Category Archives: health

Catch up on the latest health legislation, honest discussions about our bodies, and “I Have” essays from women’s personal experiences. Whether mental or physical The Frisky discusses each disease, concern, or condition to encourage open conversation.

I Have Endometriosis

Every kid in middle school played hooky. I was a total goody-two shoes, but still a hooky master—I told my mom I couldn’t go to school whenever I woke up sleepy, lazy or just hadn’t finished my homework. And then I turned 13 and got my period. As the Jewish tradition goes, my friend slapped me across the face in the bathroom, screamed “Mazel Tov!” and it all began. The cramps were unbearable. They felt like someone was punching me in the stomach. I couldn’t even think of using a tampon because I’d have to change it every 20 minutes—like Missy Elliott, my flow was out of control. But like the little boy who cried wolf, my mom didn’t believe that her star hooky player could have cramps that bad and sent me on my way to school. It wasn’t until a month later that my mom realized I wasn’t playing hooky—something had to be wrong when four extra strength Motrin and a heating pad didn’t help my cramps. My mom immediately made an appointment for me at her gynecologist. Keep reading »

What’s Your Definition Of Happiness?

The other day, I came across this post: “Does the meaning of ‘happiness’ change as we age?” It featured this quote: “The research finds that the meaning of happiness shifts as people age: Whereas younger people are more likely to associate happiness with excitement, older people are more likely to associate happiness with feeling peaceful—a change driven by increasing feelings of connectedness (to others and to the present moment) as one ages.” And it got me wondering how women of all ages define happiness. What does happiness mean to you? How do you define happiness? What makes you happy? Tell us in the comments and we’ll post a follow-up featuring our favorite Frisky readers’ answers on their idea of happiness. [Barking up the Wrong Tree] Keep reading »

Chew On This: French Grazia Recommends The Chocolate Diet

Crazy idea #2,384 from the folks at the French version of Grazia magazine: the chocolate diet. Oui. The principle behind this regime isn’t so much about a diet (what, you couldn’t guess?) but is more about an eating method that doesn’t rely on restriction. Restriction often causes binge eating, which gets you nowhere in the weight loss game. So the plan is this: a few times a week you get to replace your breakfast with chocolate or cookies. The rule is that you have to savor your indulgences and eat them slowly, which should train your brain to listen to your body’s needs, not over-indulge them.

This diet of eating sweets in the morning sounds frighteningly like our normal eating routine back in college. And you know what happened then? Hello, “Freshman 15.” [Grazia] Keep reading »

Women Become Less Trusting When They Take Testosterone Pills

I happen to be very trusting of strangers—I trust that they are trying to screw with me, every chance that they get. But apparently, this is a very male trait—testosterone-packed dudes are not only gifted with strength and aggression, but also cynicism. In a study conducted at Cape Town University, 24 women around the age of 20 were given either testosterone or dummy pills and asked to rate the trustworthiness of strangers’ faces on a scale of -100 to +100. Those who ingested the testosterone pill judged the photos an average of 5% less trustworthy. Testosterone is believed to better prepare a person for competition, the ability to fight for resources, and to “watch their back” for danger. Taking the hormone made the women less open to deception and more vigilant in general. The scientists suggest that, historically, it’s been beneficial for women to be cooperative for survival. But now that we live in this sick, sad world, it might benefit us to pick up some of these testosterone traits. Keep reading »

I Have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It can be something as little as the time I was standing in a hotel parking lot while on vacation one summer, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man walking toward me. He looked exactly like my father. The closer he got, the larger the lump in my throat became. Or, it can be something a little bigger, like the few dozen times I’ve walked past the building on the campus of Northern Illinois University where my father worked and pictured him galloping up the stairs with a huge smile on his face. Or, even the time when I found the blue-knit cap he wore during the course of his chemotherapy and radiation to treat an aggressive form of sinus cancer and up until the day he committed suicide two weeks after finishing treatment. Or, the smell of his clothes and how they’d remind me of his big bear hugs.

That’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in a nutshell. It’s the body’s way of trying to process the massive stockpile of emotions left in the wake of a traumatic life event. Keep reading »

Got Varicose Veins? There May Be Hope Yet …

Oh, those Europeans with their progressive societies ripe with universal health care, affordable education, hardly enforced drinking ages … and niche prescription meds unavailable elsewhere. Well, at least one European medical import is about to make its way Stateside. The FDA has just approved a medication called Asclera, used to treat varicose veins. Considered to be very safe and the best treatment out there, the injectable drug was apparently being used sneakily by some in the U.S., reports the Times: ” … polidocanol [clinical name], had not been legal, although some doctors used it, importing it from abroad or obtaining it from pharmacies that make drug compounds.”

Now that Asclera has been made legal here, it may be a good thing to keep in mind should the day ever arrive when varicose veins start blooming. (Let’s hope that’s not the case.) What we’d like to know is are the Europeans using some secret treatment for cellulite? Because that’s something we’d definitely be interested in hearing about next … cough, cough. [NY Times] Keep reading »

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