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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How To Be Healthy In A Relationship

Beginning a new relationship with someone should be a joyous thing. However, there are several ways that a relationship can become less than healthy. It can affect not only your emotional health but also your physical health if your relationship doesn't progress in a healthy way. You might find that you get into bad habits for a number of reasons, from becoming too absorbed in your relationship to encouraging each other to make less healthy lifestyle decisions. When you're no longer in the dating game, a lot of things can change, but it's important to take steps to remain healthy in every way.

Don't Lose Your Sense of Self

Relationships need to be healthy in an emotional way, helping to protect your mental health. One of the most important things to remember is that you need to remain an independent person, with your own sense of self. While you can also become a couple who are in sync, you don't want to end up like a single entity, instead of two people with their own thoughts and feelings. Both of you should make sure that you still have your own friends, hobbies and time to yourselves so that you can maintain healthy boundaries between you.

Take Care of Your Sexual and Reproductive Health

Although you might be in a monogamous relationship, you still need to think about your reproductive and sexual health. It's smart to make appointments for regular STD testing, particularly if you reach a point where you're considering not using condoms. If you're not planning on having a baby any time soon, don't forget to think about your choice of contraception and ensure you're using at least one effective method of birth control. Remember that condoms are the only form of contraception that can prevent both pregnancy and disease.

Make Healthy Choices Together

It's more common than you might think for couples to get into unhealthy habits together, especially once you reach the stage of cohabiting. When you live together, it's very easy to feed into each other's laziness or lack of willpower. You can convince each other that pizza for dinner again won't hurt or that it would be much better to snuggle up at home than to go to the gym. But if you make an effort to make healthy choices together, you can encourage each other to be health instead of unhealthy.

Grow an Open and Trusting Relationship

Being able to trust each other and communicate is essential in any relationship. You need to spend time nurturing an open and trusting relationship if you want to have a healthy and loving partnership. Good communication is vital for a strong relationship, so spend time talking about issues both big and small. If you don't talk about things, feelings can get buried and go ignored until everything bubbles over. You should talk regularly, even about issues that might not seem like a big deal.


If you want your relationship to be healthy, you have to nurture the relationship but also take care of yourself.



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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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Medical Appointments Every Woman Should Make

Everyone has to make regular health appointments. We all have to see the dentist on an annual basis, and we should all check in with our hygienist on an annual basis too. Then, we should see our optician once every two years. These checkups allow medical professionals to examine us and keep an eye on our well-being. However, as women, there are certain extra checks that we should keep up with. Here are some to incorporate into your routine!

Making Appointments

It is extremely important that you keep up with the following appointments. Every year, thousands of women miss their own appointments for a host of reasons. If you’re guilty of this, it’s time to change your ways.

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU, right??

After all, it’s only your own health and wellbeing that you’re risking! If you completely forget appointments, make sure to note them down in a diary and set reminders on your phone. If you fear medical professionals due to previous malpractice or negligence, overcome your fear by contacting professionals in defending malpractice claims - they can seek out justice on your behalf. If you have a hectic social schedule, make time. Cancelling one set of plans is better than leaving problems undiagnosed or untreated.

Cervical Screening

The first appointment that you should consider booking in for is cervical screening. This is alternatively referred to as a “smear test” or a “pap smear”. Put simply, it is a process that is used to examine cellular material from your cervix - this is the entrance to your womb through your vagina. Irregularities in this cellular material could be indicative of cancer or cancerous cells, so it’s important that you keep on top of these appointments. Generally speaking, it is recommended that women aged over twenty five attend annual screenings.

Breast Screening

It is recommended that you conduct regular checks on your own breasts at home. You can find out how to do this here. If you do notice changes or irregularities in your breast tissue or under your armpits, you should contact your general practitioner and schedule a breast screening. This will incorporate the use of a mammogram, which is a specialist form of X Ray that can detect the presence of cancerous cells before they are big enough to see or feel.

Gynecologist

Now, you don’t need to check in with a gynecologist as regularly as you might other medical professionals. But if you notice any problems with your reproductive system, or if you have any concerns, your doctor may recommend that you check in with one. Generally speaking, you can ask for your doctor to refer you. This saves you the hassle of finding a reliable gynecologist yourself.



Sure, medical appointments may not be the most pleasant scheduled events in our calendar. But it’s extremely important that we keep up with them. So, check the last time you were seen and contact the relevant professionals whenever you need.


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The Dangers of Self Diagnosing

We're all guilty of it. If we fear some issue that’s lingered in our bodies for longer than a couple of days, a swift search on Doctor Google brings up a million different results, and most of them life-threatening. But when we rely on Google to diagnose our problems, this becomes a very dangerous cycle. But why is this and what can we do to get out of this problem that so many of us fall prey to?

The Issue Of Convenience

It's as simple as this really, it's quicker for us to type a few words rather than go to our local doctors, sit around and wait for a shred of their spare time, only to find that the problem is not solved, and the issue persists. With something like chronic pain, it can be very frustrating when a medical professional has to refer you for further tests. In the meantime this only compounds the anxieties. It's unsurprising that we go on the internet to see what the problem is. But this is no replacement for a medical professional.

Being Scared To Speak To A Real Doctor

There is a term for people who continually search for their symptoms online and believe that they're suffering from the results that pop up. Cyberchondria is incredibly common. As the ease of access to Doctor Google means we don't have to go to the doctor ever again, this can result in us moving away from the advice of a medical professional, and for the many people out there that consider themselves proud of the fact they've never been to a doctor, it gives them more reason to search for their symptoms online, and even those numerous cases where people work with a medical malpractice attorney due to the various mistakes made in hospitals, this is, again, hardly a surprise people avoid the doctor entirely.

Why We Need To Keep Our Perspective

But while we're all continually relying on Doctor Google to provide the real answer, the fact is, we've got to nip this in the bud. We've got to keep our perspective of events. Because after all, it's unlikely we’re suffering from a rare medical condition. The increase of people who went to the doctor believing they had ALS after the ice bucket challenge highlights just how much cyberchondria there is in the world. Instead, what you can do, if you believe yourself to have an illness, is to make a note of all the symptoms, and show to your doctor what this is pointing towards. The doctor can then order tests which will confirm or deny your suspicions.

Self-diagnosis through Doctor Google is convenient, yet dangerous. It leads us down a path of anxiety, where we will end up afraid to go out and do anything. While hypochondriacs are suffering from a debilitating mental health condition, nowadays, with the ease of access to information, cyberchondria isn't far behind. After all, we all have access to a phone with millions of web pages. So the next time you feel you have some problem that won't go away, do yourself a favor and go to a doctor.


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Chronic Pain Care & Management

If you are suffering chronic pain it can be an emotional struggle as well as a physical one. The first thing you have to do is have the right mindset. Instead of thinking ‘why me’, look at the situation from a ‘what now, how will I deal with this’ perspective. That change in thinking alone can make the situation less stressful, and if you are less anxious, your body will cope with the pain better.


Learn To Relax

Pain occurs to warn you that there is something wrong with your body. It is often in the muscles, but remember that even some things such as your heart are a muscle. If your body is tense the pain will be worse, but learning to relax will lessen the effects of it.

Calming your body down is the objective, and you have to find the best method of relaxing your muscles that suits you and helps to improve your well-being. Some people are lucky enough just to be able to sit back and it happens naturally, where others will have to do progressive muscle relaxing for it to work.

Don’t Overdo It

If your chronic pain is a bit easier after a few days of rest and relaxation, don’t suddenly try to do everything you normally would. Overdoing it can delay your recovery so even if you are feeling better, take it easy for a while longer. Perhaps do some minor tasks such as making your own coffee, but keep them simple or you will be back at square one.

Don’t Miss Out

Some people with painful conditions feel exhausted after their evening meal and go to bed early. You should try to avoid this because it means you are missing out on family life. Rest more in the daytime and have a nap in the afternoon. Then you will not be quite so tired in the evening and will be able to enjoy time with your family.


Seek Help

There is help available when you are in chronic pain. You could visit a chiropractor, try acupuncture, massage or visit your physician. You do not have to suffer alone as help and support is there for you.

There are herbal remedies that can help as well as the painkillers your doctor could prescribe.

Eat Foods That Are Anti-Inflammatory

There are some foods such as oily fish, red fruits and vegetables that have anti-inflammatory properties. Carrots, squash, watermelon, and peaches are all additions to your diet that could help.

Set Yourself Realistic Goals

Write down a list of realistic goals. Start with the simplest of things at the top, and gradually increase the amount of effort they will need. Do the first one for a few days before moving onto the next, and eventually you will reach the last goal you have included. Never worry about having to drop back a couple as with the nature of chronic pain, there will be some days where it is worse than others.

Just take it a step at a time, and as you start to do more again, you will feel better in yourself.


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Make Health And Happiness Part Of Your Daily Life

Like so many women, if you’re living a busy and stressful life, it could be taking a toll on your general health and well-being. It’s important nowadays to take the time to look after yourself and think about each lifestyle choice you make. By making positive changes to your everyday routine; you’ll become happier and healthier, which will help to lead you through a long a fulfilling life. The following are some areas to consider if you feel like life is weighing you down a little, so that you can begin to enjoy health and happiness each day.

Nourishing Yourself

Food is our body’s fuel, so filling yourself up with junk food all the time, will not have a positive effect on your health and how you feel. By no means do you have to give up your favorite treats completely, as a little of what you enjoy can do you good. However, candy, cakes, and fast food should be regarded as treats for special occasions or a reward for a heavy duty workout. By keeping your sugar intake down; you’ll have more energy and won’t have to face any crashes from the glucose leaving your system.

Cooking fresh meals is another smart idea, as it makes it simple to control what you’re eating. If you cook from scratch, then you can monitor the ingredients, including any fats and sugar, which goes into your delicious homemade meals. Cooking can also be therapeutic, as you can focus on the task at hand, and let your daily stresses float away. The more you get creative in your kitchen, the better you’ll get; so check out some recipes and tutorials online for some inspiration, and before you know it, you’ll be feeling beautiful from the inside out!

Seeking Help

It’s always a cathartic experience to talk to somebody else about your worries and problems; however, many people find it difficult and often shy away from opening up, especially when it comes to both their physical issues and mental health. Whether you have worries regarding your intimate area and want to look into the Geneveve procedure, you’re struggling with low mood and need counsel, or you’re impacted by anxiety surrounding an array of things; there’s no better time to get help, than right now.

Try and make time to call, or even email, a friend or family member to tell them what’s happening. By going through everything, you’ll be able to take the weight off your shoulders and are likely to gain some positive advice in the meantime. A simple catch up and chat with somebody can also highlight all the successes and good points in your life right now; this in itself will give you a boost and make you feel better about your situation.


If you’re uncomfortable sharing your thoughts with those that you know, or you feel your problem is too serious or complicated for them to help solve; there are plenty of resources available to you. Take a look online, and you’ll find an array of contact details to access expert help from people who have been professionally trained in dealing with your particular problem. You might just be feeling generally overwhelmed in life, and need some advice on how to ease the pressure and move forward; whatever it is, it’s not worth keeping everything to yourself.



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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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