WOMEN: Five strange reasons for hair loss

As women, we all know the feelings of  frustration when it comes to excessive hair loss.

We spend thousands of Rands buying expensive products and treatments which promise to resolve the problem, yet it never seems to help.

Did you know that some of the most common causes of hair loss was because of things you did everyday?

Or how about the fact that exercising causes hair loss?

So before you pull your hair out, read about the five main causes of hair loss below:

  • Genetics

Unfortunately, if your grandparents had problems with hair loss or baldness, the odds are that you have it too. All you can really do is look after your hair and keep using proper hair products.

  • Tight hairstyles

Ponytails, buns and braids all play an enormous role in hair loss. Try to wear your hair loose more often, rather than keeping it tied back. Also, keep in mind, the thinner your hair is, the more visible your baldness.

  • Giving birth

Yes, you read that right. The most precious gift of life is one of the main reason your hair falls out. This is because the intense stress your body goes through during child birth causes it to go into ‘survival’ mode, therefore causing excessive hair loss.

  • Too much exercising

Okay, so exercising is great for your body and your mind, but if you tend to overdo it, your body will retaliate against you and cause stress hair loss. So I guess if you stick to, let’s say, two push-ups a day, you should be safe!

  • Yo-yo dieting

For those of you who tend to go on a different diet every week, stop it!

When your body never knows what type of meal its going to have next, or how much food it’s going to get, it can be stressful and cause hair loss.

Decide on a diet and stick to it.






Cancer cases may rise 6 times among women in 20 years

Sushmi Dey| TNN | Feb 4, 2017, 03.37 PM IST

Cancer cases may rise 6 times among women in 20 years (Getty Images)Cancer cases may rise 6 times among women in 20 years (Getty Images)
Incidence of cancer is projected to be six times more among women over the next two decades, mainly because of obesity , according to an assessment by Cancer Research, UK.Several of the obesity related cancers only affect women leading to a greater possibility of the disease among them. Besides obesity, smoking is also considered a significant reason for faster rate of cancer among women.

Cases of ovarian, cervical and oral cancers are predicted to rise the most, the analysis said. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the five leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity and to bacco and alcohol use.

The new data released by WHO, ahead of World Cancer Day on February 4, shows that the disease is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally with around 8.8 million deaths from cancer reported every year. According to the UN agency , lowand middle-income countries account for two-thirds of cancer deaths as many of them lack early screening and basic treatment facilities for all.

Over 10 lakh new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year in India. However, due to late diagnosis over 7 lakh people die from the disease every year. Projections by Indian Council of Medical Research show India is likely to have over 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8.8 lakh deaths due to the disease by 2020.


Vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women ups risk of Alzheimer’s for child

Vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women ups risk of Alzheimer's for child (Getty Images)Vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women ups risk of Alzheimer’s for child (Getty Images)
For would-be-mommies, inclusion of sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens in their diet are a must, as a study warns that deficiency of vitamin A in the womb or just after birth can have a detrimental effect on the brain development of the fetus or the newborn and may lead to Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

The findings, published today in Acta Neuropathologica, indicate that early developmental stages are crucial periods during which brain tissue is “programmed” for the rest of a person’s life.

According to researchers from the University of British Columbia genetically-engineered mice, also demonstrate that supplements given to newborns with low levels of vitamin A could be effective in slowing the degenerative brain disease.

“Our study clearly shows that marginal deficiency of vitamin A, even as early as in pregnancy, has a detrimental effect on brain development and has long-lasting effect that may facilitate Alzheimer’s disease in later life,” said Dr. Weihong Song.

For this research, Song built on previous studies that have linked low levels of vitamin A with cognitive impairments.

The researchers examined the effects of vitamin A deprivation in the womb and infancy on Alzheimer’s model mice.

They found that even a mild vitamin A deficiency increased the production of amyloid beta, the protein that forms plaques that smother and ultimately kill neurons in Alzheimer’s disease.

Mice who were deprived in utero but then given supplements immediately after birth performed better on the tests than mice who weren’t given such supplements.

“In some cases, providing supplements to the newborn Alzheimer’s disease model mice could reduce the amyloid beta level and improve learning and memory deficits,” said Song.

The study also included new evidence in humans of the vitamin A-dementia connection in later years.

Pregnant women in particular should not take excessive vitamin A supplements. A balanced diet is the best way to ensure adequate levels of the nutrient.


Sitting for long can age women faster

IANS | Updated: Jan 23, 2017, 02.02 PM IST

Sitting for long can age women faster (Image Courtesy: Thinkstock)Sitting for long can age women faster (Image Courtesy: Thinkstock)
Elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity have cells that are biologically older by eight years compared to women who are less sedentary, a new study has found.

Researchers from University of California (UC) found that women who have a sedentary lifestyle have cells that are biologically older and invite cardiovascular diseases and diabetes as compared to women who are active and exercise regularly.

“Our study found cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle. Chronological age doesn’t always match biological age,” said lead researcher Aladdin Shadyab from UC.

Elderly women with less than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day and who remain sedentary for more than 10 hours per day have shorter telomeres — tiny caps found on the ends of DNA strands that protect chromosomes from deterioration and progressively shorten with age.

As a cell ages, its telomeres naturally shorten and fray and make a body prone to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and major cancers.

“We found that women who sat longer did not have shorter telomere length if they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, the national recommended guideline,” said Shadyab in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.



60% women unaware about age to begin heart screenings: Study

IANS | Jan 23, 2017, 05.41 PM IST

60% women unaware about age to begin heart screenings: Study (Image Courtesy: Thinkstock)60% women unaware about age to begin heart screenings: Study (Image Courtesy: Thinkstock)
Sixty per cent of women in US think of heart screenings as necessary only after age 40, whereas health experts recommend that screenings should begin in the 20s, a study has found.

According to the American Heart Associationrecommendations, screenings should start at 20, as the age may cause the onset of various heart-related disease.

“Women cannot wait until they’re 40 to start paying attention to their risk factors. They can begin developing atherosclerosis, plaque in their arteries, in their teenage and early twenties,” Carolina Demori, cardiologist at the Orlando Health Heart Institute in Florida, US, said in a statement.

“Therefore, it is vital to understand risk factors and make appropriate life changes as early as possible,” Demori added.

Screenings beginning at age 20 should include weight and body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol levels, glucose levels and waist circumference, all of which are directly associated with heart health and can be controlled to minimise risks.

For the study, the team conducted a survey, in which more than a thousand women participated.

The results showed that the average age women thought they should begin getting heart screenings was 41.

Only 8 per cent of women were aware that screenings should begin at some point in their 20s, though few knew it was at age 20.

In addition to heart screenings, doctors suggests that women should eat a healthy diet and implement an exercise routine.

“The study is a wake-up call that there needs to be more education on heart health and more aggressive screenings to prevent a small issue from developing into life-threatening conditions,” Demori said.


Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age

IANS | Nov 18, 2016, 05.20 PM IST

Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age (Representative image)Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age (Representative image)
Women have better brainpower after menopause if they had their last baby after age 35, says a study.

“Based on the findings, we would certainly not recommend that women wait until they’re 35 to close their family, but the study provides strong evidence that there is a positive association between later age at last pregnancy and late-life cognition,” said lead author Roksana Karim, Assistant Professor at Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in the US.

This is the first study to investigate the association between age at last pregnancy, which can be a marker of a later surge of pregnancy-related hormones, and cognitive function in later life, Karim added.

The main hormones at play are estrogen and progesterone. In animal studies, estrogen has a beneficial impact on brain chemistry, function and structure; progesterone is linked with growth and development of brain tissue, Karim said.

An outpouring of estrogen and progesterone, especially in later life, appears to be beneficial, Karim noted.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, included 830 women who, on average, were 60 years old.

Participants were given a series of tests that included assessments of verbal memory, psychomotor speed, attention and concentration, planning, visual perception, and memory.

The researchers found that postmenopausal women who had their last pregnancy after 35 had better verbal memory — remembering a list of words or retelling a story after some distraction.

The study found that other reproductive events were also important to later life cognition. More time between first and last period — longer reproductive life — proved valuable for executive function.

“Starting your period early means you have higher levels of the female sex hormone being produced by the ovaries,” Karim said.

“Girls are receiving the optimal levels early, so it’s possible that their brain structures are better developed compared to those who are exposed to estrogen levels associated with menstrual cycles at a later age,” Karim noted.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.


70 mn Indian women consume smokeless tobacco, many to kill hunger

70 mn Indian women consume smokeless tobacco, many to kill hunger70 mn Indian women consume smokeless tobacco, many to kill hunger
A whopping 70 million Indian women above age 15 use smokeless tobacco (SLT), which alone constitutes 63 per cent of the world’s SLT consumption, according to a Union Health Ministry report on SLT.

The first-ever comprehensive report by the ministry, launched at the ongoing World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) here, also stated that one factor influencing SLT use among disadvantaged women is the desire to suppress hunger while performing difficult and laborious tasks.

“Easy availability and low cost of the SLT were other key factors promoting SLT use by women. The SLT use raises women’s risk of adverse reproductive outcomes. The prevalence of SLT use when pregnant or breastfeeding was similar to prevalence of use among all women of reproductive age in India,” said the report.

According to the Health Ministry, over 3,500,000 people are dying due to exclusive use of tobacco, of which over 100,000 are dying due to cancer.

According to the report, the consumption of SLT stood at 9.5 per cent for the school-going children, with 10.7 per cent of the boys and 7.5 per cent of the girls being its regular users.

“India is the first country to prohibit the sale, storage and manufacturing of smokeless tobacco product like gutkha across all states. However, stronger measures are required for effective implementation of the law,” said Amal Pusp, Director at Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The report outlines all the facets of smokeless tobacco use, including their determinants, economic costs and health consequences, along with advocacy, policy and judicial measures that can be utilised to curb its impact, Pusp added.

The report also says that the prevalence rate of use of dual tobacco use — both smoking and smokeless tobacco — was 5.3 per cent of the total population, amounting to 42.3 million adults.

“The Northeast region had the highest prevalence with 9.8 per cent of the population affected by dual tobacco use. The interval between starting the use of the two forms of tobacco was two years or less for over half of all dual users,” said the report.

The report, which will act as the source of data for every health department of India, also stated that the incidence of cancer of oral cavity and pharynx are an important public health problem in India, with nearly 85,000 new cases among men and 34,000 among women in India each year.

“At least 90 per cent of these cancer cases were caused by tobacco use in some form, and more than half by SLT use. Using SLT during pregnancy also caused 70 per cent higher risk of anaemia in pregnant women, 2-3 times higher rate of low birth weight and 2-3 times higher rate of still births,” said the report.

The report was compiled by the Health Ministry in collaboration with the WHO, Public Health Foundation of India, Healis-Sekhsarisa Institute of Public Health Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and National Cancer Institute, US.

“The author of the report undertook a review of all existing scientific evidence and socio-political developments in India, in order to produce an evidence-based and peer-reviewed compendium of information on smokeless tobacco use in the country. All the chapters were edited by technical editors from partnering institutes in India and the USA,” said Prakash C. Gupta, Director, Healis-Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health.


Women have sharper memory than men: Study

Women have sharper memory than men: StudyWomen have sharper memory than men: Study
Proving the notion wrong, that man are more intelligent and have sharper memory, a recent study found that middle-aged women outperform age-matched men on all memorymeasures.

However, the research further suggested that the memory of women declines as she enter post-menopause. Women report increased forgetfulness and”brain fog” during the menopause transition.


Women are sexually active in old age: Study

Visible signs of ageing may predict risk of heart disease (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Visible signs of ageing may predict risk of heart disease (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Age is just a number and it has nothing to do with one’s sexual desire as a recent study has found that older women are sexually active beyond their seventh decade of life.

The research suggested that at least one in seven women aged 65 to 79 years has hypoactive sexual desire dysfunction (HSDD).

In the study, more than 1,500 Australian women were assessed for sexual function and sexual distress as defined by the Female Sexual Function Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised.

The group consisted of 52.6 per cent partnered women, with a mean age of 71 years. Within this group, 88 per cent were found to have low sexual desire, 15.5 per cent had sexually related personal distress, and 13.6 per cent had HSDD, which is defined as the presence of both low sexual desire and sexually related personal distress. This percentage was higher than what had previously been reported for women in this age group and similar to the prevalence reported for younger women.

The independent factors included vaginal dryness during intercourse in the past month, having moderate to severe depressive symptoms, and having symptomatic pelvic floor dysfunction.

“This study demonstrates that healthcare providers need to have honest and open discussions with their patients as they age with regard to desire, mood, vaginal dryness, and pelvic floor issues to determine whether these factors are affecting a woman’s desire or ability to be sexual,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton.

The study has been published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.(ANI)

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.


Young Pregnant Women More At Risk Of Stroke: Study

Young Pregnant Women More At Risk Of Stroke: Study

NEW YORK: Pregnancy in young women may increase the risk of stroke as compared to their older counterparts of childbearing age, a study has found.

The findings showed that stroke risk was more than doubled in women aged 12 to 24 years and increased significantly by 60 per cent in women 25 to 34 years during pregnancy or post partum period up to six weeks after delivery. However, there was no difference in stroke risk in women 35 years or older.

“We have been warning older women that pregnancy may increase their risk of stroke, but this study shows that their stroke risk appears similar to women of the same age who are not pregnant,” said lead author Eliza C. Miller from Columbia University Medical Centre (CUMC) in New York, US.

“But in women under 35, pregnancy significantly increased the risk of stroke. In fact, one in five strokes in women from that age group were related to pregnancy,” Miller added.

Previous studies suggested that the risk of pregnancy-associated stroke is higher in older women than in younger women.

“The incidence of pregnancy-associated strokes is rising, and that could be explained by the fact that more women are delaying childbearing until they are older, when the overall risk of stroke is higher,” noted Joshua Z. Willey, Assistant Professor at CUMC and neurologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in the US.
In the study, the team examined 19,146 women, aged 12 to 55 years. Of these, 797 (4.2 per cent) were pregnant or had just given birth.

They found that the overall incidence of stroke during or soon after pregnancy increased with age (46.9 per 100,000 in women age 45 to 55 vs 14 per 100,000 in women age 12 to 24).

However, pregnant and postpartum women in the youngest group (age 12 to 24) had more than double the risk of stroke than non-pregnant women in the same age group (14 per 100,000 in pregnant women vs 6.4 in non-pregnant women).

“We need more research to better understand the causes of pregnancy-associated stroke, so that we can identify young women at the highest risk and prevent these devastating events,” Miller said.