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Menopause marks a turning point in women’s health that is essential to understand. While public conversations about menstruation have opened up in recent years, menopause is still shrouded in mystery. Today, we aim to demystify this time in a woman’s life. Read to learn the basics about menopause.
One of the first myths that we’re busting today is the difference between perimenopause and the menopausal period. Many of the symptoms that are considered traditional symptoms of menopause are actually perimenopause symptoms. Perimenopause is the first couple of years before the menopausal period starts.
- Changes in periods. This includes a whole host of potential issues. Longer or shorter menstrual periods, lighter or heavier bleeding, as well as greater or shorter time between periods.
- Hot flashes and night sweats. Hot flashes consist of sudden feelings of heat. More severe hot flashes include physical symptoms like flushing of the face and neck, red blotches on the chest and arms. Hot flashes are usually followed by shivering. Hot flashes last 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
- Trouble sleeping due to a variety of physical problems. Even when you get to sleep, it is a dissatisfying sleep, and people wake up unrested.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Mood swings, or persistent negative emotions.
- Trouble focusing and easily distracted.
- Thinning hair on the top of the head, more hair, such as whiskers, on the face.
As an important note, women can still definitely get pregnant during the perimenopause stage. If birth control is required in your relationship, continue using it until the official menopausal period.
Menopause usually begins at some point between age 45 and 55. Medical experts define menopause as a point exactly 12 months after a woman’s most recent period. The transition between perimenopause and menopause usually lasts seven years, but sometimes lasts over fourteen years.
Medical procedures, such as a hysterectomy, also triggers the menopausal transition. Women who have any reproductive organs removed before their body starts menopause must take hormones to prevent the process from beginning too early.
Changes During The Transition
During the transition, the physical production of estrogen and progesterone bounces all over the place. Once a woman hits the menopause point, her estrogen and progesterone levels steadily decline.
Women’s bone density decreases during menopause. The decreased density leads to bones that fracture easier. For example, bumping into a chair might just hurt before menopause, but after menopause, it might lead to a broken toe.
Due to the hormonal changes, the body begins to use energy differently. The fat cells in the body change and women often find that their body gains weight easily.
Post-menopausal women are vulnerable to heart disease and osteoporosis. Doctors emphasize a healthy diet and high calcium intake during this period.
Information for this article was pulled from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. If you or a loved one is a U.S. military veteran, explore further physical and mental health resources here.
Members of the United States Armed Forces sacrifice quite a bit during their years of service. Veterans affairs is always a hot button topic in the United States. As many have pointed out, there is a gulf between the respect veterans deserve and their treatment once they retire. Read on to learn about veteran mental health, more particularly, common mental health issues in veterans.
Mental Health Treatment For Veterans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs treated 2.1 million veterans for the five year period of 2006-2010. Yet the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that only 50% of veterans received the necessary mental health treatment in that period. This led to the federal government establishing the Interagency Task Force on Military Mental Health in August, 2012.
There are a few reasons why ex-military members struggle to connect to mental health resources. These reasons are identified by the Government Accountability Office, as well as independent psychology studies.
- The military has increasingly equal gender opportunity but is still predominantly male. Many male veterans experience a perceived shame for seeking mental health assistance. In addition to the shame, many male veterans also feel weak or less masculine for seeking mental health help.
- Long wait times to receive treatment.
- Logistical issues in accessing treatment.
- Distrust that the V.A. mental health treatment options.
- Lack of funds to seek mental health options outside of V.A.
Common Issues With Veterans’ Mental Health
As many as a quarter of people who experience overseas deployment have a substance abuse issue. Many people think of substance abuse as a problem with hard drugs. However, a majority of substance abuse issues are actually with alcohol, followed closely by prescription drugs.
Prescription drug addiction is an issue in general in the United States right now. Veterans, however, are at a higher risk of exposure to addictive pain meds to the increased risk of injury while deployed.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is the brain’s response to a severe trauma, such as combat situations. PTSD causes the sufferer to relive the traumatic event and to experience panic attacks triggered by situations similar to the event. For example, a veteran who went through a traumatic event involving an IED shouldn’t be around fireworks going off. PTSD symptoms also align closely with anxiety and depression.
Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and depression, while common in the general population of civilians, is even more prevalent in veterans. The two have a variety of symptoms, which we have explored in the past. Psychologists link depression to past events and anxiety to worry about the future.
Makeup is a fun form of self-expression. Professional makeup artists are practically shapeshifters who can entirely alter appearances. On the other hand, makeup’s dark side is well known. Some people rely heavily on it. This reliance runs so deep that they cannot recognize themselves without makeup on. That is just one psychological side effect. Makeup also has some pretty serious side effects on physical health too. Read on to learn some side effects of makeup and how you can prevent them.
Acne is maybe the most common side effect of makeup. There are some brands that are designed to be friendly to skin and follow through on that. However, many brands focus on aesthetic over skin health. “Perfect” and “poreless” skin requires clogged pores in order to give the skin an entirely smooth finish.
However, skin needs to be able to breathe and grow. Clogged pores lead to acne as well as smaller scale skin issues. This is especially prevalent in teenagers and young adults. Oftentimes, self-conscious people try to cover up their acne with makeup. They never realize that this actually makes the acne worse.
Makeup can be worn for a few hours without too much impact on the skin. However, long-term wear will negatively impact the skin pretty heavily.
Makeup artists often advise people who want to do less products on their face “brows, lips, lashes.” The problem is that eye makeup is notoriously irritating. On a human face, the eyes and the skin around it is the most sensitive place imaginable. Eye makeup includes eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, glitter, and false lashes with lash glue. All of these substances are especially prone to bacterial infections. This can lead to eye infections or simple eye irritation.
The irritation can also stem from application tactics – looking at you waterline eyeliner! Additionally, the product can slip into the corners of the eye where it is applied. Especially in Florida, where it is hot for most of the year. The sun can even cause problems like lash glue melting into people’s eyes…ouch!
In addition to irritation the eyes, a lot of eye products actually ruins eyelashes and brows. Mascara and eyeliner limit the growth of eyelashes, while false lashes rip them out. Full eyeshadow looks often lead to people scrubbing their face to remove it, which tears out more lashes and brow hairs.
How To Prevent Common Side Effects
The side effects of makeup can seem scary. However, there are simple precautions to take that prevent those issues from developing.
- Clean any and all applicators. Don’t just use warm water, include some actual brush cleanser in the process. Cleaning eliminates bacteria and germs that cause infections.
- Do not share makeup with other people. Even if people are very close, the transfer of bacteria can cause some nasty side effects. Sharing can even transfer illnesses such as the common cold or the flu.
- Take a break from makeup. Every once in a while, give your skin time to breathe without any products impeding it.
Medical insurance is a minefield for many people. How do you know what coverage is right for you? A special type of health insurance that many people are unaware of is short term health insurance. Short term health insurance is highly flexible. It is applicable in a wide range of situations and covers a surprising amount. Read on to learn all about short term health insurance and how it can help you or your family.
Short Term Health Insurance 101
Short term insurance is also called temporary health insurance, or term health insurance, depending on the provider. It is health insurance that is more temporary or bridges gaps in coverage. Temporary insurance is highly useful for people who are in transition periods in their life. It is often cheaper than long term plans, but also is not as full force as long term insurance.
Situations Where Temporary Insurance Can Shine
- If you are between jobs. Short-term insurance can act as a bridge between job provided coverage. Job hunting is nearly impossible anyway, why add illness to it?
- If you or a loved one are waiting to be eligible for Medicare coverage.
- Find yourself without health insurance? Temporary insurance can cover you while you try to sort out a more long term plan.
- School provided insurance is often short term. Most universities in America require students to have some sort of health insurance. However, not all students are on their parents’ insurance. Universities that require insurance generally offer school-based short term plans that cover a single year, or even a single semester. These tend to be very affordable, as they are intended to aid student who have no other options.
What Is The Duration Of Temporary Insurance?
Oftentimes term insurance plans last a maximum of 12 months, or one year. However, they are typically only designed to provide six months or less of coverage. The lowest amount of coverage possible is usually three to four weeks. This is something that depends entirely on the provider, so shop around for what suits your needs.
What If I Need Coverage For My Family?
As long as that family is legally linked to you, temporary insurance will cover them. However, temporary plans tend to be strict about pre-existing conditions. All family members need to meet the rules of the plan, or they will not be covered.
I Need Coverage, Like, Yesterday. What Do I Do?
The good news is that short term health insurance can go into effect rather quickly. Sometimes even the day after your application is submitted. If you know when your current coverage will end, you can set a start date for the short term plan. This is one of the biggest advantages of short term plans. They provide immediate relief concerning medical coverage.
Nearly everything else about short term health insurance changes from provider to provider. Shop at different health insurance providers near you to find which plan is best for your situation.
The decision to get plastic surgery is totally someone’s prerogative. Some people get plastic surgery to reconstruct some part of their body after an accident, such as a car crash or burns. Others do so after a medical procedure, such as after a mastectomy. Still others get plastic surgery simply because they want to change their appearance.
However, cosmetic surgery is still surgery and complications can happen. While everyone’s appearance is their prerogative, constant plastic surgery is not the healthiest decision to make. Read on to learn all about plastic surgery and some common complications
Seromas occur when a cosmetic surgeon removes a lot of tissue or tissue is shifted around. They are not life-threatening, but they are oftentimes rather painful.
A seroma occurs when sterile body fluid called serum builds up under the skin. Serum is mainly just blood plasma, and is created when many blood cells are separated simultaneously. As the seromas builds up under the skin, it leads to swelling and pain in the region of origin. While the pain is localized, it is internal pressure trying to escape, so it is at the least uncomfortable.
The only risk with a seroma is that it is more open to infection. To avoid this, a medical professional must drain the seroma. Oftentimes, they use a large needle attached to a surgical drainage system.
Seromas most commonly occur after a “tummy tuck”, where 15-30% of patients experience this complication. Seromas also occur after breast augmentations and liposuction.
A hematoma is very similar to a seroma, but with blood instead of serum. Hematomas resemble large, painful bruises due to the build up of blood under the skin. The symptoms and treatment are similar to a seroma, but a hematoma is a little more serious.
Cosmetic surgeons utilize the same drainage systems to treat hematomas that are smaller. However, larger hematomas require an additional surgical procedure to treat. The patient has to go back under anesthesia while the doctors carefully drain and repair the hematoma.
Medical professionals are unsure why, but hematomas occur more often in men than in women. Hematomas often occur after face lift procedures as well as breast augmentation procedures. Hematomas are less common than seromas, occurring in only about 1% of face lift patients.
Nerve damage is a potential risk of any surgery. However, the chances of nerve damage dramatically increase for many plastic surgery procedures. This is because plastic surgery is often times removing significant amounts of tissue or adding foreign substances to the body.
Nerve damage does not have to consist of a complete loss of sensation. Many times, patients report a simple reduction or change in sensation. This problem is most common after breast augmentation, where it occurs in about 15% of patients.
AIDS and HIV are serious health conditions that impact people all over the world. In America, it was first recognized in the LGBT+ community in the 1980s. Very little was known about the illnesses at first, but more research is being done every year. While HIV/AIDS once wiped out populations, it is no longer a death sentence. Read on to learn all about HIV/AIDS and World AIDS Day.
Content warning: this article contains mentions of death, particularly in the LGBT+ community. If such subjects are sensitive for you, it may be best to skip this article.
What Is HIV/AIDS?
HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus, and it attacks the white blood cells in blood. Unfortunately, white blood cells are the body’s natural defense against outside infection. AIDS, which is the final stage of HIV, is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Once a patient shifts from HIV to AIDS, that is when there are serious issues. For someone with AIDS, their immune systems are so weak that the common cold can kill them.
HIV/AIDS is passed on in a number of ways. Primarily, through body fluids from an HIV/AIDS positive person entering someone else. Common means of transmission include: sexual fluids, blood, and birth fluids.
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. However, there is medicine that fights HIV and prevents it from developing into AIDS.
What Is World AIDS Day?
World AIDS Day happens on December 1st every year, starting in 1988. In fact, World AIDS Day is the first global health day to bring awareness to a particular condition. The day is an opportunity to unite against the disease globally by raising awareness and spreading education. Everyone can support those currently living with HIV and commemorate those lost to HIV/AIDS.
The most common way to do this is by wearing red or a red ribbon. Red is the color of HIV/AIDS awareness. Wearing a red ribbon often sparks educating conversations. This is especially important for a condition that has so much stigma surrounding it.
History Of The AIDS Crisis
In 1981, medical professionals noticed a few serious health issues in previously completely healthy gay men. The illnesses – PCP & Kaposi’s Sarcoma – are both associated with immunocompromised individuals. These conditions begin to be associated with the LGBT+ community as “gay pneumonia” and “gay cancer”. There are 337 cases of AIDS this year and 130 pass away before the year is over. The condition still has no official name.
By early 1982, the term GRID is coined to describe the epidemic. GRID means Gay-Related Immune Deficiency. In September of 1982, the CDC finally establishes the term AIDS to describe the growing problem. Congress does not approve any funds for AIDS research and treatment until July of 1983.
From 1980 to 2002, over half a million people in the United States alone died from AIDS or AIDS related complications. The communities impacted are predominantly the LGBT+ community, as well as communities of color, and those of a lower socio-economic standing.
Wear red or a red ribbon on December 1st to recognize the global fight against HIV/AIDS.