Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Can you hear me over the noise of your MP3 player? If you have to turn it down, that’s a red flag as you could be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). What is NIHL? Noise-induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable, but once it occurs, it’s irreversible. It …

The post Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss appeared first on Women's Health.

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Alexis Ohanian Posts Heartfelt Message To Serena Williams After Wimbledon Loss

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Serena Williams has been balancing mommy duties,with her 10-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia, and training for her 10th return to the Wimbledon stage. Although the tennis superstar had high hopes of winning, she lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber leaving her short of a record-tying 24 Grand Slam title with tennis pioneer Margaret Court.

While fans took to social media to share encouraging words to Serena, her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, posted a heartfelt message to his Instagram assuring her that he’s proud of her and more trophies are on the way.

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After her loss, a visibly moved Williams shared her disappointment but said she was playing for all the moms:

 

Do you expect Serena to win another major championship before she retires?

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Get Well Wednesday: What You Need To Know About Hair Loss And How To Stop It

Jada Pinkett Smith recently revealed she was having trouble with unexpected hair loss, the cause of which has not been determined. Many Black women are challenged by thinning and bare edges and sometimes balding and permanent hair loss. Leading dermatologist Dr. Karen Heidleberg-Barnwell says there are some measures you can take to combat hair loss.

 WHAT ARE THE MAIN TYPES OF HAIR LOSS?

There are 2 main types of hair loss; scarring (cicatricial) and non-scarring  (non cicatricial). Scarring hair loss causes damage to the follicular epithelium, causing permanent hair loss.  Non-scarring hair loss is not permanent. There are also abnormalities that can occur with the hair shaft which can be congenital or acquired. These abnormalities can cause hair breakage.

 WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS?

 Male-pattern hair loss is the most common form of hair loss in men, and female-pattern hair loss is the most common form of hair loss in women. There is an epidemic of avoidable hair loss that we are seeing in young African\-American women based primarily on styling practices.

DOES YOUR HEALTH AND/OR DIET AFFECT HAIR LOSS?

Yes, your physical health and diet can affect hair loss. Calorie and protein malnutrition is associated with hair loss. In addition, hair loss is often associated with chronic diseases, post-surgery, and with medications.

IS ALOPECIA HEREDITY?

Yes, there are studies that demonstrate that the predisposition to male balding is predominantly due to genetic factors. Women with androgenic alopecia often have a family history of pattern alopecia in both male and female family members.

DOES STRESS AFFECT HAIR LOSS?

Yes, stress can affect the hair. Telogen effluvium has been associated with severe prolonged psychological stress. Although Alopecia Areata (AA) is an immune mediated form of hair loss, a link between stress and the development of AA has been described.

CAN CERTAIN MEDICATIONS CAUSE HAIR LOSS?

Yes, medications can cause hair loss.  There are numerous medications where hair loss is a side effect.

 WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAIR LOSS AND YOUR HAIR SHEDDING?

We have normal  hair shedding where we  lose about 100-200 hairs per day. The amount of hair we shed each day varies between individuals and there are seasonal variations.  This hair shedding does not lead to thinning.

WHAT TYPE OF DOCTOR SHOULD WE BE GOING TO CONCERNING HAIR LOSS?

The specialty of dermatology addresses all medical issues concerning the skin, hair and nails. Therefore, you should seek an evaluation from a dermatologist.

WHAT IS TRACTION ALOPECIA?

Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by too much tension being placed on the hair with styling. It is most often seen around the hairline.  Some of the common hairstyles which cause this type of hair loss include  braids, pony tails, and hair weaves.

HOW CAN HAIR LOSS BE PREVENTED?

The most important  way to avoid hair loss is to understand the causes. Understand the preventable causes of hair loss and avoid those practices.  We know that chronic tension on hair can cause permanent hair loss, so it is best to avoid those styles.  It is also important to seek treatment as early as possible if you are losing hair. The sooner the problem is identified and treated, the better the response you will have .

IS THERE A CERTAIN TYPE OF SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER I SHOULD USE TO HELP STRENGTHEN AND GROW MY HAIR?

 It is important to determine the cause of your hair loss and address that issue specifically. A good shampoo and conditioner may not solve your problem. In general, I recommend a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner in addition to any medications needed.

DO YOU RECOMMEND ANY SPECIFIC VITAMINS OR SUPPLEMENTS?

My recommendations for supplements depend on the needs of the individual patient.  In general, topical minoxidil is helpful for hair loss and I often incorporate that into my treatment. 

WHAT WOULD YOU NEED TO SEE ON MY SCALP THAT WOULD PROMPT A SCALP BIOPSY?

A  scalp biopsy is often used in the evaluation of a patient with hair loss.  If you have hair loss, don’t be surprised if your doctor recommends a biopsy, which is very helpful in the overall evaluation.

DO I NEED TO TAKE A BLOOD TEST TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE?

There are some types of hair loss where blood work is necessary, but it is not always required.

Dr. Heidleberg-Barnwell answers your ‘Text Tom’ questions on the next page.  

Can anything be done about thinning hair from dialysis? Been on it 4 years and hair has thinned.

Hair loss associated with dialysis is a common problem and can be treated. I would suggest that you see a board-certified dermatologist in your area.

 My hair has not come back from chemo 7 years ago. Any hope that I can regrow hair?

In general, hair loss associated with chemotherapy is usually non – scarring and doesn’t cause permanent hair loss. However, more recently there has been permanent hair loss associated with some chemotherapeutic medications. I would suggest that you see a board certified dermatologist for an evaluation and discuss your previous treatments.

What can be done for women with alopecia? My daughter in law is looking for option.

There are many treatment options for hair loss.  Your daughter in law needs to be evaluated by a board certified dermatologist to identify the cause of her hair loss and based on that, she can receive appropriate treatment.

Is wearing natural hair healthier or better for us, even if we are just braiding it and wearing wigs, weave, etc.?

Wearing tension-causing hair styles, which include braids and hair weaves, can cause permanent hair loss.

How does hair dye effect hair, especially bleaching?

Permanent hair dye penetrates the hair shaft.  As a result, sometimes the hair becomes dry, brittle and breaks more easily.

I have shallow roots. When my hair comes out it, comes out at the roots. Is there anything I can do to stimulate root growth?

It is normal to have hair shedding.  We may lose 100-200 hairs per day, but this varies between individuals.Your hair loss  should  be evaluated by a board certified dermatologist to determine if your hair loss is normal or requires treatment.

How do I find a good dermatologist in South Florida? I have been to dermatologist that were not that good. My son has growth on the tip of his finger under the finger nail. The dermatologist froze it, then burned it but it has come back.

I recommend contacting the American Academy of Dermatology.  It is the largest, most influential and representative dermatology group in the U.S. You can find a listing of dermatologists in your area.

 Does being diabetic cause hair loss?

Hair loss is sometimes seen with chronic diseases. You should have your hair loss evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist to receive appropriate treatment.

My wife loses hair whenever she combs it. She told me that it’s normal. What do you think is happening here?

Your wife is probably correct.  It is normal to lose hair daily with hair combing.  Some people can lose 100-200 hairs daily!  However, if there is a concern, she should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist to see if her hair loss is normal.

I have a 2-year old granddaughter and her hair has patches. What can we do now to restore her hair?

There are many causes of patchy  hair loss in children. I suggest you take her to a board-certified dermatologist for evaluation.  Most causes of hair loss in children can be treated.

 I have had universal alopecia for over ten years. I’m still hoping for a cure.

Alopecia universalis is a difficult type of hair loss to treat. The good news is that there are new medications that are being tested. Keep in contact with your dermatologist regarding JAK inhibitors.

I am 31 years old. Within the last 2 years, my hair has thinned out a lot & will not grow anymore. My hairdresser has even commented on the thickness and my length. Is there anything I can do to increase the thickness and get my hair to start growing again? I don’t wear braids or hair extensions.

Sometimes we can damage our hair with heat and styling practices. These practices can make our hair break and become shorter and thinner and it seems that the hair isn’t growing.  Of course, there are other things that can make your hair thinner.

I would suggest that you see a board-certified dermatologist to evaluate your hair.  The dermatologist can help to identify the cause of the hair loss and make appropriate recommendations.  It doesn’t sound like permanent hair loss which is great!

 Dr. Karen, how do I find a qualified Black dermatologist in my area?

The National Medical Association (NMA) is the leading organization of African0-American physicians. The NMA is the largest and oldest national organization representing African-American physicians and their patients in the United States.

Is a visit for hair lost diagnosis and treatment covered by insurance or is it considered cosmetic and you have to pay out of pocket? And if that is the case, about how much would this cost run you?

The coverage for a  hair loss evaluation by a dermatologist depends on your insurance.  Check with your policy and they can estimate your out of pocket expenses.

I’m a 70 years. young woman  with thinning around my hairline. I prefer wearing my hair away from my face. I have thick head of hair, thank God, however does thinning hairline come with age?

Thank God for thick hair! What a blessing!  Make sure that your hair styles are not putting tension on your hairline because this styling practice can cause thinning.

I’m 48 and have what I think is the typical male-pattern baldness…I call a sunroof….is there any treatment for someone my age?

As I mentioned in my interview, male-pattern hair loss is the most common form of hair loss in men. You should be evaluated for your hair loss. Depending on the extent of your hair loss, you may respond to therapy.  Therapy my include topical medications, oral medications, injections, laser, or a combination of these treatments. If all else fails, there is always hair transplants!

What can I use for eczema and flakes on my 9-year-old daughter’s scalp? Is there any oil that is safe to use on the scalp for adults or children?

The treatment of a flaky scalp often requires medical treatment if it doesn’t respond to over the counter remedies such as tar shampoos.

 

Dr. Karen Heidleberg-Barnwell, best known as  “Dr. Karen” is a board-certified dermatologist, with a successful practice in Detroit, Michigan.  She received her medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine and completed her internship in internal medicine at George Washington University Hospital. She did her dermatology residency at the Mayo Clinic. At Heidelberg Dermatology, Dr. Karen is the managing partner and chief physician. 

PHOTO: Courtesy

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Memory Loss: Prices Weaken for Chips Used in Smartphones, Self-Driving Cars

After a historic rise in 2017, prices this year of two major types of memory chips—called NAND and DRAM—have fallen 37% and 16%, respectively, according to semiconductor sales tracker DRAMeXchange. The drop caused Samsung Electronics Co. to forecast lower-than-expected profit for the second quarter, and its shares slid 2.3% on Friday.
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Japan’s GPIF posts $50 billion loss in first-quarter as trade tensions hit stocks

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest pension fund, lost 5.5 trillion yen ($ 49.7 billion) on its investments in the first quarter as worries about U.S.-China trade friction…


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#JusticeForJunior: Family And Friends Mourn The Loss Of Bronx Teen

(Photo Credit: Feliz family)

On June 20, a Bronx teenager was dragged from a bodega, brutally beaten and stabbed by a group of men. That teen was 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, affectionately known as Junior.

According to the NYPD, surveillance video shows Junior trying to hide behind a deli counter, before he was dragged out of the store. He returns bleeding and appears to be told to leave. After the men fled the teen was able to walk himself to a nearby hospital, where he later died, CBS reports.

Junior’s death touched so many people and #JusticeForJunior is trending in his honor.

Thousands of people showed up to his funeral at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church to pay their respects on Wednesday. Pallbearers wore Yankee jerseys and wiped away tears as they carried his casket from the church. They were met with a crowd chanting “justice for Junior!”

Arrests have been made in the case and 7 of the 8 men suspected to be involved appeared in court on Wednesday. All of the suspects are being held without bail and will appear in court again on July 2. The suspects are reportedly members of the Dominican gang known as the Trinitarios. The NYPD has been watching and fighting them for years, ABC reports.

According to ABC, the memorial outside of the bodega where he was attacked has grown so large that officials have closed off the surrounding streets.

In addition to community support, celebrities have shown support to Junior’s family and demanded #JusticeForJunior.

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A GoFundMe page set up for Junior’s family has raised $ 301,615, including an $ 8,000 donation from Bronx native and rapper Cardi B.

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Iceland’s Big Loss to Nigeria Just Pushed the World Cup Drama to 11

On Friday morning, nearly 200 fans of Iceland’s World Cup soccer team — some natives of Reykjavik and other parts of the sparsely populated North Atlantic nation, others firmly seated on the Viking bandwagon — gathered in a cramped space in a midtown Manhattan pub. Dressed in their blue Iceland shirts, they were ready to cheer their country’s soccer miracle onto the next round. With a win over Nigeria, Iceland would almost assuredly advance to the knockout stage.

The fans sipped on their cold Einstök ale, while chanting “ĺs-land! ĺs-land!” (Pronounced “Eees-land!). The sounds of the Viking clap bounced around the bar.

But then Iceland met Ahmed Musa.

The Nigerian forward, who plays for Leicester City in the English Premier League, scored a pair of exquisite second-half goals against Iceland in Russia, giving Nigeria a 2-0 win over the World Cup underdog darlings and reviving the African nation’s chances of reaching the knockout stage for the second consecutive tournament. Nigeria’s victory also gave underachieving Argentina, home of the legendary Lionel Messi, a puncher’s chance of saving its own World Cup campaign.

Iceland had its chances in the first half, dominating play but failing to convert its free kicks and long passes into a goal. Nigeria didn’t even take a shot on goal in the first half. In the 49th minute, however, with the score tied at 0-0, Musa took a cross, touched it onto the grass and fired it into the net off a short-hop. Then in the 75th minute, Musa outran an Iceland defender down the side of the field, moved with the ball into the middle, then dribbled around Iceland keeper Hannes Thor Halldórsson — making Halldórsson look comically slow in the process — before knocking in his second goal.

A penalty shot in the 83rd minute offered Iceland a speck of hope. But Iceland’s most technically gifted player, Gylfi Sigurdsson, sailed his shot comfortably over the crossbar, knocking the air out of Iceland’s chances and out of the New York fan pub, where Iceland supporters buried their heads in their hands.

Nigeria’s win gives Group D of the World Cup, already one of the tournament’s most intriguing combinations, extra drama going into the last game of the opening round. Croatia, with a 2-0 victory over Nigeria last week and a 3-0 stunner over Argentina on Thursday, has already clinched a spot in the knockout stage. Nigeria, with three points thanks to the win over Iceland, faces Argentina, which has a point due to its draw with Iceland last week, on Tuesday. If Nigeria beats Argentina, the Super Eagles advance — and knock Argentina, finalists at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, out of the tournament. If Argentina wins and Croatia beats or draws with Iceland on Tuesday, Messi still has a chance to win his first World Cup, despite Argentina’s dysfunction in the first two games of the group stage.

Iceland’s still alive, but needs a win and either Argentina to draw with Nigeria, or for Argentina to beat Nigeria, but by not too many goals. Goal differential is the first group stage tiebreaker, and at this point Iceland has given up two more goals than it has scored, while Argentina is facing a three-goal deficit.

Got all that?

As Iceland has discovered in its World Cup debut, this tournament’s an emotional ride. Your country’s fate, for good or ill, can change in an instant. Still, after the disappointment of the Nigeria game, the Iceland pub in New York was far from somber. “We’ve still got a shot,” said Hlyur Gudjonsson, Icelandic Trade Commissioner to North America and the Consul General for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Sure beats the alternative.

Sports – TIME

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Kevin Smith Reveals 43-Lb Weight Loss After ‘Massive’ Heart Attack

Kevin Smith Loses 43 Pounds Heart Attack
Kevin Smith after his 43 lb weight loss. Courtesy Kevin Smith/Instagram

Looking good! Kevin Smith updated fans on his health and revealed that he’s close to his goal of losing 50 lbs since suffering a heart attack in February.

“Today, I am down a total of 43 pounds! Only 7 more pounds until I’ve shed the 50 my doctor told me to lose following the heart attack,” the Weight Watchers ambassador, 47, captioned an Instagram pic on Wednesday, June 13, crediting magician Penn Jillette and Ray Cronise for kickstarting his weight loss, and Weight Watchers for helping him slim down. “This #wwambassador is now at the absolute thinnest I’ve been since I finished high school! And while I may look a little better, I FEEL f—king fantastic! It’ll be a few weeks, but I’m ready to lose that final 7 points! And when I hit my goal, I’ll let you know where I started.”

Smith made headlines in February after revealing that he experienced a “massive” heart attack backstage at an L.A. comedy show. He recently showed off his weight loss in May, telling his 1.2 million Instagram followers that he’s lost 32 lbs since the traumatic experience.

The filmmaker previously opened up about his weight loss journey exclusively to Us Weekly back in April.

Kevin Smith Loses 43 Pounds Heart Attack
Kevin Smith attends TheGrill Special Event With Charlie Collier Of AMC Networks And Special Guest Kevin Smith Presented By TheWrap July 2017 at Montage Beverly Hills on July 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. Greg Doherty/Getty Images

“For me, food was not like fuel. It wasn’t, like, you eat food because it powers your body and you move on,” he said at the time. “I’m an American who grew up in the ‘70s when America figured out, if we start putting more sugar in everything, they’ll buy it. So sugar starts showing up in the bread and everything.”

Smith added that he didn’t think he was having a heart attack when it happened, given that he lost 85 lbs three years ago after cutting sugar out of his diet entirely. “I was sweaty, I thought I couldn’t catch my breath, I felt nauseated, but I didn’t think of those as heart attack symptoms,” he explained. “I couldn’t piece it together, but that’s me being incredibly stupid because my mom has two stents in her heart and my father died of a massive heart attack at 67.”

Us Weekly

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Bourdain’s death means loss of a voice for immigrant workers

Anthony Bourdain’s culinary passions went far beyond the cuisine he put on a plate. He also was committed to the immigrant workers who toil in his and other kitchens throughout the restaurant industry.
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Sleep Loss Linked To Obesity And Diabetes

Nighttime snacking and junk food cravings may contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors and represent a potential link between poor sleep and obesity, according to a study by University of Arizona Health Sciences sleep researchers. The study was conducted via a nationwide, phone-based survey of 3,105 adults from 23 U.S. metropolitan …

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Sears To Close 72 More Stores; Slips To Loss In Q1

Sears Holdings Corp. said Thursday that it plans to close 72 non-profitable stores, as the retailer continues to struggle with falling sales. The department store chain also reported a net loss for the first quarter. Sears said it has identified about 100 non-profitable stores. Of this, 72 stores will begin store closing sales “in the near future.”
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Sleep Loss Linked To Obesity And Diabetes

Sleep Loss Linked To Obesity And Diabetes

Nighttime snacking and junk food cravings may contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors and represent a potential link between poor sleep and obesity, according to a study by University of Arizona Health Sciences sleep researchers.

The study was conducted via a nationwide, phone-based survey of 3,105 adults from 23 U.S. metropolitan areas. Participants were asked if they regularly consumed a…

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LeBron James revisits devastating Game 1 loss after raw video footage goes viral

LeBron James did not want to relive Game 1 of the NBA Finals, when Cleveland lost to Golden State in overtime after a blunder by JR Smith cost the Cavaliers a chance at winning the game in regulation.

But a video released earlier this week — showing James’ devastated reaction as he realized the…

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St. George suffers 2nd loss in National Rugby League

SYDNEY (AP) St. George Illawarra suffered just their second loss of Australia’s National Rugby League season when they fell 24-10 to South Sydney on Sunday, but the Dragons retained their two point lead at the top of a compact table when their nearest rivals also lost.

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Chris Broussard explains how Toronto’s Game 1 loss to LeBron’s Cavs reveals the Raptors’ true identity

Joining Shannon Sharpe, Skip Bayless and Joy Taylor in studio on Undisputed, Chris Broussard breaks down what Toronto's game-one OT loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers means for the Raptors as round two of the East continues. Will DeRozan's squad bounce back in game two?

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Rite Aid Posts Q4 Adj. Loss, Revenue Down 8.6%; Confirms Adj. EBITDA Outlook

Rite Aid Corp. (RAD) reported a fourth-quarter adjusted loss from continuing operations per share of $ 0.01, compared to adjusted net income per share of $ 0.02, prior year. Fourth quarter pro-forma adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations was $ 173.2 million, compared to pro-forma adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations of $ 180.8 million, previous year.
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Legal action growing after loss of frozen embryos

As the reality of the loss of their precious embryos sink in, more and more angry victims file lawsuits against Cleveland fertility clinic.


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Mo’Nique Celebrates Weight Loss Goal

Mo’nique is celebrating a major weight loss milestone — she’s under 200 lbs. for the first time since she was 17-years-old, PEOPLE reports.

The Academy Award-winning star shared videos and photos of her accomplishment on Instagram on Thursday.

“I said that I would share this journey with y’all, the weight loss and getting healthy,” Mo’nique said in a video. “And today when I got on the scale, since I was 17 years old, I’ve been over 200 lbs. Today was the first time in my adult life that I’ve been under 200 lbs. So I wanted to let y’all know it’s possible, we can do it and we can get there.”

Instagram Photo

 

Mo said that she lost the weight without relying on cosmetic tricks or gimmicks.

“For me it was with no surgery, no pre-packaged foods, not listening to no spokespeople saying ‘it’s easy, you can do it.’ It was just putting in the work and not giving up on me,” she said.

Mo’nique has been posting daily updates on her weight loss regimen on Instagram, which include following a raw diet and working out with trainer Dwight Holt Jr., who focuses on dancing.

“So I want to share with y’all what it looked like on the scale this morning, and I want to share with y’all the goodness that you can eat and still drop this weight. It’s called raw foods, it’s called dancing your pounds off. It’s called giving yourself the chance to live the best life you can live. Thank you all for sharing my journey.”

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Freezing the ‘hunger nerve’ could help with weight loss

A medical trial has looked deeper into targetting the “hunger nerve” and it’s possible connection to one’s ability to lose weight and keep it off.
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Dick Bove: Loss of Cohn’s expertise in White House could result in bad trade deals and higher inflation

The president is being isolated from those who could help fashion more effective, less combative trade deals.
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2 million in 13 states struggle with power loss, flooding after nor’easter

The Northeast woke up Saturday to the aftermath of a powerful storm that flooded streets, toppled trees and knocked out power for over 2 million homes and businesses.
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LafargeHolcim Stock Dips On Hefty Q4 Loss, Dividend Stable; Sees Growth Ahead

Shares of LafargeHolcim were losing around 4 percent in the morning trading in Switzerland after the cement giant reported Friday a hefty net loss in its fourth quarter, compared to prior year’s profit, hurt by impairment charges. Net sales increased on higher cement and aggregates sales. Further, the company maintained its dividend.
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Hearing loss is common after infant heart surgery

Children who have heart surgery as infants are at risk for hearing loss, coupled with associated risks for language, attention and cognitive problems, by age four. In a cohort of 348 preschoolers who survived cardiac surgery, researchers found hearing loss in about 21 percent, a rate 20 times higher than is found in the general population. This underscores the importance of early hearing evaluations in young children who undergo heart surgery.
Infant and Preschool Learning News — ScienceDaily

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UPDATE 2-Bunge reports quarterly loss on tax charges, lower grains margins

CHICAGO/BANGALORE, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Bunge Ltd
reported a fourth-quarter loss on Wednesday compared with a
profit a year earlier, and blamed tax law changes and lower
margins in its grains business for its results falling far short
of analyst expectations.


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Blake Lively Shows Off Her 61-Pound Post-Baby Weight Loss

She looks absolutely incredible (but then again, she always did).

Health – Good Housekeeping

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Geordie Shore’s Sophie Kasaei shows off two stone weight loss in steamy underwear shots

GEORDIE Shore’s Sophie Kasaei put her two stone weight loss on full display in a sexy underwear Instagram post.

The 28-year old showcased her slimmed down curves in a midnight blue two-piece.

Sophie put her incredible figure on display
sophiekasaei_/Instagram

Fans flooded the post with compliments, with one gushing: “Beautiful body show it off lass xx”. Another added: “Mmmm gal u damn hoot.”

One said: “you are killing me! You are too god damn beautiful.”

One commented: “Very stunningly beautiful women. Xx”

In another shot, Sophie showed off her toned figure in gym gear and in one shot she put her peachy behind on display.

She wasn’t shy about stripping off to show her abs
Instagram

Sophie has been open about the difference dropping two stone has made to her life, and says that being larger made her lose her sex drive.

She said: “My whole body was full of excess fat, I could grab handfuls of it. I hated seeing myself naked. I didn’t feel sexy.”

“When I was in a relationship I didn’t have much of a sex drive because of how I felt about my body.”

She added: “But now I feel sexier than ever and I am enjoying buying sexy lingerie for the first time,” she told the Daily Star.

Sophie showcased her incredible bottom
Instagram


The Geordie Shore star has slimmed down from 10st 9lbs to 8st 7lbs, dropped four dress sizes from a 16 to an eight, and lost seven inches from her hips alone.

Speaking to The Sun Online, Sophie said: “There was a point where I couldn’t even see my vagina in the shower as my stomach was covering it and had to lay down in the bath if I wanted to shave it!”


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After loss, I didn’t have sex with my husband for 6 months 

by

Melissa Willets

posted in Parenting

Two weeks after my D&E, my doctor informed me, “You are cleared to have intercourse.” I remember looking across the desk at him through dead eyes. “I don’t feel like having sex,” I said flatly. He smiled and remarked, “You may change your mind.”

Except I didn’t.

Then, weeks later, I had a saline sonogram to ensure my uterus looked healthy, in case I wanted to try and get pregnant again. “Refrain from intercourse for about 5 days,” my doctor advised. Inside I laughed. Oh, I’d been refraining. In fact, I felt like my sex drive died right along with my baby. Right along with that part of me that would ever feel like I deserved happiness again.

Now, six months after losing the baby I’d longed for for years, my husband and I only recently made love. It was quick; it was because I felt like it was time. It wasn’t passionate or special.

But we are closer than ever.

Sex after loss takes on a new meaning

Losing a child affects a marriage deeply. There were days I thought it ruined us. That we’d lose our family too. Working through those devastating moments, when I looked at him and truly believed we had nowhere to go from here, slowly revealed a new level of love. I now see a man who stands by me during the darkest times life can serve up. Through hopelessness and despair and a depression so deep that walking across a room felt impossible.

On the other side of all of that is a bond so strong that it survived the longest romantic dry spell our marriage has seen in 10 years.

Not that we were doing it all the time before our loss. With three children, the reality is that making time for intimacy wasn’t always on the top of our, ahem, to-do list.

But now, as I continue to work on putting my life back together, I still can’t wrap my mind around returning to our former married maybe-not-even-so-exciting sex life. How can we just casually jump back in bed, and resume the act that created this situation in the first place? How can I let go of all my grief long enough to enjoy sex again? How can I allow myself to experience pleasure in the midst of my pain?

These questions and more swirl around in my head every time I even consider letting a rare smooch session turn into more. Every time a cuddle starts to feel like an opportunity to let my hands wander. The moment I feel a pang of what-if, it’s struck down by the knowledge that things are different now. I am different now.

The few times I’ve given in, I feel like a scared teenager again, sans the raging hormones of desire, slowly, tenuously letting my husband kiss me. He’s holding me close, he’s stroking my hair. That’s as far as I let him go most nights.

Maybe next time, I think. To me, that’s progress from where I started, completely closed off to the idea of intimacy.

For now, I’m lucky to have a man who is satisfied with being married to a woman who chooses to just keep going. Who, just this weekend, felt up for having friends over. Who made a joke the other day. Who smiles almost every day.

I’m lucky my husband isn’t pressuring me, and that every time the subject of sex comes up, and I get teary-eyed and apologize for not feeling like I want to, he smiles at me with kind eyes and says “Whenever you are ready.”

He’ll wait for me. As if this were a new relationship; because it kinda is. Now, we are a couple who lost a baby. One day I hope we are a couple who lost a baby and has a steamy sex life. We will be two people who made it through a devastating storm, and survived. And finally feel ready to celebrate the sh*t out of that.

When did you feel ready to have sex again after loss?

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Phone Apps and Resources for People with Hearing Loss

Hearing is one of the senses that can decline with age. About 15 percent of American adults over 18 report some trouble hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), with age being the strongest predictor – particularly among adults aged 20-69. The good news for women is that men are almost twice as likely to have hearing loss.

Whether you’re experiencing hearing loss now or might later, here’s a list of suggested apps and resources to make your life easier:

Apps

 

Ava – If you’re having trouble following conversations, try this app, which provides real-time captioning. The service is free up to five hours a month, otherwise there are unlimited plans for a fee.

 

 

 

 

InnoCaption – If you can’t use your smartphone as an actual phone because understanding speech is difficult, InnoCaption is the answer. The service uses live stenographers to caption phone calls whether you’re making or receiving them. It will even caption your voice mail.

 

 

 

SoundAlert – This app converts environmental sounds into visual and sensory notifications and alerts that you can customize.

 

 

 

 

Soundhound – Not only can this app identify the music that’s playing, but it’ll show the lyrics in real-time. A search function is also included.

 

 

 

 

Speech Banana – provides auditory training for adults learning to hear with a cochlear implant or digital hearing aid.

 

 

 

 

Resources

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – AG Bell is a non-profit organization dedicated to listening and spoken language. If your child is diagnosed with a hearing loss, this is where to start.

Association of Late-Deafened Adults – As ALDA’s mission states, “late-deafened adults are people who have lost the ability to understand speech with or without hearing aids after acquiring spoken language.” ALDA provides a support network with regions and chapters.

American Cochlear Implant Alliance – ACIA is a non-profit organization that supports cochlear implants. Since there are several manufacturers, this is a good place to start if you want to learn more.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association – ASHA provides a good overview of hearing aids, along with links to find an ASHA-certified audiologist.

CaptionCall – This captioned telephone with an easy-to-read screen is available free to people who qualify. To do so, all that’s required is an Internet connection and a professional certification form from a professional who can verify your hearing loss. Phone features include amplification and customizable audio settings.

CaptionFish – This site is an easy way to look up the captioned movies showing near you. There are even captioned trailers to view.

Harris Communications – Looking for assistive technologies like a flashing fire alarm or vibrating alarm clock? This site has it all.

Hearing Loss Association of America – Organization representing people with hearing loss. Check out HLAA’s resources, chapters, and even its annual convention.

 

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Phone Apps and Resources for People with Hearing Loss

Hearing is one of the senses that can decline with age. About 15 percent of American adults over 18 report some trouble hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), with age being the strongest predictor – particularly among adults aged 20-69. The good news for women is that men are almost twice as likely to have hearing loss. Whether you’re…

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Phone Apps and Resources for Women with Vision Loss

Do you wear contacts or glasses, or are you in denial about needing them? At least 10 percent of all adult Americans reported they either have trouble seeing – even when wearing glasses or contacts – or that they are blind or unable to see at all, the 2015 National Health Interview Survey found. Vision impairments are more common as we age, which in turn impacts our overall health and wellbeing.…

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Phone Apps and Resources for People with Vision Loss

Do you wear contacts or glasses, or are you in denial about needing them? At least 10 percent of all adult Americans reported they either have trouble seeing – even when wearing glasses or contacts – or that they are blind or unable to see at all, the 2015 National Health Interview Survey found.

Vision impairments are more common as we age, which in turn impacts our overall health and wellbeing. As the American Foundation for the Blind says, this includes:

  • Increased risk of falls and fractures, making it more likely that the person will be admitted to a hospital or nursing home, become disabled, or die prematurely
  • Increased risk of depression
  • Difficulty identifying medications, which can lead to drug-related errors
  • Difficulty bathing, dressing, and walking around the house

Thanks to technology, living with vision loss is much more manageable. Read on for recommended apps and resources.

Apps:

 

AccessNote – The official iOS notetaker from the American Foundation for the Blind. It’s touted as a low-cost alternative to traditional note takers and boasts powerful search features and keystroke efficiency among its features.

 

 

 

ActiView – This app helps make movies accessible by providing real-time amplified audio and audio description.

 

 

 


 

Ariadne GPS – Even though it’s common for maps to use GPS, this voice-controlled one has useful features like the ability to know your position at any time and monitor it while walking. You can save your favorite points and be alerted when reaching them. You can also explore the map through VoiceOver.

 

 

Autour – An eyes-free mobile system that’s designed to give users a better sense of surroundings with ambient and spatialized audio, as the app’s description states.

 

 

 

 

 

BARD Mobile – A service of the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped, (NLS) and Library of Congress that provides access to Braille and talking books. There are about 80,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and Braille formats, with new selections added each day. Before using this app, you have to qualify and be registered for this service.

 

 

Be My Eyes – This app is cool; it connects people who are blind or visually impaired with sighted helpers from around the world. There are over half a million users in 150 countries that use this app.

 

 

 

Capti – A text to speech app for websites that allows users to skip ads, links, and other clutter. You can even save text for later.

 

 

 

KNFB Reader – Converts printed text into speech instantly and accurately with access to single and multi page documents.

 

 

 

 

 

LookTel: Scans and recognizes objects. There are two offshoots: LookTel Recognizer, which identifies everyday objects, and LookTel Money Reader, which identifies currency; no Internet connection needed.

 

 

 

LookTel Money Reader

 

 

 

 


 

Magnificent – Turns your smartphone into a talking portable electronic video magnifier. There are several low vision filter modes, increased magnification up to 16x, and all you have to do is point your camera to any object to enlarge.

 

 

 

Speak It! Text to Speech – This app will help you multitask as it reads text while you exit the app and do other things with your device.

 

 

 

 

Talking Scientific Calculator – This calculator has large colorful buttons, optional high contrast, and full VoiceOver support. It also has options to use speech for answers.

 

 

 

TapTapSee – This is a mobile camera application designed specifically for people who are blind and visually impaired. The app uses your device’s camera and VoiceOver functions to photograph objects and identify them out loud.

 

 

 

 

Resources:

American Foundation for the Blind – National non-profit with comprehensive information and a database of nationwide services.

Assistive technology products – The American Foundation for the Blind has a database for assistive technology products that you can browse by category, manufacturer, task, and small visual display.

National Federation of the Blind – National consumer organization. If you join, you can access local and nationwide networks. You’ll also receive some free tools like a white cane.

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) – If you’re a parent of a child who is blind, this is an offshoot of the National Federation of the Blind. Here you’ll find a community of support.

National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) – This is another organization for parents of children with visual impairments; this one is through the Lighthouse Guild. There’s a national tele-support network, which will connect you with parents of children with the same eye condition as your child.

Lighthouse International – Another resource for services and guidance that calls itself the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization. They also address the needs of those with multiple disabilities or chronic medical conditions.

VisionAware – Helps adults who are losing their sight continue to live full and independent lives by providing timely information, step-by-step daily living techniques, a directory of national and local services, and a supportive online community.

American Academy of Ophthalmology – Use this link to locate a low vision specialist /ophthalmologist near you.

 

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How to Prepare for the Emotional Effects of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight-loss surgery has a lot of benefits for obese women. Studies have shown that for the majority of patients, it results in significant and lasting weight loss, and helps lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. (See our previous post, “Weight-Loss Surgery: What Women Need to Know.”)

Though studies have shown that the majority of women who go through weight loss surgery experience an increase in quality of life, some struggle with the adjustments they have to make, and with the physical and emotional changes that come along with the surgery.

“I haven’t come across a patient yet who wouldn’t recommend it,” Dr. Laurie K. Twells, clinical epidemiologist at Memorial University of Newfoundland, told the New York Times. “Most say they wish they’d done it 10 years sooner.”

One would think with all these benefits, women would be all smiles after surgery. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Though studies have shown that the majority of women who go through weight loss surgery experience an increase in quality of life, some struggle with the adjustments they have to make, and with the physical and emotional changes that come along with the surgery.

If you’re considering some type of bariatric surgery, be aware that the outcomes can have an emotional and psychological effect on you. Here’s more about what you can expect, and how you can prepare.

7 Emotional Effects of Weight Loss Surgery

Below are the seven emotional effects of weight-loss surgery. For the sake of clarity, we’ll imagine that we’re going through them with Diane, who just completed her surgery a few months ago.

  1. Food Grief

Prior to the surgery, Diane was used to eating the foods she enjoyed. After the surgery, though, she knew she had to make changes in her diet. Her stomach was much smaller, and couldn’t hold the amount of food that she was used to eating.

Diane was committed to her progress, and wanted to do what she needed to do, but she couldn’t help but feel deprived. She felt like she had to mourn the loss of the foods and beverages she used to turn to.

Food is an important part of any woman’s life, but it’s even more present in an obese woman’s life. After surgery, Diane had to change that. She had to find other things that could help her to feel the way food used to make her feel. It helped her to realize that most women go through the same grieving process after surgery, and just need time to adjust and realize that all that food was not helping them, but actually inching them closer to disease and premature death.

  1. Sagging Skin

When weight comes off, unfortunately, the skin doesn’t come off with it. That means after surgery, Diane had to figure out how to deal with the extra skin she had sagging about her middle. It was embarrassing, especially when she was around her husband. She had hoped the surgery would help her to feel more attractive, and it did to some extent, but the skin was stopping her from feeling as good as she wanted to.

Diane’s doctor suggested she look into cosmetic surgery to help correct the excess skin. Diane felt disappointed about that at first—she hadn’t really prepared for additional surgeries—but when she found a good plastic surgeon, her disappointment faded, and she realized that though the process was going to take time, she would likely be happy with the results.

  1. Attention from Others

Though Diane had shared her goals with her family and a couple of her closest friends, she hadn’t told a lot of people about her surgery. As an obese woman, she was used to negative attention, so she had grown accustomed to being “invisible,” and made changes in her lifestyle to avoid running into too many people.

After surgery, Diane wasn’t prepared for the amount of attention she got from others. Friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, and more questioned her about her weight loss. She wasn’t sure what to say to them, and felt vulnerable and exposed. When she was honest about her surgery, she found that some people were not very gracious, and seemed to resent her “taking the easy way out.”

She also found it challenging to go out to eat with friends, as she had so many new dietary rules to follow. Her small stomach size meant that she had to leave much of her food on the plate, and she often had to answer questions from the staff about whether the food was okay. This would bring her more unwanted attention, which made her very uncomfortable.

On top of that, Diane realized within a few months that the friends she had were all overweight and obese, and that most of them enjoyed eating when they got together. This put Diane in a tough spot after the surgery, and she realized she needed to make new friends that would enjoy more active pursuits. In the meantime, she wasn’t sure how to keep her old friends without offending them.

Then there was Diane’s sister, who was also obese but didn’t go through weight-loss surgery. Diane wasn’t prepared for the anger her sister directed at her, as if she had done something wrong by taking charge of her health.

It was only when she started seeing a counselor that Diane was able to find the coping skills she needed to deal with these types of situations.

  1. Depression

In a 2015 study, about 13 percent of patients reported suffering from depression after weight-loss surgery. That means most patients did not experience depression—in fact, a 2016 study found that most patients feel less depressed after surgery—but it does show us that the risk is there.

“Dietary regimens before and after bariatric surgery often create the perfect storm for serotonin depletion. Serotonin is our “good mood” transmitter, so if it’s depleted, there goes our good mood right along with it. -Judith J. Wurtman, Ph.D.

Scientists didn’t know why these patients felt worse, but it’s likely that the many changes that occur after surgery are all factors in the mood changes that patients may experience. Eating too much, for example, causes nausea and pain, which can be difficult to deal with, especially since women were eating so much more before the surgery. It’s a habit that can be tough to break.

Nutritional deficiencies can also take hold after surgery, and though they can be easily corrected through dietary guidelines and supplements, they can throw a person for a loop through the first few months.

Then there is the pure psychological effect of limiting certain foods. According to Judith J. Wurtman, Ph.D., writing in Psychology Today, “Dietary regimens before and after bariatric surgery often create the perfect storm for serotonin depletion.” Serotonin is our “good mood” transmitter, so if it’s depleted, there goes our good mood right along with it.

Diane decided to work with her dietician to fit more foods and supplements in her diet that would help boost serotonin levels, and continued working with her counselor to overcome her depression.

  1. Other Risky Behaviors (Alcohol and Drug Use)

It’s called “addiction swapping,” and it can be tough to avoid after surgery. For many obese women, food was an addiction, and after that addiction is taken away, many grieve the loss.

“It’s referred to in our circles as addiction replacement. If they’re using food in this way and they undergo bariatric surgery, they can’t go back to eating the way they did, and the brain’s reward system becomes starved.” – Erik Dutson, MD

To fill the “hole” left behind by food, some women may turn to alcohol, drug use, or even gambling. There have been some studies showing that weight loss surgery can increase the risk of alcohol dependence.

In 2012, for instance, researchers reported that people who go through these surgeries may be more at risk for other unhealthy behaviors like drug or alcohol abuse or cigarette smoking.

Diane realized that before her surgery, she had used food to help soothe her emotions. When she could no longer do that, she definitely felt the void. This is the same feeling many women have that causes them to turn to these other risky behaviors.

“It’s referred to in our circles as addiction replacement, “ Erik Dutson, MD, told WebMD. “If they’re using food in this way and they undergo bariatric surgery, they can’t go back to eating the way they did, and the brain’s reward system becomes starved.”

On top of that, the changed digestive system means that patients may feel the effects of alcohol much more quickly than they used to, which can inspire alcohol abuse.

Diane decided to take up knitting, and also to fit more exercise into her days, to help fill the void she was feeling. When she was working with the yarn and needles, she felt calm and relaxed, and didn’t think about food so much.

  1. Self-Harm

In 2016, researchers reported that after bariatric surgery, some patients experienced a risk of self-harm injuries. (About 81 percent of the participants in this study were women.) Scientists thought that it could be the changes in hormones after surgery that could be to blame, or alcohol or substance abuse post-surgery.

Most of the emergencies occurred in the second and third years after the operation, and nearly all occurred in patients who had a mental health disorder—most commonly, depression. The risk is small, but it’s worth noting so that women can be prepared.

Diane didn’t experience notions of self-harm after surgery, but she did continue to work with her counselor to be sure any feelings of depression she had would stay under control.

  1. Insomnia

This can be a serious emotional risk after surgery, as lack of sleep can lead to mood changes and depression. According to a 2012 study, about a quarter of patients who went through the surgery suffered from insomnia afterwards. Most of these had a history of mental health issues.

Other studies have shown the opposite—that weight-loss surgery improved sleep, and helped patients sleep longer than they did prior to surgery.

Knowing this to be a risk, Diane was sure to keep her room cool and dark, to keep all technological gadgets out, and to go to bed and get up at the same time.

How to Prepare Yourself for the Emotional Changes

If you’re considering weight-loss surgery, you can prepare yourself for the expected emotional changes. Here are some tips:

  • Get Counseling: This is probably the most important thing to do, and the one that will help you the most after surgery. Start your appointments before the surgery, and then keep going for several months afterwards, until you feel you have made the necessary adjustments.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Realize that weight-loss surgery is not a magic bullet. You will have to make changes after the surgery to maintain your weight loss, as well as other lifestyle changes to support your new body. You’ll need time to adapt, and you may need additional cosmetic surgery, too. Setting realistic goals about what to expect can help you to deal with it better emotionally.
  • Find Something to Replace Food: The sooner you can find other activities to fill the hole that food leaves behind the better for you. Return to some hobbies you enjoyed as a kid. Make more time to spend with your friends, or with a beloved pet. Walk more. Listen to music. Try art therapy. Get involved in some new hobbies that you’ve wanted to try. Let this be a time that you use to reinvent yourself. Have fun!
  • Prepare Your Family: We all need the support of our families when going through big changes. Warn them that you may suffer from mood swings, irritability, and other changes while you’re adjusting to life after surgery. Enlist their help in sticking to your new dietary requirements, or in finding a new wardrobe. Consider setting a reward for everyone—like a short vacation or joint project—for a few months after the surgery, to celebrate the outcome and to thank everyone for pitching in.
  • Take Baby Steps: You may imagine that after surgery, everything is going to be great, but it’s better to take baby steps forward. This change isn’t going to happen overnight. Day by day, make little adjustments, and you’ll find yourself feeling much healthier within a year.

 

Sources

Jane E. Brody, “Why Weight Loss Surgery Works When Diets Don’t,” New York Times, February 13, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/well/why-weight-loss-surgery-works-when-diets-dont.html.

Honor Whiteman, “Weight loss surgery: ‘not everyone lives happily ever after,’” MedicalNewsToday, February 11, 2014, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272432.php.

Tammy Worth, “Bariatric Surgery’s Emotional Risks for Women,” EverydayHealth, https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/bariatric-surgerys-emotional-risks-women/.

Bhatti JA, et al., “Self-harm Emergencies After Bariatric Surgery: A Population-Based Cohort Study,” JAMA Surg., March 2016; 151(3):226-32, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26444444.

Ivezaj V, Grilo CM, “When mood worsens after gastric bypass surgery: characterization of bariatric patients with increases in depressive symptoms following surgery,” Obes Surg., March 2015; 25(3):423-9, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25190520.

Aaron J. Dawes, et al., “Mental Health Conditions Among Patients Seeking and Undergoing Bariatric Surgery: A Meta-Analysis,JAMA, 2016; 315(2):150-163, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2481004.

Judith J. Wurtman, Ph.D., “Depression After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Could it be the lack of carbohydrate?” Psychology Today, March 1, 2014, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-antidepressant-diet/201403/depression-after-gastric-bypass-surgery.

Katrina Woznicki, “Addiction a Risk After Weight Loss Surgery,” WebMD, October 15, 2012, https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/news/20121015/addiction-risk-weight-loss-surgery.

Bhatti JA, et al., “Self-harm Emergencies After Bariatric Surgery: A Population-Based Cohort Study,” JAMA Surg., March 2016; 151(3):226-32, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26444444.

O’Brien EM, et al., “Insomnia is associated with impaired quality of life among bariatric surgery candidates,” Obes Res Clin Pract., Apr-Jun 2012; 6(2):e91-e174, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24331249.

Toor P., et al., “Sleep quality and duration before and after bariatric surgery,” Obes Surg., June 2012; 22(6):890-5, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22101850.

 

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How to Prepare for the Emotional Effects of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight-loss surgery has a lot of benefits for obese women. Studies have shown that for the majority of patients, it results in significant and lasting weight loss, and helps lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. (See our previous post, “Weight-Loss Surgery: What Women Need to Know.”)[quote align=’right’]Though studies have shown that the majority of women who go…

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Founder of Jamaican Black Castor Oil Talks Success and Loss

Castor Oil

In 1992, Lois Hines co-founded Tropic Isle Living, a line of natural hair and skin products made with castor oil and other organic ingredients. Since then, the brand has grown into a multimillion-dollar business that has helped shape the natural hair movement. In addition to being sold online, Tropical Isle Living can be purchased at Walmart.com and select Burlington Coat Factory stores. For Hines, however, celebrating the success of her company is  “bittersweet.” Just one year prior to striking a deal with these two major retailers, she lost her business partner and husband to brain cancer.

In an exclusive interview with Black Enterprise, the widowed mother of two opens up about her journey as an entrepreneur and how she has managed to run the company in wake of the passing of Michael Hines in August 2016.

 

Castor Oil (Image: Lois Hines courtesy of Tropical Isle Living)

 

The History

 

Long before she and her late husband launched their business, Hines found inspiration to produce and sell organic goods in her homeland of Jamaica. As a child, Hines’s paternal grandmother taught her about her ancestry, culture, and the benefits of natural herbs. However, it wasn’t until after she migrated to the U.S. as a teenager that she developed a deeper appreciation of the lessons and traditions passed down to her. “I think people of color sometimes forget our forefathers, our grandmothers, [and] those who come before us,” she told BE. “When it comes to hardships and struggles, they got it right. They lived the best life that they could with the herbs that they had provided [to] them.”

After meeting Michael as a teen, Hines discovered that they shared a passion for their Jamaican heritage and healthy living. They officially began dating when she was 18 years old and he was 22. They married four years later after and found themselves working for a business in the Bronx, New York. However, when Michael discovered that the company produced farm-raised fish, Michael refused to sell a product that he would not eat himself. Hence, they walked away from the business and consulted with a mentor, who suggested that they bring castor oil—an ancient and natural oil traditionally used for hair, skin, and nails and treating a multitude of ailments and ills—to the U.S. market. Michael coined the name Jamaican Black Castor Oil and the rest was history.

“We started with $ 50, that’s how much a gallon of Jamaican Black Castor Oil cost, and it all came from our personal salaries and savings,” says Hines, who carried the gallon of castor oil in her suitcase back to the states. “It was not money that really drove us, it was the fact that we wanted to provide good, healthy, natural products to people.”

Castor Oil (Image: Jamaican Black Castor Oil courtesy of Tropical Isle Living)

 

The Product

 

The Hineses started out peddling Jamaican Black Castor Oil on the streets of New York City before relocating to Georgia. Around 2008, Hines was laid off from a managerial position in corporate America and began working for Tropical Isle Living as a full-time manager while Michael headed their research and development department. Under her leadership, company profits tripled in a matter of months. “We kept investing back in the business our salaries and savings,” says Hines.

Today, the Marietta, Georgia-based business produces tens of thousands of units per week that are available in hundreds of retailers around the world. Yet, despite the high demand, Hines reassures that their precious castor oil has not been compromised. She purchased three farms and continues to produce the oil as organically as possible. “We take our time to develop our products. It has to be all-natural or organic in nature,” says Hines. “As the product comes, it goes out the door. We don’t keep anything in stock. And we’re constantly trying to keep ahead as much as we can of our demand.”

The process of planting castor seeds and then growing, roasting, boiling, and skinning them to produce oil is meticulous—but it has paid off. In 2016, Hines says she and her 15 employees generated over $ 5 million through the sale of more than 2 million bottles of shampoo, body butter, and bath gel. “You just have to stay ahead of the game in terms of making sure that you’re producing and farming enough to meet the goal of now and the future.”

 

 

Going Natural

 

Hines, who is considered as a pioneer of the natural health and beauty movement, says that going natural and eating clean wasn’t as socially accepted when she introduced Jamaican Black Castor Oil to the market back in the ’90s. “We were natural before natural was hot. We were so natural that my daughters, sisters, and even my mother thought we were crazy,” Hines said with a laugh. “The movement grew slowly and it caught fire. People now understand it does not matter how long you live, it’s the quality of life you live.”

Castor Oil (Image: Lois and the late Michael Hines courtesy of Tropical Isle Living)

 

The Next Chapter

 

After 25 years of working to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality, Michael died at the age of 51 on August 23, 2016, seven days before Hines turned 47. According to Hines, Michael practiced a healthy lifestyle, so much that his doctors were shocked when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. His dedication to healing the world with a Jamaican herb was his only weakness. “The only thing that I can conclude, ever since I’ve known my husband, he only slept for four hours a night. He only researched and researched. I think that his brain just got burned out,” she said.

Nonetheless, the Hineses prepared for the worst after he was diagnosed. “We spoke for the 19 months that we were told that he had. We spoke about the future of the company and where I wanted to take it and whether or not I even wanted to continue without him. And he just gave me the push. [saying] ‘you know you can do it. You have all the tools…You know you can do it.’” It was that encouragement that gave Hines the push, passion, and faith to continue running the business without her husband.

Hineses says she distinctly remembers the day Michael passed, down to his last minute. “It was an amazing day,” she says. “It was a beautiful thing. He was at peace with everything. We were all there by his bedside and I was praising God just for his life. He was surrounded by love. And I kissed him.” She said, adding that she literally “kissed the man to death.”

 

The Future

 

Before crossing over, Michael told Hines to “just keep living,” and she did. The day after he passed, she made sure both of their children were back in school. She also didn’t take much time off from work. Instead, she went on to push to get her products sold on the walmart.com platform and Burlington stores.

Although it’s hard for her to estimate her projected sales growth, her optimism is at an all-time high. “The sky is the limit,” she says. Nonetheless, she admits “each milestone I make without [Michael] is definitely bittersweet. But I know wherever he is—and I know he went to a good place because he was such a good man, a good father, a good friend, a good mentor to me, because I knew him since I was 16 [years old] he kind of groomed me—I know he is sitting somewhere just watching and smiling.”

She added, “It’s the good that we do on this earth, the legacy that we leave behind, the people that we touch, the things we do for each other, that is what drives me. That is and was the core of who Michael was as a partner. And it is what I’m trying to impart [to] my employees and my children: do all the good that you can in all the ways you can just as long as you can.”

 

 

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ThyssenKrupp Posts Net Loss, Orders Up; Sees Higher Earnings In FY18; Stock Up

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Lady Gaga mourning loss of close friend

OHMYGOSSIP — Lady Gaga is mourning the loss of her close friend Azzedine Alaia.
The 31-year-old singer took to Instagram on Saturday (18.11.17) to post a touching tribute to the late fashion designer, who passed away on the same day at the age of 77.
Posting a series of pictures of herself and the designer on the photo sharing app, the ‘Million Reasons’ singer wrote: “I’ll mourn forever the loss of my friend. A true genius in not only fashion but in his heart. He was a king and had the highest standards of design and work ethic. He was so giving, so loving, his heart so full and pure. I’d watch in awe as he hand made each and every piece, his fingers touching the fabric like poetry. Then he would want to feed us all, and cook with his own hands and talk for hours at the table while his dogs would run around joyfully smelling the delicious food he made us.”
Gaga continued by praising the “special” designer as “integral and influential” to the fashion industry.
She continued: “To say he was special would be an understatement. To say he was integral, important and influential to fashion is simply not enough. There was no one who did what he did. No one knew a woman’s body like him. He should be celebrated as one of the greatest fashion designers the world has ever known.”
The ‘Bad Romance’ star closed off her post by saying she was “devastated” by the loss of her friend, as she didn’t get the chance to say goodbye.
She rounded off her lengthy caption: “I love you, Azzedine. I’m devastated I didn’t get to say goodbye. I love you.”

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Drummer Max Weinberg on His ‘Jukebox’ Tour, Sharing the Stage with Bruce Springsteen and the Loss of Music Legends

Max Weinberg’s has spend 43 years touring the world with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. And in between his job with the Boss, the 66-year-old drummer managed to hold down a post as bandleader for Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show. Turns out, he doesn’t do well with downtime.

After finishing the “River” tour in February, the longtime E Street Band drummer was ready to try something new. Enter Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, an interactive concert experience where the audience gets to pick the set list and hear Max and his revolving band play them as they were meant to be played. Below, we caught up with the drumming legend to find out more about his latest tour, how destiny brought him and Bruce Springsteen together and how he’s coping with the loss of some of music’s biggest legends.

How was Max Weinberg’s Jukebox born?
“I’m a drummer who loves to sit in with musicians and other bands. Fortunately I’ve had 43 years of the greatest platform in existence with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. When I got off the River tour, our last tour at the end of February, I took a month off or so and my manager asked, ‘What’s next?’ And I said, ‘You tell me.’ And he shared this idea of putting on show built off of playing songs that everyone want to hear. He described it and the idea is that it’s a human jukebox. We play two hours of all audience requests from a revolving list of about 300 songs from the ’60s and ’70s. The songs that I grew up with and feel particularly close to. One thing we noticed on tour so far is that the people who come to see it — and we’ve been very happy with the turnout — they love hearing these songs played with respect. We cover the English invasion, The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Manfred Mann, The Zombies. There is some Neil Diamond, we throw in a Bon Jovi tune. It’s a great repertoire of music. Being of that era, I respect the original arrangement, the original feel of these songs. And of course we get a nice contingent of Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band fans who like to hear his songs played by someone who has played on the records.”

Who’s on stage with you?
“I have a revolving cast of characters. I have a team. I group of different people composed of musicians I’ve played with through the years who are familiar with this sort of genre and vocabulary of music. You have to be attentive to detail. I look for musicians from bands who are familiar with The Beatles catalog. Some of them might play in a local Beatles Tribute Band, because those musicians tend to be focused on the details of what made those records great. I don’t think there’s any songs in the repertoire that people haven’t heard played through the years at weddings, bar mitzvahs, sweet sixteen parties or proms. It’s really fun. It is a chance to really forget about the external world and find your reverie in great classic songs. The ’60s to late ’70s are part of the golden age of rock and roll.”

What are some of your most requested Bruce Springsteen songs?“Every night, without fail, someone asks for “Thunder Road,” “She’s the One” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” and we always fulfill that request. This is a party, it’s not a really a concert. You become one with the audience. It’s very interactive and the excitement level is high. We create an atmosphere where people are welcome to participate. It’s you, calling out the songs, played the way you want to hear them and that creates a very personal experience for the audience. For example, somebody called out “I Can See For Miles” by The Who and that song probably came out when I was a junior in high school. So I would imagine myself as Keith Moon , and I would channel him. When we were recording the River album, Bruce encouraged me on some of the songs to play like Keith Moon, he was a drummer was that was very vocative of that era, and I can do that. I’m not Keith Moon but I can channel that kind of energy and approach.”

The music industry has lost so many legends lately from Tom Petty to David Bowie to Prince. Are you honoring those late artists through your show?
“Absolutely. And a lot of their songs are on my playlist. Almost every night we play “Breakdown” and “American Girl” by Petty. We do “Handle With Care,” from George Harrison and The Traveling Wilburys, which the audience love. And from Bowie we often play “Rebel Rebel” and “The Jean Genie.” It’s been a tough couple of years. You get into that age group where you start losing people and losing people in such a sudden fashion like Prince and Tom Petty, it’s been tough. There’s enough going on in the world.”

Why do you think now more than ever are music and the arts so important?
“Bruce once said that our job is to go into your town, shake the rafters and allow you to dance all of these problems away for a couple of hours, and then fly back out of town. And my experience in that approach is to be 100 percent engaged at all times. With the Jukebox tour, I get to use the verbal chops I developed on seventeen years of late night TV as the bandleader for Conan O’Brien. It comes out naturally in the interaction with the audience and that’s a real fun aspect of it. The moment I come out on stage I explain what the audience will see, and people appreciate a performer talking to them. You get to see how the sausage is made musically on the stage. It’s very in the moment so I’m having an absolute ball.”

Bruce is known for his epic tours. How do you keep you stamina?
“At 66, there are several things you need do. First you need a lot of sleep, you really have to take care of yourself and you have to eat right. You’ve got to recognize that being a drummer is extraordinarily physical when you play for four or five hours with the E Street Band, you’ve got to be able to maintain that, not just get through it but you’ve got to be able to maintain the band. And another thing about playing with Bruce, is I have to be able to play longer than Bruce because he can stop whenever he wants and I can’t. It comes down to discipline, dedication and diet. It’s hard work whether its Bruce or my own band or anyone else I’ve played with. You got to commit yourself 100 percent, and naturally after 42 years that ethos rubbed off on me, and I like to think it rubbed off on the people who I’ve been associated with.”

Did you think when you answered that Village Voice ad at the age of 23 that you would end up where you are today?
“I’d like to think yes — I think there was a certain destiny. When I was a teenager I didn’t think that I would playing the drums professionally at 66. I always loved playing the drums, but there were other things I certainly could have done and had intended to do. When I met Bruce, I was on my way to finishing college and I was going go to law school. I was so idealistic about music that I wanted that idealism in place and fortunately for me with the E Street Band I’ve been able to do that. The odds are not even one in a million to bump up against a real true pioneer and a genius like Bruce Springsteen — they don’t exist. It’s a lot of luck, I think destiny and I worked really hard as a kid in drumming to get jobs, and then in the late ’60s I started to get serious about playing music. I was extremely idealistic about it, and I’ve been very fortunate to be able to maintain that in the face of everything you need to go through to be a musician.”

Is there you wish you had the chance to jam with?
“John Lennon comes to mind. I did see him crossing the street once in Manhattan in the ’70s. But I’ve been fortunate to play with so many people who I idolize and still do. You know specifically having the experience being the family music director on a late night TV show for 17 years, I’ve had the opportunity to perform with so many incredible artists and backing vocalists.

How many big Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tours do you think you have left in you?
“I don’t think about retiring. As long as people wanna hear those songs, and we want to play them. I’m going to continue doing this for as long as I can. It’s really fun.”

Catch Max Weinberg’s Jukebox in the following cities and learn more about the tour here.

Nov 2 Tupelo Music Hall Derry, NH
Nov 4 Hollywood Casino Charles Town, WV
Nov 5 Diana Wortham Theater Asheville, NC
Nov 17 Landmark Theater Port Washington, NY
Nov 18 Landis Theater Vineland, NJ
Dec 3 Daryl’s House Pawling, NY
Dec 8 Newton Theater Newton, NJ
Dec 9 Winchester Music Tavern Cleveland, OH


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