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Women’s Health

Morgan Stewart details scary thyroid signs, urges awareness



For about two months, Morgan Stewart would get dizzy from standing up quickly and experiencing joint pain, tension in her calf muscles, and pain in her right eye. At first she suspected that her new mother was stressing her body differently. As her symptoms worsened, she sought help and shares her story to encourage others to see their doctor if something doesn’t feel right.

“If you are feeling bad, please don’t wait as long as I do to check things out, especially if you are a new mom,” the co-host of the E! Show “Daily Pop” shared in her Instagram stories.

At first Stewart thought, “That was my new ‘normal’ and my new ‘groove’ with a newborn baby.” Stewart had her daughter in mid-February. She originally believed that all of the time she spent hopping Baby Row to calm her down was causing her newfound pain. But about seven weeks ago her symptoms got worse.

“My whole right arm went numb and I felt myself vanish again, but I was more afraid,” wrote Stewart. “I just began to panic more and more and extreme fear set in. My arm didn’t work. It felt hard to pick it up. “

After several other days of worrying symptoms such as increased anxiety, swollen tongue, and a heavy throat and jaw, Stewart visited her doctor who did blood tests. Your doctor explained what could have happened.

“My thyroid is so off the charts in overdrive, it’s basically in space. Thyrotoxic was the term (my doctor) used to describe it, ”she wrote. “It could be one of three things: a lump in my thyroid, Graves disease, or subacute thyroiditis (all things that can be triggered by pregnancy). So basically three things that I had no idea about. “

Stewart announced that she does not have Graves’ disease as she is awaiting answers about the other conditions.

Why do thyroid problems occur after childbirth?

Thyroid changes are not uncommon in postpartum and pregnant women.

“Out of 100 women, 5 will have some type of thyroid dysfunction in the post-pregnancy period,” said Dr. Gloria Bachmann, Director of the Women’s Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, TODAY. “It’s a common phenomenon… if women aren’t asked about thyroid symptoms by their doctors, they should bring it up and say, ‘You know I don’t really feel like me. I have a pathological tremor. I do not sleep.'”

Thyroid changes are common during pregnancy because the body’s immune system is suppressed to carry the baby. After the birth, the immune system sometimes recovers on a large scale.

“One speaks of a postpartum rebound in immune activity,” said Bachmann. “The changes that the body has with pregnancy were basically what protected you until you no longer have the foreign body in your uterus and your immune system becomes active again.”

In Graves’ disease, the thyroid is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone.

“The woman will have all this fear, irritability, etc.,” said Bachmann. “You will obviously have a fast heartbeat. You will have inexplicable weight loss. “

These treatments, which may include radioactive iodine or surgical removal of the thyroid gland, stop the overproduction of the hormone and reduce symptoms.

Hypothyroidism, which can be caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, causes the thyroid to become sluggish and not produce enough hormone. In these cases, patients often gain weight and struggle to lose it. You can also feel lethargic. Then patients take synthetic thyroid drugs to make enough hormone.

Thyroid nodules are fluid-filled cysts that grow on the thyroid gland that people often find by touching the base of their necks where the thyroid gland rests. Although nodules can be carcinogenic, very often they are harmless. Bachmann said that around 95% are benign and only require regular monitoring by a doctor.

“Often they just cause swelling,” says Bachmann. “Thyroid nodules usually don’t cause symptoms, but when they get big enough they certainly can … they can also cause breathing and swallowing problems.”

The lifelong risk of developing thyroid cancer is around 1%, she added. Still, she recommends that women think about their thyroid in their health.

“It’s good for women to self-monitor if they think something is wrong with their thyroid,” she said.

Subacute thyroiditis occurs when something is wrong with the thyroid gland but it doesn’t interfere with life on a regular basis.

“There are irregularities and either under- or over-production of the thyroid, but they can cause ‘subtle’ symptoms or symptoms that you don’t associate with your thyroid,” said Bachmann.

Often women reject thyroid symptoms such as exhaustion or feelings of anxiety, especially in the postpartum period. But Bachmann says it’s important that they let their doctors know when they notice changes, no matter what they are.

“A lot of women blame themselves. “I’m not doing well and I just haven’t slept enough” or “I didn’t eat well yesterday,” says Bachmann. “We have to break out of this form and just say, if something is wrong, say it.”

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Women’s Health

Israeli CEO seeks quantum of solace for women’s diseases – Sponsored Content



Severe stomach pain. Nausea. Fatigue. Infertility. These are just some of the symptoms that millions of women with endometriosis suffer – an incurable disease caused when tissue that lines the uterus grows elsewhere in the abdomen.

Shahar Keinan, the Israeli CEO of Polaris Quantum Biotech, is working with another female CEO in the field to use superfast quantum computers to find a cure for endometriosis that doctors estimate affects around 10% of women worldwide.

“This will help bring drugs to market quickly, especially in areas that have long been neglected,” says Keinan of her company’s new partnership with Californian Auransa Inc., which is using artificial intelligence to find new treatments . “This really solves an unmet need.”

The two companies will also work together to find treatments and cures for ovarian and breast cancer and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

“I believe that we will be able to combine our individual expertise in biology and chemistry to develop high quality solutions for these very difficult to control or neglected diseases that affect women’s health,” says Pek Lum, Auransa’s CEO.

Solutions to these diseases are just a fraction of what Polarisqb, a North Carolina-based quantum computing startup, is researching in the fast-growing field of computational chemistry, where scientists use computer models instead of laboratory equipment to identify new compounds that stop or prevent can disease.

The technology, which is dramatically accelerating drug development, holds great promise in areas that are still under-researched – such as women’s health – and rare diseases, where drug companies often have poor return on investment.

Polarisqb is currently conducting an investment round. Private investors can find out more about OurCrowd and participate.

Traditional laboratory-based drug development methods are now becoming more expensive. Each new drug costs about $ 1 billion on average, a price that includes the many failed trials and studies, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The costs are passed on to the patients.

The quantum computing used by Polarisqb calculates up to 10,000 times faster than conventional computers, helps to make more drugs available faster and at lower prices, and to reduce the average time to market for a drug from 10 to seven years, says Keinan.

To test the concept, Polarisqb’s scientists built on previous Novartis laboratory research on dengue fever, which it took about four years to identify molecules that could stop the disease that causes nausea, rash and limb pain, and in patients can be fatal about 25% of the cases. Although there is a vaccine for certain age groups, it can only be given to people who have had the virus in the past. The virus infects up to 400 million people worldwide every year.

“We were able to use our platform and identify the same molecules from a library of billions in less than a minute. We also use the system to identify new molecules in order to overcome the problems with the old ones, ”said Keinan. The company will now commercialize these molecules to pharmaceutical companies.

The same work can be done with conventional computers, but “it’s a long and complicated operation,” says Keinan, and it would not save much compared to laboratory research. “We were looking for something faster and more efficient to be able to scale.”

Quantum computers allow the system to do super-fast calculations to figure out which molecules are best to use and quickly eliminate those that don’t work.

The platform works by scanning computer models of billions of different molecules. It identifies the molecules that could treat a particular disease by attacking and stopping the activity of a particular protein that changes the course of the disease. In cancer, certain molecules could stop the cancer cells’ DNA from replicating. In viruses, certain molecules could stop the replication of the RNA.

“Finding these molecules will stop the disease,” says Keinan, adding that these molecules then become prescriptions or blueprints for drugs.

“We’re just trying to find the perfect molecule or key that fits exactly into the protein’s keyhole,” she says.

Polarisqb used a digital annealer, a quantum-inspired technology developed by Fujitsu that is able to perform parallel optimization calculations in real time with a speed, precision and size that is unmatched by classical computing. The collaboration with Fujitsu expands the number of molecules sought from 10 million to trillions of molecules and thus increases the probability of finding new, useful drug candidates.

“The new solution from Polarisqb and Fujitsu shortens the time frame for drug discovery and lead optimization from up to 48 months to just eight months,” says Alex Brown, Drug Discovery Consultant at Fujitsu.

Traditionally, scientists have done this in laboratories and conducted experiments to exclude molecules or find effective ones. But this process of trial and error is lengthy and costly, and one of the reasons why the average drug takes about a decade to develop.

“Either you do it slowly and very expensive,” says Keinan. “Or you find a new technology; and we do. “

You can find more information about investing in Polaris Quantum Biotech HERE.

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Women’s Health

Why a former Ro exec set out to start her own digital health startup



Rachel Blank left Ro last year to start Allara. The startup focuses on helping women cope with PCOS and other complex diseases. Image credit: Allara

After serving two years as Director of Strategy for Digital Health Unicorn Ro, Rachel Blank set out last year to start a new company based on her own health experiences.

In September, she founded Allara Health with the aim of helping women treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects an estimated one in ten women. It’s a common cause of infertility, but it affects much more than that – a large percentage of people with PCOS are also insulin resistant, and the condition is also linked to anxiety and depression.

In most cases, it takes years to diagnose and little is known about what actually causes the disease.

Blank found this out from personal experience. She was diagnosed with PCOS 10 years ago after dealing with unexplained health problems for years.

“That was not only a surprise, but especially for me because I grew up the daughter of a gynecologist,” she said in a Zoom interview. “Even when I was diagnosed, I didn’t feel like I ever made a good path in the healthcare system. I never knew where to go, which doctors to see, what to do. I found doctors very dismissive or said things like, ‘If you’re not trying to get pregnant, I don’t really know what to do for you.’ “

The pandemic spurred her to think more about her health and she started doing her own research. She found large communities of women on the internet trying to put together the same questions she was faced with.

“That was that big aha moment for me,” she said. “I can bring in not only my personal experience, but also my professional experience in the field of digital health and, to be honest, build something better.”

Blank is no stranger to women’s health. While at Ro, she ran one of the company’s direct-to-consumer brands, Rory, which offered prescription and wellness treatments for menopausal women. Before that, she worked as an investor for General Catalyst.

At Allara, her goal is to focus more on improving access to specialized treatments, an area that is often overlooked by other women’s health startups that are more focused on primary care or fertility.

“Where I saw this massive void was the specialty care,” she said. “What to do if you not only need contraception but are also not ready for IVF? There is really nowhere you can go in traditional healthcare or digital healthcare right now. “

The New York startup offers virtual visits to gynecologists and endocrinologists as well as nutritional advice and coaching. You also have the option of ordering diagnostics such as a blood test or medication if necessary. Allara currently charges a $ 125 monthly subscription model for all of its services, although going forward, Blank said the company plans to offer it as an employee benefit and offer more point solutions.

Allara currently operates in six states but hopes to be in all 50 states by the end of the year. The company has started visiting patients in the past few months. Around 35,000 women have either signed up for the service or expressed their interest.

In the longer term, Blank hopes to expand to other, often overlooked diseases such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids.

“This motivates me and motivates my entire team to understand the massive impact we have not only on a woman’s everyday life and her daily feelings, but also on her health outcomes,” she said, “.

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Women’s Health

County needs a trauma-informed facility for female inmates



On Tuesday, June 15, the Travis County Commissioners Court will vote on whether or not to approve a $ 4.3 million design services contract for the proposed Travis County Trauma Informed Women’s Facility Project. The design of the project is influenced by the tremendous efforts of an advisory committee that issued recommendations based on months of work with interviews with female inmates and research into best practices.

The purpose of this project is not to increase detention capacity; Rather, it is about replacing outdated and inefficient facilities and building a holistic facility that houses female inmates in one building, with access to on-site gender-specific medical services, trauma-informed care and counseling, psychosocial support system, vocational training and other programs.

This project is the first of many outlined in Travis County’s current prison facilities master plan, which suggests that at least seven buildings in the prison complex are in disrepair and have been in use for longer than originally intended. I do not support the replacement of all of these buildings. I support the proposed women’s facility that addresses the needs of women from a trauma-informed perspective. If women were placed in a facility with only women and their medical needs attended to, the facility would be safer for women and the officials who protect them.

In addition, a facility that enables the continuous supply of mental health and vocational training services can begin to address the core issues related to the social determinants of health critical to the inmate’s rehabilitation and ensure successful re-entry into the to ease society after they have served their time.

Many prisoners have a background of poverty. The simple fact is that for people living near the poverty line, the prison is the primary place for mental health and medical care. I am not happy about this, but as a Travis County Commissioner, it is my duty to provide for the primary needs of the people who are in our care. I will not fail to improve the existing services without a specific program to replace these much-needed services.

The best of intentions without the appropriate resources can withhold necessary treatment options from members of the community. Lawyers who oppose the Women’s Facility Project fail to recognize the complexities of the issues or the fact that neither the state nor the local government has invested in the necessary resources to provide mental health services outside of prison. Travis County needs more access to drug beds and services for commonly diagnosed mental health problems.

I support parallel efforts to increase these services and provide more distraction, and I am ready to work with anyone who can help solve these complex problems; However, I cannot support pursuing this work at the expense of providing trauma-informed services to incarcerated women who, for various reasons, remain in our prison and under our care.

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