Archive | November, 2016

The Top High Intensity Swimming Routine: A HIIT Workout Routine For Burning Body Fat

You probably already know that swimming may be one of the best activities to work your entire body. When it comes to swimming, the health benefits are virtually endless. There is a lot of swimming routines out there that can help you burn calories and keep you in shape, but which one is best? In all reality you can’t go wrong with any swimming programs, but did you know that you can dramatically increase your fat burning potential by implementing high intensity interval training? By adding “HIIT,” it turns a regular swimming into a high intensity swimming routine that burns fat like crazy!

What Does A HIIT Workout Routine Consist Of?

If you are not already familiar with high intensity interval training, then you will be amazed how quickly and efficiently your workouts will become. Commonly referred to as HIIT, these types of workouts require short periods of maximum exertion combined with recovery periods of less effort. Sprinting for 30 seconds with a 1 minute walk or jog is a normal pattern for intervals. Cardio done in this way is extremely beneficial. Not only does it burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, but post workout calorie burning is maximized more than traditional cardio.

What Happens When You Combine HIIT With Steady State Cardio

Steady state cardio is when you perform an activity at a constant speed for a much longer duration. Because it may take a couple hours to achieve the same calorie burning capabilities as a HIIT workout, it doesn’t make sense to go down that route. But if you combine HIIT with steady state cardio, an amazing thing happens. HIIT will actually cause fat cells to be released into the blood stream as free fatty acids. So the moment HIIT is finished, we will introduce steady state cardio to burn up the free fatty acids. To recap, short bursts of energy releases the fatty acids in the bloodstream while steady state cardio burns them up.

What Your High Intensity Swimming Routine Will Look Like


1) Warm up briefly by swimming a couple laps

2) Freestyle swim(sprint) for 30 seconds

3) Light swim or paddle(rest) for 1 minute

Note: Do this for 15-20 minutes. 30 second sprint(swim) followed by a 1 minute jog(paddle). If you are completely gassed from HIIT, you can extend the rest period to 2 minutes.

Steady State Cardio

1) Swim laps at an easy to moderate pace for 15-30 minutes

Note: The entire workout shouldn’t be any longer than a total time of 45 minutes. This workout can be done 3-4 times a week.

A Natural Increase In HGH Levels From High Intensity Swimming

HGH is short for human growth hormone.HGH is a powerful hormone that is involved in burning fat and even preserving muscle mass. Increased levels of HGH doesn’t have to come from an illegal drug or injection, but can naturally be produced by the body. There are a few ways to increase HGH but we’ll stick to how it can be done with intense swimming workouts. High intensity exercise and fasting will naturally increase HGH levels. So to optimize the benefits we can combine the two for maximum fat burning effects.

1) Begin your swimming routine in a fasted state. This means that you won’t consume a single calorie 3-4 hours leading up to the workout. Train on an empty stomach.

2) Wait 1-2 hours after your workout to eat. Waiting to eat will maximize the HGH release after an intense workout.

3) Fasting 1-2 separate times a week will also increase HGH levels which helps burn more fat and helps preserve muscle mass.

Amazing Fat Loss Results In A Short Amount Of Time

Sticking to a high intensity swimming routine like the one above will do wonders with fat loss but it is also gentle on your joints. Since swimming is a non impact exercise, you can do as much as you want without the risk of injury. Another great reason to use a HIIT workout routine in the pool is that it keeps you cool without all the sweat.

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Anti Aging Skin Care Creams And Serums: Which One Is For You?

When it comes to skin care it varies with age the kind of care that is needed by the skin of a twenty year old is not the same care that you can give to the skin of a thirty or forty year old woman. As we grow older we need to take more care of our skin, it stops from needing a simple maintenance routine and there is the need to invest in products with the ability to repair and protect our skins.

You need to repair the damage caused on the skin that if left unaddressed will lead to dull and unhealthy skin. Soon the signs of aging start to present themselves and for some they still end up using the same skin care routine not taking into consideration that their skin has changed and needs better products to be able to deal with the kind of changes that it is going through.

Anti aging skin care creams and serums help to combat the signs of aging on our skin and at the same time help our skins to be able to deal better with the problems that aging causes upon our skins. So what is the difference between anti aging skin care cream and anti aging serums?

Serums are said to have more concentrated ingredients and textured in such a way as to better penetrate your skin and work more efficiently thereby resulting in faster and more visible results. However as they work faster and penetrate deeper into your skin in a short time, anti aging serums can feel a bit uncomfortable and there is a need to use them together with other products.

When it comes to anti aging skin care creams they are made to be richer in texture and more emulsified such that they provide more comfort for your skin even as they work at giving you great results. No matter the choice you make whether you decide to have an anti aging serum or an anti aging skin care cream, as stated before, when it comes to anti aging skin care solutions the thing that is fore most is minimizing and protecting your skin from damage.

There various reasons for skin aging, there is the intrinsic aging process that is a result of growing older. This normally begins in the mid twenties whereby our skins produce less collagen a substance that is responsible for the elasticity and firmness of our skins, and also starts becoming less efficient at shedding the dead skin cells on the surface of our skins. When this happens it means that the regeneration of fresh skin cells slows down as well.

This may start during our mid twenties and yet the effects of this intrinsic aging end up being visible decades later in the form of wrinkles and fine lines, sagging and thinner skin. This means that we need to start using anti aging skin care products quite early in our lives, essentially during the mid twenties to late twenties to be able to combat the intrinsic aging process at its onset.

In these times of improved technology and great awareness of harmful ingredients used in skin care products, it has become easier to get safe, gentle and highly effective anti aging skin care creams and serums that show great results and at the same time promotes healthy skin.

For those who dislike the use of chemicals on their skin there are great beauty companies that have taken up the responsibility to produce scientifically researched products created with the use of powerful natural ingredients that act as effective and safe anti aging skin care products.

It’s good to start having a great skin care regime in place early so as to be able to combat the effects of aging as soon as they present themselves. It starts with making the right choices by investing in products that are efficient, do not use harmful ingredients and are also created from natural ingredients which are assimilated better by our skins and have no toxic effects on them.

A good product should also be used in conjunction with adequate measures to protect our skins from sun damage as the effect of too much sun on our skin leads to unnecessary skin aging.

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PCOS and Hair Loss – Natural Therapies Can Restore Scalp Hair

Excessive scalp hair loss is a severe challenge to a woman’s self image and her standing in business and society. Although we usually think of balding as a man’s problem, women actually make up forty percent of the people in North America experiencing the distress of excessive hair loss. Many women losing significant scalp hair have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Safe, effective, natural therapies that treat the hormone imbalances related to PCOS will also restore your hair to optimal health. I am delighted to offer you these indispensable tools to help you restore your hair and your health.

Women experiencing hair loss lose ground fast in today’s world. At work and in her personal life a woman’s appearance has much to do with her financial and social success. Men may also prefer not to go bald. But since balding is known to be caused by high levels of testosterone, a bald man may be credited with extra virility. There is no such happy story for balding women. The appearance of thinning scalp hair translates to a significant loss of personal power for women.

The medical community in general treats women’s hair loss as a minor health issue. Most physicians have little inclination to address the emotional distress you feel. In many cases physicians treat balding as if it were “only” a vanity issue; they may not recognize hair loss as a red flag pointing to serious metabolic conditions, including PCOS.

The psychological pain of hair loss and its effect on our sense of empowerment is as devastating as any disfiguring disease. If you are a balding woman, your hair loss is a life altering condition with profound consequences for your health. Getting your hands on the wheel and driving yourself toward a solution for hair loss is the first step toward reviving your sense of personal strength and power. If hair loss is part of PCOS, the effort you make to restore your physical health will also renew scalp hair growth.

You need expert help to properly diagnose the cause of your hair loss. Hair loss that could have been merely temporary may become permanent if you have a delayed or incorrect diagnosis. Misdiagnoses is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of hair loss for women. The information I present here will help you identify the cause of your hair loss and ideally lead you and your doctors to proper treatments for your kind of hair loss, sooner rather than later.

Alopecia is the medical term for excessive or abnormal hair loss. There are different kinds of alopecia. What all hair loss has in common, whether it’s in men or women, is that it is always a symptom of something else that’s gone wrong. Your hair will remain on your head where it belongs if hormone imbalance, disease, or some other condition is not occurring. That condition may be as simple as having a gene that makes you susceptible to male or female pattern baldness. Or it may be as complex as a whole host of diseases. Hair loss may be a symptom of a short-term event such as stress, pregnancy, or a side effect of certain medications. In these situations, hair grows back when the event has passed. Substances including hormones and medication can cause a change in the hair growth patterns. When this happens, growth and shedding occur at the same time. Once the cause is dealt with, hairs go back to their random pattern of growth and shedding, and balding stops.

Alopecia: A Common Problem

Today more women than ever are experiencing hair loss — and the causes are typically quite different that what causes balding in men. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some 30 million women in the United States are experiencing some degree of distressing scalp hair loss. The most common causes of scalp hair loss in women can include:

Mineral or vitamin deficiency – zinc, manganese, iron, vitamin B6, biotin

Essential fatty acid deficiency from a low calorie diet or eating disorders

Protein deficiency, as is common with vegetarian diets

Anemia from a low iron diet, poor digestion or any excess blood loss

Eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia, even ‘yo-yo’ dieting; also compulsive or excessive physical exercise

Drug toxicity, for instance anesthesia with surgery or chemotherapy for cancer

Many prescription medications have hair loss as a potential ‘side’ effect, including bromocriptine, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, amphetamines, anti-cholesterol agents

Severe infections, either viral or bacterial

Severe stress, either a sudden extreme event or persistent, long term challenges

Any hypothalamic or pituitary disorder

Any liver, thyroid gland, adrenal gland or ovarian disorder, including PCOS

Any sex steroid imbalance such as low progesterone, estrogen dominance, excess testosterone or insulin

Starting or stopping any hormone therapy, including birth control pills, menopausal hormone replacement treatment or thyroid hormone replacement

Any natural event that causes big hormone changes, like child birth, breastfeeding and weaning or menopause

Perms, hair color, bleach, improper brushing/combing, pulling on the hair

Autoimmune disease such as lupus or multiple sclerosis

Allergies to foods, medicines, environmental chemicals or topical drugs

Recent hepatitis B shot. If you had a Hep B vaccine since this hair loss started, there may be a connection.  An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (278:117-8, 1997) links the Hep B vaccine to increased incidence of alopecia in women.

How does an individual woman figure out why she is losing too much of her hair? To understand that, it’s important to understand how hair grows.

Hair Grows in Cycles  

Scalp hair grows about one-half inch per month. An individual strand of hair will grow for two to six years. Eventually each hair “rests” for a while, and then falls out. Soon after, that follicle will start growing a new strand. A healthy scalp will let about 100 of these cycling hairs fall out every day.

In folks with a genetic predisposition to hair loss, and for women with PCOS, hormones called androgens drive this process. Androgen hormones include testosterone, androsteinedione, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Men make and use relatively large amounts of androgens. Appropriate, smaller amounts of androgens are essential to women’s health as well.

In those who are genetically susceptible, testosterone activates enzymes produced in the hair cell, which then cause it to be converted into the more potent androgen DHT.  DHT then binds with receptors deep within the hair follicle. Eventually, so much DHT builds up that the follicle begins shrinking. It can’t produce new hair reliably. Some of the follicles permanently stop producing new hairs. The end result is significant hair loss. The medical term for this condition is androgenic alopecia. Testosterone converts to DHT with the aid of the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase, which is held in a hair follicle’s oil glands. Actually, it’s not the amount of circulating testosterone that is the problem but the amount of DHT clogging up and shrinking scalp follicles, making it impossible for healthy hair to survive.

The process of testosterone converting to DHT, which then harms hair follicles, happens in both men and women. Usually women have a tiny fraction of the amount of testosterone that men make. It seems that for women with hair loss, the actual level of testosterone is not as crucial as are changes in the amount of testosterone she has. A shift in hormone levels triggered by lifestyle or other factors, will cause DHT- triggered hair loss in women. Even when hormone blood levels remain within what doctors consider “normal”, they can become high enough to cause a problem for an individual woman. The levels may not rise at all and still be a problem if you are very sensitive to even normal levels of chemicals, including hormones.

Because our hormones operate through a delicately balanced feedback system, with signals sent via the blood between the brain and body tissue, androgens do not need to be raised to trigger a problem. If the so-called female hormones, (which also are essential to men’s health) are for any reason shifting in relation to androgens, the resulting imbalance can also cause problems, including hair loss.

Hormones are always changing. Testosterone levels in men drop by as much as 10 percent each decade after age thirty. Women’s hormone levels shift with each menstrual cycle, or due to a lack of regular menses, in pregnancies and menopause. Eating disorders, excessive exercise, drugs and environmental toxins can also impact hormone levels.

Keys To Successful Treatment

Treatment of thinning scalp hair must be grounded in changing the habits you may have that support elevated androgens. Diet and exercise are key to maintaining optimal hormone balance. In fact, for women with PCOS, research is clear- there is no drug therapy more effective than proper diet and regular exercise. First, you get your foundational health habits in order; then, specific targeted therapies have the best chance of being effective for you.

Women with PCOS may also have excess coarse dark hair on their face and body. The only way to address the dark, coarse hair that grows out of follicles that have already been altered by excess androgens, is to destroy the follicle with laser or similar therapy. Once a follicle has changed the type of hair it produces, it will not change back. It is crucial to tame the excess androgens and prevent conversion of additional follicles, before investing in a therapy to permanently destroy facial or body hair follicles.

What Causes Women to Lose Too Much Scalp Hair?

For a long time doctors believed that androgenic alopecia was the main cause of balding in both men and women. Now we know that the process that leads to excessive hair loss in women is different. It is called female pattern hair loss.

An important difference between male and female balding is the pattern in which the hair loss occurs. Female pattern hair loss tends to happen as an overall thinning across all areas of the scalp, including the sides and back. Men lose hair from specific spots, like the temple, the crown, that bald spot in the back of the head. Male and female hormone and enzyme receptor sites are also in different areas of the scalp, causing the different gender related loss patterns of hair loss.

A second major difference is that balding in men is usually caused by a man’s genetics and his age, but for women, balding can happen at any age.

Lifestyle Choices, Illness and Medical Treatments Cause Hair Loss

Most women with hair loss have multiple features of their lifestyle, diet and health-related events that contribute. Sex hormone fluctuations are responsible for most female hair loss, including those who have PCOS, a recent pregnancy, menopause, hormone replacement therapy or birth control drug side effects. Chemotherapy for cancer, anti-coagulant drugs, iron- deficiency anemia, autoimmune disease can cause hair loss. Any disease involving hormone producing glands, including the thyroid, the adrenal and pituitary glands can trigger balding in women. It is essential for all women to learn the true cause of their hair loss before engaging any particular treatment.

The complex hormonal changes that accompany polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often result in scalp hair loss. Sometimes hair loss is the first sign that a woman is suffering the metabolic disorder that also causes problems with acne, facial and body hair growth, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. PCOS is associated with increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Thyroid disorders, anemia, chronic illness or the use of certain medications, particularly any form of hormone replacement therapy or contraceptive prescriptions- should be considered a possible cause of hair loss in women. Autoimmune disorders will result in somewhat different, often less dramatic hair loss known as alopecia areata — an inflammatory condition in which hair comes out in clumps or patches.

Any drop in estrogen levels, as happens after pregnancy, with menopause, or when changing your hormone therapy including birth control pill use, will cause what is called estrogenic alopecia. In contrast to testosterone, estrogen helps scalp hair grow faster and stay on the head longer, resulting in thicker hair. This is the reason women’s hair gets fuller during pregnancy when estrogen levels are quite high, then sheds several weeks after the baby is born.

For women who do not have fertility-related hormone changes, estrogen-deficiency scalp hair loss generally starts around menopause. This form of female hair loss can be the first sign of approaching menopause. Sometimes the alopecia won’t begin until a few months or even years after menstruation has ended. Not all women get noticeable alopecia after menopause but most have a little thinning.

It’s not uncommon to have multiple factors involved in female hair loss. Many women with PCOS have thyroid problems, usually hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). Not only does hypothyroidism contribute to weight problems, it can also contribute to hair thinning. Some women with PCOS have both an excessively high level of testosterone and an under active thyroid.

If your hair is thinning, you may have heavy metals like lead, mercury or cadmium in your tissues. These poisonous residues saturate our environment. If you have lived near what is, or ever was an industrial or mining site, or lived with someone who works in a polluting industry, you may be contaminated. If you have ever smoked tobacco, you have a lot of cadmium in your body.

The majority of women with androgenic alopecia have diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp. Some women may have a combination of two pattern types. Androgenic alopecia is caused by a variety of factors tied to the actions of hormones including PCOS, using contraceptives, pregnancy, and menopause. Any blood sugar and insulin hormone imbalance will lead to excess androgens. Women with insulin resistance, from chronic over-eating of refined carbohydrate food, will see more impact from androgens. Insulin resistance is associated with PCOS as well as Type 2 diabetes. Chronic stress that depletes adrenal glands can change the levels of androgens a woman produces as well. This is often the source of problems like infertility, acne and hair thinning in lean, athletic women with PCOS. Heredity may play a role in androgenic alopecia.

Any big event like childbirth or breastfeeding, malnutrition from an alteration in your diet, a severe infection, major surgery, or any extreme stress, can suddenly shift much of the 90 percent or so of your hairs that are in the growing phase or resting phase into the shedding phase. You will see this shift in the rate of hair loss 6 weeks to three month after the stressful event. This is called telogen effluvium. It is possible to lose great bunches of hair daily with full-blown telogen effluvium. Usually this type of hair loss is reversible, if major stressors are avoided. For some women however, telogen effluvium is a mysterious chronic disorder and can persist for months or years, without ever completely identifying all of the triggering factors.

Anagen effluvium happens when the hair follicle cells are so damaged they can not recover or reproduce. This is usually due to toxicity of chemotherapy for cancer. Chemotherapy is meant to destroy rapidly dividing cancer cells. Hair follicles in the growing (anagen) phase, are therefore vulnerable. Anagen effluvium means the hair shaft narrows as a result of damage to the follicle. The shaft breaks off at the narrowing and causes the loss of hair.

Traction alopecia is damage from hairstyles that pull at hair over time (braiding, cornrows, ponytails, extensions). If the condition is detected early enough, you can change your styling practice to be gentler on the follicles, and your hair will regrow.

Hormone contraceptives are a leading cause of distressing hair loss and other symptoms in women. Since the birth control pill first began being used in 1960, oral contraceptives, injections, implants, skin patches and vaginal rings have become the most commonly prescribed forms of birth control.  

Unfortunately, many young women are given contraceptive hormones even when they are not sexually active, as a ‘treatment’ for irregular menses or acne. This is a mistake. This is not a treatment that addresses the underlying cause of problem periods or pimples. Contraceptive hormones will severely complicate a woman’s hormone balance and can lead to many health problems, including significant hair loss and worsening acne.

All contraceptive drugs use synthetic hormones to suppress ovulation. These drugs cause your ovaries to stop working; they are in a kind of ‘sleep’ state. Instead of having your natural cycles result from a dance of signals between your body and your brain, your tissues are subject to synthetic hormones in amounts much larger than your body normally makes.  There are many long and short -term consequences to ovarian suppression. Most women experience side effects using contraceptive drugs, including hair loss either during or several weeks or months after stopping the drug.

An article appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (278:117-8, 1997) linking the Hepatitis B vaccine to increased incidence of balding in women.

Diagnostic Testing

In order to successfully treat hair loss, it is essential to understand why your hair follicles are not healthy. There are diagnostic tests that may help identify the underlying biochemistry that is contributing to your excess hair loss. However, many women with significant chemical imbalances related to their hair loss will find that these test results are within the “normal” range. That’s because in many cases hair loss represents a stage of ill-health that is an early phase of a disease that will eventually fully develop. The lifestyle and dietary habits that eventually cause Type 2 diabetes and heart disease will also cause scalp hair thinning and facial hair coarsening in young women. It is usually many years before these same women have diagnostic tests that reveal they are diabetic or have coronary artery disease. Many of these women have undiagnosed PCOS.

Selective Sensitivity is the underlying problem

Another reason why diagnostic tests may be confusing is because of something called ‘selective sensitivity’ or ‘selective resistance’. It turns out that some body cells are more sensitive than others to the same amounts of hormone. A major complicating factor for some women is that while her muscle and fat may be insulin resistant, other types of organ cells are not.  The pituitary, ovaries, and adrenal glands of an insulin resistant woman are stimulated by higher levels of insulin than is desirable, which causes for instance elevated testosterone. The high levels of androgens in turn increase risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Despite these possible difficulties, it is important to do our best to determine what is and isn’t the cause of a major symptom like persistent excessive hair loss. Diagnostic tests that can help identify the source of your metabolic imbalance are:

The hair pull test is a simple diagnostic test in which the physician lightly pulls a small amount of hair (approx. 100 simultaneously) in order to determine if there is excessive loss. Normal range is zero to three hairs per pull.

Hormone levels: Dehydroepiandrosterone, testosterone, androstenedione, prolactin, sex hormone binding globulin, follicular stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone. It is ideal to sample for FSH and LH on day 19 to 21 of your menstrual cycle, if those days can be identified.

Fasting blood glucose and insulin levels as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels

A complete blood count plus serum iron, ferritin and total iron binding capacity

Thyroid stimulating hormone plus a thyroid function panel including T3, T4, and T3 % uptake

VDRL to screen for syphilis

A scalp biopsy should be done before choosing surgical transplant

Densitometry, a magnification device, used check for shrinking of the hair shaft.

Conventional Medical Treatments For Hair Loss

You may be very interested in drug therapies of surgery to address the profound distress of excessive hair loss. It is simply human nature to hope for a simple pill or procedure that will permanently free us from our problems. Unfortunately drugs never actually provide a simple solution. Once you swallow a chemical, it is delivered all over your body; it affects your whole body. We cannot control drugs so they have only the effects we want- there are always side effects that are more or less problematic. Using drug therapy means trading one problem for some others. Sometimes this is exactly the right thing to do. Other times it is a personal disaster. Most drugs will act on all your tissues there is a danger of side effects that further damage your health. Topical treatments applied directly to the scalp use the lowest doses, and are the least harmful drug choices.

You will enjoy the best results when you begin any treatment as soon as possible after hair loss begins. Stopping the adverse effects of androgens means you can prevent further hair loss. And you can support regrowth from the follicles that were dormant still healthy. Depending on how the agent you choose works, stopping treatment will result in the hair loss resuming, unless you have also made other changes in your lifestyle that keep androgens at a level that is healthy and not harmful to you.

Below you will find a list of treatments currently being used to treat hair loss in women. Some of these drugs have not been approved by the FDA for this particular application, however they have all been approved for other applications and are used “off label” to treat hair loss. Currently 2% topical Minoxidil is the only FDA approved treatment specifically for female pattern hair loss.

The effectiveness of these agents and methods will vary from woman to woman, but many women have found that using these treatments has made a positive difference in the character of their hair and their positive self-esteem. As always, treatments have the best chance of being effective if they are geared to the cause of the hair loss as well as to triggering hair growth.

Estrogen and progesterone as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), typically prescribed for women undergoing menopause for any reason, is probably the most common systemic form of treatment for androgenic alopecia in women.

Oral contraceptives will decrease the production of ovarian androgens, and thus can be used to treat women’s androgenic alopecia. There are substantial reasons to avoid the use of either synthetic or bio-identical hormone treatments for your hair loss. Some birth control pills actually contribute to hair loss by triggering it or increasing it once it’s been triggered by something else. Any individual woman may have a selective sensitivity to any hormone combination- what is a low androgen effect formula for one woman may be a high androgen effect for another.

I am no longer able to recommend the use of birth control pills or other hormone-based contraception to young women. Decades of evidence suggest there are plenty of known, and possibly as yet unknown health risks associated with the use of ANY from of reproductive hormones, either prescription or over-the-counter forms. It is clear that the benefits of hormonal contraceptives are accompanied by significant risks, including making it much more likely that a woman will experience hormone imbalances that lead to a long list of negative effects. Hormone replacement puts you are risk for:

Depression or other mood disorders; decreased libido

Migraines and headaches

Breast lumps, tenderness and enlargement

Vaginal bleeding between periods

High blood pressure (hypertension)

High cholesterol

Blood clot in the leg, felt as: pain in the calf; leg cramps; leg or foot swelling

Blood clot in the lung, felt as: shortness of breath; sharp chest pain; coughing up blood

Heart attack, felt as: chest pain or heaviness

Sudden loss of vision or vision changes, which can be a sign of a blood clot in the eye

Cerebral vascular accident (a stroke): impaired vision or speech; weakness or numbness in a limb; severe headache

Liver damage, seen as: yellow eyes or skin; dark urine; abdominal pain

Allergic reaction: rash; hives; itching; swelling; difficulty breathing or swallowing


Bloating, nausea and vomiting

Changes in your eyes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses

If you chose a hormone prescription for any reason, you should be sure to use only low-androgen content methods. If you have a strong predisposition for genetic hair loss, insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease or any female organ cancer in your family I strongly recommend the use of another non-hormonal form of birth control.

Below is a list of birth control pills ranging from lowest androgen index to highest:

Desogen, Ortho-Cept, Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Micronor, Nor-Q D, Ovcon-35, Brevicon/Modicon, Ortho Norvum 7/7/7, Ortho Novum 10-11, Tri-Norinyl, Norinyl and Ortho 1/35, Demulen 1/35, Triphasil/Tri-Levien, Nordette, Lo/Ovral, Ovrette, Ovral, Loestrin1/20, Loestrin 1.5/30.

The following hormonal contraceptives have a significant potential of causing hair loss or making it worse:

Progestin implants, such as Norplant, are small rods surgically implanted under your skin. The rods release a continuous dose of progestin to prevent ovarian function.

Progestin injections, such as Depo-Provera, are given into the muscles of the upper arm or buttocks.

The skin patch (Ortho Evra) is pasted onto your shoulder, buttocks, or other location. It releases progestin and estrogen continuously to prevent your ovaries from producing normal cycles.

The vaginal ring (NuvaRing) is a flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina. This method releases the  lowest amounts of progestin and estrogen.

Minoxidil 2% Topical Treatment – Minoxidil seems to be more effective for women than men, for increasing scalp hair growth. The manufacturers of minoxidil recommend women use 2% minoxidil. There is a 5% solution available that has been tested and found safe enough for men. Because the makers of minoxidil have not invested in the expense of gaining FDA approval for promoting 5% minoxidil for use by women, it must be prescribed and used under a physician’s supervision. Small clinical trials on 5% minoxidil for women show that the 5% solution is in fact more effective in both retaining and regrowing hair than the 2 % solution.

Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a potassium-sparing diuretic used to treat high blood pressure and swelling. Spironolactone slows the production of androgens in the adrenal glands and ovaries. It prevents DHT from binding to receptor sites in the hair follicles.

Cimetidine (Tagamet) is a histamine blocker, approved to treat digestive tract ulcers. It prevents the stomach from producing digestive enzymes. Cimetidine also has been shown to block DHT from binding to hair follicle receptor sites.

Cyproterone acetate is used to reduce sexual aggression in men. Cyproterone acetate blocks DHT at hair follicle receptors. It has significant toxicity and long term side effects and is not available in the US.

Ketoconazole is a prescription topical treatment. It is primarily used as an antimicrobial for treating skin fungus. It suppresses production of androgens by adrenal glands, testicles and ovaries. Nizoral shampoo contains 2% ketoconazole. There is an over-the-counter version available. It has 1% active ingredient and is not as effective as prescription strength.

Finasteride is a drug that inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that deactivates DHT. It is sold as Proscar to treat prostate enlargement in men. Sold as Propecia it is approved by the FDA for male balding. Women should not take it if they are pregnant or might become pregnant because of the risk of feminization effects on a male fetus.        

Surgical Implants

Since hair restoration surgery is an option for the vast majority of the balding men, women may want to consider it. However, the type of hair loss most women suffer from makes hair transplants a bad idea.

Few women have the type of hair loss that make them good candidates for a surgical solution. Most men lose hair in well-defined areas, for instance the receding forehead or the classic round spot on the top of the skull. Little clumps or plugs of hair are removed from areas where healthy follicles are stable and plentiful, and these are transplanted to other areas of the head. Women more often experience an overall thinning across their whole scalp, including the sides and back. Most women have few reliably stable donor sites. Offering to transplant hair from unstable donor sites is medically unethical and women must not allow their distress about balding to get in the way of a cool- eyed look at the rationale behind treatment options offered.

Are any women good candidates for hair transplant? Yes, some.  A small percentage, 2% to 5% of women will have the type of hair loss that will benefit from this type of procedure. They are:

Women who have suffered hair loss due to non-hormonal causes, like traction alopecia.

Women who have scalp scars from some kind of wound or cosmetic surgery and want to repair hair loss around the incision or injury sites.

Women who have healthy and stable donor sites along with balding in a distinct pattern, like a receding hairline or thinning on the very top of the head.

Natural Remedies for Women’s Hair Loss

Safe, effective natural therapies are available to help you restore scalp health and increase hair growth. Like all natural therapies, in order to be maximally effective, it is essential to work with you as an individual. Some remedies will be more useful to you than others, depending on your unique, personal physical, mental and emotional health status. It is always important to spend your health care dollars well. I offer a consultation service to help you choose and make best use of the available options for treatment. Please visit your local ND to find out how to benefit from a personal consultation. You will receive recommendations for specific natural therapies, designed for your unique health status, to help you restore your health, and your scalp hair to it’s fullest and most enjoyable beauty.

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Getting Back to Fitness After a Long Break

It’s a hard realisation, but no matter what your fitness level is if you stop, you drop! All those hours spent in the gym and out running will be lost if you have a long layoff – either through injury or holiday and it could take a while to get that level of fitness back again.

The good part, though, is muscle memory. If you have achieved a certain level of fitness in the past, your body will retain some of that “fitness history” and this will help you get back to your former condition if you put your mind to it. I think the hardest element for all is realising that you cannot immediately go out and exercise at you pre-rest period intensity.

A good way to rapidly advance the process of getting back to full fitness is to find a hill that will take you 3 minutes to jog up. Now, this may seem a bit of a repetitive routine but it will get you back on track and push you hard. Jog up the hill at a slightly higher than comfortable pace and then walk back down and jog straight back up again. If there is a path that comes back down and around to the start point it will make the run more interesting and less tedious but the principle is the same.

As you get used to the hill run and circuit of running up and walking down, you can start to jog back down and increase the running speed uphill.

Strength training carries much the same principles and you will not be able to lift the same weights as before your rest period so don’t try or you may injure yourself. Start lighter and build up. Perform a full body circuit on the resistance machines, 1 set per body part, as this will give your muscles time to rest before the second set whilst still working a different muscle group. I like to perform opposite sets and perform a circuit following a routine of chest, back, leg extension, leg curl, shoulders, leg press/squat, bicep curl, triceps extension and calf raises. (depending on machines available). If you can perform this circuit 2 – 3 times over without resting in between sets, you will find that not only will you work all muscle groups, but you will also increase cardio vascular fitness. (this is not a daily routine as your body will need time to rest and should be performed no more than 3 times in a week. Remember your warm up, cool down and stretch routines).

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Yoga For Beginners: A Guide To Introductory Poses

Currently, there are about 84 different yoga poses. However, if you are a beginner to the world of yoga, you will not need to know of all the poses right away – you can learn the advanced poses over time. The following are basic poses for beginners that you will encounter in yoga classes.

Tada Asana Mountain is a pose that is used for stretching as well as making you taller. You stand up erect with your feet against each other, and your toes are spread – think of it as being like standing at attention in the military. Your arms should be positioned down at your sides. Hold your breath for 45 seconds, release, and then do the pose again.

The Trikoasana pose is great for back pain and joint issues. This is a triangle pose: place your legs about 3 feet apart. Your left foot should be at a 90 degree angle and turned a bit inward. Take a deep breath, and then bend to your right to touch the ground and exhale. Breathe and hold your breath for 20 seconds, then exhale and repeat on the other side.

Baddha Konasana Bound pose is a sitting-down yoga pose. Sit up straight against a door or wall. Bring both feet in front of you so that the heels of your feet are touching each other. Your back and shoulders must be touching the door or wall that you are sitting up against, and you should tighten your pelvis a bit. Touch your knees downward to the floor, then inhale for 30 seconds, exhale, and repeat.

The Marjasana Cat Cow pose basically involves you getting into a cat position, on all fours. Your hands should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees should be situated underneath your hips. Raise your head, and as you exhale, raise your back so it is rounded and put your head down. Inhale, exhale, and repeat at least ten times.

Vajrasana Extended Puppy pose may be a bit difficult to learn at first, but it is still a beginner’s pose. Start by getting on your knees, then extend your arms out in front of you as far as they will go. Bring your rear end toward your calves, and bring your hands to the back until they touch the tips of your feet. Inhale fro 20 seconds, then exhale.

These poses are great for beginners entering into the world of yoga.

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Hypothyroid Diet Basic Principles

The basic principle of a hypothyroid diet is based on hypothyroidism, which is a condition that reduces the metabolism rate of our body and leads to weight gain. This condition can be checked by using an ideal and specific hypothyroid diet. What does this diet entail and how can one increase their body metabolism rate and reduce the effect of gaining weight? This is one of the many questions that will be answered in this context. To achieve a perfect hypothyroid diet, one needs to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have been known to cause diabetes, one of the main causes of a low metabolism rate in our bodies. Some of the foods that you need to avoid are yams, pastas, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. It is recommended you eat foods rich in fiber such as vegetables, whole cereals and whole grain bread. Other foods that you need to avoid are white bread, cakes, refined flour and corn.

Selenium and a Hypothyroid Diet

One of the most important nutrients that you have to include in your hypothyroid diet is selenium. This nutrient can be naturally found in foods like tuna, sunflower seeds, salmon, eggs and Brazil nuts. There are other essential nutrients that you may also include in your diet like Vitamin E, Niacin and Zinc. Foods that you need to avoid excess consumption in your diet include cabbage, kale, peaches, cauliflower, turnips, peanuts and broccoli. This class of food is associated with interfering with the metabolism rate of the body and it is wise to avoid eating them in excess. To achieve a perfect diet, and like most healthy diet plans, you need to drink a lot of water. This is because a thyroid patient is faced with a problem of retaining water. The body loses a lot of water and needs to replace it as soon as possible. Avoid using a lot of salt as this will make the situation worse. It’s best to use sea salt as a replacement.

Hypothyroid Diet and the Importance of Water

It is recommended that you drink a minimum of ten glasses of water per day as part of the hypothyroid diet. This will reduce the dehydration effect caused by thyroid. You are also supposed to prevent other foods that will increase the dehydration of the body such as salted crackers, salted nuts or any foods that has been preserved in salt.

Another important part of your hypothyroid diet is exercise. The body’s metabolism rate is low and you need to look for better ways of activating it. Be as consistent with exercise, but initially it is recommended to take on light and low routine workouts. Start with about a twenty-minute daily routine during the early stages, and then increase the training period over time as you become accustomed to it. No need to run out and sign up for gym sessions right away, home exercise sessions are ideal to get you body used to exercising regularly.

One of the most basic tips of attaining good weight loss is to prevent the effect of always chasing your weight. What this means is the fact that some people are always on the scale to check how much they have lost when on the hypothyroid diet. This could be especially frustrating in some instances. The issue of losing weight is a gradual process and needs patience in whatever you decide to do. Start regular exercises and stick to the hypothyroid diet and you will definitely see the difference over time. It is advisable to track your weight on a weekly and not on a daily basis. This will show you the extent of your progress and with time you shall note that you are losing more and more weight. Avoid eating the food items that have been discussed in this article and you shall notice the difference while having confidence in your hypothyroid diet.

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The Prison Cell Workout

Have you ever noticed that many convicted criminals walk into prison as skinny punks but walk out with 20-40lbs of new muscle?

Have you ever wondered how that is possible?

Recently, a customer of mine asked me if I thought it was possible to build muscle, burn fat and get a lean, muscular physique without lifting weights.

While I gave it some thought… he raised the stakes. He wanted to know if someone could build a better body while locked up in a ten by ten prison cell.

I thought about it some more… and then I started to do some research. After I completed my research I told him that I believed it was possible to build muscle even within the confines of a ten by ten prison cell.

Here’s why:

Point #1: Your muscles are stupid. In order to grow, your muscles must be placed under tension. If you lift a dumbbell, that puts tension on your bicep and back muscles.

But… if you do a pull-up… that also puts your back and biceps muscles under tension. Here’s the kicker: Your muscles don’t know the difference between the tension put forth by pull-ups or from dumbbell curls.

The important thing is that your muscles are being worked against resistance in each case. So lifting weights may be a convenient way to work your muscles under tension… but it’s definitely not the only way to work your muscles.

Point #2: In the late ’80’s, researches used electromagnetic imaging to discover which exercises caused the greatest degree of muscle fiber activation. The rationale being that the more muscle fibers that were activated, the better the exercise was for building muscle and strength.

Researchers discovered that the most effective exercises were the ones where your hands and or feet remained steady and your body moved.

The exercises where your body remained stationary and your hands or feet did the moving were decidedly less effective.

Here is an example: When you are bench pressing, your body remains stationary and your hands move up and down throughout space.

But when you do a push-up, your hands remain stationary and your body moves up and down throughout space.

How about another example? When you do a seated leg extension, your body remains stationary and your feet move up and down. But when you do a squat, your feet remain stationary and your body moves up and down throughout space.

So the push-up activates more muscle fiber than the bench press… and a squat recruits more muscle fibers than a leg extension.

This means that many bodyweight exercises actually require a greater degree of muscle fiber activation than many common weight-lifting exercises.

In short, bodyweight exercises can actually be more effective at building muscle and strength.

So… even if you’re stuck in a tiny prison cell, you can still build muscle and strength with bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and squats.

Of course, to build extreme amounts of muscle you have to move beyond the basic exercises and start using some of the more advanced exercises. These include the one-arm push-up, the janda sit-up, dips and variations on the pull-up.

But in the end, I see no reason why you could not build an all-around spectacularly muscular physique within the tiny confines of a ten by ten prison cell.

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A Stress Relief Kit – Six Things That Will Help You De-Stress Quickly When It’s All Just Too Much

Ever wish you had a stress relief kit handy when the going gets tough? If you’re like most people, you may be so preoccupied with whatever thing or situation is triggering the stress that you don’t even realize you could do something to make you relax.

And even if you think, “Oh, I wish there were a way to calm down!”, you may not be able to think of the very things that would help you accomplish a more serene state of mind.

What to do? That’s where having a stress relief kit can come to the rescue.

What would that look like? Can you have your personal massage therapist tag along wherever you go just in case you get stressed? Probably not.

Instead, your stress relief kit needs to be portable and handy. It can include physical objects as well as notes or lists of things to do or thoughts to think that will help you calm down.

Let’s look at some of the physical objects you might carry with you. They could include the following things:

1. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be very effective at helping you calm down when you’re too stressed and wired. Put a few drops on a tissue (or your wrist if you’re not too sensitive or if they are diluted) and then just inhale. Repeat as needed. Experiment with different blends and individual essential oils. You can find them in any health food store, in alternative stores, and on the internet. These days, you may even find them in the grocery store and in the drugstore. One favorite: lavender.

2. Calming herbs

Valerian and related medicinal plants have been helping people relax for generations. I discovered them in during the last years of college when I used to get stressed over exams and deadlines. I was just about ready to lose it when I saw an ad for them in a pharmacy window (that was in Germany), bought a pack and never looked back. I still use valerian to this day when I find myself too stressed.

3. Calming foods or beverages

Skip the coffee (or pick decaf) and choose hot chocolate or chamomile tea instead. Go for soups. They’re soothing. You can carry individual packets with hot chocolate mix, tea bags or even cup-o-soup in your purse and have them handy when needed.

4. Color therapy

Blues and greens have calming effects. Wear them. Have something in those colors handy, maybe even a picture of a serene nature scene. Sure, actual nature would be even better, but sometimes you just can’t have it all, and a picture of a green scene that pleases you will certainly help.

5. Photos of your loved ones

Looking at them may well cheer you up and help you get some perspective. How well they work will depend on your relationship with them of course, so be sure to choose those pictures wisely.

6. Music

If you have an iPod or some other kind of personal music delivery device, be sure to stock it with music and other material you find calming and/or reassuring.

And then, whenever you feel stressed, just deploy them, one after the other. Get out the aromatherapy and inhale. Get yourself a cup of hot chocolate if you can and take a dose of valerian if needed. Listen to some soothing music (Pachelbel’s Canon is practically designed for this purpose) while looking at your nature scene picture, and don’t forget to take some slow, deep breaths. You’ll feel a whole lot calmer within minutes.

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Expert Tips for Winning Child Pageant Photos

Many pageants include a photogenic competition, and you should definitely take advantage of this. Why? Because the photograph of your child will be seen by the judges before the pageant ever begins, so it will provide the first chance for the pageant judges to get a good look at your daughter – up close and personal. Because the pageant photo is so important, most parents choose to have pictures made by professional pageant photographers.

With full-glitz photos, numerous photographs are taken of your child while she’s wearing makeup and pageant hair. You and the photographer choose a couple of the best photos, and these are enhanced to create a perfect picture. The eyes are usually made larger, and their natural color might be brightened. Eyelashes are also added. The lips are made fuller, and the shape of the face might even be changed a little. The skin is made to appear flawless, and every hair is in place in the final product. With glitz photos, some photographers have items your child can wear for the session. If not, or if you want more choices, bring along headbands, feathers, hats, fringe, jewelry, beads, or other adornments.

Don’t worry too much about clothing. Only the top of the shoulders and the face are seen in the final results. In fact, oftentimes just a piece of fabric is wrapped around the girl’s chest for a photo shoot. Just about anything bright and colorful will work. Natural photographs are becoming more popular at pageants, and these are usually taken by a professional photographer, too. These might be full-body shots or head shots.

Popular themes for outfits for natural pageant photos include cowgirl, country, punk, and vintage. Some girls prefer to dress in gowns and have their pictures made while holding flowers. Many natural pageant photos are taken outdoors, and some include props. These might include an old pickup truck, a rustic fence, a pond or lake, an old building, or railroad tracks. For some reason, railroad tracks have become very popular as a background.

Generally speaking, the more creative the picture is, the higher it will score. Photographs are scored on originality, natural beauty, and quality.Classic black-and-white photographs can also be used for pageant pics, in both the natural and the glitz photo category. Of course, with this type of photograph, you won’t have to be concerned with bright colors.

Instead, choose solid colors or fabric with bold patterns. A good idea is to try some of both at the photo shoot. Later, you’ll have more looks from which to choose. If you’re serious about pageants and want to be truly competitive, don’t skimp on pageant photos. Keep your photos updated and current.

Find a photographer who’s experienced with taking photographs just for pageants, and see examples of his or her work before hiring. If you don’t know enough about what judges usually look for in pageant photos, don’t be afraid to ask around the pageant world for advice on selecting a winning photographer.

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HMR Diet Review – Pros and Cons of the HMR Healthy Solutions At Home Program

The HMR diet has been used by weight loss clients in medical clinics and hospitals around the country for over 30 years.

In addition to the specialty food that is designed for fast, safe weight loss, they also focus on helping people build new, healthier habits into their lives to maintain their weight loss.

They’ve recently expanded their weight loss program for home use and are calling it Healthy Solutions at Home. They will deliver a full weight loss starter package to your door with everything you need to lose weight in the comfort of your own home.

This includes HMR meals and shakes along with detailed instructions for the diet plan. You also add in your own fruits and vegetables to the plan.

So is this diet right for you?

Here are a few things you need to know:

How It Works

The diet itself is very easy to follow. Every day you’ll eat 3 HMR shakes, 2 HMR entrees and at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.

This is actually the minimum you should eat. The program actually encourages you to eat more if you’re hungry – either a shake, another entree or more fruit or veggies.

So you don’t have to worry that you’ll starve on this program. The food is low in calories, so you can actually eat a bit more without having it affect your weight loss.

How It’s Different Than Other Diet Delivery Services

The HMR diet gives you something other diet food delivery programs do not: weekly phone coaching. Every week you’ll be on the phone with your coach getting new encouragement, tips and help.

The focus with the coaching is to help you build new healthier habits – so you can easily maintain your weight loss after the diet is done.

While the phone coaching is not mandatory, HMR has found that clients who participate in the coaching actually lose more weight than those who don’t (23 vs 13 pounds).

This diet also has an added safety factor. Because it’s used by medical clinics and hospitals, you know it’s not a fad diet – and it has lots of history behind it of fast, effective weight loss.

And because of the emphasis on fruits and vegetables, you are getting a wide range of extra nutrients that you need when losing weight.

How Much Can You Lose?

Well, this does depend on a number of factors like how much you have to lose, your age, gender and activity level. However the average weight loss is about 23 pounds over 12 weeks.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

Well, unlike some other diet delivery services, you do have to do some of the food prep yourself (adding veggies to the entrees for example).

Then again, this diet is also cheaper than some mainstream diet delivery services – coming in under $10 a day.

So it really depends on what you’re looking for.

So Is It Right For You?

Well, if you’re looking for a super-simple diet that is easy to follow and gives you most of what you need (except the fruits and veggies), this diet is worth considering.

It’s also nice to have the phone coaching to help you prepare for life after the diet. And you will not starve on this plan since you’re encouraged to eat more if you’re hungry.

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