Wednesday, November 30, 2016

7 things you should know about this 'harmless' habit that's actually a disorder

It can start with just a few strands of hair, an eyelash or two. But before a person knows it, Trichotillomania — the incessant urge to pull one's hair out — can become an all-encompassing disorder. While the condition is remarkably common, even experts say they have more questions than answers about the disease: For example, no one knows why adult women are disproportionately affected by the disorder. "It's extremely embarrassing and self-defeating," a 24-year-old survivor, who still struggles with Trich, told Revelist. "I've thought about shaving my head and starting over, I've tried wigs, but there is no hiding from yourself." Much of the shame survivors feel stems from the lack of education about Trichotillomania — that their illness isn't a moral failing, and that help is available to them.

It can start with just a few strands of hair, an eyelash or two. But before a person knows it, Trichotillomania — the incessant urge to pull one's hair out — can become an all-encompassing disorder. While the condition is remarkably common, even experts say they have more questions than answers about the disease: For example, no one knows why adult women are disproportionately affected by the disorder. "It's extremely embarrassing and self-defeating," a 24-year-old survivor, who still struggles with Trich, told Revelist. "I've thought about shaving my head and starting over, I've tried wigs, but there is no hiding from yourself." Much of the shame survivors feel stems from the lack of education about Trichotillomania — that their illness isn't a moral failing, and that help is available to them. 

1. Trichotillomania is different than the occasional hair pulling. There's a strong distinction between having a "habit" and living with a full-fledged disorder, Raikes told Revelist. "Trichotillomania is a mental health disorder when you have the compulsion to pull out your hair to the point where it’s causing you distress, or where it’s disrupting your life in some way," she said. "It could be your head hair, it could be your eyelashes, it could be your eyebrows. It could be pretty much any hair on your body, the most common being head hair." Many sufferers don't even realize the consequences of the disease.

2. Trich is usually comorbid with other mental health issues. "Trich often coexists with a number of different problems, like anxiety," Raikes said. "Sometimes [it coexists with] depression, sometimes body-focused repetitive disorders, like skin picking disorder, which is very similar to hair pulling."

3. The typical age of onset is between ages 9-13. Many who struggle with Trich start pretty early. "I first started pulling out my hair during high school, I don’t know why I started it just seemed to calm me down when my anxiety would kick in," Maggie (name changed), who is 24, told Revelist. "It’s a strange cycle though because I would start picking my scalp and pull my hair out in one spot — usually where I could easily hide it." Maggie, who still occasionally struggles, said Trich can quickly become a vicious cycle of relief and grief. "I would find one particular hair that had a root on it, and I would feel a sense of release. Then I would realize how much hair I had plucked out and my anxiety would get worse."

4. Adult women are diagnosed with Trich twice as often as adult men. "Trich tends to start in childhood, especially post-puberty when the highest number seem to be women," Raikes said. "This could be related to hormones...currently, our org is trying to get more answers." Though women are disproportionately affected by Trich, people of all genders can struggle. "I began pulling my eyelashes when I was 8, which later progressed to tweezing body hair," "Jamie," (name changed), a genderqueer person from New Jersey, told Revelist. "I am not sure when it started, but it was around the time that I was molested. [It] intensified after being kidnapped by parent."

5. Parents are typically the ones who find out about their child's struggle with Trich. Because there's so little information about the disorder, many children and preteens have no idea that they're engaging in harmful behavior. A parent or guardian will typically notice a problem before they do. "These problems often start in childhood, so it’s often the parents who are helping the child to find help," Raikes said. "But one of the big barriers to anyone getting help is that [Trich] is not well-known. [Trich is] really common, but it's not well-known." "I think that’s because we feel ashamed…and we think they’re our fault," she added. "Often, it’s people’s biggest secret."

6. Hair pulling is just one battle for those with Trichotillomania fight every day. Trich survivors tend to feel enormous guilt about their disorder and will do anything in their power to "hide" bald spots or missing lashes. This can add another dimension of stress to a person's life. "In addition to all the time a person spends doing the behaviors, there’s also the shame and the hiding…the ways in which we adapt our life in order to not reveal these problems," Raike told Revelist. "Many experts are not trained in these problems, so it’s really up to the parents to educate themselves."

7. Recovery is possible, and help is available. Struggling with Trich — or any mental health issue — doesn't make you a bad person; help is possible, and you are lovable. Visit to find help in your area.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shannen Doherty begins radiation treatments in breast cancer battle: 'I hate it'

Since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, Shannen Doherty has shared each step in her battle against the disease — from hair loss, to "chemo days" to the lessons she's learned. On Monday, the actress opened up again, this time telling fans about the latest step and the anxiety that comes with it.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Teen Girl with Cancer Makes Chemo Survival Bags for Fellow Patients

When you’re diagnosed with cancer, people will give you gifts – trinkets, blankets, stuffed animals, but most of them aren’t very practical. “You end up using none of it,” 19-year-old Kyla Pokorny told Tuesday. “It’s very nice, but I found stuff that is a lot more helpful.” She should know. At age 14, she was diagnosed with bone cancer. It’s gone into remission and come back twice.

Now, at age 19, it has spread to every bone in her body and she has been receiving her latest blast of radiation since September. It is important to her to take care of others as she takes care of herself. She spends at least three days a week in the hospital, and she usually visits with the babies and the children in the cancer ward. So for Christmas, she wanted to put together survival bags for young cancer sufferers – things that soothe the body and occupy the mind, things that she wished someone had given to her.

Things like a thermometer. Scent-free lotion. A really good heating pad. Coloring books. Pretty, comfortable head scarves. “If you’re a kid with cancer, if you have a temperature, you need to know right away,” Pokorny said. “It’s super dangerous. You need to go to the E.R.” Radiation can burn the skin. “Mine just got like peely, like a sunburn,” she said. “Some people have open wounds.” Thus the importance of a scentless, non-stinging lotion. All of this goes in her care packages. She estimates the bags cost between $100 to $200.

She has started a GoFundMe page to help finance her holiday project. Some of her bags will also be for cancer babies and very young children. She loves spending time with them, and they bask in her presence. “I feel like I have more little friends than big friends, because I’m always at the hospital,” she said. “I’m really good with kids. They like me.” She originally thought she would become a nurse when she grew up. Now she thinks she will become a child-life specialist, a professional who works with hospitalized cancer patients.

The hardest part about being a teenager with cancer, she says, is that all her same-age friends are away at college, working away at their majors. “I can’t make any plans,” she said. “I’m like stuck. Chemo messes with your brain. If I read a chapter, I wouldn’t remember it 20 minutes later.” So she waits. And undergoes her radiation treatments as needed. Her hair is gone and will never come back in its original glory. She just got a new wig – dark brown and waist-length. Life goes on, in its ever-changing way. Pokorny rides it like a wave. “I’m doing pretty good,” she says.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

17 Quick and Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

All holiday celebrations are difficult to navigate when you’re trying to eat healthier, and Thanksgiving is no exception. With mountains of mashed potatoes, tons of turkey, and pies on pies on pies, the average Thanksgiving dinner packs in somewhere between 2,500 and 4,500 calories.

But don’t fear the festive feast! There are plenty of ways to indulge in the flavors of fall without feeling as stuffed as the bird after dinner.When it comes to side dishes, you and your guests can feel good about gobbling up these healthier options that we’ve rounded up from some of our favorite food bloggers around the web.

View the list and recipes here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Prostate cancer risk soars by a quarter if men drink just one or two beers

Having just one or two beers can increase your prostate cancer risk by nearly a quarter, according to new research. Scientists are working on understanding the link between alcohol and cancer say it is a known risk factor for breast cancer and at least seven types of digestive system cancers.

It is also suggested that any type of alcohol may increase the risk of cancers of the skin, pancreas and prostate. Even at low-volume drinking, classed as up to two drinks per day, men had a 23 per cent greater risk of prostate cancer compared to people who have never drunk.

The new collaborative study was done by researchers at the Centre for Addictions Research of BC at the University of Victoria and Australia's National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, and provides new evidence of a significant relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of prostate cancer. The article appeared in BMC Cancer, a peer-reviewed online journal. Part of the problem with most previous studies comes from what scientists call "abstainer bias," where former drinkers were lumped together with people who have never touched a drop.

This practice can disguise the association between alcohol intake and health problems like prostate cancer by making drinkers "look good" in comparison with a group containing unhealthy former drinkers. The research team identified all 340 previously published studies on alcohol and prostate cancer and found 27 that attempted to measure the risk at different levels of consumption. Controlling for abstainer bias in their analysis of all those studies, they found a statistically significant relationship between amount of alcohol consumed and risk of prostate cancer among current drinkers, meaning the more you drink, the greater your risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Canada, Australia and Britain, and is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in men worldwide. CARBC director and co-author Dr Tim Stockwell said: ""This new study contributes to the strengthening evidence that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer. "Alcohol consumption will need to be factored in to future estimates of the global burden of disease." Report co-author Dr Tanya Chikritzhs added: "These findings highlight the need for better methods in research on alcohol and health. "Past and future studies that demonstrate protection from disease due to low-level drinking should be treated with caution."

Friday, November 11, 2016

6 Reasons You Actually Do Need to Wash Your Hair

Three days, five days, a week… The number of days one goes without washing their hair and just getting by with dry shampoo has become a point of pride these days. We even hear colleagues brag about how many workouts their most recent blowout has lasted through. (Congrats?)

But even though over-washing is indeed harsh on strands and can strip their natural moisture, experts tell us that, depending on your hair texture, there actually can be such as thing as going too long between suds. Without regular shampooing hair can become lackluster, smelly, and worse. So, today, in honor of National Shampoo Day (which falls on either the twentieth, twenty-first, or twenty-second day of October—the true date of the made-up holiday is a point of contention in the beauty industry), we asked hairstylists, colorists, dermatologists, and hair experts for the quick and dirty on coming clean.

1. Shampoo Is, You Know, Basic Hygiene How do you like the sound of “microfauna” in your hair? Us, neither. “Sebum, which is nature’s hair conditioner, is constantly secreted out of the scalp and onto the hair, and it will build-up without washing. This can leave the hair looking and feeling oily, but worse still, this sebum can act as a food source for microfauna whose action can lead to dandruff and, in extreme cases, can cause hair loss. In addition, product build-up residue from conditioning and styling ingredients will also occur without washing, which collectively can dull the hair and weigh it down. A good cleaning with a good shampoo will prevent all of these issues. In short, this new ‘no poo’ movement really is a crock of …. well, poo.”— Trefor Evans, cosmetic chemist and technical consultant to the hair-care industry

2. It Acts Like Skin Care You know what happens when you don’t wash your face—and the same goes for your scalp. “Dry shampoo will bind and pull the oil away from the scalp, but doesn't remove it and can leave hair dry. That, along with dead skin on the scalp, and hair products, like oils and volumizers, need to be removed intermittently, otherwise they can block follicles and lead to inflammation. Some newer shampoos are even designed to strengthen the hair. My favorite is Julien Farel Hydrate Restore, which includes resveratrol and antioxidants, and sits on the scalp for a few minutes before rinsing.”— Doris Day, a New York City dermatologist 

3. It’s the First Step in Style Every good blowout starts in the same place: the shampoo bowl. “Using the right shampoo for your hair type resets hair and gives you a good foundation for any style. If you have thin hair, a volumizing shampoo cleanses hair of volume-deflating build up, while a shampoo for thick coarse hair is designed to hydrate and coat the cuticle to weigh down flyaways. And if you were to skip shampoo altogether, your hair wouldn’t be prepared to hold the style you’re looking to achieve. Lastly, it’s plain-old good hygiene. No one wants to talk to someone whose B.O. enters the room before they do, and no amount of fragranced dry shampoo is truly going to mask it.”— Greg Ruggeri, stylist, colorist, and owner of Salon Ruggeri in New York City

4. Healthy Hair Starts at the Roots The health of your scalp directly translates to the health of your hair. “Since skin turns over approximately every 28 days, the build up of [dead skin] scales can grow more pronounced if you don’t wash your scalp. Washing hair has been shown to significantly reduce the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, in hair follicles and this hormone has been associated with increased hair thinning in women. Female patients often admit they're afraid to wash their scalp because they see hair in the shower drain afterwards. But we normally have about 100 hairs fall out every day and about 100 hairs grow back, so the more days we wait, the larger the number of dislodged hairs grows.

Regular cleaning with well-formulated shampoo will not damage hair. In fact, some studies show that it may help fragile hair by decreasing grooming force.”— Carlos K. Wesley, a New York City-based cosmetic surgeon specializing in men's and women's hair loss

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Breast Cancer: The First Sign Isn't Always a Lump

Around 1 in 6 women eventually diagnosed with breast cancer initially go to their doctors with a symptom other than a lump, according to a new study conducted in England. Women who have a symptom of breast cancer other than lumps are also more likely to wait to see a doctor, compared with women who do have lumps, the researchers found.

That might put them at risk of worse outcomes if the cancer isn't caught quickly. "It's crucial that women are aware that a lump is not the only symptom of breast cancer," study leader Monica Koo, a doctoral candidate at University College London, said in a statement. "If they are worried about any breast symptoms, the best thing to do is to get it checked by a doctor as soon as possible."

Breast cancer symptoms Koo and her colleagues used data from the English National Audit of Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care involving about 2,300 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2009 and 2010. They classified each patient by the symptoms that brought her to the doctor, which could include more than one. In total, 83 percent of these women had a breast lump, the most well-known symptom of breast cancer. Seven percent had nipple abnormalities, 6 percent had breast pain, 2 percent had breast skin abnormalities and 1 percent had breast ulceration. Less than 1 percent each had abnormalities of the contour of the breast or breast infections.

A small number of women also reported symptoms that weren't related to the breast itself. One percent had a lump in the armpit, 1 percent experienced back pain and less than 1 percent experienced muscle pain or breathlessness. The researchers then grouped the patients together by symptom clusters. The vast majority of the women fell into one of four groups: The researchers found that 76 percent of all the women had a breast lump as their only symptom, and 11 percent had a breast symptom that was not a lump as their only symptom, and 5 percent had only a non-breast symptom. Six percent had a breast lump as well as at least one additional breast symptom.

Getting care The researchers then looked at how long it took the women to get to the doctor after their symptoms started. They focused on those who waited more than 90 days, because a three-month delay in seeking a diagnosis is linked to lower five-year survival rates. They found that although only 7 percent of women with a breast lump waited that long, 15 percent of women with symptoms other than a lump, and 20 percent of women with both a lump and other types of symptoms, waited 90 days.
"This research shows that, all too often, women are delaying going to their doctor with symptoms of breast cancer," Karen Kennedy, director of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) in the U.K., said in a statement. "This could be because people are simply unaware that breast cancer can present in many different ways, not just through the presence of a lump.

With a disease like breast cancer, it's essential to be diagnosed as early as possible so that a treatment plan can be developed and started. Awareness campaigns need to raise awareness of all of the potential symptoms of breast cancer so that people know how to spot the signs and when to go to a doctor."

Friday, November 4, 2016

Edema during pregnancy — Should you drink less water?

Most women feel that one should limit their intake of fluids in case of swelling of legs due to accumulation of water in the cells during pregnancy. It is caused when the water leaks from the cells into the extracellular space leading to edema.

This in turn causes many physiological changes in the body, of which swelling of the face, arms and legs is quite common. And hence, it is believed that lowering fluid intake might help, which is not the case. Here are 10 ways pregnancy changes your body that nobody tells you about. According to Dr Y S Nandanwar, Professor and Head of Department, Gynecology, Lokmanya Tilak Medical College and Sion Hospital, Mumbai, ‘Almost 80% of our body contains water, which is needed for maintaining normal functioning of the body.

But, excess or less intake of water can hinder with the pumping of blood which in turn puts you at risk of oedema. Moreover, release of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy causes water retention, which is the cause of edema. This clearly indicates that lowering your intake of water will only worsen the condition rather than improving it.’

Here are some expert tips to deal with swollen feet or edema during pregnancy. However, this is not the only reason of fluid accumulation in body. Other causes that might lead to edema include protein deficiency (abnormal ratio of albumin/globulin), anaemia, heart disease, thrombus and elephantiasis. Hence, it is a good idea to consult your gynecologist at the earliest as soon as you experience swelling of the legs or edema during pregnancy rather than opting for self-care or home care.

And as far as intake of water (fluids) is concerned, Dr Nandanwar recommends that every pregnant woman should consume at least 10 – 12 glasses of water (which accounts to around three to four litres) per day on a daily basis. And keep in mind that lowering your fluid intake won’t help you in dealing with edema. Also read about weight gain during pregnancy — what’s good and what’s not.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

$26 Million Settlement Moves Forward Over Hair Loss From Wen Cleansing Conditioner

A federal judge in Los Angeles gave preliminary approval to a $26.25 million settlement for a class-action lawsuit against Wen by Chaz Dean and distributor Guthy-Renker.

The more than 200 members of the lawsuit say that the brand’s cleansing conditioner led to hair loss, scalp irritation, and balding. If approved by a U.S. district judge, the suit would pay $25 to anyone who bought a bottle of the cleansing conditioner (total capped at $5 million) and up to $20,000 to people who experienced adverse reactions; that figure includes reimbursement for treatment as well as injury awards.

Attorney Amy Davis told CBS Los Angeles: “From what we understand about the product and how it causes hair loss is it contains virtually no cleanser. It’s like using lotion to wash your hair. So instead of removing the product when you rinse it off, it just becomes impacted in your hair follicle.” Wen disputes this claim and said in a statement that the product is safe.

“We continue to provide our hundreds of thousands of customers with the Wen by Chaz Dean products that they know and love. Since the process of litigation is time consuming and costly, we made a business decision to pursue a settlement and put this behind us so that we can focus on delivering quality products.”

In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert for the cleansing conditioner after it received 127 complaints of “hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching, and rash” associated with the product. The FDA is also investigating thousands of complaints made directly to Chaz Dean, Inc. and Guthy-Renker.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cold cap can combat hair loss from chemo for breast cancer

A cooling cap that prevents hair loss during chemotherapy has come through its clinical trials and can make a huge difference to the quality of life of patients, Dr. Paula Klein, medical director, Breast Cancer Clinical Trials, Mount Sinai Health System in New York told NY1.

One such happy patient was Donna Tookes, a patient who was treated with the cap during her breast cancer therapy and had been resigned to hair loss. She told the station, “I accepted it.” In fact, she did not have to. Thanks to her participation in a trial of the Dignicap from Dignitana headed by Klein, she didn't lose any hair at all. The cap “literally freezes the scalp so that it shuts down blood vessels,” Klein told NY1. “Less chemotherapy is delivered to the scalp.”

The cap Klein used pumps coolant through it. The patient's hair is wet and this keeps the temperature of scalp and hair near freezing during therapy. This constricts the blood vessels in the region, and thus reduces the amount of anti-cancer drugs that reach hair follicles. The scalp-cooling technique has been in use for years in Europe, but is only now gaining FDA approval and greater use in the U.S. There had been fears that sparing the scalp from treatment might allow cancer to spread to that area. But clinical evidence from Europe has now suggested that this is not the case.

“In Europe they do not show a significant increase in scalp metastases,” said Klein. The cooling system which chills the hair and scalp to just above freezing during therapy received the agency's okay for a multicenter clinical trial in 2015. “Some of today’s most powerful, lifesaving chemotherapy treatments still cause complete hair loss, a side effect that many women consider to be emotionally devastating,” Dr. Hope S. Rugo, principal investigator for the study and Director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center noted in a 2015 statement about the trials.

In the Mt. Sinai trials about seven out of 10 early-stage breast cancer patients kept at least half their hair without any negative events linked to the cooling cap. The FDA approval is, for the present, limited to early-stage breast cancer, but Klein stated that she thinks it will eventually find more widespread use. “I am extremely excited to finally be able to offer patients scalp cooling during chemotherapy, which allows them to retain normalcy and privacy in their lives,” she stressed.

For patients, the loss of hair is among the most important chemo side effects, according to a 2008 article published in the journal Psycho-Oncology by Julie Lemieux, Elizabeth Maunsell and Louise Provencher. They found that “chemotherapy-induced hair loss is considered to be the most important side effect of chemotherapy, frequently ranking among the first three for breast cancer patients, and can lead to refusal of chemotherapy. Secondly, it is described by breast cancer women as causing distress and as being traumatizing. Thirdly, there might be an impact on body image, although not all studies reported this association.”