Tuesday, September 27, 2016

5 tips for improving sleep habits

Many people who have insomnia simply claim that they “just can’t sleep.” The truth is however, that your habits around bedtime can be a big factor in how easily you fall asleep and stay asleep. Here are some tips for what to do in the hours before bedtime.

1) Physical Activity- The ability to fall asleep and stay asleep depends greatly on physical fatigue. If you are physically inactive all day, your mind will still be tired at night but there is a good chance you body won’t feel the same way. This is one of the reasons exercise during the day is so effective in helping you sleep at night.

2) Wind Down- With a busy schedule many people work right up until they crawl into bed at night. When you do this, your mind doesn’t get a chance to wind down. It is still running, making it difficult for you to clear your mind and drift off to sleep. This is why it is important to take time to wind down before bedtime. Keep the lights low, and do something quiet such as read, take a bath or meditate.

3) Sunbathe- Your body is timed by the circadian clock, which operates on the presence or absence of sunlight. When you first go outside in the morning, it shuts down production of melatonin, a natural hormone that makes you feel sleepy. When you are in the dark at night, this production increases. For this clock to work properly you need to spend at least a little time out in the sun each day.

4) Quiet Your Bedroom- If your mind only associates your bedroom with sleep; it will make it much easier to fall asleep at night. To achieve this, all distractions should be removed from your bedroom. This includes the television, radio and computer. This way, it will be easier to use your bedroom exclusively for sleep and sexual activity. The temperature of your bedroom is important also. Making it a little colder will promote sleep, and also allow you to snuggle up under the covers.

5) Clear Your Mind- In order to fall asleep; it is important that your mind is clear. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Keep a notebook next to your bed so that when a thought pops into your head you can write it down. This way, your mind will be able to relax because you won’t be trying to remember that thought for the morning.

When anxiety becomes a disorder?

It is absolutely normal to be anxious. When faced with a problem or a situation, we experience anxiety. We tend to worry when we are trying to finish a deadline that seems impossible to beat. We cram during final exams.

Just like other emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness or happiness, anxiety is a normal reaction that helps a person cope and deal with present situation. It is common and plays a significant role in relation to a person’s ability to adapt and survive.

However, when anxiety gets out of hand and leads to an unreasonable fear or worry of daily activities, it has become a disorder.

There are several types of emotional and psychological problems, as shown below:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by a person’s exaggerated view of a certain situation that elicits irrational anxiety or unnecessary worry which becomes alarmingly habitual. A mother who overly anticipates financial and health problems of the family may become a nervous wreck. Or an employee who is extremely concerned about difficulties at work.

Panic Disorder is describe as a sudden strike of terror associated with rapid heart beats, sweating, weakening, fainting, or dizziness. A person with panic attack experience a feeling of impending disaster and loss of control. Panic attacks may occur at any given time, even while asleep. It usually lasts for ten minutes, though there are some cases that it takes longer before a person comes back to reality. Not everyone who experience panic attacks may develop panic disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder, also called social phobia, is a condition when people become overly self-conscious in everyday social situations that leads to intense anxiety. There is an unreal fear of being watched and judged by others and of doing things that will embarrass them. It becomes chronic and persistent, lasting for days or weeks before a dreaded situation. This fear may become so severe that it interferes with work, school, and other ordinary activities, and can make it hard to make and keep friends.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), or social phobia, is characterized by an intense fear of being scrutinized and negatively evaluated by others in social or performance situations. Some people with SAD literally feel ‘sick from fear’ in seemingly non-threatening situations, such as ordering food in a restaurant, signing one’s name in public or making a phone call. Though they recognize that the fear is excessive and unreasonable, people with SAD feel powerless against their anxiety. They are terrified they will act in a way that will be embarrassing or humiliating. The anxiety can interfere significantly with daily routines, occupational performance or social life. It can make it difficult to complete school, interview and obtain jobs and create and maintain friendships and romantic partnerships.”

In some situations, a person’s Social Anxiety Disorder may be evident only in a particular social activity like making a phone call, talking to clients or giving a speech, but the person can be totally at ease in other social events. In these cases, SAD is selective. On the other hand, a more generalized form of SAD is experiencing anxiety attacks in a variety of routine activities where one’s actions or behavior may be scrutinized such as business meetings, class activities, talking to strangers or attending parties.
Phobia is an unreasonable and intense fear of something that brings about little or no real threat and danger. Most common specific phobias are focused on the fear of high places, closed-in spaces, water, flying, dogs, snakes and injuries involving blood. These are not just excessive fear but extremely irrational fear of a particular thing. Most adult patients realize that these fears are unreasonable but discovers that dealing with feared object or situation brings on a dreaded anxiety attack.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is unrelenting and is characteized by disquieting thoughts (obsessions) and the of use rituals (compulsions). People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have persistent, upsetting thoughts (obsessions) and use rituals (compulsions) to control the anxiety these thoughts produce. Most of the time, the rituals end up controlling them. Normal healthy people also have rituals, such as checking to see if the stove is off several times before leaving the house. The only difference is that people with OCD tend to overdo their rituals to the point that it obstructs with their daily life and they find the routine agonizing. Some would recognize that what they are doing is senseless, but most people, especially kids, may not realize that their behavior is out of the ordinary.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when a tragic event happens involving physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The harm could have happened to the person PTSD or to a loved one, or the person is a witness to a tragic scene that happened to loved ones or strangers.
PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are generally treated with medication or specific types of psychotherapy, or both. Treatment depends on the severity of the case and the person’s preference. Be sure that a doctor is consulted to evaluate the cause of anxiety disorder before treatment begins. Sometimes alcoholism, depression, or other coexisting conditions have such a strong effect on the individual that treating the anxiety disorder must wait until the coexisting conditions are brought under control.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Gastritis symptoms and treatment

Gastritis, as any medical book would describe it, is the inflammation of the stomach lining. The term itself was derived from the Greek terms gastro- which literally means stomach, and –itis meaning inflammation. This condition may manifest itself alone or as a symptom of an underlying medical condition. This may appear out of nowhere or develop slowly over time.

What causes gastritis?

Gastritis usually develops when the stomach’s protective lining becomes overwhelmed or damaged. Without this mucus lining to shield the stomach walls, digestive acids may then irritate and inflame your stomach lining. A lot of factors may trigger gastritis, these include:

Bacterial infection.

The bacteria type Helicobacter Pylori may cause gastritis. Though it is said that everybody is infected with this type of bacteria, the majority of those infected don’t manifest complications.


Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and other non-steroidal inflammatory drugs may reduce a key substance that helps preserve the protective barrier of the stomach.

Alcohol can irritate and erode the stomach lining, making the stomach more vulnerable to gastric juices.
Bile reflux disorder.

Bile, one released from the gallbladder, is supposed to go to the small intestines through a series of small tubes. The pyloric valve prevents bile from flowing into the stomach from the intestines. If the pyloric valve malfunctions, bile may flow into the stomach, causing stomach lining irritation.
Autoimmune deficiency.

The body itself attacks the cells that make up the stomach lining.
Other diseases.

Gastritis may be a connected to other medical conditions, including: HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, parasitic infections, certain connective tissue disorders, and liver or kidney failures.

What are the signs and symptoms of gastritis?

The following symptoms listed may be a result of gastritis or any underlying medical condition that caused gastritis:

o A gnawing or burning ache or pain (indigestion) in your upper abdomen that may become either worse or better when you eat.
o Nausea and vomiting.
o Fever.
o Loss of appetite.
o Belching or bloating.
o A feeling of fullness in your upper abdomen after eating.
o Weight loss.
o Gastric bleeding.
o Lethargy.

Acute gastritis, or gastritis that occurs suddenly, usually results in a combination of nausea and a burning pain or discomfort in the upper abdominal area. On the other hand, chronic gastritis, which develops over time, is more probable to cause a dull pain and a feeling of fullness or loss of appetite after having a few bites of food.

How is gastritis treated?

Treatment depends on the severity and the cause of the gastritis. Gastritis caused by medications or alcohol consumption may be prevented simply by limiting, if not stopping the use of those substances. Certain medications are also prescribed to treat helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, counter stomach acids, reduce the manifestation of certain symptoms, and promote healing of the stomach lining. These medications include antacids, acid blockers, and drugs designed to blocking the actions of acid-secreting cells.

What complications may arise from gastritis?

If left untreated, gastritis may lead to more severe medical complications such as stomach ulcers and stomach hemorrhage. Certain forms of chronic gastritis may even increase the risk of developing stomach cancer, especially if the stomach lining has become too thin or there has been a change in the lining cells.

We can’t always help getting sick or infected by these kinds of medical conditions. However taking preventive measures may help lessen the burden of having gastritis. A well-balanced diet, or an evenly spaced, proportioned meal may help ease the effects of stomach acid. Limiting alcohol intake or switching pain reliever brands may reduce stomach lining irritation. Lastly, following your doctor’s advice may help you get rid of gastritis faster.

Monday, August 29, 2016

What is endometriosis?

They say women are blessed with the gift of child bearing. This also means having the burden of monthly periods and everything it entails. It requires doubling the hygiene rituals as disregarding those may cause complications. One of these complications can be endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a common issue for women over 30 who are of reproductive age but have never been pregnant. It is common to an estimated 89 million women but is most often shrugged off as the usual premenstrual syndrome. Though it appears to hit women over 30, it may also affect girls before they even start menstruating. It is said to be caused by excess amounts of estrogen in the body.

The endometrium is a lining of the uterus that separates the myometrium from the uterine cavity. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the uterus sheds off the endometrial lining in the form of a thick, glandular, blood vessel-filled tissue in response to the body’s hormone production. Endometriosis may seem similar to a regular menstrual cycle in the sense that the endometrial lining is still sloughed off. However, not all of it is excreted. Instead, some of it gets misplaced and transported to other organs in the pelvic cavity. It may attach itself to the bowel, bladder or small intestines among other organs, causing infection, scarring, and worse – infertility.

The most common symptoms of endometriosis include:

progressive dysmenorrhea;

chronic lumbar,

pelvic and abdominal pain;

dyspareunia (painful intercourse);

dyschezia (painful bowel movement) or dysuria(painful urination);

menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding);

nausea and vomiting, and pre- or intermenstrual spotting.

During menstruation, women usually experience abdominal cramps and tenderness of the breasts. This is said to be due to the estrogen level that fluctuates during that time. However, for people with endometriosis, the pain gets worse over time. This symptom is usually neglected as women often think of it as part of their usual dysmenorrhea attacks. This may well be carried over to experiencing chronic pain, usually on the lower back, pelvic and abdominal areas. As a lot of women experience radiating pain during dysmenorrhea. The pain radiates from abdomen to the lumbar area.

Women with endometriosis also experience dyspareunia, or painful sexual intercourse. There might be an inflammation of the vaginal lining, causing pain upon contact or friction during intercourse.
Once the misplaced endometrial lining attaches itself to your bowel, kidney or bladder, you may experience dyschezia or dysuria. Dyschezia is a condition wherein you experience discomfort while defecating. Dysuria is a condition characterized by painful urination. In both cases you may experience hematochezia or hematuria wherein blood is found in your feces and urine. Difficulty defecating and urinating may cause internal bleeding and, in turn, infection.

Menorrhagia, or heavy menstrual bleeding is not something to shrug off. It may manifest itself as prolonged menstrual bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding, or even both. Some women are used to their periods taking two to three weeks to finish, This symptom is tricky to detect as menstrual cycles differ for every woman. Nausea and vomiting, again a common occurrence during dysmenorrhea, are also symptoms of endometriosis. This can also be a sign that misplaced endometrial lining had attached itself onto your gastro-intestinal organs. Premenstrual and inter-menstrual spotting can also be a symptom of endometriosis, and is characterized by blood spots that appear before and in between menstrual cycles.

Endometriosis is a progressive condition that will, in the long run, affect a woman’s ability to create life. As prolonged, untreated endometriosis may cause the endometrial lining to attach itself inside the vagina and to other organs outside the pelvic region. Severe infection may form scar tissues that can block the fallopian tubes and hinder ovulation.

As of now, a sure-fire cure for endometriosis is still being tested. However, modern science has provided us with medications and procedures that may help delay the effects of it. Laser surgery can be made to remove endometrial fragments from where they have attached. Also, there are medications available that will stop the body from producing more estrogen to prevent the endometrial fragments from growing. If you’re experiencing the symptoms listed on this article, it is best to visit your gynecologist and have yourself checked.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Causes and remedies for urinary tract infections

If you face the problem of Urinary tract infection, then you should follow some guidelines for easy recovery and also
Women who are more sexually active are the greatest victims of urinary tract infection or the infection of bladder or the kidneys. However, men also suffer from this infection but mostly after the age of 50.

Urinary tract infections are commonly caused by a bacterium that travels from the urinary duct or urethra into the bladder. Amongst women, pregnancy, sexual intercourse, diabetes or a past urinary tract infection leads to such kind of infection. The risk also increases when they wipe from back to the front after a bowel movement.

Typical symptoms include necessity to urinate frequently with the inability to pass more than a small amount or pain and burning sensation during urination or even dribbling or leaking during day and while sleeping. It is also possible that the urine develops a foul odor or become blood specked.

Do’s while you have a urinary tract infection
1. You should take antibiotics as prescribed by your physician. Make sure to take all the medication even though the symptoms disappear because if you stop the treatment early, some of the bacteria may survive and infect you again.

2. Take plenty of rest and if fever persists for long, stay in bed until it gets to normal and you feel better.

3. Drink 6 to 8 soda can size glass of fluids especially water each day to flush out your kidneys and wash out the germs from your urinary tract. If you drink cranberry juice or take vitamin C it shall help to make your urine more acid and keep the infection under control.

4. Urinate as often as you feel the urge and try to empty the bladder completely every time before and after sex.

5. Avoid intake of caffeine or alcohol during the treatment as this irritates the bladder.

6. Take showers rather than taking bath each day and wash the genital area with soap and water. Never use bubble bath or bath oils.

7.  Also remember to wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement because this reduces the chances of germs getting into the bladder. It is also advisable to wear a panty with a cotton crotch.

8. Maintain your follow up visits regularly to cure the infection or else the lingering infection could even damage the kidneys.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Healthy Aging Starts with Stress Reduction

People are often unaware of what stress can do to their body and mind. Stress is bad for the heart. Stress will give you headaches, or make you feel depressed. Stress can do many harmful things to your body and mind, yet in some instances stress is good. Balancing stress is the key to living healthier.

If you live with unhealthy stress, you will need to take action to reduce the volume. You have many options to relieve stress.

Where does stress come from?
Stress develops from many different things. For instance, bills can cause you stress. Not paying your bills on time due to lack of funds can cause stress. Not having a job or kids can stress you out to the max. In addition, bad relationships can wear on your nerves.

What can you do to get some relief from stress?
Some of the things that may help you to find relief from stress include reading a good book. Wrap yourself up in a warm blanket or cool area depending on the weather and enjoy a good book. Writing is one of the top keys that help you to reduce stress. When you are overloaded with stress, write down your feelings, emotions, thoughts and so on. Writing is a great exercise, put it to good use. Avoid overdoing it, so that you learn to enjoy writing rather than feeling frustrated at the thought of writing.

You could also enjoy a nice hot, bubble bath. Add some candles around the tub, soak and enjoy. There are many ways that people can find relief from stress; you have to decide on the best way for you to find that relief. Go with whatever works best for you.

If you cant find a way to do it on your own perhaps you can visit your family doctor, a counselor, friend or family member that will guide you to reducing your stress. Support is a great tool. Build up a support group that helps you live healthier, rather than wearing you down.

What does stress do to my body?
Stress will do a lot to your body if you let it. It will control your emotions, thoughts, actions, behaviors, bodily functions and so on. If you allow stress to control you, it will bring you down to nothing, making you feel worthless. Stress can do a lot of damage to your body as well as your mind.

What can I do so I am not so stressed?
Stress can be reduced by minimizing bad habits. Try paying your bills on time if possible. If you cannot pay your bills on time due to insufficient funds, pay enough to avoid shut-off notices. You may want to setup a budget so that you spend wisely. Help is only a phone call away as well. Pick up your phone book, talk to people in your area, etc, since you just may find money available to help those with low-income pay bills.
Another good way to avoid stress is to stay away from those who drag you down. If you have friends or family members feeding you negativity, let them go and find positive friends instead. Sometimes tough love is our way of saying, “I’ve had enough.”

In addition, you can learn to eat healthy, exercise and put away those things that wear on your health. For instance, if you smoke, drink excessively, use drugs, etc, you are wearing heavily on your nerves. Put these things behind you if possible; otherwise seek help to put these things behind you. You have many options; check your resources to learn what is available to you.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

10 tips to put your insomnia to rest

Do you stay that way throughout the day?
Do you have difficulty concentrating during the day?
The World Health Organization says that one-third of the world’s population experience insomnia at some stage in their lives, with approximately five per cent needing medical treatment!
To avoid medical intervention, try these natural techniques and remedies, and help put your insomnia to rest.

1. Relaxation

Relax before going to bed. Do some deep breathing, listen to soft music. According to Dr. Timothy Sharp from Sydney University, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine will also help.

2. Bedtime routine

Develop a bedtime routine so your body knows it’s time to go to sleep. By winding down your physical activities and following a set routine prior to bed, your body will start to associate some of these actions with going to sleep. Start with a cup of hot milk. Milk contains a protein called tryptophan, which helps to promote sleep. This can be substituted with chamomile tea, which is known to calm the nerves. Follow this with a hot bath or shower, the heat will help to lower your internal body temperature, again telling your body to go to sleep.

3. Your bedroom is for sleeping only

Make your bedroom your sleep-room. Turn the lights off as soon as you get into bed. Don’t read, eat or watch television in your bedroom, or do any activity that is not sleep related. Make sure the room is dark and cozy; include extra pillows on the bed and even some teddy bears. Make your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary, a room that you will instantly feel secure and comfortable in, and best of all, a room that you will crave to sleep in.

4. Calm down and clear your mind

Clear your mind of the day’s activities or things that are due to be done tomorrow. Write a ‘to do’ list for the following day. Organize uniforms, lunches, etc … the night before. Make arrangements earlier than usual so you don’t worry.

5. Give time back to yourself

Instead of trying to cram as much as you can into the day then find you haven’t left much time to sleep, try to find short cuts or solutions to give a little time back to yourself. Make a double casserole and freeze half for another night. Spot clean the house as you go. Have more barbecues, using paper plates (less washing-up). Offer to pay the kids, or the neighbour’s kids, to do some extra chores.

6. A balanced diet helps to make a balanced mind

If you’re lacking in essential vitamins and minerals your body cannot operate at its best. Throw out the junk food and fizzy drinks, and make a new start to good physical and mental health. Add in some regular exercise and watch your body respond with some improved sleep.

7. Don’t lie in bed if you can’t sleep

If you don’t feel sleepy enough to drift off, your mind will probably anguish over the fact that you can’t get to sleep. This will only make it harder to get to sleep each time you experience this. Get out of bed and go into a different room. Do something to distract yourself until you do start to feel sleepy and then try to sleep again later.

8. Medications may interfere with your sleep

It has been shown that some of the medications below may cause sleep problems.