Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Red Bull vs Anti-Energy Drink.... Slow Cow


Out to help those looking for a quick relaxation fix, a new drink from Canada offers ‘an acupuncture session’ in every can. An antidote to energy drinks like Red Bull, Slow Cow was developed to help people de-stress.

Under the premise that caffeine-packed drinks tend to increase anxiety, Slow Cow contains theanine, chamomile, valerian, passiflora and other ingredients known for their calming effects. The beverage is meant to increase mental awareness while improving relaxation, without the post-hit dip that caffeine and other stimulants cause.

Slow Cow, whose tongue-in-cheek logo apparently did not amuse Red Bull, might have found a gap in a market saturated with energy drinks of every possible variety. It's not the only beverage to position itself as a relaxation drink, mind you, (Drank is another), but Slow Cow gets our vote for best branding. Seems like a natural fit for spas, hotels, airlines—or anywhere else consumers could use a serving of relaxation.

L-Thanine increases cerebral levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and reward; it also increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that acts as an inhibitor and which is critically decreased in stressful situations as well as in aggravation. L-Theanine allows users to reduce chronic stress, anxiety and depression, without causing any adverse affects to the natural working of the brain, contrary to synthetic anti-depressors. L-Theanine easily breaks through the blood brain barrier and produces relaxation effects in the brain by increasing the production of alpha waves. L-Theanine protects the brain from the neuro-toxicities released in the production of glutamate, which is one of the major causes of neuronal damage diseases.

L-Theanine helps in relaxation without causing sleepiness, which can be justified by increased production of alpha waves in the brain. Studies have also shown that it improves mental capacities. It significantly reduces mental, physical and social symptoms that are related to pre-menstrual syndrome. Contrary to caffeine, L-Theanine increases the levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which acts as a neurotransmitter inhibitor and produces a feeling of relaxation as well as a feeling of well-being. L-Theanine is quickly absorbed by the small intestine and is transported directly towards the brain.

L-Theanine is ideal for people who have difficulty sleeping and who feel fatigued when they wake up. Some studies have shown that L-Theanine can help in reducing cholesterol levels as well as reducing high blood pressure. L-Theanine is also a natural replacement for “Ritalin”, used by both adults and children.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Health Care Reform - 6 Ways It Will Affect Women


President Obama is campaigning again, this time for health care reform. But the question on women’s minds is, “What’s in this for me?” As the family’s chief health decision-maker, women are struggling with rising health care premiums and managing care for themselves, their children, husbands, even aging parents. We asked experts to explain what the proposals could mean for you…

It’s an issue that hits close to heart, hearth and pocketbook. Can you afford health care insurance? And if so, does it adequately cover you and your family?

For many women the answer is no. And they have much more at stake in the battle over health care reform. That's because women use the system more often than men, juggling the medical concerns of their children, elderly parents and husbands, as well as themselves.

They’re also disproportionately hurt in the insurance marketplace: Fewer women than men have insurance and many who do pay higher premiums.

If the promises of reform come true, women would see some gains, including:

* Greater availability of coverage, even with pre-existing conditions

* Insurance portability when switching jobs, divorcing or graduating from college

* Increased savings through lower costs and premiums, and limits on out-of-pocket spending

But these changes will come at a price: Some women may face penalties if they refuse to sign up for insurance coverage, there’ll be more regulation, and even Obama admitted some tests may not be covered.

Will another behemoth government program — especially one that may cost $1 trillion or more in the next 10 years — really protect America’s health?

Whatever happens, health care reform will leave its mark on everyone from the oldest to the youngest Americans.

Here are 6 ways women may be affected by the various proposals lawmakers are considering:

1. You’ll have insurance coverage.

The two biggest problems women face under the current system? Inadequate or no coverage and the high cost of care and insurance. Reform proposals would address both.

About 7 out of 10 working-age women — approximately 64 million — have no health insurance coverage, insufficient coverage, medical debt problems, or problems getting proper care because of cost, according to a 2007 survey by National Women’s Law Center for the Commonwealth Fund.

The same survey found that women had higher out-of-pocket medical expenses than men, and for that reason, were more likely to skip needed health care services. When it’s a choice between food for the kids and a doctor’s visit for that nagging pain, guess which wins.

Even employed women may have inadequate coverage — or none at all: From 2000 to 2005, nearly 266,000 companies stopped providing health insurance to employees, according to the National Coalition on Health Care.

Women are also more likely to lose health insurance coverage because of divorce or death of a spouse.

“With reform, there is going to be a way to get health insurance for your family,” says Judy Waxman, vice president of health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center.

Obama plans to provide health care coverage to 98% of Americans in the following 3 ways:

  • Requiring employers with payrolls of more than $250,000 annually to offer health insurance to workers (or pay a penalty if they don’t). In some cases, this could mean that a company with only a handful of highly paid employees would have to provide health insurance.

  • Requiring individuals to get coverage or face penalties

  • Expanding income eligibility requirements in public programs to cover those too poor to afford premiums and providing tax credits to low- and middle-class families ($43,000 for individuals and $88,000 for a family of four)

Various proposals also seek improvements in Medicare benefits to help seniors and the disabled afford prescription drugs. They also target uninsured children by providing coverage to those in middle-class, working families who are ineligible for other government programs.

2. Your health care costs may go down
Not immediately, but perhaps in the future.

No one needs to tell you that your health bills have soared. Average employer-sponsored health premiums rose from $5,791 a year in 1999 to $12,689 in 2008 — a whopping 110% increase, according to figures cited by Families USA, a nonprofit organization.

Obama and reform boosters say that their plan will curtail runaway health care costs by eliminating duplication and waste, instituting cost-saving incentives for doctors and by extending insurance coverage to most uninsured Americans.

Hotly contested is a plan to create a public program to compete with private health insurance companies which could mean fewer choices for women.

Supporters say it would put more money in your purse by lowering or slowing the growth in health care costs.

Opponents say a government program will put private insurers out of business because they won’t be able to compete with cheaper public insurance.

Competition from a public program, Obama argues, will keep private insurance companies “honest.” It would be subject to the same market forces as private companies and would be self-sustaining, financed only by premiums, proponents say. It may be cheaper only because it will spend less on promotion and executive salaries.

You may still benefit from reform, even if you stick with your employer's insurance plan. Here's why:

  • Insurers would be prevented from charging higher premiums for women than men of the same age. (They can – and do – now, because women are believed to require more medical services than men.)

  • Private insurers would not be able to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or a family history of breast cancer.

It would eliminate “job lock,” in which people stay at a company for the insurance, thereby increasing job mobility and labor market efficiency.

This is a key issue because “women cycle in and out of jobs more frequently than guys,” says Kathleen D. Stoll, director of health policy at Families USA.

3. Your care may be micromanaged.
Opponents say the new system would impose stiff rules on the procedures or tests that could be done. Even Obama concedes that patients may “have to give up things that don’t make them healthier.”

This could include coverage of multiple tests ordered by different doctors, if those tests are deemed redundant.

Will micromanaging care hurt or help?

“When I saw the blueprint [of a House reform bill], I thought, ‘Is this what we need? More bureaucracy in an area where there is a ton of bureaucracy?’” Laverty says.

Elizabeth Houser, M.D., a urologist and author of What's Up Down There, A Woman's Guide to Pelvic Health, was even blunter: “Do I trust the government to develop and deliver health care under this system? Absolutely not. Look what they’ve done with Medicaid and Social Security.”

But our care is already being managed, Stoll argues. “This is not about a government takeover of health.” Today, “insurance companies get between you and your doctor,” when they determine which procedures or tests will be covered.

Marsha Turin, a 50-year-old Boston teacher, likes her current insurance policy but sees a need for reform. “I don’t believe my health should be a business run by a private company. It’s not a commodity.”

4. You’ll have access to standardized health care plans.
Reform legislation calls for a minimum basic benefit package that would include annual check-ups or emergency room visits and such perks as preventative care, mental health services, oral health and vision care for children.

Maternity services and mammograms may also be included. Whether abortion would be a basic benefit is being hotly debated.

5. You’ll be able to shop around.
Here’s a provision that will please women who want the best deal for their families: the creation of a “health insurance exchange” or “gateway” that allows comparison shopping among public and private insurance companies.

Moreover, reform calls for standardized health packages, so “you can compare apples to apples rather than apples to watermelons,” Waxman says.

Are such changes needed? No, say some health professionals, because the current system already provides adequate choices.

“The entire U.S. health care system is already online and there are thousands of brokers to help people understand their private individual and group health insurance options and benefits,” says Ankeny Minoux, president of the Foundation for Health Coverage Education, a California-based nonprofit that runs an uninsured help line.

6. If you run a small business, you may be required to provide health insurance to employees.
Reform proponents promise that small businesses would be exempt, but no one can agree about the definition of a small business.

The House bill would require employers with annual payrolls above $250,000 to provide employee health insurance or face 2%-8% penalties. The Senate bill defines a small business as one with 25 or fewer employees.

Either way, women may be hard hit by this provision because they own about 10.4 million of the nation’s 25 million businesses employing 500 or fewer people, says Terry Neese, a small-business advocate and a fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

“This new bill will be devastating to women business owners struggling to keep their doors open in this difficult economy,” she says.

“There are other ways to obtain access to affordable health care," like allowing small-business owners the opportunity to band together across state lines in an economy of scale to purchase health insurance and lower premiums.

Lisa Dolan runs a New York City-based security business that doesn’t offer employees insurance. She estimates she would pay $320,000 a year in penalties for her 124 workers under the House bill.

“Quite honestly, I don’t know what I would do,” she says. “Those people in Washington: Have they ever run a business?”

Stephanie Schorow is a Boston-based freelance writer and author of The Crime of the Century: How the Brink's Robbers Stole Millions and the Hearts of Boston.

Women’s Health: How Much Do You Know?
As a woman, your health concerns are as unique as your body. How you take care of yourself has a huge impact on your future, affecting everything from your ability to have children to your risk of heart disease. There's no substitute for good health, and when it's gone, it's often gone for good.

5 Day Bikini Blitz Diet | How to Get a Beyonce Bikini Bod

Nutritionist Zoe Harcombe's amazing diet that lets you eat as much as you want.. and you still lose 14lb in less than a week!

You've booked your holiday and bought a bikini.... but are dreading having to actually wear it. Sounds familiar? But don’t panic, it’s not too late to shape up before stripping off and hitting the beach.

We’ve teamed up with top nutritionist, Zoe Harcombe to bring you a bikini blitz diet that is all you’ll need to kick-start looking and feeling amazing.

By following the plan it is possible to lose between 5lb and 14lb in just FIVE DAYS. And what’s more you can do it without having to count a single calorie…

Here’s how it foils the flab..

‘Everyone can keep to a diet for a short time.. especially if you never feel hungry’

The diet works by cutting out foods that lead to cravings and weight gain. So out go sugar, dairy products, wheat products and all processed foods.

But as there’s no portion control on what you can eat you never need to feel hungry – which means that, unlike other diets, this one is incredibly easy to stick to.

Zoe says: “This five-day plan gives you the kick-start you need. Most people lose an average of 5lb – but I’ve seen people lose up to 14lb.

“It works because everyone can maintain something for a short period of time, like five days.

“Once you see the results coming so quickly it gives you a boost to carry on with healthy eating.”

The key is to cut out the foods that lead to what Zoe has identified as three common medical conditions which cause insatiable food cravings and weight gain. They are:

/ Candida – a yeast that multiplies in the gut and can cause cravings for sugar and bread.

/ Hypoglycaemia – a condition which causes low blood sugar levels and leads to cravings for sugary foods.

/ Food intolerances - which can leave you craving the foods you are actually intolerant to, such as white bread. Zoe says: “I’m convinced all the diet advice we are given is fundamentally wrong.

“When we starve ourselves or just eat low-fat food our body will do everything it can to try and wreck it with cravings – and that’s when the bingeing starts and you end up back at square one.”

The 5 day plan rules

/ Unless specified, you can eat as much as you like so you shouldn’t feel hungry.

/ Drink about 1.5 litres of water, herbal tea, decaf tea or coffee (without milk) a day.

/ No dairy is allowed, apart from a knob of butter for cooking when stated, and as much natural live yoghurt as you like.

/ Don't mix fats (eg meats ) and carbs (eg brown rice) in the same meal – because the body will end up storing the fat.

/ Cut out all wheat such as bread and pasta. Replace with brown rice.

/ Avoid all processed food, alcohol, sugary snacks and fruit as all affect blood sugar levels and lead to cravings.

/ Eat as much natural yoghurt as you like as it kills off bacteria in the stomach and combats bloating.

/ A protein-only breakfast, like eggs and bacon, means you’ll stay full until lunchtime.

/ Unless mentioned, all foods can be cooked in any way – roasted, fried, grilled, baked, poached, steamed etc.

/ You can have unlimited amounts of any vegetables, apart from potatoes and mushrooms.

/ Salad can consist of any veg – lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, cucumber, onion, beetroot and so on.

/Swap any meal with another if you don’t like something – but don’t have rice or porridge more than once a day.

/The diet is only designed for five days, but you can follow it for up to 14 days then slowly reintroduce foods like wholemeal bread & pasta & baked potatoes. But take care not to mix them with fats.

Kick-start meal plan

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, tea or black coffee – and if you don’t like the look of one meal, simply swap it for another. Just remember not to have rice or porridge more than once a day.

The key is no fruit, wheat, sugar, dairy or processed foods. And no alcohol!


Breakfast: Plain or ham omelette. Whisk 2-3 eggs, 1/2tsp mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Melt a knob of butter (no more than 1/2tsp) in a pan. Don’t add milk.

Lunch: Steak and salad. Any kind of cut or size allowed. You don’t have to cut any fat off. Grill or fry the steak as you like.

Supper: Stir-fry vegetables and brown rice. Put 50g (dry weight) brown rice on to boil (takes 30 mins) – chop up loads of vegetables into strips (carrots, courgettes, onions, peppers, green beans, etc). Stir-fry them in olive oil.


Breakfast: Natural live (Bio) yoghurt.

Lunch: Chef’s Salad made from hard-boiled eggs, any cold meat, sticks of celery, spring onions, ice-berg lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and olive oil dressing.

Supper: Lamb chops with rosemary and roast vegetables such as courgettes, peppers & onions. Place lamb in large roasting dish and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Add a handful of garlic cloves. Brush a baking tray with olive oil and roast some veg at the same time.


Breakfast: Unsmoked bacon and eggs all cooked in olive oil.

Lunch: Salad Ni├žoise. Mix a tin of tuna, or a tuna steak, on a bed of salad. Add a couple of hard-boiled eggs and anchovies.

Supper: Stuffed peppers. Boil 50g dry weight brown rice, stir-fry chopped, mixed, vegetables in olive oil and then mix the rice & veg and fill a de-seeded pepper shell. Then bake in a medium oven until the pepper is soft to a fork touch.


Breakfast: Up to 100g of puffed rice cereal (rice must be the only ingredient). Available in the gluten-free section of supermarkets.

Lunch: Brown rice salad. Pre-cook 50g dry weight brown rice. Leave to chill. Add finely-chopped salad ingredients (cucumber, spring onions, pepper, celery, crushed garlic clove). Use olive oil & black pepper as a dressing.

Supper: Roast or grilled chicken breast with garlic or lemon with vegetables and salad.


Breakfast: Porridge made from up to 75g porridge oats (a quick tip is to just pour boiling water from the kettle on the dry oats, until it’s the consistency you like).

Lunch: Pork and vegetable kebabs. Skewer cubes of pork and vegetables such as broccoli florets, peppers, onions and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven.

Supper: Salmon or tuna steak or a whole fish – as long as it’s not smoked or cured – served with a selection of vegetables and a side salad.

Lost weight but still need to strengthen your core muscles to tighten and give definition to you abs....this V-sit exercise you can do anywhere and it works all 3 ab muscles.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Do You Know What You’re Putting Into Your Body? How A Lemonade Diet Could Help


by Peter Glickman

If you think processed foods are free of toxins, think again. According to an article “Why McDonald’s Fries Taste So Good” (The Atlantic Monthly, January 2001), the author, Eric Schlosser, reports About 90 percent of the money that Americans now spend on food goes to buy processed food. He goes on to state that the flavor is replaced with chemicals to add flavor. To give an example, there are approximately 350 different chemicals in high quality artificial strawberry flavor.

On 27 June 1996, without public notice, the FDA removed all restrictions from Aspartame allowing it to be used in everything, including all heated and baked goods. A Lemonade Diet or cleanse would be an effective way to remove these kinds of toxins in the body. In the magazine, Plane and Pilot (January 1990) on food additives explained that diet soft drinks are sweetened artificially by Aspartame (called NutraSweet or Equal). Aspartame contains 10% methanol, a poison, that is released at temperatures above 86 or if left on the shelf for a long time. It is interesting to know that methanol gradually destroys the brain. Immediate effects can either be severe (epileptic seizures, blindness, or chest palpitations) or less noticeable (blurred vision, bright flashes, tunnel vision, ringing or buzzing in ears, migraine headaches, dizziness, loss of equilibrium, or lip and mouth reactions). The article goes on to give an account of an Air Force pilot who directly traced the patterns of tremors and seizures he suffered for two years to his consumption of NutraSweet through beverages. When he quit drinking NutraSweet, his medical problems ceased.

One of the most common natural fluorides is calcium fluoride. It is the least toxic. Even so, too much calcium fluoride produces changes to the teeth. The first stage displays bright white spots on the teeth. The second stage displays permanent brown stains and the third stage results in brittle, pitted tanned stained teeth. Fluoride is in reality the name of several chemical compounds that contain fluorine. When fluorine combines with an additional element, such as calcium or sodium, the compound created is called fluoride. Pure fluorine is not found in nature. This is for the reason that fluorine is one of the two most reactive elements in the world. In this manner it combines with many different elements.

The artificial sweetener Aspartame, also commonly known as NutraSweet, Equal, Equal Measure, and Spoonful is another good example of the toxicity in our foods today. The Food and Drug Administration has a system that allows people to report bad health reactions to food and drugs. According to David Rietz, in February of 1994, Aspartame made up more than 75% of all bad reactions reported!

Sodium fluoride is more toxic than what is in our water but, it was/is used for a century as a pesticide and rat poison until it was banned by the EPA in September 2005. It is the reason all fluoride toothpaste tubes carry warnings: Keep out of the reach of children under 6 years of age. If more than used for brushing [a pea-sized amount] is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or call a Poison Control Center right away. Sodium fluoride is slightly more toxic than stannous fluoride, which resulted in the death of 3-year old William Kennerly in Brooklyn, NY as a result of swallowing and not spitting out a routine fluoride treatment If sodium fluoride is not added to municipal water supplies, it has to be disposed of by taking it to a Class 1 Hazardous Waste landfill which would charge approximately $7000 for a truckload. It is used to fluoridate approximately 10% of municipal water supplies. .

One of the major causes of the overweight epidemic in our society can be linked to the simple fact that Americans are eating and drinking toxins through our diets everyday. Our bodies cannot handle the volume of toxins we consume on a daily basis.

About the Author:
Peter Glickman has been writing about vibrant health for 15 years. His book, “Lose Weight, Have More Energy & Be Happier in 10 Days” has been an Amazon.com Alternative Medicine bestseller five years and is published in 7 countries. He’s been on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s National News, and in the NY Times, USA Today and many others. Find his free newsletter at The Lemonade Diet.

Lemonade Diet Recipe

For at least 10 days, drink around 10 servings/day of the following:

  • 2 Tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice NOT BOTTLED JUICE!! (approx. 1/2 lemon),
  • 2 Tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) organic Grade B maple syrup,
  • 1/10 Teaspoon or more cayenne pepper (hot red pepper), and
  • 1 Cup (8 fluid ounces) purified or spring water, NOT fluoridated water.

(This is what I did) This is the equivalent of taking an empty gallon water jug and filling it with:

  • the juice of 5 lemons
  • 1 1/4 cup of organic Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 10 cups of water

Shake it all up and you got your days’ serving!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Body: 6 Nasty Skin Conditions

source: lifescripts.com

Cake on cover-up. Lather on lotion. Itch. Scratch. Sound familiar? If you wish you could shed like a snake and start anew, we can help. Learn how to live with the skin you’re in.

Makeup, long sleeves and tights are a woman’s best friends when she suffers from blotchy, red, inflamed skin. But it’s time to stop hiding. New topical treatments and a better understanding of environmental triggers can help ease your epidermis.

Check out these 6 common skin problems and soothing solutions:

1. Acne
What is it? Acne comes in several forms, all of which we’d rather avoid:

  • Comedones: Commonly known as whiteheads or blackheads

  • Papules: Raised bumps

  • Pustules: Red, tender bumps with pus at the tip

  • Nodules: Large, solid and painful bumps

  • Cysts: Large, pus-filled lumps beneath the skin that can cause scars

All acne is caused by an overproduction of oil (or sebum), shedding of dead skin and bacteria buildup. Certain medications, hormones and heredity also may be to blame.

Who gets it? Pimples are for teenagers, right? Wrong. Acne is also a common problem for women in their 20s, 30s and beyond.

More than 17 million adults have acne, the American Dermatology Association says.

“It is always surprising to people when they get acne at an older age even though it is common,” says Jeffrey Weinberg, M.D., director of clinical research in the department of dermatology at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Those with higher risk include teenagers, women 2-7 days before their periods, pregnant women and people using certain medications, including oral and injected steroids, such as cortisone.

How to get relief: Despite your mother’s warnings about chocolate and French fries, foods don’t cause acne.

Your best bet? Avoid common triggers, such as greasy or oily substances in cosmetics and hair products, and irritants that rub against your body, such as bicycle helmets, backpacks or telephones.

And don’t scrub your face – instead, use a gentle non-comedogenic cleanser, like Cetaphil or Neutroena, he says.

The best non-comedogenic oils include almond, olive, evening primrose. Stay away from those made from coconut, wheat germ and cocoa butter.

If clear skin is elusive despite your best efforts, visit a dermatologist. He or she will treat your acne on an ongoing basis, Weinberg says. Here’s how:

  • For mild acne: topical medications, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid

  • Inflammatory acne: oral medications such as antiotics
  • Severe acne with deep cysts: isotretinoin (Accutane) is a common treatment. But this oral drug can cause birth defects, so women of child-bearing age should use it cautiously.

Oral contraceptives (especially Ortho-Cyclen and Ortho Tri-Cyclen) also can clear up some women’s skin. So can chemical peels and microdermabrasion.

And laser- and light-based therapies can get to the root cause by damaging the sebaceous glands and reducing oil production.

2. Dermatitis
What is it? Dermatitis applies to any inflammation of the skin. This annoying condition comes in three varieties:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis: A common scalp condition that causes scaly, itchy red skin and dandruff.

  • Atopic dermatitis: Also called eczema.

  • Contact dermatitis: A rash caused by an irritant. If you use a new laundry detergent and get a blotchy, itchy skin rash – that’s dermatitis.

Who gets it? Anyone at any age: “Contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction or irritation to common things as nickel, fragrance in detergents, food preservatives, formaldehyde, rubber in shoes and contact lens solutions,” Weinberg says.

How to get relief: A hunt-and-kill approach is most effective in dealing with contact dermatitis.

Find the irritating agent causing the rash and eliminate it. In the meantime, hydrocortisone and other steroidal creams may help the redness and itching. It can take 2-4 weeks to clear up.

If seborrheic dermatitis has you brushing flakes off your shoulders, try a medicated shampoo containing ketoconazole, tar, pyrithione zinc, selenium sulfide or salicylic acid. If problems persist, ask your doctor about prescription-strength versions and steroid lotions.

3. Eczema
What is it? Eczema – a type of dermatitis – is a hypersensitivity of the skin “that affects about 5%-12% of the population,” Weinberg says.

Its first symptom is usually intense itching, followed by a patchy, flaky, scaly rash. Eczema can appear anywhere.

“It is referred to as the ‘itch that rashes,’” says Linda Stein Gold, M.D., director of clinical research of the department of dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. “Scratching, though, definitely makes symptoms worse.”

Who gets it? People with hay fever and allergies often suffer from eczema. It usually begins in childhood and can be a lifelong problem.

Although some are lucky and only have one bout with eczema, others struggle repeatedly to ease its uncomfortable symptoms.

With hand eczema, which is hard to control, your fingers and palms appear red, scaly and inflamed, Gold says. Skin cracks can develop and irritants and allergens can make it worse.

How to get relief: “The best thing that you can do is avoid irritants,” Gold says.

Watch for eczema triggers including soaps, detergents, creams, perfumes bacteria, jewelry, sweating, clothing, emotional or mental stress.

Anything that causes sweating can make the condition worse, so skip the gym during a flare-up.

Stock up on gentle soaps and moisturizers: Gold recommends Cetaphil, Aveeno, Oil of Olay or Neutrogena. Your doctor also can prescribe topical steroids to control the itching. And take short, warm – not hot – showers because heat can also aggravate it, Weinberg says.

4. Keratosis
What is it? There are two types – actinic keratosis (AK) and seborrheic keratosis, says Leon Kircik, M.D., clinical associate professor of dermatology at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Actinic keratosis (AK) appears as red scaly patches on the face and can be precancerous.

On the other hand, seborrheic keratosis is among the most common noncancerous skin conditions. Its dark brown patches have a ‘stuck-on’ appearance,” he says.

Who gets it? AK affects mostly adults and results from sun exposure, Kircik says.

Research shows that p53 – a mutant protein found in sun-damaged cells – is present in more than 90% of people with AK and squamous cell carcinoma (type of skin cancer), according to the American Dermatology Association.

Seborrheic keratosis is also common in adults. Its cause is unknown, but genetics may play a role, the Mayo Clinic reports.

How to get relief: The best defense against AK is a good offense. Don’t go near a tanning bed, cover up in the sun and use sunscreen. The lesions can be removed by freezing, cutting or burning. Topical creams also may help.

Seborrheic keratosis doesn’t require treatment. But if you don’t like its appearance, dermatologists can remove them as they do AK lesions.

5. Psoriasis
What is it? Psoriasis is a chronic condition characterized by thick, scaly patches most often in the folds of elbows and knees. About 1%-2% of the population has psoriasis, Weinberg says.

The disease involves your immune system – specifically T cells, which travel throughout the body fighting foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria.

In psoriasis sufferers, the T cells attack healthy cells, which makes the skin’s top layer regenerate too quickly – before dead skin and white blood cells can slough off.

Psoriasis skin patches range from small, scaly dots to large, major eruptions that are itchy and sore. Some people also have psoriasis arthritis, which causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling along with skin symptoms.

Who gets it? Psoriasis often runs in families. About a third of people with psoriasis have a close relative with the condition, the Mayo Clinic reports.

Infections, such as strep or thrush, can set off outbreaks. Other triggers include scrapes, bug bites, stress, cold weather, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption and certain drugs such as beta blockers, Weinberg says.

How to get relief: There’s no cure, and severe psoriasis cases are hard to treat, he says. It can return even after being dormant for long periods.

Still, several options may provide relief:

  • Bathe daily with bath oil, Epsom salts or colloidal oatmeal in lukewarm water.

  • Apply heavy ointment-based moisturizer.

  • Avoid alcohol and watch for other triggers.

  • Ask your doctor about topical creams. Corticosteroids can help mild to moderate psoriasis – they slow skin growth by suppressing the immune system. Vitamin D creams reduce inflammation and stop skin cells from reproducing. And topical retinoids – developed for acne – can normalize DNA activity in the skin, as does the drug anthralin.

  • Get small amounts of sunlight. UVB phototherapy, PUVA (psoralen, a chemical that makes skin more sensitive to light, plus ultraviolet) and laser therapies through a doctor’s office also can be effective.

  • The final line of attack is oral medication. Because these drugs are so potent, many are used only for short periods to give sufferers a break in the cycle.

6. Rosacea

What is it? It’s a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes redness and small, pus-filled bumps on the face.

“It usually involves the center of the face and, in about 50% of cases, the eyes can be involved with burning or a gritty feeling,” Gold says.

A rare form of rosacea called rhinophyma – most common in men – is characterized by enlarged oil glands and thick bumps on the nose.

The cause is unknown, and for most people, it comes and goes.

Who gets it? Does your face turn pink at the first sign of anxiety? You may have rosacea.

“Often referred to as ‘adult acne,’ rosacea is seen in people who flush or blush easily,” Gold says.

Others with a higher risk include people with light hair and skin and between 30 and 60 years old, menopausal women, and those with a family history of rosacea.

How to get relief: Anything that dilates the blood vessels can make rosacea worse, Kircik says. “This includes excessive sun exposure, hot foods, hot drinks, alcohol and showers.” Also avoid harsh facial products with alcohol and rubbing the face.

There's no cure, but topical and oral medications may ease it. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe Accutane (isotretinoin).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

3 Tips To Lose 10 Pounds A Month


If you are looking for tips to lose 10 pounds a month this article will give 3 great tips on how to lose 10 pounds a month. To lose that much of weight is more than possible to achieve in a month.

You can apply the 3 tips without having to restrict your diet and doing high intensity workout. These methods to lose 10 pounds in a month do not apply any intense workout or unhealthy eating. You will be allowed to eat your normal our meals.

Losing weight is mostly about your diet. There is no doubt that exercise contributes to your weight loss but your diet contribute the most.

1. Eat More Fiber Laden Foods Daily

Eat foods with high fiber content in addition to your regular meals. Watermelon is one fruit which is rich in fiber and water. Have watermelon during your breakfast, lunch, tea time, dinner and supper. Watermelons are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A and dietary fiber. Watermelon also can provide you with substantial energy and it provide you with sufficient water because of its high water content. Another alternative instead of drinking energy drinks prior to your exercise is to eat watermelon.

Another excellent source of fiber are apples. Apples are free from fat, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. Eat an apple before your meal with a minimum of 3 apples daily. Just as watermelon, apples are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and dietary fiber.

2. Do More Activities Such As Mini Exercise Daily At Home

When you are at home watching tv, it is best that you do some mini exercise during the commercial break. For an hour tv show there will be about 20 to 30 minutes of commercial break. During this commercial breaks you should do some mini exercise such a sit ups, skipping, cycling with your stationery bike or any other cardio exercise that you can do at home. Those 20 to 30 minutes of exercise sure worth something compared to just sitting in front of the tv and eating those junk foods.

3. Brisk Walking For A Minimum Of 45 Minutes Every Morning

Brisk walking for 45 minutes every morning is a great exercise to maintain your health and to burn your fat so you lose your weight. A lot of people thought that brisk walking or walking do not make you lose weight. If you brisk walk once a month, then the answer is yes, brisk walking do not make you lose weight.

To lose weight you need to brisk walk a minimum of 45 minutes every morning. This is the most easiest and effective ways to lose weight. So, how fast do you brisk walk? The ideal brisk walking speed is fast but it does not make you feel exhausted. If you brisk walk with a friend, then you should be able to have a conversation with your friend and at the same time walking.

These 3 proven methods to lose 10 pounds a month is definitely be easy to follow and you should try it today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Combo Drug Contrave May Turn Into 'Chronic' Diet Pill

ABC News

Finding the perfect pill, procedure, or injection to make people lose weight might sound as lofty a goal as genetically engineering a money tree. But drug companies are still trying.

Dr. Louis Arrone explains the potential behind the new drug Contrave.

Yesterday the makers of a new weight-loss drug called Contrave announced their clinical trials actually exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's requirements to prove a weight loss drug's effectiveness.

People taking the drug lost an average of 8% of their body weight (around 17 pounds) within one year compared with people on the placebo, who lost an average of 1 percent of their body weight in a year.

"This is the first drug, that I know of, that addressed the craving issue," said Dr. Dennis Kim, senior vice president of medical affairs and communications at Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., maker of Contrave.

"We have clearly cleared the hurdle, the efficacy benchmark, it's of course the FDA's judgment to see if it passes for safety," said Kim, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at University of California, San Diego.

The most common side effects included nausea, constipation and headache. The most severe side effects were one case of gall bladder infection and one person who had seizures. More than 3,000 people were included in the study, but around 40 percent of them dropped out of the trial.

Despite the success in terms of FDA efficacy standards, many obesity specialists voiced caution over the drug, or any weight loss drug.

"I have limited enthusiasm for pharmacotherapy to manage weight, and these results certainly don't change my view on the topic," said Dr. David Katz, associate professor Public Health at Yale University and expert in obesity. "The results are promising, although certainly less than dazzling."

Katz said he thought the Contrave results were "fairly consistent" with the success of other drugs for weight loss.

"Perhaps the single uniquely promising element here is that Contrave is a combination of two drugs long in use for other purposes, and thus likely to be at least relatively safe," Katz wrote in an e-mail to ABC News.

Contrave is the first drug to combine a anti-depression and smoking cessation drug called bupropion and naltrexone, prescribed to fight alcohol and opiate addiction.

Weight Loss Pill That Targets the Brain's Cravings

The point with Contrave, Kim said, isn't to increase metabolism but to block the craving in the craving-reward system in the brain.

"It's not so much the reaction to whatever you're doing, it's more the craving about those activities," said Kim, who added that because the drug targets craving and not reward that patients are less likely to experience diminished enjoyment in exercise or sex.

Other weight-loss drugs on the market also target the brain or central nervous system rather than the metabolism. For example Meridia (or sibutramine) works as an appetite suppressant by boosting chemical messages that tell the brain you're satisfied.

Based on the long-term outcomes of other weight-loss drugs that target the brain, Katz was cautious about the promise of Contrave.

"Weight is regulated by many pathways, and to date, efforts to turn off appetite along one pathway have resulted in compensation in others," he said.

Only time will tell for Contrave. With the FDA bar for efficacy out of the way, the makers of Contrave say they are about to seek FDA approval for the drug in early 2010, which is not guaranteed.

Whether or not Contrave is approved, some doctors predict the approach behind the drug will become a trend in obesity treatment.

"There is no question that drugs like Contrave are the way of the future," said Dr. Mitchell Roslin, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "For obesity drugs to be effective they will need to be this type of cocktail that hits multiple targets."

Kim said the weight-loss results that came with that approach had some additional health advantages -- patients feeling less grumpy, for example, lower HDL or "bad cholesterol" levels, lower triglycerides, less visceral fat between the organs and smaller waists. Diabetic patients on the drug also showed better control of their blood glucose levels.

What the FDA Asks of Weight-Loss Drug

The FDA requires at least a third of the patients on a weight-loss drug lose 5 percent of their body weight to call the drug effective. Of the people taking Contrave in two non-diabetic clinical trials, nearly half (48 -56 percent) lost more than 5 percent of their body weight in a year.

Contrave also exceeded the FDA expectation that twice as many people on the drug hit the 5 percent body weight goal as people on the placebo. In the two non-diabetic trials, three times more people hit the 5 percent reduction in body weight on the drug than on the placebo.

Keith Ayoob, director of the nutrition clinic at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., wasn't exactly blown over by the results.

"This drug seems to have an edge on the others out there. It appears to have met the FDA criteria and there is a reasonable amount of weight loss over a year's time. However, let's keep real about this," said Ayoob. "Fifty six weeks is a long time to lose only 5 percent of weight. For a 200 pound person that amounts to 10 pounds in a year."

"It's good, no question, and better than placebos, but I wouldn't want people thinking this is some sort of miracle," he said.

Ayoob points out that the drug works by controlling cravings, but that people often overeat and become obese for other reasons.

Other doctors were concerned about what would happen if patients take the drug for a long period of time.

"Most significantly, what happens when the drug is stopped? Will the weight be regained? What will be the effects of years of use of these drugs?" said Katz. "Despite these issues, this is exciting data."

Kim said the FDA usually asks for year-long studies in drugs that are intended for chronic use, and predicts Contrave will be prescribed for long-term use.

"There will be a small number of patients who will be able to get off these drugs," said Kim. "But the vast majority of patients would probably need to take this medication chronically."

Does Weight Loss Cause A Female To Smell?

Fat Loss | Quick Weight Loss | Fast Diet

  1. Well the short answer is Yes! Weight loss can cause you to smell.

    Weight loss done properly results in fat loss. That is the primary goal - to lose fat. You do want to avoid losing muscle. Muscle helps to keep your metabolism high so you can continue to burn fat.
    The fatty tissues of our body is where we hold onto the poisons that we take in from our environment, as well as the poisons or waste that our bodies manufacture.
    Now if you have ever heard the warnings from game and wildlife authorities about eating fish from questionable waters, you know that they always advise that we not eat the fatty parts of the fish, because that is where the toxins reside.
    So when we lose fat, we will be detoxifying as we lose weight. And as the fat leaves our body in the form of sweat, urine and feces, those toxins will often give off an odor.
    Anytime you detox, you are releasing these toxins into your blood stream, and it’s always advisable to do this weight loss, or detox slowly so that your body doesn’t become overwhelmed with the poisons being released.
    You can use self hypnosis to assist you in any long term efforts to make changes. This is a simple process that just engages your imagination in a very healthy and productive way. If you could imagine every one of your cells working feverishly to detoxify and lose weight, and assist them in your imagination your body will respond better to what you want to accomplish.

  2. A “Ketogenic” diet (like Atkins or Protein Power) – very high in protein and very low in carbohydrate. Ketogenic diets produce and cause you to expel Ketone bodies (the result of incomplete metabolism of fat) that still contain calories. Therefore, fat can be lost that is not accounted for in energy expenditure. Although Ketogenic diets are not really dangerous, there are nutritional imbalances requiring lots of supplements and these programs are difficult to follow, often produce temporary results and are usually accompanied by bad breath and body odor (Ketones don’t smell nice).

Avoid Body Odor


If you are worried about the body odor then first thing you have to do is drink a lot of water and it will help to flush a good amount of toxins present in the body. Thus you can avoid your body odor to an extent. Also take at least three baths per day during summer and two baths in other seasons. You can also keep your self immersed in a tub containing two glass tomato juices for 15 minutes.

Baking Soda

Apply a little baking soda in the under arms and this will kill the bacteria present in the under arms and it also helps you to absorb most of the sweat forming in the under arms.

Wheat Grass

Wheat grass is found to have good effect on the body odor. Take one glass of water containing 500 mg wheat grass in empty stomach and the chlorophyll present in it will help you can reduce your body odor.


You can apply some white vinegar or apple cider vinegar on your arm pit and also on your legs. This will help you to remain odor less through out the entire day.


You can rub a freshly cut potato on your under arms and wash it only when it dries out. This will keep you fresh through out the day.

Essential oil

Apply a little essential oil on the under arms or areas prone to sweating. You can use rosemary oil. Tea tree oil etc and the anti bacterial ingredients present in these essential oils will keep the bacteria away from your body.


In order to reduce body odor you have to avoid the intake of hydrogenated oil, red meat, alcohol, refined sugar, caffeine, while flour, garlic, cumin etc. Instead of such thing you have to take foods that are rich in fibers like fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, raw nuts, whole grains, soy products, sprouts etc.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Better Than Botox - 2 New Treatments Now Available

Features : Memphis Commercial Appeal

Here's news to wipe the frown from your face. A new technology that uses radio-frequency waves to smooth brow wrinkles may last longer and cost less over the long run than Botox and is now available here and in a limited number of other cities.

   Dr. Phillip Langsdon  is studying a new radiofrequency technology,  called Relaxed Expressions, to treat frown lines  at The Langsdon Clinic in Germantown. The RF treatment "has the potential to be a changing force in the way we treat frown lines," he said.

Dr. Phillip Langsdon is studying a new radiofrequency technology, called Relaxed Expressions, to treat frown lines at The Langsdon Clinic in Germantown. The RF treatment "has the potential to be a changing force in the way we treat frown lines," he said.

Barbara Davis, a retired registered nurse, is shown prior to undergoing the radio-frequency  procedure called Relaxed Expressions.

Barbara Davis, a retired registered nurse, is shown prior to undergoing the radio-frequency procedure called Relaxed Expressions.

This image at right was taken one week after Davis had the treatment.

At the same time, another treatment called Dysport (pronounced DIS sport), an injectable substance similar to Botox Cosmetic, has hit the market this month giving Botox an immediate, widespread competitor.

With such developments, it appears the days of the Botox monopoly are over -- good news for consumers who have seen prices continually ratchet up over the years.

Such developments are more than mere wrinkles in the cosmetics industry. Botox is the country's most popular cosmetic procedure with almost 2.5 million treatments done last year, according to The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, but it averages about $400 per area to diminish forehead creases and lines and crows feet, and lasts only three to six months.

For Barbara Davis, 63, the rippled pinch between her brows would let go for only two or three months, despite repeated Botox treatments. So Davis, a retired registered nurse who lives in Hernando, Miss., agreed to be a study subject for the relatively new radio-frequency technology called Relaxed Expressions. The device uses bipolar radio-frequency energy delivered with a probe to heat and temporarily incapacitate specific nerve tissue to the muscles that cause the vertical glabella wrinkles between the eyebrows.

Twenty doctors across the country, including Dr. Phillip R. Langsdon, associate professor and chief of the Division of Facial Plastic Surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, are studying the treatment, using it on 20 patients each and following the outcomes for a year.

Virginia Bledsoe of BioForm Medical Affairs, which owns the technology, said information gathered will help the company

prepare for trials for FDA approval, as well as refine the techniques used.

Bipolar RF has been used for years to treat cardiac arrhythmia. Treating frown lines is an off-label use, for which doctors are charging $1,000 to $2,000, with higher prices mainly on the coasts. (Once a product has been approved for use by the FDA, physicians may legally use it to treat other conditions for which it was not specifically approved.)

But representatives of Relaxed Expressions say effects have lasted from a year to 22 months, which, in the long run, could represent considerable savings.

And there may be other advantages. Patients typically retain a little remaining brow movement, which creates a more natural appearance than the frozen brow of Botox.

Langsdon cautions that in the hyper-charged world of cosmetic rejuvenation, "a lot of technology is pure gimmickry." But he thinks the RF treatment "has the potential to be a changing force in the way we treat frown lines," appealing to people wary of toxin injections and who want longer lasting results. He plans to offer it at The Langsdon Clinic in Germantown.

He is also still seeking more subjects for the RF treatment study. Those approved will receive doctor's services and the radio-frequency machine free, but will be charged for relaxation medications. Those interested may call 755-6465 or e-mail info@ drlangsdon.com.

The treatment is performed with numbing injections and/or relaxation medication, such as Valium, and takes about a half hour. The physician locates the target nerve with small electrical impulses from the probe, then administers radio-frequency waves, which heat the nerve and disrupt its ability to signal the muscles that cause frowns.

Davis' frown loosened almost immediately. Afterward, she said, "I went home and fed my horse." She was back at her part-time office job the next day, with a little swelling and not much bruising. The "eleven" lines between her brows are still there, she said, a few days later, "but it looks much more relaxed." She called the discomfort "tolerable. ... I'd do it again in a minute."

Dysport, formerly known as Reloxin, is, like Botox Cosmetic, a botulinum toxin type A. Made by Ipsen and marketed in this country by Medicis, it was approved in late April for glabella lines (lines between the brows), as well as cervical dystonia, a muscle contraction disorder in the neck.

Both Botox and Dysport have been in use about 20 years. While similar, there are subtle differences, said Dr. David E. Bank, founder and director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic, and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, N.Y., who participated in the FDA trials of Dysport for frown lines.

Dysport may work a little faster, last a little longer and affect a wider area, he said.

Dysport may take effect as early as 24 to 48 hours after injection, while Botox often takes an extra day or two to kick in, he said. That's not a big deal "unless you've got a big reunion that weekend or a wedding to go to," he said.

In trials, Dysport lasted from four to six months in some patients, while Botox typically lasts for three months and begins to wear off in four, he said.

Some patients got "a pretty, smoothing out of the forehead area as well," he said.

Bank believes the two treatments will turn out to be roughly comparable in price. But he pointed out Botox Cosmetic prices have more than doubled since the product was introduced. (It was FDA approved in 2002). "While there may not be a drop in prices, (the competition) may put the brakes on the ongoing price escalation," he said.

Allergan, maker of Botox, is, in fact, greeting its rival's roll-out with a $50 rebate offer on treatments of $200 or more through Sept. 30, said Terri Healy, a registered nurse who does Botox treatments at Eden Spa & Laser here.

Healy feels Dysport may be trickier to use than Botox, because it migrates through the muscle more easily, she said. A temporary droopy eyelid is a possible side effect with both products. So, for now, the spa, which treats about 25 clients a week with Botox, is sticking with Botox.

In Memphis, $12 is a standard price for a unit of Botox, said Healy. Women with a tight furrow may require 20 to 30 units, she said, while men, who often have more muscle bulk, may require 30 to 50.

Botox is sometimes offered locally for as little as $9 a unit by competing medi-spas and doctor's offices, she said. But sometimes the deal is only for large-dose users or first-time users.

The best time to get a bargain is now before the fall party season and when parents may be spending their money more on family and kids, she said.

Perhaps moms dealing with kids out of school also see more reason to keep the frown option available.

Frown stoppers

Two new treatments for frown wrinkles offer alternatives to Botox, the country's most popular cosmetic procedure.

Botox, FDA-approved in 2002, is a botulinum toxin injected into the facial muscles that cause frowns and crow's feet to temporarily paralyze them.

Dysport, also known as Reloxin, is another botulinum toxin injectable approved in April that may work faster and perhaps last a little longer than Botox. It is hoped it will end the Botox monopoly.

Relaxed Expressions is a relatively new technology, delivered with a machine and a probe, that uses bipolar radio-frequency energy to incapacitate the nerves to the muscles that cause frowns for a result that may be considerably longer-lasting than Botox. Memphis is among 20 cities where the procedure is being studied.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I am so sick of the lies about exercise, weight and weight loss.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

I am tired of people brandishing badly crafted studies to ‘prove’ that exercise is completely unrelated to weight loss. I am tired of people using the fact that government agencies make unhealthy recommendations about diet as ‘proof’ that what you eat is completely unrelated to your weight. I am tired of people using set-point theorizings to ‘prove’ that the weight you currently are is the only weight you can ever be and you are being evil or fighting your body to be any other weight.

The reality is that those studies consider stuff like no-incline treadmill workouts ‘vigorous’. If your treadmill doesn’t go uphill, you aren’t burning many calories no matter how fast you run on it. The reality is that you don’t have to be cheating to be off on your calorie consumption estimates by 100, 200, 500 calories per day. This would of course wipe out any deficits accumulated through exercise. The reality is that you can be losing fat and gaining muscle and ultimately your overall weight doesn’t change, but it doesn’t actually mean ‘exercise never results in weight loss’. You just lost a bunch of fat while concurrently acquiring some muscle.

The reality is that trashing out your body’s natural feedback mechanisms for calorie burning and absorption with bulimia/anorexia/crash diets/etc. can create some pretty weird feedback mechanisms that may make you extrapolate that ‘eating less and exercising more is completely unrelated to weight loss’.

The reality is that exercise and dietary changes create long term weight loss and weight maintenance at those new low weights if people take the time to get to know their individual body’s calorie requirements and arrange their exercise program (for maintenance at a given weight or for weight loss, then maintenance) accordingly. Or weight gain, if your thing is to explicitly gain some muscle. Exercise and dietary changes can work there, as well.

The reality is that studies claiming being a bit fat or even very fat make you live longer mysteriously don’t look at people over age 75, who are incidentally overwhelmingly not-even-overweight. People bashing others over the head with such studies like to leave out ones that indicate being fat and old can lead to dementia onset (for women, according to a pretty big study of hundreds of old women ranging across the BMI scale).

I don’t really know why the people most likely to claim diet and exercise are completely unrelated to weight and weight gain/loss are women, and why they make a big habit out of insisting to other women that you cannot possibly lose weight through diet and exercise changes. I do know that it is crippling, it is cruel and it really really bothers me. As someone who listened to the lies and got sicker and sicker because hey! exercise and diet are totes unrelated to my weight, I hate the dishonesty operating on all sides of this thing.

I hate the badly designed studies that twist data to make their conclusions. I hate the rebuttals/debunkings that are just as data-twisting and dishonest. I hate when someone says ‘I’m 400 lbs and exercise all the time and and never lost a pound, so this proves diet and exercise are unrelated to weight loss!’

Because that someone is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS a woman telling that lie to other women, making them feel that their bodies are chaotic entities they can never really understand, pressuring other women into believing the ancient male-derived myth that female natures are mysterious wacky things that nobody can really get a handle on.

I hate the way patriarchal cruelty gets reinforced by the same women who insist they are trying to offer an empowerment model by pretending diet (as in what you eat and how you eat and when and how much) and exercise(as in how hard, how often, what kind and how long) have zero connection to the workings of a given female body.

I do feel cheated by fat-positive notions that if my weight drops due to having a more active lifestyle and eating less, that I’m an anomaly when this is a norm for men. Over and over men get more active and eat differently/less and watch the weight fly off. But just as often women tell other women that stuff is a Big Media Lie and it can never happen for them and anyway, setpoints! mean your body totally wants to be gaining seven pounds a year. Until you’re in your 70s when mysteriously most people find themselves pretty slim.

We all have different weights that are best for our bodies. Some of them are pretty high according to government charts. Some of them are pretty low.

This is also true for calorie consumption. I was looking up people over 900lbs the other day and in many cases they were carrying hundreds of pounds of liquid, in some cases more than half their total weight. If your internals are swimming around in a bunch of fluid, you can get some pretty healthy-looking statistics precisely because you aren’t full of 900lbs of fat at all. In the case of these people, putting them on starvation diets was ridiculous because they weren’t full of fat at all, but rather had some complicated issue of liquids retention.

This does not actually prove that being 500 or 700 or 900lbs with low cholesterol readings is necessarily healthy. Rather, it illustrates that there is something going on that does not really map to established notions of weight. As well, some of those 900lb people were eating eight thousand or ten thousand, etc. calories a day as a norm (a much higher fraction than I actually thought was likely, so it was news to me.)

Also, apparently the shape of your good cholesterol is more important than how low the bad cholesterol is. In fact, this offers an explanation for the vegetarian triathletes dropping at 42 from heart attacks.

I guess for me, the weight stuff is like fertility awareness. Fertility awareness can provide a lot of information about your body, but it is unique to every woman, because our bodies are individual entities and they all work differently, even if larger patterns show up for a few things. With weight, women cannot get ‘large’ and ‘too muscly’, but they can get very very strong. They will probably not lose weight the same ways that men often do in terms of swiftness or amount. And they honestly do not tend to have the same calorie needs as men of comparable size and height.

Not losing weight was making me very sick. I was reaching a weight level where exercise was starting to become difficult to even attempt. And I kept trying to exercise, but would stop because I kept remembering the rhetoric that ‘exercise is useless for weight loss and nobody can really lose weight through conscious effort– it is a mystery how weight fluctuates in us gals’. So I believed that exercise wouldn’t do anything for my weight or my health (because if it didn’t have the capacity to change my weight up or down at *some* level, how on earth could it really do anything for my health?) and nearly ended up back in the hospital.

A lot of women are like me. If they aren’t going to gain muscle and/or lose fat, they have a hard time believing that exercise can improve the health, since they get told by other women that it cannot do either of those things.

Anyway, like fertility awareness, bodily awareness is a state of mind rather than a magic system or methodology. And like fertility awareness, I find it telling just which women claim to want you to exercise at any weight but want to deny that your body is a whole system and what you do with it beyond exercise is also relevant to how it behaves with you.

What I eat is relevant to how my weight rises and falls throughout my life. It is not the *only* relevant thing, just one of them. How I choose to be active or inactive is also relevant. The decision to intimately understand one’s metabolic mechanisms is not dissimilar to the decision to understand one’s fertility and gynecological health beyond fetishizing menstruation.

My genetic inheritances regarding metabolic feedback are relevant, but this, this is NOT the only relevant thing. Yet there is a discomforting level of insistence among women (and only women) that it is all that matters and our actions are meaningless gestures in the wind.

I’m fat, I’m losing weight through dietary changes and exercise, and I’m also gaining muscle. Due to having a trashed-out metabolism from anorexia and also being a very short person, I eat a pretty small amount of calories to lose weight– an amount that would be dangerous for someone taller with a better eating history. But it’s also an amount higher than what most women are told falsely is the only range that will result in weight loss.

I exercise by walking up a lot of steep hills, and never slowly. I do calisthenics and heavy weight training (deadlifting and the like). By the standards of the studies claiming people just gain the weight back, I burn about twice the calories per week the study participants do at ‘vigorous’ levels. Guess what that means? It means scientists don’t know what the heck vigorous exercise is. (In such studies, people generally do one type of exercise and nothing else. The body is very efficient at adjusting to one kind of exercise, which is why people should seek to be *more active* and not just do the same workout repeatedly. Nobody rotates exercises in any of these studies, and unsurprisingly, weight losses will not last without variety in activity.)

I exercise about three hours a week and I burn a whole lot more calories than treadmillers and flat-plain bicyclers working out six or seven hours a week. It is amazing how many calories are burned by explosive, whole body exercises, and by the ‘classic’ calisthenic bodyweight exercises of pushups, crunches and squats. But I mix it up and try to make my daily life more active in addition to a variety of exercises.

I will probably post more about this, because I didn’t realise that all the anti-diet, anti-exercise, anti-health rhetoric was coming entirely from women. Men don’t do this to other men.

Weight, exercise, size and health are very complicated and it’s even more dangerous to say exercise and diet have no relationship to weight than to say they are the only things that do. I have been up and down the BMI scales like many women, and right now I just want to have a strong, healthy body, and I don’t like being told I must have ‘magic genetics’ because I eat less, exercise more and am losing fat this way.

The truth is that people are not honest about this stuff, and studies are not designed to actually use techniques that work for long-term weight loss and maintenance.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WARNING: Alli diet pills (orlistat): 31 side effects reported, liver damage concerns

RealSelf.com blog

Alli weight loss program being investigated

The heavily marketed diet program Alli may be worse than not worth it. Since April the UK's regulatory agency (MHRA), has received 31 reports of side effects linked to orlistat (the active ingredient in Alli).

GlaxoSmithKline chooses to call Alli side effects "treatment effects", which include headaches, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, depression and fatigue.

More seriously, the UK Mail reports Alli is being investigated for causing liver damage.

Alli users on the Alli web community (allicircles) complained as far back as 2007 of elevated liver enzymes. For instance, FiolaKitty states :

My doctor still thinks it's the alli. We're gonna test my liver with me being off of it for a month. I was researching fatty liver and a possible cure is losing weight and lowering your cholesterol. Obviously Alli is helping me with that, but I've learned enough to do it without the pill.

Potential liver problems caught allicircles community member itslisa75 by surprise, having learned from the web--not GlaxoSmithKline--that her problem could be an Alli side effect:

I recently had my yearly blood work done only to have it returned telling me my liver enzymes are elevated. After going for a ultrasound and a second round of blood work, I read on the web that elevated enzymes is a possible side effect.. Holy cow! I had no clue. Has this happened to anyone else? Since this is the only thing I've been doing different sadly I am stopping Alli and will recheck my enzyme levels in four months. A big disapoinment as Alli has worked for me.

As recent as January, an Alli community moderator stated that Alli "Orlistat, the active ingredient in alli, is believed to be metabolized in the intestinal walls and will not affect the liver."

Alli Side Effects

In clinical studies, common side effects of Alli included stomach pain, gas, oily spotting, and diarrhea. Fortunately, side effects can be controlled (if not avoided altogether) by watching the amount of fat you eat. Most people tolerate the drug without problems. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience serious side effects, such as kidney stones, severe stomach pain, or signs of an allergic reaction.

Common Side Effects of Alli

Alli is a non-prescription weight loss drug. With prescription medications, the manufacturers must provide "prescribing information" that includes detailed information about side effects. However, such information is not available for most non-prescription medications, including Alli.
Based on information submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order for Alli to be approved, the following side effects were commonly reported in clinical studies:
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain) -- in up to 20.1 percent of people
  • Fecal urgency (an urgent but controlled need to have a bowel movement) -- up to 18.8 percent
  • Gas -- up to 18.6 percent
  • Oily spotting (uncontrolled anal oil seepage) -- up to 17.7 percent
  • Gas with a small amount of oil or stool -- up to 17.2 percent
  • Fatty or oily stool -- up to 17.2 percent
  • Diarrhea-- up to 11.9 percent
  • Oily evacuation (bowel movements of just oil, without stool) -- up to 11.6 percent
  • Sinus infection -- up to 10.6 percent
  • Soft stool -- up to 10.1 percent.
Other common side effects of Alli (occurring in 3 to 10 percent of people) included:
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • Uncontrolled, spontaneous bowel movements (known as fecal incontinence)
  • Back pain.

Many of these problems that affect the digestive tract can be avoided or reduced by decreasing the amount of fat in your diet. Because Alli decreases the absorption of fat, more fat stays in the digestive tract, causing many of the bothersome (and sometimes embarrassing) side effects. You are more likely to experience these side effects if you eat too much fat. As you continue to take the medication, you will learn how different foods and different amounts of fat will affect you. If you have consumed a meal that is high in fat and have taken Alli, you may want to prepare for possible negative effects.

Serious Side Effects

There are a number of Alli side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Kidney Stones
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Gallbladder disease (or worsening of preexisting gallbladder disease)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Final Thoughts

You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if any particular side effect (such as nausea) is caused by Alli or by other factors. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking the drug. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While the issue may not be due to an Alli side effect, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.

source: weight-loss.emedtv.com