Thursday, March 31, 2011

Most Popular Supplements

The article below was pulled from Yahoo! The shame of it is that it makes no mention of the diffeence between Off the Shelf (food grade) supplements with minimal potency and purity as opposed to high quality, high dosage pharmaceutical grade supplements that have a USP certification for potency, purity, bioavailability and dissolution.

From Yahoo! Health
The 5 Most Popular Supplements
By Lisa Moran, Prevention

What supplements are inside your medicine cabinet? The most popular products today are fish oil, multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and CoQ10, according to a new survey of over 6,000 serious supplement users from, which conducts independent evaluations of health and nutrition products. The most surprising result? “We’ve been able to see how the popularity of vitamin D has shot up over the past two years,” says Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of “More and more information has been coming out about the benefits of vitamin D beyond bone health.” Read on to find out whether you should be getting a daily dose of these popular pills too.

A whopping 76% of those surveyed regularly take a fish oil supplement containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, which is why research has linked them to health benefits related to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and
even cancer risk, to name a few. “There’s been so much good evidence about the benefits of these omega-3 fatty acids,” says Cooperman. “There’s very little downside to taking a fish oil supplement.”

Is it right for you? There is no official daily recommendation from the FDA or the Institute of Medicine for a daily amount of these particular fatty acids. Ask your doctor if you might benefit from a fish oil supplement.

While many people still take a multivitamin as a daily insurance policy against potential diet deficiencies, their use has declined in recent years from 74% in 2008 to 70% in 2010, according to the survey. “Multivitamins have been notching down a bit,” says Cooperman.
“It’s often better to focus in on the specific supplements that you really need, rather than take a [scattered] shotgun approach.”

Is it right for you? There’s generally no harm in taking a multivitamin, though if you eat a varied diet, you may not need one. A note of caution: has found in the past that not all multivitamin labels list the most up-to-date daily value information for certain nutrients.
Look up the IOM’s most recent nutrient recommendations and compare the amounts recommended for your age and gender to what’s in your multi, says Cooperman.

Over half (56%) of those surveyed in’s report take vitamin D regularly (up from 48% in 2009 and 37% in 2008), with more women than men popping this supplement. Vitamin’s D’s surge in popularity is due to the increasing number of studies pointing to its health benefits: Not only is it essential in helping your body absorb calcium, but it may also ward off breast, colorectal, ovarian, and other cancers. Research also suggests that it may play a role in regulating immunity, relieving backaches, lowering diabetes risk, and even fighting depression.

Is it right for you? The IOM recommends that adults 70 and younger get 600 IU of vitamin D daily. Many Americans get this amount from food and sunlight (your body can make the vitamin with 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure.) While certain people (who may be low in D, due to side effects of medications, such as acid reducers that inhibit vitamin absorption) may require higher doses, the IOM stressed the dangers of doses that are too high (above 4000 IU). If you take a multivitamin, factor in the amount of vitamin D you may already be getting.

Calcium supplementation is on the rise, used by over half (55%) of the survey respondents. While calcium is known for building strong bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis (which is likely why more women than men reported taking this supplement), it may also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help keep blood pressure in check. Other research has suggested it can soothe PMS symptoms and rev weight loss, and it may help prevent colon cancer.

Is it right for you? It can be difficult to get all the calcium you need from food sources such as low-fat dairy and leafy greens, and multivitamins often provide only 25 to 45% of the daily recommended amount. In particular, many women fall short of the recommended levels of
calcium—1,000 mg a day for women 50 and younger, and 1,200 mg a day for those 51 and over. What’s more, certain medications, including antibiotics and antacids, can deplete your calcium levels. (It’s important to note, however, that calcium can interfere with other mineral absorption, such as iron, so if you take both supplements, be sure to take them at different times.) If you have kidney disease, heart problems, or gastrointestinal issues such as chronic constipation, talk to your doctor, since additional calcium may not be recommended for you.

This antioxidant, known as CoQ10 or ubiquinone, is taken by over half (55%) of respondents—and was more likely to be used by men than women. It’s made naturally in the body (in your heart, liver, pancreas, and kidneys), and experts believe the supplement works by improving energy production in cells, especially those that keep your heart functioning. In fact, CoQ10 has been proven to help treat heart conditions such as congestive heart failure and may be useful in treating hypertension.

Is it right for you? Like many other antioxidants, CoQ10 is found in certain foods, but certain drugs, such as statins (taken to lower cholesterol), may deplete your body’s natural stores. If you’re on statins, it’s worth asking your doctor if taking a supplement of 60 to 100 mg up to 3 times a day might be right for you. Since CoQ10 can interact with certain medications (it can blunt the effects of blood-thinning drugs, for example), talk to your doctor before taking it.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are Energy Drinks Dangerous to Your Health?

Are Energy Drinks Dangerous to Your Health? Article from Men's Health by David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding

It’s one of the greatest marketing tricks in the history of beverages: Turning a can of obesity-inducing sugar water into the coolest product in the supermarket. Here’s how it’s done.

1. Give your can of sugar water a hip-sounding name, like Monster, Rockstar, or Amp.

2. Promise that the product will do something exciting to your body, like boosting your energy and alertness, so you, too, can be a rock star — or at least stay up as late as one.

3. Make your product sound slightly dangerous. Anything will sound cooler when grown-ups hate it: Dr. Oz calls energy drinks “addictive” and “unhealthy.” Other experts point to thousands of caffeine overdoses among young people 19 and under.

But all the hoopla surrounding energy drinks is just hysteria, right? Sure, drinking them by the six-pack isn’t a good idea, but in moderation, a single can of cold, tangy, eyeball-popping energy fuel can’t be bad for you . . .

Or can it?

Well, the truth is that while you can call a product RockStar, a more accurate name for some of their drinks might be Fat Roadie. Because while massive doses of energy drinks are obviously dangerous, adding even a single can a day of some of them to your liquid intake could cause more than 29 pounds of weight gain in a year! Below, I’ve outlined some of the worst energy drinks, and some much saner alternatives. Making these simple swaps could be the difference between Lady Gaga, and Lady Gargantua. comment:  Men's Health is missing the point here.  It's not the weight gain that makes them dangerous.  It what is does to your health in the form of spiking your blood sugar, causing your pancreas to produce insulin to remove the blood sugar, and leading you down the road to adult onset diabetes.  Check out this great website on diabetes:

5-Hour Energy (1.93-oz bottle)
4 calories
0 g sugars
Caffeine: 135 mg

What’s really in 5-Hour Energy? Wouldn’t you like to know! The company claims the product is packed with a variety of vitamins and other compounds that promote energy, but when Consumer Reports recently requested a copy of the supporting research, the company balked. Here’s a golden rule of food and drink: If the company selling the product won’t put its money where its mouth is, don’t put their product where your mouth is. Bottom line: The only proven ingredient in this bottle is caffeine, and one bottle contains about as much as a cup of coffee. You know what costs much less, contains loads of natural antioxidants, and also has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee? You guessed it, a cup of coffee. No energy drink on the planet is more reliable.

Redline Power Rush (2.5-oz bottle)
0 calories
0 g sugars
Caffeine: 326 mg

This is what happens when the companies that produce energy shots go to war with one another (7 hours of energy? Really?). Sipping this tiny bottle is the caffeine equivalent of gulping down about three cups of coffee, which is probably why the company's website warns minors not to drink it. Oh, and for those of us with family histories of high blood pressure, enlarged prostates, glaucoma, or any one of six other ailments, we need to consult a physician before use. The company also recommends you drink only half a bottle, but who's going to drink one-half of 2.5 ounces? That's like packing an Oreo in your kid's lunch and telling her to eat only one bite.

Amp Energy (16-oz can)
220 calories
58 g sugars
Caffeine: 142 mg

No energy drink exposes the blurred line between energy and soda better than Amp. It is, after all, an offshoot of Mountain Dew. The difference is it’s shot through with more caffeine and all the dubious additives that give energy drinks their questionable energy appeal. But the problem with this can is the same problem that afflicts every other soda on the market—sugar. Guzzling this thing fills your stomach with 14 spoonfuls of sugar.

Clif Razz Energy Gel Shot (32 g package)
100 calories
12 g sugars
Caffeine: 0 mg

Be wary of any “energy” shot that comes in gel form. These packages are specifically formulated to replenish sugar stores to overworked muscles during bouts of high-intensity training. That’s great if you’re running a 10K, but it you’re not doing some serious athletics, expect it to go straight to your thighs, butt, and belly. For a more sustainable—and less fattening—form of energy, opt for green tea.

Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino (13.7-oz bottle)
290 calories
4.5 g fat (3 g saturated)
46 g sugars
Caffeine: 108 mg

I’m not Rockstar's biggest fan, but they do a lot of things right, like this healthier alternative to Starbucks. Do you know how much whole milk you’d have to pour into your coffee to reach the 290 calories in this Starbucks bottle? Nearly two cups. Or how about this for comparison: This Vanilla Frappuccino has more calories than either a Snickers bar or a Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburger, plus it has more sugar than two scoops of Haagen-Dazs Crème Brulèe ice cream.

Vault Red Blitz (20-oz bottle)
290 calories
78 g sugars
Caffeine: 115 mg

And here it is, the biggest loser in the battle of the energy drinks. Vault packs in more sugar than any other energy drink on the market. In terms of sheer calories, Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino fares just as bad, but even it can’t claim to have more sugar than 3½ Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars. If you’re looking for the daily energy beverage most likely to give you diabetes, this might be it.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

U.S. Most Toxic Cities

 America's Most Toxic Cities

Remember the articles on the Chair of Health? Avoiding toxins is one of those legs.

America's Most Toxic Cities, 2011, an article by Morgan Brennan,, Feb 28, 2011

(This article has been abbreviated for space considerations – please go to to read the entire article).

Now we're not saying that if you reside in one of these areas, you need to pack up and move, or seal your windows shut. But it pays to be aware of the risks in your area. For example, the EPA says when the Air Quality Index for an area climbs above 100 (ratings range from zero to 500, with zero being the best) it can bring on respiratory problems for people with lung disease, children and older adults. Above 150, everyone can suffer. Most cities don't even have a single day each year when the AQI is above 100. But Bakersfield , Calif. , which ranks second on our list, had 43 such days in 2009, Fresno (No. 3) had 29 days, and Los Angeles (No. 6) had 14.

Behind the Numbers

We started with the 80 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau--urban areas with populations of half a million and up. Then we averaged their rankings on five measures, giving equal weight to each of the five. Three of those measures--air quality, water quality and Superfund sites--were drawn from Sperling's Best Places, which compiles health and quality-of-living indexes for cities and towns across the country. The other two we derived directly from EPA data: the number of days when AQI exceeded 100 in 2009 (the latest year available), and the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). What's TRI? Certain industries, including manufacturing, utilities and metal and coal mining, are required to report to the EPA if they release, recycle, treat or manage any of 650 potentially dangerous chemicals. We ranked the areas based on the EPA's tally of how many pounds were reported released in each MSA in 2009.

As for water quality, the greater Philadelphia area got hit with Sperling's worst rating; Fresno was second-worst and New York City (No. 4 overall) came in third for its water. We also consulted ratings of drinking water compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. (Since the EWG data doesn't cover all of the 80 metro areas we compared, we didn't use it in our numerical ranks. But it's worth noting that many of our most toxic picks are also on the EWG worst water utilities list.)

EWG's rankings are based on its own extensive tap water tests for pollutants and toxic substances. Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research at EWG, notes that these tests turn up everything from arsenic and lead to water disinfection byproducts. EWG has even found traces of Tylenol, caffeine and birth control pills in some of these cities, though those substances aren't considered toxic and aren't monitored by the EPA.

No. 5 Baton Rouge , La.
Number of unhealthy air quality days (2009): None
Pounds of on-site toxic releases reported (2009): 33.6 million
EWG top water concern: N/A

No. 4 New York , N.Y.
MSA: New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island , N.Y./N.J./Pa.
Number of unhealthy air quality days (2009): 5
Pounds of on-site toxic releases reported (2009): 4.1 million
EWG top water concerns: Total haloacetic acids; dieldrin; total trihalomethanes

No. 3 Fresno , Calif.
Number of unhealthy air quality days (2009): 26
Pounds of on-site toxic releases reported (2009): 338,000
EWG top water concern: Nitrates

No. 2 Bakersfield , Calif.
Number of unhealthy air quality days (2009): 43
Pounds of on-site toxic releases reported (2009): 2.2 million
EWG top water concern: N/A

No. 1 Philadelphia , Pa.
MSA: Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa./N.J./Del./Md.
Number of unhealthy air quality days (2009): 2
Pounds of on-site toxic releases reported (2009): 11.3 million
EWG top water concern: Total trihalomethanes

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reader Coment on Glucosamine received the following comment on the post "Glucosamine Loading Doses": Cosmetic Surgery Marketing said...
This is best advice. Glucosamine is made from crab shells and chondroitin from cow trachea. Glucosamine should be avoided in patients who are allergic to shellfish and some reports suggest that elevated blood sugar in diabetics.

Cosmetic Surgery Marketing, huh?...Never mind. Here are some facts on Glucosamine:

If you are severely allergic to shellfish, please consult with your doctor before taking any product containing glucosamine. That said, please note that in almost all cases, shellfish allergies are caused by proteins, not by chitin or glucosamine. Because the shellfish products in the Glucsoamine I take are highly refined and pharmaceutical grade, there are little to no shellfish protein residuals in either the glucosamine ingredient or the finished tablet.

Glucosamine is chemically classified as an "amino sugar." This is not the same as glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc., which provide energy in the form of calories. Glucosamine contains no calories and will not generally affect blood glucose levels.

A pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine is generally appropriate for those with diabetes. However, it is always advisable to check with a physician or pharmacist before starting any new diet or supplement regimen.

Individuals who are allergic to sulfa drugs may mistake sulfa and sulfur as being the same substance. Sulfa is an abbreviated name for a specific type of antibiotics called sulfonamides.

Sulfur, on the other hand, is an essential mineral found in nearly all proteins, vitamin B1, and multiple amino acids. It is not possible to be allergic to sulfur because the body cannot function properly without it.

Sulfate is simply a combination of the elements sulfur and oxygen and is naturally present in relatively high concentrations in human blood.

The Glucosamine I take does not contains sulfa drugs (sulfonamides).

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Client Comment Received this e-mail from a woman (and mother) on her experience with some of our products. Although she doess not have joint issues,....e.g.chronic pain in her joints, I am posting her correspondance as it related to our overall philosophy that one should take a high quality in high doses for optimum health, then address specific problems with optimizers if need be.

Dear AchingKnees, I started on the daily supplement almost two months ago. I felt a difference within a week, but what promopted me to write was that my daughter's 4th grade teacher said she noticed a big change in my daughter's school work, attitude and attention span. I have her on the Children's supplement and we both share the Fish Oil. I am a believer and thanks again. Gloria, Jacksonville, Florida comment: I replied back to Gloria and told her that she should now look to get better at the other three legs of the Chair of Health. 1) Minimize exposure to toxins to her and her daughter, 2) Ensure they both get an adequate amount of exercise and 3) minimize bad fods, maximize good foods. She had previously written me about her daughter and I asked what foods she normally eats. Once I learned that, I advised her to replace the frozen waffles, bagels and cream cheese, high sugar cerals and orange juice with fresh fruit, oatmeal, use honey rather than sugar, multi-grain breads and I like the all natural Simply Grapefruit and Simply Orange brand of juices.

Take charge of your own health. You have a much bigger stake in it than your Doctors.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pediatrics Report - Risks From Energy Drinks

Pediatrics report details risks from energy drinks comment: It isn't just kids who are having health problems with energy drinks. Adults are consuming much more of these dangerous and mentally addicting, sugar laden drinks. I know one adult in particular who drinks 3 to 4 Monster drinks a day! Can you say "one step away from diabetes?" In fact, Adult On-set diabetes may have to be re-named since this has become an epidemic with children as young as their teens.

By Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner, AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO – Energy drinks are under-studied, overused and can be dangerous for children and teens, warns a report by doctors who say kids shouldn't use the popular products.

The potential harms, caused mostly by too much caffeine or similar ingredients, include heart palpitations, seizures, strokes and even sudden death, the authors write in the medical journal Pediatrics. They reviewed data from the government and interest groups, scientific literature, case reports and articles in popular and trade media.

Dakota Sailor, 18, a high school senior in Carl Junction, Mo., says risks linked with energy drinks aren't just hype.

Sailor had a seizure and was hospitalized for five days last year after drinking two large energy drinks — a brand he'd never tried before. He said his doctor thinks caffeine or caffeine-like ingredients may have been to blame.

The report says some cans have four to five times more caffeine than soda, and Sailor said some kids he knows "drink four or five of them a day. That's just dumb."

Sailor has sworn off the drinks and thinks other kids should, too.

The report's authors want pediatricians to routinely ask patients and their parents about energy drink use and to advise against drinking them.

"We would discourage the routine use" by children and teens, said Dr. Steven Lipshultz, pediatrics chairman at the University of Miami's medical school. He wrote the report with colleagues from that center.

The report says energy drinks often contain ingredients that can enhance the jittery effects of caffeine or that can have other side effects including nausea and diarrhea. It says they should be regulated as stringently as tobacco, alcohol and prescription medicines.

"For most children, adolescents, and young adults, safe levels of consumption have not been established," the report said.

Introduced more than 20 years ago, energy drinks are the fastest growing U.S. beverage market; 2011 sales are expected to top $9 billion, the report said. It cites research suggesting that about one-third of teens and young adults regularly consume energy drinks. Yet research is lacking on risk from long-term use and effects in kids — especially those with medical conditions that may increase the dangers, the report said.

The report comes amid a crackdown on energy drinks containing alcohol and caffeine, including recent Food and Drug Administration warning letters to manufacturers and bans in several states because of alcohol overdoses.

The report focuses on nonalcoholic drinks but emphasizes that drinking them along with alcohol is dangerous.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers adopted codes late last year to start tracking energy drink overdoses and side effects nationwide; 677 cases occurred from October through December; so far, 331 have been reported this year.

Most 2011 cases involved children and teens. Of the more than 300 energy drink poisonings this year, a quarter of them involved kids younger than 6, according to a data chart from the poison control group.

That's a tiny fraction of the more than 2 million poisonings from other substances reported to the group each year. But the chart's list of reported energy drink-related symptoms is lengthy, including seizures, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, chest pain, high blood pressure and irritability, but no deaths.

Monday's paper doesn't quantify drink-related complications or deaths. It cites other reports on a few deaths in Europe of teens or young adults who mixed the drinks with alcohol, or who had conditions like epilepsy that may have increased the risks.

Maureen Storey, senior vice president of science policy at the American Beverage Association, an industry group, said the report "does nothing more than perpetuate misinformation" about energy drinks.

Many of the drinks contain much less caffeine than coffee from popular coffeehouses, and caffeine amounts are listed on many of the products, she said in a written statement.

Caffeine is safe, but those who are sensitive to it can check the labels, she said.

A clinical report on energy drinks is expected soon from the American Academy of Pediatrics that may include guidelines for doctors.

Dr. Marcie Schneider, an adolescent medicine specialist in Greenwich, Conn., and member of the academy's nutrition committee, praised Monday's report for raising awareness about the risks. "These drinks have no benefit, no place in the diet of kids," Schneider said.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Medical Health Advice site was recently made aware of a site called Medical Health

Here is the site address:

We have posted a link to this site under "videos and links" as we feel this is a very good site to research a wide range of medical issues. However, where MyAchingKnees would differ is in the area of nutritional supplements as our position is to take nothing but pharmaceutical grade supplements that guarantee potency, purity, bio-availability and dissolution with a US Pharmacopoeia certification.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Back Pain

Although I fractured my T2 vertebrate and tore a Rhomboid muscle, I always considered my back pain secondary to my knee pain. What I have noticed is the combination of supplements I have been taking for almost 5 years has to be the reason for my tremendous relief of my knee pain, but must have also improved my back. My wife remarked several months ago that I haven’t complained about my back for several years.

I found this decent base line article from RealAge on Back Pain

Underlying Causes of Back Pain

Injury to a muscle or a ligament in the back is the most common reason people experience back pain. When you strain a muscle or ligament, you may feel pain immediately, or days later.

But an underlying health condition, such as arthritis, could be to blame, too. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease. Ruptured or herniated disks in the spine -- which become increasingly likely with age -- can pinch nerves and cause pain, too.

Other medical problems that may lead to back pain include:

* Osteoporosis
* Fibromyalgia
* Scoliosis
* Spinal stenosis
* Degenerative disk disease
* Endometriosis
* Infections (such as osteomyelitis or meningitis)

Bad Habits That Hurt Backs

Certain everyday habits could make your back more vulnerable to pain and injury. Here are five habits you should nix in favor of a healthier, stronger back.

Smoking: This habit can increase the risk of back pain, research suggests. Smoking also increases the risk of osteoporosis. Try this proven program for quitting smoking.

Slouching: This puts strain on the structures of your back. Try these five steps to perfect posture right now.

Couch/Computer surfing: A largely sedentary existence will contribute to weak core muscles -- and set you up for back pains and strains. Try these tips to keep your back happy at the computer.

Awkward sleep: A crooked, bunched up, crammed sleep position can leave your back stiff. Relax your back with this sleeping position.

Stress: High stress levels increase muscle tension, which can magnify back pain. Try these seven stress-taming foods.

How to Help Your Back Feel Better

One of the most important things you can do to help yourself recover from back pain is to stay mobile. A day or two of bed rest is fine if you're really hurting, but after that, muscles begin to atrophy, which will make your back muscles weaker and make future injuries and pain more likely. So try to stay mobile, even if you just take short walks while you recover. Here are some treatments that may help you get around more comfortably:

Hot and cold therapy: Cold packs can help reduce swelling and inflammation if used the first day or two after injury. After that, the warmth of heating pads or hot water bottles can help relieve muscle tension and spasms.

Pain medications: Over-the-counter acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin can help provide short-term relief of back pain. But don't exceed the dosing instructions. And see your doctor if your situation does not improve.

Rub-on relief: Pain-relieving ointments, gels, creams, and salves are applied directly to the skin and may help reduce stiffness and muscle soreness.

The good news is that about 90% of people with acute low back pain get better within 4 to 6 weeks. comment: Yep. Pretty standard response - focusing on treating pain relief rather than the cause. I find it amazing that RealAge did not mention Nutritional Supplements or Optimizers like Glucosamine or Omega 3 Fatty Acids as a possible relief not only for the symptoms of back pain but to address the root causes of degenerative disease.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ovarian Cancer - Public Service Message

Ovarian Cancer Whispers - so listen carefully........

Watch for Pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort:
o   vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas, nausea, and indigestion;
o   frequency and/or urgency of urination in the absence of an infection;
o   unexplained weight gain or weight loss;
o   pelvic and/or abdominal swelling, bloating and/or feeling of fullness;
o   ongoing unusual fatigue;
o   unexplained changes in bowel habits;

If symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, ask your doctor for a combination pelvic/rectal exam, CA-125 blood test, and trans-vaginal ultrasound.

A pap test WILL NOT detect ovarian cancer.

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