DoctorSolve October 2010 Healthletter Edition                                                 (If you cannot read this, click here)
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Hope you all had a wonderful summer! In the transition back to the swing of things, health is a topic that is fresh on many peoples' minds. Whether it be getting your diet back on track or managing common health related issues, we've got some great information to help you in the transition.

Please feel free to forward this healthletter to your friends and colleagues who might benefit from or be interested in some of the information provided. You can also submit any feedback you may have to [email protected]

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Eating With Good Form

You've heard about what to eat, but how you eat it is just as important. Eating the proper food properly can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your digestive tract healthy. Here are some tips to guide you to better eating habits:

Sit down – Do not eat while working, driving, walking or watching television. While you are distracted you are more likely to overeat.

Take small bites – Using smaller cutlery can help you accomplish this. Also aim for half inch cubes when you cut meats and seafood.

Drink water – Use water to wash down large pieces of food. It is a choking hazard and the big pieces challenge your digestive system.

Chew well – My parents always had a 20 second rule: "Chew for 20 seconds before swallowing!" This was a bit overkill, but your food should be at a mushy consistency before swallowing. This allows a chance for the digestive enzymes in your saliva to begin to break down food before it reaches your stomach.

Chew partially liquid foods – Even foods like yogurt and soup need to be chewed thoroughly. This will decrease the amount of work your lower digestive system has to do.

Put down your cutlery – In between bites put down your cutlery and pick it back up after you have swallowed.

Don't be rushed – Even if you are the last one eating at the table, don't rush because you feel pressured. Take your time and worry about your own plate.

Don't talk with your mouth full – This bad habit causes you to swallow more air. Later on your will pay for it with burping, hiccups, and discomfort in your digestive system.

Wait before getting more food – Your brain and your stomach are twenty minutes apart. Wait a few minutes before getting more food as you might just realize you are already stuffed.

Eat when you are hungry – Some people have 3 scheduled meals a day, and others benefit from smaller meals more often. If you are hungry between meals, eat small portions.

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Managing Menopause

Menopause is inevitable for all women. Irritating symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, bone loss, and difficulty concentrating are just the beginning of the process that rebalances your hormones. The following includes some suggestions to help you deal with the symptoms of menopause.

Hot Flashes – Using phytoestrogens - plant derived hormones – you can somewhat undo the hormonal changes caused by menopause. Soy-based foods contain significant amounts of phytoestrogens. When you are experiencing severe hot flashes eating tofu, soy sauce, soy beans, soy milk, or other soy products will help reduce and stop your hot flash. Acupuncture has been proven to reduce the severity of hot flashes for some women during menopause. Exercise also eases hot flashes by reducing the amounts of FSH and LH in the body. Exercising 20 minutes a day, or even just 3 times a week can be significantly helpful.

Breast Tenderness – Black currant oil is high in vitamin C and other minerals that can alleviate breast tenderness. In Europe, women use evening primrose oil to stop breast pain. Flaxseed and testosterone replacement are also used to treat breast pain.

Mood Swings and Depression – Studies conducted in Europe showed that St. John's Wort treats moderate depression. Other natural ingredients that treat menopause mood related problems are garden sage, ginseng, black cohosh, and dong quai. Yoga helps some women by reducing stress and improving her mood.

High Cholesterol – Phytoestrogens (also used to treat hot flashes) are also good in undoing cholesterol changes caused by the hormonal changes in menopause. Exercise also helps keep your cholesterol in check.  A healthy low-fat, diet with fewer calories also helps lower your cholesterol.

Insomnia – Melatonin is a hormone that controls sleep patterns. This over-the-counter treatment has been verified effective. Valerian is another medication that improves sleep quality. Chamomile tea is a natural way you can calm yourself before sleeping. Passion flower and motherwort are also said to be effective in improving sleep.

Difficulty Concentrating and Memory Loss – Gingko biloba is used to help memory loss problems and dementia. Sage and ginseng are herbs also used for memory loss. Using mind puzzles can help keep your brain active and improve your memory and concentration. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet  and exercising more often can also help increase concentration.

Vaginal Drying – Lubricants like KY Jelly can be used prior to intercourse. Other lubricants can be used on a daily basis. Sesame seed oil can be used as an ointment to moisturize your skin. Vaginal estrogen cream and slow release estrogen rings both give low doses of estrogen to the interior of the vagina. This, although it helps dryness, can have negative side effects and should be used with caution.

Bone loss – Calcium and vitamin C are the two supplements that help most with bone loss. Prescription medications are also available to slow bone breakdown. There are also selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) that reduce bone conditions caused by menopause.

Loss of Sex Drive – Women can use non medical methods to increase their sex drive. Lubricants, sensual massages, and therapy can all increase your libido. Yohimbine is a supplement used to increase female sex drive by increasing the vaginal blood flow. You can also use testosterone replacement therapy but there are dangerous side effects associated with testosterone so it is recommended you talk to your doctor before using this medication.

Study Finds Girls are Entering Puberty Earlier than Ever Before

Young Girls

A recent study conducted by the Breast Cancer and Environment Research Centers has concluded that girls today are entering puberty at a much younger age than they were ten years ago. Today, it's normal for girls at age seven to begin developing breasts, and at age twelve, most will have their first menstrual period. The reason for the declining age of puberty for young girls has yet to be discover, however researchers have many different ideas to explain why this is happening now.

Researchers found that girls of certain ethnicities were more likely to undergo puberty early; many more girls of African-American and Hispanic descent display signs of breast development at the age of seven in comparison to those of Caucasian descent. Many of the girls who demonstrated earlier signs of puberty additionally had higher body mass indexes. This research indicates that body fatness is linked to the onset of puberty in young girls, in addition to ethnicity factors.

This new research has additionally been linked to the development of breast cancer in later life. Researchers suspect that the reason for the early breast development that is displayed in so many young girls today is directly linked to the cause of breast cancer. Although the research conducted by this study is unable to verify the reason for the increase of early aged females entering puberty, it is likely that it is partly due to environmental exposure. Through diet, air supply and care products, children today are exposed to an array of chemicals, some of which are similar to different hormones within the body that contribute to earlier sexual maturity and breast cancers. These chemicals include bisphenol-A (found in many commonly used cans and plastics), as well as natural hormones that are used to stimulate milk production in US livestock.

Though the cause of early puberty within young girls is still unknown, there are several ways that you can help your daughter, niece or young cousin. Many researchers suggest promoting physical activity within your home by partaking in family activities that involve exercise. Another suggestion entails minimizing exposure to chemicals that may be in shampoos, cleaning products or food containers within your home by finding greener alternatives.

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Treat Psoriasis at Home

Treating Psoriasis

Psoriasis is recognizable by red, flakey patches on the skin of the patient. This reoccurring autoimmune disorder has no cure, but is treatable.

Dietary supplements can help ease the symptoms associated with psoriasis. Fish oil, vitamin D, milk thistle and evening primrose oil are all useful in treating psoriasis. You can also topically apply fish oil to the affected area of skin. Only take dietary supplements that don't interfere with other conditions you have. Read the side effects before taking the supplements.

Moisturizing your skin is very important. You can use a humidifier to moisturize the air in your home or office. You can also invest in a sensitive skin moisturizer.

Avoid perfumes and dyes! Perfumes will help you to smell wonderful, but they can also irritate your skin and cause psoriasis. There are dyes and perfumes that have "sensitive skin" labels. Use these products rather than ones that can irritate your skin.

Diet changes can significantly reduce psoriasis symptoms. Taking red meats and fatty foods out of your diet and adding in soy products, nuts, chocolate, and cranberries can help in managing psoriasis.

Using oils topically can also help with psoriasis. Olive oil and vegetable oil applied to the areas of affected skin can help lock moisture and nutrients in. Massaging a couple of tablespoons into your scalp can help loosen plaques to wash them out during your next shower.

Take a lukewarm bath! Hot water can be terrible for your skin, but lukewarm water with Epsom salt, mineral oil, or olive oil can be moisturizing and soothing to your skin. As soon as you get out of the bath, moisturize your skin again for more benefits.

Hard water is more beneficial than soft treated water. Soft water only has sodium in it, which is dehydrating to your skin. Hard water has other minerals which are beneficial to infected skin. If you have a water treatment in your home it may be in your interests to turn it off for treatment.