Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Does An Abnormal Pap Smear Test Result Really Mean?

How often should I have a Pap smear?
A woman's first Pap smear should be within three years of when you become sexually active, or when you are 21 years of age, depending on which comes first. Women should have a Pap smear once a year until well after menopause.

A Pap smear is a test your doctor performs to check for signs of cancer of the cervix. The cervix is part of your uterus (womb). A Pap smeal lets your doctor look at the cells within your cervix (lower part of the womb) to see if there are any problems, such as cancer. An abnormal Pap smear means the cells of the cervix show slight abnormal changes.

The Pap smear begins with the doctor placing an instrument, called a speculum, into your vagina. This instrument opens the vagina to allow the doctor to see your cervix and take a sample for testing. Your doctor cleans the cervix with a cotton swab and then collects a sample of cells by using a small brush, a tiny spatula or a cotton swab. This sample will be placed on a glass slide and checked under a microscope by a lab.

What is the sample checked for?
The cells from your cervix are checked for signs that they're changing from normal cells to abnormal cells. Before they turn into cancer, cells go through a series of changes. During the development of cells, the cells at the bottom layer move to the surface of the cervix. It is during this process that some cells may become abnormal or damaged. Damaged cells deelop differently, and in some cases, need to be removed to prevent cancer.

Abnormal cells indicate early precancer changes called dysplasis or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Dysplasis and CIN are graded as mild, moderate, or severe. Mild dysplasis usually goes away on its own, but moderate and severe dysplasis cells indicate more serious changes.

The results of a Pap smear can show whether your cells are going through these changes long before you actually have cancer.

What do the results mean?

A normal Pap smear means that all the cells in your cervix are normal and healthy. An abnormal Pap smear can be a sign of a number of changes in the cells on your cervix, including Inflammation (irritation). This can be caused by an infection of the cervix, including a yeast infection, infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) the herpes virus or many other infections.

Abnormal cells. These changes are called cervical dysplasia. The cells are not cancer cells, but may be precancerous (which means they could eventually turn into cancer).

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Abnormal Pap Test Results
HPV infection is very common, especially in women younger than 20 years. The HPV is passed from person to person through sexual contact. Usually, the immune system clears the virus quickly, and the infection goes away by itself. However, in some women, HPV does not go away. A small number of women will go on to develop CIN. The longer HPV is present and the older the woman, the greater the risk to develop CIN. Usually it takes years for precancer changes in the cervix to cause cervical cancer.

Pap Test Results - The Bethesda System

If you receive an abnormal Pap test result, many of the terms you will hear can be confusing. Most labs use the "Bethesda System" to describe Pap test results. The term squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL) is used to describe precancer changes. "Squamous" refers to the type of cells that make up the tissue covering the cervix. Using the Bethesda System, your Pap smear results will be placed in one of several groups:

* Normal (negative) -- This means there are no signs of cancer or precancer.
* Atypical Squamous Cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) -- means, changes in the cervical cells have been found. The changes are almost always a sign of an HPV infection, but may indicate percancer is present. ASC-US is the most common abnormal Pap test result.
* Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (SIL) -- means abnormal changes are seen in the cells and may be a sign of precancer. SIL can be low grade (LSIL) or high grade (HSIL). The grades relate to the grades of dysplasia and CIN. LSIL usually indicates an HPV infection is present, but is may also indicate mild precancer changes. LSIL is very common and usually goes awan on its own. HSIL indicates more serious cell changes. Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is a severe form of HSIL, and is the most likely to progress to cancer.
* Atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude HSIL (ASC-H) -- because changes in the cervical cells have been found. The changes are not exactly HSIL, but could be and further testing will be needed.
* Atypical glandular cells (AGC) -- means that cell changes are seen that suggest precancer of the upper part of the cervix or uterous.
* Cancer -- means that abnormal cells may have spread deeper into the cervix and/or other tissues.

What the Terms Mean

Cervical changes may be called dysplasia, squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL), or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). SIL is used primarily to describe Pap test results. CIN and dysplasia are terms used to describe the actual changes in cervical cells.

For instance:

Mild Dysplasia would mean a 1 CIN, and low-grade SIL.
Moderate Dysplasia would mean a 2 CIN, and High-grade SIL.
Severe Dysplasia mean a 3 CIN, and High-grade SIL

If you are informed that you have an abnormal Pap test result, you may need further testing, and treatment and follow-up usually depends on your age and the grade of dysplasia.

Repeat Pap Test

For some women, an additional testing option is to repeat the Pap test in a few months. This may provide time for the cell changes to go away on their own. For women 21 years and older with ASC-US, the test is given every 6 months until two normal results are achieved. After that, a normal Pap smear routine can return. For women 20 years and younger with ASC-US or LSIL, the Pap test is usually repeated in one year.

HPV Testing

Another option for some women is an HPV test. This test detects the presence of cancer-causing types of HPV in cervical cells. The cells used for the initial Pap test often can be tested, so a woman does not need to return to the office for another test.

Colposcopy, Biopsy, and Endocervical Sampling

Colposcopy lets your doctor look at the cervix in more detail through a magnifying device. It can detect problems of the cervix that cannot be seen with the eye alone. If an area of abnormal cells is found, your doctor may decide that a biopsy is needed. A small sample of tissue will be removed and senr it to a lab to be studied. Endocervical sampling also may be done, which involves the use of a small brush or other instrument to take a tissue sample from the cervical canal.

Endometrial Sampling

In this test, a sample of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is collected for study. Some women with an AGC result need to have this follow-up test.


Treating cervical changes depends on many factors. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 1 usually goes away by itself. For this reason, CIN 1 in women 20 years and younger is monitored with repeat Pap tests. No treatment is needed unless there is an HSIL Pap test result. Women 21 years and older, treatment is not needed unless CIN 1 has been present for 2 years, the CIN becomes CIN 2 or CIN 3, or there are other medical problems.

Techniques used to treat cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN):

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a thin wire loop that carries an electric current and is used to remove abnormal areas within the cervix. The LEEP is usually performed in the doctor’s office with local anesthesia. The areas that are removed are sent to a lab to be studied.

Cone biopsy is when a cone-shaped wedge of the cervix is removed for study. This procedure may be done in an operating room with general anesthesia or in a surgical center with other types of anesthesia. Most likely you will be able to go home the same day.

Freezing is also called cryotherapy, and is a technique to freeze abnormal tissue, which the body will later shed.

Laser treatment is using a beam of light to destroy abnormal tissue.

An abnormal Pap smear test result is scary and stressful, but when caught early, cervical cancer can be avoided. Don't put off having your annual Pap smear, and don't run away from the treatment!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Romantic Valentine's Day Cocktail and Chocolate Fudge Recipes

Looking for a way to add some romance to that Valentine's dinner you are planning? Besides the candles, music and perfect card, why not pour your Valentine a cocktail to compliment that special meal?

Besides, what better time to let the foxy vixen in you run wild and serve up a scrumptious, sinfully delicious cocktail to start a perfect romantic evening with your Valentine.

Great drinks can compliment any meal and give you a chance to impress your guest with amazing cocktail skills. Champagne makes an appearance in many “love” beverages, as so does chocolate and strawberries.

Have fun with cocktails and create with embellishments to fit the mood. Carve fruit into heart shapes, garnish with chocolate covered strawberries, or heart shaped cinnamon hearts.

Are you passionate about flavors like raspberry and chocolate? Here's a delectable and creamy Valentine's Day cocktail. Tequila is not mixed into creamy drinks very often, but when it is it's a dream come true!

I've heard it called the Agave Kiss, but whatever its name you won't be disappointed. The cocktail is made with tequila, crème de cacao, Chambord and cream. Then served up and garnished with a chocolate rim and raspberries. This drink is ultra-creamy and shaken to a slurry mix.

Agave Kiss

2 oz Herradur Tequila Silver
1 oz white crème de cacao
½ oz Chambord
white chocolate flakes for the glass rim
fresh raspberries for garnish


1.Combine Herradura tequila, white crème de cacao, double cream, the Chambord, and ice in a cocktail shaker.
2.Shake for 15 seconds.
3.Pour the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with the white chocolate, add a spear of fresh raspberries and serve.

Surprising your Valentine with delicious treats doesn't need to be difficult or expensive. A cocktail can easily set the mood for romance or end the evening deliciously.

How about a sweet treat at the end of a meal? A delicious spiked fudge might be just what you're looking for. It's easy to make, and the bourbon adds an interesting, yet subtle flavor to the ho-hum fudge. The Forget Me Not Fudge makes for a decadent chocolate treat to share with that special someone on Valentine's Day.

Forget Me Not Fudge:

4 ½ cup granulated sugar
1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk
18 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces
½ lb butter
1 Tbsp Maker's Mark bourbon
2 cup chopped pecans


1.Combine the sugar and milk in a saucepan.
2.Bring to a boil, and boil over medium heat for exactly 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
3.Remove from heat immediately, and add the remaining ingredients, and mix well.
4.Spread evenly in a greased 9x13-inch dish and allow to cool.

A romantic cocktail before serving your Valentine's Day dinner will add to the mood for the evening. A sweet treat at the end of your meal will add to a memorable evening.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pittsburgh Has The Steelers and A Unique Language

When we think about Pittsburgh (aka The Burgh) scenes of a dirty steel mill town comes to mind. But, today Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is no longer a town cluttered with steel mills spewing poisons into the atmosphere. Pittsburgh is now a modern renaissance city. A city with modern cathedrals, high-tech companies, Old World atmosphere embellished with friendly faces, fun and adventure.

The City of Pittsburgh was founded in 1758, incorporated in 1816, and is comprised of 55.5 square miles that ranks as the 13th largest city in the United States. The city has a population of 350,363 and the entire Allegheny County has a population of 1,336,449. It thrives at an elevation of 1,223 feet, and Pittsburgh is the nation's largest inland port that provides access to the extensive 9,000 mile U.S. inland waterway system.

Education does not take a backseat, in Pittsburgh, with 92 public schools, 72 private schools, 58 parochial schools, 38 proprietary schools, and 8 colleges and universities. Pittsburgh has 4 major newspapers, 32 radio stations and 8 television stations. Also located in Pittsburgh are numerous churches: 348 Protestant; 86 Roman Catholic, 28 Jewish; and 8 Orthodox.

Steel, once being the major industry, no longer is the ruling entity of the area. Pittsburgh is visited by 3.9 million people annually, which makes for a $2.2 billion industry that provides more than 35,000 full-time equivalent jobs within the region.

Pittsburghers have the Steelers Football Team and a language of their own. They have survived the Homestead strikes, Johnstown and Etna Floods. Pittsburghers are tough-minded and have worked hard in mills and mines without complaint. Chic Internet cafes or cappuccinos might not be the norm in this city, but they have the Original Hot Dog joint, Primanti's Eat n Park, and Iron City Beer. Palm tree-lined and sunny beaches or high-dollar yachts might not be part of Pittsburgh's scenery, but the rivers flow and connect small towns that were built on strength and humility, and the area is rich in history. The blue-collar world in this area was symbolic of hard work, family values, however, no one suggested they lacked material things. When the steel mills closed and jobs disappeared, some people had to leave to find other employment to support their families.

Many Pittsburghers may have departed the area, but they taught their kids about Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Joe Montana, Jack Ham, L.C. Greenwood, Joe Green and Myron Cope. The Terrible Towels wave for the team and the hearts left behind.

Pittsburgh may not have the biggest shopping malls or best nightclubs, but Pittsburghers will take a Friday night high school football or a Steeler's game over anything. These towels wave in living rooms and Washington, D.C., bars. They wave in the Seattle Superdome, and for the Rooney family, whose values mirror loyalty, grit and humility. The towels wave for football players like Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward, whose unselfishness and toughness taught about the game and the team.

Pittsburgh is not just about football. It's about tradition, family and roots. And, along with these qualities comes a language unique to the area. For instance, "Yunz" is from the Pittsburgh area, and if your rooting for Pittsburgh's finest, you might be heard saying "Go Picksburgh Steelers!" That's right, Picksburgh.

If you grew up in or around the area of Pittsburgh you might recognize and remember the following:

* You did not have spring break in high school.
* You walked carefully w hen it was "slippy" outside.
* Many times you went down to the "crick."
* You tell your kids to "red up" their rooms.
* You told your little brother or sister to stop bing so "nebby."
* Maybe you had "neb-nosed" neighbors.
* You skinned your knees when you fell into a "jaggerbush."
* If anyone asks you for a "Gum-Band" you know exactly what to give them.
* You've been to Beaver Valley, Turtle Crick, Mars, Slippery Rock, Greentree and New Castle.
* Hearing someone say "Hey, Yunz Guys" is not strange.
* "You guyses" is normal, for instance, "You guyses have a nice car."
" You know what "The Mon" or "The Yough" are.
* "The Point" is not necessarily someone pointing at something or the end of a writing tool.
* As you hear the chant, "Here we go Still-ers!" you join in.
* "There's a bug loose on the rug" has special meaning to you.
* You know what a "still mill" is.
* You drink pop, eat hoagies, love perogies, and most likely your favorite sandwich has coleslaw and French fried ON it.
* You order "dippy eggs."
* Summers or school picnics were had at Luna Park, Kennywood, Westview, Sand Castle or Idlewild.
* "Chipped ham" was always in the refrigerator when you were growing up. (Of course, it came from Isaly's.)
* Any condiments besides Heinz is not worth trying, unless there's a picture of a Pittsburgh athlete on the package.
* Wedding reception food consists of rigatoni, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut and polska kielbasa.

Ahhh, yes, the language and colorful scenes abound throughout the Pittsburgh area, and along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Help! There Are Pimples on My Butt!

No one likes pimples, and when they show up on your butt it's embarrassing and painful. Most pimples come to be because of clogged pores from sweat. The truth is that pimples can happen anywhere there is skin and hair.

No matter if the pimple is tiny or big, it is not welcome! Pimples on the butt can be very painful, and the booty is a common area for boils to appear. People who have jobs that require many hours of sitting can be prone to pimples on their buttocks. People who gain weight or sweat a lot are prone to pimples because when skin rubs against fabrics or does not have adequate ventilation the flesh becomes irritated and bacteria gets into skin openings (pores).
Tight fitting pants or underwear can irritate skin and body hairs and trigger an acne outbreak.

Heat rash is common and often appears when sweat glands become blocked or clogged. Sometimes an article of clothing that rubs on the butt can produce an allergic reaction and a rash to often appears. These rashes can be uncomfortable, painful and super itchy.

Usually, the best treatment for pimples is to leave them alone. A pimple will open when it's ready, and poking or 'popping' them is not helpful. In fact, the pimple often becomes infected if it is squeezed, popped or poked. Any discharge from the pimple should be cleaned up with water and mild soap. An antibiotic salve can be applied to the affected area.

Exfoliate the area of the butt at the first sign of a pimple. The pimple can get worse and that small red pimple can grow into a boil. The primary cause for butt acne is stress. Detergent and dirty underwear can be other factors. Always wear clean undies to help prevent acne outbreaks. The best underwear garmets are made from 100 percent cotton, as fabrics made from synthetic fibers can irritate the skin and cause the body to sweat.

Sweat is the common culprit that triggers acne development on the face and other parts of the body. Sweat traps dirt and oil in the skin, and the pores become clogged. The bacteria that cause acne will quickly multiply and form pimples.

Butt acne is embarassing for adults, teens and young children. Intimacy can dwindle because of unsightly pimples on the buttocks. Teens can be the focal point of others laughter if they must bare their butts in the shower after PE class. When acne attacks children wearing diapers, they can develop rashes and infected irritated bottoms. Acne is painful for everyone, children or adults.

Shedding dead skin cells by using an exfoliating cloth or loofah when bathing, along with good hygine are good preventative measures to keep pimples at bay. Avoid using scented products on the skin. Showering regularly is important for the treatment of butt acne. Getting rid of body sweat and dirt that clogs skin pores is essential. Squeezing the pimples can infect and cause the acne to become worse, and often permanent scars are left behind.

No one likes pimples but acne can be minimized by wearing breathable cotton undies, washing the area with a gentle antibacterial body wash, and exfoliating dead skin. Once the area is cleaned, dry the skin surface with a soft towel and apply a benzoyl-peroxide gel or glycolic-acid formula to help dry out the pimple.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thinning Hair and Hair Loss Solutions for Women

If you've been noticing the part in your hair is expanding or that your ponytail is shrinking, thinning might be the reason. As we get older, the diameter of the hair shaft decreases. According to Zoe Draelos, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, reports that the same number of hair follicles exist, however thinner individual strands make it appear as if there is less volume.

We've all seen the advertisements to treat balding and hair loss in men, but what about women? As many as two-thirds of all women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. Usually, thinning or loss of hair in women does not result in baldness. But, hair loss in women strikes at the core of self-esteem and how we feel about ourselves.

When faced with thinning hair, some women try to camouflage it with different hairstyles, teasing or shampoo formulas to make hair grow or appear thicker. Teasing hair (back combing the hair to fluff it up) does help to conceal thin spots, but the higher the hair is pulled up, the easier it is to see through the hair. Shampoo formulas for hair loss can help, somewhat by aiding hair strands to expand and add more hair volume.

Some women decide to hide hair loss by wearing a wig. Wigs are available in various lengths and colors, but can be most uncomfortable. Wigs do not fare well with swimming, wind or rainy days. Of course, some women choose hairpieces, that are attached to a headband, barrette or clip. These are a quick and temporary fix to make it appear that you have thick hair.
Some beauty shops can braid strands of hair in tiny plats at the hair roots that add volume. These attachments can be left in, shampooed and styled, but will need to be removed and replaced, usually, on a monthly basis.

Hair transplants or plugs offer the most natural appearance for a full head of hair. Hair transplants (plugs of hair) are inserted beneath the scalp skin, but the techniques are expensive and can be uncomfortable.

Thinning Top Hair
If your hair is beginning to thin on the top, you can help ease the strain by stop shampooing in the shower. Water pounding on the top of your head can add additional stress and increase hair loss. Instead, try leaning forward and wash your hair in a sink to avoid continued pressure on the top of the scalp. Use a volumizing shampoo and massage the top of the scalp instead of scrubbing the hair with fingernails.

Can Estrogen Help?
Although oral and topical estrogens can be prescribed by physicians to treat hair loss in women, there are no studies to support the use of estrogen for hair growth.

Dr. Vera H. Price, a researcher in hair loss and treatments, reports two common types of hair loss -- androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. She also warns women who take oral contraceptives to treat hair loss should be careful to select a treatment with little or no androgenic activity, such as nongestimate or ethynodial diacetate. Additionally, women with androgenetic apolopecia should not use testosterone and androgen precursors such as DHEA.

Dr. Price, examined hair loss and treatments for the two most common types of hair loss -- androgenetic alopecia shrinking of hair follicles) and alopecia areata (hair loss in circumscribed noninflammatory patches), warns that women who choose to use oral contraceptives to treat hair loss should take care to select one with little or no androgenic activity, such as norgestimate or ethynodiol diacetate. She also warns that women with androgenetic aplopecia should not use testosterone or androgen precursors such as DHEA.

What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an immune disease that affects about 2 percent of the U.S. population. Hair loss appears in various degrees of severity, from small, round hair loss patches that regrow without medical treatment, to chronic hair loss that can involve hair loss on the scalp or body. Men and women can be affected by this type of hair loss and it can happen at any age, although usually it occurs mostly in children or young adults.
Treatment for alopecia areata included therapies such as glucocorticoids, topical immunotherapy, anthralin, or biologic-response modifiers (such as Minoxidil). The kind of treatment depends on your age and the extent of hair loss. Less severe cases often have greater improvement successes, but 100% of hair restoration does not happen.

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?
This type of hair loss is commen in men and is known as male-pattern baldness. Hair loss begins at the front of the scalp and recedes backward over time, as the hair in the center of the scalp thins and falls out. In women, this type of hair loss results in uniform hair thinning.

Hair Loss Myths and Facts:

Myth: Hair loss is inherited from your father. Fact: Genes are a factor, and androgenetic aplopecia is genetically-linked hair thinning.

Myth: Female pattern hair loss causes abnormal bleeding. Fact: Menstruation is not affected, but hair loss does typically begin between the ages of 12 and 40.

Myth: Teasing, altering hair color, daily shampooing increases hair loss. Fact: Normal hair care does not affect hair loss.

What Can I Do?
* Begin by using a volumizing shampoo that includes ingredients like rice or wheat proteins, as these thicken hair strands.
* Trash the stiff, maximum-hold hairsprays. These types of hairsprays can fracture hair shafts when brushing.
* Avoid too-tight ponytails and hair teasing. And, never use a rubber band to tie up your hair, as they promote hair breakage!
* Avoid over dying and perming your hair. Dye and perming solutions penetrate thinning hair more rapidally causing irreversible damage.

Monday, January 17, 2011

How To Avoid Air Sickness

Air sickness is a big problem for many people. In fact, air sickness can be so serious that it can affect some people the minute they step into the plane! Once you've found the cheapest plane tickets, you don't want to get sick and ruin your trip! No matter how long you've looked forward to visiting a friend or a special place, air sickness takes the enjoyment out of any trip.

Air sickness happens when your brain receives mixed messages. At times your body appears to be moving or shaking, but at other times your body appears to be still or not moving.

There are some things you can do to eliminate, or at least, decrease air sickness while traveling on a plane.

Never fly on an empty or full stomach. Eating a large meal before getting on a flight can increase your chances of air sickness, just as flying on an empty stomach. Instead, eat a light mean before your flight. Eating things like, crackers, fresh fruit, and olives can help to avoid air sickness attacks.

Try to think of enjoyable things instead of about getting air sick. Thinking about getting sick can convince your body to believe it will be or is sick. Try to concentrate on previous joys you've experienced within your life.

Take over the counter air sickness medicines, such as Dramamine or Bonine before taking off and landing. Air sickness medicines work by helping to prevent confusion within your brain. You'll be able to relax and confusing signals about motion will not be sent to your brain, and you should not feel that dreaded sick feeling.

For some people, acupressure wristbands have helped. These types of wristbands can be purchased at most any pharmacy. Acupressure does not work for everyone, but it can be effective.

Try to remain in your seat. Sitting still helps eliminate confusing messages in your brain, so that sudden movements by the plane will not affect you as much. Relax, close your eyes, and stay comfortable.

Although, flights can be boring avoid reading on a plane. For many people, reading and motion can cause them to feel sick. Put on the headphones that come with your seat, and tune into a station of your choice and concentrate of the music.

Try to sit close to the wings of the plane. This area of a plane tends to be more stable, and has less shaking. Shaking can send confusing signals to the brain because to the eye, it appears you are not moving, but yet your body can feel movement.

Air sickness patches can also help avoid air sickness. Scopolamine patches are worn behind your ear, however, they can have side effects, such as, drowsiness, dry mouth and blurry vision.

Sometimes people worry about accidents or are afraid of heights. Watching airplanes take off and learning a bit about what actually goes on can help you overcome fears about flying.

Before your next flight, try to prepare yourself physically and mentally. Eat right, exercise to get blood flowing through your body and provide adequate oxygen level in the blood, and envision calm, happy thoughts.

Cinnamon may lower blood sugar in Diabetics

Many people love the distinctive flavor and aroma of cinnamon. And, this fragrant spice can do much more than you may have imagined. Cinnamon could be described as a natural powerhouse that is filled with anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar-lowering abilities.

For instance, cinnamon taken from the inner bark of tropical trees is also a powerful antioxidant!

Actually, cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any known spice. There are as many antioxidants in just 1 teaspoon of cinnamon than there are in a full cup of pomegranate juice or 1/2 cup of blueberries.

Cinnamon is rich in natural compounds known as polyphenols. These compounds act like insulin within the body and can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon was used to relieve stomach pain and gas, and continues to be used for these types of conditions today. Two cinnamon bark species (Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamomum cassis) is a tried and true spice (cinnamon bark). Although there is not an abundance of scientific information to support the use of cinnamon for any condition, laboratory studies indicate that cinnamon may be useful in treating diabetes (Type 2) because of cinnamon's blood sugar-lowering effects.

Additionally, cinnamon and its compounds may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties. These properties have proven to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, such as, cancer or virus infections. Cinnamon has been given GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Items with GRAS designation are considered safe and not restricted.


Adults (over 18 years of age). Although no proven effective medicinal doses for cinnamon has been assigned, it is considered safe taken by mouth short-term (up to six weeks) in dosages up to 6 grams daily. Cinnamon extract capsules containing 250 milligrams can be taken twice a day for up to 12 weeks as an antioxidant, For diabetes, various doses of cinnamon (capsules, powder or extract) can be ingested for four weeks (1-6 grams daily).

Cinnamon and Other Drug Interaction

* As cinnamon may have antibacterial activity, use it cautiously when combining with other antibiotic medications.

* Cinnamon may lower blood sugar levels, however, use caution when using other blood sugar lowering medicines.

* Cinnamon can increase bleeding risks when taken with drugs that are known to increase bleeding. For instance, aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Naprosyn or Aleve).

* Cinnamon may also enhance the effects of anti-fungals.

* Cinnamon may affect heart rate and caution should be used in people taken heart condition medicines.

* Cinnamon may lower cholesterol, but use cautiously when combining with other cholesterol medications.

* Cinnamon may lower blood pressure.

* Cinnamon may interact with alcohol and other drugs, such as, drugs used to treat Alzheimer's disease, pain relievers, anti-cancer drugs, estrogen, or tetracycline.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Losing Mom to Alzheimer Disease

The following writing was written by a friend who is facing the turmoils and detrimental affects families face when a loved one is stricken with Alzheimer's Disease. Tienna Rose, a published author on http://www.AssociatedContent.com, has given me permission to publish her writing.

Losing Mom to Alzheimer's

My mother has been slowly dying from early onset Alzheimer's for the last eight years. She was diagnosed when she was 55, she just turned 63 at the beginning of December, 2010. The day after Christmas, I was informed that my mom was entering the final stage of her life. Her kidneys are beginning to fail and the dementia is progressing faster. Hearing these words has brought on so many thoughts, memories and emotions inside me.

My mom and I have always had a tumultuous relationship, so much so, I moved 12 hours away from her. We went 5 years without speaking to each other after I moved away. Neither one of us had any idea, then, that we would have such a short time left with each other.

The diagnosis of the Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease began a new relationship with my mom that I will forever Cherish. Even though I was still 12 hours away, I was there for mom when she would call. At the beginning I would do what I could sooth her when the fears of the disease would become overwhelming. About 5 years ago, we had to make the hard decision to put her in a nursing facility for her own safety and well being. That was a very hard time for mom, she was still able to realize where she was. Everytime any of us visited or called, she would beg for us to take her home. It was so heart breaking to have to tell her no, she had to stay in the home. This disease has robbed her of meeting her first great grandchild, and from sharing the joy of being a first time grandma with me.

It was about 3 years ago when mom started forgetting who I was. I continued to try calling her until it became impossible for her to take a phone call. Mom has lost her ability to form words and no longer recognizes anyone in the family. She can no longer dress herself, the nurses have to force her to get out of bed everyday. She has reached the point where she has to have someone with her to make sure she eats or drinks something at every meal.

Now, as my mom's life is nearing it's end, I can't help but think of all the time that we wasted by fighting and turning our backs to each other. The realization that it's too late to tell her I now understand why she did and said some of the things she did while I was growing up is left within me. My mom ruled with an iron fist, I thought she was just being mean. She always made sure all of us kids walked on the straight and narrow, insisted we were always honest, and always on our best behavior. She didn't have a problem with handing out discipline either, even when we would argue, I never used disrespectful words or language.

My hope now that others, even if it's just one person, might learn from our mistakes. Always try to remember forgiveness and understanding should always be an option. Tell the people in your life what they mean to you, and how much you appreciate them. You might be very surprised at how many people don't know how you really feel about them. Just to do this very simple thing, will be so much easier then it will be to bare the weight of years full of regrets and anger. Shortly after my mom was diagnosed, she told me that she loved me and was proud of me. That was the first time I had ever heard these words from my mom. I will always cherish those words, I just wish it hadn't taken this disease to hear her say them.

Don't wait until it's too late, if you do, you will carry the heaviest burden you could ever imagine with you the rest of your life.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Can Cinnamon Lower Blood Sugar Levels for Type 2 Diabetics?

Living with diabetes can seem like an all consuming challenge. Trying to keep up with everything needed for proper diabetes care can be more like a full-time job, according to Karmeen Kulkami, MS, RD, CDE, and former president of the American Diabetes Association health care and education.

Does Cinnamon Help Control Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics with Type 2 Diabetes?

There are two types of cinnamon – Ceylon cinnamon and cassia cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is the type that is used for baking and cooking. It's also the type of cinnamon that most researchers use when studying cinnamon and diabetes.

Could cinnamon be an effective way to lower blood sugar for people with Type 2 Diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association has conducted a study to determine whether cinnamon does, in fact, improve blood glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol (HDL and LDL) in people who have Type 2 diabetes.

Some research has shown that cinnamon can lower blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance. For people with Type 2 diabetes, the sugar-lowering hormone insulin does not work as well, and can lead to higher blood sugar levels.

In one study, volunteers ingested 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon for 40 days (one gram of ground cinnamon is about ½ teaspoon). The results indicated that cinnamon reduced cholesterol by approximately 18% and blood sugar levels by 24%.

In another study, volunteers were given cinnamon and rice pudding after meals. These volunteers had reduced blood sugar levels.

However, in other studies, cinnamon did not decrease blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
Sixty people who have Type 2 diabetes (30 men and 30 women) aged 52 to 63 years, were divided into six groups. Groups 1, 2 and 3 ingested 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon daily. Groups 4, 5 and 6 consumed equal amounts of placebo capsules. The cinnamon was ingested for 40 days and followed by a 20-day period on none.

Results: After 40 days, all three levels of cinnamon had reduced glucose (1829%), triglyceride (2330%), LDL cholesterol (727%) and total cholesterol levels (1326%. There were no changes in the groups that took the placebo capsules.

Accordingly, the results of the ADA study demonstrated that taking 1, 3 or 6 grams of cinnamon per day does reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL and total cholesterol levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. The study indicated that cinnamon added to the diet of people with Type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Although the study indicated cinnamon to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics, the American Diabetes Association does not recommend cinnamon as treatment of diabetes.

Is Cinnamon Safe for Diabetics?

Cinnamon appears to be safe for people who have diabetes. However, people who have liver damage should use caution because large amounts of cinnamon can increase liver problems. Cinnamon supplements are considered food, not a drug. Supplement makers do not have to prove their products to be safe or effective, as they do in medications.

When choosing cinnamon supplements look for brands labeled with a quality seal; These will include the NSF International, US Pharmacopoeia or Consumer lab seal. This will help to assure that the supplement ingredients are stated on the label, and helps to guarantee that no contaminants or potentially harmful substances are in the product.

What Happens when Cinnamon is Taken with Other Drugs?

Although cinnamon may lower blood sugar levels, use caution in combining it with other sugar lowering medicines or supplements. Be careful to monitor that sugar levels do not fall too low when combining cinnamon with alpha lipoic acid, bitter melon, devil's claw, garlic, horse chestnut, Siberian ginseng, chrominium, Panax or psyllium.

Early in 2006, the Journal of Nutrition reported on another study about cinnamon. This study evaluated 25 post-menopausal women who had Type 2 diabetes, and were treated with 1.5 grams of cinnamon each day for six weeks. The results of this study indicated that cinnamon was not associated with any significant change in insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance or cholesterol profile.

Should Cinnamon be Recommended?

To date, there is insufficient data regarding cinnamon's ability to reduce glucose levels in diabetic people. Some concerns about cinnamon are that cinnamon contains coumarin (a compound) that can reduce the blood's clotting ability. Always monitor blood sugar levels and never replace prescribed medicines or depend solely on cinnamon to control high blood sugar levels.

What's New?

American scientists are reporting that one teaspoon of cinnamon can actually circumvent Type 2 diabetes. Millions of people suffer from Type 2, non-insulin dependent diabetes around the world. Cinnamon, is a common spice and is s howing possible preventive benefits.

According to the Anti-Aging Forum on www.immortalhumans.com, January 2010, cinnamon has many other benefits. Cinnamon is a relizble source of magnesium, which is necessary to ensure electrolyte balance, bone density, and enzyme function. Cinnaon is proving to be a quality supplement to avoid metabolic defects in diabetes and to balance glucose insulin levels as people age.

The forum also reported that consuming one-quarter to one teaspoon of cinnamon a day could be a cost-effective way to keep blood sugar in check. The cinnamon can be mixed with juice or most anything edible. Cinnamon has been shown to be effective whether taken in stick or powder form.

Find Cheap Airline Tickets

How To Absolutely Find The Cheapest Plane Tickets

Do you think the best way to get the cheap airfare tickets is by calling the airline?  Or, do you scan through hundreds of websites provided by search engines to find cheap air tickets?  Maybe you hope to find cheap airfare in the local newspaper's travel section.

Finding cheap airline tickets can be one of the most frustrating experiences that most of us learn very quickly. Of course, most people eventually give up after spending hours scanning websites that offer virtually the same flight schedules and pricing. People purchase what they believe is a cheap plane ticket, only to find their neighbor paid just a third of what they did!

Unless you understand the concept of of how airlines set prices, all the searching in the world won't provide the cheapest airline ticket prices. The following information will give you a guide to follow, as you wander through the maze searching for cheap airfare.

Understand how prices are set by airlines! Ticket pricing is complex and unpredictable, and driven by competition, demand, and inventory. Airlines call this “yield management.” 

Competition is the beast behind the cheapest plane tickets. All major airlines utilize central reservation systems (owned by various airlines) to fill available seats. The systems are known as Apollo, Sabre, WorldSpan and Galileo. Prices are based on demand, and if some flights are selling well, the price will increase. If the flight is unpopular and has very little demand, the fare is lowered in hope of attracting consumers. In short, fares and inventory change every minute of every day!

Finding the cheapest plane tickets is difficult because travel agents and Internet websites use the central reservation systems that are updated periodically throughout the day. The reason why different searches come up with different results is because the systems are not updated at the same times. And, each system may use different algorithms when searching for low airfare tickets, which can provide a variety of ticket prices.

Demand drives fare prices up or down, and explains why it's usually cheaper to fly on weekdays, late nights, or non-holidays. Ticket pricing is based on competition. And, to complicate matters if one airline drops rates by 20 percent, most airlines will drop their rates as well. This eliminates a discounter's (cheap airfare) competitive edge.

Differences in fares can exist for identical routes on different airlines because one airline might dominate the market share for that destination, thus cheap airfare tickets are not needed to entice passengers. And, all this happens at the speed of light! Prices can change while your credit card information is being provided, and what you thought was the cheapest plane ticket, suddenly isn't so cheap.

Inventory is another advantage used by airlines to entice potential fliers. Airlines designate seats into price ranges on flights to offer cheap airfare. Of course, people hoping to secure the cheapest plane tickets are attracted to these advertisements. But, most often, by the time you place the call to the airline, the seats are gone.

Inventory relates to demand, and if the availability is low but demand high, the wait for the cheapest plane tickets can be lengthy.  But, this does not mean you will not be successful in finding low airfare tickets.  Sometimes, airlines change fares or designate additional seats, depending on ticket sales. 

These three factors (competition, inventory and demand) are essential when looking for the cheapest plane tickets.  Before booking tickets for your next trip, take the time to do some comparison shopping.  Cheap airfare tickets are out there for the taking, and can be found.

Finding the cheapest plane tickets can be a challenge for even the most experienced travelers. One guy has made a career of showing other folks how he does it every day. Tricks of his trade searching for the cheapest plane tickets can be found www.thecheapestplanetickets.walkinsarewelcome.com.