Testing It Up » June 2010

Monthly Archives: June 2010

DNA & Paternity Health & Wellness

Top Reasons for Male Hair Loss

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We see it all the time — in one (or more) of our office buddies, our neighbors, the people we meet every day. It’s all around us. We go through our father’s old photos and we see the shocking difference. We can’t help but ask — what happened? It is normal to lose about 100 hair strands per day, but these certain factors cause some people to lose much more than that.

Stress

hair loss in menI’m sure you’ve seen cartoons once or twice when the villain got so frustrated that he literally blew his top off with his hair flying off the top of his head. Really funny, huh? But it does have some truth to it. Excessive physical or emotional stress can cause hair loss in real life. There are two possibilities when it comes to stress-related hair loss: first, telogen effluvium, when the hair stops growing and falls out after about three months; and second, aplocia areata, which involves white blood cells attacking the hair follicles.

Genes

Yes, you can blame your parents for your hair loss as several studies have shown that hair loss can be linked to your genetic makeup. Most believe that hereditary hair loss is due to excessive falling out of hair, but the ‘falling out’ is actually not the main problem (we naturally lose hair, remember?). The challenge lies on the ‘growing back’ part. Some don’t restore lost hair as quickly as others do.

Men are also more susceptible to pattern baldness than women, mainly because pattern baldness can be associated with testosterone. The balding usually takes place when men reach their late 20s or early 30s.

Early Disease Detection

South Carolina Church Offers Support for HIV/AIDS

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With National HIV Testing Day just a day away, various news reports share the efforts of cities, counties and organizations towards increasing awareness regarding HIV/AIDS and HIV testing. In a previous post, we shared with you the effort of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed towards eliminating the stigma that usually accompanies the test by submitting to it.

AIDS ribbonAt the Healing Waters Wesleyan Church in Beaufort, support for those who would like to discreetly undergo HIV testing is not just confined to an observance such as National HIV Testing Day. According to a feature on the Beaufort Gazette, small goodie bags that are decorated by a heart and filled with multicolored prophylactics as well as information packets on contraception and sexually-transmitted diseases are provided to those who would like to undergo testing every Sunday.

Serving as prevention education coordinator and health director for the church HIV/AIDS Ministry SHAPE (Spiritually-based HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education) is Donna Farrington, whose objective is to help prevent others from being HIV-positive, like she is now. In addition to providing awareness regarding HIV/AIDS, the ministry also provides spiritual and mental support to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, as well as for their families.

A National HIV/AIDS Fair has been organized for Saturday, beginning at 10 in the morning and lasting until 1 in the afternoon at the Healing Waters Wesleyan Church in Beaufort. There will be 20-minute HIV testing available, as well as counseling services for those who need them. There will also be diabetes and blood pressure testing available.

Early Disease Detection

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Submits to HIV Test

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Sunday is National HIV Testing Day, and while the procedure – and the virus that it seeks to detect – has been around for quite some time, it is not something that you do at city hall before cameras. But that is exactly what Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed did, in an effort to erase the “stigma” that accompanies the test, as shared in a feature on ajc.com.

Kasim ReedIn a press conference conducted to encourage testing, the mayor said: “This is a disease that impacts all of the city, that is why I am going to participate and be tested as well.” Atlanta is one of the places with the highest HIV rates in the United States.

The rapid HIV test that Reed was subjected to involves taking an oral swab, with the results coming out in about twenty minutes.

Councilman Alex Wan, development director for Jerusalem House, a place that serves as housing and provides support services for the homeless and low-income families of Atlanta who live with HIV/AIDS, shared: “It is the first step in creating awareness. We need to do something to jump- start awareness. It is a selfish decision not to get tested.”

One other person who spoke during the event was someone who certainly had the authority to speak about HIV and testing. HIV test counselor and prevention facilitator Kevin Barlow tested positive for HIV ten years ago. He told a group of high school students about his wild days as a teen, with drugs and sex in the mix, and living with HIV: “Although I look good, this ain’t every day. But I don’t always have a smile on my face. I don’t always have my strength. It is not always easy.”

Health & Wellness

Natural Ways to Stay Awake

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Staying awake can be a challenge especially when we are on the job still working on something very important that is due for submission or presentation tomorrow or when we are studying for that crucial make-or-break test the next day. Most of us have to fight off sleep at one point or another and many turn to cups and cups of coffee to stay awake. Let us here discuss the natural ways to fighting off sleep without having to be drowned in cups of espressos or bottles of Red Bull?

sleeping at workStart the day right with a good breakfast.

People tend to take the value of a good breakfast for granted. Being the most important meal of the day, breakfast can prepare us for a challenging day ahead. So if you’re anticipating a tough day at school or at work, don’t hold back with those carbohydrate and protein rich food before you head out for the day.

Move your body and exercise.

The best way to fight off sleep is to remain active. Sleepiness usually comes when the brain feels like the body is winding down in its activities for the day. That’s why it comes when we’re not doing anything or when we are bored. When you feel drowsy in your desk, stand up and take a walk. Take the time to stretch and maybe get a good shake. Good and regular exercise is a great way to start the day, although no one is stopping you to do your exercise routines in the middle of the day. Exercise fights off fatigue and weariness and improves your vitality and energy.

Celebrity Substance Abuse Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Jeremy London and Wife Melissa Lose Custody of Son

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After the recent news regarding actor Jeremy London where he alleged that he was kidnapped and forced to smoke drugs, a report on RadarOnline.com provides more news regarding London.

jeremy, melissa and lyrikApparently, London and his wife Melissa have lost custody of their three-year old son Lyrik, and one of the reasons that was given is that both parents are having trouble with drugs. The report shares further that the couple are both undergoing regular drug testing; at some point, both Jeremy and Melissa have  undergone rehab for addiction to prescription pills.

Melissa reportedly crashed a car into a 7-Eleven in Palm Springs a few weeks ago, and witnesses at the scene described her as “behaving a little out of it.” Her 3-year old son was in the car with her.

Jeremy London had spoken about his battle with drugs while Melissa reportedly became addicted to prescription pills after undergoing surgery for a fibroid tumor on her uterus. She is said to have taken such drugs as ambient, soma and valium; both stories, according to RadarOnline, were from unnamed sources.

Jeremy and Melissa London have been having problems in their relationship but both are said to be working on their issues and are trying to get back their son. Lyrik is now being cared for by Melissa’s mother.

Early Disease Detection

Father’s Day Race Promotes Prostate Cancer Awareness

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Father’s Day is celebrated in many different ways across America. For a group of people in Pittsburgh, the way to celebrate Father’s Day is to run – or walk – in a race for prostate cancer awareness.

A feature on KDKA Pittsburgh shared highlights from “Man Up,” a Father’s Day Run / Walk for Prostate Cancer. Now on its eighth year, the event has become a Father’s Day tradition of sorts in Pittsburgh. This year, organizers said that they had a record turnout of participants – some two thousand people.

prostateOrganizer Robin Cole could not be more pleased with the turnout, saying: “We continue to grow the race. We continue to have great sponsorship, great volunteers to help us out, people coming out and being involved in this race. It’s just been tremendous for us.”

Prostate cancer is one of the leading cancer types that men suffer from. The rate of diagnosis is one in six men, while one in 34 men may succumb to it.

Some of those who participated in the event, which starts outside of Heinz Field, have personal experiences with the disease. Barb Prosdocimo joined to remember her father-in-law: “We’re all here in memory of pap, and knowing that he’s watching down, and remembering him very fondly today on Father’s Day.”

The event was organized by the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer, which promotes education and early detection of prostate cancer. One of those who participated in the event is KDKA’s Jon Burnett, who lost two uncles and his grandfather to prostate cancer, who said that the event is “near and dear to my heart.”

Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Who Will Be In Charge of Distribution of Marijuana in New Jersey?

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Changes to the New Jersey medical marijuana law that Gov. Chris Christie is allegedly planning to make regarding the way that pot can be legally grown and distributed in the state has some medical marijuana advocates concerned, according to a report on the Daily Record.

marijuana plantThe New Jersey medical marijuana law, which is supposed to take effect on October 1, allows at least six private groups to grow and distribute marijuana. In a report released on Friday, however, by The Star-Ledger of Newark, indicated that Gov. Chris Christie may turn over growing and distribution of marijuana to Rutgers University’s New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the New Jersey Hospital Association. The Daily Record reports, however, that the governor’s spokesman, Mike Drewniak, did not talk about these alleged plans on Friday beyond saying that they were considering several options.

Both Rutgers University and the Hospital Association have confirmed that they have been contacted by the administration regarding having a role in the growing and distribution of marijuana. While they both said that these were still preliminary talks and that there were legal implications that need to be worked out at this time, both expressed interest in the idea.

If and when this does push through, having hospitals in charge of distribution of marijuana will be a deviation from the practices employed by the thirteen other states that have legalized its use for medical purposes. Opposing views have sprung up regarding the idea, with Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D – Linden) saying that while there is nothing that stops the state from going that route, it may not be a good idea to be overly restrictive. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D – Princeton), however, express support for the idea, saying: “If it provides opportunities for Rutgers University to provide research and academic curriculum on the subject, all the better.”

Celebrity Substance Abuse Substance Abuse

Chris Klein Arrested on DUI!

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Actor Chris Klein, one of the stars of the movie “American Pie,” was arrested on DUI charges in California on Wednesday, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Chris KleinKlein was reportedly seen by police weaving across lanes as he was driving through a highway. According to a statement from the California Highway Patrol, the actor was driving erratically on U.S. 101 when he was pulled over. Klein had previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge in 2005 in north San Diego County. He was fined $1,800 and was ordered to serve 150 hours of community serving.

Klein is best remembered for his role as “Oz” Ostreicher in the movie “American Pie.”

Drug Testing

How Some Teens Cheat on Home Drug Tests

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One of the ways through which some parents assuage their doubt as to whether or not their kids are using illegal substances is through home drug tests. Not everyone agrees, however, as there are those who point out that this leads to a feeling of distrust, but for some, there is simply no other option.

drug testingThe thing with tests – any test – is that at one point or another people try to devise ways to get around them. This is especially true for drug tests; a quick internet search reveals tons of tips that wily teens can use, so it is but fitting that parents know about them too. Here are some of the ways through which teens cheat on urine drug tests, based on an article on Test Country.

One method is called overfluidiating; someone who is being tested either consumes excess amounts of water or dilutes the urine sample with water in order to reduce the accuracy of the drug test. In the school, hospital or workplace setting, those undergoing tests are usually asked to empty their pockets when specimens are collected, and toilet stalls are usually not equipped with a source of water. This can be a bit tricky in the home.

Others try to drink vinegar in order to change the pH balance in the urine sample and hide traces of illegal substances. There are also commercial screens that can be used to dilute the sample; such products as QuickKlean, GoldenSeal, and Superclean 13 can be bought off the internet. The addition of contaminants such as salt, eyedrops and soap in the sample are also used to avoid detection of illegal substances.

Early Disease Detection Substance Abuse

Smoking: Nasty, Toxic and Fatal

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Smoking is so bad that if you type in “good effects of smoking” in a search engine box, you would probably draw a blank. On the other hand, if you look for the nasty effects of smoking, there certainly are thousands of search pages for you.

Smoker’s Lungs

non-smoker's lung versus smoker's lungThe greatest damage that smoking can do affects the lungs. Smoking destroys the cilia, the tiny hairs that line up in the upper airways and act as our protection from infection, and limits the function of the alveoli, the little air sacs at the tips of the lungs that absorb oxygen into the body and release carbon dioxide. Eventually, the tar buildup will be too great that the lungs become engulfed with a burnt blackish color.

Lung Cancer

About 30 percent of all cancer-related deaths are caused by smoking, including cancers of the lungs, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus and bladder. It also contributes to the development of cancers in the cervix, kidney, pancreas and stomach. Smoking is also considered to be responsible for about 87 percent of lung cancer deaths. Studies show that lung cancer is now the number one leading cause of cancer death.

Addiction

Nicotine is primarily to blame for cigarette’s addictive quality. It is more addictive that heroin and is five to ten times more potent than cocaine and morphine. Aside from being addictive, nicotine is also a very toxic drug — even more toxic than a diamondback rattlesnake’s venom.