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Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Prevent Operations on the wrong body part

Patients, beware of wrong-side surgeries
By Sabriya Rice, CNN Medical Producer

Early one morning in April, Tasha Gaul and Dale Matlock took their young son, Jesse, to a hospital in Portland, Oregon, forsurgery to correct his lazy eye. It was supposed to be an easy procedure: Jesse, who was 3 at the time, wouldn't even have to spend the night at the hospital.

The surgery was indeed quick and simple. The problem was, it was on the wrong eye.

Gaul says she remembers what the surgeon, Dr. Shawn Goodman, said to her as she exited the operating room.

According to Gaul, Goodman told her, "Frankly, I lost my sense of direction, and by the time I realized it was the left eye, I was almost done."

Gaul claims that after Goodman realized her mistake, she performed the surgery on the correct eye.

In a statement to CNN, Goodman's office, Child Eye Care Associates, wrote that she cares very much about all of her patients and wants only the best for them. Because of patient confidentiality (HIPAA), she cannot talk about any patient to the public, the statement said.

I'm just beside myself. I have no idea what happened in that operating room," said Gaul, who'd been taking her son to Goodman for two years before the surgery.

Gaul and her fiancé have contacted Portland attorney Chuck Paulson and plan to sue.

"I feel like we had a right to know the second she realized she was in the wrong eye," Gaul said. "She went into the wrong eye first, and that's why we make a big deal about this."

Harmed in the hospital: Should you sue?

According to a 2006 study looking at the frequency of surgical errors in the United States, each year there could be as many as 2,700 mistakes where a surgery is performed on the wrong body part or the wrong patient. That's about seven per day.

Goodman works in her own private practice but has hospital privileges at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, where Jesse Matlock underwent surgery. In a statement, Legacy says, "we are working with our operating room staff, and with the private practice physicians who were involved, to identify what happened so we can prevent it from happening again."

Protocols to prevent wrong-site surgeries are good but not infallible

"Not another one." That's the first thought that went through Dr. Kenneth Kizer's head when he learned of what happened to Jesse Matlock.

"It's serious, it's preventable, and it should never happen," he said.

Kizer is the former CEO of the safety advocacy group National Quality Forum and the man who helped coin the term "never events," a list of 28 adverse events -- such as operating on the wrong body part or giving a patient the wrong medication -- that happen in the health care system and put patients at serious risk.

He says efforts to prevent these types of surgical errors have gotten better over the past decade, but there is still room for improvement.

"People underestimate how complex the system is and the number of ways that errors can happen," he said. "There are dozens of doctors that will be involved in a case that goes to an operating room. Every time someone new sees a patient, there's the potential that they'll miss something or get a detail wrong."

Patient safety advocates suggest that hospitals use a checklist. TheAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology, for example, has a task force focused on patient safety and provides a checklist of recommendations that physicians should follow before, during and after an procedure on the eye to prevent wrong-site surgeries.

But, sometimes it doesn't happen.

"The checklist process is good, and people have adopted it better than expected, but there are limitations," said Dr. Samuel Seiden, an anesthesiologist and co-author of the 2006 study on surgical errors. "The systems we have in place prevent a lot of these kinds of mistakes, but not all of them."

For instance, Dr. Michael Repka, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, says it is possible for a mark to be covered up by surgical draping. He also says, "if the skin prep is particularly thorough, the indelible ink (used to mark surgical sights) can become less visible. You don't get rid of it completely, but some of it can come off."

Experts say even the best doctors can make mistakes. According to Repka, it is possible for eye surgeons to become disoriented because they're used to examining a patient from in seated position -- a different angle from the operating table. He says ophthalmologists are aware of this, which is why they take preoperative protocol very seriously.

Here are six things you can do to reduce your risk of a wrong-site surgery:

1. Ask, "What are you going to do to ensure that you don't operate on the wrong site?"

Kizer says that asking this question explicitly puts the concern on the doctor's radar. "Patients have to be aggressive sometimes," Kizer said. Also, if someone new is seeing you, this question may help to remind them to review your records and clarify one more time.

2. Request a "time-out" just before anesthesia.

The Joint Commission's Universal Protocol recommends that the operative team take what is called a time-out right before surgery. That's a time when all relevant members of the surgical team stop and communicate to ensure they are all in agreement on what's about to happen.

Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, says patients should consider themselves critical members of the health-care team.

"Patient involvement is one of the keys. It's imperative that they be proactive," she said.

Pinakiewicz suggests that before going under anesthesia, the patient or the patient's caregiver should not be shy about requesting a time-out or asking the head of the surgical team whether they have taken one.

3. Say: "My name is John Smith, and my birthday is January 21, 1976."

Patient advocates say to make sure your name is double- and triple-checked and that prior to surgery, whether you're speaking with the surgeon, the anesthetist or the nurse, make sure everyone involved in your care knows exactly who you are.

My colleague, CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, advises that if your name really is John Smith, you should also include your middle name.

Don't underestimate the fact that patients in the same hospital may have similar names with slightly different spellings. Stating your full name and birthday can help ensure that you aren't confused with another patient.

4. Don't rush through the informed consent form.

Before having surgery, patients fill out a consent form, which details what specifically is being done and the possible risks and complications. Kizer says sometimes patients glaze over the details because they don't like to hear about the horrible things that can happen.

He says this is a missed opportunity to find potential errors that may have made their way that far.

5. Make sure your doctor initials your site.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons urges its members to sign their initials directly on the site before surgery. Make sure your surgeon -- not someone else -- does the signing and that it's in the right place. The protocol may vary from hospital to hospital, but the bottom line is that patients should make sure the surgeon clearly marks the proper surgical site before you leave the pre-op area.

6. Trust your gut.
Jesse Matlock's parents said they initially had a bad feeling about how the surgery would go when, on the morning of the procedure, one of the surgical nurses mentioned paperwork that said the little boy would need surgery on one or both eyes.

"There'd been no mention of both eyes until then," Gaul said. "I immediately had this feeling of dread."

Gaul says her fears were allayed when Goodman, in the presence of other members of the surgical team, indicated the proper incision site by drawing several marks, including one about the size of a quarter on the skin above Jesse's right eye. According to Gaul, after the surgery, Goodman told her that one of the nurses preparing Jesse's eye may have covered up the mark.

The hospital is investigating what went wrong during Jesse's eye surgery.

The chief medical officer of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center issued a reminder to its staff immediately after Jesse's operation, informing them of the incident and reminding them of the importance of following appropriate procedures.

The family will not be charged for the surgery, and follow-up care with another provider will be provided at no additional cost.

"We have a commitment to quality and safety, and we take any failure very seriously," the hospital says.

Right now, Jesse's vision is fine, but his mother has noticed a slight lag in his good eye, his left eye, ever since the operation. She says it may be several weeks before they can know for sure.

"With any surgery on your child, you're going to be stressed and worried and want to make sure it happens the way it's supposed to because you're there to protect them," she said.

"I feel now I have to protect my child from these doctors no matter what. You really can't trust anybody."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Top 10 Highest-Paying Medical Jobs

Top 10 Highest-Paying Medical Jobs
By Rigel Celest

There's a reason parents dream their kids will grow up to be doctors -- the profession consistently tops "highest paid" lists, medically geared or not, in addition to being relatively recession-proof as health care is always a necessity.

Doctors are at the heart of the health care system, and as such they dominate our list of the top 10 highest paying medical jobs. Salaries vary widely based on location, years of experience, and other factors -- but when it comes to maximum earning potential,* not all specialties are created equal.

1. Surgeon
Salary: $71,462-$516,641

Surgeons specialize in operating on patients in order to cure, repair, or remove disease or injury. Because the human body is so complex surgeons often specialize and become an expert on specific body parts or regions. Cardiac and neurosurgeons are the highest paid of all surgeon specialties, followed closely by oral surgeons and then trauma and general surgeons.
Find Surgeon Jobs

2. Anesthesiologist

Salary: $99,156-$362,422

Anesthesiologists are doctors who specialize in the pain management of surgical patients. They examine patients and determine what type and how much anesthesia to administer, as well as actually administering the anesthesia, monitoring its efficacy, and making adjustments as needed during surgical procedures.
Find Anesthesiology Jobs

3. Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Salary: $60,281-$271,033

Obstetricians specialize in women's health, specifically the treatment and diagnosis of issues related to the female reproductive system. Gynecologists focus even more tightly on pregnancy and childbirth. The professions often overlap and OB/GYNs can choose to specialize in areas such as fertility, cancer, or primary care.
Find Obstetrics Jobs

4. Orthodontist
Salary: $57,812-$244,408

Orthodontists are specialized dentists focusing on the prevention and treatment of irregularities in the teeth, jaw relationships, and facial structure around the mouth. They're responsible for prescribing and applying braces, retainers, and other corrective medical devices as well as performing cosmetic treatments to enhance physical appearance, such as closing unsightly gaps between teeth.
Find Orthodontist Jobs

5. Psychiatrist

Salary: $87,329-$259,117

Psychiatrists study, diagnose and treat disorders, illness, and abnormalities of the mind with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. They can practice generally or specialize in areas such as child psychiatry, substance abuse, or social/development disorders.
Find Psychiatrist Jobs

6. Prosthodontist

Salary: $52.072-$226,662

Another dental specialty, prosthodontists are experts in the restoration and repair of missing or damaged teeth as well as other oral structures related to the jaw and mouth, usually as a means of preserving or repairing a person's appearance, comfort, health, and/or function. Prosthodontists are experts with crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures, and even surgical implants and reconstructions.

7. Internist, general

Salary: $96,045-$218,524

Internists focus on the non-surgical treatment of disorders and diseases of the internal organs. They usually focus on adults only and often provide long term, comprehensive care to patients and deal with both acute and chronic illnesses as well as overlapping and coexistent diseases.
Find Internist Jobs

8. Podiatrist

Salary: $71,358-$203,627

Podiatrists are doctors with expertise in treating disorders and diseases of the foot, ankle, and lower leg including arch problems, injuries, corns and callouses, and diseases that affect the foot such as diabetes. Podiatrists can specialize even further and focus on areas such as orthopedics, surgery, or primary care.
Find Podiatrist Jobs

9. Dentist (general)

Salary: $69,896-$201,262

Dentists are doctors that focus on the treatment of all things within the oral cavity, most commonly the teeth and tissues surrounding the teeth. The field is broken down into many specialties; general dentists treat patients of all ages and in addition to treating existing issues focus heavily on patient teaching regarding preventive measures like oral hygiene and diet.
Find Dentist Jobs

10. Family and General Practitioner

Salary: $86,577-$186,991

Family and general practitioners are what most people think of when they hear the term "doctor," as they are often the first doctor patients see within the health care system. They provide comprehensive care to people of all ages and are able to treat a wide variety of disorders and injuries affecting all parts of the body, although they refer patients with very complex or serious conditions to appropriate specialists.
Find General Practitioner Jobs

*All salary data current as of April 2011 and courtesy of

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is electroconvulsive therapy safe?

Is electroconvulsive therapy safe?

Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a funny business. By far the most effective treatment in psychiatry, it is also by far the most reviled.

At least as safe as many of our medications, its use is nonetheless severely circumscribed in many states. It's an intervention with generally mild side effects, but many people emotionally equate it with lobotomy, aided in this regard by searing images from the classic film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
On the other hand, those of us who have seen countless patients saved from suicide or natural death from their severe psychiatric conditions have a profound admiration for the procedure.
It appears that children and adolescents are no less likely to benefit from ECT than are adults, and so the quick answer to your question is: Yes, ECT is safe in children and adolescents.
In fact, guidelines for its use in these patients were published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2004. The essence of these guidelines is that ECT should be considered in children with severe psychiatric disorders and/or in cases of significant suicide risk when other interventions have failed.
To understand these guidelines, we have to keep two somewhat opposite truths in mind. The first truth is that most children and adolescents with psychiatric struggles can be helped immensely by psychotherapeutic or pharmacological interventions, not only for themselves but for their parents.
For example, a large recent study showed that resolving a mother's depression had a bigger positive effect on the mental health of her children than it had on her.
The second truth is that, although rare, cases of severe mood and psychotic disorders in young people are not unknown. These cases can be catastrophic, as anyone who has worked on an inpatient child/adolescent psychiatric unit can attest. When young people with these conditions have failed other interventions, ECT can be a lifesaver.
By the way, I'm not using the word "lifesaver" in a metaphoric sense. Before the age of modern medications, approximately 5% of patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals died from their symptoms.
Today, we rarely see a condition called malignant catatonia, but it used to be far more common, and it used to kill almost everyone who developed it.
Death usually came from extremely high body temperatures (up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit) or from the development of a pulmonary embolus or sudden cardiac death.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Best (& Worst) Positions for Sleeping

Which Sleep Style Is Healthiest?

Your preferred p.m. pose could be giving you back and neck pain, tummy troubles, even premature wrinkles. Discover the best positions for your body--plus the one you may want to avoid.

The Best: Back Position
Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts

Bad for: Snoring

The scoop: Sleeping on your back makes it easy for your head, neck and spine to maintain a neutral position. You're not forcing any extra curves into your back, says Steven Diamant, a chiropractor in New York City. It's also ideal for fighting acid reflux, Dr. Olson says: "If the head is elevated, your stomach will be below your esophagus so acid or food can't come back up."

Back-sleeping also helps prevent wrinkles, because nothing is pushing against your face, notes Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., a professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University. And the weight of your breasts is fully supported, reducing sagginess.

Consider this: "Snoring is usually most frequent and severe when sleeping on the back," Dr. Olson says.

Perfect pillow: One puffy one. The goal is to keep your head and neck supported without propping your head up too much.

Next Best: Side Position
Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux, snoring less, sleeping during pregnancy

Bad for: Your skin and your breasts

The scoop: Side-sleeping is great for overall health--it reduces snoring and keeps your spine elongated. If you suffer from acid reflux, this is the next best thing to sleeping on your back.

The downside: "Sleeping on your side can cause you to get wrinkles," Dr. Glaser says. Blame all that smushing of one side of your face into the pillow.

This pose also contributes to breast sag, since your girls are dangling downward, stretching the ligaments, says Health's Medical Editor Roshini Rajapaksa, M.D.

Consider this: If you're pregnant, sleep on your left side. It's ideal for blood flow.

Perfect pillow: A thick one. "You need to fill the space above your shoulder so your head and neck are supported in a neutral position," says Ken Shannon, a physical therapist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Not Ideal: Fetal Position
Good for: Snoring less, sleeping during pregnancy

Bad for: Preventing neck and back pain, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts

The scoop: When you snooze with your knees pulled up high and chin tucked into your chest, you may feel it in the morning, especially if you have an arthritic back or joints, Dr. Olson says.

"This curved position also restricts diaphragmatic breathing," adds Dody Chang, a licensed acupuncturist with the Center for Integrative Medicine at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut. And if you make this your nightly pose, you may bring on premature facial wrinkles and breast sag.

Consider this: Just straighten out a bit -- try not to tuck your body into an extreme curl.

Perfect pillow: One plump pillow -- the same as side position, to give your head and neck support.

The Worst: Stomach Position
Good for: Easing snoring

Bad for: Avoiding neck and back pain, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts

The scoop: "Stomach-sleeping makes it difficult to maintain a neutral position with your spine," Shannon explains. It puts pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves and lead to pain, numbness and tingling. "Think about the soreness you'd feel if you kept your neck turned to one side for 15 minutes during the day," Dr. Diamant explains.

In this position you have your head to one side for hours at a time. You won't necessarily feel it the next day, but you may soon start to ache.

Consider this: Do you snore? "Stomach-sleeping may even be good for you," Dr. Olson says. Facedown keeps your upper airways more open. So if you snore and aren't suffering from neck or back pain, it's fine to try sleeping on your belly.

Perfect pillow: Just one (and make it a thin one) or none at all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How To Build A Better Bottom

How To Build A Better Bottom

The hardest body part to reshape is the gluteus maximus, the junk in the trunk, the caboose, patootie, booty, arse, badonkadonk -- whatever you want to call it. The world of behinds is divided into three distinct categories.

The first group has not enough butt, sometimes known as flat butts, also referred to as party platter butts. These are the people you see on America's Funniest Videos in the pants-falling-down category .

A little known side benefit of having some junk in your trunk is that it keeps your pants from falling down. Paula Dean is an excellent example. She is by no definition thin, but(t) her butt could be a serving tray and when she wears spanks she has been known to lose her pants.

The second group has too much butt and this is where the majority of adult women end up. They never lose their drawers. Ever. Instead, their struggle is to get their pants ON.

The third group has never looked back there and has no opinion whatsoever about their own tush. Many men are grouped here. If you fall into this category you can skip the rest of this article and go sit on yours.

Unlike belly fat, which, if you have the bad kind, can be lethal, fanny bulge is just annoying and unhealthy in a more vague and overall unhealthy way. This is due to the anatomical fact that no vital organs are stored in our hiney, although I have known some men who've made me wonder if this is true for all humans.

If you don't like what you've got back there, here's what you can do:

If Your Rump Is Flat:

• Lunges and squats with heavy weights can give the appearance of lift and separation if you have good form. Lift a challengingly heavy weight for your size and work through your heels. By that, I mean keep your weight out of your toes, because you don't want to work the front of your leg.

• Remember the Jane Fonda bridge? Lie on your back, feet under knees and pulse the hips up like 10,000 times. This will directly work the glutes. Add weights and let them rest on your your pelvis as you lift or alternate legs for added challenge.

• Do stair climbing, either on a machine or preferably on real stairs. The major mover in your body when you climb is the glutes.

• If you really yearn for a bubble butt and don't want to work for it (and it is hard work) you can purchase a handy little undergarment called Bubbles Bodywear. which adds some silicone to it's padded panty. Bubbles Bodywear are the Ebony to Spank's Ivory. Uniquely similar in opposite, yet equally important ways. It may sound ridiculous but if those of us with a tummy bulge can spend $40 on Spanks then $30 for a bubble butt sounds like a reasonable investment to those who'd rather have something on their party platter.

If Your Rump Is Too Big:

• Do tons of cardio, preferably running or if not running, jogging. Nothing will more effectively reduce your rear-end size like high-impact cardio. Don't bike a ton of biking or do heavy-weighted squats/lunges. If you do indoor cycling classes, keep your toes angled up and your heels in a dropped position.

• Do LSD workouts. This stands for Long, Slow Distance. Try for a 60 minute walk, vigorous golfing or tennis. Any length of time over 45 minutes will be burning fat stores and if your fat is in your behind then 30 minute workouts aren't gonna cut it.

• There is no such thing as spot reduction. You just have to lose weight. The densest weight stores are around the hips so if you drop the extra pounds, chances are it will go from your trunk.

• If all else fails, wear black.

And finally, if you can't be with the butt you love, Honey, love the butt you're with.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lose weight by having fun in the bedroom

Lose weight by having fun in the bedroom

In “The Ultimate Sex Diet” author Kerry McCloskey shows couples how to shed pounds by engaging in their favorite activity. Read an excerpt

Let's face it. Dieting isn't normally considered very exotic, glamorous or fun.

It usually involves lots of time in the kitchen measuring out portions, staring longingly at the pint of Haagen-Daz in the freezer and wondering when you'll be able to fit into your favorite jeans again.

But in “The Ultimate Sex Diet” author Kerry McCloskey offers a very different way for shedding those extra pounds by using everyone's favorite activity to burn calories and keeping your mind off of sweets—and on your sweetie.

Here's an excerpt:

Have more fun in bed ... and on the scale

Forget the Atkins diet. Celebrities have discovered a new way of
staying in shape—and it’s much more fun. The secret to a slimline
fi gure is not cutting out carbs or saying no to chocolate, it’s indulging
in plenty of sex.

We have all heard the phrase “a healthy sexual appetite.” Usually, it refers to an individual’s ravenous desire for sex. However, after reading this book, you’ll never look at this phrase the same way again. I will teach you how to increase your desire for sexual activity, help you lose weight, tone key areas, eat and feel healthier, and improve your overall attitude toward life, all through sex—the best workout program ever created, “patented” long ago by Adam and Eve!

Having sex feels great. If done right, we feel good during sex for the physical pleasure it provides, and we feel wonderful after sex for the emotional connection created
through the romantic adventure with our partner. Many people, however, do not necessarily feel good about their bodies’ appearance in general and especially not when they’re making
love. If this is the case, they cannot completely enjoy the experience.

Like bears going into hibernation, some people dive beneath the sheets as soon as they climax. It’s certainly easy to lose the afterglow when a beam of light glimmers on the flab about which you’re so self-conscious. People get so busy focusing on their rolls of unwanted fat that they forget all about the “meat”—the joy of giving and receiving love, which is, after all,the main ingredient in our human sandwich!

This is a problem that plagues a large percentage of our population. In fact, studies have shown that the great majority of women think they’re too fat. It’s time to do something about that! To help you improve your body’s shape and your body image is the primary reason I wrote this book. And what better way than with sex, on the Ultimate Sex Diet!

According to government studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity plagues more than fifty-nine million Americans. Too many of us are overweight, overworked,
and overwhelmed by life in general, and sex in particular. Too few of us find the time or the interest to get much exercise. I will elaborate on these concerns in Chapter 2, The Ultimate Exercise Machine, and in Chapter 3, Stress Relief: Undress to Decompress. The rest of the book will also provide guidance on how to address these problems.

I want everyone who reads this groundbreaking book to feel good about sex, to feel good during and after sex, and to use sex as a tool to improve their physical appearance and outlook on life. Of course, this primarily applies to adults who are involved in a monogamous relationship, or one in which safe sex is consistently practiced. The importance of having sex in a loving, monogamous relationship was hinted at by a Japanese study in which nineteen of forty-two people who had a stroke during sex were being unfaithful at the time.

In a study entitled “Money, Sex, and Happiness,” published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in May 2004, Dartmouth College economist David Blanchflower and economist Andrew Oswald of Warwich University in England found that to maximize happiness, a person should have just one sexual partner. They discovered that “people who say they have ever paid for sex are considerably less happy than others. Those who have ever had sex outside their marriage also report notably low happiness.”

Just as too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, can be counterproductive, not all sexual activity falls within the realm of the Ultimate Sex Diet. For instance, scientific studies show that having sex with multiple partners can increase a man’s risk of getting cancer or certain other diseases by up to 40 percent. That’s because he runs a greater risk of contracting a sexually related infection that might compromise his immune system.

Moreover, certain relationships give you a head start toward getting the most benefit from making love. For example, if you marry your partner, you are more likely to engage in sex more frequently. According to a 1998 study performed at the University of Chicago, married couples engage in sexual activity 25–300 percent more often than non-married people, depending on age.

On top of that, decades of research has clearly shown that marriage increases your life span. Over twice as many divorced and widowed men, and one and a half times as many single
men, die before married men do. This expanded life span also applies to married women. About 10 percent more wives outlive single women, and 50 percent more outlive divorcees
and widows. Apparently, “happily ever after” really means happily ever after—plus a few more years.

A study at Duke University that followed 270 men and women over a span of twenty-five years reinforced these findings. It determined that “frequency of intercourse was a significant predictor of longevity for men while enjoyment of intercourse was a predictor for women.” So it seems that sex helps you live longer, whether the positive benefits stem from your body or your mind.

Living in America, we are raised to hide our bodies’ flaws whenever possible. This is something that should apply only when you are out in public, and not in the privacy of your bedroom with your committed lover. Your partner should love you regardless of the shape your body is in.

Often, your partner does love you for better or for worse, so you alone hurt your self-image when you complain about your least favorite body parts and do nothing to change them.

Many women use the images of supermodels in bikinis, whom they see on television or in magazines, to give them the incentive to lose weight. Unfortunately, this practically ensures
failure since most women lack the body type to ever look like these supermodels. Instead of helping you lose weight, these images can actually make you feel inferior, leading to depression and binge eating.

I will teach you to use a more effective incentive to slim down by using your imagination and focusing on you. The imagery in your mind of a more sensual you is a much more realistic and tangible motivational tool than some airbrushed, touched-up photo from a glossy fashion magazine. In Chapter 4, Body Image: Feeling Hot, Hot, HOT, I’ll show you how to boost your self-confidence and perception of yourself.

Many people lose weight at the start of a new relationship. The excitement of a new love can temporarily speed up their metabolism. The constant thinking about food when you’re
single is replaced with loving thoughts of the new special person in your life. New lovers may also feel motivated to improve their appearance to further attract the ones they love, with the
hope that the object of their affection will reciprocate their love.

When the “honeymoon period” ends, however, the pounds often quickly return. Couples eventually reach a level of comfort with each other and spend more and more of their time together socializing while eating and drinking. They begin to feel more secure and often “let themselves go.” This is when being part of a couple can negatively influence eating habits, particularly when one partner is less health-conscious than the other. The bad habits of each partner inevitably begin to transfer to the other.

Then it’s the Ultimate Sex Diet to the rescue! It will motivate both of you to maintain a constant, intense level of frequent and pleasurable sexual activity.

That is why the Ultimate Sex Diet is most effective when both partners participate. It is still effective (and beneficial for both parties) with just one of you on the diet, but ideally both
partners should be involved so that a positive transference prevails over a negative one.

Speaking of downers, the word “diet” can have a negative connotation. It is not a coincidence that the first three letters of the word spell “die.” Most of us feel like we want to die when we are limiting our food intake. So, instead of viewing this as a “Sex Diet,” I personally choose to replace the “i” with a “u” (coincidentally, a great strategy in the bedroom), and view the Ultimate Sex Diet as a “Sex Duet Exercise and Nutritional Program,” to give it a more positive ring.

I think a sex duet sounds fun, and indeed it is! This is also an appropriate term to use for our particular purposes, since sex involves two parties “singing” together, instead of just one
person doing a solo. The most positive outcome of this interactive slimming program is that your partnership ultimately benefits just as much as each of you do. In Chapter 5, Feeling Sexy Every Night, you’ll learn how both you and your partner can work together to achieve your unique diet goals.

The first step of the Ultimate Sex Diet is to make your whole food experience more sensual. The key is not only to focus on healthier foods that make you feel good while eating them, but also to fully appreciate the entire sensation of eating. You will soon discover that this diet is not about restrictions and deprivation. It is about celebrating, feeling, and indulging in life.

“How can that be?” you might be wondering. Just think about how many negative attitudes you have about food. Traditional diets do nothing but reinforce these “bad food vibes.” But when food and eating are associated with the benefits derived from more intense foreplay, sex, and afterglow, your entire approach to food changes for the better.

Like many areas of our lives, when it comes to eating and making love we need to take more time to completely enjoy what we experience. You need to enjoy the scent, the texture, the taste, and the feelings that are created when you eat, just as when you are making love. On the Ultimate Sex Diet you will be encouraged to try new exotic and sensual foods. Won’t that
be fun?!

In Chapter 12, Sexual Nutrition: Healthy Foods for Healthy Loving, I will discuss how to approach food in a way that will heighten your sensory experience and how to translate these techniques into the bedroom. I will also discuss foods that are sexy to eat, those that serve as aphrodisiacs, and foods that can actually be used in the bedroom to enhance your sexual experiences.

In Chapter 14, Fighting Cravings: Don’t Crave Sweets, Crave Your Sweetie, I will teach you how to fight your food cravings. You will learn how to transform a craving for junk food into a craving for your partner. (Move over Baby Ruth—I’m looking for Mr. Goodbar!) Many times we eat when we are not hungry, to fill an emotional void. I will tell you why that void exists in the first place and discuss the body movements, mind tricks, and various mental strategies specifically designed to fill the void without filling your belly!

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you may have heard that there are many health benefits associated with sex. These include longer life spans, better cardiovascular health (surprise! sex really helps the heart), higher pain tolerances, an improved immune system, and a lower rate of depression. Chapter 16, Sexual Healing: The Amazing Health Benefits of Sex, will detail what science has discovered about the dramatic and positive impact sex can have on your physical wellbeing.

Now the tantalizing question becomes, are we dieting to have more sex, or are we having sex to diet? You will love the chapters devoted to what some have fondly called “Sexercise.” This is an activity many of us have been engaging in for years without realizing the benefits we were reaping. Such lack of awareness caused us to miss opportunities to increase those
benefits. If you’ve ever had sore muscles the morning after a good night of lovemaking, you may have been sexercising without even realizing it.

Aerobically, a half-hour romp in the sheets burns approximately 150–250 calories and sometimes even 350 calories if you are frisky enough. This is roughly the equivalent of briskly walking, running, or lifting weights for thirty minutes. Now which would you rather do: make sensual love with a warm partner, or just have a sweaty session on a cold and clammy exercise machine?

The regular calorie “burning” from sex doesn’t even include the additional calories used up during the strength and toning exercises you will learn about in Chapters 7, 8, and 9. Using my tantalizing suggestions for increasing the amount of foreplay involved in sex will burn up even more calories and also increase the amount of time you spend making love. These exercises will not only improve your body’s appearance, they will also enhance your pleasure during sex and lead to greater orgasms. You’ll be thanking me sooner than you think!

As you will discover, sex is a great exercise, and the more exercise you do in general, the better your sex life will be. Researchers at the University of California at San Diego found that three to four one-hour workouts per week helped men achieve steadier, more satisfying
sex sessions with their partners. In a Harvard School of Public Health study, men who worked out vigorously for twenty to thirty minutes several times a week reduced their risk of erection problems by half. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin discovered that women’s genital blood flow after watching an X-rated film was much greater after exercising than it was without the workout.

So, it’s an amazing cycle: The more you exercise, the more sex you have, and the more sex you have, the more exercise you are getting! Isn’t this the most natural and most pleasurable way to really lose weight and keep it off? Isn’t this one of the best ways to get healthier and happier? Isn’t life great? Yes!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Foods That Trigger Stomach Pains

Common Crohn's Disease Food Triggers

Food alone won't cause — or cure — Crohn's disease, but a change in your diet may help you better manage your symptoms.

A healthy diet packed with vitamins and nutrients and one that’s low in fat is good for everyone — for people with Crohn's disease, it goes a step further. Following a carefully planned diet can actually help manage Crohn's symptoms like diarrhea, excessive gas, and abdominal cramping.
Crohn's diet isn't a cure for Crohn's disease, and it can't stop all of your symptoms — there's no special diet for Crohn's disease that's recommended for all patients. But certain foods can worsen common Crohn's symptoms, particularly when you’re experiencing a flare-up, and others may actually ease your distress.
Foods That May Trigger Crohn's Symptoms
Crohn's disease is not a one-size-fits-all condition, so foods may affect each person differently. While the following foods may not cause symptoms in some people, they can lead to significant symptoms in others:
  • Foods that contain a lot of insoluble fiber, such as popcorn, beans, bran, seeds, and nuts
  • High-fat, fried, and greasy food including rich cream sauces, butter, and many fast food choices
  • Dairy foods and beverages from ice cream to milk and cheese
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Raw vegetables and fruits
  • Spicy seasonings
Your best bet for managing Crohn's symptoms with diet is to avoid foods that your body seems to be sensitive to.
Foods That May Improve Crohn's Symptoms
Certain foods may help you better control Crohn's symptoms, too. Try adding these foods, in moderation, to your Crohn’s diet:
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Foods with soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, rice, applesauce, and bananas
  • Fish
  • Yogurt with live cultures
Making certain changes in your eating habits may also lessen your Crohn's symptoms:
  • Eat small meals more frequently instead of large meals two or three times a day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration — in particular, make sure you're taking in enough water each day.
  • Don't drink beverages that are too hot or too cold — try to enjoy them at room temperature.
  • Consume most of your fluids between meals instead of drinking them with meals.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy variety of foods to ensure that you get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Will an Elimination Diet Bring You Crohn’s Relief?
One of the best ways to use dietary changes to manage your Crohn's symptoms is with an elimination diet. It's pretty simple — you figure out which foods aggravate your Crohn's disease, and eliminate them from your diet.
Begin by keeping a food diary. Grab a notebook and write down all the foods that you eat every day for several weeks. Also make a note of your Crohn's symptoms, and look carefully at the foods eaten on the day and day before you experienced symptoms. If you spot a particular food consumed on days your Crohn's was flaring, try cutting it out of your diet for a few weeks and see if your symptoms improve. Through the elimination diet, you can determine which foods you need to avoid.
While developing your own Crohn's diet can’t cure Crohn's disease, avoiding your trigger foods and making dietary changes that help minimize your Crohn's symptoms will provide you with some much-needed relief.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kissing Can Be Dangerous

Kissing Can Be Dangerous

So, Cupid has flown the coop and love is not in the air. Settle in and get ready to feel smug. A smooch-free Valentine's Day may have advantages for your health.

By not kissing that special someone, you're also not exposing yourself to the 500 or so bacteria in your partner's mouth, and you're not letting viruses in either.

"Kissing is a great way to pass a virus," explains Dr. Lewis Smith, a professor of medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. When an infected person exchanges fluids, or even touches, his or her partner, they basically set up their true love for total viral attack.

As your coupled friends, relatives and neighbors take pity on you spending your Valentine's Day all by your lonesome, you can have the last laugh: Here is an explanation of how the flu virus wreaks its havoc, even after the tenderest kiss.

The sparks may be flying between lovers, but on a cellular level, bugs are engaged in battle.

Attaches, Invades, Enters

Influenza A, a common strain of the flu virus, is clever. Its raison d'etre is to make copies of itself in a warm, nurturing environment, such as a human being. It gets to its target through droplets of fluid released in the air by an infected person's sneeze or cough. Or through the exchange of saliva otherwise known as a kiss.

Specially equipped with sticky proteins that allow it to attach to a person's healthy cells, the virus hangs on to the cell's surface until it can get in and co-opt the cell's machinery for its own purposes.

The viral particle is covered with something called a "glycoprotein envelope." The envelope is covered with two different kinds of enzymes — hemagglutinin, which is sticky and helps the virus to attach the healthy cells in the nose, throat or lungs, and neuraminidase, which helps the virus spread from cell to cell.

These two enzymes enable the virus to invade the cell. Once it penetrates the cell membrane, the virus redirects the cell's energy so that it unwittingly concentrates on creating copies of the unwelcome guest. The viruses then multiply and multiply.

When the cell can no longer contain all those copies, it bursts. Now, there are hundreds of thousands of viruses attaching themselves to the other healthy cells in the body, exponentially increasing the infection process.

The virus incubates over a few days and the infected person starts feeling achy, fatigued and a little feverish as the bug makes itself at home throughout the body. Pretty soon that person won't be kissing much more than Kleenex.

Taking Back the Body

The body, however, has ways to fight back. "[The healing process] is a little like warfare," says Howard Berg, professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University.

Your body, the fallen warrior, may be sneezing, running a fever and experiencing muscle aches, a drippy nose and a sore throat, but that's the good news. It shows your immune system is mobilizing for action, according to Northwestern's Smith.

Lymphocytes, colorless cells capable of spontaneous motion, are part of the army of cells responsible for that immune response. When stimulated by certain antigens, such as the flu virus, lymphocytes secrete chemicals that act on other cells, recruiting them to join the fight against the virus. When the troops have all been rallied, some of the lymphocytes evolve into killer T cells, which can actually ferret out and attack specific infected cells.

The result of all this action is inflammation in the lungs and a general malaise throughout the body, but ultimately in a healthy person the immune system wins, things calm down and health is restored.

The whole process from infection to incubation back to health generally takes about two weeks, and for healthy children and adults, is not considered life-threatening. For unhealthy or older people, however, the flu can be deadly.

Because each kiss varies in time and intensity, there is no way of knowing how much kissing sets you up for cellular attack, but experts estimate it takes only 10 viral particles to transfer an infection. So, the longer and more intensely two people make out, the more likely it is a virus can invade a partner.

"It's a time and quality phenomenon," says Smith.

According to the American Lung Association, there were more than 95 million estimated cases of influenza nationwide, resulting in 191.9 million bed days and an estimated 70.2 million work-loss days in 1996, the latest data available. The organization estimates the total annual costs of influenza in the United States are $14.6 billion.

Now, don't you feel better that you're all alone?