98 articles Articles posted in Health

How to Deal with Painful PostPartum Acne

You’re a new mother, and have a million new things to worry about. Acne should not be one of them. Unfortunately, postpartum acne is an all too common reality and a struggle that many women encounter following the birth of their child. As if the stress over learning curves and sleepless nights weren’t enough, the presence of untimely acne adds to your strain and distracts you from the joy you should be experiencing with your newborn.

What is Postpartum acne?

Postpartum acne is the presence of blemishes along the cheeks, chin, lips, neck, jawline, chest, and/or back following the birth of a baby. Such breakouts are especially frustrating for women who were never prone to acne before their pregnancy, and for those who miss that rosy, mom-to-be glow caused by estrogen-rich blood. Postpartum acne is due to hormonal fluctuation, and can be made worse by stress, sleep deprivation, and little time for skincare. Estrogen tends to curb acne, but after the baby is born and estrogen levels drop, your body struggles to restore normal hormone levels. Just like the rest of your body, it will take a long time for your complexion to return following delivery. Although incredibly frustrating, postpartum acne is perfectly normal and treatable.

First Steps

The first step towards correcting postpartum acne is to change your skin care products. The products you used during your pregnancy will most likely not be effective for the new condition of your skin. If you have dry skin, your body produces excess oil to compensate for the lack in moisture—this can lead to breakouts. If you’re experiencing dry skin, try switching to a heavier moisturizer that not only hydrates but also tightens pores to keep out dirt. New mothers should avoid harshly perfumed products, and if breastfeeding, be very careful regarding which acne treatments to use. As a general rule of thumb, over-the-counter acne products—with ingredients such as glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide—are safe to use while breastfeeding, but double-check with your OBGYN.

If you prefer all-natural home remedies to treat your postpartum acne, try using apple cider vinegar. Mix one-part unfiltered vinegar with three-parts distilled water and apply with a cotton ball for a toner rich in naturally occurring enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids. Baking soda works well for spot treatments, and coconut oil soothes skin while delivering antibacterial and antifungal properties. If your blemishes are painful, try icing your acne to reduce inflammation and swelling. Warm water cleanses followed by liberal amount of Witch Hazel and tea tree oil have also been reported to combat painful postpartum acne.

Consider Your Diet

Diet and nutrition are other essential components for curbing postpartum acne. High-glycemic foods—such as sugar, flour, breads, cookies, crackers—can contribute to breakouts by creating a spike in insulin levels. Avoid processed foods and opt for a healthy diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to fight off free radicals. Additionally, fruits and vegetables provide Vitamin C and beta carotene which have been proven to help improve skin condition. Be sure to drink at least

eight cups of water per day to stay hydrated internally and to flush out toxins.

If none of these strategies have worked for you, it might be time to visit your dermatologist. There are a variety of topical solutions safe for new mothers that can fight off the bacteria trapped in the layers of your skin. If your pimples are severely inflamed or painful, prescription treatments are the way to go. Be sure to call a doctor if you experience acne in unusual spots to avoid misidentifying a staph infection. Putting your skin into the hands of a professional is a viable option for busy moms whose time is better spent elsewhere than figuring out their acne woes. Consider seeing a licensed esthetician who can perform soothing skin treatments and recommend tips and tricks for your home regimen.

No matter what, remember that everybody’s skin is different, and your pregnancy experience will not be the same as your sister’s or best friend’s. Try to enjoy the wonder that is this time and don’t let postpartum acne get you down. Focus on how beautiful your baby thinks you are, acne and all.

Endometriosis and my 20-year Journey Towards Diagnosis #spon #aminumber5?

Christmas Day, 1993. The presents had been opened, the turkey eaten, the crackers pulled and the adults had sat down to watch the Eastenders Christmas Special. My belly was hurting, so I excused myself and went to the loo, where I discovered that Mother Nature had a belated surprise for me; my periods had started.

I was nine.

Skip forward 3 or four years and the hospital visits started. I went to the hospital about 6 times in a year, only to be sent home again with “grumbling appendix”, reeling from the fact that I had to have a doctor examine me by sticking a finger up my bum, every single time (despite the fact that I never had the usual fever and vomiting, just unexplained abdominal pain) and that nothing was being done to help me. My periods were heavy, even from this young age and I thought it was just what everyone dealt with. My mother, in the meantime, had been diagnosed with endometriosis after battling with doctors since the age of 19 about her horrific periods and pain. They treated her with hormone implants directly into her uterus to try to slow the spread of the growths, but ultimately it was too late and she had to have a full hysterectomy aged 35, including her ovaries and fallopian tubes, and her lesions were so severe there was talk of her losing part of her bowel, although luckily for her they managed to save it.

I think, in some way, I’ve always known that I had the same disease. I’ve seen a dozen different gynaecologists, been told a number of different potential diagnoses, and despite the familial link, my questions about endometriosis have always been brushed away. Last year, it got too much. I sat in my gynae’s office after YET ANOTHER ultrasound where they concluded that I was perfectly normal and cried. I asked them, through the tears, how it could possibly be normal for a 32 year old woman to sometimes be in pain for hours after sex and how penetration can sometimes feel like a knife to the belly? I asked them how it can be normal that sometimes my periods are so heavy that I can barely leave the house, how I lose huge clots and so much blood that I can, at times, feel it literally gushing from my body? I asked how it can be normal to be in almost constant pain during certain times of the month?

Endometriosis and me. Me, aged 11 – the pain from endometriosis started not long after this photo was taken, although it was misdiagnosed for over 20 years.

I think it was only because of my apparent hysteria and my resolute refusal to accept the same old line of “some women just have to deal with these things”, that made him offer me an MRI. A definitive window into my abdomen which would pick up even the slightest imperfection, something which could realistically have been done a long, long time ago, something which would have given me an answer and maybe made me and others believe that I wasn’t going mad.

And, lo and behold, the results came back.

“I’m sorry to tell you, Mrs. Crammond, that you DO have endometriosis. It’s a deep, infiltrating type which needs to be dealt with by a specialist, so we’ll be referring you to University College Hospital in London to have it seen to”.

And this time, there were no tears from me. I actually laughed when the doctor gave me my result. My accompanying “I KNEW IT!” may have been a bit too much, given the circumstances, but being handed this diagnosis was more than just a name for my problems. It was the key to a solution, and more than that, it was vindication. Proof that I wasn’t going mad, that I hadn’t just been being a drama queen all those years and confirmation that the pain and the bleeding and all the other issues weren’t even close to being ‘normal’.

One thing which has been abundantly clear, throughout the past twenty years of suffering, is that the onus has always been on me to just deal with it. The problems I was facing weren’t life threatening, and although they affected my day-to-day life, my pain just wasn’t considered important enough for anyone to find a cause for it. If I hadn’t fought, tooth and nail, for someone to take me seriously, I’d still be none the wiser and in my experience of other women and this problem, this is a prevailing attitude when it comes to gynaecological care.

It’s affected my life in so many more ways than just ‘a period’. I’ve missed social events, had days where it’s physically impossible to exercise because the bleeding is so heavy, not to mention the fact that it’s exhausting at times and regularly leaves me massively anaemic. Both the kids and Husband have had to deal with me having days where I’m in so much pain that all I can do is sit and quietly cry to myself, not to mention the effect it has on my mental health and feelings of absolute helplessness.

The most recent problem was being put on the mini-pill, which can apparently help to limit the growths, but no mind was paid to past mental health issues when prescribing them to me and I went on a downward spiral of increasingly dark thoughts about not wanting to be here any more. Fortunately for me, Husband realised that I was being sucked into the mental quicksand and that my downswing had coincided directly with me starting these pills. He begged me to stop taking them before I did something which could have destroyed our family and I sit here feeling unbelievably lucky to have him on my team, through thick and thin.

The Am I Number 5? campaign, reflecting the 1 in 5 women affected, aims to help raise awareness for heavy periods. It’s an educational awareness campaign to help women recognise and understand that heavy periods are a medical condition which can be treated. That there is a solution and you don’t have to fight through years of pain as I did.

Am I Number 5?Am I Number 5?

Both fibroids and endometriosis can cause heavy periods, as can a number of other conditions. But despite affecting so many women, heavy periods can be a ‘taboo’ topic, with many women too embarrassed to discuss it.

More women need to realise that you don’t have to just live with heavy periods and that, actually, they aren’t a ‘fact of life’. Your life shouldn’t revolve around your menstrual cycle, and if it is affecting your life to that degree, you should ask for help. Prepare to be turned away or treated like a drama queen, but DON’T GIVE UP. Ultrasounds are the go-to early diagnostic tool for gynae problems but they rarely ever pick up endometriosis and an MRI is usually the only definitive way to get a diagnosis.

Although I got my diagnosis back in March, I’m still waiting for my referral to London to see the specialist, and I reckon by the time I finally get my appointment it’ll be close to a year since I was told it’s definitely Endo. The NHS is obviously pretty stretched at the moment so I’m trying to remain pragmatic about the fact that I have a diagnosis and will be seen…at SOME point in the future. When that might be, remains to be seen.

Wear White Again is a campaign which aims to educate women on what’s normal when it comes to bleeding and the different treatment options available. It’s SO important that campaigns like this exist and that we really up the ante with regards to getting help for women, like me, who are suffering unnecessarily.

Do you suffer from heavy periods? Have you been waiting for a diagnosis for years? Do you feel like your periods are unmanageable and are causing an impact on your life? If you’ve experienced any of this, leave me a comment below, but more importantly; DEMAND HELP. You can get involved with the Am I Number 5? campaign by painting your nails (with one nail a different colour to the rest as I have above) and posting them to social media with the #AmINumber5 hashtag.

I’m working with Hologic and BritMums to promote the Am I Number 5? campaign. Visit www.wearwhiteagain.co.uk for more information and advice

Making Checking for Breast Lumps Easier

A few years ago, I thought I had found a lump in my breast. Well, it was more in my armpit actually and it scared the heck out of me. I’d been to the doctors before about what I thought were lumps and the doctors had always examined me and sent me on my way with a “it’s nothing to worry about, some women just have lumpier boobs than others”, but this felt different. It was hard and pea-sized and felt tender to the touch. I obsessed over it for days before finally taking the plunge, and the doctor obviously thought it was enough of something to be concerned about and sent me to the breast clinic at the hospital. After a thorough exam and an ultrasound of the area, the specialists came to the conclusion that it was just a cyst and nothing to worry about, but it has prompted me to be even more on-the-ball when it comes to self-checks.

Just recently, Husband and I were reading an article in a paper which showed all of the signs to look out for and although I thought my knowledge was on-point, there were still a couple of things that I hadn’t known to look for. Breastlight is an incredible new product to hit the market which actually allows women to look through their breast tissue to see any potential anomalies, and it’s something in which I’m seriously considering an investment. Watch the video below for more information:

Making a breast-check part of your routine could make a massive difference to the detection of any lumps which may be cancerous, and the results speak for themselves:

Breastlight Was well received and Understood
  • 78% of women said Breastlight was easy to use
  • Breastlight was clearly seen by women (over 99%) as  an addition to their current breast awareness & screening routines rather than a substitute
Breastlight encouraged more frequent breast awareness
  • After using Breastlight, regular checkers (once a month and more) increased from 44% to 76%
  • After using Breastlight, less frequent and non – checkers decreased fom 34% to 8%
Breastlight improved women’s confidence in self checking
  • 80% were more confident after using Breastlight
 Breastlight was particularly valued by certain groups
  • Women 30 – 49 who are not having regular mammograms
  • Women with lumpy breasts
  • Women with large breasts
Of the 1087 women, 14 (1.3%) consulted a GP because they were concerned

Of these, three have had mammograms and one was subsequently diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. She has had an operation and is recovering well.

The outcome of the mammograms for the two other women is awaited.

Breast checks made easier with Breastlight

Would you consider using a Breastlight? Do you think this would help you to be more thorough in checking your own breasts? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear from you.

Alternative Therapy for Ongoing Pain Issues

Myotherapy practices are increasing in popularity across Australia. Compared to some other alternative medicine approaches, myotherapy involves a more scientific manual therapy approach to its treatment of pain in the body. Despite what some people think, myotherapy is not just massage! As research into injury management and rehabilitation progresses, the connection between pain and neurophysiology is deepening. It is here, where myotherapy’s previously unorthodox view that the body can experience pain from muscle tissue (rather than from an underlying condition) is asserted. It is therefore, an exciting time to complete a myotherapy course as research in this field progresses. Typically you will be qualified to at least an advanced diploma level in myotherapy, although bachelor degrees that specialise in clinical myotherapy and post graduate research degrees are also available.

As pain receptors inhabit some internal tissues as well as the superficial layers of skin, there are multiple types of points in the body that can be treated to address pain issues, besides a point of injury. Furthermore, if the point of ‘injury’ itself is in fact a fascia or muscle issue, myotherapy can help establish a treatment plan that will improve your proprioception and rebuild functional mechanics of the affected area. Substances produced by damaged tissue, such as prostaglandins can also add to the sensation of pain, and cause inflammation to aid the body’s healing process. If the resolution of the body’s natural inflammatory response hasn’t resolved or the repair of tissue damage has not occurred, a myotherapist may also be able to assist you with this.

In a typical consultation, a myotherapist therefore, will assess your condition by conducting a verbal consultation, then a physical examination of your body. If there are myofascial issues at play, they may use one or combination of treatment methods. These include types of massage, passive stretching, use of a TENS machine, trigger point therapy and dry needling. If you are in need of other types of care to complement your treatment, they may also refer you to another practitioner to assist you.

You may be surprised at the areas of the body that myotherapy can assist with. Besides your normal back and shoulder aches and pain, many people get the feet, wrists, neck and glutes treated. Some people will consult a myotherapist due to conditions such as regular headaches, shin splints, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, referred pain and circulation issues. There is also a branch of oral myotherapy used by some dentists and speech pathologists in the treatment of certain oral issues.

So if you haven’t been able to resolve pain through other types of interventions, there is a strong chance that myotherapy will be able to provide some insight and relief from your condition. One of the good things about this type of therapy is that a good practitioner will be able to educate you with exercises to correct imbalances in the body or provide strategies to manage pain if there are issues that are not able to be resolved immediately or absolutely.

The Advances In Vaping

Electronic cigarettes are always evolving and entering new phases in development. They have come on a long way since they first became popular in 2004.

Like everything else in our lives, from mobile phones to auto-mobiles, e-cigarettes have a beginning, a rise, and a future. In this post, we will delve back in time and take a look at how the e-cigarette came into being, how it struggled to gain a foothold in an era where smoking was cool, and how it looks to develop in the future.

The Original

The first electronic cigarette, believe it or not, was designed and patented in America by a man named Herbert Gilbert. His concept was to develop a smokeless, non-tobacco cigarette, to replace the process of burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist flavoured air. Although the patent was granted, and several prototypes were manufactured, the device failed to catch on. The reasons for this are sketchy, but the most common causes for lack of success are that the devices were cumbersome and heavy, and smoking was in fashion at the time, and its ill effects were not massively publicised. Smoking was literally everywhere – all the Hollywood stars smoked, pubs and restaurants were awash with ashtrays and commercials made the habit all the more mainstream. Electronic cigarettes were up against a brick wall.

The Transformation

A later patent on the more modern design of electronic cigarettes was registered in China, by a innovator called Hon Lik. This design made its way across America and other countries, but only via internet orders – there was no mainstream marketing and investors showed little interest, The fact that somebody could be swayed away from tobacco by such a device seemed a fantasy.

However, the design was to be considered as the fore-runner to the e-cig we know today, although it had to go through several development stages to work as effectively as smokers hoped. Many of the devices we know of today have – somewhat, illegally – copied the original Hon Lik blueprint. Some companies have compensated him for his efforts, but they are far and few between.

Even so, the devices built on Hon Lik’s model failed to impress – by marketing, or by use, nobody can say, for certain.

The Push Forward

Internationally, sales of electronic cigarettes were low. So low, in fact, that their ability to work as a smoking cessation device was somewhat laughable.

It wasn’t until two British entrepreneurs found a way to compact the three part components into a suitable, lightweight size when the industry made its first push forward.

Umer and Tariq Sheikh are, in many ways, the founders of the cartomiser. This small, but important, piece of technology allowed a coil and the e-juice to be easily combined and connected to the battery chamber, via a simple screw and lock method. Launched in 2008, it is now the most popular, and original of cig-alike builds, found in establishments across the county, from petrol stations to local shops.

The Market Blast

The major milestone in e-cigarettes came about – arguably – with Joytech’s eGo range of e-cigs, in 2009. These units introduced the 510 threaded connection, allowing for the battery to be unscrewed from the tank and interchanged with other 510 threaded components. They also introduced the firing button, allowing the vaper to activate the battery when wished – the cig-alikes, although still a popular starting point and activated by simply inhaling, just couldn’t offer as much power and as much choice as the eGo series. With the clearomiser becoming a trendy alternative to the cartomiser, all manner of devices were then put into production, from all of the big names we know of today.

Despite the trend beginning to expand around the globe, the big tobacco giants still dismissed the whole concept as a bit of a fad. It wasn’t until vape shops and stalls starting to spring up in every town, everywhere, when the tobacco industry suddenly started to take notice and started to panic. Their natural response was to start manufacturing their own e-cig products. Some of the biggest brands we see advertised and for sale on vaping shelves are sidelined products from the tobacco giants.

When one stops to think about this, they can only come to the conclusion that vaping is here to stay, and smoking is now the fad, that will slowly fade away.

Today And Beyond

E-cig technology is now branching out in all directions, catering for every vapers personal taste and style. An e-cig, to a vaper, is just as much a part of their life, and their person, as their mobile phone. The two piece cig-alikes are now available nearly everywhere, and are helping many smokers ditch their habit. The higher end devices can be customised in all manner of ways, giving the vaper the opportunity to give their e-cig its own character and boldness. Coils are being pushed to their limits, allowing for sub-ohm vaping to be utilised, creating mass amounts of cloud in return. Mods and coils can be built from the ground up, making a whole new arena in e-cig use and vaping as a whole.

We really can’t hazard a guess as to what the future holds for e-cigs. We know that smoking is on the decline, and we know that vaping is on the rise. With the industry exploding in every direction imaginable, the future of vaping looks to be on solid and stable ground.

Four Conditions Which Medical Marijuana Can Help

medical marijuanaHere in the UK, medical marijuana is rarely prescribe, which is a terrible shame as it’s proving to be a hugely helpful drug for so many conditions. Cannabis clinics in Canada  are prescribing for more and more conditions and the explosion of marijuana as a medical treatment is having a knock-on effect on both crime rates AND contributing huge amounts to the economy. I’ve been doing some research myself recently about medical marijuana and was surprised by some of the conditions which can be treated using it, so I thought I’d give you a look at some of the many things that can be helped by cannabis:

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus can grow in other parts of the abdomen and even in other organs such as the lung and brain. As well as heavy bleeding and infertility, endometriosis causes chronic pain and muscle contractions, both of which can be helped by medical marijuana. Many opiates don’t have an effect on endometriosis pain, but cannabis has been hugely beneficial to sufferers, who’ve replaced strong pain killers entirely.

ADHD

Adult ADHD is a massively under-researched condition which is finally getting recognition and more diagnoses. The effects of marijuana on adhd can be truly profound and many sufferers prefer to use marijuana than conventional ADHD drugs as there are far fewer side effects. Marijuana can help with focus issues, sleep problems and some of the impulsiveness and tics which can be associated with ADHD.

Cancer

There has been masses of research done into the effects of marijuana on cancer, and despite the fact that it’s still rarely being used, it’s being shown to have huge effects on cancerous growths. As well as helping the cancer itself, cannabis can be used to help stimulate an appetite in patients who are being treated with chemotherapy, which in turn can help patients to avoid weight loss and loss of energy during treatment.

Epilepsy

According to a study which was conducted back in 2013, marijuana can reduce seizures in patients by up to 50%, which could potentially be a huge number of people who could be helped. Epilepsy can have a profound effect on a person’s life, so something as simple as cannabis as a treatment rather than expensive drugs which have negative side effects could change the lives of millions of people.

Do you have a chronic condition which could be helped by medical marijuana? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear about it.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel… Preventative Measures As We Age

We don’t like to discuss it because of all the anxiety that comes with it, but old age is something we’ve all got to face. And while there’s a lot more in the news about what you can do to prepare for the onset of things like Alzheimer’s or dementia, what are the real issues we can prepare for at any age? And in fact, it’s not even just issues that are related to old age, but the fact is that deterioration is something that happens to all of us. So what are the main concerns and what can we do about it?

Cancer

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It’s something that affects a lot more now in the modern world than it did decades ago but that’s not to say that modern living is the cause for us all running the risk of getting cancer. The risk of developing cancer does increase as we age. And the rates of skin cancer are through the roof now, especially in younger people, so that’s not to say that it is exclusively an age-related condition. Cancer is something that can have a profound impact on our lives, and while there is no one way to prevent it, as we’ve all seen that even young, seemingly healthy, individuals can get cancer at a young age. And a lot of people are now subscribing to the fact that cancer is down to an acidic body which a lot of people are dismissive of. The only thing we can all do to keep on top of this is to make sure we get regular check ups and listen to our body. Also if you feel that something isn’t right, especially on a superficial level, such as moles or lesions, that you have a concern about there are specialised organisations like SkinHealth UK who can screen you for tests. The amount of research into cancer is continually increasing, but the cliche is, of course, that we do our best to live healthy lives and cut down on stress. And this isn’t just a vital part of your life as you get older, but it’s something you can do right now, whatever your age.

Arthritis And Osteoporosis

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In many ways, two sides to the same coin. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability and affects half of the elderly population in the world. Preventing arthritis is all about doing regular and steady exercise rather than overdoing it at the weekend. A decrease in bone mass is a major contribution towards osteoporosis which can be prevented by avoiding specific triggers such as alcohol, smoking, and even drinks like soda, which will encourage your body to lose calcium. If you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, it is taken from our bones. Exercise is another way to increase bone mass, and there’s a lot of research in weight training as a way to increase bone density. But the trick is, especially if you are over 50, to build up your baseline level of fitness, which means you need to do just enough to feel the benefits, but also make sure that you rest adequately.

Hearing Loss And Vision Impairment

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One of the first things to go as we age, our vision can be affected by varying ailments such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Surprisingly smokers are at a higher risk for macular degeneration, and it’s a habit that needs to be stubbed out as soon as possible. Again regular check ups will be the key to preventing something like glaucoma, because if you lose your vision due to that, you can’t get it back. Hearing loss is a major issue for people as they get older and it doesn’t just impact the quality of life, but it can be seen as a contributing factor towards depression and withdrawing from social activities. And while there are solutions for coping with hearing loss such as hearing aids, only one in four people use them. Lifestyle is a big contributor to hearing loss, especially if you go to loud concerts and use earphones that go directly into your ear canal.

Depression And Anxiety

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Naturally, as we become concerned about our mortality issues, anxiety and depression can rear their ugly heads and can cause us to feel disconnected from our loved ones. Depression is such an overarching condition, but research is showing that the one thing that will help with managing the symptoms of depression is a social life, however little it may be. Feeling withdrawn can compound itself, so if you can find a way to interact with people, this will be a big help. For a lot of people, depression arises as a side effect of retiring. Many people find their sense of self-worth is tied up into their work and so feeling without purpose has led to an increase in suicide rates. To combat this feeling of uselessness, it’s vital that you stay connected to whoever is around you. As we age, we think of more about the parents or grandparents we have lost, but with the children and grandchildren that come along, it is a new lease of life. Ultimately it’s about finding what makes you happy and gives you a sense of purpose in life, which is something we all tend to lose track of because we are dwelling on the more negative parts of aging.

These are the most fundamental parts of getting older. We are all susceptible to more disease, mental health problems, as well as losing our faculties. Prevention is always better than cure as we age, but if we can enter into old age with an open mindset rather than a negative one, this will prepare us more for the challenges that lie ahead. They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but also our twilight years can be a waste if we don’t use them properly. Whatever your age, you can start now to think about putting the lifestyle practices in place that will help you to enjoy your old age and make the most of your time on this earth. So, do the things you’ve always wanted to do, while you can!

Discreet Treatment for Chlamydia

So, you’ve had unprotected sex with someone and it was great…until you get a text to say “Err…I’m really sorry but I think I gave you chlamydia…”. This might sound like something which happens to someone in their early twenties, but actually rates of middle aged STD contraction has gone up at an eye-wateringly sharp rate, for a number of reasons.

40 years ago, the majority of middle-aged people were married or in long term relationships, but with divorce rates high, dating apps the go-to method of meeting someone new, and sexual liberation giving people more freedom to explore their sexuality, more middle-aged people than ever are getting diseases which would once have been considered the plight of the young.

Chlamydia is one of those diseases which is easy to treat, but also goes undetected really often (up to SEVENTY percent of women don’t even know they have chlamydia) and when left to do it’s thing can lead to some pretty devastating symptoms, including Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and even total infertility.

The key to coming away unscathed is treating it promptly, so if you’ve had sexual unprotected contact with someone then make sure you get tested ASAP. It’s also possible to buy the medication you need online without a prescription, just by filling in a questionnaire. Azithromycin Chlamydia antibiotic tablets are a two-tablet dose and is 95% effective at clearing the infection, allowing you to avoid a potentially awkward conversation with your GP!

If you think you’ve been in contact with an STD, it’s also possible to buy home testing kits, giving you another discreet option for detection and treatment. However, don’t forget that you’ll also need to inform any other sexual partners that you may have had in the meantime – and investing in a stash of condoms would also be a good idea for any future encounters that youmight end up having!

 

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after Childbirth

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after ChildbirthChildbirth is an exciting time and there are many news skills to master – and for some women, managing incontinence may be one of them.

It is a common problem that many women suffer from, mainly in the short term. In rare cases, it may be a long-term issue that requires further medical help to alleviate the systems. Being informed means being prepared and so check out these five top tips for managing incontinence after childbirth.

Tip 1 – Use appropriate pads and products

There is a range of incontinence pads in various absorbency levels that make managing incontinence on a daily basis much easier. Unlike sanitary towels, they trap odour as well as urine. They absorb the urine away from the skin, preventing soreness a common complaint alongside urinary incontinence.

They can be worn day and night, and are the ideal solution for catching accidental leaks of urine post childbirth. They allow you a sense of confidence in that embarrassing leaks are stopped in their tracks, great for when you go to post-natal exercises class or enjoy activities with your family.

Tip 2 – Pelvic floor exercises

Alongside incontinence pads, performing pelvic floor exercises several times a day help to combat a weak bladder. These exercises are discreet but incredibly powerful as they tone the pelvic floor muscles, meaning you gain control of your bladder.

The great news is that you can do these exercises anywhere, they are free and require no complicated or expensive equipment.

The pelvic muscle runs from the front of your pubic, across your body to the base of your spine. It is a sling like muscle and during pregnancy, is under pressure not only from the weight of your growing baby but also from a cascade of pregnancy hormones. It is under further pressure during labour and clearly, all that pushing during childbirth also impact on it.

To strengthen it, you need to tighten and hold the muscle for a few seconds and then perform a controlled release. Some people also suggest ‘forcing’ the muscle to relax as the final step. Doing this means that the muscles go through its full movement.

Not sure where your pelvic muscle is or which part to clench? Find out more here.

Tip 3 – Yoga

Incontinence pads and pelvic floor muscles are fantastic just after giving birth mainly because the pelvic floor exercises help you heal and the pads make incontinence much easier to manage.

Now that you have fully recovered you may decide you want to try something that strengthens your pelvic floor in the longer-term. Yoga is having some great results for people who suffered from stress incontinence – in other words, an accidental leak of urine when they cough, sneeze, exercise and so on.

Yoga strengthens and tones a variety of muscles groups, including those in the abdomen, the lower back and the pelvic floor muscle itself. There are various yoga poses that can help manage incontinence better and your qualified yoga instructor will be able to help.

Tip 4 – Train your bladder

Some people find that bladder training helps them too. This works with stress incontinence but with urge incontinence too. The latter is when the bladder has a sudden urge to empty, making it difficult to get to the toilet in time. If you can’t make it to the bathroom in time, an embarrassing leak could ensue.

Training your bladder means holding on between toilet breaks for a certain length of time. For example, when you get the urge to visit the toilet, override this urge by clenching your pelvic floor muscles and resist visiting the bathroom for a length of time, such as 10 minutes. Over time, you increase this amount of time from 10 to 20 minutes and so on. If you need help with this, your doctor may be able to refer you to an incontinence specialist.

Tip 5 – See your doctor

Incontinence can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and so if it continues, becomes worse or you are in pain when you pass urine, seeing your doctor is essential. It is common for women to suffer from incontinence immediately after birth. For some women, it soon disappears but for others, it can carry on for some weeks. However, if you are still struggling to control your bladder several months after birth, see your GP or have a chat with your health visitor.

Incontinence, on one hand, is to be expected after birth but it should right itself within a few weeks. If not, follow these tips – which ones worked for you.

HARTMANN Direct stock a range of incontinence products, ideal for use during and after pregnancy, helping you to manage accidental leaks.

MARIJUANA AND BREAST CANCER

cannabis breast cancerMore than one in ten of all the cases of cancer in females is breast cancer. Breast cancer is nowadays the fifth most popular cause of death by cancer and the second most popular type of non-skin cancer.

Marijuana has been widely recognized as an efficient means of treating various types of cancer. It has been known to stop or reverse the progress of cancer. It has also been used to treat various symptoms that cause cancer. There are over a hundred different types of cancer that people suffer from. They include cancers of the skin, lung, prostate, colon, breast, brain etc. Breast cancer is one of the most common of all. It is estimated that 12.5% of women will suffer breast cancer. Breast cancer accounts for at least 10.4% of cancer cases in women worldwide.

In the year 2004, 519,000 people died from breast cancer in the world. This is about 7% of all deaths by cancer. And it is about 1% of total deaths worldwide. The scientific research the last years has proven that cannabidiol (a chemical compound of Cannabis) has the ability to stop the gene that causes metastasis in a kind of breast cancer. The breast cancer is called triple-negative.

The hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 also known as HER-2, estrogen receptors and some progesterone receptors are the facilitators of most breast cancers.

Progesterone receptor positive (PR+) and estrogen receptor positive (ER+) are common and they could be present in 66% of breast cancer cases especially in older women. The receptors are sensitive to at least one of these hormones.

Triple-Negative breast cancers do not show these receptors so the ways to fight them are less than normal. This kind affects about 15% of cancer patients and it does not have the 3 hormone receptors that most successful cancer therapies focus on.

CBD and THC can work in conjunction with the endocannabinoid system of the body to prevent cancer cell growth, prevent the spread of cancer cells and cause the death of cancer cells. There are several medical marijuana strains that could help fighting the symptoms of cancer.

THC and CBD can also stop healthy cells from being affected by cancer cells. Marijuana has no side effects unlike chemotherapy, opiates and most pharmaceutical therapies available.

A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and conducted in 2014 at the California Pacific Medical Research Center showed that CBD the non-psychoactive cannabinoid can be efficient at curbing the growth of breast cancer cells. The researchers revealed that CBD could be a more harmless and efficient treatment for cancer. It avoids the negative effects of chemotherapy and it works for many patients unlike chemotherapy that works for just a certain percentage of cancer patients.

One of the major health concerns for women worldwide is breast cancer. The means available for treating breast cancer are painful, costly and come with side effects. It is hoped that the ongoing research will bring us new evidence will show the effectiveness of marijuana in fighting cancer and saving more lives.