Wednesday, September 20, 2017

More teens don't want sex or driving lessons

Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, says teens are increasingly delaying the traditional "rites of passage."

Published in the journal titled child Development, the study showed that the percent of teens who have a driver's license, tried alcohol, who date, and who work has dropped since 1976.

The declines cut across all racial, geographic and socioeconomic lines--rural, urban, suburban.

Half of teens do still engage in these activities, of course, but between 1976 and 1979, 86% of HS seniors had been on a date--from 2010 to 2015, make that 63%.

Those that worked dropped from 76% to 55% in the same time periods.

High school kids that have had sex went from 54% in 1991 to 41% in 2015.

Are they just lazier or less highly sexed? No, they just have other outlets. They expect to live longer, don't need to rush the sex thing. They see that families need to be planned.

One researcher thought kids were saying why don't I stay with my friends--and away from things with heavy consequences, such as pregnancy or disease (or a big car payment?).

In other words, they are assuming the same anxiety about the future that their parents have for them.

One said she wasn't interested in staying out all night--too worried about her student loans.

One parent even said she wondered if her daughter was missing out on some life experiences.

I had plenty of those--and the result was, to be kind to who I was then, mixed.

So no sex, driving, money jobs...what's that leave? Hanging with friends, sports, biking, social media (no texting body parts), charity work, oh--and school work!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Does your doc know how to prescribe medical pot?

I have a friend who jumped through a ton of hoops to get a medical cannabis scrip in Illinois--she used to be a medical researcher and researched how to make the tincture she takes for pain and diabetes. Her doctor was no help.

Although 20 states and DC allow marijuana use for medical purposes, researchers at Washington University in St Louis found that this is not being taught in med schools.

Medical education needs to catch up, the lead researcher said. Physicians in training need to know the benefits, she adds.

They looked at 172 med schools, including 31 osteopath schools--101 replied. Two-thirds said their grads were not prepared to prescribe the active ingredients in marijuana.

According to the Assn of American Medical Colleges, only 9% of med schools prepare their students.

Some other researchers point out that medical marijuana has some detractors--so what should schools teach?

This training should be aimed at states where the drugs are legal.

Doctors in training get way more info about opioids, they point out. If asked about marijuana--even as a substitute for opioids, most doctors would not know what to say.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Trouble getting pregnant--it could be PCOS

Don't give up.
PCOS--polycystic ovary disease--is the leading cause of ovulatory infertility. Up to half of women who have it don't know they have it.

Dr Fiona McCulloch, author of 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS, has some observations:

--PCOS affects 10-15% of women (more than 7 million) in the US.

--It sounds like ovarian cysts are always involved, but that isn't true.

--PCOS is life-long, causing weight gain, irregular periods, infertility, facial hair growth, and hair loss. As a sufferer ages, it can also increase diabetes and cardiovascular risks.

Some facts:

--Women with PCOS have a lot of follicles in their ovaries. Follicle produce "eggs." With PCOS, these may secrete more testosterone than normal, keeping them from maturing into viable eggs.  These stalled follicles can look cyst-like on ultrasound.

--Women with PCOS ovulate late...up to 7 days later than normal. Cycles can be 35 days or longer. Some don't ovulate at all.

--Ovulation test kits often don't work for women with this. These kits measure luteinizing hormone, which is already high in PCOS patients.

--Good news--women with PCOS hit top fertility later--and also have delayed menopause. The difference can be 2 years.

--Most women with PCOS will eventually conceive. It just may be later. And there are  nutritional and lifestyle interventions that can help.

So take heart...and talk to your doctor.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Walkable communities in US: BIG FAIL

I once had a doctor who told me to walk an hour a day--no destination, no speed, just the timing--one hour. I could not think of a good reason not to, so I did. I found a way to sneak into the National Zoo before hours--so peaceful...the animals and me...It was blissful. I even got to pet the wild dogs out on a leash--probably a bad idea, in retrospect.

Anyhow, Washington University in St Louis a study that showed the US earned a big "F" for children walking behavior, public transportation, and pedestrian infrastructure.  For walking-friendly neighborhoods--D And for adult walking behavior--C.

The researchers insist "report cards" generate change. The US is car-centric right now.

Yet, the 2008 guidelines for Americans recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity for adults--brisk walking qualifies.

For physical activity, walking is easiest. Yes, doing it is one's choice--but the way communities are laid out can also encourage this.

How is yours?

I live in the suburbs of Phoenix now--no burbling brooks, paths, grumpy pandas having breakfast, or wild dogs, either. If you walk on the roadways, cars whiz past a foot from you. Also--I am now messed up with arthritis. My advice--walk while you can--and enjoy it.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Introducing: Ruby Chocolate

Admit it--you can't get enough chocolate news. The global market for the yummy brown stuff is $98 billion and change.

In addition to to dark, milk and white chocolate...we now have ta-da! Ruby Chocolate.

Ruby is the first new flavor to be introduced in 80 years.

This delectable is made from the ruby cocoa bean, with a unique form of processing that unlocks the pink color and fruity flavor without any flavors being added. Hats off to Zurick-based Barry Callebaut Group in Europe.

Ruby is silky and fruity, not sweet, bitter or milky.

Will this open more innovation? More ruby products?

Why not! I'm game--samples?