Total Eye Care – Dermalogica’s Dramatic Daily Treatment for the Eyes

Total Eye Care is Dermalogica’s answer for an eye cream that addresses more than just hydrating the skin. The skin around the eye area is very delicate; it is no wonder that the eyes are one of the first places to show the signs of aging and damage. The skin around the eyes is thinner and does not contain any oil glands.

As we age fine lines appear due to the lack of moisture around the eye area, and the elasticity and collagen breaks down causing our skin to fold around the eye area from all of those years of sun damage. Some people suffer with puffiness and dark circles around the eyes and flakiness and dryness can become more apparent from the lack of oils in the eye area.

Most eye creams are only capable of hydrating the tissues around the eyes and in fact some eye creams can be overly-hydrating they actually clog the delicate eye area causing milia (little white hard lumps under the skin’s surface). Milia can be caused from rich ingredients such as mineral oil or lanolin; I have even found these ingredients in eye makeup removers.

Milia can be hard to remove and normally involves a treatment with a skin care therapist who is skilled at removing milia with a needle! I have seen this on many individuals and can also be caused from using your normal moisturiser around your eye area.

Moisturisers in general are made for your face and not your eyes. Eye creams are formulated with a smaller molecular structure, so they can penetrate the delicate eye tissue and not clog the pores.

I really like dermalogica’s total eye care for one simple reason SUNSCREEN! I do not know why eye cream companies do not put a sunscreen in their eye cream formulations but they should, since we get a lot of collagen and elastin breakdown in that area from the sun.

Let’s have a look at the ingredients in this day-time Dermalogica Eye Cream and see what it can do for you.

Total Eye Care Ingredients

Dermalogica’s Total Eye Care Cream was made to address the “total” issues of aging and damage to the eye area. Let’s have a look at the ingredients and see how this eye cream works on the skin.

Total Eye Care is not just a moisturiser for around the eyes, it actually contains the active ingredient Lactic Acid which is an alpha hydroxy acid that increases the hydration naturally in the skin and also lightly smoothes and retextures the skin’s tissues. Dermalogica actually use a six percent strength in this formulation, lactic acid is found naturally in the skin, meaning it’s gentler and less chance of any irritation to the delicate tissues and also improved appearance!

Sodium PCA is also added – I know it sounds like a funny chemical but it is actually your hydration factor found naturally in your skin, Sodium PCA increases the hydration around the eye area and softens the skin. This ingredient is also used in dermalogica’s Multi-Active Toner. Another great plus about this eye cream is it includes a chemical free sunscreen of SPF15, I love this!

Titanium Dioxide is a natural sunscreen which protects the eyes from both types of UV rays (UVA and UVB rays) This means you can have full sunscreen protection for your eyes during the day and without irritation. Total Eye Cream is actually pink in colour, this is from the natural Iron Oxides used in the product. They have light reflecting abilities that allow darkness to be minimised without adding any colour to your eyes (unless you use too much!).

These iron oxide minerals are great at scattering light, it can help reduce the look of dark circles, giving you a fresh look (however if yours are particularly bad, it won’t do a thing! My Tip – Get more sleep and increase your water intake, to flush out your toxins).

This eye cream with every application is also tightening and firming the delicate eye area and reducing puffiness – how does it do this? Total Eye Care contains the extracts of Spiraea, Hydrocotyl, Orange Flower, Bisabolol, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate) and Allantoin. Spiraea, Hydrocotyl and Bisabolol plant extracts help firm and reduce puffiness of the skin tissue because they have anti-inflammatory properties. Allantoin, Orange Flower extracts are soothing and calming to the skin.

Total eye care is more than just your everyday eye cream, it really is total eye protection for the skin.

  1. Hydration – Lactic Acid (increases your skin’s hydration from within, Sodium PCA, Vitamin E, Amino Acids (helps your skin to absorb moisture).
  2. Exfoliation – Alpha Hydroxy Acid Lactic Acid at a 6% Strength.
  3. Protection – Chemical-Free SPF15 Sunscreen Protection and Vitamin E to help prevent free radicals from pollution and the environment.
  4. Reduce Puffiness and Firm – Spiraea Extract, Hydrocotyl and Bisabolol.
  5. Reduce Dark Circles – Iron Oxides are uses as optical light diffusers to reduce the look of dark circles

Total Eye Care is a great product, everybody should be using this amazing eye cream, however the texture can still be a little bit light for more mature individuals, if that is the case, I have found using total eye care over the top of say intensive eye repair is fine (as you get the sun protection this way).

This eye cream is suitable for day time use only because of the included sunscreen, at night time in the dermalogica range you can use either Multivitamin Power Firm or Intensive Eye Repair, but in the day use your Total Eye Care.

Source by Jennifer Bosworth

Erythema Dyschromicum Perstans – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Erythema dyschromicum perstans is a skin disease which is also known as Ashy Dermatosis. In this condition, early legions may be reddish in color; however, the characteristic appearance is of grey, round, oval or irregular skin patches, usually on the trunk, extremities or face. No other abnormality is seen in this condition, which is usually observed in people with dark skin. This condition is present more in young adults and especially women. It is often considered to be a type of Lichen planus, and is usually diagnosed by its characteristic appearance, or by a skin biopsy. The standard modern treatment for this condition includes oral steroids, topical steroids, ultraviolet treatment, laser treatment, chemical peels, and Clofazimine.

This condition is usually resistant to treatment and may persist for years, after which it may subside on its own. It is believed that this skin condition may have an autoimmune component, because of which it may persist for long duration.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment for this condition is based on the treatment which is usually given for lichen planus. The aim of treatment is to treat the skin, the subcutaneous tissue, and the blood vessels within the skin and subcutaneous tissue. The main focus is on the use of herbal medicines which have the ability to modify the immune status of affected individuals, as well as the capacity to normalise skin colour. Additional herbal medicines may be given to boost the immune system as well as general health of affected individuals.

Local application of skin ointments is an important part of treatment. Such ointments usually contain herbal medicines which act on the skin discolouration as well as reduce inflammation, if present. For those patients who have extensive involvement of skin, or those who are highly refractory to standard treatment, Ayurvedic Panchkarma treatment modalities are offered to bring about a favourable response. These treatments usually include induced purgation and blood letting from the affected skin parts using either syringes or leeches. Such treatments may be given as a single course, or as courses repeated at regular intervals, as per the requirement of each individual case.

Treatment is usually given for periods ranging from six to eight months, depending upon the severity of the disease in affected individuals. Treatment is continued till there is a complete resolution of the skin lesions, after which the dosage of medicines can be gradually tapered and stopped altogether. Overall, when treatment is given in this fashion, results are quite satisfactory and relapses are quite rare.

Source by Abdulmubeen Mundewadi

Top Mistakes People Make When Taking Testosterone Replacement Therapy

I have heard of so many mistakes being made by people taking testosterone replacement therapy. Some mistakes seriously impacted their quality of life, or resulted in men stopping testosterone prematurely. Here are a few of the biggest errors I’ve witnessed:

  1. Using “street sources” of testosterone: I have met many men whose doctors do not support their use of testosterone, so they buy it on the black market or from some guy at their gyms. This is illegal. Testosterone is classified as a controlled substance under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990 and has been assigned to Schedule III. It is regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). A doctor can legally prescribe it but it is illegal to use without a prescription. Be aware that the buying or the using of testosterone without a proper prescription may have legal consequences. The use of testosterone and its cousin molecules (anabolic steroids) is illegal in the United States for those without a medical diagnosis that justifies their use (e.g. anemia, wasting, hypogonadism). If after reading this book you still decide to get testosterone in the black market, be beware that you could set up by informants who may alert the DEA of your purchase. Also, importing testosterone even if you have a prescription is not legal. In a nut shell: only use testosterone after a physician gives you a prescription and do not import it from other countries.
    • The use of “street” testosterone is also dangerous. No one knows what those products may contain. Some so-called testosterone products may simply contain peanut oil, sesame or grape-seed oil. You also run the risk of exposure to contaminants that could cause infection.
    • Not having a doctor follow-up your blood work is a sure way to get in trouble! If you have low testosterone, there are hundreds of doctors who will prescribe testosterone replacement therapy (refer to the Appendix section for directories). If you are using testosterone to increase muscle mass or to improve athletic performance even though you have normal testosterone levels, be smart and research all you can. And please, read the information in this book about how stopping testosterone can cause health problems (if you are using black market testosterone, chances are that your source will eventually run out).
  2. Not exploring what testosterone option is best for you: Since there is an assortment of options for testosterone replacement, it’s important that you take the time to really find out what’s best for you. Several factors are involved in deciding what would be the best testosterone replacement option for you. Among them are cost, insurance coverage, convenience, preference for daily versus weekly use, lack of time to stick to a strict daily schedule, fears of needles, and physician familiarity of the different products. For instance, some health management organizations (HMOs) programs only pay for testosterone injections since they are the cheapest option. However some men have needle-phobia and dislike weekly or bi-weekly injections that may require them to go see their doctors that frequently (some doctors do not teach their patients to self inject at home). Other men are prescribed daily gels even if their busy lives make it difficult to be perfectly compliant to the daily therapy. Some men without insurance or financial means decide not to seek help since they do not know that there are patient assistance programs set up by manufacturers, or the fact that compounding pharmacies can make cheap gels and creams with a doctor prescription (details on this information is available in the Appedix section). Every testosterone option has advantages and disadvantages that may be more suitable for one person over another, so read the following section on treatment options.
  3. Not using the right dose: Men who start testosterone need to have their testosterone blood levels rechecked twoweeks or one month after they start therapy (depending on the testosterone formulation), right before they administer the corresponding dose for that day or week. This is critical since these results are essential to deciding if the dose is right for you. Total testosterone blood levels under 500ng/dL that are not improving your sexual desire and energy should be increased to 500to 1,000ng/dL by increasing the frequency of injection or the dose.Some doctors fail to retest after they get a patient started on testosterone since they assume most men respond to 200 mg bi-weekly injections or 5 grams per day of gels. The reality is that many men require higher doses to reach total testosterone levels above mid range of normal. Those men tend to stop testosterone early because they perceive no benefits at “average”doses. Incorrect frequency of injections is a common mistake and is actually worse than not getting treatment at all. See the next sections for more details on this.
  4. Cycling on and off testosterone: Testosterone replacement is a life-long commitment in most cases. Once you start you should assume that you will stay on it unless you have an unmanageable side effect. Some patients think that “giving the body a break” once every few weeks is a good thing. What they do not know is that during the time that you are taking testosterone, your testicles stop producing it. When you stop replacement therapy you are left with no testosterone in your system for weeks while your HPG hormonal axis normalizes. Depression, weight loss, lack of motivation, and loss of sex drive can appear rapidly and with a vengeance. A few men never have their hormonal axis return to normal after stopping testosterone (especially if they were hypogonadal at baseline). Read more details on this in the section entitled “HPGA dysfunction.”
  5. Stopping testosterone abruptly due to an unrelated signal: Some of us may be taking medications for other conditions along with testosterone. Sometimes new medications can increase cholesterol and triglycerides and/or liver enzymes (I call these “signals”). Some doctors prematurely blame testosterone instead of the new medications that someone might have started. I have seen people suffer because of this poor judgment of their doctors. Weeks later, they learn that stopping testosterone did not improve any of these problems but by then they feel tired, depressed, and asexual.
  6. Not knowing how to manage potential side effects: Luckily, this will not happen to you after you finish reading this book. I know men who stopped testosterone due to swelling in their nipple area, acne, moodiness, perceived lack of benefit, hair loss, or a prostatic specific antigen (PSA) increase that was due to a prostatic infection. Knowing how to manage these side effects is essential to long-term success. If you know what side effects may occur and how to deal with them, you are less likely to prematurely stop therapy. You may just need to readjust the dose, change the delivery method, or take a medication to counteract the potential problem. Only the best physicians, who do not overreact to a side effect, know how to do this.
  7. Having a life style that is not “testosterone friendly”: If you smoke, drink more than two drinks a day, smoke too much pot, are overweight, do not exercise, do not keep your blood sugar or lipids in control, and do not show up to doctor’s appointments, you do not have a testosterone-friendly lifestyle. Studies have shown that these factors may influence your sexual function and long-term health. Excessive alcohol can decrease testosterone. Exercise can increase it if done properly or decrease it if overdone. You can read more about this later in this book.
  8. Not reading or staying “networked” with other patients: Being in isolation about information makes you a less effective patient. There are online groups of men who discuss testosterone and other issues (see the Resource section). Sharing your experiences and learning from others are keys to being an empowered and proactive patient. It’s the only way to maximize the benefits of any therapy you are using. Many of the practical “tricks” that I have learned have been obtained via this method. The collective wisdom of other people with similar issues is more powerful than just relying on everything your doctor tells, or does not tell you. Besides, most doctors treat educated patients a lot better than those who are timid about sharing and asking questions.
  9. Not switching doctors when you have to: Changing doctors can be difficult, especially if you are not a networked patient who reads a lot about your condition. Many people do not have options and have to see a certain doctor in a health management orga­nization (HMO) setting. But most of us have the option of searching for educated doctors who are not condescending and who treat you as an equal. Your doctor should be your partner in your health and not just an unquestioned authority. Although they are saving lives and have spent hundreds of hours in school and practice to do so, they are human beings who are exposed to myths and misconceptions similar to ours I have heard the most irrational things from doctors about testosterone replacement that make me question how unfortunate their patients may be. Be sure to do your homework and find a doctor who supports you in your search for optimum health. See the Resource section for directories of physicians who are trained in testosterone replacement management.
  10. Poor compliance: Forgetting when to inject or apply gels is a common complaint. Good time management and reminders are key. Find reminders that work for you. I use Google calendar which can be set up to send me text messages to my phone as reminders. Avoid the yo-yo effect that poor compliance causes! Testosterone replacement is a lifetime and life style commitment that should be explored with care.

Source by Nelson Vergel

3 Allergy Medications That Help, Not Hurt

Allergies: is the treatment worse than the problem?

For many allergy sufferers, it’s a toss-up. Antihistamines help the itch but put you to sleep. Decongestants open the airways but keep you awake. Prescription eye drops are soothing but cost a fortune. Steroids work wonders but cause weight gain and swelling.

Is there a way to treat allergies without experiencing side-effects?

For most people the answer is yes, though it may take some experimenting. Here are three medications you can trust to provide significant relief with minimal side-effects.

1. Clarinex. Clarinex is the most recent addition to the class of non-sedating antihistamines. This group includes Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, and generics of the same. Claritin and Zyrtec were originally by prescription but are now available over the counter. Allegra and Clarinex remain by prescription only. The non-sedating antihistamines were developed in response to the most common complaint of antihistamine use, i.e. drowsiness. The sedating antihistamines are still available (Benadryl, chlorpheniramine, and others) and remain useful for allergy symptoms through the night. They are the sedating ingredients in OTC sleep aids.

Clarinex is the only non-sedating antihistamine not yet available in generic form, and is therefore most expensive, running over $100 for a month of medication. Check online at the Clarinex web site for options to decrease your out-of-pocket expense. You may want to consider trying loratadine (generic Claritin) or another generic first at a cost of less than $10 a month.

2. NasalCrom. Another medication that was formerly a prescription drug, over-the-counter NasalCrom Nasal Spray (cromolyn sodium) works by making your nose less sensitive to allergens (pollen, dander, dust, and other particles to which you are allergic). In this regard it is similar to the nasal steroids (such as Flonase, Nasacort, Nasonex), which currently run $60 to $120 a month. At a cost of under $20, NasalCrom is a bargain.

Each one of these inhaled medications is intended to prevent rather than to treat the symptoms of nasal itching, drainage, and congestion. They all work best when taken on a regular basis. If you wait until you are experiencing symptoms to use them, you may find them ineffective. If you only require medication on an occasional basis, you’re probably better off using Clarinex or another of the non-sedating antihistamines.

3. Singulair. When Singulair was first released it was intended as an asthma medication only. However, asthma frequently has an allergic component, and the medication is especially useful in people who suffer from both asthma and allergies. A few years ago it received the indication for use in non-asthmatic allergic patients as well.

In general, Singulair does not cause drowsiness nor have the caffeine-like effect typical of decongestants. Similar to inhaled steroids and NasalCrom, it is better at preventing allergy symptoms than treating them. At the current time it is available only by prescription at a cost of approximately $130 per month’s supply. The manufacturer offers savings options at the Singulair web site.

The above medications may be used alone or in combination. They are not the only available options nor the least expensive, but all three are quite reliable at providing symptom relief without bothersome side-effects.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, M.D.

Source by Cynthia Koelker

8 Tips to Treat Gynecomastia Without Surgery

Are you a guy who has breasts? Are you embarrassed with your problem and looking for ways to treat Gynecomastia? If so, you’ve probably been told that surgery is the only option. But is it? Is it possible to get rid of male breasts without surgery?

There is! However, each individual case is different. What might work for one man might not work for you. It all depends on factors such as your age, state of health, weight, other conditions you might have, etc. You can try different treatments until you find a regime that works. With that said, here are some tips on how you can treat Gynecomastia:

1. Eliminate any substance that might be causing the problem. If you have been consuming a lot of alcohol or taking any drugs, do whatever you need to do to overcome the addiction. Sometimes an unhealthy diet is a cause of man boobs. If you’ve been eating a lot of fast food and junk food, you need to modify your diet.

2. If you haven’t been taking any illegal drugs, your Gynecomastia could be a side-effect of prescription drugs. Ask your doctor if your medication(s) could be contributing to the problem, and if so, if you can get a different prescription. Some medications that are believed to cause male breasts include phenytoin, haloperidol, phenothiazines, verapamil, and cimetidine.

3. Anabolic steroids can cause Gynecomastia. They can disrupt the balance of male sex hormones and induce female hormone characteristics. Bodybuilders who abuse steroids sometimes grow breasts. If you have been on any anabolic steroids, you need to reduce the amount you take.

4. Lose weight! Sometimes male breasts can be eliminated just by losing weight. Now, you can’t lose weight just around the chest area alone – you need to go lose overall body fat. Cut down on the calories, eat healthier foods, and exercise.

5. Your exercise regime should include strength training and cardio. Exercises such as bench presses and push-ups help tone the entire upper body. However, even if you do tone your upper body, nobody will be able to see your muscular chest unless you lose the fat! This is where cardio comes in. You can burn calories and fat by doing 30 minutes of cardio a few days a week.

6. Drink some green tea every day. Green tea has many health benefits, and treating Gynecomastia is one of them. Cut down on sugary drinks and drink green tea instead. It will increase metabolism and burn calories, which subsequently reduces male breasts.

7. Talk to your doctor about taking anti-estrogen medication. There are some available which help fight against estrogen growth in men. You need to be careful, however, since taking too much can be counterproductive. As mentioned above, drugs like anabolic steroids can do more harm than good if you become addicted.

8. If you don’t want to take prescription medications, there are some natural remedies you can try. Some herbs, such as yohimbe, horny goat weed, and tongkat ali are believed to increase testosterone levels. Also, eating a lot of broccoli and Brussels sprouts can increase testosterone. These 8 tips are just the beginning!

Source by Jason Ellis

Lower Back Pain Treatment By Physiotherapy

Almost 80% of people are bound to suffer from the problem of lower back pain at some stage in their life. In today’s uncomfortable lifestyle, this problem is noted as one of the common as well as most disturbing physical problems. After any episode of low back pain that has lasted between two and six weeks, or if there are frequent recurrences of low back pain, physiotherapy is often recommended. Usually a spine specialist considers physiotherapy at the initial stage, particularly if the pain is severe.

The main aims of physiotherapy are to decrease pain, increase function, and provide knowledge to prevent further recurrences. Physiotherapy for low back treatment usually has two components that include Passive physiotherapy that helps in the reduction of the patient’s pain to a more manageable level and the other one is Active exercises.

What is Passive Physiotherapy?
In Passive Physiotherapy, spine physicians mainly focus on decreasing the pain with passive physical therapy or modalities). These therapies are known as passive because they are done to the patient. Heat/ice packs, TENS units, Iontophoresis and Ultrasound are some of the examples of the modalities.

The Heat and/or ice are easily available and are the most commonly used types of modality and each type of therapy helps to reduce any kind of muscle spasm and inflammation. The TENS Units for Electrotherapy basically use electrical stimulation to modulate the sensation of low back pain by overriding the signals of pain that are sent to the brain. In the process of Iontophoresis the steroids are delivered through the skin. The steroid is applied to the skin and then an electrical current is applied that causes it to migrate under the skin. Further, those steroids produce an anti-inflammatory effect on the area that is causing pain. This kind of modality is especially effective in relieving acute cases of lower back pain. Whereas, Ultrasound is a form of deep heating that involves application of sound waves to the skin to penetrate into the soft tissues. This is very much useful in relieving acute episodes of pain that also enhances tissue healing.

What does it mean by Active Physiotherapy?
With Passive physiotherapy, active physiotherapy is also recommended as a necessity to rehabilitate the spine. In general, the whole therapy encompasses a combination of Stretching for back pain exercises, Strengthening for back pain exercise and Low-impact aerobic conditioning.

People suffering from lower back pain are recommended to stretch their hamstring muscles once or twice daily. For the strengthening of the back muscles, 15 to 20 minutes of dynamic lumbar stabilization or other prescribed exercises should be done every other day. In lower back treatment core muscle strengthening is considered to be really important. It is strictly recommended to learn these exercises correctly physical therapist or other qualified health professional in order to see the best of benefits.

Source by Gaurav Gautam

Learn How to Get Rid of Puffy Nipples

Based on researches and studies, nearly 33% of men from across the globe are suffering from puffy nipples. If you are one of them and if you are trying to find ways on how you can get rid of your puffy nipples, you will need to determine first the cause to identify the most appropriate solution for your pressing issue.

Puffy nipples are very common among teenage boys due to wildly swinging hormones that result from puberty. During this time, your body is undergoing rapid development and produces inconsistent level of hormones that can affect your body in number of ways. You really don’t need to do anything if this is your case as hormonal imbalance during early age is both expected and normal. It will be better to let nature take its course than resort to medical or surgical means to get rid of your puffy nipples as it can do you more harm than good.
There are several studies claiming that lavender essential oils can cause puffy nipples among pre-adolescent boys. Although these studies don’t have solid evidence or clear explanation how this kind of oil can affect the body while it is developing, a lot of experts agree that lavender essential oil affects the breast development of young boys. So, get rid of soaps, products, or any household cleaning products that contain lavender oil and it will surely help you or your teenage sons get rid of their puffy nipples.
Puffy nipples are also quite common among bodybuilders who are taking steroids. There are several documented cases where steroids were found to be the cause of puffy nipples. In these cases, bodybuilders are asked to discontinue the use of steroids and go through hormonal treatment, or in extreme cases, surgical procedures.
One of the most popular ways to get rid of puffy nipples these days is through surgery. However, experts agree that this should be your last option as it carries risks that may outweigh your desire to correct your pressing issue. To increase your chances of getting the result you want from the surgery, be sure to choose a qualified surgeon. Ask for their credentials or ask recommendations from people who have gone through the same problem. You can also check the internet and visit forums that talk about this subject. This will give you great ideas about surgeons near your location to make the operation as smooth and as convenient for you.
Once you have picked the best surgeon for the job, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Share your medical history and let him know about your allergies to certain medication. This will greatly help your surgeon ensure that the operation will go well. It would also help to ask ahead of time how much the whole operation will cost as your medical insurance is more unlikely to cover this for you because it is considered as cosmetic surgery.
Getting rid of puffy nipples cannot be easier. Just follow the steps that I have recommended and you’ll be puffy nipples-free in no time.

Source by Derek Silverman

Bodybuilding and Steriods – Roid Gut the End of the Aesthetic Physique

Okay here’s a subject that really gets my blood boiling. Bodybuilding is intended to be the creation of the perfect physique…right? That means that the chest, shoulders, legs, arms and back are suppose to be developed to their full potential while keeping the waist muscular but small. Some bodybuilders may have one genetically gifted part that has a tendency to be superior to another part. The normal goal is to emphasize the training of the weaker body part while curtailing training to the more responsive body part. This is done to obtain proportional muscle size. In achieving the perfect physique, the waist is meant to be small compared to upper body parts and the legs. The smaller the waist the more dramatic the surrounding muscles appear. The Back will look like a flared cobra’s head when attached to a tiny waist.

I remember the physiques of the past, Arnold, Bob Birdsong, Franco Columbo, Bob Paris and Frank Zane achieved this dynamic look. Darin Lannaghan, Bill Davey and Stan McQuay have produced this look in modern day bodybuilding though they may never be seen at the Arnold Classic Competition.

So What’s Changed?

In mid 80’s, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and Insulin became popular drugs with professional bodybuilders. The net result, with these top level competitors, is the “Roid Gut”. Now days, we have bodybuilders sporting a 40-46″ waists. I am guessing, of course, since no competitor would dare share the mammoth size of their waistlines. If they did, I would bet they would shave the number down an inch or two. Unfortunately, the Roid Gut has a repulsive appearance contrary to the original intent of the sport. When Jay Cutler in his early years hit national prominence, his youthful physique still had the small waist. Today, Jay’s waist is absolutely gross. Sure he may weighs 270+ lbs, but also he sports a waist line of a sumo wrestler. Most of the top bodybuilders, Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates and Craig Titus, all exhibit this similar phenomenon. These competitors are simply meeting the expectation of what the judges are condoning and encouraging by accepting this look at as the “champion” physique.

I am writing this article to discourage the use of these drugs. They are sucking the lifeblood out of the Sport, destroying the potential aesthetics of the physique, and taking the bodybuilding back to the freak show era of the past. THIS SHOULD NOT BE!

HGH, “Huge Gut Hormone?”

Okay so what does HGH do to the body? In a normal person, HGH is produced by the body and causes the normal body growth process. The HGH drug was originally developed for children that exhibited stunted growth and were found to have a low production of this hormone. Doctors would administer HGH in small amounts to stimulate a normal growth pattern.

In a few people, HGH production is overactive (from birth) it can also create person of gigantic proportions. Andre the Giant had this condition. Robert Wadlow was another and he grew to be 7’11”. He had many health problems and died at a very early age.

If HGH is administered to an adult, muscle growth restarts. HGH is very different than steroids. HGH causes production of new cells. Steroids cause only the enlargement of existing cells. The new cell growth seems to target only with the soft tissues and rarely skeletal system. Unfortunately, not only are the muscles cells multiplying but so are the internal muscles like the intestines and heart. Furthermore, organs, like the liver, kidneys and pancreas are growing too. When the growth of these internal muscles and organs occur in a fixed chest cavity, there is only one direction for this extra mass to go and that is out the abdominal area. Starting to get the picture?

Insulin’s Additive Affect

Now what is insulin’s affect on the body? Insulin is a super steroid that funnels the nutrients and sugar into muscle. When combined with hard workouts, recovery is very quick. Properly taken, it drives cell growth better than any other steroid. However if you screw up in taking insulin at the wrong time or dosage, you can throw yourself into insulin shock and die. Also long term use can make you a diabetic, a condition that shortens life. When Insulin is combined with HGH, the muscles are set to make significant gains.

The downside of insulin is that it is also active in creating the storage of fat in the body in the event of starvation. These fat deposits are stored internally to body and not on the exterior muscles. This is wonderful for the bodybuilder’s appearance but not for this health. These fat deposits called visceral fat are found around the internal organs of the liver, pancreas, heart and kidneys. Couple this additional weight with growth of the internal muscles and organs and you have enough extra mass to create a really protruding Roid Gut.

“Side Bar” Story

Let me tell you one story that comes to mind back in the very early 80’s. Tim Belknap, then a great in the world of bodybuilding, announced that he was diabetic. I have no reason to doubt he was, but I am now convinced that Tim found the secret to using insulin to maximize his bodybuilding potential. During that era, Tim was by far the most vascular bodybuilder on the scene. I also notice, he had a semi-protruding waistline. At the time I felt sorry for Tim being handicapped with diabetes but admired that he had accomplish a world class physique under this condition. Now looking back, I am sure Tim was able to apply his insulin to his bodybuilding benefit.

You be the Judge

I am convinced that these “super heavy weight” competitors at 270+ lbs might really weigh 240 or so if you stripped the mass out of their guts. But then again they might only weigh 220 if they lost the additional muscularity as a result of these two drugs. Let’s return to the aesthetic builds of a few years past. I hope that even if judges don’t award the small waist competitor the winning trophy, you will agree, that creating a Roid Gut is neither attractive nor healthy!

Source by Scott Jameson

Tribulus Aquaticus – Is There Science Behind This Muscle Building Herb?

Tribulus Aquaticus is an herbal extract sold as a muscle builder and a replacement for anabolic steroids. However the data behind this supplement is scare. Users do report some benefits to the herb, but overall there is little to no data supporting it’s use as a sports supplement meant to boost or act like testosterone.

What is Tribulus Aquaticus?

Tribulus Aquaticus is a plant that shares a similar name with the popular bodybuilding supplement Tribulus Terristris, but the name is where the similarities end. Tribulus Aquaticus is indeed a plant going under the name Tribulus lacusoris, Tribulus marinus, Trapa natans, Saligos, Caltrop (Water) or better known as the simple water chestnut. It appears that this is the simple water chestnut that you can find at any grocery store in the asian center. Quite simply it is just Water Chestnut, which is great on salads and in stir fry.

Many of the names for this herb are unavailable in pubmed, the leading authority on all published papers. However Trapa natans does identify this herb as having anti-oxidant properties. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to translate at all into how it is claimed to build muscle or be a replacement for steroids. Searching Trapa natans and Tribulus Aquaticus for “strength, muscle, cortisol, exercise” all came up with no results, making the inclusion of this ingredient in sports supplements a mystery. Water chestnut has never been used as a bodybuilding supplement but this study does show it may have some potent anti-oxidant properties. In fact I could only find one article for any of the terms “Identification of major phenolic compounds of Chinese water chestnut and their antioxidant activity. Molecules. 2007 Apr 25;12(4):842-52.” showing any activity at all.

Is Tribulus Aquaticus good for muscle building?

Anti-oxidants may have some slight benefit for building muscle, but it isn’t going to be a replacement for steroids nor will it add significant muscle or strength to your performance. Anti-oxidants such as Tribulus Aquaticus may prevent muscle soreness, which might ultimately lead to quicker recovery, but this hasn’t been proven in the literature. As a supplement Tribulus Aquaticus just doesn’t have much data to support it’s claim to replace steroids or augment testosterone.

To be at least considered for boosting testosterone or replacing steroids, an herb must have some basic studies showing increased testosterone levels, sperm count, semen quality or testicular weight variations. Tribulus Aquaticus has none of these properties. Until there is some published research on this herb it may be useful as an anti-oxidant but it’s effects on muscle are pure speculation.

Until there is some research on Tribulus Aquaticus doing anything for muscle building, it’s best avoid this ingredient as a bodybuilding supplement. If you want anti-oxidants, there are far better and more studied ones on the market like Vitamin E or CoQ10. It seems the only thing this supplement has going for it is a similar name to Tribulus Terrestris, which may actually boost testosterone.

Source by Erin Raad

Sports Medicine

Despite what the name implies, sports medicine is not confined to the athletic field. The branch of orthopedics consists of the treatment of injuries resulting from physical activity. These injuries can occur due to overuse, over-exertion, traumatic collision, or over-extension of the ligaments and cartilage of joints. Sports injuries can occur to any part of the body; however, the majority of sports injuries occur in the major joints, including the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle.

Minimally Invasive Rotator Cuff Surgery

A common sports-associated injury of the shoulder is a rotator cuff tear. Composed of a group of four different muscles and tendons, the rotator cuff coordinates the movement of the arm at the shoulder. A tear of these muscles due to a traumatic impact, repetitive motion, or a strong pull may result in serious pain and the loss of mobility in the shoulder.

Based on severity of the injury, a rotator cuff tear can be repaired through surgical or non-surgical methods. If pain is not relieved through non-surgical efforts and surgery is required, rotator cuff tears can be repaired through arthroscopic techniques. A minimally invasive procedure, arthroscopic surgery involves two small incisions for the insertion of a fiber-optic camera and specialized operating tools. Arthroscopic surgery usually results in the successful repair of the rotator cuff and an abbreviated and less painful recovery time.

ACL Repair Surgery for Knee Pain

A commonly performed sports medicine procedure is the rsport medicineepair of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) located within the knee. The ACL provides rotational stability to the knee and tears to the ligament occur due to over rotation, sudden changes in direction, landing incorrectly, or traumatic collision. Symptoms of an ACL tear include a ‘popping’ noise and the inability to put weight on the knee joint, followed by pain and swelling.
Non-surgical treatment options are available after an ACL tear; however, a torn ACL will not heal on its own and surgery is necessary to return to an active lifestyle. Advances in knee surgery techniques now allow a torn ACL to be repaired through an arthroscopic procedure. Arthroscopic surgery techniques allow for a faster recovery time, although an athlete will require at least six months before returning to sports.

Torn Meniscus Surgery for Knee Pain

The meniscus consists of two pieces of cartilage located between the thigh bone and the shinbone that act as cushioning and ‘shock absorbers’ between the two bones. Sports-related meniscal tears result from excess stress on the knee joint from traumatic collision, squatting, or over rotation, and often accompanies other knee injuries, such as an ACL tear.

Walking is still possible after a meniscal tear and athletes may continue to play through the injury. However, the knee will gradually become more stiff and swollen over a period of a few days. Non-surgical approaches to treatment include the RICE protocol of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If the severity of the injury necessitates surgery, arthroscopic techniques utilizing a fiber-optic camera and miniature instruments will allow for the minimally invasive repair of the meniscus.

Shin Splint Repair

Shin splints are a common sports-related injury, as the condition results due to exercise-related overuse. Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, develop as repetitive, excessive physical activity causes muscle fatigue leading to extra force to be applied to the tissue attaching muscles to the shinbone.
Shin splints are treated with rest and a refrain from physical activity. Rarely do shin splints require surgery; however, persistent pain may indicate the development of multiple microfractures in the tibia. Microfractures are severe and may require the evaluation of a physician.

Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and connects the muscles in the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon is essential to mobility as it is used to walk, run, and jump. Tears can occur when the Achilles tendon is overstretched and cannot withstand the large forces exerted on it during physical activity. Pain and swelling accompany an Achilles tendon tear, as well as the inability to bend the foot downward.

Surgery is likely the only option to repair a completely torn Achilles tendon for patients who wish to return to sports. Surgically repaired Achilles tendons are more likely to return to near normal performance and less likely to be re-injured.


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