Archive for October 2013

An Introduction to the Hair Loss Drug Finasteride

October 21st, 2013 — 8:43am

Finasteride is the popular hair loss drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of androgenic alopecia or more simply male pattern baldness.  This type of hair loss condition is known to be hereditary in trait.  However, it has also been classified to be hormonal in issue.  This is because the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is responsible for the thinning of hair follicles that contributes greatly to the loss of hair.

This hormone DHT is the byproduct of the hormone testosterone and the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.  At normal levels, DHT does not pose any risk of hair loss.  However, at higher levels, particularly in the scalp, it seems to squeeze the life out of hair follicles progressively which is why the thinning occurs.  In due time, these hair follicles won’t even be able to support hair growth.

Male pattern baldness is often characterized by a receding hairline along with a balding on the top of the head.  When left untreated or without any intervention, hair loss will progress and the receding front hair line will meet with the balding top until only a line of hair at the side and back are left.  The eventual result when no act of intervention or treatment is made is alopecia totalis or total loss of hair. Continue reading »

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Are exercise and constipation related?

October 19th, 2013 — 5:41am

Dear Expert:

I have been back to a regular exercise routine for a couple of weeks now, and have become constipated. It now occurs to me that I have been constipated previously when undergoing a rigid exercise routine. Is there some correlation?


Constipation can occur if you do not drink enough water during the day. Make sure you drink adequate amounts of water before, during and after you exercise. Throughout a typical day you should have at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water. And when exercising you should rehydrate yourself so you never feel thirsty. Feeling thirsty is a good indication that you are dehydrated.

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Hair Coloring: To Test or Not to Test?

October 14th, 2013 — 5:28am

Do you allergy-test before you apply your favorite hair-coloring product? All the experts agree that you should. And do it before every use of a hair-coloring product. Whoever takes the time to read the instructions in the boxes of hair color of even the most popular and dependable hair coloring preparations will see, quite clearly, that a patch test 48 hours before each use is recommended. It’s a simple procedure. But how many of us do it?

Here’s how: Mix a few equal drops of the hair color with the developer, stir with a cotton swab, then apply a small amount of the mixture to the inside of your elbow. Leave uncovered and undisturbed for 48 hours. If nothing happens, it’s probably safe to use it on your hair.

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Secondary Infertility

October 9th, 2013 — 5:21am

After successfully having their first baby, a small percentage of couples are shocked to find that they have trouble conceiving a second child. This phenomenon is known as secondary infertility.

Infertility is defined as a year of regular intercourse without getting pregnant. Some experts shorten the year to six months in women who are over age 35 because it can take longer to get pregnant as women age.

If you do not conceive easily a second time, take a deep breath and do some simple things at home before calling an infertility specialist.

  • Chart your menstrual cycle – Do you still have a 28-day cycle or has it lengthened? If your cycle is now 35 days, you’ll ovulate on the 20th day, not the 14th.
  • Use a home ovulation kit – These kits detect the hormonal changes that occur at ovulation.
  • Take your temperature – Use a thermometer every morning for a couple of months. A slight rise will indicate ovulation, and that day would be a good time to try to conceive.

If, after using the ovulation kit, you still find you haven’t gotten pregnant, ask your doctor to consider helping you get pregnant medically. Possible interventions include:

  • Clomid and other drugs that increase egg production.
  • Artificial insemination with your husband’s sperm or a donor.
  • In vitro fertilization.

Just as in primary infertility, there are many reasons why you may not be able to get pregnant.

  • Your menstrual cycle may change after having a baby.
  • Fertility decreases in the mid- to late-30s and early 40s, diminishing almost entirely by the mid-40s.
  • If you gained a lot of weight in your last pregnancy and didn’t lose it, it may cause you to have irregular menstrual cycles.
  • Some women have heavy postpartum bleeding that may cause damage to the pituitary gland, which produces the hormone that signals your body to ovulate. If this is the reason for not ovulating, your doctor usually will detect other hormonal changes.
  • If you are breast-feeding, the frequency of ovulation can be reduced. But remember, breast-feeding is not a reliable means of contraception. If you are nursing and aren’t ready for another baby, use contraception.
  • Finally, remember that it takes two to tango and to make a baby. Your partner may be contributing to the difficulty conceiving. A proper workup of infertility includes evaluation of both partners.


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