The Nine-Type Health-Checks must be Done by Women 20+ years old

Busy working women always overlooked their health check inadvertently, but during a journey of a busy and hectic life, this regular health-check is essential. We hope you have been vaccinated with all vaccines, and to ensure that you are keeping yourself on the orbit of the checking the body regularly.

* Every Month you should do

1. Self Breast Exams

While certain medical groups claim that self breast exams are no longer needed, many women have chosen to continue this practice. If you're not sure how to do a breast self exam already, learn the instructions, and be familiar with how your breasts feel and look.

The test itself won't lower your risk, but having this performed regularly is putting you in the best position to see issues in the earliest stages.

2. Self Skin Exam

If you have a propensity for sun spots or moles, you may have to go to your dermatologist more regularly, but The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a simple head-to-toe self skin exam every month.

The instructions are simple and easy to follow, and just like a self breast exam, it helps you get familiar with your skin so you notice changes earlier.

* Every Year you should do

3. Blood pressure testing

Having your blood pressure checked every year is a necessity. Luckily, you don't have to head to the doctor every time you're due. Look out for screenings in your area or use the automated machines at your local pharmacy. High blood pressure - also known as hypertension - is 140/90 or above. The normal adult blood pressure should be below 120/80.

4. Dental Exam

You may dislike heading to the dentist, but staying on top of this appointment is essential for your long-term health. Make sure you head for a thorough cleaning and dental exam every six months to a year.

* Every Two Years you should do

5. Eye Exam

The American Optometric Association recommends a comprehensive eye exam every two years. You'll take a series of vision tests to assess if you need glasses and also to check that your eyes are in good shape.

* Every Three Years you should do

6. Breast Exam

The breast exam performed by a physician is an important preventative measure to take to lower your breast cancer risk. According to the American Cancer Society, women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) every three years.

While the majority of women don't have to start going for annual mammograms until their 40s, the ACA also recommends early mammogram screening for women with a first-degree relative who has had breast cancer.

* Every Three to Five Years you should do

7. Pap Smear

While yearly pap smears were the norm, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, most women from age 21 to 65 can wait three to five years between pap tests as long as the results are normal.

Every Five Years you neeed to do:

8. Physical Exam

While certain studies are calling physical exams useless, the National Institute of Health still suggests getting two physical exams in your 20s and 30s. Every doctor is different when it comes to a physical, but chances are your provider will go over your history, vital signs, and blood work and perform a variety of medical screenings.

9. Cholesterol Check

Once you're 20 years old, checking your cholesterol every five years is essential.

The process is fairly straightforward; after you fast for 12 hours, you go for a blood test that measures total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol, HDL "good" cholesterol, and triglycerides. Your LDL cholesterol levels should be 100 mg/dL or less, and your HDL (good) cholesterol levels should be 60 mg/dL or above.

* Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis

New Approach for Diabetes Treatment!

Researchers are trying new approaches to treat Type 2 diabetes amid widespread uncertainty about the most effective therapies and concerns that current strategies might be doing some patients more harm than good.

New guidelines for treating the disease, which many experts consider a public-health crisis among millions of mostly overweight individuals, suggest doctors vary treatments depending on a patient's age, general health and even personal preferences. The recently updated guidelines recommend that doctors back away from pushing patients to get their blood sugar down to a standard targeted level. Aiming for a very low blood-sugar level might be appropriate for a younger person, for example, while older patients might do better with a less aggressive approach, according to the guidelines, published in June in the journal Diabetes Care.

'We need to be less dogmatic about what matters and be open to different approaches and give patients a voice' in treatment decisions, says Victor Montori, a diabetes specialist at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., who wasn't involved with writing the guidelines but supports the new direction.

Another approach gaining wider acceptance for some patients is the use of bariatric surgery, which results in dramatic weight loss. Though it comes with risk of serious complications, the operation has been shown in recent studies to lead to a rapid lowering of blood sugar, often enabling patients to go off most or all of their diabetes medicines.

Some experts also are questioning the benefits of gradually stepping up the intensity of drug therapy, a widely accepted approach that was reaffirmed in the latest guidelines. The aim is to maintain a patient's blood-sugar level while keeping up with the progressive nature of the disease. But researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, for instance, argue in a recent small study that hitting the disease early and hard is better.

More than 24 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, the version of the disease usually associated with being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle. By some estimates the number could double by 2025.

In diabetes, the body isn't able to effectively use insulin or to make enough of it to metabolize glucose in the food we eat, resulting in higher than normal levels of blood sugar. Heart attacks and strokes, kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness and vascular problems leading to amputation are among the long-term complications when the disease isn't well controlled. That makes diabetes a precursor to many of medicine's most debilitating conditions. Annual costs for treatment and loss of productivity associated with the disease are about $174 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association, an education and research association that devised the new treatment guidelines in collaboration with its counterpart the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

There have been conflicting findings over the benefits for patients of keeping blood sugar strictly controlled, helping to fuel uncertainty about how best to treat the disease. Some popular diabetes drugs come with side effects─including weight gain, bone loss and even a small risk of certain cancers. And some data have shown that aggressive efforts to achieve tight glucose control, until recently considered a desirable goal, can lead to troubling episodes of low blood sugar called hypoglycemia or to increased risk for serious heart-related problems.

Although available drugs all improve blood-sugar levels, there is a lack of data to show whether they actually prevent or delay development of diabetes' long-term consequences.

'The goal for treatment and the choice of individual drug must be personalized depending on the patient,' says Vivian Fonseca, the ADA's president for science and medicine and chief of endocrinology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center, in New Orleans.

For most patients newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the first line of therapy is to improve diet and exercise habits to reduce blood-sugar levels. Usually metformin, a basic diabetes medication, is also prescribed. But patients with only mildly elevated blood-sugar levels may try to improve their health habits for up to six months to see if they can control the disease before beginning medication.

Blood sugar is typically defined as being under control for diabetic patients when it is below 7%, using a measure known as hemoglobin A1c, or HbA1c, according to the ADA. Under the new guidelines, that level is still desirable. But younger, newly diagnosed and well-motivated patients with a long life expectancy may want to aim for even lower levels, closer to 6%, according to the recommendations. Such aggressive therapy is expected to better keep the disease from progressing.

For older patients vulnerable to severe hypoglycemia or who may already have advanced cardiovascular disease, less stringent targets of up to 8% or even a little higher would be sufficient, the guidelines say. This also could reduce the burden of side effects from medications.

* Originally posted: Top Diagnosis

Diagnosis of ADHD - Detection of Brain Waves may Conducive

Brief: The cause of ADHD, one of the most common developmental disorders diagnosed in children, isn't known.The researchers said ERP could be a useful tool in identifying cognitive abnormalities in ADHD children.

The cause of ADHD, one of the most common developmental disorders diagnosed in children, isn't known.

Researchers recorded irregular brain-wave patterns in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, suggesting physiological abnormalities may be behind the condition, according to a report in Pediatrics and Neonatology.

The study in Taiwan compared electrical brain activity in 50 children with ADHD and 51 controls during a test called Event-Related Potentials (ERP), which is used to study neurological disorders. The children, including 82 boys and 19 girls ranging in age from 6 to 13, were divided into four age groups for testing. None of the participants took ADHD medications.

During the test, electrodes placed at specific sites on the scalp measured brain responses to 200 tones delivered at random sequences through earphones. When the children heard rare or odd-sounding tones, they pressed a button or counted the tones. The test was repeated twice for each participant.

Results showed significant differences in the brain activity of ADHD children compared with the control subjects in regions of the brain associated with processing tasks requiring attention, processing speed, behavioral inhibition and control, and central nervous system hyperexcitability.

The researchers said ERP could be a useful tool in identifying cognitive abnormalities in ADHD children.

* Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis

Spit Analysis Reveals Your Age

Brief: The researchers studied DNA in saliva contributed by 34 pairs of male identical twins, ages 21 to 55, and they found that they could estimate the ages of their saliva contributors to within five years.

Saliva contains many useful components. Lubricants. Enzymes for breaking down food. And now, compounds that can reveal a person's age. That's according to a study in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

During normal development, DNA in your body gets what's called methylated. Small chemicals called methyl groups bind to the DNA, helping to determine which genes become active. But the patterns of methylation change as we grow older. Which was a clue that measuring methylation might give away age.

The researchers studied DNA in saliva contributed by 34 pairs of male identical twins, ages 21 to 55. They found 88 sites on the men's DNA where the amount of methylation correlated with their ages. The scientists next verified that finding in 60 men and women, ages 18 to 70.

Then they narrowed in on two genes that had the strongest age-related correlation. And using just that data, they found that they could estimate the ages of their saliva contributors to within five years.

This technique might help in crime scene investigations -- recovered saliva could tell the age of a perpetrator. So if you're worried about anyone knowing how old you are, be careful where you spit.

* Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis

Top Analysis of BBC: Why Asian Children Wear Glasses Mostly?

Up to 90% of school leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia - short-sightedness - a study suggests. Researchers say the "extraordinary rise" in the problem is being caused by students working very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light.

The scientists told the Lancet that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness. In the UK, the average level of myopia is between 20% and 30%.

According to Professor Ian Morgan, who led this study and is from the Australian National University, 20-30% was once the average among people in South East Asia as well. "What we've done is written a review of all the evidence which suggests that something extraordinary has happened in east Asia in the last two generations," he told BBC News.

"They've gone from something like 20% myopia in the population to well over 80%, heading for 90% in young adults, and as they get adult it will just spread through the population. It certainly poses a major health problem."

I: Lack of Outdoor Light

Eye experts say that you are myopic if your vision is blurred beyond 2m (6.6ft). It is often caused by an elongation of the eyeball that happens when people are young. According to the research, the problem is being caused by a combination of factors - a commitment to education and lack of outdoor light.

Professor Morgan argues that many children in South East Asia spend long hours studying at school and doing their homework. This in itself puts pressure on the eyes, but exposure to between two and three hours of daylight acts as a counterbalance and helps maintain healthy eyes.

"We're talking about the need for two to three hours a day of outdoor light - it doesn't have to be massively sunny, we think the operating range is 10-20,000 lux, we're not sure about that - but that's perfectly achievable on a cloudy day in the UK."

II: Massive Pressures

Cultural factors also seem to play a part. Across many parts of South East Asia, children often have a lunchtime nap. According to Professor Morgan they are missing out on prime light to prevent myopia.

"Children suffer from a double whammy in South East Asia," says Professor Morgan. "As a result of massive educational pressures and the construction of a child's day, the amount of time they spend outside in bright light is minimised."

A big concern is the numbers of students suffering from "high" myopia. According to Professor Morgan, this affects between 10% and 20% of students in Asian cities. It can lead to vision loss, visual impairment and even blindness.

"These people are at considerable risk - sometimes people are not told about it and are just given more powerful glasses - they need to be warned about the risk and given some self-testing measures so they can get to an ophthalmologist and get some help."

For decades, researchers believed there was a strong genetic component to the condition. It was believed that people from China, Japan, Korea and other countries were particularly susceptible to developing myopia. But this study strongly suggests an alternative view.

In Singapore, where there are large numbers of people from Chinese, Malay and Indian backgrounds, all three ethnic groups have seen a dramatic rise in short-sightedness. Professor Morgan says you cannot rule out genetics completely, but for him it's not the major factor.

"Any type of simple genetic explanation just doesn't fit with that speed of change; gene pools just don't change in two generations. Whether it's a purely environmental effect or an environmental effect playing a sensitive genome, it really doesn't matter, the thing that's changed is not the gene pool - it's the environment."

* Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis

Weight-Loss Surgery is Also Helpful to Diabetes

Brief: The latest release of the two scientific research results show that usually the bypass surgery that been operated for obese patients to loss weight that can also improve their symptoms of diatbetes signigicantly, and it can even reversed the effect of the diesease. Now researchers are studing whether this surgery is also effective to those non-obesity diabetic patients.

Cristina Iaboni, a diabetic, underwent gastric bypass surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in the fall of 2009 as part of a study. After losing 50 pounds, her blood sugar was nearly normal. She is pictured here in June 2010.

We've been hearing about health care law. Now, simply health care. Two studies released today address options for diabetics. They have found that surgical procedures commonly used to help obese people lose weight can also dramatically improve or even reverse diabetes.

That may offer an alternative treatment for diabetics, as NPR's Rob Stein explains.

Diabetes is one of the nation's biggest health problems and the disease is often caused by obesity. Diabetic Tim Ferree of Macedonia, Ohio, struggled with his weight for years. He knew his out-of-control blood sugar would eventually cause serious problems.

You're looking at, you know, losing your vision, losing your feet, having problems with your kidneys, going blind, you know, heart disease, strokes.

So when Ferree heard about an operation that might help with his weight and his diabetes, he volunteered to get it.

With a brand new baby in the house, that's really what prompted me to take a very aggressive course towards treating the diabetes.

Surgeons have been operating on obese people for years, making their stomachs smaller and rearranging their digestive systems. And doctors realized that patients who got the operations often had their diabetes get much better. Sometimes it even went away completely. But they didn't have good research that proved surgery was really effective.

What's been lacking is a head-to-head comparison of surgery versus some of the newer anti-diabetic drugs.

That's Philip R. Schauer of the Cleveland Clinic. He led one of the studies released today. The results showed that patients who got the operations were much more likely to have their blood sugar go down. Many were able to stop taking any diabetes drugs altogether.

Just the fact we were able to see this many people achieve normal blood sugar without medications is somewhat astonishing. In a sense, we're reversing the disease.

After the surgery, patients would sometimes get better within hours or days. And when that happens, its clear there's something more going on than just the effects of getting thinner. One theory is that re-arranging the digestive system affects important hormones.

There appears to be an increased production of special hormones from the intestinal tract. And these hormones are know to directly stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin.

And insulin controls blood sugar levels. This research raises an important question: Should diabetics start getting this operation more often? It's called bariatric surgery. Paul Zimmet of the International Diabetes Federation thinks they should.

Diabetes coupled with obesity is probably the largest epidemic in human history. At the moment, bariatric surgery is being seen as a last resort. And it should be offered earlier in management.

But others aren't so sure. The new studies only followed about 200 patients. And while the operations appear to be pretty safe, there can be complications. And the complications can be serious.

Vivian Fonseca, a  top scientist at the American Diabetes Association, said: I think we need longer-term follow-up than what was done in these studies, to make sure that you're not trading one problem for another.

For his part, Tim Ferree is thankful. He's 60 pounds lighter. He's off all his drugs - not only for his diabetes, but also for blood pressure and cholesterol.

I'm not staring down the barrel of being diabetic. I'm not looking at a future of potentially having to give myself several insulin shots every day. I'm not potentially looking at, you know, losing a foot or losing my eyesight or having a stroke. That's a great relief, I think, for anyone.

Researchers are now testing whether the surgery works on diabetics who aren't even obese - people with BMIs as low as 26. And doctors and patients are waiting to see if insurance companies will pay for the operations just to treat diabetes.

* Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis

Baby, Obesity is Not your Fault!

If you can't shift those extra pounds, no matter how hard you try, blame your mother. Research suggests we can be programmed to be fat while still in the womb, with a mother-to-be’s lifestyle affecting the health of her baby for years to come.

It is thought that her diet, the amount she exercises, whether she smokes or drinks alcohol and even which pollutants she is exposed to can alter the DNA of her unborn child. The changes are not to the letters of the code of life itself, but to its ‘punctuation’. These chemical marks can activate, silence or crank up genes and their actions.

The latest evidence for the theory, which is known as epigenetics, comes from researchers at Newcastle University who analyzed the genes of children aged between nine and 11.

They specifically looked for genes that had the same letters but behaved differently in children who were overweight and those who were slim. Blood samples stored since the children's births were then analyzed. This step showed that in many cases, youngsters who were overweight had displayed different chemical marks on their DNA at birth.

Dr Caroline Relton, who led the research, said: ‘This suggests that our DNA could be marked before birth and these marks could predict our later body composition.’ Dr Relton, whose findings are detailed in the journal PLoS Medicine, does not know why some DNA is marked in the womb.

But previous research suggests it is largely to do with the mother's lifestyle. However, Dr Relton added: ‘These marks are open to change. I think this puts the onus on the individual to do something about the way their genes work.’

* Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis

Pain Visible

Preface: We all know that pain and its causes is difficult to be seen unless there was physical scars, and which has produced considerable difficulties to the diagnosis and treatment of pain patients. Now scientists from Sweden are working on a detection method, which can make pain "visible" for doctors in the absence of traumas.

We all know what pain feels like, but it is not always easy to identify it.

A broken bone and the effects of many diseases on the body can be seen. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to pinpoint the source of pain.

But doctors here at Uppsala University say they have made an important achievement in the battle against pain.

They are using positron emission tomography, or PET, scans which have been used in hospitals for almost a decade. A radioactive tracer is injected into the patient to develop a three-dimensional picture of the body.

Researchers here say they have used it successfully to diagnose the origin of pain.

They have mixed the usual radioactive tracer with a second substance called D-deprenyl, which they say attaches itself to the parts of the body where patients feel pain. Using the PET scans, researchers can develop images of the spots that indicate an uptake of the tracer mix.

Lieuwe Appel specializes in diagnosing PET scans. Seated at his computer, he explains what appears on a screen before him.

"Here we have a positron emission tomography picture. We call it a PET picture. It has been made with D-deprenyl that has been marked with Carbon-11. And here we can see a significant uptake of this tracer in this patient. They are the red marks on the screen, and this uptake corresponded with the area where the patient felt pain."

Another lead researcher on the project is Dr. Torsten Gordh, Professor of Pain Medicine at Uppsala University Hospital.

Gordh says the key to the research was finding the new tracer. He is convinced the researchers have found a substance which attaches itself to the spots where patients feel pain.

Gordh says although some patients are almost disabled by pain, most scans fail to detect it, and that is why PET is vital.

"With this PET method that we have developed we can actually see that there is an irritation where the patient feels pain. This is a very important tool when diagnosing the patient. The patient also gets a confirmation that something is wrong, and we get more basis for our methods when we work with the patient."

Gordh says one of the driving forces behind the research has been the patients he has felt helpless to diagnose and treat.

He says the research is deeply satisfying for him, because he believes he is closer to being able to make pain visible.

* Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis

Five Health Lessons We shall Learn from Santa

How you been during his Christmas season? Did you receive a gift from Santa Claus yet? This year Santa Claus brought us not only a real gift, but also give us its own experiences on five health lessons! The healthy gift, you have to receive a good strategy!

Lesson 1: Stay up all night

The only way for Santa to get the job done is to stay up all night on December 24 -- and that can lead to some serious health concerns. Sleep loss has a cumulative effect, and Santa has been working hard, likely cutting back on sleep, for the entire month preceding Christmas. As people lose sleep, they have problems responding quickly to specific objects.

Lessons 2: Carring Heavy Sack Of Presents

You should never carry something that weighs more than 10 percent of your body weight, especially when one shoulder is taking on most of the burden. In fact, doing so can cause back strains and sprains, muscle pulls, back spasms, difficulty walking and tingling and numbness down the arms and legs.

Lesson 3: Obesity/Excess Weight

The health risks linked to obesity are well-known, including, among others, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, certain types of cancer and osteoarthritis. And belly fat, in particular, can cause serious health problems, especially among men. Belly fat can increase risk for insulin resistance, high triglycerides, heart disease and metabolic syndrome, among other problems -- most increased risk happens with a waist size over 40 inches.

Lesson 4: Deficiency of Vitamin D

Living with the short days in the North Pole, not to mention working the night shift in December, can cause a serious deficiency of Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, which has been linked to several health problems. Santa should aim to take a supplement that provides 1,000 IU of the nutrient. In addition, he should consider increasing his consumption of Vitamin D-rich foods, such as salmon or fortified milk.

Lesson 5: Shift Work

Santa's not alone here, more than 8 million Americans perform shift work, which has been linked with serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, ulcers and depression, among others.

* Originally Posted: Top Diagnosis