obese women

  1. Dangerous meds for little girls

    It's one of the worst ideas I've ever seen from the mainstream -- and that's saying a lot.

    An outrageous new study is pushing powerful diabetes meds on girls as young as 8 years old who don't even have the disease in a bizarre effort to preserve their fertility decades later.

    Researchers claim their study shows that the drug metformin can help prevent polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS -- a
    hormonal imbalance that's one of the leading causes female infertility.

    In reality, the study doesn't even show that much -- but if it did, there are other safer ways to beat the condition.

    I'll get to those in the moment.

    First, the details: Researchers recruited 38 8-year-old girls (presumably through their parents) who had some of the key risk factors for PCOS: low birth weight and early appearance of pubic hair.

    Half were given metformin for four years between the ages of 8 and 12, while the rest got the drug for just one year at the age of 12.

    By 15, the girls who were on the drug for four years were up to 8 times less likely to have some of the later signs of PCOS, including menstruation problems, acne, abnormal hair growth, and higher levels of male hormones.

    Obviously, there's no indication of whether or not these girls experienced fertility problems, but the researchers say they plan to track them until the age of 18 to see what else happens.

    But really, why bother?

    PCOS doesn't have a single "right" answer and there's no surefire cure for it -- and metformin won't turn out to be one, either.

    If it works even a little, it's because the condition appears to be related to diabetes: Women who suffer from PCOS have a higher risk of insulin resistance and a higher risk of the disease itself.

    The most promising treatment for both PCOS and diabetes isn't a drug -- it's lifestyle changes, and many of the women who've made those changes have been able to get both under control.

    One study from 2005 found that six months of a low-carb diet improved weight as well as testosterone and insulin levels in obese women who suffered from PCOS. A study last year found similar results from a low-glycemic diet, which is similar to a low-carb diet.

    Since eating right can make anyone healthier at any age, this one's a no-brainer: Don't give a little girl drugs for a condition she doesn't even have -- just put better food on the table every night, and the entire family will benefit.

  2. Obesity boosts risk of fibromyalgia

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    We all know how extra weight can lead to a world of disease. And now, a new study shows how it can put you in a world of pain, too.

    The latest research finds that overweight and obese women have a much higher risk of the debilitating pain condition, fibromyalgia.

    Those forced to cope with this awful syndrome, which tends to affect women, say it's like the volume's been turned up on their pain, everywhere. Believe me, this is something you want to avoid--and if dropping a few pounds can do the trick, do it.

    In the new study, researchers found that overweight and obese women had a 60-70 percent increased risk of developing fibromyalgia. And women who exercised four or more times each week were 29 percent less likely to come down with the condition than sedentary women.

    Overall, the researchers found that overweight and obese women who were either completely inactive or exercised for less than an hour a week had a two-fold increase in fibromyalgia risk, according to the study in Arthritis Care and Research.

    The researchers behind this new study said exercise in normal-weight women didn't seem to prevent fibromyalgia-- but that doesn't mean you should get cozy on the sofa, especially if you're already suffering from this condition.

    In fact, one recent study found that 30 minutes of light activity a day, even simple movements such as walking or gardening, can send the pain packing.

    That's a lot better than anything most doctors will give you. In fact, many of them wouldn't even say the word "fibromyalgia" out loud until recently, and not just because it's a lot of syllables.

    Many mainstream doctors claimed it was all in their patients' heads.

    Now, most doctors are only too happy to hand you a fibromyalgia diagnosis--and not because they suddenly became better doctors. It's because now, they have drugs they can give you.

    Don't be fooled.

    In addition to side effects such as anxiety, depression, swelling, stomach problems and even more pain, these meds are barely effective. One review of the research found that, as a group, they're only about 35 percent effective.

    I think most people would call that "ineffective."

    The real answer--and the reason so many people have trouble finding it--is in the fact that fibromyalgia can be caused by any one of a number of conditions. In some cases, it may be caused by nutritional or hormonal deficiencies. Many women have had success with the hormone relaxin.

    And still others have found common--but often undiagnosed –-food allergies are behind the pain.

    Most ordinary doctors don't have the time or skills to correctly diagnose and treat fibromyalgia. If you want to win the battle against pain, visit an experienced holistic doctor who can not only get to the cause of your condition, but find a safe way to treat it.

  3. Breast cancer key locked up in lifestyle

    For women who have survived breast cancer, few ideas are as frightening as the prospect of a new cancer in their other breast.

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