Disease Control and Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more women are waiting until later in life to start a family. As of 2014, the average age of first-time pregnancies reached a record high of 26.3. The report suggests a decline in women having babies in their teenage years and an increase in women giving birth in their 30s.

But what do these statistics mean for American women’s fertility? We got the following email from a viewer:

Dr. Manny,

I am 30 years old, and I am focused on my career. I hear a lot of conflicting information about when to start a family. Is this something I should be thinking about now, or do I have time?

-Rebecca

Many women have similar concerns when it comes to starting a family. CDC data suggests 12 percent of women between ages 15 and 44 are infertile— and the condition can be expensive for those who want to have children. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a popular alternative fertility option, but one cycle can cost up to $12,000.

Causes of infertility include:
Smoking
Drinking alcohol in excess
High stress levels
Obesity
Poor dieting
Age

Dr. Kaylen Silverberg is board-certified in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive endocrinology, and she is the co-founder of Los Angeles-based fertility lab Ovation Fertility. He recommended that women in their late 20s and early 30s get an annual evaluation of their ovarian reserve at their OB-GYN or a trusted fertility clinic by having their blood drawn on the third day of their menstrual cycle.

The test measures a woman’s Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH,) as well as her estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone (FDH). With this information, specialists can determine if a woman’s ovarian reserve is stable or starting to diminish.

“The major benefits of ovarian reserve testing are that you’ll know where you are in your reproductive lifespan,” Silverberg told FoxNews.com. “If in fact your numbers are starting to deteriorate already— suggesting that your ovarian reserve is starting to fall— we’ll know the rate at which it’s falling, and therefore fertility specialists or even gynecologists can recommend how fast you need to get moving.”

Recipes for your cosmetic needs

Finding the right skin care products for your routine can be difficult, especially if you want to avoid conventional cosmetics, harmful chemicals, or animal testing. But did you know that you can make your own cosmetics and skin care products from all natural and even organic ingredients? Making your own organic beauty products is much easier than you think! With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a daily routine that is free of chemicals and good for you and the planet.

 

DIY Moisturizer to Beat the Winter Blues

This is a great moisturizer that will keep your skin looking smooth and fresh during the cold, dry winter months. It’s so simple to make that you won’t miss your expensive little tubs of commercial goop one bit!

What you need:
• 1/3 cup aloe vera gel (don’t use juice or aloe from a plant, as the cream won’t whip properly)
• 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
• 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
• 1/2 tablespoon beeswax
• 10 drops lavender essential oil

Method:
In a double boiler, gently heat the almond and jojoba oils with the beeswax. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can simply use a glass or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove. Once melted, transfer your mixture to a deep mixing bowl so it won’t splash out. Leave to cool for an hour until it reaches room temperature. Now start to blend your mixture with a hand blender. Pour in the essential oil and slowly start adding the aloe vera. Add aloe (mixing continuously) until you reach the desired consistency. Store in an airtight container.

Symptoms that could signal a serious problem

If you’re like us, you tend to overreact when you notice anything new or strange going on with your body. A little ache in your arm? OMG cancer! A few extra hairs in your comb? Impending baldness!

While it’s good to be on guard, not every new symptom should send you racing to your doctor’s office, says Rob Danoff, DO, an osteopathic physician and director of family medicine at Philadelphia’s Aria Health System.

At the same time, Danoff says some seemingly benign symptoms—stuff most of us would brush off—are worthy of close examination, especially if they stick around for more than a week or two. “I call it body talk,” he says. “Your body does a good job of sending you signals or clues when something’s wrong.”

But sometimes those signals are super subtle. Here are a few of those signals you don’t want to ignore.

Your handwriting is shrinking.

Any changes to your handwriting could signal a developing tremor, which is an early indicator of Parkinson’s disease, Danoff says. Especially if your handwriting is getting smaller and tighter, this may be a furtive sign you’re struggling to hold your hand steady, he says. (Find out what else your hands say about your health.)

Your skin feels different.

Dry and itchy skin are common issues. But if seasonal shifts—or a new soap or moisturizer—can’t explain your sudden skin changes, you’ll want to tell your doctor if your skin suddenly seems dryer, itchier, thicker, or scaly, says Lauralee Yalden, MD, a New Jersey-based family medicine physician. “The thickening of the skin can signify high blood pressure or kidney problems,” Yalden explains. “Dry, itchy skin could be caused by an underactive thyroid, a nutritional deficiency, or even an autoimmune disorder.”

Your breath smells fruity.

“With diabetes or prediabetes, people sometimes give off this weird, almost fruity odor,” Danoff says. He and other experts attribute the smell to your body’s efforts to burn off the excess sugar in your blood stream. “You’d notice the smell, and so would people around you,” Danoff adds.

MORE: 10 Foods That Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

You suddenly have trouble calculating tips.

If math is an old foe of yours, a little confusion while figuring out the tip isn’t a big deal. But if you’ve always been good with numbers, problems calculating a tip or managing your finances could be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia, Danoff says. “If it happens once or twice, don’t worry too much about it,” he says. “But if you keep staring at your bill and you can’t figure out what 20 pecent is, that may be something to pay attention to.”

Tips to make a babies happy

Have a fussy baby? Researchers believe they have the solution: a simple lullaby specifically designed to make babies happy. Though it’s a simple tune, the process behind “The Happy Song” was actually quite complicated, per Time.

The song is the result of plenty of research into infant musical tastes, which revealed infants would likely respond best to an upbeat song in a major key that was simple and repetitive, but also used various musical devices for an element of surprise, child development expert Caspar Addyman writes at the Conversation.

Once a list of requirements was agreed upon, Addyman and musical psychologist Lauren Stewart enlisted Grammy winner Imogen Heap, who has an 18-month-old daughter, to create four test melodies.

When 20 infants heard the final version of “The Happy Song,” they were “entranced,” Addyman writes. This “wasn’t the most scientific as tests go,” but “I can definitely, confidently say from a scientific point of view something’s happened here.” Researchers next plan to look at physiological responses to the song, which came in at 163 beats per minute.

Know more a healthy foods

There is a fruit found in Ghana, West Africa, which has very unique properties that can alter your perception of certain foods. The fruit is called the miracle berry, and it has a glycoprotein in it called miraculin which attaches itself to the taste receptors on your tongue and converts foods that are acidic or sour tasting into something sweet.

Upon learning about this fruit, Dr. Emmanuel Asare, a former internist-turned-plastic surgeon, who is from Ghana, realized that he could harness the fruit’s potential for good. He thought about those who are struggling with their diet and even those who are undergoing chemotherapy and figured the miracle berry could help them.

“A lot of people do not like foods that are really natural and are very healthy,” Asare told Fox News.

While the miracle berry can turn some fruits that are sour and high in acidity like healthy grapefruits into sweet treats without adding sugar, Asare also believes it can help reverse one of the side effects of chemotherapy that leave a metallic taste in the patient’s mouth.

Since the fruit is highly perishable, Asare developed a dissolving tablet called MiraBurst that has a longer shelf-life. To use it, you simply put the tablet on your tongue, swirl it around and let it dissolve. The berry takes affect almost immediately and lasts for about 90 minutes.

Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe is an internist at New York University Langone Medical Center and she said that there have only been a few pilot studies on the berry’s effectiveness, and that more research must to be done to see if it can indeed help those who would like to use it for medical purposes.

Foods that can damage metabolism

While “a moment on the lips,” is well-known for meaning “forever on the hips,” did you know it can mean forever damaging your metabolism too?

It was previously thought that weight gain and weight loss were governed solely by the laws of thermodynamics (aka calories in vs. calories out.) Emerging research seems to point otherwise; not all calories are created equal. The same 100 calories that you take in guzzling a can of soda is a lot different inside the body than the 100 calories in your broccoli. Here are six foods that cost more than just their calorie load in ways of weight gain.

Soda

One of the main reasons soda gets a bad rap is because it’s sweetened with a little something known as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS, a sweetener found in many of America’s highly processed foods and soft drinks, is as damaging as it is cheap. It has been argued that Fructose consumed in the same quantities as other sugar has more damaging effects on the metabolism (making it an even more sinister commodity).  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition further explained the link between HFCS and obesity. HFCS may lead to obesity because of its negative effects on the metabolism. In fact, consuming high fructose corn syrup can cause something called “metabolic syndrome,” which is basically a group of risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Therefore, drinking a glass of soda can directly hurt your metabolism.

Margarine

Fortunately most sources of trans fat are off the market, but they can still be found in stick margarine and baked goods. The trans fats in the margarine can wreak havoc on your metabolism because they can lead to insulin resistance (which is when the body can’t use insulin effectively). Insulin is a hormone used in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and insulin resistance results in slower metabolism and weight gain, especially around the abdomen, as it causes our bodies to store fat more easily.