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Friday
Jun052015

Your Body: Tips to Keep Your High Heel-Wearing Feet Healthy

By DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Ladies, what word starting with an ‘S’ gets you all excited?

For me, it’s "shoes."

In fact, one in 10 women wear high heels at least three days a week. But statistics do show that high heels are one of the biggest factors leading to foot problems in women.

I am a full-blown stiletto addict but I try to follow certain healthy foot tips.

Number one: I always pack my heels in my hand bag and wear my flats when I’m pounding the pavement.

Second: Switch off as much as possible. Wear pumps one day, sneakers another day and ballet flats another day. Your foot is like the rest of you: It needs some variety.

And lastly, if you are experiencing foot, ankle, knee or hip problems, a trip to the podiatrist may be just what the doctor ordered.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

FDA Panel Votes to Approve 'Female Viagra' with Conditions

thegoodphoto/iStock/ThinkstockAn expert panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted on Thursday to approve a drug that has been dubbed the "female Viagra" after two previous attempts failed to gain approval.

The FDA is set to make a final decision in August, and while the agency generally follows to the panelists' vote, it is not bound to adhere to it.

Medical experts from the FDA examined the evidence on the effectiveness of the drug flibanserin, designed to help pre-menopausal women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).

This is the third time the drug has been presented to the FDA, after previous attempts to get the drug approved failed in part due to the agency having concerns about whether its benefits outweighed the risks.

A mother and her daughter were among those to offer emotional testimony to the FDA panel on Thursday. The mother, Barbara, talked about how her relationships with her husband and family became strained because of her lack of a sex drive. She said she was diagnosed with HSDD and told the panel that she was "so relieved to know this was not my fault." She was on the clinical trial and said the results were dramatic, "no negative side effects, just good ones, really good ones."

But then she spoke about her daughter and her pain in knowing that she passed this condition down to Vikki. Then her daughter, with voice cracking, told the panel that "divorce is on the table." Despite her efforts to be sexual, "my husband thinks I don't love him anymore."

The drug works by manipulating chemicals in the brain to try and induce sexual desire and was originally designed as an antidepressant.

Early studies showed the drug helped women have more "satisfying sexual events," the FDA stated in a summary released before the meeting, but those who took the drug also faced multiple side effects, including nausea, dizziness, fatigue and fainting -- though very rare, according to proponents. During the early testing, the drug failed to show improvement in the key outcome of improving sexual desire. In addition, long-term effects from a drug taken every single day are a big unknown and one that may still give the FDA pause.

The drug is produced by the pharmaceutical company Sprout. Cindy Whitehead, the founder and COO of the Raleigh, North Carolina-based company, has been fighting to get the drug approved for four years.

"There are 25 approved drugs for some form of male sexual dysfunction, but still a great big zero for the most common form of FSD [female sexual dysfunction]," Whitehead said in an interview with ABC News last year. "No matter how or why we got here, we're here, and we've got to come up with a solution for it."

The drug targets an issue more complicated than the physiological issue that men with erectile dysfunction face, according to gynecologist Dr. Lauren Streicher.

HSDD "is a very specific problem in a woman who doesn't think about sex, she doesn't fantasize, she doesn't desire sex," Streicher told ABC News last year. "What makes it different is that it's distressing to her. This has a negative impact on her. She's worried about it, she's frustrated."

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, an associate professor at Georgetown University, is also the director of the medical center's research project PharmedOut and said that she's concerned about a drug that is taken every day for a condition that is not a disease.

"It's not sexist for the FDA not to approve a drug that it doesn't believe is effective or safe," Fugh-Berman told ABC News last year. "It's a classic marketing technique to first create a problem, and then sell the solution, and that's what's going on here."

"The fundamental question is whether these observed placebo-corrected treatment effects outweigh the risks associated with treatment," the FDA said in the brief released before Thursday's hearing.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

Your Body: How to Deal with Physical Changes in Your Relationship

By DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

How do you keep the fire alive in your relationship? Part of that is visual appeal, right?

You might look at your man and see nose hair, ear hair and neck hair. And men, maybe you’re looking at your wife and saying, "Where is the gravity going?"

Some of this is normal, but it doesn’t mean you need to embrace it all.

If you’re a fly on the wall in my household, you’ve heard me say to my husband: "Honey, you have some hairs there and I think we need to address them -- together."

Communication is key.

When you think about how you’ve changed over the years, remember that part of the intimacy of being a couple is going through those changes -- together.

So rather than hold yourself to some ridiculous ideal beauty standard, just embrace the changes together.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

Newer Birth Control Pills May Have Increased Risks of Blood Clots

Raymond Forbes/Getty ImagesWatch a report on this story from ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton below:

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

Transitioning Genders Can Lead to Steep Medical Costs, Experts Say

iStock/ThinkstockWith Caitlyn Jenner making her high-profile debut on the cover of Vanity Fair on Monday, experts say the newly-minted transgender icon may help shed light on the financial and medical difficulties of transitioning genders.

While Jenner likely has vast financial means to pay for gender reassignment or “gender affirming” surgery, many other people transitioning genders are often without the means to easily pay for the surgeries or hormone treatments that can run in the tens of thousands of dollars, experts say.

Kylie Aquino, the president of the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit group that grants funds to individuals seeking gender-affirming surgery, said she’s “proud” of Jenner but is concerned that people will not realize how exceptional her story is.

“I’m happy for Caitlyn, [but] I don’t want her narrative to be perceived as the norm,” she told ABC News.

Aquino estimates that for basic gender reassignment surgery, which might involve a vaginoplasty or genital reconstruction, it will cost a patient around $20,000, and that’s “on the low end.”

“People who don’t have her notoriety or her financial means ... they have a terrible time of it,” Aquino said. “And they don’t get the exposure that they deserve.”

For people looking to do more than just gender reassignment surgery, and want to have facial surgery or breast augmentation surgery as well, the procedures can quickly add up to around the $50,000 or $60,000 range, Aquino said, noting that the estimate doesn't even include lodging, transportation or taking time off from work.

Lindsay Deaton, a transgender activist from Cincinnati, said she needs regular medical check-ups since hormones put her more at risk for stroke and blood clots. She transitioned two years ago at age 57.

“The tangible medical needs are truly primary for the transgender community,” said Deaton, who noted it’s important to remember her medical costs related to her transitioning will continue for the rest of her life. “The regular medical need will never go away.”

Aquino also said there remains a persistent black market for hormones, since without insurance they can run around $500 per month. Aquino said sometimes if a condition is classified as an endocrine disorder the insurance will cover it and lower out-of-pocket costs to approximately $15 per month.

Aquino said her group is seeing more private employers offer to cover gender reassignment surgery, but for the vast majority of transgender people it remains an out-of-pocket cost.

She said transgender women can face intense discrimination from family, work colleagues and others that make it almost impossible to have the support necessary to successfully transition.

“I call it complete social exile. It’s quite acute and quite pervasive. ... It’s being able to go to the grocery store and not being harassed,” Aquino said. “I think people don’t actually know that. That’s why it’s still very hard.”

After the City and County of San Francisco agreed to cover procedures for gender transitions in 2001, the total costs per claimant averaged approximately $25,542 during the first five years, according to a report issued by the Human Rights Campaign.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

Your Body: How to Discuss Transgenderism with Your Kids

By DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

The topic of transgendered individuals has been in the news a lot recently, so how do you talk to your kids about this and how do you know if your child is going through this?

If you have questions, talk to your pediatrician.

If you have only one or two kids, you’re only basing your experiences on your two children.

Pediatricians base their experiences on hundreds or thousands of children and their professional training, so they can give you a better idea of what your children may be going through.

If you think your child may be transgendered you must remember this: You can’t force someone to be one way or another way. If your child wants to do one thing and you force them in the opposite direction, you may be doing more harm than good.

If you just take a step back your child will evolve naturally and it usually all works out in the end.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

FBI Investigating Medical Device That Spread Cancer in Some Women

The Cancer LetterThe FBI is investigating whether Johnson and Johnson was aware that a surgical device it manufactured could spread cancer in the women on whom it is used.

Johnson and Johnson is one of the leading manufacturers of the power morcellator -- a surgical device that breaks down growths in the uterus so that they can be easily removed. However, in as many as one out of every 350 cases, an unknown cancer is hidden within growths, and the device could potentially worsen the condition.

Johnson and Johnson may have been alerted to the risks as early as 2006. The company didn't remove the device from the market, however, until July 2014. In November of that year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration implemented its most serious warning on the device.

In that FDA warning, the agency noted that the device could "significantly [worsen] the patient's long-term survival."

The agency urged against the use of power morcellators.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

Your Body: What Cosmetic Procedures Are Right for You?

By DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Are you sagging here, a little wrinkle there? What procedures are safe and cheap, and how do you know if it’s right for you?

Before I’m a doctor, I’m a woman. I have to look in the mirror every single morning and I often times will literally scream in horror.

So when I talk to patients about what they want to do, if it’s not safe for me to try I would never recommend it to any women out there.

There are many safe, effective treatments that a cosmetic dermatologist or doctor can do.

But first, you want to make sure that doctor is board certified. You also want to ask, “What are the risks?” and, “How often do you do this procedure?”

And with cosmetic surgery and aesthetics, less is truly more. You don’t want to look like you’re 20 when you’re 50. You want to look like the best 50-year-old that you can be.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

Woman Who Wears Size Zero Gets Liposuction for ‘Pudgy Stomach’

ABC NewsMegan O’Brien is thin, petite and works out regularly -- but the 38-year-old Los Angeles woman says she has always had one problem area: her belly.

"When I would get my nails done or go to pick up my dry cleaning, they would all congratulate me on my baby, which is fine, but I am not pregnant," O'Brien, a size zero, told ABC News.

"I wanted to get rid of my stomach," the beauty blogger said.

O’Brien even gave her tummy a name: Gus. When strict diet and exercise failed, O’Brien sought liposuction.

"I'm a size zero and I got liposuction," O'Brien said. "When I said to people, 'I am going to have liposuction,' they would look at me and say, 'Oh, so you can be a 00? What are you talking about? Why are you going to have liposuction?'"

O’Brien wrote about her experience for Harper’s Bazaar magazine in an article titled “I'm a Size Zero and I Got Liposuction: Confessions of a Skinny-Fat Woman,” noting that her doctor, Dr. Marc Mani, initially told her to exercise and return to see him if working out had no effect on her stomach.

Once O'Brien decided to undergo the procedure, she did not hide her beauty secret. Instead, she announced her decision to undergo the procedure with a movie trailer-style video titled “My Plastic Surgery Liposuction Adventure.”

While some friends scoffed when they learned of her plans, it turns out that O’Brien was actually the perfect candidate for the procedure.

“Liposuction is not for weight loss. It's for spot reduction. That's just what she needed,” Dr. Scot Glasberg of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons told ABC News.

O’Brien, who blogs about makeup, said liposuction “just made sense” to her.”

"For the people who are being really negative about it, it is my body. It is my life. What do they care?," O'Brien said. "If they are so upset about my liposuction, then don't have it."

Photos of O’Brien after the procedure show her with a far flatter stomach than she’s had before. The doctor took her extra fat and filled out her cheeks, even sculpting her chin as a bonus.

"I feel better about swimsuit season. I feel better about shopping," O'Brien said. "I feel more confident in clothes."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

Your Body: The Risks of Weight Loss Supplements

By DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Summertime is here and your body may not be, shall we say, swimsuit ready.

If you’re looking for a quick-fix through weight loss supplements, buyer beware -- times a million!

If weight loss supplements are working, they are working like an actual drug, so you seriously need to ask yourself, “What are the risks?”

And we might not know the answer to those questions, so you might lose weight but what else is happening? Is it damaging your liver? Is it damaging your kidney? Is it not giving you the metabolic foundation that you actually need?

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a quick fix to weight loss, there’s no secret sauce here. It’s the hard work which all of us struggle with. It’s largely the laws of physics: In versus out -- sadly.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun052015

Four Celebrity Workout Moves for Summer

Photodisc/ThinkstockHow do red-hot, red-carpet stars like Rihanna, Katy Perry and Megan Fox stay so fit and fabulous?

For answers, ABC News' Good Morning America turned to Michele Promaulayko, Yahoo Health’s editor in chief, and celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak as part of the GMA Yahoo Your Day series.

Promaulayko weighed in with easy ways you can help your body burn more fat, including a tip about what, if anything, to eat around your workout.

“Choose snacks that work for you, so a combination of protein and fiber,” she said. “Protein actually boosts your metabolism and the fiber keeps you fuller longer.

“You don’t really need to fuel your workout, nor do you need to eat right after because, if you do that, you’re just going to offset the calories you worked so hard to burn,” Promaulayko added.

Celebrity trainer Pasternak demonstrated his quick, A-list workout moves to help you fit it in.

If you want to get model Behati Prinsloo’s sculpted arms, Pasternak recommends doing a modified press-up.

“Lay on the ground … put your hands shoulder-width apart with your palm down,” he said. “From this position, you’re going to press up as high as you can and then you’re going to come down two-thirds of the way and press up.”

To get Megan Fox’s killer abs, Pasternak suggests a plank.

“You’re going to imagine there’s a string that goes from your tailbone and you’re being pulled straight up towards the ceiling,” he said. “Keep going and keep all the weight on your toes. Make sure your heels don’t move back.”

To achieve Lady Gaga’s to-die-for derriere, Pasternak suggests doing a single leg hip thrust.

Pasternak says to lie on your back and push your hips as high as you can.

“Just when you think you can push them no higher, push them higher,” he said.

Finally, for Jessica Simpson’s flawlessly toned legs, Pasternak recommends a Bulgarian lunge.

“The weight is going to be on your left leg, specifically your arch and heel,” he said. “We’re going to go down and up … switch sides.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







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