Archive | May, 2017

Top Nipple Bleaching Creams & Products to Lighten Dark Nipples – Top Skin Lightning Creams Review

Most women like to flaunt pink and light colored nipples. Nipple bleaching creams helps in lightening the color of your nipples with panache. The trend of bleaching dark intimate areas such as the vagina, anal area and the underarms is gaining momentum. People are become more beauty conscious and exceptionally hygienic. The process of removal can be performed from the comfort and convenience of your home. You can easily buy these products online anonymously.

It is advisable to look at the ingredients of the bleaching creams. Nature based products are always preferred. Most of these creams contain FDA banned ingredient Hydroquinone, which can be extremely harmful for your body. It can cause leukemia, thyroid disorder or liver damage.

Top Skin Lightening creams Review

* Skin bright by Premium Naturals: This cream is developed through years of research. It is made up of Alpha Albutin, Kojic acids and natural moisturizers. It soothes, protects and decreases the production of melanin in our body, which consequently leads to skin lightening.

* Revitol Skin Brightener: This cream protects your skin from discoloration and uneven skin tone. You can easily buy this product online. It is always advisable consult a physician before buying this product.

* Meladerm: This cream is touted be one of the most effective skin lightening cream. This product contains natural ingredients such as Vitamin B3, Mulberry Extract, bearberry extract, lemon juice, emblica powder, locorice extract, lactic acid and glycolic acid that can easily rejuvenate our skin tone. This product contains no Hydroquinone, steroids and mercury. Most of the bleaching and skin lightening creams nowadays contain harmful substances, which can be extremely dangerous for our body. Meladerm is completely a nature-based cream, which can diminish age spots, hyper pigmentation, freckles, knuckles and dark elbows with ease.

Posted in Skin Care0 Comments

Cure Erectile Dysfunction and Sexual Weakness Naturally and Permanently

Some men experience erectile dysfunction which is basically a condition of inability of getting an erection and sustaining it long enough for sexual lovemaking. Erection starts with physical or mental stimulation in which the blood flows to create pressure and makes the male organ expand. But when the muscles contract and stop the flow of the blood, erection dies down. A weak erection, erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation is known as sexual weakness.

Erectile Dysfunction can occur when there is a break in the sequence of events in achieving an erection. Damage to muscles, nerves or arteries may cause erection dysfunction. Certain medical conditions like kidney diseases, heart disease, clogged blood vessels, alcoholism and diabetes are reasons for most of the erection dysfunction cases. Sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress, fatigue, anxiety, low self esteem, lack of confidence and obesity may also cause the condition. Sexual weakness can have the same reasons as stated above.

Tests may be done in order to diagnose such conditions. For treatment for sexual weakness options like Drug therapy, psychotherapy and surgery are available. These drugs for treatment of sexual weakness may have side effects due to the chemicals in them. However there are ways to cure erectile dysfunction and sexual weakness naturally as stated below:

1. Ginkgo: Ginkgo is effective as it smoothes the muscles due to which the blood flow to the male organ increases.

2. Zinc: Zinc is required by the body for smooth functioning and the deficiency of zinc may lead to sexual weakness and erectile dysfunction in males. Consume zinc rich foods like fish, nuts, oysters.

3. Exercises: Exercises especially pelvic strengthening exercises help to strengthen the muscles near the male organ.

4. Yoga: Practice yoga and the breathing techniques in yoga which will help you remain calm and stress free.

5. Herbal Capsules: Herbal aphrodisiacs are available which act like a sex tonic and provide energy and strength to the body. They help in eliminating sexual problems and is therefore used to cure erectile dysfunction and sexual weakness naturally. These capsules are herbal thus are safe and do not have negative side effects.

6. Massage Oils: Massage oils are available for massaging the male organ to increase the blood circulation. This helps to cure erectile dysfunction and sexual weakness. The oil needs to be massaged above the prostate gland gently.

7. Garlic: Eat raw cloves of garlic everyday to improve your sexual health.

8. Nuts: Nuts help in regaining vigor and strengthening the sexual system.

9. Onion: Include onion in your diet and consume this regularly.

10. Ashwaganda: This herb calms the nerves and aids in reviving the body and mind thus improving the sexual health.

11. Indian Gooseberry: Indian gooseberry or amla are natural aphrodisiacs and help overcome impotence and sexual weakness naturally.

12. Ginger: Ginger is also beneficial. Turmeric and black pepper should also be included in the diet.

Exercise regularly and lose the excess fat. Exercising will also help to reduce stress, practice meditation and yoga too. Communicate freely with your partner and work out the relationship issues. Avoid smoking, taking drugs and alcohol and maintain a positive attitude towards life.

Posted in Yoga0 Comments

Sisterlocks – An Interview With a Leading Master Trainer by a Sisterlock Client

Black hair care can be quite a roller coaster ride if you like variety or if you are unsure what hair style works best for you. Going natural with my hair has been my thing for some 5 years now, I have just recently passed my 2nd anniversary with my sisterlocs. My two year experience with Sisterlocks has been a wonderfully freeing and satisfying adventure.

In the beginning the hefty price for the first three visits can be quite daunting especially for those whose mind is not made up. I had done my research beforehand and knew beyond any doubt that this natural hairstyle was right for me.

I must say with laughter that my first 6-9 months I thought I looked like a drowned rat. Because of my hair texture it took almost a year and a half for my hair to really start locking. By then the length had become reasonable and now my length is past my shoulders.

The fullness, length and versatility make me feel beautiful. Any uneasiness I had at the start has been well worth the time, money and effort to arrive at this point. It is important to be able to see the big picture before making an investment into this natural hair lifestyle.

Choosing a Sisterloc consultant will be the most important step in the process. My Sisterlock consultant has been a godsend. It is because of her that my first year went so smoothly. One morning during our 6 week appointment I took the time to do a brief interview with my stylist Blenna Williams. She owns and operates Salon Nature’lle in Memphis, TN, online at salonnaturelle.com.

PFP: What kind of certification or training do you go through as a Sisterlock consultant?

Blenna: One starts out as a trainee, then becomes a certified consultant, then R-certified from there to associate trainer. I am now a master trainer.

PFP: What do you believe is the number one reason why women get Sisterlocs?

Blenna: It is twofold, 1 the beauty of them and 2 the healthy hair therapy they receive and still keep their hair looking feminine and stylish.

PFP: After their initial consultation, what do you believe is the main reason why women choose not to get Sisterlocks?

Blenna: They don’t understand the pricing and how your first three visits set up your lifestyle change.

PFP: What do you find is the leading cause of damage to many African American women’s hair?

Blenna: First is the lack of knowledge, second is the chemicals. We tend to take care of our hair only after it’s been altered and not in it’s natural state.

PFP: What is the biggest problem women seem to have caring for their Sisterlocs when they first get them.

Blenna: We have so little knowledge of our natural hair pattern. We don’t see how beautiful our hair can be. As a master trainer I work closely with my clients in the beginning thereby alleviating any fears and teaching the client proper care until they are comfortable with the process. There are definite steps and stages. This is why we advocate seeking a certified Sisterlock consultant.

PFP: What is the number one stereotype you wish people would get rid of regarding black women’s hair?

Blenna: That by showing our natural hair texture we are exposing negative stereotypes such as nappy headed, when really we are showing the beauty that God gave us.

PFP: What is your best description of what Sisterlocs are and how they look?

Blenna: Sisterlocks are small micro locs that have been interwoven into a stable cylinder that allows the hair to express itself naturally.

PFP: Do you train others how to do Sisterlocs?

Blenna: Yes, at this time there are four master trainers with the company. We go to different cities training others. If one has not gone through a certified Sisterlock training then they are not doing Sisterlocks. They are what we call Step-Sisterlocs and buyer beware. One can check online at the official Sisterlock website for a certified consultant or trainee in their area.

It is becoming wonderfully apparent that more and more black women are choosing natural hairstyles. Even the media is actually portraying African American women with natural hair styles across their pages and channels. It is definitely enlightening to see women becoming more comfortable with who they are.

Posted in Hair Care0 Comments

3 Tips to Make Your Penis Longer – Improve Sexual Pleasure and Give Her More Orgasms

In order to understand the benefits of the three tips to make your penis longer, allow me to explain. The goal of many men these days is to find out how to improve sexual pleasure and give their partner more orgasms in the privacy of a shared bedroom. That makes perfect sense and is a great goal to have and I will teach you how to do that right here and now.

Let’s start by having you look at your penis and really seeing what size it is non-aroused. The average size of a male penis is 5 ½ to 6 inches long and if you’re anywhere close to this you will be amazed at the size increases you have after only a few months of doing these penis and exercises.

1) Kegel Exercises to Increase PC Muscle Duration

2) Penis Stretching Exercises Using Only Hand and Lotion

3) Mental and Nutritional Preparation and Stamina Building For Sexual Intercourse

The first exercise is referred to as Kegel exercises and is highly beneficial for one of the largest muscles in the general pelvic region, the PC muscle. What used to be just a goal of women for increasing the firmness of their vagina walls is now crossed over to the male population and is a big reason for penis enlargement.

The Kegel exercises can be done in a prone position by clinching the muscle that prohibits urine flow and then releasing. This can be thought of as an exercise with repetitions and sets just like curling in the weight room. If by this time the embarrassment factor is too much for you to handle, swallow hard and know that it takes a lot to grow the size of your penis by yourself. Understand that your mind must be in a positive frame since embarrassment is something that should of went out with high school.

Penis stretching exercises with your hand and lotion are only the second phase in this penis enrichment program. By steadily and rhythmically working your penis back and forth with either hand towards the head at least 3 to 5 times a week, you will see increased blood flow to your penis which would in turn make your penis longer. This is the simple reason why penises grow, more blood flow.

The third and final tip for making your penis longer is all about your mind and your belly. As mentioned earlier and above you must have a positive mindset and know that you will increase the size your penis if you follow the easy and simplistic tips. Please do not forget to nourish your whole-body as everything that’s involved with the interior workings of your blood flow will be necessary to increase the size of your penis.

Try a diet loaded with great fruits and vegetables as these are beneficial to the production of red and white blood cells. We all know blood is what the penis needs to make it larger.

Posted in Workout0 Comments

Things You Should Do When Getting Pharmaceutical Supplies

The health industry is one of the most sensitive. It is supposed to extend solutions to improve health and the slightest overlook could be the thin line between life and death. Pharmaceutical supplies are important and they should be handled with the seriousness they deserve. If you are a supplier you will only manage to create a good reputation in the market only with quality products that are approved by the right bodies.

This is something that you should be able to do by taking the right measures when getting your supplies, especially when dealing with manufacturers offering the supplies online. There is more emphasis on checking out the credibility of the manufacturer or supplier before trusting them with your orders and any other medical supply needs you may have.

Find out whether the manufacturer adheres to good manufacturing practice

There are set standards when it comes to manufacturing pharmaceutical products and your manufacturer should be compliant in every sense. The GMP requirements should not only be met in the manufacturing plant, but also with the products that the company produces. With such requirements being met, you at least have assurance that you can trust in the quality of your products.

Find out whether the manufacturer works with a product line you are interested in

Health products are numerous and come in different categories. Whether you are looking for specific drugs, supplements or steroids and hormonal products, you want to be sure that your manufacturer does produce them and can meet with your requirements. Some manufacturers may specialize in one category, whereas others may deal with more than one product. Choose a manufacturer you can trust with your current supply needs as well as any future needs that you may have.

Ensure the products are cleared and approved by the relevant health bodies

FDA seems to be the most recognized body and only high quality products that meet global standards are approved and cleared. It is actually very important even for consumers to ensure that they buy only health products that have been approved by this body or any other relevant body depending on where they are located. You do not want to put the health of others at risk by getting products whose quality is unknown.

Make queries about the product you are about to buy

Finding out as much as you can about a product is important, especially if it is a product you are not very familiar with. From the information given by the supplier or manufacturer, you will be able to make an informed decision that you won’t regret. You should also not forget to check dates, especially the expiry date so you know the shelf-life of the products you are buying. If you are a patient trying to buy your products directly from manufacturers it is best that you get some insight from your doctor. Doctors are among the first to know about new health care products and may prove beneficial guiding you to the right ones.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

Follow Carrot Diet to Lose Weight in 3 Days!

Three days – minus 3.5 kg!

I think you know this sense when you are invited to the party and want to go there in your favorite dress to look smart but there is some extra weight you have to get rid of to wear your new amazing dress! But no time! The party in 3 days! Don’t feel upset! There is a very effective diet for such cases!

Following Carrot Diet you will lose 3.5 kilograms in 3 day and you will go to the party and will impress everybody with your slim body! Carrot diet is very useful and simple! The main dish is a salad made of carrots.

Here is 1 variant of this salad.

You need:

– 1 kilogram of carrots;

– 1 lemon;

– 1 tablespoon of honey.

Grate the carrot on a medium grater, add honey and lemon juice and stir well. That’s all!

Divide this salad into three meals, you can also have some fruit that you like. On the fourth day, you can add some chips and a slice of bread. In the morning you can drink a glass of milk or yogurt, it will help the carrot nutrients absorb better.

You can follow this diet in 3 days too or to add carrots in your daily meal! For example, if you eat it near or at the beginning of every meal a carrot does not leave room in the stomach for cheesecake or extra ice-cream at the end of the meal. So, you will save about 500 calories a day, which translates to a weight loss of about a pound a week.

Health Benefits

Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds, and the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A Carotene. Carrots’ antioxidant compounds help protect against cardiovascular disease and promote good vision, especially night vision. It is also the richest source of beta-carotene. This is of great benefit in the fight against cancer. Studies show that eating carrots reduces the incidence of cancer and may even reverse symptoms. Carrots are also beneficial for skin and lungs.

Carrot Salad (the second recipe)

Ingredients List:

1 ½ lb. of carrots, peeled and grated.

¼ cup of non-fat mayonnaise.

2 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of maple syrup.

Pinch of salt.

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Add the carrots, tossing to mix and allow to stand for about 45 minutes. You can also decorate salad with greens! Bon appetite!

Posted in Diet0 Comments

Missed Diagnosis – This is My Story, It Could Save Your Life

My story begins late one night in December 2008. I’d just come home from a long and wonderful trip to Bhutan, Nepal and India and was in the midst of moving in with a man I’d met and fallen in love with two summers before. We’re both in good health, exercise regularly and keep our diet on the light side. But this night we’d been out to a fancy restaurant. We were in a high mood, planning a celebration for our 70 and 75th birthdays as one big party in February. A few hours after I’d gone to sleep, an intense cramping in my lower left side awakened me. My abdomen was bloated. My stomach felt hard as a rock. I couldn’t lie still so I stood up. I immediately bent over in pain. Feeling pretty weak I supported myself with the back of a bedroom chair. Sitting or lying down felt worse. That night, I walked around and around and around the living room wondering what was wrong and what to do. I’d suffered digestive discomfort for years but never anything like this. It was logical to believe I’d picked up a bug in India. As I walked, I took GasX. About ten minutes later, I felt better and was able to go back to sleep. I thought that was the end of it but it was just the beginning.

I’m a psychologist who hears many clients describe digestive discomfort, especially after a meal out in a restaurant. I’ve listened to many women describe similar nightly walkabouts in which all they could do was wait for gastrointestinal pain to subside. One woman told me her mother had been having attacks for years and tried every home remedy and medical prescription in the book with no sustainable relief. It’s common to hear people report getting so frightened by the pain that they believe they’re having a heart attack. They go to an ER, lay around on a gurney for hours and come home with a diagnosis of indigestion. Still, since the pain was extreme, I called my internist the next day and got an appointment a few days later. He sent me for scans of my liver, kidneys, gall bladder and esophagus, gave me an ECG in his office and prescribed Prevacid for indigestion. All the tests came back normal.

But nothing was normal. I continued to have severe digestive discomfort and painful spasms every few nights. I searched the Internet hoping to understand my symptoms better. I kept coming up with GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Each search described many of my symptoms but there was little mention of the pressure from gas that I was experiencing or the pain. I saw a nutritionist who was convinced that my gall bladder was malfunctioning. Her dietary recommendations didn’t work but she heightened my awareness of the importance of diet. In particular, I learned that carbohydrates produce gas and overeating at any particular meal puts extra stress on the stomach. I started a low carb diet and ate small frequent meals. I also stopped eating anything after six pm. Even though my alcohol habit consisted of little more than a glass of wine with dinner, I stopped drinking any alcohol. A glass of wine seemed to set off a spasm. Same with my morning cup of coffee. Taking these measures slowed down how often I experienced these episodes of intense pain but did not affect the intensity once one got rolling. Modifying my eating habits certainly helped but didn’t solve the problem.

Next I saw a gastroenterologist who was convinced I had SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). He prescribed Xyfaxan, an antibiotic that targets bacteria in the intestine in order to restore proper balance and cease pain caused by spasms of the gut. I did several series of this antibiotic over the next months. The third, pulling out all stops, was for three weeks. He also prescribed Levsin, an antispasmodic medication. The antibiotics seemed to lessen the frequency of occurrences and the Levsin was a godsend. My symptoms were increasing and the episodes becoming more frequent, more unpredictable. It’s hard to describe how disturbing it was to be clueless about when an episode might occur. If I had an afternoon of clients, I ate a light breakfast with no carbs and skipped lunch. It was the only way I could be sure I wouldn’t crash in the middle of a session with a client. With Levsin in my pocket, I felt more in control but when I wanted to be sure I wouldn’t get an attack I just didn’t eat.

Oddly, when I was fine, I was fine and that was most of the time. Difficult to predict, symptoms often came out of the blue and while very intense, passed within minutes. I learned that I could avert an episode by taking Levsin at the first sign of symptoms and even stop a rising spasm on its way to full bloom if I acted quickly. Because Levsin worked and because the antibiotics seemed to be working, I had confidence that the GI doctor knew what he was doing and felt confident he would solve the problem. I began to keep a journal of what I was eating and when I had symptoms. Eating carbs and eating too much at one meal continued to be major culprits. They led to gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, heartburn and scratchy throat. As months passed, I sometimes felt an intense pressure pushing on my diaphragm and rising to the center of my chest. I sometimes felt a hot spot behind my sternum, pain in one or both arms and soreness under my ears. I took Levsin everywhere with me. On a walk, to the movies, to bed.

Adding to my difficulties, I felt depressed, tired and annoyed. So many interactions in life revolve around food. “Let’s get together for lunch” became a challenge. Not being able to eat freely meant playing a game when we went out with friends. I began a blind man’s game of not seeing food on the table, on my plate or on a menu in order to enjoy myself. At least in California where I live, restaurants are used to people customizing their meals but I only had one diet I knew worked. When it didn’t fit the occasion, I cancelled. It’s an education to notice how central food is to so many ordinary things we do in a day. Being so restricted often secretly stole the fun out of a get together for me but I couldn’t risk a build-up of pressure.

On occasion, symptoms got started and subsided on their own. But mostly, the only thing that made a spasm bearable was Levsin. GasX always helped. Sometimes Gaviscon or Prevacid helped. I tried PPI acid suppressors (proto pump inhibitors) but with little reliable effect. On my low carb diet, I lost weight, 20 lbs from 138 to 118 in eight months. In a society where “one is never too thin”, I was looking good and getting lots of compliments but I did not feel good. It’s one thing to modify life to live around symptoms, another to think of living with an imposed restriction day in and day out for the rest of my life. As time wore on without a diagnosis, I began to think the painful episodes were here to stay.

My spasms felt like contractions in childbirth, horribly intense but subsiding in minutes. Resolved to their intrusion, at least I knew they would end. Like a woman giving birth, I went with the pain, breathed as rhythmically as I could and held the faith that I could get through it. I leaned against a couch, a fence or a wall depending on where I was when they happened. Since I felt like a pregnant woman with too much pressure on her stomach, I slept on a wedge to keep my head elevated to alleviate weight on my digestive tract. Keeping my upper body elevated while I slept helped me feel better but it didn’t prevent pressure from building up. Sometimes I woke up in the middle of a nightmare dreaming that I was being strangled or crushed or worse. To combat this invisible foe, I did everything I could, but to no avail.

Since I believed my symptoms were clues, I described them numerous times to numerous doctors, each with a different specialty, hoping one of them – internist, nutritionist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist and holistic md – would recognize what I could only sense. I kept asking questions, kept looking to them for answers. What’s causing all this? Where’s all the gas coming from? If it’s acid reflux, GERD and/or IBS, why doesn’t elimination of the usual culprits – gluten, dairy products, chocolate, wheat, red meat and alcohol – make a difference? If it’s SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), why aren’t the antibiotics working? And, bottom-line, how does pressure from intestinal gas cause a cramp in my chest? Since my problems started the week after I came back from a trip to India, doctors and friends joined me in speculating that I’d brought back an obscure bug. That added to the mystery but it still didn’t explain how indigestion was related to spasms.

Did I take tests? Of course. Blood tests, electrocardiograms (ECG), scans and scopes of the upper and lower GI tract. They ruled out esophageal problems, gall bladder, liver and kidney problems, heart problems – or so I thought. Did I follow doctor’s instructions? Of course. Three rounds of intestinal antibiotics. Did I talk to people? Of course. Smartest friends in the room. Everyone had their own experience and/or someone close to them who had similar symptoms. They also had lots of advice. Apparently, there are millions of Americans suffering from chronic bouts of indigestion that they’re treating with billions of dollars of digestive aids. But no one pieced together the combination of symptoms I was describing into a diagnosis.

To add to my confusion about what was happening and, in hindsight, to the hidden danger of a missed diagnosis, I had a para-thyroidectomy in December 2008. I had been diagnosed with parathyroid dysfunction during an annual checkup with my internist before my trip to India. There was some speculation about whether it could be a cause of my digestive discomfort. Not likely but a possibility. Apparently faulty calcium regulation can contribute to digestive problems. The surgery required – of course – blood tests and another ECG. Fortunately (especially in hindsight), I flew through the surgery with flying colors. But it further confused the picture. After my calcium levels were restored, I enjoyed an upsurge of energy. When I was not actually experiencing an episode or its aftermath the next day, I felt better than I had in years.

Incidentally, in January 2009, I saw a cardiologist. It was a routine visit, like seeing a gynecologist. It was simply part of my overall pursuit of greater health appropriate to my age. My cholesterol levels were a bit high (LDL 120) and I was considering statins. I did, of course, describe my symptoms to him, including the fact that I was seeing a GI doctor. During the exam, he thought he noticed a murmur and recommended I get a stress-echo test to complete my work up. “Nothing urgent”, he assured me. Nothing that couldn’t wait until after a spring trip my partner and I were planning to Paris. In fact, none of my doctors expressed any caution about traveling for six weeks out of the country or any urgency regarding any other tests.

In August 2009 – after eight months of mind-numbing episodes of pain — I did find the answer. Persistent questioning – and, I believe, lady luck was on my side. We came home from Paris mid-June and I made an appointment to complete my cardiology workup with a stress echo test at the first opportunity. That would be August 7. By this time I was afraid my digestive difficulties were burdening my heart. I thought I might not be able to complete the stress echo well enough for accurate results. But by August, I was a pro at dealing with my attacks and felt confident I could get through it even if I felt one coming on. Exertion at this time was the least of my concerns.

Even though I knew that going up a steep sidewalk, swimming 4 short laps in a row or spending ten minutes on the elliptical trainer could arouse symptoms signaling the likelihood of an attack, I could work around it. I’d learned to pace my walking, slow down my exercising and not lift anything heavy. On the stress echo treadmill, it didn’t surprise me that I was fine for 4 ½ minutes, 134 heartbeats. At that point I began to feel the usual pressure in my stomach, a light-headedness, pain behind my ears and a desperate need to rest. I’d been told 138 heartbeats was the target so when the monitor flashed a red 141, I figured I’d more than accomplished the target. I gasped for breath and asked the nurse, “Is that it? Can I stop now?” And she answered, “Only if you want to.” She didn’t bat an eyelash at my obvious distress. I’ve since discovered that people like to challenge the treadmill when they take the test so I guess that’s what she was used to. Then I did what I usually did when I was faced with an imminent attack. I calmed myself down. I breathed, meditated and thought pleasant thoughts while the nurse scurried around getting her numbers.

I was completely unaware of what had just happened. Customary for me, by the time I got to the waiting room, I felt fine. In this case, I felt pleased that I’d recovered without taking a Levsin. As I waited for the cardiologist, I was in a good mood, sure that – one more time – the test showed nothing definitive. My blood test numbers looked better than ever. They had all dropped dramatically from the year before. Total Cholesterol — 202 (from 247), Triglycerides — 61 (from 95), HDL 79 (108), LDL 111 (from 120). Clear proof that diet can affect your cholesterol — in case you had any doubt!

This was Friday afternoon. I was reading these results when the cardiologist came in. I was fully expecting a smile on his face. Instead, the look on his face was dead serious. He was very careful with his words. His words. “You have angina. Your reaction to the stress echo test is one of the most extreme we’ve had here in quite awhile.” My brain. “Is this something new, different or related to my problem?” He wanted to schedule me for an angioplasty as soon as possible. He asked me “Were you frightened while you were taking the stress-echo?” Wryly I answered, “No, I’ve felt similar spasms hundreds of times since December.” I had no idea what he was talking about. He was the first person to mention the word ‘angina’. First to indicate that I should be very concerned, even alarmed. He scheduled an angioplasty for Monday. I had a vague idea of what an angioplasty was but I had no grasp on angina. I certainly wasn’t thinking what I should’ve been thinking. ‘Good grief, I’m lucky I’m not dead.’

The cardiologist knew, of course, what I didn’t know – that the angina I had experienced on the treadmill was a life threatening aspect of blockage of the arteries in my heart. He continued to talk while I continued to blur. He assured me that the beta-blockers and nitroglycerin he was prescribing would, as he put it, “make sure I got through the weekend without an incident”. After not worrying for months, I now had to fret the weekend? Blur. As it turned out (and as usual), I had attacks both nights. And I used the nitroglycerin both times and it worked very quickly. I guess the good and the bad of the nitroglycerin was that it worked. It was evidence that the condition of my heart was the root cause of my painful episodes.

Fear blocked the big picture, distracting me from the warning my body was giving me that something very serious was wrong. Pain swept me off, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, into a foreign land of medical expertise desperately in search of an answer to my symptoms. For eight long months, I had been swept away by a tornado of puzzling pain into the medical specialty of gastroenterology. As much trust as I’d put in the wizards of medicine, as conscientiously as I’d sought answers from them to show me the way home to health, the man behind the curtain didn’t have the answers.

Now, after the fact, I’ve learned that the information my doctors needed for a differential diagnosis for a woman has been all but excluded from medical research until recently. According to Harvard Health Letter (Vol. 34, 9/09), medical research on heart disease has steadfastly overlooked women because maleness has been considered the top risk factor. There is precious little published, even for doctors, indicating that gastrointestinal distress is a possible much less definitive symptom of heart disease in women. Furthermore, according to the same Harvard Health Letter, even when diagnosed, a woman still must be “a little more aggressive in getting the care” she needs. I can attest that I passed from doctor to doctor in Los Angeles, seeing some of the best doctors in the country without arousing the slightest expression of urgency about what they were seeing and hearing.

Medically speaking, I had angina pectoris. The spasms radiating to my arms finally made sense. After the fact, everyone seemed to know that angina causes pain when the heart experiences competition for its oxygen from digestion. I can’t imagine what would’ve been required to alert anyone of my doctors to imminent danger while I was traveling the yellow brick road of doctor’s appointments. What more could I have done? I even had an attack during an appointment with the GI doctor. As it was, the diagnosis did not get made until after I nearly set off a heart attack during a routine stress echocardiogram. Who were these doctors seeing in their examination room?

Angina is dangerous. It typically sets in motion a quadruple by-pass. I was diagnosed on a Friday, went in for angioplasty on Monday. In an extraordinary procedure that is now so standard it takes your breath away, a surgeon weaved a little camera up through an artery in my groin to my heart and discovered a 90% blockage. Instantly, he inserted a stent. Saved my life. That’s the only way to say it. I was very very lucky. Any untoward event. Any slight fender bender. A heated argument. Sudden anxiety. Traumatic surprise event – to me, a member of my family or one of my friends. Any unexpected stress that would’ve demanded more than 10% flow to my heart and I’d be dead. It’s a humbling thought.

The first thing my friends say when they hear my story is “That’s great. You’re going to be fine now.” And then there’s a pause, a second take. The next thing they say is ‘Ohmigawd, 90% blockage, you could be dead. That’s weird. How could your doctors miss that?’

I know I tell a harrowing truth that’s hard to believe. No one, not one doctor, friend or family member ever mentioned the word ‘angina’ to me in eight months of suffering. Angina was not in anyone’s vocabulary. Angina was never mentioned until my cardiologist said the word to me after the stress echocardiogram, a test ordered because he’d thought he heard a slight murmur in my earlier exam. Maybe my heart was murmuring to him, telling us to check out my heart and discover the angina behind my digestive distress.

Further in the ‘believe it or not’ department and to my complete delight, I’ve experienced a complete erasure of digestive distress since my angioplasty. All of my digestive problems have cleared up. I can eat anything I want. Drink wine and indulge in desert. My choice for the first time in almost a year.

But more important. Missing the diagnosis was extremely dangerous. Angina is as close as you can come to having a heart attack without having one. Angina is a build-up of plague in an artery of the heart – called atherosclerosis – that interferes with blood flow. Angina attacks don’t kill heart muscle but angina is a ticking bomb, ready to set off a heart attack with just the right amount of pressure – from stress, exertion, excitement. I’ve run across an impressive anecdote about angina written in 1790. Before the tests of modern medicine, Dr. John Hunter showed himself to be an astute observer of his own angina pectoris when he wrote, “My life is in the hands of any rascal who chooses to annoy or tease me.” What he knew is that an imbalance between the metabolic demands of the heart and the adequacy of one’s coronary circulation to provide oxygen causes pain. I wish I had had his insight. I experienced surges of physical symptoms when I got angry, upset or frightened or ate too much but I had no inkling what it meant. Now I know, angina interferes with the flow of blood when we need it the most. Not during an ECG when the heart’s at rest. If my heart had needed more than 10% blood flow to deal with a sudden jolt of fear, heavy lifting or – as with the stress echo – running, I’d have had a heart attack.

Time to ask the big question. But before I do, I’d like to make a qualifying statement. Even though it’s clear to me, after the fact, that my doctor’s lack of insight endangered my life, I’d like to make it clear that I’m not blaming my doctors for missing my diagnosis. I’m grateful for their continued concern and, ultimately, thankful for to their expertise. As I said, they saved my life. But why didn’t the absence of a source for the relentless distress I was experiencing arouse a sense of urgency in my doctors?

Recent news headlines about being in charge of your own health care have taken on new meaning for me. Here are some thoughts to ponder, more frightening than they seem when one’s life is at stake.

1) It’s no secret that there’s a breakdown in the health system that doesn’t encourage communication between specialties. I don’t have statistics but, as in my case, it could be critical if lady luck isn’t on your side. My cardiologist believed I was in good hands for digestive distress and stayed his course until a stress echo that put me squarely in his ballpark. When my GI doctor tapped the bottom of his bag of tricks, he didn’t have a policy directive to pick up the phone and call my cardiologist even though he was seeing symptoms indicating a crossover. My internist, persistent and conscientious, is not a coordinator of services.

2) Medical training is not oriented to educate patients as partners in finding a diagnosis. Yet patients need help now. We need to know how to go beyond the walls of a particular specialty. Even my ability to ask in-depth relevant ‘doctor to doctor’ questions did not uncover my diagnosis. Not one of my doctors expressed the need for a stress echocardiogram. Though I’d seen the cardiologist initially in January, his response was routine. My internist, who I saw often, first in December and last in June, mentioned in passing “if you’d like to move your appointment (for the stress echo) up from August, you probably could.” I took that to mean the stress-echo was one more elimination test.

3) Where does the fabric of integrity underlying the medical field as a whole come into action? My GI doctor, with whom I was in continuous contact, agreed with my plan to finish up my cardiac workup after I got back from France. But he expressed no sense of urgency and no possible explanation of how my heart might be related to my digestive problems. Is that an appropriate end to his responsibility? Did he suspect a connection between digestion and the heart and not say so? Or if not, why not? If the patient is the lynch pin, the only one carrying information from specialty to specialty, they need education as much as elimination to find a diagnosis.

True, I didn’t fit the picture for Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). I had no markers, as they call the signs of CHD in medical circles. My numbers are good. I’m a happy 70 year old in a relationship, slim and in general good health. I stretch, walk, and workout daily. I’ve followed a fairly good diet for years. And I had my heart checked. I’d had two ECG’s. I’d had surgery, a high heart stressor. And I’d seen a cardiologist. I also felt fine when I wasn’t having an attack. No doctor objected to my taking a long trip out of the country even though we didn’t know what was causing my problem. No one explained I might need more than an ECG – or insist on a stress echocardiogram or a nuclear cardiogram, the tests that take pictures of your heart in action and when increased blood flow is needed – to determine whether my heart was okay. Even the idea that blood flow might be related to my spasms and/or digestive problems did not enter the equation until after the fact.

It seems more important than ever to see oneself as a detective hot on the trail of your own case. Or, a Dorothy who has pulled back the curtain and knows a doctor is just a person, not a god. It’s pretty much a medical fact these days that each doctor who sees you looks from their own particular specialty and that there’s little crossover from one specialty to another. As I heard one cardiologist put it “When you’re a hammer, everything you see is a nail”. Makes it not only good but necessary, I believe, to track your own clues. As if you were finding fingerprints, you can identify a pattern running through one appointment after another even when logic is missing and everyone is looking in the wrong direction. As hidden as it may be, a magical through line exists. On the road, a tin man without a heart, a scarecrow without a brain, a lion without courage all became more than when they started. Even though nothing made sense, I persisted, never lost my curiosity and, in the end, I found the answer. Like a murder mystery without the murder, my tale would make a captivating adaptation of the Wizard of Oz.

The moral of my story? Don’t hand over your ruby red shoes. Doctors are ordinary people. It has to make sense to you before it makes any sense at all. Put angina in your vocabulary alongside heart attack and stroke. No reason to wait and wonder if your heart might be the heart of the matter. Check it out. Don’t wait for your doctor to tell you it’s urgent. And don’t settle for a test that won’t give you the full picture of your heart at work. It’s when it has to go to work that your life depends on it.

I’ve lived my life citing a couple mantras. One from Bob Dylan — “Those not busy being born are busy dyin’.” Another from Yevgeny Yevtusheko — ‘Don’t die before you’re dead’. I’ve never had my life saved before. Now death is more than a metaphor. Perhaps old age is the age of miracles. Or at least the profound realization of life as miracle. Take it to heart. Literally.

By Jane Alexander Stewart, Ph.D.

Posted in Stress0 Comments

These Drinks Definitely Cause Acne Breakouts

If you have acne, you definitely know how painful it can be. Not only is it painful on the outside, but for many, a zit or multiple zits can really ruin their day. For that reason, I want to talk to you about 4 different beverages that can and probably will cause you to breakout. Before I list these 4 different beverages, let me tell you a little about my acne story.

I have been dealing with acne for the past 6 years of my life. Now that I am 21-years-old, I finally have my breakouts under control. Now, my skin isn’t perfect. I will get a tiny pimple every now and then, but this doesn’t prevent me from leaving my house, or anything crazy like that. With that being said, I used to have pretty bad acne. In fact, I would sit in my house for weeks on end, playing video games, just to hide myself from the world. Now that I have finally cleared up my problem, I can go out and do the things that I enjoy doing. If you would like to get your life back together, the following tips will definitely help you out. Now that you know a little about my story, let’s talk about the 4 beverages that will probably cause you to breakout.

1. Soda – Although it’s said that sodas will not cause you to breakout, I beg to differ. I’m not sure why, but it may have to do something with the way soda causes the body to become dehydrated. If you didn’t know, dehydration can cause acne. Caffeine may also contribute to breakouts, which leads me to the next beverage.

2. Coffee – Whenever I drink regular caffeinated coffee, I tend to breakout. Remember, my skin is 99.9% clear, 99.9% of the time, so anytime I breakout, I can pretty much point out what caused the problem. I’m not a big coffee drinker, so when I add it to my diet, and I breakout, I’m pretty much sure that this beverage caused me to.

3. Alcohol – Like soda, alcohol can be very dehydrating. I’m not big on drinking, but when I do, I tend to notice a few pimples within a 48-hour time-period.

4. Energy Drinks – Finally, energy drinks seem to do the most damage. They’re extremely dehydrating, contain high amounts of caffeine, and high amounts of sugar, usually. I’m not a big energy drink consumer, but when I do drink them, I tend to notice that a few pimples will sprout up.

When it comes down to it, removing the above 4 beverages from your diet will likely change your complexion for the better. In fact, I had a friend in high school who drank an energy drink everyday. He also had severe acne. Once he stopped drinking energy drinks, his acne went away, completely.

With this final note, you should also know that drinking water can actually help clear up your acne. If you drink 8+ glasses of water a day, you may notice a significant difference in your complexion. I definitely recommend giving this a try.

Posted in Skin Care0 Comments

10 Powerful Tips to Prevent Hair Loss

Do you see hair on your pillow each time you get up in the morning? If so, you have a hair loss problem. Below are some hair care tips that can help you prevent hair loss.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most effective natural treatments for hair loss. By applying coconut oil on your head, you can improve your hair growth. The oil provides the required moisture and removes impurities.

Amla

Amla is rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants. So, this can treat a lot of health issues. You can prepare a solution by breaking an Amla or you can use Amla powder as well. You can also crush an Amla and mix its juice with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Then you can apply the mixture on your scalp. After it gets absorbed by your scalp, you can rinse your head with lukewarm water.

Eggs

Since Eggs are rich in proteins and minerals, they are an ideal choice to treat hair loss. Mix one egg white with a teaspoon of fresh olive oil and then apply this mixture to your scalp. Let the mixture stay on your head for 15 minutes and then wash it with lukewarm water.

Acupressure

This ancient treatment procedure improves hair growth. Another acupressure technique known as Balayam enhances circulation and triggers hair growth. You can try this natural treatment to see if it works for you.

Yoga Asanas

Popular yoga asanas, such as anulomvilom and kapalbhati may also help in preventing the hair loss. According to experts, these asanas work by cleansing our system to reopen the pores and improve blood circulation.

Diet

For better hair growth, you may want to eat a better diet. You need protein for stimulating hair growth. Aside from this, foods, such as milk, cheese, beans, fish and grains should be part of your healthy diet.

Iron

The deficiency of iron in your body may cause hair loss. To provide your body with iron, you should eat dal, soybeans, spinach, chicken, red kidney beans, eggs, meat and fish, just to name a few.

Cover Your Head

Excessive exposure to heat, humidity, dust and pollution can cause hair loss. Therefore, you should cover your head when going outside in summer.

Castor

According to Dr Blossom Kochchar, if you have a hair loss problem, you should mix equal amount of sweet almond oil and castor oil and then massage your scalp with the solution. You can use a cotton ball to put it on your head.

Other hair care tips

You should not make it a habit to straighten your hair on a regular basis. Besides, you should avoid blow drying or coloring your hair every other day. This can help you prevent hair loss to a great extent.

So, if you are on the lookout of some effective natural treatments to prevent hair loss, you can try the 10 treatments we have explained above. These natural treatments can be done without any problem and you won’t need to worry about the side effects either.

Posted in Yoga0 Comments

How to Make Your Eyelashes Grow in 3 Easy Steps

Knowing how to make your eyelashes grow is somewhat of a science. The reason I say this is because it’s important to know first what eyelashes are made of and what they need to help them grow. Let’s take a quick look at what eyelashes are. Then we can really understand the 3 easy steps to help grow longer eyelashes.

What are eyelashes made of? Eyelashes are made up of 91% protein called keratin. Keratin protein is the basic building block that also makes up our skin and nails. Our hair, skin and nails are made of same basic ingredient. So, what’s good for our skin is also good for our eyelashes. With that in mind, let’s move on to the 3 easy steps to make your eyelashes grow.

Step 1. Start with quality skin enhancers. Collagen is a great example. This protein provides structure for our skin. It’s widely used to maintain skin’s elasticity and reduce wrinkles. Just the same, collagen provides structure for our hair giving it resilience and strength. It can be applied topically to your lashes like a skin cream. Or you can take Vitamin C which helps to form collagen in the body and also stimulates eyelash growth.

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that slows down signs of aging in our skin. It’s the active ingredient in the form of ‘tretinoin’ in high-end wrinkle eliminating creams. This vitamin stimulates eyelash growth in two ways: it activates new cell growth and helps form keratin protein. If you want to make your eyelashes grow, vitamin A is your ticket. It’s abundant in apricots, pumpkins, peaches, red peppers and so on.

Step 2. Improve your daily diet. You don’t have to “change” your entire diet. All you have to do is add in a few things that help your eyelashes grow longer, thicker and healthier. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are extremely beneficial to make eyelashes grow. Our bodies don’t produce them so you’ll need sources like salmon, almonds and whole grains. Take vitamin C and B-complex to improve circulation. Magnesium and calcium also help promote eyelash growth. This would be found in dairy, meats, avocados and bananas.

Step 3. Avoid damaging your eyelashes. Going to bed without removing mascara can cause lashes to fall out. Rubbing your eyes excessively is the most common way to damage eyelashes. Over washing your eyelashes makes them dry and brittle. If you need to remove mascara, use a mild makeup remover. Olive oil mixed with equal part water works as an effective eye makeup remover. Be gentle with your eyelashes, treat them nice, and provide them with nutrients. That’s how to make eyelashes grow in 3 easy steps.

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Posted in Hair Care0 Comments

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