Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tea for your health

Why is tea so hot? Tea was discovered in China. Legend has it , the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nong boiled his drinking water to sterilize it. One day some leaves fell into his water from a nearby bush. The Emperor drank the infused liquid and found it to be energizing. The bush was a tea bush. He ordered tea bushes to be planted in the palace gardens. Hence tea was created.

Today's health and beauty buzz on on the goodness of teas. There are more than 2000 different blends of tea. Teas have been used for their medicinal benefits for centuries to treat everything from headaches to depression.

Most of us have heard of the benefits of green tea. Below are some of the teas I have researched primarily for their aid in weight loss and wonderful anti oxidant properties. I have not personally consumed all of them or had any of them in large quantities. I love tea and easily drink 6 or more cups a day but I usually opt for black tea instead of the flavored or herbal variety.
Consult with your doctor before consuming herbal remedies including teas.

Green Tea
There is a compound in Green tea, a polyphenol called EGCG which is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits of green tea.
The health benefits of green tea are:
  • Green tea is rich in antioxidants which help to neutralize dangerous free radicals and fight disease.
  • The catechins in green tea have recently been found to protect the eyes against glaucoma.
  • Drinking green tea with antibiotics was found to make the antibiotics much more effective in fighting resistant bugs.
  • A random study in Taiwan found that green tea could modulate the effect of smoking on lung cancer.
A large study in 2010 found that drinking green tea was of no use in preventing breast cancer.
Caffeine naturally occurs in green tea but the amount is less than in black tea and much less than in coffee.

Pu erhTea
Pu erh is produced in the Yunnan mountains in China. Pu erh tea is aged and consumed years after it's production much like wine. Pu erh tea is often served in Chinese restaurants especially after a fatty meal.
The health benefits of pu erh tea are:
  • Pu erh tea is know for it's ability to lower cholesterol.
  • It is said to shrink fat cells.
  • Pu erh tea aids in digestion.
  • It contains polyphenols which attack free radicals thus protecting the body against various diseases such as cancer.
  • May aid in circulation.
  • May remove toxins from the body.
  • May help heal aches and pains.
White Tea
White tea has the least amount of caffeine content. There is no heat or oxidation used in it's preparation so it is also the least processed tea. White tea is made from immature leaves.
The health benefits of white tea are:
  • Researches found that white tea prompted fat to break down in fat cells and prevented the storage of fat. These tests were performed on human cells. It is still to be seen as to whether drinking the tea could fight obesity.
  • White tea has greater antioxidant activity than green and black teas. May hinder cancer causing changes to genetic material.
  • Topically applied, white tea may protect against UV rays. White tea is incorporated into some cosmetics.
  • May boost the bodies immune system.
Chickweed Tea
Chickweed is a plant commonly found all over the world. Chickweed is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. It is an excellent source of minerals with many health benefits.
The health benefits of chickweed tea are:
  • Chickweed tea contains a diuretic. The body can eliminate contaminants through urination.
  • It reduces water retention, bloating and weight gain.
  • Chickweed tea may be beneficial for respiratory ailments caused by infections, asthma and allergies.
  • It contains anti inflammatory properties. If used in a bath, it is said to ease joint and arthritis pain, ease sore muscles and reduce swelling of torn ligaments.
  • It can aid in soothing skin irritation, eczema, rashes and burns.
  • It purifies the blood and reduces plaque in the vessels as well as aiding blood clotting.
Bilberry Tea
The bilberry is a small fruit found throughout the world. It is a wonderful source of antioxidants. It is high in vitamin C.
The health benefits of Bilberry Tea are:
  • Promotes better vision and protects against macular degeneration.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Aids in digestion and upset stomachs.
  • Protects against cancer and heart disease.
  • It has been linked to lowering blood sugar.
  • Relief from joint and arthritis pain has been reported.
Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea has been a popular herbal tea in Southern Africa for generations.The plant is grown in a small area of the Western Cape in South Africa. Rooibos contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants. The flavonoids in rooibos tea are aspalathin and nothofagin. Rooibos tea is low in tannin and does not interfere with iron absorption. It is also caffeine free. The health benefits of Rooibos Tea are:
  • Rooibos tea can ease stomach cramps in adults and colic in infants.
  • High levels of anti oxidants to fight free radicals and prevent disease.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Has anti inflammatory and anti viral qualities.
  • Helps with relaxation, headaches, tension and insomnia.
  • It contains manganese, fluoride and calcium so aids in bone health and strengthens the teeth.
Using teas to aid weight loss:
  1. Drink 2 cups of Pu erh tea in the morning to shrink fat cells.
  2. Drink 2 cups of white tea to prevent fat storage at lunch time.
  3. Drink 1 cup of Chickweed tea for bloating mid afternoon.
  4. Drink 1 cup of bilberry tea in the evening to balance blood sugar and assist with cravings.
As an aid for relaxation, drink a cup of rooibos tea an hour before bed.

Keep healthy, happy and safe.
Consult with your doctor before taking any medication including herbal supplements and teas.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
This policy is subject to change at any time.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Brain Fog

"Brain Fog" is not listed as a diagnosis or health condition in medical text books, but it is very real. Today's health and beauty buzz is on brain fog.
Brain fog is like a thick fog or cloudiness affecting your ability to think clearly. It is not the same as dementia. You just know that you are not functioning well, are forgetful,sometimes detached and have difficulty thinking and concentrating. Having a "senior moment?" You are not alone! Brain fog is fairly common and some people have had it for most of their lives. Sometimes it comes on slowly with age and over time.
Causes of brain fog
There are many causes of brain fog although the most common are nutrition deficiency and chemical imbalances.
Other causes include:-
  • Dehydration- Proper hydration is required at a cellular level.
  • Hypoglycemia- Hypoglycemia can starve the brain of fuel needed to function.
  • Candida (yeast) The yeast releases various toxins which cause brain fog.
  • Chronic fatigue- The brain requires lots of energy and fatigue from any source (especially stress) can cause mental confusion.
  • Infections and diseases drain energy and produce toxins which cause brain fog.
  • Nutritional imbalances are a common cause. The brain requires many nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids. Vitamin B deficiency is known to cause confusion.
  • Electrolyte imbalance caused by excessive sweating and vomiting. 
  • Toxins- Many types of toxins result in brain fog. Common toxins include mold, mildew, fungi, chemicals and even insect bites.
  • Metal toxicity- Copper in particular. Causes of copper imbalances result from stress, fatigue, zinc deficiency, some birth control pills and IUD's. Some women experience brain fog with menstruation. Vegetarian diets are high in copper and low in zinc (balances copper) and may be lacking in other vital nutrients for brain health.
  • Hormones- Imbalances in the endocrine system cause a wide range of health issues including brain fog. Women have complained about menopause and brain fog for eternity.
  • Reduced oxygen to the brain- This may be caused by clogged arteries or shallow breathing.
  • Misaligned spine or pinched nerves can cause brain fog.
  • Medications- Prescription as well as over the counter medication. Many different drugs can cause brain fog. Taking multiple drugs may have unforeseen side effects.
  • Depression and anxiety is linked to brain fog. Exercise, sufficient sleep or medication may help.
Help for Brain Fog:
Here are a couple of things one can try after ruling out the above:-
  1. Oils- Try adding some coconut oil to your diet. Make sure you have enough Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet obtained from fatty fish such as salmon or through a supplement.
  2. Lay off the alcohol- As you age, intolerance to alcohol increases.
  3. Rule out any illness or disease.
  4. Vitamin B12 injections are highly thought of in the medical profession.
  5. Be active. Exercise aids in oxygenation.
  6. Get a good night's sleep. (Ways to aid sleep naturally will be covered in a later blog)
  7. Don't take on too much. Say no!
  8. Iron- Make sure you have sufficient iron in your diet. Iron is critical for memory function.
  9. Vitamin E has been found to decrease Alzheimer's by 67%.
  10. Have your thyroid checked.
Some other supplements which may help boost memory:
  1. Vinpocetine- Take 10mgs 3 times a day. Vinpocetine is thought to be the most important supplement for "brain fog".
  2. Green tea extract. Must be 98% with 50% catechins. Take 200mgs daily.
  3. Omega 3 fish oil or krill oil with high DHA/EPA. Take 2grams per day.
  4. Acetyl L Carnitine- Take 300 to 1000mg per day
  5. Huperzine A- Take 5 mg per day.
  6. Sage oil- 60 drops or pill form-33mgs for memory issues.
  7. Bacopa is said to enhance learning, reduce brain stress and improve memory-300mg per day.
  8. B complex supplement.
  9. Zinc is important for memory.
  10. Pumpkin seed oil.
  11. Blueberry concentrate- around $7-00 from health food stores.
  12. Use raw brown cane sugar in coffee/tea.
Gingko Biloba contrary to popular belief, is wonderful and increases circulation to lower body extremities, but is not useful as a brain supplement.

Challenge your brain!

*Remember to discuss all medications including over the counter drugs and supplements with your physician prior to use.* Many supplements interact adversely with prescription drugs. Do not self diagnose.

Stay healthy, happy and safe.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
This policy is subject to change at any time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Beautiful Mind

"The mind is a terrible thing to waste".  Today's health and beauty buzz is on the effect aging has on our brain.
 The brain is shrouded in mystery.  Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and is the 6th leading cause of death in the USA. An estimated 5.4 million people have Alzheimer's. That is 1 American in 8 (65 years and older). More women than men have Alzheimer's disease. 

Risk factors for Alzheimer's are genetics and aging. Unfortunately two factors that we cannot control. Having parents or siblings with Alzheimer's increases your risk.
Dementia is cause by various disease's and conditions that result in damaged brain cells. Some researches say that people with fewer years of education seem to be at higher risk. 
Head injury and brain trauma are associated with increased risk of dementia. 
Smoking, alcohol and drug abuse can disrupt brain development.

Symptoms must include the decline in memory along with at least one of the following:

  1. The ability to generate coherent speech or    understand spoken/written language.
  2. Ability to recognise or identify objects.
  3. Ability to execute motor activities.
  4. Ability to think abstractly, make sound judgements, plan and carry out complex tasks.
  5. The decline in cognitive abilities must be severe enough to interfere with every day life.
Some symptoms may be caused by
  • depression.
  • thyroid disease.
  • drug interactions.
  • alcoholism.
  • vitamin deficiencies
The above are treatable.

No treatment is currently available to stop or slow the deterioration of brain cells. The FDA has approved 5 drugs that temporarily slow the worsening of the symptoms for about 6 to 12 months They are effective in about half of the patients taking them. Currently there are 75 to 100 clinical trails in human volunteers aimed at stopping or slowing the progression. Researchers believe that treatments administered early are most effective. The brain is believed to change in individuals 10 years prior to symptoms such as memory loss. This is when the drugs will be given.

Professor David Rollo and group of researchers at McMaster may have found the "silver bullet" when it comes to slowing the aging of the brain. A complex nutritional supplement containing 30 ingredients. Mice ages 20 to 31 months (human equivalent of 70 to 80 years of age) displayed learning abilities equivalent to young mice. Those not given the supplement, showed no ability to learn new information.
The trial focused on the region of the brain associated with Alzheimer's. Other findings included that the brain increased in size up to 10%. Unlike stand alone vitamins, the combination of the ingredients is far more effective in maintaining brain function. Whether the results will translate to humans is still to be seen.

Brain Facts:
  • More than 60% of the brain is fat.
  • Every part of the brain has a function. "That we use 10% of the brain", is a fallacy.
  • Humans continue to make neurons throughout life in response to mental activity.
  • The brain represents 2% of body weight  but uses 20% of the body's energy production.
  • If you don't take care of your brain, you lose 85,000 brain cells a day. That is what causes ageing.
  • Even though we define 18 year olds as adults, their brains continue to develop until age 25. That is why vehicle insurance rates drop at age 25.
  • The brain is divided into left and right halves. The left side is often known as the detailed orientated, get to the point, speech and happiness center. The right side as being more fretful, creative and holistic processing center.
  • The brain never sleeps. It gathers and stores important information gathered from the day whilst you sleep. During sleep, it secretes a hormone that immobilizes the body so that you don't act on ideas that may come to us during sleep.  In sleepwalkers, it is believed that this hormone is secreted differently.
Experts suggest brain health can be positively influenced throughout life.
The 4 dimensions of brain health are:
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Social well-being 
The good things for your brain:
  • Fish oil-  Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil. EPA and DHA are the 2 long chain omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil. DHA makes up 97% of the omega 3s in the brain. Without enough DHA, your brain cannot function adequately. The benefits of fish oil obtained from fish(salmon and tuna) foods fortified with omega 3's  (eggs, milk, juice) as well as supplements have proven to lower incidence of Alzheimer disease related deaths.
  • Exercise- Physical activity for 30 minutes a day to encourage new brain cells to form.
  • Learn- Lifelong learning, reading, creating art and crafts, crosswords, learning a language, playing an instrument are forms of brain- stimulating activities. "Use it or lose it".
  • Socialize- Stay socially connected. This can include socializing at work, in clubs, with friends and family, volunteering and church groups. Experts say having a social network may help support brain health and intellectual stimulation.
It is never too late to take action to improve your brain health and sometimes all that is needed are a few lifestyle adjustments. Age is just a number.

Caring for someone with dementia is extremely difficult and like any other care giver, may have a negative effect on your own health. Caregivers experience high levels of emotional stress and depression and obesity is often the result.

Dr. Mary Newport decided to do her own research on Alzheimer's in an effort to help her husband who had been diagnosed with the early-onset of the disease. She learned that the ingredient in the drug trial which was showing so much promise was simply MCT oil derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil and a 20 gram dose (about 4 teaspoons) was used to produce these results. She started her husband on coconut oil twice a day and after 37 days, saw remarkable changes in him. She claims that over the next year, the dementia continued to reverse itself.

Vitamin E is said to decrease Alzheimer's by 67%.

Memory enhancers and" Brain Fog" will be covered in a future blog topic.

*Remember to discuss any medication and vitamin supplementation with your doctor and do not self diagnose.

Stay healthy, happy and safe.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
This policy is subject to change at any time.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Summer Skin Care

"I wanna soak up the sun". May is skin cancer awareness month. Those hot days of summer are nearly upon us. We look forward to vacations at the beach, swimming, sailing and being outdoors after being couped up inside during those cold winter months. Unfortunately the sun can damage our skins.Today's health and beauty buzz is on the detrimental consequences of UV damage.

Gone are those days when I used to lie on a tin roof with school friends anointed in baby oil, baking in the hot African sun. I cringe to think of the damage we were doing to our skins, but I did it despite my mother's warnings!
UV rays are linked to 90% of skin cancers. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US.  It is also the most preventable. 1 million cases are diagnosed annually.  UV rays are responsible for 65% of melanomas. Melanoma is the 2nd most common cancer in women ages 20 to 29 and is the  deadliest form of skin cancer. One person in the US dies from melanoma every hour according to the skin cancer foundation.
 Early detection is essential with a 99% chance of beating the cancer if detected and treated early.

What to do to help prevent skin cancer:-
  1. Use a broad spectrum sun screen of at least SPF 30 every single day.
  2. Do not rely on your foundation having a sun screen. You need additional protection.
  3. Put on sun screen 30 minutes prior to going out and reapply every 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Use UPF infused protective clothing if outside for long periods.
  5. Wear a hat.
  6. Protect the backs of your hands. Many people who work outside with their hands forget to do this.
  7. Protect your lips- use a lip balm with an SPF.
  8. Look carefully for these tell tale signs.
    You may have a cancerous lesion.
  9. Self examine your body every 6 months. Get someone to check out areas that are difficult for you to see yourself. Look for any growths that have changed in shape, color or size and anything that bleeds or is itchy.
  10. Go to a dermatologist to be checked yearly or more often if at high risk.
  11.  Avoid the sun between 10am and 4 pm which is the hottest time of the day.
  12. Wear sun glasses to protect eyes from UV rays.
The dangers of tanning beds:-
The risk of developing melanoma is 75% greater for people who used tanning beds in their teens.These machines are extremely dangerous because they emit UV rays which are less likely to burn, but penetrate deeply. You get the damage without realizing it. No one under the age of 18 is permitted to use a tanning bed in the majority of states in the US without permission from a parent or guardian. Pending legislation is underway to mandate all tanning salons to post skin cancer warnings on their sun beds.

New Jersey Mom arrested
for child endangerment after
 she allegedly took her 5 year old
child into a tanning booth.
Tanning addiction
Tanning addiction like any other addiction is real. People addicted to tanning beds are often also addicted to drugs and alcohol as well as being prone to anxiety. They seek out tanning beds to make themselves feel better.
Teens are anxious to be tanned for prom night and lazy days socializing on the beach and at the pool. Unfortunately teens and young adults often think that they are invincible and immortal. 

Brief and intense tanning increases ones chances of getting melanoma. Even one serious burn in childhood can increase the DNA damage which may lead to skin cancer.

Products that increase sun sensitivity:
There are many products that increase sensitivity to the sun making the skin vulnerable.These are a few of them.
  • Alpha hydroxy acid used for skin exfoliation.
    Use a sun screen of at least SPF 30
    or higher. Reapply every 2 - 3 hours
    even if it says" water and sweat resistant".
  • Lactic Acid- a form of alpha hydroxy acid.
  • Licorice extract- a form of alpha hydroxy acid.
  • Chemical skin peelings and dermabrasion.
  • Pigment creams and skin lighteners.
  • Kojic acid- chemical to lighten and bleach the skin.
  • Accutane used to treat acne.
  • Benzoyl peroxide creams used in preparations to treat acne.
  • Salicylic acid- used in peeling and in acne preparations This is a beta hydroxy acid.
  • Retinol- vitamin A used for anti aging makes skin more susceptible to sun exposure.
  • Vitamin C- used effectively as an antioxidant for skin aging.
Most of these products are excellent for the treatment of aging, sun damaged, pigmented and acne prone skins but they do make the skin more susceptible to the sun. Vigilant sun precaution is needed to prevent UV damage. If you are unable to stay out of the sun, perhaps discontinue their use until the winter.

Drugs that can cause sun sensitivity:
  • Antibiotics
  • anti depressants
  • birth control pills
  • Hormones
Does skin color make a difference?
Cells in the epidermis called the melanocytes produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that determines our eye and skin color. The more pigment produced, the darker the skin tone.
Melanin helps to protect the skin from the effects of the sun. It is the damage to the skin cells that starts this process. The cells release chemicals alerting the body of trauma and these chemicals then cause melancocytes to produce more melanin. Hence the more exposure to the sun, the darker the skin will become.
Caucasians are the primary victims of skin cancer but people from all ethnic groups may develop skin cancer.

Risk factors for developing skin cancer:-
  • Fair skin that burns easily.
  • Blond and red haired individuals.
  • Blue, green or grey eyed people.
  • Excessive sun exposure during the childhood and teenage years.
  • Family history of skin cancer.
  • People who have numerous moles.
Skin Ageing
External factors such as exposure to the sun along with internal factors (genetics) are responsible for the way our skin ages. Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure. Just minutes of exposure a day added up over the years can cause changes to the skin. UV exposure damages the collagen and elastin fibres in the skin. The skin is unable to repair itself resulting in loose, wrinkled and damaged skin.

Some changes seen in the skin due to sun damage are:-
  • Rough and leathery skin:- UV exposure can cause the skin both to thicken and thin.Thickened skin resulting in deep coarse wrinkles.
  • Fine lines and wrinkles:-thinning of the skin causing fine wrinkles, bruising and skin tearing in skin layers. 
  • Spider veins on the nose and cheeks:- damage to the tiny blood vessels.
  • Pigmentation:- external factors as well as hormonal changes.
  • Freckles:- a freckle is caused by an uneven distribution of melanin in the skin.
  • Age spots:- are a type of freckle and not age related but sun damage related. By age 60, 90% of people will have age spots.
  • White spots:- often seen on the legs- caused when the melanocyte is destroyed.
  • Seborrheic Keratosis-(raised, brownish, wart like crusty lesions)- benign. There are other lesions that may be pre malignant.  Your dermatologist can advise you.
Vitamin D
Despite the importance of the sun for vitamin D synthesis, UV radiation is a known carcinogen and exposure should be limited. Vitamin D has many important roles vital to good health (covered in a future blog), but is naturally present in very few foods. Natural vitamin D can be found in the flesh of fatty fish such as salmon,mackerel and tuna as well as in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. Many foods in the US are fortified with vitamin D such as milk, orange juice, yogurt, margarine, baby formula and cereals. The recommended daily allowance is 600 IU (15mcg) for both men and women - ages 1 year to 70 years.
Vitamin D like anything, should be taken in moderation. Consult with your doctor or child's pediatrician prior to taking any supplements or administering them to a child.

Tip of the day:
Take care of your skin. Prevention is better than cure. The damage you do to your skin at 20, will determine what you will look like at 40. More than 80% of skin aging in adults are the results of tanning prior to age 18.

The only "safe tan" is a "fake tan". Get a professional spray tan prior to a special event or experiment with the numerous brands of self tanners now available.

Get sufficient vitamin D daily.

Have a peaceful and relaxing summer.
Stay happy, healthy and safe.

*Remember to consult with your doctor prior to using any medication or supplements.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
This policy is subject to change at any time.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


April is STD awareness month. Today's health and beauty buzz is on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). We tell our kids not to drink and drive, not to text and drive, not to drive and chat on their phones, but we also need to tell them not to have unprotected sex. According to the American Social Health organization, one out of four teens becomes infected each year with an STD. 19 million people are thought to be infected with an STD every year. Almost half of new infections are amongst people ages 15 to 24 years of age.  There are more than 20 types of STDs
Some STDs cause symptoms and others do not. STDs can cause serious health problems later in life such as cancer as well as infertility.
Most STDs affect both men and women but in most cases, the health problems can be more severe for women. An STD in a pregnant women can cause serious harm to the baby.
Types of STDs:-
These are amongst the most common of the STDs
  • Genital herpes: Genital herpes is the most common viral infection. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus. One in 6 people are infected with herpes.  Symptoms may include blisters, sores, ulcers and pain urinating. For the most part, there are usually no symptoms. Once you get herpes there is no cure and it is easily transmitted. Genital herpes increases HIV risk.
  • The HPV virus- The human papilloma virus is a very common type of STD.  Most people have no symptoms, although some may develop warts in the genital region. HPV can lead to cervical, vaginal, anal, penile and oral cancer. HPV usually clears on it's own and is tested for during a pap smear. The HPV vaccine, Gardasil is available and given in a series of 3 shots over 6 months. It is recommended for girls ages 9 through 26. It should ideally be given before girls become sexually active.
  • Chlamydia- This is the most common bacterial infection in the United States.  Symptoms may include pain whilst urinating, discharge from the vagina and penis. Women may have abdominal pain. Most people have no symptoms. Chlamydia can cause PID (pelvic inflammatory disease). This can affect the ability to fall pregnant and increase the risk of getting HIV. Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. Both partners need to be treated.
  • Gonorrhea-Gonorrhea is the 2nd most common bacteria infection.  Gonorrhea symptoms are the same as for Chlamydia and most people will show no symptoms at all. Untreated infection can damage joints, heart and the brain. Gonorrhea increases your risk of contracting HIV. Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics and both partners need to be treated.
  • Trichomonas-Trichomonas is a very common infection caused by a parasite. Symptoms may include itching, discharge, pain urinating and pain during sex. In most cases there are no symptoms. Antibiotics are given to treat trichomonas and need to be taken by both partners.
  • HIV/Aids- HIV is a virus which destroys the immune system reducing your ability to fight infection. If untreated will develop into Aids which is fatal. HIV is contracted through sex and contact with infected blood. Drug users are at high risk from contracting HIV from needles. Anal sex is extremely risky and oral sex is thought to be unsafe. Symptoms include flu like symptoms such as fever and aches as well as fatigue. Treatments include antiretroviral drugs for HIV.
  • Syphilis- This is a bacterial infection contracted through contact with sores or infected areas in the genitals, near the genitals or in the mouth. Syphilis can be contracted through oral and anal sex and contact with the infected skin. Symptoms include a sore and then later flu like symptoms and a rash. Treatment with antibiotics for both partners is essential.  Untreated syphilis will result in brain and heart damage, blindness and death.
  • Hepatitis B- This is a serious viral infection which affects the liver. It is transmitted through blood, saliva and body fluids. It can also be transmitted through anal and oral sex. Symptoms may include nausea, yellow skin and eyes, weakness and loss of appetite. Hepatitis B is treatable, but the medication is very expensive and not always successful in all cases. The hepatitis B vaccine is very effective and highly recommended.
  • Hepatitis C- (HCV) is a serious viral infection affecting the liver.  85% of infected people will fail to eliminate the virus and will become chronically infected.  Hepatitis C is contracted through blood, saliva and body fluids. Most common transmission is through blood. Untreated Hepatitis C may lead to liver cancer or liver damage requiring a liver transplant. It is the same family of viruses that cause yellow and dengue fever. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. 
All STDs are spread during vaginal, oral and anal sex as well as genital touching.
Having an STD puts you at greater risk for contracting HIV. STDs often have no symptoms. 80% of infected people do not even know that they are infected.

There is no one test for all STDs.
Tests may include
  • Pelvic and physical exam.
  • Blood sample.
  • Urine sample.
  • Fluid or tissue sample.                              
                                                              Prevention of STDs
                                                              1. Being monogamous.
                                                              2. Abstinence.
                                                              3. Using condoms from start to finish.
                                                              4. Avoid using drugs.
Research on the treatment as well as prevention of STDs is a health priority. One study is testing a herpes vaccine for women. Topical microbicides could play a major role in protecting women, but so far they have been difficult to design. They are gels or creams that would be put into the vagina to kill the STD before it could infect. Scientists are developing new antibiotics to treat drug resistant infections which are becoming more prevalent.

*Do not self diagnose. Visit your doctor immediately if you think you maybe infected.

Stay healthy, happy and safe.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
This policy is subject to change at any time.