In This Issue
5 Essential Summer Hygiene Tipes
9 Ways to Relieve IBS Symptoms
Worst Sunscreens to Avoid this Summer
How to Cope with Headaches During Pregnancy
5 Diet Must-Have's to Beat Skin Cancer
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5 Essential Summer Hygiene Tipshygenie 

Summertime is a haven of heat and humidity. That's why keeping cool and dry--even down there--is important for your health in more ways than one. This summer, make sure you're following these important feminine hygiene rules.

1. Change out of wet clothes ASAP.
Go ahead - splash around at the pool or go for a nice sweaty run. Just don't sit around in those wet bathing suits and gym clothes for too long. Warm, moist environments are a breeding ground for Candida, aka yeast. Once this yeast overgrows, that's when you get the itching and burning feeling that yeast infections are known for. Yikes!

2. Wear cotton underwear.
Who doesn't love a new pair of beautiful, silky underwear to make yourself feel good - even if you're the only one who sees it? Unfortunately, those kinds of underwear or tight clothing made of synthetic fibers tend to hold moisture, so you're better off in cotton panties or ones with a cotton crotch. Cotton keeps moisture away from the body, and helps you stay away from yeast infections.

3. Avoid douches and scented hygiene products.
Summer heat can make you feel less than fresh down there, but think first before running for products that contain perfumes and chemicals that can throw off the natural balance in the vagina. And douching? A big no-no. It can spread an infection into your cervix and uterus.

4. Change your pads and tampons often.
Summer is all about filling your schedule with as much fun as possible, and we understand that sometimes it's hard to remember the little things. But don't let changing your pad or tampon often during your period be one of the things that slips your mind. This can be another risk factor for developing a yeast infection. Set a reminder for yourself on your phone if you have to. You'll thank yourself later!

5. Treat yeast infections ASAP.
If you do get a yeast infection, make sure you treat it right away. If you had a yeast infection before try an over-the-counter treatment like MONISTAT to help you get back to yourself as fast as possible, when used as directed. You can get a prescription treatment from your doctor, but both options are just as effective.
 

9 Ways to Relieve IBS SymptomsIBS  
woman with stomach ache
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is thought to affect up to one in five people at some point in their life. It affects everyone differently - lasting between hours and weeks and causing bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation.
Here are some top tips on how to relieve IBS symptoms.

1. Find your trigger
There are often trigger foods involved with IBS symptoms although they are not the same for every sufferer. Common triggers include cow's milk products (e.g. cheese), wheat, gluten, very spicy foods (e.g. a curry) and chocolate. To find your individual triggers, keep a diet diary and ask a nutritional therapist for help with identification.

2. Make sure you chew properly
This means chewing at least 30 times each mouthful. Never eat when you are stressed, feeling emotional or in a rush. Take time to sit down at the table and eat slowly and calmly.

3. Don't talk while you eat
Try to avoid being over talkative when you're eating with others. Focusing on conversation rather than eating may interfere with the digestive process.    

3. Avoid eating in front of the TV
That way you are not distracted and your body can fully focus on digesting. We excrete less digestive enzymes when we watch TV and we typically eat 20% more than when sitting at a table.

4. Try using a digestive enzyme
These will help to break your food down effectively. In addition, some enzyme products contain specific enzymes to assist with particular food groups, such as fats or starches. For advice on what enzymes will suit you, visit your GP.

5. Don't drink while you eat 
Avoid drinking fluids with meals. This only dilutes the hydrochloric acid and makes digestion not so effective. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before or after a meal instead to ensure that you are properly hydrated to be able to produce hydrochloric acid. Wait a short while after meals before drinking again.

6. Be mindful of emotions 
Some sufferers find their IBS symptoms are worse when they are feeling nervous or worried. Seeking professional support to cope with worry or anxiety may be helpful. 

7. Up the fiber 
Ensure that there is a balanced amount of fibre in your diet through whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Think oats, buckwheat, brown rice, Quinoa, lentils, broccoli and pears.

8. Make sure you have the right bacterias 
It is important to ensure you have enough live bacteria inside your gut to enable its normal functions. Ask your GP or chemist to recommend a probiotic supplement.

9. Up the herbs 
If there is bloating and lower digestive tract discomfort, try a fennel tea - it stimulates the production of gastric juices. Peppermint tea is also good for digestion.


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June 2016  

  
Healthy Summer, Happy Summer!

  
sunny-beach-girl.jpg The summer season has begun, and one thing we want you to remember as you venture outside is to slather on the sunscreen.  But standing in front of the shelves and shelves of sunscreens can be overwhelming. How do you know which bottle is the safest to choose, one that not only is made without harmful chemicals but also works to protect your skin from sunburn and skin cancer? Protect your skin from painful sunburns and skin cancer by avoiding these sunscreens (and sticking to the list of the good ones).

In addition to wearing sunscreen, did you also know that eating a wide variety of specific foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and natural whole grains have been recognized as valuable in fighting skin cancer?  5 Diet Must-Have's to Beat Skin Cancer will help your skin naturally ward off the harmful rays of the sun. 
 
For women who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), getting in a swimsuit can feel, well, pretty awful when you're bloated and uncomfortable.  IBS is at its worst when it's wreaking havoc on your daily lifestyle and mental well-being. Studies show that one in five of women can experience IBS symptoms, so if you're suffering, it's safe to say you're not alone. Here are 9 Ways to Help Ease IBS.

Summer's promise is one filled with sunshine, trips to the pool and travel. Unfortunately, the humid environment that often accompanies the season can leave women with an increased risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection, which is caused by an overgrowth of yeast that normally lives in the vagina. Take note of these 5 Essential Summertime Hygiene Tips so you can get the most of your summer.

Being pregnant can be a headache - literally. It's an irony of pregnancy that just as headaches are getting worse for many women, you can't rely on some of the usual medications you rely on (especially if you have regular tension headaches or migraines) to help them go away. Fortunately there are other tactics you can take that can offer relief from recurrent headaches when you're expecting.  
 
This month also marks a special day - Father's Day (Sunday, June 19th).  To all of the wonderful Dads out there, we wish you a very Happy Father's Day! 

With warm regards,
   
The Practitioners and Staff of Lawrence OB/GYN 
Worst Sunscreens to Avoid this Summersunscreen 
woman applying suntan lotion Choosing a sunscreen that's both safe and effective can be a real challenge. From misleading claims to questionable ingredients, it's tough to even know where to start. Here are a few key tips will get you out of the store and into the sun in no time:

Avoid chemical additives. The top brands of sunscreen all have one thing in common: they are packed with a host of chemicals, many of which have been found to be harmful to humans. The star of this lineup is oxybenzone, which can be found in nearly every mainstream sunscreen on the market today. Because this chemical penetrates skin, it can cause cause allergic reactions and has been found to disrupt human hormones.

Unfortunately, it appears that Americans are being exposed to oxybenzone at an alarming level. The CDC has detected oxybenzone in more than 96 percent of the American population and according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), studies have, "linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women; another found that women with higher levels of oxybenzone during pregnancy had lower birth weight daughters."
The best way to avoid this and other harmful additives is to choose a mineral based sunscreen.

Vitamin A and sunlight don't mix. Retinyl Palmitate, a form of Vitamin A, is an ingredient found in nearly a fifth of all sunscreens available today. This vitamin has been found to combat skin aging, which explains its inclusion in these skin products.

However, as the EWG reports, "studies by federal government scientists indicate that it may trigger development of skin tumors and lesions when used on skin in the presence of sunlight." Other studies have also shown that sunscreen and cosmetics containing Vitamin A may expose people to unsafe levels of the vitamin. Besides retinyl palmitate, look out for this ingredient under other names including: retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol.

Question those super high SPF's. Why? Because high SPF sunscreens can only provide the level of SPF claimed on the package under very specific conditions. The varying strength of the sun and the thickness of application to the skin can change a sunscreen from 100 SPF down to 40 or even 30 SPF.

This is especially concerning when it comes to those sky-high SPF claims on many kids sunscreens because they can provide parents with a false sense of security.

After several studies found that sunscreens with an SPF above 50 can not be guaranteed to actually offer that level of protection, the FDA recommended SPF strength stop at an advertised 50+, calling those that claimed higher numbers "inherently misleading". Most companies who manufacture sunscreen, however, have not adopted the change.

Look for sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection. Most sunscreens are aimed at blocking ultraviolet B rays because these are the ones causing sunburns and some forms of skin cancer. When you read the SPF level on a label, it's usually referring to the UVB protection provided. Less researched and yet equally important are ultraviolet A rays which, according to the EWG, can "penetrate deeper into the skin and are harder to block with sunscreen ingredients approved by the FDA  for use in U.S. sunscreens."

So, while high SPF sunscreens with poor UVA protection can do a good job of suppressing sunburn, it may be exposing the user to other, potentially more serious, types of sun damage.

Which sunscreens fail miserably when it comes to safety?  Each of the "worst" sunscreens found below are rated 7 by EWG, which is the most dangerous rating for any sunscreens in their database. We suggest you use the link below to see what a sunscreen is rated before purchasing it.

Some of the worst sunscreen lotions:
Some of the worst kids' sunscreens:
EWG also advises that you always avoid spray sunscreens which can be inhaled.  Though lotions and sticks protect little ones' skin from cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays, doctors advise new mamas to use physical barriers - SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shades - rather than lotions on babies younger than 6 months old.

To check out the BEST SUNSCREENS for you and your family, you can find safe sunscreens on the EWG website.

Source: Mothering 
 


How to Cope with Headaches During Pregnancyheadaches
What causes headaches during pregnancy?
The primary culprit is, as usual, the hormonal changes you're going through. Other causes of headaches might be pregnancy fatigue (got plenty of that when you're expecting), tension (and that), increased hunger during pregnancy (ditto), physical or emotional stress (double ditto), sinus congestion or allergies (you're more susceptible when you're pregnant), overheating ('nuf said) - or a combination of any or all of these.

What you need to know
Many women, even those who haven't previously experienced a lot of everyday headaches, will get them during pregnancy. The vast majority of pregnancy headaches are a pain - but not serious or anything to worry about. But if your headaches persist for more than four hours or you have other symptoms (fever, visual disturbances, sudden dramatic weight gain, or puffiness in your face or hands), call your practitioner.

What you can do
There are plenty of other pregnancy-safe steps you can take to prevent and battle the most common pregnancy headaches:

For tension headaches and migraines: Spend a few minutes lying in a dark, quiet room. If you're at work, try to close your eyes and put your feet up for 15 minutes. (Tell your boss you're brainstorming.) Or put an icepack or cold compress on the back of your neck for 20 minutes while you relax.

For sinus headaches: Try steam inhalation to relieve congestion and using a humidifier to add moisture to the air. You can also apply hot and cold compresses the achy spot, alternating 30 seconds of each for a total of 10 minutes, four times a day. Drinking plenty of fluids will also get the mucus flowing. And check with your doctor to see if a sinus infection may be causing your headaches or if there's a safe nasal decongestant you can use.

For all headaches. While you can't take ibuprofen (and it's best to talk to your doctor before taking aspirin when you're pregnant), acetaminophen (Tylenol) can bring relief and is considered safe for pregnancy - just be sure to check with your practitioner for the right dosage. Never take any pain medication - over-the-counter or not - without talking to your doctor first.

Preventing headaches
While some headaches are unavoidable, a few steps can help prevent them in the future:

Keep eating. The low blood sugar that results from skipping meals can trigger a headache, as can the crash-and-burn that comes after eating a lot of sweets. Stash a bag of whole-grain crackers, a container of trail mix, or a really nutritious granola bar in your bag, desk, or glove compartment (or all three) so you'll always have a healthy snack at arm's reach.

Make sure you get enough rest. It's especially important in the first and third trimesters, when you're more likely to feel pooped - but don't oversleep, as too much of that good thing can also make your head hurt.

Keep a food diary. Some foods (including chocolate, cheese, ice cream and processed meats) can trigger headaches. By keeping track of the foods, you may discover some are linked to your headache patterns - and you can cut those edibles out of your diet.

Go slow if you're giving up coffee. Cutting back on caffeine during pregnancy too fast can trigger withdrawal headaches. Even if you're just a one-coffee-a-day gal, wean yourself first to half a cup before nixing caffeine entirely. The same rule goes for soda.

Get some air. Avoid hot, stuffy spaces and strong odors (you're more sensitive to them than ever), and dress in layers so you can start peeling them off before overheating leads to a headache. Stuck inside? Take fresh-air breaks a couple of times a day (or at least open a window).

Switch lighting. Fluorescent lighting, windowless work spaces can trigger headaches, so take whatever steps you can to control your environment - or at least take breaks from it as frequently as you can.

Seek peace and quiet. Noise can give you a headache (duh!); if you're extra-sensitive to loud noises you can make it a point to avoid the worst offenders (the mall, loud parties, boisterous restaurants). If your job is extra noisy, talk to your boss about taking steps to reduce the excess noise - or even ask for a transfer to a quieter area, if possible.


5 Diet Must-Have's to Beat Skin Cancerskincancer 
Chances are that you're already getting at least some cancer-fighting fare if you eat a healthy diet. Making a few small changes may help boost your protection further. So in addition to keeping the sunblock at the ready this summer, stock your fridge and pantry with a new kind of SPF: skin-protective foods. Here are five easy ways to get SPF on your plate and in your cup.

Veg Out
As you strive for the five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables the American Cancer Society recommends, make sure there is plenty of dark green and orange in your mix. As part of your minimum 35 weekly portions, eat three servings of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale; another four to six of dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach, beet leaves, and collard greens; and seven of citrus fruits - all of which were found to be skin cancer protective when consumed in large amounts. These foods contain powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols, carotenoids, and other bioactive substances, that may decrease the risk for melanoma.

Go Fish
You don't have to give up juicy summer burgers; just enjoy some fish regularly to help keep your skin healthy. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory action of omega-3s, found mainly in shellfish and naturally fatty fish, eating at least a weekly serving of those foods may double your melanoma protection. Australian researchers found that people who ate an average of one serving of omega-3 fatty acid-rich oily fish, like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout, every five days developed 28 percent fewer actinic keratoses - rough, scaly precancerous skin patches or growths that are caused by UV exposure and can turn into an early form of squamous cell carcinoma, according to a study published in 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Pass the Herbs
Adding a dash of herbs to your salad, soup, chicken, fish, or anything else you love to eat not only makes your food more flavorful but also helps fortify your skin. Herbs can pack an antioxidant wallop - one tablespoon can have as much as a piece of fruit - and may protect against melanoma. Fresh sage, rosemary, parsley, and basil offer the greatest benefits.

Steep Some Tea
Make your post-beach beverage of choice a refreshing homemade iced tea, which may help thwart the cascade of cellular damage set off by sun exposure. A lab study found that the polyphenol antioxidants in green and black teas inhibit the proteins necessary for skin cancer to develop. Studies show that drinking a daily cup of tea was linked to a lower incidence of melanoma. And Dartmouth Medical School researchers found that people who drank two cups or more daily were 35 percent less likely to get squamous cell carcinomas than non-tea drinkers.

Pop Open a Bottle
You've probably been hearing about red wine's role as a potential cancer fighter for years. In an Australian study, people who drank a glass of wine every couple of days on average - red, white, or bubbly - reduced their rate of developing actinic keratoses (those precancerous skin patches or growths) by 27 percent. Components in wine, such as catechins and resveratrol, may be tumor protective partially because of their antioxidant properties and may also inhibit growth of some human cancer cells. While scientists get to the bottom of wine's possible health benefits and the mechanisms behind them, we propose a toast to the promising indicators. Cheers to healthy, beautiful skin!

Antioxidant-Rich Foods
It's not any one antioxidant or fancy supplement that makes a difference in cancer risk. Rather, the compounds seem to function synergistically." So your best bet is to regularly get a variety in your meals and snacks. Here's where to find the power­house substances.

Beta-carotene: carrots, squash, mangoes, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes
Lutein: collard greens, spinach, kale
Lycopene: tomatoes, watermelon, guava, apricots
Selenium: Brazil nuts, some meats and breads
Vitamin A: sweet potatoes, milk, egg yolks, mozzarella
Vitamin C: many fruits and berries, cereals, fish
Vitamin E: almonds and other nuts; many oils, including safflower and corn


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