George asks…

do people have bulimic problems and could die from it?

Helen answers:

Bullimics suffer many side effects from vomiting too much such as toothe decay.

* Malnutrition
* Dehydration
* Electrolyte imbalance
* Hyponatremia
* Damaging of the voice
* Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
* Teeth erosion and cavities, gum disease
* Sialadenosis (salivary gland swelling)
* Potential for gastric rupture during periods of binging
* Esophageal reflux
* Irritation, inflammation, and possible rupture of the esophagus
* Laxative dependence
* Peptic ulcers and pancreatitis
* Emetic toxicity due to ipecac abuse
* Swelling of the face and cheeks, especially apparent in the lower eyelids due to the high pressure of blood in the face during vomiting.
* Callused or bruised fingers
* Dry or brittle skin, hair, and nails, or hair loss
* Lanugo
* Edema
* Muscle atrophy
* Decreased/increased bowel activity
* Digestive problems that may be triggered, including Celiac, Crohn’s Disease
* Low blood pressure, hypotension
* Orthostatic hypotension
* High blood pressure, hypertension
* Iron deficiency, anemia
* Hormonal imbalances
* Hyperactivity
* Depression
* Insomnia
* Amenorrhea
* Infertility
* Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
* High risk pregnancy, miscarriage, still-born babies
* Diabetes
* Elevated blood sugar or hyperglycemia
* Ketoacidosis
* Osteoporosis
* Arthritis
* Weakness and fatigue
* Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
* Cancer of the throat or voice box
* Liver failure
* Kidney infection and failure
* Heart failure, heart arrhythmia, angina
* Seizure
* Paralysis
* Potential death caused by heart attack or heart failure; lung collapse; internal bleeding, stroke, kidney failure, liver failure; pancreatitis, gastric rupture, perforated ulcer, depression and suicide.

Steven asks…

writing a paper on abortion. big question. please please answer!!?

im writing a paper on abortion and one thing that i found out is that women have abortions because having the baby will affect their health. How is that so? please help!
p.s please leave your source if you can! thanks.

Helen answers:

Being pregnant includes tons of risks…

Thats why Im pro-choice. No one should be able to force anyone to take these risks.

Normal, frequent or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:

* exhaustion (weariness common from first weeks)
* altered appetite and senses of taste and smell
* nausea and vomiting (50% of women, first trimester)
* heartburn and indigestion
* constipation
* weight gain
* dizziness and light-headedness
* bloating, swelling, fluid retention
* hemmorhoids
* abdominal cramps
* yeast infections
* congested, bloody nose
* acne and mild skin disorders
* skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen)
* mild to severe backache and strain
* increased headaches
* difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping
* increased urination and incontinence
* bleeding gums
* pica
* breast pain and discharge
* swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain
* difficulty sitting, standing in later pregnancy
* inability to take regular medications
* shortness of breath
* higher blood pressure
* hair loss
* tendency to anemia
* curtailment of ability to participate in some sports and activities
* infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease
(pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and
are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)
* extreme pain on delivery
* hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression
* continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section — major surgery — is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to fully recover)

Normal, expectable, or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:

* stretch marks (worse in younger women)
* loose skin
* permanent weight gain or redistribution
* abdominal and vaginal muscle weakness
* pelvic floor disorder (occurring in as many as 35% of middle-aged former child-bearers and 50% of elderly former child-bearers, associated with urinary and rectal incontinence, discomfort and reduced quality of life)
* changes to breasts
* varicose veins
* scarring from episiotomy or c-section
* other permanent aesthetic changes to the body (all of these are downplayed by women, because the culture values youth and beauty)
* increased proclivity for hemmorhoids
* loss of dental and bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

Occasional complications and side effects:

* spousal/partner abuse
* hyperemesis gravidarum
* temporary and permanent injury to back
* severe scarring requiring later surgery (especially after additional pregnancies)
* dropped (prolapsed) uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other pelvic floor weaknesses — 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele, and enterocele)
* pre-eclampsia (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated with eclampsia, and affecting 7 – 10% of pregnancies)
* eclampsia (convulsions, coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)
* gestational diabetes
* placenta previa
* anemia (which can be life-threatening)
* thrombocytopenic purpura
* severe cramping
* embolism (blood clots)
* medical disability requiring full bed rest (frequently ordered during part of many pregnancies varying from days to months for health of either mother or baby)
* diastasis recti, also torn abdominal muscles
* mitral valve stenosis (most common cardiac complication)
* serious infection and disease (e.g. Increased risk of tuberculosis)
* hormonal imbalance
* ectopic pregnancy (risk of death)
* broken bones (ribcage, “tail bone”)
* hemorrhage and
* numerous other complications of delivery
* refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease
* aggravation of pre-pregnancy diseases and conditions (e.g. Epilepsy is present in .5% of pregnant women, and the pregnancy alters drug metabolism and treatment prospects all the while it increases the number and frequency of seizures)
* severe post-partum depression and psychosis
* research now indicates a possible link between ovarian cancer and female fertility treatments, including “egg harvesting” from infertile women and donors
* research also now indicates correlations between lower breast cancer survival rates and proximity in time to onset of cancer of last pregnancy
* research also indicates a correlation between having six or more pregnancies and a risk of coronary and cardiovascular disease

Less common (but serious) complications:

* peripartum cardiomyopathy
* cardiopulmonary arrest
* magnesium toxicity
* severe hypoxemia/acidosis
* massive embolism
* increased intracranial pressure, brainstem infarction
* molar pregnancy, g

Thomas asks…

What might be wrong w/ me?

I have a doctor appointment next week- I would like to maybe have some sort of idea what is wrong with me before I go.

My symptoms are increase appetite, weight loss ( even though I am aways eating), hair loss, bruise easily, fatigue, and i ache at night but I am not tired.

Helen answers:

It’s not your job to diagnose yourself.
Just describe your symptoms, approx date they appeared, lifestyle changes, etc.
If you just like to scare yourself, how about:
• leukemia
• cirrhosis
• diabetes
• grave’s disease
• side effects of drugs
for starters.


William asks…

Losing my hair because of testosterone. Advice please?

Hi there

I’m an FtM (female to male) transsexual and I’ve been taking testosterone shots for about 4 and a half years, now… maybe closer to 5. Within about the past year I’ve noticed that the hair on the crown of my head and across the top of my head has started thinning, so a couple of months ago I went to my doctor. He sent me for blood tests to check for all sorts of things, like liver dysfunction, thyroid problems, diabetes, anaemia and hormone levels. The tests came back and they were all fine. He said it seems I am just experiencing male pattern baldness due to the testosterone.

Now, he did say the hormone levels were *slightly* high, but only by about 3 points… not enough to justify lowering my dosage, anyway.

The thing is, I’m 23 and while it might sound a bit shallow, my hair is *important* to me. I really, really don’t want to lose it. I’ve started getting stressed about going out and I’m paranoid that people are looking at my head whenever I hang out with friends and I don’t want my life to become that.

My question is, would coming OFF the hormones completely make the hair re-grow? I know I would have to face getting my period again and the fat redistribution to thighs and hips, but I’d be willing to do that if it meant the hair would re-grow. I’m also curious as to whether there would be any other potentially harmful side effects of coming off the testosterone? If not, then it’s certainly an option I am giving great consideration to.

Thanks for any help.


Helen answers:

Yes, coming off hormones would probably make your hair regrow, and subsequently you would start to shift physically back towards a female shaped body. Your voice and beard would remain unchanged.

I’m astonished that your doctor didn’t put you on 1 mg daily of Propecia (Finasteride.)

This will more than likely stop your hair loss – and probably grow a little back. It works in about 80% of men. It blocks the conversion of Testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for male pattern baldness. There are a couple of minor drawbacks.

1) It’s expensive. In the U.S. There is currently no generic available. In other countries, finesteride is marketed under the generic name Finpecia, and it is available from certain online pharmacies (be aware that generics which are not FDA approved are often manufactured to lower quality standards.) Another way to save money is to convince your doctor to prescribe your Proscar, which is 5mg of finesteride, and then cut it into fours.

2) You must continue taking it for as long as you want to keep your hair. If you stop, the hair you’ve maintained, and any regrowth, will fall out. The good news is that a number of stem-cell based baldness cures are in the works, and should be out sometime within the next 5-10 years, so eventually baldness will be a thing of the past.

3) It doesn’t work for every person. Usually that means older males who’ve already lost a significant number of hair follicles, but some younger males can also be non-responders.

4) When you start taking it, you will LOSE hair first. This is known as shedding, and it’s scary as hell. The reason you lose hair first is because Propecia works by reversing hair miniaturization. Miniaturization is the process whereby each time your hair goes through a complete growth cycle (3-5) years, the new hair that comes in is smaller because the hair follicle has shrunk due to the effects of DHT. When the DHT is blocked, as long as the hair follicle has not gone dormant, it can usually recover. In order for a follicle to grow a thicker hair, it must first shed the hair, and then rest for about 6 weeks, during which time it will get a bit bigger, and the new hair that grows will be a little thicker. In time, your thinning hair should reverse itself. It takes about 8-12 months to see any sort of significant results, so you have to be patient and dedicated. I’ve been on Propecia since March of this year, and I’ve had a number of shedding cycles, and I’ve seen a decent amount of regrowth which is also thicker than the hair before.

As a transsexual woman, I will stop taking the Propecia when I begin hormones, but for now it is preventing any further hair loss.

Betty asks…

Why am I having side effects from my nuva ring years later?

I have been on the Nuvaring for about 3 years. Most recently I have started having mood swings. The smallest things will bring on high irritation and impatience. I have also noticed that that I’m overly emotional and easy to cry, I am losing some hair. I had hair loss after I had my son, 6 years ago. Last year I started noticing that it was thinning in the same area. I am concerned that, though a delayed reaction, that the nuvaring is to blame for my issues. I am curious if anyone else has experienced this delayed reaction?

Helen answers:

Problems from diabetes? Avoid sugar. Get tested.
High and low blood sugar causes mood swings. Eat small meals regularly.

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