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Incontinence: Improving Muscle Tone

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Incontinence is one of the most common problems among women these days.
A treatable disorder, whose main symptom is frequent urination and leakage. An overactive bladder and incontinence affects 12 million North American women.

Incontinence occurs when the urethra loses support from the vaginal walls. Overactive bladder is closely linked to incontinence, and is characterized by such symptoms as frequent urination, insomnia due to the urge to urinate at night, urine leakage, and even bed-wetting. An overactive bladder is often caused by bladder stones, surgery or neurological disease. Among the main risk factors for incontinence are excessive weight, smoking, pregnancy, stress and infections of the bladder, such as cystitis.

Aside from being a physical health issue, incontinence and suffering with an overactive bladder can result in emotional and mental health issues. Frequent urination can be an embarrassing problem. As a result, many women who suffer from incontinence become socially inactive, abandoning social activities. Many women even stop seeing other people.

Childbirth is a major cause of incontinence, with age and menopause contributing to the problem. Vaginal childbirth frequently causes pelvic damage because the pressure of the fetal head displaces and stretches parts of the pelvic anatomy, most specifically, the vaginal walls. With the onset of menopause women can become estrogen deficient which can cause the vagina to thin which prevent the urethral walls from closing well. This lack of closure translates into incontinence.

There is no unique treatment strategy for incontinence and overactive bladder. You can prevent leakage of urine temporarily using diapers and pads, or even undergo a surgery. For bladder infections, there are a number of traditional and herbal remedies, such as cleaver or Marshmallow root teas that help toning bladder muscles.

Incontinence and other bladder problems don’t necessarily have to be treated with medications. Pelvic muscles can be strengthened and toned, just like any muscle in the body, to prevent spontaneous urine leakage. These exercises, called after the doctor Kegel who invented them, are often prescribed to pregnant women. In the same time, Kegel exercises can tighten the muscles that control stream of urine. You can locate these muscles by stopping and starting the flow of urine.

Women, who are already being treated for incontinence, can start doing 3 sets of 50-60 repetitions of Kegel exercises a day. Then, as the muscles strengthen, women can do as much as a hundred Kegels a day – not at one time, of course! Quite conveniently, Kegel exercises can be easily done everywhere, as they are completely invisible. There are even vaginal weights to be used when doing Kegel exercises.

You can develop your own Kegel routine by adding variations of exercise, such as elevation Kegels or holding the pressure for a few seconds. Women who practice Kegels admit that these simple exercises have the added benefit of greatly improving their sex life.

The most important message for women who suffer from any form of urinary incontinence is that in 80 to 90 percent of people it can be significantly improved or even cured.

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The Symptoms and Side Effects of Effexor

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Effexor is used primarily for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder in adults. It is known as one of the most activating of the newer antidepressants. While this can be helpful to some, as a number of depressed patients report feeling exhausted and unmotivated, to others it poses the risk of increased anxiety and agitation.

Effexor is an effective antidepressant for many persons; however, it seems to be especially effective for those with treatment-resistant depression. Some of these persons have taken two or more antidepressants prior to Effexor with no relief. It has also been found to reduce the severity of ‘hot-flashes’ in menopausal women.

In addition, a September 2004 Consumer Reports study ranked Effexor as the most effective among six commonly prescribed antidepressants. However, this should not be considered a definitive finding, and responses to psychiatric medications vary significantly from individual to individual.

Substantial weight loss in patients with major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and social phobia has been noted in taking Effexor, but the manufacturer does not recommend use as an anorectic either alone or in combination with phentermine or other amphetamine-like drugs.

As with most antidepressants, lack of sexual desire can be a very disturbing side-effect for some persons. Effexor can raise blood pressure at high doses, so it is usually not the drug of choice for persons with high blood pressure. Effexor should not be used in children. Caution should also be used in those with a seizure disorder.

The energizing effect of the drug may come unwanted to some, possibly leading to an increased anxiety or depressed mind state. While the specific modality of effect is not well understood, a Black Box Warning has been issued with Effexor and with other SSRI and SSRN anti-depressants advising of risk of suicidality.

Some studies have questioned the effectiveness of the drug in helping depression. The black box warnings advise physicians to carefully monitor patients for suicide risk at start of usage and whenever the dosage is changed. Family members should be advised of this potentially fatal side effect so they may bring the patient to a hospital emergency for surveillance and protection. This drug is particularly risky for patients whose mental condition includes poor impulse control such as Borderline Personality Disorder, and if there is comorbid substance abuse.

Effexor is sometimes used for the treatment of depressive phases of bipolar disorder. However, this has some potential danger, as Effexor can induce mania, mixed states, rapid cycling and/or psychosis in some bipolar patients, particularly if they are not also being treated with a mood stabilizer.

Another risk is developing Serotonin syndrome. This is a serious effect that can be caused by interactions with other drugs and is potentially fatal.

Some common side effects of using Effexor include:
* Insomnia
* Nausea
* Sleepiness
* Increased blood pressure
* Vertigo
* Dry mouth
* Sexual dysfunction
* Dizziness
* Vivid dreams
* Sweating

The information presented here should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor for more information about Effexor.

Permission is granted to reprint this article as long as no changes are made, and the entire resource box is included.

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Sleeping Pills : Science’s Answer To The Sandman’s Magic Dust?

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There’s a song that goes, “Mister Sandman, bring me a dream.” Do you remember the folklore that old people used to tell kids to lull them to sleep?
It’s about this mystical person that brings sleep by sprinkling magic dust into children’s eyes. Enter Sandman.

Sleeping disorders have become more and more prominent over the ages. More than 60 million American adults encounter difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping well. Stress and environment also contribute to sleep disorders. Stress causes sleep disorder in such a way that the brain is active as the person thinking about things such as finances, marital problems, health issues and extreme boredom to name a few. Environment also plays a role in such a way that a noisy neighborhood can disrupt your sleep if not stop you from getting your well deserved rest. Living in a loud environment, working on the night shift, excessive consumption of caffeine-containing products, these may cause you to lose sleep.

The three most common of sleeping disorders are: sleep apnea (snoring), restless legs syndrome (RLS), and insomnia. The term apnea was derived from the latin prefix a- for absence, and the suffix -pnea for breathe. Snoring starts when the air passage is not fully open and it air is forced through it. Those with RLS feel a strong urge to move their legs, it is characterized by a tingling feeling in the legs while sitting or lying still as if something is crawling on the legs. Worst cases of RLS prevents a person from falling asleep. Insomnia, being the most common among the three disorders listed, is the inability to fall asleep, remain asleep or sleep restfully through the night; this may include constantly awakening too early.

There are several ways to work around insomnia. Regular exercise, especially during the afternoons or early evenings have proven beneficial to getting a good night’s sleep. Engaging in relaxing activities such as reading, watching TV, or taking a warm bath is also helpful to induce sleep as it calms the mind and body. In cases where hunger is the reason for having difficulty sleeping, a light snack might help. Resisting the urge to smoke before bedtime also helps as nicotine is a kind of stimulant that may keep you awake for the rest of the night. The best way to get around it is to establish a regular bedtime until the body has been accustomed to sleeping at a specific time of day.

If all else fails, take a sleeping pill. Sleeping pills are sleep-promoting medications that are generally used to establish a sleeping habit when all other natural means have failed. These medications are closely related to sedatives as is a mild form of sedative. Heavy doses are prescribed for people with anxiety disorders. It is only effective if difficulty sleeping is still on its early stage. Once insomnia has been on-going for a long while, it will prove to be less helpful as no sleep-inducing medication should be used as long term treatment.

According to recent surveys, health professionals have decreased prescribing sleeping pills. Only when the sleeping disorder proves to be hazardous to a patient’s health do they advise the use of these pills. Over the counter sleeping pills are available in the market, though it is advised that sleeping pills should never be taken if it isn’t prescribed by a doctor as side effects might emerge.

Side effects of sleeping pills being used for long periods of time include increased mortality rate. Research shows that people who use it long term are more likely to die early than those who smoke. Sleeping pills doesn’t cure chronic insomnia, but continuous ingestion of the medication may cause chemical dependency to it. It may also affect short-term memory, giving you a sort of hangover effect. Sleeping pills intensify certain neurotransmitters that stop the lungs from firing up, causing asphyxiation. People with sleep apnea must not use sleeping pills because it will increase the number of pauses and lengthen the pause time in breathing which may cause serious brain damage due to lack of oxygen.

Sleeping pills, however convenient it is to use, isn’t a cure for any sleeping disorder. It cannot be used to treat insomnia’s underlying causes, it can only give you temporary relief by giving you the rest you need at the moment. It is best to exhaust all natural means of getting through sleeping disorders as their effects are longer lasting than that induced by sleeping pills.

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How To Eradicate Your Emotional Health Problems Including Insomnia

The stresses and strains of everyday life can bring with it a variety of emotional health problems. These can include depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability and panic attacks. In this article I write about each of these potential problems and suggest solutions to overcome them.


I am sure that we all become depressed at different times of our life, I certainly do. It is easy to let things and people get us down. We can start to feel sorry for ourselves and to think that the world is working against us.

The brain has two halves, positive and negative. In these periods of depression the negative side assumes control and it can become very hard to get out of this rut.

I see the positive side of my brain as an apple and the negative side as a pear. If I only ever eat pears, I will not be able to experience the joy of eating apples. In short I have to give the positive side a chance to help me to reach a state of happiness and I need to learn to ignore the negative.

Anxiety and panic attacks

At times people start becoming anxious about their future or even about their present situation. This can in certain cases even lead on to panic attacks.

In my opinion worrying does not help the situation, it only makes things worse. I have to say that I do worry and that the cloud of doom does descend over my life at regular intervals. When this occurs I try very hard to break the cycle and I even talk to the demons in my head. I have a battle of wills with them. I tell them that they will not win and that I will not stress anymore. This is not that simple but is what I try to do.


Having trouble with sleeping at night can happen for a number of reasons, the main one of which is stress. Other causes are snoring, an intake of too much caffeine, a noisy environment or depression.

I have written about stress and depression already, it is also time to cut down on the coffee. A simple suggestion in potentially solving insomnia, is to read a book in bed before attempting to get to sleep. This book should help you to get your mind away from any anxieties you may have, it should relax your body and should also tire your eyes.


When people lose sleep or work to hard they can become over tired and this can lead to irritability. This can cause people to have a higher pulse rate, making their muscles feel tight and can leave people also feeling anxious and lethargic.

It is important to therefore ensure that you obtain a good amount of hours sleep per night (at least seven)and that you only work a certain amount of hours per week. Money is important to people, however in my opinion health should be the priority.

Solutions to these emotional health problems

I have come to realise that I need to treat myself from time to time. I have always found it difficult to relax and would often feel stressed and under pressure.

I now use various methods at different times of the year to help me to chill out a bit and to reward my body. These include aromatherapy, using herbal products, attending tai chi lessons and I have even tried Yoga. I must admit I could never get to grips with Yoga, however have heard it can prove to be very beneficial to people who can.


My favourite form of relaxation is by meditating. I do this by sitting on a straight back chair and by basically concentrating with my eyes closed. I pay particular notice to my breathing and it has certainly helped me to see things in a much clearer way.

In conclusion there are many ways of reducing emotional health problems and with determination you are able to see your way to a better and brighter future.

Steve Hill

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Follow These Nutrition Tips For A Healthy Body (2)

Follow These Nutrition Tips For A Healthy Body

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You have heard it before, “You are what you eat. ” This is very true. If you want to feel your best, you need to put the best foods in your body. You do not need the most expensive, but the most nutritious. How do you know what foods are the most beneficial to you? Read on for some information that you can use.

Find out how many calories you actually need. Knowing the actual amount of calories you should be eating is a quick way to put yourself in the mindset for healthy eating. Once you know how many calories you need, you can figure out what foods are the healthiest to help you reach that goal.

Be a good nutrition role model for your child. By staying physically active yourself, and always reaching for the healthful choice when snacking or eating a meal you will put your lessons in practice. When your child sees you consistently choosing nutritious foods, it will make a much bigger impression than any amount of lecturing.

To get a healthier body, consider eating your fresh fruits and vegetables raw. It is easier for your body to break down foods in their original state. Cooking food can leech nutrients, so raw fruits and vegetables are better for you. Eat raw food in smaller portions for better digestion and health.

If you find yourself eating out on a regular basis, take the time to research the calories in the items you tend to order, evaluate if they are the best options for your nutritional needs, and then find substitutes so that you can switch up your ordering habits to become more healthy over time.

When you “study up” on nutrition, be sure to read about more than one approach. There is more than one school of thought, and fashions come and go–even in this supposed “science.” In making a decision on which one to follow, the crucial test is what actually works for you. You may have to put more than one theory to the test before finding the one right for you.

When people go on a diet, a lot of times they will try and eat a lot of salad. Salads are wonderful because they will fill you up, are nutritional, and you can add anything you want to make them taste different. If you get tired of salads day after day, try filling up a whole wheat pita with salad, and you will find a whole new meal you enjoy.

To cure insomnia through your diet, eat foods that contain magnesium or melatonin. Magnesium works as a natural muscle relaxant, while melatonin helps your body to regulate sleep. Bananas, cherries, and hazelnuts are just a few examples of foods rich in these nutrients. Try making them a part of your last meal or snack of the day.

There are lots of ways to get the important nutrients that you body needs everyday. The basic thing to remember is that you need to feed your body only with foods that are helpful, and avoid the things that are harmful. Be creative with nutritious meals. For the sake of your health, make nutrition a basic part of your life.