Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sex and the Aging Woman II~Uterine Fibroids

About 75 percent of women get Uterine Fibroids (UF). UF are the cause of about 200,000 hysterectomies per year. Black women are two to three times more likely to get UF than women of other ethnicities (Axe, 2017).

UF are non-cancerous tumors that grow inside a women's uterine wall. They can range from a few millimeters to the size of a watermelon (2017).

There are different types of fibroids that women get. Here's a list and a description of each:
  • Intramural - These grow within the muscular uterine wall, and are the most common. These can actually distort and stretch the uterus, if they're large enough. These can also cause prolonged, heavy periods; and pressure and pain in the pelvic region.
  • Subserosal - These grow outside the walls of the uterus, and sometimes press on the bladder causing difficulty in emptying your bladder, and sometimes even backaches. 
  • Pedunculated - These grow on small stalks inside or outside of the uterus.
  • Submucosal or Intracavitary - These grow underneath the uterine lining. These will likely cause heavy, prolonged periods. These are not as common as other types of fibroids (Axe, 2017).




Many risk factors contribute to getting uterine fibroids, and these risk factors are:
  • Heredity - If your mother or sister has fibroids, your chances of getting them are greater.
  • Age - Fibroids usually show up around your 30's or 40's.
  • Nationality - Black women are two to three times more likely to develop fibroids than other nationalities, and tend to get them at younger ages, have more of them, and larger ones.
  • Diet - Poor quality beef, and any pork has been linked to  higher fibroid risk.
  • Obesity - Being overweight creates a higher risk. 
  • High Blood Pressure - High blood pressure seems to create a higher risk.
  • Hypothyroidism - Hypothyroidism has been associated with uterine fibroids.
  • Early Menstruation - Women who started their periods before 10 years old are at higher risk.
  • Birth Control - Because of the increased estrogen levels caused by them, birth control pills can cause fibroids to grow more rapidly (Axe, 2017).

Certain foods may make fibroids worse, so try your best to avoid them. These foods are:
  1. High fat, processed meats - These meats can increase inflammation and many times contain chemical additives.
  2. Conventional dairy - Because it is high in steroids and other chemicals, non-organic dairy can alter hormones and encourage the growth and development of fibroids.
  3. Refined sugar - Two factors that encourage the development of fibroids are weight gain and hormonal imbalance, which can be caused by the effects of refined sugar. "Studies have shown that a high dietary glycemic index is associated with a higher risk of uterine fibroids in some women (Axe, 2017)."
  4. Refined carbohydrates - These carbs can cause insulin levels to spike, while causing and hormones to become unstable. 
  5. Alcohol - Alcohol can increase inflammation throughout the body. It reduces immune function and encourages hormonal imbalances.
  6. Caffeine - Drinking more than two cups a day can increase estrogen levels and worsen fibroids (Axe, 2017).

There are ways to possibly ward off and treat these growths naturally, yet this isn't information that we get from most doctors. Here are some foods that you should include in your diet that may help keep fibroids at bay:
  • Organic foods - "Eating organic foods can help to shrink and prevent fibroids. Pesticides impact estrogen and other hormone levels." Hormonal balance is the key to treating fibroids naturally, so you'll want to avoid pesticide ingestion as much as you can.
  • Green leafy vegetables - These vegetables discourage fibroid growth in a woman's body, because they are rich in vitamin K, which aids in clotting and helps control menstrual bleeding.
  • Cruciferous vegetables - These vegetables help to detox your liver and balance estrogen levels. Consuming large amounts of broccoli, tomatoes, apples, cabbage and Chinese cabbage seems to be a protective factor for uterine fibroids, according to research. Large consumptions of these vegetables and fruits, are believed to be able to reduce the incidence of uterine fibroids in women.
  • Beta - Carotene rich foods - The body turns beta - carotene into vitamin A, which promotes the growth of healthy tissue, and also repairs tissue, and these things can be helpful in healing fibroids. Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale are high in beta - carotene. 
  • High iron foods - Fibroids can cause heavy periods can lead to excessive blood loss, which in turn can cause anemia. Foods high in iron like grass-fed beef and legumes, can help to replace loss iron and prevent anemia. 
  • Flaxseeds - These can help to balance estrogen levels in the body, and this can help to shrink fibroids. At least two tablespoons per day should be helpful. Sprinkle them on your oatmeal or in smoothies, or just eat them as they are.  
  • Whole grains - Use whole grains like millet, spelt, rye, oats, buckwheat, and brown rice, instead of refined grains (Axe, 2017). 

There are many different treatments for fibroids. The one that's best for each woman will be based on many factors. Here's a list of those treatments:
  • Watchful waiting - If your fibroids don't bother you, then this may be the best thing to do. And if you're close to menopause, they naturally start to shrink during menopause.
  • Medications:
    • Gn - RH agonists (Lupron, Synarel, etc.) - These block the production of estrogen and progesterone, which puts you in a post-menopausal state temporarily. This stops your menstrual cycle, shrinks the fibroids, and may improve anemia caused by excessive menstrual bleeding. This is only a temporary fix, and is only administered for 3 to 6 months, because of the side effects.
    • Progestin releasing IUD - This device can relieve heavy bleeding caused by fibroids. It also prevents pregnancy, but does not shrink fibroids.
    • Tranexamic acid (Lysteda) - This is a non-hormonal medication that's taken to lessen heavy periods, and is only taken during heavy period days. 
    • Other medications can be used, but they don't shrink fibroids (Mayo Clinic, 2017).
    • Noninvasive procedure:
      • MRI guided FUS - This is done on an outpatient basis, requires no incision and preserves your uterus.  This is performed while inside an MRI scanner equipped with a high energy ultrasound transducer, which focuses soundwaves into the fibroids which heats and destroys small areas of fibroid tissue (2017). 
    Focused Ultrasound
    Surgery (FUS)



    • Minimally invasive procedures:
      • Uterine artery embolization - Small particles are injected into the arteries to the uterus. This cuts off the bloodflow to the fibroids, which cause them to shrink and die.
    Uterine Artery Embolization

      • Myolysis - This laparoscopic procedure uses either radiofrequency energy, an electric current, or laser to destroy the fibroids and shrink the blood vessels that feed them. Cryomyolysis is a similar procedure that freezes the fibroids.
      • Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy - A surgeon removes the fibroids leaving the uterus intact, during a myomectomy. If there are only a few fibroids your doctor may suggest a laparoscopic or robotic procedure.
      • Hysteroscopic myomectomy - "This procedure may be an option if the fibroids are contained inside the uterus (submucosal). Your surgeon accesses and removes fibroids using instruments inserted through your vagina and cervix into your uterus (Mayo Clinic, 2017)."
      • Endometrial ablation - Performed with a special instrument inserted into the uterus, this treatment uses heat, microwave energy, hot water, or electric current to destroy the uterine lining. This will end menstruation or reduce the menstrual flow. This does not affect fibroids outside of the uterine interior lining.
    • Traditional surgical procedures:
      • Abdominal myomectomy - This open abdominal surgical procedure is used if you have multiple fibroids, very large fibroids, or very deep fibroids. Many of the women who are told that they need a hysterectomy, may be able to have this procedure instead.
      • Hysterectomy - This is major surgery for a woman, because it removes the uterus. This should be thoroughly researched and discussed before making this decision, because it's permanent and comes with many possible side effects (May Clinic, 2017).

    All of these procedures come with some types of side effects, so it's important for you to ask lots of questions and do your research. Talking to other women who have had these procedures can be very helpful. You have to figure out which is best for you.

    I suffer from Uterine Fibroids. They have caused me severe bleeding during my menstrual cycle, which has affected my quality of life. I would have to change within every hour for the first two days of my cycle, because my flow was that heavy. This is with using a super-plus tampon and overnight pads (both heavy duty protection), together. I would also bleed for weeks, and at odd times.

    My heavy loss of blood also caused me to become anemic, but I was able to eventually fix that by taking iron pills. That was an ordeal because for a while they made me too sick to take, but I figured out that it was because I drank so much soda. Not while taking the pills, but at that time I drank so much of it, it still affected my digestion of iron pills. When I stopped drinking soda, I had no problems taking the pills, and I took them following a meal; this cured my anemia. 

    I was given many options, and the ones with hormones I stayed away from because I have had negative reactions from hormones in the past; they would cause depression. Other options were suggested, but I felt that they weren't for me. So the first option that I looked into was the Uterine Artery Embolization, but I was not a good candidate because my fibroids are intramural, subserosal, penduculated, and submucosal. AND some were very large which made it possibly dangerous to have this procedure. I was not denied it, but I didn't want to take the chance of the possible side effects.

    The next option was to take the medication Lysteda. This caused heavy clotting, but it reduced the bleeding and helped improve the severity of my menstrual cycle. This medication became unavailable for a while, so I needed another option. 

    I had a new doctor on my case, and she went over all of my options again, and she assured me that the IUD didn't have the hormones of the past and she felt that it might be a good option for me. I was elated by the thoroughness of the information that she gave me, because I was beginning to think about a hysterectomy. Something that I told myself that I would never do, unless it was to save my life. 

    I agreed to having an IUD inserted in hopes that it would help to reduce my periods, and it did. My quality of life improved, so I was able to go swimming again, and I didn't have to cancel plans when my period came on. The plan is that by the time it's time to remove the IUD (which is about 5 years), I will be well enough into menopause that they will start to shrink naturally.

    So, my advice would be to find out about all of your options and do your research if you suffer from UF. Make sure that you learn about all of the side effects of your options, because that is important. I hope this article is helpful, and I wish any woman that suffers from this condition the best of luck in choosing a treatment. 

    Talk to you all soon!!! 😊

    ~LAF~

    References

    Axe, J. (2017). 8 ways to heal or prevent fibroids. Draxe.com.
         Retrieved from https://draxe.com/fibroids/

    Mayo Clinic Staff (2017). Uterine fibroids. Mayoclinic.org.
         Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/
         uterine-fibroids/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20212592

    FUS and UAE pics from Mayoclini.org/uterine fibroids.

    Uterine fibroid pic from MedicineNet.com
         http://www.medicinenet.com/image-collection/uterine
         _fibroids_picture/picture.htm

    Sunday, April 30, 2017

    Sex and the Aging Woman

    As women, we go through many changes with our hormones over the years, from the time that our menstrual cycle starts in our teens or pre-teens, to the time that it ends, post menopause. Most of us maneuver our sex lives around our cycle, for obvious reasons. And there are many other things that can affect our desire over the years, from child-bearing, to child-rearing, to PMS, to every-day stressors, to our jobs, to relationships, to menopause, etc., etc.

    As we age, we go through health issues like fibroid tumors, that can cause pain and severe bleeding; to increased risks of many cancers of our reproductive system; to many other ailments that the recommendation to resolve them is a hysterectomy. For me, a hysterectomy would be the last remedy that I would ever resort to for any ailment, or to save my life; but for some a hysterectomy is a blessing.

    There are three types of Hysterectomy's:
    1. Partial hysterectomy - The upper part of the uterus is removed, but the cervix is left in place. 
    2. Total hysterectomy - The entire uterus, including the cervix, is removed.
    3. Radical hysterectomy - The uterus and the ligaments that hold it in place are removed. The cervix and an inch or two around the vagina are removed. After the cervix is removed, the surgeon stitches the top of the vagina. It will soon seal with scar tissue and become a closed tube. The vagina does not become an open tunnel into the pelvis, like some women fear (ACS, 2017).
    The ovaries and fallopian tubes, may or may not be removed, depending on the reason for the hysterectomy. Even leaving one ovary can prevent a woman from going through early menopause, because it can produce enough hormones. Leaving the ovaries are also important for keeping the sex drive intact.

    A hysterectomy shortens the vagina, and may cause numbness in the genital area. There are many things that couples can do to continue a healthy sexual relationship after a hysterectomy; although many physical and psychological issues can occur for women after a hysterectomy, and if so, it's important to talk to your doctor, and possibly go into therapy.

    Some women have happier and healthier sex lives after hysterectomy, so it doesn't affect all women the same.

    FUN FACT
    The soul purpose of 
    the clitoris 
    is pleasure, for women!!! 
    😊

    Menopause is the stages that a woman goes through at the end of her reproductive years. The end result is that her body can no longer make a baby. This natural process can take up to 10 years, and on average starts around the age of 52. Perimenopause is the onset of menopause and the years leading up to the final stages of menopause. Some women are mildly affected by menopause and some women are severely affected by menopause. The effects can be physical and/or mental, and these things can affect our sex lives.

    The physical effects of menopause can include vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and a diminished sex drive. These issues should be discussed with a doctor, because there are treatments for these issues. Some women have a more fulfilling sex life Post-menopause, because they no longer have to deal with PMS and periods, or the mood swings that may come with that. They no longer have to worry about getting pregnant, and that's a great burden that's lifted for many. Post-menopause, you're usually at a stage of your life when you have a lot less inhibitions, and a lot more wisdom about sex and life in general, so that can add to sexual gratification.

    There are other things that women go through during menopause that can affect their relationship with there partners. It's important for men to know and understand the possible effects of menopause, so that they are more able to be supportive and understanding.

    Many women go through hot flashes, which is when our body temperature is no longer controlled by our internal system, because of a loss of estrogen; this is a natural part of menopause. Some of us get night sweats and end up with damp (to wet) pillows, sheets and night clothes. We can go from hot to cold to hot again within minutes, at any time during the day or night. This can be very annoying, and for some, unbearable. There are some remedies for this so make sure to talk to your doctor if this is unbearable.

    A few things that we can do to help ease the night sweats are to keep a fan on near our side of the bed, wear lightweight cotton night clothes, use only a top sheet to cover us, and keep the temperature cool. Drink plenty of water, and keep some on the nightstand just in case you need it in the middle of the night.

    Vaginal dryness is another symptom caused by the loss of estrogen. There are many different types of lubricants that you can get over the counter, and there are some remedies that your doctor can prescribe if necessary, so talk to your doctor about it. But in the meantime, check out the foods below that aid in having a healthy vagina. A few of them help to naturally increase vaginal moisture.

    Depression can happen because of the hormonal changes and imbalances that we experience, during perimenopause. This is something that I've experienced, but have thankfully overcome. It took some focus on what I needed to do, in order to help get myself through it. I began to learn Tai Chi, which is good for meditation and relaxation; Yoga is great for this too. I also continued my workouts, which are important during any spells of depression. Working out releases endorphins, which are natural feel good chemicals that trigger positive feelings in the body.

    I also decided at this time to learn to speak Italian. I've been wanting to learn a new language, and this gave me something else to focus on. Planning a trip to Italy was also something that I focused on, and gave me pangs of excitement through anticipation. All of these little jolts of feel goods and excitement, along with meditation and relaxation exercises, helped to get me through my depression, and now I feel better than ever. 😊

    Emotional instability. You may become overly sensitive to things that didn't really bother or move you before. This can make socializing a bit more challenging. You may cry about things that normally don't make you cry; or you may get angry at things that you have no right or reason to get angry at. These things can become confusing, and even a bit scary until you realize that this is a symptom of menopause; but if this becomes more than you can handle, talk to your doctor.

    FUN FACT
    The clitoris has
    8000
    nerve endings!!!
    WOW!!! 😲

    Eating the right foods and beverages can keep your vagina healthy, stave off infections, ease discomfort, and even spice things up in the bedroom. Here are some foods that your vagina will thank you for eating:

    • Green Tea (catechins) - Helps fight UTI infections. 
    • Salmon and Tuna (Omega 3 fatty acids) - Helps relieve cramping.
    • Yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh (Pro-biotics) - For fewer yeast infections by helping to keep a healthy PH balance in your vagina.
    • Organic edamame, tofu, or tempeh (isoflavins) - For vaginal dryness. They mimic estrogen, and the lack of this hormone causes vaginal dryness.
    • Apples (phloridzin <which mimics the female sex hormone estradiol> and polyphenols <helps boost blood flow to vaginal tissue>) - For more fun in bed due to higher levels of lubrication and sexual function.

    FUN FACT
    During sexual intercourse 
    the vagina swells to 
    4 to 8 inches in length 
    and 2.5 inches wide.


    Throughout our lives, we as women go through many hormonal changes and fluctuations. Post-menopause is a phase in life to look forward to having relief from these changes. We can have more fulfilling sex lives, by no longer having to deal with the mood changes, our menstrual cycles, and birth control concerns. It's important to maintain good health by eating well, and working out regularly so that we can enjoy our years post-menopause. And remember that the more sex that we have as we age, the better our sexual organs work, so ENJOY!!! 😊

    (Please access my references for more detailed information on my subjects.)

    Talk to you all next time!!!

    References

    ACOG. (2015, March). Hysterectomy. Acog.org. 
         Retrieved from http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Hysterectomy
         #structures

    American Cancer Society. (2017, January 12). Surgery can affect a woman's
         sex life. Cancer.org. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/treatments/
         treatments.../radical-hysterectomy.html

    How Stuff Works. (2017). The ultimate sex quiz. Howstuffworks.com
         Retrieved from http://quizzes.howstuffworks.com/quiz/sex-quiz

    Taylor, M. (2016 June, 2). 12 foods your vagina wants you to eat.
         Womenshealthmag.com Retrieved from http://www.womenshealth
         mag.com/food/foods-for-healthy-vagina/slide/4

    WebMD. (2017). Exercise and depression. WebMD.com. 
         Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide
         /exercise-depression#1

    Pic by pixabay.com

    Uterus pic Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19263.htm


    Sunday, April 23, 2017

    Sex and the Aging Man

    As we all age, sex is another activity that is usually affected. The issues are different for men and for women, so I'm writing separate articles for each.

    Sexual activity is an important, positive activity for men and women as we age. It affects our mental health as well as our physical health. Sex relieves stress, hinders depression, and strengthens relationships and intimacy.

    There are many other positive aspects to sexual activity, but as we age many accept that it's natural for desire to decrease. And even though decreased desire IS natural as we age (sometimes it can be the opposite for women, and I will explain that in my next blog), we shouldn't accept allowing it to diminish or to become a job to please our partners. There's no reason in the world to accept sex as anything less than pleasurable as we age, and this blog is dedicated to helping you get to, or get back to, that pleasure. 💕

    FUN FACT
    Male ejaculate can travel 
    up to 8 feet
    during orgasm!!! ðŸ‘€

    Your penis is a barometer to your health. If it isn't working correctly, more likely than not you have a health problem. Here are some of the signs of a bigger health issue:
    • Your going soft a lot- Going soft more than twice a month could be a sign of potential heart disease. The risk of getting heart disease is up to 65% higher in men with erectile dysfunction, according to an Austrian study (Fowler, 2014).
    • Your pee has gone from yellow to red - "Blood can be a sign of prostate, bladder, or kidney disease, so you need to find out where the blood is coming from," according to Dr. Billups. But if your semen is bloody during sexual activity, deadly danger is less likely, says Eric Klein, MD. Although, it could be a sign of prostatitis, which can be treated with antibiotics. So, if you have blood in your urine, go see a doctor.
    • Your sex drive has been stuck in neutral - Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) might be reducing your sex drive. OSA can reduce testosterone, which can affect your erections. If your snoring is loud, if you gasp for air when you awaken, or if you're feeling exhausted during the day, ask your doctor about having you tested for OSA.
    • You see that the tip is red and swollen - Inflammation, redness, and pain can be a sign of balanitis. Balanitis is usually caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, and is usually because of hygiene that is less than stellar, according to Dr. Paduch. You may be prescribed an over the counter antifungal, prescription antibiotics, or steroid cream. Diabetics are three times as likely to get balanitis, so be sure to get tested for diabetes. 
    • You notice it doesn't feel as sensitive as before - This can be the sign of a poor diet, low blood sugar, or diabetes. Make sure that you're getting enough vitamin B12 (2.4 micrograms), and folate (400 micrograms). Deficiencies in these vitamins can prevent nerve fibers in your penis, from sending signals to your brain. Low blood sugar from 8 hours of fasting can even effect penile sensitivity, according to Dr. Paduch. So if you feel a little numb, eat some clams or beef, or drink some milk to get B12 in your system, and eat some green leafy vegetables and black-eyed peas to get some folate in your system. Hopefully, your penis will start communicating with your brain again; otherwise, go to see your doctor.
    • You have to urinate more often than usual - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is probably the culprit. This condition rarely causes symptoms before 40 years of age, but affects up to 90 percent of men in their 70's and 80's. An enlarged prostate presses on the tube that carries urine out of your body, giving you that "gotta go" feeling. Your doctor can prescribe medications to alleviate this annoying feeling, by relaxing the muscles in your prostate.
    • You produce less ejaculate or can't orgasm - Low testosterone could be the culprit, and the cause could be sitting right in your medicine cabinet. If you take Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's) for depression, about 1/3 of men who take them experience difficulty reaching orgasm, according to researchers in Iran. Ask your doctor about changing your dose, or switching medications.
    • Your erection is curving at a strange angle - 23 percent of men ages 40 and over get Peyronies disease. This condition can cause an erect penis to bend in any direction at an angle of 30 degrees or more. This can be genetic, or a sign of too much or too little sexual activity. You should seek treatment within 24 hours, and consider getting a blood sugar text. High levels of glucose could cause plaque to form in your penis, which can lead to this issue (Fowler, 2014). 

    Erectile Dysfunction ED is a big problem as men age. Although there are many reasons and remedies for this issue, I would like to say that as we age, many of the things that use to get us aroused, no longer do; please remember this. A male friend of mine enlightened me to this fact about men, but it's the same for women. Try some new things, in new places, with a more open mind, and less inhibitions. Who knows, this may be all that it takes to rev up your libido. Eating healthier and working out will also help with sex drive. Getting your health under control is paramount. Try some blueberry and blackberry smoothies (there are compounds in these berries, that have a viagra-like effect), and start adding these berries to your oatmeal, or some plain yogurt.

    I have found that many times we have to fight for our own health, and stop leaving such an important part of our existence in the hands of doctors only. Do as much research as you can about your issues, and work to resolve them yourself, along with your doctors help and care.

    Here are some foods that will help keep your penis working better, and maybe even prevent the issue altogether:
    • Watermelon
    • Oysters
    • Coffee
    • Dark Chocolate
    • Nuts
    • Grape or Pomegranate Juice
    • Garlic
    • Salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, makerel
    • Kale and other leafy green vegetables
    • Chili peppers (cayenne, jalapeno's, habanero's, and other peppers)
    • Olive oil (WebMD, 2015).

    FUN FACT
    Ejaculate moves through the urethra 
    to the penis at about
    28 miles per hour!!! 💨💨💨


    Premature Ejaculation is another problem for some men. About 1/3 of men ages 18 to 59 have issues with PE. Here are a few ways to outsmart PE:

    • Wear a condom - A condom can create a barrier that decreases sensation, and helps sex to last longer.
    • Use a desensitizing condom - Try a performance enhancing condom, which contains a numbing agent inside of the condom. (If you have erectile problems, or very sensitive skin, these condoms may not be your best choice. If your not sure, try using one during masturbation, before trying to use it with a partner.) These condoms can be helpful to many men, by helping them to last a few minutes longer.
    • Try the stop-start or squeeze techniques - This takes a bit of time and focus, but this technique has been around and recommended for quite a while. 
      • Stop-start or Squeeze: Stimulate your penis until just before the "point of no return", then stop all stimulation, OR gently squeeze the head of the penis. Wait for arousal to decrease slightly, then start all over again. Repeat once more, then on the third time, allow yourself to ejaculate. In time, this will teach you how to hold your imminent ejaculation, and help you to last longer.
    • Consider SSRI antidepressants - Men who have problems with premature ejaculation find that SSRI's help to delay ejaculation by several minutes, although men who are prescribed SSRI's for depression, sometimes have problems ejaculating. Speak to a health professional who is experienced in treating male ejaculatory issues, to see if this is the right treatment for you.
    • Expand your sexual experience - Many men find it hard to believe that many women are okay with shorter bouts of sexual intercourse. If you understand that intercourse can be demanding on a woman's body, maybe you'll be more inclined to believe her; and you should BELIEVE HER. Just make sure that you make it about pleasing her. Ask her what gives her the most pleasure, or makes her orgasm. Maybe it's oral sex. Or maybe it's stimulating her with a vibrator or your fingers. Or maybe it's kissing, or making out for 10 to 20 minutes before intercourse. Or if she doesn't know, try reading up on different techniques that please most women, and have fun trying them out on her. Hopefully, you'll help her find out what pleasures her, and enjoy yourselves while exploring (Herbenick, 2010).

    "Men who ejaculate 21 times 
    or more per month reduce 
    the likelihood of prostate cancer 
    by at least 19% (Niemiec, 2016)."

    Here are some fun, and informative, facts about your penis that you just might want to know:

    ~The average size of an erect penis is
     5.2 inches in length, and 4.6 inches in girth.~

    ~It should get hard 3 to 5 times a night.
     Nighttime erections keep it healthy.~

    ~The most sensitive spot is the frenulum,
    or the foreskin if you have one.~

    ~Cold temperatures can make
    it shrink by 50 percent.~

    ~You really CAN break it.~

    ~Smoking can shorten it by a centimeter.~

    (Men's Health, 2016).


    Here are some of the best foods for great sex according to sex experts, cardiologists and psychologists; and the pro-sex nutrients, etc. that make them so.

    • Spinach and other green vegetables - Magnesium and folate
    • Unsweetened tea - Catechin
    • Peaches and other orange fruits - Vitamin C
    • Eggs - B5 and B6 vitamins
    • Red wine - Antioxidants and alcohol
    • Red meats - Zinc
    • Seeds and Nuts - Monounsaturated fats
    • Beans - Protein
    • Fatty fish (like salmon) - Omega 3 fatty acids
    • Oatmeal and other whole grains - L-arginine
    • Oysters and other shellfish - Zinc
    • Dark chocolate - Phenylethylamine
    • Strawberries - Folate and vitamin C
    • Blueberries and blackberries - Compounds that have a viagra-like effect (Men's Health,2013).

    Wow! All I can say is that I've learned a lot researching for this blog. I know that men are notorious for hating going to any doctor, but as you see if you have an issue with your sex drive, many things are health related. If you don't do it for you, do it for your significant other. And if that's not a strong enough reason, do it for your family. Your health and life might just depend on it!!!

    (Please be sure to check out the articles in my references for more detailed information about your sexual health. Stay informed!)

    Talk to you all next time! This was fun!!! 😀

    References

    Eaves, A. (2014, July 18). The best age for sex: have you peaked?
         Menshealth.com Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/
         sex-women/best-age-sex

    Fowler, P. (2014, September 29). 8 ways your penis speaks for your health.
         Menshealth.com Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/health/penis
         -health-issues

    Heid, M. (2015, February 6). How to last longer in bed. Menshealth.com
         Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/have-sex-for-
         an-hour

    Herbenick, D. (2010, April 25). 5 ways to outsmart premature ejaculation.
         Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/how-to-outsmart
         -premature-ejaculation?internal_recirc=outbrain_arr

    Men's Health (2013, October 9). The best foods for great sex.
         Menshealth.com Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com
         /sex-women/better-sex-foods

    Men's Health. (2016). 6 things every man should know about his penis.
         Menshealth.com. Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/sex-
         women/6-important-penis-facts

    Niemiec, M. (2016, May 10). Why you should ejaculate at least 21 times this
         month, according to science. Menshealth.com. Retrieved from http://www.
         menshealth.com/health/ejaculation-and-prostate-cancer-risk?

    WebMD. (2015, July 22). Foods to help erectile dysfunction. WebMD.com.
         Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/ss/slideshow
         -foods-erectile-dysfunction?

    Photo by Pixabay

    Sunday, April 2, 2017

    Life Liquid: Water

    WATER is the liquid of LIFE! Getting fluids in our bodies is important by almost any means, but just plain WATER is the best way to hydrate for everyday life. Athletes, or doing athletic things like running marathons, require making sure that your getting enough electrolytes with your WATER, but for normal everyday activities, WATER is our optimum hydrator.

    As healthy adults, our bodies are made up of 50% to 70% fluid; every cell in our bodies contain fluid. Body fluid varies depending on age and gender. An average male will have a higher body fluid content than an average female, and that's because men naturally have leaner muscle mass than females. As we age, our total amount of body fluid decreases. An infants body weight is about 75% WATER, while an elderly persons body weight is made up of less than 50% WATER. This is the result of loss lean tissue as we age (Pruitt, 2009). And this is another indicator of the importance of resistance training as we age.

    One of the first things that we should do when we wake up in the morning, is drink a glass of WATER. We become a bit dehydrated when we sleep all night, and WATER can give us that initial boost of energy in the morning by re-hydrating us. Re-hydration includes re-hydrating our organs, and our brains.

    WATER can solve many health issues that we don't even think about. The first thing that we should do when we're not feeling well is drink a glass or bottle of WATER. WATER also keeps us regular and can prevent constipation. As a matter of fact, when we become a little "backed up", WATER should be the first remedy that we try.

    When we get a cold or the flu, WATER and rest are the top remedies for combating these viruses. All of those medications on the market are for treating the symptoms of a cold and the flu; they do not help to get rid of them. Certain anti-viral medicines may help to shorten the length of them, if taken early on, but fluids and rest are the most important ways to combat these viruses. It's even more important if we have a fever, because our bodies can lose even more fluid through sweating. This can result in becoming dehydrated, which can cause dizziness or even fainting.

    Having a stomach virus is another way to become dehydrated, although this is another time when you may want to replace your electrolytes too (Many people go for Gatorade and other sports drinks, but Pedialyte is widely recommended, even for adults). Otherwise, you may just end up in the hospital hooked up to an IV.

    Some other reasons to drink plain WATER are:

    • It increases energy and relieves fatigue
    • Promotes weight loss (It's a natural appetite suppressant)
    • Flushes out toxins
    • Improves skin complexion (prevents wrinkles 😊)
    • Natural headache remedy (can also be caused by dehydration)
    • Prevents cramps and sprains (Phon, 2012). Whenever I get a muscle cramp, I grab a bottle of water to drink, and that usually helps to aleviate it.
    • Helps to maximize physical performance
    • Helps concentration and mood
    • Helps to prevent kidney stones
    • Helps prevent hangovers (Leech, 2017).

    For me, I drink WATER before going to bed, if wake up in the middle of the night, and first thing in the morning. I stopped drinking Diet Pepsi's about 2 years (or so) ago, because of the many messages I heard and read over the years about drinking the strong drink; and replaced the several bottles a day that I used to drink, with bottles of spring water. I use to be unable to get through a work day without drinking at least 3 to 4 - 20 to 24 oz. bottles of Diet Pepsi, and this was my routine for over 20 years. I now can not get through my work day without drinking at least 3 to 4 bottles of spring water. Also, research has shown a probable tie between drinking caffeinated, carbonated drinks, and osteoporosis (Haak, 2016); and research has also shown that as you age, drinking one 20 oz soda per day, adds on 4.6 years of biological aging (Rockwood, 2016). 

    Drinking soda and sugary drinks can put a lot of weight on you, if you drink them regularly. Even drinking diet soda seems to be a not so good idea, for research has shown that artificial sweeteners may trick the body and mind into thinking it's okay to eat more. The tests on artificial sweeteners have been inconclusive, but for me I've chosen to stay away from them, after using them too for over 20 years. For diabetics, it still may be a better choice than trying to use sugar, if you can't stay away altogether. 

    Many people don't like the taste of WATER. Years ago, while I was nursing my health and recovering from the effects of a food allergy, I learned to just "down" my water by holding my breath and drinking as much as I could at a time. I still drink this way, and don't really taste anything unpleasant. I drink it at room temperature, in order to prevent "brain freeze" which would end up being a deterrent to drinking as much WATER as I do.  Also, sipping wouldn't be a good idea for people who don't like the taste of WATER, although many people have learned to enjoy a little lemon in it. 

    All in all, just plain WATER is the best way for us to hydrate, whether that's tap WATER, spring WATER, or filtered WATER. I haven't researched which is the best, but I'm sure that depends on several factors. The bottom line is that WATER doesn't add the calories of sugary drinks, and it flushes toxins from our bodies. If you're a diabetic, or have high blood pressure, WATER helps to dilute and flush the sugars and sodium that you ingest. Just plain WATER is an optimum liquid for your body.

    The amount of WATER that we should drink per day varies by opinion, but most health authorites recommend about 8-8oz. glasses (which is about a half gallon or 2 liters) per day (Gunnars, 2017). The best way to judge whether your drinking enough WATER, is the color of your urine. It should be a very pale yellow. The darker your urine, the less hydrated you are.

    So, as I've said when I started this article, WATER is the liquid of LIFE! Even if you choose to drink other beverages to get your daily fluid recommendations, please find a place for a couple of glasses of just plain water per day. Just imagine that this clear, calorie-free liquid is helping to flush all of the bad stuff out of your body; and remember that it's not just imaginary. STAY HYDRATED!!!! 💧💧💧

    Talk to you all next time! 😊

    References

    Gunnars, K. (2017). How much water should you drink per day? 
         Authoritynutrition.com. Retrieved from https://authoritynutrition.com
         /how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day/

    Haak, E. (2016, November 21). 5 surprising things that age you. Oprah.com.
         Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/health_wellness/Surprising-Things
         -That-Age-You

    Leech, J. (2017). 7 science-based health benefits of drinking enough water. 
         Authoritynutrition.com. Retrieved from https://authoritynutrition.com/
         7-health-benefits-of-water/

    Phon, A. (2012, March 20). 10 reasons why you should drink more water. 
         mindbodygreen.com. Retrieved from http://www.mindbodygreen.com/
         0-4287/10-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Drink-More-Water.html

    Pruitt, et el. (2009). Nutrition, Health, and Wellness An Applied Approach,
         Pg. 267.

    Rockwood, K. (2016). 3 things to do now to slow down aging later. 
         Oprah.com. Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/health/3-Things-to-
         Do-Now-to-Slow-Down-the-Aging-Process

    Photo by Pixabay.com

    Sunday, March 26, 2017

    The Power of Sleep



    "Sleep is that golden 
    chain that ties health 
    and our bodies together." 
    ~ Thomas Dekker




    "Consistently sleeping less than six hours a night nearly doubles your risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the European Heart Journal (Ferrari, 2017)."

    "Sleep deprivation can cause damage to your body in the short term. Over time, it can lead to chronic health problems and negatively impact your quality of life (Pietrangelo, 2014)."

    Your brain can not function properly when you're sleep deprived. When sleep deprivation is prolonged, it can lower your body's defenses, and put you at risk for chronic illnesses. Some signs of sleep deprivation are, yawning, irritability, and excessive sleepiness. When it becomes chronic, it can interfere with coordination, balance, and ability to make decisions. You're at risk for falling asleep during the day, and stimulants such as caffeine can't override your body's need for sleep (2014).

    Alcohol consumption magnifies the effects of sleep deprivation. Your chances of having an accident are also increased because of being deprived of sleep. "Sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of death from all causes by 15 percent," according to a Harvard Medical School study. It is dangerous to your mental health, and your physical health, and can lower your quality of life, drastically (2014).

    Here are 16 effects of sleep deprivation on the body:

    1. Yawning
    2. Memory problems
    3. Hallucinations
    4. Micro-sleep
    5. Weight gain
    6. Weakened immune response
    7. High blood pressure
    8. Moodiness
    9. Depression
    10. Cold and Flu
    11. Accident prone
    12. Impaired brain activity
    13. Cognitive dysfunction
    14. Type 2 Diabetes
    15. Heart disease
    16. Accidental death (2014)
    As you can see, not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your health and well-being. I know people who have problems with sleeping for more than 4 hours a night. I hope that the following information can help them, and many others to get a healthy amount of sleep every night.

    Here are some sleep tips from the National Sleep Foundation:

    • Make the room pitch-black dark
    • Set the thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees
    • Exercise every day
    • Stick to a regular sleep schedule (same time going to sleep and getting up daily)
    • Shut down your electronics an hour before retiring (the light from these devices can stimulate the brain)
    • Replace your mattress about every 10 years (2017).

    For me personally, I am quite fortunate to sleep well every night. Although the tips above are from professionals in the sleep business, everyone will have different things that work for them, and these are mine:

    I leave my TV on until right before I'm ready to fall asleep, then it goes off. When I was younger, I used to need my TV on in order to go to sleep, and many times it would remain on until I awoke, or I would turn it off in the middle of the night. I now find the quiet and darkness much more conducive to a great nights sleep.

    I make sure that everything is off, including my bathroom nightlight. A pitch black bedroom helps me to get a peaceful sleep. I make sure that my blinds are turned up so that the moonlight doesn't show, and the early morning light doesn't wake me up sooner than I wish. I make sure that my cell phone goes black.

    I sleep with a fan on every single night; spring, summer, fall and winter. Actually, my fan is on at all times while I'm in my bedroom, because it is quite soothing to me. It's not just about the breeze of the fan, because I will still have it on in the dead of winter, when it's cold and I'm under my blankets and comforter. As a matter of fact, research has shown that the "white noise" of a fan is soothing for many people, but it doesn't work for everyone (Lecher, 2014).

    My bed is super comfy with a good (but not too expensive) mattress. Please try to stay away from refurbished mattresses. I know that they serve a purpose when you need a mattress, and your funds are low; but it may be worth it to wait until the time of year when mattresses are on sale, in order to get a good mattress for a great price. "Most experts recommend purchasing a mattress near a holiday -- like Presidents Day, Labor Day, the Fourth of July, and Memorial Day, or in the month of May (Strutner, 2015)."

    Reading puts me to sleep every-time. This is a blessing and a curse, because I love to read, but I can't read much more than an hour before I drift off to sleep. No one has been able to tell me why, but it works every-time, whether I want it to or not. So for some, this is a way to get to sleep if you're having problems getting to sleep.

    Other things that I've read that work for some other people are:

    • Changing your bed linens at least once a week. I have to agree that fresh bed linens make a good nights sleep even nicer.
    • Taking a bath or shower right before getting into bed. Bathing right before jumping into bed feels good, and having those nice smelling body lotions are even nicer for me. I love the scent that's left on the sheets and covers. But for some, those scents can be a distraction to sleep, so once again, you have to know what works for you.
    • Don't eat spicy or pungent (onions, garlic, etc.) foods before bed. Those strong flavors and scents can linger on your palate and on your hands if you were the cook, and cause distractions to sleep, and can even cause you to wake up several times a night. 
    • Don't eat a heavy meal within 2 hours of bedtime. This isn't a good idea for many reasons.
    • Meditation and/or prayer. Learn to turn off daily stressors. Meditation or prayer can help to shut down those thoughts or shift those energies to other forms or entities (depending on your beliefs). You can pick them back up the next day, but try to learn to leave them at the bedroom door, if you can, or let your meditation practices dissolve them temporarily.
    • Forget counting sheep! Try counting backwards by 3's from 300. "It forces me to focus enough to block out stressors, but at the same time, it's really boring and puts me right to sleep. I guarantee that even if you do it every night for a month, you still won't make it to the single digits (Pikul, 2015)."
    • To each, your own blanket. Just think about how you and your significant other are always tugging at the same blanket. Just think about what John Dittami (an Austrian based sleep researcher) said, "...using one blanket for two people is not conducive to good sleep (2015)." Makes sense, right? Such a simple solution to an age old problem.
    • Keep the TV out of the bedroom. Their are some people who don't even put a television in their bedrooms. Their bedrooms are strickly for sleeping (and intimacy).
    • Drinking alcohol can interfere with sleep. For me, this is a hit or miss. Sometimes drinking puts me right to sleep, and other times it interferes with a good nights sleep. So I would say, if your looking for a good nights sleep, stay away from the stuff.
    • SEX!!!! Need I say more? 😉

    One thing for sure is that all things don't work for everyone, so if you have problems sleeping, you have to find what works for you. Please access the links below and read what others do, and what the sleep experts do to get a good nights sleep. Hopefully, some of these things will help for you. Sleep Tight! 😊       💤😴 💤

    References

    Ferrari, N. (2017, March). 50 ways to live a longer, healthier life. AARP.org.
         Retrieved from http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/
         50-ways-to-live-longer.html

    Lecher, C. (2014, February 17). Why does white noise help people sleep.
         Popsci.com. Retrieved from http://www.popsci.com/article/science/
         fyi-why-does-white-noise-help-people-sleep

    Pietrangelo, A. (2014, August 19). The effects of sleep deprivation on the
         body. Healthline.com. Retrieved from http://www.healthline.com/health/
         sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body
       
    Pikul, C. (2015, April 8). What sleep experts do to get a good nights rest.
         Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/
         08/27/sleep-better-expert-advice_n_3804979.html

    Strutner, S. (2015, January, 9). What nobody tells you about buying a
         mattress. The Huffington Post.com. Retrieved from http://www.
         huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/09/how-to-buy-a-mattress_n_6431374.html

    Photo by Pixabay.com

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

    We're Sitting Our Way To An Early Grave

    When we think about how physically active our lifestyles were hundreds of years ago, and how inactive our modern day lifestyles are comparably, it's no wonder that we are a nation of unhealthy people. Our body's are made to do physical work in order to survive, based on our more primal survival needs. Foraging* is what we use to do in order to have food to eat. We have not adapted to our much less physical lifestyles.

    Nowadays, about 58% of Americans live sedentary lifestyles (Sedentary Lifestyles, 2014). Much of this is because of the work that we do for a living. Many Americans work out of offices, and sit in office chairs for most of their work day. This is contributing strongly to heart disease and a shorter life expectancy. As a matter of fact, sedentary lifestyles are also contributing to colon cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes (2014).

    "Humans sit too much, so you have to treat the problem specifically,' says Hamilton. 'The cure for too much sitting isn't more exercise. Exercise is good, of course, but the average person could never do enough to counteract the effect of hours and hours of chair time (Masters, 2010)." We can't really change the fact that our jobs require us to sit for most of the day, but we can make a conscious effort to move out of those seats several times a day, in order to improve our health and increase our life expectancy.

    Try making sure that you are standing for a few minutes every hour; whether that's going to do something that's necessary, or standing for 5 minutes while doing work at your computer. Also, even though exercise can't counteract the effects of sitting all day, it can most certainly improve your health and well being. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, having a regular exercise routine is all the more important.

    I am lucky to have a career in retail. I stand and am physically active for most of my 8 to 10 hours of work each day. There are other little things that I do to help with health and weight maintenance. I chose a third floor apartment, because I've always lived in a house with stairs, and was concerned about living in a place without them. I don't park in front of my building, because those few extra steps everyday will help my health and weight in the long run, AND I need to leave the closer spaces open for the elderly, the physically disabled, and parents with young children. I don't try to find the closest parking space at the mall or the supermarket for the same reasons, AND it cuts down on the probability of my car doors getting bumped.

    We need to remember that our bodies are made to be challenged. When we keep taking the easy way out to do things, we pay with our health. It's important for us to keep moving, and to keep our bodies strong. It's even more important as we age, when most people can't move as much and begin to lose strength. We can fight against this by forcing our selves to stay active and making sure that we adopt a series of resistance exercises to keep our strength well into old age. Let's all age well with good health, agility, flexibility and strength.

    Talk to you all next time! 😊

    (Please do yourself a favor, and read the full article in the Men's Health link below, "Is Your Office Chair Killing You?" This isn't just for men.)

    *Foraging-the acquisition of food by hunting, fishing or the gathering plant matter (dictionary.com).

    References

    IAFF. (2014). Sedentary lifestyles. IAFF.org.

    Masters, M. (2010, October 27). Is your office chair killing you? Men's 
         Health.com. Retrieved from http://www.menshealth.com/health/
         staying-active/

    Photo from Pixabay.com

    Monday, March 6, 2017

    Eating For Your Age

                
    "To keep the body in good health is a duty...otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."~Buddah

    This is where I'm having an issue. Although I'm working out for better health, and a longer life, I would like to lose a few more pounds with all of my hard work, but I like to eat. In the past, my workouts would have been enough to bring my weight down, but with me being over 50 and the fact that our metabolism slows down about every ten years; and the fact that I'm going through menopause, it's harder for me to lose weight. I'm going to have to eat better, to bring my weight down more, and for me that means eating cleaner. Healthier eating is what we all have to do as we age, in order to cut down on the risks of many diseases, and for some us, to keep our weight under control.

    I like to visualize that as our bodies age, certain things that we've been eating over the years, become more concentrated in our bodies. So the sodium contributes to causing high blood pressure, sugar wreaks havoc on our pancreas and contributes to diabetes, processed foods contribute to cancer and other diseases, saturated fats (including those from red meats) contribute to causing heart disease. This is just a mental picture that helps me to keep top of mind, the importance of taking these things out of my diet, or at least reducing them significantly in order for me to live a longer, healthier life.

    Did you know that as we age, there are certain foods that we should be eating for better health at different stages of our lives? In your 20's it's YOGURT and EGGS. We stop building bone mass in our 30's, so it's important to make our 20's count for bone building. And eggs contain vitamin D, which is needed for the absorption of calcium (Haak, 2016).

    In your 30's it's SUNFLOWER SEEDS and ASPARAGUS. The omega 3 fatty acids in sunflower seeds, helps to lubricate the joints and reduce inflammation. The joint damage that can lead to arthritis starts in your 30's, so it's a good time to start protecting them. Asparagus has folate which is important when you're thinking about having a baby, and during pregnancy (2016). (👀Um....hmmm....Yeah....this is mostly for the younger folks.)

    In your 40's LENTILS, GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, and WALNUTS are the best foods to eat. Even though our metabolism can start to slow down in our 30's, it's more common in our 40's, and lentils are among the highest fiber foods. And foods that are high in fiber can help slow down weight gain from a slowing metabolism. Diabetes risks are higher in your 40's so it's important to eat lean meats like chicken breast to limit fluctuations in your sugar level, and to limit your body's insulin pumps due to sugar spikes. 63% of diabetes diagnosis happen between the ages of 40 and 64. Once again, the omega 3 fatty acids in walnuts, may help with the depression that occurs at a higher rate in women between the ages of 40 and 59 (2016).

    In your 50's it's COTTAGE CHEESE and SALMON. Most women experience a sharp drop in bone density the first few years after menopause, which can lead to osteoporosis. Women's heart disease risk goes up after the age of 55, and that's because of lower estrogen levels post-menopause. Once again, the omega 3 fatty acids in salmon, is a healthy fat which reduces the risk of cardiac events (2016).

    In your 60's and over it's SHELLFISH, because of the vitamin B12. We start to lose stomach acid in our 50's and 60's, and B12 needs stomach acid to be absorbed. So we have to intake more B12 then we used to for our bodies to absorb it. B12 is one of the three B vitamins that can lower the levels of amino acids linked to dementia (Haak, 2016).

    The highlighted foods are single foods of certain categories of foods. There are many alternatives that you can eat other than those that have been highlighted.

    Antioxidants don't just kill off cancer cells, they also prevent wrinkles. Here are 12 foods that contain high levels of antioxidants that can make you look younger.
       
         1) Tomatoes 
         2) Kale 
         3) Eggplant
         4) Red Bell Pepper
         5) Blackberries
         6) Basil
         7) Brussels sprouts (Frehsee, 2013).
         8) Beets
         9) Asparagus
       10) Carrots
       11) Strawberries
       12) Radishes (Emling, 2017)

    As we age, certain foods become more important for every decade of our lives. Learn what those foods are so that your body can better adapt to the aging process. Make these foods a regular part of your diet for better health.

    Talk to you all next week! 😊

    (Please access my reference links for a more detailed explanation of how the foods we eat affect our health while aging.)

    References

    Emling, S. (2017, March 7). Spring's anti-aging foods. AARP.org.
         Retrieved from http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/
         anti-aging-foods

    Frehsee, N. (2013, April 16). 7 fruits and vegetables that reverse
         the signs of aging. Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/food/
         Anti-Aging-Foods-Vegetables-That-Make-You-Look-Younger

    Haak, E. (2016, October 26). The best foods for your age according to 
         science. Oprah.com. Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/health_
         wellness/The-Best-Foods-for-Your-Age

    Haak, E. (2016, November 11). Surprising things that age you. Oprah.com.
         Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/health_wellness/Surprising-
         Things-That-Age-You

    Photo's from Pixabay.com