Streisand paves the way foremost for women with heart disease with $5million starter

Famous celebrity, Barbara Streisand raised $20million at her home, along with $5million of her own personal funds to bring awareness of the number one killer disease to the news front. She elaborates that most research about heart disease, as on most other diseases, has been on men, putting women in the back seat of what should be the driver’s seat for this affliction.

Streisand has invested her money in a campaign for women to come out of their secondary status, empowering them to be cognizant of risks and menaces of diseases that can befall them. She has actively put herself in the news, overcome her reclusiveness and come to the prominent forefront for this monumental cause.

Below are a few alarming statistics from the American Heart Association:

Women and heart disease statistics

- Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. women.

- Two out of three American women have at least one risk factor for heart disease.

- One out of two American women will develop heart and vascular disease.

- Twelve times as many women die of heart disease every year as die from breast cancer.

- 450,000 American women die of heart disease every year, compared to 410,000 men.

- One-quarter to one-half of women with heart disease experience different symptoms than men typically do. For example, many women experience extreme fatigue and nausea, while men report a tingling feeling in their left arm.

Source: American Heart Association

In our text, “Communicating About Health” (du Pre’ 2010), there are several sources that describe women, particularly from the African American race, that are frequently ignored by health care services, and that advertisements most commonly depict white models in their advertisements relating to cardiovascular disease treatments (Cline & Young, 2004). No matter what the color or race, women of all ages and levels (financial, social, educational), need to be made aware of the resources available to them.

Another factor  that may not be very well-publicized is that women die of heart disease more than all cancers combined: 500,000 women per year, up from the above statistics. This video below is even more touching and emotional because it is not centered on the fund-raising, but the heart itself; pull out some tissues before you watch it.

What attaches me to heart disease? I am a woman, my mother died of heart disease at the young age of 76, my father who had diabetes and heart disease, died when I was 23, at the age of 80. I am not going to be a statistic. I am here to share with my fellow women the importance of health care, regular check-ups, knowing health histories, and being an educated consumer.

Heart disease can be prevented more easily than imagined. According to the Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease-prevention/WO00041/NSECTIONGROUP=2) there are five simple, non-medicated ways to keep healthy and stave off heart disease symptoms:

1. Stop smoking or don’t use any kind of tobacco;

2. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day, try a walk a few times the block, join the gym, bike with a friend, walk the dog; it lowers blood pressure and stress levels;

3. Eat a heart-healthy diet- stay away from high fat foods, deep fried cooking, bakery products, snack foods, crackers, margarine, hydrogenated oils. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink alcohol in moderation, eat plenty of Omega 3s, found in salmon, mackerel, and flaxseed oils;

4. Stay a healthy weight – even though BMI (body mass index) is not completely accurate, it may be a good barometer to start off with; maintaining a fit weight also helps prevent diabetes, cancers, and strokes;

5. Get regular health screenings – testing for cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes on an annual basis (more or less determined by physician, based on family health history and risk factors) can prevent heart disease, and if already present, it can be medically treated.

I am grateful to have been made aware of all the preventative elements so that I can keep my family healthy and help others to do the same. If you are a woman, know a woman, share this information with her. That means you, your mother, sister, spouse, companion, co-worker – there is a woman in your midst who will benefit from this.

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Estée Lauder Turns the Internet Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I find it very inspiring that celebrities are used to make the world aware of the dangers of breast cancer, especially in women. Women tend to ignore their own health needs in favor of  vanity instead of taking care of themselves when it comes to breasts. Western civilizations has emphasized that breasts are what “make” a woman, and if she must have them removed, so goes her womanhood.

I have personally experienced my young friends dying from this horrible disease and have been saddened that they fought valiently to survive it, and yet were unable to overcome it. Awareness and education were not involved; they were tested for it, carried the genes for it, and lived as productive and meaningful lives as long as they could. The strength and positive attitudes that these brave women held are to be envied.

In “Communication About Health”  (DuPre p118), women felt  that “positive elements of communication” by their physicians was what mattered to them the most, along with honesty, encouragement and empowerment. Keeping distance was more alienating than helpful.

The video I found is a tribute to these women. The celebrities that are sponsored by the Estée Lauder group demonstrate that removing a breast to survive an unspeakable disease does not need to belittle or minimize the beauty of a woman internally or externally. Using beautiful models such as Elizabeth Hurley, who wears pink to express her awareness and proudly discusses her sponsorship of the fight, and William Lauder, sporting a pink tie, discusses his mother’s winning battle in this quick vie on youtube. Let’s support women with a pink ribbon!

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

Changing tides of Birth in America

Image

The world started with home births; most of the Presidents of the United States were born at home; according to wnd.com, only three known presidents were born in hospitals. They are Jimmy Carter (1924), Bill Clinton (1946), and George W. Bush (1924); it is unsure where Barak Obama was born because his birth certificate has been undisclosed.

Home birth has been in existence since the First Couple was created or evolved. It is not a sickness or disease that should be cause to race to the hospital for a healthy labor and delivery. A thought-provoking quote from the movie, “The Great Gatsby” by Robert Redford, “Pregnancy is not a condition; it is a consequence!”

Below is part of a research paper I did when I was seeking alternative methods for friends of mine. For me, after giving birth by cesarean section four times, I had unpleasant experiences with my next two natural hospital births from physicians who mocked my choices and family size. When my family subsequently moved to Pennsylvania in 1989, I sought and used the same midwife for my next five home births. My youngest was born in New York State with the assistance of my midwife’s original teacher. I thank G-d for each that there were choices for me to make.

 

In my class of Health Communications, our text (du Pre 2010) also brings to the front the concept of “paternalism,” (p 212) whereby physicians or caretakers give orders to the patient regarding healthcare. Women in today’s society wish to make their own choices and decisions about how to plan their births, so many have decided to remove themselves from health facilities and give birth at home.

  1. # 1 -  Research Studies Done

A.  Eligibility Requirements for Home-Birth (Study from British Columbia, Canada)

1. Absence of pre-existing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, genital herpes, placenta previa, or antepartum hemorrhage

2. The birthing mother would have only a singleton fetus.

3. The head of the baby could only be in cephalic presentation.

4. Mother has had no more than 1 previous cesarean section.

5.  Labor is spontaneous or induced on an outpatient basis.

6.  The mother has not been transferred to the delivery hospital from a referring hospital.

B.  Results of Research

1. Study is from January 1, 2000 until December 31, 2004.

2. Rate of perinatal death for planned home-birth was 0.35 and planned hospital birth was 0.57 (Relative Risk)

3. According to CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2004), “Newborns in the home-birth group were less likely than those in the midwife-attended group to require resuscitation at birth or oxygen therapy beyond 24 hours.”

4. “The findings were similar in comparison with newborns in the  physician-assisted hospital births; in addition, newborns in the home-birth group were less likely to have meconium aspiration and more likely to be admitted to hospital or readmitted if born in the hospital.

5. “The decision to plan a birth attended by a registered midwife at home versus in hospital was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death. Women who planned a home birth were at reduced risk of all obstetric interventions assessed and were at similar  or reduced risk of adverse maternal outcomes compared with woman who planned to give birth in hospital accompanied by a mid wife or physician.”

6. “There were no perinatal deaths at home.”

Point #2 – Reasons to Give Birth at  Home

  1. The Cost-Effectiveness of Home-birth

1. According the the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, January-February 1999, there would be $150 billion reduction in Medicaid cost.

2. The average uncomplicated birth is 68% less in a home than in the hospital, including a lower rate of cesarean delivery.

  1. Perineal Outcomes in a Home-birth setting

1. From a study based on 1068 women who gave birth at home, 69.6% of the women had an intact perineum, 15 women (1.4%) had an episiotomy, and 28.9%  had first or second degree lacerations, and 7 (0.7%) had third or fourth degree lacerations.

2. Conclusions were with use of hands-and-knees position at delivery and manual support of the perineum were associated with intact perineum.

E. Washington State has Significantly Lower Birth Weight in Home-births

1. “Overall, births attended by licensed midwives out of hospital had a significantly lower risk for low birthweight than those attended in hospital by certified nurse-midwives”

2. “ The results indicate that in Washington state…..may be as safe as that of physicians in hospital and certified nurse-midwives in and out of hospital.

F. Comforts of Home and Family at Home

1. Only natural germs from unknown sources are home.

2. Mother and partner plan the birth with midwife.

3. Less medical intervention at home.

4. Comforts of home such as food, movies, music, fridge, and bed.

5. No travel expenses from home to home.

Point #3 – How to Plan a Home Birth

  1. Prospective Parents Meet with Midwife

1. Pre-screen for viability of low-risk birth

2. Formulate a birth plan.

a. water birth possibility

b. positions of birth

c. choose a place to give birth (bed, sofa, floor)

3. Have name and number of emergency back-up doctor.

4. Plan for emergency run to hospital.

a. prepare cab money.

b. have address and phone number of nearby hospital.

5. Shop for list of home-birth supplies.

6. Countdown to baby!

Conclusion – When a family researches the choices of home-birth with a midwife and the options of hospital birth with a midwife or physician, it is important to know the risks of either decision that is made. Strong research has shown that it may be equally as safe to birth at home as it is in the hospital under pre-screened conditions.

August 2002. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology:“Outcomes of Planned Home Births in Washington State: 1989-1996″ by Pang, Heffelfinger, Huang, Benedetti & Weiss.

 

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment