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Health Conditions

The ECS and Diabetes

The global burden of type 2 diabetes is rising and represents a major concern in healthcare worldwide. Global prevalence of type 2 diabetes is projected to increase from 6059 to 7079 individuals per 100,000 by 2030, reflecting a continued rise across all regions of the world.[1]  Consequently, urgent effective clinical preventive and supportive measures are warranted. In this context, pharmacological modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) is emerging as a promising therapeutic strategy in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and its chronic complications. The Endogenous Cannabinoid System The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) comprises the endocannabinoids (ECs),

Incontinence and Sexual Health

What is incontinence? Urinary Incontinence (UI) is the unintentional passing of urine. Loss of bladder control is a common condition among women in midlife with reported prevalence ranging from 28% to 47%. Severity ranges from an occasional leak with a cough, laugh or sneeze, to an urgent need to pee that is so sudden (where the person needs a trip to a toilet ASAP). The risk of incontinence increases incrementally from the age of 40 to 60, with prevalence nearly doubled by age 55. Men also experience incontinence, though reported rates (3% to 11%) are much lower than that of

Erectile Dysfunction as a Marker of Cardiovascular Disease

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is mostly addressed as a psychogenic disorder, but an organic form of ED occurs in about 10-15% of all cases1 and in 72% of cases in men under the age of 40 years.2  The organic cause of ED is strongly linked to low testosterone levels as well as atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). ED is typically age-related with many similar risk factors to CVD including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, obesity, dyslipidemia.3  In the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS), 1057 men aged 40-70 years who did not have CVD or diabetes at baseline were followed for roughly 10-13 years.4

The Nervous System and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

If you’ve ever found yourself in a state of panic or anxiety and tried slowing your breathing, controlling and lengthening the exhales, you know that it’s possible to use that breath to slow a quickened heart rate and calm the nervous system. Our brain controls the cardiovascular (CV) system, but how we react when we feel stress can also instruct the heart and blood vessels on how to respond. Long-term when we don’t cope well, when chronic stress or anxiety cause the sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”) to stay turned on all the time it changes how the CV

Signs and Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a group of conditions that include too much fat around the waist, elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides, elevated blood sugar and low HDL cholesterol. These conditions pose a threat of increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. The term “metabolic” refers to the biochemical processes involved in the body’s normal functioning. Metabolic syndrome is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle that includes being overly sedentary, eating too many calories and gaining weight, particularly around the waist. According to a 2014 study published in Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada, 19.1% of all Canadian

Endometriosis and Migraines

Endometriosis and migraines share many similarities in epidemiology, pathogenesis, and the physical or psychiatric co-morbidities that can accompany them.1 In this article, we will explore the links between the two conditions and natural substances that could potentially alleviate them. Endometriosis Endometriosis is a gynecological disorder characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity and commonly associated with chronic pelvic pain and infertility.2 This tissue arises only in women of menstrual age, can grow or bleed cyclically, and may cause adhesions.3 Typical symptoms include pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, and infertility.4 Overall, six to 10% of women of reproductive age

The Complexities of PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that has undergone many changes in diagnostic criteria over the last 30 years. Previously, the diagnosis was based on the presence of polycystic ovaries (PCO): an increased number of follicles in each ovary and/or an abnormally large ovarian volume. But the multi-system involvement in PCOS has led to multiple versions or subtypes of the disorder. PCOS and PCO are associated with metabolic and hormonal dysfunction including insulin resistance and the resulting high levels of androgens, such as testosterone. The result of this dysfunction is the characteristically high number of immature follicles within the

Graves’ ophthalmopathy

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Living for a Healthy Cholesterol Level

Linked not only to a healthy heart, but also to better overall health in general, cholesterol is an extremely important part of our internal makeup and understanding how to manage both “good” and “bad” cholesterol levels can lead to a longer, healthier life. As we age, managing cholesterol becomes not only more important but also more difficult. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that men with less than optimal aerobic fitness are at a greater risk of developing high cholesterol in their early 30s, while men with higher aerobic fitness are likely to

Endometriosis: Inside Out

Endometriosis is a painful disorder characterized by the presence of endometrial (uterine) tissue in locations outside the uterus. This can include on or around the ovaries, on other structures within the pelvic cavity, and even in other locations around the body. Endometriomas, also described as hemorrhagic cysts, can be intrusive and adhesive to surrounding structures; and because they are made of endometrial tissue, they respond to cycling ovarian hormones.  There are many different stages and severities of endometriosis depending on infiltration of tissue, adhesion to surrounding organs and structures, the number of lesions and the symptoms experienced.  As a result,

The Epigenetics of BRCA

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The HPA-axis and Hormone Balance

Contextualizing the neuroendocrine system is no easy feat, as there are hundreds of signals and factors that enable each organ to communicate sending positive and negative feedback signals. Imagine if you will, each organ is centered on a teeter-totter in the middle of many scattered across a playground, with strings connecting them all. The tension in the strings is constantly changing as each organ needs to stay balanced. When lifestyle, and environmental factors push any organ in one direction, the strings help the other organs compensate releasing more or less of a hormone- while we have developed impressive resilience to

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