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Have an embarrassing health question? We want to hear it.



We have all had moments when we noticed something seemingly unusual in our body, but were too afraid to google or too embarrassed to ask a friend or family member about it, let alone a doctor.

Maybe you have weird discharge or blisters on your skin, or you’re wondering if you really need to urinate after sex, or maybe you’re wondering why your hands swell up when you go camping, or why you feel sick from too much amount of weed. .

Well, there is a 99.999% chance that any weird, disgusting, or even frightening things you encounter with your health are the same weird, disgusting, or frightening things that others think.

That’s where Ask a friend comes in

You tell us what you need to know about your body – or bodies in general – and we ask medical experts for their opinion (but if something serious happens, you should talk to your doctor).

However, there are no stupid questions – seriously!

Do you have a question? Fill out this form, which you can keep coming back to whenever another question comes up. Perhaps we will answer your question in the next column.

Don’t hold back. This is a safe space.


Minnesota lawsuit begins against youth vaping maker Juul



MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will personally open his state’s case against Juul Labs on Tuesday, the first of thousands of cases against the e-cigarette maker that have come to trial.

Minnesota is seeking more than $100 million in damages, Ellison said, accusing Washington-based Juul of illegally targeting young people to get a new generation of nicotine addicts. On Tuesday morning, the court sat with a jury of eight women and four men. The opening statements were expected to end in the afternoon.

Juul has faced thousands of lawsuits across the country, but most have been settled, including 39 with other US states and territories. Not Minnesota, which won a landmark $7.1 billion settlement with the tobacco industry in 1998. Minnesota added tobacco industry giant Altria, which previously held a minority stake in Juul, as a co-defendant in 2020.

Altria completed the asset sale this month and said it effectively lost its $12.8 billion investment. But he hasn’t given up e-cigarettes: Just days later, Altria announced a $2.75 billion investment in Juul’s competitor, vaping company NJOY.

“We’ll show how Juul and Altria swindled and addicted a generation of Minnesota youth to their products, causing both massive societal harm and the state’s high cost to fix that harm,” Ellison said in a statement. He plans to turn the case over to lawyers from two outside law firms after he makes some of his opening statements.

The jury trial before Hennepin County District Judge Laurie Miller is expected to last about three weeks. The state’s lawsuit against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota dragged on for nearly four months before the big tobacco companies settled the dispute, just before closing arguments.

The case forced the release of millions of pages of formerly secret industry documents that expanded America’s understanding of how the tobacco industry tried to hide the addictive nature of its products. Part of the $7.1 billion went to anti-smoking programs, but Juul and Altria noted in court that lawmakers spent most of that money funding the state government.

A 2019 lawsuit against Juul alleges consumer fraud creates a public nuisance, unfair enrichment, and a conspiracy with Altria that “hunted and lured Minnesota kids through deceptive and illegal tactics to buy a product that could sentence them to a lifelong nicotine addiction.” and other destructive actions.

The state said in a statement that Juul’s marketing was designed to trap kids by recruiting “cool kids” and using social media and celebrities to act as “sellers” for their addictive products. “The defendants allege that their behavior was intended to help ‘aging smokers’ quit smoking. This statement is false, it is a smokescreen,” the message says.

Juul said Minnesota’s insistence on litigation has robbed its citizens of some of the nearly $440 million in settlement money that other states use to reduce tobacco use.

“Effective responses to underage use of all tobacco products in Minnesota, including couples, depend not on headline-based trials but on evidence-based policies, programs and enforcement,” Juula said in a statement.

Altria Group of Richmond, Virginia, which makes Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco products and was formerly known as Phillip Morris Cos. — stated that she bought a 35% stake in Juul Labs in 2018 only after Juul assured Altria “and announced to the whole world” that it had made significant changes to its marketing.

Juul Labs was launched in 2015 thanks to the popularity of flavors such as mango, mint and creme brulee. Teenagers contributed to its growth, and some became addicted to high nicotine Juul pods. Amid the backlash, Juul pulled out of all advertising in the US and discontinued most of its fragrances in 2019, falling out of favor with teenagers. Juul’s share of the multi-billion dollar market has dropped to around 33% from 75%.

Juul is currently appealing the FDA’s rejection of its application to continue selling its vaping products as an alternative to smoking for adults. Juul is still south of New York, California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Alaska, Illinois, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Follows This Very Simple Happiness Rule



In a recent issue of their newsletter Pump dailyactor and legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger shared his thoughts on what it takes to find happiness in life and revealed “the only sure way” he would recommend to feel joy.

Schwarzenegger was forced to open up about his life philosophy in response to a recent study that found that people tend to seem happier in life the more money they have. Which certainly makes sense on the surface of things; the more financially secure you are, the less pressing worries you will have, such as food, housing, and access to health care. And to some extent, Schwarzenegger agrees.

“It always pisses me off when rich people tell other people that “money can’t buy happiness.” It can definitely buy you a lot of amenities and make life a lot easier,” he wrote. “But I also don’t think comfort or ease is the same as happiness. You can be the most comfortable person in the world and still be completely depressed.

“I think all of you should try to make as much money as you want,” he continued. “But if something is missing in your life and you find that money and the comfort it buys doesn’t make you happy, I think you need to find purpose. You must be helpful. many unfortunate, evil, rich people.”

Further, Schwarzenegger recalled how, when he was just starting bodybuilding, in between classes and training, he worked as a bricklayer with his friend Franco Colombu, and he had no money in the account at all. have a vision,” he said. “I think that’s the key to happiness.”

Getty Images

Of course, pursuing your goals and trying to realize your vision can often be a life’s work. If you want to feel satisfied here and now, Schwarzenegger has a recommendation.

“There’s one more thing: if you’ve been trying to find happiness and can’t, one sure way is to help someone else,” he wrote. “I still remember how in the late 70s, when I first went to train Special Olympics athletes in Wisconsin, I returned to my hotel room feeling fantastic. I’m talking about pure joy. I sat and thought: “Why am I so happy? I didn’t make any money today. I haven’t won a single award.” I gave. I felt useful. This is real happiness.”

Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.

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Losing weight is good for your health, even if you gain it back.



Changes in exercise and diet can bring health benefits that will last even if weight loss stops.


Obese people who regain weight lost through diet and exercise programs continue to see long-term improvements in risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. This suggests that losing weight is good for your health, even if you gain it back.

Weight loss reduces the risk of obesity-related chronic diseases. However, previous studies have shown that about half of obese people who participate in weight loss programs regain the weight lost within five years.

To understand the long term health implications of this, Jamie Hartmann-Boyce at Oxford University and colleagues collected data on more than 60,000 adults from 124 randomized controlled trials of behavioral weight management programs. These programs encourage changes in diet or exercise habits to affect weight loss.

All trials included data on one or more cardiometabolic parameters, such as blood pressure, heart disease incidence, or cholesterol levels, at least 11 months after the end of the program. In the trials, people who participated in behavioral weight management programs lost an average of 2.8 kg more weight than people in control groups. They also gained 0.12 to 0.32 kilograms each year after the end of the program.

People who have participated in behavioral weight management programs have also seen small but significant long-term reductions in cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Five years after the end of the program, participants’ cholesterol levels, which compare total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol, were on average 1.5 points lower than before the program. They also observed a statistically significant decrease in systolic blood pressure and blood sugar levels. However, there was evidence that the more weight returned over time, the smaller and shorter these improvements were.

“When we really think about the impact of this at the population level, it suggests that fewer people may end up in the hospital with various diseases. [cardiometabolic] diseases,” says Hartmann-Beuys. However, the team did not find a statistically significant difference in the incidence of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes between those who participated in weight loss programs and those who did not take them five years later. This may be because fewer studies have collected data on these outcomes, says Hartmann-Beuys.

However, the fact that there has been little change in risk factors is significant, says Lauren Block at Northwell Health in New York. “A little can make a big difference” in terms of whether a person needs to take one or more medications, she says.

More research is needed to understand why weight restoration does not completely eliminate the health benefits of weight loss. It’s possible that improving diet and exercise benefits health regardless of weight loss, Block says. It could also be that weight loss delays the onset of health problems, says Hartmann-Beuys.

“If you are gaining weight again, first of all, you are not alone. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it either. This does not mean that there were no benefits,” she says.


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