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What is MS and How Does it Affect Women?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is generally considered an autoimmune condition that affects the brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system. Both men and women are affected by MS, however, women are affected more often than men. The body’s immune cells attack the nervous system which can occur in the brain, spinal cord, or optic nerves. Muscle Symptoms muscle spasmsnumbnessbalance problemslack of coordinationdifficulty moving limbstrouble walkingweakness or tremor in one or both arms or legs Symptoms Specific to Women Women have increased MS symptoms during their periods possibly because of a drop in estrogen levels during that time.MS does not have an effect on fertility, which means that MS won’t keep you from getting pregnant or giving birth to a healthy child.For most women, MS symptoms stabilize or improve...

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The Effects of Smoking on Women’s Health

Smoking is an addictive habit that many people are still dealing with years after the increase in extensive research brought forth. We have some knowledge of the general effects of smoking, but like anything, women are affected differently. Cigarette smoke is comprised of a mix of over 7,000 chemicals, breathing these chemicals in can damage nearly any part of the body. Smoking cigarettes can cause issues with the reproductive parts and process. In the event that a woman is able to conceive a child but continues to smoke cigarettes while she is pregnant, she can experience pregnancy complications such as an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg fails to reach the womb, but instead begins to grow outside of the womb. This...

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HIV/AIDS activist Spotlight| Hydeia Broadbent

Hey sis! I’m hope that you are only accepting positive energies and good vibes into your life on this beautiful Monday. In celebration of international women’s month, I wanted to take the time to highlight an amazing activist, with an amazing story. That young woman is Hydeia Broadbent. Hydeia Broadbent is a young HIV/Aids Activist  who has set out to change the view of HIV/AIDS and the stigma attached to it over the years. Hydeia was born HIV and her infection did not progress to AIDS until around age 3, around the time she found out about it. In 1996 when she was only 11 she went on Oprah to talk about her life with aids, and begin her role as an activist. Even at...

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

It’s almost National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day! March 10 marks the day of every year that organizations, on a local, state, federal and national level, spread awareness on the impact that HIV and AIDS have on women and girls while also showing support for those at risk of and living with it. HIV is the virus that causes HIV infection. It stands for human immunodeficiency virus AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. HIV is spread through contact with the blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, or breast milk of a person with HIV. HIV is spread predominantly by having anal or vaginal sex or sharing injection drug equipment, such as needles, with a person who has HIV. Even with...

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Sleep Apnea and the Menstrual Cycle

A few days ago we talked about sleep apnea and a general effect it has on women. Now I think it’s important to talk about sleep apnea and its effect on the menstrual cycle. As we said before sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted while they’re sleeping. So how does this affect our cycles? During part of the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle the upper airway mucosa, or airway lining, becomes engorged resulting in reduced airway diameters. This may result in an increased chance of scoring positive for obstructive sleep apnea. In another part of the menstrual cycle (luteal phase) sleep apnea can become less severe as progesterone levels are increased.  This creates stability in the airway...

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The Effects of Technology on Your Sleep!

One thing I absolutely love is a goodnight’s sleep. The best possible sleep I can get is in a cold room with a thick blanket, but sometimes that can get interrupted. I found out that the interruption is, in part, due to my technology. Disruptive Sounds When you’re awake and you get a notification you rush to answer it. While you’re asleep your body still has that same alert system on it. Even in your sleep, those sounds keep you from fully reaching your deep sleep and getting the best possible rest. Technology Addiction Constantly having your phone connected to you can make it seem almost impossible to put it down and leave it alone. With any addiction, short periods of time without the thing you crave attracts most...

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Nutrition and HIV/AIDS | Fighting Back

Hello my lovely BGH sisters! I hope that all is well in your lives, and you're pursuing your dreams even in the wake of failure. When I talk of pursuing your dreams I mean that to be anything you fancy, however I hope that we have one dream in common, which is to live healthy and full lives. When you have an HIV diagnosis (especially a recent one), that may seem only like a dream, but with the knowledge and medicinal advances we have today, you can live a fulfilling life with HIV/AIDS. While there are multiple things that you can do to increase your longevity living with the infection, like making sure you're taking your medication appropriately, exercising regularly, and giving up poor habits...

Sleep Apnea and Women!

Have you ever heard the term sleep apnea?  Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted while they’re sleeping. In general, sleep apnea can result in the brain not getting enough oxygen and therefore needs to be taken care. Two Types of Sleep Apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):considered the more common, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, normally when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.Central Sleep Apnea: the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to instability in the respiratory control center. Sleep Apnea Symptoms: Sore or dry throat upon awakeningLoud snoringSleepiness or lethargy Morning headachesRestless sleepForgetfulnessMood changesDecreased sexual desire/interestEpisodes of gasping or choking out of...

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The Best Cardio Workouts to Promote Heart Health!

The workout struggle is real! It can be extremely difficult to initiate your exercising journey, especially when you have health conditions or concerns. Often times, people use their health concerns as excuses to keep from exercising or the struggle to force themselves to workout because of the boredom in their workout. I’m going to give you a few ideas on how some of the best cardio workouts that promote heart health! Dancing: Who would’ve thought that dancing and having fun could do so much for you? People think of cardio and instantly think of running miles until they feel like passing out. Dancing is a great and fun thing to do that also promotes your heart health and can help other health issues or concerns! Swimming: The hot sun...

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Dos and Donts for a heart healthy meal prep

As National Heart health month draws to a close, I thought that I would share some information with you that you can use throughout the year. Not that anything I’ve shared can't be used year round but when it comes to matters of the heart they can be easily forgotten. We all know about how the heart functions, pumping blood throughout your body, and taking on the burden of keeping us alive. With so much resting on your heart the least you can do is keep it healthy right? The food that you put in your body can make, or break, the health of your heart. Which is why today I thought i’d leave you with some dos and don'ts on making a heart healthy...