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How To Care For Your Breast When Breastfeeding

 

 

Are you a mother who is breastfeeding? If so, it's essential to take care of your breasts. In this blog post, we'll give you tips on keeping your breasts healthy while breastfeeding.

 

Follow these Tips on How To Care For Your Breast When Breastfeeding, and you'll be sure to have happy and healthy breasts



Wash your hands before each feeding

 

Washing your hands before feeding is an important part of breast health. Whenever you handle breastmilk, nipples, or breast pumps, it's essential to keep your hands clean. Proper handwashing reduces the risk of contamination and irritation, protecting against mastitis and other breast-related infections.

For best practice, follow the CDC guidelines for proper handwashing: Start wetting your hands with warm water before lathering up with soap for at least 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly and dry using a clean towel or air dryer. With this easy step done ahead of every feeding session, you can maintain excellent breast health.

Use a clean, dry cloth to support your breast

Support while breastfeeding is essential to promote healthy breastfeeding habits. Many breastfeeding mothers may find that using a clean, dry cloth as support can be helpful. Placing a folded cloth beneath the breast can provide comfortable and consistent support, making breastfeeding easier for both mother and baby.

When using a cloth for support, take caution to ensure the item is thoroughly washed and dried before use. Proper sanitization should be practised to prevent contaminants from entering the breastfeeding relationship. Reap the benefits that breastfeeding has to offer with the help of a clean, dry cloth!

Apply lotion to your nipples after each feeding

Applying lotion to your nipples after feeding can be important for skin health and comfort. The act of breastfeeding can cause dryness, irritation, and even cracking to the tender skin of the nipples - lotion is a great way to reduce any discomfort associated with these issues.

An array of specially formulated lotions are explicitly designed for use on the nipples, but regular non-scented moisturizers can also be used if that is not an option. Proper application technique is essential to maximize effectiveness - lightly dab the lotion onto your nipple rather than rubbing it together, ensuring deeper penetration into the skin layers. Taking proactive steps such as applying lotion regularly can make all the difference when retaining your comfort and enjoying motherhood.

Wear a supportive bra during the day and at night

Wearing a supportive bra is a key part of breast health and comfort. During the day, wearing a supportive bra helps to reduce breast pain caused by movement or postural changes. At night, a supportive yet comfortable sleep and a breastfeeding bra can help you get the restful sleep you need for overall health.

For best breast health, make sure that you wear a supportive yet comfortable bra both day and night. Supportive bras are essential for breastfeeding moms as they give added support while caring for their baby during the day and extra care at night. Regularly wearing a supportive and well-fitted bra can help maintain breast shape throughout life's weight, age, and hormone fluctuations.

Don't smoke or drink alcohol while breastfeeding

While breastfeeding is an important part of nourishing and caring for a newborn baby, it is important to note that anything you put into your body could be passed on to the baby via your breast milk. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that breastfeeding women do not use or consume tobacco products or alcohol, as this has been proven to be detrimental to a baby's growth and well-being. Smoking and consuming alcohol can interfere with the quality of the milk produced by moms, as well as lead to other serious health conditions in their babies over time. Breastfeeding women should focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle to ensure they provide the best nourishment possible to their little ones.


© The Natural Doctor


Skin Care Tips for Women in Menopause

 

Menopause is a period that occurs one year after women have their last period. It can cause noticeable changes in skin and hair. These effects can be reduced with the right care.

 

Here are the top dermatologists' recommendations

 

Age Spots

You'll notice the effects of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays if you have spent a lot of time outdoors without sun protection. Age spots and darker areas can develop on the chest, face, neck, arms, and hands. Pre-cancerous and cancerous growths in the skin are also more common during this time.

Sunscreen should be applied every day to your skin before you go outside. It can be applied to any skin areas that clothing doesn't cover. Broad-spectrum sunscreens with at least 30 SPF are recommended to protect your skin. This will help reduce the appearance of age spots and prevent the formation of new ones.

For skin cancer screening, make an appointment with a dermatologist. As you age, your risk of developing skin cancer increases. Skin cancer screenings are more important as your risk increases. Skin cancers and pre-cancerous growths can be treated if detected early.

Dry skin

Skin loses its ability to hold water during menopause. This can lead to skin becoming very dry. Dry air can make this more apparent. Instead of using soap, use a mild cleanser to wash dry skin. Deodorant bars should be avoided. Moisturizer can be applied after bathing or when your skin feels dry. Remember to talk to your dermatologist.

Easy Bruising

Skin becomes thinner as estrogen levels drop. Thinner skin is more prone to breaking down. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more daily may help reduce the appearance of thin skin. Although this will not make your skin thicker, it can help prevent any further thinning. Sunscreen should be applied to your neck, face, hands, and all other areas that clothing can't cover. It would be best if you did this daily, even during winter. A dermatologist can help you determine the best treatment option.

Hair loss

Many women notice thinning hairs on their heads after menopause. A widening of the part could be the first sign. Sometimes, women notice a receding hairline. The earlier you treat hair loss, the better. Many factors can cause hair loss, so it's important to consult a dermatologist immediately. Hair loss treatment depends on the reason. Your dermatologist might recommend minoxidil or laser treatment if your hair loss is caused by menopause.

Acne or Pimples

Some women experience teenage-like acne as their levels of estrogen drop during menopause and before. Treatments for teenage acne can be too harsh because a woman's skin tends to be thinner and drier.

Use a cleanser with salicylic acid to clean acne-prone skin. This will help unclog pores. Avoid using products that dry out your skin because they can only worsen your acne problem. If you cannot control your acne, it is worth visiting a dermatologist. It may be necessary to use hormonal treatments, too, as per the advice of a medical professional.

Fine Lines

Skin ageing can begin with fine lines. Experts recommend sunscreen, retinol, and peptides as the main steps in skin care.

There's no better time than the present to start using sunscreen in your skincare routine.

Retinol may also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles during menopause. The topical application of retinol has anti-ageing properties.

Peptides can increase collagen production. Peptides can stimulate collagen production, one of the main fibres keeping the skin plump.


© The Natural Doctor

 




What Should You Do If You Find Lumps In Your Breast?

 

 

So, you’re doing your regular breast exam at home, and you suddenly feel a lump. What should you do?

In most cases, women who feel a lump in their breasts will start to worry and have several questions in mind. If you’re one of those who recently felt a lump in their breasts, here are a few things you need to know.

How does a breast lump feel?

A breast lump feels more solid than regular breast tissue. It varies in size; some are pea-sized, while others can be as big as a golf ball. It can be difficult to differentiate a breast lump from a normal breast tissue because they both feel spongy and lumpy.

Lumps may or may not be moveable, while normal breast tissue feels like fibrous mesh. Breast lumps are usually painless, but they may also be painful.

When should you worry?

Breast lumps are scary, even though some say it’s pretty common. You’ve probably heard some people say that most breast lumps are noncancerous. But some may indicate breast cancer. So when should you worry? When should you consult your doctor?

Keep in mind that breast lumps need to be checked by a doctor, whether or not it’s painful. You must have it checked by your doctor regardless of your age and where the lump is located.

You can’t determine on your own if the lump you’re feeling is benign or cancerous just by feeling it. Most lumps are harmless. But lumps may also indicate breast cancer.

So how would you know if the lump is concerning? Here are a few things you need to watch out for.

  •   Skin over the lump changes
  •   Bloody discharge on the nipples
  •   Enlargement of the nipples
  •   Family history of breast cancer

What should you do?

When you feel that you have a breast lump, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor.

Be prepared to answer questions. The most common ones that your doctor will ask are the following:

  •    How big is the breast lump?
  •    Is the lump attached to your skin?
  •    Does the lump move and slip under your fingers when you touch it?
  •    Is the lump painful or painless?
  •    Does the lump come with inflamed, itchy, or red skin?
  •    Did the lump cause a nipple discharge or nipple inversion?
  •    Is the size of the lump changing?
  •     Is the lump more painful when you have your period?
  •     Do you have lumps in both breasts?

Your doctor may or may not recommend you to undergo more tests so they can better evaluate the mass. These tests may include a biopsy or a mammogram.

As previously mentioned, a doctor should check any lump, regardless of age. You shouldn’t think twice about having yourself checked, especially if you’re at least 50. However, that doesn’t mean young women should take breast lumps lightly.

Although many lumps end up being benign, some are still not. You don’t want to miss out on getting yourself checked. It’s better to catch breast cancer early because it’ll most likely be treatable.

Don’t worry about the painful biopsy. Other ways, such as breast ultrasounds and mammograms, help your doctor evaluate your condition.

It’s never too late to take care of your body, including your breasts. Keeping your breasts healthy goes beyond self-examination and regular mammograms. You should also exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and reduce stress. Avoid eating processed food and consume more fruits and vegetables. You should also stop smoking and limit your alcohol intake. 

© The Natural Doctor

 

4 Strategies for a Healthy Heart

 

 

Worldwide, the leading causes of death are heart disease and stroke. Thankfully, there is good news as well. About 80% of all cases of cardiovascular disease are entirely preventable. You can lower your risks by making a few changes to your lifestyle and doing things that would even feel enjoyable in the end. Let’s cover the four basics:

 

Exercise

 

Scientists have been aware of the importance of exercise when it comes to protecting your heart. Some of the first hints surfaced in the 1950s when studies showed the conductors of London’s double-decker buses had lower rates of coronary heart disease than the drivers, with the same going for English mail carriers compared to telephone operators.

 

Studies have shown a strong, inverse relationship between physical exercise and heart disease. Clinical trials also shed light on why that is the case. Exercise enhances the cardiorespiratory system, increases HDL cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, reduces blood pressure and heart rate long term, lowers inflammation, and improves blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity. The best part of all is that exercise is something that gives you benefits, no matter how much activity you go with.

 

Avoid High Blood Pressure

 

High blood pressure, also known as hypotension, puts stress on the walls of your arteries, causing them to stiffen and narrow down. This stress increases the buildup of plaque in your blood vessels, eventually causing your heart muscle to grow thicker and weaker over time. It may also cause the blood vessels in your brain to rupture, leading to stroke. Your ideal blood pressure shouldn’t be over 120/80. The top number is your systolic pressure, the pressure when the heart is contracting, while the lower number is the diastolic pressure, meaning when your heart is at rest. Keeping the numbers in check is essential to cardiovascular health since hypertension is a leading cause of heart attacks and one of the most severe risk factors for strokes.

 

Knowing Your Cholesterol

 

Cholesterol isn’t the only factor in heart disease, despite playing a significant role. Although cholesterol is not the only thing that matters in heart health, you should keep an eye on it. You should know which numbers put you at risk. You should get your cholesterol levels checked every four to six years.

 

Here is what you should be looking for

 

  • HDL cholesterol: Higher HDL levels correlate with better cardiovascular health.  
  • LDL cholesterol: High LDL is strongly connected to heart disease. Low LDL is much better for your cardiovascular health.  
  • Triglycerides: A type of fat that circulates in your bloodstream. Elevated triglycerides are linked to both heart disease and diabetes.

 

Knowing Your Blood Sugar Level

 

Routinely checking your fasting blood sugar can help monitor another factor in your heart disease risk. So what should you do if you see your blood sugar levels rising? You first need to consult with your doctor to check if you have a medical issue. You can do things on your own to improve your blood sugar control, and they are pretty simple and familiar - exercising and eating healthy. Blood sugar can be affected by several factors you may not be aware of, such as the following:

 

Hormonal changes during menstrual cycles.

Chronic stress or illness.

Being overweight or obese.

Consuming alcohol or caffeine.

Birth control pills, antidepressants, nasal decongestants, etc.

Not getting enough sleep.

 

All those factors can contribute to your blood sugar issues, both long-term and before you take a test, so keep that in mind.

 

©The Natural Doctor

 

Fertility Treatments for Couples Attempting to Conceive

 

 

If you and your partner happen to be one of the 12% of couples who face infertility issues, you know that facing this and trying to solve it is a difficult task. Even though there are fertility treatments available, ones that go a long way toward making it possible to get pregnant, there is still a good chance you will experience a lot of stress during that time. Let’s take a look at the available options for couples, and a quick rundown of the most common fertility treatments.

 

Artificial Insemination and Intrauterine Insemination

 

Artificial Insemination involves the placement of sperm from your partner or a donor inside your reproductive tract. This is done during ovulation to maximise your chance of getting pregnant. If you happen to be ovulating normally, this procedure can be done without any added fertility drugs. If you have issues with ovulation, it will require said drugs to improve your chances. Intrauterine insemination is a similar procedure, but slightly more complicated. Instead of injecting sperm into the reproductive tract, a thin catheter is used to place the sperm as close as possible to your fallopian tubes, increasing the chance the sperm will reach the egg.

 

In Vitro Fertilisation

 

A famous procedure in which your eggs are fertilised using sperm in a fertility clinic or laboratory. When that happens, one or more of the embryos are transferred into your uterus with the hope it will result in a successful pregnancy.

 

Natural Cycle In Vitro Fertilisation

 

Natural cycle IVF is a type of fertilisation that bypasses the hormone injection, monitoring your natural cycle and retrieving an egg when you’re about to ovulate. Your egg can then be fertilised in a fertility clinic or laboratory, just like it’s done with traditional IVF and transferred back to your uterus.

 

Donor Eggs

 

This process involves the fertilisation of a donor egg with sperm and implantation into your uterus, a very similar procedure to IVF. The donor may be someone you know or someone you are matched with anonymously through an agency working with the clinic. Using a donor egg means you won’t have any biological relation to your baby, but you are still listed as a birth mother on record. To avoid any legal issues, you should hire a lawyer early on in the process, so you can be sure you have a legal contract between you and the donor or the donor agency. They should waive any parental rights and outline that the children born of this procedure using donated eggs are legally yours.

 

Surrogacy

 

Surrogates carry a child for another woman or a same-sex couple. In almost all cases, the parents will undergo an IVF procedure and the embryo is implanted in the surrogate uterus. Both parents have a genetic relation to the baby, but the surrogate mother doesn’t.

 

Egg Freezing

 

This procedure involves the retrieval of 10 to 20 of a woman’s eggs in a similar way to IVF, but then flash-freezing and storing the eggs for later use. When you are ready to have a baby, you can thaw one or more of the eggs, fertilise them and implant them into your uterus.

 

Fertility Drugs

 

These are usually taken when you start IVF, but they can also be taken by themselves during ovulation issues. There are oral medications like Femara and Clomid, used to stimulate the ovaries and correct any irregularities in ovulation. Both of those drugs suppress oestrogen production and boost the production of ovulation-stimulating hormones. If those meds don’t work, you can use hormone shots called gonadotropins that stimulate ovulation directly.

 

If you have irregular ovulation caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), then the drug Metformin may also be a possible option. It is used to treat diabetes, but it also works to sensitise insulin levels, which may help women with PCOS have more regular ovulation as a result.

 

©The Natural Doctor

 

Treating Menopause Symptoms in a Natural and Safe Way




Menopause starts in the late 40s or the early 50s for most women, usually lasting a few years. During that time, at least 60% of women experience the typical symptoms of menopause, meaning hot flashes, mood swings, tiredness, irritability and night sweats. 

 

Aside from those unpleasant symptoms, women undergoing menopause have an elevated risk of several diseases, specifically osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes and risk of obesity. During that time, a lot of women turn to natural remedies and supplements to relieve the symptoms. The following examples are here to give you some pointers:

 

Eating Calcium and Vitamin D-Rich Foods

 

The hormonal changes during menopause may cause your bones to weaken, increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D are connected to good bone health and density, so you should make sure you have enough of both in your daily diet. Adequate intake of vitamin D for postmenopausal women is also something related to lower risks of fractures. 

 

Calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are a great addition to your diet, but they’re not the only source. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens are a good source of calcium as well. You can also find them in beans, sardines, tofu and a variety of other foods. 

 

Calcium-fortified foods are a good source too, such as fruit juice, milk alternatives and cereals. The main source of vitamin D remains the sun since your skin is naturally producing it whenever you’re exposed to sunlight. As you get older, the body's ability to produce it gets less efficient, so supplements are encouraged to compensate for this change.

 

Keep Your Weight Balanced and Healthy

 

It is not uncommon to gain weight during menopause as a result of changing hormones, genetics and lifestyle. The gain of excess body fat around the waist is connected to a heightened risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart issues. Your body weight may affect the menopause symptoms as well.

 

Eating Fruits and Vegetables

 

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may help you prevent a good range of your menopause symptoms. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, but at the same time filling, allowing you to lose weight and maintain a healthy balance. They may also prevent several diseases, specifically heart disease. The risks of this condition rise after menopause, due to age, weight gain and reduced oestrogen levels in the body. Fruits and vegetables can also help prevent bone loss in a balanced diet.

 

Avoiding Triggering Foods

 

Some foods may trigger hot flashes, mood swings and night sweats, so they should be avoided. They are more likely to trigger those if you eat them at night as well. The common triggers may include alcohol, caffeine and spicy or sugary foods. You should keep a symptom diary if you experience those, keeping track of the foods triggering menopause symptoms. This may allow you to avoid the symptoms by avoiding these foods or reducing their consumption.

 

Regular Exercise

 

There is not enough evidence as of yet if exercise has any direct effect on treating night sweats and hot flashes. There is ample evidence that proves the benefits of regular exercise, however. Improved energy levels and metabolism, healthier bones and joints, better sleep patterns and decreased stress levels. In one example a study found that a mere three hours of exercise a week may improve the physical and mental health of a group of menopausal women. 

 

Regular exercise is also associated with better health, protection from diabetes and several dangerous conditions. Stroke, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity are much less likely to occur with enough physical activity.

 

©The Natural Doctor

A Guide on Prioritising Cardiac Health During the Pandemic

 

There is no denying anyone knows the importance of keeping your health in check. This is something even doubly important, if you were diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease, or if you were told you have the risk of developing a cardiac issue. Considering the changes in the way hospitals handle patients and the pandemic’s impact on everything, a lot of people are wondering what they can do to get the best care.

 

How to Manage a Heart Condition

 

Healthy dieting, managing stress and getting regular exercise done are some of the ways you can stave off heart disease and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, with lockdowns and the uncertainty around the pandemic, this has its own set of challenges. You can do the following to keep yourself in shape:

 

  • Follow your doctor’s advice, taking your prescribed medication as required.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid any over-the-counter medicines that might interfere with your blood pressure levels, specifically ibuprofen or decongestants.
  • Consult your doctor regarding prescription medicines that may raise your blood pressure, such as immunosuppressants and decongestants.
  • Keep an eye on your blood pressure.
  • Think of new ways to keep active. Go for walks, use high interval training and make sure you don’t go too far.
  • Eat a healthy diet that focuses on clean, low cholesterol ingredients.

 

Meanwhile, keep taking steps to reduce your chance of catching the virus, such as washing your hands, wearing a mask as necessary, and social distancing.

 

How to Manage Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic

 

There are many ways stress and anxiety can manifest during the pandemic, from lack of energy to loss of interest in your favourite activities, to feeling a general sense of hopelessness and lack of motivation to be active or eating a healthy diet.

 

That in itself can be a problem when stress and anxiety can impact your blood pressure levels, both short and long term. Without a healthy diet and workouts, you can lean closer to heart disease or further complications of already existing problems. You need to make your mental and physical health a priority by focusing on these:

 

  • Exercising for about 30 minutes, 5 times a week.
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol.
  • Connecting with friends and family over the phone or the internet.
  • Trying a meditation app to stay focused.
  • Sweating out the stress by keeping your home clean.
  • In extreme cases, talk to a mental health professional if you feel the stress getting to you.

 

Be Aware of Your Risk of Heart Disease

 

It may be easy to ignore health questions or worries during the pandemic, considering people are worrying about the global situation. If you have a history of heart issues in your family, then it’s important to keep an eye on that by getting checkups from your doctor just in case.

 

The most important thing is knowing what you need to do if your symptoms are worsening or if you are experiencing a life-threatening situation, such as a heart attack. Heart attacks and strokes keep happening even during the pandemic, of course, so don’t be afraid to look for help if the situation arises. Call emergency services as soon as you feel the telltale signs of an inbound heart attack, specifically:

 

  • A rise in your blood pressure - anything above 180/120 is a good sign that things are way above normal and you need immediate help.
  • Pain in your chest or back.
  • A general sense of weakness and numbness.
  • Blurry vision or loss thereof.
  • Difficulties in speaking or breathing.

 

Emergency medical technicians can take care of you and save your life, as well as get you to the nearest hospital for more treatment and testing. Best call ahead of time just in case, instead of waiting it out and experiencing the worst outcome.

 

©The Natural Doctor

 

Menopause and Work - Understanding the Nuances

 

 

Is there any connection at all between menopause and work? That is a question that many would not consider, and in most cases, they’d be right. Most of the time there isn’t anything that ties the two together. But that is not always the case. 

 

Women experience menopause differently. Some can breeze through it with grace, without experiencing overwhelming negative symptoms. However, other women have more trouble with menopause and don’t transition well. It is important for them to get the right support for it, to have an open discussion about it and help the issue to become less of a bother for them in the workplace. Nowadays, there are some consequences for women employees going through menopause and their employers. In this guide, we will talk about them all. 

 

What is the scale of the issue?

 

Nowadays, women going through menopause constitute one of the fastest-growing demographics of the workforce. On average, the age at which women experience menopause is 51, although in some cases it can start even earlier. 8 out of 10 women are working when they enter menopause. 3 out of 4 women experience various menopause symptoms, and 1 out of 1 experiences serious symptoms, which require medication or some other treatment, due to their severity. 

The reality is that there is an ageing demographic, with new entrants from education on the low side. As such, organisations need to adapt and cater to their older workers, in this case, women going through menopause, to ensure they retain their talent and use it for the business. As such, it is a good idea to think about it as a two-way street. Menopausal women often need the work for more than just a salary. It is a source of self-esteem, fulfilment and a certain identity for them, which serves to fulfil social needs too. On the other hand, if the working environment lacks temperature control, there are too many people cramped together and the nature of the work is too stressful, menopause symptoms in women can easily become worse. 

The impact of menopause on work

 

As it was already mentioned, women experience menopause differently. From physical symptoms like headaches, sleep issues, hot flushes and period irregularities, to psychological symptoms like low mood, anxiety and poor concentration, the plethora of symptoms is different for everyone. Half the women don’t even seek out medical advice and don’t even feel comfortable sharing menopause problems with their managers. This means there is a certain negative perception of menopause, making women feel embarrassed to talk about it. But for women who are well-aware of the symptoms, their quality of life and work can return to normal much more quickly. This is especially the case when there is also knowledge and active steps taken at the workplace to foster this process. 

What managers need to know

 

Line managers in general don’t feel confident enough to talk about menopause with women. They don’t fully understand menopause and don’t know how they can help. There is a certain need for training, for line managers to understand how they can help their women employees and what sort of support they can provide. Sometimes it is very steps, which are also cost-friendly – a desk fan, or some time off to visit their doctor, etc. 

More support is good for women employees and it is good for the business too

 

There are compelling reasons for managers and organisations to support menopausal women in the workplace. It not only creates a culture of inclusion but also sets the stage for establishing good colleague relationships. And when all of that is present, the company can develop as well. 

© The Natural Doctor

 

5 Lifestyle Changes for Improved Hair Health

 

 

Hair loss is not a condition you want to take lightly, especially if you know there are ways to help it. Normally, you will lose about 100 strands per day, which is just the regular cycle of your hair. However, any more than that will leave you worried. The condition is sometimes easy to address, and other times you may need to go out of your way to get more specialised treatment. And while male pattern baldness and other serious hair issues may dictate the need for a more serious approach, you should consider some lifestyle changes that are easy enough to improve overall hair health. Here are a few tips in that regard: 

  • Include more Zinc and Iron in your diet – these are two nutrients that are essential for good overall health and wellbeing, including having good hair. The minerals contribute to strong strands and follicles. Health researchers have linked several hair loss conditions to iron and Zinc deficiencies in people. That said, you can turn your attention to foods that are rich in iron and zinc if you don’t want to resort to supplements. Crabs, oysters, beans, cashews, chickpeas, pork chop and chicken breast meat are just a few of the examples that have a lot of zinc and iron to them. Eating more seafood, beans and leafy greens is all it takes to boost iron levels. 

  • Quit smoking – are you a smoker, or someone who often hangs around people who smoke? Then your hair might be in trouble. If your health is not an incentive enough to kick the habit, then you should consider the fact that smoking can also damage your hair. The smoke causes damage to DNA follicles. If you want to boost your health, start by quitting smoking and also be mindful of being around smokers.
     
  • Grab a hat when staying outside for extended periods – overexposure to the UV rays of the sun can have a damaging effect on your hair, so you better consider a hat. This is all the more valid if your hair already has a problem, or you have male pattern baldness. But it is not just when you have weak hair that you should consider such protection. UV radiation has a way of damaging hair, making it lose proteins and become weaker over time. Simply wearing a hat when staying outside on a hot sunny day is enough to keep your hair protected. 

  • Don’t use extensive styling – over-styling your hair can harm its health, especially when you are overdoing it. Any styling method, which relies on twisting and straightening hair strands can damage the follicles over time and make hair more likely to fall. Other than that, it is important to consider the products that you use, since many of them contain dangerous chemicals, which can further damage your hair. Brushing and heating hair can be detrimental to its health so you should practice caution when you are doing your hair. 

  • Use methods to de-stress – there is a big connection between stress and hair loss. When you are stressed out, your hair is more likely to fall out. Stress-related hair loss is a thing, and it is called telogen effluvium. You will do well to minimise stress any way that you can, be it by engaging in more physical activities or perhaps practising the hobbies and things that you like. 

Sometimes, all it takes are a few simple lifestyle changes, which can have a big impact on your overall health and the health of your hair. 

© The Natural Doctor

7 Breast Health Tips Every Woman Should Follow

 

 

All the women around the world know that doing regular screenings in the form of mammograms and thermograms contributes to breast health. But in reality, there is more to it than doing tests. Certain tweaks in diet, exercise and a few more proactive steps contribute to better breast health and better wellbeing overall. Here are a few more useful tips for women to follow when it comes to breast health: 

  • Working out smarter, not necessarily harder – there is no denying the fact that physical exercise is good for women. It not only contributes to good health and wellbeing but also wards off breast cancer. But just how much physical exercise is a good idea? Turns out the right amount revolves around the 150-minute mark for moderate-level aerobic exercise, or five sessions of 30 minutes per week. This proved enough to lead to a reduction in biomarkers in the body, which are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer – hormones like estrone, insulin and estradiol. Various exercises work well, including fast walking, swimming, cycling etc. 

  • Good support for breasts – women need to be pickier of the bras they wear if they don’t want to risk breast tissue stretching and descending. Bras that provide good support are essential. In reality, bra size is very important and it is something that fluctuates, primarily due to weight loss. Sports bras need to be doing their job, preventing breast tissue from stretching during movement. 

  • Weight management – being overweight is one of the primary risk factors for developing post-menopausal breast cancer. However, losing weight is also associated with reversed risk, meaning this should be a mission for every woman out there. The results of many surveys and research over the years show that for women who lose weight, the risk for breast cancer reduces in comparison to women, who remain the same weight. So implementing proper physical exercise routines, as well as a proper diet, is of utmost importance. 

  • Knowing one’s breasts – sometimes, doctors recommend the so-called self-breast exam. This is a process in which a woman does a self-exam of her breasts, but that is not always effective. It can lead to anxiety and a lot of false alarms. It is much better to consider breast self-awareness. Simply knowing one’s breasts allows for an easier process of picking up changes. 

  • Giving breast skin some love – women sometimes worry too much for the inside, completely ignoring the outside of breasts. The skin there can get very itchy, dry and sensitive. Because it is more delicate than other areas of the body, it needs some attention. Moisturising the area is essential, as is keeping the skin safe from extensive sun rays. This will prevent collagen breakdown and retain the elastin within the skin. 

  • Reduce alcohol – another well-known risk factor for breast cancer is alcohol consumption. For women who regularly have two drinks of alcohol per day, the risk of breast cancer is higher. That is because alcohol increases oestrogen in the body, which then contributes to hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.

  • Understanding family history – any breast cancer history on either side of the family can increase the risk of developing breast cancer in women. And for those who have a very strong family history with breast cancer, i.e. they have a mother, sister or child with breast cancer, it is worth doing a genetic test for the BRCA gene mutation. 

Obviously, there is a lot that women can do to reduce the risks of breast cancer and improve their health. 

© The Natural Doctor

Thermography Benefits Every Woman Should know About

 

 

Breast cancer is among the most dangerous diseases that affect women all over the world. To this day, the best thing every woman can do is make regular screenings, to detect the disease at its early stage. This greatly boosts the chances of successfully managing the condition. 

Among other breast screening methods, thermography has become a go-to solution for many women out there. In essence, a thermographic scan involves an infra-red camera, which takes the temperature of the upper side of the body. It highlights any areas of increased activity. Cancer tumours usually have a blood supply of their own. This shows an infra-red scan as an area with increased activity and alerts doctors that something is going on. The benefits of this sort of scanning are many: 

  • The method is non-invasive – thermography is a non-invasive screening method. This means there is no poking and prodding involved whatsoever with it. This is the first difference between it and mammography. The latter is a method that applies a certain amount of pressure to the breast, to produce an image. That is not the case with thermography. All that a woman needs to do is standstill, with no clothes on the upper side of the body. The camera takes the image and that is all. There is no level of discomfort such as in mammography, which can be problematic for women with tender and larger breasts. 

  • The method is safe – mammography remains the golden standard for breast screening methods, but there is a major risk associated with it. After all, it exposes the tissue to a certain amount of radiation, to get a picture. Then there is thermography, which involves no radiation whatsoever. With the different kinds of technology that it uses, it takes an image of the breasts without any risk for the person. This is no small advantage. 

  • It works not just for breast cancer screening – another point in favour of thermography lies with the fact that it can provide useful information for the treatment of other conditions. For example, sometimes doctors check for inflammation, digestion function, lung/heart health and diabetes with thermographic scans. It makes for a versatile approach to helping pinpoint the problem and aid not just women, but also men. 

  • It is a nice supplemental test – thermography works well in conjunction with many other tests, namely mammography. That is why doctors usually recommend doing both screening methods. If one fails to provide a definitive picture of the condition, the other can compensate. It never hurts to have more data. 

  • The screening is very easy to accomplish – another thing about thermography is just how easy it is to do the test. Unlike mammography, which requires applying pressure to the breasts, thermography is much easier to execute. The way it works is just by having the woman remove the upper part of their clothing, and standing still while the infra-red camera takes its readings. It is usually the case that women need to remain in the same room to acclimate to the same temperature. There is nothing about the procedure that is uncomfortable. It is a zero-contact one, it doesn’t call for applying pressure to breasts and there is no pain whatsoever. This makes it rather easy to execute and a much more preferable option in that regard, compared to mammography. 

The thermography screening method has made its way into present-day breast prevention guidelines in a fascinating way. It is good that women all over the world can now rely on another tool in the battle against breast cancer. 

© The Natural Doctor

The Importance of Thermograms and Good Breast Health


 

 

Without a doubt, cancer is the single worst disease that a person can get. It affects numerous people in various forms. Sometimes, it is not only adults who suffer, but people of all ages, who can be affected. There needs to be greater awareness of issues like breast cancer because women have a way to reduce the risk. Early checks can be crucial for catching the disease early and improving all chances against it. 

 

The good news is that with the advancement of screening methods, women all over the world can rely on a variety of tools against breast cancer. There is no denying the fact that mammograms remain the gold standard in screenings, even though this method holds certain negatives. Sometimes, mammograms are deceptively positive, creating a situation where women need to follow up with surgery, to rule out all possibility of breast cancer. 

 

Enter breast thermography

Nowadays, breast thermography is becoming more and more popular, and for a good reason. This alternative to mammogram is a safe method for screening, which relies on getting an infra-red picture of the body. This allows experts to see what sort of changes the breast area experiences, so that they can catch any cancerous activity long before it becomes an issue. 

 

Now, it is important to point out that diagnosing breast cancer is not possible through thermograms. The test only showcases areas of increased inflammation, which doesn’t mean there is cancer. It only means that there is inflammation that the person needs to address, to prevent any chances of breast cancer. 

 

Breast thermography holds many benefits. For starters, it is not painful, unlike mammograms. As a non-invasive method, it is quick and usually takes no more than 30 minutes. There is zero contact with the body and can be done on women of all ages. Perhaps the most important thing is that there is no radiation involved in the method. 

 

A few important tips for enhancing breast health 

  • Enhancing the oestrogen metabolism – the higher the concentration of oestrogen circulating in a woman’s body, the higher the chance of breast cancer, especially after menopause. Oestrogenic metabolism means effectively transforming the naturally occurring oestrogens and xenoestrogens, as well as addressing the oestrogen-like compounds found in food. The risk of breast cancer goes up with more exposure to xenoestrogens, found in plastic bottles, beauty products, fabric softeners and meat and poultry that is hormone-laden. Women should strive to reduce their exposure to chemicals and plastics. Things like drinking from a glass bottle, and microwaving meals outside of plastic containers can seem minor, but they are a good way to reduce the harmful oestrogens entering their bodies. 

  • Eating more cruciferous vegetables – eating cruciferous vegetables 4-5 times each week is important. They contain antioxidants, which can bring about hormonal balance in the body. If these vegetables are a no-go, doctors might recommend supplements, which provide the necessary nutrients to the body. This will create a better balance in the gut, liver, as well as the lymphatic system of the breast. 

  • Sufficient Vitamin D3 is important for breast cancer prevention – according to various experts and researchers, higher Vitamin D levels are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in women. Your doctor should be able to recommend a good supplement, in case your vitamin D levels are insufficient. 


Brest thermography presents many opportunities for addressing the issue of breast cancer. There is zero doubt that this screening method can be highly beneficial to women of all ages, especially those with a higher risk of getting breast cancer. 


© The Natural Doctor

7 Tips for Women on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

 

 

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is one of the ways for women to cope with menopause symptoms. A lot of doctors consider this the best course of action for their patients, especially if they have had little to no success with other forms of treatment. 

 

If you are in a situation where you are considering BHRT and you need some tips, make sure to read the following guide: 

 

  • Always use a clinical assessment to inform the diagnosis – it is a known fact that women usually experience menopause between the age of 45 and 55 years. However, there are also some cases of women around age 40 showing up with symptoms of menopause. Early diagnosis of menopause is essential since it reduces comorbidities like cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Clinical assessment is needed to diagnose menopause, as well as a check on follicle-stimulating hormone levels when any doubt exists. 

 

  • Share your concerns – BHRT is best started around the transition of menopause, which is around 51 years of age. At this stage, women are usually at their fittest and do not have significant cardiovascular disease risk. During this time, BHRT can promote cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of bowel cancer and osteoporosis. However, it is important to make all of the necessary appointments with your doctor, to receive the needed information on the treatment. 

 

  • Keep risks in perspective – BHRT often falls victim to beliefs that it is some sort of panacea boosting the quality of life at the cost of life expectancy. However, this is nothing but a myth, as women on BHRT are usually found to live longer and healthier lives. It is important not to sidestep obesity, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle and a whole host of other factors that directly impact the lives of women after menopause. These are factors you can modify, after all. 

 

  • Don’t trust Dr Google – a lot of women first resort to Dr Google and the promises for a free BHRT they find there. The truth is that only your doctor should be the one advising you on what sort of therapy to do and what specialist to see. They will be the one to assess your condition and tell you what to do with this kind of treatment. 

 

  • What are the different ways of administration – every hormone replacement therapy features different ways of administration. Most common are oral drugs, although they aren’t the only solution. You can consult with your doctor on using transdermal oestrogen, which is, according to many, a safer method of delivery, which reduces many risks. Another solution is oral micronized natural progesterone, which doesn’t show much risk for breast cancer. 

 

  • Tailoring your dose – some believe that the best way to do BHRT is to always go with the lowest possible dose. However, the goal of such therapy should always be to establish a dose that effectively treats the symptoms of menopause, all the while providing some bone protection. Women under 40 sometimes require a higher dose, whereas women over 60 may get away with suboptimal doses, and only increase it later in the therapy. 
  • Getting the first prescription right – with all of the choices, your doctor may find it difficult to optimise your first prescription. However, you should work through the risks and benefits and share your complaints, to help them navigate this. It is a good idea to go with the treatment that has the lowest risk. 

 

Always bear these tips about BHRT in mind and you will have great success with such treatment. 

 

© The Natural Doctor

 

The Most Common Menopause Symptoms and How to Deal with Them

 

 

Nobody would call menopause a disease, so calling the negative side effects of it ‘symptoms’ is not technically correct. However, this period of a woman’s life comes with certain side effects that often feel overwhelming. 

 

It doesn’t help the fact that many of the symptoms overlap, causing a cascading effect of introducing more problems. However, one thing is for certain – there is a way to keep things under control. Whether it be a specialised bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or some other treatment, women can regain back their health and wellbeing. In the following guide, we take a look at several of the symptoms that are most commonly associated with menopause, as well as how they can be treated: 

 

  • Hot flashes – perhaps the most common symptom of menopause is hot flashes. Also referred to as vasomotor symptoms, these begin as early as perimenopause. They last a long time. It is believed they are set off by an area in the hypothalamus and emerge as a way for the body to cool itself. There are a few things that can help with hot flashes. For starters, reducing hot beverages, caffeine, alcohol and smoking can minimise the occurrence of this symptom. Dressing in layers and wearing light clothes also helps the situation. Drinking plenty of water, especially in the warmer months of the year, is an absolute necessity for every woman out there. 

 

  • Vaginal changes – the decreasing levels of oestrogen thin the vaginal lining and diminish the vaginal secretions. This results in dryness and irritation, as well as reduced sex drive. In some women there is also the condition of atrophic vaginitis that develops, which requires immediate treatment, or else it leads to more ulceration and vaginal thinning. The best way to address this kind of symptom is to consider a vaginal lubricant or moisturiser. Any kind of treatment applied in the form of tablets, creams and rings can be helpful.

 

  • Weight gain – there are a lot of viable strategies when it comes to combating weight gain in women of this age group. Doing light exercise remains the best possible strategy for minimising this issue. A balanced diet will also assist in keeping a healthy weight.

 

  • Insomnia – during menopause, many women complain about insomnia. The problem is usually caused by hot flashes during the night. Implementing a strict bedtime routine can help with the problem. Limiting screen time before going to sleep and always going to sleep at about the same time each night is a fine way to counter insomnia symptoms.

 

  • Dry skin/hair – with age, the skin becomes less capable of retaining moisture and it is the declining levels of oestrogen that have a lot to do with it. One way to remedy the situation is to stop smoking because it has a notable effect on the skin. Another thing is to be more protective of the skin when it comes to sun exposure.

 

  • Concentration and memory problems – the most likely factor that creates these symptoms is stress during menopause. One of the best ways to maintain good brain health is to stay physically active. Aiming for at least 150 minutes of physical exercise per week is a good goal. Also, women who strive to use their mind in different ways also experience less concentration and memory problems. Solving puzzles, playing board games or just learning a new skill are all proven ways to accomplish this task.

 

All of these symptoms are common enough during menopause. Knowing the right ways to address them really can contribute to better wellbeing during that period of life.

 

© The Natural Doctor

 

What are the Biggest Risk Factors for Heart Disease and How to Minimize Them?

 

Coronary artery disease (heart disease) contributes to a very large number of heart attacks and kills a lot of people. Millions of people have suffered heart attacks, and it takes special knowledge on the matter to understand it and minimize the issue. The major thing about it lies with the fact that heart disease is silent until it strikes. 

It is very important to recognize all of the risk factors, such as the most common uncontrollable ones: 

  • Old age 
  • The fact that it affects mostly males 
  • People in the family with a history of heart disease 
  • Race – to elaborate, Mexican Americans, American Indians and African-Americans are more likely to suffer from heart diseases, according to studies 

 

As for the controllable risk department, there are quite a lot more: 

  • High levels of bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol 
  • Excessive smoking/drinking 
  • Obesity
  • Uncontrolled depression/anger/stress 
  • Being physically inactive 
  • High levels of C-reactive protein
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor diet 

 

It is important to keep an eye on all of the risk factors and make the appropriate lifestyle changes, to reduce the risks of developing heart disease. Now, it is true that a heart-healthy lifestyle doesn’t give 100% protection, some simple changes in one area can benefit others. Heart disease is preventable, and it is lifestyle changes that work best in that direction. Let’s see some of the most effective steps one can take to achieve that: 

 

  • Quit smoking – smokers are at a very high risk of developing heart disease, in comparison to non-smokers. Not only that, but they are at a higher risk of dying in the case of a heart attack. Smoking is among the most preventable factors. If one is a smoker, one must quit. Better yet – people should not start smoking in the first place. 

 

  • Control blood pressure – hypertension (high blood pressure) is perhaps the most common heart disease risk factor. The definition of it is having systolic blood pressure over 130 and diastolic blood pressure over 80. It is highly individual, so every single person needs to consider this factor. It is possible to control it with the aid of diet, exercise, weight management and in some cases – medications. 

 

  • Cholesterol levels – with the increase of total levels of cholesterol, the risk of heart diseases increases. The total goal should be no higher than 200mg/dl. People with diabetes should aim to keep their LDL (bad cholesterol) lower than 100mg/dl. Once again, the interpretation of the values is highly individual and depends on all of the risk factors. In any case, it is a good idea to employ a diet that is low on trans fats and rich in complex carbohydrates. Regular exercise raises good cholesterol and reduces the levels of bad cholesterol. 

 

  • Applying the right diet – a heart-healthy diet is one that is low in trans fats, refined sugar, cholesterol, and saturated fats. Paying more attention to vitamin-rich foods and antioxidants is a worthy goal. Such are vegetables and fruits, whole grains and nuts. 

 

  • Manage stress – stress and anger can lead to heart attacks. Anger and stress management techniques are very important in that sense, as they lower the risk significantly. Learning how to manage one’s time, to practice relaxation techniques and trying out things like yoga, meditation and others is a fine way to achieve better stress and anger management.

Knowing more about heart diseases and the risk factors associated with them is important, to minimize the danger this condition presents. 

 

© The Natural Doctor

 

Here is What you Should Know about Thermography

 

Thermography has been around for some time now, and it has already made quite an impact on the medical world. In essence, this is a test, which utilises an infrared camera that detects blood flow and heat patterns in the body. 

 

The type of thermography that doctors use for breast screening is called digital infrared thermal imaging. It shows the temperature differences on the surface of the breasts and can be an invaluable tool in the diagnosing process of breast cancer. The idea behind the technology is that it showcases potential signs of trouble without introducing X-rays. To understand the technology better, we have compiled a few important points. 

 

Is thermography a good alternative to a mammography?

Thermography made its grand entrance in the 1950s. That is when doctors realised its potential as a medical tool. Sometime later studies revealed that it could hardly substitute mammography as the main screening tool for breast cancer. The main problem comes from the false positive rate that it often produces. This means it indicates ‘finds’, which are often not cancer. Causes of increased heat are many. Because of this, doing thermography and seeing abnormal results means that more testing is required to rule out potential problems. And even though mammography can also produce false-positive results, it remains the gold standard for breast cancer screening. 

 

Who is thermography best used for?

Obviously, any woman can do a thermography screening as a way to detect potential problems. However, there are two groups the test is particularly useful for. One is for women under the age of 50, and the other is women with dense breasts. However, because of the problems mentioned in the previous point, thermography is hardly a tool to use on its own. In most cases, it is an add-on therapy for making a diagnosis. 

 

What can you expect during the procedure?

The procedure itself is fairly simple. First, you will undress from the waist up. The purpose of this is so that your body can get acclimated to room temperature. After the acclimation process, you will stand in front of an imaging system. A technician will take several images, including side and front views. A doctor will then analyse those images and provide a result within a few days. 

 

Are there risks and side effects?

Because the test itself features only thermal images with an infrared camera, there is no radiation. Additionally, there is no compression involved, like in mammography. This, there is no real risk associated with the test. As for side effects, there are none as well, which ranks thermography as a safe breast screening test. 

 

Speak to your doctor about thermography

You should always talk about breast cancer risk and screening methods with your doctor. They should be able to provide you with some useful guidelines on the screening methods and the recommended frequency for these tests. If the risk of breast cancer is high, your doctor will not just recommend you get both a mammography and thermography test, but also add in another test, like ultrasound or MRI. 

 

In conclusion

Thermography is a great new way of doing breast cancer screenings, which presents another tool in the fight against this disease. The test itself is safe, as it involves no X-ray imaging or compression. There are no side effects associated with it. Using it as a basis for diagnosis is difficult, however, so always consider it a supplemental screening. To gather more info, visit this link - https://thenaturaldoctor.org/services/women/breast-thermography/

 

© The Natural Doctor