Supermodel and mom of three Ashley Graham shared a series of photos of her postpartum hair loss on Instagram this week. In the caption, the 35-year-old joked, “I mean at least it’s growing #postpartumhairloss.”This isn’t the first time Graham has been open about the effects of pregnancy on her body. She’s been vocal about how being a mom has changed her since her first child was born in 2020. In January 2022, she gave birth to twins, and she’s documented her postpartum experience on Instagram throughout this year.In June, Graham shared a video of herself modeling underwear and wrote in the caption, “Posting this video for all the mamas who haven’t and may never ‘bounce back’ and for anyone who needs to be reminded that your body is beautiful in its realest form. This is my strong, five-month-postpartum-been-pregnant-for-two-years body. As it is. In hopes to further normalize ALL bodies in every and any stage of life.” Graham has also talked about relying on disposable underwear after giving birth the first time: In a February 2020 post, she shared a photo of herself wearing them with the caption, “Raise your hand if you didn’t know you’d be changing your own diapers too…No one talks about the recovery and healing (yes even the messy parts) new moms go through. I wanted to show you guys that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies!”Instagram contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Now, Graham is keeping it real about yet another unexpected change that can happen to the body after giving birth. Postpartum hair loss is completely normal after having a baby, per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). This happens as a result of falling estrogen levels. Unfortunately, it can be more intense than a few fallen strands here and there. Per the Cleveland Clinic, it’s not unusual to notice “handfuls” of hair coming out in the shower. It usually starts one to six months after giving birth, and it can last for 18 months, but it can come back sooner. Per the AAD, most people see their hair return to “normal” during their first year postpartum. The good news is, we’re not talking about permanent hair loss. It’s only temporary, which is why dermatologists actually refer to postpartum hair loss as “excessive hair shedding.” Furthermore, you don’t need to do anything to stimulate hair growth—it’ll come back on its own, per the AAD.
Hailey Bieber shared a photo of herself on her Instagram story Monday, drawing attention to what she says is an apple-sized ovarian cyst. “I don’t have endometriosis or PCOS but I have gotten an ovarian cyst a few times and it’s never fun,” she wrote, joking that the cyst is “not a baby.”Bieber explained that the cyst is causing all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms. “It’s painful and achey and makes me feel nauseous and bloated and crampy and emotional,” she wrote.An ovarian cyst is exactly what it sounds like: a fluid-filled sac in or on an ovary. Most people with ovaries will develop an ovarian cyst during their lives, per the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). These cysts usually form during ovulation (when the ovary releases an egg), and most of the time they’re small and generally harmless. Though most ovarian cysts don’t cause major issues, some can cause immense pressure, bloating, swelling, and pain if they get big enough, per the NLM. Usually, ovarian cysts simply go away on their own, but in some cases, surgery might be needed to treat it—say, if the ovarian cyst ruptures, as SELF previously reported. “We often see someone come to the ER at night with terrible pain that came on all of a sudden during intercourse from a ruptured ovarian cyst,” Alyssa Dweck, MD, FACOG, a New York-based gynecologist, previously told SELF. Symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst run the gamut but can include dull or sharp pain; a heavy feeling in the abdomen; fever; vomiting; pain during or after sex; weakness; referred shoulder pain; quick breathing; chilly, clammy skin; and abnormal vaginal bleeding.Again, ovarian cysts can happen to anyone with ovaries and are pretty common, but certain health conditions may cause them to develop more frequently in some people, per the US Office on Women’s Health (OASH). These include pregnancy, PCOS, and endometriosis—all of which Bieber ruled out in her Instagram story—as well as severe pelvic infections.This isn’t the first time Bieber talked openly about her health this year: In March, she was hospitalized with stroke-like symptoms, as SELF previously reported. At the time, she said on her Instagram story: “They found I had suffered a very small blood clot to my brain, which caused a small lack of oxygen, but my body had passed it on its own and I recovered completely within a few hours.” The reason for the blood clot was originally unknown, but Bieber eventually shared it was caused by something called patent foramen ovale (PFO), for which she underwent surgery. In late April she shared that she was recovering from the procedure “really well, really fast.” In her recent post about her cyst, Bieber offered a word of encouragement to her Instagram followers. “I’m sure a lot of you can overly relate and understand,” she wrote. “We got this.”Related:
Today show weatherman Al Roker shared an update on his health with his Instagram followers Friday morning. He posted a picture of a bouquet of flowers and wrote, “So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been. Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg, which sent some clots to my lungs.”Roker, 68, hasn’t appeared on the Today show in two weeks, People reports. He explained on Instagram that it took his care team some time to figure out exactly what was going on: “After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery,” he wrote.Instagram contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Roker has a history of being vocal about his health: In 2020, he shared he’d been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, for which he underwent surgery. Earlier this year, he also talked about the 20th anniversary of his gastric bypass surgery on Instagram, writing: “I have setbacks and struggle every day, but I never forget how far I’ve come.” So, it’s not surprising that he decided to be transparent about his absence from the show.When a blood clot breaks loose and creates a sudden blockage in the lungs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism (PE), according to the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). This often happens the way Roker said it did for him: A clot that originally formed in another part of the body, usually in the leg, travels to the lungs through the bloodstream.A PE can damage the lungs or other organs and can be life-threatening, particularly if multiple clots travel to the lungs or if the clot is especially large. While a PE can happen to anyone, certain people face a higher risk, including those who have been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, and lung disease, as well as people who recently had surgery. A broken hip or leg bone—or other injury or physical trauma—can also boost your risk of a PE, as can not moving for a long period of time (say, during a really long flight), pregnancy and childbirth, being older than 40, or having a higher weight, per the NLM.Many people who develop a pulmonary embolism don’t have symptoms, but it’s possible to experience shortness of breath and chest pain or cough up blood. If you notice these symptoms and they’re not typical for you, you should see a doctor as soon as you can since a pulmonary embolism needs to be treated quickly. Depending on the severity of the clot and your health history, you may need a combination of medications or procedures to break up the clot and hopefully stop new ones from forming. Roker thanked his followers for their support on Instagram, but didn’t say when Today fans can expect him back on the show, writing: “Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and hope to see you soon.”Related:
Flu season is in full swing, folks. Influenza, which ramped up early in the US this year, has already caused nearly 3 million illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The virus has also caused at least 23,000 hospitalizations and 1,300 deaths so far. So if you haven’t booked a flu shot appointment already, here’s your sign—especially because the vaccine’s protection doesn’t just magically appear overnight.In fact, it can take up to two weeks after your vaccination for your body to reap the optimal benefits, per the CDC. This is because it takes time for your immune system to respond to the vaccine, and so your body needs a minute to build up protective, flu-fighting antibodies.Because of this gap, the CDC usually recommends that people try to get vaccinated before the end of October—but that doesn’t mean it’s too late. According to the Mayo Clinic, even getting a flu shot as late as February can still help protect you from outbreaks that occur late in the season. Of course, the sooner you can get your shot, the better. (This is especially true for people who have a higher risk of flu complications, including people with certain health conditions, people older than 65, infants and toddlers, and those who are immunocompromised—as well as anyone who lives with a person in a high-risk group.)“The flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctors visits each year,” Diana Finkel, DO, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, previously told SELF.Other common-sense precautions are also worth remembering this winter. As SELF previously reported, wearing a face mask and social distancing don’t just help slow the spread of COVID—these steps can also help protect you and those around you from the flu and other respiratory illnesses, like RSV or even the common cold.The bottom line: Since it takes up to two weeks for the flu shot to offer optimal protection, you should try to be extra vigilant until 14 days have passed since your appointment. And if you haven’t already gotten yours, make an appointment now to protect yourself—and your community—from an illness that’s already hospitalizing thousands.Related:
The potential risks of COVID reinfection are very real, regardless of your vaccination status, new research suggests. Having COVID more than once boosts your risk of hospitalization, developing long COVID, or even dying from the virus, according to a large new study published in the journal Nature Medicine.The goal of the research was to determine whether the risk of complications goes up the more you’re infected with the virus, according to lead study author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, assistant professor at the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. “The answer is absolutely yes,” he tells SELF.For the study, Dr. Al-Aly’s team used data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The researchers included 519,767 people who were initially infected and tested positive for COVID between March 1, 2020, and April 6, 2022. Of those people, 40,947 were reinfected between June 1, 2020, and June 25, 2022. The infected and reinfected groups were compared to a control group of more than 5.3 million people.What they concluded is harrowing: People who are infected with COVID two or more times are twice as likely to die for any reason; three times as likely to need hospitalization; three times as likely to have lung problems; three times as likely to have cardiovascular problems; and three times as likely to have a blood clot. They’re also more likely to experience fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disorders, mental health disorders, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and neurological disorders. The risk of developing complications from COVID is likely highest during the first 30 days of the infection, Dr. Al-Aly says.It could be that some people’s risk of these complications is higher than others, but Dr. Al-Aly’s team didn’t do subgroup analyses, he says—meaning, experts don’t yet know if these health issues are more or less of a threat to certain people after reinfection. Regardless, the study underscores that everyone should be especially cautious of long COVID symptoms after testing positive for the virus, especially after a reinfection, Thomas Russo, MD, an infectious disease expert at the University of Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, tells SELF.While more research needs to be done, the study helps solidify what doctors and scientists have been trying to communicate for years now, Dr. Al-Aly says: “COVID is absolutely not a common cold, not even a flu. This is far more serious than that,” he explains. “If you had it before, you’re not sealed from adverse events.”Though the study included a large number of people, it’s worth mentioning that the participant pool may not reflect the diversity in the US (or the world), Dr. Russo says, since people in the VA database are more likely to be cis men and have underlying health problems. Only about 10% of study participants were women, and they weren’t divided into subgroups by age, race, or sex assigned at birth. The study authors also acknowledged that the way we think about reinfections will likely change as more research on the topic is explored.
Jonah Hill’s new documentary Stutz, out on Netflix November 14, is a beautiful, up-close look at the power of talk therapy at its best. The film focuses on the 38-year-old actor’s relationship with his therapist, Phil Stutz, MD, and features snippets of their sessions over the years.Hill’s sessions cover everything from self-worth to grief to depression, and Dr. Stutz meets all of their conversations with practical, grounding advice (that happens to be relevant for almost anyone, not just celebrities).At the beginning, Hill explains that previous therapists weren’t as helpful as Dr. Stutz, who he’s been working with for about five years. “So, before meeting you, my experience with therapy was very traditional in the sense that I would be talking, and the person would say, ‘How does that feel?’ or, ‘Interesting,’—basically keeping me at a massive distance,” he said. “And I was thinking about how in traditional therapy, you’re paying this person, and you save all your problems for them. And they just listen. And your friends, who are idiots, give you advice, unsolicited. And you want your friends just to listen, and you want your therapist to give you advice.”Dr. Stutz adds that he too always felt there was “something missing” from the exact therapy model Hill found frustrating. That’s why he developed his own practices, which are grounded in visualization techniques that add a meditative element to his sessions.These practices are explored throughout the 1.5-hour film, and woven throughout them are intimate shots of both Dr. Stutz and Hill talking about some of the hardest times of their own lives.Hill, for instance, talks about his relationship with his body, and how the trauma of repeated fatphobic remarks took a toll on his mental health. “Meeting you and starting our process was out of desperation to get happier,” Hill said to Dr. Stutz. “I just had no healthy self-esteem. Having grown up overweight was something that sounds like not a big deal…but for me personally, it intensely fucked me up.” He adds that people often commented on his weight, which led to deep feelings of hurt and shame. “I thought if I got successful, they wouldn’t see [my weight]. And then I did, and all people did was just say more of that. And it hurt…and that still resides in me in a way that comes up.”The pair also talk at length about grief in the film, as both Dr. Stutz and Hill lost their respective brothers at a young age. “The only time I’ve had a massive experience with death, you were the person who got me through that,” Hill said to Dr. Stutz. He explains that he came to Dr. Stutz the day his brother died of a blood clot in 2017. “I went to your office that morning, and it was definitely the most intense day of my life, the most shook up I’ve ever been,” Hill said.Toward the end of the film, Hill explained that Dr. Stutz’s advice, coupled with his admiration for him, is why he wanted to make the documentary in the first place: “I’m making this movie because I want to give therapy and the tools I’ve learned in therapy to as many people as possible through film,” Hill said. He added that without Dr. Stutz’s help, his mental health wouldn’t be in the good place it’s in now: “I made this movie because I love Phil, because I love the life these tools allowed for me to have.”Related:
Chances are, if you take care of young children—or have just been a bit on edge about this year’s cold and flu season—you’ve heard a lot about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lately. RSV isn’t exactly new: It’s a common virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. That said, very young children and older adults face a higher risk of getting really, really sick from it.This year, RSV is surging beyond expected case counts; in fact, it’s starting to overwhelm many hospitals, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In October, RSV caused a spike in pediatric hospitalizations that pushed some children’s medical centers to capacity. This is becoming a bigger concern everywhere, but the situation is especially bad in certain parts of the country. For instance, Orange County, California, recently declared a health emergency, and every single pediatric hospital bed in the state of Rhode Island was full this week, according to reporting from NBC News.As infections continue to spread, you may be wondering: Can adults get RSV from children? Rest assured that most of us have been exposed to the virus before—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be super aware of its impact right now, especially if you have vulnerable loved ones around. Below, what you should know about RSV in adults, including common symptoms and how you can reduce your risk of catching—and transmitting—this virus.Can adults get RSV from kids?First, some important context: You’ve likely already been infected with RSV. “Almost everyone sees RSV by the time they’re two and develops antibodies,” Thomas Russo, MD, an infectious disease expert at the University of Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, tells SELF.But, as is the case with most respiratory viruses, your immunity to RSV wanes over time, meaning you’ll likely get infected again and again over the course of your life. This is especially true for parents or other caregivers of young kids. “Since children get RSV in their first two years of life, they’re at a dependent stage of their lives, and parents are going to be in close contact,” Dr. Russo says.So, yes, adults can get RSV from children who have the virus, and vice versa; it can be transmitted back and forth from anyone who is infected with it. RSV is typically spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes around others, per the CDC. You can also contract the virus by touching or kissing the face of a child (or anyone else) who has it. RSV can also live on surfaces, like doorknobs, so you can also become infected with it by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands.Again, most generally healthy adults won’t get severely ill from RSV—but they can still spread the virus to other people who may face a higher risk. “Whether it’s flu, RSV, or COVID, the high-risk groups are quite the same,” William Schaffner, MD, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells SELF. In addition to infants and young children, adults who are 65 or older, have chronic heart or lung disease, or have a weakened immune system are more likely to develop severe RSV symptoms or complications.Are RSV symptoms different in adults compared to kids?The most common RSV symptoms—which include fever, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, fatigue, and decreased appetite—tend to overlap in children and adults, Dr. Schaffner says. Symptoms usually show up four to six days after the initial infection, per the CDC. (Infants can experience a unique set of symptoms, though, including fussiness, irritability, loss of interest in activities, and changes in breathing patterns, per the Cleveland Clinic.)
A listeria outbreak that’s led to at least 13 hospitalizations, one death, and one pregnancy loss has been linked to deli meats and cheeses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So far, the outbreak has caused illnesses in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, and California.The CDC didn’t name specific types of deli meats or cheeses, or certain brands, that have been linked to the outbreak, but it cautioned against cold cuts, lunch meats, hot dogs, and pâtés. No recalls have been issued yet.Listeria is a type of bacteria that easily spreads on deli countertops and deli slicers, the CDC notes, adding that the pathogens can survive and grow in cold temperatures. Most people infected with listeria don’t get critically sick but certain people are more likely to develop severe illness (which may require hospitalization), including pregnant people, anyone over the age of 65, and anyone with a weakened immune system. The potential risks for both pregnant people and their fetuses are serious: A listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to a miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or a life-threatening infection, the CDC says.If you’ve recently eaten deli meat or cheese and start to notice symptoms of listeria, you should see a doctor ASAP. Warning signs of the illness can vary from person to person, but may include fever and flu-like symptoms (like muscle aches, headache, and fatigue), as well as digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea. In severe cases, listeria infection can cause a stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and even seizures. People who get severely ill from a listeria infection can sometimes be treated with antibiotics.To be on the safe side, you should probably just throw out any recently purchased deli meat or cheese, or make sure it’s steaming hot (at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit) before eating it because heat kills the bacteria, the CDC advises. You should also thoroughly clean your kitchen if you’ve recently purchased any deli meat or cheese. The CDC recommends disinfecting your refrigerator, any food containers, and all kitchen surfaces that may have come into contact with the potentially contaminated food.Given that the CDC is still trying to identify what food, exactly, caused the outbreak, it might be in your best interest to avoid the deli counter at your local supermarket for now, especially if infections have been confirmed in your state. Listeria can live for a long time in deli display cases and on equipment, so it’s not a bad idea to switch up your usual sandwich once lunchtime rolls around.Related:
Mehmet Oz, MD, is currently running for Senate in Pennsylvania (even though he was born in Ohio and spent much of his life in New Jersey), but chances are you’re probably somewhat familiar with him even if you don’t live there. He has the propensity to be…everywhere.He rose to fame as a regular guest on Oprah (who, BTW, recently endorsed his opponent John Fetterman), and went on to host his own daytime talk program, The Dr. Oz Show. For years, he also graced the covers of his magazine, Dr. Oz The Good Life, which now appears to be on pause.Despite the fact that he’s a medical doctor, he’s got a long history of sharing health opinions that are pretty wack. And by that we mean it ranges from not quiiiite accurate to flat-out wrong to potentially harmful and possibly dangerous.To be clear, we’re not calling out a couple of instances in which Dr. Oz spoke out of turn: We’re talking about his tendency to repeatedly share misleading medical information for the last decade. And to prove just how far-out some of his advice has been, we put together a list of several of his worst moments.He claimed selenium supplements can prevent cancer. In a 2012 episode of The Dr. Oz Show, he called selenium, a mineral found in certain foods, the “holy grail of cancer prevention,” per the Washington Post. But according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there’s actually no solid proof that it reduces cancer risk.He said three foods can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, specifically, by “up to 75%.” In 2011 he said on The Dr. Oz Show that endive, red onion, and sea bass could drastically reduce ovarian cancer risk—a claim that so outraged one group of actual researchers, they refuted it in a 2012 article called “Reality Check: There Is No Such Thing as a Miracle Food,” published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.In 2010, he implied that sleeping with a bar of lavender soap can help combat restless leg syndrome (RLS). Yes, you read that right. As Insider reports, in a 2010 episode of The Dr. Oz Show, he said, “I know this sounds crazy, but people put it under their sheets. We think the lavender is relaxing and may be itself beneficial.” Though this one isn’t necessarily harmful per se, it’s just…incorrect. As one medically reviewed article put it: “There is no evidence that a bar of soap in the bed will help relax your legs. There is no logical reason to place a bar of soap in the bed to treat either restless legs or leg cramps.”He was literally questioned by the Senate for endorsing two weight loss products on TV. In June 2014, he appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance during a false advertising hearing. The subcommittee questioned him on why he’d endorsed raspberry ketone and green coffee extract as weight loss wonders. His written testimony violated Federal Trade Commission guidelines by saying certain pills could “melt” fat, according to Politico. At one point during the hearing, former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill told Dr. Oz, “The scientific community is almost monolithic against you.”He recommended HCG, a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy, for weight loss. In 2011, he dedicated air time to what he called a “controversial” weight-loss approach called the HCG diet, per the Washington Post. How controversial, you may ask? Followers were advised to take a dietary supplement containing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone produced during pregnancy, and limit their food intake to 500 calories a day (!). This absolutely is as bad as it sounds: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says taking products that contain HCG to lose weight is “reckless.” This 2020 statement from the administration makes its position clear in no uncertain terms: “If you have HCG products for weight loss, quit using it, throw it out, and stop following the dieting instructions.”In 2020, he talked up the benefits of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 on Fox News. In a largely incoherent speech just weeks after COVID-19 started spreading widely in the US, Dr. Oz insinuated that hydroxychloroquine could treat people who had become very ill with the virus. Nearly three years after its emergence, there’s still no strong evidence to support the drug’s use for COVID treatment.In a recent debate, he said abortion decisions should be made among “women, doctors, and local political leaders.” Pregnant people? Yes—we agree with him there. Doctors? Sure! Local politicians, on the other hand, shouldn’t get a say here.In addition to the above, Dr. Oz’s campaign has stooped low enough to attack his opponent’s health. In a statement given to Insider by one of his aides in August, his team said: “If John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn’t have had a major stroke.” Another aide defended that statement by saying Fetterman couldn’t stand up for more than 10 minutes, CNN reports. When asked by NBC News if he would ever speak to his own patients this way, Dr. Oz said, simply, “No.”The above claims (which by no means constitute a complete list) are unfounded at best and possibly dangerous at worst. The bottom line? At a time when our elected officials play a huge role in our everyday health and well-being, Dr. Oz probably isn’t our best bet for public representation!Related:
Applegate said some people working on Dead to Me wanted to end production after she received her diagnosis—but she was determined to see it through. “The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop. We don’t need to finish it. Let’s put a few episodes together,’” she explained. “I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms.’”As her symptoms progressed, Applegate had to adjust to new logistical challenges on set. She said she had a hard time navigating the steps to her trailer; she sometimes used a wheelchair; and heat made shooting difficult for her, she explained. (High temperatures can exacerbate MS symptoms for some people with the condition, per the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.)Fortunately, Applegate says the Dead to Me team was supportive. Her co-star, Linda Cardellini, who also happens to be a close friend, advocated for her when she needed to take a break but didn’t want to ask for one. “She was my champion, my warrior, my voice,” Applegate said. “It was like having a mama bear.” A sound technician also helped Applegate by physically holding up her legs so she could stand through certain scenes.Even though she stuck with this project until it was done, Applegate said she hasn’t—and doesn’t expect to—reach a point of resolution with her diagnosis: “It’s not like I came to the other side of it, like, ‘Woohoo, I’m totally fine,’” she said.But she’s hopeful that audiences will appreciate the end of the series, for the sake of its characters, Applegate said: “If people hate it, if people love it, that’s not up to me…. But hopefully people can get past it and just enjoy the ride and say goodbye.”Related: