What Is The Link Between Menopause and Incontinence?

menopause incontinenceMany people refer to incontinence as a “bladder problem” or a “weak pelvic floor” as the word “incontinence” sadly has a stigma associated with it and no-one really wants to talk about it. However around 1 in 5 women over the age of 40 suffer with incontinence and 40% of menopausal women.

The Bladder and Bowel Foundation estimates that a quarter of us will have a problem with bladder control. It has long been associated with old age but it isn’t a natural part of the ageing process. In fact five million people in the UK under the age of 24 have a bladder problem.

What is Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is essentially the inability to control your bladder and when involuntary leaking occurs. The severity can vary from woman to woman. Some women may only experience occasional trickles of urine when coughing or sneezing. Others may have larger amounts of urine which is uncontrolled. This is because there are different types of incontinence.

Stress Incontinence: When there is some pressure on pelvic floor muscles through activity such as sneezing, coughing and lifting, small amounts of urine escape. The loss of oestrogen associated with menopause can lead to weakness of the pelvic muscle support and cause stress incontinence.

Urge Incontinence: Also referred to as “overactive bladder”, this condition causes people to feel a strong immediate urge to go to the toilet.

Overflow Incontinence: This kind of incontinence occurs when the bladder can’t completely empty which causes small amounts of urine to leak from the bladder. To treat this kind of incontinence, catheter manufacturers have created an intermittent catheter which enables the drainage of excess urine. It is this “left behind” retained urine which irritates the bladder and causes an urgency to go.

Why Does It Occur During Menopause?

There are many symptoms of menopause but this is probably the most embarrassing. If it’s not enough to contend with mood swings and hot flashes, throwing incontinence into the mix is no laughing matter.

During menopause, oestrogen levels drop dramatically. Oestrogen has an important function when it comes to muscle tone and when the hormone drops the muscle tone weakens too. There are various muscles which support the pelvic bowl but as these weaken they aren’t strong enough to hold the opening of the bladder in the closed position and women can experience leakage.

Menopause may not be the only reason for bladder problems. There are other factors which can cause incontinence. Natural pregnancy is a major factor as the pelvic floor is weakened with carrying a baby. Medications such as diuretics, infections and damaged nerves from diabetes or stroke can all be contributing to incontinence.

How Can I Prevent It?

There are various ways in which incontinence can be treated or alleviated with some lifestyle changes and incontinence products.

1. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day – Incontinence sufferers may avoid drinking fluids as it may need them to urinate more. However limiting your fluid intake can be worse for you because it limits your bladders capacity.

2. Bladder Training – Try and wait longer between needing to urinate and passing urine as you can train yourself to not go as much.

3. Exercise – Try core strengthening exercises such as kegel exercises which will strengthen pelvic floor muscles to reduce urinary leakage. Core strengthening exercises such as pilates or yoga can help strengthen muscle tone.

4. Avoid alcohol as this is a diuretic which is a substance which makes you urinate more. Cutting this down may help incontinence troubles.

5. There are a range of products created for incontinence but why should dignity be thrown away? Adult nappies and pads can cause irritation and can feel derogatory. If you are experiencing any types of incontinence and are finding it difficult getting to the toilet in time, the new melio leg bag can be a great device for managing incontinence whilst being highly discreet. It gives you greater control and improved self confidence as the urine bag has a urine level sensor and warning system. It can also be emptied discreetly without a struggle.

This article was brought to you by Albert medical devices who are dedicated to finding innovative solutions to deal with incontinence, without affecting your quality of life.

Can You Really Test For Menopause?

menopause testWhoever said that death and taxes were the only sure things in life clearly wasn’t a woman. Although you don’t know exactly when it will come, what it will be like, or how it will change your life, you can look forward to the onset of menopause at some point during your middle age as surely as the sun rises. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of menopause can be vague and may be confused with other conditions. To ensure that you know exactly when you’ve begun the process and can respond to it appropriately, talk to your doctor about testing for menopause.

Menopause Basics

Menopause is defined as a cessation of menstruation for a continuous 12-month period that occurs in women within the expected age range and can’t be explained by other medical factors. While it’s natural to assume that you’ve hit menopause if you’re middle-aged and haven’t had a period in over a year, the condition isn’t as cut-and-dry as you’d think. Menopause is caused by shifting hormone gradients that fluctuate wildly during its beginning and middle stages, rendering any test that measures your body’s hormone levels inherently uncertain. In other words, none of these tests is foolproof.

Why Test For Menopause?

Like puberty, menopause causes major physical and emotional changes and, over time, will radically reorder your health priorities. Postmenopausal women have an elevated risk for serious health problems like breast cancer as well as non-life-threatening but still annoying issues such as spider veins.

Obviously, menopause also has a major impact on family planning decisions. If you are beginning to experience the irregular periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness that characterize perimenopause but still intend to have more children, you and your partner may need to hurry.


Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Test

Since “FSH” is responsible for controlling the regularity of your menses by chemically stimulating your ovaries in the days leading up to ovulation, it’s a powerful predictor of your menstrual cycle’s overall stability.

To prepare for your FSH test, you will need to stop taking certain classes of drugs, including birth control pills and other medications containing either estrogen or progesterone, about a month before your test. You’ll also need to wait for a full week after using radioactive tracers. The test itself involves drawing a relatively small amount of blood and results are available within 24 hours. In general, higher blood concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone hint at diminished ovary function, which can be due to menopause in women over age 40 or ovarian failure in younger individuals.

Estrogen Test

Since estrogen keeps your ovaries healthy and works with FSH to maintain your menstrual regularity, decreasing blood concentrations of this hormone may indicate perimenopause. There are several different varieties of estrogen present in your body at any given time, but the specific compound that affects the function of your ovaries is known as estradiol. Like FSH, your doctor will measure your body’s estradiol levels with a blood work test. Higher hormone levels usually indicate a serious condition, like an ovarian tumor, while lower levels are a good but not exclusive indicator of menopause.

Luteinizing Hormone Test

Luteinizing hormone, or LH, is a pituitary hormone that kick-starts the process of ovulation. Like other tests to indicate menopause, the LH test involves drawing a small amount of blood for laboratory analysis. Unlike FSH and estradiol, though, LH actually becomes more prevalent in your blood as you approach menopause. In fact, depressed levels of LH in otherwise healthy women are usually indicative of a crippled or non-functioning pituitary gland.

Treating Menopause

While you can’t turn back time, you can certainly mitigate menopause’s unfortunate side effects. Some culinary and medical treatments for common menopause-related issues include:

  • Night sweats: Black cohosh, an herb native to the United States, and flaxseed have both proven effective at countering hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Osteoporosis: A major post-menopause ailment, osteoporosis is best treated with regular oral doses of calcium at mealtimes.
  • Mood swings: In combination with black cohosh, St. John’s wort can “smooth out” the disruptive mood swings associated with menopause.
  • Hot flashes: Soy is chock full of compounds that mimic estrogen, and studies have shown that women who eat it regularly experience hot flashes less often.

You don’t have to fear the onset of menopause, but there’s no denying that it’s a major change. Because of the magnitude of that change, testing may give you the information you need to at least combat the symptoms more effectively. Talk to your doctor to determine the best course of action for you and begin preparing for the next, new and exciting stage of life.

Karen Boyarsky is a freelance blogger writing on behalf of www.healthtestingcenters.com. You can follow her on Twitter @BoyarskyKaren.

Heart Tests for Health

Heart Tests for Health: What You Should Know

stop a heart attack The health of your heart directly affects the life you’re able to live and enjoy. Many advances in cardiology and heart health public awareness have helped countless people maintain good heart health, and prevent or recover from heart disease. Years ago, various forms of heart disease were only diagnosed following a heart attack or other cardiac emergency. Nowadays, there are many procedures that help cardiologists and their patients catch heart disease in its early stages so a treatment plan can be created to maintain the patient’s good health and help prevent deterioration.

The following procedures are commonly used to determine overall heart health and problematic issues, and can be performed in many hospitals, out-patient facilities, and even mobile cath labs.


Heart Diagnostic Procedures

Non-Invasive Procedures
Cardio Stress Tests. Many people are familiar with a cardiac stress test in which electrodes, which are attached to the skin on the chest area, record the function of your heart as you walk on a treadmill. Though a stress test can be physically tiring and difficult for someone in poor physical health, it’s a useful and effective procedure for uncovering the cause of chest pains, determining a safe fitness level and diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD). Stress tests are usually conducted at the hospital on an out-patient basis.

Electrocardiography. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) measures the electrical activity of the heart by way of electrodes attached to the chest, rib area and on the arms and legs. ECGs are used to diagnose abnormalities of the heart, such as problems with heart rate or size of the pulmonary chambers. Conducted as an out-patient procedure, the history of the ECG dates back to 1872.

Computer Imaging. Computer imaging, also known as tomography, involves the use of different types of scans to gather images of the heart. Most people have heard of a CT scan, CAT scan or PET scan. These diagnostic procedures involve a scanning device that moves over the body or one in which the body passes through the device, ultimately creating a 3-D image of the heart. Computer imaging helps diagnose cardiac masses, pericardial disease or aortic disease.

heart checks

Invasive Procedures
Angiogram or Cardiac Catheterization. An angiogram is a type of x-ray that allows doctors to see inside the blood vessels of the heart. This invasive procedure is conducted with local anesthesia and helps your doctor to find blockage in the arteries or evaluate the function of the heart muscle. You may experience some discomfort in the thigh area where the catheter is inserted and must take it easy for a few days following this same-day procedure.

Echocardiogram. The transesophageal echocardiogram involves passing a tube into the esophagus by way of the throat. Those with a gag reflex may experience some discomfort, but the procedure lasts only 10 to 30 minutes. The ultrasound images produced during the procedure help detect heart abnormalities while viewing the small details of the heart.

Electrophysiologic Tests. This type of procedure combines ECG and catheterization by feeding small catheters with electrode-covered tips into the various blood vessels of the heart. Often used to find and locate abnornmal heart rhythms, this procedure provides greater detail than an ECG can give.

Primary health care and a healthy lifestyle are two vital components of preventative heart health care. If concerns about heart health arise due to family history or symptoms that have manifested, it’s best to speak with your physician or cardiologist to determine the problem as early as possible. The above procedures are just a few that help cardiologists worldwide determine the current condition of the heart with the ultimate goal of helping you enjoy a strong and healthy heart for as long as possible.

Drew James produces online content for Modular Devices. When he’s not working on his raised bed gardens, you can find him running urban trails and bike paths all over the Midwest.

5 Foods to Reduce the Risks of Heart Attacks

stop heart attackA heart attack is one of the most complicated health problems these days. The studies have shown the fact that heart attacks can be prevented if the patient follows a proper diet schedule and exercise regime. If someone has faced a heart attack once, they are always afraid of the possibility of a second attack. However, the odds of a second heart attack can be greatly improved.

There are a few foods which you must avoid if you do not want to undergo the pain of a stroke the next time. Even if, you have a heart patient at home, you must avoid the following foods:

1) Say ‘No’ to chips, crackers and store-bought pastries and baked foods

These days, children, youngsters, adults and even older people are drawn to eating foods such as doughnuts, muffins, chips and baked foods. These food items contain hydrogenated oils which are not good for the heart. They increase the level of cholesterol in the human body which in turn,  increases the risks of a heart attack. If the person has already experienced a heart attack, they must avoid these foods if they want to remiain healthy in the long term.

2) Exclude processed and smoked food from your diet

Many people like to eat sausage, pastrami hot dogs and smoked turkey sandwich. These foods must not be eaten by a heart patient. The preservative in packed foods have sodium nitrate and nitrate which may damage the blood vessels. This can cause hardening and narrowing of arteries. The narrowing of the arteries causes heart strokes and serious heart problems. That is why, it is recommended to avoid these foods.

3) Diet Soda

Children and young people love to drink diet soda. However, it is not very good for your heart because it can trigger a heart stroke. A study has shown the fact that the diet soda may increase a heart attack risk by 48%. It has also been shown that the risks of heart attacks are 60% more in older people who drink diet soda on a daily basis rather than those who take them occasionally. You can replace this drink with fresh juice, lemon water and other health drinks. This will prevent the possibility of a heart attack to a large extent.

4) Don’t eat too much Red meat

The healthcare industry has also shown in the studies, that the women who take red meat on a daily basis are 42% more prone to heart attacks than the ones who don’t eat it. This is because this food contains high saturated fat content. This increases the risks of heart attack and if your family member has already undergone  heart treatment, you must restrict him or her eating red meat. In order to avoid that, you can start taking white meat and fish. Besides that, you can also include beans, non-fat dairy, legumes, tofu and nuts.

5) Canned Soups

Canned spaghetti, soup, frozen dinners and pre-packed foods, contain sodium which increases the flavour and taste of the food. The person who has an unhealthy heart should never eat such food. It is a well known fact that sodium damages the blood vessels and may increase the chances of heart attacks. It is recommended to replace them with homemade soups and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

 

 

Above mentioned are some of the tips which you can follow to avoid the occurrence of a heart attack for the second time. However, it is also recommended to get in touch with a health care provider who can suggest to you an appropriate diet.

Author Bio – Paul Wilson is a health care practitioner and has started writing for article directories to help people. His articles on marketing healthcare have been published on various health related websites.

Getting Older? Throw Away The Rocking Chair!

It has sometimes been said that aging is inevitable, but that looking old is optional! Although we all age, we deal with it in different ways, with different results. So what are some of the secrets of those enviable people who manage to look far younger than their years?

Appoint someone to handle your affairs in case you become incapacitated. If something happens and you are unable to care for your own health, decide who will take charge of those decisions for you. Talk to them about what kinds of things you want done. You can’t know if you will need a health care proxy, but have one in place just in case. It’s hard to think about things like this, but it is sensible to plan for this kind of eventuality, whether young or old.

progression of aging

Why not try some proven and well-received Chinese methods which can be either preventative or pro-active? Adding shiitake, maitake, morel and reishi mushrooms in your diet will help lower cholesterol, give you an energy boost, can help prevent high blood pressure and give your immune system overall protection. If the thought of mushrooms is distasteful to you, you can take them in supplement form.

What About Sugar?

Sugar has been proven to have an aging affect. You don’t have to cut it out of your life completely, but definitely cut back on it. It has been shown to actually reduce the lifespan in multiple studies. Stick with foods that are naturally sweet like fruits to help your sweet cravings.

As you age, to continue to have healthy looking skin moisturize it every day. How your skin looks is directly related to the amount of moisture your skin is receiving. It’s important then to get moisture back into the skin, so choose a moisturizer that works best for you and use it daily. This is an area related to aging that you can have a significant impact on.

Practice safe sex. Seniors in their 70’s, 80’s and upward are having sex more often than ever. Unfortunately, more are getting hepatitis B, syphilis, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Medicare already pays for HIV testing and there’s talk about covering other STD tests. Please use lubrication and wear condoms (polyurethane or latex).

Keeping your weight under control is one key to aging well. There are a number of ailments related to obesity which exacerbate age-related illnesses. In order to keep your weight under control, you should exercise moderately and eat a balanced diet. Tracking your food intake with an online food diary makes this easier.

Having Children Can Prolong Your Life

If you want to live longer as a woman, then have children. Women with children tend to live a lengthy life and can be more active and effervescent. Talk with your husband first to determine if this is the right course of action, as bringing a child into your life can improve your well-being.

To increase the longevity of your skin, especially the delicate skin on your face, avoid rubbing it whenever possible. When you clean and rinse your face, take care to be as gentle as possible. When you use a moisturizer, pat it in with your fingers lightly until it absorbs into the skin.

With aging, our bones tends to decrease in size and they lose density. This causes your bones to weaken which makes them more apt to fracture easily. Because of these two changes to the bone tissue, people tend to become shorter in stature as they age. To combat these changes in your bones, include plenty of vitamin D and calcium in your diet. You can build bone density by doing weight-bearing activities such as walking.

If your goal is to age gracefully and with dignity, it is our hope that the contents of this article have been helpful to you. You are, after all, only as old as you feel! So if you still feel young at heart, let that reflect in how you look!

Taking natural supplements regularly can provide a multitude of health benefits. Visit Here to find out more about one of the most talked about supplements that can reduce the signs of aging.

Important Tips To Fight Against The Problems Of Back Pain

managing back painThe problem of back pain is extremely common all across the world. Generally back pain effects adults, but it also can affect anyone at any age. Experts in the healthcare industry predict that pain is generally related with the way our ligaments, bones, and muscles in our back work together.

There are several kinds of back pains. Most of them generally go away on their own in a few days. If you start experiencing pain in your back, this is also the sign that you are not resting properly. Resting and pain relievers can help. If the pain still persists, proper medical checkup is recommended.

 

Causes and symptoms of Back Pain:

Human back pain is mostly of three types. It said to be a chronic back pain if it lasts for more than three months, and it can be caused due to multiple factors. One of the common and biggest causes of back pain is aging. Other causes are over-activity, disk injury, disk tear, spinal stenosis, bad posture, and other factors.

 

The degree of pain in your back can vary. It may be stabbing, sharp, dull, or mildly achy. Some of the symptoms are as follows:

  • Pain while lifting or bending
  • Pain that increases while sitting
  • Pain while walking or standing
  • Severe pain that extend below the back towards lower parts

 

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms suddenly, you must consult a doctor. Rather than solely depending on the doctor straight away, you can do some other things to reduce the pain. You can get massage done from a professional physiotherapist to reduce the pain. There are plenty of massage oil especially made back pain relief. Other than this, you can choose to do regular stretching exercises. You can consult with a fitness trainer for exclusive exercises that are meant especially for back relief.

 

However if your pain persists for long term, you will have to do some checkups such as X-rays, MRI or Magnetic resonance imaging, CAT or Computerized axial tomography, bone density test, or bone scan to find out the exact reasons.

 

Treatments:

If you are diagnosed by a doctor on time, you could prevent the matter from worsening further. There plenty of things can be done to get rid of this problem. You can have options of choosing treatments from non-surgical and surgical. If the pain is not bothering you very much, then you could go for non-surgical treatments. Several medications can be used to relive pain. Other than this, physical therapy, braces, traction, and manipulation therapy, can be used to get rid of the pain.

 

If non-surgical treatments don’t work, and if you still don’t see any relief, you can choose to get surgical treatments done. It’s a very complex process and only expert surgeons can perform those operations. Generally in the process of surgery, spinal fusion or disc replacement process is done to provide relief.

 

 

Preventions:

Prevention is the best medicine. We can prevent back pain problem by maintaining healthy life style. We can choose to do regular exercise, avoid smoking, educate ourselves about proper postures, and by maintaining proper body weight.

 

Author’s Bio: Paul Wilson is a very experienced writer who provides a lot of information on health subjects. You will surely like to check out his posts on rainforest foods and other related topics.

Benefits Of Flaxseed

benefits of linseedWhat Is Flaxseed?

Flaxseed in an essential fat that will benefit  your general health and is also known as Linseed in the UK.The flax plant is an annual that grows up to one hundred centimetres tall. The seeds come from the flowers and are available to buy whole, ground, or pressed. They can be sprinkled over cereal, added to soups, salads and a variety of other culinary delights. The oil can be drizzled over salads, vegetables etc and once purchased, should be kept in the refrigerator and used within the time stated on the bottle.

Although it is quite recent that flaxseed has soured in popularity, it has actually been in use for many years. An acknowledgement of its health benefits is the fact that as well as selling in grocery outlets, it can also be found in most health food stores.

The Health Benefits

So, exactly what are the health benefits? Well, as well as containing a high level of polyunsaturated oil, flaxseed is a powerful antioxidant and high in both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. This is beneficial for skin, hair, nails and heart and it is also claimed that flaxseed taken daily can help with weight loss. It can help boost your metabolism and make benefits of linseedyou feel fuller for longer. The essential fats in flaxseed oil cause the stomach to retain food for a longer period of time, compared with a no or low fat diet. The seeds and the oil are also a good source of dietary fiber, which helps to promote a healthy digestive system.

Taking between one and two tablespoons of flaxseed oil per day is recommended for optimal health benefits.

Flaxseed Oil v `Bad` Oil

If you`re concerned about flaxseed oil being a type of fat, you need not worry. The fatty acids in the oil contain essential nutrients that work with the body to supply it with the nutrients it craves. Thereby reducing, if not eliminating completely the craving for sweet and fatty foods. Furthermore, flaxseed oil is converted to compounds in the body that stimulate the metabolic process. Once stimulated, this generates more heat and burns more calories.

Benefits of Positive Thinking

 help for menopauseThe Benefits of Being Positive

 Studies show that thinking positively can make us happier, enjoy life more and even help us live longer. If you think it’s some new age fad, get this: the data is real (http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1963392_1963365_1963378,00.html) and you may be missing out on a more fulfilling life by not paying attention.

Positive thinkers are better able to cope with stress and stressful situations. Whether it’s making mortgage payments on time, holding on to a job or something in your personal life, stress plays a part in most of our lives and has a direct effect on our overall well being and happiness. When dealing with stressful issues, positive thinkers focus on the things they can do to solve problems and make things better, instead of dwelling on the frustration or disappointment, like negative thinkers tend to. Not only does this approach result in faster, more effective changes, it keeps the mind in a happier state.

It’s also believed by many doctors and scientists that thinking positively can help fight off common ailments like colds, while negative thinking can actually hurt your immune system by weakening your brain’s response to illnesses and medicine. Studies have also shown that often people dealing with disease recover faster with a positive attitude than those with a negative one. Bottom line, a positive attitude can lead to a healthier immune system and your better overall health.

Some studies have even gone so far to say that a positive attitude will extend your life span – even longer than quitting smoking or exercising regularly. In fact, a team of psychologists revealed that people who were positive about getting older lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those who viewed it negatively. And some believe that by spending about 7 or so minutes being more positive every day, we can add an estimated 10 years to our life span. Not bad for 7 minutes a day.

Thinking positively is not always easy. The best course is to start treating positive thinking as a change in your daily routine and how you can deal with everyday occurrences in a better way. Creative visualization is also a great way to start viewing life in a more positive light. By focusing on the goals and what you want to achieve, whether it be money, success or love, you begin to view everything more positively, which makes it more possible to attain true happiness. For a great read check out

http://www.shaktigawain.com/products/books/creative-visualization.

And for more tips on how to think more positively, here is a great link. http://ezinearticles.com/?10-Tips-for-Positive-Thinking—Tips-for-a-Happier-and-Healthier-Frame-of-Mind&id=717352.

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