August 2014


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This is the second in a series of article on Sex and Menopause. While many women and a large number of their partners believe that once menopause occurs sex is a think of the past in this article we tell you why this happens and how to first prevent it and secondly resolve it if it has already in progress. No woman has to give up sex and partner has to find themself feeling left out.
 
To read the full article Your Sex Drive and Menopause, click here.

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Similar to the preceding article the group of medications now currently being used to prevent or treat osteoporosis appear to be demonstrating some previously unexpected benefits. In this article we look at the work of one research group which has found that these osteoporosis medications can reduce your risk for colon cancer.

To read the full article Women on Bone Drugs Have Less Colon Cancer, click here.

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Many men and women are unsure of medications now being prescribed for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. While they do have some important side effects and potential hazards in this article we look at a new study that suggest that those men and women taking them can abe adding as much as f years on to their life span.

To read the full article Osteoporosis Drugs Linked to Increased Lifespan, click here.

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This is the second in a series of article on Hypothyroidism: What it is, how it occurs, how it affects you and what you can do about it. In this article we look at Thyroid Function, Stress and Your Adrenal Glands as well as a number of commonly unsuspected facts that can cause hyperthyroidism.

To read the full article Thyroid Function, Stress and Your Adrenal Glands, click here.

 

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There are many causes for depression in this video presentation by Women’s Health Magazine you will find yet another unsuspected cause for depression. If you or a loved on are depressed and not sure what is causing, you may find this presentation interesting and valuable.

To read the full article A New Cause of Depression, click here.

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A recent study finds that one out of every five men in the United States get up at least twice a night to empty their bladders. The study suggests that for some of these men this problem could be an indication of  an underlying medical problem or that it could end up contributing to a reduction in overall health and well-being.

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Five Foods for Smoother, Softer, Healthier Skin


Winter can be tough on your skin, and you certainly need more than moisturizer to fight its effects.

To read the full article Five Foods for Smoother, Softer, Healthier Skin, click here.
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Going to Great Lengths for Beautiful Hair? Dermatologist Shares Hair Care Tips for Healthy and Damaged Hair

While the latest hairstyles and hair colors may look great, dermatologists warn that many women are subjecting their hair to harsh chemicals and heated styling devices that, in turn, can damage the hair.

To read the full article Going to Great Lengths for Beautiful Hair? Dermatologist Shares Hair Care Tips for Healthy and Damaged Hair, click here.

 

What Exactly is Constipation?


Constipation is a condition that most people have experienced, yet everyone has his or her own idea as to what it is. Generally, when we talk about being constipated we mean that the individual has hard stools that are difficult to pass. The term constipation also means infrequent bowel movement, that stools are not passing on a daily basis. Strictly speaking, the usual medical definition of constipation suggests that an individual is constipated if he or she has less than 3 bowel movements over a one week period. While many people normally have only one bowel movement every three days and this is often considered to be perfectly normal, a healthy individual with an adequate diet will generally have a normal bowel movement after each meal. This rarely happens in our society because few people eat normally. The usual American diet is almost entirely made up of too much processed and refined foods and hence has inadequate fiber and residue to create adequate stools. Therefore, a bowel movement every two or three days has become the norm. Constipation occurs when bowl movements are too hard, too small, infrequent or require too straining.

Other Myths About Bowel Movements?


Many people believe that regular bowel movements prevent the buildup of "toxins" in the colon and that these toxins are responsible for many important health problems. There is, however, no evidence at all that toxins are produced nor that they accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract (the bowels) nor that constipation itself causes any health problems. Many people swear that high colonic enemas cleansing and essential, yet we have no scientific evidence that this is in anyway true. On the contrary, overuse of enemas can lead to imbalances and  disturbances in the body which can lead to illness. On an occasional basis there is no evidence that enemas are in the least harmful.

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What Causes Constipation?


There are three causes for constipation
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1.    Hard stools are created when the large intestine (the colon) removes too much water. This occurs when we drink too little water in our daily diet, or when we sweat or lose water from excessive work or exercise and this water is not replaced. When this happens the body tries to conserve water and removes as much as it can form our stools. Stools created this way can be very large and painful to pass and sometimes can cause tearing of the anal opening (i.e., an anal fissure). Hemorrhoids can develop or worsen and bleed.


2.    As mentioned above constipation also occurs as a by-product of what we eat or better still what we do not eat. Hence a diet which is high in processed and refined foods (white flour, white rice, instant potatoes, pastas, simple carbohydrates, sugars, etc.) and deficient in foods which are high in fiber such as vegetables, whole grains and fruits.


3.    The third reason combines several categories, it includes a sedimentary life style, not enough exercise, poor bowel habits, poor toilet training, use of medications such as codeine, Vicodin, high blood pressure medications, diuretics, antacids, tranquilizers or medication to relieve depression or slow down the digestive tract. Many over-the-counter drugs (such as cold and allergy preparations) can cause constipation. If these medications cannot be stopped then the above treatments are usually effective. These factors are mostly related to life style factors. There are also a host of anatomical problems and other medical conditions where in constipation is a symptom.

What Are the Symptoms of Constipation?


The most common symptoms are bloating, distention (swelling of the abdomen), and abdominal discomfort. Constipation can also lead to hemorrhoids, rectal pain and tearing of the rectal opening (fissures).

Diagnostic Tests


Constipation is decided on purely by the patients symptoms, no diagnostic testing is needed for mild or intermittent constipation. If constipation is new and there are obvious symptoms which go beyond simple constipation, then testing may be needed. In people over 40, a flexible sigmoidoscopy and barium enema (lower GI X-ray), occult blood evaluation should be performed to be sure colon cancer is not present. In long standing constipation of unknown cause, colonic marker studies can often show the problem to be related to a particular part of the colon, if so then specific treatment can then be started.


Treatment Of Constipation


1.    Diet: The best treatment should start with evaluation and changes in the diet. First of all, refined and processed foods should be decreased and high fiber content foods such as grains, vegetables and fruits should be increased in the diet. Food such as prunes can be used to stimulate the intestinal tract to move stools through itself faster. One to two tbsp. of bran flakes and powder can be added to foods or taken in juice twice daily. This may produce gas in some people.


2.    Fluids: Increase fluid intake to 6 to 10 8 oz glasses of water daily.


3.    Medications: If a high fiber diet is not possible, then fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Fibercon. methyl cellulose (2 grams),  Efferpsyllium may be used. All of these supplements contain psyllium (average dosage is 3.4 grams)which is the outer husk of a plant and can significantly increase the bulk of the stool. Citucel contains methyl cellulose and is also effective. All of these products work by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making the stools less hard and easier to pass. They should be taken 1 to 3 times daily as needed.


4.    Enemas: When dietary manipulation is not enough, enemas or laxatives may be needed. Small volume enemas such as Fleets enemas are often effective and safe to use periodically. These enemas are not "addictive" and do not harm the bowel. Laxatives should only be used occasionally, there is evidence that prolonged overuse can actually damage the colon and worsen constipation.


5.    Laxatives: Certain stimulant laxatives (cascara 4 to 8 ml once daily), bisacodyl (5 to 15 mg orally or 10 mg suppositories once daily), castor oil (15 to 45 ml daily) or Senna or phenolpthalein are over-the-counter products which are easily available with instructions. They all act by irritating the nerves of the colon once again medical studies suggest that repetitive use can damages the nerves in the colon. The other main group of laxatives are the "osmotic laxatives." They work by increasing the amount of water in the stool. These include Milk of Magnesia, Ducolax, Duphalac, CoLyte, etc. These laxatives are generally safe even when used chronically. However, individuals with kidney disease (and even older people without known kidney disease) can get high blood magnesium levels with Milk of Magnesia and this can be fatal.


6.    Exercise: Increase exercise, especially walking, can be helpful in stemming constipation.


7.    Medical Problems: If a medical problem such as bowel disease, relaxation of vaginal or rectal muscles or systemic disease is the cause then the specific problem should be treated.

 

For information about Hemerrhoids, click here.

For information about a High Fiber Diet, click here.