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Archive for the ‘Hormone Clinic’ Category

This is why holding hands with your partner deepens your bond – goodtoknow


If youve been in a romantic relationship, youre probably used to holding hands. Whether youre walking together or sitting down to relax, its a nice experience.

But aside from being a natural, romantic activity for couples, holding hands strengthen your emotional connection too. Theres a good reason for this too.

According to Silva Neaves, psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist, when you hold the hand of someone you love, your breathing starts to sync up with the person youre with. She also revealed that emotions will flow from one person to the other.

Speaking to Cosmopolitan, she said, It appears that holding hands serves the purpose to feel a deepening in human connections.

In addition to this, Silva said, Many studies in neuroscience show that touch produces oxytocin, a feel-good chemical that is very good for your mental and physical health.

Credit: Getty Images

Oxytocin is a hormone that promotes bonding, connection, empathy and trust, and is also the hormone that is released during sex. Our hands are one of the most sensitive parts of our bodies, so it makes sense that theres a deep emotional connection when you hold the hand of someone you love.

Dr Becky Spelman from Private Therapy Clinic added that holding hands means we can instinctively interpret the other persons anxiety or comfort levels. We can do this by feeling how much theyre sweating, their pulse, and the strength of their grip.

Hand holding is also a learned behaviour, as Dr Spelman points out that babies are born with a grasping reflex and will curl their tiny hands around any finger placed in their palm.

The act of hand holding is associated with safety too, as parents hold childrens hands to keep them safe when crossing the road. Childhood behaviours can transfer to romantic relationships later in life, so it makes sense that hand holding is considered intimate when were in relationships.

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This is why holding hands with your partner deepens your bond - goodtoknow

Low libido: Your daily life could be affecting your sex drive – how to increase libido – Express

Stress is most definitely a mood killer and life stressors can hit us at any angle.

From relationship woes to financial troubles, illnesses, work and fatigue, finding the time and energy to focus on your body and partner in tandem could be the last thing on your mind.

Kate Moyle, a sex expert for LELO a company that specialises in pleasurable toys told The Express: Sex lives need nurturing. They won't just change or improve on their own. The couple needs to make a commitment to doing or trying something new together.

I often talk to couples about trying to change one thing each time that they have sex, and this could be as small as starting with clothes on or off, taking the bedding off and making a bed on the floor, lights on or lights off, trying a new position, using lubricant or not, introducing a sex toy, giving a massage - the list is endless.

READ MORE: How to sleep: Sniff this oil before bed to get a good nights sleep

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Low libido: Your daily life could be affecting your sex drive - how to increase libido - Express

Convicted sex predator of young children to be released for being trans – The Post Millennial

On Thurs Jan 23, University of Toronto professor of psychiatry Dr. Ken Zucker, a leading international expert on gender dysphoria, and editor-in-chief of Archives of Sexual Behaviour, spoke at McGill University. Dr. Zuckers presentation was titled, Children and Adolescents with Gender Dysphoria: Some contemporary research and clinical issues.

Inviting Dr. Zucker to speak in an open forum was an act of courage, as he is Canadas most controversial researcher/clinician in this domain. In a recent column for the National Post on the run-up to this event, I summarized the story of his persecution by hostile trans activists and linked to a more detailed account.

Dr. Zuckers critics accuse him of practicing conversion therapy, by which they mean his objective is to prevent his patients from transitioning. But what Dr. Zucker actually practices, as he explained to me in an interview, is Developmentally Informed Psychotherapy.

In laymans terms, Dr. Zucker looks at his patients holistically in order to determine if the distress that brought them to his attention is a function of gender dysphoria alone, or gender dysphoria as one of a number of factors, including issues arising out of family dynamics, autism spectrum disorder, depression, anxiety and so on. If in the course of treatment, it becomes clear that finding comfort in his or her natal sex is a reasonable goal for the client, Dr. Zucker offers guidance to that objective. If it becomes clear that only transition will answer to the patients need, Dr. Zucker endorses transition, and puberty blockers or hormone therapy as required.

But any form of traditional psychotherapy is considered to be a form of subversion by many trans activists because trans activists reject assumptions that gender dysphoria is a disorder or even a distress requiring psychotherapy. Their watchword is affirmation, the assumption that if a young child even as young as three says he or she wants to change genders, they know what they want and their wish must be respected, often without any further exploration at all before social transition is encouraged.

Watchful waitingwithholding immediate affirmation, giving the childs parents and professional observers time to assess the depth and putative permanence of the expressed desireis also anathema to a small, but vocal group of trans advocates. To these activists, Dr. Zuckers perspective is superannuated, offensive and, in their discourse, harmful. It was a given that the announcement of the event would spark protest. It was just a matter of what kind, and how obstructive it would be.

The presentation was sponsored by the Culture, Mind and Brain Program, a subdivision of McGills Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry. Assistant professor of psychiatry Samuel Veissire, co-director of the program, who headed up the organizing team for the talk, was fully cognizant of the tension that would surround it, and did a great deal of spadework in reaching out to stakeholding organizations like Queer McGill, expressing sympathy for their concerns and soliciting their attendance.

Some individuals from these groups did attend, although McGill Equitys Subcommittee on Queer People preferred to hold their own alternative positive space for trans and non-binary students, staff and faculty (and their allies) who would feel the need to gather and be together in solidarity[with] snacks, tea and hot chocolate [provided].

The important thing is that protest was carried out on Facebook pages calling for boycotts of the event, and letters to the administration asking for cancellation (the administration did not waver in the face of this pressure, to their credit), rather than in attempts to physically inhibit, or even shout down the speaker. In fact, not a single active protester showed up at the lecture site in McGills Neurological Institute-Hospital (the Neuro), and those who came to the lecture itself with a view to challenging Dr. Zucker, listened respectfully, calmly voicing their disagreements with him in the extended Q&A. That in itself is a triumph in these days of cancel culture and a tribute to the organizers and to the maturity of the opposition.

A trans-advocacy mantra one continually hears from those protesting the scholarship of Dr. Zucker and others with his perspective is nothing about us without us. That is, trans advocates believe they have the right to participate in any public forum on this subject, because science, they rightly observe, is never entirely neutral, and has often been exploited to uphold societal values, notably in the case of homosexuality, which was only depathologized in medical texts mere decades ago.

They are understandably defensive about research, however sound by objective standards, that might be driven by unconscious bias. Whether that suspicion confers a right to insert representation of their own belief system into all public forums in which opposing views are featured is debatable, to say the least. Practically speaking, if that were the rule, scholars like Dr. Zucker would find their time slots so reduced in length as to trivialize their contribution.

Prof Veissire addressed these concerns with exquisite delicacy and eloquence in his introductory remarks to the full lecture room:

Two key issues in particular strike me as exceptionally important. These two issues are in fact questions. They are questions about neutrality and advocacy, on the one hand, and questions about who can speak for whom on the other In recognition of past and ongoing medical injustice, I want to proposespeaking from my own perspective herethat the relevant point here is not so much that science cannot be neutral, but that it shouldnt be.

I speak as an anthropologist and cognitive scientist now, as one who is committed to documenting and honouringa set of core values found in absolutely all cultures.These are the values ofcharityfor those in need,hospitalityto those different from us, and commitmentto the greater human good.Charity and hospitality also teach us to engage inforgiveness andreconciliation.These core values are often translated and lived in traditions ofloving-kindness..

Given its long and ongoing history of marginalization, the trans community can often feel excluded and harmed when conversationsabout themare taking placewithout them.We all need to listen to this point and learn from it.Similarly, when some parents who are doing their best to help their gender-nonconforming child live a good life tell us they feel excluded from the current conversation when they want to ask more questions, we need to listen and learn.When individuals for whom transition didnt work tell us they feel excluded from this conversation, we need to listen and learn.

This is what I want to invite you all to do together today. Listen to and learn from each othersdiverse perspectives and experiences in the spirit of loving kindness and democracy.

Tucked in between the statistics, graphs and pie charts of his PowerPoint, Dr. Zucker made allusion to certain trigger points. One is the widely acknowledged fact in the non-trans academic community that most effeminate little boys are not gender dysphoric, but gay. These desistors children whose gender preference may be ambiguous in childhood, but who after puberty revert to comfort in their natal sex, albeit with same-sex preference, present a difficulty for trans advocates. Were they really trans to begin with, if they can revert? This begs the question of what it means to know you are in the wrong body. In his somewhat puckish manner, Dr. Zucker slipped in some zingers. Noting the disappearance of the butch lesbian, Dr. Zucker asked, Is trans the new tomboy?

Another hot button in the clash between unconditional affirmers and watchful waiters is the looming shadow of suicidality. Better a trans kid than a dead kid is a frequently adduced trans credo. Here Dr. Zucker pointed out problems in methodology with the various alarmist suicidality studies. Some predictors of suicidal ideation, he said, were general behavioural problems and, for example, being female in a single-parent family. Adolescents with gender dysphoria that are referred for treatment do indeed demonstrate higher rates of suicidality, but then so do non-trans kids who are referred for other problems. This is an area that needs more research and more control groups, he said.

Rapid Onset Gender DysphoriaROGDis the most divisive and controversial issue in the debate. The cynosure for trans advocates anger is a study on ROGD published by researcher Lisa Littman of Brown University on PLOS ONE, the most downloaded study in that journals history. It suggests that for many teenage girls (the great majority of ROGD subjects), identifying as trans is a maladaptive coping mechanism for girls suffering from other problems, and its startling escalation expressive of a social contagion. Dr. Zucker alluded to the reception of the report by trans advocates as an attack on trans people and a debunked right-wing conspiracy theory.

(Full disclosure: I have met with many of the parents cited in the Littman study as part of my work. The accusations against them by hostile trans activists are absurd and defamatory. Those I met are loving parents, tortured by their childrens sudden conversion and withdrawal from thema strategy promoted on the websites they are obsessed withand desperate to help them achieve mental and psychological stability. They are neither politicized nor biased against homosexuality or gender dysphoria. The Littman study, in my opinion, is responsibly conceived and executed, persuasive and grounded entirely in good-faith efforts to understand an unprecedented social phenomenon.)

The ROGD debate hinges on treatment. In The Netherlands, Dr. Zucker noted, the Dutch do longer assessments before prescribing blockers or HRT, so treatment may only begin two years after referral. In Canada, you can be prescribed blockers after 15 minutes. Theres food for thought there, no matter what side of the debate you are on.

The Q & A was intense but restrained.

Standouts: a young woman, a detransitioner who had stopped taking hormones and wished to live in accordance with her biology, spoke quietly and sadly about her experience of being encouraged into hormonal transitioning by therapists in spite of a history of depression. She had experienced suicidal ideation as a result of her experience. She believes therapists should insist that anyone with depression be treated primarily for that, only secondarily for gender dysphoria.

Literally and figuratively on the other side of the room, a young transman countered with I was mentally ill and also trans, declaring that if it were not for rapid affirmation and treatment, he would have committed suicide. Dr. Zucker responded that in his opinion an individual is not getting good quality care if she or he is not treated holistically. He noted, however, that some advocates are arguing that mental health people should no longer be involved in the transition process altogether.

Thats worrisome for those of us opposed to radical trans solipsism, because what is argued for today may well be public policy tomorrow. After all, conversion therapy is illegal in some provinces already, and a Senate Bill (S-260), presently in first reading, seeks to have it included in the Criminal Code.

Many of the attendees were academics in this domain. Prof Veissires was gratified in particular that a leading trans positive researcher in the field from the Universit de Montral had not only attended, but engaged in a collegial discussion with Dr. Zucker during the Q & A, and afterward. This was precisely the form of reconciliation he was seeking to encourage.

One student spoke to the freedom of speech issue, arguing that even if people feel harmed, higher education institutions exist to accomplish goals that override the putative right not to be offended. Universities must deliberate all sides of issues, so that later we arent flailing making policy decisions. The Neuro, he pointed out, is not only a learning institution but a clinic that aims to relieve actual harms and sufferings. Theres a cost/benefit analysis to be done.

As you see, the mixed audience raised a gamut of difficult questions, and I think all present felt their minds were stretched in a positive way by the need to juggle their own settled opinions with opinions they do not normally hear in their academic and social silos. Was the young transman harmed by hearing the point of the view of the detransitioning woman? Were the many trans allies present harmed by the opinion that freedom of speech in universities should take precedence over the wish not to be offended? I saw no evidence of that, and I hope all those present would agree that the space was safe for everyone.

If you have read this far, I congratulate you on your stamina and thank you for your patience. I have gone on at such length, because although McGills administration stood fast on this invitation, I have seen enough of the correspondence around the event between and amongst trans stakeholders in the McGill community to fear that wheels have been set in motion with a view to formal internal roadblocks that would preclude further invitations to speakers whose views do not align with those of gender-fluidity theorists. I therefore wanted to be on record in a detailed way as a witness to the success of the program.

Two attendees referred to Dr. Zuckers presence as provocative. The logic in applying the word provocative is circular. Basically, it means, We, trans advocates and allies, do not approve of Dr. Zuckers findings or conclusions or clinical principles because some of them conflict with our preferred understanding of the phenomenon of gender dysphoria. We cannot prove that our findings are more scientifically viable than his, but since his are offensive to us, they must be provocative in general.

This is the Humpty-Dumpty school of rhetoric. It is professionally feckless, not to mention an unworthy smear of Prof Veissire, whose compassion for gender-dysphoric people is palpable, and whose invitation to an ultra-accredited colleague to speak on the issue was issued in good faith.

Moreover, there is debate within the trans community itself overdiagnosis and treatment, and many non-ideological trans people find such provocative opinions as Dr. Zuckers both reasonable and admirable. Where childrens interests are at stake, the precautionary principle should never be considered offensive. Provocative should be reserved for hatemongers, or speakers of dubious accreditation in spouting demonstrably fallacious theories (an accusation often directed at gender theorists themselves, but without attempts to de-platform them on that account).

Beyond suggesting that Dr. Zuckers ideas are both wrong and dangerous, there is a further dimension to the word provocative that I think most people outside the trans movement find disturbing.

The trans movement has worked very hard to normalize the concept of gender fluidity. Transgenderism is often wrongly conflated with homosexuality. But living happily gay does not involve bodily changes, lifelong medication or surgery to produce psychological comfort with ones biology or gender.

As a consequence of accepting that gender transitioning is normal, however, one must accept easy and immediate affirmation, and everything that goes with itpuberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, surgeries, infertilityas normal too. If society, in general, accepts this premise, then parents who wish to slow down this allegedly normal process may legitimately be labelled obstructive. Their stubbornness in resisting rapid affirmation may be labelled provocative as well.

As a result, prudent and protective parentswhat I would call normal parents are often positioned as enemies of the childand their status as enemies is often communicated to the child. The isolated child finds a new family amongst the many trans allies only too happy to welcome him or her into the fold. The distress of parents caught up in this Kafkaesque nightmare, as I learned firsthand from interviewing parents of ROGD teenagers, cannot be overstated.

Observers in the public are extremely uneasy about this situation. They know very well that true gender dysphoria is quite rare. But they also know that in the present cultural climate, it is increasingly difficult to find a therapist or educator who does not recommend instant affirmation. They feel they will be vilified for stating the obvious in what they wish for their children.

They know, and so do we all that: it is preferable to be comfortable in your own body than uncomfortable; it is preferable to expend ones mental energies on the world around one than to be constantly mentally consumed by ones gender identity; it is preferable to live a life free of daily hormone ingestion and not at risk for their negative side effects than to be condemned to a lifetime of them; it is preferable to know that having children or not will be an informed adult choice than a choice made for you when you are incompetent to understand its ramifications; it is preferable to live life in a whole body than in a mutilated one; it is preferable to have uncomplicated sexual relations as an adult than complicated.

All parents want to see their children following the path of least resistance to health and happiness. Thus, all these statements being so evidently true, they ought to be considered banal. But todaybecause it is provocative they must not voice these banalities. They are afraid, reasonably so, that they will be labelled transphobic.

Sadly, we now see parents who pretend for the sake of wokeness that it is a matter of indifference to them whether their child is comfortable in his or her natal sex or prefers to transition. We even see parents who establish an artificial environment of gender neutrality to create a level playing field between the two outcomes. They win fawning plaudits from a vocal band of activists, but the silent majority of people are appalled by such social engineering, the use of ones own children as gender-theory lab rats

This is why many of those who can afford to turn to Dr. Zucker for guidance when their children show signs of gender confusion, which may be transient or early evidence of homosexuality, or which may be signs of genuine and permanent self-identification as the opposite sex. They know he will allow them to express their preference and their fears without judgment, but if it turns out to be necessary, will help them to accept what they fear with empathy.

I walked down the mountain from The Neuro to Sherbrooke St with Dr. Zucker after the event, and we held an informal post mortem of it. That it was not cancelled was in his eyes a good outcome.

We both mused on the strangeness of trans activists demands that they be part of every presentation regarding gender dysphoria. Their slogan, nothing about us without us suggests that researchers are talking about them as individuals rather than the phenomenon of gender dysphoria. To my mind, theres a certain narcissism in such an absurd implication. Anorexics do not demand to be given equal time with anorexia researchers in the public forum. Neither do people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, even though in the past science was not particularly kind to them either.

Dr. Zucker treats children from toddlerhood on. Exploration of all contributing factors is extensive and as leisurely as necessary. He says occasionally a therapeutic breakthrough can turn on a dime. In one case, as an example, the underlying issue for the girl a natal female expressing the wish to transition to male was a conflict with her abusive father. Her epiphany came one day when Dr. Zucker asked her, If you are afraid of your father, why do you want to be the same gender as he is? This brought her up short, he said, and she was silent. The next day, she told him she had decided she wanted to remain a girl.

I asked him how many of his patients resolved their distress without a need for transitioning, and ended up identifying with their natal sex. As if he knew that question was cominghe surely must have knownDr. Zucker briskly replied, eighty-eight percent. It is probably just as well that the question and the provocative answer did not arise in the Q&A.

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Convicted sex predator of young children to be released for being trans - The Post Millennial

Novel Drug May Reverse Breast Cancer Hormone Therapy Resistance – Technology Networks

A novel drug based on a natural compound found in broccoli, kale and other cruciferous vegetables could hold the key to reversing or even preventing resistance to breast cancer hormone therapy, new research has found.Scientists from the University of Manchester found that drug SFX-01 which has shown promise in a phase II trial (STEM) as a treatment for secondary breast cancer that is already resistant to hormone therapy could reverse or even prevent resistance to hormone therapy by blocking a key cancer signaling pathway (a chain of reactions within cancer cells) called STAT3.

Breast cancer is the UKs most common cancer, with around 55,000 women and approximately 370 men being diagnosed throughout the country each year.

Up to 80% of breast cancers are encouraged to grow by the hormone estrogen and are known as estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer, which accounts for up to 44,000 cases each year in the UK.

While hormone therapy (which blocks the effect of estrogen) is very effective in reducing the risk of recurrence for most, around a third of patients with ER positive breast cancer see their disease return within 15 years, and some of these are due to the cancer developing resistance to treatment.

SFX-01 inspired by a natural plant-derived compound called sulforaphane, which was first discovered in cruciferous vegetables such as rocket, broccoli and kale has recently been shown in a clinical trial to delay the progression of incurable secondary breast cancer in women whose disease has already developed resistance to hormone therapy.

In a new study led by Dr Bruno Simes, Dr Sacha Howell and Professor Rob Clarke at the University of Manchester, researchers investigated the effect of SFX-01 alone, or in combination with tamoxifen or fulvestrant, in patient samples and in mice to understand how the drug works and how it can be best used to treat breast cancer.

They found that SFX-01 reduced the ability of specialized cells called breast cancer stem cells to form tumors in mice, with the drug also reducing the ability of breast cancer cells to form secondary tumors in the mices lungs.

The researchers then looked at the gene activity levels within the breast cancer stem cells from hormone therapy-resistant tumor samples from patients, finding that the cancer stem cells relied heavily on the STAT3 signaling pathway, which can become active in response to hormone therapy and lead to treatment resistance.

SFX-01 blocked the STAT3 signaling pathway and reversed the effects that may lead to hormone therapy resistance.

In a recent phase II trial (STEM) in patients with ER positive secondary breast cancer that had already started becoming resistant to hormone therapy, 25% of participants benefitted from the addition of SFX-01 to hormone therapybut the mechanism of why this worked was not known until now.

Further research is now focusing on understanding why certain patients tumors are sensitive to SFX-01 and whether an accompanying diagnostic test for activity of the STAT3 signaling pathway could be used to identify the patients that would benefit the most from this treatment.

It is also hoped that SFX-01 could in future be added to hormone therapies such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors from the outset of treatment to increase their effectiveness in patients with primary breast cancer.

Co-author Dr Bruno Simes, Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, said:

Estrogen receptor positive breast cancer is the most common breast cancer. These cancers frequently develop resistance to hormone therapies, which is a major clinical problem that we are working to address.

We are excited by our findings that combining standard hormone therapies with SFX-01 could improve treatment of some breast cancer patients by reversing resistance driven by the STAT3 signaling pathway.

With the success of the recent clinical trial in secondary breast cancer, we hope that further studies will now help to identify which patients may benefit the most from this drug so that it could soon reach the clinic.

Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research at Breast Cancer Now, which helped to fund the study, said:

Its really exciting that SFX-01 could in future help to improve the effectiveness of hormone therapies and prevent or treat the return of breast cancer. While hormone therapy is effective for most women, around a third still see their breast cancer return and we urgently need to find new ways to tackle and prevent drug resistance.

This important discovery reveals exactly how SFX-01 can help overcome hormone therapy resistance and we hope it could now open the door to it being used from the outset of treatment, to prevent resistance from developing in the first place.

We look forward to results of further trials to fully understand who is likely to benefit most and at what stage of treatment it should be added to hormone therapy to give patients the best chance of survival.

The study is being presented at the UK Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Symposium, hosted by Breast Cancer Now.

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Novel Drug May Reverse Breast Cancer Hormone Therapy Resistance - Technology Networks

LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics in Boca Raton Offers Ketamine Treatment for People With Anxiety and Depression – American Press

BOCA RATON, Fla. - January 28, 2020 - ( )

Patients who go to LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics need solutions to their problems. Using cutting edge technology, the team of physicians there offers innovative therapies that provide relief for symptoms and a better quality of life. Behind their mission to help patients live their best life is a full-service clinic that offers a variety of regenerative medicine options.

For those struggling with treatment-resistant depression and debilitating anxiety, regenerative medicine is often unheard of. Typically stuck in a never-ending cycle, their ability to feel better and have an improved quality of life seems non-existent. By offering ketamine treatment for people struggling with anxiety and depression, LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics hopes to provide acute and lasting relief from anxiety and intrusive thoughts.

To get relief from anxiety and depression at LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics call 561-931-2430. Go to for more information.

Ketamine treatment for depression and anxiety in Boca Raton.

Ketamine's dissociative properties have now proven to be useful for treating patients with depression. Given appropriately and under medical supervision, ketamine allows for dissociation from the intrusive thoughtsthat come with many mental disorders including treatment-resistant depression. Studies have shown that ketamine works for a number of patients with both acute and long term relief ( ). Patients report that one dose of ketamine can change their thought patterns. Most patients say the relief lasts for a few days and some patients said that the relief from their symptoms lasted 2 weeks or more.

At LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics, the ketamine is administered by a doctor who has worked with it for years. Prior to FDA approval for certain mental illnesses, ketamine was used in anesthesia. Initially, Dr. Richard Gaines, owner of LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics, specialized in anesthesia during his time at Harvard. Dr. Richard Gaines proudly offers ketamine treatment at his age management practice in Boca Raton. LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics offers a wellbeing program that allows patients to receive ketamine treatment for their symptoms and Rapid Resolution Therapy sessions with Dr. Jon Connelly.

Schedule ketamine treatment in Boca Raton at LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics by calling 561-931-2430.

LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics is a medical practice dedicated to helping others obtain a better quality of life. Located at 3785 N Federal Highway in Boca Raton, they offer ketamine treatment for depression and anxiety as well as many other hormone and age management therapies.

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Original Source: LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics in Boca Raton Offers Ketamine Treatment for People With Anxiety and Depression

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LifeGaines Medical and Aesthetics in Boca Raton Offers Ketamine Treatment for People With Anxiety and Depression - American Press

Lilly plans donation of 200000 insulin KwikPens over next three years to support lower-income communities –

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting this month, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) will donate at least 200,000 KwikPensto three relief organizations Americares, Direct Relief and Dispensary of Hope to stock insulin at nearly 200 U.S. free clinics through 2022. These donations will directly support lower-income people living with diabetes who qualify for free clinic services.

Separately, Lilly is providing $2 million to fund grants that relief agencies will distribute to a wide range of eligible free clinics. The grants will fund programs intended to help people with diabetes understand and access resources that can help them obtain medicine and supplies, medical care, insurance coverage and more.

The insulin donations include KwikPens of Humalog (insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL), Humalog Mix75/25 (insulin lispro protamine and insulin lispro injectable suspension), and Basaglar(insulin glargine injection 100 units/mL).Shipments to relief agencies have already started, giving lower-income people another option for accessing insulin.

"Dispensary of Hope is excited to expand the ongoing effort with Lilly's insulin donation program," said Chris Palombo, Dispensary of Hope CEO. "Insulin saves lives, and the addition of donated Humalog and Basaglar KwikPens is important for the nation's uninsured, low-income community."

In 2018, Lilly announced plans to donate insulin vials to stock approximately 150 U.S. free clinics. Since then, Lilly has donated 120,000 vials that have been used by people who qualify for free clinic services. Lilly is now sending KwikPens to the relief agencies for distribution to nearly 200 free clinics.

"This donation of KwikPens will help many people across the U.S. get the treatment they need," said Mike Mason, president, Lilly Diabetes. "With the help of the relief agencies, Lilly insulin will now be available in many free clinics that are equipped to properly store it. These clinics help people find comprehensive care such as medicine, devices, and physician support, and are very important to people who live with diabetes and use these services. We will continue to evaluate the needs of these communities and enhance our insulin donations as necessary.

"Lilly is committed to offering the broadest suite of solutions for people who need help affording their insulin," Mason continued. "But real change to our reimbursement system is needed. Insurance coverage should ensure no one with diabetes is forced to ration or skip doses for financial reasons."

These donations are part of a broader suite of solutions that Lilly is providing to people who need help affording their insulin. These options include lower-priced versions of branded insulins, out-of-pocket price caps at pharmacies for people with commercial insurance plans and help for people with immediate needs. Anyone who uses a Lilly insulin can call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at (833) 808-1234 (9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday) to see whether there is an option that reduces their out-of-pocket costs, including information about how to receive free insulin through a free clinic if they meet income requirements.

More information about the grants that relief agencies will receive can be found on our blog.

Important Safety Information for Basaglar, Humalog (Humalog U-100 and Humalog U-200), Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix75/25, and Humalog Mix50/50

ContraindicationsBasaglar, Humalog (Humalog U-100 and Humalog U-200), Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix50/50, and Humalog Mix75/25 are contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia and in patients with hypersensitivity to insulin glargine, insulin lispro, or any of their excipients.

Warnings and Precautions Never share a prefilled pen, cartridge, reusable pen compatible with Lilly 3 mL cartridges, or syringe between patients, even if the needle is changed.Patients using vials must never share needles or syringes with another person. Sharing poses a risk for transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

Changes in insulin strength, manufacturer, type, injection site, or method of administration may affect glycemic control and predispose to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Any changes in insulin regimen should be made cautiously and only under close medical supervision, and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring should be increased. Due to reports of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, advise patients who repeatedly inject into areas of lipodystrophy or localized cutaneous amyloidosis to change the injection site to the unaffected areas and to closely monitor blood glucose. For patients with type 2 diabetes, dosage adjustments of concomitant anti-diabetic products may be needed.

Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction associated with insulins, including Basaglar, Humalog, Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix75/25, and Humalog Mix50/50.Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures, may be life threatening, or cause death.

Accidental mix-ups between insulin glargine (100 units/mL), basal insulin products, Humalog Mix75/25, Humalog Mix50/50, and other insulins, particularly rapid-acting insulins, have been reported.To avoid medication errors between insulins, instruct patients to always check the insulin label before each injection to confirm that the correct insulin is injected, including the correct insulin brand and concentration.

Do not transfer concentrated insulins (Humalog U-200) from the KwikPen to any syringe as overdosage and severe hypoglycemia can occur.

Severe, life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur with insulin products,including Basaglar, Humalog, Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix75/25, and Humalog Mix50/50. If hypersensitivity reactions occur, discontinue use; treat per standard of care and monitor until symptoms and signs resolve.

All insulin products, including Basaglar, Humalog, Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix75/25, and Humalog Mix50/50, cause a shift in potassium from the extracellular to intracellular space, possibly leading to hypokalemia. Untreated hypokalemia may cause respiratory paralysis, ventricular arrhythmia, and death. Monitor potassium levels in patients at risk for hypokalemia if indicated.

Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which are peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma agonists, can cause dose-related fluid retention, particularly when used in combination with insulin.Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate heart failure. Patients treated with insulin, including Basaglar, Humalog, Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix75/25, or Humalog Mix50/50, and a PPAR-gamma agonist should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure. If heart failure develops, dosage reduction or discontinuation of TZD must be considered.

Malfunction of an insulin pump device, infusion set, or insulin degradation can rapidly lead to hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis.Patients using Humalog U-100 or Insulin Lispro Injection in subcutaneous insulin infusion pumps must be trained to administer insulin by injection and have alternate insulin therapy available in case of pump failure.

Adverse ReactionsAdverse reactions commonly associated with insulin glargine products, Humalog, Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix75/25, and Humalog Mix50/50 are hypoglycemia, allergic reactions, injection site reactions, lipodystrophy, pruritus, and rash.

Other adverse reactions commonly associated with insulin glargine products, Humalog Mix75/25, and Humalog Mix50/50 are weight gain and edema.

Drug InteractionsCertain drugs may affect glucose metabolism, requiring insulin dose adjustment and close monitoring of blood glucose. The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia may be blunted when beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine, and reserpine are co-administered with Basaglar, Humalog, Insulin Lispro Injection, Humalog Mix75/25, or Humalog Mix50/50.

Click to accessBasaglar Full Prescribing Information, Humalog Full Prescribing Information, Insulin Lispro Injection Full Prescribing Information, Humalog Mix75/25 Full Prescribing Information and Humalog Mix50/50 Full Prescribing Information.

See Instructions for Use provided with pen/vial/syringe.


About DiabetesApproximately 30 million Americans1 and an estimated 463 million adults worldwide have diabetes.2 Type 2 diabetes is the most common type internationally, accounting for an estimated 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States alone.1 Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body does not properly produce or use the hormone insulin.

About Lilly DiabetesLilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when we introduced the world's first commercial insulin. Today we are building upon this heritage by working to meet the diverse needs of people with diabetes and those who care for them. Through research, collaboration and quality manufacturing we strive to make life better for people affected by diabetes. We offer a wide range of therapies and a continued determination to provide real solutionsfrom medicines and technologies to support programs and more. For the latest updates, visit or follow us on Twitter: @LillyDiabetes and Facebook: LillyDiabetesUS.

About Eli Lilly and CompanyLilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and P-LLY

This press release contains forward-looking statements (as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) about Humalog (insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL), Basaglar (insulin glargine injection 100 units/mL), and Humalog Mix75/25 (insulin lispro protamin and insulin lispro injectable suspension) as a treatment for patients with diabetes and reflects Lilly's current belief. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see Lilly's most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release.

PP-DB-US-0697 1/2020Lilly USA, LLC 2020. All rights reserved.

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Lilly plans donation of 200000 insulin KwikPens over next three years to support lower-income communities -

Key population-led organizations delivering health services in Bangkok – UNAIDS

Boy Somjai and Jam Chainukul (not their real names) are a young same-sex couple from Bangkok, Thailand. At the start of their relationship, they decided to take HIV tests for the first time. Looking for information online, their friends suggested the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand (RSAT), a community-based HIV clinic located off a busy street in Bangkok.

RSAT, with four clinics and 10 drop-in centres in different cities across Thailand, serves as a one-stop service where gay men and other men who have sex with men and transgender people can access HIV prevention services and take part in HIV-related information sessions, with flexible service hours suitable for the lifestyles of many people from key populations.

Danai Linjongrat, the Executive Director of RSAT, said, Access to HIV services for key populations is among the biggest challenges to the HIV response in the country. It is extremely important that key populations can access HIV prevention and treatment services without fear of discrimination.

Mr Boy and Mr Jam, who now return to RSAT every three months for regular check-ups, said, When we first visited the clinic, we were really nervous, as we were looking for a place that respects our confidentiality. Here we found more than an HIV clinicwe found a place we can trust, like a family. The health staff made us feel comfortable to share our story; they did not judge us and they understood our needs with an open mind.

The success of RSAT is credited in part to its health workers being members of the populations they serve. RSAT has adopted the countrys key population-led health services model, in which people from key populations identify and meet the HIV and other health-related needs of their peers. We understand the needs of our clients, what they want, where they live and how they feel, because our staff members are people from the communities, says Mr Linjongrat.

Community health workers provide needs-based and client-centred services, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), legal consultations, harm reduction, screening for sexually transmitted infections, counselling and hormone level check-ups for transgender people. Depending on the outcome of a persons HIV test, they are offered a referral for antiretroviral therapy or an in-depth discussion about taking PrEP, all in a non-judgemental and supportive atmosphere.

RSAT is one of seven community-based organizations in Thailand that provide PrEP services free of charge through lay providers under the Princess PrEP Project. Currently, 1200 people are accessing PrEP through RSAT clinics and drop-in centres. The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre, with the support of the United States Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the LINKAGES Thailand project, implements continuous capacity-building to ensure that community health workers can provide HIV services in accordance with national standards.

RSAT uses different ways to generate demand for and promote its programmes and to carry out outreach work. Phubet Panpet, Deputy Director at RSAT, said, Depending on our target audience, we go to different places, such as saunas, entertainment complexes, schools and universities, to raise awareness about HIV prevention and encourage people to get tested for HIV.

Kunpawee Isalam, a staff member of the outreach team in Bangkok, is a transgender person who understands the stigma and discrimination faced by the transgender community. We plan outreach activities that we know transgender people will be interested in, with the aim of increasing their self-confidence. For many, it is so hard to feel they can get support, and they fear discrimination. RSAT provides a safe space and HIV prevention options, she said.

RSAT uses social networking sites to reach out to young gay men and other men who have sex with men. Staff members register as users and create profiles on dating applications to share HIV-related information. At the beginning of the conversation, the outreach worker explains about the clinic and engages people in a conversation related to HIV prevention, said Mongkol Jaidee, a field officer. I choose the location, see who is connected, and send them personal messages to introduce the services provided by the clinic. I normally receive positive feedback, and it is common for people to come back later with questions and visit us in the following days.

Mr Linjongrat concluded, We differ from other services by caring for people by looking into what they need and what we can do to help them. Community-led services are a proven strategy and an essential feature of the HIV response in Thailand.

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Key population-led organizations delivering health services in Bangkok - UNAIDS

Some States Work to Protect Choice, Others to Take It Away – The Humanist

On Friday Donald Trump became the first sitting president to speak in person at the March for Life, the nations largest anti-abortion rally. Addressing a supportive crowd, the president listed a number of conservative achievements from his first termexpanding the global gag rule, preserving faith-based adoption, appointing 187 conservative-friendly federal judges, and touting his appointment of two Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House, Trump told the marchers to much applause.

As Trump revealed, reproductive rights and sexual health care have been under attack the past several years. 2019 in particular was a hard year for abortion rights on the state level. Bolstered by the Trump administrations anti-abortion measures, state lawmakers are making preparations in case Roe v. Wade is overturned and the responsibility to regulate abortion care falls to the states. Twenty states already have laws prepared to restrict or abolish abortion, and theyre not slowing down. Were only four weeks into 2020 and already were seeing a surge of regulations making their way through state legislatures around the country. Here are a few:


Last week at the Kansas state capitol, lawmakers heard testimony for a constitutional amendment that would overturn a 2019 ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court that declared abortion access a right. If passed, this amendment would revoke the state constitutional right to abortion and allow lawmakers to pass additional restrictions. Republican officials are rushing to get this amendment passed because there are currently several cases dealing with abortion in the Kansas court system. The amendment requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers to be passed before it ends up on the ballot for Kansas voters.


The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote this month on a bill that would ban abortion after six weeks or once the pregnancy hormone HCG has been detected. The hormone can be detected in blood tests as early as ten days from conception.


In 2014 California passed a law that requires all insurance plans to cover abortion. Last week, on the same day as the March for Life, the Trump administration threatened to withhold federal funds from the state, arguing that the insurance requirement forces people to pay for others abortions and discriminates against health plans that dont cover basic reproductive care. Five other states also require abortion coverage in insurance plans.


Earlier this month, several towns in Texas voted to become sanctuary cities for the unborn. This declaration would make abortion illegal in the cities if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. It also allows family members of people who have abortions to sue providers for emotional distress. This has become a growing trend in small Texas cities, with many adopting the ordinance last year.


Last week an Iowa Senate subcommittee cleared a constitutional amendment that would add language to the state constitution stating that people have no right to an abortion. The proposed language reads: the Constitution of the State of Iowa does not secure or protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion. A majority vote at the ballot box will be needed for this amendment to pass.


Michigan is gearing up to release several ballot initiatives that would restrict abortion access throughout the state. One would restrict abortions after six weeks, and the other would ban dilation and evacuation abortion, a common second-trimester procedure. These measures will appear on the ballot on November 3, 2020.


In better news, earlier this month lawmakers in Georgia proposed legislation that would allow people to bypass the requirements of its 2019 abortion ban. A federal judge blocked the law, but the Womens Right to Know Act would require those seeking abortion to certify that they read anti-abortion materials, viewed the fetal image, and heard the fetal heartbeat before receiving an abortion. This new bill would make it easier to get an abortion by not requiring people to undergo that process.


In another promising development, just a few weeks ago a federal appeals court denied Mississippis request to reconsider a ruling that struck down the states fifteen-week abortion ban. In the December ruling the court said, States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not impose an undue burden on the womans right, but they may not ban abortions.

US Supreme Court

The small victories in Georgia and Mississippi could be threatened depending upon the result of an upcoming Supreme Court case due to be argued in March. The high court will hear a case regarding a law in Louisiana that requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the clinic where an abortion is performed. The concern is that it would leave Louisiana with only one doctor authorized to perform abortions. This law is similar to a Texas law that the court struck down in 2016, but this will be the first abortion case before the Supreme Court since Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were appointed by Trump, creating a conservative 5-4 majority. This case is being watched closely as it could be a chance for the court to consider abortion rights more broadly.

Some States Work to Protect Choice, Others to Take It Away - The Humanist

The Importance of A Routine Checkup –

At 47, I was a perfectly healthy girl, I exercised daily, and had always been compliant to have my annual checkups, which included a routine mammogram and breast ultrasound. My annual visit began with the standard mammogram. My preliminary results showed all clear and I was moved onto the ultrasound room as part of my normal process for me due to breast density.

I couldn't have been more stunned when the radiologist told me the ultrasound showed an area of concern on my left breast and her recommendation would be a biopsy. My life changed forever, August 11, 2017 at 11:45am, as I became "1 in 8 Women " when I got the devastating phone call from my physician that my biopsy and imaging results showed invasive breast cancer with 3 tumors one dangerously close to my chest wall. I needed to be seen by an Oncologist Surgeon ASAP.

The overwhelming fear and shock immediately set in that I had cancer and didn't even know it. Everything in my life came to a screeching halt as I had a new reality "Cancer didn't Care". The day of my breast cancer diagnosis I had undergone testing of the BRCA Gene along with 28 other gene cancer tests. All came back negative along with my routine lab work. My results were normal. After much discussion with what I like to call my dream team of doctors, the best chance of beating my cancer was to undergo a seven-hour life-saving operation by having a bilateral mastectomy and placement of tissue expanders.

The expanders were used to stretch the skin so I could undergo reconstructive surgery months later. My cancer diagnosis made me realize that there were two roads in life I could choose from, one to be "bitter" or the other road being "hope". I chose the road of "hope". The outlook was good, I was cancer free, as I got married last year, life seem to be getting back to normal.

Until October 2019, when another mass was found on my right breast while doing my own self-examination. I immediately scheduled a visit with my oncologist surgeon, and she ordered an ultrasound right away. The findings from the radiologist, again showed an area of concern as I was told there was a suspicious malignancy and a breast biopsy would be needed. My thoughts immediately went to the fear of another cancer reoccurrence. It was heartbreaking but I knew I was not going down without a fight.

I had three biopsies taken and then I waited. I expected the next few days to be difficult so I tried to keep busy as I would only allow positive thoughts while I continue to remain hopeful. Sooner than expected, the day after my biopsy I received a call from my oncologist surgeon telling me my biopsy results came back negative for cancer the mass was benign. However, I will need to have another breast ultrasound in six months as we will continue to monitor it. This was the "best news" I felt like I had my life back. Cancer wants you to ignore going to the doctor and not having a routine imaging this way it has more time to spread to your body without you knowing it counting on it being too late by the time it's found.

Please listen to your doctors and get your annual mammogram/breast ultrasound, go for all your routine checkups, do your monthly self-breast exams. I am blessed and grateful to be a two-year survivor. I'm in remission and will continue to be closely monitored staying positive and hopeful. I'm very thankful to my amazing medical team that saved my life. As well as, the unconditional support from my friends, family, and most of all, my husband who's been my rock and supported my decisions every step of the way.

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The Importance of A Routine Checkup -

How to cope with going bald before youre ready to – Dazed

Have you heard the story about Elisha and the Two bears? Well, Elisha was on his way to Bethel. Two boys bumped into him on the road and rinsed him for being bald. Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead, they said. Elisha wasnt having that. He cursed those boys in the name of the Lord. Two female bears came out of the woods and slaughtered the boys, plus another 40 of their pals for good measure. The story appears in The Book of Kings, and what it tells us is even the prophets of The Old Testament were salty about losing their hair.

Fast forward a couple millennia and there I was, in my twenties, with my hairline running away like itd stolen money from my eyebrows. Before then, I guess Id been in denial about the inevitable demise of my hair. My dad is bald. He was once the centre of my universe, so I assumed all boys grew up to be big, strong men with shiny domes. When I clocked that wasnt the case, I pushed thoughts about thinning hair to the recesses of my mind.

My little bro, two years my junior, with long, thick Sampson-like locks, became convinced he was losing his hair at 17. It seemed laughable to me but he was devastated. He got proactive real quick, splashed the cash on miracle shampoos and laser combs, and made appointments with trichologists. He jumped on a routine of applying Minoxidil, a topical solution, to his scalp and taking Finasteride. These are the two most widely available treatments for male-pattern baldness; Minoxidil encourages blood-flow to hair follicles while Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that turns our precious hair against us. With both of these, the catch is that when you stop using them, the benefits are reversed, which helps explain why globally men spend 2.7 billion on baldness cures. Oh yeah, and Finasteride might stop your dick from working.

A fair chunk of that 2.7 billion is spent on hair transplants, by those stacking paper-like Premier League footballers. Chucking a few thousand pounds at a surgeon who can perform follicular unit transplantation, where strips of skin are removed from the back of the head and healthy follicles harvested, or follicular unit excision, where individual hair follicles are transplanted, is your best bet. If you watch Match of the Day youll know results may vary, but Andros Townsends hair transplant is the best Ive ever seen.

My little brother is 31 now, and still has an impressive mane. He stopped using hair-loss treatments in his mid-20s and shouldve blessed me with all the money he spent instead, as my hair was clearly on the way out. I made an appointment with The Belgravia Centre, a slick hair-loss clinic in Victoria, which in retrospect played out like a scene from Black Mirror or Maniac, where an unfathomably beautiful woman in a pristine lab coat reassured me that my future could be hairy, before presenting me with an unfathomably steep price list. I puked a bit in my mouth and left, resigned to my fate.

The process was a gradual one. I didnt actually shave my head until my 31st birthday, when my weak and wispy barnet had become too much of a burden. Before then, Id adopted a Peaky Blinders style trim, what Julius Caesar termed Illusion Styling before he linked Cleopatra, to accentuate the hair I did have. I slapped on plenty of product to safeguard against the cruellest enemy of many a balding man, the wind. And I did my utmost to spin out Beanie and Beard Season for as long as possible.

Hurtful banter is one of the great ways cis-het men express affection towards one another, so plenty of my friends and colleagues enjoyed rinsing me for the declining state of my head-top. The lads, lads, lads might view everything as fair game when it comes to taking the piss, but its now widely acknowledged that hair-loss can have a severe impact on psychological well-being and in some cases, trigger body dysmorphia. I work in education, and when one the children bopped up to me in the lunch-hall and simply asked, Mr K, why you lil bit bald? I decided enough was enough.

I hoped I might find shaving my head liberating, but I didnt. Ive struggled with my mental health to varying degrees since I was a teenager. Losing my hair gave me another reason to hate myself. My wellbeing has taken a steep downturn in the last couple of years. Its reasonable to say going bald has been one of the many factors contributing to this. A lot of my depression and anxiety revolves around death, and losing my hair is a constant reminder of my mortality.

Losing my hair gave me another reason to hate myself. My wellbeing has taken a steep downturn in the last couple of years. Its reasonable to say going bald has been one of the many factors contributing to this. Losing my hair is a constant reminder of my mortality

A positive aspect about going bald is I am definitely not alone in my struggles. The process affects 6.5 million men in the UK, up to 30 per cent of 30-year-old men and 50 per cent of 50-year-old men. I spoke to my fellow Bald Gang members, Tom and Jesse about their experiences.

Tom started losing his hair when he was 16. I used to have long black hair but I started noticing it more and more on my pillow and I became a bit obsessive about it, so I shaved it all off. I rate Tom for his decisiveness. He actually enjoys repping Bald Gang because hes never had to care about his hair throughout his adult life. Im actually really grateful for Jason Statham because he fully normalised being bald, hench, and chung. I just love bald, famous guys because they have a faint ridiculousness about them but theyre also like semi hard-men at the same time. I can relate to that a lot.

Tom and I play for the same football team. He is double hard. In a recent game, I smashed someone in a tackle, knackered myself and then came off. Tom replaced me. He flattened the same poor bloke, who shot up furiously and shouted, You again! Whats your problem? Has my identity been reduced to an interchangeable bald, bearded guy?

Jesse can relate. The number one bald life struggle is mistaken identity, for sure. He finds it annoying being compared to Freddie Gibbs and Mahershala Ali. If were keeping it real, thats way more appealing than being compared to Phil and Grant Mitchell. I didnt dwell on it when I first noticed at 23. One day I just shaved my head bald and havent looked back. Now Im like Tupac, picture me rolling in a whip, singing India Aries I Am Not My Hair. Id even say I feel sexier bald.

While Ive never had to consider the political implications of my hair, or lack of, Jesse has. Hair is political in the sense that were often taught from young that it needs to be tamed in some way, usually in the form of a skin fade or one all over. I can say that hair-loss and baldness has freed me from ever having to think about how my hairs perceived.

I guess its tempting to buy into the myth that being bald is symbolic of this powerful, super virile, turbo-testosterone fuelled manliness. Thats definitely an idea that my dad used to bat away any questions about his baldness when I was a boy. It means Im a real man, hed claim, before challenging me and my little bro to an arm wrestle. But is that idea helpful if youre trying to unpick the toxic masculinity that has impacted so dreadfully on your general wellbeing?

Writer, speaker, and editor of Fruitcake magazine, Jamie Windust offered me a radically different perspective on Bald Gang membership. Their decision to shave their head was partly to see whether they would feel comfortable in their femininity with a hairstyle that could be perceived as masculine. It actually allowed me to explore my femininity more and align myself with that essence of being non-binary, of being able to know there arent any rules with it and know that we arent bound by stereotypes. It allowed me to continue to give less care to what other people thought, definitely a tool for empowerment. Like Tom and Jesse, Jamie enjoys the freedom of a shaved head.

Im now two years deep into bald life. Im not at peace with my reflection and feel a sense of doom every time I step in front of the mirror to shave my head, before the regrowth reveals what Ive lost. But in that time Ive also accepted my issues run deeper than my scalp and Im in the process of confronting what lies beneath. And if that fails, Ill put on The Transporter.

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How to cope with going bald before youre ready to - Dazed

Type 2 diabetes symptoms: An unintentional loss of this could be a sign of the condition – Express

Type 2 diabetes is a condition which causes the levels of sugar in the blood to become too high. If blood sugar isnt controlled properly and stays too high, it can result in complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease or stroke. Noticing the early warning signs are crucial in order to make the necessary changes in diet and lifestyle.

Often one assumes weight loss as good and healthy, when people are overweight.

For a person who undergoes a slow steady intentional weight loss using nutritional change and exercise is associated with beneficial effect on the heart, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

In addition, weight loss can reduce insulin resistance and make muscles and fat tissues more sensitive to circulating insulin levels in the blood.

Intentional weight loss is therefore a good thing for people with diabetes, however unintentional weight loss is not.

READ MORE: Heart attack: Noticing this warning sign in your ear shouldnt be ignored

The Cleveland Clinic said: All of us can gain or lose a pound or two; we indulge a little too much and then we put in a few extra workouts.

"But if you havent tightened the belt on your diet or ramped up your exercise routine and your weight is still dropping, talk to your doctor.

"While weight loss of just a pound or two isnt a reason of concern, unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may mean something is wrong.

"It could be an early sign of diabetes."


Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use glucose for energy.

If a person has type 2 diabetes, the body doesnt use insulin effectively and cant transport the glucose to the cells.

Instead, it builds up in the blood. When the glucose doesnt arrive in the cells, the body begins to think its starving and finds a way to compensate.

It creates energy by burning fat and muscle at a rapid pace and this causes unexplained weight loss.

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Type 2 diabetes symptoms: An unintentional loss of this could be a sign of the condition - Express

I was managing my bipolar disorder. Then I decided to get pregnant – The Independent

At 31, I was diagnosed with bipolar II and generalised anxiety disorder. At first I hated the powerful drugs I was prescribed. They scared me. But the black moods, hypomania and panic attacks that almost landed me in the psych ward scared me more.

After years of trial and error, I landed on the right combination of meds. Seroquel tamed mood swings, Lamictal regulated the full-body agitation that comes with bipolar, Remeron helped anxiety and depression. Combined with a great support system, the meds helped me make critical lifestyle changes so I could finally stabilise. I got out of a bad relationship. I stopped working hard and playing hard, the credo among my Silicon Valley co-workers. I married a wonderful man. We bought a house with a little backyard.

But the next natural step, having a baby, was an unsettling question mark. Google was useless. Is Seroquel safe for pregnancy? (Not enough data.) Does Remeron affect a foetus? (Possible association with premature birth.) If I clicked around long enough, the answers became inconclusive. It seemed that my meds had a small chance of harming a foetus, but the research was hazy. So I asked my psychiatrist.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

There is no right or wrong answer, he said with a sigh, like hed been waiting for this question. The research sample sizes are incredibly small. Because who would want to sign up for that test?

Exactly. Who would? Would I?

But we do know that depression and anxiety affect a foetus, he continued. I tell my patients to do the pillow test: which choice allows you to sleep better? The risk of being on the drugs or the risk of being off them?

A pillow test? That sounded like a trite way to make this decision. There had to be more data, more science, more concrete answers. He referred me to a specialist at the University of California at San Francisco Womens Mood and Hormone Clinic.

The specialist confirmed my bipolar and GAD diagnosis but concluded that I was on the wrong cocktail of drugs to begin with. What I needed, she said, was Lithium which came with a small risk of congenital malformation.

I fought back tears. I had come for clarity, and instead, I was thrown back to square one. Why did no medical professional have an answer? Was it morally wrong to get pregnant on these drugs? Should I adopt instead? Forgo motherhood altogether?

You seem upset, the doctor said.

I just dont understand how Im supposed to navigate this.

The most important thing is a mothers health during pregnancy, she said. Ultimately, the choice is up to you.

After the appointment, I went to the hospital bathroom and cried until I felt empty. Then suddenly, I was clear. The choice was up to me. I wanted to have a baby, and I didnt want to do it on any of these drugs. Id been stable for over a year. I could do this. I actually looked into the fluorescent-lighted mirror and said:You can do this.

When I next saw my psychiatrist, I told him I wanted to wean off everything. OK, he said. We can try, but well have to do it slowly and check in often.

For a while, things were smooth. I began to wonder whether Id really needed the medications at all. I was achieving at work, sleeping well and generally content. I started seeing an acupuncturist and healer who agreed that I should absolutely not get pregnant on pharmaceuticals. Her plan to naturally combat bipolar involved a combination of acupuncture, diet and herbs.

Six months later, I had weaned off both Seroquel and Remeron, leaving only Lamictal in my system. But one morning, on my train commute, I started to obsess about whether Id turned off my iron. This again. Soon, I was flooded. My vision blurred, my heart drummed, nausea swelled into my throat and the walls closed in. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the filthy floor, dripping with sweat, staring up at a flock of concerned strangers. Id passed out for a good two minutes the result, the ER doctors later concluded, of a massive panic attack. They gave me Klonopin and told me to call my psychiatrist.

Though he had been patient with my attempt to go the natural route, my psychiatrist pointed out that paramedic-level panic attacks and long bouts of unconsciousness were definitely not good for a baby. Exhausted and defeated, I thought back to my friend Mills, one of the warmest and wisest people I knew, who also happened to be bipolar and who had become a pro at managing his illness. When I was first diagnosed, Mills told me:This illness is like flying a plane through weather. You cant foresee the whole trip. Youve just got to handle whats right in front of you.

Okay, just fly the plane, I thought. I need meds. I want to have a baby. The risks are small.

Instead of putting me back on Remeron, my psychiatrist started me on Celexa which was backed by a bit more data on pregnancy. And after a few months of feeling well on Celexa, I had the confidence to go off birth control, thinking it would take at least a year to conceive at 36. But the first time we had unprotected sex, I got pregnant. With twins. After the ultrasound, I couldnt stop laughing at the absurdity of it all. My husband went home and obsessively mowed the lawn.

The first time we had unprotected sex, I got pregnant. With twins. I couldnt stop laughing at the absurdity of it all (iStock)

My first trimester, all I could do was vomit. Severe morning sickness, which actually lasts around the clock, is common in twin pregnancies. In one month, I lost 12lb. Then I developed hives all over my body. Most medications have at least one five-alarm-bell side effect. With Lamictal, my bipolar medication, its an extremely uncommon but potentially deadly rash known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Anytime I developed even the most minor rash while taking it, I was instructed to immediately text a picture of it to my psychiatrist.

So I did. The response: Go to the ER.

That day, after all my weaning and adjusting, I had to stop Lamictal cold turkey. My husband, whod seen me through bipolar episodes, turned a little grey. Dont worry, I said, well figure it out. At this point we didnt have a choice. We had to fly the plane.

The rash disappeared within a few days, leaving just Celexa in my system. I spent the rest of the pregnancy doing everything in my power to stay sane and healthy. I went to the hundred doctor appointments that came with my high-risk status. I ate clean and drank gallons of water. I waddled my enormous belly through parks to get a dose of nature. I went to prenatal yoga classes.

I delivered via planned C-section at 38 weeks, full-term for twins. They were identical boys, both approaching 7lb, wailing with verve the minute they hit the air. They did no neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) time and we went home to spend their first weeks in a haze of love, joy and sleep deprivation. Although my husband and I were delirious, the twins were thriving.

But when the boys were about 3 months old, my mood shifted. I suddenly felt panicky, obsessed with bottle sterilization and convinced that our part-time nanny was going to kidnap the babies. I couldnt sit still, and when I did, I bawled uncontrollably. I needed to sleep but couldnt. All of these symptoms felt very familiar.

My psychiatrist put me back on Lamictal, and within weeks, I stabilised. I fell in love with the boys all over again. Every new thing they did fascinated and delighted me. We took family walks around the neighbourhood with our boat-size double stroller. In selfies, we looked tired but happy. The boys looked like curious angels.

What do you do when you cant possibly know the best choice about something as important as your own health and the health of your babies? I did my homework. I tried to plan it all out. But in the end, I had to adapt to changing circumstances, take it one day at a time, and go with the information I had in front of me. Fly the plane. Do the pillow test. In other words, like most mothers throughout the ages, I did my best.

Washington Post

I was managing my bipolar disorder. Then I decided to get pregnant - The Independent

Why the link between the menopause and Alzheimer’s isn’t all bad news for midlife women –

As new research suggests that dementia can be triggered in women during hormonal changes, Maria Lally reportson how HRT is key to an all-round healthier brain

Judith Graham, a 52-year-old events planner, visited her doctor in 2017 with symptoms including low mood, irritability and forgetfulness. I was used to organising business events all over the world, flying groups of fifteen people to the US and putting together detailed itineraries. But then I began to struggle to concentrate in meetings, I forgot names, and I had real flashes of anger over minor things my children or husband did.

Worse were her low moods. I suffered terribly from postnatal depression after the birth of my son eighteen years ago, and it felt a bit like that. After years of feeling bright, organised and capable, everything felt like a struggle. I saw my doctor who prescribed antidepressants, and while they kept my mood stable, it wasnt until I saw a new GP seven months later who knew about the menopause, that she suggested I wasnt depressed at all but that the menopause was causing my symptoms. I was given hormone replacement therapy and my brain fog and depression disappeared.

The menopause has long been associated with brain fog, but experts are now investigating a possible link with cognitive decline and even dementia, after it was found that two thirds of Alzheimers patients are women.

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Why the link between the menopause and Alzheimer's isn't all bad news for midlife women -

Lorraine Keane reveals ‘scheduled sex’ during IVF battle took romance out of relationship – Dublin Live

Former Ireland AM presenter Lorraine Keane has told how scheduled sex during her IVF battle took the romance out of her relationship.

The screen and stage star said the scientific approach to making love put a strain on her and musician hubby Peter Devlins marriage.

But the 47-year-old revealed that with the right hormone balance shes bringing sexy back.

Mum-of-two Lorraine opened up on losing clumps of hair, breaking out in adult acne and having a low libido, as the gruelling perimenopause took its grip.

She said her failed IVF attempts were directly linked to her hormone imbalance and she counts herself lucky to have her daughters.

Lorraine told Dublin Live: I kept it to myself for all of the time that we thought it might happen.

It was really difficult to come out and talk about being perimenopausal. But then it made sense to come out and talk about the whole truth.

Maybe I didnt talk about doing IVF during it because I thought, If I do have a baby maybe I wont want to say thats how we conceived.

But then I got such an amazing reaction for opening up about the menopause, it gave me the confidence to speak out and to help other women who may have an opportunity to conceive and maybe their hormones are the reason that theyre not.

Id hate for them to go through three sessions of IVF for all of those reasons, because of the mental and physical harm that it does to you, your wallet as well.

The star admitted the gruelling IVF sessions were tough on her relationship.

She said: It takes the romance out of things, before you even do the business, youre looking at calendars and scheduling in time to have sex, its not very romantic.

Im sure most men are thinking, Id love that but when youre actually in it, the pressure of, Please God make this work it takes away the spontaneity completely.

But thank God myself and Peter always had two healthy babies to go back to.

I feel for people who dont have children, we could count our blessings with the two that we have.

Opening up on her hormonal imbalance, Lorraine said: If you are going to go through menopause then you will go through perimenopause first.

Its a milder version of full-blown menopause Im told.

For example, I havent had a hot flush, or I dont have any problems with my nether regions.

I know during menopause women have terrible pain there, especially during sex, but there is so much help out there, lots of options, whether it be natural, medical, even diet can help.

The symptoms I had were I did get night sweats before I started taking MenoMin and made a visit to endocrinologist Dr Mary Ryan to check my hormone levels.

Clumps of my hair fell out in the shower, it was all hormone related, I had extensions for ages but the worst was the hormonal breakouts, adult acne.

Now I feel balanced, like the 35-year-old me I sleep better (I was waking three to five times a night), my libido has returned, Ive less joint pain, no more hair loss, no hormonal breakouts, I feel brilliant.

Lorraine was approached to front the Cleanmarine brand and despite her initial shock at being approached, shes never looked back.

With perimenopausal symptoms starting when she was 37, she wished she knew her hormones were the main reason she couldnt add to her family. She said: I didnt realise it was something I could fix, maintain and control.

Myself and Peter would have loved to have had more children but we were in one of these situations that was unexplained infertility.

I found out I went into perimenopause very young, normally its 40-plus, I was 37 or 38 going into this.

There I was spending a fortune on IVF, emotionally, physically and mentally suffering through a few phases of it.

Neither one of us were infertile, so it could have been down to hormones and the fact I was in the perimenopause.

I felt low, no energy, very slow, I was annoyed with myself because Ive so much to be grateful for and then Id feel annoyed because I wasnt singing, whistling or being chirpy about life. I discovered taking the right supplements you can have perimenopause and menopause and still be sexy, its just hormones.

Lorraine is urging the public to help support Fashion Relief in aid of Oxfam at Dublins RDS on March 27 and 28.

She said: I travelled to Bangladesh to visit the refugee camp in 2019 and raised 203,000.

To know that theyll have clean safe drinking water and to have a health clinic on site because of Fashion Relief is incredible. Not even half of that will be needed for the camp and it will keep the camp running safely for another year.

The people dont want to be there, but they cant go back home as its unsafe, so at least while there, we know theyll be safe, healthy and educated, weve teachers on site too.

That was down to everyone giving their services and talents for free, the clothes on the day people donate pre-loved designer clothing, it doesnt always have to be designer. Boutiques, wholesalers and designers all donate, its an amazing day out, everything we dont sell goes back into the Oxfam shops.

You can like our main Facebook page here.

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Lorraine Keane reveals 'scheduled sex' during IVF battle took romance out of relationship - Dublin Live

NHS Mental Health Director Claire Murdoch Warns Game Developers Of Loot Box Risks To Children – The Hear UP

Protein shakes have become rather essential in this modern era for people of different age groups. It does not just help you to build lean muscles and repair damaged ones, it also gives you the strength to carry out throughout the day without any loss of energy. There are several types of protein shakes in the market. Although all the brands claim to be one of the best in the market, it is not true all the time. Since it is a matter of your own health, it is important that you choose nothing but the best. Thus, TrueFit Lean Protein Shake is a good option for you.

RSP is one of the popular supplement companies that was started by a group of former student-athletes. During the initial days, the company used to concentrate only on bodybuilding products. However, with time, they shifted their focus to more general health supplements. The founders of the company state that they wish the company to become a lifestyle brand that customers can use in their everyday lives.

RSP has come up with several amino acid powder products in the past. However, TrueFit happens to be their flagship product. According to the makers, this protein shake provides users with an ideal balance of veggies, fruits, and high-quality protein, along with 9gm of carbs, dietary fiber, and healthy fats.

Every serving of these health supplements gives you 25gm of protein, 160 calories, 12gm of carbs comprising of 2gm of sugar and 8gm of fiber, and 3gm of fat. Your body will also get approximately 9% of your daily sodium and 20% of your daily cholesterol supply from each scoop. When you talk about the minerals and vitamins in the protein shake, TrueFit comprises of roughly 30% of the daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals for an adult. This includes vitamins A, B, C, D, E, magnesium, and biotin.

The protein content in TrueFit Lean Protein Shake (see full details at comes from whey isolate and concentrate. The different flavorings of the product also come from natural flavors, cocoa, artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, and stevia. However, the product is free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Even the content of artificial sweeteners is about less than 0.1gm in each scoop.

The fiber in this product comes from 8.5gm of prebiotic soluble fiber, as well as, from sweet potato powder. It also contains 1gm of a mixture of different types of vegetables and fruits such as berries, broccoli sprouts, carrots, and tomato to name a few. The presence of 7 different digestive enzymes, such as bromelain, protease, lipase, papain, amylase, cellulose, and lactase, as well as, 1 billion probiotic bacteria ensure proper digestive health for you.

From a first timers point of view, it is a good thing that the TrueFit Lean Protein Shake comes with a good list of ingredients that focus on your gut. The pre and probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber ensure that your digestive system does not take a beating when you have the protein shake. These ingredients also make sure that all the essential nutrients get absorbed in your system properly, making it a great choice for those of you who suffer from digestive issues.

The high fiber content results in a low amount of net carbs in the shake, which along with low-fat content makes it a great meal replacement. In other words, it is more than a mere protein shake for you. According to the makers, one scoop of the protein shake will give you everything that your body needs in terms of nutrition. It will give you a balanced diet and also ensure that you remain full for quite some time.

However, there are some nutrients that are missing in this product. Nutrients such as choline and vitamin K are missing out in this supplement, which does not make it a nutritionally complete health drink. It even lacks zinc, iron, and potassium and contains a losing percentage of calcium. These are essential nutrients for your health and missing out on these nutrients can be dangerous in the long run.

In short, it can be said that RSP TrueFit Lean Protein Shake is rather good as a high fiber protein nutritious shake that has special attention towards your digestive system. Although it is pretty low in carbs, which is a good thing, it is also quite low in iron, fat, and potassium, which may not be that good for your health.

Continued here:
NHS Mental Health Director Claire Murdoch Warns Game Developers Of Loot Box Risks To Children - The Hear UP

Health Department announces services for the week of Jan 27 – Teutopolis Press-Dieterich Gazette

The Fulton County Health Department has scheduled the following health clinics and services.

CANTON The Fulton County Health Department has scheduled the following health clinics and services. Please call the number listed with each service for an appointment or more information.

Maternal child health: Health screenings, WIC nutrition education and supplemental food coupons for women, infants and children. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 254). For Astoria clinic appointments call 329-2922.

Canton - Clinic - Monday, Jan 27 - 8-4 - Appt needed

Canton - WIC Nutrition Education - Tuesday, Jan 28 - 8-4 - Appt needed

Astoria - Clinic, WIC Nutrition Educ. - Wednesday, Jan 29 - 9-3 - Appt needed

Canton - Clinic - Thursday, Jan 30 - 8-4 - Appt needed

Adult Health Immunizations: Various vaccines are available. There is a fee for immunization administration. Medicaid cards are accepted. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 254).

Other times available by special arrangement at Canton, Cuba and Astoria.

Blood Lead Screening: Blood lead screenings are available for children ages one to six years. A fee is based on income. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 254). For Astoria appointments call 329-2922.

Family Planning: Confidential family planning services are available by appointment at the Canton office for families and males of child-bearing age. Services provided include physical exams, pap smears, sexually transmitted disease testing, contraceptive methods, pregnancy testing, education and counseling. Services are available to individuals of all income levels. Fees are based on a sliding fee scale with services provided at no charge to many clients. Medicaid and many insurances are accepted. After hours appointments are available. To make an appointment or for more information call the 647-1134 (ext. 244). *Program funding includes a grant from the US DHHS Title X.

Pregnancy testing: Confidential urine pregnancy testing is available at the Canton and Astoria offices. This service is available to females of all income levels. A nominal fee is charged. No appointment is needed. A first morning urine specimen should be collected for optimal testing and brought to the health department. Services are provided on a walk-in basis on the following days each week:

Canton: Every Wednesday & Thursday, 8-3:30 (for more information call 647-1134 ext. 244)

Astoria: Every Wednesday, 9-2:30 (for more information call 329-2922)

Womens Health: A womens clinic for pap tests, clinical breast examinations and vaginal examinations is available by appointment. There is a nominal fee for this service. Medicaid cards are accepted. Financial assistance is available for a mammogram. Cardiovascular screenings may be available to age and income eligible women. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 244).

Mammograms: Age and income eligible women may receive mammograms at no charge. Speakers are available to provide information to clubs and organizations. For more information or to apply for financial assistance, call 647-1134 (ext. 254).

Mens Health: Prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests are available for men for a fee. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 224).

Canton - Clinic - Monday, Jan 27 - 8-12 - Appt needed

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Clinic: Confidential STD and HIV testing services are available by appointment to males and females at the Canton office. Services include physical exams to identify STDs, a variety of STD testing, HIV testing, education, counseling, medications and condoms. There is a nominal fee for services. Services are available to individuals of all income levels. Medicaid cards are accepted. To make an appointment or for more information call 746-1134 (ext. 224).

HIV Testing and Counseling: Confidential HIV testing and counseling services are available by appointment through the sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic at the Canton office. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 224).

Tuberculosis (TB) Testing: TB skin tests are available at no charge by appointment. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 254).

Blood Pressure Screenings: The Fulton County Health Department provides blood pressure screenings at no charge on a walk-in basis during the following times:

Canton - Screening - Monday, Jan 27 - 8-5 - Walk in/Room 108

Cuba - Screening - Monday, Jan 27 - 8-12 - Walk in

Astoria - Screening - Wednesday, Jan 29 - 9-12 - Walk in

Health Watch Wellness Program: The Health Watch Program provides low cost lab services. Through this program adults can obtain venous blood draws for a variety of blood tests. Blood tests offered without a doctors order Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), Complete Blood Count (CBC), Lipid Panel, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, Hepatitis C test, and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). A wide variety of blood tests are also available with a doctors order. There is a charge at the time of service. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 254).

Canton - Clinic - Monday, Jan 27 - 8-12 - Appt needed

Dental Services: The Dental Center offers a variety of basic dental services to children and adults. An appointment is needed. Medicaid and Kid Care cards are accepted. To make an appointment or for more information call 647-1134 (ext. 292).

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Health Department announces services for the week of Jan 27 - Teutopolis Press-Dieterich Gazette

Sleep cages and ice baths: The extreme lifestyle of local biohackers – Minneapolis Star Tribune

In the predawn darkness, you can see an eerie red glow shining from the windows of the Hudson, Wis., home of Thaddeus Owen and his fiance, Heidi Sime.

The couple are awake, having slept in their Faraday cage a canopy over their bed that blocks electromagnetic fields like the Wi-Fi signals or radiation from cellphone towers, which they believe are harmful.

Their primal sleeping environment also has special pads under the bed that are supposed to mimic the effect of sleeping on the ground under the influence of the Earths magnetic field, thus combating Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndrome.

Their house is bathed in red light because they think white incandescent, LED and fluorescent lighting robs them of sleep-regulating melatonin hormones. They wear special sunglasses indoors for the same reason, blocking the blue light from computers, cellphones or televisions when its dark outside.

Their morning routine includes yoga in a shielded, infrared sauna designed to create an EMF-free ancestral space, and putting tiny spoonfuls of bitter white powders under their tongues. These are nootropics, so-called smart drugs, which are supposed to improve focus, mood or memory.

When day breaks, they go out in their yard and face the rising sun Thaddeus in shorts and no shirt, Heidi in a sports bra and yoga pants doing Qigong in the snow and 25-degree air.

Getting early-morning sunlight, they believe, will correctly set the circadian rhythm of their bodies. Exposing their skin to the freezing temperatures, they hope, will help release human growth hormone, stimulate their immune system and trigger the body to burn fat to heat itself.

Forget Blue Zones. This is what your morning looks like if youre biohacking your way to an optimal you.

Biohacking is a DIY biology movement that started in Silicon Valley by people who want to boost productivity and human performance and engineer away aging and ordinary life spans. Think of it as high-tech tinkering, but instead of trying to create a better phone, biohackers are trying to upgrade to a faster, smarter, longer lasting, enhanced version of themselves.

Owen, 44, describes it as a journey of self-experimentation, using practices that are not talked about by mainstream media and your family doctor. His aim is to combine the latest technology and science with ancient knowledge to modify his environment, inside and out.

My entire goal is to basically age in reverse, he said.

Aiming for supernormal

Owen, who is from New York, studied chemical engineering in college. He worked for Procter & Gamble, helping to create beauty care products, and for pharmaceutical firms, developing manufacturing processes.

Now he works from home, managing worldwide product regulations in the sustainability department for office furniture company Herman Miller. But he moonlights as a biohacking guru.

He started a Twin Cities biohacking Meetup group that organizes weekly cold-water immersions at Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. Hes given a TEDx talk urging audience members to wear blue-light-blocking glasses indoors at night.

Hes helping to organize a Cold Thermogenesis and Heat Shock retreat at the end of next month in Pequot Lakes, Minn., where 50 people will pay up to $2,300 to spend four days going on shiver walks, drinking Bulletproof coffee and plunging into ice water.

He founded the website and he and the 45-year-old Sime (who also goes by the name Tomorrow) run a website called, where they market biohacking products like red light panels, a baby blanket that blocks EMF radiation and a $5,499 Faraday cage sauna thats the same type used by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Owen said he relies on tons of research to support avoiding blue light at night and the healing properties of the early morning sun.

The Harvard Health Letter, for example, said that blue light from devices, LED and compact fluorescent bulbs can throw off the bodys circadian rhythm, affect sleep and might contribute to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Some studies have shown that exposing people to cold temperatures burns calories and repeated cold-water immersions might stimulate the immune system.

And those infrared saunas? They dont appear to be harmful and maybe they do some good, according to Dr. Brent Bauer, an internal medicine expert at the Mayo Clinic.

But being healthy really doesnt need to be that complicated, according to Dr. Michael Joyner, a human performance specialist at the Mayo Clinic.

All these things sound great, Joyner said of the biohacks. Theres a ring of what I call bioplausibility to them.

But Joyner said its often hard to find evidence that biohacking practices actually work and that most Americans would be healthier if they just followed basic advice.

You need to go for a walk, not smoke, not drink too much, dont eat too much, he said.

But Owens goal is not to be merely healthy.

I want my biology to be shifted to that supernormal range, where Im optimally healthy, he said.

Moving into the mainstream?

When he started biohacking about 12 years ago, Owens goal was to improve his sleep. As a competitive athlete, he was fit, but he had problems with anxiety and insomnia.

So he started wearing special glasses to block blue light. His co-workers used to think he was odd. Now Owens company is asking him for advice on what kind of lighting should be used in work settings to keep employees healthy. And his sleep and anxiety problems have gone away.

I went from being the weird guy to being consulted, he said.

We all sort of watch what he does, said Gabe Wing, director of sustainability at Herman Miller and Owens boss. Wing said Owen has influenced some co-workers to try blue-light-blocking tools. But no one at the Michigan-based company is going outside shirtless in the winter.

Still, more people are biohacking. When Owen first got into it, he didnt know of any other biohackers in the Twin Cities. Now there are more than 500 people in the Biohackers Twin Cities Meetup group.

Susan Eiden regularly gets advice from Owen. The Minneapolis resident said using red lights at home has drawn comments from neighbors, but the lights combined with blue-blocking glasses and turning off the Wi-Fi at night have improved her sleep.

While many biohacks seem odd now, Owen is convinced that some of them will become common practices.

This whole blue light thing, its not going away, he said. More research comes out every day and its becoming more mainstream. And using nootropics is growing bigger and bigger every day, he said.

Owen takes supplements, some of which are considered prescription drugs in Europe and Russia, like phenylpiracetam, which is said to have boosted stamina among Soviet cosmonauts. Other preclinical compounds he and Sime use are in a regulatory gray area in the United States. Nootropic developers give them supplements that arent on the market yet because theyre biohacking influencers.

Were like lab rats. They send us stuff. We try it out, Sime said.

All for longevity

Owen and Sime have five of their children, ages 8 to 17, living with them. The kids wear blue-light-blocking glasses when they watch TV, but theyre OK with it, the couple said. Some of the kids have made videos or given talks to peers about the benefits of the glasses.

I think cellphone radiation is going to be the new lead, asbestos and smoking, said Owen, who turns his Wi-Fi off at night, keeps his cellphone in a special Faraday pouch when he sleeps and sometimes wears radiation-proof underwear.

(The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says scientific evidence has not conclusively linked cellphone use with any adverse human health problems, although scientists admit that more research is needed.)

Owens diet isnt typical, either.

Hes been a vegan and a vegetarian. Now he eats what he describes as a local, seasonal diet: local vegetables, fruits, nuts and honey during the growing season. Thats followed by a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet in late fall and early winter. Then an all-carnivore diet in late winter, including animals hes raised at a friends farm.

One of the few white light bulbs he has in his house is pointed at the stove because in red light, its hard to tell if meat is cooked.

He also consumes ceremonial grade cacao, coffee with collagen peptides and chocolate ghee and homemade sauerkraut thats fermented and subjected to special music that has the frequency of love.

Those are living microbes, so I infused them with a love frequency to make them happy and healthy, said Owen, who has a masters degree in holistic nutrition.

While he used to do marathons and triathlons, he now exercises for longevity rather than competition, with high-intensity training, weights, racquetball and cross-country skiing.

If its too cold to be barefoot when he goes out in the morning, hell put special straps on his boots to create a conductive connection between his body and the Earth.

Its a practice called grounding or Earthing thats supposed to allow electrons to pass between the Earth and his body to reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals. Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it, according to an article on

Owen doesnt have a particular longevity goal, unlike biohacker and Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey, who has said he wants to live to at least 180.

Owen just wants to be healthy and independent for as long as he lives.

I want to maximize the health of my biology to what its capable of, he said. I want to live the best life that I can. I want to be happy. And I want to have a body and a mind that does the things I want them to do.

Sleep cages and ice baths: The extreme lifestyle of local biohackers - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Solving Depression and Anxiety in Veterans – Newsmax

Between 2000 and 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported a 327% increase in anxiety disorders among military members. A recent study suggests that this may be due to the discovery of a so-called "worry gene." Researchers from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and the University of California in San Diego analyzed the genes of 200,000 U.S. veterans and identified six genetic variants linked to anxiety a discovery that may help explain why anxiety and depression often go hand in hand.

The study authors hailed their finding as "the richest set of results for the genetic basis of anxiety to date." But leading psychologists say that while genes may load the gun, it's most often environment that pulls the trigger on mental health disorders.

According to Mental Health First Aid, 20 veterans die by suicide each day. Over 30% of active duty and military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have a mental health problem requiring treatment, but only half of these returning veterans receive the care they need.

"We should spend as much money on helping these veterans re-enter their civilian lives as we do in training them for the military," Dr. Terry Lyles, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert on dealing with trauma and stress, tells Newsmax. "The study points the finger at genetics on why our military personnel have mental health issues. However, we basically all have the same genetic patterns but when threatened with violence, danger, and combat stress, we release levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, that drains our bodies of the natural resources to deal with that constant bombardment.

"Cortisol literally eats serotonin, the hormone that helps regulate mood and social behavior. So, when these veterans are subjected to constant threats, improper nutrition, lack of sleep, and sunlight it's no wonder they become rewired to exhibit anxiety and depression."

Lyles, known as America's "Stress Coach," uses highly specialized techniques to help veterans and other individuals such as the rescue workers at Ground Zero and those in the tsunami-torn area in Asia to help channel mental negativity and chaos into more productive and positive pathways.

Dr. Lois Mueller, a clinical psychologist from Tampa who worked at the U.S, Department of Veterans Affairs, Outpatient Clinic for 10 years, tells Newsmax, that people with a genetic predisposition toward anxiety will have a 10-fold increased risk of developing a mental disorder when being placed in a combat situation where people around you are wounded or dying.

"Whatever they came with genetically was certainly affected by their environment," she says. "The proof of impact of combat would be to compare vets before being in the military and five years after combat. Don't forget, a lot more were traumatized not only by combat itself but also by associated military duties such as picking up and bagging bodies or delivering the folded flags to mothers here in the States.

"My experience with vets with PSTD is very often people who were calm and worry-free prior to combat ended up anxious and fearful after leaving the military. Early treatment can make a difference but length of exposure to combat can make it very difficult to eliminate the problem. We are still learning about treatment techniques."

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Solving Depression and Anxiety in Veterans - Newsmax

Nanoparticle Therapy Shows Promise With Breast Cancer – UMB News

Researchers at theUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) developed a new nanoparticle drug formulation that targets a specific receptor on cancer cells and appears to be more effective than a standard nanoparticle therapy currently on the market to treat metastatic breast cancer, according to a study published today in the journal Science Advances. The new DART (decreased, non-specific adhesivity, receptor-targeted) nanoparticles bypass healthy cells and tissues and bind to tumor cells, dispersing evenly throughout the tumor while releasing the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel.

The marketed drug Abraxane, a nanoformulation containing paclitaxel that is currently used to treat women with aggressive breast cancer, is an effective agent, but it was not designed to selectively deliver paclitaxel to only the cancerous cells within the body, said study corresponding co-author Jeffrey Winkles, PhD, a professor of surgery at UMSOM. Our DART nanoparticle specifically targets the Fn14 receptor found abundantly on breast cancer cells; it uses this receptor to gain entry through the plasma membrane and deliver the drug to destroy the cancer. Winkles group discovered the Fn14 receptor and described its potential as a target for new therapeutics more than a decade ago.

For this study, UMSOM researchers engineered and tested a new therapeutic nanoparticle platform to deliver the drug paclitaxel to treat triple-negative breast cancer. About one in five women with breast cancer have this type of aggressive tumor, which is particularly difficult to treat; these cancers lack receptors commonly expressed by most breast cancer cells, like hormone receptors, for which effective drugs have been designed. But many triple-negative breast cancers express high levels of Fn14; indeed, most solid tumor types, including lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer, overexpress this cell surface receptor.

After much initial hype and some disappointments in the field, nanoparticle delivery systems for cancer treatment are starting to show real promise for patients, said study co-author Graeme Woodworth, MD, professor and interim chair in the Department of Neurosurgery at UMSOM. We established a proof-of-concept with this study, outlining the design of an optimized nanoparticle delivery system that balances the specific binding to cancer cells while minimizing non-specific, off-target binding to other cells in a very fine-tuned way.

To accomplish this, the research team attached a monoclonal antibody called ITEM 4 to the surface of the nanoparticle because it specifically binds to Fn14, providing a key to unlock entry into the cancer cell. The surface of the nanoparticles also was coated with polyethylene glycol to keep them circulating through the bloodstream and lymph system until they reached the tumor and to prevent them from being quickly flushed out of the body.

Many drug delivery carriers exhibit non-specific binding to healthy cells and tissues in addition to the diseased cells they are targeting, which often leads to unintended side effects or toxicities, said study corresponding co-author Anthony Kim, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery and pharmacology at UMSOM. This DART nanoparticle platform has unique capabilities to improve therapeutic delivery to difficult-to-treat locations within the body while also allowing us to potentially increase the maximum tolerated dose of the encapsulated drug without increasing side effects to patients.

The researchers filled their optimized DART nanoparticle formulation with paclitaxel and tested it against Abraxane (the marketed nanoparticle that also contains paclitaxel) in animals with triple-negative breast cancer tumors. In one set of experiments, the nanoparticles were delivered to mice harboring breast tumors grown above the natural breast region. They found the DART formulation led to a significantly increased median overall survival (68 days) compared to Abraxane treatment (45 days). They also saw a clear benefit to using the DART nanoparticles when they compared the treatments again in animals that harbored breast tumors implanted in the brain (akin to a metastatic brain tumor).

This is a compelling finding and significant step forward in the use of nanoparticles to treat cancer, said UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and University of Maryland, Baltimore executive vice president for medical affairs. It fits squarely with our School of Medicines mission to advance the field of potentially lifesaving therapies for patients with the most difficult to treat cancers.

The UMSOM researchers are members of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. A former PhD student, Jimena Dancy, PhD, and a former postdoctoral fellow, Aniket Wadajkar, PhD, are listed as co-first authors on the publication. Researchers from the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, Ariz., and the Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale, Ariz., also contributed to the work.

This study was primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Future research includes testing the DART therapy in other cancer types, including an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma and developing a similar version of the nanoparticle designed to work specifically in humans. This would involve using a humanized antibody on the surface of the nanoparticle and scaling up the formulation. The researchers recently received a grant from the TEDCO Maryland Innovation Initiative Commercialization Program to move forward with efforts to adapt their nanoparticle system and eventually test the treatment in cancer patients.

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Nanoparticle Therapy Shows Promise With Breast Cancer - UMB News

Endometriosis and cannabis: THC improves symptoms – Health Europa

Endometriosis is a painful condition where the lining of the uterus grows on other parts of the organ such as the fallopian tubes. The new study, published in eLife, shows initial results from treating endometriosis in mice with cannabinoids suggesting they can alleviate symptoms of the disease.

The researchers say this new finding will pave the way for further clinical research.

The findings have led to the start of a clinical trial in collaboration with the Gynecology Service of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain. The trial will evaluate the possible benefits of the naturally occurring cannabinoid 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; the main psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant) in women with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a common, chronic and painful disease caused when the lining of the womb the endometrium grows outside of the womb cavity. These growths affect reproductive organs and can cause pain, infertility, anxiety, depression and result in a considerable impact on quality of life. Treatment options include surgery or hormone therapy, but these are not always effective and often have significant side-effects.

Rafael Maldonado, Professor at the University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona, Spain, said: With a lack of effective treatments, women with endometriosis usually rely on self-management strategies like dietary changes or exercise. Although cannabis comes with a large number of potential side effects, its medicinal properties could provide pain relief in endometriosis and other conditions.

Since medical THC is available in some countries, the findings of our study may be of interest for gynecologists and pain specialists who manage the treatment of women with endometrial pain.

The team studied mice with endometrial implants in their pelvis to mimic endometriosis in humans. Those with the implants were more sensitive to pain in their pelvis that can also be associated with emotional and cognitive alterations similar to symptoms seen in some women with endometriosis.

The team next found that mice with endometriosis had similar anxiety-like symptoms experienced by some women with the condition. This was measured by the amount of time the animals spent in open areas of a maze, as those with higher anxiety levels tend not to explore too far. However, their experiments could not reveal whether THC had any significant effects in treating this anxiety.

As endometriosis can be known to impair cognitive function in some women, the team also studied memory performance in the mice. They provided the animals with two identical objects and allowed them to become familiar with them. They then replaced one of the objects and timed how long the mice spent exploring the new versus familiar object, to give an indication of what the animals remembered.

The team found that memory was impaired in the mice with endometriosis compared with those that did not have the condition. However, mice treated with THC did not show this impairment, suggesting that THC may have a protective effect.

Finally, the team studied the effects of THC on the endometrium inside and outside of the womb, and found that mice with endometriosis treated with THC for 32 days had smaller endometrial growths.

First author Alejandra Escudero-Lara, a PhD student at the University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona, said: Together, our findings show that THC limits the development and symptoms of endometriosis in an experimental model, and highlight the interest of conducting further research to ensure the safety and beneficial effects of this treatment in women with endometriosis.

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Endometriosis and cannabis: THC improves symptoms - Health Europa

Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat With 9 Expert Backed Tips – Men’s Health

Stubborn belly fat is more than just an annoyanceit can be dangerous. That's because stomach fat is visceral and surrounds vital organs such as the pancreas and intestines, says Rachel Stahl, R.D. at Weill Cornell Medicine.

It's also biologically active, meaning this type of fat changes the normal balance of hormones and can cause metabolic problems.

"They are not just standard cells storing fat," Stahl tells Men's Health.

Excess belly fat could also be a sign that you have too much fat surrounding your heart, liver, and kidneys, says endocrinologist Dr. Rasa Kazlauskaite, M.D. at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. When this happens "You are that much closer to developing diabetes," Kazlauskaite tells Men's Health.

So how much belly fat is too much?

Guys who have a waist circumference greater than 40 inches are at a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to the National Institute of Health.

Measure around the middle of your waist, just above the hipbones, using a tape measure, advises the NIH.

Although losing belly fat isn't easy, there are ways to reduce your waistline:

Unfortunately, you can't force fat reduction in one area of your body, says Dr. W. Scott Butsch, M.D., and Director of Obesity Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Instead, you'll want to focus on reducing overall calories, Butsch tells Men's Health.

"Weight loss in general should lead to a decrease in belly fat," he says.

Men's Health

Brain scans show that protein lowers activity in regions of the brain that stimulate food cravings. Protein also increases hormones that make you feel satiated, so you feel fuller for longer periods of time.

They're nutrient dense and provide plenty of fiber, meaning you'll get full on fewer calories. Load up half of your plate with vegetables, or begin every meal with a salad.

Kazlauskaite says guys who want to reduce belly fat should watch how much alcohol they consume. Aside from the obviousempty caloriesalcohol needs to be metabolized by the body, which briefly stops fat burning, she says.

Losing weight shouldn't be your only motivation to hit the gym. And exercise doesn't burn as many calories as you may believe. However, paired with a healthy overall diet, a regular workout routine can help you maintain a calorie deficit.

Clinically, Butsch says many of his patients notice a decrease in belly fat when they incorporate strength training. In fact, obese adolescents who incorporated both aerobic and strength training into their workouts lost the highest amounts of visceral fat, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.

Sugar from juice and sodas are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, which spikes insulin, says Kazlauskaite. There's no evidence that these beverages actually cause obesity. However, studies show that frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Eating an apple is different from a drinking a glass of apple juice, explains Kazlauskaite.

That's because you consume more nutrients like fiber when you consume the food in its natural form, she says. Plus, the process of chewing and consuming the food more slowly can help keep you full. "When you eat an apple, you eat slower," she says. "Your body has more time to digest it."

Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is linked to a higher percent of belly fat and weight gain. In fact, people who have high levels of cortisol for long periods of time are more likely to develop abdominal obesity, according to a 2018 review of studies published in Current Obesity Reports.

Butsch says simple activities like yoga, meditation, or simply avoiding conflict can help keep your waistline trim.

"I think even just taking the higher road in an argument [helps]," he tells Men's Health.

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Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat With 9 Expert Backed Tips - Men's Health

Buses and Uncertainty –

BY Mary E. Burman

The table is loaded with food and the conversation is freewheeling with lots of laughter. Suddenly I remember that I have metastatic breast cancer. I'm feeling generally good with few side effects from my current treatment that hopefully will keep the rogue cells in my bones. At times like this, I can forget that I have metastatic breast cancer which will most likely cause my death. When that will happen is unknowable, and uncertainty is now a constant part of my life. Of course, all of us face uncertainty.

As the saying goes, anybody can walk out the door, get hit by a bus and be dead in seconds. However, as someone with a metastatic disease said, "The only thing I can think of is that I'm going to die. And that's the one certainty that I have, and I know people say () you could cross a street and be run over by a bus. But you live your life not thinking about it. I have to deal with it. My bus is here. All the time. And my bus is outside the door every morning and uncertainty is always with me.

For me, uncertainty manifests itself in several ways. There is a lot of ambiguity about my breast cancer which is "atypical" starting out as hormone positive but is now probably triple negative. It is not as aggressive as I was initially diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago. That makes the future unpredictable since most studies don't capture the outcomes for someone like me who is a healthy 60-year-old with an atypical cancer. While metastatic breast cancer is unfamiliar to me, my family has experienced a rare form of ataxia that has resulted in the death of several siblings for most of my adult life I've wondered whether I'd get it. Returning to the bus metaphor, while I was thinking Bus #9 (the ataxia bus) would hit me, it turned out to be Bus #3 (the breast cancer bus) resulting in a new and different uncertainty.

The feeling of uncertainty waxes and wanes and is stressful, fatiguing, intrusive, unending and isolating. Ultimately, uncertainty in metastatic breast cancer is not something you get past. It's always there waiting for the results of tests, figuring out the best treatment, wondering about prognosis and feeling anxious about costs of care. However, paradoxically, uncertainty leaves the door open for hope. Persons with metastatic breast cancer live in two worlds that of uncertainty and that of hope. My future is not written in stone because there is no way of knowing if I will live 2 years or 15 years. Consequently, that leaves space for envisioning the future, e.g., hope for time with my family, hope for being able to accomplish some things, and hope for new treatments.

Simultaneously living with uncertainty while embracing hope is not easy but it can be done. Arthur Brooks explores career transitions in the Atlantic magazine in an article entitled "Your professional decline is coming (much) sooner than you think: Here's how to make the most of it". While not about living with metastatic breast cancer, it a useful framework for living with uncertainty.

He promotes four different strategies for living well. First, jump which means focusing on what is most important in our personal and professional lives and walking away what isn't important. For me that meant stepping out of my administrative roles at work and downsizing to a much smaller and more manageable house and yard. Second, we should find ways to serve and help others. For me, I have renewed my volunteer work for a nonprofit clinic in my community, which provides me much satisfaction. Third, worship by exploring our own spiritual self and I've found great joy in reading, thinking and exploring new realms of spirituality. Finally, Brooks advocates that we connect dedicating time to meaningful and purposeful relationships.

Connecting and reconnecting with others who are comfortable with metastatic breast cancer has been extremely beneficial to me. Ultimately, the bus doesn't leave my street, but it doesn't have to impact my daily life which can be filled with hope, meaningful activities, and relationships despite the uncertainty.

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Buses and Uncertainty -

Breakthrough diabetes insulin drug developed with help from Buffalo – Buffalo News

Some people watch what they eat. Paige and Tanner Szczesekhave to watch when they eat.

The two children, ages 6 and 2, from Cheektowaga, have Type 1 diabetes. Like others with their condition, they must take extra insulin before meal and snacks. It takes time to work. Eat too soon, and blood sugar can climb dangerously high a constant worry for their mother, Ashley.

My biggest goal is that my children can just feel like children, she said.

Thanks to a new drug developed with an assist in Western New York, they have more of a chance.

The Food and Drug Administration last month approved of a drug that brings researchers a step closer to developing an artificial pancreas that will provide fast-acting insulin in proper amounts at just the right time for those with diabetes.

Fiasp, made by Novo Nordisk, starts working in 2 minutes, hits full force within 10 minutes and even can be taken shortly after someone withdiabetesstarts eating.

Previous fast-acting insulins took at least two or three times as long to do that job.

The newest drug has been available to adults since 2017, but the Food and Drug Administration wanted testing on children before making it available to them. More than 700 children in 17 countries participated in the clinical trial, including five children ages 13 to 17 who have been patients in the diabetes centers at UBMD Pediatrics and next door at Oishei Childrens Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

This was a big commitment for the families, said Dr. Kathleen E. Bethin, a clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, and a physician at both diabetes centers. The kids were in the study for almost a year. There were a lot of extra blood draws and more blood sugar checks than are typically required.

Fiasp brings diabetes researchers closer to mimicking a closed-loop system that uses a glucose monitor, continuous insulin infusion pump and other technologies to allow people whose bodies dont make insulin to live like those whose do.

The new fast-acting insulin drug Fiasp boosts the prospects for a closed-loop insulin system often referred to as "an artificial pancreas," diabetes researchers in Buffalo and elsewhere say. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

The goal in the diabetes field is to develop insulin analogs that behave more like natural insulin, which is rapid on, rapid off, meaning its quickly released, then quickly dissipates, said Dr. Lucy D. Mastrandrea, chief of the Division of Endocrinology/Diabetes at UBMD Pediatrics and medical director for the Oishei Childrens Hospital Diabetes Center. Part of the reason this drug was developed was to have a better timeline of action thats closer to natural insulin.

The body breaks down carbohydrates into blood sugar to use for energy. Insulin is a hormone needed to bring glucose from the bloodstream into human cells. When blood sugar gets too low, the process breaks down and can lead to learning challenges, seizures, loss of consciousness and death. When it spikes, especially often and over time, complications include limb amputation, heart and kidney disease, and stroke.

For those without diabetes, the pancreas, liver and other organs work together to automatically and seamlessly produce insulin and adjust levels as needed.

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the body doesnt use insulin properly. It often can be managed through a combination of healthy eating, regular exercise and oral medications. Sometimes, insulin also is needed.

Those with Type 1 diabetes produce no insulin. They need to inject manufactured basal insulin to maintain levels throughout each day, load carbs or take medication when blood sugar levels get too low, and add fast-acting insulin to lower them when blood sugar levels climb.

Nearly 18,000 new cases of Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed each year. The majority of children have Type 1, while the majority of those diagnosed in adulthood have Type 2.

Our goal is to keep them in as best control as possible during their childhood years, so that they're not running the risk of dealing with complications when they're in their 20s and 30s, Mastrandrea said.

Drug-maker Eli Lilly engineered the first human-derived insulin, Humulin, in 1981. The company in 1996 developed a faster-acting insulin, Humalog, which is still routinely used. NovoLog and Apidra are among other brands that can lower blood sugar within 20 to 30 minutes after they are injected through a needle or an insulin pump, said Dr. Paresh Dandona, a leading international diabetes researcher, head of the Western New York Center of Diabetes-Endocrinology in Amherst and distinguished professor and chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in the UB medical school.

Administering the drugs takes planning and guesswork because eating, exercise, stress, illness and other factors affect blood sugar levels. That means those with diabetes need to predict related dips and spikes well in advance. Mealtimes generally are the most challenging because they can spark pronounced spikes.

The food hits you a lot faster than the insulin does, said Szczesek.

Fiasp changes the equation. The newer formulation of NovoLog includes niacinamide (vitamin B3) to boost the speed of absorption.

There still is a lag, but it's the best thing we have, said Dandona, whose clinic helped with adult trials several years ago and who has prescribed the drug to some of his patients during the last two years, with good results.

Paige Szczesek, 6, of Cheektowaga, looks at her personal diabetes manager, which helps her and others more closely track her blood glucose levels and insulin use. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Paige and Tanner Szczesek are on the front end of the learning curve when it comes to keeping a proper balance. Their father, Shane, also was diagnosed as a child with Type 1 diabetes.

Greater speed is a godsend for the children, each of whom has a continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump to help control their blood sugar. Paige also has a personal diabetes manager, as part of her pump, that helps her family determine when she needs more insulin and how much. Sweet treats are always on hand for times when their blood sugar drops.

When she needs more fast-acting insulin, someone needs to decide when to administer it, then see how it's working. Ashley Szczesek uses a smartphone to keep tabs on blood glucose levels for both children. She teams up with Paiges school nurse and teachers to address shortfalls and spikes. There are phone calls or text messages every time blood sugar readings warrant, as well as reports about when and what the first-grader has eaten.

I can't just send my kid into school and say, I'll see you at the end of the day,' Ashley Szczesek said. I have an alarm set on my phone for when they're high or they're low. On top of that, especially during the night, I'll normally set several alarms to get up and check their blood sugars. If they're low, I go wake them up and give them something to bring up their blood sugar. If they're high enough, I give them some extra insulin. Between us as parents and the children, there's a lot of sleep loss."

Paige started using Fiasp last year after the clinical trial ended. Mastrandrea prescribed it off-label. Her brother started taking it a few weeks ago.

Paiges A1c level has dropped by 1 percent, to about 7 percent, higher than those without diabetes but in a good range for someone Paiges age with the condition.

Fiasp can ease the diabetes burden, but not erase it.

Those without adequate health insurance may be unable to cover higher co-pays or other out-of-pocket costs. Some people have not wanted to switch for that reason, Mastrandrea said.

Meanwhile, researchers continue to pursue a biologic cure, as well as an insulin pump that works with a continuous glucose monitor to deliver insulin on a minute-by-minute basis as needed.

In order to do that really well, Mastrandrea said, you want to have insulins that are faster-acting, absorb better and behave the way my pancreas does. Fiasp is in that category.

Some of Dandonas patients already have the most advanced insulin pump, the Medtronic 670G, though the device can be complicated for most adults to use, let alone children, he said, and still needs agents to more quickly bring blood sugars into the balanced range.

Still, for those in the field and for families like the Szczeseks, recent progress has been nothing short of remarkable.

Early prototypes of closed-looped models like the 670G once weighed two to three times that of adult patients, Dandona said, and now we have a tiny device doing the same thing.

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Breakthrough diabetes insulin drug developed with help from Buffalo - Buffalo News

Barbara Kay: Will 2020 will be the year of reason in the cancel-culture wars? – National Post

In the hard news business, it is well understood that if it bleeds, it leads. In cultural news, the same principle applies. Not a day goes by that we dont see a story of a panel discussion in jeopardy or cancelled, a controversial film withdrawn, or an academic on the incorrect side of a cultural debate de-platformed. One could be forgiven for assuming that cancel culture reigns supreme in the public forum.

Its gratifying, therefore, to report that a speaking engagement featuring a highly controversial researcher and clinician in the hot-button field of gender dysphoria will take place as planned at McGill University. The cancel-culture mould in this case was not broken by chance. A good strategic plan prevented a predictable brush fire of protest from becoming a conflagration.

Within the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry (DSTP) pursues and promotes research, training and consultation in the domains of social and cultural psychiatry. Under the rubric of the Culture, Mind and Brain Program, an ongoing sub-division of the DSTP, with links to affiliated faculty in other McGill departments and worldwide, the DSTP is presenting a lecture, titled Children and Adolescents with Gender Dysphoria: Some contemporary research and clinical issues, to be delivered Jan. 23 by Dr. Ken Zucker, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

The cancel-culture mould in this case was not broken by chance

Dr. Zucker, a pioneer and leading expert in the field of gender dysphoria, is a cancel-culture veteran, and remains a magnet for trans activists ire. In 2015, when he headed up the Gender Identity Clinic at Torontos Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), a post hed held for decades, he was targeted for condemnation by trans activists, who accused him of practicing conversion therapy, a false allegation that led to his summary dismissal. Dr. Zucker successfully refuted the charge in a later lawsuit against CAMH, resulting in a payout and retractions, but not in reinstatement. Dr. Zucker does in fact endorse supervised hormone therapy where warranted for adolescents on a case-by-case basis, but is a proponent of watchful waiting and for treating patients holistically.

DSTP Professor Samuel Veissire, organizer of this event, has been keeping me up to date on responses. To be honest, when I received his invitation to the talk and I saw Dr. Zuckers name, I entered it into my calendar with a question mark. I assumed the odds were high that he would be de-platformed by an administration browbeaten by activists. Im happy to be proven wrong.

Thats not to say there was no opposition. Queer McGill issued a warning on its Facebook page, repeating the canard about conversion therapy and advising friends that the talk would be given from a non-trans perspective. Prof. Veissire made a point of meeting with Queer McGill to hear their complaints and concern. Their position was basically no conversation without us at first, but he argued persuasively and respectfully that it is also reasonable for parents to assume their right and to honour their responsibility to be involved in decisions around radical physical changes in their children. This outreach in itself, letting people who object to the talk know that their perspectives are welcome in the conversation, I imagine went some distance in calming potentially roiled waters.

The Facebook pages comments were refreshingly diverse, and maturely considered. One queer woman of colour posted, I understand that this talk isnt for everyone, but I feel like we tend to be quick on condemning what we perceive like an attack, and police each other instead of practicing patience with different levels of understanding or even taking the opportunity to speak our truth.

Prof. Veissire also sent out a call for support on a sex research email list. Other scholars then shared it on Twitter. Responses were intended for both the administration at McGill and the public record, to show people or groups who had asked for the talk to be cancelled that there was widespread support for Dr. Zucker.

The Facebook page's comments were refreshingly diverse

Letters attesting to Dr. Zuckers eminence in his field flowed in from authoritative colleagues, such as Northwestern University psychology professor J. Michael Bailey, Columbia Universitys Developmental Psychoendocrinology Program director Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg, University of Toronto psychiatry professor Ray Blanchard, and Harvard University psychology professor Steven Pinker.

Most touching was an ardent testimonial from Pique Resilience Project, a support group for detransitioned women. They wrote that they themselves would greatly have benefited from the more careful, evidence-based treatment approach that Dr. Zucker uses in his clinical practice. Their email concludes, Perspectives like Dr. Zuckers are critical to ensuring that more individuals dont make the mistake we did.

Most people, Prof. Veissire believes, want to see more brave conversations on difficult topics, but are reluctant to be publicly associated with politically unorthodox views. His private conversations with students have convinced him that when they see evidence that other people they trust are also open to these conversations, peoples fears ease up a bit.

Perhaps, as Prof. Veissire mused, 2020 will be the year of reason in the culture wars spin. Perhaps. Just minutes before filing this column, I was made aware that the Pride Therapy Network of Montreal had sent a letter dated Jan. 20 to Prof. Veissires asking that Dr. Zucker be de-platformed. And on Wednesday McGills Joint Board-Senate Subcommittee on Queer People also wrote the organizers to express disappointment and ask that the event be cancelled. It wont be. A more constructive approach would be for their members to attend the presentation and contribute their perspectives to the discussion in a civil fashion.

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Barbara Kay: Will 2020 will be the year of reason in the cancel-culture wars? - National Post

Former transgender patient will tell court that sex change clinic is putting children on ‘torturous’ path – The Telegraph

At a hearing in London on Wednesday, Mrs A's barrister, Jeremy Hyam QC, formally requested that Ms Bell, 23, be made a claimant in the case, and Mr Justice Supperstone, overseeing the case, agreed.

In a statement after the hearing, Ms Bell said: "I have become a claimant in this case because I do not believe that children and young people can consent to the use of powerful and experimental hormone drugs like I did.

"I believe that the current affirmative system put in place by the Tavistock is inadequate as it does not allow for exploration of these gender dysphoric feelings, nor does it seek to find the underlying causes of this condition.

"Hormone-changing drugs and surgery does not work for everyone and it certainly should not be offered to someone under the age of 18 when they are emotionally and mentally vulnerable.

"The treatment urgently needs to change so that it does not put young people, like me, on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent and life-changing."

At a hearing in London, Mrs A's barrister, Jeremy Hyam QC, said:"What is challenged is the current and continuing practice of the defendant ... to prescribe puberty-suppressing hormone blockers and then subsequently cross-sex hormones to children under the age of 18."

Former transgender patient will tell court that sex change clinic is putting children on 'torturous' path - The Telegraph