Pregnancy and Diabetes (Pregnancy Health Guru Tip)

May 16, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Five percent of pregnant women have gestational diabetes. Learn more in this video, or GO TO:

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Is Estrogen Making You Fat?

May 10, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Dr. Sherrill Sellman on how excessive amounts of estrogen and the eliminating of progesterone can make women gain weight. For more information, visit Twitter: Facebook: Myspace:

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

The Pill at Work (Sex Health Guru Tip)

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Want to know how the birth control pill works? Here’s the scoop! See videos all about sex and contraception –

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Progesterone: The Cinderella Hormone

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Dr. Sherrill Sellman shares her personal experience with the hormone progesterone and how it helped her and could help other woman deal with perimenopause and menopausal women. For more information, visit

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

How your menstrual cycle affects your cholesterol levels

August 11, 2010 by  

Those who have or are at risk for cardiovascular disease regular have their lipid profiles checked, e.g. cholesterol and triglycerides. Although not given much emphasis, the timing of lipid check up may be important – especially in women. Previous studies have shown that estrogen-containing medications for women – for example, oral contraceptives or menopausal hormone therapy, have been shown to influence cholesterol levels in the blood. Fluctuation in level of estrogen results in fluctuating levels of blood lipids, including high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides.

Results of a recent study funded the National Institutes of Health indicate that natural levels of estrogen in the blood, i.e. variations during the menstrual cycle can also affect cholesterol levels. “In a typical cycle, estrogen levels steadily increase as the egg cell matures, peaking just before ovulation…as the level of estrogen rises, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol also rises, peaking at the time of ovulation”. HDL cholesterol is the so-called “good cholesterol” and believed to be beneficial to heart health.

“In contrast, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels — as well as another form of blood fat known as triglycerides — declined as estrogen levels rose. The decline was not immediate, beginning a couple of days after the estrogen peak at ovulation. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels reached their lowest just before menstruation began.”

LDL (aka bad cholesterol) and triglycerides are bad for the heart. The study results showed that cholesterol levels of women can fluctuate up to 19% during an ovulation cycle.

The researchers believe that when testing for lipids, in the blood, the timing in relation to a woman’s menstrual cycle should be taken into consideration. A test performed close to the point of ovulation can give a false picture of a woman’s lipid profile.

When a test shows high levels of total and LDL cholesterol, a confirmatory test is usually performed. When a patient is tested during the end of her cycle, cholesterol levels are low – misleadingly – that the need for an additional test to confirm a high cholesterol reading might be skipped. Thus, the diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia might be missed.

According to study author Enrique F. Schisterman:

“It’s more likely cholesterol levels will be elevated in women before ovulation, which could have a particular impact on women whose cholesterol levels are already high.”

High levels of LDL and cholesterol and triglycerides are risk factors for heart disease.

Photo credit: MenstrualCycle2_en.svg: Isometrik

Lung cancer increase in women: is estrogen to blame?

July 13, 2010 by  
Filed under CANCER

A friend of mine who has lung cancer has never smoked in her life. Her husband of 20 years however does. So why did she get the disease and he didn’t?

Lung cancer is more prevalent among men than women but prevalence in the fairer sex is catching up. This is a trend that is causing concern among health experts especially as lung cancer rates in men are on the decline. Lung cancer has long overtaken breast cancer as the main cause of cancer mortality in women.

According to the American Cancer Society, projections for 2010 in terms of lung cancer mortality is 86,000 in men and 71,000 in women. In contrast, projection for breast cancer death for this year is 40,000.

So what is the reason behind this gender difference?

Smoking in women is not increasing and therefore cannot be the main cause of increase in lung cancer. However, women seems to be more vulnerable to the effects of cigarette smoke, be it as a first-hand smoker or as a passive smoker. Non-smoking women are three times more likely to have lung cancer than non-smoking men.

According Brenda Edwards, associate director of the surveillance research program at the National Cancer Institute:

“Unless we start seeing a turnaround for women, there will be as many women diagnosed with lung cancer in the next few years as men.”

That is why researchers are trying to figure out women’s increased vulnerability to lung cancer. One group put forward the hypothesis that the female hormone estrogen may be to blame. Estrogen has also already been linked to genetic mutations that led to the formation of breast tumors. Lung cells have been found to produce estrogen in women as well as in men, but much more in the former than in the latter.

To test this hypothesis, the researchers exposed female mice by placing them in cigarette smoke- filled chambers for 6 hours each day, five days a week for three, eight or 20 weeks. They then compared the genetic make up of those exposed to those who were not exposed.

“Researchers found differences in 10 genes around an enzyme called cytochrome P450 1b1, which is known to break down estrogen and tobacco smoke. The 1b1 enzyme activates cancer-causing agents in tobacco and converts estrogen to a more active form that appears to cause DNA mutations. Estrogen may, in essence, be adding fuel to the fire that occurs when lung cells are exposed to tobacco smoke.”

Aside from the natural levels of estrogen the female body produce, women nowadays also take medications to boost estrogen levels, from contraceptive pills to hormone replacement pills to ease menopausal symptoms. The higher the estrogen levels in the blood, the more susceptible they might be.

Estrogen therapy for schizophrenia?

June 21, 2010 by  

Hormones can affect our moods. Women can attest to this and some men learn to recognize the signs. When I am feeling out of sorts, my husband would ask: “are you ill or is it just the hormones?”

Hormone replacement therapy is a common strategy in managing postmenopausal symptoms in women, symptoms that include hot flashes and mood swings

A recent study by the researchers at the Tel Aviv University reports that hormone replacement therapy particular estrogen may also have protective affects against a more serious problem – schizophrenia.

The researchers have demonstrated this in lab rats wherein removal of the ovaries induced not only menopausal symptoms but also development of psychotic symptoms. When the animals were given estrogen replacement, the psychotic symptoms disappeared. Estrogen was replacement was even more effective than the anti-psychotic agent haloperidol in this animal experiment.

According to Prof. Ina Weiner of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Psychology

“We’ve known for some time that when the level of estrogen is low, vulnerability to psychotic symptoms increases and anti-psychotic drugs are less likely to work. Now, our pre-clinical findings show why this might be happening.”

The link between low estrogen levels and psychotic symptoms are not nothing new. A woman’s hormonal levels are regulated by her menstrual cycle, yet still fluctuate during her lifetime. There are times when drastic changes bring about psychological problems, such as in cases of postpartum depression or postmenopausal symptoms.

The results indicate a potential for estrogen supplement as a stand-alone treatment or adjunct therapy to convention treatment of schizophrenia.

“Antipsychotic drugs are less effective during low periods of estrogen in the body, after birth and in menopause. Our research links schizophrenia and its treatment to estrogen levels. Men seem less likely to begin schizophrenia after their 40s, which also suggests that estrogen is the culprit.”

However, estrogen replacement therapy has been questioned in recent years due to its association with increased risk for cervical cancer and heart attacks. The risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy should therefore be weighed seriously before this “hormonal treatment can be used for a behavioural condition.”

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.