7 Most Effective Remedies to Get Rid of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Do you wake up with a burning sensation on your tongue, even though you haven’t even taken a sip of your hot cup of coffee? Does the burning last all day long, making it difficult to eat or drink anything? If so, it is likely that you are suffering from what’s known as burning mouth […]

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Lawmaker Draws Backlash After Asking If HIV Patients Could Be ‘Legally’ Quarantined

A Georgia lawmaker who is married to former U.S. health and human services secretary Tom Price drew backlash after she inquired if HIV patients could be “legally” quarantined to stop the spread of the virus.

“What are we legally able to do? I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it,” State Rep. Betty Price (R -Roswell) asked Tuesday during a study committee meeting on barriers to adequate health care, which was live streamed online.

Price worked as a anesthesiologist for 20 years and has served on the boards of multiple medical associations in Atlanta and the state of Georgia, according to her legislative biography.

“Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread,” Price went on. “Are there any methods, legally, that we could do that would curtail the spread?

“It seems to me it’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are potentially carriers, well they are carriers, with the potential to spread, whereas in the past they died more readily and then at that point they are not posing a risk, Price added.

The lawmaker’s comments prompted criticism online.

“Outrageous is an understatement,” former first daughter Chelsea Clinton tweeted.

Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, told Stat News that Price’s comments were “incredibly disturbing” and shows that HIV can still have a stigma similar to the fear surrounding the disease during its initial outbreak in the 1980s.

“It’s very troubling to hear comments like that,” Graham said. “It shows the amount of work that still needs to happen to educate elected officials on the reality of the lives of people living with HIV.

“I’m hoping Rep. Price would be open to sitting down, meeting with folks, hearing how those comments sound, and recognizing that’s not the direction we need to go in,” he added.


Health – TIME

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How to Make DIY Hand Sanitizer: 4 Amazingly Simple Recipes

Keeping your hands clean and germ-free means fewer chances of getting sick. To maintain hand hygiene and good health, it is imperative that you wash your hands with soap and water before eating food, after using the toilet, after coughing or sneezing, after playing with your pet and so on. However, sometimes soap and water…

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This Woman’s Heart Actually ‘Broke’ After Her Dog Died. Here’s How It Happened

If you’ve ever lost a beloved pet, you know how much it can hurt. In fact, the pain could be enough to break your heart, suggests a new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Last year, shortly after the death of her treasured Yorkshire terrier Meha, then 61-year-old Joanie Simpson woke up with symptoms consistent with a heart attack, reports the Washington Post. She was airlifted from her local emergency room to Houston’s Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute, where doctors diagnosed her with something a bit more unusual: takotsubo cardiomyopathy, otherwise known as broken-heart syndrome.

The condition can occur after a physical or emotional stress, like the death of a loved one, says Dr. Ilan Wittstein, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins and a broken-heart syndrome researcher (who was not involved with Simpson’s case or the new report). “The heart muscle suddenly weakens and doesn’t squeeze the way it should,” he says. The heart temporarily stops pumping effectively, which can result in low blood pressure and even congestive heart failure. “A whole variety of emotional triggers can cause it,” and it can occur in people who are otherwise healthy.

While broken-heart syndrome looks a lot like a heart attack initially, Wittstein says there are some key physiological differences. In the average heart attack, a clot in a major coronary artery blocks blood flow to the heart, permanently killing some of the muscle. With broken-heart syndrome, however, the major arteries remain clear, but the tiny vessels surrounding the heart are damaged, he says. It’s rarely fatal, and the problem can usually be fixed quickly if properly treated.

Broken-heart syndrome is surprisingly common. Wittstein says as many as 2% of people who are hospitalized with heart attack symptoms actually have takotsubo cardiomyopathy. (Given that 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year, that’s not an insignificant number.) The condition overwhelmingly affects women from ages 58-75, likely due to dropping levels of heart-protecting estrogen. It also typically occurs after a stressful time. Simpson told the Washington Post that she was stressed about her son’s impending back surgery, her son-in-law’s recent unemployment, a drawn-out property sale and, most recently, losing her cherished nine-year-old furry companion.

Wittstein says he’s seen several bereaved pet owners affected by broken-heart syndrome. “It actually can range anywhere from the dramatic—’I was almost killed in a car accident’—to, ‘I missed an appointment and I’m a little frustrated by it,’” he says, adding that some people may be more susceptible to the ailment than others. “We’ve seen the whole gamut.”

As for Simpson? She was discharged from the hospital after two days, the Post reported, and is now in good health and taking heart medication for maintenance. While losing Meha may have landed her in the hospital—and in the pages of a prestigious medical journal—she told the Post she has no doubt she’ll find another canine soulmate in the future.

“It is heartbreaking. It is traumatic,” Simpson said of losing a pet. “But you know what? They give so much love and companionship that I’ll do it again. I will continue to have pets. That’s not going to stop me.”


Health – TIME

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Here’s How Many People Die from Pollution Around the World

In one of the most extensive reports of its kind, environmental health experts have estimated that nine million premature deaths worldwide—16% of all deaths—were linked to pollution in 2015, with the majority of deaths coming from air pollution.

The new study, published in the journal The Lancet and written by more than 40 international health and environmental experts, uses data from the the Global Burden of Disease, an international study that examines trends across populations and estimates mortality from major diseases and their causes. To estimate the number of people who died from pollution-related causes, it looked at the effects of air pollution, or air contaminated with things like gases and the burning of wood, charcoal and coal; water pollution, which includes contamination by things like unhygienic sanitation; and workplace pollution, where employees are exposed to toxins and carcinogens like coal or asbestos.

Air pollution was linked to 6.5 million deaths in 2015, water pollution was linked to 1.8 million deaths and workplace pollution was linked to nearly one million deaths. Deaths from pollution-linked diseases, like heart disease and cancer, were three times higher than deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, the researchers found.

The authors also found that 92% of pollution-related deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries. In growing countries like India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Kenya, the researchers say that up to one in four deaths can be tied to pollution. China and India had the greatest number of pollution-related deaths in 2015. That year, pollution in China was linked to 1.8 million deaths, and pollution in India was linked to 2.5 million deaths. But air pollution is also killing people in the United States. More than 155,000 U.S. deaths in 2015 were related to pollution, the researchers found.

“When I was a kid in school, we were all worried about pollution,” says report leader Richard Fuller, president of Pure Earth, an international nonprofit devoted to pollution cleanup. “Then I think it dropped off the radar for us in the West, and we’ve been worried more about climate change and other things. But overseas, they haven’t looked at this issue much at all.”

The researchers note that their data are likely underestimates and do not reflect the entire burden of disease from pollution. For instance, the researchers didn’t look at other contaminants, like the effects of endocrine disruptors, flame retardants and pesticides on human health and early deaths. Fuller says there isn’t data of high enough quality or quantity on those health issues.

The countries that bear the greatest burden of disease from pollution are also those that are rapidly expanding economically. The authors note that both water and air pollution can be more common in countries in the early stages of industrial development, but that significant increases in pollution do not need to be the norm. “The mindset of a lot of people is that it’s either pollution or jobs, and you have to let an economy go through this stage of being dirty until you can clean it up later,” says Fuller. “But the idea that there is a tradeoff is not borne out by the reality and facts. Well-managed pollution mitigation programs can create a healthy economy and longterm growth.”

The effects of pollution tend to disproportionally affect poor populations, since they tend to be more exposed to toxic chemicals in air and water at sources near their homes or at work.

This, too, is not inevitable, the report authors argue. Several high- and middle-income countries, including the U.S., have put in place legislation and regulation for cleaner air and water. “Their air and water are now cleaner, the blood lead concentrations of their children have decreased by more than 90%, their rivers no longer catch fire, their worst hazardous waste sites have been remediated, and many of their cities are less polluted and more livable,” the authors write.

The report offers recommendations, including making pollution a priority both nationally and internationally, mobilizing funding dedicated to pollution control, establishing monitoring systems, building multi-sector partnerships to tackle the issue, integrating pollution mitigation into non-communicable disease combatting strategies and conducting more research into pollution and pollution control.

“I hope that the people who are looking to set agendas for development are paying some attention,” says Fuller. “I hope they have a wake-up call.”


Health – TIME

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Top 6 Home Remedies to Get Relief from an Abscessed Tooth

Is an excruciating toothache giving you sleepless nights? Well, chances are that you are suffering from an abscessed tooth. When a bacterial infection invades the innermost part of the tooth containing the nerves and blood vessels, it can result in an abscessed tooth. The bacteria can enter through a cavity, a broken or chipped tooth,…

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Who Is Larry Nassar, the Former USA Gymnastics Doctor McKayla Maroney Accused of Sexual Abuse?

U.S. Olympic gold medal winning gymnast McKayla Maroney said Wednesday that she was sexually abused for years by Larry Nassar, the former national team doctor for USA Gymnastics. Maroney, now 21, said the abuse began when she was 13 and continued until she left the sport in 2016.

With her public tweet, Maroney has become the latest and most prominent of the hundreds of people who have accused Nassar of sexual abuse and other crimes.

Nassar, 53, has been charged with sexual conduct with minors in the state of Michigan, where he practiced, and is named in hundreds of lawsuits filed by athletes who say he abused them under the pretense of giving them medical treatment. In most cases, they claim Nassar penetrated them with bare fingers under the guise of relieving pain. He pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges last July and is currently in jail awaiting sentencing.

Read more: ‘It Started When I Was 13 Years Old.’ Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney Says U.S. Team Doctor Molested Her

Nassar was a licensed osteopath and served as a volunteer physician for USA Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body, for 30 years. The organization oversees the selection of national teams for world and Olympic competitions. He also worked at the school of osteopathic medicine at Michigan State University (MSU), where he treated the school’s gymnasts and other athletes. Nassar has three children with his wife, who filed for divorce in January.

Nassar first became a part of the national gymnastics community after volunteering at Twistars Gymnastics Club in Dimondale, Mich., a training ground for emerging talent in the region. He soon became a fixture at national and international competitions and was eventually invited to the famous Karolyi ranch in Texas. There, under the direction of the influential coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, the nation’s elite women gymnasts trained once a month for a week. Most of the attendees were minors who were there without their parents. Other gymnasts, including Jamie Dantzscher, Jessica Howard, Jeanette Antolin and Rachel Denhollander, have said they were abused by Nassar while at the ranch, alleging that he was allowed to enter the girls’ rooms after training to perform supposed “treatments.”

In December 2016, the FBI arrested Nassar on child pornography charges. Agents found more than 37,000 images of child pornography, including girls as young as six, on computer disks and drives he had attempted to discard in a trash bin outside his home. They also obtained a video of Nassar allegedly molesting girls in a pool. He was charged with sexually assaulting a minor by the state of Michigan.

Read more: Former U.S. Gymnasts Say They Were Sexually Abused by Team Doctor

According to the reports of gymnasts who have shared their stories, the abuse was relentless, and their attempts to report Nassar were ignored. In 2016, the Indianapolis Star revealed that USA Gymnastics had a policy of not alerting law enforcement of sexual abuse claims unless the reports came directly from the victim or her parents. In response to Maroney’s tweet, USA Gymnastics said in a statement, “We, like so many others, are outraged and disgusted by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused. We are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career.”

Nassar stopped working for USA Gymnastics after 2015, when the organization reported concerns from athletes about the doctor to law enforcement. Michigan State University fired Nassar a year later while investigating athlete reports of abuse.

If Nassar is convicted of the charges of sexual conduct with minors in Michigan, he could face life in prison.


Health – TIME

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7 Best DIY Turmeric Masks for Acne and Pimples

You may know turmeric as the spice that gives curry its distinctive yellow color; however, this wonder spice has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to cure and heal a wide variety of diseases and conditions. The active compound of turmeric is curcumin, a yellow pigment that has potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. When…

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3 Strange Treatments Doctors Used to Think Were Good for You

The quest for a health is a natural human response to illness, but medical history provides plenty of reason to think twice before you try that miracle cure.

Case in point: medieval doctors would press a sacrificed puppy, kitten, rabbit or lamb on top of a tumor because they thought that cancer was like a “ravenous wolf” that would rather “feed off the sacrificed animal rather than the human patient,” as Dr. Lydia Kang and her co-writer Nate Pedersen put it in their new book Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything.

Sure, some of the stranger examples of old-time medicine would turn out to be useful; while cautery—heating an iron stick on hot coals and then pressing it onto a person’s body—didn’t end up curing broken hearts when the rod was pressed against the patient’s chest, the practice was a forerunner to electric surgical instruments. And while doctors were misguided in prescribing the poison arsenic to treat syphilis and skin conditions, a form of the chemical has been used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia.

But plenty of other techniques were downright useless, if not dangerous. Early women’s health recommendations included everything from naturalist Pliny the Elder’s insistence that consuming powdered sow’s dung relieved labor pains, to the medieval Italian advice that keeping weasel testicles near one’s bosom was an effective form of contraception. And in American history, misguided medicine ran rampant, especially before steps such as the 1906 Food and Drugs Act, the first major consumer protection law to crack down on misleading food and drug labels, and the formation of the Food and Drug Administration in the ’30s. Even today, despite increased consumer protection, misleading medical claims are still out there.

“We have to be really careful when we’re looking for an easy cure,” Kang tells TIME. “Generally things aren’t that easy, so that should make you a little bit suspicious.”

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TIME spoke to Kang about some of the practices once touted as good medicine that are well known to be harmful today.

Tobacco

During a 1665 plague outbreak in London, schoolchildren were told to smoke cigarettes, which at the time were thought to be disinfectants. In addition, “tobacco smoke enemas”—the source of a common idiom about blowing smoke—were developed as a sort of 18th-century version of CPR by members of The Institution for Affording Immediate Relief to Persons Apparently Dead from Drowning. They would drag the victim out of the River Thames, strip him or her down, and use an enema to literally blow smoke into the person, either manually or with bellows. (Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was invented in the ’50s.)

In 1964, a U.S. Surgeon General report would label cigarettes deadly and urge people to stop smoking.

Cannibalism

The phrase “you are what you eat” can apply to this school of thought. Ancient Romans clamored for gladiator blood for strength and vitality, but it was also thought to be a cure for epilepsy. That rationale appeared to be maintained for centuries, based on Englishman Edward Browne’s 1668 observation that people attended executions to collect the blood of the victims. In the early 1600s, one German physician’s suggested cure for a range of conditions was making a jerky of sorts out of the corpses of 24-year-old redheads, chopping up their bodies and mashing the bits in wine, myrrh and aloe, before dry-curing them.

Now that it’s known that blood can carry disease, the risks of drinking it are obvious — but the use of other people’s body parts for medicine would be legitimized through the development of organ donation and transplantation in the mid-20th century.

Radium

In the early 1900s, when people walked into the spa by in Joachimsthal, Czech Republic, they immediately breathed in irradiated air circulating in the lobby. The source of the radiation was a hot spring that emanated radon. Patients soaked in irradiated water and inhaled radon directly through tubes. A few early studies had claimed that radium placed near tumors could shrink the tumors, so doctors at the time thought more was better. “It’s like the difference between treating something with a bomb and treating something with a scalpel,” says Kang.

Radon exposure is now known to be a leading cause of lung cancer. The invention of the Geiger counter in 1928 would help physicians better measure doses of the chemical, paving the way for medical breakthroughs that would enable radiation to be used for cancer treatments today.


Health – TIME

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‘Death Cleaning’ Is the Newest Way to Declutter. Here’s What to Know

My father, a meticulous organizer, has perfected the art of storage: nestling suitcases inside of suitcases, suspending old tables from the ceiling and filling every available nook with things we just might need again someday, but haven’t touched in years.

As a result, our basement—like that of many Americans—is full of stuff.

My mother has been hounding him for years to pare it down, but he hasn’t been willing to budge. Until this year. In the past 12 months, two of my grandparents have passed away, and since then, my mom and dad have spent a huge chunk of their time combing through and cleaning out their own parents’ homes, discarding and donating their possessions to anyone who would take them.

It’s been a wake-up call for my dad, especially, who is suddenly encouraging me to take the items from their basement I’ve been eyeing for my own place. “You’re going to get it eventually, so you might as well take it now,” he joked.

There’s a Swedish word for my dad’s newfound willingness to unload and declutter: dostadning, a hybrid of the words for death and cleaning. And as morbid as it sounds, that’s exactly what death cleaning is: the process of cleaning house before you die, rather then leaving it up to your loved ones to do after you’re gone.

A new book called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning makes the case that the task isn’t morbid at all. Author Margareta Magnusson—a Swedish artist who describes herself as somewhere between age 80 and 100—says it’s “more like a relief,” and that it has benefits you can enjoy while you’re still very much alive.

“Generally people have too many things in their homes,” says Magnusson in a YouTube video posted by the book’s publisher. “I think it’s a good thing to get rid of things you don’t need.” Magnusson says she’s always death cleaned, “because I want to have it nice around me, keep some order.”

Magnusson says people should start thinking about death cleaning as soon as they’re old enough to start thinking about their own mortality. “Don’t collect things you don’t want,” she says. “One day when you’re not around anymore, your family would have to take care of all that stuff, and I don’t think that’s fair.”

MORE: Why Do People Want to Live So Long, Anyway?

The Death Cleaning method bears similarities to that of the tidying-up guru Marie Kondo: Keep what you love and get rid of what you don’t. But while Kondo tells people to trash, recycle or donate what they discard, Magnusson recommends giving things you no longer want to family and friends “whenever they come over for dinner, or whenever you catch up with them,” reports the Australian website Whimn.

However, Magnusson does advocate for keeping sentimental objects like old letters and photographs. She keeps a “throw-away box,” which she describes as things that are “just for me.” When she dies, her children know they can simply throw that box away, without even looking through its contents.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is slated for U.S. publication in January. If the trend catches on stateside, it could be a good way for families to discuss sensitive issues that might otherwise be hard to bring up, says Kate Goldhaber, a family therapist and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Loyola Medicine.

“It seems like a nice, proactive approach to facilitating cooperation and communication among families early on in the aging process, when you’re not too entrenched in the difficult parts later on,” says Goldhaber. “There can also be something very empowering and healthy about taking care of your own space and making it more organized while you’re still around.”

MORE: These Are the Filthiest Places In Your Kitchen

Death cleaning may have benefits for the cleaners themselves, and not just for their loved ones, says Goldhaber. Some research suggests that clutter in the home can raise stress levels and reduce productivity. As adults get older, having a house full of stuff may also raise their risk for falls and create other health and safety hazards.

Goldhaber points out that many people may engage in a type of death cleaning without calling it that—when they downsize from a large house to a small apartment as they get older, for instance. “It’s a new way of thinking about the grunt work that comes along with those transitions, which can be really stressful,” she says.

If bringing up the concept of death with aging loved ones still feels wrong, Goldhaber suggests rephrasing the idea. “If you present it as, ‘Let’s organize the house so it’s a more enjoyable place for you to live and for us to have holidays,’ it might be better received than ‘Let’s throw away your stuff now so we don’t have to sort through it later,’” she says. “It can be fun, even late in life, to redecorate and declutter, and it can be a great thing for families to do together.”

Magnusson says that death cleaning is an ongoing process that’s never truly finished. “You don’t know when you are going to die, so it goes on and on,” she says in the video.

Her daughter chimes in, stating the obvious: Death cleaning ends with death. Magnusson laughs and nods. “Then it stops,” she says, “of course, finally.”


Health – TIME

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DIY Easy Hacks to Make Stunning Rangoli Designs This Diwali

Diwali – the festival of lights – is celebrated with much fervor and joy by Hindus all around the world. Apart from decorating houses with colorful lights and diyas, creating elaborate rangolis is an important ritual of this festival. Rangoli is a form of art in which beautifully colorful and intricate patterns are drawn on…

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No, Birth Control Doesn’t Make You Have Riskier Sex, Researchers Say

When President Donald Trump’s administration recently issued new rules immediately rolling back the federal requirement that employers cover birth control in their health insurance plans, it not only cited religious freedom concerns, but also cast doubt on the safety and effectiveness of contraception.

In the rules, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, the administration listed side effects and health risks it said can be associated with certain types of contraception, and said it may not “advance the government interests” to mandate birth control access to teenagers and young adults. “Imposing a coverage Mandate on objecting entities whose plans cover many enrollee families who may share objections to contraception could, among some populations, affect risky sexual behavior in a negative way,” the rules said.

But scientists and health care providers who study contraception have found that birth control coverage does not lead to riskier sexual behavior. “There is no evidence to support the idea that giving contraception promotes sexual activity,” says Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, chair of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Indiana University School of Medicine, who has studied the effects of contraceptives. “These are myths that are to the detriment of public health. I would argue that not providing contraception is clearly increased risk-taking behavior.”

In 2014, Peipert and his colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis published research that found that providing women with no-cost contraception did not increase the likelihood of riskier sexual behavior. In fact, researchers found a statistically significant decrease in the number of sexual partners people reported from the last month, and they found no evidence of increased sexually transmitted infections.

The analysis was part of a large study called the Contraceptive Choice Project, in which more than 9,000 women and teen girls in the St. Louis area were given the reversible birth control method of their choice, free of charge, and told about the benefits of long-acting contraceptives like IUDs and implants. Rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion fell significantly among all age groups in the study—particularly for teens. Rates of abortion and pregnancy among teens in the study dropped to less than a quarter of the national rates for sexually active teenagers.

These findings underscore how important affordable birth control is to positive health outcomes, says Dr. Tessa Madden, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis, who also worked on the Contraceptive Choice Project. “We know that contraceptive methods like IUDs and implants are the most effective reversible methods at preventing pregnancy. But they are also the methods associated with the highest upfront cost,” she says. “There are very real consequences to essentially making contraceptive methods more expensive for women. It decreases access.”

More than 55 million women accessed birth control at no cost under the Affordable Care Act’s mandate, and hundreds of thousands of them could lose that coverage if their employers cite a religious or moral objection to take advantage of the Trump administration’s new exemptions. While the new rules will likely be challenged in court, experts say the consequences of some women losing access to affordable birth control could be quite negative.

Since the 1980s, close to 50% of pregnancies in the United States have been unintended. That number, as well as the rate of teen pregnancies and abortions, has decreased in the past few years as more women have turned to more effective forms of birth control. A 2016 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that these large declines in teen pregnancy were due not to a change in sexual activity, but rather to “improvement in contraceptive use.” While sexual activity remained consistent, the share of teens who used any kind of contraceptive rose from 78% in 2007 to 86% in 2012, the study found, and teens were more often combining methods and using more effective methods, such as IUDs, implants or the pill.

“We have strong data that shows the most effective contraceptive methods have played a key role in declining unintended pregnancy rates in the U.S., so imposing barriers to access could have the consequence of increasing unintended pregnancies,” says Laura Lindberg, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Guttmacher Institute.

When it comes to teenagers, the group that the Trump administration expressed particular concern about, experts say the stakes are particularly high. “The evidence is very clear that people make decisions about having sex at a certain age, and that has nothing to do with whether or not they have contraception,” says Dr. Krishna Upadhya, a Johns Hopkins pediatrician who specializes in adolescent health. “If you don’t give teenagers access to contraception and to messages to prevent sexually transmitted infections, what does happen is their rates of sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy will go up.”

Peipert says the administration’s new policy could not only lead to spikes in unintended and teen pregnancies, but also in infant and maternal mortality and in the rate of abortions—the outcome many conservatives most fiercely oppose. Unintended pregnancies can also hinder women’s education, careers and economic independence, which can wind up costing the government more money, according to Peipert.

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say we don’t want abortion or we’d like to reduce abortion in the country, yet we don’t want to fund or provide contraception,” he says. “It’s really about our society and our country’s feeling about women. Women should be empowered to control their reproduction.”


Health – TIME

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How to Get Rid of Static Cling on Clothes: 7 Quick Hacks

It’s time to meet your Tinder date and you have everything under control and according to plan. You have your hair done right and that beautiful silk dress ready. But as soon as you put it on, the fabric is clinging to places it shouldn’t. Realization hits that you have been doomed with static cling…

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22 Best Uses of Witch Hazel for Health and Beauty

As intriguing as it may sound, witch hazel has nothing to do with witches or sorcery. Witch hazel, a common household item, has always been just around the corner but never got its due as a potent health and beauty remedy. It is an age-old skin healing shrub. Its leaves, twigs, and barks undergo a…

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Here’s How Practicing Tai Chi Can Help the Heart

For people who have a heart attack, chances are high that if they don’t do much to change their lifestyle and health habits, they will have another one—possibly even a fatal one—in a few years.

But the dietary and exercise changes that doctors recommend are often too intimidating and frightening for patients. Most heart rehabilitation programs include regular treadmill sessions several times a week at a hospital or heart facility, but nearly two-thirds of heart attack patients don’t participate in these programs. For people who are overweight or obese and are not in the habit of exercising, such regimens are off-putting and stressful, since they are afraid that the exercise will trigger another heart attack.

Dr. Elena Salmoriago-Blotcher, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Brown University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine & Public Health, wanted to find an alternative for people like this. In a small new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, she and her colleagues found that tai chi might be a useful way to introduce reluctant people to exercise.

In the study, 29 men and women who had recently had a heart attack were randomly assigned to two tai chi groups. One practiced tai chi twice a week for 12 weeks by attending sessions at the hospital, while the other group did it three times a week for 24 weeks. All of the volunteers were also given DVDs to help them continue practicing tai chi at home.

After three months, Salmoriago-Blotcher found that the people in the group doing tai chi more frequently were more physically active than those doing less of the exercise. After six months, the differences were more pronounced. Not only were the people in the more intensive group practicing tai chi more often, but they were also doing more physical activity outside of their sessions, such as riding their bikes and climbing up and down stairs in their homes that they were afraid to use before.

MORE: Why Tai Chi Is As Good For You As CrossFit

“People like it, and they came,” says Salmoriago-Blotcher. “We retained pretty much everybody for the length of the study. And there is a preliminary indication that the longer program may improve physical activity. We changed behavior.”

The study, which was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, wasn’t designed to see if tai chi could actually replace the traditional exercise programs associated with cardiac rehab, but to see if people who are averse to exercising would accept tai chi as a way to get more physically active. The study didn’t include enough people to see if it changed their fitness levels and other measures of metabolic health, for example. But getting previously inactive people to move more is the first hurdle, says Salmoriago-Blotcher.

The results suggest that for people who don’t do cardiac rehab, tai chi may be a way to entice them to start exercising in a gentle, less intimidating way. It may also act as a gateway to other types of more traditional and intensive exercise that have been shown to improve fitness and potentially lower risk of having further heart attacks. “Tai chi is an interesting, promising exercise option,” says Salmoriago-Blotcher. “I think based on what we found, it’s a reasonable and safe step to offer tai chi within cardiac rehab. If someone says they are afraid of exercising, we could ask if they are interested in doing tai chi.”

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Once people start to move more using tai chi, she says, doctors can revisit the possibility of switching them to a more intensive traditional cardiac rehab program.

The benefits of offering tai chi to the people who aren’t getting cardiac rehab now could be enormous, since it’s a gentle way to become physically active. Unlike other forms of exercise, including working out on a treadmill and even yoga, tai chi is non-striving, says Salmoriago-Blotcher, meaning there is no set goal or pose that needs to be reached: just moving for the sake of moving. By its nature, people who practice tai chi “are not going anywhere, and not wanting to achieve [physical goals],” she says. “We tell people to just do it without thinking about goals. They should just enjoy the movement and the practice.”

Tai chi is also customizable. For people who can’t arrange transportation to come to regular rehab sessions at a hospital, tai chi can also be easily done at home without equipment, which might also encourage more people to exercise. It can also be adjusted to be more or less strenuous, depending on how it’s practiced. Salmoriago-Blotcher is hoping to study tai chi further in heart attack survivors by upping the intensity and seeing, through heart rate monitors, if that actually helps improve their physical fitness. If it does, then tai chi might be on its way to being an alternative to the treadmill as a way to improve heart health.


Health – TIME

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