Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and in the winter it takes a real beating. Those harsh winds and low temperatures are no joke! Try some of these quick tricks to combat some of the winter’s worst attempts at compromising your skin’s beauty.
1. Gel Peels
In the winter exfoliating can do more harm than good. A gentle gel peel is a much better option. Scrubbing your skin with harsh exfoliators can cause permanent damage in the cold winter months. The cool air creates dry skin that when scrubbed and rubbed can cause tearing and rawness. Gel peels are a gentler way of removing dead skin and cleansing the skin of impurities.
Do you struggle with dry lips in the winter? Are your lips chaffing and peeling? Brew a cup of your favorite tea. Take the used tea bags and set them to the side to chill. After they have chilled, hold them on your lips for 10-15 min. The tannins in the tea will help to not only soothe, but also hydrate the skin on your lips.
It’s bath time! Take a nice relaxing bath and add oatmeal to it in order to soothe dry and flaky skin. The oatmeal contains fats and complex sugars that help to lubricate and moisturize, as well as heal and soothe the skin.
Winter = dry air. Not only does dry air make it hard to breathe, but it continues to take a toll on your skin, even when you are sleep. A humidifier helps to add much needed moisture back into the air with misty humidity.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Do you have dry scalp issues? Well the winter is only going to make it more of a flaky mess. Tea tree oil has healing properties to help fight off the flakes. This is especially a good choice for those who struggle with eczema or psoriasis. Don’t apply it in its most concentrated form. Try diluting it in your conditioner or moisturizer.
You’re not the only one who thinks Facebook is mentally draining.
A new study by the University of Copenhagen found during a one-week experiment that quitting Facebook leads to a happier life. Yes, the people posting on your Facebook timeline are negatively affecting your well-being.
A little more than 1,000 people participated in the study. Some of them pledged not to use Facebook for a week while the others continued using Facebook as they usually do.
Results showed that 87 percent of the group who couldn’t log onto Facebook only lasted a week without the social media site. Of the ones who did make it a week, they reported a higher level of happiness, according to Esquire.com.
Danish researcher Morten Tromholt also found that 55 percent of Facebook users were more likely to feel stressed, 39 percent of Facebook users were likely to feel less happy than their friends and 4 out of 10 users felt jealous of others’ success on their timeline.
If the constant news surrounding president-elect Donald Trump isn’t enough to make you take a mental break from Facebook every once in a while, perhaps the results of this study will do the trick.
It goes without saying that the study participants who lived without Facebook also found it easier to concentrate on things and live in the moment than those constantly checking their phone for social media updates.
We’re not saying that Facebook is bad for you. It helps with a lot of day-to-day things – keeping up with friends, finding long lost friends, remembering birthdays and learning the latest dance and video challenges.
But, it’s safe to say, sometimes it’s beneficial to your mental health to take a break from social media, especially when you’re beginning to feel the early signs of stress from watching your timeline day in and day out.
Jason Hughes –Blackdoctor.org
Ever glance around the dinner table during the holidays and realize how many generations are present? It’s a beautiful feeling.
It’s also the perfect time to learn more about your family’s history – specifically your family’s medical history. But, as many young and inquisitive Black generations have learned, it can be difficult to get grandmother and granddad to talk about their ailments or the conditions their parents and grandparents may have died from.
Knowing these things about your family, though, can help prevent developing certain diseases.
Here’s how to talk to your loved ones this Christmas about family health history:
1. Make a list.
Before you get to dinner, make a family tree of everyone who will be attending dinner – including half siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. Write down everyone’s age and any health conditions you already know about for each person. If any relatives have passed away, write down what was the cause of their death and age.
2. Ask parents for details.
Your parents have a wealth of information and they may be easier to talk to initially. Show your parents the list you’ve created and ask for details about the conditions each relative is living with – especially when they were diagnosed and why.
3. Dig deeper.
After dinner, try sparking a conversation with each relative when you have a moment alone. While talking, ask about their health in a compassionate way. Then, sneak into the conversation how you’re looking to learn more about your family history to learn more about your health.
4. Talk to your physician.
Next time you visit the doctor, tell him what you’ve learned about your family during the holiday and ask how this history pertains to your current health or any conditions you may be struggling with.
Remember, the more you know about your family’s background, the more you can do to prevent chronic diseases from developing in your own body.
A group of researchers are in high spirits about an experimental vaccine that could prevent the spread of HIV.
Researchers recruited about 5,400 volunteers between ages 18 and 35 in South Africa for a clinical trial to develop this vaccine. According to the Washington Post, this study is a follow-up to one four years ago in Thailand where an initial version of the vaccine was 31 percent effective in preventing the disease. However, the vaccine didn’t get approval for public use because it wore off over time.
After exploring ways to improve on the vaccine, researchers are now ready to try the vaccine again in South Africa – where an estimated 7 million people were living with HIV in 2015, according to AVERT.
If all goes well, this vaccine could be monumental in the fight against HIV.
“If this study shows efficacy… this would be a tectonic, history event for HIV,” said Nelson L. Michael, director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program that spearheaded the study in Thailand.
A 50 or 60 percent effective rate could lead to negotiations between drugmakers and the South African government, according to the Washington Post.
“Given that right now we have nothing, we’d be happy if this vaccine were even 45 or 50 percent effective,” said Gita Ramjee, director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit at the Medical Research Council in Durban. “Even a modestly effective vaccine like that would have a huge impact here.”
Gemma Greene, BDO Staff Writer
Showtime at the Apollo was known for many things: putting the spotlight on today’s famous acts first, shutting down acts that had little or no talent with the Sand Man and of course it’s co-host, the beautiful Kiki Shepard. Many famous R&B, soul, and hip hop performers have appeared on the show and has had a number of hosts, including Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Lawrence, Sinbad, Steve Harvey, Mo’Nique and others, but Kiki Shepard has always served as co-host from 1987 until 2002.
Since her departure from the show, Kiki has been busy with acting and appearances, but her true passion is putting an end to the disease, sickle cell. KiKi Shepard founded her K.I.S Foundation in 2007 at the urging of many friends and sickle cell disease advocates. She has been raising awareness of sickle cell disease for over 20 years now and actually has the sickle cell trait herself. The K.I.S Foundation prides itself in being committed to improving the health and quality of life for all people living with sickle cell disease because this “sickness has no boundaries and compassion has no limits.”
Sickle-cell disease is a group of blood disorders typically inherited from a person’s parents. The most common type is known as sickle-cell anaemia. It results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin found in red blood cells. This leads to a rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. A number of health problems may develop, such as attacks of pain (“sickle-cell crisis”), anemia, bacterial infections, and stroke.
According to her website, the journey to end sickle cell began when she saw the effect of the disease on the family of a personal friend whose brother suffered and died as a result of it.
“The strong desire to combat my shared grief and sense of helplessness led me to offer my services to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. Through this national organization, I was introduced to SCD families across America, and was able to interact with many patients whose bodies and minds are ravaged by this disease.”
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Nationwide — In an age of so many disruptive technologies, there are few that stand out as true potential game-changers. George McKinney and his company, Better Life Technologies Group, have developed a technology that may just be one of the best kept secrets in medical science. Better Life Technologies’ Glucose Diagnostic Sensor has a plethora of applications that make it a unicorn in the area of non-invasive Glucose detection, which very well may be applied to the detection of other diseases.
In August of 2016, the company developed a partnership with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The University will work hand-in hand with Fallbrook Engineering of Leucadia CA a medical device development company that has been a leader in medical equipment for diabetes and has gain notoriety for their work on stent technology with Dr. Paul Teirstien head of Cardiology of Scripps Hospital of La Jolla.
Better Life Technologies Group has recently secured a patent-pending on a device that detects blood content and glucose in a non-invasive fashion from emissions that come from the skin. This will be a welcomed development for individuals who fear needles at doctor’s appointments, and the Elderly who have trouble finding veins. The glucose diagnostic system will be able to be worn like a watch, and help detect early stages of cancer, and symptoms of diabetes, electrolytes, and much more. This technology promises to be truly disruptive and revolutionary to medical science industry. Importantly, once their newest invention receives funding, the University will dedicate staff and faculty to solve the technological problem of diabetes and other medical issues plaguing our society.
“A lot of times, the VC’s and Angel Investors look the direction that everyone is going. However, in many cases the answer to the question lies in a solution that is counter to the conventional wisdom in a particular area” says McKinney. “When a tech company gets together with a university to solve problems in the scientific community, there sometimes is this fear of being embarrassed which considering ideas that are too far outside the conventional box, which tends to direct great minds towards variations of the same solutions. This puts our greatest minds in a scientific echo-chamber, I think the real trail blazing comes from those who are able to take on conventional wisdom to focus on improving life and health for everyone. A different story needs to be told which involves the tremendous amount of discoveries that lie outside the echo-chamber of conventional thought. I’m hoping this becomes a model for the future, however to get there, it is of utmost importance that we receive your support financially, and with your help we can make it happen.”
As it happens with many inventions, it was while working on the prototype for McKinney’s patent, that his team of engineers and scientists stumbled upon the technology that they are currently using to create their glucose diagnostic system.
“The challenge is to get people excited about it. We feel like we have the Holy Grail and as one of the partners of one of this nation’s top 10 IP Legal firms once stated, “George if you are successful, you and your firm are going to change the face of medicine.” McKinney asks, for your support for Better Life Technologies Group by visiting and donating to the site below.
Insulin, a life-saving medication used to treat diabetes, was discovered nearly 100 years ago, yet the price of the drug has now spiked by 700 percent in just two decades.
In early November, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Democrat, pointed out that certain insulins had risen from $21 a vial in 1996 to $255 a vial in 2016.
Some have likened the insulin price boosts to the recent price hikes for EpiPen — the life-saving medication needed when someone has a serious allergic reaction.
Edith Prentiss, 64, of New York City, knows all too well what the rising cost of insulin means for her. She needs insulin to treat her diabetes and stay alive, yet living on a fixed income has forced her to make tough choices on which drug she can afford.
“I have other medications I’ve been on for years, and as they became generic, they got cheaper. Insulin has never gotten any cheaper,” she said.
Others have taken notice of these increases, too. On Nov. 17, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) issued a call for Congress to investigate insulin pricing and come up with solutions so that people with diabetes aren’t facing financial hardship when purchasing the medication they need to stay alive.
The ADA said that in many areas in Europe, insulin costs one-sixth of what it does in the United States.
“Insulin is not a luxury,” said Dr. Desmond Schatz, president of medicine and science for the ADA. “The current situation is unacceptable. We have to make sure there is access for everyone, and that’s why we’re calling on Congress to hold hearings to identify why there’s been such a dramatic increase in insulin prices.”
Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s necessary for the body to use the sugars found in foods as fuel. People with type 1 diabetes don’t make enough insulin to survive and must inject insulin multiple times a day to stay alive, according to the ADA.
In type 2 diabetes — the more common form of the disease — the body’s cells become increasingly resistant to insulin. People with type 2 diabetes sometimes also need to take insulin injections, the ADA says.
Insulin was first discovered in 1921 by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frederick Banting and medical student Charles Best, from the University of Toronto. The pair later sold the patent for insulin to the university for $1.
But the university couldn’t produce enough insulin for the number of people who needed it. So it teamed up with pharmaceutical companies in the United States and abroad. Part of the deal was that drug makers could take U.S. patents on any manufacturing process improvements.
And, since that time, there have been some improvements in insulin. The companies making insulin went from beef or pork insulin to human insulin to synthetic analog insulins, according to the ADA and Lilly Diabetes, which is a branch of insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co. Each new insulin class acted a bit differently from the others, and some caused fewer complications, such as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
But, there’s no one insulin that’s right for everyone, according to Schatz. “Every patient is different. Individualized care is paramount. There’s no ‘one-shoe-fits-all,’ and insurance companies should not be dictating what insulin we can and cannot use based on formularies,” he said.
Which brings up the pricing issues. What’s most important, said Schatz, is that there be a transparency in the process that’s currently lacking.
The list price of insulin — and other drugs, too — is what the pharmaceutical companies say their product costs. However, insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers, who administer prescription drug programs for private and government insurers, don’t pay that price. They negotiate discounts.
But for people who don’t have insurance or those with high-deductible health insurance plans who haven’t yet met the deductible, that list price may be what they’re stuck paying.
Pharmacy benefit managers and health insurance plans also set a “formulary,” or a list of covered drugs. Consumers typically pay the least for generics, more for “preferred” brand-name drugs and even more for “non-preferred” medications. Finally, retail pharmacies may mark up the drug’s price.
Insurers and pharmaceutical companies, therefore, may not know exactly who is charging what. And, that’s why the ADA is asking all of these players to come together before Congress to increase transparency in pricing for the patient.
Prentiss’ current situation illustrates how confusing drug pricing can be.
She’s chosen to use an older, cheaper version of insulin because it’s all she can afford. Prentiss said she has more debilitating low blood sugar episodes on this type of insulin. But on a fixed income, she feels it’s the best — maybe only — option for her.
When she goes to the pharmacy to pick up her prescription, she said, she has to make sure they don’t run the prescription through her Medicare Part D insurance. If they do, a vial of her insulin would cost $105. But, if they don’t use her insurance, a vial costs her $25, she said.
“I would love to understand the logic behind that,” Prentiss said.
Insulin manufacturers realize there is a problem.
“Reasonable access to insulin has become a problem for some people with diabetes. This needs to change, and we are committed to doing our part to improve access,” said a Nov. 18 statement from Lilly Diabetes.
The company said it is exploring different ways to help patients who need the most assistance, particularly those with high-deductible health plans.
Another insulin manufacturer, Sanofi, described the problem another way.
The company said in a written statement that the list price for its insulin drug Lantus hasn’t increased since November 2014. “In fact, the net price of Lantus over the cumulative period of the last five years has decreased because of efforts to remain included on formularies at a favorable tier, which helps to reduce the out-of-pocket costs to patients,” the Sanofi statement said.
The statement added, “Sanofi is disappointed by recent decisions to exclude Lantus from formulary coverage. Health care professionals and patients should have a choice regarding their treatment and access to the right therapy to meet individual patient needs.”
SOURCES: Desmond Schatz, M.D., president, medicine and science, American Diabetes Association; Edith Prentiss, New York City; Nov. 17, 2016, news release, American Diabetes Association; Nov. 18, 2016, statement, Eli Lilly & Co.; Nov. 18, 2016, statement, Sanofi U.S.
Dr. James Hutchinson has been practicing medicine as a family doctor in San Mateo, California for more than 60 years. In fact, he was California’s first African American doctor. He remembers exactly how it was publicized in the local newspaper: “Negro MD Gets a Permit.”
Having a sense of humor
Dr. Hutchinson credits his longetivity to having a sense of humor. He says that he found the newspaper article funny because it gave him just what he needed – free publicity. He also believes in giving to others. He sees patients of all races, and has never turned anyone away because they couldn’t pay.
He says he also gets strength from his tragedies. He has lost both his wife and one son; his son used to work in his office. He is grateful to both of them because they both helped him get where he is today, and it brings him comfort to remember them.
How he got started
Dr. Hutchinson received his medical degree in 1952 from Meharry Medical College School of Medicine, a historically Black college. He was the first doctor at the rodeo at the Cow Palace! He was one of the founding doctors of Planned Parenthood and Project 90. His family was also the first black family to move into the Hillsborough area of San Mateo County!
Words of advice
He says, “I was brought up in a family tradition that you give back to the community. That if you were born to be fortunate, you don’t get to hoard all your apples.”
He says he continues to practice medicine because he enjoys it. He also believes that his wife and son would have wanted him to continue as long as possible helping others and doing good.
What do Ken Burns and Valerie Simpson have in common? They are both highly accomplished, creative and articulate individuals. They have also lost a parent a parent to cancer at a young age, and each of them has been profoundly influenced by that loss. Ken and Valerie share their stories in the PBS one-hour special program entitled, “A World Without Cancer: The Real Promise of Prevention,” which airs nationally at the end of November, 2016.
Scientific research tells us that over fifty percent of all cancer is preventable, and that is the good news that empowers us all to reduce our risk for cancer. “A World Without Cancer” on PBS describes in detail what we can do to reduce our risk for cancer, as well as diabetes and heart disease. Highly acclaimed experts offer us up-to-date information on all the ways in which we can live healthier lives.
Eating well is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
The fall season brings Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. Sharing meals with family and friends are a key element of this joyful time of the year. We are faced with an abundance of food, and can easily gain extra pounds as a result.
As much as the holiday season challenges us with additional calories, it also provides us with an opportunity to make more informed food choices, and to live healthier lives.
Healthy eating is not difficult to achieve.
A World Without Cancer shows us how a diet rich in plants, meaning vegetables and fruits, as well as whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds is the basis for longevity and a reduction of risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Eat lean protein, including fish and poultry, and limiting or avoiding red meat and full fat dairy products. Processed foods, including processed meats, such as bacon, should be avoided.
Drinking water to quench thirst instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is important for weight control, and overall health. Avoiding sugar-sweetened desserts, snacks and cereal is another goal of a healthy diet.
During the holiday season, try substituting a cranberry and club soda spritzer, or water with lemon or lime instead of an alcoholic beverage. You’ll be saving calories, and reducing your cancer risk.
Being physically active every day is also very important for the reduction of cancer risk. Walking is a great way to exercise, and we can find ways to take additional steps each day by parking a car farther away from a destination, climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator, and walking during occasional breaks from sitting at a desk. Combining cardiovascular, resistance and flexibility exercises is also important for overall physical fitness.
What do stress and sleep have to do with cancer? A World Without Cancer on PBS sheds light on these subjects and presents helpful tips on how to manage stress and get enough sleep.
Did you know that the personal care products and cosmetics you use may contain harmful chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other diseases? A World Without Cancer tells us how to identify these chemicals, and avoid using the products that contain them.
As the holiday season unfolds, make a commitment to adopt a healthier lifestyle. A World Without Cancer on PBS will encourage you to enhance your health, and reduce your risk for cancer and other diseases.
To find out when this program will be available in your area, visit aptonline.org.