April 2012

Building a Bank of Life

In 1990, researchers in Britain started collecting tissues and detailed information from more than 14,500 pregnant women about their health, relationships, work and home.   Furthermore, after giving birth, the study leaders tracked the offspring development through surveys, clinical exams and biological samples. Data was collected on their eating habits, physiological development including puberty onset, and behaviors, to name a few.  In the long term, the researchers are tracing how genetic and environmental factors in the children’s early years affect their later ones.

Test your knowledge on the uninsured issue

With record numbers of Americans lacking health coverage, the substantial growth of the uninsured population in recent decades has been a vexing problem in the United States and served as a primary impetus for the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.  Unfortunately, there is a lot posturing on both sides of the issue and it’s important for the public to have the real facts.

Can you lose weight on a gluten-free diet?

Recently Miley Cyrus has been touting a gluten free diet as a way to lose weight.   Is this true or just another celebrity fad? Gluten is a protein present in foods including wheat, rye, oats, and barley  but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and even lip balms.    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating gluten unless you have celiac disease, or gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE), an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

April is Sexual Assault Month

Sexual violence is a serious public health problem in the United States and world wide! Statistics underestimate the problem because many victims are afraid to tell the police, family, or friends about the violence. In the United States, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men report that they have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

Alas, the lowly sponge–germ magnet!

Have you noticed Salmonella and other food borne illnesses are on the rise—everywhere.    While we rely on government agencies to keep our restaurants inspected and food handling industries regulated, at the home level, it’s up to us!.  The kitchen is the germiest room in the house– teeming with billions of microorganisms on countertops, refrigerators and cutting boards. And the worse culprit:   the kitchen sponge!

Migraines: more common in women

A migraine is the most common type of headache that propels patients to seek care from their doctors. Roughly 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, with women affected almost three times more often than men, according to statistics from the National Headache Foundation in Chicago. Today’s blog incorporates  an article by Jennifer Wider, MD of the Society for Women’s Health Research.

Breast cancer patients want to talk to survivors about their experience

Edie Falco, 9 year survivor

An overwhelming number of breast cancer patients and survivors say that talking to other survivors is key to dealing with the disease.  The findings, the result of a new national poll of breast cancer patients and survivors, inspired Edie Falco, the award-winning actress of the hit series Nurse Jackie and 9-year cancer survivor to join forces with Y-ME, a national breast cancer organization focused on the needs of survivors and patients.

Bicycling and Women’s Sexual Health

Spending time on a bicycle seat, which has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men, may also be a hazard to a woman’s sexual health, a new study shows.

Many women who cycle or take spin classes are familiar with the numbness that sometimes can occur from sitting on a traditional bike seat. Bike seats are designed in such a way that body weight typically rests on the nose of the seat, which can compress nerves and blood vessels in the genital area. In men, this raises the risk of erectile dysfunction, something that has been documented in studies of male police officers on bicycle patrol.

PT for UI: Muscle training effective for urinary incontinence in women

A type of exercise called pelvic floor muscle training is effective for treating adult women with urinary incontinence (the involuntary loss of urine) without risk of side effects, according to a new report from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report also found that drug-based treatments can be effective, but the degree of benefit is low and side effects are common.