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The Best Medications for an Overactive Bladder

The Best Medications for an Overactive Bladder


An overactive bladder (OAB) is a frequent or sudden urge to urinate. Some even experience leakage, multiple episodes of nighttime urination or urinary incontinence. For many patients, OAB interferes with their daily routine and quality of life. Luckily there are lots of treatment options, including medication. First, the physician has to find out what is causing the issue. For older men, an enlarged prostate or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) is often the cause. Here, ED medications are sometimes prescribed. Those who have M.S. or Parkinson’s may find OAB a symptom of their condition. Bladder stones or even cancer may also be at fault, so it’s important to see a doctor. A full examination and diagnosis must be completed before the appropriate therapy can be arrived upon. Depending on the cause, some physicians suggest trying lifestyle changes and behavioral therapy before taking medication as some people can experience side effects. Creating a bathroom schedule, keeping tabs on what you drink, watching what you drink, relaxation techniques and more can help. For some patients, a specific cause cannot be found.

If these lifestyle changes fail to curb the problem, medication is usually the next step. What are the best medications for OAB? There are generally two kinds. The first relaxes the muscles in order to allow urine to pass more easily out of the body. The second is the type that strengthens the muscles of the bladder which may have weakened over time. Anticholinergics are the most commonly prescribed class of drugs for OAB. These relax the muscles and stop the spasms which lead to urination. They do so by blocking the chemical messenger acetylcholine. Dry mouth is the most common side effect. Tricyclic antidepressants are also pretty commonly prescribed. They strengthen the muscles at the neck of the bladder helping to curb incontinence while relaxing other muscles, lowering the urge to go. Sleepiness is the most common side effect. Lastly, Botox has been used to neutralize some of the muscles in the bladder that cause OAB. Though effective, this is a new procedure and may not be covered by insurance. If you haven’t already, see your doctor and find out what is causing OAB and which treatment is right for you.

Pains You Should Never Ignore

Pains You Should Never Ignore


A “thunderclap” headache 

Could be: An aneurysm, which is a balloon-like area in an artery

Fix it: If you experience head pain that comes on suddenly and is severe, call 911. (You may also get dizzy and notice blurred vision.) Bleeding in the brain due to a ruptured aneurysm isn’t all that common, but when it does happen, swift action is key. Surgeons can save your life by sealing off the weakened spot. Photo By Getty Images

Tooth pain that wakes you up

Could beTeeth grinding

Fix it: Frequent clenching can cause the nerve within the tooth to become inflamed and the protective enamel to wear away. You might even end up cracking teeth down to the root, which leads to extraction. Call your dentist so he or she can figure out the problem. The complications from grinding, which is often brought on by stress, can be prevented by wearing a night guard.

Dull stomach pain that gets sharper as it moves lower to the right of your abdomen

Could be

Fix It: If you feel this sensation, go straight to the ER. (Usually it gets more intense over a 24-hour period as it shifts location.) You’re likely going to need surgery-soon. If the appendix bursts, bacteria from the colon can leak into the abdomen, which is dangerous.

Mid-back pain coupled with fever

Could be:
 A kidney infection

Fix it: Don’t assume that your temperature, nausea and back pain are just a stomach bug. This condition develops when bacteria that infiltrate the urinary tract spread to the kidneys, making the infection much more severe. (You might start with UTI symptoms, like pain during urination, but some people don’t notice anything until later.) You’ll likely need antibiotics ASAP, so call your doctor.

A tender spot on your calf

Could be
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Fix it: If one small area of your leg is painful, you could have DVT, a blood clot in the deep veins. (The spot may also be red and warm to the touch.) DVT is more likely if you use birth control pills or recently took a long car or plane ride. Unless your leg is very swollen or the pain is getting worse rapidly, you can probably wait a day to see your doctor instead of going to the ER, but don’t delay any longer. The clot could increase in size-or break off, move toward the lungs and stop blood flow.

Menstrual cramps that don’t get better with medication

Could be: Endometriosis

Fix it: If meds like Advil aren’t helping, this condition-in which tissue grows outside the uterus-might be to blame. Endometriosis impedes fertility, and it’s common (40% to 60% of women whose periods are very painful may have it). Unless you’re trying to conceive, your doc can start you on oral contraceptives. If pain persists, you may need to have the tissue surgically removed.

An unexplained ache between your shoulder blades 

Could beA heart attack

Fix it: About 30% of people who have heart attacks don’t get the classic chest pressure. Pain between shoulder blades is common in women, as is jaw pain, shortness of breath and nausea. If you have these symptoms (you’ll likely have more than one), you need care ASAP. If you think you’re having a heart attack, don’t ask someone to drive you to the hospital-call 911. Emergency responders provide care the moment they reach you.

SOURCES: Alice G. Boghosian, DDS, consumer advisor spokesperson, American Dental Association. Rebekah Gross, MD, clinical assistant professor, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York. Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, professor of medicine and cardiovascular diseases and founder of the Women’s Heart Clinic, Mayo Clinic. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, Yale School of Medicine.


Birth Control Works in Long-Term Acne Treatment, Study Says

Birth Control Works in Long-Term Acne Treatment, Study Says



More effective than previously thought

Birth control pills are as effective as antibiotics for treating women’s acne in the long term, according to a new review of clinical studies.

The dermatological study shows that antibiotics are more effective than the Pill for the first three months of treatment, but are equally successful after six months.

“This confirms that birth control pills are a good solid treatment for acne, and they’re probably underutilized,” Dr. Steven R. Feldman, a dermatologist at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, toldReuters. “Given the desire to minimize antibiotic resistance and exposure, hormonal birth control could be a good alternative.”

Birth control pills may soon be the more benign alternative to some of the antibiotics and harsh topical gels used in acne treatment. Dermatologists are already recommending low doses of birth control for female acne patients, Feldman said.

Is Paying for Sex Okay?

Is Paying for Sex Okay?


It’s considered the oldest profession, and headlines show that it hasn’t gone away. Lots of celebrities from Eddie Murphy to Hugh Grant have been caught with ladies of the evening ( The Secret Service too was caught in a high profile media blitz last summer when they found that many agents were enjoying a Columbian high-class call girl service. Prostitution is legal in Columbia. Though American attitudes about sex are changing and in fact have changed, by and large most men in the U.S. are loath to discuss the issue. It’s still considered taboo. A study out of the University of Portland found that around 10% of males in North America have paid for sex. These men are 44.2% less likely to be hitched. If they are married, the results of this study show that they aren’t in a happy marriage. These guys are also kinkier than average and are more open-minded when it comes to bedroom antics. One of the reasons men seek out a lady of the evening is to fulfill certain fantasies they have. Some women prefer not to do certain things. But a call girl will do what is necessary to earn her salary, and to hopefully acquire repeat business. So is paying for sex okay? That depends on a lot of factors. First, where are you emotionally? Some guys take sex very seriously, others not so much. Any guy who has spent even a trivial amount of time at a strip club for instance knows that there is always one guy who thinks the stripper is in love with him. This happens with call girls, too. If you are the type to get emotionally attached then you are setting yourself up for a fall.

Make sure the girl is of a decent quality. Perhaps an escort service that comes recommended. Or spend some time on reputable websites and do some research. Guys have been robbed, blackmailed, and more by hookers. So it pays to invest some time and read reviews should she have some. It goes without saying that protection should always be used. The chances of catching an STD is far higher with a prostitute. In doing your due diligence make sure that she always uses protection. If she offers without, pay her so she doesn’t make a fuss but do not let her service you. You don’t want this one time to make you end up at the doctor’s office, or in the case of HIV/AIDS and herpes, alter your life forever. Keep it quiet. This kind of information, if it gets out, can hurt your career, your relationships with family, friends and perhaps with a significant other. If you are going to a call girl to have a fantasy fulfilled but you are with someone, approach your partner with it first. Don’t do it just because you are embarrassed to approach your romantic partner with one of your fantasies. In fact, it may be a bonding experience, bringing you closer together. But if you are single, have no moral objections and do your homework, it can be a scintillating experience, and a memory you can call up whenever the mood strikes you.


Stress less: Keys to a calmer existence

Stress less: Keys to a calmer existence


By Francesca Castagnoli,

It’s one of the greatest ironies of life: We’re too frantically busy to deal with the stuff that makes us feel frantically busy — the to-do’s that overwhelm us, the clutter that eats up our homes, the niggling personal and professional issues that preoccupy our minds.

Tackling them might feel like a someday project, the kind you’ll get around to when you have the time. Right.

The key to a calmer existence, experts say, is finding bite-size, everyday solutions for stressors and releasing what we can, be it physical or psychological clutter.

“When you start to let go, your life lightens up because you have less to think about and less to maintain,” says Geralin Thomas, a professional organizer in Cary, North Carolina. “You finally feel in control.”

The payoffs don’t end there — you can sharpen your focus and even lose weight, too. These are the strategies that will ease your load and let you enjoy life a lot more.

Clear your schedule

As we juggle it all, we’re often fueled by an I-can-do-it! sense of pride. But we might be deluding ourselves, suggests a study in the Journal of Communication that found that people misperceive the emotional high they get from multitasking as productivity.

And we’re not even as good at it as we may think. Another study, published in Psychological Science, revealed that women’s ability to keep track of several tasks at once dipped significantly during ovulation, when estrogen levels are high (and can mess with brain function).

Technology sometimes hampers us more than it helps, adds Laura Vanderkam, author of the book “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.”

“Time speeds by when you’re on your smartphone e-mailing,” she says, “even if you’re really not doing anything important.”

How to lighten up:

Suss out time sucks. For one day, every couple of hours, note down exactly what you just did, including things like “Read Facebook updates for a half-hour” or “Scanned catalogs for 15 minutes after opening mail,” says Vanderkam. “You start to see the time periods that you’re not using as well as you’d like.”

Stop the auto-yes. “Everyone lives in an optimistic world and thinks that if we say yes we will find the time, but the truth is we are in denial,” says Julie Morgenstern, one of the top organization and productivity experts in the country. Instead, experiment with saying, “Let me think about how I can do that,” says Morgenstern. “This way you can step back and evaluate if you really can do what is being asked.”

Have a plan. “Most people’s to-do lists actually create fatigue, because they don’t clarify how, exactly, they are going to handle Mom’s birthday, so tasks feel bigger than they are,” says David Allen, a productivity expert and author of the best-selling book “Getting Things Done.” Take a second to jot down how you’ll tackle something. Feel better already?

Just do it. Allen regularly tells clients to follow his Two-Minute Rule: If something can be done in two minutes, go ahead and get it done. Explains Allen, “It will take you longer to look at it again than it would take to finish it the first time you think of it.”

Reconsider rewards. Carefully examine your commitments, says Morgenstern, and decide which ones energize you — and which deplete you. For the tasks that send your misery Geiger counter off the charts, pinpoint whatever reward you get from them and find a better way of scoring it.

One client of Morgenstern’s wasn’t really enjoying volunteering for the PTA because it took time away from her kids, but she kept at it because she thought it showed her children she considered school important.

Ultimately, she switched over to running the occasional fun class activity and giving her kids more hands-on help with homework. “These things took less time,” Morgenstern notes, “and she and her family got more out of them.” 8 reasons to make time for family dinner

Clear your clutter

Dusting, mopping, vacuuming: That’s easy. Getting rid of all the junk you have to dust, mop and vacuum around? Not so much.

“Giving things up is tough because it’s not so clear-cut when they’re no longer useful,” says Morgenstern, author of the book “Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life.” You don’t stop wearing jeggings on a Tuesday at 4 p.m.; you just gradually stop doing so, even as they languish on a hanger.

The thing is, those pile-ups of possessions can create anxiety; a study at UCLA found that just looking at clutter elevated women’s stress hormones (although, no surprise, the men’s cortisol levels remained unchanged).

Motivation to get going on cleaning house: You may look better, too. As Thomas points out, “One big change I see in clients who have de-cluttered is weight loss. Once they have shaped their environment, they’re ready to shape up themselves.” 7 steps to organizing clutter

How to lighten up:

Think small. “We know from research that little acts of neatness cascade into larger acts of organization,” says Christine Carter, a sociologist at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Forget about organizing the entire kitchen; focus on, say, the plastic containers taking over your cabinets.

“With random de-cluttering, there’s always more that you can do,” notes Thomas. “When one category is tackled, there’s definitely an end point.”

Be a regular. Perhaps you dedicate, say, 10 minutes a weekday to an organizing project. Or you commit to doing a couple of hours for a few weekends in a row. The point is, be consistent and attentive; turn off your cell phone and schedule child care.

Thomas does a weekly “Trash Eve” de-clutter: “The garbage in my neighborhood is picked up on Wednesdays, which makes Tuesdays the night I make an easy supper and clear the decks!”

Decide what’s treasure and what’s toss-able. Ask yourself just one question before you start purging any collection of stuff, recommends Morgenstern: “If everything was stolen, what pieces would I go out and buy the very next day?” There you go — the costume jewelry, canned goods and linens you truly want and need.

Pre-arrange pickups. About 40% of people who purge never manage to get the stuff out of their homes, per a poll of 23,000 people on Morgenstern’s website. Avoid becoming a hoarder statistic by scheduling a pickup before you start to clean your house. Try, or, a not-for-profit that connects people with local schools and charities in need of specific goods. Secrets to a healthy (happy!) home

Clear your mind

It’s not just that we have a lot to keep track of — it’s our DIY mentality, says Dr. Orit Avni-Barron, director of Women’s Mental Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “I hear women say, ‘My husband is so great, he helps me,'” as if our partners are our sous chefs instead of co-cooks.

Another issue: Women worry twice as much as men, research shows. “Worrying impairs concentration and memory,” says Robert Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City. “You can’t tend to the present and worry about the future at the same time. It’s overwhelming.” 9 things to stop worrying about

How to lighten up:

Pop annoying thought bubbles. Psychologists talk of the Zeigarnik effect, named after a Russian shrink who realized that a waiter could more easily recall incomplete orders than served ones. The follow-up study showed that people are 90% more likely to remember undone tasks than those they completed. “Tell your brain when you’ll get a task done,” says Carter. “It kills the worry loop.”

Control what’s possible. “When we don’t know how something will work out, we worry to get certainty,” says Leahy. Yet one study at Penn State University found that 85% of things people fretted about had neutral or positive outcomes. To quell anxiety, throw yourself into what you can accomplish — say, writing the introduction to the PowerPoint document instead of ruminating on the presentation. “You’ll feel good about the present and put other thoughts on pause,” says Leahy.

Be hands-on. Weed, knead dough, do a craft, says Dr. Gayatri Devi, associate professor of neurology at New York University. “When you think about something tangible, you stop thinking about the theoretical.”

Grade perfection on a curve. “We have reached a tipping point in perfection. People are realizing we can’t do it all at the level that we used to,” says Morgenstern.

That means you, sister! Start with the obvious: Divvy up more responsibilities with your partner, even if he does them differently. And try Morgenstern’s Minimum, Moderate, Maximum strategy: Decide what level of effort you can give tasks (and get away with). As she says, “You may be surprised to find that everything works out OK.”

Why Videos Aren’t the Best Way for Kids to Learn

Why Videos Aren’t the Best Way for Kids to Learn


DVDs and educational programs on TV have a growing place in helping young children to learn. But there’s new evidence that they may not be as effective as old fashioned conversation.

Even before birth, children hear sounds and words and can babble a variety of noises that will eventually coalesce into into language. “Before nine months of age, a baby produces a babble made up of hundreds of phonemes from hundreds of languages,” Elisabeth Cros, a speech therapist with the Ecole Internationale de New York told TIME in April. “Parents will react to the phonemes they recognize from their native tongues, which reinforces the baby’s use of those selected ones.”

It’s that dynamic interaction between the infant and her caregiver — a back-and-forth that static videos and television programs can’t provide — that is critical for efficient language learning. And a group of researchers from the University of Washington, Temple University and the University of Delaware explain why.

The scientists studied 36 two-year-olds who were randomly assigned to learn verbs in three different ways. A third of the group trained with a live person, another third learned through video chat technology like Skype, and the final third learned by watching a pre-recorded video of a language lesson from the same person.

Their results, published in the journal Child Development, showed that kids learned well in person and in the live video chat, likely because both scenarios allowed for an interaction between the child and the teacher, allowing the youngsters to be more responsive and therefore retain more from their experience. The children using the recorded videos, by contrast, did not learn new vocabulary words by the end of the 10 minute learning and testing task.

The findings confirm previous work that connected live conversations with better vocabularies among young children, but add another layer of understanding about why one-on-one interactions are so important to a developing brain. Nerve connections responsible for language building requires repetition and reinforcement, which can help to strengthen the correct and appropriate words or sounds and discard extraneous or inappropriate ones. It’s not that educational programming or DVDs are harming young minds; it’s more that they aren’t maximizing the infants’ ability to absorb and learn and pick up words and verbal skills more efficiently. So parking a child in front of screen for a few minutes isn’t going to hamper his ability to talk, but interspersing those videos with some one-on-one time engaging  in conversation could help to speed along the learning process.


Alexandra Sifferlin is a writer and producer for TIME Healthland. She is a graduate from the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.

We’re Living Longer — and Healthier

We’re Living Longer — and Healthier



There’s no doubt that we’re living longer than previous generations. Now there’s encouraging news that those added years may be healthy ones as well. According to the latest tallies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010 the average life expectancy rose from 78.6 years in 2009 to 78.7 in 2010. But the data has not been as definitive about whether that means people are stronger and healthier and therefore adding years to their lives, or whether medical innovations are extending lives, but leaving people sicker for longer.

Researchers from Harvard University report that there is some reason to be optimistic about our longevity. “Effectively, the period of time in which we’re in poor health is being compressed until just before the end of life. So where we used to see people who are very, very sick for the final six or seven years of their life, that’s now far less common. People are living to older ages and we are adding healthy years, not debilitated ones,” said David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University and author of the latest study, in a statement.

Continue reading We’re Living Longer — and Healthier

Size Does Matter: Study Shows Women Judge Male Attractiveness by Penis Size

Size Does Matter: Study Shows Women Judge Male Attractiveness by Penis Size



Call it sexist or sensationalist, but now science suggests it’s so: women find men with bigger penises more attractive.

(UPDATED) Reporting in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers led by Brian Mautz, now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa in Canada, studied how 105 young Australian women rated attractiveness in males.

The researchers, including those from Monash University and Australian National University, asked the women to view life-size video clips of computer-generated images of naked men who varied in height, body shape and flaccid penis size, but not in other qualities like facial attractiveness and hair. The women gave each image a rating from 1 to 7 on total sexual attractiveness, rather than assessing individual characteristics.

“We show that penis size actually is important on some level and, importantly, it interacts with other traits,” says Mautz.

The size of a model’s member, for example, had a greater influence on attractiveness if the model were tall, since proportion may have been an important factor in how appealing the men appeared to the women. “A change in penis size has a larger effect for taller men than it does for other heights,” Mautz says. “This result could be because penis size was smaller when assessed relative to the height of a taller man,” the authors note.

But height was equally important. Shorter men with larger penises were ranked as more attractive than shorter men who were not as well endowed, but they still remained on the low end of the scale for overall appeal, says Mautz. “You’d think that if penis size is super attractive, it might help shorter guys more. It does increase attractiveness for short men, but they still are under average in attractiveness scores.”

It turns out there may also be a threshold for the ideal size, which may also work against the vertically challenged; the study found that above about 3 in., additional enlargement in genitalia doesn’t make that much of a difference in attractiveness, regardless of a man’s height.

That’s not to say that there’s an upper limit on penis size, however; Mautz and his team did not find a maximum on desired size, but noted that “the most attractive penis size” appeared to fall outside the range used in the study, which was designed to capture 95% of the variability women would encounter. So although attractiveness beyond the 3 in. continued to increase in a linear fashion, it did so at a slower rate.

The results may not be as superficial as they seem. Based on evolutionary principles, it could be possible that women look to penis size to judge a man’s appropriateness as a mate; the size of a man’s member may indicate an ability to sire and produce healthy and robust children (something that obviously tended to play a greater role before developed societies began wearing clothes). And that, say the researchers, might help to explain why men have evolved relatively large penises in relation to those of other primates.

While size may matter, the findings don’t suggest that only size matters. In fact, body shape seemed to trump both height and genital endowment in determining attractiveness. Based on the women’s answers, the researcher calculated that height was as important as endowment in a male’s attractiveness, while wider shoulders and narrow hips was more important than both combined.

So if appealing to women is the goal, then it’s the gym membership that may make more sense than investing in genital enhancement devices.

(Note:  A previous version of this story was incorrectly edited and did not accurately reflect the data on the relative importance of the three factors studied in the research.)

Best Time To Hit The Gym

Best Time To Hit The Gym


We all know a few people who swear by working out at the crack of dawn every day.

They naturally enjoy waking up and heading straight to the gym, and claim to get more out of their exercise routines in the early-morning hours.

Then there’s another group that wouldn’t dream of getting on the treadmill, StairMaster or bike before 6 p.m., when the day is behind them and their muscles feel stretched and loose.

So which is better? Personal trainers and experts on exercise say the effectiveness of your gym time depends partly on your body rhythms as well as what exactly you’re trying to get out of it–whether it’s losing inches around your waist or putting inches on your biceps.

Primed In The P.M.
First, you have to pay attention to your body’s abilities, says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, the nonprofit fitness certification and education provider. He counsels people that the best time to exercise is the one that works with their body clock and fits with their schedules.

But that said, from a physiological standpoint, Bryant says the afternoon may be a better time to engage in more explosive exercises, such as kickboxing or racquetball. Research has shown that the body’s temperature tends to rise by a few degrees in the afternoon, warming the muscles and connective tissues and resulting in a slight improvement in your performance capabilities.

Working out in the afternoon also requires a little less time stretching on the mat because your heart and muscles are more prepared for the stress of exercise than when you’re fresh out of bed, Bryant says. If you’re not putting in a longer warm-up, morning workouts can put you at a higher risk for injury.

Khari May, personal training manager at Crunch in New York, tells clients who want to build muscle mass to hit the weights in the afternoon. In the morning there isn’t enough glycogen in our muscles, or stored fuel, to support an effective workout.

“The body is like a well-put-together car,” May says. “If there’s not enough fuel it might not work for you or take you as far.”

A.M. Advantages
There are, of course, pluses to working out in the morning too. May recommends it for people whose main priority is losing weight. Working out, doing cardio especially, on an empty stomach will burn more fat calories because your carb reserves are almost used up. That causes the body to turn to fat stores for energy first. (Many fitness experts warn, however, that running on empty isn’t the most efficient way to work out.)

Another point in favor of the early birds is that evidence has shown they’re more likely to stick with their fitness routines.

“What happens is they’re able to get it in before the various demands of life compete for [their] time,” Bryant says. “Many of us are well-intentioned but then the realities of life come into play and squeeze out exercise.”

Spread It Out
No matter what time you end up choosing to work out, the experts say you’re probably better off spreading it out in frequent intervals throughout the week, rather than saving it all up for one hellish day or the weekend.

Even if you run the same number of miles in one day as you would have over three or four short sessions, you may burn the same amount of calories but you’ll lose out on other health benefits. Every time you exercise you temporarily lower your blood pressure and blood glucose levels, which provide cumulative benefits over the years, Bryant says.

What’s more, exercise can curb some people’s appetites, another good reason to spend more time at the gym than on the couch.

Perhaps the best reason? May says working out hard one day a week is a sure way to trash your body.

“Being a weekend warrior can’t make up for it,” he says. “You’re putting your body at risk and you’re not going to get the same effect.”