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Archive for the ‘Hormone Clinic’ Category

Woman’s heartache at miscarrying twins – Belfast Telegraph

Woman’s heartache at miscarrying twins

A woman has told the heartbreaking story of her miscarriage and how she lost twins a fortnight apart.

A woman has told the heartbreaking story of her miscarriage and how she lost twins a fortnight apart.

Karen Irvine told of the devastating moment she realised she was losing her baby and – after suffering severe pain – she later learned she had been expecting twins.

“I was sitting at work when I realised I was losing my baby,” Karen said. “The year was 2003, I was 41 years old and had undergone fertility treatment following years of trying to conceive.

“Only a week prior, I had been ecstatic with the news that I was five weeks pregnant and no way could I keep it a secret until week 12, as custom dictates. I told everyone immediately.

“This actually made things easier for me later, as I couldn’t have hidden my grief, it was too painful.

“After one night in hospital and following a procedure the next day to remove the remaining ‘products of conception’, I was discharged.

“I went to bed and stayed there, weeping for the loss of our much-wanted baby and sinking into a deep depression.”

However, over the next two weeks Karen began to experience abdominal pain which her GP said was her “womb shrinking back to the normal size”.

But as the pain increased she sought advice from her local family planning clinic.

“On conducting a urine test the clinic said my pregnancy hormone levels oddly had increased rather than decreasing,” she said.

“At home that evening I was in unbearable pain.

“At the Early Pregnancy Unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital doctors and consultants did not know what was wrong with me. One suggested appendicitis.”

As an investigatory laparoscopy was about to be performed, and as Karen was going under the anaesthetic, someone mentioned an ectopic pregnancy. “I became inconsolable, begging the surgeon, if so, to move the baby into my womb,” she said.

“Of course, I knew later that this is not possible and that my baby would already be dead.

“The following morning my surgeon sat at the end of my bed and said that I was lucky to be alive; I did not feel lucky, as my fallopian tube had burst and the remains of it and my foetus had been removed.

“My husband and I had lost twins two weeks apart, one from in the womb and the other in a fallopian tube. This was known as a ‘heterotrophic’ pregnancy.”

The twins were named Tonii and Kyrie and had their names placed in the Book of Remembrance in St Anne’s Cathedral.

After seven months Karen returned to work but as she struggled to come to terms with the loss she said the Mariposa Trust – a support charity providing support to thousands each week globally, who have suffered the loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy – helped her feel less alone.

Karen has urged people to attend the trust’s Saying Goodbye service at St Anne’s Cathedral tomorrow at 3.30pm.

Belfast Telegraph

Excerpt from:
Woman’s heartache at miscarrying twins – Belfast Telegraph

The Best Foods to Eat When You Have Breast Cancer – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Contributor: Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

If you or someone you care about has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, there will be questions. These may include: What should I eat?

During any cancer therapy, remember these four diet tips:

If you dont have nutrition-related side effects from your cancer treatment that limit your ability to eat and/or digest food, you can follow a generally healthy diet that includes:

Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant and anti-estrogen properties. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are especially good to include and are rich in phytochemicals.

Whole grains are unprocessed foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, phytochemicals as well as vitamins and minerals. A study by researchers at Soochow University in Suzhou, China, found that high fiber intakes may have a positive effect by altering hormonal actions of breast cancer and other hormone-dependent cancers.

Some studies, including a study by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, have suggested that the type of fat you consume may initiate the development of breast cancer. Limit your intake of saturated fat such as beef, lamb, organ meats, butter, cream, etc. and decrease your intake of foods containing trans fats, which also are called hydrogenated oils. Increase your intake of fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines to two to three times everyweek.

For good protein sources, increase your intake of poultry, fish, and legumes such as beans and lentils.Minimize your intake of cured, pickled and smoked foods. Soy in moderate amounts, which means one to two servings/day of whole soy foods, such as tofu, edamame and soy milk, also can be included. Studies, including research reported in the American Institute for Cancer Research, show that animals metabolize soy differently than humans. Not only is soy safe in moderate amounts, but research shows that soy contains isoflavones, a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties. Up to threeservings of whole soy foods per day does not increase a breast cancersurvivors risk of recurrence or death.

Drinking alcohol is a known risk factor for breast cancer. A large, observational study of 105,986 women suggested that drinking three glasses of wine or more per week throughout life increases a womans risk of breast cancer by a small but significant percentage. The study saw a 15 percent increased risk of breast cancer when women drank an average of three to six drinks per week, compared to women who did not drink. Try to avoid intake of alcoholic beverages when possible.

Obese women have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women who are in their ideal body weight range.

Many studies including a study conducted by researchers from the Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research in Tehran, Iran, have demonstrated an association between body mass size and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Weight reduction should be accomplished through a healthy diet and regular exercise once treatment is completed. Weight loss during treatment is not typically encouraged, as this is often associated with undesired muscle loss, leading to fatigue, a suppressed immune system, and a slower healing process.

Allow your body the nutrients it needs to fight cancer; once treatment is done, consider meeting with a dietitian for individualized recommendations to decrease recurrence risk and support a healthy weight.

Phytonutrients support human health and are found in plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains. Below, find common foods that contain important phytochemicals.

If you experience nausea, your nutritionist may recommend that you try to eat more foods that are cool or at room temperature, because they dont have a strong odor. Your nutritionist also may advise you to eatlower-fat foodsince fats take longer to digest.

Dont skip meals entirely if you have nausea, since an empty stomach can make nausea worse. Instead, focus on small bites of food throughout the day. Avoid strong flavors. Feel free to incorporate ginger root into your recipes, as this can help settle a nauseated stomach.

If constipation becomes an issue, your nutritionist may encourage you to eat fiber-rich foods and increase your fluid intake. Low-intensity walking and warm beverages also can help encourage regular bowel movements.

To combat fatigue, choose high-protein snacks and small frequent meals rather than large meals. People often experience more fatigue when they are not eating well, or when they are losing weight during treatment.

If experiencing any side effect that affects your ability to eat regularly, ask your care team if you can meet with a dietitian to review individualized nutrition recommendations.

See the article here:
The Best Foods to Eat When You Have Breast Cancer – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

When Your Doctor Prescribes A Vibrator – HuffPost

Doctors have been adding a new tool to the arsenal of how they restore the sex lives ofmenopausaland post-menopausal women: the humble vibrator.

With the onset of menopause, a decrease in the production of hormones causes vaginal tissue to get thinner and drier. Vaginal muscles can also atrophy, leading to painfulsex a problem for half of all menopausal and post-menopausal women, according to the National Institutes of Health.But the solution might be as simple as a vibrating piece of silicon.

Vibrators that are used internally stimulate pelvic blood flow, which increases vaginal moisture and boosts sexual response, all of which makes sex (with or without a partner) better. Like any muscle, the vagina is best kept healthy with regular exercise its the use it or lose it thing. Deterioration of this muscle becomes more common as middle-age or older women find themselves in situations where they arent sexually active anymore single, divorced, widowed or just not having regular sex with partners.

Therapeutically speaking, frequent vibrator use can prevent and ward off conditions such as painful vaginal dryness and atrophy. And yes, doctors are recommending their use with the caveat that since the vibrator industry isnt regulated, certain cautionary steps should be taken. (In brief:Keep anything you put inside your privates clean, and dont share your toys with friends.)

Dr. Barb DePree, whos been a gynecologist for about 30 years and was recognized by the North American Menopause Society in 2013 as the practitioner of the year for her exceptional contributions to menopause care, has long been prescribing vibrators to her patients. She keeps one handy in the exam room when she explains to her menopausal patients why regular vibrator use will be beneficial to their health, and suggests they try it.

While a few patients might have blushed through the years, all of them have been willing to take it for a spin, DePress told HuffPost. She explains that vibrators that stimulate just the clitoris might be fun, but for intercourse with a partner to resume pain-free, there must be pelvic floor activity.

One of her patients is a 70-year-old woman who reports having sex two or three times a week now without the use of lubricants or estrogen creams. She doesnt always achieve an orgasm, but according to her doctor, is quite pleased with what working with a vibrator for a few months accomplished.

DePree draws this analogy: When your vision started to fail, you didnt give up reading. You went out and bought yourself a pair of readers. Same thing is true about sex.

A survey of more than 2,000 women aged 18 to 60 indicated that 52 percent have used a vibrator.

Another benefit of vibrator use, said DePree, is they can help address the fact that orgasm intensity weakens with age. She said she commonly hears women say, Orgasm takes so much longer, and comes and goes so quickly its hardly worth it. She said, Those are the women who may benefit from introducing a vibrator too.

In a published paper she authored, DePree discussed a 52-year-old post-menopausal patient who sought her help. The woman estimated that at least five years had passed since she last experienced an orgasm. The patient had multiple sclerosis and was taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. She had tried a vibrator in the past, without success.

As a physician, I knew that she needed a more powerful motor for more intense stimulation. I was able to let her feel the difference and obtain the appropriate vibrator. Imagine her appreciation when she returned after achieving success, DePree said.

Having vibrators to road test in the safety of a doctors office also seems to be a boon. Not every woman feels comfortable going into a sex toy shop for the purchase. Online, the choices are mind-boggling. There are hundreds to choose form, and they can range in price from under $10 to the super-deluxe MotorBunny for $900 and the even higher priced Sybian.

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a Yale University obstetrician and gynecologist, brought vibrators out from under the bed a few years ago when she began prescribing them to Yale Cancer Clinics cancer patients, who often struggle with early menopause and need to combat its side effects. The vibrators increased her patients blood flow, and yes, improved their sex lives.

While the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the primary professional organization for ob-gyns, doesnt have an official policy on using vibrators to treat menopause and post-menopausal symptoms, a spokeswoman from the group told HuffPost that the organization doesnt really take issue with it.

And the organization does recommend masturbation to combat painful sex. I believe you could extrapolate that external stimulus, like a vibrator, fits into those categories, said Maggie McEvoy of the ACOG communications staff.

There are, of course, other options to help restore the vaginas elasticity and health for those who are unable or unwilling to go the vibrator route.

Hormone replacement therapy is controversial, but still on the table. Its use to treat symptoms of menopause changed abruptly after a large clinical trial in the U.K.found that the treatment actually posed more health risks, like breast cancer,than benefits for one type of hormone therapy.

But further review of clinical trials and new evidence show that hormone therapy may be a good choice for certain women, depending on their risk factors.Low-dose vaginal preparations of estrogen which come in cream, tablet or ring form can effectively treat vaginal symptoms and some urinary symptoms, while minimizing absorption into the body, says the Mayo Clinic.

There are also vaginal lasers, a relatively new FDA-approved treatment, that work by stimulating collagen production along vaginal walls, helping to build up the tissue again. The MonaLisa Touch and similar laser processes require three treatments (spaced a month apart) and cost about $3,000 that likely wont be covered by your insurance.

On the plus side, there have been18 studies that speak to the MonaLisa Touchs efficacy, all largely positive. One Stanford university study of 30 women found that all of them responded positively to the treatment. They showed highly statistically significant improvement in symptoms including dryness, pain, itching, painful urination and painful intercourse after the first treatment.

The North American Menopause Society gives the process a resounding maybe. It notes that the FDA approval process for devices is less strenuous than the one for new drugs, and these products havent survived the test of time yet. Meaning: They havent been around long enough to know the longer-term results.

The procedure itself doesnt hurt, but does require an annual maintenance treatment.You also shouldnt have laser therapy until youve had a Pap test and a thorough exam by your doctor to ensure that there are no other medical issues such as fibroids causing the pain.

Options are a good thing, right?

Originally posted here:
When Your Doctor Prescribes A Vibrator – HuffPost

Scientists identify biomarkers to guide hormone therapy for prostate cancer – University of California

A test commonly used in breast cancer has been found to also identify which patients with aggressive prostate cancer will benefit from hormonal therapy, according to a study led by scientists at UC San Francisco and the University of Michigan.

While hormone therapy has been used successfully to treat many prostate cancer patients, until now, researchers have been unable to predict which patients would benefit from early initiation of this therapy following surgery. The study, conducted by a team of researchers at 11 medical centers nationwide and in Canada, demonstrates the first new way to select the best treatment for specific patients.

In the study, which appears today in the journalJAMA Oncology, the researchers divided prostate tumors into three subtypes based on genetic patterns. Their results reveal that starting hormone treatment after surgery prevents the spread of the tumor in only one of the three types, known as luminal B, a particularly aggressive form that affects about one-third of those with the disease.

Hormone therapy carries significant side effects, so knowing which patients are likely to benefit from it can focus treatment on the right patients at the appropriate time, while sparing the others of increased risk of fatigue, sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, diabetes and other conditions.

If confirmed, patients with the luminal B subtype could be selected for early initiation of hormone therapy, which would allow for treatment intensification for patients most likely to benefit from it, saidFelix Feng, a radiation oncologist with UCSF Health and a senior author of the study.

Weve clearly shown that there are different molecular subtypes of prostate cancer and that a test widely used in breast cancer can also potentially be used to help individualize therapy for prostate cancer patients as well. said Feng,a UCSF associate professor of Radiation Oncology, Urology, and Medicine, who specializes in the treatment of high-risk, aggressive prostate cancers. He is also a member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The hormone treatment is known as androgen-deprivation therapy, or ADT. Just as estrogen has been found to promote breast cancer growth, male sex hormones called androgens notably testosterone stimulate prostate cancer. As in breast cancer treatment, depriving cancer of the critical sex hormone can starve some prostate tumors.

The test, called PAM50, has been used for over a decade to identify which breast cancers are the best candidates for hormone treatment. But no such screen has been available for prostate cancer, Feng said. The new research shows that PAM50 can also distinguish between the three prostate cancer subtypes.

Ultimately, our goal is to find the right treatment for the right patient at the right time, said Feng. Using the PAM50 test may allow us to take the first step towards this goal, in the setting of hormone therapy for prostate cancer patients treated with surgery.

Fengs co-senior author on the research paper, Daniel Spratt, a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan, commented on the potential of the biomarker to distinguish between the three prostate cancer subtypes: luminal B, luminal A and basal.

Prostate cancer has seen a recent surge of both investigational and commercially available prognostic biomarkers, Spratt said. Luminal and basal subtyping can be added to a very short list of predictive biomarkers in prostate cancer to truly personalize treatment for prostate cancer patients.

The retrospective study focused on 1,567 prostate cancer samples from high-risk patients who had undergone radical prostatectomy. The scientists identified the three distinct gene expression profiles that define the three cancer subtypes and confirmed the finding in another 6,300 prostate cancer samples.

They determined that luminal B disease was the most aggressive, with metastases recurring in about half of the patients over 10 years, compared to about one quarter of the patients with the luminal A or basal subtype.

They found that ADT treatments were more effective with luminal B tumors and may even have worsened prognosis in the other types of tumors a finding that would need to be confirmed with a prospective study and to firmly establish the biomarker finding as a diagnostic tool to guide treatment, said Feng.

Feng and Spratt will co-lead a large, National Cancer Institute-funded prospective clinical trial involving as many as a hundred clinical research sites, using the PAM50 assay to identify patients by their cancer subtype, and then randomly assign them to treatment with radiation and a placebo or radiation and hormone therapy treatment.

Our research published today, while very provocative, needs to be validated in this prospective study, the researchers said. Were hopeful that the biomarkers will prove to be a robust predictor of hormone treatment success, so we can increase survival of even the most aggressive cases and at the same time limit hormone treatment to those patients most likely to benefit from it.

In addition to Feng and Spratt, co-authors include first author Shuang G. Zhao, from the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, as well as additional researchers from UCSF; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; GenomeDx Biosciences, Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia; the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Penn.; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, Cal.; Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md.; Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill.; and Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass. The full list of authors, institutional citations, and declared conflicts of interest can be found in the full paper.

Funding for the study was provided by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Evans Foundation, V Foundation for Cancer Research, and A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute.

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Scientists identify biomarkers to guide hormone therapy for prostate cancer – University of California

Hormone therapy aygestin – Aygestin therapy – Aygestin abdominal pain – The Independent News

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Hormone therapy aygestin – Aygestin therapy – Aygestin abdominal pain – The Independent News

What Is Metabolism? –


This isnt what I came for. Id walked into the acupuncture clinic close to my house – one of those mysterious places that lists ailments in the window to draw people in – in desperation with my painful shoulder, and a few minutes pulse-checking and tongue-inspecting later, I got this: Your metabolism is like a belligerent, ageing dog, unwilling to go for a walk. Im affronted, which seems to spur the Chinese-medicine therapist on: You are a tortoise when you should be a hare. Or at least a rabbit. Right. Im too polite to tell her to stop the animal metaphors, but Im concerned. I do feel sluggish, but then doesnt everyone? Or perhaps everyone doesnt feel like this and I am indeed a tortoise.

The word metabolism is bandied about all the time as women we decide the type of metabolism we have when were teenagers, and this notion sticks. Increasingly, though, its being seen as one of the pillars of preventative medicine – that current health buzz phrase. Its a major shift in perception for doctors and patients alike. Its vital to recognise the warning signs your body is giving you and act to prevent avoidable damage. You can outfox ageing, declares Dr Sara Gottfried, epigenetics expert and author of the New York Times bestseller The Hormone Cure, as well as a new book enticingly titled Younger. Certainly, it feels compelling to ease the gradient and speed of hormonal decline to protect heart and bone health and OK, I admit it, to stave off a middle-age spread rather than tackling it once it appears.

But it occurs to me that I still dont really know what metabolism actually means. The dictionary definition is uninspiring: The chemical processes within a living organism in order to maintain life. I mention it to my psychologist friend Nicole Sihera, who rings later that day. Well, its easier to blame metabolism than take responsibility for ourselves, isnt it? Its called a self-serving bias, she says. Of course, it does feel very unfair when you see someones Instagram account where they spring out of bed at 6am every day, citing the power of positivity and theres not a bloated stomach or podgy arm in sight. Its enough to make me reach for a pain au raisin and blame my metabolism, but I suspect theres more at play.

The fact is, I do feel lethargic in the mornings, even after a good nights sleep, and my weight has crept up by several kilos in the past few years despite no obvious change in my diet. I drink more alcohol than I used to and am probably not as active. My first thought is to have a full fitness analysis to get some truths. I decide to book in with head trainer and sports-medicine specialist Luke Worthington at the Third Space and make a mental note to be as transparent with him as I can.

I walk in to discover that Luke is an Adonis and I am immediately disinclined to reveal anything, especially not my suspected too-high body-fat percentage. I know youd like me to tell you that people can have a fast or a slow metabolism but that isnt the case, he says. The differences between our metabolic rates are marginal, to say the least. In fact, the number of calories we need is highly correlated with lean muscle mass. The higher the muscle mass, the higher the metabolic rate. This is why men can eat more. Its also a main factor in why we put on weight as we age, because our muscle mass declines. Well, that isnt the answer I wanted. I rail at him, giving him anecdote upon anecdote about the girl we all know who has Dairy Milk and lattes for breakfast but is a size eight. Luke listens patiently and says: The very best advice I can give you is to start weight-bearing exercise. The tipping point for muscle decline is 30. By 40 you start to see the visible physical effects unless you put in the work. The benefits to the body are numerous, not least an increased sense of energy and wellbeing.

I undergo a full scan, which enthusiastically spews out all kinds of stats about the state of my body. I am less than wowed. My magic personal metabolic rate is 1,424 calories, the number that my body would need to keep going each day if I just sat still. For comparison purposes, Luke tells me that his gym-bunny colleague, who is a similar age and height but has a higher lean muscle mass than me, has a personal base rate of 1,600. Theres a handful of nuts in it, calorifically speaking. Luke does crack and say there are other factors, which can be implicated in a feeling of sluggishness that we commonly call a slow metabolism, and I pounce on them, disliking myself for my desire for a quick fix. Thyroid function plays a role, as do insulin response and hormone profile, all of which can be affected by age. But if we eat well and exercise regularly, then much of this negative change is avoided, he explains. My next move, then, is to book in for blood tests to see if hormone function is at play.

Its no coincidence the majority of my patients are over 40 and report the same unhappy triumvirate: fatigue, a sluggish digestion and weight gain, says Dr Sohre, a GP-turned-private-wellness doctor from the Omniya clinic in London. The common factor is a changing hormone profile which can have a negative effect on our wellbeing and certainly influences our metabolism. Quite literally we start to feel less energetic. I undertake a sweep of tests to determine the state of my hormones. Testosterone, which women need to feel vital and maintain muscle mass, is often the first to fall, Sohre continues. I ask what metabolism means to her. For me, it means how healthy we feel and how well we process what we eat. Weve all had that heavy feeling after a meal that, for some, can last for days. I believe improving gut health, optimising hormone levels before the crisis of menopause and eating a healthy diet is the key to getting our metabolic processes firing on all cylinders.

While I wait for the results, I throw myself into some gym visits. I spend time on the weight machines because Luke Worthington and Dr Sohre were both unequivocal: muscle equals metabolic oomph. I tell myself Ill reap the rewards of the afterburn the brilliantly fizzy metabolic term for the two-hour period after exercise when the metabolic rate is proven to increase two- to threefold. Exercise increases metabolism, says Dr Thomas Barber, an obesity researcher and associate professor of clinical endocrinology at the University of Warwick, but it doesnt have to be strenuous. Just by walking about, youre boosting your metabolism and improving health. Weve found that the process of simply contracting a muscle releases beneficial hormone signals called myokines, he explains.

Results day, and Dr Sohre draws a circle on a piece of paper, placing the words thyroid, cortisol, insulin, female hormones around the outside. Each of these will impact your wellbeing and all are mutually dependent. So, for example, a waning thyroid will drain the bodys progesterone production, and a body pumping out the stress hormone cortisol will drain the thyroid, she explains. Results bands for blood tests are typically quite broad. If you were being assessed in the NHS, you would be told you are OK. Theres a pause. But Im looking for optimum health and all of your results are in the bottom third of these reference bands. Your thyroid function isnt clinically abnormal but with levels like this at your age I would expect you to feel the cold more than most, accumulate fat on your tummy and be fatigued. Yes, yes and yes. Your results are clearly sub-optimum and only headed in one direction without intervention. Im starting to feel that the grim reaper will lurch out of the supplies cupboard. No one wants the blood results of a septuagenarian, not even a septuagenarian.

Dr Sohre lifts the mood with her can-do attitude and a plan of action that includes a high-strength thyroid-support supplement, which I am to take as religiously as a medicine to see if we can pep it up without recourse to a prescription for something stronger. A well-functioning thyroid means feeling rested on waking, an efficient digestion and the body basically running more sparkily. I resist knocking back the whole bottle right there at her desk. Im also dispensed a bio-identical progesterone hormone to top up my waning supplies to balance my oestrogen, which she promises will make me feel less grumpy, less puffy and more energetic. Lastly, I am prescribed DHEA to bolster my below-average results. Its the mother hormone made in the adrenal glands. It manages the metabolic processes in the body and cascades to make lots of other hormones, and dwindles with age. By 70 we make around 20 per cent of what we make in our twenties, explains Dr Sohre. DHEA production is also hampered by stress because the body diverts attention to pumping out cortisol, so the stressed-out middle aged are hardest hit. DHEA is considered by many to be a panacea for all ageing ills and is available over the counter in many countries but not in Britain. I realise I am clutching the bottle like Gollum with his ring.

I leave Omniya feeling optimistic, reflecting on the decision Ive made to take medication to optimise my wellbeing rather than treat illness. Its quite clear that metabolism is more than just a weight-gain/weight-loss stooge. Its a catch-all for all the biochemical reactions happening in the body and the trick is to set the conditions to help it flourish. So dont question whether yours is fast or slow, ask instead: is it functioning well?

The fast lane Your thyroid is the main driver of your metabolism. Look after it. Natures Plus Ageloss Thyroid Support, 31 for a months supply, at or

Listen to your body If youve slowed down, think about a body MOT with a preventative medicine specialist. Metabolism & Energy consultation with Dr Sohre at Omniya (3a Montpelier Street, SW7), 250

Help your body burn energy efficiently Healthy gut flora have been proven to support metabolic processes from insulin sensitivity to the livers ability to metabolise fat, explains nutritional therapist Kerry Beeson. Optibac Probiotics Extra Strength, 22.99,

Cooling the body induces a metabolic kick The latest fad is to lock yourself in a cryo chamber at -90C to burn calories, heal injuries, pump up the endorphins and give your body a turbo boost. I left bouncing around like a teenager. 95 per session, at

Metabolism is like moving a boulder Getting started is the tricky part, then momentum takes over. For impetus, drink strong green tea, which has thermogenic properties, and take a mood-enlivening supplement: try Higher Nature Drive (18.30, which provides the co-factors for energy, balanced brain chemistry and get up and go.

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What Is Metabolism? –

Premarin treatment depression – Premarin costco – Female hormone premarin – The Independent News

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Premarin treatment depression – Premarin costco – Female hormone premarin – The Independent News

Shift Work Impacts Men’s Sexual Health – MedPage Today

Action Points

BOSTON — Shift work and its associated sleep disorders may could significantly impact a man’s sexual and urologic health, researchers said here.

Non-standard shift workers with shift work sleep disorders (SWSD) were more likely to have lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), reported John Sigalos, a medical student at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues.

The study included 2,487 men who completed questionnaires that assessed their work schedules, SWSD risk, and LUTS, as determined by an International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). The effect of non-standard shift work and SWSD on LUTS was assessed using linear regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Of these men, 30.8% reported working non-standard shifts, and of those, 36.8% were diagnosed with SWSD, which was defined as a primary circadian rhythm disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and/or difficulty sleeping, the authors said in a presentation at the American Urological Association (AUA) annual meeting.

One of the questions the researchers wanted to answer was whether there was something inherent in shift work itself, or the presence of a sleep disorder, that causes these LUTS.

They found that when controlling for age, testosterone, and comorbidities, “there was no difference that shift work had on the IPSS score,” Sigalos said. “So, there was nothing inherent in shift work that we found that would cause someone to have increased lower urinary tract symptoms.”

However, non-standard shift workers who were diagnosed with SWSD had IPSS scores that were 3.1 points higher than those non-standard shift workers without the sleep disorder, which was an increase Sigalos said was clinically significant.

“Patients at risk for this circadian rhythm disorder should be counseled regarding these risks and screened for lower urinary tract symptoms as part of their ongoing care and management,” he said. “Modification of work and sleep schedules may reduce the risk for shift work sleep disorder and subsequent lower urinary tract symptoms.”

In another AUA study, Will Kirby, MD, also at Baylor, and colleagues looked at hypogonadal symptoms in non-standard shift workers with SWSD.

“Non-standard shifts have been shown to be associated with increased risk of hypogonadal symptoms and sexual dysfunction,” Kirby said. “And these same patients are at risk for the sleep disorder which is this unique entity among non-standard workers. So we were curious to see whether or not it was the shift work sleep disorder cohort that was at a particularly high risk for hypogonadal symptoms.”

They used same methodology as the previous study, with the exception that the men in this study completed quantitative Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male (qAdam) questionnaires assessing their hypogonadal symptoms.

Controlling for age, comorbidities, and testosterone levels, non-standard shift workers had qAdam scores 0.8 points lower than daytime workers, while a subgroup analysis of the non-standard shift workers showed that those with SWSD had qAdam scores 3.9 points lower than in those workers without SWSD. Additionally, SWSD was individually associated with lower testosterone levels.

“These findings suggest that it is these specific poor sleep symptoms that may be contributing to the more severe hypogonadal symptoms that we see in the non-standard shift workers,” Kirby stated.

In a third AUA presentation, Taylor Kohn, also a medical student at Baylor, and colleagues examined the impact of non-standard shift work on semen parameters and reproductive hormones in infertile men.

Study participants were men who presented at an academic andrology clinic, and completed shift work and sleep quality surveys, semen analysis, and hormone testing. The infertile group consisted of men who were unable to achieve pregnancy within 12 months and had no known genetic or obstructive causes of infertility, while the control group consisted of fertile men who had fathered a child within the past 5 years.

Kohn reported that non-standard shift workers had lower levels of sperm density, total motile count, and testosterone. In addition, infertile shift workers had worse semen parameters than non-shift workers.

Kohn also noted that sleep quality influences total motile count, but that the relationship followed an inverse U shape “where too much or too little sleep impacts total motile count.”

“That was a surprising finding for us. We believed the total motile count would decrease with less sleep,” he said.

AUA session moderator Howard Adler, MD, of the Stony Brook School of Medicine in Stony Brook, N.Y., said the studies highlight the importance of ongoing research on patients with sleep disorders.

“When I was in training, there was data that came out that many men deemed to have wetting symptoms had prostate procedures with no improvement in symptoms,” Adler recalled. “And I bet if people were to go back and look they would see there were a lot of other things going on.”

“Identifying this early, getting the appropriate evaluation in terms of sleep assessment, sleep apnea, or something else that is going on, and working with the primary care provider and educating them on this literature will streamline the process, makes the evaluation more efficient and lead to answers sooner for the patients,” Adler added.

Sigalos, Kirby, Kohn, and co-authors disclosed no relevant relationships with industry.


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Shift Work Impacts Men’s Sexual Health – MedPage Today

Make sleep a priority on long summer days –

It’s the season of longer days, and many forgo a good night’s rest to tackle that to-do list. Just because the sun stays up longer, doesn’t mean you must.

KING 5 Healthlink and NBC News , KING 6:07 PM. PDT May 11, 2017

As the days grow longer, you might stay up longer and wake earlier, but doctors say getting seven to 9 hours of sleep should be a priority.

Most of us know the importance of a good night’s sleep, but research shows that few of us get the recommended seven to nine hours a night.

“It’s more of a reminder to make sure that you’re not sleep deprived and making sure that you get enough sleep. Make sure that you make sleep a priority,” said Dr. Charles Bae, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

To make sure you’re getting quality sleep, it’s important to limit exposure to stimulants such as caffeine, energy drinks, and the blue light that comes from tiny screens on our cell phones or tablets. That can interfere with your circadian rhythm or natural sleep-wake cycle.

Baesays not getting enough sleep or being sleep deprived increases a person’s likelihood for decreased alertness, especially while driving, a decline in memory and cognitive function, as well as an increased risk for several other health risks.

“Linked to increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, also there’s connections to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and that’s all from not getting enough sleep,” saidBae.

And getting enough sleep is equally important for kids. Sleep triggers the body to release a hormone that promotes healthy growth in children and teens, boosting muscle mass and repairing cells and tissue.

2017 KING-TV

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Shearing of alpacas is necessary, but also stressful – Phys.Org

May 12, 2017 Credit: Vetmeduni Vienna

Alpacas, a species of New World camelids, have very thick wool. This requires them to be shorn regularly, just like sheep. But shearing is a source of stress for the animals. This has now been confirmed for the first time by researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna based on an evaluation of clinical, hormonal and behavioural parameters. The scientists were able to show that even the act of restraining the animals in different positions released higher concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol. Shearing the animals on the floor or on a special tilt table also resulted in changed clinical parameters such as heart rate. These values remained at normal levels only when the animals were sheared in a standing position. But shearing animals in the standing position is only possible if the alpacas do not resist being restrained with a risk of injury to themselves or to their handlers. These animals should be restrained on a mattress on the ground or on a tilt table. The study was published in Veterinary Records with organisational and financial support from the Alpaca Association e.V. of Germany and the Austrian Buiatric Association.

Alpacas are members of the camel family and, like llamas, guanacos and vicuas, belong to the New World camelids. Domesticated they are of great importance in South America, especially in Peru, where they have been kept and bred for their wool for thousands of years. In Europe, on the other hand, alpaca breeding is relatively uncommon. But the number of animals and breeders has been growing for years. Just like sheep, alpacas must be shorn regularly to harvest their wool. The procedure is an unusual one for the animals and thus a source of stress. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna has now investigated for the first time which shearing position produces the least amount of stress for the animals and therefore represents the least stressful method from the point of view of the animal’s wellbeing.

Stress hormone detectable in saliva and faeces

Unlike sheep, which are usually turned onto their backs, alpaca breeders use several different methods of restraint. The animals are either held by assistants in a standing position, restrained on a mattress on the ground or placed on special shearing tables. Previously, there had been no studies as to which method produced the least stress among the animals. “The stress of the animals can be determined based on clinical parameters, by observing the animals’ behaviour or through the laboratory analysis of saliva and faeces,” explains senior author Susanne Waiblinger of the Institute of Animal Husbandry and Animal Welfare. Saliva and faeces contain cortisol, which is an important stress marker. Saliva cortisol is considered to reflect a short-term stress response, whereas faecal cortisol shows longer-lasting stress responses. Besides measuring stress-induced hormonal levels, the researchers also looked at clinical parameters, such as heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature, as well as the animals’ behaviour.

Clinical parameters nearly unchanged when shearing in standing position

To describe the impact of shearing on the alpacas, the team divided its study into two parts. Part one studied the level of stress caused by each of the restraining methods, as the shearing itself represents a separate stress factor. In part two, the animals were divided into groups and shorn using one of the methods. Animals that were restrained without shearing exhibited no significant changes in terms of the clinical parameters. Both the respiratory rate and heart rate remained at normal levels. “The body temperature was unchanged during this part of the study. But if the animals were restrained and also shorn, the clinical values changed significantly in the animals that were restrained on the floor or on the table. For all restraining methods, however, body temperature remained unchanged. This makes alpacas different from sheep or from the alpaca’s relative, the vicua,” says first author Thomas Wittek of the University Clinic for Ruminants.

Stress hormone shows that alpacas are only stressed by the restraint

The analysis of the cortisol concentrations in saliva and faeces, on the other hand, showed that the animals were also stressed in the first part of the study despite the almost unchanged clinical parameters. Saliva cortisol levels were clearly higher after just 20 minutes and increased even further within 40 minutes. The cortisol concentrations then remained unchanged, although the higher levels could be demonstrated in faeces even 33 hours later. During restraint and shearing, the cortisol values also increased regardless of the shearing position. When animals were restrained on the ground, however, this led to a more significant increase of hormone levels over time compared to the other two methods. Faecal cortisol levels remained at the same high levels in all three groups.

Animal behaviour just as important for choice of restraining method

“At first glance, it appears difficult to compare or associate the two experiments,” says Wittek. “But we can assume that just the sound of the shearing machine and the duration of the restraint cause stress for the animals. This means that you can practically add the values.” Merely positioning the animals is a source of stress, which then increases further through the act of shearing. The standing position was tolerated the best by the alpacas in terms of the clinical parameters. Restraining the animals in the standing position, however, only makes sense and is only possible if the alpacas remain calm. If they resist from the beginning, the risk of injury to themselves or to one of the handlers is too great, says first author Wittek. These animals should therefore be restrained on a table. The handlers usually know the behaviour of their animals and can decide in advance which method to use.

Explore further: Can aromatherapy calm competition horses?

More information: T. Wittek et al. Clinical parameters and adrenocortical activity to assess stress responses of alpacas using different methods of restraint either alone or with shearing, Veterinary Record (2017). DOI: 10.1136/vr.104232

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Shearing of alpacas is necessary, but also stressful – Phys.Org

Adrenal Glands: Facts, Function & Disease – Live Science

The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys.

The adrenal glands affect metabolism, blood pressure, the immune system, sex hormones and the body’s response to stress. The human body has two adrenal glands. About 1 inch by 2 inches (2.54 centimeters by 5.08 cm), they sit on top of the kidneys.

Along with the parathyroid glands, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, pancreas, ovaries (in females) and testicles (in males), the adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system. This system produces hormones that control just about every function in the body.

“The adrenal gland is an intricate part of the HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) Axis,” Dr. Mark Engelman, permanent Clinical Consultant for Cyrex Laboratories, told Live Science. “This intimate physiological relationship is fundamental and critical to our wellbeing.”

The hypothalamus acts as the body’s thermostat, Engelman said. It senses most of the important physiological elements involved in homeostasis and sends out signals to correct perceived unhealthy variations. It connects directly to the pituitary gland, which essentially picks up the orders from the hypothalamus and sends out signals to various organs and glands, including the adrenals, to carry out these orders. The adrenal glands then produce a wide range of hormones, including estrogen, adrenalin and cortisol.

“One of the primary activities of cortisol is to increase available glucose to the nervous system by breaking down protein and fat to glucose in the liver,” Engelman said. “It helps block glucose uptake into tissues other than the central nervous system.”

Cortisol also has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy actions, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. It decreases the activities of the immune system to reduce inflammation conditions. Because of this, it is used to treat dermatitis, insect bites, inflammation from arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

One of the most important functions of the adrenal gland is the fight-or-flight response. When a person is stressed or frightened, the adrenal gland releases a flood of hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase the heart rate, elevate blood pressure, boost energy supplies, sharpen concentration and slow down other body processes so the body can run from or fight a threat.

Too much of a stress response is a bad thing, though. Too much exposure to elevated hormones from the adrenal gland can cause anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain and memory and concentration impairment, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There are many dysfunctions and diseases associated with the adrenal gland. One of them is the growth of tumors on the glands. These tumors can be benign or cancerous and can throw off the proper production of hormones. A tumor that causes the gland to create too much hormone is called a functioning tumor, while a tumor that causes too little hormone to be produced is called a nonfunctioning tumor. Approximately 4 to 12 out of 1 million people develop a type of adrenal tumor called adrenocortical carcinoma, according to American Society of Clinical Oncology. Some types of adrenal tumors may be linked to ADHD.

A “trendy” disorder is adrenal fatigue. It currently is not an accepted diagnosis option for the medical community at large. The Mayo Clinic defines adrenal fatigue as “a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.” These symptoms are thought to be caused by a wide range of adrenal problems, such as low hormone production.

Engelman said he thinks the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue are not related to the ability of the adrenals to work, but rather decreased stimulation from an over-taxed central nervous system. The entire physiological system is based on the concept of maintaining homeostasis. “I have heard from lecturers and read many theories and controversies about ‘adrenal fatigue,'” Engelman said. “The ones that make the most scientific sense to me relate to the down regulation of central nervous system receptors to stress signals. This ultimately decreases downstream stimulatory signaling to the adrenal glands as a brain self-protective mechanism from the damaging effects of long term stress.”

Adrenal fatigue is thought to be a lesser form of adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), a condition widely accepted by medical experts. It occurs when the adrenal gland does not produce enough hormones as a result of an underlying disease. Some symptoms are:

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Adrenal Glands: Facts, Function & Disease – Live Science

Here’s What Happens to Your Hormone Levels During Your Period –

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Being acquainted with what each time in your cycle means and the accompanying symptoms can help you better understand your period.

Lets start by establishing how we count the days. Day 1 is the first full day of flow. The length of your cycle is counted from Day 1 of this cycle and until Day 1 of your next cycle.

Cycles vary widely anything between 24 to 35 days is perfectly normal, but for simplicity sake, we often refer to a 28-day cycle. (This is especially applicable if youre on birth control that works on a 28-day cycle.)

More:These Two Life Events Could Predict Early Menopause

Your cycle has two major phases, follicular and luteal, with a brief but crucial third phase, ovulation, in the middle. When it comes to your menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone are the primary hormone drivers. Fun fact: Its what many forms of the birth control pill consist of. These hormones are secreted by the ovary, and are responsible for stimulating the lining of the uterus or womb, called the endometrium, to grow and prepare for a potential pregnancy.

The first phase of your cycle is called the follicular phase. This is because the main event during this phase is the creation of a follicle in the ovary. It is from this follicle that an egg is released, which is known as ovulation. This phase varies in length, but is usually between 12 and 16 days.

During your period in the first few days of your cycle, both estrogen and progesterone are low. Starting around Day 4 to 5, estrogen levels gradually begin to rise and what is called a dominant follicle forms. The dominant follicle prepares the egg for ovulation. Around cycle Day 10, estrogen production increases dramatically and progesterone slowly begins to rise. Estrogen surges around Day 12 to 13, meaning it shoots up, quadrupling levels, but then falls almost all the way back to pre-surge levels.

Twenty-four to 36 hours after estrogen surge, ovulation occurs. The dominant follicle releases an egg and becomes what is called the “corpus luteum.” In a 28-day cycle, this is around Day 14.

More: “Period in a Petri Dish” Could Have a Big Impact on Reproductive Research

The last phase of your cycle, which is called the luteal phase referring to the corpus luteum, begins after ovulation. This part of your cycle is less variable in length and should consistently be 13 to 14 days. Both estrogen and progesterone rise sharply 1 or 2 days after ovulation. They peak about a week later around Day 20 to 22 and then if pregnancy does not occur, fall precipitously, resulting in low levels by Day 28. Now that your hormone levels are low, your next period starts, and it all begins again.

As you can see, there are some hormonal highs and lows throughout the month. Considering what is happening with your hormones may help to explain why some days you feel awesome and others not so much. For instance,according to Sarah Jio at Womans Day,during the first week of your cycle when estrogen levels are low, you may have less energy and a lower libido. So prepare for that. Plan for extra sleep if youre tired or extra time with your partner if you notice your libido is low.

Menstrual migraines are a classic example. According to the Mayo Clinic, estrogen and progesterone may affect brain chemicals associated with headaches. Drops in estrogen, which occur both around the time of ovulation as well as premenstrually, can make headaches worse. Birth control pills can control headaches by keeping estrogen levels steady.

Although the exact causes are not known,the Office on Womens Health states that an important cause of PMS is changing levels of hormones. Since PMS symptoms can begin anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks before your period starts, consider what is happening with estrogen and progesterone during that time. They are both rising dramatically and then falling precipitously. No wonder some women just dont feel well during that hormonal roller-coaster ride.

Every woman thinks that its the sudden drop in estrogen from not ovulating that causes the problems. But in reality, its the fluctuation of estrogen along with less progesterone that is behind many of the typical symptoms of perimenopause,says Dr. Steven R. Goldstein, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Medical Center in New York City.

More: Irregular Periods Explained: 8 Big Reasons Your Period’s Gone MIA

Understanding the elaborate hormonal changes that occur throughout the month and in what way they may affect how you feel including your mood, energy and libido to name a few can help you anticipate and prepare for the highs and lows. This way, you can ride the hormonal wave instead of being crushed by it.

By Katie Killoran

Originally published on HelloFlo.

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Here’s What Happens to Your Hormone Levels During Your Period –

Do We Need More Uniformity in Newborn Screening in the US? – The National Law Review

According to theMarch of Dimes, each year more than 12,000 newborns are identified as having a condition detected through newborn screening. Newborn screening is the practice of testing every newborn for certain genetic, metabolic, hormonal, and functional conditions. If diagnosed early, many of these conditions can be successfully managed, improving lives and reducing costs. If not diagnosed, or not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, these conditions can cause severe disability or death.

Through newborn screening, nearly every baby in the United States is tested for genetic disorders shortly after birth. Health care providers collect blood samples from newborns and send them to labs for testing. But a recentreportissued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found most states have not met federal benchmarks to screen 95 percent of blood samples within seven days of birth by 2017.The report was required as part of a bill signed by President Barack Obama in 2014, in response to aMilwaukee Journal Sentinel investigationthat found infants have died and suffered permanent disabilities because of screening delays by hospitals and state labs.

Further, lab policies and protocols for newborn screening vary widely from state to state. The lack of uniformity in newborn screening means a child who suffers permanent disability in one state might have been diagnosed and treated in another, the investigation found. Each state runs its own program and sets its own standards to detect the disorders.

In an effort to prevent treatable conditions from causing permanent disabilities in children, theAdvisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Childrenin the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is studying inconsistencies in newborn screening. Disability Scoop reports that the committee seeks to provide guidance to state public health labs on how to better test newborns for genetic disorders. According to Joseph Bocchini, chairman of the committee, every state should look at this issue carefully, making adjustments as appropriate to take every precaution to minimize bad outcomes,

The Mayo Clinic has developed software under a federal grant to improve the accuracy of newborn screening. Since 2004, researchers and labs around the world have built a database of true-positive cases to better predict which babies have a genetic disorder. The software draws on screening results from 30 million babies throughout the world, 19,000 of whom were diagnosed with metabolic disorders. Instead of relying on cutoff values that may be arbitrary or outdated, labs can compare each newborns results with babies who have actually been diagnosed. An algorithm analyzes results from each child tested by a state lab and flags those whose results are similar to babies known to have a disease. The software also can reveal how a labs cutoffs might miss babies.

But many state labs dont use the software. Also Mayo Clinic controls access to it. Dieter Matern, a committee member and co-director of the biochemical genetics laboratory at the Mayo Clinic pressed the committee to move quickly to have states use the software to make newborn screening more uniform throughout the country.

One disorder that newborn screening tests identify is congenital hypothyroidism, a disorder where the childs thyroid doesnt work properly or is absent. Thyroid hormone is crucial in the first three years of life, helping a babys brain, bones and organs develop. Congenital hypothyroidism is considered the most common, preventable cause of intellectual disability. A newborn diagnosed with the condition is immediately started on replacement thyroid hormone, often within the first few days after birth and thereafter develops normally while taking a thyroid hormone pill daily.

When newborn screening levels for congenital hypothyroidism are slightly below a states cutoff, the result is reported as Normal. However, that cutoff varies from state to state, meaning the newborn screening levels for a child born in one state may be flagged as abnormal, triggering further investigation and treatment while a child born a few miles away may be missed due to a lower cutoff level, possibly leading to a preventable disability.

A mother whose two children were born with congenital hypothyroidism recently addressed the committee. One of the children was diagnosed shortly after birth and began treatment immediately. He is a typically-developing four year old. However, his siblings newborn screening levels were not high enough to be flagged in the state where he was born and he did not begin treatment until he was nearly three years old, resulting in significant developmental delays.

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Do We Need More Uniformity in Newborn Screening in the US? – The National Law Review

11 important things you didn’t know about Planned Parenthood – The Daily Dot

Planned Parenthood has been a constant fixture in the newsfor the past few years as the tug-of-war between GOP legislators and Planned Parenthood supporters wages ever onward. While some key facts about Planned Parenthood have hopefully made it through the maelstrom and into mainstream consciousness (we all know Planned Parenthood does not sell baby parts, right?), theres still a lot of information about Planned Parenthood that isnt widely known.

Whether youre a longtime Planned Parenthood supporter or only know the name from hearing it yelled on cable news, here are somethings about Planned Parenthood that might surprise you.

For nearly 40 years, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America International Program has been helping women in developing countries access healthcare and crucial information about sexual health, birth control, and abortion. The PPFA International Program provides grants and on-the-ground support to local organizations throughout Latin America and Africa, in addition to advocating for foreign aid and pro-women policies in Washington, D.C.

Photo via Sarah Mirk/Flickr (CC-BY)

While Planned Parenthood is often positioned as a womens cause, the clinics provide STD testing, cancer screenings, erectile dysfunction treatment, infertility screenings, and birth control to hundreds of thousands of men each year. That number is constantly growing: A Planned Parenthood spokesperson recently told Refinery29 that the number of male patients their health centers serve has increased 76 percent since 2004.

Photo via Timothy Krause/Flickr

OK, you probably know this one already, but its a point worth driving home, again. While anti-choice politicians continue to mislead the public about this, the Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, explicitly prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion care.

When Margaret Sanger and two other women opened their first birth control clinic in Brooklyn in 1916, it took just nine days for police to shut it down, arresting the women for crimes related to sharing birth control information. Since then, attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood have come in many forms, from anti-choice activists distributing misinformation about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts to Mike Pences career-long mission to close every Planned Parenthood clinics doors. Threats to Planned Parenthood are not just political: Health centers have been targets of bombings, arson, and mass shootings. Still, as Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards put it, THESE. DOORS. STAY. OPEN.

Residents of Minnesota, Washington, and Idaho can take advantage of Planned Parenthoods Online STD Testing program, which includes an online video visit with a health provider to discuss your symptoms, followed by an STD test kit mailed to your home. You mail the kit back to Planned Parenthood, and they send back your results (in an unmarked box to protect your privacy!). In the aforementioned three states plus Alaska, California, and Hawaii, you can also receive an online video consultation for UTI treatment or a birth control prescription.

Photo via Planned Parenthood

In recent years, many Planned Parenthood clinics have begun offering hormone therapy for transgender patients. This service is critical for trans people living in underserved communities, who often face discrimination from medical providers and have trouble accessing hormones.


The first-of-its-kind bill, passed into law in early April, guarantees Planned Parenthood the state will reimburse clinics even if Congress cuts federal funding.

The rules about political spending are very, very strict (as well they should be!) and Planned Parenthood takes them very, very seriously (as well it should!). Planned Parenthoods political advocacy arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, was launched by Planned Parenthood President Faye Wattleton in 1989 in response to the wave of political attacks on abortion rights and violent attacks on Planned Parenthood health centers. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund functions as an independent political organization to mobilize support for pro-choice candidates, educate voters about reproductive rights, enact government policies that support family planning, and keep abortion legal and accessible. Funding for the Action Fund comes from individual donors. Funding for Planned Parenthood health centers is completely separate, the majority of which comes from private insurance and Medicaid reimbursements.

In 2015, the Congressional Budget Office released a cost estimate study for the governments proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood Medicaid funding. The results were staggering: According to the CBO, defunding Planned Parenthood would result in $650 million in increased Medicaid spending between 2016 and 2025.

Over half of Planned Parenthood clinics serve communities with extremely limited access to healthcare and family planning support. Not only does Planned Parenthood save lives by filling these gaps in the healthcare system, its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility means that no matter your race, sexual orientation, gender identity, income level, or immigration status, you will receive high-quality care and accurate information.

A recent Fox News poll found that 57 percent of respondents held a favorable view of Planned Parenthood, compared to Trumps 44 percent. The Republicans in Congressthe ones trying to shut down Planned Parenthoodfared worst of all, with a 29 percent approval rating.

Photo by Lorie Shaull/Flickr

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11 important things you didn’t know about Planned Parenthood – The Daily Dot

Child, five, referred to clinic over transgender feelings – BBC News

BBC News
Child, five, referred to clinic over transgender feelings
BBC News
"The majority of our users do not take up physical treatment through our service, and any decisions around hormone treatment needs time and considered thought. "The long-term health and psycho-social wellbeing of young people is always our priority.".
Transgender teen: 'Never been so sure about anything'BBC News

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Child, five, referred to clinic over transgender feelings – BBC News

Functional Medicine and Weight & Age Management Clinic – MENAFN.COM

MENAFN Press – 06/05/2017 (MENAFN Editorial) Dr. Kalpana Gupta Shekhawat holds MBBS, DNB, DFM Post Graduate in Clinical Nutrition from Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB) Texas USA, BHRT Specialist completed advanced endocrinology fromA4M (American anti-ageing medicine ) ,Diploma in Fitness and Nutrition from Stratford USA . She has extensive experience of handling patients who desire to lose weight, correct hormone imbalances with natural bio identical hormone replacement therapy and manage lifestyle disease by correcting metabolism with nutritional supplements and detoxification therapy.

Dr.Kalpana is recognized as the leading Functional Medicine Practitioner, Medical Nutrition Consultant in New Delhi & Gurgaon, India. Having graduated from SMS Medical College and Hospital Jaipur, has been a Medical Practitioner, having worked in various private and Government hospitals in #India as well as overseas. She has been participating in various conferences and is the Panelist of Nutrition & Wellness Club of various public schools in New Delhi, India. She has been promoting lifestyle modification programs for health and wellness at various events in schools, colleges, clubs and corporate houses.

She has published various articles focusing on lifestyle disease management with nutrition correction, Nutraceuticals and Bio Identical Hormones in various leading Newspapers and healthcare & lifestyle Magazines.

She is running a lifestyle disease management concept in the name Freedom Diet

She is also heading Age management team with SENs Anti-ageing clinic since its inception.

She is highly passionate about the root cause eradication approach to disease management and to prevent lifestyle disorders which are arising due to poor lifestyle and nutrition choices. She works by integrating her knowledge of conventional medicine with Functional medicine.

The various diseases that can be managed by her are Obesity, Coronary Artery disease, Hypertension, Hormonal Imbalances , Hypothyroidism, PCOD, PMS, , Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Hyperuricemia, Childhood Obesity, Parkinson, Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorders .

Email id: Ph # 919899147100 For more information, visit:


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Clinic manager to repay $150925 to investors in plea deal – Lexington Herald Leader

Lexington Herald Leader
Clinic manager to repay $150925 to investors in plea deal
Lexington Herald Leader
The former organizer and managing partner of a hormone replacement clinic has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors on a charge that he defrauded investors. Michael Betts, formerly with Abundant Living Medical Clinic in Lexington, entered into

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Clinic manager to repay $150925 to investors in plea deal – Lexington Herald Leader

Mayo Clinic Endocrinologist Installed as President Elect of National Physician Organization – Business Wire (press release)

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Daniel L. Hurley, MD, FACE, was installed today as President-Elect of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) at its 26th Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress in Austin, Texas.

I am honored to serve as President Elect of AACE, said Dr. Hurley. This is a pivotal time in health care, and Im looking forward to helping further advance AACEs mission and goals in the future.

Dr. Hurley joined AACE in 1992, serving on numerous AACE committees and task forces as a member, Chair or Co-chair, and most recently as Vice President of AACE and Vice President and President of the Minnesota/Midwest AACE Chapter.

Dr. Hurley completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Endocrinology Fellowship at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and joined the Mayo staff in 1986, following endocrine research training in bone and mineral metabolism.

Currently, Dr. Hurley is a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition and Assistant Professor of Medicine Mayo Medical School.

About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 7,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. Visit our site

About the American College of Endocrinology (ACE)

The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is the educational and scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). ACE is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of endocrine and metabolic disorders by: providing professional education and reliable public health information; recognizing excellence in education, research and service; promoting clinical research and defining the future of Clinical Endocrinology. For more information, visit

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Mayo Clinic Endocrinologist Installed as President Elect of National Physician Organization – Business Wire (press release)

Difficult road for Mayo’s first sex reassignment patient – Post-Bulletin

As Marisa Ann Bella prepped for sex reassignment surgery 10 weeks ago, she gave her Mayo Clinic surgeons very explicit and morbid directions.

Mayo’s first patient to ever undergo gender reassignment surgery told Jorys Martinez-Jorge and Oscar Manrique that they should finish the work, even if she flatlined on the operating table and was unable to be revived. After decades of waiting, the Rochester native was that determined to live or be buried as a woman.

Fortunately, the final step in Bella’s transition went smoothly and she’s now comfortable living in her own post-surgery body.

“It’s indescribable,” said Bella, who still lives in Rochester. “Before I would get sick to my stomach and literally throw up when I saw myself without clothes on and that was most of my adult and teen life. To see myself now, it’s like night and day. This is the way it’s supposed to be.”

Despite that new outlook on life, it’s been a bumpy ride to put it lightly. And many hurdles remain.

After 18 years of marriage, Marisa who then went by Michael came out to her family in 2010. It prompted an immediate divorce. When extended family also found out, they responded in a similar fashion.

That fallout prompted Marisa to consider suicide, going so far as taking a loaded gun to the banks of the Mississippi River. She says thinking of her twin daughters Gabriella and Isabella prevented her from pulling the trigger. Many in the transgender community struggle with suicide, with some studies suggesting 41 percent have attempted it.

But even their love was complicated.

Marisa was immediately supported by Gabriella and they moved to Andover after the divorce. Isabella had reservations about Marisa’s decision, basically cutting off communication for two years while opting to live with her biological mother in Florida. Isabella’s boyfriend and most of her classmates were unaware of those family issues until just this year.

“It changed our dynamic,” Gabriella said. “I was more like if that’s what you want to do, that’s what you do. As a teenager, you yourself are trying to find your own identity. I think having Marisa kind of go through that same puberty-like change with us almost helped.”

“My mother decided to show lots of hostility and regret and the family was very hostile. Marisa’s family was not really accepting right away, and it separated the family because we were on different pages.”

Time has healed some wounds, but not others. While Isabella has learned to become more comfortable and supportive around Marisa, the ex-wife has not. The twins have rented their own apartment in Florida since turning 18 in December, striking out on their own under the unusual circumstances.

While Marisa and Isabella are now on speaking terms, the daughter avoids using mom or dad. Instead, it’s just Marisa.

“Even to this day, she’s still more accepting than I am,” Isabella said of her sister. “She’s more (open) to the modern ideas, and I tend to be more traditional. I was a lot more religious than she was growing up, but she’ll sit there and talk to Marisa about certain things that I don’t.

“She understands for me it’s a lot harder to accept, but if it makes (Marisa) happy, I’m going to support it.”

Kicked out of U, accepted at Mayo

Marisa’s initial transition care was handled by the University of Minnesota. It didn’t quite go as planned.

She enrolled in hormone therapy while pursuing other medical options at the U’s Center for Sexual Health, but felt there were gaps in her care. Specifically, she was seeking counseling and other support for her ongoing issues with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other related mental health concerns.

When Marisa complained about her therapist, she was eventually dropped from the U’s Transgender Health Services program; Marisa claims she was deemed “too high maintenance.”

As fate would have it, this occurred at virtually the same time Mayo opened its new specialty clinic in Rochester. Marisa was quickly enrolled and continued her transition while working with a voice therapist, having facial and breast surgeries and otherwise preparing to become Mayo’s first patient to undergo vaginoplasty surgery.

“She was always anticipating when we were going to be able to offer this,” said Dr. Todd Nippoldt, director of Mayo’s Transgender and Intersex Specialty Care Clinic. “I remember from the start her saying ‘I’ll be your first patient’ because it was very important to confirm her identity and live authentically.”

With virtually no fanfare, the surgery was finally conducted Feb. 24. While the general public wouldn’t notice anything different about Marisa, Mayo endocrinologist Caroline Davidge-Pitts says the transformation is obvious.

“Her whole face has changed,” Davidge-Pitts said. “She just looks so happy.”

That’s the goal for every patient Mayo sees, according to Sharonne Hayes, M.D., medical director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“The Transgender and Intersex Specialty Care Clinic is another example of what sets Mayo Clinic apart a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to care that meets all of the needs of each individual patient,” Hayes said. “The specialty care clinic’s patients work with their doctors, nurses, and the entire health care team to develop the right care plan, so that they can be their true selves.”

As if the struggles with gender identity and family complications were enough, there’s another demon lurking in Marisa’s past.

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America during the 1970s, Marisa was one of many youths in Southeast Minnesota who were sexually assaulted by troop leader Richard Hokanson. According to a lawsuit filed in 2013 by Marisa and others under the Child Victims Act, the new Minnesota law eliminating the civil statute of limitations for children who were sexually abused, she was abused between the ages of 11 and 17.

The lawsuit alleged that the abuse was reported at age 13, but was allowed to continue for four more years. Marisa, as Keller, was the only victim to speak publicly about the abuse.

The lawsuit made headlines across the region, in part, because of who it named: Hokanson, the troop leader; St. Pius X Catholic Church, which sponsored the troop; the Boy Scouts of America; and Gamehaven Council, a branch of the Scouts in southeastern Minnesota.

Marisa who filed the lawsuit under her birth name, Michael Keller eventually settled the lawsuit out of court in 2014. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

She formally requested to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church on Feb. 28, 2014, almost exactly two years before undergoing gender confirmation surgery at Mayo. She’s currently on disability from that surgery, but hopes to return to her career in the airline industry within a year.

“This is not the church of Jesus Christ, but a group of perverted old men who hid like cowards behind secrecy and shame,” Keller wrote through his attorney to Bishop John Quinn. “The Catholic Church never apologized or offered to help with the healing process.”

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Difficult road for Mayo’s first sex reassignment patient – Post-Bulletin

Basal cortisol elevated in patients with ACTH-staining pituitary macroadenoma – Healio

AUSTIN, Texas Preoperative identification of patients with silent adrenocorticotrophic hormone-secreting tumors could potentially change the approach to management. A new study aimed to determine whether a preoperative adrenocorticotrophic hormone stimulation test for evaluation of nonfunctional pituitary macroadenoma could aid in identifying adrenocorticotrophic hormone-staining pathology yielded large variability and did not allow clinical utility.

Thus, researchers concluded that larger, multicenter research is needed to determine whether this test can be useful.

As ACTH stimulation tests are performed routinely when evaluating macroadenoma when there is no suspicion for a state of endogenous hypercortisolism, we sought to determine if the test could reliably identify these pathologies during the preoperative evaluation. We hypothesized that patients with subclinical Cushings disease or silent ACTH-secreting tumors would have a higher delta cortisol on the ACTH stimulation tests vs. other types of macroadenoma pathologies, Kevin Pantalone, DO, ECNU, FACE, staff endocrinologist and director of clinical research in the department of endocrinology at Cleveland Clinic, told Endocrine Today.

Kevin Pantalone

Pantalone and colleagues performed a retrospective chart review of 148 patients with pituitary macroadenoma who underwent preoperative ACTH stimulation tests, with the goal of determining whether the test can aid in the identification of ACTH-staining pathology.

Overall, 9.5% of patients showed diffuse staining, 50.6% showed other-staining (diffuse staining for anterior pituitary hormones other than ACTH) and 39.9% showed no staining (no staining for any anterior pituitary hormones).

The researchers calculated delta total cortisol at 30 and 60 minutes from baseline and reviewed preoperative ACTH stimulation tests. Additionally, Pantalone and colleagues compared the basal and maximal delta cortisol between the ACTH-staining pituitary macroadenoma and the non-ACTH staining (n = 134), other staining (n = 75) and non-staining (n = 59) tumors.

According to data reported at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress, the ACTH-staining group had higher mean basal cortisol levels compared with the non-ACTH-staining (P = .012), other staining (P = .018) and the non-staining (P = .012) tumors. The researchers found no significant differences in maximal delta cortisol between the groups.

While we found basal cortisol levels were higher in patients with ACTH-staining pituitary microadenoma vs. non-ACTH-staining macroadenoma, the large variability in cortisol values did not allow for clinical utility, Pantalone told Endocrine Today.

Unfortunately, in the end, our study was limited by the number of cases with ACTH-staining pathology. Thus, we were unable to determine if the ACTH stimulation test could reliably assist clinicians in potentially identifying ACTH-staining pathology in the preoperative setting, he said. A multicenter study, affording a large number of ACTH-staining tumors, is needed. This may allow for us to determine if the ACTH-stimulation test can really be clinically useful in preoperatively identifying ACTH-staining pathology. by Amber Cox


Polanco Santos C, et al. Abstract #818. Presented at: AACE Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress; May 3-7, 2017; Austin, Texas.

Disclosure: Pantalone reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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Basal cortisol elevated in patients with ACTH-staining pituitary macroadenoma – Healio

Hormone Therapeutics Wins National Startup Competition – D Healthcare Daily

Winners of the startup competition, from left to right: James Hummer, Mary Gillis, Michael ODonnell, John Harris, Margaret Moore, Mark Correia, Mike Motta, and Hunter Howard (Courtesy of: Hormone Therapeutics)

Dallas-based Hormone Therapeutics, a telemedicine company using comprehensive testing for personal and employee health optimization, won the launchpad startup competition for employee wellness at the national Art and Science Health Promotional Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo. The company received national recognition and will be spotlighted at next years conference.

The 27th annual conference was held at the Broadmoor Hotel, with 1,500 healthcare professionals in attendance. Since 1989, the Art and Science Health Promotional Conference has aimed to narrow the gap between research and practice by stimulating dialogue and engendering lasting relationship between practitioners and scientists. Each year the startup competition is held to recognize innovative health and wellness companies.

This years competition featured four finalists: Hormone Therapeutics, The Wellness Movement, Bright Day, and Anything But The Gym. Each group gave a live pitch in front a panel of five judges for five minutes.

In its pitch, Hormone Therapeutics highlighted how corporations are spending $5,000 to $25,000 per year sending C-level executives to wellness destinations like the Mayo Clinic for annual checkups that are neither in-depth nor cost-effective. The startup emphasized its cost-saving strategy and broader network to reach executives and more patients. In addition, Hormone Therapeutics said it conducts quarterly follow-up tests to accurately track patients health.

Hormone Therapeutics won, basing its platform for employee wellness on telemedicine; comprehensive testing with DNA, blood, saliva, biome, and telomere; and remote monitoring for personalized health and performance optimization. Winning this innovative healthcare startup competition was exciting to validate our strategy around a brand-new approach to employee wellness and performance, CEO Hunter Howard told D CEO Healthcare.

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Hormone Therapeutics Wins National Startup Competition – D Healthcare Daily

Deportation fears can lead to higher risk of illness in undocumented populations – Chicago Reader

Donald Trump vilified immigrants during his presidential campaign and has continued to do so since being sworn into office, signing executive orders that target undocumented immigrants, among other measures. As federal immigration officials emboldened by Trump’s executive orders seek out and detain undocumented immigrants, their communities are experiencing an increase in fear that can impact their health.

“We noticed that there’s a lot of mental health needs and specific health problems that people face when they’re undocumented,” says Wendy Mironov, a registered nurse with Salud Sin Papeles (Health Without Papers). The grassroots group has been around for two years and focuses on improving the health of and access to health care for undocumented immigrants, families, and communities by educating undocumented immigrants on their rights.

Often undocumented persons don’t seek medical care or apply for financial assistance at hospitals or clinics because they’re afraid their personal information will be shared with immigration officials or the police. Trying to navigate insurance and hospital bureaucracies without having a valid form of identification or fluency in English also can be a challenge.

Salud Sin Papeles advises people who attend its workshops never to use false identification to get health care but to avoid sharing their immigration status with their health-care provider if possible, or if it’s not, to ask them to not record their status on their medical chart. The group also gives undocumented people strategies they can use to negotiate payment plans with hospitals and recommends going to a clinic or medical facility that offers free or low-cost care.

An estimated 307,000 undocumented immigrants lived in Cook County as of 2014, according to a report commissioned by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Many can turn to the Cook County Health and Hospitals Systems when sick without fear of being turned over to ICE.

“We do not ask patients about their immigration status,” says Monifa Thomas, a CCHHS spokesperson in an e-mailed statement.

Another resource Salud Sin Papeles recommends for undocumented patients is Carelink, a financial assistance program established to help Cook County residents who are uninsured or underinsured relieve their financial responsibility for their health-care services.

“The stress of being undocumented has a huge health-care impact in terms of access to health care and in terms of stress on the body,” Mironov says.

Rosa Aramburo came to the United States from northern Mexico 15 years ago. She’s now 27 and, thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a medical student at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine. Before DACA, she was uninsured.

“My mom started feeling ill. We went to a health fair and they told us her blood sugar was high, so they told her to go to a doctor to confirm if she had diabetes and get it treated,” she says. “But we didn’t have insurance, so my mom said she felt fine and we didn’t go.”

Eventually she convinced her mother to go to a free clinic, which recommended Aramburo take her mother to a hospital for treatment. Her mother was still resistant, but once there they learned she qualified for an affordable emergency care plan, Aramburo says. At the hospital she was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to the impairment of the heart, muscles, and nerves as well as brain swelling, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“The doctor told us she could have died had we had waited another day,” says Aramburo.

That experience inspired her to make time when she’s not in school to volunteer with Community Health, an organization that offer free health-care services in Chicago’s West Town and Englewood neighborhoods.

“They help Polish and Hispanic immigrants. I want to help people like me, like my parents,” Aramburo says. “They come from another country and they’re kind of lost, just like I was.”

And while she has some protections under DACA, she fears for her undocumented parents because they have nothing preventing immigration officials from deporting them.

“I don’t think people who support these [immigration] policies have ever faced the fear that you’ll never be able to see someone you love ever again,” she says.

This constant state of fear can have far-reaching medical implications, and not just for the undocumented community.

“There was a really interesting study about the impact of the raid in Postville, Iowa, eight years ago,” says Salud Sin Papeles’ Mironov. “Nine months after this raid the birth weight of all children born to Latina mothers, regardless of immigration status, decreased dramatically. So that raid had such a huge health-care impact on the entire state.”

The study, published by the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and Institute of Social Research team earlier this year, found that in the 37 weeks after the raid Latino babies born had a 24 percent greater risk of lower birth weight than babies born the previous year. (Low birth weight is associated with increasing a baby’s chance of dying or having long-term health and academic problems.)

The study concluded that psychosocial stressors, like the Postville raid, cause pregnant mothers to shift stress hormone balances in ways that affect a developing fetus.

“I think we’re just starting to learn the medical impact that being undocumented can have on someone,” Mironov says. “It’s this huge health-care issue in terms of both access and how it affects the body.”

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Deportation fears can lead to higher risk of illness in undocumented populations – Chicago Reader

Free Community Health Awareness Presentation This Friday – Pagosa Daily Post

Free Community Health Awareness Presentation This Friday
Pagosa Daily Post
… custom cleanse programs, Digestive wellness colon therapies, hormone balancing therapy, nutrient testing, women's wellness, thermography, Chiropractic, wellness workshops and retreats, medical massage, weight loss clinic, Neurotherapy, IV therapies

Free Community Health Awareness Presentation This Friday – Pagosa Daily Post

Menopause is surrounded by unhealthy misinformation – The Sydney Morning Herald

There comes a time in every woman’s life (for argument’s sake, let’s say it’s around 48) that she can no longer ignore the elephant in the room. Andso during a recent visit to a women’s health clinic I finally broached the menopause talk.

When I mentioned hormone replacement therapy (HRT, the medical replacement of a woman’s oestrogen and progesterone and, sometimes, testosterone) the nurse’s eyebrows almost took flight.

“HRT can really help manage the symptoms of menopause and it’s safe,” she added a little too quickly.

She went on to tell me that few women my age enquired about HRT. She suspected that they simply didn’t trust it.

This didn’t come as a complete surprise. I’d recently read that since the early 2000s, the number of women taking HRT had fallen by more than 60 per cent. This downward trend was reflected in women I know: of the 10 menopausal and post-menopausal women I spoke with for this article, only two had chosen HRT.

Several told me that their symptoms weren’t severe or long-lasting enough to warrant intervention, others had looked at alternative medicine, but a few were still, some years down the track, suffering from anxietyand those interminable hot flashes and night sweats.

The reasons they dismissed HRT were simple they believed it dangerous and perhaps, even, deadly. Now this was a serious indictment for a treatment once billed as the cure-all of menopausal symptoms, as well as osteoporosis and heart disease, so the question had to be asked why?

To get some perspective we need to go back to 2002 when the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) released its longitudinal study, conducted to address health issues causing disease and early deaths in post-menopausal women. While ambivalent about cardiovascular benefits, the study concluded that taking HRT significantly increased the chance of breast cancer.

Few words carry more emotional weight for women than breast cancer (something the media were quick to pick up on), so it was little surprise that women abandoned HRT en masse.But unknown to many (including, it has to be said, many in the medical profession), the report, which was prematurely terminated, was riddled with inconsistencies.

Writing in Science Daily last month, International Menopause Society scientist and one of WHI’s principal investigators Professor R. D. Langerwrote: “The incendiary reports indicated that the study was stopped because HRT caused breast cancer and heart attacks, when in reality there was no statistically significant harm for either breast cancer or heart attacks.”

Endocrinologist and medical director of WA’s Keogh Institute for Medical Professor Bronwyn Stuckey tells me that another problem with the 2002 report was that the results were said to apply to women of all ages, a finding rectified by a subsequent WHI 2007 report which acknowledged “that there was an age at which it’s safe to start [HRT] and an age at which you probably should have second thoughts about starting”.

The 2007 WHI report righted a series of wrongs, says Stuckey. It revealed that an early uptake of HRT increased protection against cardiovascular disease and led to a drop in type 2 diabetes, but most surprisingly and significantly it showed that there was less breast cancer among menopausal women solely on oestrogen than those on the placebo.

“It also showed that women who stopped taking HRT after five years had the same incidence of breast cancer as women who’d never taken it,” says Stuckey.

Surely there was enough here to alleviate the fears of a significant number of women, so why wasn’t this better known? Stuckey has her theories.

“It comes down to GPs being scared of it because they’ve grown up in the WHI era and it’s a big problem,” she says. “There’s also something else at play, too. When you turn 50, the government invites you to have a mammogram, but it would be much more appropriate if women were invited to have their cholesterol checked, because heart disease is a much bigger killer of menopausal women than breast cancer is.”

So there it was. This to me seemed the bigger scandal here. The fact that we weren’t being given the proper information went beyond sheer negligence and moved into a far less grey area of potentially failing to save lives.

With the current consensus being that the earlier a menopausal woman starts on HRT the better, I know which road I’ll be taking. Basically, like any working mother I’ve got enough worries to lose sleep over, but I’ll not allow menopause to be one of them.

Jen Vuk is a freelance writer.

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Menopause is surrounded by unhealthy misinformation – The Sydney Morning Herald

At high-stakes table, growing Peninsula biotech antes up with ‘fatty-liver’ drug – San Francisco Business Times

San Francisco Business Times
At high-stakes table, growing Peninsula biotech antes up with 'fatty-liver' drug
San Francisco Business Times
This South San Francisco biotech has 150 employees, has raised $300 million and has an important partnership with a Big Pharma company. But it is the one drug that is not part of that deal that could have a big impact on a growing disease.

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At high-stakes table, growing Peninsula biotech antes up with ‘fatty-liver’ drug – San Francisco Business Times