iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Menopause is bittersweet, but it can sometimes seem like a little bit of a rite of passage — just not when it comes too soon.

If you’ve noticed common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, irregular periods and dryness, and you’re under or around age 40, talk to your doctor about possible treatments. There are both hormonal and non-hormonal options.

And if you were hoping to be a mom, talk with your physician or a fertility specialist about alternative methods, such as egg donation or adoption.

Don’t let menopause stop you in your tracks, even if you didn’t expect it. With the right steps, you can still be in control.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHAMPAIGN, Ill.) — We’ve all probably heard it before — the oldest child is bossy, the middle child has issues, and the youngest child in the family is spoiled, right? But if you really think you and your siblings are the way you are because of your birth order, you’re probably wrong.

A new study on the correlation between sibling birth order, personality and intelligence shows while differences may occur among siblings, the actual real-world impact may be insignificant.

This study, conducted by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and said to be the largest one of its kind to date, challenges common notions that the firstborn is the most intelligent and responsible, the middle child is the peacekeeper, and the youngest is the most rebellious. While researchers did find differences in siblings that followed the typical trend, such as the firstborn having a higher IQ and distinct personality traits, those differences were very minor.

“This is a very small difference that would not be visible in any way with the ‘naked eye,’ and it’s unlikely to be meaningful for any real-world outcomes,” wrote Dr. Rodica Damian, a co-author of the study and psychology professor at the University of Houston, in an email to The Huffington Post.

Researchers believe this particular study produced such different results from conventional wisdom because the sample was much larger and didn’t rely on often biased parental testimonies. The differences parents see in their kids are believed to come more from how the parents raise each child — and the way they raise each kid is usually in keeping with how mom and dad feel their kids will behave due to their birth order. In other words, the kids behave that way because mom and dad raise their kids to be that way because they believe the kids are that way. Got it?

Also, says Damian, “Personality changes over time, especially with age, so parents should be mindful of their kids’ life stages and realize that whatever differences they see are likely due to age.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHAMPAIGN, Ill.) — We’ve all probably heard it before — the oldest child is bossy, the middle child has issues, and the youngest child in the family is spoiled, right? But if you really think you and your siblings are the way you are because of your birth order, you’re probably wrong.

A new study on the correlation between sibling birth order, personality and intelligence shows while differences may occur among siblings, the actual real-world impact may be insignificant.

This study, conducted by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and said to be the largest one of its kind to date, challenges common notions that the firstborn is the most intelligent and responsible, the middle child is the peacekeeper, and the youngest is the most rebellious. While researchers did find differences in siblings that followed the typical trend, such as the firstborn having a higher IQ and distinct personality traits, those differences were very minor.

“This is a very small difference that would not be visible in any way with the ‘naked eye,’ and it’s unlikely to be meaningful for any real-world outcomes,” wrote Dr. Rodica Damian, a co-author of the study and psychology professor at the University of Houston, in an email to The Huffington Post.

Researchers believe this particular study produced such different results from conventional wisdom because the sample was much larger and didn’t rely on often biased parental testimonies. The differences parents see in their kids are believed to come more from how the parents raise each child — and the way they raise each kid is usually in keeping with how mom and dad feel their kids will behave due to their birth order. In other words, the kids behave that way because mom and dad raise their kids to be that way because they believe the kids are that way. Got it?

Also, says Damian, “Personality changes over time, especially with age, so parents should be mindful of their kids’ life stages and realize that whatever differences they see are likely due to age.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Wish you could get drunk without filling up on booze? Now you can — in the U.K., at least.

U.K.-based food art collective Bompas & Parr is set to open a store called Alcoholic Architecture, where you can actually inhale alcohol, reports The Daily Meal. The store will provide a “fully immersive alcohol environment” by allowing guests to walk through a cloud of misty cocktails.

The site will open near one of the U.K.’s oldest gothic cathedrals, so all mists will be made using spirits and beers originally created by monks. Like alcohol, the breathable buzz enters the body through the bloodstream, only via the lungs, so the company warns people to “breathe responsibly.” However, it’s unlikely you could inhale enough to get seriously buzzed, especially given tour sessions are limited to one hour.

Alcoholic Architecture will be open from July 31 until early 2016, and, of course, only permits those of legal drinking age to participate — that’s 18 years old in the U.K.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Wish you could get drunk without filling up on booze? Now you can — in the U.K., at least.

U.K.-based food art collective Bompas & Parr is set to open a store called Alcoholic Architecture, where you can actually inhale alcohol, reports The Daily Meal. The store will provide a “fully immersive alcohol environment” by allowing guests to walk through a cloud of misty cocktails.

The site will open near one of the U.K.’s oldest gothic cathedrals, so all mists will be made using spirits and beers originally created by monks. Like alcohol, the breathable buzz enters the body through the bloodstream, only via the lungs, so the company warns people to “breathe responsibly.” However, it’s unlikely you could inhale enough to get seriously buzzed, especially given tour sessions are limited to one hour.

Alcoholic Architecture will be open from July 31 until early 2016, and, of course, only permits those of legal drinking age to participate — that’s 18 years old in the U.K.

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(MANCHESTER, U.K.) — After nearly a decade of being partially blind, Ray Flynn is now getting some of his central sight back thanks to a new “bionic eye.”

Flynn is taking part in a study that helps people with dry macular degeneration regain partial sight. The chronic disease causes vision loss at the center of the eye as a part of the retina called the macula becomes damaged with age and there is no treatment for “dry” version of the disease. (There is a treatment available for the “wet” version of the disease.) Advanced macular degeneration patients often rely purely on peripheral vision as the center of their sight is basically completely blurred.

At the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital doctors are using a new “bionic eye” implant in an attempt to give Flynn and other macular degeneration patients some of their center vision again.

“I can’t use the cash machine, I’d like to be able to go shopping,” Flynn told the BBC News shortly before his surgery.

Called the Argus II “bionic eye,” the implant was created by Second Sight Medical Products and relies on an implant behind the retina to wirelessly communicate with a camera worn by the patient.

After the small chip is implanted behind the eye, the patient can wear special glasses outfitted with a camera. The glasses wirelessly transmit data to the chip which stimulates retina cells and triggers the brain.

“What we’re doing with Ray is try to elicit [visual] function within the area of macular degeneration,” explained Dr. Paulo Stanga, an ophthalmologist at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and professor of Ophthalmology and Retinal Regeneration. “When Ray looks at a person in front of him, there is a blurred patch above the shoulders.”

Stanga explained they were hoping Flynn could integrate both the digital data from the glasses with his peripheral sight so that when looking at a person he could see “a silhouette of a face” and not just the shoulders.

Flynn underwent the 4-hour surgery last month and became the first person to receive the bionic implant to cope with his macular degeneration. Stanga is currently running a medical trial to see if the implant is effective and hopes to get another four people enrolled in the study.

Two weeks after his surgery Flynn was first able to test the implant. Stanga had Flynn close his eyes so he would only receive data from the camera.

As he “looked” at a computer screen, Flynn clear made out different shapes in front of him. Stanga said Flynn’s eyesight is expected to keep improving as his brain learns to interpret the data more clearly.

“It was wonderful with my eyes closed to see the bars over there,” he told the BBC. “It was really good.”

For now Flynn is happy to have some of his central sight back and Stanga said the 80-year-old is especially excited about getting back to his garden again now that he can more easily decipher flowers and plants in his garden.

“What we are seeing is that his vision is improving as he wears the device,” explained Stanga. “We don’t know when the improvement will stop.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(HURST, TX) — A Texas father-of-three who two years ago says he was an overweight, over-medicated insomniac watching infomercials in the middle of the night is now 118 pounds lighter and $106,000 richer thanks to one of those infomercials.

Casey Walker, 42, of Hurst, Texas, won $100,000 Saturday night as one of the two grand prize winners of the 2015 Beachbody Challenge, having already won $6,000 in the months leading up to the grand prize announcement.

Walker told ABC News he weighed 275 pounds and was in and out of the hospital due to an undiagnosed autoimmune condition in September 2013 when he “reached the end of his rope” and turned to Beachbody, a Santa Monica, California-based company famous for workouts like P90X and INSANITY.

“One morning I was sitting in my chair on a ton of medications and was watching Beachbody infomercials because I couldn’t sleep,” Walker said. “I felt like God said, ‘It’s time for you to get up and get moving.’”

“Something clicked in my head,” he said.

Walker then had to convince his wife, Erica, that he was committed enough to purchase the workout DVDs plus the company’s Shakeology shakes because, at the time, he was unable to work as a pastor due to his health. It was left to Erica, a nurse, to support him and the couple’s three children, ages 9, 7, and 4.

“I’d just lost another job and my wife said, ‘We really can’t afford this,’” Walker recalled. “I said to her, ‘I know I can do this.’”

Walker began drinking a shake every day and doing Beachbody’s 25-minute Focus T25 workout daily, modified because of his limited mobility.

“I just started moving in my living room,” said Walker, who says he lost 70 pounds in the first three months.

Walker went from eating Oreos, pizza and hamburgers to a diet of Shakeology, lean proteins, vegetables and fruit and the weight fell off, 118 pounds in all from September 2013 to May 2015.

“I started fueling my body with something that my body had been craving,” said Walker, who added it was his kids mainly that pushed him to get up and get moving.

“I was acting like I was 81-years-old and my brother-in-law could play with my kids more than I could,” Walker said of his life before the weight loss. “It was gnawing at me.”

As Walker, who now works as a Beachbody coach, found success, he started submitting pictures of his transformation to Beachbody’s website for the chance to win prizes like money and t-shirts.

Next thing he knew, he received a call last month inviting him to attend the company’s conference in Tennessee as one of four male finalists chosen from thousands of entries.

On Saturday night, with his wife by his side, Walker found out he was the $100,000 grand prize winner.

“It was just utter shock,” Walker said. “I had no idea.”

The former full-time pastor says his new lifestyle has led him to a “beautiful” place in his life where it’s “all kind of coming together” between his spiritual background and physical transformation.

“As I’ve gone through this journey I’ve been able to inspire other people that there’s hope,” Walker said. “You can get off the couch. This doesn’t have to be your existence. It’s so much more than muscles.”

Walker says he is most grateful for the fact that the $100,000 he won is allowing his wife to “walk a lot lighter these days.”

“She’s been working full-time and carrying this load because I’ve been sick,” he said of Erica. “This is going to mean paying hospital bills and paying off credit card debt.”

“My yard is a train wreck so it’s going to help us do-over that and help me do some stuff for my wife,” Walker added.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — They are supposed to be doctor’s offices, clinics or hospitals, not hamburger stands, vacant lots and mailbox shops, but that’s what some of the 23,400 potentially fake or bad addresses on Medicare’s list of health care providers are, according to a report released Wednesday to Congress from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The report says that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that administers Medicare, estimates that last year some $60 billion of American taxpayer money, or more than 10 percent of Medicare’s total budget, was lost to fraud, waste, abuse and improper payments.

“This is money that costs the Medicare trust fund real money,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, who requested GAO look into the issue, told ABC News. “We pay into the Medicare trust fund, those of us who are working, our employers pay into the Medicare trust fund.”

The GAO investigation, obtained by ABC News, follows three previous reports by the agency revealing “a persistent weakness … that increased the risk of enrolling entities intent on defrauding the Medicare program.”

In 2013, an Inspector General report found utilizing addresses as “essential for identifying trends in fraud, waste, and abuse because they were the source of the most inaccuracies and inconsistencies.”

The law says to get paid, Medicare doctors have to bill from the actual office where they practice medicine, but the newly released report continued to find issues with address registration among enrolling physicians.

“It’s not a new problem,” Carper said. “In fact about three years ago, we heard about this problem. The General Accountability Office, GAO, brought this problem, this concern, to us in the Congress.”

Going even further back, in 1998, a Senate investigation into Medicare fraud found $6 million in payments to a “business” whose fake address would have been smack in the middle of the Miami Airport.

The report released Wednesday shows no improvement, but investigators say it is not that hard to fix the problem.

ABC News went to one of the locations listed in the report that was on Chicago’s Southside next to a porn shop, with no doctor’s office evident, where Medicare sent nearly $600,000 using an ineligible mailbox shop location as a billing address until 2013.

Congress held a hearing Wednesday on the report, with lawmakers demanding once more that taxpayer money isn’t sent to ineligible addresses.

The GAO says it has been telling Medicare for years to utilize the United States Postal Service computer program, which can tell Medicare what kind of building is behind the address.

“It’s not rocket science,” Carper said. “The U.S. Postal Service actually puts out lists that can be purchased by Medicare, lists that say, these are the addresses of pretty much everybody, all the mailing addresses in our country. Medicare can use those to match. We have the ability to work with the postal service to find, is that a real building, is that a real office, or not?”

ABC News went to Capitol Hill to ask the man in charge of billing for Medicare why the program isn’t used, two years after members of Congress requested that it be implemented.

“Well, I think we have to be very careful,” said Shantanu Agrawal, the deputy administrator and director for the CMS Center for Program Integrity. “So we have for example, a provider that might move from one site to another, who is a legitimate provider, and merely forgot to update their enrollment record.”

By law, a provider must update their record within 30 days of moving. Some of the addresses found by the GAO report had been listed for years.

ABC News wanted to ask him more, but his aides rushed him away. A request for a follow-up interview was denied, but CMS did send a statement stating that they are committed to protecting the integrity of the program.

“With help from tools provided by the Affordable Care Act, we have greatly enhanced our ability to screen providers and identify those that may be at risk for committing fraud,” the statement said. “We will review GAO’s report, and develop additional strategies to continue this progress.”

The GAO report also found CMS did not properly check medical licenses for physicians. It found hundreds of physicians who had their licenses revoked for crimes, but not in the state where they were currently billing Medicare. In some cases, doctors who have been convicted of felony health care fraud have been found to have registered their medical licenses in other states and continued to bill Medicare.

Medicare responded to the finding saying they don’t have the authority to cross-check state license revocation or suspension in states where a physician is not set up to bill Medicare.

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Courtesy of John Burk(HINESVILLE, Ga.) — Fitness Enthusiast John Burk said despite the media’s negative portrayal of his online video rant on obesity and healthy living, the public has been singing his praises for his brutal honesty and motivation.

“It’s been 95 percent positive and these other news agencies are saying I’m under fire,” Burk of Hinesville, Georgia told ABC News. “I have so much overwhelming support for what I said. I see a comment here, a comment there, but mostly I hear ‘Thank you for saying that.’

“I’ve changed thousands of lives daily from people saying that ‘This is the blunt-force trauma I needed for me to quit making excuses and lying to myself, and get up and do something.'”

Burk, 31, a former drill sergeant in the United States Army Infantry, said some viewers are portraying his speech as negative, however, he said he posted it on Facebook to encourage people to choose a healthier lifestyle.

“First and foremost, I will not apologize,” he said. “I will not retract what I said regardless of what society thinks. There is a difference between anger and passion. That was passion. People are so quick to say ‘Oh, he’s so angry.'”

Burk uploaded the profanity-laced video on July 5, where it has since received over 3 million views and upwards of 31,000 shares.

In addition, the comments came rolling in — some calling Burk a “mouthy bully” and others saying he’s “inspirational.”

“What really aggravates me is how society views it that it’s perfectly OK to be overweight, as long as you’re happy,” Burk said. “People keep saying it’s not my business and you’re right, it’s not. I think the blunt truth of it is either making an excuse, or you’re going after it. Essentially, that’s what this video was about.”

Burk, a father of two, said he feels it’s important for adults to adopt positive eating habits for the sake of their children.

“My overall goal, quite honestly, is to start a revolution to stop living so unhealthily,” he said. “We can do so much for our lives. For me, it starts with good health and fitness and a good, healthy, mind. The people that work had and go to the gym, they’re called obsessed with their body, gym rats, meat heads — but if someone is eating too much or degrading their health and you say one negative thing, you are ‘fat shaming.’ It’s the hypocrisy that I can’t understand.

“Their personality might be beautiful, but your body, in my opinion, is not,” Burk added. “Since when did it become beautiful for someone to be obese? It’s not. It’s unhealthy. People automatically assume that’s fat shaming.”

Burk said that he will continue making more videos for Facebook and his site gruntstyle.com, in hopes to coach viewers on nutrition and basic workout tips.

ABC US News | World News

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iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Crystal Enns’ parents were first alarmed when in 2013 the teen had a serious nosebleed that wouldn’t stop. But they were astounded when, after a trip to the doctor, Crystal was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease called juvenile nephronophthisis. According to the National Institute of Health, the disease causes “inflammation and scarring of the kidneys and ultimately leads to a life-threatening failure of kidney function.”

It was so serious that Crystal, then 14, would need a transplant.

Dr. Albert Quan, a pediatric nephrologist at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas who treated Crystal, said the nosebleed didn’t actually have anything to do with the rare kidney disease, but standard lab tests revealed the disease.

“This kidney disease doesn’t get better,” Quan told ABC News. “The best we can do is slow the decline. In mid- to late-adolescence you either have … to put her on dialysis or you have to [get her a] kidney transplant.”

Crystal’s parents, however, were immediately ready to jump in and donate a kidney if they were a match. The teen’s mother, Cristy, was first to get tested and seemed on board to be donor until the final screening. A spot was detected on her kidney, negating her ability to be a donor and leading to more tests for kidney disease and cancer.

Crystal’s father was next to be tested, but his results were even more alarming. His doctor called to tell him that not only was he not a donor candidate but he had kidney cancer.

The family was dealt another blow when a scan of Cristy’s kidney revealed she, too, had the same kind of cancer that her husband had. Because the cancer was caught so early, both parents were able to be treated with an operation and did not need chemotherapy.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude to God for allowing us to find out about her kidney disease when we did because Mark and I would never have been tested otherwise,” Cristy Enns wrote in an email for ABC News. “The timing of her nosebleed allowed us to begin the donor screening process early, with plenty of time to discover and take care of our alarming cancer diagnosis before it came time for Crystal’s transplant.”

Quan said they are now working with a geneticist to determine if there was any possible genetic factor that could have affected both the parents’ and Crystal’s kidneys.

“I have to tell you that’s never happened to me and I’ve been doing this about 25 years,” Quan said of the parents being diagnosed with cancer during donor screenings.

While both of Crystal’s parents were unable to donate a kidney, Crystal’s aunt turned out to be a perfect match. In April of this year, Crystal successfully underwent kidney transplant surgery and is now getting ready to head to school next month according to her doctor. Her parents say they hope their story encourages others to consider being organ donors.

“If anyone is considering organ donation, but they have fears about if it is safe to do so … take courage,” wrote Cristy Enns. “Being screened as a donor could be a win-win for you. … Either you are able to save someone else’s life, or you could end up finding out about a health issue in your own life that you may never have known about otherwise.”

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