NorthStar Nutritionals Blog

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  1. The REAL Truth About Hair Grafting

    So you’re thinking about hair grafting.

    You’ve seen the commercials and it doesn’t seem that bad.

    Plus, you’re getting a little thin up top. It would be nice to nip hair loss in the bud, while it’s still just a little thin.

    And it’s true - there’s nothing, no pill, cream, or spray that works as well as an effective hair graft.

    It makes sense – so long as you only watch the commercials.

    Once you look closer at hair grafting, you might feel differently. So, let’s do it. Let’s really look at the hair replacement surgery, or hair grafting, and then you can decide for yourself.

    To Graft or Not to Graft

    Perhaps the most important thing to remember about hair grafting is that it is indeed surgery. It may be called “grafting” but it involves a doctor cutting on your body. That makes it surgery.

    Out-patient surgery, sure, but surgery nonetheless. It’s easy to forget that, though, watching late-night infomercials. Here’s how hair grafting works…

    It starts when the surgeon sterilizes and numbs the part of your head that will act as the donor site, place the graft will come from. The donor site will be a place on your scalp, usually the back, where hair loss hasn’t begun.

    He then cuts a three to four inch strip, or round depending on the doctor, from the donor site. This strip will end up your graft.

    Once he has the graft, he’ll sew shut the wound on the back of your head. This will be hidden by the hair on either side of the stitches.

    The graft will then be divided into 500 to 2000 smaller pieces with anywhere from one hair to a handful of hairs on each.

    The doctor will sterilize and numb the section of your scalp where the grafts will be attached. At this point, he’ll use a needle or a scalpel to cut small holes or slits everywhere the grafts are to be applied. A graft goes into each hole or slit. The whole procedure can take anywhere from four to eight hours.

    When he’s done attaching the grafts, he’ll cover your surgical site with gauze. Technically, the procedure is over at this point. Except it’s not quite –

    Hair Grafting After Care

    As with any surgery, you’re going to need to take care of yourself after hair grafting. Your doctor will probably prescribe pain killers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories. Expect to be on the pain killers for several days after the procedure, and always take the entire course of antibiotics a doctor prescribes.

    Also, you’ll be out of work anywhere from two days to a week. Finally, you’ll need to go back to get the stitches removed from your donor site in about ten days.

    Side Effects to Consider

    Let’s be honest – how we look matters. And once you’re not thrilled with what you’re seeing in the mirror…or the drain…or in the hairbrush…it’s easy to think you’d be willing to do anything to have a full, thick head of hair again.

    Until you start truly considering the side effects.

    The good news is the side effects of hair grafting usually clear up within a few weeks. The bad news is those few weeks may include some or even all of this:

    • swelling
    • bleeding
    • bruising around the eyes
    • a crust on or around the surgical sites where hair was removed or grafted
    • infection
    • numbness or lack of sensation at the donor and/or graft sites
    • itching
    • inflammation or infection of the hair follicles
    • shock loss, or sudden loss of transplanted hair
    • unnatural-looking tufts of hair

    And after all that, you may still have to go back for another round of surgeries. In order to get a full, thick head of hair, you may need to repeat the whole process more than once, with two to four months healing time in between each session.

    You Get All This For HOW Much?

    Any surgery can be a shock to your system, but are you ready for another one? The cost of hair grafting can run anywhere from $4000 to $15,000. That’s fifteen thousand dollars. And most health insurances don’t cover it.

    But Are There Really Alternatives?

    Here’s the truth: nothing else on the market today works as well as a completely successful hair graft.

    But here’s the rest of the truth: hair grafting is also an expensive, time consuming surgery with risks and side effects. It’s not something you can just run down to the local hair place and get done on your lunch break, in spite of how the infomercials may make it seem.

    And there are alternatives that really do work, like Restore FX, the hair loss supplement for men and women specially designed to work with your body to stop you from losing hair and to even promote new hair growth.

    No dangerous, scary side effects. No unnatural, fake looking results. No budget-busting expenses. Just your hair, growing naturally.

    Those are the facts about hair grafting - and the facts about the alternatives. Now the choice is yours.

  2. The TRUTH About Cartilage Replacement

    replacement CartilageYou may have heard about cartilage replacement and repair.

    You may have even started to get excited about it if you have sore, achy knees.

    After all, a joint is made up of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles.

    The cartilage is at the very end of the bones, where they would rub together – except the cartilage acts as a cushion.

    When cartilage gets damaged or injured, you end up with creaky, stiff, painful joints.

    Which certainly sounds like a good time to get excited about cartilage replacement.

    Unfortunately, that excitement might be premature. Only a portion of people with problematic knees are eligible for cartilage replacement surgeries. The only thing you can do is research, ask your doctor, and see if this option is for you.

    So let’s look at closer at cartilage replacement and repair, and see if you could be a good candidate…

    How Is Cartilage Replacement Different from Joint Replacement?

    Joint replacement is a surgery where a natural joint is replaced with an artificial one. The surgeon will remove the entire joint, and insert the artificial one, affixing it to the surrounding bones.

    With cartilage replacement, just the cartilage – the joint cushion – is affected. The rest of the joint is left alone. There are six different procedures that are out of the experimental stages (more on those in a moment), but the key to each one is that the joint stays intact. This makes cartilage replacement attractive because it’s a less invasive procedure with a better prognosis for full recovery.

    What Exactly Is Cartilage Replacement?

    Cartilage replacement has been around for decades, but has just recently come into its own thanks to other medical advances. And while these six procedures may not be commonplace yet, they’re not experimental either. As complex as the procedures sound, only the last two require incisions. The first four can be done with an arthroscope, using small punctures rather than large cuts.

    1. Microfracture. Often, when cartilage gets damaged, its blood flow gets damaged as well. Without blood flow, no new cells can grow. So the goal of microfracture is to create new blood flow so that new cartilage cells can grow. Holes are made in the joint’s surface, allowing the blood to flow, bringing new cells with it.

    2. Drilling. This cartilage replacement works almost exactly the way you would it expect it to by its name. Multiple holes are drilled into the damaged bone, which causes the body to begin to heal itself. Part of the healing process is rejuvenating joint cartilage.

    3. Abrasion arthroplasty. Abrasion arthroplasty works the same way drilling does, only burrs are used instead of drills. The body responds the same way, however.

    4. Osteochondral autograft transplantation. Think of this procedure as a graft, because that’s very much what it is. Healthy cartilage is taken from the joint and grafted onto the injured cartilage, helping to strengthen the damaged area.

    5. Osteochondral allograft transplantation. One of the two cartilage replacement procedures that require an incision, osteochondral allograft transplantation is similar to osteochondral autograft transplantation. The big difference is the source of the graft cartilage. In an osteochondral allograft transplantation, the graft comes from an organ donor rather than the patient themselves.

    6. Autologous chondrocyte implantation. The longest of the six procedures, it’s also the most complex. First, healthy cartilage is taken from the patient and sent to a laboratory where it’s grown for three to five weeks. This allows the number of cartilage cells to increase. Once enough new cells have been produced, they are used to fill in and graft around the original damaged cartilage. And since they are the patient’s own cells, there’s no risk of rejection.

    So Who’s Eligible?

    The best candidates for any of these cartilage replacement procedures are people who have otherwise healthy joints. Many are athletes who have sustained a sports injury.

    Some of the procedures are even recommended specifically for younger patients.

    None are recommended for people with age-related arthritis.

    If You’re Not Eligible – Now What?

    If you find out you’re not a good candidate for cartilage replacement, don’t get frustrated! You still have plenty of options to keep you moving and feeling better!

    Be sure to eat foods that are good for your joints – and avoid the ones that will make aches and stiffness worse.

    Keep moving, because a joint in motion stays in motion!

    Lose weight if you need to. Every pound you lose is less pressure your sore joints need to carry.

    Take to your doctor. You very well may be eligible for cartilage replacement and repair. And if you’re not – don’t worry! There are other ways to get smooth, comfortable, healthy joints!

  3. 13 Natural Remedies for Wrinkles

    wrinkles natural remediesLet’s be honest – aging really does have its benefits.

    Confidence, wisdom, self-awareness… there are a lot of good things that come with being around for a while.

    Wrinkles and saggy skin, however, don’t happen to be on that list. After all, you don’t necessarily want to look like you’ve been around a while.

    So put all that hard-earned wisdom to good use and fight back against the signs of aging with these natural remedies for wrinkles!

    Think about natural remedies for wrinkles in three categories: behaviors, what to put on your body, and what to put in your body.

    Pull at least one – or more! – from each category and you’ll love the results. Continue reading

  4. 8 Quick Tips for Ankle Pain Treatment

    treatment ankle painIf it’s a dull ache or a sharp pain, ankle pain requires treatment.

    Because let’s be honest, you’re not going anywhere on ankles that hurt.

    Your fingers, shoulders, even you neck, as painful as they can be… If you have to, you can make it through your day.

    But unless your day consists of sitting in one place and not moving for any reason, when it’s your ankles that hurt, ankle pain treatment is a necessity.

    The key, though, is to make sure your ankle pain treatment matches what’s wrong with your ankle… Continue reading

  5. 7 New and Improved Exercises for Arthritic Knees

    arthritic knees exercisesKeeping your knees moving is key to maintaining control over your arthritis and you know it.

    That’s why you walk, swim, dance, cycle, or otherwise focus on maintaining fluid motion in your knees every single day.

    But did you know that there are exercises for arthritic knees that can target your joints and help keep them healthy?

    Ideally, you should be combining your favorite aerobic, fluid motion exercises with strength and stretching exercises for your knee arthritis. Continue reading

  6. 13 Surprising Foods and Drinks for a Healthy Digestive System

    digestive system healthyYou try to take care of yourself but some days it doesn’t always work. Some days, it feels like every attempt to keep a healthy digestive system backfires.

    Those are the days that a little patience, and the right dietary choices are in order. Make sure you’re getting these foods and beverages on a regular basis and make for a healthy digestive system, every day. Continue reading

  7. 8 Tips to Ease Your Achy Neck For Good

    neck achyMaybe you feel your achy neck first thing in the mornings. Or after sitting for too long. Or at the end of a long day.

    Whenever your achy neck starts bothering you, it’s time to manage it, and manage it for good!

    The key, though, is to make sure you don’t make your achy neck worse. There are two steps to easing neck aches properly: knowing what’s causing the problem, and taking the right steps to treat it. Continue reading

  8. 10 Natural Ways to Help With Jaw Pain Relief

    relief jaw painWhen you think of joint pain, most people think of knees…fingers…maybe hips.

    But the pain you’re feeling in your jaw is joint pain, too!

    And jaw pain relief is just as important as any other kind of joint pain relief. Continue reading

  9. The Ultimate Skin Diet: 16 Foods to Help Rejuvenate Your Skin

    diet skinWhen you’re looking for a skin diet, you’re not looking for one or two ingredients that might help your skin stay looking good.

    You’re looking for an entire diet for your skin. To stay radiant. Glowing. Youthful.

    That’s why we’ve come up with the ultimate skin diet – sixteen foods, from entrees to side dishes, drinks to desserts – that will keep you loving what you see in the mirror. Continue reading

  10. What Leg Circulation Has to Do With Your Joints

    circulation legJoint health has been on your radar ever since you found out that arthritis in your knees and leg joints isn’t inevitable.

    Now, you exercise properly, eat right, and take care of your joints to minimize joint stiffness and pain. But have you given any thought to your circulation?

    That’s right – the same blood circulation that can affect your heart also impacts your joint health.

    Leg circulation plays a huge role in the health of your hips, knees, and ankle joints. The blood flow throughout your whole body can support – or weaken – your joints.

    Here’s how … Continue reading

  11. The One Bladder Exercise You Need to Boost Urinary Health

    exercise bladderWhen was the last time you slept through the night without your bladder waking you up?

    Or made it through a full round of golf without having to take a bathroom break?

    Or was able to focus on a romantic dinner without needing to excuse yourself?

    Luckily, there’s a solution. If you’ve struggled with bladder control for months or if it’s just starting to be a problem, you need to start working out!

    That’s right – you can use bladder exercises to boost your urinary health the same way you use bicep curls to boost your arm strength.

    And you can achieve impressive results with one simple bladder exercise. Imagine not having to time your day around trips to the bathroom. It’s possible – and it’s not even that much work.

    The bladder exercise you need can be done anywhere, anytime, and no one will ever even know. It’s that easy.

    Working out without breaking a sweat? That hardly seems worthwhile – but it’s more than worth it, especially when you start living with the results.

    You may have even heard of the bladder exercise you need, and just didn’t think it would do anything for you: Kegels. Continue reading

  12. What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus

    virus zikaGlobal health concern. Travel warnings. Spreading throughout the United States.

    The Zika virus is everywhere these days. On the news, in the papers, all over online resources.

    First, it was spread through mosquito bites. Now, it’s showing up in bodily fluids like urine and semen. Some people are even discouraging kissing.

    With headlines about “public health emergencies,” new cases showing up in our borders, and even fears about athletes attending the Olympics, it’s easy to panic about this new disease and what it might mean for you.

    But panic doesn’t serve you or your health. So, we’re going to cut through the sensationalism and the soundbites and look at the facts about the Zika virus.

    • What is the Zika virus?
    • How is it transmitted?
    • What are the symptoms?
    • How can you avoid catching it?
    • And how concerned should you really be? Continue reading
  13. Arthritis and Diet: The Foods That Are Making Your Arthritis Worse

    diet and arthritisYou know that arthritis and diet are linked. You know that there are foods like beets, avocado, and even green tea that can help with joint discomfort.

    But did you know that diet and arthritis are linked by what you shouldn’t eat, as well?

    Because what you leave off your plate can be as important to maintaining joint health as what you put on your plate.

    So check your diet and make sure you’re not eating too much of these ten foods that are making your arthritis worse…

    Continue reading

  14. Quick and Easy Eye Strengthening Exercises for Better Vision

    Exercises eye strengtheningYou think you know how it works – you get older, your eyes age, and your vision gets bad.

    You know it and it’s inevitable.

    But guess what? It doesn’t have to work that way! Sure, you’ll get older and your eyes will age.

    But you can protect your vision with simple eye strengthening exercises.

    Continue reading

  15. What Physical Pain Does to Your Body

    pain physical No one wants to live with physical pain, let’s be honest.

    At the same time, though, people tend to think of pain as something you should just deal with….adults shouldn’t be crybabies…everybody hurts a little as they get older…

    But those attitudes are as much a problem as your physical pain!

    You should not “just deal with” physical pain. In fact, doing so can actually be unhealthy for you.

    Continue reading

  16. What’s REALLY Causing Bags Under Your Eyes

    Under your eyes bagsSome mornings it feels like it’s not even worth getting out of bed.

    You know the ones – the mornings where the bags under your eyes might as well be suitcases, and it feels like you hardly rested at all.

    If you find yourself hiding from the mirror more mornings than not, you’ll be pleased to learn there may be something you can do to reduce the bags under your eyes.

    But first, it helps to know what causes them!

    Continue reading

  17. 8 Surprising Health Benefits of Korean Red Ginseng

    Korean red ginseng benefitsSome supplements are very straight forward and easy to understand.

    They’ve been around for years and everyone is comfortable with them.

    Then, there are other ones, the ones that seem a little more mysterious.

    You’ve heard enough to know they’re good for you – but it’s harder to get a grasp of their true benefits.

    Korean red ginseng is definitely one of the more mysterious supplements.

    Well, read on because I’m about to demystify the benefits of Korean red ginseng, so you’ll get your questions answered and know exactly what it’s good for!

    Continue reading

  18. 8 Natural Tips to Have Better Sex in 2016

    sex have betterNo matter how great your sex life is, just about everybody is interested in having better sex.

    And if you’re sex life has dropped off to just so-so – or worse – then you’re really looking for ways to have better sex.

    But you’re not looking for anything too wild and crazy, or for anything that really requires the flexibility of a twenty year old.

    Just natural ways to have better sex – at your age, that still make you feel comfortable.

    That’s where these eight tips for having better sex in 2016 – and beyond – come in!

    Continue reading

  19. 10 Ways to Help Make Joint Pain at Night A Thing of the Past

    night joint painDoes it ever feel like joint pain at night is worse than it is during the day?

    You’re going along all morning and afternoon, just fine, with your pain reasonably under control.

    Then night comes and your joint pain gets worse – and worse – until you can’t get comfortable, you can’t fall asleep, and once you do, you can’t manage to stay asleep.

    It’s enough to make you dread getting in bed. The pressure points, having to roll over, risking tweaking a joint because you turned the wrong way or because you got twisted in the blankets.

    But you can put that dread to bed because we’ve got ways to help you make joint pain at night a thing of the past!

    Continue reading

  20. Is My Heart Healthy Enough for Sex [Take this heart-sex quiz now]

    sex-heartYour heart should be healthy enough for sex – but you’re still a little concerned.

    After all, it’s your heart. And you’re not a kid any longer. It’s easy to still have lingering doubts. How does your doctor know for certain? How do you?

    Well, it helps to know some basic information about your heart and sex, as well as to answer some very specific – but not too personal, don’t worry – questions about how your heart health may contribute to your sex life.

    So, we’re here for you. Take these tests. Between them and your doctor’s advice, you should be able to put aside any last, low-level concerns.

    Continue reading