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Category Archives: Women
We’re now at the height of winter – temperatures are staying low, the days are at their shortest and the sky is most often just a sea of grey clouds. If this time of year tends to make you feel depressed, you’re not alone. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, around 14 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from seasonal mood changes or “winter blues.” Six percent are thought to suffer from full-blown seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In addition to typical depression symptoms such as low energy, feelings of hopelessness, difficulty concentrating and irritability, seasonal affective disorder patients can suffer from weight gain, oversleeping and a feeling of heavy or “leaden” extremities. People who live farther north in the country are much more likely to suffer from SAD. Unfortunately, the causes of seasonal effective disorder aren’t widely understood.
Weight loss, from a strictly scientific perspective, seems pretty straightforward: in order to lose weight, a person must burn more calories than they consume. Obviously, this means getting some exercise; however, it isn’t always this simple. If a person’s diet is poor, it will take exponentially more exercise to see any results. Now, a new study published in the The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows just how ineffective regular exercise without a diet plan could be. Not only can the exercise fail to produce results, it could also actually cause weight gain. Think about it: getting a whole bunch of exercise could technically cause you to become more hungry throughout the day. If you’re not watching your diet, you could end up overeating and negating any of the benefits the exercise provided. This study shows how bad it could be, depending on the person.
Every five years since 1980, the USDA and the HHS have jointly published the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It’s an exhaustive document detailing the foods and serving sizes that Americans should consume in order to promote health, prevent disease and maintain a healthy weight. When it comes to milk consumption, the 2010 edition states that “recommended amounts are 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products for adults.” Drinking milk in this amount is thought to promote bone health and decrease the risk of fractures due to the amount of calcium milk provides. However, health professionals don’t always agree with this notion. For example, a Harvard School of Public Health report indicates that the jury is still out on the benefits of milk. Now, a new study is not only casting doubt on milk’s bone health effects, but it’s also showing that milk could do a lot of damage.
Anyone suffering from varicose veins knows how annoying and painful they can be. The twisted, enlarged veins often develop in the legs and feet, usually appearing as blue-green cords that bulge beneath the skin. Varicose veins are merely a cosmetic issue for many people. For others, however, the veins can cause pain, especially when standing or walking. While they’re rarely considered life-threatening, they are occasionally associated with complications including vein inflammation, venous eczema, blood clots, skin ulcers and leg swelling. Varicose veins aren’t uncommon either; in fact, according to the University of Maryland medical center, up to 60 percent of U.S. citizens suffer from them. Luckily, many varicose vein treatment options are available. But which ones are most effective? According to a new study, it might not make much of a difference.
Physicians often split heart disease risk factors into two categories: modifiable and non-modifiable. Non-modifiable risk factors include things that cannot be changed such as age, family history, ethnic origin and gender. On the other hand, modifiable factors represent things that a person generally has some control over. These factors can include hypertension, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, tobacco use, diabetes, poor diet, alcohol consumption, stress, ingesting certain medicines, and being poor (although some would argue that financial status is non-modifiable in certain parts of the world). According to a new report from the American Heart Association, it’s now thought that women and African Americans are more highly affected by the non-modifiable heart disease risk factors. Also, while the gender gap seems to be narrowing, the gap between races may be increasing.
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