Dispelling the Myths of Weight Loss and How Actually to Keep the Pounds Off

Losing weight can be hard. Keeping it off is harder! I have tried to lose weight and keep it off many times in my life. I’ve followed several “fad diets” or “crash diets” in my life. I’ve lost weight quickly, but never kept it off. My weight has fluctuated so much throughout my entire life. I’ve finally found a lifestyle that I believe has helped me lose weight and so far keep it off.

Growing up, my family was never too conscientious about what we ate. We didn’t think badly about going out to eat several times a week. We baked and ate sweets. We drink pops and juice as much as we wanted. I was chubby most of my life because of this. I have learned that the biggest factor to losing weight, and keeping it off is my diet! I can eat  sweets in moderation. I can eat out with friends every once in a while. The biggest factor, is doing those things in moderation.

#ExerciseFocused

To start off eating better:

  • I cut down my sugar intake. Doing this alone has helped curb my cravings so much. I realized that the less I ate those things, the less I craved them.
  • I cut down on the carbs I ate. I used to love a big slice of bread or bowl of pasta. Since I have cut down on those, I have noticed a weight loss. Doing this, I have lost quite a bit of water weight alone.
  • I focus more on vegetables and lean protein to fill me up. I boosted my metabolism by making sure that I eat protein every day. Some things that I focus on eating are chicken, lamb, fish and eggs. These are lean proteins that help keep me full longer. I don’t feel like I need to eat again shortly after I finish!
  • I eat more vegetables, I make sure to fill my plate with them! There are so many good kinds of vegetables that help fill you up and have very few calories. A few of my favorites are broccoli, tomatoes, kale, spinach and brussel sprouts. So many of these vegetables are filled with fiber and vitamins that I need. Not only do these vegetables taste good, but are loaded with things that are good for me.
  • I eat three meals every day. Between meals if I find myself hungry, I will snack on vegetables. I like fruit also, but it can be loaded with sugar. I will let myself snack on more fruit than candy bars though!
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Another major part of losing weight for me, was becoming more active. As a child my family didn’t do much to be active. We didn’t really enjoy sports or spend much time outdoors together. I was never part of a sports team growing up either. I always felt like it was just too much work to be active. Now that I am active, I can’t imagine my life any different! I have come to love working out. I do a lot of work outs at the gym and at home. At the gym I take part in many fitness classes. I love weight lifting classes and cardio classes. I like to lift weights because I am building my muscles, while also burning fat. I also like to take cycling classes, that really blast the fat. I sweat a lot during these classes, burning calories.

I love to do things outside with the family now. We spend a lot of time on the trail near our house. We go on long bike rides and walks, sometimes to the ice cream shop. Moderation is key! We play sports together. Doing this has shown my children how important it is to grow up active and healthy. No matter what exercise I do, I always feel better after a workout. Sometimes it is difficult for me to work up the motivation to get started. I feel lazy and tired some days. If I make myself get up and moving, I am sure to feel better afterwards.

Losing weight has been a big confidence builder and I feel better about myself. I have more energy, feel better and I get sick less often. I know that I need to keep up my diet and exercise in order to keep the weight off.

Sexually Transmitted Infections: What to know about treatment and prevention

Most sexually transmitted infections have readily available treatments that are simple to administer. In Australia, it is estimated that there are over 225 thousand new sexually transmitted infections among people aged 15 to 29 years old annually. There has been an increase in both people testing for sexually transmitted infections and being diagnosed with having an infection at any given time.

Common Stds
Rise Of STIs

Considering this information, there is still a third of the Australians that have undiagnosed and untreated sexually transmitted infections among the younger population of people

This pose a dangerous issue with people’s health because untreated sexually transmitted infections can lead to dementia, heart failure, blindness and brain damage. It has been noted that among men and women, most of the sexually transmitted infections have been diagnosed more in men than in females. Australia has noted that most of the sexually transmitted infections that are diagnosed among men are from men who have sexual contact and intercourse with other men. Other factors in men that play a part in this occurrence is that the higher percentage of these men that have interactions with other men are in urban areas and younger age groups. The urban areas are unique in that women are increasing in the diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections. This may be due to the fact that men having sexual interactions with other men may be having similar interactions with women.

Sexually transmitted infections are shown to be 3 to 7 times greater in urban areas than in areas that are not urban

Among the younger adults they are not always using protection when they have these infrequent interactions with casual partners. With these transient sexual interactions, people must take extra precautions in have sex with multiple people. This is believed to contribute to the increase in sexually transmitted infections because long term relationships are a thing of the past. Serial dating is the more modern way of dating and are contributing to the increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections. Some other factors that contribute to the increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections is poor access to proper health services.

Compared to people around the world, Australia’s rate of sexually transmitted infections among people aged 15 to 19 years old are very similar

The highest rates of transmission remains constant to be among populations in urban areas. Even though the increasing rate of sexually transmitted infections are seen among men who have sexual contact with other men, has been observed that women in the age range of 15 to 24 having a frequently high infection rate over men out of a sample size of 100 women and 100 men.

Another gap in the Australia system that opens Australians up for the potential spread of sexually transmitted infections are travelers

Many people travel to Australia on vacation and end up having unprotected sex outside of their committed relationships. At this point, that person that is an Australian resident could contract a sexually transmitted infection from a traveler and then take it home to their partner. Sexually transmitted infections are very frequently spread through traveling as people are less careful and are more open to using services provided for sex worker while on vacation. People who travel to Australia on a longer than normal vacation may be more at risk of obtaining and spreading sexually transmitted infections because they feel lonely and opt for sex workers or causal partners to fill that void.

STI rates in Australia

In Australia, with the rates of sexually transmitted infections rising there has been a need demonstrated for development of programs geared towards the prevention of sexually transmitted infections among younger adults. As recent assessments of the rates of sexually transmitted infections among Australians have been sustained and increasing among young adults, there seems to be a more pressing concern to address in regards to the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases and How to Protect Yourself

 Safe sex is a must in order to stave off sexually transmitted diseases (STD).  There is no pleasure worth carrying around a disease that is not only annoying and embarrassing, but some of them can be deadly as well.  Abstinence is the only sure way to prevent getting a sexually transmitted disease, but let’s be honest few people completely abstain from sex. Being in a completely monogamous relationship where both partners are STD free also is a safe way to not fear sexually transmitted diseases. The next best way is protecting yourself and your partner by use of a condom.  

Gonerrhea
Sti Prevention

Condoms greatly help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases

Always make sure to have condoms available if you will be experiencing sex.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there has been an increase in sexually transmissible infections (STI) in the last decade

  They aren’t completely sure if infections are on the rise or if it is that more people are getting tested, or a combination of both.  Although younger and middle age people have a greater STI rate, the older generation is also seeing an uptick in sexually transmitted diseases as well.  

Sexually transmitted diseases can be either bacterial or viral

Both can cause lasting damage.  Some STDs will wreck your reproductive system and some can cause death.  Some STDs will cause unpleasant symptoms such as itching or a smelly discharge and some you may not even have symptoms.  

Bacterial infections include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis

  While chlamydia and gonorrhoea generally infect the younger generations in Australia, syphilis is spread among most age groups.  Chlamydia and gonorrhoea infect reproductive organs and can be without symptoms.  They can damage those organs if left untreated.  Antibiotics can be takes to cure these infections if taken before damage has occurred.  Syphilis can can sores on the mouth and genitals.

It can be symptom free for many years

Without proper treatment Syphilis can cause long term damage to the brain and other organs.  There are three stages to syphilis.  They are primary, secondary, and late stage.  Syphilis is often asymptomatic in the first stages and also easily transmittable.  Syphilis can be treated with penicillin, however if it reaches the late stage the damage is done and can often result in death although it may just be managed as a long term disease as well.  In Australia, syphilis is quite rare, but it is still out there.  Protecting yourself from this bacterial infections is important and is as easy as using condoms.

Viral STIs include HIV (AIDS) and herpes.  HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus

It is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system leaving the victim with a weakened immunity.  This causes an increase in secondary infections, some that are usually quite rare.  HIV that is not treated will lead to AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.  Sometimes there is no symptoms until it progresses to AIDS.  At that point, many opportunistic infections may occur as well as death.  Anti-retroviral drug treatment is used to treat HIV.  This is not a cure, but can keep the disease from progressing, sometimes for many years.  Men in their 30s are the highest group in Australia for new HIV infections.  The use of condoms can greatly decrease the rate of HIV infection.  

Gay men of Australia should pay special attention to the use of condoms

Herpes can cause cold sores and genital sores.  There are two types.  Genital herpes is one of the most common types of STDs in Australia.  It is spread through skin to skin contact, and the virus stays with a person for life.  When it is reactivated the person experiences outbreaks and can then spread the virus to others.  Although there is no cure, there are antiviral medications to help reduce the amount and length of infections.  Middle aged and being a woman in Australia have a greater occurrence of genital herpes, although it is quite common in all age ranges.  Condom usage can help stem herpes transmission, but because it is skin to skin it can still be transmitted even with a condom.  

Using a condom will help prevent many new sexually transmitted infections in Australia.  Protect yourself and make sure to always use a condom when engaging in sexual activities.  

Sexually transmitted diseases: How to protect yourself from infection

Rise Of STIs In Australia

Sexually transmitted infections are not a new thing – as long as there have been humans and sexual activity there have been infections that can be transmitted from one person to another via genital contact. Even though there are methods of barrier contraception in this day and age, however, it is estimated that levels of STIs are at their highest levels ever.

Part of this is due to a shift in attitudes towards sexual behaviour over the last few decades

In the Victorian and Edwardian eras and through to the nineteen sixties sex was considered a taboo subject and not something for polite conversation. Whilst many human beings have often had multiple partners – this is hardly a new thing, even when it was not openly discussed! – there was a hypocrisy surrounding human sexual behaviour during these eras which meant that people were meant to be chaste outside of marriage, even though many of them clearly were not.

The Sixties saw the beginning of the so-called Sexual Revolution, and the spread of the ideology of Free Love

In the pre AIDs and yet post Pill period, despite the fact that condoms were readily available (and indeed had been used in some form or other for centuries) many people felt that they could have as much sex as they liked with as many partners as they chose and did not have to worry about barrier methods of contraception. This inevitably led to the spread of several types of sexual disease. In addition to this, modern day antibiotics meant that people did not consider STIs to be the ‘big deal’ that they used to be, as things that at one point would have been considered extremely serious or potentially even fatal (Syphilis, for instance) could now be treated fairly easily and without long term negative repercussions.

The major STI that has cast a shadow over the entire world since the nineteen eighties is, of course, HIV and AIDS

At first this disease was greeted with terror by most sexually active people and it led to the establishment of a campaign to promote Safe Sex in the form of barrier contraceptives (condoms). For a long time this campaign experienced a high success rate and levels of not just HIV/AIDS infection but also other forms of common STI were lowered. Recently, however, especially with the development of drugs which effectively prolong the lives of those infected by HIV/AIDS, the message has lost its impact somewhat and the current generation of younger people have higher rates of STIs than did their parents.

Technology And Disease

Some of the most prolific sexually transmitted infections are those which are the least easy to recognise

Chlamydia – a serious infection which can cause infertility in women if left untreated, often presents no discernible symptoms at all and can only be diagnosed with a visit to a General Practitioner or a clinic which specialises in sexual health. Whilst this condition is very easily treated in both men and women with a course of antibiotics many sufferers are unfortunately not aware that they have been infected and so postpone diagnosis and treatment until it is unfortunately too late to prevent permanent damage to fertility.

 

Other forms of STI, whilst not life threatening, can be equally unpleasant

A very common STI is Genital Warts, which unfortunately is very easily transmitted from one person to another and can lead to flare ups throughout the rest of the sufferers life, as the infection remains dormant in the system even if there are currently no visible symptoms. Like herpes which causes outbreaks of blisters on the genitals, this is really not a condition that you want to find yourself having to live with!

The best way to prevent STIs is to use barrier methods of contraception such as condoms

Although some people will try to promote abstinence as a more effective means of prevention research has shown that this is simply not viable and that rates of STIs and indeed unwanted pregnancies are often higher amongst communities which do not try to educate people about safe sex. Ultimately, sex is a biological urge and many people are going to do it whether they are told to or not. In order to be safe – always put a rubber on it.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: tips for managing symptoms and finding out the best diet for your gut

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract mainly characterized by abdominal pain and alterations of the alvo (problems in defecation) in the absence of any other specific pathology that causes its symptoms.   Epidemiology Although the prevalence of the disease is generally difficult to understand due to the heterogeneity of the diagnostic criteria, community studies tell us that this syndrome involves 10 to 25% of the population, differently depending on the country.
IBS is spread 1.5 to 3 times more in women and affects 50% of people under the age of 35.

The causes of IBS have not yet been clearly identified.

However it is known that among the factors potentially implicated in its genesis we can find a previous gastrointestinal infection (which causes persistent immunological alterations, ie of the immune system, and muscular and neuronal hyperreactivity of the intestinal wall), an alteration of brain neurohormonal mechanisms, a altered permeability of the intestinal mucosa and possible food intolerances.

The main physiological mechanisms underlying this functional disorder are related to the alteration of intestinal motility, to the individual’s hypersensitivity to visceral pain (pain originating from the internal organs of our body), to psychological disorders (anxiety, depression ), to the irritation of the intestinal mucosa or of the bacterial population that naturally inhabits our intestine (microbiome).

The management consists mainly in the adoption of dietary measures, of a possible psychological support aimed at improving the management of stress and, finally, of the use of symptomatic drugs.

 

Dietary measures

Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and exciting drinks can help reduce anxiety and irritability of the intestinal mucosa.

Avoiding legumes, as well as lactose and fructose in patients who are already intolerant, can prevent the increase in abdominal bloating.

In some cases, the irritable bowel syndrome may also be associated with gluten intolerance even in the absence of overt celiac disease; a diet without or with a reduced amount of gluten can help improve symptoms.

Furthermore, a particular group of particularly fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) present in fruits and vegetables as well as in flours and in many other foods of our diet, in particular conditions can lead to an increased bacterial proliferation which increases gas production and therefore swelling . Not being able to eliminate them completely, temporary diets can be chosen aimed at containing the ingestion of these substances.

Pharmacological treatment is mainly symptomatic and involves, in the treatment of abdominal swelling and pain, the use of antispasmodic and antidepressant drugs, while the use of fibers is not always able to reduce symptoms.

In the diarrheal form of IBS, antidiarrheal drugs reduce the frequency and increase the consistency of the stools while they have no effects on pain or abdominal distension.

From 2012 it is suggested the use of Linaclotide, an agonist of guanilate cyclase 2C (an enzyme with an important role in the secretion of fluids by intestinal mucosa cells) for the treatment of chronic constipation in IBS with predominant constipation.

Rifaximin, a locally acting antibiotic, is used in the diarrheal forms of IBS and has action on symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal bloating and pain.

 

Erectile Dysfunction and the Impact it has on Your Life

Erectile dysfunction is defined as a difficulty in achieving and maintaining an erection that is suitable to have sex.  The cause may be medical, but sometimes it is also psychological.  Keep in mind, is is normal for a man to have erectile problems from time to time, however, if the situation happens on a regular basis, then the man may be suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED).  Normal erectile function can be affected by problems with any of the following systems: blood flow, nerve supply, and/or hormones.  You should contact your doctor about persistent erection problems, to rule out any serious medical conditions.

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The following list is the most common physical causes of ED:

heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroid conditions, smoking, alcoholism, substance abuse, injuries in the pelvic area or spinal cord, and radiation therapy to the pelvic region.

 

There are also numerous prescription medications that can cause ED, such as: drugs to control high blood pressure, heart medications such as digoxin, some diuretics, sleeping pills, amphetamines, anxiety treatments, antidepressants, opioid painkillers, some cancer drugs, prostate treatment drugs, anticholinergics, hormone drugs, and peptic ulcer medication.  It is rare, but it is possible for a man to have always had ED, and may never have achieved an erection.  This is called primary ED, and the cause is almost always psychological.  Some psychological factors can include guilt, fear of intimacy, depression, or severe anxiety.  The good news is that there are many treatments for ED.

There are many drugs on the market today that can help

Most of these pills are taken prior to having sex.  Some of these drugs are: vardenafil (Levitra), tadalafil (Cialis), and avanafil (Stendra).  Please be sure to check with a doctor prior to taking any of these medications, a doctor will check for heart conditions and ask about other medications.

 

Most side effects with these drugs include, flushing, visual abnormalities, hearing loss, indigestion, and headache

For those people living in Australia, these drugs are available over the counter.  In Australia, the most well-known medicine among men, is called sildenafil, commonly known as Viagra.  These small pills can be easily and discreetly taken.  The effect of Viagra is rather quick, which allows for sexual intercourse to be enjoyed to its fullest extent.  Australian pharmacies offer different medicines for increasing sexual potency.  Sildenafil, also known as Viagra, is the most popular, followed by vardenafil and tadalafil. Viagra relaxes muscles found in the walls of blood vessels and increases blood flow to particular areas of the body.  Do not take Viagra if you are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems.

Taking Viagra with a nitrate medicine can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure

To make sure Viagra is safe for your, tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following: heart disease, heart attack, stroke, or congestive heart failure, high or low blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, blood cell disorder, hemophilia, or stomach ulcers.  Viagra is usually taken only when needed, 30 minutes to one hour before sexual activity.  Although, you may take it up to four hours before sexual activity.  Do not take Viagra more than once per day. During sexual activity, if you become dizzy or nauseated, or have pain, numbness, or tingling in your chest, arms, neck, or jaw, stop and call your doctor right away.

 

Thanks to on-line pharmacies, you can purchase your ED drugs in Australia at the lowest possible prices

Australia also has a program called the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) which allows Australian residents to get their drugs at a reduced rate.  The PBS provides timely, reliable, and affordable access to necessary medicines for Australians.  The PBS is part of the Australian Government’s Nation Medicines Policy.  Under PBS, the government subsidises the cost of medicines for most medical conditions.  This program is available to all Australian residents who hold a current Medicare card. The co-payment is the amount you pay towards the cost of your PBS medicines.  From January 1, 2019, you pay up to .30 for most PBS medicines.  The Australian Government pays the remaining cost.  The amount of the co-payment is adjusted on January 1st of each year.

Genital herpes – viral infection characterised by outbreaks of blisters and sores

Genital herpes is growing in prevalence among Australians

According to edonlinestore.net, about one in every eight Australian people have been diagnosed with being infected with genital herpes. The occurrence is more frequent in Australian women being one in every five women aged 35-44 being diagnosed in having genital herpes. Studies have shown that about 76 percent of Australian people have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus. This includes the more prevalent version of the herpes virus, HSV-1, which causes cold sores on the lips and mouth area. Genital herpes are caused by the herpes version, HSV-2. HSV-2 is more common among women than men. It was found that women have a 16 to 8 percent infection rate compared to men.

With genital herpes on the rise, medical professionals are worried as the disease causes men and women to be more susceptible to other more serious illnesses such as HIV. Genital herpes causes a person to me three times more likely to acquire HIV when they come into contact with an effected person.

Cheap Genital Herpes In Australia
Genital Herpes In Australia

Many people believe that they will not be able to contact genital herpes from a person who has HSV-1, herpes that is affecting the mouth ad lips

This is not necessarily true to be the case. Because of the drastic increase in oral sex, we are seeing more and more people becoming infected with genital herpes leading from contact with a person who had oral herpes. It is being highly recommended that women who are in their late stages of pregnancy avoid having oral sex. This is mainly due to the possibility of the HSV-1 virus being possibly passed onto the baby, which may lead to severe or fatal complications for the fetus. Among Australians, we have seen that HSV-1 has been involved in about 25 percent of infections involving fetus.

Since genital herpes is a very common sexually transmitted infection seen amongst Australians people must take proper precautions when engaging in sexual activity. Among Australians, men and women alike, 85 percent of them carry HSV-1 and 20 percent carry the HSV-2 viruses. The commonality in people are seen in the metropolitan areas of Australia and very common among the indigenous communities. These communities experience a high incidence as their lifestyles tend to be more transient and social due to their surroundings.

Genital herpes is typically transmitted through skin to skin contact with a person who carries the HSV virus

The contact can be made orally, vaginal or through anal intercourse. It is imperative that people know that the transmission of the virus can be achieved without penetration. Skin to skin contact along can cause a person to acquire the infection. Genital herpes can be transmitted from people who have not expressed any symptoms or the symptoms are very minimal and thus do not know that they have the infection. The vast majority of the people who have genital herpes, about 80 percent, are not aware that they care the virus and unintentionally pass the virus on to their partner. It is very typical for transmission of the virus to occur during no sign of outbreak. This is referred to as viral shedding, which the virus is present and available on the skin but there is no sign that the virus if there. Although unfavorable among the younger population, the use of condoms is a simple way to reduce the risk associated with contracting genital herpes. Also, getting sexually transmitted infection testing regularly is extremely important in being proactive for prevention from becoming infected and from passing the virus along if a person have no signs of the virus but they are carrying it. This is especially true when a person changes their sexual partner or have multiple casual partners.

It is important for people to understand that once they have the virus, the virus stays with them

A person cannot get rid of HSV once it has been acquired by the body. Fortunately, over time infected people who have outbreaks will see a decrease in frequency and severity of outbreaks overtime. People who have genital herpes have to take extra precaution not to get too stressed or tired and rundown as HSV is triggered by the body being under stressful conditions.

If someone may think that they have been infected with genital herpes, some of the symptoms to look for are painful blisters, urination problems and or symptoms similar to the flu. When the infection reoccurs it typically appears with blisters on the genitals, butt, thighs and/or anus along with minor itching and irritation.