Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance- which would affect your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant, and it may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it isn’t treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, diabetes and heart disease.
So why is it called polycystic ovary syndrome? Women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. The ovaries are “hormone factories”, and any problems in them would lead to hormone imbalances.
When hormones get out of balance in PCOs. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another, and so on.
Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making more male hormones. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair.
Also, due to the hormonal imbalance, the body may have a problem using insulin, called “insulin resistance”. Insulin is the hormone that makes the cells able to take up sugar for energy production. So, when the body doesn’t use insulin well, sugar levels will go up in the blood. Over time, this increases your chance of getting diabetes.
The cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but PCOS seems to run in families, so your chance of having it is higher if your m other, sister, or maternal/paternal aunts have had it.
Symptoms vary. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:
Acne.
Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair, especially on the chin, and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
Thinning hair on the scalp.
Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility).
Depression.
To diagnose PCOS, the doctor will: Ask questions about your health, do a physical exam, do a number of lab tests to check your blood sugar, insulin, and other hormone levels. A pelvic ultrasound will be done to look for cysts on your ovaries.
So, what is the treatment of PCO?
The most important steps towards treating PCOS are: regular exercise, healthy foods, and weight control. **Try to fit in moderate activity and/or vigorous activity often. Walking and HIIT are great options here. **Eat heart-healthy foods. This includes lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. It limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods. **Losing 10 lb (4.5 kg) may help get your hormones in balance and regulate your menstrual cycle. **If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher androgen levels that may contribute to PCOS symptoms. **Your doctor also may prescribe medications to reduce symptoms, , help you have regular menstrual cycles, or fertility medicines if you are having trouble getting pregnant. But those medications will not be effective without a healthy lifestyle.
It is important to see your doctor for follow-up to make sure that treatment is working and to adjust it if needed. You may also need regular tests to check for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible problems.
It may take a while for treatments to help with symptoms such as facial hair or acne. You can use over-the-counter or prescription medicines for acne.
It can be hard to deal with having PCOS. If you are feeling sad or depressed, it may help to talk to a counselor or to other women who have PCOS. But remember that with PCOS, you can change your whole health situation if you stick to a healthy lifestyle, so go for it! All the best.

Endometriosis

The endometrium is a layer of cell tissue lining the uterus. During the menstrual cycle, the endometrium grows to be thick and blood vessel-rich, because this is the environment for the implantation of the baby if there’s pregnancy.
Endometriosis is usually a long-lasting (chronic) disease, you are born this way. When you have endometriosis, the type of tissue that lines your uterus (endometrium) is also present outside your uterus. These clumps/implants of tissue may have grown on your ovaries or fallopian tubes, the outer wall of the uterus, the intestines, or other organs in the belly. In rare cases they spread to areas beyond the belly.
With each menstrual cycle, these clumps/ implants go through the same growing, breaking down, and bleeding that the uterine lining (endometrium) goes through. This is why endometriosis pain may start as mild discomfort a few days before the menstrual period and then usually is gone by the time the period ends. But if an implant grows in a sensitive area, it can cause constant pain or pain during certain activities, such as sex, exercise, or bowel movements.
So the main two problems with endometriosis are the chronic pain and the infertility.
There is no cure for endometriosis, but treatment can help with pain and infertility.
Treatment depends on how severe your symptoms are and whether you want to get pregnant. If you have pain only, hormone therapy to lower your body’s estrogen levels will shrink the implants and may reduce pain. If you want to become pregnant, having surgery and infertility treatment may help.
Not all women with endometriosis have pain. And endometriosis doesn’t always get worse over time. During pregnancy, it usually improves, as it does after menopause. If you have mild pain, have no plans for a future pregnancy, or are near menopause (around age 50), treatment may be unnecessary.
So how is endometriosis treated? If you have pain or bleeding but aren’t planning to get pregnant soon,birth control hormones (patch, pills, or ring) or anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) may be all that you need to control pain. Birth control hormones are likely to keep endometriosis from getting worse. If you have severe symptoms or if birth control hormones and NSAIDs don’t work, you might try a stronger hormone therapy.
Besides medicine, you can try other things at home to help with the pain. For example, you can apply heat to your belly and exercise regularly.
If hormone therapy doesn’t work or if growths are affecting other organs, surgery is the next step. It removes endometrial growths and scar tissue. Laparoscopy can improve pain and your chance for pregnancy. In severe cases, removing the uterus and ovaries (hysterectomy and oophorectomy) is an option. This surgery causes early menopause. It is only used when you have no pregnancy plans and have had little relief from other treatments.
Infertility treatment
If you are having trouble becoming pregnant even after surgery, you can consider trying fertility drugs with insemination or in vitro fertilization. Endometriosis may have no permanent cure, but you can always discuss your family planning options with your doctor, and stick to a treatment plan, which might take long to succeed, so you will need to have patience.

Best of luck.

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. It releases hormones that control metabolism—the way your body uses energy.
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs to affect many different processes, including
Growth and development
Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
Sexual function
Reproduction
Mood
The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions, including:
Breathing
Heart rate
Central and peripheral nervous systems
Body weight
Muscle strength
Menstrual cycles
Body temperature
Cholesterol levels
and more
The thyroid gland is about 5 cm long and lies in front of your throat below the prominence of thyroid cartilage sometimes called the Adam’s apple. The thyroid has two sides called lobes that lie on either side of your windpipe, and is usually connected by a strip of thyroid tissue known as an isthmus. Some people do not have an isthmus, and instead have two separate thyroid lobes.
How the Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream so the hormones can reach the body’s cells. The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods you eat to make two main hormones:
Triiodothyronine (T3)
Thyroxine (T4)
It is important that T3 and T4 levels are neither too high nor too low. Two glands in the brain—the hypothalamus and the pituitary communicate to maintain T3 and T4 balance.
The hypothalamus produces TSH Releasing Hormone (TRH) that signals the pituitary to tell the thyroid gland to produce more or less of T3 and T4 by either increasing or decreasing the release of a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
When T3 and T4 levels are low in the blood, the pituitary gland releases more TSH to tell the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones.
If T3 and T4 levels are high, the pituitary gland releases less TSH to the thyroid gland to slow production of these hormones.

Why do we Need a Thyroid Gland
T3 and T4 regulate your heart rate and how fast your intestines process food. So if T3 and T4 levels are low, your heart rate may be slower than normal, and you may have constipation/weight gain. If T3 and T4 levels are high, you may have a rapid heart rate and diarrhea/weight loss.
If too much T3 and T4 in your body (hyperthyroidism):
Anxiety
Irritability or moodiness
Nervousness, hyperactivity
Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
Hand trembling (shaking)
Hair loss
Missed or light menstrual periods
Some people might experience exopthalmus;
If too little T3 and T4 in your body (hypothyroidism):
Trouble sleeping
Tiredness and fatigue
Difficulty concentrating
Dry skin and hair
Depression
Sensitivity to cold temperature
Frequent, heavy periods
Joint and muscle pain
Call your doctor immediately if you’re suffering from any symptoms of the mentioned above. All the best

Blood Pressure

When you go the doctor to get your blood pressure measured, you will hear two numbers, for example; 120/80. What do those numbers mean?

In order to understand the subject of blood pressure, we first have to know some information about the circulatory system (cardiovascular system).

The circulatory system is made up of organs that work together: the heart; lungs; blood vessels; and blood.

The heart, blood, and blood vessels make up the cardiovascular component of the circulatory system.

The heart is a muscle the size of your fist. It constantly pumps blood through the blood vessels. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the body’s organs and drops off waste products to be filtered out by the kidneys, liver, lungs, and skin.

Each heart beat pushes blood out of the heart into the arteries, then the heart relaxes while getting ready for the next pumping beat. So, in fact we observe two actions here: contraction and relaxation.
The contraction is called systole, and the relaxation: diastole.

The blood pressure is the amount of pressure exerted on your artery walls by the blood flowing into them, under the effect of the heart’s pumping action. Now let’s see, if the heart contracts to push the blood forward, this must be causing a higher pressure on the artery walls than when it relaxes, right? Exactly! So there are actually two readings for the blood pressure in one person: one while the heart contracts, which causes the higher pressure value: called systolic pressure; and the other when the heart relaxes/rests, called the diastolic pressure.

The systolic pressure is the upper/higher one, and the diastolic is the lower one.

Now let’s have a further look at the measurement unit of blood pressure. We say for example that my blood pressure is 120/80 mm of mercury. Which means that the blood presses on the walls of the arteries with the same pressure of a 1-mm thick column of mercury with the height of, say 120 mm, which is “the value we read”.

A sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope are devices used to record your blood pressure.

A sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff, a measuring unit (the mercury manometer, or aneroid gauge), and a mechanism for inflation which may be a manually operated bulb and valve or a pump operated electrically.

The cuff is normally placed to fit around an upper arm, at roughly the same vertical height as the heart while the subject is seated with the arm supported. It is essential that the correct size of cuff is selected for the patient. For clinical measurements it is usual to measure and record both arms in the initial consultation to determine if the pressure is significantly higher in one arm than the other. The cuff is inflated until the artery is completely occluded.
Using a stethoscope, we listen to the brachial artery at the elbow, the examiner slowly releases the pressure in the cuff. As the pressure in the cuffs falls, a “whooshing” or pounding sound is heard (see Korotkoff sounds) when blood flow first starts again in the artery. The pressure at which this sound began is noted and recorded as the systolic blood pressure. The cuff pressure is further released until the sound can no longer be heard. This is recorded as the diastolic blood pressure. We can also palpate/feel the radial pulse to make sure of the lower reading.
The top number (the systolic blood pressure) is considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people above 50 years of age. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to increasing stiffness of large arteries and long-term build-up of plaque due to unhelathy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle.
A single high reading does not necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. However, if readings stay at 140/90 mm Hg or above (systolic 140 or above OR diastolic 90 or above) over time, this is a sign that you should start a treatment program. Such a program almost always includes lifestyle changes and often prescription medication for those with readings of 140/90 or higher.
If, while monitoring your blood pressure, you get a systolic reading of 180 mm Hg or higher OR a diastolic reading of 110 mm HG or higher, wait a couple of minutes and take it again. If the reading is still at or above that level, you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment for a hypertensive crisis.
Starting at age 20, it is recommended to do a blood pressure screening every 2 years.

Even if your blood pressure is normal, you should consider making lifestyle modifications to prevent the development of HBP and improve your heart health.
For more on blood pressure, please tune into iUnerstand.tv (afham.tv)
All the best.

Child Rage

Bed Wetting

Home Fitness Equipment

Home Exercise Equipment

Exercise doesn’t have to be done at the gym. You can work out in the comfort of your own home, with or without equipment. Exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, and sit-ups, you can use the resistance of your own weight to condition your body. To boost your condition and strength, you may also want to use some home exercise equipment.

Experts offer their thoughts on some popular home exercise items:

  • Treadmill or elliptical trainer, trampolines
  • Free weights. Barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells
  • Flexible bands, and flexible rods.
  • Exercise balls.  
  • Exercise videos and DVDs.
  • Don’t forget to have comfy clothes on and to drink enough Water. Take sips during the training.

Best of luck!

Alyaa Gad

 

 

Eating with Acne

Recent research indicates a link between the food we eat and getting acne.

Hormones, especially testosterone and insulin are thought to be responsible for most cases of acne.

Dairy products may cause a rise in your testosetrone levels, and refined sugars increase your insulin.

In some cases, food allergy may worsen the case of acne, causing it to flare up.

You also need to know that some medications may be causing your acne.

So what can you do to help clear your acne via a proper diet?

First you need to limit foods with high gylcemic index: soft drinks, white flower and refined sugars.

Then you should cut down on the dairy products: see if milk may be causing your acne to flare up. If you see a connection, eliminat the milk from your diet.

Eat vitamin A- and C-rich foods: brightly colored vegetables and citrus fruits are your best sources.

Eat foods rich in vitamin B6: like fish, beans, lentils, avocados

Go for zinc: you will find it in seafood and whole grains.

Omega-3 will help you balance your hormones and ward off the inflammation. You will find lost of it in salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed.

Also, a piece of ginger a day, willl do miracles to your skin.

So does chocolate really caue acne? It’s actually the dairy and sugar in it that cause the problem.

don’t forget to drink enough water to flush out the toxins and give your skin a beautiful healthy glow.

See a dermatolgist for best medications to treat your acne.

All the best!

Alyaa Gad

 

Eating During Cancer Treatment

Many patients with cancer, especially when undergowing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, suffer from loss of appetite, nausea, and other probelms in their digestive system.

Many of these problems can be helped with the following tips:

  • Plan your major meal when you experience the least nausea and vomiting. This is often the case early in the morning.
  • Eat small frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Let someone cook for you, because cooking odors might provoke your nausea.
  • If you’re suffeing from mouth sores or if you have difficulty swallowing, eat bland and pureed foods, like puddings, shakes, smoothies, mashed potatoes and rice, or soups.
  • Avoid salty, spicey, and acidic foods.
  • Take zink-rich foods, like nuts, beans, and mushrooms . Zink will help your sores heal faster.
  • If you have nausea, try chewing on ice chips or eating/drinking ginger.
  • If diarrhea is a problem, avoid fatty foods, raw fruits, and whole grain products. Instead, eat bland foods like rice and cooked apples.
  • Rest after eating in a sitting position.
  • Maintain your healthy dental hygiene: if brushing is too painful due to the mouth sores, try washing with a weak solution containing hydrogen peroxide.
  • Make meals visually attractive and in a nice setting.
  • Vitamin and supplement intake is to be avoided since there are concerns that vitamins might blunt the effect of chemotherapy against cancer cells and supplements might increase toxicity to the liver and kidneys. There are exceptions and some chemotherapy drugs specifically require a vitamin to reduce side effects. Ask your doctor for more information.
  • Regarding the fluid requirement on the chemothreapy days: Some chemotherapies require fluid to be taken before treatment to prevent kidney problems. Other chemotherapies require fluid to be taken afterwards to reduce bladder inflammation. Check with your doctor.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Alyaa Gad

Eating with Cystitis