Archives for May 2012

HPV Infection and Women’s Health

The Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection.  And of all the sexually transmitted infections, it appears to be the most common.  It is contracted vaginally, anally, or orally.  It has been reported that of the more than 100 HPV types, only about 30 – 40 HPV types are sexually transmitted to the body (genital area or throat/mouth).  Therefore, not all HPV are transmitted sexually.  These are by skin-to-skin non-sexual contact with an infected person.  Usually, but not always, HPV disappears from the body over time because it is believed that the body’s immune system fights the virus off [2], depending on the risk level category that the HPV type falls under – high-risk or low-risk.  The low-risk type of HPV is the one that usually go away on its own.  However, the high-risk type doesn’t and can cause cervical cancer in women, as well as throat cancer.  It is commonly reported by Gynecologists that HPV can go undetected or “symptom-free” in the body for years after a sexual encounter.  This means that a woman who had her one and only sexual encounter 20 years ago can develop HPV 20 years later and experience no symptoms.  Women should be aware that they can contract HPV from an infected partner even though there has been no penetration of the vagina.  To contract HPV, the infected partner’s penis has to be in contact with the genital area (vagina or anus) or mouth.  Please be aware that men may not know that they have HPV because there are currently no tests to detect the virus in men.  Therefore, he may not know that he is transmitting this sexually transmitted infection to his partner.  Know your sex partner and their sexual history.  This information is important because your health may be at risk.

Symptoms of HPV

As mentioned previously, women can go for years being “symptom-free” from this virus.  However, some types of HPV produce symptoms.  Some symptoms are genital warts and abnormal cells in the body, especially in the cervical and throat areas.  These abnormal cells may turn into cancer sometime in the future.  The viruses that cause these symptoms are classified as a “high-risk” type.  Please note that the type of HPV that may cause cancer is not the same type that causes genital warts.  It has been noted that genital warts rarely turn into cancer.

Of the women who experience these symptoms, 90% of them clear the virus, whether it is of the “high-risk” type or the “low-risk” type, within one or two years [1].  However, some women do not clear the virus.  And in others, it may take a longer period of time to clear up.  In a recent study, researchers have found that African-American women take longer to clear the virus than white women.  According to the study’s author, Kim Creek, “black women are 40 percent more likely to develop cervical cancer and two times more likely to die from the disease than European or American white women.”  Additionally, a large number of African-American women, approximately 70%, had abnormal pap smears.  It is not clear as to why this is the case.  However, researchers seem to believe that the cause may be biological in nature [3].

Prevention of HPV

There is no 100% method, except for abstinence and a partner that is HPV free, which can prevent women from contracting HPV.  This is why you should take every possible precaution that you can think of if you are going to engage in any type of sexual encounter.  As mentioned previously, know your sex partner’s history and be careful if your partner is not your husband.  This information is very important, especially if you are going to allow a man to insert his penis in your mouth (oral sex).  For genital-to-genital contact, it is always best for your partner to wear a condom.  Additionally, for oral sex, it is also important to use some type of barrier between your mouth and his penis.

Another precaution that women can take is to get the HPV vaccine (Cervarix and/or Gardasil).  This is only effective if you have not had a sexual encounter or you do not have HPV.

Finally, every woman should get regular annual exams by their gynecologist or a health care professional at a clinic or hospital.  These exams may consist of breast exams and pap smears.  Pap smears and HPV tests can determine abnormal cells on your cervix and detect HPV.  Detecting HPV early can help prevent cervical cancer which is caused by HPV.  Once detected, you can receive treatment.

Treatment for HPV

There is no treatment for HPV, which sometimes go away on its own.  However, the symptoms can be treated.  Genital warts can be treated with medication.  Sometimes, they go away on their own.  Abnormal cells can be treated in order to prevent them from turning cancerous.  In this situation, your gynecologist may perform a Colposcopy or “Copo” in order to look microscopically at the cervix and remove a small portion of the cervix tissue for a biopsy in order to determine if the cells are precancerous.  Some of the treatment options for abnormal cells are Conization or “cone biopsy” (removal of the abnormal area or cells), Cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the abnormal cells), Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure or LEEP (electric current is used to remove abnormal cells), and Watch and wait (watch the cells to see if the abnormal cells clear up on their own) [4].

It has been conclusively determined that women need annual checkups by their gynecologists or other health care professionals in order to detect and prevent HPV from becoming problematic within their bodies.  Your health should be your number one priority.  Therefore, stay informed, and search for information, such as this, on women’s health.

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Please leave a comment on this article.  Women’s Wellness and Health welcomes your comments.  We hope that this article was beneficial to you.

References:

[1] American Cancer Society (n.d.). What are the symptoms of HPV?  Retrieved April 4, 2012 from American Cancer Society Website: http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/InfectiousAgents/HPV/HumanPapillomaVirusandHPVVaccinesFAQ/hpv-faq-symptoms-of-hpv

[2] CDC (n.d.).  Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  Retrieved April 3, 2012 from CDC Website:  http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/

[3] Mann, Denise (n.d.). HPV Infection Lasts Longer in Young Black Women: Study. Retrieved April 4, 2012 from WomensHealth.gov Website: http://www.womenshealth.gov/news/headlines/663264.cfm

[4] WebMD (n.d.). Is There a Cure for HPV? Retrieved April 5, 2012 from WebMD Website: http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/hpv-genital-warts/hpv-treatment-is-there-hpv-cure

Major Risks to Women’s Health

There are seven major risks to women’s health, according to data gathered from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), that can be prevented.  These risks are as follows:  1) Heart Disease, 2) Cancer, 3) Stroke, 4) Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease, 5) Alzheimer’s Disease, 6) Accidents, and 7) Type 2 Diabetes.

Prevention of the 7 Risks

All of the above-mentioned major risks to women’s health can be reduced, first, by limiting alcohol intake and giving up smoking.  In addition to these two, there are other targeted methods aimed at reducing the specific risk or disease.  The following identifies each risk and its associated preventative methods:

  • Heart Disease
      Heart disease can be prevented by maintaining the proper weight eating  properly, exercising daily, managing your stress level, and managing any chronic illnesses or conditions.
  • Cancer
    • There are various types of cancers that are prevalent in women (i.e. breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and skin cancer), and this risk can be reduced or prevented by early detection, breast-feeding, engaging in physical activity, protecting your skin from the sun, eating enough vegetables and fruits, and maintain the proper weight.
  • Stroke
    • Some strokes cannot be prevented due to other factors, such as heredity, ethnic group, and age.  However, other factors can be controlled or prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and managing any prolonged illnesses or conditions.
  • Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
    • Lower respiratory diseases are chronic conditions of the lungs – emphysema and bronchitis.  These diseases can be prevented by minimizing your exposure to pollutants, whether chemically or environmentally generated, and washing your hands in order to prevent infections to the lungs.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Doctors have not found a way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  However, you can try to maintain mental and social aptness, engage in daily physical action or activity, and maintain any prolonged illnesses or conditions.
  • Accidents
    • The foremost fatal accident that happens to women is motor vehicle crashes.  These crashes can be prevented by wearing your seatbelts, not drinking or using any other inhibiting substance when you drive, following the speed limit, and not driving when you are tired and sleepy.
  • Type 2 Diabetes
    • This is the most common type of diabetes or “sugar diabetes”.  Diabetes can be prevented by maintaining the proper blood sugar or glucose level.  You can do this by keeping your weight under control, eating healthy foods, and engaging in physical activity on a daily basis.  If your diabetes is out of control, it can cause blindness, heart problems, damage to your nerves, etc. [1]

Conclusion

Women’s health risks can often be prevented.  With the right information, women can educate themselves on how to prevent these seven (7) major risks.  By adhering to preventative methods, such as limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, eating healthy, managing chronic illnesses, engaging in physical activity, and getting proper health check-ups, women can live a healthy and manageable life.

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Please leave a comment on this article.  Women’s Wellness and Health welcomes your comments.  We hope that this article was beneficial to you.

References:

[1] Mayo Clinic Staff (n.d.).  Women’s health: Preventing the top 7 threats.  Retrieved April 16, 2012 from Mayo Clinic Website:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/womens-health/WO00014

National Women’s Health Week Information

Women’s Health Week is a national week-long event that is celebrated annually in the month of May, beginning on Mother’s Day.  This year, the 13th national observance will begin on May 13 and end on May 19, 2012. The theme for this year is “It’s Your Time.”  During this week, there is a deliberate effort by communities, families, health care organizations, and others to support women’s health so that women will become encouraged and empowered to make their health and well-being the #1 priority.  These efforts are geared toward women’s mental and physical health, so that they can learn how to live long, happier, and healthier lives.

Since the focus during health week is on women’s health and well-being, every woman is encouraged to make every effort to:

  • Become physically active, which can reduce the risks of heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Stop smoking and avoid other unhealthy behaviors.
  • Visit your doctor for a physical exam or check-up and other necessary screenings.*
  • Focus on your mental health by avoiding stress and getting the proper rest. [2]

*Get a physical exam or check-up on May 14, 2012, which is National Women’s Check-Up Day.

Get Involved

There are many ways in which health care providers, organizations, communities, and individuals can support National Women’s Health Week:

  • Plan an event focusing on women’s health.  An event can be a seminar, a health fair, a health or wellness walk, or a town hall meeting.
  • Educate yourself about various health topics that relate to women’s health.
  • Provide educational resources, such as videos, slide sets, campaigns, continuing education, etc.  These are readily available from your health care provider. [1]

Please take National Women’s Health Week seriously.  Stay informed, and search for information on women’s health.  Remember, your health and well-being should be your top priority.  Stay informed and stay in touch.

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Please leave a comment on this article.  Women’s Wellness and Health welcomes your comments.  We hope that this article was beneficial to you.

References:

[1] CDC (n.d.).  National Women’s Health Week.  Retrieved April 29, 2012 from CDC Website:  http://www.cdc.gov/women/nwhw/index.htm

[2] WomensHealth.gov (n.d.). It’s Your Time. Retrieved April 29, 2012 from WomensHealth.gov Website: http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw/

Women’s Health Risks Can Be Reduced Living Healthy Lifestyles

Eat your vegetables!  You need to eat right!  Drink more water!  Get your rest!  Get plenty of sleep!  Wash your hands!  Don’t smoke!  Don’t drink!  Don’t drink and drive!  The list goes on and on.  Every one of us has heard at least one of these phrases at some point in our lives.  Our parents or loved ones told us these things in order to reduced risks to our health.  Some of us adhered to them and some of us did not.  By not adhering to sound advice, some have developed at least one of the major health risks, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents, or Type 2 diabetes, which could have been prevented.  Developing a healthy lifestyle, that’s practiced daily, is the most effective way women can reduce risks to their health.

So, just what should you do?

Get Physically Fit

It is important to be active.  Exercise!  Develop a workout plan that’s suitable for you and work that plan daily for about 30 minutes.  The plan should include aerobics or walking to increase cardiovascular activity, weights to increase muscle tone and bone strength.  Not only will you build strength and endurance, but you will also be able to maintain a normal weight – weight management, thus reducing heart disease and lower respiratory problems.

Eat Right

Controlling your weight or Body Mass Index (BMI) [2], since women seem to “store fat more readily than men” [1], reduces chronic diseases (heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, etc.).  Therefore, eating a healthy diet is essential to your health and well-being.  A healthy diet consists of sea food (i.e. fish), vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and poultry or other lean meats.  Avoid unhealthy fats (trans and saturated) and high cholesterol level intake.

Reduce Stress

Stress reduction promotes good mental health.  Learn to manage your stress so that it will not impact your life in a negative way.  You can manage or reduce stress with meditation, hypnosis, yoga, or breathing techniques.  Just relax!

Get Proper Rest

Get enough sleep each night.  Proper rest requires between seven to nine hours each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation [1].  When your body gets the proper rest, you can think clearly and control your food intake.

Avoid Unhealthy Habits

Stop smoking!  Smoking causes chronic lower respiration disease and heart disease.  Drink alcohol in moderation.  Don’t use and abuse drugs!

Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

Make a yearly appointment with your health care provider for a physical exam and get all of the proper screenings.  This should include pap smears and mammograms.  See your physician as often as needed.  And if you are going through an emotional crisis, seek help; don’t be ashamed of seeking mental health help.

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Please leave a comment on this article.  Women’s Wellness and Health welcomes your comments.  We hope that this article was beneficial to you.

References:

[1] LiveStrong.Com (2011).  Healthy Lifestyle for Women.  Retrieved April 30, 2012 from LiveStrong.com Website:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/384802-healthy-lifestyle-for-women/

[2] Mann, Denise (2011).  Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death.  Retrieved April 30, 2012 from WebMD Website:  http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20110705/healthy-lifestyle-cuts-risk-of-sudden-cardiac-death

Bel Marra Health comments on a recent study that shows a positive tie between red meat and mental health

Bel Marra Health, well known for offering high-quality, specially formulated vitamins and

nutritional supplements, is commenting on a recent study by Deakin University in Australia that

shows a positive tie between red meat and mental health.

 

Toronto, ON (PRWEB) April 29, 2012 — Bel Marra Health, well known for offering high-quality, specially

formulated vitamins and nutritional supplements, is commenting on a recent study by Deakin University in Australia that shows a positive tie between red meat and mental health.

 

The study, which was published in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, involved 1,000 female participants. The women were required to attend a clinical interview and to fill out a questionnaire about their diet, mental performance and mental health.

 

When the researchers compiled the data from the participants they expected to find further evidence that the consumption of red meat negatively affects physical and mental health and were shocked to find out the opposite.

 

The study showed that the women who consumed less than 64-100 grams of red meat, (3 to 4 times a week), were much more prone to mental health issues such as depression.

 

Lead researcher Felice Jacka, Ph.D. says, “when we looked at women consuming less than the recommended amount of red meat in our study, we found that they were twice as likely to have a diagnosed depressive or anxiety disorder as those consuming the recommended amount.”

 

Expert in Pulmonary Medicine and Spokesperson for Bel Marra Health Dr. Victor Marchione commented on the findings saying, “the majority of the cattle in Australia are reared in a healthy environment, where they are free to roam and graze and they are largely grass fed. This type of diet and lifestyle, results in nutrient dense meat which is vital to physical and mental health.”

 

(SOURCE: “Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics”, Red Meat Consumption and Mood and Anxiety Disorders, March 2012)

 

Bel Marra Health offers high-quality vitamins and nutritional supplements in formulations designed to address specific health concerns. All ingredients are backed with scientific evidence. Every product is tested for safety, quality, and purity at every stage of the manufacturing process. Furthermore, Bel Marra Health products are produced only in Health Canada approved facilities, going that extra mile to ensure our health conscious customers are getting top quality products. For more information on Bel Marra Health visit http://www.belmarrahealth.com or call 1-866-531-0466.

 

Bel Marra Health, Inc.

100-7000 Pine Valley

Woodbridge, ON L4L 4Y8

pr(at)belmarrahealth(dot)com

866-531-0466

http://www.belmarrahealth.com

 

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Please leave a comment on this article.  Women’s Wellness and Health welcomes your comments.  We hope that this article was beneficial to you.