• 5 common errors people make while drinking water

    All living organisms need water for survival. Staying hydrated has various health benefits and helps keep many health conditions at bay. Health experts advise drinking six to eight glasses of water daily. Though drinking water might seem simple, there is a right way to do it. Unbeknownst to many, people are bound to make certain mistakes while drinking water. Keep reading to learn more about such common mistakes to steer clear of.

    Common mistakes people make while drinking water
    There are many things to be aware of while drinking water besides meeting one’s daily water intake requirements. Some common mistakes people make while drinking water can negatively affect their health. Some common errors include gulping water too quickly, drinking while standing, and having water just before a meal.

    Gulping water quickly
    When you drink too fast, your body cannot absorb the water properly. As a result, the nerves in your stomach will be tense, causing indigestion due to the imbalance of fluid levels. It will also cause bloating when you consume a large volume of water. To avoid this, ensure you sip the water slowly and carefully. 

    Drinking water while standing
    Even though it is common for people to drink water while standing, it is one of the common mistakes to avoid. Drinking water while standing will exert pressure on your nerves, disturb the fluid balance and lead to indigestion. Moreover, it also affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Therefore, health experts always advise drinking water in a sitting position.

    Having water right before/after meals
    When you drink water before a meal, you cannot eat the meal properly because you will feel full. It will deprive the body of necessary nutrients. Besides reducing your appetite, water intake before a meal can dilute the digestive juices. In severe cases, it might cause nausea or constipation. Experts advise drinking water an hour after a meal to ease digestion.

    Drinking chilled water
    It is usual for people to go to the refrigerator for a sip of cold water after a busy day. However, it is one of the common drinking mistakes one must avoid or control. Drinking too much cold water at once can interfere with digestion. It also constricts the blood vessels, leading to a reduced heart rate.

    Drinking too much water
    Like any other food or beverage, even water must be consumed in moderation. Excessive water intake can be hazardous to one’s health and cause bloating, decreased sodium levels, and swelling due to water retention. Overhydration due to excessive water intake can lead to symptoms such as nausea and headache. Therefore, ensure you drink water moderately and only when thirsty.

    Drinking quality water in the right way will help you reap the countless benefits it offers, including reduced stress levels, increased energy, body mass loss, and better digestion. Avoiding the abovementioned common mistakes and practicing healthy drinking habits can positively change your general health.

  • 4 questions to ask the oncologist without getting embarrassed

    Early diagnosis and active planning is the only way to manage long-term outlook regarding cancer. So, it is necessary to have a conversation with the doctor and specialist to try and understand the next best course of action. It is during this discussion that one must not hesitate to have an open dialogue about cancer, regardless of probable embarrassment, as the key to proper treatment may just be the answer to one of these questions.

    4 questions to ask the oncologist without embarrassment

    Asking if the cancer is rare or common
    There are many types of cancer and dozens of risk factors and underlying causes that impact its progression. So, it is necessary to ask the doctor if the cancer is rare or commonly diagnosed. Rare cancers have little to no treatment options since most studies and clinical trials are not concluded for them. There is no definitive guarantee for commonly diagnosed cancers either, but with early and prompt diagnosis, it is possible to treat it and improve quality of life successfully. So, it is imperative to determine the type, its progression, and its stage to help plan a treatment regime.

    Asking about the best course of action
    Different types of cancers, based on severity and progression, can be managed to a significant extent with a proper course of prescriptions, nutrition advice, and daily lifestyle changes. Helping the body adapt to fight cancer and resist mutation gives it a fighting chance to improve its overall outlook. So never hesitate to ask if there are other possible treatments for cancer. This is a valid question. Also, when in doubt, never hesitate to get a second or even third opinion. Oncologists deal with different progressions of cancer. So, it’s quite possible another doctor might be able to prescribe a better course of treatment.

    Asking about potential risks and side effects
    Cancer, in its advanced stages, progresses quickly and becomes highly invasive, affecting multiple organs and vital body functions at the same time. So, it is necessary to discuss the risks of treatment and understand how common side effects can impact daily lifestyle due to these limitations. Cancer also affects a person’s psyche, with the potential risk of depression, anxiety, and fear. For many cancers, oncologists suggest getting additional counseling and therapy to learn how to manage and overcome the discomforts.

    Asking if treatment is beneficial
    Many types of cancer are detected only in the advanced stages, and by then, it can be too late to start a new course of treatment. Upon diagnosis only, the doctor can explain the chances of survival, potential problems during treatment, and if it’s even the best course of action at this stage. So, as embarrassing as it sounds, there is absolutely no harm in asking if treatment will be beneficial in the long run. Also, not everybody can afford expensive clinical trials and treatments, as their insurance may or may not cover certain types of cancer. So, it’s also important to ask if there are any free clinical trials or funded programs to address the underlying issue. If not, it is always okay to ask what’s the next best alternative.

  • Foods and remedies to help manage Parkinson’s

    Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological disorder that commonly affects senior individuals. However, there are times when patients are diagnosed with the early onset of the condition. The disease is associated with a lower amount of dopamine in the brain and damaged nerve cells. Dealing with a condition such as Parkinson’s does not have a specific to-do not-to-do plan; however, there are certain foods that are believed to aid in its management.

    Foods that help manage Parkinson’s

    Bananas contain magnesium, a critical nutrient that helps lower the risk of spasm and muscle cramps. Patients with Parkinson’s are also low on dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter that regulates communication linked to movement. Bananas contain tryptophan and tyrosine, both key building blocks of dopamine that help supplement this requirement.

    Studies reveal that free radicals can damage healthy brain cells and worsen the cognitive symptoms linked to Parkinson’s. Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, goji berries, and elderberries are loaded with essential antioxidants and vitamin C to combat this stress and boost cognitive function. Berries are also loaded with fiber that helps manage constipation, one of the critical discomforts linked to the disease. 

    Green vegetables are rich in fibers and antioxidants that actively help combat oxidative stress to minimize dopamine loss. Broccoli is one of the top choices that help boost immunity, combat constipation, and improve cognitive function.

    Different types of fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, herring, and anchovies are loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Studies reveal that omega 3s help manage confusion, reduce the risk of dementia, and even promote better motor control among Parkinson’s patients. 

    Green tea
    Certain beverages can also help lower the progression of neurological disorders. Green tea, for example, contains natural polyphenols that help protect dopamine. Studies have shown the risk of Parkinson’s among those who drink green tea regularly is lower than those who don’t.

    Nuts are a great alternative source of healthy omega-3 fats and antioxidants. Popular choices for Parkinson’s management include pistachios, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and pecans.

    Aside from food and lifestyle changes, some remedial options that have been used to help manage Parkinson’s are as follows.

    Remedies for Parkinson’s

    Rytary® is an FDA-approved treatment option for Parkinson’s patients. The capsules contain levodopa/carbidopa that work in combination to help combat symptoms. Levodopa acts as a dopamine substitute for the patient and carbidopa helps decrease its side effects. Levodopa side effects include low blood pressure, nausea, hallucinations, and more.

    Doctors suggest using this combination prescription of levodopa-carbidopa to manage better the symptoms linked to movement difficulty, shaking, and stiffness throughout the body. The generic oral tablets were approved only after extensive carbidopa-levodopa clinical trials. Carbidopa-levodopa side effects include allergic reactions like hives and swelling on the lips, tongue, throat, or face. Some people may also experience difficulty breathing, and immediate medical attention is advisable.

    Opicapone (ONGENTYS)
    Ongentys® is a commonly used remedial option for Parkinson’s that works by blocking the COMT enzyme. It is used in combination with levodopa/carbidopa based on data from clinical trials and studies.

  • 5 skin care mistakes accountable for premature aging

    Flawless and ageless skin is a dream for most people. As we age, the appearance of our skin changes with fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. But there are several skin care techniques we can follow to prevent this. When it comes to restoring a youthful appearance, attention to detail is essential. These 5 skincare mistakes are often overlooked and could mostly be the culprit behind aging skin. So, avoid them to achieve healthy, youthful skin.

    Irregular cleansing of face
    Removing your make-up before going to bed is widely spoken about. The sooner you clean your face after a day of make-up, the better. Pollution leads to embedding free radicals on our skin, which can take a toll on skin health, and lead to acne and irritation. Further, leaving make-up on will clog your pores and worsen these conditions, which is why you must remove the day’s make-up as soon as you get home.
    It is also essential to wash your face off in the morning. Throughout the night, our skin removes impurities and restores its balance. Ignoring a morning cleanse can lead to a build-up of these impurities, which can affect your skin and its aging process. So make sure you develop a balanced skin cleansing routine to detoxify your skin and clear it of any impurities to maintain healthy and supple skin. If you want to improve your skincare routine, you can take a look at brands like Tatcha. The brand formulates its products with a balanced mixture of Japanese botanical ingredients and other skin-benefitting components.

    Avoiding sunscreen application
    Excessive sun exposure can lead to the appearance of premature wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and rough skin. Going in the sun without sunscreen exposes our skin to the harsh rays of the sun, which can be drying and damaging. Using sunscreen regularly can help prevent these signs of aging, such as wrinkles and reduced elasticity. That is why you must always apply sunscreen, even in the colder months. Opting for mineral-based creams or sunblock containing zinc is better to give you the best results.

    Getting insufficient sleep
    Skipping out on beauty sleep can lead to an increased occurrence of stress hormones. Not getting enough rest can also lead to breakouts and a dull complexion, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. All these factors can make your skin appear older, making it imperative to get sufficient hours of sleep every night.

    Staying dehydrated
    Hydrating the skin is essential to keep it supple and healthy, and not doing so can damage the skin’s elasticity, making it more prone to irritation and aging. Research suggests that healthy skin has 10-20% water content, and dehydration can cause these levels to reduce. To maintain a healthy bounce in your skin, consume at least 6-8 glasses of water per day.

    Ignoring pollution
    Pollution can wreak havoc on our skin. Reapplying make-up throughout the day by touching up powder or foundation pushes toxins from the environment further into our skin. One way of maintaining healthy skin despite the pollution is by avoiding the re-application of make-up throughout the day and regularly cleansing the skin. To reduce free radical damage, use serums or moisturizers rich in antioxidants, as they can neutralize the effects of the free radicals and defend our skin in between washes.

    Exposing your skin to too much heat (in saunas, bathtubs, showers, etc.) can also increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is a result of the blockage of natural collagen and elastin production by heat and humidity and is known as solar elastosis. Use cold to warm water to cleanse your skin and limit the time spent in hot environments. Apart from these measures, you can also use anti-aging serums or creams. A more definitive way of reversing damage to your skin is by opting for radio frequency anti-aging treatments, which minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines, and firm your skin, leading to smoother, more radiant, and youthful-looking skin.

  • 10 simple snack ideas to manage arthritis

    Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints in the body, with symptoms like pain and stiffness in the joints. The pain may vary based on age, genetics, sex, and earlier injuries. When managing arthritis pains, healthcare experts may recommend treatment options and changes to one’s meals to boost recovery. Here are a few snack ideas that most people with joint pain caused by arthritis should consider eating.

    Salmon and crackers
    Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation caused by arthritis. Individuals should mix cooked salmon with an olive-oil-based vinaigrette and eat it with whole-wheat crackers.

    Apple slices
    Fruits like apples are abundant in fibers, vitamin C, and polyphenols that are effective against arthritis pains. One can easily snack on apple slices throughout the day.

    Low-fat string cheese dip
    Dips made of low-fat string cheese are an ideal option one can consume along with other snacks in between meals. The cheese is rich in calcium, essential for developing and maintaining healthy bones.

    Salads made with vegetables like mushrooms, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli may significantly help boost one’s ability to fight off arthritis pains. They can also be cooked and added as a side dish to an individual’s meals.

    Olive oil
    Olive oil added to any snack or meal is good for overall health. The oil has a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Moreover, a component in olive oil known as oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties, which are essential for heart health.

    Green tea
    Most people love drinking a cup of tea in the morning or the evening. Here’s where switching to green tea could be the best solution. The liquid could help alleviate the pain of arthritis due to its polyphenol compound content. The drink is also low in caffeine as compared to other teas.

    Kale chips
    Kale is a cruciferous vegetable rich in antioxidants, beneficial for people with arthritis. So when it comes to snacking options, one should consider eating kale chips. The individual should mildly oil a bowl of kale, then spice and bake it before eating the chips.

    Steamed edamame
    Edamame is high-protein soy food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fibers, and low in fat, which may help lower symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. One can use edamame in the pod or try it with another flavor, like wasabi, to make the snack.

    Curry roasted chickpeas
    Blended with turmeric and ginger, curry-roasted chickpeas are a healthy snack for people with arthritis. Chickpeas contain vitamin K, which helps the body absorb nutritional calcium and curb arthritis symptoms.

    One should consume nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts with their meals. They contain nutrients like magnesium, fiber, and healthy fats, which can ward off the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

    Apart from following a healthy meal plan, arthritis pain can be managed long term with timely care and physical therapy. In addition, doctors suggest the use of natural Relief Factor supplements. Primary ingredients include icariin, resveratrol, curcumin, and omegas that help overcome aches and pain triggered by inflammation.

    Golimumab (SIMPONI ARIA®) is administered as an intravenous infusion for controlling severe rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. SIMPONI ARIA® vials may have side effects and should be taken under a doctor’s close supervision.

    Voltaren’s arthritis pain gel is another effective treatment option for the condition. This gel has anti-inflammatory qualities that help drastically reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms, such as joint pain and stiffness in individuals.

    It is also important to recognize the type of arthritis; for example, childhood arthritis or juvenile arthritis refers to arthritis in children and is characterized by chronic joint damage. Understanding the nature of the condition can help one seek suitable treatment options to relieve symptoms.

  • Top 6 causes of tinnitus

    Tinnitus is a health condition where a person hears a sound no one else can hear. The sound is commonly described as buzzing, hissing, or ringing, but it can also be whistling, humming, or pulsing. Treatments like sound therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy help manage the symptoms so they do not disrupt a person’s routine. Here, we briefly discuss the common causes of tinnitus, from hearing loss to aging and infections.

    Loud noises
    Exposure to loud noises for an extended period may damage the hair cells in the inner ear, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. The loud noise could emanate from various sources, such as a construction site nearby or fireworks. Sometimes, recreational activities like attending concerts or listening to music at high volumes can also cause the problem.

    While people of all ages can get affected, this condition is more common among older adults. It could result from various cardiovascular and metabolic conditions arising from old age.

    Ear infections
    Ear infections like otitis media can lead to tinnitus. Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that leads to inflammation and fluid accumulation behind the ear drum. It is a common occurrence in kids between six months and two years.

    An earwax buildup in the ear canal can bring on tinnitus. This inner ear ailment can also result in vertigo, hearing loss, and other symptoms. Hence, one should clean their ears regularly using safe methods.

    Specific treatments
    Tinnitus is sometimes a side effect of specific treatments, especially those used to manage cancer and increase urination. Hence, individuals should use treatments only after consulting a healthcare expert and stick to the recommended dosage.

    Underlying health conditions
    In certain people, high blood pressure can lead to tinnitus. One may experience a ringing or hissing sensation in the ears when blood flows through the veins with extreme force. Disorders of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) can also be a reason. These joints link the lower jawbone to the skull. If an underlying health issue is the cause of tinnitus, treating it may help lessen the symptoms.

    Besides the above, factors like emotional stress and head or neck trauma can trigger tinnitus or worsen its symptoms.

    Depending on the underlying cause, health experts may suggest various treatments to manage the condition. For instance, they may recommend using white noise generators, hearing aids, or other sound generators to create low-level sounds that distract the patient from the ringing, buzzing, or hissing. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may also be recommended to alter the patient’s responses to tinnitus. This therapy may incorporate relaxation techniques, stress management, and other coping mechanisms. Sound therapy, counseling, healthy nutrition, exercise, and better sleep can also help manage tinnitus better in the long run.

  • 4 foods to omit for healthy lungs

    Lungs are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body and protecting the airways from irritants. One’s eating habits and lifestyle play an important role in maintaining lung health. For strong lungs, it is necessary to expose oneself to fresh, pollution-free air and choose nutrient-rich foods that boost energy and health. The absence of either can lead to impaired lung functionality and problems like asthma. Here are four foods to avoid for optimal lung health:

    Sugary foods
    Refined sugar is usually added to foods for preservation and taste enhancement. Excessive amounts of this ingredient can be found in sweetened drinks, syrups, cakes, donuts, cereals, flavored yogurt, granola, chocolates, and candies. Studies show that those who regularly opt for sugary foods and drinks have a high chance of developing bronchitis. Excessive intake of refined sugar also increases the fat content in the body and eventually puts pressure on the lungs and heart, leading to impaired functioning of the organs.

    Carbonated beverages
    Similar to refined sugar, carbonated beverages tend to put undue pressure on one’s lungs. These drinks have no nutrients and contain empty calories, carbon dioxide, and sugar. According to the American Lung Association, these drinks can generate gas, which can impede breathing, tighten the chest, or trigger asthma flare-ups. Carbonated beverages contain trans fats and lead to bloating and stomach aches. These foods are especially harmful to those with lung diseases.

    Processed meat
    Processed meats include sausage, deli meat, ham, hot dogs, bacon, and ham. Numerous studies show that the nitrites used in curing and preserving meats can exert stress on the lungs and lead to inflammation. Additionally, daily consumption of processed meat can increase one’s risk of developing and aggravating illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. COPD refers to lung conditions that block airflow and make breathing difficult. Processed meats also contain high levels of sodium for preservation and flavor. This can lead to water retention and make one susceptible to bronchitis and asthma. So, it is best to avoid packaged and processed foods. Those who experience COPD flare-ups due to chronic bronchitis and emphysema can opt for the Spiriva Respimat COPD inhaler after consulting a doctor. The Spiriva Respimat inhaler relaxes one’s airways, keeps them open, and helps better one’s breathing.

    Fried foods
    Oily foods contain high levels of trans fats and are best avoided for one’s overall health. Foods like fries and chicken wings can add to the saturated fat content in the body and cause indigestion, bloating issues, stomach gas, and even breathing troubles. Fried foods are also linked to episodes of asthma, COPD, and other complex lung health concerns. One can substitute fried foods with baked or air-fried versions to limit oil.

    One should also limit foods that cause gas and bloating, including beans, garlic, and onion. Those affected by asthma or other lung diseases can further avoid dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt to cut down on mucus production. One should consult a doctor and get a customized plan if affected by breathing-related issues.

    Those diagnosed with MAC lung disease may require treatment besides nutritional changes. MAC lung disease is a type of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infection caused by the mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteria. Treatments for this condition depend on the severity of the symptoms. MAC bacteria typically reside in soil and water and are more likely to affect those with immuno-compromised systems. Those at risk should eat healthy foods, wear a dust mask, follow an aggressive airway clearance regimen, and avoid hot tubs and saunas. 

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