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HEALTH TOPICS
Allergies  Alzheimer's  Babies  Breast cancer  Cancer  Cervical cancer  Colds  Dentist  Depression  Dieting  Doctors  Drugs  Eyeglasses  Exercise  Headaches  Health care  Hospitals  Illnesses  Mammograms  Medications  Nutrition  Pregnancy  Prostate  Sex  Skin  Stress  Surgery  Teeth 
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DIETING
Also see: NUTRITION

ASAP:
If you have taken diet pills and notice unusual breathlessness:

____ Immediately see a doctor to determine if you have Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) - the sooner PPH is diagnosed, the better the chances for recovery

BEFORE MEALS:
____ Avoid drinking alcohol - some believe it increases your appetite

DURING MEALS:
____ Drink lots of water to help fill you up
____ Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
____ Avoid, or only eat small amounts of, foods high in calories from fat (preferably no more than approx. 30% of calories from fat)
____ Take small bites
____ Be aware that there's often a tendency to eat more when you're with other people - because you don't pay attention to how much you're eating

REGULARLY:
____ Exercise (see your doctor before beginning a strenuous exercise program)

MEDICATIONS:
If you're considering taking diet pills (medications):
____ Be aware that:
          - Phen-Fen (Phentermine Fenfluramine) and Redux have reportedly caused a potentially fatal disease (Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)) in many patients (reportedly caused 20-40 deaths per year in France due to PPH)
          - PPH can require that a patient undergo a heart and lung transplant
          - PPH may prevent a woman from having children
          - PPH may require a patient to use a heart pump for the rest of his/her life
          - Phen-Fen and Redux recommended only for people with serious obesity problems
          - Some doctors prescribe diet pills to people who do not have a serious obesity problem - doctors may overprescribe diet pills for the potentially large profits
          - There is often a tendency to regain weight after you stop taking the diet drugs
          - Most diet pills have side effects
          - Most diet drugs are intended to be taken only for a limited duration
          - Orlistat (Xenical) is designed for clinically obese people, may deprive the body of key vitamins (a supplement should be considered), can cause gastrointestinal problems, gas and/or diarrhea, and, may increase the risk of breast cancer

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DRUGS
Also see: MEDICATIONS

____ Don't try illegal drugs - illegal drugs have killed many people like you - even though you may intend to just try it once and never again, you may be unable to resist the temptation - less dangerous drugs can lead you to more dangerous drugs - money paid for illegal drugs usually funds, eventually, gangs, cartels, etc.

GETTING OFF DRUGS:
If you're addicted to an opiate drug (e.g., opium, heroin, codeine):

____ Ask your doctor about the possibility of going through detoxification (- to push the drugs out of your body) and Revia (- to help stay off the drugs) - only available to addicts in good physical health - is expensive - is somewhat risky

PARENTS:
- Approx. half of teenagers report being offered illegal drugs
To help keep your child from trying illegal drugs:
____ Instill in your child a desire to not disappoint you - fear of disappointing their parents is reported to be a major reason children don't use drugs
____ Start talking to your child at an early age about why he/she shouldn't try drugs
____ Tell your child that you expect him/her to never use illegal drugs
____ Be on the lookout for especially good opportunities to talk to your child about drugs, e.g., after viewing a situation on TV
____ Talk to the parents of children your child associates with:
____ Ask them how you can work together to keep your children away from drugs
____ Ensure they don't serve alcohol to the children

Regularly:
____ Talk to your child about why he/she shouldn't try drugs
____ Really listen to what your child has to say (look for indications that he/she is considering trying drugs)

If your child says that his/her friends are doing something that you're not letting him/her do (e.g., "everyone else does it"):
____ Tell your child that you will call the parents of those children

If you suspect that your child is using drugs:
____ Visit teendrughelp.org for great advice

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NUTRITION
Also see: DIETING, FOOD, GROCERIES

EATING PROPERLY:
____ Try to avoid eating meat (consider consulting with a doctor or nutritionist, or doing research, to ensure you meet your nutritional needs):
- so animals won't suffer
- because raising livestock requires the use of an excessive amount of land (and clearing of rain forests) which could be better used to grow crops which would better feed the world's population
- to avoid meat-borne fatal diseases such as E-coli and Mad Cow
- because a meatless diet is healthier for your heart

Right before eating:

____ Plan to fill up on salad and vegetables
____ Be aware that the following may cause you to eat too fast and/or too much:
          - Not getting enough sleep
          - Hearing fast music (e.g., in a restaurant)
          - The two weeks after ovulation in the menstrual cycle
          - Long hours of darkness during winter
          - Eating with other people - you may not notice that you're full and you tend to spend more time at the table
          - Having too many choices

To ensure you eat the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily:
____ Add leftover vegetables from dinner to the next day's lunchtime soup or salad
____ Order extra tomatoes when you order a sandwich
____ Keep fresh fruit at work
____ Prepare an extra batch of baked apples for dessert and take the extras for lunch

NUTRITIOUS FOODS:
- Eating foods containing a lot of 'bad' fat (e.g., trans, animal, dairy) and not very much 'good' fat (e.g., polyunsaturated, unhydrogenated monounsaturated) may result in a 3 times greater risk of heart disease
____ Foods which contain moderate amounts of:
          - Polyunsaturated fats, e.g., corn, safflower)
          - Unhydrogenated monounsaturated fats, e.g., olive, canola)
____ Foods which do not contain:
          - Trans fats (often used in cookies, crackers, margarine) - trans fats may not be listed on food labels
          - Animal fat, e.g., red meat
          - Dairy fat, e.g., whole milk
____ Foods which contain significant amounts of dietary fiber, e.g., fruits, vegetables, grains
____ Fruits
____ Vegetables
          - Garlic - might reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and/or common cold
____ Tofu
____ Beans, e.g., soybeans
____ Skim milk (instead of whole milk)

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SEX
Also see: RELATIONSHIPS

Before having sex:
____ Ensure you're in a committed relationship, e.g., married (people you don't know very well are probably more likely to have a sexually-transmitted disease, e.g., HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea)
____ Ensure you're prepared to deal with the possibility of having a child
____ Take precautions against unwanted pregnancy and diseases, e.g.:
          - Condoms
          - Birth control pills
          - Diaphram

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SKIN
Also see: CANCER

SKIN CANCER:
- Approx. 50% of Americans develop at least one form of skin cancer by age 65
____ Minimize exposure to sun
____ Avoid being in sun midday (approx. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.)

BEFORE GOING OUTSIDE:
____ Wear:
          - Light-colored non-porous clothing
          - Long sleeves
          - Long pants
          - Hat
____ Apply sun block (don't mix sunblock with medicines)

WHEN OUTSIDE IN DAYLIGHT:
____ Stay in shade when feasible

IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY OF MELANOMA (SKIN CANCER):
____ See a doctor

IF YOU HAVE HAD BAD SUNBURNS:
____ See a doctor

REGULARLY:
Monthly:

____ Check your entire body for new spots and changes in previously-detected spots
____ Note and report to your doctor any spots which are:
          - Predominantly flat
          - Larger than a pencil eraser
          - More than one color
          - Have an irregular shape

ABNORMAL SPOTS:
If you have any abnormal spots (including moles) or over 50 normal spots:

____ See a doctor

SKIN CARE:
Before using a skin care product:

____ Consider asking your doctor or a dermatologist to recommend a treatment appropriate for your skin type and condition, especially if you're experiencing significant discomfort
____ Be aware that people with dry skin and/or skin with dark pigmentation may be more likely to suffer side effects from skin care products
____ Test the product on a small, hidden patch of skin to check for reactions

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