Have you ever heard of FODMAPs? No, it’s not some strange military maneuver or a new food map (ha): it’s the latest, cutting-edge treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Basically, the FODMAPs approach is a diet, a way of eating. Eating a low FODMAP diet means avoiding certain foods that can cause gas, bloating, constipation and all of the other lovely symptoms those of us with IBS know so well. But what’s with the weird name? More
Migraine: n. A severe recurring headache (check), usually affecting only one side of the head (yep), characterized by sharp pain (understatement) and often accompanied by nausea, vomiting (a la Regan MacNeil), and visual disturbances (sounds like a peyote hangover, but, check, check, check).
My migraines date back to (surprise!) starting my first real job after college – in the federal government. One night, I awoke to find the right side of my head throbbing and seemingly on fire. I couldn’t have lights on. I was nauseous. Noises and smells of any kind exacerbated the pain. Way back in high school, I had been convinced that I had every disease and disorder on the planet; I was perhaps the world’s youngest and most prolific hypochondriac. Instead of brushing up on my Edith Hamilton, I was researching bone cancer in the library. I could be heard diagnosing not only myself, but friends with any symptom in the hallways between classes. Eventually, I got over it with a little help from my parents’ threats to really give me a reason to want to kick off.
That is, until that night when I got my first migraine. More
April is IBS Awareness Month, or as some would say: “April is the month for irritable bowels.” But thousands, if not millions of people suffer chronic digestive problems that are not only lesser-known; they’re often more difficult to diagnose and just as debilitating (if not more). Though the diseases are far from something we’d like to “celebrate” here at Blisstree, we’d like to think there’s something to be gained from even the worst symptoms and chronic disease. And so does Dori Manela, whose chronic bowel problems took three years to diagnose. In honor of anyone with IBS or otherwise, here’s Dori’s story. We hope it inspires More
In a recent British survey, almost one-third of women said they’d trade a year of their life to be thin, and one percent said they’d shave 21 years off their life expectancy for their ideal body weight and shape. If your first reaction isn’t WTF?!, then please keep reading (even though apparently, you’re not alone); there’s more to a perfect body than just being the perfect size. More
I have to admit that I’m skeptical of the whole concept of monthly national health observances from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Now, I’m not a total crank – I think it’s important for health organizations to organize and publicize their messaging, works, and research, but when every single month on the calendar is jam-packed with health issues and conditions that we’re supposed to learn about, care about, and/or donate to, the over-saturation point comes quickly – like donor fatigue after Christmastime. But it is spring and the start of a new month, and there’s nothing wrong with being informed. (Though, do you really have the time or brain space to be over-informed about issues that may not affect you? We don’t.) So, as I fight off health issue awareness fatigue, here are ten health conditions that we’re officially supposed to be aware of during April 2011, and why you may or may not need to spend the next almost 30 days caring about them: More
Twelve years ago I was in my dermatologist’s waiting room, thinking about how lucky I was. Five years before that, I had breast cancer, but was now cancer-free. I had a good job that I enjoyed and afforded me a great lifestyle. I had two children who were happy and doing well. I had many friends in my office. We went out to dinner and dancing at least once a week.
I lived in the inimitable city of New Orleans in an apartment facing the bayou. I could walk across the street to City Park and surround myself with lush flowers and oak trees draped with moss. The enormous park is home to an amazing number of ducks, geese, and other colorful of species of birds and water fowl that were so domesticated they would eat from my hands. Amidst the wildlife was a first-class museum that looked like a royal palace from the distance.
My name was called and I stopped daydreaming and walked into my doctor’s office. After she removed several pre-cancerous spots from my arms and legs, I showed her my knee, which was causing me great pain whenever I put weight on it or bumped it. I could only describe the pain level as a number eight – akin to a hot knife prodding my skin. More
If you think people are hooked on Coke, it seems like Diet Coke has added a new meaning to the word addicted. It’s not hard to find someone who drinks several cans a day. Everyone seems to think that it’s … More