Understanding Causes & Cures of Headaches

Although they are a common, everyday occurrence, most people don’t really understand headaches all that well. They are something that you might find cropping up in your life routinely, and yet you might not really know where they come from or the best ways to deal with them. That can clearly be a big problem, so you should make sure that you are doing whatever you can to try and get to the bottom of them a little more effectively. The more that you learn to understand headaches and how they function, the more chance you have of getting rid of them for good. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the things you might want to know about headaches.

Dehydration

The main cause of headaches is dehydration. In fact, we can say that the vast majority of headaches are caused by dehydration and nothing else. As such, avoiding headaches at all in the future will largely be a case of ensuring that you are drinking enough water. If you can manage to stay as hydrated as necessary, you will find that you are much more likely to avoid headaches, and that even when they do occur you should be able to get rid of them soon enough once they appear. Make sure that you carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go, and make a point of drinking from it regularly. That will mean that you are much more hydrated, and that you will therefore be considerably more free of headaches in the future - something that most people would be glad for.

Pain Relief

Sometimes, you just need to know how you can deal with the pain. This can be especially important if you have a headache which is lasting a long time, or you tend to get recurring headaches or migraines. If that is something you have to live with, then you should think about what you can do in the form of pain relief, so that you can know how to deal with it whenever it should occur in the future. Some methods like acupuncture will work well for this, so you might want to seek out an acupuncture office you can visit in your area. Alternatively, you might wish to try meditation or something similar to help relieve that pain when it arises.

Migraines

Migraines are a related concept to headaches, but are a little different, and anyone who has them regularly knows of them as a different thing altogether. While a headache is merely a pain in the head, a migraine is also likely to be accompanied by a sensitivity to bright lights, possibly some ringing sounds, and maybe even could be so painful that you can’t open your eyes. In such cases, you might find that medication is important, as that could be the only real way of getting rid of the pain effectively. If you get migraines frequently, you will need to think about visiting your doctor to see whether there is anything you can do to try and make them less frequent and less intense.


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Ready to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting? Keep Reading...

Are you a yo-yo dieter? If you are, you are indeed not alone. The process of losing a significant amount of weight, before regaining all or most of it, and then repeating the process time and time again is a frustrating experience shared by people all over the world (trust me, I know firsthand!!)

Just as you feel like you are making progress and getting somewhere with your weight loss, you find yourself slipping back into bad habits, and before you know it, you are back where you started. In some cases, people end up even heavier than they were initially. Managing your weight in this way is neither healthy nor sustainable, and will not do your self-esteem much good either, as you may feel like you are continually failing yourself. If you are ready to break this cycle, here are a few tips to help you on your way.

Think about your attitude towards food, and any issues that you may have

When it comes to weight loss, this is one of the most important things that you can do. You will never be successful in losing weight if you haven’t considered your feelings and attitudes towards food and diets, and if you don’t deal with any underlying issues surrounding it, nothing will work in the longer term. It may be something simple, but more often than not, there are a variety of factors which, when combined, have made you gain the weight or stopped you from losing any. Perhaps you comfort eat, or eat out of boredom? Are you disorganized, so end up grabbing that calorific takeout on your way home from work? Maybe you are an inexperienced cook and don’t know how to prepare healthy meals. Working out the reasons behind the problem will help you to gain much more control over the situation. If you feel like you have some extreme emotions or issues when it comes to food, you may want to consider speaking to a counselor or therapist to help you regain control and deal with them.

Clean Out The Kitchen

It can be incredibly difficult to follow any healthy eating plan if your kitchen is full of unhealthy and high calorie/carb or nutritionally devoid snacks and food. If you have a family or roommates, get them on board too, so that you can’t use the excuse that they are available for them. Dispose of anything that isn’t providing your body with nutritional goodness - anything overly processed, salty and prepackaged, or full of added sugar or preservatives. Ready meals and jars of sauces may be convenient after a hard day at work, but they, as a whole, are relatively devoid of nutrition. Do a big grocery shop and fill your cabinets and refrigerator with fresh fruit and vegetables and healthier alternatives. Don’t completely deny yourself a treat - a piece of chocolate here or slice of cake there isn’t going to hurt, and in fact, can be a part of a balanced diet, but make sure it is an occasional treat.

Research Healthy Eating Plans

There are hundreds of thousands of eating plans out there, and it is essential to do your research and find one that is suitable for you - some will only make yo-yo dieting worse as they aren’t sustainable for more than a few weeks. Others can be implemented as a life long healthy eating plan rather than a short term diet. This noom review gives you an idea of one such plan you may want to take a look at. However, speaking with your doctor or a nutritionist that can tailor a plan specifically for you is always a good way to go!

Learn To Cook

For many people, especially these days where we rely heavily on convenience foods, an inability to cook is one of the main reasons why people struggle to maintain a healthy weight. Learning to prepare exciting, yet healthy meals, means you are less likely to pick up Chinese takeout or reach for the cookie jar just because you want something satisfying to eat. Invest in some herbs and spices and learn how to use them in your everyday meals and slowly build up your repertoire. Look for healthy swaps where possible - can you swap that heavy cream out for natural yogurt? If time is an issue, as it is for lots of us, could you invest in a slow cooker so that you can walk in after a day at work to a hearty and healthy home cooked meal? Experiment with flavors and recipes, and most importantly, have fun with them.


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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Health

Your health is one of the most important things that you need to think about in your life, above all, because it's also one of the very little things that you're actually able to control - so make sure that you do so. There are many different things that you'll want to think about when it comes to your health, but here are some of the main areas that you'll want to focus on.

Nourish your body with what it needs

Everyone says that you are what you eat, and this can be as literal as you make it. Your body needs so many different nutrients, minerals and vitamins in order for it to work and function properly. Without consuming these, your body won't be as strong as it can be. You won't have as much energy as you should have, your immune system will be weak and if you're unfortunate enough to get a common cold or bug, it will take a lot longer for your body to repair itself compared to if you were healthy.

Have regular checkups

So many people refrain from going to the doctor for a checkup because they assume that it's not only a hassle, but also people don’t want to feel like they’re wasting someone’s time, or they may feel like a hypochondriac. But the thing is, this tends to be the reason why so many people are ill and get un-diagnosed with a serious issue. Just because you may not feel any specific symptoms doesn't mean that you have none. For example, there are times when individuals do not experience symptomatology from certain forms of cancer, and this is why yearly physicals and well women’s exams and any kind of help from Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Inspire can be a first level of prevention. Of course, these are all worst case scenarios, but you can never be too sure unless you get yourself checked out.

Start active every day   

Exercise is so important - it isn't just about eating well, it's about getting your body moving and you circulating yourself. Get the heart beating and your blood pumping through your veins. Your body needs to move and be active in order to burn off fat and gain muscle. Having said that, it isn't all about getting in shape purely for the aesthetic appearance, but for all the good it does for you on the inside too. It can be anything from running around the block, to signing up for a gym membership, or even just turning on your favorite songs and dancing around the house.


Now that you know what you need to look out for, make sure that you take the time to do so, because above everything else, you need to make sure that you look after yourself, because no one else will if you don't let them. It's all about the little things, but as long as you live your life in moderation, everything should run smoothly.



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Thinking Of Quitting? Tips To Help Stop Smoking

If you have decided that it is time to give up smoking, you have already taken one of the most difficult steps. Now, you need to make the journey ahead of you as easy as possible. Of course, saying goodbye to cigarettes isn’t going to be a walk in the park. However, here are some tips that might help make the transition for you smoother.

1.    Set a quit date – A lot of people decide they are going to quit smoking and then try and embark on the difficult task the following day. Instead, set yourself a quit date. This allows you to gradually decrease your intake and therefore quitting may seem a bit easier to you. It also enables you to move from cigarettes to eLiquid to being cigarette-free altogether, which will make it a lot easier overall. There is no reason to make quitting more difficult than it needs to be. You can ease yourself off cigarettes.  

2.    Write down your reasons for quitting – Grab a piece of paper and write down all of the reasons why you want to quit smoking. You can refer to this whenever you need motivation. Reminding yourself will make you less likely to light up a cigarette.

3.    Get rid of all your cigarettes – A lot of people keep an ‘emergency cigarette’. However, all this does is offer temptation. Instead, try getting rid of all your cigarettes.

4.    Find a distraction – Determine when you would typically have a cigarette and find a distraction instead. A lot of people tend to find that they have a cigarette when they are on the phone, for example.

5.    Tell your family and friends – Support is going to be essential. If you tell your friends and family you are going to quit they will know not to tempt you with a cigarette and they will provide you with advice whenever you need it. You never know, you may find someone who wants to quit and so you can try to do so together.

6.    Quit when in a good mood – This relates to the earlier part regarding a quitting date. It is vital to select a period whereby your stress levels are as low possible. If you know you are going to be busy at work, for example, pick another time to quit.  

7.    Change your routine – Usually, people smoke simply out of habit. If you break your typical daily routine you will reduce your cravings.

8.    Switch to decaf – Too much caffeine can cause jitters whilst giving up smoking. Therefore, it is recommended that you switch to decaf for at least two months.

9.    Carry healthy snacks with you – Last but not least, it is highly recommended that you carry healthy snacks with you. Whenever you are craving a cigarette you can snack on your food instead. Some snack suggestions are as follows; celery sticks, pistachio nuts, carrot, sugarless chewing gum, dried fruit, and sunflower seeds.


These are just a few tips that may give you a better chance of successfully quitting (or at least reducing your nicotine intake). It’s time to take a step towards a healthier and happier you, and if you happen to fall off the wagon and find yourself having a cigarette, this does not mean you have undone all of your hard work. Keep going and stick at it!



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Water Intake, Dehydration & You

“If you want to live the healthiest life possible and boost your overall wellness, you should drink more water.”

It’s fair to assume that no one reading the above statement is surprised by the idea that drinking plenty of water is crucial to human health. The fact is repeated to the point of cliche, often suggested as a cure for all ills. We all know we should be drinking more water to stave off the damage chronic dehydration can cause, enjoy a clearer complexion, and simply feel better - but is the matter actually that simple? Below, we’ve dug into the facts to try and get to the bottom of this often basically-presented - but actually surprisingly complex - issue.

The “8x8 rule”

The general recommendation is that you should drink eight (8 oz) glasses of water per day - but, unfortunately, this has been disputed on numerous occasions. Some argue that the 8x8 “rule” is arbitrary, while others dismiss it as it doesn’t take into account various lifestyle factors - for example, someone who is exercising heavily should definitely drink more than 8x8 per day.

So, how much water should you drink? It’s really up to you. If you’re thirsty, then drink water. If you’re not thirsty, then you can go without if you prefer - though there are a few caveats to keep in mind.

The risk of diuretics

Diuretics are beverages that actually contribute to dehydration. The most common example is alcohol; if you’re thirsty and you drink a glass of wine, in terms of your body’s response, you’ll be more dehydrated as a result of doing so. The same applies to beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee and green tea; the caffeine acts as a diuretic, which worsens dehydration.

Even worse, the problems diuretics can cause will be exacerbated if you are exercising regularly. It is also worth noting that the two diuretics above are not particularly beneficial beverages, either: alcohol is often misused, while the benefits of caffeine are minimal. As a result, it may be worth exploring the possibility of alternatives- such as learning how to stop drinking or maybe switching to decaf or limiting your caffeine usage. Ultimately, the benefits of cutting out alcohol and limiting your caffeine intake expand far beyond simply improving hydration levels, but can also undoubtedly be beneficial in this regard.

The importance of proper hydration during exercise

In discussing the above, we have noted the need for adequate hydration during exercise, and this is a point that is worth underlining. If you are working out, and particularly if you are sweating, then you will need to increase your water intake accordingly. It’s also worth noting that this is advisable even if you don’t particularly feel thirsty; if you’ve lost fluids due to exercise, then they need to be replenished regardless of how well-hydrated you feel.


In conclusion... Increasing your water intake is often suggested as an essential for all health-related issues but, as we have pointed out above, the matter is a little more complex than is often presented. So, while it is important to note the potential issues caused by diuretics and exercise, as a general rule: drink water when you’re thirsty, and you shouldn’t go far wrong.


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Do You Ever Feel Like Your Body Is Falling Apart?

Now we’re sure some of you can admit this. If you feel like your body is falling apart, then you really aren’t alone. From a younger age than you might think, we start experiencing things like muscle and joint ache, even though we’re sure our bodies should be fighting fit and ready to take on anything, And that is just from a young adult age. As we get older, things seem to fall apart even more, and you can’t help but feel like in a few years time, you will be nothing but a bit of skin and bone that’s holding on by a thread. But are we really falling apart, or are we causing some of the issues we’re facing? Are the aches and pains we feel normal, or are they something that needs to be addressed before they turn into something more serious? This is what we want to explore today, because we really do feel like the younger you start thinking about your body and whether it’s falling apart, the easier it will be to tackle any issues you’re facing!


Are We Causing The Issues?

Probably, because as a collective we’re really not the best at being able to care for our bodies. We put it under so much stress from an early age, and the things we put into it aren’t exactly the best. This carries on into our adult life, as the habits we pick up when we’re younger just seem to linger more than anything. But we’re all for changing our ways, so we want to highlight where you might be going wrong. For a lot of you, it will be down to the things you do on a daily basis. If you do too little exercise and just sit at a desk all day for your job, and then go home to lie in bed or sit on the sofa, you will fall victim to back and neck ache that you just can’t control. You have to keep your body active, and focus on your posture as back and neck ache is the most common form of body pain. Alternatively, you can be too active and put massive strains on muscles and joints all over your body, and causing even more pain that might be hard to correct.

Is Your Body Really Falling Apart?

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and realize the pain you’re having is not normal. As we said, back and neck pain is the most common pain symptom, but arm and leg pain is also common. One thing you could talk to your doctor about getting, are Stellate Ganglion Blocks to try and stop nerve pain in the arms and legs. It can be so crippling to live with nerve pain, and only strong medications that send your mind loopy can control it.  But a more permanent option like this is something you should try and seek.

What Can We Do To Improve Our Outcome

To improve your outcome in life, you should try and get the perfect mix of a healthy and active lifestyle, with plenty of rest combined. Try not to be too much of a couch potato, but at the same time don’t push your body daily in case you cause it harm!



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Teeth & Ear Care

When we talk about health there is a tendency to think of physical illness and heading to the local doctor. But health encompasses much more than just what a doctor can do to serve your ailments. With that in mind, we are going to give a rundown here of some of the other health issues that you should make sure you are getting checked out for the greater benefit of your overall health.

Teeth

First of all, let’s discuss your teeth. You spend parts of your day brushing them, flossing them and all the other daily rituals surrounding teeth. However, how often do you ask yourself about how your teeth are? While the routine of cleaning your teeth is vital to their health, there are also other parts of dental hygiene that we should all be doing. For starters, it is important to make sure you are keeping up appearances with your dentist with a regular six-month appointment.

Outside of the dental surgery, there are other things that you should be doing, especially if you have concerns about the health of your teeth. Limiting acidic drinks and sugary snacks will benefit your teeth greatly and work in a complementary way with the previously daily routine. Your dental regime should consist of at least two thorough brushes and a floss.

Finally, when it comes to teeth, you should make sure you do everything you can to protect them. People who take part in competitive sports might want to consider wearing a mouth guard and everyone should avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food. That means loosening bottle caps, etc.

Hearing

Another part of our general health that we don’t always pay full attention to is the delicacy of our hearing. It might have been a while since your last hearing test and so that should be top of your agenda if that is the case. As we get older our hearing naturally deteriorates and we need to make sure we are taking full advantage of the medical professionals who specialize in this field of expertise. You can learn more about hearing tests before getting one so that you are confident of what to expect.

There are some methods that you can employ to look after your hearing such as wearing ear protection in noisy environments like when using a lawnmower or in a workplace where heavy machinery is being operated. Avoid listening to loud music through headphones for extended periods of time. Also, maintain good ear hygiene using some of the many products on the market designed for this purpose.

These are just two parts of your body that need your attention and there are many more that could be discussed. From your eyes to your joints and beyond there are medical professionals to seek advice from and maintenance that you need to ensure you are doing. Your health is the most important part of your life, so keep it in check for a good time.



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Keeping Your Mind Young

As a society, we’re all obsessed with youth, and with looking and feeling young. We use face creams to keep our skin youthful and soft. We drink water to try to keep ourselves healthy and our organs running at their best. We exercise to keep ourselves physically fit and to boost our circulation. Life seems so much easier when you are younger, and everything works properly, and we’re keen to keep it going for as long as we can. Even as early as our twenties, we’re starting to think about how to prevent wrinkles and aging.

But, we rarely worry about keeping our minds young. We assume that we’ve got decades before that’s something to worry about and fail to realize that by then it might be too late. Neurology will be able to help, but it’s much easier to make changes now that will help to keep your mind young in the future.

Use Your Opposite Hand

The best way to keep your mind young is to use it more and to use parts of it that you don’t usually. As children, we’re always learning and pushing our brains. They’re getting a workout every day. Then, as adults, we stick to what we know. Parts of our minds lay stagnant and unused, leading to decay.

An incredibly easy thing that you can do to challenge your brain in your day to day life is doing things with the opposite hand. Write with your opposite hand, hold your cutlery the other way around and try to rest your dominant hand when you can.

Try New Things

Trying new hobbies can be a fun way to keep your mind young. Every time you do something new, you are using a different part of your brain. Have a go at new hobbies, go to different places and try things that you’ve never done before.

Learn a Language

The language center of our brains is one that many of us rarely use. While you are young, you learn new words every day. Your vocabulary is constantly growing. Then as you get older, you just start to forget them. Reading, and having varied and interesting conversations can help a lot but learning a new language is the ultimate workout for that part of your brain.

Improve Your Diet

Your diet doesn’t just affect your body. It also has an impact on your mind. Eating healthy and getting all of the right vitamins and minerals can boost your brain power and those that regularly eat oily fish are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia as they age.

Drink Less Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol over a long period is one of the worst things that you can do for your mind and can lead to premature aging both mentally and physically. Try to limit drinking to a few units a week on only two or three evenings.

Avoid Loneliness

Loneliness is a crucial cause of mental health issues. Being lonely is a common problem as we age, and over time it can lead to increased risk of dementia, depression and even reduced life expectancy.


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The Importance Of A Strong Circle

When it comes to wellness, most people completely forget that one of the most important tools in the bag is a good, supportive circle of people who love you and want to help you to get well again. When you’re in a crisis, the last thing you want to do is feel like a burden on others, so asking for help isn’t always the priority. The thing is, regular contact with family and friends can make you feel distracted from the pain that is going on in your own life, or it can mean that you have a good sounding board to get the support you need for your own issues.

The problem with a lot of mental health issues is that they make you think that you have no one to rely on, when in fact, you have a waiting circle of family and friends who want to know how you are doing and how they can help you. If you are suffering with depression and anxiety, these are the people that can make sure you’re not alone enough to feel so low there’s no way back. If you are suffering through the pain of addiction, these are the people who will be there for you with the information you need, such as Medication-Assisted Treatment: Fact vs Fiction, to help you to get the right treatment that you need. You need a strong, lasting circle to enrich your life and make you feel like you have something to live for. Friends and family around you make you feel good about yourself - even indirectly, and if you are struggling to recognize who is a good friend in your life, then think about these traits:

  • You respect, like and trust them, and they feel the same way about you.

  • They accept you the way you are. If you’re suffering depression, they’re there just to sit in silence with because they know that is what you need from them at that moment.

  • They will listen to you and share with you, whether good or bad.

  • They keep your confidence and trust you to keep theirs, too.

  • They will allow you to feel your emotions and not judge you for them, criticize you for them or make you feel like your feelings are not valid.

  • A good friend will give you the best advice - when you ask for it - and will assist you in taking the right action to feel better about yourself.

  • Will allow you to help them when they need it.

  • You look forward to being with them, but you’re not obsessed about it

  • Will never take advantage of you.

Not everyone in your circle will meet all of your emotional needs, but you can have a group, a solid circle of people who will all in some way make you feel like you want to be alive. They will appreciate you for your quirks and the way that you love them, and you’ll appreciate their support and friendship and the ability to make you smile when you don’t feel there’s anything to smile about. Looking after yourself means surrounding yourself with people who make you want to be better than you are. Making a list of the people that you feel close to in life can really help you to be a better, happier person because you can see on paper who you have that loves you in every avenue of your existence.

You should be able to rely on the people in your life for support and having a network of people who want to be with you and make you feel like a good person is important for your recovery. Emotional health and mental health are often fragile in those with depression and addiction, and if you know that you have a strong group of people who will always believe in you, even when you do let them down, you are lucky. You won’t always let others down, but it happens - in the same way that they may let you down. Your life can be a happier, more enjoyable thing to live when you have the right people making it worthwhile for you. Social relationships play a very important role in the quality of life that we achieve.


Life is a gift, and friends are the ribbons and bows on top that make us feel fulfilled. Making your heart feel full is easy, when you have a group of people around you who love you very much.


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Low On Energy? 3 Possible Causes To Explore

Feeling low on energy is always difficult to cope with. You otherwise feel well and like yourself, but your energy reserves seem to be permanently depleted, making even mundane, simple tasks feel as if they require a Herculean effort. For most people, low energy is an acute issue that naturally resolves itself, but for some, the problem can become more long-term.

If you have been feeling low on energy and struggling to go through your normal daily routine for a while, there are three possible causes that you may want to investigate further, starting with…

Thyroid issues

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck and, in some people, it can cause issues. Some people experience an overactive thyroid while, for others, the issue is underactivity, with the latter more likely to cause symptoms of low energy.

Thankfully, if you do have an underactive or overactive thyroid, management is relatively simple. Both conditions are well understood, there is a range of medications that can produce favorable results, and specialists such as the likes of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center can ensure you’re feeling back to your best in no time.

If you believe thyroid issues are the cause of your low energy, speak with your primary care physician for further advice.


Vitamin deficiencies

While any vitamin deficiency can cause low energy, deficiencies in vitamin B12 and vitamin D are usually the prime suspects. With most vitamins, a balanced diet is usually sufficient to ensure that our levels are where they should be. However, some people cannot absorb B12 effectively due to a condition called pernicious anemia, and vitamin D is primarily obtained through sunlight exposure rather than diet - so even someone eating a perfect, nutritious diet could still find themselves experiencing deficiencies.

As you might expect, the treatment for these deficiencies is supplementation. Vitamin D deficiencies tend to respond well to oral supplementation, but B12 can be trickier, especially when pernicious anemia is present - so always speak to your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and obtain further advice if you suspect your low energy is caused by a vitamin deficiency.


Stress

Some people experience stress as a jolt of energy, feeling as if their mind and body are constantly whirring. However, stress can cause exactly the opposite issue; a complete lack of energy that no amount of sleep, exercise, or good nutrition seems to be able to cure.

Unfortunately, stress is a difficult condition to manage, and many people experience numerous flares over the course of their lives. You may find that taking some time off from work, indulging in self-care, and other simple remedies can help alleviate the condition. However, if simple at-home treatments do not appear to be making a significant difference, do take the time to speak to your doctor for further advice.


In conclusion…

It’s important to note that low energy is not just a fact of life. If you’ve found that your get up and go has got up and gone, it’s well worth considering the possibilities above when seeking a resolution to this all-too-common health issue.



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