Review Category : Health

What You Need to Know About Frostbite and Hypothermia

ron hilton/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A winter chill has descended upon much of the U.S., freezing enough of the country to cause widespread school closings and generally induce misery for many.

With freezing temperatures can come a variety of health problems, most notably frostbite and hypothermia. To help you stay warm and healthy, we’ve put together a few things you need to know about surviving the cold with your fingers and toes intact.

-1,301 Deaths Every year an average of 1,301 deaths are associated with exposure to excessive natural cold, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-32 Degrees Frostbite and hypothermia start to become a factor once the temperature reaches freezing. At that point the body is unable to replace the heat lost through exposure, according to Dr. Roy Buchinsky, director of wellness at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. “Your hypothalamus [in your brain] starts to do things to produce heat,” said Buchinsky, who noted that shivering and chattering are both signs of lowered body heat.

-95 Degrees While a person’s normal body temperature hovers around 98.6 degrees, Buchinsky said anyone whose core temperature starts dropping to about 95 degrees is in immediate danger. At such low temperatures, a person can become disoriented and the heart rate may be lowered.

-15 Minutes When skin is exposed to temperatures below freezing, you can start to develop frostbite in just 15 minutes, according to Buchinsky. Signs of frostbite can include the telltale blue lips or numb fingers, but also a range of other symptoms, including red cheeks or blistered skin. If the skin becomes so cold that the blood stops flowing, Buchinsky said there can even be a risk of amputation.

-200 Million Temperatures were so cold across much of the U.S. Thursday that approximately 200 million Americans faced freezing or even sub-zero temperatures.

-Under 18 and Over 65 Those at the opposite ends of the age spectrum need to be extra careful, said Buchinsky, because they lose body heat more easily. If kids want to play outdoors, parents should make sure they come back inside periodically so they warm up and don’t get any dangerous cases of frostbite, he said.

Buchinsky has straightforward advice for anyone heading out into freezing weather. He advises people to keep skin covered and be aware of any warning signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

Buchinsky also warns people against warming up with a stiff drink because alcohol opens up blood vessels on the skin, leading people to lose body heat even faster.

“Stay away from the alcohol,” he said. “That’s a key piece.”

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Conn. Supreme Court Rules Teen Cancer Patient Must Have Chemo

Kuzma/iStock/Thinkstock(HARTFORD, Conn.) — The top court in Connecticut ruled Thursday that a 17-year-old girl can be forced to undergo chemotherapy after she refused treatment for her cancer.

The case went to the Connecticut Supreme court to determine whether the teen, identified in court papers as Cassandra, has “the fundamental right to have a say about what goes on with your [her] body,” attorney Michael Taylor, who represents the teen’s mother, told ABC News earlier this week. Taylor was appointed by the public defender’s office, and Cassandra has her own court-appointed lawyer, but they’ve filed joint appeals.

Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September, but decided she didn’t want to complete the prescribed treatment, according to a court summary. Her mother supported this decision, but the Department of Children and Families stepped in and ordered her mother to comply with the doctor’s treatment recommendation.

“It’s really for all the reasons you might imagine,” said Taylor, adding that he couldn’t go into more detail.

Although chemotherapy is a drug that destroys cancer cells, its side effects include hair loss, nausea, pain and fertility changes, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Cassandra underwent two chemotherapy treatments in November and then ran away from home and refused to continue treatments, according to the court summary.

A court hearing ensued in which Cassandra’s doctors testified, and she was removed from her mother’s home and placed in state custody so that the state could make medical decisions for her.

She has been living at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and forced to undergo chemotherapy for about three weeks.

The Hartford Courant reported that Cassandra has an 80 to 85 percent chance of surviving her cancer if she continues with her chemotherapy.

The state Department of Children and Families issued the following statement:

“When experts — such as the several physicians involved in this case — tell us with certainty that a child will die as a result of leaving a decision up to a parent, then the Department has a responsibility to take action. Even if the decision might result in criticism, we have an obligation to protect the life of the child when there is consensus among the medical experts that action is required. Much of the improvements in Connecticut’s child welfare system have come from working with families voluntarily to realize solutions to family challenges. Unfortunately that can’t happen in every situation, especially when the life of a child is at stake.”

“No one is disputing that it’s very serious,” Taylor said. He said there’s “a good chance” Cassandra could survive her cancer with treatment, and “there’s a good chance she could die if she doesn’t. None of us disagree about that.”

Taylor said they’re trying to argue that because Cassandra is competent, she should be allowed to make this decision for herself through something called the “mature minor doctrine,” which has been adopted in Illinois and a few other states but rejected in Texas. The doctrine holds that some children are mature enough to make key life decisions for themselves.

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It May Actually Be Healthy to Dwell on a Broken Relationship

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Getting over the heartache of a failed relationship is easier said than done but as Northwestern University researchers point out, it’s actually easier to emerge from the ashes of busted romance by really dwelling on it.

While others might tell you to try to forget all about the slings and arrows of a now-ruined affair, study co-author Grace Larson says that serious reflection about what went wrong is a healthier alternative.

Larson and her colleagues conducted a study of 210 people who experienced break-ups within the past six months, having one group fill out two surveys about their relationship while the other groups did the surveys in addition to activities that included interviews, stream-of-consciousness exercises and other methods of understanding their emotional state.

The bottom line was that the people in the talky groups came out of the nine-week sessions feeling less lonely and more emotionally stable than the people who only did the surveys.

What Larson and others noticed too was that by meeting the beast head-on, the participants used fewer words like “we” and focused more on “I,” meaning they started to think like individuals again instead of as part of a couple.

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Last Year’s Top Dog Names Revealed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you’re planning on a new arrival to your household this year, and we’re talking about the four-legged kind that barks, no doubt you’re probably fishing around for a name.

Naturally, people sometimes like to go with an original moniker but more times than not, they’ll stick to tried-and-true names such as Max and Bella, which happened to be the number one names last year for boy and girl dogs, according to vetstreet.com.

So therefore, you can either use these two lists to decide which name best suits your fancy, or else, use them to make sure you pick out something totally original.

Top 10 Names for Boy Dogs in 2014:

  1. Max
  2. Charlie
  3. Rocky
  4. Buddy
  5. Cooper
  6. Duke
  7. Bear
  8. Zeus
  9. Bentley
  10. Toby

Top 10 Names for Girl Dogs in 2014:

  1. Bella
  2. Daisy
  3. Lucy
  4. Sadie
  5. Molly
  6. Lola
  7. Sophie
  8. Zoey
  9. Luna
  10. Chloe

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Men Should Be Careful About Posting Too Many Selfies

iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Guys who start thinking that there might be something wrong with them because they post a lot of selfies may be on to something.

A study out of Ohio State University appears to be the first to measure anti-social traits in men who post photos of themselves on social networking sites.

Lead author Jesse Fox surveyed 800 men ages 18 to 40 about their selfie-posting habits and arrived at the conclusion that many of these men demonstrate narcissistic and psychopathic qualities.

While Fox maintains that men who enjoy posting photos of themselves aren’t necessarily anti-social, many of those who do rate higher on the scale of being narcissistic or psychopathic.

To be clear, narcissists are into self-objectification, meaning they value their looks above all else. This quality, which can also involve feeling superior to others, is particularly acute among those who edit their photos to make themselves look even better.

It can all turn into a vicious circle, that is, when a narcissist gets positive feedback about his appearance, he steps up the number of selfies he posts.

Meanwhile, psychopathy refers to one’s lack of empathy for others and a tendency toward impulsive behavior.

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Many Sexual Fantasies Shared in Study

iStock/Thinkstock(QUEBEC CITY, Quebec) — You may not be ready to share your sexual fantasies with the world but more than 1,500 men and women did with University of Quebec researchers.

Christian C. Joyal, Amélie Cossette and Vanessa Lapierre asked the participants to rate their interests in 55 fantasies provided for them as well share some of their own daydreams about sex.

In the realm of having sex with a total stranger, just under half of women said they imagined what that would be like while over seven in 10 men admitted they did as well.

More women than men had fantasies about being dominated, 65 percent to 53 percent respectively.

However, men were far bolder about thinking about swinging with another couple than women, 42 percent to 18 percent.

Men more than women were also into fantasizing about watching someone undressing without their knowledge by about a ratio of two-to-one.

Of course, these sexual fantasies probably seem pretty tame compared to the real deviant stuff, which isn’t listed here, and as the researchers point out, the study was meant to focus “on the effect of the fantasy rather than its content.”

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Jennifer Lopez’s New Fitness Mission to Help Make Women ‘Look Good’

Image Group LA/ABC(LOS ANGELES) — Jennifer Lopez is a superstar actress, singer, dancer and an entrepreneur who has a new venture that’s also her mission: to help women get fit and healthy.

Lopez is a partner in BodyLab, a new nutrition and fitness program for women that features a line of supplements and protein shakes, a fitness app and other components to help women maximize their workouts and boost their metabolism and energy.

Before BodyLab, supplements were made for men by men, Lopez says in a promotional video for the program.

“The way we burn fat, our different stressors, different things about our metabolism that is totally different than men,” Lopez said in an interview with Cameron Mathison of ABC News’ Good Morning America.

“We just want to look good. We want to feel healthy. We want to be hot,” Lopez added.

At 45, Lopez has an enviable figure that’s helped keep her in the spotlight as a sex symbol.

The mother of two says she starts every morning with a protein shake made with her new supplement powder.

“It gives me great energy…,” she said.

Doctors and scientists are involved in the formulation of BodyLab’s products. Amy Heaton, director of scientific affairs for BodyLab, explained the importance of protein.

“We need to have sustained protein throughout the day otherwise we can actually lose muscle mass,” she said. “It’s not just about the gym, so that’s why the proteins are really important.”

Lopez says she works out every day, and builds that exercise around her work and children.

“One thing I did do right as a mommy is I tell the kids, my twins, to eat vegetables and greens from a young age,” she said. “And they would love that it has some cheese on it.”

BodyLab’s products are available on the program’s website and in certain pharmacies and other stores.

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Study: Doctors Mishandle Headache Patients

shironosov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say doctors are mishandling many patients every year who approach them with headaches.

According to the study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, more than 12 million Americans approach health care professionals each year with headaches, resulting in $30 billion in health care costs. Researchers say that many of those patients receive little to no relief.

Researchers from Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center looked at data on over 9,000 headache patients between 1999 and 2010. They found that physicians commonly ignore practice guidelines, including increased use of CT scans and MRI scans. Between 1999 and 2010, use of those scans — which are widely discouraged — nearly doubled.

Researchers say referrals for headaches have also increased, meaning more costs for patients and insurers.

Fortunately, the study found that there was not a significant increase in use of highly addictive medications, including opioid painkillers and barbituates for headache management.

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Weight Loss Surgery Linked to Lower Mortality Rates Later On

Jochen Sands/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say that weight loss surgery may add years to the lives of morbidly obese patients.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, bariatric surgery could add years to the lives of obese individuals. Researchers in Seattle studied 2,500 obese veterans who underwent bariatric surgery and compared the data derived from those patients to that of 7,500 similarly obese patients who did not have the surgery.

While the subjects who underwent surgery had a slightly higher mortality rate in the first year after surgery, that changed drastically after 10 years. Ten years after the surgery, 14 percent of patients who had had the surgery were dead, compared to 24 percent of those who had not undergone the surgery.

Patients who did have the surgery likely had increased short-term mortality rates due to the risks inherent with any surgery.

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Why Women Shaving Their Faces Is Now a Thing

dmitroza/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you’re desperate to ward off wrinkles, tell your man to move over and make room at the bathroom sink.

Turns out shaving your face could help skin stay youthful, according to some beauty experts.

Sometimes called “dermaplaning,” the process of shaving a woman’s face can take place in a professional dermatologist’s office or can be a DIY job.

“It’s definitely a thing,” said Alexis Wolfer, editor of The Beauty Bean. “One reason men are thought to get fewer wrinkles is that they’re constantly exfoliating their faces every time they shave, literally shaving away the outermost layers of skin and encouraging your skin to create new layers.”

Television stars shave their faces. Caroline Manzo of Manzo’d With Children (formerly of The Real Housewives of New Jersey) was seen doing it in an episode last season.

“Let me make something clear and hopefully answer your questions once and for all: I shave my face as a method of exfoliating my skin,” Manzo told Reality Tea. “I don’t shave because I have a hairy face! I’ve been practicing this for over 10 years, and I haven’t grown any facial hair because of it, and I have beautiful skin with minimal wrinkles. I think this should clarify any questions.”

There are many questions. What happens to the hair on your face? Does it grow back thicker?

“The consequences are small if you don’t have facial hair,” said Wolfer. “But for women with facial hair, it can make any hair look much darker and thicker when it grows back in with a blunt edge.”

Beauty company Shiseido sells a facial razor for women. A three-pack sells for about $6 on Amazon.

Wolfer said women shaving their faces is “definitely getting more mainstream,” but it’s not yet what she would call common.

She said there are far better ways to exfoliate and recommends mixing a tablespoon of full-fat Greek yogurt (it has lactic acid to break down dead skin cells) and a teaspoon of raw honey to moisturize and kill bacteria. Apply a thick layer to clean skin for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take one to two tablespoons of white sugar and gently scrub the mask off for 30 seconds. Rinse with warm water and follow with moisturizer.

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