Women: Not Every Infection Is A Yeast Infection

(NewsUSA) – Yeast infections are a source of discomfort for many women, but sometimes the symptoms of yeast infections are a sign of something more serious.Potentially severe vaginal infections with symptoms similar to those of a yeast infection include bacterial vaginosis, a condition caused by abnormal bacterial growth in the vagina; and trichomoniasis, a parasitic infection. Both of these conditions require antibiotics from a doctor. Self-treating these conditions with a yeast medication may delay getting the right diagnosis and an effective treatment.Fortunately, at-home tests can help women learn what to look for and determine whether their discomfort is indeed caused by a yeast infection or by something else that requires a doctor visit and prescription medication to resolve.A vaginal health test kit is available over the counter at most pharmacies. The test measures the acidity of vaginal discharge using a hand-held detector with a tip resembling a cotton swab. The tip is designed to detect acidity, or pH, to help distinguish the type of infection that is present, and shows results in 10 seconds.In the case of a typical yeast infection, the test kit swab will not change from its original yellow color, and you can likely treat yourself with an over-the-counter yeast infection medication.However, if bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis is the source of the symptoms, the swab will change color to a blue or green, and the kit instructions strongly advise a visit to your doctor. Even in cases where there is a mixed infection caused by a combination of candida and bacterial vaginosis / trichomoniasis, the test will give a positive result and send the user to the doctor.Other features that distinguish a yeast infection from a bacterial infection include:- Smell. Bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis are usually accompanied by fishy, musty, or otherwise unpleasant odors, while yeast infections are usually odorless.- Texture. The discharge associated with yeast infections is usually thick and white, while discharge from bacterial vaginosis is often thin and milky white or gray in color. By contrast, discharge in cases of trichomoniasis may be frothy and yellowish-green.- Sting. Yeast infections usually involve an itching, burning, or stinging feeling, but these symptoms are not always present or as severe in cases of bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis.The over-the-counter vaginal health tests available today are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are the same as those used by doctors in their offices.For more information about vaginal health and vaginal health tests, visit checkbeforeyoutreat.com

Here Are The Two Key Reasons America Has Improved Its Retirement Score

Credit increased savings is something that doesn’t get talked about enough for American investors who want to be better prepared financially for retirement.

In fact, according to Fidelity Investments’ latest biennial Retirement Savings Assessment, the typical American household is on track to have 83 percent of the income they’ll need over the course of their expected retirement years – with about half in even better shape than that. To put this into perspective, fifteen years ago, when the assessment was first conducted, the projected figure was a bleaker 62 percent.

New Survey Reveals What Americans Rely on Most

(NewsUSA) – You may be surprised to learn that, when asked to consider the items they can’t live without, Americans rank toothpaste and their toothbrush almost as important as the internet and cell phones, according to a recent study.A new survey on reliability from Cooper Tires is based on data from a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults. The survey drills down into what Americans rely on most in their daily lives, with some interesting findings. In order to smoothly navigate your day-to-day, it’s likely there are a few key items, whether you really think about them or not, that we all count on to work in order to get things done.The reliability of these items – the fact that they consistently perform well – is critical to our day-to-day and impactful on our emotions (both positive and negative) and yet we don’t stop and think about, much less celebrate, the value these items bring to our everyday lives. Cooper is built on providing quality, reliable tires for drivers since 1914, and understands the value of being a reliable partner for everyday life, whether celebrated or not. And many of the items that Americans named as their top 10 aren’t lauded on a daily basis – but maybe they should be.Items in the study were ranked according to rational and emotional responses, with these subscores combined to determine the overall reliability scores.The survey found that Wi-Fi/the internet earned the top ranking for reliability followed by cell phones, but somewhat surprisingly, a toothbrush and toothpaste were third overall. Wi-Fi/the internet scored highest not only on regularity of use and quality, but also contributed highly to both happiness and anxiety – implying that this technological marvel causes a range of emotions, from giving users joy, while at times plummeting them into stress. This ranking also showcases how ubiquitous Wi-Fi/the internet and cell phones have become for people of all ages and backgrounds. The humble toothbrush actually scored higher on the happiness subscale than laptops, sunglasses or even makeup.Also ranking high for rational responses are cars and their tires. Cars scored fourth overall, with tires sixth, but on the emotional subscore, personal vehicles were second highest, showing that Americans still love their cars, and value reliable tires to get where they need to go, as well as to keep them safe.Even when the survey findings were divided into subgroups by age (Gen Z, millennials, Gen X, baby boomers and the Greatest Generation), personal vehicles beat out ridesharing."While high-tech products and advancements are exciting and buzzworthy, it’s much more routine items that we look to and rely on to get through our day," notes Jessica Egerton, director of brand development at Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. "This shows a clear distinction between the things that are nice to have – such as fitness trackers and tablets – and things that are a critical necessity for most Americans in navigating their everyday – such as a personal vehicle."The remaining top 10 items are: shampoo, credit/debit cards, glasses or contacts, microwaves, and live TV.While no food items made the top 10, coffee was the top consumable item, in 12th place, followed closely by chocolate in 14th place (laptops took the 13th spot). Interestingly, although both coffee and chocolate scored higher on the rational subscale than the emotional, chocolate not only scored significantly higher among women and Gen X, but chocolate had the largest gap of any item between anxiety and happiness on the emotional subscale. It would appear that chocolate brings consumers joy, but does not cause them stress. Enough said.Visit cooperreliabilitystudy.com for the full survey results. 

Five Tips to Safely Manage Medications

(NewsUSA) – Medication management often feels like a high-stakes balancing act. With multiple visits to doctors and specialists, a variety of dosage instructions, and refill schedules that vary from prescription to prescription, it’s a challenge to keep medications organized.It’s no surprise that many older adults struggle to keep track of their medications.According to a 2019 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the majority of adults 65 and older (54 percent) report taking four or more prescription drugs.While many older adults want to remain independent and manage their own medications without a plan, they are putting themselves at risk. Medication mismanagement is among the most serious health threats facing seniors. Mistakes can often lead to severe drug interactions or forced placement into a long-term care facility.Having the right plan in place to safely manage prescription and over-the-counter drugs can help alleviate the potential hazards of medication management. To help avoid the pitfalls of medication misuse, consider the following tips from Home Instead Senior Care:* Create a master list. It can be easy to lose track of all your prescriptions and supplements, when they should be taken and how often. Keep a list of all current prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and any vitamins or herbal supplements you are taking. Share the list with all health professionals involved in your care.* Enlist a loved one. A second set of ears and eyes can help you remember everything you intended to discuss during a doctor’s appointment, including the prescriptions you are taking and why. At home, consider asking a friend or loved one to help you stick to a daily routine.* Stay organized. A variety of prescriptions and dosages can make it difficult to stay on track. Establish a safe system or regimen to manage your medications. Use organizers, such as pill boxes or printed trackers. Consider signing up for a pharmacy service such as Simple Meds, which automatically organizes and sorts your medications, packaging each dose into clearly labeled packets that are mailed to you each month.* Designate a physician gatekeeper. It’s typical to see multiple doctors for various health needs. While many assume doctors talk to one another, that isn’t always the case. To minimize the potential for error or miscommunication, identify a single provider to manage medications and monitor your overall health.* Watch for red flags. Changes in mood or side effects such as weight gain, insomnia and constipation are examples of things that may indicate medications are adversely interacting with one another. A full pill bottle may indicate missed dosages. If you have any concerns or questions regarding a prescription or your ability to successfully manage your medications, reach out to your pharmacist or health provider.To learn more about the resources available to help with medication management, visit www.LetsTalkAboutRx.com or call a Home Instead office near you. 

How to Dress for A Feel-Good Spring

(NewsUSA) – With spring just around the corner, there’s no better time to refresh your look and brighten your mood. So, pick up a new pair of vintage jeggings, mix it up with pretty utility details, and let those pedi-ready toes come out and play.Whether you want to brighten up your closet now from the dreary winter blacks and grays (or later), or get ready for that spring-break vacation in between, you can find everything you need at maurices store or at maurices.com.For more inspiration, follow these tips to spruce up your wardrobe:* Mix in pretty utility: Give your outfit a pretty utility twist with the must-have trend of the season. Pair feminine tops featuring eyelet and ruffles with utility weekender pants for now, or an effortless utility romper for later. Want to dress up your look in a dash? Try a pretty top with a button-up skirt that’s anything but expected. Tie it all together with jewelry, wedge sandals, and dinner plans.* Layer on the compliments: Get into the swing of spring with kimonos, dusters and oversized denim jackets you can count on from brrr to brighter days ahead. Try a lightweight floral kimono over a tee (and under a jacket if you still need one) or make a statement with a longer-length duster cardi or denim trench jacket you’ll wear again. Finish the look with flyaway pants or jeans for an outfit that’s oh-so good.* Say hello to 24/7 tees and tanks: Tee up spring in 24/7 tees and tanks with endless versatility and irresistible softness that feel as good as they look. You’ll love how easy they are to style. Dress it up with an animal print tee paired back with bengaline pants and a blazer or keep it laid back with a drop-shoulder tee in floral or stripes with maurices’ Everflex jeans, so good you’ll want to live in them – now with new details, washes and crop lengths just in time for spring.* Spring forward in throwback denim: Authentic vintage jeggings that feel as good as your favorite pair of broken-in jeans, with more washes, destruction, rises, sizes and fits than ever before. For effortless comfy style, pair with a floral tank and denim jacket or try a baseball tee with white or gray sneakers … perfect for all of those last-minute plans that keep popping up.* Jumpsuits, dresses, all yeses: Say hello to instant spring outfits with new pretty dresses or flattering jumpsuits you can effortlessly pull off. To dress up your look for date night, add heels and jewelry or keep it casual for brunch or a coffee run with sneakers and a denim jacket.* Pair skirts with graphic tees:?Make a fun statement by pairing graphic tees with skirts this season. Just pick the tee (and skirt) that speaks to you, style it with a front tuck and you’re out the door in five. Another instant outfit? Done and done!* Work in confidence: Long story short … from work tops that wow to popular bengaline pants, you’ll find yourself making more plans to go from nine to whenever. Whether you’ve got an interview lined up or want to make a good first impression, our bengaline pants are extra flattering, know how to work around the clock, and now come in a spring-ready crop.Want more ways to feel good?Follow @maurices on Instagram for outfit inspiration that’s sure to make your day or visit your nearest maurices store to book a free styling session.

Civil War Drama Offers Action, Suspense, All-Star Cast

(NewsUSA) – The Civil War was over, but the post-war years were a time of challenge and sacrifice. A new film, The WARRANT, brings this tumultuous period to life with an action-packed story of friendship and justice.Former Civil War hero John Breaker has become a local sheriff, and does his best to keep the peace in rural Georgia. That peace is disturbed when his son, Cal, a marshal, arrives with a warrant for the arrest of one of Breaker’s old army colleagues, Virgil St. Denis, now known as "the Saint," and leading a band of outlaws.Despite his better judgement, or perhaps because of it, Breaker joins his son to track down St. Denis and put a stop to his raids, which threaten to drive the still-fragile union back into conflict. Along the way, both men deal with memories from the past that intrude on the present."This post-Civil War action-drama is the first movie of its kind for Imagicomm Entertainment," says Jonathan Collins, vice president of digital media distribution for Imagicomm."The WARRANT showcases a period of American history that was full of heartache, sacrifice and standing up for what’s right," says Collins. "The story is relevant and personal, and captures your attention early on."The WARRANT is produced by INSP Films and distributed by Imagicomm Entertainment.The all-star cast includes Neal McDonough (Yellowstone, Captain America), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Tarzan), Steven R. McQueen (The Vampire Diaries, Chicago Fire), and Annabeth Gish (X-Files, The Haunting of Hill House). In addition, Christie McNab brings some gun-wielding girl power as part of the Saint’s gang.The WARRANT is available on DVD through major retailers, including Walmart and Amazon, through Vudu, iTunes, Christian Cinema, Google, Fandango, DirecTV, and Dish.The WARRANT continues the tradition of Imagicomm Entertainment films and television series with strong storytelling, memorable characters, and high production values. Imagicomm Entertainment distributes content globally through a variety of streaming services, including Amazon Prime, Netflix and Vudu, on traditional television outlets, and on DVDs as well as through DVDs from major retailers, and on traditional television outlets.Click here to see a video for the movie trailer.For more information about THE WARRANT or Imagicomm Entertainment’s films and series, visit imagicommentertainment.com.

The Design Craze That’s Here to Stay

(NewsUSA) – Shiplap – the wall treatment favored by popular home improvement shows – is filling Pinterest boards and continues to top the to-do lists of today’s savvy DIYers. Even high-end homebuilders are incorporating it into their upmarket designs. And when crafting a custom shiplap wall, the pros are choosing cypress because of its practicality and stunning good looks. Shiplap Defined Shiplap has long been a popular siding pattern for the exterior of homes. Nowadays, design pros are bringing it indoors as paneling to create a rustic, farmhouse vibe, or to highlight contemporary flair."Typically, what homeowners refer to as shiplap is simply run-of-the-mill boards nailed on a wall, with a small gap separating them," says Zack Rickman of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.CypressInfo.org."Actually, shiplap is a board pattern with L-shaped notches on the top and bottom edges. When installed, the boards overlap with a gap, presenting a more authentic, high-end look. And while the size of the gap is adjustable – depending on homeowner preference – nickel gap is arguably the most popular size with a six- or eight-inch shiplap board." Stylish Solutions When designing a room, homebuilder John Moleski, JM Designer Properties of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, says homeowners are drawn to shiplap because of its clean, crisp, modern lines, and the versatility it offers."Creative use of shiplap can enhance an entire room," Moleski says."Make an accent wall to contrast with surrounding walls. Install it horizontally, and the long lines of the boards will visually stretch a room. Or go vertical with it to add perceived height to the ceiling."While home improvement stores are stocked with a wide variety of wood paneling products, Moleski prefers working with cypress."Solid cypress and shiplap make a perfect match," he explains. "Not only is the wood local to my area and affordable, the wood’s intriguing grain pattern makes it remarkably beautiful."For budget-conscious homeowners, Moleski offers this cost-saving tip: "As an alternative to using select grade cypress, consider rough-sawn no.2 grade and install it with the smooth side facing out," he says. "It’ll achieve a similar look with some added character at a lower cost." Finishing Flexibility Fred Lewers, Palm West Home Builders in Palm Coast, Florida, says options abound when it comes to selecting a finish for a cypress shiplap wall."Cypress can be finished in a variety of ways," Lewers says. "Stain it to highlight its natural grain and texture, or paint it to add a pop of color. You also can use a whitewashing technique for a truly unique appearance. My preference is to leave it natural, and let the wood’s beauty shine."Regardless of your desired look, Rickman offers one piece of important finishing advice. "Look for an oil-based stain, or paint and primer system," he says."Water-based products sit on the surface and are prone to cracking and peeling. Oil-based products soak into the wood, providing superior protection and performance, especially in wet zones like bathrooms."Take it from the professionals: Shiplap is not just a design craze; it’s here to stay.For ideas on building a cypress shiplap wall, visit www.CypressInfo.org.

Eco-Friendly, Health-Enhancing Home Design

(NewsUSA) – Today most homeowners want to do right by the environment while also caring for the health and wellness of their own families. But they don’t always know what measures they can take with the design, construction, and furnishing of their houses to achieve eco-friendly, health-enhancing results."Many responsible consumers are uncertain what a ‘sustainable’ product or material is," notes Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center, www.hardwoodinfo.com."It simply means the particular resource is self-replenishing – something we can use freely now without fear that its supply will run out in the future. Since American hardwood forests renew themselves almost twice as fast as they are harvested, the U.S. supply of hardwoods for flooring, furniture, cabinetry, and millwork is sustainable now and for generations to come."As well as being plentiful and sustainable, American hardwood is carbon neutral: Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and break it down into oxygen, which is returned to the air, and carbon, which is used to create roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. In short, the use of natural American hardwoods throughout a house helps with the long-term removal of carbon from the environment.Hardwood can also benefit a household’s general well-being.When artist Hadley Williams renovated her family home in California’s Bay Area, she asked the makeover team – designer Sherry Williamson, architect Andrew Mann, and builder Michael McCutcheon – for a clean-lined, ultra-eco-friendly residence. They wrapped all the floors, ceilings, walls, and casework in the gutted interiors with plain-sawn American white oak, achieving a beautiful balance among aesthetics, sustainability, and healthfulness.Since the latter was a priority, each and every building product used was screened for a comprehensive list of more than 900 chemicals of concern. Using solid timber helped avoid the unhealthy volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in laminate glues. Thanks to those efforts, the house has been certified LEED Platinum – the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest ranking.Architect Stephanie Horowitz of Boston-based ZeroEnergy Design is another expert at creating contemporary, environmentally sensitive, family-friendly homes."We regularly specify domestic, sustainably harvested hardwood floors," she says."When paired with a non-VOC finish, a hardwood floor helps maintain healthy indoor-air quality while allowing us to support local business and overall environmental health."Such was the case with a house she recently designed for a client who wanted an exceptionally healthy and comfortable living environment in a traditional neighborhood. By installing quarter-sawn white-oak floors, and selecting other durable materials and finishes with low or no VOCs and no added urea formaldehyde, Horowitz was able to achieve LEED-platinum certification for the house and, more importantly, ensure that its inhabitants can breathe easy.Visit www.hardwoodinfo.com for more about sustainability and healthfulness in relation to home applications and products using American hardwoods. 

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution With These Weight Loss Tips

(NewsUSA) – Did you make a resolution to lose weight and get healthy in 2020? This may be the most common New Year’s resolution, but it’s also one of the most difficult to keep.In fact, according to U.S. News, 80 percent of people give up on their New Year’s Resolution by mid-February. There’s no one reason to explain why this happens, but we do know that it’s difficult to change our behavior over long periods of time. If you made a promise to yourself to improve your health and lose weight, don’t give up now. Start by making small, achievable changes to your routine. Here are five tips to help you stay on track:* Try activities that don’t revolve around eating or drinking. Almost all family gatherings seem designed to gather us around the snack table. But there are plenty of other activities you can do together that will get you moving and making memories. Think of events that will emphasize connection and fun rather than snacking and drinking. Brainstorm with friends and family to find a new activity to try – bowling, hiking, pottery – the options are endless.* Offer to host. If you really want to take control, play host! Invite friends and family over to your place, where you can prepare everything so there are no surprises. Or if you’re meeting at a friend’s house, offer to bring a dish, and make something healthy that you know you’ll enjoy. When it’s time to eat, you can pile a big portion of this item on your plate and fill in the rest with other offerings that look good to you.* Don’t dance around your cravings. If you’re really craving a slice of pizza, order one and have a portion-controlled size."When you avoid your cravings, you can end up overeating by trying to satisfy them with other foods," says Courtney McCormick, corporate dietitian at Nutrisystem. Instead, identify what it is that you’re craving, order something that will satisfy, and take the time to truly savor and enjoy it.* Don’t turn a cheat meal into a cheat day. Many dieters trip up at one meal, get discouraged, and go overboard for the rest of the day because it’s already "ruined."The term is "cheat meal," not "cheat day." If you have a meal that you think could set you back, remember that it’s only one meal. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t give up."It’s always a good thing to learn from your missteps," says Marie Osmond, entertainer, author, host of The Talk, and Nutrisystem ambassador. "Maybe the first time you crave chocolate, you’re going to grab a candy bar. Next time, you’ll have a smaller piece of dark chocolate or make yourself a Nutrisystem chocolate shake!" Cut yourself some slack, remember how much you enjoyed the "cheat," and then get back on track – little decisions that you make, starting right away, will lead you closer to success.* Stay hydrated. You’ve heard this one before, but that’s because it works: if you do indulge in alcohol, alternating each drink with a glass of water will help slow your consumption so you don’t get too tipsy – which can lower your inhibitions to other foods and portions you’re trying to avoid. In fact, the alcohol may make greasy foods and sweets seem more appealing. Water will also keep you hydrated, which can make you feel less "snacky," since our bodies sometimes mistake thirst for hunger.For more info and tips on how to get healthy and stay on track all year long, visit leaf.nutrisystem.com.

Three Ways Millennials Can Start Saving More Money

For too long, Millennials have gotten a bad rap about money and their ability to save for a rainy day or retirement.

However, a new “Relationship With Money” survey by financial services firm Edward Jones found that not only do more Americans born between 1981 and 1996 consider themselves “savers” than those in their parents’ Gen-X cohort (48 percent vs. 46 percent), but that Millennials also were better at socking away emergency funds (75 percent vs. 66 percent).

That’s right. The same Millennials whose motto could be “Why buy a car when you can Uber?”