What is PCOS – Polycystic ovary syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (say “pah-lee-SIS-tik OH-vuh-ree SIN-drohm”) is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS also may cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it isn’t treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts camera.gif on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts are not harmful but lead to hormone imbalances.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.

Hormones are chemical messengers that trigger many different processes, including growth and energy production. Often, the job of one hormone is to signal the release of another hormone.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (say “pah-lee-SIS-tik OH-vuh-ree SIN-drohm”) is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS also may cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it isn’t treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts camera.gif on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts are not harmful but lead to hormone imbalances.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.

Hormones are chemical messengers that trigger many different processes, including growth and energy production. Often, the job of one hormone is to signal the release of another hormone.


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A Visual Guide to PCOS

CONTINUE READINGFor reasons that are not well understood, in PCOS the hormones get out of balance. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another. For example:

  • The sex hormones get out of balance. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This may cause you to stopovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair.
  • The body may have a problem using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn’t use insulin well, blood sugar levels go up. Over time, this increases your chance of getting diabetes.

The cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but genetics may be a factor. PCOS seems to run in families, so your chance of having it is higher if other women in your family have it or have irregular periodsor diabetes. PCOS can be passed down from either your mother’s or father’s side.

Symptoms tend to be mild at first. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:

To diagnose PCOS, the doctor will:

  • Ask questions about your past health, symptoms, and menstrual cycles.
  • Do a physical exam to look for signs of PCOS, such as extra body hair and high blood pressure. The doctor will also check your height and weight to see if you have a healthy body mass index (BMI).
  • Do a number of lab tests to check your blood sugar, insulin, and other hormone levels. Hormone tests can help rule out thyroid or other gland problems that could cause similar symptoms.

You may also have a pelvic ultrasound to look for cysts on your ovaries. Your doctor may be able to tell you that you have PCOS without anultrasound, but this test will help him or her rule out other problems.

Regular exercise, healthy foods, and weight control are the key treatments for PCOS. Treatment can reduce unpleasant symptoms and help prevent long-term health problems.

  • Try to fit in moderate activity and/or vigorous activity often. Walking is a great exercise that most people can do.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. This includes lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. It limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods.
  • Most women who have PCOS can benefit from losing weight. Even losing 10 lb (4.5 kg) may help get your hormones in balance and regulate your menstrual cycle.
  • If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher androgen levels that may contribute to PCOS symptoms.1

Your doctor also may prescribe birth control pills to reduce symptoms,metformin to help you have regular menstrual cycles, or fertility medicines if you are having trouble getting pregnant.

It is important to see your doctor for follow-up to make sure that treatment is working and to adjust it if needed. You may also need regular tests to check for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible problems.

It may take a while for treatments to help with symptoms such as facial hair or acne. You can use over-the-counter or prescription medicines for acne.

It can be hard to deal with having PCOS. If you are feeling sad or depressed, it may help to talk to a counselor or to other women who have PCOS.


Skin Secret

Detoxing your body with juices and clean eating is a common activity that many of us partake in towards the end of winter in high hopes of shedding the extra holiday weight. Some of us, however, forget that detoxing your skin is just as important. Thanks to products including the ingredient charcoal, ridding your skin of its impurities is a much easier and happier process than cleansing our bodies of toxins.

Basically, charcoal is your skin’s saving grace. Not only does it draw out any dirt and oil within the skin, but it also leaves your skin looking and feeling clear and radiant. Click through the slideshow above to check out a few of our favorite charcoal-filled products that leave our skin glowing from the inside out.


Garnier Clean + Shine Control Cleansing Gel for Oily Skin 5.0 fl oz

Steps to smoother skin

    1. Exfoliate. If you really want smooth skin, get rid of the dead, flaky skin on the surface. …
    2. Hydrate. There are a million reasons you should reach for that glass of water, and smoother skin is one. …
    3. Shave. One of the easiest ways to get smooth skin is to get rid of the hair on its surface.

  1. Do you think perfectly smooth skin is something you’ll never have? Think again! Spend some time taking care of your skin, and you’ll end up with smooth, gorgeous skin that you can’t wait to show off! These 12 steps are a great way to get started.
  2. Less is more

    According to Dr. Jessica Krant, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Art of Dermatology on 5th Avenue, as well as assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City, the first step to smoother skin is to stop doing everything you’re doing now.

    “Remember that sometimes less is more. With all the constant marketing of anti-aging products and systems now, sometimes we think the more we do, the younger we’ll get. Sadly, sometimes that can work against you. Too many anti-aging products or procedures can actually make the skin more irritated, red, and flaky and produce the appearance of more fine lines due to deep dryness and microscopic swelling. So first, stop everything.”

  3. Wash less

    You may think the key to smooth skin is a super clean face, but that’s not true. In fact, too much washing will probably do more damage than good.

    “It’s important to gently remove makeup and actual dirt from the skin, but it’s a bit of a myth that we have to scrub ourselves squeaky clean two or three times daily,” said Krant. “Sometimes overwashing can produce the same overdryness and irritation that anti-aging products can create. When we wash too much and strip away the skin’s natural, healthy, moisturizing oils, we create redness and flakiness, and the skin actually gets a counterproductive signal to start producing more oil to keep itself protected. This is how we can end up both dry and oily at the same time. Reduce the amount of cleansing and let the skin relax.”

  4. Don’t squeeze!

    We know it’s tempting to squeeze and pick at any zits that happen to show up on your face, but don’t.

    “Manage acne gently, with help from your dermatologist, not your fingertips,” said Krant. “Anything you pick and and try to solve yourself will only last much longer and risk being permanently scarred. The right dermatologist can help you with an easy, ongoing preventive regimen that will help more.”

  5. Exfoliate

    If you really want smooth skin, get rid of the dead, flaky skin on the surface.

    “It’s a myth that exfoliation can dry or thin the skin,” says healthy skin care expert and Skin Authority CEO Celeste Hilling. “Regular exfoliation speeds up the cell turnover process, allowing the body to produce moisture-bearing properties like hyaluronic acid. Exfoliation also helps to plump the skin by churning up elastin and collagen production.”

    Hilling recommends using a natural resurfacing agent such as glycolic acid to gently dissolve dead surface skin cells so they can be replaced with new, plump ones.

    Too much exfoliation can be overkill, though. Just once a week is enough.

  6. Clean your brushes

    How often do you clean your makeup brushes? Probably not often enough. Dirt, grime and oils left in the brushes can cause breakouts, leaving your skin far from smooth. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to clean them yourself using a simple bar of soap.

    Note: Steer away from scented body soaps and go for a natural soap like those offered by South of France Natural Body Care to remove the gunk without leaving anything behind. They’ve got all the steps for proper brush cleaning laid out on their blog, The Soap Dish.
  7. Eat right

    The food we put into our bodies affects how we look in more ways than our belt size. According to Dr. Michelle Yagoda, NYC facial plastic surgeon, aesthetic integrative beauty expert and co-creator of BeautyScoop, “Foods rich in lean proteins and omega-3 fatty acids are especially effective at delivering smoother skin. They aid the skin in retaining moisture and fortify the skin’s natural moisture barrier.”

    Yagoda says a diet with ample beauty super foods can enhance skin texture, hydration, firmness and smoothness. She suggests a diet of foods rich in…

    1. Lean protein (salmon, tofu, soy, sardines)
    2. Omega-3 fatty acids (almonds, salmon, sardines, walnuts, flax seed)
    3. Antioxidants for rapid skin repair like vitamins A, C and E (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, berries)
    4. Minerals like magnesium and zinc, which facilitate hyaluronic acid production to provide unsurpassed skin hydration (soy, kale, carrots, pumpkin seeds, whole grains)


    There are a million reasons you should reach for that glass of water, and smoother skin is one.

    “To have smooth, soft skin, it’s really important to drink enough water or other nondiuretic fluids during the day. When you are well hydrated, skin is smoother and more elastic,” said Stephanie White, founder and president of Become International.

    Use sunblock

    We all know it’s important to use sunblock for health reasons, but it’ll go a long way toward keeping your skin smooth, too.

    “Use sunblock religiously,” said White. “Sun damage creates wrinkles and coarsens the skin. Find a sunblock you like that is made for the face, preferably with natural ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.”


    We can’t say this enough: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research for the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, agrees.

    “Moisturize twice daily,” he said. “It will improve skin hydration and seal in cracks between dry cells on the surface of the skin.”

    Go natural

    The solution to smoother skin isn’t always to be found on a drugstore shelf. Sometimes, the simplest, most natural products have the power to make you glow. Alexis Wolfer, founding editor in chief of TheBeautyBean.com, has some suggestions for natural ways to get smoother skin.

    “Make a yogurt mask,” she suggests. “Apply a thin layer of full-fat Greek yogurt to your face and let it dry for about 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. The lactic acid helps break down dead skin cells while the fat deeply moisturizes.”

    She also recommends mixing a drop or two of honey in with your night cream each evening before application.

    “Honey acts as a humectant, bringing the hydrating benefits of your night cream deeper into the skin.”


    One of the easiest ways to get smooth skin is to get rid of the hair on its surface. Get smooth skin on your legs, armpits and anywhere else hair grows with a quick shave. For the best results, use a razor meant to hydrate as it shaves, like Schick Hydro 5 Disposables.

    Take extra care at night

    Your skin needs extra care at night, so don’t use your daytime moisturizer before you go to bed. According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, you should look for a moisturizer that includes a retinoid.

    “It stimulates collagen growth and normalizes skin cell turnover,” he said.

What to Wear on a Romantic Occasion

Being asked out on Valentine’s Day can be romantic and  exciting. Whether your new boyfriend wants to take you on a sexy date or your  husband wants to treat you to an elegant evening dinner, you’ll need to dress  for love! Use these tips and ideas to figure out what to wear on St.  Valentine’s Day to make the holiday of love full of fashionable fun.

Janet Jackson photo gallery (4)

Choosing Your Color  Wisely – Why Not Red, Pink or Hearts

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like wearing red or pink. While  these colors may be too bold for everyday wear, they are more than acceptable  for the holiday of love. When choosing your perfect red or pink outfit, think  about your skin tone and hair color. There are thousands of shades of both colors,  allowing you to wear one which will compliment your skin. Those with dark hair  can get away with bolder colors of red. Those with light hair should stick with  cooler shades of red or pink. However, those with red hair should steer clear  of red altogether and choose a nice light pink for the holiday. If you can  fathom wearing either red or pink in your outfit, consider celebrating the  holiday with accessories. Add a red scarf to your black suit or a pink belt to  your little back dress.

Get Flirty In a Skirt

If you want to look like you’re up for a little flirting  fun, think about choosing a skirt for your Valentine’s Date. Since this holiday  is extremely romantic, it’s a great idea for you to embrace your feminine style  and dress like a lady. A great red, pink or black dress is ideal. However, a  great A-line or pencil skirt can make just as great of an impression. Pair it  with a form fitting top, high heels and soft jewelry for maximum fashion style.


Sexy Lingerie Makes A Statement – Even if it is Just  for You

Whether you plan on showing it off or not, lingerie is a  “must” on a Valentine’s Date. Lingerie automatically makes a woman feel more  feminine, sexy and attractive. Thus, it’s a great idea to buy something new to  wear under your clothing for a romantic date on Valentine’s Day. Even if you  don’t allow anyone else to sneak a peek, you’ll feel sexier just by having it  on.

Makeup &  Hairstyles for Romantic Evenings

Valentine’s Date makeup should be suited for the activity.  For example, if your date is taking you on a romantic ice skating date in New York City, there’s no  need for full makeup and extravagant hairstyles. Instead, choose to keep it  simple and sweet with rosy cheeks, glossy lips and a neutral eye. Keep your  hair simple and romantic by curling it into soft curls and pulling it into a  ponytail.

However, if your date is in the evening think about using a  smoky eye makeup technique, red gloss on the lips and rosy cheeks. For extra  shimmer, skip the glitter (it’s only reserved for teens and young girls) and  instead use a champagne body shimmer on your cheeks and cleavage. In a pinch  you can substitute the genuine body shimmer for shimmering white eye shadow or  highlighting cream. An evening date requires more sophisticated hair so choose  a fancy up-do, a simple bun or loose and flowing curls.

Clothing To Avoid –  Keep it Elegant

Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you should  pull out the hearts and cupid imprinted turtleneck or the homemade holiday  sweatshirt. Instead, choose to be festive in a more subtle manner. You can  quickly add a sense of holiday fun to an outfit my using metallic accessories  to celebrate. A scarf with a metallic stripe in it or even a shirt with a  silver pinstripe can instantly scream “holiday” while still allowing you to  look classy and in fashion..

The Blue Zone: People Who’ve Lived The Longest


Mary Bell Easton lived to be 101 years of age

Extreme longevity has always been a quirky thing, happening in isolated mountain villages few people visit. Until recent years, no one asked this question: Could we create those same conditions in the United States so that most people would celebrate their 100th birthday—healthy, happy, and without the aches and pains we usually associate with aging?

Absolutely, says Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: 9 Power Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, the second edition to be released in November. Not only is extreme longevity possible here, it’s already being achieved in communities across the U.S.—and, in a few instances, Blue Zones principals have been adopted by individual companies, aiming to become Blue Zones Certified Workplaces.

What Are Blue Zones?

Blue Zones are places where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else on the planet, passing their centennial years at a rate 10 times greater than most Americans. For the first edition of his book, Buettner led a team of National Geographic researchers in studying a collection of “longevity hot spots” across the globe. Their work was prompted by a 1999 Danish study of nearly 4,000 twins older than age 75; scientists found that only 25 percent of their hospitalizations were caused by genetic factors and that most of their health profiles were “most likely due to nonfamilial environment.”

So Buettner’s team set out to study long-living peoples, including those in Nicoya, Costa Rica, where residents boast the lowest middle-age mortality on earth; Sardinia, Italy, where men generally outlive women; and Loma Linda, California, where a community of Seventh-Day Adventists enjoy a life expectancy nine to 11 years longer than the average American. Much of the book’s updating focuses on Ikaria, Greece, the most recently discovered and, Buettner says, the“most extraordinary” Blue Zone.

10 Super Foods for Optimal Health

The Island Where People Forget to Die

“In America, once we hit 85, there’s about a 50 percent chance you’ll suffer from dementia,”Buettner says. “In Ikaria, the rate is about one-fourth ours. They stay sharp to the end.” But it’s not only their mental health that remains intact; four times as many Ikarian men and two-and-a-half times as many women, reach the age of 90, compared to Americans. What’s more, they stay healthier along the way, living eight to 10 years longer before contracting cancers and heart disease.

And they do it with a smile, Buettner writes in a recent article in The New York Times Magazine. In a survey of Ikarian men aged 65 to 100, some 80 percent had sex regularly—and, they reported, they did the deed with “good duration” and “achievement.” The islanders’ secret, Buettner believes, is a “gold standard” variant of the Mediterranean diet, including diuretic teas—such as rosemary, sage, and dandelion—that help to lower blood pressure and inflammation, plenty of indigenous honey instead of refined sugar, bread made of stone-ground wheat, and two to four glasses of wine each day.

Blue Zones in the United States?

Since his longevity studies began, one of Buettner’s aims has been to adapt the same principals into “Blue Zones Projects” in the U.S. The first city to enact a Blue Zones plan for initiating healthy environmental, social, and policy changes was Albert Lea, Minnesota. They called their effort the “Vitality Project,” and the results were remarkable. Life expectancy of participants increased by 3.1 years, and their healthcare costs were slashed by nearly half.

Last May, Governor Terry Branstad announced that Iowawould launch the first Healthiest State Initiative, with the towns of Cedar Falls, Mason City, Spencer and Waterloo selected as the state’s first Blue Zones Project Demonstration Sites, with six additional communities to join in early 2013.

9 Secrets of Longevity

As Buettner and his team studied the Blue Zones, they identified nine common traits shared by those communities where people live longer. He was surprised that it wasn’t only food and lifestyle, but also creating a most beneficial environment. Here’s a look at these longevity-boosting traits, known as the “Power of 9.:

  • Move naturally.      “Do your own house and yard     work, go up and down your stairs with your laundry, knead your own dough,”     Buettner advises. “Incorporate more movement every hour.”
  • Know your     purpose. “Take time to recognize your values, strengths, talents,     passions and gifts,” Buettner says. Reflect, and work on yourself.
  • Down shift.     Relieve chronic stress by finding time each day to nap, meditate or pray.
  • The 80% rule.     Cut 20 percent of your daily calories with proven healthy practices: eat a     big breakfast, dine with your family, and begin each meal by expressing     appreciation.
  • Plant slant.     Eat mostly plant-based foods, and small portions of meat no more than     twice a week.
  • Wine at 5.     Drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. This longevity tip had one     exception: those in the Loma Linda Blue Zone were Seventh Day Adventists,     who abstain from alcohol.
  • Family first.     Living in a loving, thriving family can add up to six years to your life.     Work on a positive, committed relationship and stay close to your aging     parents and grandparents.
  • Belong.“Those with the most social connectedness tend to live longer,” Buettner     says. Be part of a group of healthy-minded, supportive people.
  • Right tribe.     Good friends have a positive effect on your longevity. Support them and     adopt healthy behaviors together.

Khloé Kardashian Strips Off for New Book Strong Looks Better Naked

Khloé Kardashian has been working hard on a positive new project.

The 31-year-old reality star – who is currently taking a break to care for her estranged husband Lamar Odom – has released a new bookStrong Looks Better Naked that documents her weight struggles and fitness regime.

Posing naked for the cover, Kardashian reveals: “There is no such thing as perfect. Nobody attains perfection. But if you keep working at it, you grow and evolve, and to me that’s sort of the point.”

She adds: “To be a better person today than I was yesterday; to become the best possible version of myself.”

Khloé Kardashian Strips Off for New Book

In August, Kardashian’s trainer Gunnar Peterson told PEOPLE how the star achieved her incredible figure, and lost 35 lbs. in the process.

“Khloé gives as much to the gym as the gym gives to her,” he revealed. “She’s in love with fitness.”

Strong Looks Better Naked hits the shelves on Nov. 3.

Money Savvy


Budgeting Money


Utilities such as electricity, garbage pick-up (in some areas), gas, and cable can add up quickly and should definitely be factored into your monthly budget — separate from rent. While these expenses may fluctuate by season, it’s best to factor in the maximum amount you could pay when you are setting a budget. If your monthly utility expenses ever fall below your allocated budget, add the leftovers to your savings!

However you get to work, the cost of commuting is a an area of budget that you don’t want to overlook. If you drive, think beyond the cost of filling up your tank and factor in parking, maintenance, and insurance. If you take public transportation, account for how many days a week you will be commuting and multiply that by the cost of the ticket price.


For most of us, housing is the largest monthly expense. Most experts recommend allocating one third of your monthly income towards housing, but if you are just entering into the job market or living in pricier cities like San Francisco or New York, this may seem like a pipe dream. Aim to stay as close to the 35% range as possible by sharing an apartment with roommates and maybe opting for a less trendy or expensive area. If you can’t hit 35% initially, simply cut back in other areas of your budget to make up the difference. Your future self will appreciate your careful planning!