Did I mention I got myself and an air mattress? No, its not that fancy one that you hear advertised on the radio and the one that Rush Limbaugh is endorsing! mrgreen

It is one of those air mattresses that you take with you when you go camping! In April, I bought myself a latex mattress after the pillow-top on my water bed started sagging and gave me lower back ache.

My lower back ache improved and went away after I started sleeping on my new latex mattress. But recently, my lower back started bothering me again. The mattress is not sagging except for a very slight depression where my lower back hits the mattress. But boy oh boy, I was unable to continue sleeping on that mattress.

I was not willing to spend more money on another mattress. After several days of putting up with the pain in my lower back, it suddenly struck me the possible solution to my problem was an air mattress. It doesn't have to be a fancy one. So off I went to Walmart and spent about $28 on a nice looking air-mattress.

So far, it is working for me and the pain in my lower back is slowly disappearing. If the air mattress punctures or whatever, I'll just replace it with another one! A lot cheaper than a fancy air mattress, eh!

Look young again with Dermalastyl-β

Posted by Puteri | 12/09/2008 12:31:00 PM | 0 comments »

I just celebrated my 48th birthday and a few of the things that go with being that age are the increase in the number of lines and wrinkles and the loss of skin elasticity on my face.

I have been watching the deepening lines between my eyebrows, the fine lines around my eyes and the more pronounced lines on my neck. I love wearing clothes that show much of the chest because I love to wear necklaces around my neck and clothes with wide necklines allow me to accessorize the neck.

But I wished I could do more about those lines around my neck! They remind me of the rings found in tree trunks that show the age of the trees. There are now 5 "rings" around my neck ... yes that do reflect the number of decades I have behind me!

Infusion_therapyRecently I received a sample of a cream that its makers claim to be far better than the Botox alternatives. The name of the cream is Dermalastyl.

The main active ingredient in this cream is something called Tropoelastin3, which supposedly is able to add to the levels of elastin in the skin's surface and thereby reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help delay the onset of new wrinkles. Tropoelastin has the added benefit of increasing the production of collagen in the skin. Collagen is what helps keep the skin tight and toned.

I diligently applied the cream twice a day and looked closely at my facial skin and my neck to see if there were signs of any improvement. I can't say for sure if there is any marked improvement in the appearance of my skin but that is due to the fact that I'd only been using the cream for a week. I intend to continue using the cream and plan to make an order. I want to be able to say at the end of three months that indeed the cream works. I consider $89 for a 2 month supply a good investment especially if the product works and makes me look younger than my age!

If the testimonies of those who have used the product and the results of the clinical studies are anything to go by, I would be most happy to use this product and get rid of the creams that I am currently using!


Copper bracelets and pain

Posted by Puteri | 12/09/2008 12:19:00 PM | 0 comments »

I mentioned in a previous post about the purchase of a couple of copper bracelets of which one had magnets in it.

I have been wearing the bracelets for a few weeks now. I did not notice any reduction in the pain on my shoulders for the first couple of weeks or so, but a few days ago I did notice that I was able to pull my tops over my head without my wincing in pain. I swung my left arm and then my right arm around. The right shoulder was almost pain free whereas the left shoulder only had a slight pain.

I cannot positively attribute the reduction in the pain in both shoulders to the copper bracelets I had been wearing! Among the things I had done differently was stay away from asparagus (they seem to aggravate my arthritic pain) and I started sleeping on an air mattress.

Or the reason for the improvement could be due to the passage of time.

Whatever the reasons for the improvement in my shoulders, I am thankful for them!

Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by Puteri | 11/06/2008 07:59:00 PM | 1 comments »

Recently, one of my friends who is only 27, was concerned about the fine lines around her eyes and thought she needed some eye cream. But the lady at the cosmetic sales counter told her that there was no fine line that she could see! I wished fine lines were all I was concerned about at my age!

Besides wrinkles around the eyes, women have to worry about droopy eyelids as they age. If there is one cosmetic surgical procedure that I am mostly likely to do, it is blepharoplasty which is a procedure that corrects the bulges and wrinkles around the eyes. I am beginning to hate the way my eyelids are sagging.

For now at least, I don't think I need liposuction on my thighs or tummy. Yes, my tummy does seem to have a lot of fat, but I think it is something some good work-out focusing on the mid-section can improve. I once watched a TV show where it showed how liposuction is done. A small tube, which was connected to a source of high suction, was inserted through a tiny incision on the area where the fatty deposits were to be removed. It was not a pretty sight, but the procedure can be done on an outpatient basis.

I have been reading up on some of the cosmetic procedures offered at a Chirurgie Esthetique Montreal. I think not only should a person who is thinking about cosmetic surgery be informed about what is involved in any procedure, but also to make sure that the people performing the procedures are reputable and experienced in the field of cosmetic surgery.

How many of us have not heard of botched cosmetic surgeries? Nobody wants to find herself/himself in that circumstance due to negligence, that is why it is always good to go to a reputable cosmetic surgical institution.

Copper bracelets

Posted by Puteri | 11/06/2008 07:47:00 PM | 2 comments »

I just ordered a pair of copper magnetic bracelets. I don't know if I am just throwing good money away but I won't know if magnets and copper help in reducing arthritic pain unless I use the products, right? mrgreen

A lady in my Bible Study group says the copper bracelet she wears helped with the pain on her hand. She says since she started wearing the bracelet there is no more pain in her hand.

I've had pain in both my shoulders for a while now, and because of the pain, I can't lie on my side for any length of time when I sleep. I know the pain in my right shoulder was exacerbated by the heavy hand-bag I carried on that shoulder. Now I try not to put my bag on that hurting shoulder.

One of my sisters-in-law and one of my brothers wear magnetic bracelets. According to my sister-in-law, the magnet seems to dilate her veins! Her vericose veins seem to be more apparent since she started wearing the bracelet! Oh boy, I better start watching out for the vericose veins when I wear my bracelets, eh!

Personalized acne treatment

Posted by Puteri | 10/20/2008 09:07:00 PM | 3 comments »

One of the things that is obvious to someone who suffers from acne is that an Acne Treatment that works for others does not necessarily mean it will work for you. I know that for a fact, because as a teenager and a young adult, I tried all kinds of acne treatment that seemed to work for my friends but never seemed to work for me!

That is why I am very excited about Neutrogena's revolutionary SkinID Acne Solution. This acne treatment targets your specific kind of acne problem. Acne is affected by factors like where you live, how much stress you experience, and the amount of time you spend in the sun, and as such for an acne treatment to be effective it has to be one that is personalized for your particular kind of acne problem.

With Neutrogena's SkinID Evaluation, a customized acne skincare regimen that best fits your specific skin and acne type will be created just for you. That means the formulation your receive in your skincare has the right amount of active ingredients to cleanse, treat and protect your skin.

I think it is wonderful that those of us with acne can now find a treatment that has been created just personally for each one of us. No more trying products that don't really treat our acne problems!

Depression treatment with a magnetic device

Posted by Puteri | 10/20/2008 08:54:00 PM | 0 comments »

WASHINGTON – The government has approved the first noninvasive brain stimulator to treat depression — a device that beams magnetic pulses through the skull. If it sounds like science-fiction, well, those woodpecker-like pulses trigger small electrical charges that spark brain cells to fire. Yet it doesn't cause the risks of surgically implanted electrodes or the treatment of last resort, shock therapy.

Called transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS, this gentler approach isn't for everyone. The Food and Drug Administration approved Neuronetics Inc.'s NeuroStar therapy specifically for patients who had no relief from their first antidepressant, offering them a different option than trying pill after pill.


For depression, psychiatrists aim the magnet at the left front of the head, the prefrontal cortex. Since everyone's brain is different, they first zap the top of the head to find a patient's motor-control region, and then carefully move 5 centimeters forward. Then, the NeuroStar beams about 3,000 pulses a minute during a 40-minute treatment, done about five times a week for up to six weeks.

The theory: Stimulating brain cells in the prefrontal cortex triggers a chain reaction that also stimulates deeper brain regions involved with mood.

Full story here.

Can this treatment be called a new-fangled treatment or is it an updated approach to an old treatment involving magnets?

There are many people who believe in the power of the magnet. I myself have even tried magnetic treatment for arthritic pain. I even thought about buying a pillow with magnets on it also with the belief that it would help me get a restful sleep.

Anyway, if it were me who had depression, I'd be willing to try anything especially if the treatment was non-invasive.

Beware of rash from cell phone use

Posted by Puteri | 10/16/2008 08:13:00 PM | 0 comments »

LONDON (Reuters) - Doctors baffled by an unexplained rash on people's ears or cheeks should be on alert for a skin allergy caused by too much mobile phone use, the British Association of Dermatologists said on Thursday.

Citing published studies, the group said a red or itchy rash, known as "mobile phone dermatitis," affects people who develop an allergic reaction to the nickel surface on mobile phones after spending long periods of time on the devices.

"It is worth doctors bearing this condition in mind if they see a patient with a rash on the cheek or ear that cannot otherwise be explained," it said.

The British group said many doctors were unaware mobile phones could cause the condition.

Full story here.

I thought cancer in the brain was the thing to worry about if you use the cell phone too much. But skin rash?

I did not realize that the metal that is used on the cell phones was nickel. I do not wear jewelry made of nickel because my skin is sensitive to nickel. Fortunately, where the cell phone is concerned, I do not use it long enough each time for there to be any danger from over exposure to nickel.

I have an iPhone and I have a plastic cover for it. No nickel, if any, touches my skin! mrgreen

Treatment for women with addictions

Posted by Puteri | 10/04/2008 05:05:00 PM | 0 comments »

It is not a secret that there are major differences between men and women, not only physically and emotionally, but also the way their bodies respond to certain substances like drugs and alcohol. For example, due to the presence of more fatty tissue in a woman's body, a woman consuming the same amount of alcohol as a man, will result in a higher blood alcohol level for the woman.

As such, while looking into alcohol rehab for women, it would be a good idea to look for a program that is specifically designed for women. Women with addictions face different issues then men do with regards to their addictions and these issues are compounded by society that views women with certain addictions more harshly than it does men with similar addictions.

Fortunately, there are centers that have programs that cater specifically for women and drug addiction as well as alcohol and other substance abuse. There is no reason not to educate oneself to the various treatment approaches that are available out there, especially those that have been specifically designed for women.

Cervical Screening

Posted by Puteri | 10/04/2008 10:29:00 AM | 0 comments »

Yesterday I went for my triennial cervical screening. I think it is important for women to go for regular cervical screenings, more so for those with a family history of cancer affecting the female organs. Early detection of any unusual change in the cervix can mean the difference between life and death.

Even though the procedure itself is quite painless, it does not stop me from getting all tense when it is done! mrgreen The doctor assured me no woman likes that part of the screening!

The clinic where I had the screening done is now equipped to do walk-in mamography and since my obg-gyn noticed that the last time I had mine done was last October, she recommended I went ahead and do mine after my appointment with her.

I did go to the radiology department of the clinic but unfortunately they were experiencing problems with the machine that day, and were not able to do more for patients the rest of the day.

I hate to have to take more time just for the mamogram - a procedure that I likened to the experience a fly might have when under a fly swatter!

Mitral Valve Surgery

Posted by Puteri | 9/22/2008 10:12:00 PM | 0 comments »

I must admit that I don't know anything about heart diseases except that I know three people who were born with defective hearts. One was a girl in my class in elementary school. Her lips always looked blue and her complexion pale. Another was the daughter of a church friend, who was born with a hole in her heart. And the last one is a blogger friend who had a heart attack while in her early 30s as a result of her diseased heart, and later had a pacemaker fitted in her heart.

In the heart, there is a valve called the mitral valve which is the "inflow valve" for the main pumping chamber of the heart, the left ventricle. This valve can malfunction - either it doesn't close properly or it doesn't open properly. In either case, a person might consider undergoing a mitral valve surgery to correct the problem.

At the Maryland Heart Center, cardiac surgeons there will first recommend mitral valve repair which includes a minimally invasive procedure called the videoscopic minimally invasive mitral valve repair. However, not every patient is a good candidate for mitral valve repair. In such cases, mitral valve replacement would be the best option where artificial valves including mechanical (metal) valves and tissue valves are used to replace the diseased valve.

My blogger friend attributes her being alive today to her cardiac surgeon and the health care she received before and after her heart surgery. Likewise, for a person who is planning on undergoing a mitral valve surgery, he would be wise to have his surgery done at a center with a team of specialists who are leaders in the treatment of valvular heart disease, such as the Maryland Heart Center.

Being obese affects a man's fertility

Posted by Puteri | 9/21/2008 07:55:00 PM | 0 comments »

Being obese may dim a man's chances of becoming a father, even if he is otherwise healthy, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 87 healthy men ages 19 to 48, those who were obese were less likely to have ever fathered a child. More importantly, they showed hormonal differences that point to a reduced reproductive capacity, the researchers report in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Compared with their thinner counterparts, obese men had lower levels of testosterone in their blood, as well as lower levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) -- both essential to reproduction.

According to the researchers, these relatively low levels of LH and FSH are suggestive of a "partial" hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. This is a condition in which the testes do not function properly due to signaling problems in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, two brain structures involved in hormone secretion.

Full story here.

Ok, let's add obesity to the list men should avoid if they ever want to father children.

This week alone we learned that men should avoid heated car seats, avoid putting cell phones in their pants pockets, and today we learned that they should avoid being too overweight if they hope to maintain their fertility and father children.

Uh huh.

Broken massager

Posted by Puteri | 9/21/2008 07:13:00 PM | 0 comments »

Last Christmas I bought myself a Shiatsu Massaging Seat Topper. I really loved the rolling massaging action of the Shiatsu Massager. Boy, was I upset when it abruptly stopped while it was massaging my back!

At first I thought its massaging time was up, but then I noticed that the rolling balls stopped in the middle of my back. Usually when the massaging time is up, the balls stopped at the bottom of the back. I pressed the controls to start it again. Nothing.

Apparently something broke. Doug thought the problem could be with the transformer in the mechanism. He took a look at the mechanism. His verdict? He can't do anything to fix it.

That was that. And it didn't even last me a year! I don't know if I still have the receipt for the thing and whether I should take it back to K-Mart where I got it, because I believe it is still under warranty. Grrr.

Online Shopping

Posted by Puteri | 9/21/2008 05:38:00 PM | 0 comments »

I love to shop online because it allows me to compare products and prices from the comfort of my home. Usually when I find the product I want, I zero in to a few. I know there are people who like to compare as many products as they can find before they make their selection but I prefer to limit my searches to a few good selection and then make my decision.

That is why I am particularly partial to sites, like Shopwiki which has a very good shopping directory, and which tries to list every store imaginable on the internet. From there I can start searching for the products I am looking for, for example health and beauty products. From there I can start searching for specific items like fragrances or bath and body products that I may be interested in.

I have friends visiting over the Christmas season and I am already thinking about Christmas gifts for them. I don't normally think about Christmas shopping this early but since there'll be six of them, I think it would definitely be a good idea to start thinking about Christmas gifts now! And the best part - I can browse through Shopwiki for ideas.

Cell phone and reduction in sperm quality

Posted by Puteri | 9/20/2008 03:17:00 PM | 0 comments »

(CNN) -- Keeping a cell phone on talk mode in a pocket can decrease sperm quality, according to new research from the Cleveland Clinic.

"We believe that these devices are used because we consider them very safe, but it could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads," says lead researcher Ashok Agarwal, the Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine.

In the small study, Agarwal's team took semen samples from 32 men and brought them to the lab. Each man's sample was placed into small, conical tubes and divided into two parts: a test group and a control group. The control group was unexposed to cell phone emissions, but kept under the same conditions and temperature as the test group.

The semen in the test group was placed 2.5 centimeters from an 850 MHz cell phone in talk mode for 1 hour. Researchers say that 850 MHz is the most commonly used frequency.

They used the measurement of 2.5 centimeters to mimic the distance between the trouser pocket and the testes. Agarwal reasoned that many men keep their active cell phones in their pants pocket while talking on their headsets.

Overall, researchers found an increase in oxidative stress such as a significant increase in free radicals and oxidants and a decrease in antioxidants. Agarwal says that equals a decrease in sperm's quality, including motility and viability. Evidence of oxidative stress can appear under other conditions, including exposure to certain environmental pollutants or infections in the urinary genital tract.

Read the rest of the story here.

As if men need to add one more thing to the things that can adversely affect their fertility! Didn't I just write about the possibility of heated car seats affecting the sperm count in men? Now, keeping your cell phone in talk mode can also affect your sperm count?

Maybe men should start carrying a purse to put their cell phones in and away from their pants pocket? mrgreen

Gentle massage to relieve arthritis pain

Posted by Puteri | 9/19/2008 10:46:00 PM | 0 comments »

(HealthDay News) -- Medication can help ease arthritis pain, but a gentle massage can also provide relief.

The Arthritis Foundation has this advice:

If you start to feel pain or discomfort while massaging the arthritic area, stop right away. Avoid massaging any joints that are swollen or very painful. Use lotion or massage oil on your skin. If you massage using a menthol gel, make sure to wash it all off before you apply any heat to the area. This will help prevent burns. If you go to a professional masseuse, make sure he or she has experience in working with people who have arthritis.

We Asians have always believed that massages help with any arthritis pain. We are also believers in the efficacy of pain relieving patches like the SalonPas.

That reminds of an aunt (she came to visit us last July) who suffers from severe arthritis in the knee joints. After spending quite a bit of the day sight-seeing she came home suffering the effects of being on her feet for too long. Naturally the first treatment she chose was the SalonPas! She had several patches plastered around the knees. lol

Approaches to addiction treatment

Posted by Puteri | 9/19/2008 09:37:00 PM | 1 comments »

A few years ago, I was totally shocked to hear my favorite talk radio host confess to being addicted to prescription drugs. That made me think that an addiction is indeed a disease and that it could happen to the best of us.

Fortunately, anyone can help himself overcome his addiction by going for an addiction treatment. One does not necessarily have to enter a residential rehab center for help with drug addiction, alcohol addiction or prescription drugs addiction. There are outpatient drug rehab centers that one can go to for treatments for all kinds of addictions, including eating disorder treatment.

These days rehab centers often include multi-faceted approaches to treatment like holistic healing. They recognize that people with addictions respond better to drug or alcohol treatments when they have found the proper balance between mind, body and spirit.

I think, at the end of the day, it is up to the individual with the addiction to decide what he thinks is the best for him and what works for him when it comes to treating his addiction.

The 4-hour erection

Posted by Puteri | 9/17/2008 06:13:00 PM | 0 comments »

I'm sure those of us who pay attention to the Viagra or Levitra or Cialis ads on TV have heard the caution about calling a doctor if the erection persists for more than 4 hours after taking the drug.

I was just reading an article called Too much of a good thing: The 4-hour erection, and it wasn't the article so much that got to me. It was informative, no doubt about it, but it was the comments left by readers at the end of the article that amused me. Some were just hilarious!

Here's what a guy had to say -

A 4 hour erection in my book would be a party, but after about 4 1/2 hours I MIGHT call a doctor....depends what they look like! lol

And what a urologist had to say -

As I tell my patients; if the erection lasts 1 hour, call your wife, 2 hours, call your girlfriend, 3 hours call the paper, 4 hours... call your doctor!

Dr. K

And the one that got me laughing out loud! -

I'm 75 years old now, so erections aren't what they used to be. But I once had a four year erection; it was called high school.

Go read the article and the following comments left by the readers!

Latex mattress

Posted by Puteri | 9/17/2008 06:13:00 PM | 0 comments »

Last March, I complained of severe pain in my lower back, hips and left groin. I went to see my doctor and he thought I had sciatica and even suggested the pain could have been caused by kidney stones.

But one thing I did know at the time. My mattress sagged right where my lower back rested. The pain killers that the doctor prescribed didn't quite relieve the lower back pain and it was only when I replaced my mattress with a Latex Mattress did the lower back pain disappear! Apparently the pain in my lower back was caused by a sagging mattress! To think that I put up with the pain for about two weeks before I replaced my mattress!

When I shopped for my new mattress, a latex mattress was not even in my plan. I wasn't even aware that the mattress store carried Latex Mattresses. I grew up sleeping on latex mattresses because mattresses and furniture came with the company housing that my family lived in.

I think my decision to finally settle for the latex mattress, after trying practically every mattress in the store, was the best decision I could have made despite the mattress costing a little more than I had intended to spend on a mattress. It was very comfortable and everything I remembered about a latex mattress.

The lower back pain I had experienced completely disappeared after a week. The fact that I no longer had to put up with my lower back and hip pain was worth every penny I spent on the mattress.

For anyone prone to lower back pain, the right mattress like the Natural Care bed by Danny Seo can make a world of difference to your condition. I have found my perfect mattress - a latex mattress.

Does heated car seat affect fertility in men?

Posted by Puteri | 9/16/2008 01:14:00 PM | 0 comments »

Heated car seat may be too hot for men

By Amy Norton

Heated seats are a luxury in some cars, but they may be a little too hot for men, a preliminary study suggests.

Researchers found that 90 minutes on a heated car seat created a significant increase in men's scrotal temperature. Because heat stress on the testicles has been shown to impair sperm quality, the findings raise the possibility that over time, heated car seats could affect a man's fertility.

However, the study looked only at short-term changes in scrotal temperature, and not the effects on sperm, stressed lead researcher Dr. Andreas Jung, of Justus Liebig University Giessen in Germany.

"It is too early to (make) any conclusions concerning the influence of heating car seats on semen quality," Jung told Reuters Health.

Normal sperm production is temperature-dependent and requires a testicular temperature that is slightly below the body's core temperature, the researchers explain in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

In tests of 30 male volunteers, Jung's team found that, on average, 90 minutes on a heated car seat raised the men's scrotal temperature enough to nearly match their core body temperature.

Sitting for prolonged periods, on its own, raises a man's scrotal temperature, and the effect of a heated car seat is actually weaker by comparison, according to the researchers. However, they add, even a small additional effect on scrotal temperature might be enough to affect a man's sperm quality.

According to Jung, studies should now directly examine sperm quality to see if there is, in fact, a risk from heated car seats.

SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, August 2008 via Yahoo News

First off, we do not own cars that have the luxury of heated seats.

Secondly, even if we did, this possible scare of reduced fertility in men due to heated car seats, does not have any bearing on our current life because there is no plan to expand the size of our family!

But, if you guys out there who are planning on having children in future and would like to maintain your sperm count level, it might be wiser for you to turn off the seat heating feature in your car,. or not get a car with seat heating!

You do not want to take unnecessary risks, do you?

Blood sugar lowering drugs and obesity

Posted by Puteri | 9/11/2008 07:18:00 PM | 1 comments »

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Obese men and women may enhance a weight-loss program of lifestyle changes by adding a drug to lower blood sugar levels, researchers report.

Pramlintide, currently approved by the FDA for diabetes to take in combination with insulin to control their blood sugar levels. Previous research also linked pramlintide to weight loss, report Dr. Christian Weyer, of Amylin Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, California, and colleagues.

Full story here.

A friend of mine is working to lose some weight that she'd gained. She is not fat by any means but she thinks something like 10 - 15 pounds would be a good target to lose. I suggested she tried a diabetic's diet in addition to her working out at the gym to help with her weight loss program. I know it works because that diet works with me!

After reading the above article, I think she should add a food supplement like gymnema sylvester or barnaba or even cinnamon to her program. These food supplements are proven to have sugar lowering properties and I am confident that they will help a person with their weight reduction target,

I would rather recommend a natural alternative to drugs when it comes to something that can help in lowering blood sugar in a weight loss program!

Help in the form of a medical alarm

Posted by Puteri | 9/11/2008 01:26:00 PM | 0 comments »

My mother-in-law just had knee replacement surgery. Fortunately for her, she could afford to check herself into a convalescent home for a week after her surgery so she could be around experienced care-givers to help her with her initial recovery. And when it was time for her to go home she had my father-in-law and my sister-in-law around to help her 24/7.

Not everyone who is recovering from a major surgery, or someone who is elderly and living alone, has someone close by to call for help, for example, in case of a medical emergency. I think this is where a Medical Alarm would come in handy.

A Medical Alarm that alerts the responders when a person has had a fall, or detects inactivity, and one that even provides reminders of pending events and appointments will most certainly be of great assistance to someone who is elderly, and especially one with a medical condition, who is living alone.

I especially like the GPS powered bracelet which alerts the responders when a loved one has wandered away from a specified safe zone. I think this allows our elderly loved ones some measure of independence without us having to worry about their locations.

Providing our loved ones with a Medical Alarm is the least we can do for them and especially if it only costs us just a little over a dollar a day. It is peace of mind for us while at the same time providing our loved ones with protection and the quality of life they deserve.

Ginger for easing bloating

Posted by Puteri | 9/04/2008 11:51:00 PM | 1 comments »

A few days ago I wrote about the gas and bloating I was suffering from as a result of consuming milk and high fiber cereal.

I have been taking a product called Lactase which contains an enzyme that helps in the digestion of dairy products. It has helped tremendously with the digestion of dairy products but that does not mean my gas and bloat problems are gone.

I have just eaten a big bowl of boiled peanuts and I can feel the gas in my tummy! That gas could also be due to the fruit salad that I had consumed earlier which had yogurt in it. Who knows what the two combination are doing in my tummy!!

Anyway, at the farmer's market yesterday, I bought two packets of caramelized ginger. Ginger does wonders to ease the gas and the bloating feeling.

Excuse me while I go snack on some ginger!

Men's health issues

Posted by Puteri | 9/04/2008 11:33:00 PM | 1 comments »

What comes to your mind when you talk about men's health? Hair loss? Erectile dysfunction? Sexually transmitted diseases? Nicotine addiction? The good thing is that men are talking about their health and their concerns with baldness, sexual performance, nicotine addiction and even sexually transmitted diseases.

For each of the men's health issues that I mentioned above there is help. For example, if a man is suffering some kind of erectile dysfunction there is cialis to help him get back with his sexual life. There is no need for any man to feel like their sexual life if over if he experiences ED.

Every one of us, not just men, should be open to discussing our health issues and seek help to overcome these issues especially when help is available in the from of drugs and other treatments.

Misai Kucing tea

Posted by Puteri | 9/04/2008 11:08:00 PM | 0 comments »

While I was in Malaysia recently, I came across an herbal tea made from an herb called misai kucing in the Malay language. Literally translated, misai kucing means cat's whiskers. The scientific name for misai kucing is Ortosiphon Stamineus Benth.

I bought a small carton (20 sachets) of the tea and was surprised by the pleasant flavor. The tea is promoted as being of benefit for those suffering from kidney stones, diabetes and for its diuretic properties.

Naturally for someone who has issues with kidney stones, diabetes and hypertension, I of course just had to give the tea a try!! I also discovered in my research on this herb that it is also believed to have antiallergic, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides that, this herb has been used as a remedy for arteriosclerosis (capillary and circulatory disorders and nephritis.

I am not sure if there is somewhere locally I can get a supply of this tea, but I am sure to be on the look out for this tea the next time I visit my favorite oriental supermarket in Sacramento! After all, I have found all kinds of teas at this particular supermarket - from bitter melon tea to guava leaf tea to nonee tea.

Get help for your alcohol addiction

Posted by Puteri | 9/04/2008 10:33:00 PM | 3 comments »

It is said that addiction is a disease, not a choice and as such, there shouldn't be any shame attached to the person who seeks to treat his or her alcohol or drug addiction by going to rehab.

My late grand-father was an alcoholic. One uncle is an alcoholic and I see signs of alcoholism in two of my male cousins. I am convinced that alcohol addiction is indeed a disease. It appears that in my family's genes there is a propensity for alcohol addiction.

The only unfortunate thing in my relatives' case is that there is no Alcohol Rehab Program available where they live. Why? They do not live in a country where alcohol addiction is recognized as a disease and even if they had wanted to go to Alcohol Rehab, there isn't one that they could go too. I doubt they would go, though, because in that macho society that they live in, an acknowledgment of an addiction is a sign of weakness. That is a shame indeed.

In America, people with alcohol addiction where addiction is recognized as a disease, they can get themselves treated for their addiction in any Alcohol Rehabilitation center of their choice. The only obstacle to that choice is their own desire to be treated or not.

If I were the one with an alcohol addiction, I would choose to go to a rehab center where I could get all the help I needed to get over my addiction, and in a place where the environment was comfortable, serene, and very much like a home. I would choose a place where I receive the attention and care from a therapist assigned solely for me, and where the success of my rehab was uppermost in their program that had been expressly tailored for me.

Fortunately, there are many places like that and one of them is right here in California called Cliffside Malibu.

That old familiar bloated feeling

Posted by Puteri | 9/02/2008 10:06:00 PM | 0 comments »

I've been having a bit of a gas problem, to put it mildly! For almost three whole months I went without a drop of milk and breakfast cereal in my diet and during that time my body seemed to have adjusted to that abstention.

My body is having a hard time reverting to my old diet. I only take lactose free milk with my cereal but it appears the combination of these two is resulting in gas and bloating. Grrr.

Hypertension Medication

Posted by Puteri | 8/22/2008 02:58:00 PM | 0 comments »

Early this year, I was taken off hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, which was prescribed to me for controlling my hypertension. I was taken off that medication because the medication, while controlling my hypertension, also raised my blood glucose level.

However, without the medication, I wasn't able to manage my hypertension successfully. Last month, while I was in Malaysia, I had to see a doctor about my frequent headaches and the unacceptable blood pressure readings. The headache was a symptom of my hypertension which was not under control.

I was prescribed Cozaar (losartan potassium) which is in a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor antagonist. What it does is it keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow and helps the kidneys to eliminate extra fluid.

Initially I was told to take 50 mg of the drug, but since 50 mg did not quite bring down the blood pressure reading to more acceptable levels, I took 100 mg of the drug once a day.

The initial side effect I experienced was headache two to three hours after taking the medicine. But after a month, my body seemed to have adjusted to the medication and I no longer experience the headache. The headache was bad enough for me to want to change to another medication but I decided to see if after a month, the side effect would persist. Fortunately it didn't.

Since taking Cozaar, my blood pressure reading is in the normal range. Most of the time the systolic reading is under 12o, while the diastolic reading is under 80. Sometimes the systolic reading does get over 120, but well under 130. That is acceptable level for me. And the other positive effect of the medicine is that I no longer have issues with water retention. Previously, hydrochlorothiazide which is a diuretic, did not do as well at getting rid of the excess fluid in my body.

I would rather use a natural alternative to control my blood pressure, but whatever alternative I have tried did not seem to have much effect. Want it or not, I am now treating my hypertension with a drug.

Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Posted by Puteri | 8/20/2008 03:27:00 PM | 0 comments »

Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive and fatal brain disease and a person suffering from the disease experiences difficulties in communicating, learning, thinking and reasoning. If these symptoms are severe enough, they have a huge impact on a person's work, social activities and family life.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's but there have been tremendous advances in Alzheimer's research. Obviously with any research, funds are needed to keep it going and this is where the annual Alzheimer's Memory Walk comes in.

The Alzheimer's Memory Walk is the largest event in the country to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Volunteers are needed to organize these walks in their particular locality. The Memory Walk is usually held on a weekend morning in the fall and it is usually a 2 - 3 mile walk.If you are interested in forming a team and especially being a team captain, more information can be obtained from the Alzheimer's Association website.

Let's all do our part in raising awareness for Alzheimer's and raising funds to help find a cure.

Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

A couple of weeks ago, I met up with the friend who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. I had earlier given her a large bottle of gymnema sylvestre and a bottle of alpha lipoic acid to help with her diabetes management.

I was happy to hear her report that her fasting blood sugar is now in the 7-8 mmol/l range. Previously it was between 8.5 - 9 and that is despite taking metformin to control her blood glucose. I hope that with better eating habits, and regular consumption of these sugar lowering supplements her fasting blood sugar will be at a much better level.

I am truly a firm believer of the efficacy of these sugar lowering supplements. It works for me and it is working for my friend.

Green tea and heart health

Posted by Puteri | 7/05/2008 10:18:00 PM | 0 comments »

The next time you're offered a choice between Earl Grey and green tea, you might want to go green.

A new study shows that the beverage, which is more popular in Eastern cultures, can protect heart arteries by keeping them flexible and relaxed, and therefore better able to withstand the ups and downs of constant changes in blood pressure. Led by Dr. Nikolaos Alexopoulos of Athens Medical School in Greece, the researchers found that among 14 subjects, those who drank green tea showed greater dilation of their heart arteries on ultrasound 30 min. later than those drinking either diluted caffeine or hot water. That's because, the scientists speculate, green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping cells there to secrete the substances needed to relax the vessels and allow blood to flow more freely. It's the flavonoids in the tea, which work as antioxidants and help prevent inflammation in body tissue, that keep the vessels pliable. These substances may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks. "We found very promptly [that] after drinking green tea, there was a protective effect on the endothelium," says Dr. Charalambos Vlachopoulos, a cardiologist and one of the authors of the study.

Full story here.

All the more reason to start drinking regularly again! My stomach has always had a problem with tea, that is why I have not been drinking any tea recently.

But now that I am being treated for hypertension, green tea should be my beverage of choice.

Why wait, eh? There's some green tea in my mother's pantry, and I should fix myself a some hot tea right now! mrgreen

A trimmer tummy

Posted by Puteri | 7/03/2008 03:27:00 AM | 0 comments »

Ever since I became concerned about my blood glucose, I have made it a practise of consuming certain supplements that are proven to have sugar lowering properties.

My issue with diabetes is somewhat gone because I no longer take the prescription diuretic that caused my blood glucose to rise. But I have not stopped taking supplements like alpha lipoic acid, gymnema sylvester and barnaba.

I am not particularly watching what I eat like I used to but despite keeping a diet that is not diabetic friendly, I notice that I am still able to keep off the weight that I'd lost when I went on the diabetic diet.

I attribute the fact to my consuming the supplements that help with removing the glucose in my blood after my meals. My belly fat does not look as bad any more. My weight is where I like it. And that's despite eating a breakfast of noodles and wan tan almost every morning!

I have found the secret to keeping the extra pounds off! mrgreen

A cancer patient has made a full recovery after being injected with billions of his own immune cells in the first case of its kind, doctors have disclosed.

  • A promising step in fight against cancer

  • Gene therapy cures dying cancer men for first time

  • Search for the jab that can combat cancer

The 52-year-old, who was suffering from advanced skin cancer, was free from tumours within eight weeks of undergoing the procedure.

After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.

Doctors took cells from the man's own defence system that were found to attack the cancer cells best, cloned them and injected back into his body, in a process known as "immunotherapy". After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.

Experts said that the case could mark a landmark in the treatment of cancer.

It raises hopes of a possible new way of fighting the disease, which claims 150,000 lives in Britain every year.

Full story here.

Any new possibily effective cure to certain cancers is always exciting news. Imagine using one's own immune cells to fight the cancer cells!

If I were suffering from a cancer that had metastatized I would be open to any new way of treating the cancer. I would not want to wait till larger clinical trials had been undertaken before I would be game to try a possible cure.

Two years and this patient is still free from melanoma, is very good news indeed for treating melanoma patients using immunotherapy.

Male Enhancement

Posted by Puteri | 6/18/2008 02:48:00 AM | 2 comments »

Who has not heard, even in passing, of a male enhancement product or two? There are many legitimate products on the market especially those that are FDA approved for treating erectile dysfunction. And then there are those "formulas" or supplements that you take that are supposed to boost your male performance. Now these, I am a little skeptical about their effectiveness.

One of my brothers, however, swears that a particular coffee blend that he is currently taking is helping boost his sexual performance! I kid you not! He has even suggested that I introduce Doug, my husband, to this particular blend of coffee!

How about penis enlargement gadgets? A Google search on the phrase "penis enlargement" came up with 11,400,000 results! I guess there must a huge interest among men on products that are supposed to help with improving the size of their penis.

I checked out a Yahoo! Groups forum and among the penis enlargement products that the men in the group have tried is the peloop™. It is a simple device made of silicone, tourmaline, germanium and a single magnet, not the kind of device that can cause injury if used incorrectly. If the following testimonial that I obtained from the afore-mentioned Yahoo! Groups forum is anything to go by, there seem to have been satisfied users of the product.

Just thought I would provide you with some feedback.

The first night my penis head sensitivity increased so much I nearly had to remove it to sleep! Then after two weeks there was a definite increase in sensitivity and I could see that I had gained girth and more flacid length. After a month the gains have stayed and I am continuing to feel greater blood flow. Erections are more intense.

I am still wearing the loop and waiting to see what the long terms effects are.

-From a Satisfied Customer

The magnet in the device is supposed to help widen the penis' blood vessel thereby allowing more blood to flow through. Improved blood flow in the penis means a bigger, stronger and healthier penis.

If indeed this product produces the kind of results that the user in the testimonial is experiencing, I would be happy for Doug to try out this product! If I can persuade him, that is! lol

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on teas, supplements, creams and other products that falsely claim to cure, treat or prevent cancer even though they are not agency-approved drugs. All are available for sale on the Internet.

The agency has sent 25 warning letters to companies and individuals marketing these products, FDA officials said Tuesday. Twenty-three of the letters went to domestic companies and two to foreign individuals.

FDA officials said the statements made about these products are dangerous because they could prevent a patient from seeking proper treatment for cancer. They could also harm a cancer patient by interacting with other drugs the patient is taking.

"FDA is very concerned that consumers will purchase these products on the Internet and use them instead of products that have been proven safe and effective," said Michael Levy, director of the agency's new drugs and labeling compliance division.

The letters criticized unproven claims made about these products including the ability to "destroy the enzyme on DNA responsible for cancer cells," and the power to "neutralize" carcinogens. One product's Web site had a testimonial claiming it had cured a patient's skin cancer in three days, according to one of the letters.

The ingredients of these unproven treatments include bloodroot, shark cartilage, coral calcium, cesium, ellagic acid, and a variety of mushrooms among other products.

Officials said that if the warnings are not heeded, the agency could take action including seizure of the products and criminal prosecution.

"Health fraud has been around for years, and it is a cruel form of greed," said David Elder, director of the agency's enforcement office. "Fraud involving cancer treatments can be especially heartless."

Source: AP via Yahoo News

I know of people who consume certain supplements or herbal remedies as part of their cancer treatment, or take these supplements or remedies in hopes of preventing cancer.

I think some people, myself included, are aware of some of the benefits of consuming certain herbal supplements because there have been studies published that said these remedies have been effective in shrinking cancerous tumors for example.

One of these studies involved reishi mushroom and according to Israeli scientists "molecules in the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, commonly known as the reishi, which help supress some mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer."

I wrote a post about the benefits of green tea here. "According to research reported at the Sixth International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention, sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research, a standardized green tea polyphenol preparation (Polyphenon E) limits the growth of colorectal tumors in rats treated with a substance that causes the cancer."

It is therefore not surprising that companies are making the exaggerated claims of the benefits of consuming certain supplements or foods that they market based on the results of such studies.

The conditions that the studies were made and the benefits and results that were obtained from these studies or research are entirely different from our just consuming the supplements or herbal products.

I think it is right that the FDA are cracking down on companies making these exaggerated claims of cancer treatments and cures, but at the same time I think people should do their own research and verify for themselves if there are indeed any benefits to consuming these supplements or herbal products.

People should not merely depend on herbal remedies or supplements to treat their cancers. It is dangerous for their health, and as the FDA said, the testimonies of those who claimed to have been "treated" or "cured" are not verifiable.

Further Reading:

FDA Warns Individuals and Firms to Stop Selling Fake Cancer 'Cures'

Beware of Online Cancer Fraud

125 Fake Cancer 'Cures' Consumers Should Avoid

Hot and Humid

Posted by Puteri | 6/08/2008 04:52:00 AM | 0 comments »

Hot and humid is definitely not good for my health! I have been back in hot and humid Malaysia for two weeks now. One of those two weeks was spent in the jungles of Borneo where there was definitely no air-conditioning.

The presence of air-conditioning definitely helps with those nightly hot flashes! The experience of hot flashes during hot and humid nights without air-conditioning is not something I wished to repeat!

Once back in civilized accommodation - a bedroom with air-conditioning - nightly hot flashes are bearable once again.

Water retention is also something I have to deal with while living in a hot and humid climate. It is fortunate, however, that I was able to get rid of the excess fluids in my body during the night. Frequent visits to the toilet, though interrupting my sleep, is something I can live with. I'd rather wake up often during the night to go pee than put up with a bloated body!

Someone told me that drinking water with a squeeze of lemon juice helps in eliminating excess fluids. I have resorted to drinking iced lemon tea and that seems to help a little during the day too.

It is strange to have to acclimatize to a climate that I spent most of my life in! My kids don't seem to have any problem acclimatizing though, and they seem to deal with the different weather a lot better this time.

Star Jones looks great

Posted by Puteri | 5/15/2008 01:57:00 PM | 0 comments »

Did you see Star Jones on ET last night? She was holidaying in Cannes with Denise Rich and judging from her still trim figure the procedure she had with her lap band doctor was the best thing she'd done for herself.

She looks great despite the ugly stories surrounding her pending divorce from her husband of less than four years.

And oh, I wished I had wealthy friends like Star does, who are willing to take you on little jaunts on their private yachts!

Pelvic Floor Disorders

Posted by Puteri | 5/15/2008 09:56:00 AM | 0 comments »

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Incontinence and other disorders of the pelvic organs can take a toll on a woman's sex life, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 300 women age 40 and older, those with symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder were more likely to have a diminished libido, pain during sex, or problems reaching orgasm.

Pelvic floor disorders refer to problems with a woman's pelvic organs -- the uterus, bladder and rectum -- and the muscles and connective tissue that support them. Among the most common of these are urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, where weakened muscles and supporting tissue allow one or more pelvic organs to drop down and protrude into the vagina.

Some symptoms of prolapse include pressure in the vagina, pain in the lower abdomen or lower back, and chronic constipation.

According to this news story about a third of US women have at least one type of pelvic floor disorder.

There are non-surgical treatments that are able to reduce the pain and pressure caused by a pelvic floor disorder. Making lifestyle changes, doing exercises, and/or using a removable device called a pessary that is placed into the vagina to support areas of prolapse are just some of the treatments.

For more serious cases of pelvic disorders where there is pain or interferes with sexual activity and bowel and bladder function, surgical procedures are recommended. These include repair of the supporting tissue of the prolapsed organ or vagina wall and/or the removal of the uterus when it is the prolapsed organ or if it is causing the prolapse of other organs (such as the vagina).

Unfortunately, surgery cannot repair all the prolapsed organs and sometimes pelvic organ prolapse recurs after surgery.

Further reading:

Pelvic Organ Prolapse - Treatment Overview

ED Drugs

Posted by Puteri | 5/07/2008 10:51:00 AM | 0 comments »

Erectile dysfunction(ED), which affects an estimated 18 million men in the US alone, is the inability of a man to maintain a firm erection long enough to have sex.

It is a problem more commonly associated with older men, but it can occur at any age. This problem, if ongoing and left untreated, can cause stress, affect self-esteem and cause relationship problems.

The FDA has approved three drugs namely, Cialis, levitra, and viagra to treat erectile dysfunction. They all work by increasing the flow of blood into the penis so that when a man is sexually stimulated, he can get an erection.

These drugs, though effective in treating ED, must be taken with caution because there are certain situations in which these drugs may not be safe to take. For example if you taking alpha-blockers for blood pressure or prostate problems, the combination of Cialis or Levitra with these drugs can also cause dangerously low blood pressure.

Recently the FDA approved once-daily use of Cialis in a dose of 5 milligrams or a new 2.5-milligram dose for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). In a news release from Eli Lilly and Company, which makes Cialis, the once-daily Cialis "may be most appropriate for men with ED who anticipate more frequent sexual activity (e.g. twice weekly)."

For those who are embarrassed about getting products to help with their ED problem from their doctor, there are online pharmacies, like eDrugstore.MD, that sell genuine FDA approved drugs dispensed by a licensed US pharmacist and for much lower prices.

There is no reason to not do something about your ED problem anymore.

The subject of diabetes is one that is close to my heart. My father is a diabetic and recently a close friend was diagnosed as one too. Every new discovery to a "cure" is always exciting news. It is exciting that intestinal surgery has brought remission of the disease on some people.

The following is a press release from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College.

NEW YORK – Growing evidence shows that surgery may effectively cure type 2 diabetes – an approach that not only may change the way the disease is treated, but that introduces a new way of thinking about diabetes.

A new article, published in a special supplement to the February issue of Diabetes Care by a leading expert in the emerging field of diabetes surgery, points to the small bowel as the possible site of critical mechanisms for the development of diabetes.

The study’s author, Dr. Francesco Rubino of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, presents scientific evidence on the mechanisms of diabetes control after surgery. Clinical studies have shown that procedures that simply restrict the stomach’s size (i.e., gastric banding) improve diabetes only by inducing massive weight loss.

By studying diabetes in animals, Dr. Rubino was the first to provide scientific evidence that gastrointestinal bypass operations involving rerouting the gastrointestinal tract (i.e., gastric bypass) can cause diabetes remission independently of any weight loss, even in subjects who are not obese.

“By answering the question of how diabetes surgery works, we may be answering the question of how diabetes itself works,” says Dr. Rubino, who is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and chief of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

Focus on the Upper Intestine

Dr. Rubino’s prior research has shown that the primary mechanisms by which gastrointestinal bypass procedures control diabetes specifically rely on the bypass of the upper small intestine – the duodenum and jejunum. This is a key finding that may point to the origins of diabetes.

“When we bypass the duodenum and jejunum, we are bypassing what may be the source of the problem,” says Dr. Rubino, who is heading up NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's Diabetes Surgery Center.

In fact, it has become increasingly evident that the gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in energy regulation, and that many gut hormones are involved in the regulation of sugar metabolism. “It should not surprise anyone that surgically altering the bowel’s anatomy affects the mechanisms that regulate blood sugar levels, eventually influencing diabetes,” Dr. Rubino says.

While other gastrointestinal operations may cure diabetes as an effect of changes that improve blood sugar levels, Dr. Rubino’s research findings in animals show that procedures based on a bypass of the upper intestine may work instead by reversing abnormalities of blood glucose regulation.

In fact, bypass of the upper small intestine does not improve the ability of the body to regulate blood sugar levels. “When performed in subjects who are not diabetic, the bypass of the upper intestine may even impair the mechanisms that regulate blood levels of glucose,” says Dr. Rubino. In striking contrast, when nutrients’ passage is diverted from the upper intestine of diabetic patients, diabetes resolves.

This, he explains, implies that the upper intestine of diabetic patients may be the site where an abnormal signal is produced, causing, or at least favoring, the development of the disease.

A Theoretical Explanation

How exactly the upper intestine is dysfunctional remains to be seen. Dr. Rubino proposes an original explanation known in the scientific community as the “anti-incretin theory.”

Incretins are gastrointestinal hormones, produced in response to the transit of nutrients, that boost insulin production. Because an excess of insulin can determine hypoglycemia – a life-threatening condition – Dr. Rubino speculates that the body has a counter-regulatory mechanism (or “anti-incretin” mechanism), activated by the same passage of nutrients through the upper intestine. The latter mechanism would act to decrease both the secretion and the action of insulin.

“In healthy patients, a correct balance between incretin and anti-incretin factors maintains normal excursions of sugar levels in the bloodstream,” he explains. “In some individuals, the duodenum and jejunum may be producing too much of this anti-incretin, thereby reducing insulin secretion and blocking the action of insulin, ultimately resulting in type 2 diabetes.”

Indeed, in type 2 diabetes, cells are resistant to the action of insulin and the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to overcome the resistance.

After gastrointestinal bypass procedures, the exclusion of the upper small intestine from the transit of nutrients may offset the abnormal production of anti-incretin, thereby resulting in remission of diabetes.

A Call for Research

In order to better understand these mechanisms, and help make the potential benefits of diabetes surgery more widely available, Dr. Rubino calls for prioritizing research in diabetes surgery. “Further research on the exact molecular mechanisms of diabetes, surgical control of diabetes and the role played by the bowel in the disease may bring us closer to the cause of diabetes.”

Today, most patients with diabetes are not offered a surgical option, and bariatric surgery is recommended only for those with severe obesity – a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 35.

“It has become clear, however, that BMI cut-offs can no longer be used to determine who is an ideal candidate for surgical treatment of diabetes,” says Dr. Rubino.

“There is, in fact, growing evidence that diabetes surgery can be effective even for patients who are only slightly obese or just overweight. Clinical trials in this field are therefore a priority as they allow us to compare diabetes surgery to other treatment options in the attempt to understand when the benefits of surgery outweigh its risks. Clinical guidelines for diabetes surgery will certainly be different from those for bariatric surgery, and should not be based only on BMI levels,” he notes.

“The lesson we have learned with diabetes surgery is that diabetes is not always a chronic and relentless disease, where the only possible treatment goal is just the control of hyperglycemia and minimization of the risk of complications. Gastrointestinal surgery offers the possibility of complete disease remission. This is a major shift in the way we consider treatment goals for diabetes. It is unprecedented in the history of the disease,” adds Dr. Rubino.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases of diabetes, and is a growing epidemic that afflicts more than 200 million people worldwide.

Men's Makeup

Posted by Puteri | 5/04/2008 05:29:00 PM | 0 comments »

Remember the fuss about David Beckham's "boyzilian" in an underwear advert? Or Frank Lampard's waxed armpits? Well, the male beauty regime is about to get a whole lot more complicated. Last week Harvey Nichols launched Jean Paul Gaultier's new make-up range for men. Monsieur – a range of 17 products for men, which includes bronzers, a brow pencil and eyeliner – is the latest part of a rapidly expanding male grooming industry.

A spokeswoman for the Knightsbridge store said on Friday that Monsieur was proving popular with "fashion-conscious straight men to metrosexual and gay men. In general there has been a great boost in male grooming products, and men's make-up is a natural extension of this trend." She added: "Many men already borrow their girlfriends' products."

The men's toiletry market was worth an estimated £806m in the UK last year, up from £639m since 2002.


Mr Kynaston sounds a note of caution for men considering lip gloss and an application of "guyliner": "I'm a big advocate that grooming should be invisible with men. Does the average woman want a guy to wear more make-up than her? Men still want to be men, and women want men to look like men." However, he added: "No one would have predicted hair removal to explode as it did. Who knows what's next?"

The rest of the story here.

I don't know about you, but the idea of men wearing makeup just makes me think of the word "sissified"! eek

I mean I am not against men using products to keep their face clear and clean and using a concealer to cover some acne break outs. I think even men need to go for a facial now and then. But I draw the line at men wearing eye-liners, mascara and face powder even when the face powder is called bronzers! lol

I don't even like the make-up the male TV news anchors or TV personalities have to wear to be on TV, because to me some looked like a mortician had done their make-up! eek

I prefer my men to still look like men, and not a primped up one!

Flaxseed oil and hot flashes

Posted by Puteri | 5/02/2008 12:07:00 PM | 0 comments »

I wrote earlier about my experiences with night sweats and how those night sweats were related to my peri-menopausal condition. What I totally forgot about was the fact that flaxseed oil has been found to be quite effective in controlling hot flashes.

I have a big bottle of flaxseed oil that I bought from my favorite online supplement store quite some time ago. Naturally when I remembered what flaxseed oil can do to hot flashes, I quickly took one capsule before I went to bed last night. I don't know if the fact that I didn't feel hot last night had anything to do with the capsule I had taken before bed time! But what I do know was that I felt cold even before I went to bed and continued to feel cold all night long! Haha, I even had to turn on my electric blanket!

But then again, I don't feel hot and sweat every night. Maybe every other day or something like that, but I do hope that once I start taking the flaxseed oil regularly again I will feel much better and not feel hot all of a sudden and then feel cold some time during the night.

A friend told me that her transition to post menopausal was very smooth. Two years before she became menopausal she had started taking evening primrose oil, and she attributed that fact to her smooth transition. I have never heard her complain about hot flashes or felt any different and I believe that the evening primrose oil was the reason for it.

Thank goodness that there is something we can do that can help our hot flashes!

Diabetic Friend

Posted by Puteri | 5/02/2008 11:33:00 AM | 2 comments »

Last night I talked on the phone with a good friend from Malaysia. She has a family history of diabetes and therefore I wasn't surprised when she told me she had just been diagnosed with diabetes. sad

She discovered her condition when she visited her doctor about frequent dizzy spells. It turned out that the dizziness was actually caused by her vision. The blood vessels in her eyes had started to bleed a little.

After tests confirmed that she was diabetic, she was immediately put on oral diabetic medication. Despite the medication, her fasting blood sugar is till a little higher than normal.

Having been diagnosed with prediabetes myself, I naturally have some experiences with controlling my blood sugar through diet and exercise. I offered my friend some tips on how to get her blood fasting sugar to normal level.

I will be in Malaysia before the end of this month and I am thinking about bringing some of my diabetic recipe books for her, and some food supplements that can help with lowering blood sugar levels.

I am quite concerned about her condition because her older sister is also a diabetic and her blood sugar level is consistently high even with medication.

The key to keeping your blood sugar levels under control is diet and exercise. I am fully convinced of that fact.

Beauty products with Ethocyn

Posted by Puteri | 5/01/2008 10:30:00 AM | 0 comments »

Not too long ago, I made references on this blog to a product called ethocyn which is a skin-rejuvenating molecule developed and produced by Chantal Pharmaceuticals.

Chantal Burnison, a chemist, biologist and lawyer, developed the ethocyn molecule initially to reduce the appearance of scars, but soon discovered that the molecule was effective in the production of elastic fibers which could also be used to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

I think it is exciting that there are beauty products in the market that have been proven effective in clinical trials to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. I think it is time I seriously do something about the sagging I have noticed on my face.

Time for some beauty products with ethocyn to counter the loss of elasticity in my facial skin!

Makeup Gourmet

Posted by Puteri | 4/30/2008 08:03:00 PM | 0 comments »

I was checking out 2008 makeup trends when I came across two videos called The Makeup Gourmet hosted by makeup artist, Chris Scott. Wow, I liked what I saw! I did not realize that there are several makeup videos on YouTube!

Incidentally, the 2008 spring makeup colors are lilac eye colors and blue. Other 2008 spring makeup trends include soft light cat eyes, nude lips, pastel eyeshadows, colorful eyeshadows, and red lips.

Check out the following videos. Chris Scott shows how to do Asian Eyes, even if you are not.

Stiff hip

Posted by Puteri | 4/30/2008 07:37:00 PM | 0 comments »

Last Monday, I was in a car for seven hours. With a few breaks along the way of course.

It is amazing how stiff you can get sitting for that long! Not to mention bored! Anyway, after that long road trip I feel my hip acting up a little. Previously, I had thought the pain in my hip had something to do with my kidney stones. Now, I think that is not the case at all. I think the pain had more to do with the mattress I was sleeping on. Ever since I got myself a new mattress the pain is gone except for a slight stiffness from that long road trip.

I had an ultra sound done to see if the kidney stones could be detected but none was detected. The radiologist told me that an ultra sound is not the best way to detect kidney stones. I am pretty convinced that I do have stones because of the occasional dull aches on my left back.

Anyway, the best way to get rid of stones is to drink lots of water, unless of course the stones are too big to be passed out naturally! Not a pleasant thought, at all! eek

Night Sweats

Posted by Puteri | 4/14/2008 10:21:00 AM | 0 comments »

The last two nights I found myself sweating quite a bit while in bed. The weather has warmed up quite significantly the last two days and that could have been part of the problem. Before this the weather was cold enough and I hardly experienced any night time sweating at all. Even if I did, it would be once during the night.

But the last two nights, I was hot and uncomfortable, and then I was cold, and then I felt hot and sweaty again!

I don't really have to guess the cause of the night time sweats. It goes with the territory for a women my age, and yes it is part of the pre-menopausal stage!

I have experienced night time sweating on and off and never for more than one short period during the night. I think I am going to experience these hot flashes more often now. Definitely not something I enjoy, especially when I am used to feeling cold all the time!

Ayurvedic Medicine

Posted by Puteri | 3/21/2008 05:27:00 PM | 1 comments »

I am a great believer in the efficacy of teas and herbal supplements. In India, Ayurvedic medicine is a 5000-year-old wellness system which is still practiced today.

Through my reading on alternative medicine I learned that tumeric contains curcumin and curcuminoids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. One study has found that 500 milligrams of curcumin each day significantly reduced participants' cholesterol levels in as little as 10 days

At Organic India, you can find organic teas and herbal supplements like tumeric and gotu kola. Organic India which was formed in the 1990’s is committed to quality organic foods, promoting sustainable agriculture in India and paying a premium market rate to farmers.

This is the kind of company that I like giving my business to. Check out Organic India's organic teas and herbal products at OrganicIndiaUSA.com

Kidney stones

Posted by Puteri | 3/21/2008 05:12:00 PM | 0 comments »

Last week I went to see my doctor because of lower back pain and pain in the left hip. He thought it was sciatica, but he still sent me to have my lower back x-rayed.

Yesterday, when I was at 'back care' class my doctor called my home. My husband was home at that time and he took the message for me. As soon I as arrived home, he told me what the doctor had told him.

Apparently the x-rays revealed that I had kidney stones. I've been living with some pain and numbness in my upper left thigh for the last two or so years. I have occasionally felt some dull pain in the back, where the left kidney is located but never enough pain to bother me.

My left hip and upper left thigh are where the pain is mostly concentrated now. I'll be having an ultra sound done on my left kidney in the middle of next week.

I've had kidney stones in the past but I was able to pass them out naturally. Painful as they pass out!

Fortunately the treatment for kidney stones these days do not have to involve surgery if they are not large. I would hate to have to go under the knife!

Proactiv Solution

Posted by Puteri | 3/18/2008 05:46:00 PM | 0 comments »

I am easily influenced by sleek advertising on TV especially when those products are supposed to help improve my appearance. With Proactiv Solution though, I do not have to be influenced by any sleek advertising.

I suffered from acne when I was a teenager, all throughout my young adult life and even now I suffer the occasional acne break outs. The active ingredient,Peroxide 2.5%, in Proctive Solution is the only ingredient that has helped to control and treat any acne break out on my face.

You might want to give Proactive Solution a try if you have an acne problem that does not seem to go away no matter what product you have tried. This product might be the last one you'll ever try!

L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Makeup

Posted by Puteri | 3/18/2008 03:41:00 PM | 0 comments »

I bought a jar of L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Makeup and chose Soft Ivory. Boy, is that color wrong for my skin tone! Sun Beige or Buff Beige, I think, is more my color. Now I think I should buy another color that I can use together with the Soft Ivory. Maybe a color that will make my face "glow"?

I just realized that I should use the brush in circular motions from the middle of the face working outwards. Haha, no wonder my face looked blotchy when I used it recently! Also the color was too light for me!

Hue Pajamas

Posted by Puteri | 3/18/2008 03:06:00 PM | 0 comments »

The weather is finally warming up and soon I will be able to get out of my sweats which I wear to bed during the cold season! I am eager to put on my lighter sleepwear! In fact, I already own several pieces of light cotton sleepwear, but at this time of the year I just cannot resist the chemis, the tanks, the capris that are on display in the stores.

I will be traveling to Malaysia in the summer and I need some nice and cool sleepwear appropriate for the hot and humid weather there. I've taken a look at some of the hue pajamas at Hue.com and I love the capris! Any kind of tank tops will go well with those bright floral or striped capris.

I just noticed the items that are on sale at Hue.com. Socks! I need those too! Better shop now before they're all gone.


Posted by Puteri | 3/18/2008 02:53:00 PM | 0 comments »

The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. The vast majority of people who experience sciatica get better with time (usually a few weeks or months) and find pain relief with non-surgical treatment. For others, however, sciatica can be severe and debilitating.

The clinical diagnosis of sciatica is referred to as a "radiculopathy", which means simply that a disc has protruded from its normal position in the vertebral column and is putting pressure on the radicular nerve (nerve root) in the lower back, which forms part of the sciatic nerve.

An important thing to understand is that sciatica is a symptom of a problem—of something compressing or irritating the nerve roots that comprise the sciatic nerve—rather than a medical diagnosis or medical disorder in an of itself. This is an important distinction because it is the underlying diagnosis (vs. the symptoms of sciatica) that often needs to be treated in order to relieve sciatic nerve pain. Common causes of sciatica are a lumbar herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis.

Source:Spine Health

Yesterday I went to see my doctor about the pain I've been having in my hip and lower back. I've had that pain in my left hip for quite a while now but this past week the pain seemed to have spread to my lower back.

The thing with this pain is that after a period of sitting (like in front of my pc!) it hurts like hell when I get up! Everything feels stiff and sore!

My doctor sent me for x-rays on my lower back, and has scheduled me for physical therapy. He thinks what I have is sciatica.

I have a class to attend on Thursday prior to the physical therapy sessions. Looking forward to those physical therapy sessions! I can just hear myself crying in pain! Haha.

Tips on Makeup

Posted by Puteri | 3/18/2008 02:39:00 PM | 0 comments »

I was at the local pharmacy a few days ago, and as usual I looked at all the make up products available to see if there were any specials. Indeed there were! I came home with some mineral based products. I was happy to have found some cheaper alternatives to the ones that are promoted on TV! I bought an eye make up set, foundation and an eye liner. I really liked the mineral based products except for the color I chose for the foundation. It was too light for my face!

I need to look up on some Makeup tips on choosing the right tone where foundations are concerned. Being Asian, I like to make my face appear slightly lighter than my natural skin tone, but not so light that my face looks blotchy!

It's a good thing that I can get tips on choosing the right foundation color and tips on how to make my skin "glow" at MakeupTip.com.

Estrogen brings breast cancer back

Posted by Puteri | 3/11/2008 01:02:00 PM | 0 comments »

March 7, 2008 -- Breast cancer survivors whose bodies make the least estrogen have the lowest chance of breast cancer recurrence, a long-term study shows.

Estrogen levels -- measured soon after initial breast cancer treatment -- were twice as high in women whose breast cancer returned as in those whose breast cancer did not come back.

Nearly all the women in the study had already gone through menopause, and most took the estrogen-blocking drug tamoxifen. So where did their estrogen come from? Fat tissue, says study investigator Cheryl Rock, PhD, RD, a professor in the cancer prevention program at the University of California, San Diego.

"Fat tissue is the primary non-ovarian site for estrogen production in the body," Rock tells WebMD. "And what makes this worse is that the elevated insulin levels associated with obesity are suppressing sex-hormone binding globulin [which removes free estrogen from the circulation]."

All this is good news for breast cancer survivors, Rock says. It means that by exercising and losing weight, they can cut their risk of cancer recurrence.

Full story here.

One of my good friends who had a lumpectomy to remove a cancerous lump in one of her breasts is now undergoing an estrogen suppression therapy. I think she is taking medication to suppress the estrogen in her body because her cancer is estrogen induced .. I think that is the way it is described.

I did not know before this, that estrogen is found in the fat tissue. Now that we know that those whose bodies make the least estrogen have the least likely chance of the cancer recurring, then it is a good idea for those who can lose some weight to lose that weight!

I should call my friend and let her know about what I'd just read, if she doesn't know about it already!

Reduce LDL cholesterol

Posted by Puteri | 3/09/2008 07:21:00 PM | 0 comments »

On my most recent blood cholesterol test, I was quite happy to note that my HDL and LDL levels were good.

My blood cholesterol levels were not always that good, but ever since I started taking some food supplements I was able to reduce LDL cholesterol level and increase the HDL cholesterol level.

Even though my HDL level appears within the healthy range, it could still be brought higher. I know that regular exercise will bring my HDL level up but when it comes to exercising, I am not that disciplined.

If at all possible, I do not like to take drugs to treat my health problems and fortunately for something like a high LDL, it can be reduced by taking a natural alternative like Vasacor.

If you have been trying to lower your LDL cholesterol through exercise but not having much success you might want to consider taking Vasacor. It is a safer natural alternative to drugs.

Aspirin 'cuts breast cancer risk'

Posted by Puteri | 3/09/2008 06:54:00 PM | 0 comments »

TAKING drugs like aspirin regularly can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer, says a new report published in Britain.

The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could cut the incidence of the cancer by 20 per cent, said the review of 21 studies into the issue over the last 27 years.

Such drugs could also help treat women who already have breast cancer, said Professor Ian Fentiman of Guy's and St Thomas' hospital in London, who compiled the study.

“NSAIDs may well offer significant protection against developing breast cancer in the first place and may provide a useful addition to the treatment currently available to women who already have the disease,” he said.

Full story here.

Aspirin is indeed turning out to be quite the wonder drug!

However, this news story does not say how often aspirin has to be taken and in what dosage for it to be helpful for those with breast cancer or hoping to reduce breast cancer risk. I think it would be best for anyone who is taking an aspirin regimen should consult her physician and read further the result of this study.

I know, however, I would like to share this bit of news to a friend who is undergoing breast cancer treatment. She'll need every tool she can get to ensure the cancer cells do not ever return.

Diamond Jewelry

Posted by Puteri | 3/01/2008 06:42:00 PM | 0 comments »

I don't know of any woman who would not choose a diamond wedding ring over the plain gold wedding band.

What is it again that they say about girls and diamonds? Yes, diamonds are a girl's best friend!

I've just been to FirenzeJewels.com and looked through the pictures of the jewelry available there. My goodness, what beautiful jewelry they have there! I love, simply love, the diamond rings!

Just look at the ring on the right! It is a Simon G antique style diamond wedding ring, handcrafted in 18k white, yellow, and pink gold and contains very fine round brilliant cut white diamonds. Tell me, what woman would not love to have that as her wedding ring?

Since I already have my own diamond ring, I'll just have to look at the other stuff on the site.

I've always wanted a diamond pendent and the Simon G diamond floral style pendant necklace is simply stunning. If there is one piece that I want to own right now, this pendent necklace would be it.

Well, at least I know who carries that pendent necklace and where to get it when my money tree starts blooming again.

Firenze Jewels have been in business since 1937, and I can be assured that they know the business well and that they have an excellent reputation.

2008 Jewelry Trend

Posted by Puteri | 3/01/2008 06:19:00 PM | 0 comments »

According to a website I just visited, the jewelry fashion trend for 2008 is about less jewelry but more about being bolder and more unique, like the bangles and cuffs in the picture below.

I enjoy watching watching people who can wear chunky jewelry but when you are small boned and petite like me, chunky just doesn't do it. I can't even find cuff jewelry that I like that fits my wrist!

How lucky to be not only beautiful but as stylish and as trend setting as Heidi Klum! I can't see myself wearing those chunky rings and cuff bracelets and that stylish buckle, but how I wished I had the panache to wear them though!

Images source: Fashionising.com

Naked Naturals Shampoo

Posted by Puteri | 2/27/2008 09:12:00 PM | 0 comments »

I am quite fussy about the kind of shampoo I use for my hair. I have fine hair and I don't like shampoos that that make my hair dry and frizzy. I also do not like shampoos that make my scalp itch and feel greasy, or make my hair go limp.

What's worse, I color my hair regularly and the regular coloring and blow drying have made some of the ends dry and brittle. So the kind of shampoo that I go for is one that treats my dry colored hair, does not make my scalp itch, and one that does not make my scalp feel greasy after a day.

When I received a sample pack of shampoo and conditioner from naked naturals, I was quite eager to try them. Their shampoos contain no lauryl or laureth sulfates, no DEA or TEA, no animal by-products, no synthetic fragrances, no harsh chemicals, are PH-balanced and not tested on animals.

Moreover, their shampoos also contain Keravis, which is a natural plant protein that is supposed to make your hair stronger by up to seven times, and healthier naturally. I like that especially for my dry, brittle hair.

My first impression of the shampoo was its light lavender scent. Nice, I thought. I wished there was a lot more shampoo in the sample pack, though. I like a lot of foam on my hair when I wash it. After rinsing the shampoo off, I applied the conditioner. I liked the result of the conditioner, and it did leave my hair tangle free when I combed it.

I would like to try this natural shampoo for a longer period and see if it works for me in the long run. I'm happy to note that it is available at Walgreens and the next time I am in Walgreens, I will most certainly get a set of shampoo and conditioner of the Naked Naturals with awapuhi and lavender for color-treated hair.

Anything that helps to strengthen my hair and make it healthier can only be good for me!