Health and Wellness


banner_val_weeks_healthPssst!   Are you making health decisions based on incorrect or outdated information? If you are, make this your final day for doing so. Make sure you are making your health choices based on sources that are current and accurate. Also, always check with your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about living a healthier life.

YOU, not your mama ,sister, or girlfriend, can take very simple steps on a daily basis to protect yourself against illness and disease. First and far most, it is very important to get appropriate health screenings to find potential health problems early on and seek proper treatment to prevent more serious problems later. Remember knowledge is power and ignorance is not bliss. Below are a few myths that we as women have been convinced to believe in,

Myth: Cancer cannot be prevented.

Fact: Scientists estimate that as many as 50 percent or more of cancer deaths in the United States are caused by social and environmental conditions and unhealthy choices. These conditions and choices can result in an unhealthy diet, obesity, or unhealthy human behaviors such as smoking and physical inactivity. We now know more about how to prevent many cancers including cancers of the lung, cervix, colon, rectum, and skin.

v30_menopauseMany things can happen in a woman’s body because of the changes in hormone patterns that begin during the menopausal transition. Some women are bothered by only a few symptoms during perimenopause. Others are very uncomfortable, while the rest hardly feel any different. Scientists are still trying to understand how the hormone changes during the menopausal transition may affect a woman’s periods and menopausal symptoms.

Menopause is only one of several stages in the reproductive life of a woman. The entire menopause transition is divided into distinct stages known as premature menopause, premenopause, perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.

Menopause is brought on by low levels of estrogen and progesterone and can cause symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, memory loss and difficulty concentrating, insomnia and fatigue, frequent urination, and mood swings.

Premature menopause is menopause that occurs before the age of 40, whether it is natural or induced by medical or surgical means. Women who enter menopause early have symptoms similar to those of natural menopause, like hot flashes, emotional problems, vaginal dryness, and decreased sex drive. However, for some women with premature menopause, these symptoms are severe. Also, women who have premature menopause tend to get weaker bones faster than women who enter menopause later in life.

v30_marleyScientists discovered a new tiny blood-sucking parasite that infests fish on Caribbean coral reefs. The name: Gnathia marlyi – named after Bob Marley.

Some may view this a bit disturbing and maybe disrespectful, being that the famous reggae singer stood for love, peace and harmony. But marine biologist Paul Sikkel sees it as paying homage to the late great singer.

He said the name came from a deep place in his heart, out of “respect and admiration” for Marley. The creature is a new species within the family of gnathiids, parasites found on coral reefs, says the Associated Press.

Other celebs that have been honored with an insect include Stephen Colbert and Beyoncé.

Active teens are healthy teens, but some kinds of activities may be better than others. New research published Monday in the journal Pediatrics suggests that team sports may be better at keeping kids' weight down than biking or walking to school.

Study authors from Dartmouth College looked at the influence sports, physical education and commuting to school had on adolescents and their weight.

Investigators surveyed more than 1,700 high school students by phone and asked them how much they participated in team sports, what other forms of physical activity they were involved in and their height and weight.

The study found those kids who played on three or more sports teams in a year, were 27% less likely to be overweight, and 39% less likely to be obese than those teens who did not play team sports. They also found biking or walking to school had less of an effect on a student's weight - although it did reduce their likelihood of being obese.

banner_val_weeks_healthWhy do we care about how we look? Since the beginning of time, we as women have concerned ourselves with our appearance and how physically attractive we are. However, in these modern times the normal concern of caring about how we present ourselves has turned into an obsession for far too many women. In today’s media, “thin-is-in”.   Unfortunately several of us measure our body image on how we stack up against those bodies that have cut and paste into magazines or against our peers. When we view our body image poorly, that not only decreases general life satisfaction and happiness, but it can also cause severe eating disorders. . Making a targeted effort to improve body image for ourselves and loved ones would be a smart, even life altering, thing to do.  But how?


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