Middle Age Beauty Is Health And Vitality Driven

Getting older is not for sissies. Preserving and maintaining your looks requires paying attention, and some smart choices that will keep you feeling vital and healthy. Simple steps that everyone can take will make a big difference. Accept that things change as we get older, and make better choices to feel…and look younger.

Get moving

Some women jog, some walk, some play tennis and ski. As we grow older it’s important to keep moving and get enough exercise. Jivamukti Yoga instructor Carolyn Yates teaches a gentle form of yoga that maintains flexibility and builds endurance. Yoga is also that time out, a meditative slice of your day that can recharge the spirit while it benefits your body. Moving through the yoga poses stretches muscles and adds supple strength. Yoga provides multiple benefits and there are yoga workouts appropriate for women at every stage of life from prenatal yoga to routines specifically designed for seniors. Moving, bending, stretching and controlling breathing all benefit overall health.

Other tips on a list from Women’s Health Magazine are more expected, led by the advice to drink up! On average, middle age women don’t drink enough water. The requisite 8 glasses per day should be simply water…don’t count coffee, tea or other beverages in your daily allotment. Water hydrates the skin, helps maintain muscles and tissue, flushes your system. Up your daily intake of water and you’ll see and feel an immediate difference. And keep the air in your home humidified. You’ll breathe easier, cut down on the number of colds you suffer from, and have a dewier complexion. Water inside, water outside works wonders for everyone.

Feed your body and soul

Foods rich in antioxidants are the freshest and best choices. Rich leafy greens not only taste wonderful, but provide nutrients we need and are a natural defense against illness and aging. It’s no secret that processed foods and high-fat content make us sluggish and slow us down. Leaner choices are smart for everyone, and a must for middle-age women. Feed your body well, and it will reward you by staying strong. Eat better, and toast yourself with a glass of heart-healthy red wine! Science Daily (2004) concurs with the USDA list of antioxidant-rich choices women should incorporate into their diets, including beans (red, kidney, pinto), berries (blackberries, cranberries, raspberries), nuts (pecans and almonds), apples, kale, and fish.

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Allow yourself to have sensory pleasures in your life…delicious scents, comforting fabrics, favorite sounds.The LA Times recently touted the benefits of music. Surround yourself with the music you love and elevate your mood. The Times study found that the good feelings music triggers in people is comparable to taking drugs or having a satisfying sexual experience. Plug in your I-pod and treat yourself to the feel-good tunes to immediately reduce stress. Making music a part of every day can boost your metabolism while it elevates your mood.

Engaged and Involved

Beauty is more than skin deep. Caring for ourselves physically brings rewards in appearance, health and vitality. Taking care of ourselves emotionally and intellectually completes the package. Read or write, volunteer, live with intention and direct your energy to the people and things that make you happy.

A happier, healthier, more purposeful life is a beauty secret that every woman can benefit from.

Understanding Different Types Of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are carried out on specific patient populations each day and as a result many advances have been made in the treatment of different conditions such as cancer. Those participating in clinical trials often choose to do so with the hope that it would lead to either an improvement in their own condition or in advances to help future generations.

Participation in Clinical Trials

If one is asked to consider participating in a clinical trial it is absolutely vital that one first fully understands the exact purpose of the trial and exactly what participants are required to do during the course of the trial. Never be afraid of asking doctors or researchers questions as this is the best way to make as informed a decision as possible.

After reading about the proposed trial it is well worth noting down key questions to take to any meetings as it is easy to go blank in appointments. As a general rule of thumb it is necessary to take some time to be totally sure that one feels comfortable about both the aims of the trial and the types of participation that will be required.

After receiving a consent form for the trial remember to read it through carefully and before signing ask any last minute questions or raise concerns which have arisen as a result. Also, if at any time during the clinical trial one does not wish to continue then one is able to stop regardless of whether it is a few days or months from completion.

Different Types of Clinical Trials

There are three main types of clinical trials which include phase one, two and three with each phase linked together. Phase One trials will typically involve the initial study of how high a dose of medication may be safely given and the manner in which it is metabolized by the body. At this stage there are usually between 20 to 50 volunteers participating in the clinical trial and if stage one is successful then phase two will begin. In contrast to stage one, this stage will normally require several hundred volunteers to test effectiveness of the medication in terms of specific indications or uses.

Phase three trials basically compare the level of effectiveness of a new treatment against the standard form of treatment. In cases where no standard treatment exists, some patients may be given a placebo and this is known as the control group. Those patients on the new medication are known as the test or study group and usually the patient and the doctor are unaware of which treatment is being provided; this is referred to as randomized double-blind controlled trials. At this stage anywhere up to several thousand volunteers may be needed in the study.

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As highlighted above, clinical trials have been used for many years with the aim of creating advances in medical treatment. Before participating in a trial it is important to take time to consider exactly what is involved and whether it is something that one feels able to follow. At any time during clinical trials participants may decide to discontinue.

Beauty Tips And Tricks

Whether you are young, middle aged or well seasoned, all women want to look their best – if only for ourselves.

I find there is nothing better than to feel good about yourself as you slip your smooth legs between the sheets; believe me you get better nights sleep!

Below are a few things that will make you look and feel good.

Body Hair

First things first, when we say “hair” what we really mean is hair removal. Looking like big foot is not attractive, or so my boyfriend says.

Eyebrows

Eyebrows are one of the first thing people see when they look at you, after all making eye contact is polite. When the eyebrows over take the eyes for attention, it’s time to get the tweezers out right? Maybe not.

If you go for the plucking technique, here are a few things to remember: always use moisturizer on the brow area about 10 minutes or so before plucking; it softens the skin so the hair can slide out easier. Second and most importantly, always pull the hair out gently in the direction it grows, don’t yank or attempt to grab more than 2 or 3 hairs at most, one at a time is best but it will take a while.

Or..

If you find that you are like me – either you don’t have the time or find it hurts too much (truthfully I can be lazy), grab a bottle of hair removal cream. Any hair removal cream will work but it is probably best to use facial hair removal cream as it will be gentler on your skin, especially as the skin around the eyes is quite sensitive. I will usually draw my eyebrows on with a brow or eye liner just to make a kind of template of where you want your eyebrows to be.

Step 2, apply the cream to a cotton bud and apply it to the hair outside the “template,” leave on for the directed time. I usually go for 10-15 minutes and wipe off with a cotton pad or facial wipe. I’d also advise to wash your face after because the cream always has that horrible smell, but that’s it, no plucking, no pain, just good eyebrows.

Legs and Other Miscellaneous Areas

I have found lately that the price of shaving foam seems to be climbing ever higher, and for me who can get through a whole can a week – it’s just not good for my purse. A better alternative is to use soap; it gets just as close a shave as foam and just generally makes me feel cleaner, plus a bar of soap can be bought from about 20p.

For a big night out there is a way to get an even smoother shave without waxing or expensive hair removal creams. Hair conditioner is the way to go. It clings to hairs closer to the skin, and if you use a moisturising conditioner you even get that beautiful sheen on your legs. Using conditioner doesn’t have to be expensive either. Go to a discount 99p shop or similar and grab a bottle from there. It doesn’t have to be a big brand or have added nutrients if it’s being used on leg hair. I have also used conditioner on other miscellaneous areas with no problems and a very close shave.

Skin

Skin covers every area of your body and is affected by everything it touches: sunlight, water etc. If the winter is rough on your skin like it is on mine you will know the pain of dry, cracked and bleeding skin. The best way to tackle these sort of problems is to prevent the problem before it occurs.

Before any treatment

The best way to prepare the skin for any treatment or moisturizer is to clean the area first. Soap and water is the best because it is milder and won’t contain any added ingredients or oils etc. Just soap, water and pat dry.

Face

Facial skin isn’t always as sensitive as people realize. Because the skin on your face can be just as exposed as your hands, sometimes you won’t need to use any gentle products. If however, you are like me and make up is worn almost every day, then your facial skin will not be exposed as much to weather condition.

The best type of treatment for facial skin is simple: wash and moisturise. Moisturizing will help keep the skin supple and also stop excess dirt getting into the pores in the first place. The best moisturizer to use is glycerine based. Usually glycerine will be found in hand and nail creams, so grab a tube and use it on your face. It sinks straight in and doesn’t leave a residue when you rub. Do be warned though, using foundation straight away will make a lot of mess; best to either moisturize before bed or wait at least an hour before make-up.

Body

Most people will simply use a normal body lotion for the rest of their body. If that works for you then keep it going. Once again I fall into the awkward category. My skin it terrible. There are not 2 places on my body with the same skin type. I have certain areas which seem to be dryer than others: the tops of my arms, just between my breasts and my shins. As with most other people I also get dry elbows and knees and this isn’t help by shaving my legs.

Read Also: Post-Exposure Prophylaxis: The Different Types Of PEPs To Minimize Risk Of HIV Infection.

First thing once again, soap and water, pat dry (I like to advocate cleanliness wherever I can). Normal lotions and such can be used on all the body, so slather away but ignore the problem areas. Also ignore tubs of watery moisturizer which claim to give deep hydration. These will not help you now. Best thing to go for is really thick cloggy types. Emollient creams are fantastic if you can – sometimes they can be a little costly but if your skin is bad try and get them on prescription. I have found quite a few of these “cloggy” creams via Avon. They are inexpensive and do the job brilliantly, just apply maybe twice a day and your dry skin will be smoothed away.

Feet

Once again like the face, feet are not usually exposed to the sun and especially the soles. Soak your feet in hot water, or just do it when you’re in the bath. Grab a pumice stone and get that hard skin off – be careful the skin does not appear pink as this may indicate you have gone a bit too far. Once you’re done, get the glycerin moisturizer out again and use on your feet. As before it dries quite quickly so no need to stay off your feet for an hour.

Hair

Hair is the best accessory you will ever own. There are hundreds of ways to wear your hair and you can make bold statements or express feelings. Keeping your hair in top condition is one of the basic rules of being human.

Keep it clean

It’s no good just throwing on some 2 in 1 when you’re heading somewhere important although doing so on days off is fine – I do. Most shampoos’ directions state to lather and repeat. Washing your hair in shampoo twice will actually make a huge difference to your hair; it’ll be so much softer so is a good option for dry or lightened hair. If your hair is prone to “fluffiness,” then shampooing twice isn’t the best idea. For fluffy hair, go for quite a heavy conditioner; it’ll weigh the hair down so you won’t have as much trying to escape.

Glossy hair

This is where it get’s interesting. Some girls like Catherine Middleton seem to be graced with the most silky looking, glossy hair that drives me insane with jealousy. To be honest I have no idea how she does it every day, although having unlimited hairdressers on call does help.

How to cheat: very simple, get some frizz-eaze. Couple of drop, rub over your hands and through your hair, instant gloss and no frizz. Too expensive to use every day, but for the weekends a bottle will last quite a while.

Shine

Getting a great shine without looking greasy isn’t too hard. Once again clean first, but for shine you need to get your hair to squeak. Grab a bottle of vinegar, normal brown table vinegar is great, rub it through damp hair like you would a conditioner. Leave it on for a couple on minutes and wash out. Shampoo your hair with your normal product, but I’d advise doing it twice just so you can be sure the vinegar smell is gone – I get paranoid too easily. Rinse the shampoo and then condition normally. When you’re ready to wash the conditioner out use cold water – not advisable if you’re under the shower, so lean your head over and wash out. Bang, instant shine and a squeaky clean.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis: The Different Types Of PEPs To Minimize Risk Of HIV Infection

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) was first introduced in 1998 to health-care professionals in San Francisco who took care of HIV patients. When they encountered accidental needle-stick injuries, they risked being infected by HIV. Occupational PEP was then administered to suppress the virus. This has since become a standard care for all medical workers.

PEP involves a course of anti-retroviral drugs to be first administered within 72 hours of exposure. One such regime comprises the following drugs, to be taken twice a day:

  1. One tablet of Zidovudine 300mg/Lamivudine 150mg; and
  2. Two tablets of Lopinavir 200 mg/Ritonavir 50 mg.

The entire regime, which lasts 28 days, has to be completed. Otherwise, its effectiveness will be greatly reduced.

Studies have shown that PEP can reduce chances of HIV infection by as much as 80% if administered in a timely manner.

Non-occupational PEP (NOPEP)

NOPEP is for those who may have been infected by HIV through non-occupational means. These include sexual contacts, sharing of intravenous needles and prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

NOPEP works on the same principles as PEP. Although there is supportive evidence of its effectiveness based on biologic plausibility and animal studies, there is no absolute proof that it can effectively decrease the risk of HIV infection.

An NOPEP regime costs several hundred U.S. dollars and more. Not only must treatment commence within the window period, patients will also have to deal with unpleasant side effects (including nausea, diarrhoea, rashes, headaches etc.), as well as the anxiety of being possibly infected. They also need consultations and follow-up tests at intervals of between three and six months. In addition, NOPEP does not prevent transmission of other sexually transmitted infections (STI). Hence, it should not be treated as a panacea.

HIV Exposure Risks

The list below shows the estimated risk of HIV infection arising from different circumstances:

  • Needle stick injury: 1/300
  • Receptive anal intercourse: 1/100
  • Receptive vaginal intercourse: 1/1000
  • Insertive vaginal intercourse: 1/2000
  • Insertive anal intercourse: 1/2500
  • Receptive oral sex with ejaculation: 1/2500
  • Sharing needles: 1/150
  • Exposure to saliva, urine, tears and sweat are generally risk-safe.

The exact probability of infection is hard to determine because many factors are involved, including the viral load, presence of other STIs, strength of one’s immune system, etc.

PEP Starter Packs

Since PEP is most effective when started as soon as possible after exposure, it is a good idea for serodiscordant/magnetic couples (one partner is HIV+ while the other is HIV-) to have a PEP starter pack on standby. These can be obtained through the HIV specialist whom the HIV+ partner consults.

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Even with safer practices, accidents (e.g. condom breakage) can occur when there is no convenient access to a source of PEP. The starter kit can then be deployed within moments of exposure to minimize the chances of potential infection.

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

This is a further extension of the principles of PEP and NOPEP, where an anti-retroviral regime is administered before high-risk exposure.

PrEP is now the most promising research in HIV prevention efforts as scientific investigation of vaccines and microbicides continues. However, debate is still on-going in the medical field as to its effectiveness. This is because even for occupational PEP, there have been documented cases of seroconversion. There is also the danger that people will be lulled into complacency, thinking that they can continue to engage in unsafe sexual practices.

A more fundamental solution is to prevent/minimize exposure to HIV through safer sex practices. Compared to the PEP treatment regime, using condoms is much cheaper, convenient and relatively hassle-free.

Beauty Our Way: Happy To Be Nappy

Coming into self

For a long time, beauty has been dictated to us. Black women have a very special relationship with beauty, especially when it comes to our hair. Even today hair is the focus of women’s beauty assets. For us, our hair can describe our mood, situation, our politics, and our sense of direction. In the 1960s, it was the “Afro” but some, like myself, were not able to sport the very voluminous style as my hair was damaged for a long time from the use of lye relaxers, then called permanents, and did not grow very fast.

This was a time when Black people were expressing themselves about race and racism. We wanted to let the world know that Black was beautiful. But alas, “Bo Derek”, took the wind out of our sail and launched an influx of afro, dreadlock, and braid wearing Caucasians in her wake. It was astonishing to say the least, to see a white person wearing an African hairstyle. Nevertheless, I have resigned myself to living with my short hair and learned to love my TA, “tiny afro” at the tender age of 57.

To really understand the beauty of blackness, we have to start with the “hair”. It took me a long time to shed my weaves and extensions due to my coyness about wearing my own short black hair. I am experiencing my own renaissance and hair evolution.

Hair care today

The other issue regarding our hair is hair care. For years the only thing that we knew as hair-care was the pressing iron and hair oil. Most of us called it straightening out the shame. You were not dressed unless your hair was pressed and curled. To have nappy edges was a sin and the butt of many jokes. So we fried, greased, curled our hair to disrepair. If that did not work, tight extensions and weaves was the next resort. Maybe that is why there are so many bald Black women wearing wigs today. Could be, but even baldness is changing the way we see ourselves. It has become a beauty statement among many Black women today.

My mom, aunt and cousins wear baldness proudly. Some African tribal women deliberately shave their hair bald, such as the women of the Mursi and the Masai Tribe. My hair is between tightly curled and wavy curl, but curly enough to wear it in the Afro style. I rarely wear a cap when swimming but I use a special shampoo that washes out the chlorine and use a rich moisturizer and natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and Shea butter to recondition my hair.

For any hair to be strong and healthy, one must consider beauty from the inside. That means a good vitamin rich in Biotin, Vitamin B and protein. This should be part of your dietary regime. These nutrients will make hair healthy. Since Black hair is very delicate, we must take care that breakage does not result.

One of the greatest myth is that our hair does not grow. Quite the contrary, Black hair grows, but our hair is very dry and requires much moisture to prevent breaking. Because of the tight texture of curl in Black hair, breakage is problematic. It is not wise to brush our hair too often and a wide tooth comb should be used always for grooming.

The hair should be moist so as to make it easier to comb. After combing the hair, moisturize with water based hair products such as coconut oil to moisten the shafts, then use a natural oil based pomade to seal in the moisture.

I recommend sleeping in a nylon or silk hair cap or pillow. Another thing regarding Black hair is how versatile it can be. Braids, short afros, twists, and blow dry Dominican straight make Black hair contemporary and stylish. All without ever using a hot comb or texture altering product.

Attitude and acceptance

I think the concept of feminine beauty is decided by the society in which Black people live. European concepts of beauty prevail and still a lot of us try earnestly to emulate it. Much of what Black women see in the media is European and most of us grew up with this image as being feminine. The toll on our self esteem was tremendous.

When I came of age straight was it; long you’re the dream of every man; but short and nappy, you were not acceptable. We had to burn our hair with straightening combs, deny ourselves the delights of swimming without a cap or not swimming at all, (that started the rumor that Black women can’t swim), turned down for dates with Black men because they preferred the girl with the hair and light skin. This was a horrible reality for many young Black women. The sixties changed much of that, when “Black is Beautiful” became all the rage.

You may read: Inflammation And Alzheimer’s Disease: Moving From Harmful To Beneficial With Vaccines.

Of course, most Black women still do not like to get their hair wet. We are more comfortable with our hair than we once were in the past. Black women are seen on television wearing natural afro hair in scenes of importance and love interests in movies. We sport braids on the job, and wear our hair in very short hair styles with conservative business suits and evening wear.

Black young starlets prance down the runways with shaved bald heads with elegance and grace. Today more Black women discard the faux hair extensions for their own African locks and lack of, to prove that Black hair is indeed beautiful. We have shown the world that the Black woman makes the hair, but hair or no hair, she is enhanced as a woman. True, hair is woman’s crowning glory, but it is the glorious awareness that crowns Black femininity.

More tips can be found on MovoMovo.com.

Inflammation And Alzheimer’s Disease: Moving From Harmful To Beneficial With Vaccines

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing problem with an aging population in the U.S. and worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease is a leading cause of dementia, which is the loss of remembering, reasoning, and thinking. There is still no cure for the disease, although some treatments have helped to slow the progression of the disease. Recently, attention has been focused on the role of inflammation in advancing the disease.

What Are the Characteristics of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by two abnormal structures in the brain: beta amyloid protein plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Beta amyloid is a protein normally produced in the body, but in Alzheimer’s it accumulates in plaques surrounding the neurons (brain cells). It is not known whether the plaques are the cause or the result of the disease.

Tau proteins are responsible for the proper alignment of microtubules that provide support and bring nourishment to the nerve cells. When tau protein undergoes structural changes typically due to increased uptake of phosphorus, it can no longer bind to the microtubules. The microtubules then lose their structural integrity and can no longer support the nerve cells, and become neurofibrillary tangles.

The third player in Alzheimer’s disease are the different forms of Apolipoprotein E. People can inherit three forms of the Apo E: Apo E2, E3, or E4. Apo E3 is protective as it binds the tao protein to the microtubules. The Apo E4 cannot bind to the tao protein, and may facilitate the formation of amyloid plaques. People who are homozygous for E4 are at greater risk to develop Alzheimer’s.

The Role of Inflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease

The presence of amyloid plaques in the brain stimulate an inflammatory response. A type of immune cell known as microglia is stimulated to produce chemicals called cytokines, which in turn activate other components of the immune system. The microglia can engulf and destroy the amyloid plaques. The inflammatory response also stimulates T-lymphocytes to secrete cytokines. Although the initial inflammatory response may be beneficial, overstimulation results in nerve cells being attacked and destroyed.

Development of Vaccines to Prevent or Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

A vaccine is an antigen that stimulates an immune response when administered. Immunity is achieved by the formation of specific B-cell antibodies that react with the invading organism or toxic agent. A typical Alzheimer’s disease vaccine uses a short peptide (protein fragment) of beta-amyloid plaque as the antigen. Administering this vaccine stimulates the body to produce anti-beta amyloid antibodies (active immunity). Passive immunity (administering antibodies to the person) is not very satisfactory, since it requires frequent administration, and can be very expensive.

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Elan pharmaceuticals conducted a clinical trial with their experimental vaccine in 2001. The trial was terminated after several months as several patients developed encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Some improvements in patients were noticed, such as reduced beta amyloid deposition, reduced tau levels, and improved cognitive function. After two years, however, the beneficial effects disappeared. Several clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies involving active or passive immunity against Alzheimer’s disease are currently underway. (Zotova)

Dr. Cynthia Lemere of Harvard Medical School reported on studies developing an Alzheimer’s disease vaccine. The critical aspect of the vaccine was to develop an antigenic region (epitope) that would stimulate B- cell production, while the epitope for T-cell stimulation would remain inactive. In this way, the B-antibodies react in a very specific manner with the beta-amyloid plaques, while harmful T-cell secretions are kept to a minimum. Preliminary results with animal studies are very promising.

Inflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease Must be Controlled to be Beneficial

Inflammation is a normal response of the body to eliminate or confine an invading organism or foreign substance. A vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease should stimulate antibody production against beta-amyloid plaques, while not activating microglia or T-cells that promote an inflammatory response that could damage nerve cells.

Lung Disease In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Pleurisy In SLE

Although lung (pulmonary) problems are common in systemic lupus they are often not diagnosed until lung disease becomes advanced. Advanced lung disease and pleuropulmonary (affecting the lungs and respiration) problems can significantly contribute to mortality in SLE.

Symptoms and Manifestations

Lung disease (pleurisy) in systemic lupus causes a clinical spectrum of symptoms ranging from mild chest pain to fulminant and rapidly fatal pulmonary hemorrhage.

Inflammation of the pleural sac around the lung (pleurisy), with or withal pleural effusion (excess fluid in the chest cavity) is the most common manifestation in lupus. The pleura is a membrane covering the outside of the lung and the inside of the chest cavity.

Pleural cells produce a small amount of fluid that lubricates the space between the lung and the chest wall. As lupus activity causes the production of immune complexes (formed as antibodies and antigens combine), they complexes initiate an inflammatory response at the pleural membrane. The inflammatory response results in pleuritis.

Pleuritis can cause severe, often sharp, stabbing pain in one or more areas of the chest. Inhaling deeply, coughing, sneezing, or laughing can intensify the pain.

Other pulmonary manifestations frequently seen in SLE include pneumonitis, which refers to inflammation of the lung and pulmonary emboli, which refers to the presence of blood clots in the lung. Pneumonitis, which is usually caused by infectious agents, can cause fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough.

Chronic interstitial lung disease in lupus may cause difficulty breathing during activity, chest pain with symptoms of pleurisy and a chronic dry cough.

Pulmonary embolism can cause chest pain and abnormal oxygen exchange resulting in shortness of breath.

Diagnosis

Imaging tests are primarily used to diagnose lung disease. Chest radiographs, ventilation-perfusion lung scans, gallium scans, and high-resolution CT scans are the tests most commonly used. If chest fluid is present, patients may also have a bronchoalveolar lavage in which fluid is aspirated from the chest cavity.

In addition, pulmonary function tests and arterial blood gas levels may be performed. However, it can be difficult to distinguish respiratory problems such as pneumonia from interstitial lung disease in patients with systemic lupus. A microbiology examination on sputum, a bronchoscopy or a lung biopsy may be performed when infectious pneumonitis is suspected.

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In the past, pleural fluid was examined for the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA). Recent studies show that the ANA test is only positive in half of patients with lupus pleurisy. In addition, patients with other pulmonary diseases besides lupus can have a positive ANA.

Diagnostic criteria used in the past, including ANA tests and complement levels, made lupus pleurisy difficult to detect and difficult to manage. New studies suggest that an elevated white blood cell count, the presence of lupus erythematosus (LE) cells, and an elevated level of the enzyme lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) are more consistent findings.

Pulmonary embolism can be ruled out with negative results on a blood test known as the quantitative D-dimer test. However, a positive result can occur in other conditions and doesn’t necessarily mean that pulmonary emboli are present. Other tests used to diagnose pulmonary emboli include ventilation-perfusion (breathing and blood flow) scans of the lung.

Department Store Approval Procedures For Beauty Consultants

Why Do Department Stores Have Approval Procedures?

Stand alone locations, department stores need to have a strong identity in order to persuade enough customers to travel there to shop. Department stores were once vast emporiums with a monopoly on many types of goods, high-fashion make-up included. Now that we can buy most items elsewhere, there needs to be a reason to visit a department store. That reason often includes atmosphere and service. In order to help achieve this, everyone who works in the store must have some easily recognizable and unifying attributes.

While beauty brands have high standards of grooming, they all work hard to preserve their own brand identity. Yet in the department store, overall experience usually has to come first so that customers make an effort to visit again. All the brands within this umbrella then benefit from having future business, which might otherwise not be guaranteed to walk through the door.

High-end department stores offer prestigious resume credits for beauty consultants. Some stores bring an eclectic mix of high quality brands and exquisite merchandise together, creating a fun and high fashion boutique atmosphere. These stores can be a little more laid back with image, if they have the right customer service. Stores such as these include Liberty and Fenwicks, both in London.

Other stores, such as Harrods in London, trade on a name that guarantees a certain type of experience, which they need to uphold at all times. All these types of department stores usually require a store approval to make sure that you fit the image and the team that you will be working with.

How to Pass Department Store Approval

Store approvals should be prepared for as regular job interviews by finding out information about the store beforehand. Knowing a department store’s history is usually part of working life as this is tied in with the customer experience. For example, part of the façade of Liberty’s grade II listed building comes from two British ships. The stores know that you want to work for your make-up brand and may be seeing the approval procedure as an additional chore. So showing some interest in the department store itself will go a long way.

Beauty companies usually put you in a store they think will suit you: It wastes their time to send people to store approvals they don’t get. This means that if you follow the rules, a store approval should go smoothly.

Read More: Cover FX Primer, CLEARPREP FX: Get Acne Free Skin with An Acne Treatment Face Primer.

In terms of image, smart is safest. Unless a store is particularly fashion focused, aim for the slightly more conservative end of the scale with clothes and make-up:

  • Wear the beauty company uniform if relevant, or a smart suit if not.
  • Ideally make sure that jacket and bottoms are of a matching fabric.
  • Skirts should not be too short; knee length is usually the best.
  • Smart, clean, enclosed shoes are essential and ideally shoes with a proper sole rather than ballet pumps.
  • Wear retainers in any piercings and try to only wear one main set of earrings.
  • Pay attention to detail Clean nails, tidy hair and fresh breath are essential.

In all but the strictest stores, dress code after a store approval is fairly fluid as long as the appearance is well groomed.

A very few stores now have daylight but for others a strong, ambient light is typical. This type of lighting flattens the face and blasts out features. Therefore a little more make-up is required to look representative of a cosmetics company. This might be partially responsible for the legend of the orange-faced, freakishly made up beauty consultant.

In truth, that is mostly just myth these days and most beauty consultants are not encouraged to apply make-up like a mask. However, a really natural look that might be just perfect at home often does not show up in a department store.

  • Make sure that features are well defined, obviously but gently made up and that products are extremely well applied.
  • The safest look is flawless neutrals with one feature such as a bright lipstick or liquid liner.
  • Mascara and eyeliner should be crisp and fresh.
  • Avoid gaudy or theatrical colors, even if working for a make-up brand that champions them. You might just be unlucky enough to be interviewed by a store manager that hates lime eye shadow or purple lipstick. There will be time enough for personal favorites after you have secured the position.

Some people love working in department stores, settling in to the hierarchy well and enjoying the luxury environment. For others it is just a necessity of working for a particular make-up brand. Promotion to national and regional artist positions often comes from time spent in department stores, so many consultants work hard to achieve this by making a success of their job in store.

Beauty companies are loyal to their good salespeople, so failing a store approval does likely mean losing a job. If a position came up elsewhere you might still be put forward by the brand. However, passing relevant department store approvals can lead to regular work as well as a faster chance of promotion in beauty retail.

St. John’s Wort (HypericumPerforatum): Can A Herbal Supplement Treat Major Depression Disorder?

St. John’s Wort is a yellow-flowered herb used to treat health conditions since the time of ancient Greece. The herb’s scientific name is Hypericumperforatum, and is sold in the United States as a dietary supplement. In Europe, St. John’s Wort is used to treat mild to moderate clinical depression.

St. John’s Wort Clinical Studies

While St. John’s Wort has a long history as a depression treatment, much of its reputation is based on historical use. Clinical trials suggest that while St. John’s Wort has some applications as a treatment for depression, it may not be well suited for all types of depression.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) funded one such study. The results of the NCCAM study were that placebos were as effective as St. John’s Wort for moderate to severe major depression disorder. The same study suggested that the antidepressant sertaline was also no more effective than placebo for depression treatment.

While such studies are discouraging, other research suggests that St. John’s Wort at least has potential as a treatment for mild depression. Further study is required to confirm or disprove this possibility.

How St. John’s Wort Treats Depression

It’s not entirely clear which compounds found in St. John’s Wort help people cope with depression. The two most likely active compounds are the chemicals hypericin and hyperforin, both of which are thought to affect neurotransmitters (compounds in the nervous system that act as chemical messengers). Low neurotransmitter levels appear to affect a person’s mood.

Types of St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort comes in three basic forms. Capsules or tablets of the herb are available, as are herbal teas made from St. John’s Wort. Liquid extracts are also available. St. John’s extracts are concentrated distillations of the plant chemical compounds.

Whether choosing teas, capsules or St. John’s extract, bear in mind that herbal and dietary supplements – in the U.S. at least – are not as well regulated as medications. The range of quality and purity from one herbal supplement to the next can vary widely, and it’s wise to bear this in mind when purchasing St. John’s Wort or any other natural remedies for depression.

St. John’s Wort, Side Effects and Serotonin Syndrome

St. John’s Wort is usually safe to use, but can cause unwanted side effects. The most common side effects associated with St. John’s Wort include:

  • anxiety
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight)
  • restlessness
  • skin rash
  • stomach problems
  • tingling sensations
  • vivid dreams.

St. John’s Wort can also interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications. People should avoid St. John’s Wort if they are prescribed any of the following:

  • anticancer medication
  • anticoagulants (blood thinners)
  • antidepressants
  • birth control pills
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • medications used to treat HIV.

Pregnancy and nursing women should avoid St. John’s Wort, as should anyone trying to conceive children. As the herb affects anticoagulants, people scheduled to have surgery should avoid taking St. John’s Wort for at least two weeks before surgery.

Using St. John’s Wort in combination with certain antidepressants can result in a potentially fatal condition known as serotonin syndrome. Before taking any dietary supplement with prescription medication, be sure to talk to a health care professional about possible interactions.

Other Depression Herbs

In addition to St. John’s Wort, a number of other natural remedies for depression exist, including kava kava and ginkgo biloba. Clinical studies into the efficiency of these natural treatments for depression are limited.

Read More: Report Encourages Widespread Use Of ASA: Benefits For Men, Women Of Certain Ages.

It cannot be overstated: before choosing natural remedies for depression check their safety with a mental health professional and be sure the dietary supplement does not interact with any prescribed or over the counter medications.

Beauty Solutions For The Mindful Shopper

Beauty on a Budget: Simple, Inexpensive Solutions for Beauty Buys

Healthy, beautiful skin and hair often comes with a high price tag and the constant barrage of advertisements does nothing but confuse buyers and encourage spending. Fortunately, there are options that do not cost an arm and a leg, some that you already may have access to at home, that can help reduce the cost of beauty. You can make small changes that will put money back in your wallet.

Ten Beauty Tips to Consider

  1. Drink tons of water. It may seem like common knowledge but many women do not realize that they do not drink enough water. Summertime is the prime season for reminders that sunning outside or sweating in the gym can case our bodies to cry out for more water. It is the culprit of many common ailments such as headaches but also affects the condition of your skin. Stay hydrated and looking radiant by drinking 8-10 eight ounce glasses of water per day, or 4 of your standard water bottles.
  2. The twice a day routine of washing your face and neck can not only get expensive when using brand name cleansers and toners, but also can seem time consuming which may make you want to skip it. Cut time at the sink short by eliminating one of the “washes” with water and switch up your routine. You can find Witch Hazel in the first aid isle of almost every grocery or drug store and most women have cotton balls at home. Use a few cotton balls, rounds, or squares and a dab of Witch Hazel to clean off your makeup at night before bed. It is a faster way to clean skin and leaves you feeling refreshed.
  3. Another before bed routine that I’ve found works wonders is to put a bit of petroleum jelly on my eyelashes before bed. If you tend to rub your eyes in your sleep, like I do this eliminates lash breakage and the inevitable but accidental pulling out of lashes. You’ll notice that your lashes are fuller and longer because you are not damaging them at night. (This also is good for dryness or under eye circles that occur from allergies at night.)
  4. If your lips tend to be chapped or dry in the summer months, and easy way to get them feeling soft and plump is to brush them gently with your toothbrush in the morning when you brush your teeth. This works best with a soft or medium toothbrush. The effect is smoother and rosier lips that look great with a bit of gloss or sunblock chap stick.
  5. When your hair is unruly and you’ve got flyaways, try this tip for a quick fix. When you put lotion on your hands after washing, smooth your hair with the excess lotion or run your hands over the tips to bond strands. Not too much, of course, or you’ll end up with greasy looking hair.
  6. Tan skin, (from a spray of course) does not need as much makeup, so why not take advantage of the color by using less foundation. Apply your foundation sparingly in the summer, as a fresh look wins over a fully made up face when the temperature rises. Try using it only on the T-zone and under your eyes, keeping more in the bottle for when the weather cools off.
  7. Bothered by a heat induced pimple? Don’t dare squeeze it; sunscreen and sweat will only exacerbate the problem if the skin is broken. Ice the little bugger instead to reduce redness and swelling. Store bought products are great, but for a girl on a budget you can’t beat a little frozen water.
  8. Although high end moisturizers and creams are meant to do wonders, many of them do nothing more than your regular lotion. Try to stick with a fragrance, dye, and oil free moisturizer that is as simple as possible. I like Cetaphil, which is dermatologist recommended and comes in store brand (generic) as well. It can be used all over, even on your face, which saves a bundle.
  9. Eating healthy, balanced meals can greatly affect your skin tone, the plumpness in your cheeks, and how your skin feels to the touch. I know many of us diet to fit into our bikinis comfortably, but eliminating all fats from your meals causes sunken cheeks and dull skin. Be sure to fit healthy fats like fish and avocado into your diets to be sure your skin looks great while still minding your waist.
  10. Don’t smoke! There is no excuse that has not been said and now that we are in 2018, no one thinks smoking is cool. It sucks the life out of your body and face, creates wrinkles, and causes teeth yellowing. The physical damages to your appearance alone are reason enough to nix this bad habit.

Don’t Forget!

One bonus tip for the busy woman who is trying to do it all: Get enough sleep. The number varies from woman to woman, but on average a woman need 7-8 hours to get the beneficial effects of sleep. By ensuring you have at least 7 hours of (hopefully) uninterrupted sleep, you will wake up looking bright eyed and under eye circles will be minimized. Therefore, less makeup will be needed in the morning.

Read More: Cover FX Primer, CLEARPREP FX: Get Acne Free Skin with An Acne Treatment Face Primer.

Whether you are working with a shoestring budget or just like to keep things simple, the tips above are good to keep in mind. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more, as is the case of many of these beauty tips; your wallet and your cupboards will thank you for it.