Top 7 reasons for spotting in women

We, women, can argue that our sex is the one more bombarded with hardships in the history of mankind. Maybe some men will argue but, most will rest their case. We had to fight to vote and to take on an equal stance in the assignment of societal roles. After over two millennia, it may seem that the fight has been won on many grounds.

The positive changes do not make a woman’s health’s vulnerability away. The World Health Organization reports that maternal mortality has decreased by 44 per cent between 1990 and 2015. However, 830 women still die from preventable causes of pregnancy and child delivery causes of death every day. Becoming better informed of the reasons for spotting alone has the potential to improve this sorry fact.

Below are the Top 7 reasons why women experience abnormal spotting or bleeding you should be able to spot immediately so that you can raise that red flag and be administered with the proper care if necessary:

1. Ovulation. Women sometimes experience light spotting when they ovulate. Ovulation happens about midway into your menstrual cycle. This is the time when a woman’s egg is most likely to be formed into an embryo if a sperm is able to penetrate its core and fertilize it. You will want to avoid having sex during this period of your cycle if you don’t want to become pregnant.

2. Contraception. Women who take birth control pills, and have intrauterine devices and patches implanted, are also prone to spotting in between cycles. That’s because these birth control methods work by interfering with your body’s natural hormone levels. During your body’s phase of adjustment, spotting may occur. Contraceptive pills will have this effect if these are not taken at regular intervals day after day.

3. Pregnancy. Spotting during pregnancy or conception should be considered as a red flag all the time. Never self-medicate nor taking your spotting for granted. Always report any sight of blood, whether light or heavy, to your doctor.

Implantation of the fertilized egg in your uterus may be marked and followed by a light spotting as it makes its way from the fallopian tubes. This is normal. Many women experience spotting for this reason. If you do not already know that you are pregnant, you may take this as a trigger to subject yourself to a pregnancy test.

Frequent spotting during pregnancy can deprive your unborn child of oxygen and nutrients that can hamper his or her development. Bleeding may also signify abnormalities in pregnancy, including possible miscarriage, but also special cases that need special pregnancy care such as ectopic pregnancy and placenta previa. In any case, you should let your doctor know about bleeding episodes immediately.

4. Menopause. Drastic drops and spikes in hormonal levels around menopause cause spotting as the body grows accustomed to the major transition happening from reproductive to menopausal. This is the reason why menopausal women should also be under the special care of a physician. Changes during menopause may cause more than just abnormal bleeding, but may also make certain conditions of the reproductive organ manifest.

5. Hormonal imbalance. Just like the significant fluctuations that happen during menopause, hormonal imbalance may happen anytime in the life of a woman. Abnormal cysts can make the bleeding worse. This is one of the most common reasons for spotting, particularly in adult, sexually reproductive women.

6. Sexually transmitted infections and other diseases involving the reproductive organs. A combination of spotting and heavy bleeding in between periods may be a sign of cervical cancer and pelvic inflammatory disease or, rare conditions such as melanoma of the uterus.

7. Other conditions. Sometimes, more mundane factors such as excessive working out and severe stress can cause spotting in women. Sexual aggression or abuse is another ordinary cause. Other related diseases are hormone-related disorders and diabetes. Once again, refrain from self-diagnosing. Whether or not you feel pain, schedule an appointment with your doctor for immediate and correct diagnosis of the underlying conditions that are causing you to spot or bleed.

Conclusion

“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay,” reportedly said one of the well-loved pop celebrities of all time, Madonna. Don’t let spotting get in the way of your perseverance and goals. That, in no way, means that you should neglect it. Keep in mind that your health takes priority over anything else that is keeping you busy on any ordinary day.

wrinkles

Understanding What Your Wrinkles Tell About Your Skin

Aging is a natural process that manifests itself with the presence of wrinkles on your skin. It is also a sign of a life well lived. However, wrinkles can also offer insight to your individual health. This means that not all wrinkles are signs of aging or life well lived; they can also signal issues that the skin is facing from within. Also, the wrinkles tell more about your health conditions. Better wrinkle care is recommended for better care of your skin and your general health. Here are some of the health issues that wrinkles can tell about your skin and general health:

Stress

The appearance of wrinkles can be as a result of being anxious or stressful for longer periods of time. Stress is one of the ingredients of acquiring permanent wrinkles that are not age related. Stress is said to pump a hormone to that area of your skin i.e. the forehead. The hormone cortisol in this case is said to degrade or diminish the amount of collagen and elastin in the skin. As a result, the strength of the skin and the firmness that result from the presence of collagen and elastin is lost leaving deep stress wrinkles. It is important to let go of stress and reduce frequent worries or else you will age faster than you think.

Sugars

The high amount of sugar intake is quite dangerous for your skin. If you want to ensure better wrinkle care, one of the steps is to reduce the amount of sugar you take on a daily basis. Researchers have found that sugar, when ingested, attaches itself to the skin peptides or proteins forming an Advanced Glycation End Products or the AGEs. The Advanced Glycation End Products lead to the breakdown of the collagen and the elastin in the skin leading to the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. This damage is reversible by taking sugars in fruits such as mangoes. The sugar present in the fruit is anti-glycating making it perfect for reversing the properties of other forms of sugars in the skin. See also Anti-glycation treatment needed to fight skin aging effects of sugar.

Heart Disease

Imagine the presence of a wrinkle that indicates that you have a heart condition; apparently, this is true, and the appearance of wrinkles can offer an early diagnosis for you. The appearance of a skin wrinkle behind your ear lobe is a clear indication of a heart condition as described or discovered by T. Frank in the year 1973. The wrinkle is said to be a result of a capillary collapse that can indicate the failure of vessels that surround your heart. The research has also been verified by another research conducted by pertinent health facilities or medical centers such as Cedars-Sinai.

Osteoporosis

Skin and bones both operate on the same principle and require the same hormones to keep them firm and to operate for longer periods. The hormone decreases as time goes by and its production becomes less and less with passing time; collagen resulting in the presence of wrinkles on the skin. Research conducted among women aged 40-50 years, found that they had low bone densities i.e. osteoporosis especially for those who had the deepest wrinkles. This means that better wrinkle care (through diet and lifestyle; not aniti-aging creams) indirectly results in increasing your bone density.

Blood Pressure

The presence of wrinkles on the skin can indicate the presence of high blood pressure. Leiden University conducted research aimed at verifying this fact, and it was found that people who look younger, have low blood pressures. In fact, those who showed signs of aging were found to be prone to high blood pressure compared to those who had clear skin with no apparent signs of wrinkles or fine lines. The study also indicates that people who come from families with a very long lifespan were not prone to high blood pressure as the aging process is not similar to that of others.

Conclusion

Research continues to amaze people and sometimes, some of the issues displayed and discovered through it can be astonishing. As discussed, it is true that wrinkles indeed offer a variety of information in regards to your skin and health. With the knowledge indicated above, it is essential that we improve our skin care process and basic routines that we engage in. Also, the skin is fundamental, and if any signs such as discussed above manifest themselves, it is always to be on the safer side by seeking medical attention or reversing our daily habits. With that, we can better take care of our skin and our health at the same time.


Author: Ella James Writer at Consumer Health Digest

Author: Ella James Writer at Consumer Health Digest

drunk alchoholic

5 Common Issues Children of Alcoholics Face as Adults

It is a club most never ask to join, but there is a solidarity among members that is hard to find anywhere else. Given a choice, most who belong wouldn’t have chosen the path that brought them there. Not only do they still carry the emotional, and sometimes physical, scars of that journey but some have been cursed to repeat the journey in their own lives.

drunkenAdult children of alcoholics (ACOA) spend most of their childhoods struggling to make sense of the insanity that is alcoholism, only to find out as adults that they still don’t have all the answers. Even more frustrating is the awareness that for all the promises that they were *never* going to be like *them* when they grew up, they often find themselves back in the vicious cycle of addiction.

One in four children under the age of 18 are exposed to alcoholism in their family, and those children are four times more likely to face their own addictions as adults. They are also more likely to marry someone dealing with alcoholism, either their own or with a similar family history. For some it can be a double-edged sword because they will either become the alcoholic, or marry one. Even if they escape the addictive personality, they are sometimes drawn to partners who will treat the as badly as they saw their parents treating each other.

Copycat Behaviors

Parents model many of the behaviors that children learn from, and that includes how to treat other people. If, for example, a son grows up seeing his alcoholic father or mother berate and belittle the other parent, he learns from their example how to 1) berate and belittle others; 2) what constitutes “acceptable” behavior in a relationship, especially if the other parent never stands up for themselves. It can create conflicting emotions as an adult because they will either look for someone they can bully, or try to find someone who will bully them.

Controlling Walls

child-of-alcoholic-hiding

As children, they saw or experienced painful behaviors from the alcoholic and so as adults, the walls they build are comprised of rigid routines, inflexible predictability, “no one will ever treat me like that,” and “I will never do that.” It is their way of controlling what they couldn’t control as children, and it helps to make them feel safe again.

When someone breaks one of their boundary rules, changes plans, or they feel  out of control in other ways, there can be a sudden reaction of anger and anxiety. Relationships can be swiftly and uncompromisingly ended. It is often “all or nothing” or “my way or the highway.”

Role Reversals

In some single parent homes where the parent is the alcoholic, children may roles reverse and it is the child that takes care of the parent. Often if there are multiple children in the home, the oldest child becomes the parent for all of them, because there were no other options. As an adult, an ACOA may become overly responsible, taking responsibility for things that are out of their control such as problems they didn’t cause or other people’s feelings.

Isolation as a Wall

alcoholicWith a childhood that was often filled with neglect, abuse, rejection, or feeling unloved, unwanted, and alone, ACOAs can have a hard time trusting others, making it hard to develop lasting relationships because they can’t bring themselves to open up to others in an effort to protect themselves from getting hurt again. They may not even know how to trust themselves, or honestly know who they are. They may have hidden their own emotions for so long, going along with what others wanted just to keep people from knowing them.

Approval Seekers

ACOAs want to be liked, loved, accepted and approved after childhoods filled with everything but those needs. They want to avoid conflict, and so they do whatever is necessary to make everyone happen, even at the sacrifice of their own desires. Hand in hand with people pleasing, ACOAs can also be perfectionists. In another effort to avoid conflict and criticism as a child, they sometimes had unattainable goals of perfection which may carry into adulthood.

A Brighter Future

While these are just a few of the traits that Adult Children of Alcoholics may have learned as coping mechanisms, there is hope for change. Counseling, or (free) groups like Al-Anon and ACOA, can provide help, direction, support, materials, and just the knowledge that you are not alone in your struggles. Sometimes the road to recovery begins with a  welcoming hug.


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.

Medical Procedure Estimate Tool

No Surprise Medical Bills – Medical Procedure Estimate Tools

You deserve to know the cost of caring for your health.

Amino @AminoHealth recently launched new health care cost estimate tools that you will be interested in.

See cost estimates for ~50 medical procedures and services nationwide (USA) across dermatology, diagnostics, men’s health, orthopedics, preventative care, surgeries, and women’s health.

Amino tools now let you:

  • Compare cost differences in your region based on your insurance.

  • Calculate what you might pay from your own bank account with an out-of-pocket cost calculator.

  • View and compare cost estimates for individual doctors–and book an appointment with the doctor of your choice for free through Amino.

As part of their  launch campaign, they created an exclusive infographic that will walk you through the complexities of estimating health care costs.

Estimate_Health_Costs_Infographic

Launch the health procedure cost estimate tool

vaping is stupid

Why Vaping Is as Dumb as Smoking

There’s a lion enclosure at your local zoo. The lions have a well-documented history of attacking people on sight. The lions have not yet been fed that day. Given the data at hand, deciding to jump into that enclosure would be pretty stupid, wouldn’t it?

Say there’s a different lion enclosure at another zoo. The lions are new to captivity. There’s no data regarding their reactions to humans. They’ve been fed.

Which enclosure would it be safer to jump into?

The second, obviously. The lions have at least been fed, so a human leaping in doesn’t look like a magically appearing meal. There’s no proof they’ve attacked before, so there’s at least a chance they won’t attack now. But is it safe to jump into that enclosure?

The answer, of course, is an emphatic no. Just because an activity is safer than, it doesn’t make it safe, especially when the data needed to make that decision is incomplete.

Vaping: Safer Than

vaping teenagerVaping delivers a nicotine fix without the tobacco, sating an addiction without the known carcinogenic and other medical dangers of tobacco. As such, it’s touted as a safe, satisfying alternative to smoking. It’s marketed as a fun hobby and an effective way to quit smoking cigarettes. Fact: neither of those marketing claims is facts.

Not enough studies and tests have been completed to support sweeping statements regarding the safety of e-cigarettes and vaping. There is no conclusive evidence that these alternatives are effective tools for kicking a tobacco habit.

Where’s the Data?

Over the last decade, the e-cigarette and vaping industry have exploded, resulting in a largely unregulated $3 billion global industry.

The data has, simply put, not had the time to catch up to the market. Policymakers and lawmakers are struggling to decide if and how to regulate e-cigarette use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), World Health Organization (WHO), and other guardian entities of health and public safety are scrambling to find the footholds they need to even begin studying the effects of vaping on the human body.

In other words, there isn’t enough data to show that vaping is a definite health threat, but there also isn’t enough data to prove that it’s safe.

Emerging Health Concerns

A lack of definitive answers does not equal a complete lack of data or concerns.

Health organizations like the American Lung Association are beginning to compile and investigate a growing list of concerns including, but not limited to:

  • Manufacturers have not revealed the chemicals used in their products
  • Early tests have already found significant cancer-causing chemicals
  • A child has already died from accidentally ingesting liquid nicotine from e-cigarettes
  • Preliminary studies also raise concerns over the risks of secondhand emissions

Frightening Setbacks

Thanks to diligent research and effective communication, the population of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped to between 12 and 28%, depending on the state.

But while Big Tobacco’s control and influence are waning in traditional cigarette sales, they are starting to make up for it through vaping. In the case of youth sales, vaping has allowed them easy, unchecked access to a new market.

As of 2013, “over a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used e-cigarettes.” That’s triple the amount from 2011. Imagine what that figure would be today.

Between flavoring options and marketing, it is clear that the vaping industry is taking advantage of the lack of oversight and regulations to create an addicted consumer base among youth and children.

Pro-Profit, Anti-Truth

Whether it’s Big Tobacco at the helm or new vaping manufacturers, the end-goal is clear: profit. If the decades of runarounds, cover-ups, and deceptions from the tobacco industry have proven anything, it’s that the manufacturer of the goods has no incentive to reveal the dangers and risks their goods pose to consumer health and safety.

Does that sound too cynical to be true? For some light reading, read WHO’s information revealing just how much the tobacco industry was willing to lie, deny, and cover up in the name of profit.

With vaping profits on the rise, consumers need to ask: why should we believe an addiction-for-profit based industry’s word now?

Why Is Vaping as Dumb as Smoking?

vaping outside schoolIt’s like jumping into that second den of lions because the lions told you: “Come on in – I already ate.” 


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.

Superbug- The End of Antibiotics

Superbug: The End of Antibiotics? Are We All Going to Die?

What on Earth is a superbug?

Imagine having an incurable bacterial infection that doctors can’t stop from spreading. How long have you got to live? You are asking yourself, how this can be possible in the 21st century. The era of the superbug has dawned upon us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2 million people get sick from a superbug every year, out of which 23,000 die.

How super is a superbug?

The term ‘superbug’ is a sensational one that has been coined by the media because it resonates by creating fear. We all know how the media loves a little bit of drama right? Brian K. Coombes, PhD, of McMaster University in Ontario explains:

Brian K. Coombes, PhD, of McMaster UniversityDoctors often use phrases like “multidrug-resistant bacteria.” That’s because a superbug isn’t necessarily resistant to all antibiotics. It refers to bacteria that can’t be treated using two or more.

And yes, on the 27th of May the case of a 49 year old woman with a superbug that beat even the last-resort antibiotic was all over the news:

CNN Superbug

However as the article on CNN’s website shows, it all ended well:

Cnn Superbug cure

So no big deal right?

Wrong! Let’s not even think of belittling the situation. The threat is real, and 23,000 deaths a year is no joke. Besides, antibiotics are the backbone of modern medicine.  Here is more from Brian K. Coombes:

Cancer chemotherapy, organ transplants, surgeries, and childbirth all rely on antibiotics to prevent infections. If you can’t treat those, then we lose the medical advances we have made in the last 50 years.

How do I protect myself from a superbug?

1. Avoid antibiotic misuse

Do not misuse antibiotics by taking them when you don’t need them or by not finishing all of your medicine. According to the CDC, this is the “single leading factor” contributing to this problem. Also know that the more antibiotics you’ve taken, the higher your risk of catching a superbug.

2. Stay alert in hospitals

The hospital is also a high-risk place to be. The more visits you to the hospital setting, the more you risk catching a superbug. In the hospital environment, you may catch a superbug through what experts call ‘healthcare-associated infections’ (HAIs).  According to the CDC,” Many of the most urgent and serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria threaten patients while they are being treated in healthcare facilities for other conditions, and may lead to sepsis or death.” So make sure the doctors and nurses are following the right protocol to avoid infections.

Please see the CDC infographic below:

Superbug antibiotic-resistance

 

3. Avoid antibiotic-tainted meat

The use of antibiotics in farm animals leads to an increased risk of antibiotic resistant infections in humans. Get your meat from your local farmers, it may be more expensive but it tastes better and is much safer.

how_antibiotic_resistance_spreads

What can science do to fight antibiotic resistance?

Anya Vanecek put this question out on Quora and we found the best answer for you. Mary Bushman who does research on resistance in malaria had the best answer. I have put it down word for word:

There are multiple ways we can manage antibiotic resistance. The following is a mix of current, well-accepted methods, as well as some ideas that are still being explored/tested.

1. Preserve the effectiveness of the drugs that still work

(a) Limit use of antibiotics (agricultural use and inappropriate prescribing, as well as over-the-counter availability in many countries) and encourage correct use (finishing the course of treatment).

(b) Prevent resistant bugs from infecting others (infection control in clinical settings, plus regular public health interventions to reduce transmission).

(c) Combination therapy – treating with multiple drugs simultaneously. Using two or more drugs makes it harder for resistance to emerge, since the bug would have to develop resistance to both drugs.

(d) Vary the selection pressure. The more consistently a drug is used, the more advantage there is in being resistant. Using a variety of drugs (by giving different drugs to different people or switching the “drug of choice” every few years) may help prevent or reduce resistance.

2. Develop new drugs

(a) Find drugs with mechanisms of action (ways of killing) that don’t overlap with current drugs. When drugs share a mechanism, resistance to one will often mean resistance to the other. Finding drugs that work in different ways helps avoid this, and also works better for combination therapy.

(b) Search for drugs that are hard to develop resistance to. As we learn more about how different drugs kill, and how resistance works, drug development can be smarter and more targeted (as opposed to random screening of thousands of compounds for antibiotic activity).

(c) Unfortunately, developing new drugs is expensive, and pharmaceutical companies weigh the cost of development against a new drug’s money-making potential. We badly need new drugs for malaria and tuberculosis, but since these are mainly diseases of “poor people” who can’t afford expensive new drugs, pharm companies consider it a bad investment.

3. Try to reverse existing resistance

(a) In some cases, when a drug stops being used because of resistance, the resistance will actually start to go back down. This is because of a “cost” of resistance, meaning when the drug is not there, the resistant types don’t do very well. An example is that chloroquine-resistant malaria is present in many places, but in a number of places where chloroquine is no longer used, the resistance has decreased. If we can control drug use enough to make this happen, we may be able to “save” some drugs that are losing their effectiveness.

(b) In some cases, there can be a “trade-off” with resistance to different drugs. You can be resistant to drug A, or to drug B, but not both. If resistance to drug A is very common, and you start treating everyone with drug B, the bug might evolve resistance to B, but would have to lose the resistance to A. So, you might be able to start using A again in the future. This won’t happen in every case, or even very often, but when it does happen it can be a neat solution.

See the original answers to”How do we solve antibiotic resistance?”

Conclusion

So we can conclude that antibiotic resistance is not the end of antibiotics. The superbug that just came to the U.S. is still treatable as I explained. We have been creating more and more resistant strains by misusing antibiotics, be it through direct consumption or through farm animals. Perhaps someday all bacteria will be resistant to all types of current antibiotics, but that just means we will have to discover a new type of cure.


Source:

Superbugs: What They Are and How You Get Them
Superbugs threaten hospital patients
A dreaded superbug found for the first time in a U.S. woman
New CDC report links factory farms to antibiotic resistance
Brian K. Coombes Profile
scientific lies

Science Journals Lie to You and You Know It!

In a world where nearly all so-called “science” is actually little more than corporate fraud and government malfeasance, nearly all mainstream science journals have been taken over by pharmaceutical and biotech interests. As a result, they destroy and suppress human knowledge rather than expanding it. – Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger”)

About Mike Adams – Why you need to make him your friend!

mike adams health rangerIf you haven’t heard of the Health Ranger, you need to. Mike Adams, also known as “Health Ranger” is the founder of NaturalNews.com, the biggest and ‘baddest’ natural health news website which boasts 7 million unique readers a month.

He conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants at his Natural News Forensic Food Lab, His efforts have made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing that rice protein products imported from Asia are contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and tungsten.” As a food science researcher, he was first to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. For more of his discoveries and objectives read his complete bio: Mike Adams – Health Ranger.

Why do you need to continue reading?

health ranger labThe worst kept secret in the world of science today is that the big science journals are puppets for corporate interests. As Mike Adams himself put it: “spewing out a vomitous cascade of fraudulent, industry ghostwritten “doctored” studies that the industry pretends represent real science”.

As consumers, we are constantly being told what to eat in order to stay healthy. The health industry is booming because we are told to buy this brand of food or follow a certain type of diet. We believe and we obey because we think science backs all these claims. Science, and the science of food and health in particular, has been held hostage by large corporations and big pharma. As a result, today’s science caters to the needs of those large corporations and pharmaceuticals instead of catering to your needs. I love how the ‘Health Ranger’ puts down his mission statement for the solution to science being held hostage:

“My aim is to rescue science from corporate prostitution and return science to the democratic, decentralized domain of the curious and the informed. (That means you.) This is why today, I have extraordinary news to unveil… a milestone for independent science conducted in the public interest… something that hasn’t happened before in the history of our world.”

What alternative is he offering?

On the 1st of June 2016, Mike Adams announced the launch of an independent, peer-reviewed science journal – Natural Science Journal – that has no affiliation with corporate bullies and government extortionists.

It’s time that We the People had a science journal that represents real science in the public interest! – Mike Adams

No Outside Advertising

  1. There is no advertising space in the journal and therefore no outside money influencing the editorial process.
  2. All published scientific papers are peer-reviewed before being published.
  3. No grants or money is accepted from any government institution. This means honest, ethical, and authentic work that isn’t captive to the financial string-pulling of the government.

Instead of answering to drug companies, biotech corporations, and government institutions, the Natural Science Journal answers to YOU!

Yes, the Natural Science Journal is YOUR science journal, covering the issues that matter to real people, real food consumers, real parents and health-conscious citizens. – Mike Adams

Explore Science That’s Censored by the Corrupt Establishment

Most topics covered in the Natural Science Journal are censored or blackballed by mainstream science journals. Below are some of the topics to expect in 2016:

  • The chemical analysis of vaccine composition
  • The glyphosate contamination of grocery store foods
  • Hidden pesticides found in counterfeit organics
  • Heavy metals in foods, superfoods and supplements from China
  • Mercury in dog food treats
  • Cadmium content of chocolate bars
  • Pesticide residues in popular food bars

Hard Data Speaks – Boundaries Shattered

The Natural Science Journal seeks “scientific papers based on hard analytics in chemistry, physics, botany, and so on”. The team behind the journal make it clear that it is not a philosophical or a thought-experimentation science journal. Whatever cannot be proven through hard experimental data will not be included.

Get the first issue of the Natural Science Journal for free!

Natural Science Journal download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Source:

EXCLUSIVE: Health Ranger launches new independent science journal for the expansion of human knowledge: The Natural Science Journal is now LIVE