Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Protect Your Skin-- Opt for Self Tanners!

Avoid Damage to Your Skin: Best Self Tanners

With the fall and winter months approaching, you may be tempted to hop into a tanning bed to keep your skin golden. However, tanning beds can be harmful and cause skin damage in the long run. No matter what they tell you at tanning salons, tanned skin means damaged skin cells. Cumulative damage caused by UV radiation can lead to premature skin aging such as brown spots, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and more. It can also lead to skin cancer, which can be fatal. Almost 10,000 people die from melanoma each year, and every year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon, according to the Skin Care Foundation website.
Let's face it: tanning is not a part of a healthy lifestyle. But if you just can't give up your bronze skin, there are safe alternatives, including self tanners! To keep your skin healthy and help prevent cancer, opt for some of these products instead:

For the Price Conscious:

L'oreal Sublime Glow, $10
This is a gradual tanner, so you can apply it over the course of a few days to get a darker shade. It leaves behind a subtle shimmer, and it is overall a quality product for the money. The only downside is that it tends to have a runny consistency.

Neutrogena Sun Fresh Sunless Foam, $9
With no streaking and a pump feature for easier use, this self tanner is a great product for the price.

For the Face:

Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel for the Face, $32
It is suggested that you use this after tinted moisturizers and before powders, and is meant to enhance the tan on the face. It provides a sun-kissed look, as well as a little glow.

Worth the Price:

Guerlain's Terracotta Self-Tanning Spray, $35-$50
This spray dries very quickly (5-10 minutes), so you can get dressed shortly after applying it. The color is very natural, and no users have reported that infamous orange hue that can sometimes be associated with self tanner.

These self tanners provide a safer tan than exposing yourself to those dangerous UV rays. It's recommended that you add daily application of sunscreen to your skin care routine.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

10 Reasons You're Tired All The Time

10 Reasons You're Tired All The Time

Do you consistently get eight hours of sleep a night and still feel tired? Many of us feel like we can't make it through the day without a nap or caffeine, but do we know why? Even with a full night's sleep, sometimes we find ourselves dragging our feet.

Here are some reasons why you may be tired all the time:

1. What You Eat

Image source: http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/ articles/health_tools/fatigue_slideshow/getty_rm_photo_of_businesswoman_eating_donut_outside.jpg

Grabbing sugary snacks to give you a pick me up when you're tired may be counterproductive. When you eat foods high in sugar or caffeine, your blood sugar levels are all over the place and cause "crashes." Eating a healthy and balanced diet, complete with complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein, is the best way to keep your blood sugar level steady and prevent those energy slumps.

2. How Much You Exercise

Image source: http://www.prevention.com/sites/default/files/images/news/featured_images/woman-exercise-628x363.jpg

Though you may feel exhausted after a workout, in general exercise will give you more energy. Studies have shown that sedentary people who start exercising feel less fatigue than those who stay idle. The recommendation for exercise is at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise.

3. Anemia

Image source: http://www.youngandraw.com/wp-content/uploads/Dark-Leafy-Greens1.jpg

Many women suffer from anemia, or low iron. If you eat well, exercise, and get plenty of sleep, it might be a good idea to go get your iron tested through a blood test. Eating enough iron is important for your body to be able to stay well oxygenated. Iron is found in dark leafy greens, meats, and fortified cereals.

4. Deficiencies in Other Key Nutrients

Image source: http://curewellpharmacy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/vitamins-and-minerals-banner.jpg

Iron isn't the only nutrient important for energy production. Lack of other vitamins and minerals such as potassium may be causing you to feel lethargic. Talk to your provider about getting a blood test for deficiencies.

5. Thyroid Problems

Image source: http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/

A thyroid that is working improperly (or not working at all) may be causing excessive fatigue. Other symptoms of an underactive thyroid include: weight gain, depression, sensitivity to cold, dry skin and hair, and aching muscles. Talk to your provider if you suspect a problem.

6. Celiac Disease (Gluten Allergy)

Image source: http://peasinablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/wheat1.jpg

Believe it or not, chronic fatigue may be a sign of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Since gluten damages your ability to absorb nutrients when you have celiac, this can leave you feeling very tired. Other symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, anemia and weight loss. You can talk to your provider if you feel like this could be you, or cut out wheat, barley, and rye from your diet and see if there is an improvement.

7. Diabetes

Image source: http://doctormurray.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/type-2-diabetes.jpg

Both types of diabetes are being diagnosed at any age now. If you find you just don't feel good most of the time, you may be living with diabetes and not even realizing it. Often type II diabetes goes unnoticed for some time before showing any kind of symptoms. It is a good idea to go get your blood sugar tested if you aren't feeling yourself (especially if accompanied with excessive urination and/or thirst).

8. Depression

Image source: http://markspsychiatry.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/woman_depressed.jpg

If your tiredness is accompanied by extreme or even debilitating sadness or despair,
you may be depressed. People who are depressed are more than four times as likely to be tired. Depression is more common than you think, and you shouldn't keep it to yourself. Go talk to your provider about a course of action to get you feeling better.

9. Sleep Problems

Image source: http://blog.annlouise.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/insomnia_woman.jpg

Although you may be getting in adequate hours of sleep, there may be problems you're unaware of while you're trying to get your z's. You may be tossing and turning on an uncomfortable mattress, in which case you can try a different mattress or even a mattress pad. Another reason you may not be getting the rest you need is snoring, or even sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you periodically stop breathing during the night due to obstructed airways. It might be a good idea to talk to your provider about doing a sleep study.

10. Heart Disease

Yes, it sounds scary, but heart disease is definitely prevalent among women. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms that women complain of with heart disease. It's never a bad idea to check with your doctor, just in case.

In any case, if you're getting enough sleep and still tired all the time, go discuss your concern with your provider.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do You Have an Eating Disorder?

Do You Have an Eating Disorder?

Are you constantly preoccupied by what or how much you eat? Do you eat in secret? Do you feel like no matter how much weight you lose, you still consider yourself “fat?” If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then there may be a chance you are suffering from an eating disorder.

There are three main eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa:

Image source: http://www.thebalancedmind.org/sites/default/files/iStock_6493749-sad-teen-1.jpeg

Anorexia nervosa, commonly referred to as anorexia, is described as distorted body image and excessive dieting that leads to severe weight loss with a pathological fear of becoming fat.

Signs that you may have anorexia nervosa:

·         Restriction of food intake leading to weight loss or a failure to gain weight resulting in a significantly low body weight·         Fear of becoming fat or of gaining weight
·         Having a distorted view of yourself or of your condition (thinking you are overweight when you are actually underweight, or thinking you’ll gain weight if you eat one meal)
·         The preoccupation with being thin takes over your eating habits, thoughts, and life
·         You no longer get pleasure out of activities or relationships you used to enjoy
·         Lying about how much you eat or hide your eating habits from others
·         Feeling powerful or in control when going without food or over-exercise
·         Loss of period

Consequences of untreated anorexia nervosa:

Can’t think right, sad, moody, irritable, bad memory, fainting, changes in brain chemistry, hair thins and gets brittle, anemia and other blood problems, weak muscles, swollen joints, bone loss, fractures, osteoporosis, kidney stones, kidney failure, constipation, bloating, period stops, problems growing, trouble getting pregnant, bruise easily, dry skin, growth of fine hair all over body, get cold easily, yellow skin, brittle nails, low blood pressure, slow heart rate, heart palpitations, heart failure

Anorexia can be fatal if not properly treated.

Bulimia Nervosa

 Bulimia nervosa, or bulimia, is characterized by frequent episodes of binge eating followed by inappropriate behaviors like self-induced vomiting or abuse of laxatives.

Signs that you have bulimia nervosa:

·         Eating past the point of satiation, even until you feel pain or nausea
·         Using diuretics or laxatives in order to flush waste
·         Throwing up at least once a week after overeating
·         Excessive exercising
·         Distorted body image
·         Fear of weight gain
·         You no longer get pleasure out of activities or relationships you used to enjoy
·         Feeling a loss of control during a binge

More severe cases show signs of chronic vomiting, such as:
·         Swollen cheeks or jaw area
·         Calluses or scrapes on the knuckles (if using fingers to induce vomiting)
·         Teeth that look clear
·         Broken blood vessels in the eyes

Consequences of untreated bulimia nervosa:

Depression, anxiety, dizziness, shame, low self-esteem, anemia, swelling and soreness of cheeks, cavities, tooth enamel erosion, gum disease, teeth sensitive to hot and cold, sore and irritated throat and esophagus, blood in vomit, fatigued muscles, stomach pain and ulcers, dry skin, dehydration, low potassium, low magnesium, low sodium, kidney problems, constipation, irregular bowel movements, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, irregular or absent period, irregular heartbeat, low pulse and blood pressure, heart failure

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) was recently added to the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is defined as recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances. It is not to be confused with overeating; binge eating disorder affects about 2% of Americans, whereas overeating is a common problem in which an individual eats past the point of satiety or more calories than their body requires.

Signs that you may have binge eating disorder:

·         Episodes of overeating marked by feelings of lack of control
·         Eating too quickly or when not hungry
·         Feelings of guilt, embarrassment, distress or disgust with behavior
·         Eating alone
·         Feelings persist at least once a week over three months
·         May miss work, school, or social activities to binge eat

Consequences of untreated binge eating disorder:

Depression, stress, trouble sleeping, and weight gain (which in turn may lead to Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, heart disease, certain types of cancer)

If any of these sound like you in any way, please speak with your doctor.
The number to the BYU-Idaho Student Health Center Counseling Center is (208) 496-9370.

If you know someone and suspect that they may have an eating disorder, the following are helpful tools for knowing what to do (courtesy of WomensHealth.gov):
1.      Set a time to talk.
Speak privately with your friend in a quiet place where there are no distractions.
2.      Tell your friend about your concerns.
Be honesty and tell your friend about your worries. Tell them you think these things may be a sign of a problem that needs professional help.
3.      Ask your friend to talk to a professional.
Offer to help your friend find a counselor or doctor and make an appointment. You can even offer to go with them for support.
4.      Avoid conflicts.
If your loved one won’t admit that they have a problem, don’t push it. Tell them you are always there to listen and talk.
5.      Don’t place shame, blame, or guilt on your friend.
For example, do no tell them, “You just need to eat.” Instead, say things like, “I’m concerned about you because you won’t eat breakfast or lunch.”
6.      Don’t give simple solutions.
Don’t say, “If you’d just stop, then things would be fine.”
7.      Let your friend know that you will always be there no matter what.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Battling Adult Acne

It is widely known that acne is part of being a teenager. Parents tell us that we will grow out of it eventually. For some this is true, but for others, it seems as though they approach their twenties battling acne as if they were a young teenager going through puberty. It was found that about 54% of women suffer from some sort of facial acne ranging from mild to severe from the age of 24-44 (Berkeley Wellness). Acne does not go away with age for some, while others may not even have acne appear until adulthood. For most adults this can be discouraging and embarrassing. Acne is often blamed on young age and poor hygiene. Similar to teenagers, acne can have a negative effect on adults.

Teens develop acne because of the flood of hormones and changes that their bodies are making at that time in their life.The cause for acne adults is still questioned by many. Some believe it can be linked to genetcs, some can still be that hormone flares especially in women just before their menstrual period. Other reasons can be stress, resistant bacteria, climate changes, too little sleep, medications, or from smoking. 

Treating Adult Acne

  • Wash and moisturize face one-two times a day.
  • When washing your face be thorough but do not scrub too hard.
  • Use a mild soap or facial cleanser specific for your skin. (Dry, Oily, Moderate) 
  • When using a moisturizer avoid products that are oil based. 
  • When choosing cosmetics avoid oil based cosmetics. Also remember to never go to sleep with out removing make up. 
  • Avoid picking or popping pimples this will only irritate the skin, prolong healing, and can cause scaring. 
  • Try an over-the-counter product containing benzoyl peroxide, which helps with killing bacteria. 
  • If basic home treatment does not work, you may want to consider consulting with your doctor about different treatment. This could include oral contraceptives, Accutane (isotretinoin), or other products that can be used with a prescription. 
For more information of acne and its treatment follow the link below. 

Google Images
BYU-Idaho Wellness. (2012). "Skin Care for Acne". BYU-Idaho Patient Education. 
WebMD. (2013) "Acne Health Care" WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-vulgaris-home-treatment
University of California Berkeley. (2014). "Dealing with Adult Acne" Berkley Wellness. Retrieved from http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/preventive-care/lists/dealing-with-adult-acne/slideid_1529

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Women's Heart Health

You see it everywhere—pink cleats in a football game, pink lighting on the white house, and pink shirts with the familiar pink ribbon on them. It is true that breast cancer is becoming more frequent and that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer. Yes there is a need of support, but too often it tends to overshadow the bigger issue. (Cancer is the second leading cause of death for women but heart disease is the number one cause for death for women and has been for the past decade (Go Red for Women).)

As the occurrence of obesity rises so does the frequency of heart disease. Although the occurrence of heart disease occurs more often in men than women, the effects are more severe for women. Women tend to fare worse than men during a heart attack. After the age of 55, women are more likely to have poorer physical and mental functioning, more chest pain, and worse physical limitations post-heart attack than men (CDC). With the rise and severity of heart disease in women it is important that you take action now. 

Know the Risks and Red Flags

Here are some basic risks that can increase the chances of heart disease and some red flags that can tell you if you may have heart disease already. 
  • Low or no physical activity especially cardio exercise. 
  • High cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure 
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Diet high in saturated fats 
  • Diet low in vegetables and fiber
  •  High weight coupled with a high body fat percentage 

What Can you Do for yourself and Others?

Here is a list of things you can do or encourage others to do to help with their heart health; 
  • Eat good fats such as unsaturated or polyunsaturated
  • Avoid fats such as trans fats and saturated fats
  • Get plenty of sleep preferably between 7 and 9 hours 
  • Eat a low sodium diet
  • Reduce added sugars in your diet
  • Eat a diet high in vegetables
  • Manage your weight and body fat percentage
  • Be physically active in various cardio exercises such as walking, running, biking, or swimming 
  • Take time to relax and don't let yourself get too stressed
  • Keep an eye on your cholesterol and blood pressure 

Breast Cancer. (2014) "U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics. Breast Cancer. Retrieved from http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics 
CDC. (2014) "Leading Causes of Death in Females 2010" CDC-Womens Health. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/women/lcod/2010/index.htm
Go Red for Women. (2014) "About Heart Disease" American Heart Association. Retrieved from https://www.goredforwomen.org/home/about-heart-disease-in-women/

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Skin Care

Ladies lets be honest, we put our skin through torture almost everyday whether we realize it or not. We wash our skin with chemicals, put foreign substances on our skin, we touch and scratch our bodies, and expose it to severe weather such as wind, heat, and cold. We put it through a lot and it continues to protect us. But we should be aware of what it goes through and do our best to take care of it. Here are some tips for helping with skin care. 

Signs and Symptoms of Damaged Skin

  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Intense itching
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Recurring rash
  • Scaly areas
  • Leathery, rough patches
  • Dark colored patches 
  • Odd shaped moles 
  • Newly formed or growing mols
  • Cracking or bleeding sores

Causes of Skin Damage

  • Long hot showers
  • Dry weather
  • Perspiration from exercise
  • Stress
  • Molds
  • Sun exposure
  • Food allergens
  • Hormone fluctuation
  • Bacteria's or viruses

How to Treat Damaged Skin

Depending on the symptoms and diagnosis of the skin condition, the treatment can vary but here are some basic procedures that can be done. 
  • Moisturize every day
  • Wear cotton or soft fabrics while avoiding any clothing that is rough or tight 
  • Use a mild soap
  • Pat dry your skin, do not rub with a towel
  • Keep your fingernails short and clean
  • If you are not sure always consult with your doctor. 

Performing Regular Skin Exams

Skin cancer can be found at young ages and can be very deadly. But when found early it can be treated quickly and effectively. Here are some ways in which you can catch skin cancer early. 
  • Know your risks: Are you at high risk? Where do you live? Is your sun exposure common? Do you burn easily and often? What is your family history? 
  • Examine your skin regularly: Look at your body often in the mirror looking for knew spots or irregular moles. Examine both front and back in a long mirror with bright light. Be sure to look behind ears, check your scalp, inspect you genitals and breasts. Don't forget small areas like between fingers and toes along with the bottoms of your feet and armpits. 
  • Know what to look for: Think of your ABC's: A-asymmetry: is it asymmetrical?  B-border: is the border uneven? C- color: is it multiple different shades or odd colors like blue or grey? D-diameter: is it larger than the size of a pencil? E-evolving: has the diameter changed recently? If you say yes to any of these you may want to consult with a doctor and have it checked. 
  • Actinic keratosis: These skin lesions look like pink or red spots that are usually rough and scaly. 

University of California: Berkely. (2014) "How to Perform a Skin Exam." Berkeley Wellness. Retrieved from http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/preventive-care/lists/how-to-perform-a-skin-exam/slideid_1690
Student Health Center. (2014) "Dry Skin and Eczema"  Patient Education. 
Google Images

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

PMS Relief

It happens every month, the emotional roller coaster, the cramping, bloating, mood swings, etc. It is something that we as women all have to deal with. Although we have to have our period every month does not mean we have to always deal with the side effects. PMS is caused by the hormonal and chemical imbalances and changes that are taking place in our bodies for some of us it is tolerable and others it can be completely miserable. It depends on the woman on the symptoms and degree of severity. Depending on what symptoms you experience each month during menstruation you can try some home remedies to help make it a little more tolerable.

Tips for relieving PMS

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Women who participate in regular physical activity generally report fewer PMS symptoms. Not only does working up a sweat help regulate stress but it also helps in releasing in hormones such as endorphin's that help you feel good. With the increased blood flow it helps flush out any extra fluids retained during menstruation.   
  • Skip the salt. Limiting the amount of salt in your diet can help prevent water retention. Stay away from adding any extra salt to food or foods that are already high in sodium. 
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help curb those cravings for junk food.  
  • Stay away from sweets. Although chocolate, ice cream, and soda is what we crave while on our period try to avoid consuming it. By doing this it will increase the severity of the mood swings and will make you feel even worse. If you do need something sweet try to limit your intake and it a little bit at a time. Consume fruits instead of candy and choose dark chocolate versus milk or white. 
  • Manage your stress.  You are already experiencing a short temper, try to relax by taking some time to relieve any built up stress that you do not need. Do some yoga or breathing exercises that help you calm down and feel for balanced. 
  • Sleep.  Get plenty of sleep while you are on your period. Do not stay up late or sleep in. This will make you feel less rested and energetic. By getting a proper nights rest you will have time to relax and get some energy to tackle the next day. 
  • Relax those cramps. If your are experiencing cramps try to relieve it by taking a hot bath or placing a heating pad on your pelvic to helps relax those muscle and stop the cramping. Get plenty of potassium. Potassium works in the body to helps nerves and muscles communicate. It is a great way to prevent and relieve cramps. 
For more information follow this hyperlink to see our hand out on menstrual cramps: 

Editors of Consumer Guide. (2011) "25 Home Remedies for Premenstrual Syndrome". How Stuff Works? Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/womens-health/in-depth/water-retention/art-20044983?pg=1&footprints=mine
Mayo Clinic. "Water Retention: Relieve this Premenstrual Symptom". Maya Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/womens-health/in-depth/water-retention/art-20044983?pg=1&footprints=mine
Potassium. (2014). "Potassium" MedlinePlus. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/potassium.html
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