But sleep experts say that this is actually an indication that you are tough on the outside but soft in the inside. Health-wise, when your curl up into a ball while sleeping, it can have a few negative effects on your health because this position isn’t good for your neck and spinal area or back. It somewhat hampers your breathing too.

— Sleeping on Your Back

If you don’t want to strain your neck or your back, the best position is to sleep on your back. Don’t use too many pillows, and you can also have your arms at the sides or up. This allows for better lung expansion upon inhalation as there are no obstructions. Plus, it helps keep the wrinkles away because you avoid pushing your face down onto your pillow or mattress, which can hasten the development of facial lines. However, such positions are not ideal for those with acid reflux or snoring problems, specifically sleep apnea. Dozing with your arms up is also known as the starfish position, and though it is generally a good sleeping position, it can strain the shoulder area too if you remain immobile for too long.

— Sleeping Face Down

One benefit of sleeping with the face down is that it helps with digestion. However, you’ll have to tilt your head either to the right or left side. This can put undue strain on your neck and it can encourage the development of facial lines or wrinkles. Because your back is not properly supported, this can exacerbate back pain as well.

— Sleeping on the Side

Sleep apnea, wherein a person snores too loudly and stops breathing temporarily, can be reduced if you sleep on the side. With this position, you can have your arms either out or on the sides. But the downside here is that the pressure of your entire body can put a lot of strain on the shoulder, hips and arm because of the increased pressure on the nerves and decreased blood flow to such areas. Furthermore, gravity is not your friend if you prefer this position as this can contribute to skin sagging.

— Sleeping with Pillows

Pillows do increase comfort, but make sure that you don’t use too much. If you put a lot of pillows under your head, this can hurt your neck and your back. It’s best to use a small pillow and position this underneath the arch of your spine if you like to sleep on your back. Place a pillow in between your legs if you sleep on the side, and have a pillow under your hips if you like to lie on your stomach so that you’ll be more comfortable.

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This blog post was written by Claire Thorpe, a freelancer who often tackles issues about home and health. Many of her articles have been used by parklanemattresses.com and other business websites.

Brain Floss: Five Ways You Can Use Menial Tasks Like Brushing Your Teeth To Stay Super-Sharp

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MP900438746It’s no secret that we all go through boring times throughout our lives, and sometimes even everyday. Whether it’s waiting for the bus, doing a mundane task at work, or yes, even brushing and flossing your teeth, boring tasks sometimes attack us from every angle. However, that doesn’t mean these boring tasks are useless. Sometimes, they are perfect fodder for exercising your brain. Here are some potential things you can do to make that mindless task keep your brain on edge:

Use Your Non-Dominant Hand for Tasks

While it might not be the best for your teeth to do all your brushing with your non-dominant hand, doing mundane or menial tasks such as brushing your teeth, dialing the phone or using your mouse with your non-dominant hand can bring a new challenge to an old routine. Likewise, using your non-dominant hand to perform activities helps form new neural connections as well as strengthens old neural paths in the brain! This is one of the most common and proven-to-work suggestions for those looking to improve their brain through boring or mindless work.

Switch Up Your Routine

By completely altering the way you complete a task you keep an activity fresh and also engaging to your brain. One common suggestion is to take a slightly different route to work every few days. If you do this, you’ll take your brain off “autopilot” and actually require brain to do some reasoning and navigation. Additionally, an activity like this helps with your spatial recognition and helps you build and formulate your own personal map of the area you live in. Other ways you can do this are (if you can or if your boss allows it) to switch up your desk furniture or the configuration and organization of your desk. By shifting your daily routines to differ from time to time, you’ll be on your toes more often and ready to adapt at a moment’s notice.

Place Limitations on Yourself

You can make a conventional activity much more engaging and challenging by putting limitations or requirements on the activity. For example, you can pick three uncommon vocabulary words out of a dictionary or subscribe to an e-mail list of daily SAT words and challenge yourself to incorporate them into a business memo, e-mail or your conversation throughout the day. Other options include encouraging yourself to do things like setting time limits for you to complete a task such as photocopying that work document within a certain amount of time. These will keep you energized and alert while performing a task.

Use (or Don’t Use) Your Senses

We rely heavily on our senses every day, especially our sense of sight. So what if you took away that sense and relied on another sense to perform a task or what if you exercised multiple senses at once? A common way to do this is to attempt to take a shower with your eyes closed the entire time. Though it may sound pretty easy, you might be surprised how difficult such a task really is. Just be sure to be careful when trying to go without your sense of sight — obviously don’t go driving a car with your eyes closed or try to cross a busy street. Further, a lot of our senses get neglected throughout the day. Take time to pay more attention to your senses of touch and smell throughout the day, often in conjunction with other activities that are more sight, hearing or taste based.

Memorize Your Shopping List

Grocery shopping can be a mundane task, but if you force yourself to memorize the list you’ll stretch those memory muscles and help enhance your ability to remember things. Just keep a backup list with you just in case. If you’re too worried you might miss an important item from the store, a less “risky” list might be a list of countries in Europe or elements on the periodic table (if you’re confident). You can also practice these while you do some of those more boring tasks by running through the list in your head such as flossing. Again, memorization can be a great way to keep your memory in tip-top shape.

Dr. Robert D’Alfonso is the founder of and practicing dentist at Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, a dental practice operating in the greater Austin, Texas area. Though his busy daily routine doesn’t typically allow for much “mundane” activity, Dr. D’Alfonso tries to always keep on his toes and engage his brain when he can.

Is It Possible To Turn Off Those Fat Genes?

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Have you ever wondered why some people get great results with a diet and exercise plan while others fail? This is due to the fact that everyone has their own unique body type that responds differently to a nutrition or workout plan. This concept is known as somatotyping, and it is discussed extensively in a book called Get-Fit Guy’s Guide to Achieving Your Ideal Body.

There was a study released earlier this month that showed that your genes can influence the way that your body responds to an exercise or diet plan. This means that in the future, you could take a salivary test to determine the type of exercise plan that will work best for you.

The findings of this study leave a few very important questions. Can your genes cause you to gain weight? Do fat genes exist, or is a person simply genetically predisposed to becoming obese?

Does Fat Genes Exist?

There have been numerous studies done to confirm that some people are genetically predisposed to gaining weight. One of the studies was performed by a team of researchers at UCLA. The study involved over 100 genetic variations of mice. The mice were fed a standard American diet. The results of the study showed that even though the mice followed the same diet, some mice gained a significant amount of weight whereas other mice did not gain any weight. The researchers were able to conclude that genetics made some mice more susceptible to gaining weight.

The authors of the study are hoping that scientists will be able to develop treatments and drugs that will turn off the fat genes. It is important to note that environmental factors also play a very important role in determining whether or not you are going to gain weight. In fact, regular physical activity can reduce your genetic susceptibility to becoming obese by nearly 40 percent.

How Can You Turn Off Those Fat Genes?

The good news is that you can reap the benefits of exercise without spending hours at the gym or running marathons. All you have to do is engage in physical activity 30 minutes per day. That is enough to turn off those fat genes. Taking your bike to work, walking the dog and parking further away from the building can help you get more activity into your day.

Physical activity is not the only thing that can turn off fat genes. There are a number of other lifestyle factors that affect your fat genes, such as diet and emotional state. You are constantly changing your genetics. The quality of air that you breathe, the amount of stress in your life and activity level are some of the things that change your genetics.

Keep in mind that things like toxins, cigarette smoking, poor diet not only affect whether certain genes will be expressed, but they also affect the health of your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and numerous other generations that come after you. That is why living a healthy lifestyle can help protect your future generations.

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Jovie Jimenez works for GTL DNA. She enjoys blogging about any topic related to genetics and DNA.

Fibromyalgia Causes: The Debate Goes On

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Reuters Health recently reported that researchers at the University of Utrecht have found that fibromyalgia is not unquestionably related to weather. The study has been questioned by some bloggers who claim their personal experiences run counter to the findings. Fibromyalgia – symptoms of which include joint pain and tenderness, depression and fatigue – has recently been thought to be caused by viral infections, physical trauma or the development of another disorder.

People with fibromyalgia can experience symptom anywhere on a scale of acute and severely limiting to mild.

The Study:

The study was conducted on 300 women with symptoms of fibromyalgia. They were required to record their symptoms over a period of a month, and their reports were compared against weather data to see if here was any correlation. Scientists compared the pain scores of each study participant to see if there was any relation to environmental factors such as humidity, precipitation or atmospheric pressure. The study did show a minute improvement in the participant’s pain and discomfort when sunshine and humidity were higher – but this was not regarded as particularly leading.

However, some writers with the condition have argued that environmental factors do impact upon the condition, but the environment does not affect all people with fibromyalgia in the same way. Some individuals might be heat sensitive, or react negatively to cold environments. Others have speculated that it might be change, rather than the environments themselves, that trigger pain and discomfort. Warm baths and exercise in warm water are thought to help relieve symptoms. Hydrotherapy courses are one recommended form of treatment.

Another important development in fibromyalgia research has recently occurred: A company called Integrated Tissue Dynamics has found that a unique neurovascular profile is present in the skin of many female fibromyalgia sufferers. A high concentration of nerve endings located around blood vessels in the hand is thought to be linked to the problems of pain and sensitivity typical of the condition. Pain and discomfort in the hands is an especially large problem, with many people complaining of this type of symptom especially. Stress is also often thought to be a cause. Fibromyalgia is often associated chronic fatigue syndrome, post traumatic stress disorder and irritable bowel syndrome. Neck trauma is also thought to increase the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia.

Awareness campaigns and outreach tools are needed to show people that many people suffer from this illness that is ‘invisible’ to others not involved in their intimate day to day lives.

Cases of fibromyalgia are usually subdivided into four main groups – but the debate around this condition continues. It is often a controversial subject, as people with the condition may appear normal and healthy at times, thus being forced to deal with accusations of faking or exaggerating their illness. Their everyday problems may manifest in obstacles such as not being able to climb the stairs in their home without being in great pain.  About a million British people are thought to suffer from the disease.

Julie Nocey is a free-lance writer and part-time carer in London. When she’s not helping people, you’ll find her in Hyde Park with her twin daughters.

Best Businiess Health Blogs

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BuildingThere are quite a few business health blogs out there, and I try to keep up with as many of them as possible. It’s a growing area – and one that I hope will continue to develop, since the modern focus on health in the workplace has seen many advantages for business as well as individual employees at every level within the organisations that employ them.

The NHS Health 4 Work blog is one of my favourites, and it goes into some detail about various topics you might not see anywhere else such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) at work. Well worth bookmarking.

ROSPA’s Workplace Safety blog is nicely designed and given ROSPA’s work as an organisation is focussed on the safety side of things but there are also posts on wider occupational health issues. I really like ROSPA.

One of the things that has always kinda bugged me about workplace health & safety is that a lot of people seem to think it’s a sort of irrelevance – when in fact it’s something that while we may take it for granted, is essential. Or in the words of the EasyJet CEO, ‘if you think safety is expensive, try having an accident’. And he’s right, of course. Everything from safety compliance to medical cover – while precautionary in nature – adds value and makes lives healthier and better.

Health & Safety at Work also have a good blog (click here) that discusses some of the more legislation related issues of the day. AXA PPP healthcare’s business site also has a link to the company’s blog on all things workplace wellbeing, from occupational health to dental health, and loads more besides.

Do you have a business health or workplace wellbeing blog? If so we’d be happy to feature it here, or if you’d like ot write for us, get in touch.