15 Life-Changing Habits to Sleep Like a Baby

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We’ve all struggled with the endless mental to-do list at three in the morning: the tossing and turning that leads to more tossing and turning; the creep of technology into what used to be our psychological and physical winding down time. Luckily, there are natural ways to help you say good night and actually mean it! Read on for 15 tricks you can try to rest easy. Read more  »

The Importance of Making a Promise to Feel ‘Em

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Story provided by Erica Bartol, founder of Promise To Feel ‘Em

Two years ago I had this vision that stemmed from the ever-so unbecoming diagnosis of breast cancer at the unsuspecting age of 30 years old. Ironically, a few days before that horribly momentous day, I had felt compelled to perform a self-exam as a direct result of watching The Dr. Oz show that specifically featured younger women’s breast cancer journeys. That day I heard the words, “you have breast cancer” turned my world upside down. It was also the moment I decided that this was not going to defeat or define me. I needed to define it. Soon thereafter, my story ended up reaching a friend of a friend who subsequently did a self-exam and found an early stage breast cancer at the exact same age. As I began to share my diagnosis I realized that women my age were saying they were doing them, but were admittedly remiss. Read more  »

The Environment and Breast Cancer

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Written by the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

We launched the Army of Women® and the Health of Women [HOW] Study™ because we wanted to advance research into the cause—and prevention—of breast cancer.

It is widely accepted that breast cancer is caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal and environmental risk factors.

Your genes, you are born with. Your estrogen (hormonal) risk factors are linked to the age at which you begin menstruating and go into menopause; whether you use birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, and for how long; and if you had children, at what age, and how long you may have breastfed them.

Environmental factors don’t just mean chemicals in the environment. The “environment” also includes behavioral factors like exercise, diet and alcohol consumption, and physical factors like radiation. It can also include social, economic, and cultural factors that influence your diet or might determine what chemicals you are exposed to. Read more  »

Sharecare Top 5: Ebola Virus Update, How Sunshine Boosts Mood, Benefits of Busy Hospitals

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On Sharecare we’re keeping you informed on the latest Ebola news, shining some light on how sunshine can make you happy, and revealing why busy emergency rooms may give better care.

1. Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gives the 411 on how close we are to developing a vaccine for Ebola.

2. Get the scoop from Dr. Oz, MD and Dr. Roizen, MD and on how soaking up sunshine can give you a burst of energy, better sleep and more alertness throughout your day.

3. When a medical emergency happens, do you go to a large ER where the waiting room always seems crowded? Or do you head to the quieter one where you could be seen more quickly? The busier emergency room may be your best bet. Find out why.

4. You know that eating right and exercising can help you stay healthy, but that’s not all it takes to live longer and look better. Watch this video from Dr. Oz, MD, to learn which bad habits to nix.

5. Prevent future age-related vision problems with these two easy tips from Dr. Roizen, MD, to protect your eyes and keep them youthful.

Bringing Love and Romance Into Your Heart and Home the Vastu Way

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Cowritten by Michael and Robin Mastro

Vastu shastra, the sacred Hindu tradition that creates harmonious, stress-free living and working environments can support your success in all areas of life. Vastu even assists you in eliminating obstructions by freeing up stuck energy and setting the stage to fulfill your deepest heart’s desires for love and romance. After all, what is more important in life than to give and receive love?  You may have all the success, money and fame the world has to offer, but love in its many forms is the nectar that nurtures and sustains us all. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Unsaturated Fats, Ovarian Cancer and Weight Loss

Eating unsaturated fats balances weight gain. Gaining a few pounds may not seem like a big deal, but your body responds to the weight with resistance to insulin (a precursor of diabetes) and decreased blood vessel function. New research out this week has found that “unsaturated fats in the diet improved cholesterol levels despite the extra calories and subsequent weight gain.” A group of study participants increased their calories with muffins made with either saturated or unsaturated fats. “After seven weeks, each group had gained between two and three percent of their body weight, about 3.5 pounds (1.5 kilos) each, and waist girth increased by about one percent, but blood pressure did not change significantly.” When researchers looked at their blood, “the unsaturated oil group had lower cholesterol and lipid levels at the end of the study than they had at the beginning of the study. For the saturated oil group, cholesterol went up. Both groups showed signs of increased insulin resistance.” It seems that keeping your diet high in these fats is another way to protect yourself from the side effects of weight gain. (Reuters)

Researchers develop new tool for predicting ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer can be a tricky disease to detect. Its late discovery often means that it’s far more deadly than it might have been had it been found earlier. A group of researchers found a way to aggregate key data to determine how likely a finding in a woman’s abdomen is to be a cyst or a cancer. “The metric uses a combination of patient information, blood test results and ultrasound scans to predict the malignancy, type and stage of the cancer.” The tool isn’t just important for staging cancer: “It’s very important to get the pre-operative diagnosis right. If it isn’t right, the patient might have a more extensive operation than they need, for example having an ovary removed unnecessarily. That ovary removal could be a critical issue for young women in terms of fertility.” Earlier detection and better operations could shift women towards earlier stage cancer, where survival is 90%. (BBC)

When losing weight, it doesn’t matter how fast you do it. You might have heard that losing weight gradually helps you keep off the pounds, but a new study out this week has found that slow or fast, it doesn’t make much of a difference. “Despite its austerity, the extreme diet worked better for more people than the gradual diet, according to the study. Among the volunteers who made it to the end of the weight-loss portion of the study, 81% of those on the rapid plan lost at least 12.5% of their body weight. For volunteers on the gradual diet, only 62% achieved the same goal.” Despite the weight loss, gradual dieters saw better improvements in hip and waist circumference. The researchers then followed up three years later to see whether participants had regained the weight. “The net result after more than three years: Those who followed the gradual diet ended up losing 0.44 pounds more, on average, than those who followed the rapid diet.” (LA Times)

How Breakfast Changes Your Brain

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People tend to fall into one of two camps when it comes to breakfast: those who eat it and those who don’t. While some in the latter camp staunchly deny the need for breakfast, others may skip it for lack of time or energy to make it or to save a few calories. A new study out this week has found that skipping breakfast is a bad way to save calories since doing so may increase your cravings for food later in the day. Read more  »