Blog Posts by Vitamin G, Glamour Magazine

  • Crazy But True: Doctors Estimate That Many Women May Be Allergic to Sperm

    1109-sex_vg.jpgYou've heard about the so-called "sperm allergy," right? It sounds like one of those really rare things, but health experts say that it actually might be more common than you think...

    According to a report by The New York Daily News, between 20,000 and 40,000 women in the United States suffer allergic reactions to their spouse's seminal fluid.

    Related: Could pumpkins cure yeast infections?

    Dr. Andrew Goldstein of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center says that women with a sperm allergy may develop hives, swollen eyes, diarrhea and even breathing problems. The condition is called seminal plasma hypersensitivity.

    "The body recognizes semen as a foreign protein just as it would recognize a peanut allergy or pollen," said Goldstein. "So you have swelling, you have itching, you have inflammation of the nerve endings."

    There is hope, though. Of course, condoms make sex possible for women with such sensitivities to sperm, but there is also a preliminary treatment

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  • 4 Surprising Things That Help Ward Off Cold and Flu Bugs (Bet You've Never Tried These!)

    https://media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/tea-8.jpgYou all know the usual advice to prevent cold and flu bugs--you smarties, you. So I won't tell you about washing your hands or getting plenty of rest (duh!). But, I bet you didn't know that these four little things could literally zap bugs that want to infect you--H1N1 included. They're so easy, you can try these right now...

    Debbie over at WiseBread had some great tips this week about some unusual and natural ways to not only strengthen your immune system but also fight back against cold and flu viruses that are trying their hardest to infect you. Here are my favorite tips:

    1. Go blow your nose! Weird, right? You wouldn't think to blow your nose when you don't have a cold, but you should. "Blowing your nose hard at least once per day will help clear germs from your nasal cavities," the bloggers note. "Follow up the nose blowing with a swabbing of both nostrils using a cotton bud dipped in warm salt water."

    2. Gargle. "The only portals of entry for the flu into the body are

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  • 5 Weird Ways to Beat a Cold

    https://media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/red-bell-pepper.jpgThere's so much talk about how to avoid getting sick. But what do you do when you feel that telltale tickle in the back of your throat--and you're in the fast lane to Cold City, population: Check out some of the weirder ways to keep your cold symptoms under wraps:

    1: Walk fast. New research has shown that walking briskly will help keep a cold at bay by increasing your immunity. But don't run (you'll get sick if you overexert yourself), and if you have anything more than the sniffles, you best stay in bed.

    2: Don't blow.
    When your nose is all stuffed up, blowing both nostrils at the same time can propel mucus up into your sinuses, which could possibly cause further infection. Um, yecch. Instead, take decongestants or blow one nostril at a time.

    Related: 10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Body

    3: Take a sauna. Research shows that the warm, moist air somehow gives your bod the same detoxifying benefits that drinking lots of liquids does when you're sick, ushering

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  • The Unbelievably Scary Thing That Just One Cigarette May Do To You

    https://media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/cigarette_butt.jpgJust one gooey chocolate eclair, just one dash of salt, just one day of skipping a workout... usually, "just one" of anything isn't enough to do you any real damage. But when it comes to cigarettes, a new study shows that "just one" is way too many--especially for 18- to 30-year-olds.

    The study found that smoking just one cigarette causes arteries to stiffen by 25 percent. That's bad news bears, because the stiffer the artery, the harder the heart has to work--which means there's a greater risk of heart attack or stroke.

    So we're talking about a hugely increased risk of heart attack or stroke in 18- to 30-year-olds--young adults who are usually thinking about anything but the chance they might end up with a heart attack or stroke anytime soon.

    I know a lot of people who don't smoke regularly and you could never officially label them as "smokers," but they do that social-smoking thing--they puff away on a cigarette or two when they're out with friends on a Saturday night...

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  • 6 Disgustingly Germy Things You'll Touch Today (And 1 That's Surprisingly Clean)

    https://media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/RAKCeramicKitchenSinkGourmentSink1Big.jpgWith all this H1N1 talk, it's hard not to get paranoid about germs. But knowing where the enemy's set up camp is actually a good thing, because you'll just be more aware, right? So. I'm not trying to freak you out, but I just discovered six horrifically germy things that we touch daily. Some of them will surprise you.

    Your car's dashboard.
    It has ten times more germs than your door handles! Apparently, the sunlight heats the dashboard and provides germs with the perfect breeding ground, so they grow whole cities right under your unsuspecting little nose, every day.

    Your work desk.
    Major, major yucko: it has 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat. Your phone and computer keyboard figure into this, too; they're coated with germs from your own fingers.

    Related: 5 Frightening Truths About the Germs Under Your Fingernails (and His!)

    The office microwave handle.

    A cold virus can survive for 72 hours on one of these things, so wash your hands before

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  • Is Your Job Making You Sick?

    https://media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/hotspot_office.jpgSo a lot of us have been sick of our jobs before. But a new study is saying that many of us are sick in our jobs.

    This gist is that lots of employees are feeling stressed--and unhealthier because of it. The research says that one in three workers has at least one symptom of clinical depression; 14 percent is being treated for high cholesterol; 20 percent is taking blood-pressure medication; 41 percent is stressed by work; and one in five workers has trouble sleeping. And, overall, the number of employees who say they're in "excellent health" has dropped from 34 percent in 2002 to 28 percent in 2008.

    Researchers say that people who have problems maintaining a work-life balance end up cutting back on things like exercise, preparing healthy meals and getting enough sleep.

    And I'm willing to bet you don't need an expert to tell you that--we've all been there before.

    It's no secret that stress can make you sick, causing colds and other chronic illnesses. The problem is that

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  • What Do You Think of This Controversial Fitness Statement From Gwyneth Paltrow?

    https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=http%3a%2f%2fcelebhairstyle.files.wordpress.com%2f2008%2f08%2fgwyneth-paltrow-hairstyle-bob.jpg&t=1397909125&sig=YxkYVQcdy0REB.XCjkq7pA--~BMargarita talked about some wacky health advice she heard recently, and when I read that post, my response, in a phrase, was: "amen, sister." I have a gripe of my own to add to her list: As much as I love our pal Gwyneth Paltrow (hugs to Apple and Moses!), I'm a little miffed about something she said recently....

    Apparently Gwyneth's trainer, Tracy Anderson, is in hot water for allegedly making false claims about her past (at issue: whether she was ever sponsored by Carnation Instant Breakfast, among other things--I say who cares!). But, in all this controversy, I caught a video on YouTube where Gwyneth and Tracy are working out together, and Gwyneth turns to the camera and says this sort of shocking thing:

    "When you're 35, you either starve yourself, or you do serious cardio."

    Agreed, very few people get a free ride when it comes to staying fit/at a healthy weight. But, but, BUT--starve yourself? Here's why I take issue with this:

    *This is such a Hollywood-centric

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  • 5 Things You Should Never, Ever Say to a Pregnant Woman

    https://media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/pregnant-belly.jpgDo you know someone who's pregnant right now? It's such an exciting time, and you want to ask them a million questions about how they're feeling, how the baby's doing, etc. But before you do, be sure you don't say any one of these things. Trust me.

    So you just found out that your best pal is having a baby--yay! Or maybe you're catching up with your old boss, who's 7 months along, over dinner tonight. Maybe try to avoid hitting any of these five topics (believe me--don't even touch them with a 10-foot pole!):

    1. "You're so big! Are you having twins?" While pregnant with Russell, my second boy, my belly was enormous. Gigantic, actually. And, it felt like everywhere I turned, people would stop and quiz me about whether I was having twins. When I said no, many would actually tilt there heads to the side and look at me funny, as if I was, quite possibly, lying to them. Please, people. As fun as it is to hear about someone expecting twins, let her tell you if there is one, two or

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  • My Cold and Flu Survival Kit (12 Things Every Gal Should Keep Around This Season)

    https://ec.yimg.com/ec?url=http%3a%2f%2fimgslide.health.com%2fimages%2fslides%2f11755%2ffull%2fchicken-soup-400.jpg&t=1397909125&sig=g6O_c2GKNZh6Fpwf.SVJ9g--~BHi, my dears! It's funny, when the flu hit, I was so not prepared for it. We were out of Tylenol for crying out loud! So, thinking of you, and the cold and flu season ahead, I've put together a little health kit--filled with things that every gal might considering keeping on hand in the event that a virus knocks you off your feet. Here are 12 things that got me through it ...

    Find out how Sarah survived H1N1.

    So, what does a gal need to keep on hand for a speedy (and comforting) recovery from the flu?

    1. Bath salts. This may sound weird, but where some people rub "vapor rub" type products on their chests, I like to let a little aromatherapy from a good jar of bath salts do the job. It's also really relaxing and healing.

    2. Extra blankets. This may sound nuts, but when my fever spiked to 102 degrees, we didn't have any extra blankets around. (I'd boxed them up and took them to storage in the summer to save space in our linen closet--um, stupid move!) So, as I was freezing

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  • Healthy Reminder: Check Expiration Dates on EVERYTHING at the Grocery Store

    My dears, you won't believe this: I was at the grocery store over the weekend, and I found two outdated food products--one expired in 2007! Wait until you hear what they were...

    Yes, I was a tad bit horrified when I realized that a jar of baby food I almost bought for my son expired in 2007. 2007! That's 3 years ago, people. (And yes, I promptly walked up to the front of the store and told everyone who would listen at customer service!)

    Related: Put this healthy (and fun!) thing on your to-do list for the week!

    But that wasn't all: A can of condensed milk I was looking at also expired 6 months ago.

    OK, yes, recently expired canned/jarred foods probably aren't going to kill us, but there's a reason why food comes with expiration dates: freshness and taste often takes a nosedive after the sell-by date and nutrients can drop off too. And for some products (hello condensed milk!), an expired date could mean a health risk.

    I know, checking expiration dates is a

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