114 articles Articles posted in Health

4 Ways to Look After Yourself This Winter

winter self-careWith winter comes late, but beautiful sunrises and glorious sunsets, not forgetting gorgeous walks through the frozen countryside and the twinkling lights of the festive season. But when you’re a parent, winter also means snotty noses, chapped lips, coughs, colds, the flu and of course, those dreaded sickness bugs that spread like wildfire.

Getting sick of the winter season is often inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to look after yourself, even if you are a busy parent. So, don’t just battle through it – here are some help tips and advice you can take to help you look after yourself this winter.

Looking good makes you feel good

Yep. When it comes to winter, with harsh winds, driving rain and bitter snow, many of us don’t bother with makeup or even moisturiser. But if you don’t take the time to look after yourself, then you’re going to run yourself down and be more susceptible to illness. So, take the time to moisturise your skin, and don’t cancel that microblading appointment – what is microblading, you ask? Click the link to find out more – make sure you take those extra vitamins and put your feet up once in a while. Your body and mind will thank you.

Kill the germs at the source

If you’re really worried about flu and sickness bugs this winter then it’s important to try and kill them off at the source, and that means regular handwashing. Make sure everyone in the house is following a strict handwashing routine, which means washing after the using the bathroom and before eating, and especially if they sneeze or use a tissue. It’s also a good idea to get the kids to wash their hands when they come home from school. Remember to regularly wipe down door handles, light switches and even the TV remote to keep the germs at bay!

Go outside

It might seem like you’re exposing yourself to more germs but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting outside will certainly give your immune system a boost and it’s certainly better than sitting inside the stuffy house. Even if you just bundle up for a short walk around the block, your vitamin D levels will certainly enjoy a boost from the sunlight and your mood will certainly rise. Giving your mental health a much needed boost too.

Keep hydrated

We tend to drink more in the summer time because, quite simply – we’re thirstier! In the cold weather, a cold glass of water might not have the same appeal as it does on a scorching day but staying hydrated will certainly keep those nasties at bay. If you don’t fancy water then try some simple fruit juice or fruit infused water. Treat yourself to a new water bottle so you’re reminded to drink the recommended amount of water per day. Drinking plenty will keep UTI’s at bay, as well as helping your joints to stay flexible and supple – it helps with brain function too!

5 Signs and Symptoms Of Alcohol Overuse

AlcoholAlcohol abuse has become the order of the day and many people are getting hooked up day after day by the addiction and it is quite hard as I can say. However how hard people try to hide it, it becomes quite impossible to hide it. There are some signs and symptoms that even the most ignorant people cannot get to ignore. It will be pretty good if I shared some of the top five signs and symptoms of alcohol overuse. However, despite the fact that a person shows these signs and symptoms, it is not enough for you to kick them out and just ignore them. As a matter of fact, it is important to take care of them and incorporate them into the world and the best way to do this is to to get a good rehab center for them where they will get help from therapists and from all the medical experts that they require. Help a brother to live a good life.

  1. Poor Speech

Just like any other drug, alcohol will mess with the speech function as it messes up with the body system. This is because alcohol is ingested to the blood very fast as it requires no digestion or anything more. This will mess with the brain system such as speech and a person will speak either very slowly or the words will be uncoordinated and make no sense.

  1. Potbelly

 Now, this is not the major sign but trust me it comes with the alcohol package. Alcohol adds nothing to the body and this means that it will just lay there in the stomach without use. The alcohol content will just fill up in the colon and it will lay there waiting to go through the liver and kidney and what it really does is just burn them up. This might explain why these guys are not able to hold their bladder for long.

  1. Impaired Judgment

Being a slave to alcohol is one of the worst slaveries there can be. It is in most cases where people lack the opportunity to visit rehab centers such as Ambrosia Treatment Center where they remain in slavery all their days. Ambrosia treatment center has the best-specialized treatment facility that is well equipped and the best part about them is that not only do they have the best staff but also it is located on an island. So much fun, right?

  1. Financial Strain

Financial strain is tied closely to alcoholism as it means that once you are an addict you will have to quench your thirst and this means keeping on refilling your liquor cabinet. Alcohol is quite addictive due to something that specialists will call the immediate feeling. What it makes you feel at the time is what that really captures you.

  1. Burnt Lips

Beers are not commonly known for this mishap but spirits will definitely do this. Have you ever seen people with lips that look so pinkish as though acid has been poured on them? Then next time you see that know that they are either on alcohol or it has been caused by a drug that they smoke. Most alcoholics so happen to be smokers, heavy smokers

Vaping in Public – Should it Be Allowed?

A few weeks ago, Husband and I went on a rare night out for our friends’ 40th birthday. We went for a meal and a few drinks and a brilliant night was had by all (even if it did go far too quickly!). After we’d finished our meal, we went to a bar we’ve been to lots of times before, and as I was walking out of the door to use my e-cigarette, a bouncer stopped me to ask if I was going outside to vape (I got my e-cigarette from a vape store online). I confirmed, and he said something frankly fabulous to me:

“You don’t have to go outside to vape. You can use it inside”.

So disbelieving was I that I asked the doorman to repeat himself, but he was 100% serious. The venue we were in allowing vaping inside. Being able to sit at our table and use my e-cigarette made my evening so much more enjoyable for me (obviously, I checked that my friends were okay with it, too) and it got me thinking – should more places allow vapers to vape indoors?

It seems I’m not the only one to have had these thoughts – an official report has been released which says that making vapers stand with smokers to use their e-cigs is doing more harm than good. Many people use e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking conventional cigarettes (something which currently costs the NHS £2.6bn per year) and exposing quitters to cigarette smoke could cause a slippery slope back to smoking again.

Quitting smoking has been shown to be so much easier with e-cigarretes – an estimated 2.9 million adults in Great Britain currently use e-cigarettes and of these, 1.5 million people have completely stopped smoking cigarettes. They carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes and can be particularly effective when combined with extra quitting support.

If you’re thinking of switching to a vape, there’s a ton of vape reviews online to help you to work out which would be best for you. Aside from the health benefits, you’ll save an absolute fortune versus conventional cigarettes, and with more and more places allowing it inside, you’ll never have to stand in a cold, dingy, STINKY smoking shelter again!

How And Why You Should Increase Your Family’s Probiotic Intake

If you’ve been researching healthier lifestyles, you’ve probably run across the term “probiotics.” But what are they, and why are they important?

How can they help your family live better?

The Basics

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in your gut. They play an integral role in our overall wellness by influencing our digestion, mental health, immunity, skin and other facets of our health.

Your body makes probiotics on its own, but there are several reasons why you might want to increase your intake:

– You have an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. This could be due to illness, injury, poor diet, lactose intolerance or any number of medical issues.

– You’re struggling with something like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and your symptoms could be eased with better digestive habits.

– You’re taking antibiotics that are interfering with the natural balance of bacteria in your body.

Getting Enough Probiotics

There are many ways to increase the probiotics in your gut. You’re probably most familiar with supplements, but you can also eat certain foods that have been cultivated to contain them.

You might prefer a more natural method if you’re trying to help your entire family with their digestive health. While kid-friendly supplements exist, a lot of parents are simply more comfortable with the organic path. It’s also a lot more fun to prepare a meal together rather than popping probiotic tablets!

Here are just a few foods that are rich in probiotics:

1. Yogurt

You’re probably already familiar with yogurt because of how delicious it is but are you aware that it is one of the best dietary sources of probiotics?

It is made by the bacterial fermentation of milk and has many of the benefits of dairy while also helping to boost the friendly bacteria in your stomach.

Just be sure to avoid sugary yogurts with lots of additives.

2. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is similar to yogurt in function but has a more fluid consistency.

It’s also a bit on the sour side you may need to flavor it with some fruits.

3. Tempeh

If you’ve never heard of tempeh, you’re in for a treat. It’s a soybean product that originated in Indonesia but is currently enjoyed all around the world.

The fermentation process makes it bind together in a solid, cake-like form, and it’s popular with vegetarians, health food enthusiasts and anyone who wants more protein or probiotics in their diet. Consider experimenting a little with your next family dinner.

4. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a kind of shredded cabbage that’s been fermented with lactic acid bacteria. It’s known for its white appearance and sour flavor, and it’s frequently used as a topping on sausages and hot dogs to give them a bit of a kick.

In addition to its taste, sauerkraut is also a great source of probiotics, so it can improve your health and expand your horizons at the same time.

5. Pickles

In terms of probiotics, pickles are cucumbers which have been placed in a salt and water solution and left to ferment for some time. This fermentation process is what creates the healthy bacteria that are beneficial to our health.

The drawback to pickles is that they are high in sodium due to the amount of salt used in the fermentation.

Pickles created using vinegar do not have probiotics.

Learning from the Successful: 5 Weight Loss Tips from Women Who Have Managed to Shed More Than 100 Pounds

Photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash

Losing weight can be hard, a lot of people struggle with it. But the good news is, it’s not impossible; not even remotely. Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration to see the light that awaits you at the end of the tunnel. So, we did a bit of digging to find out what successful people do to shed off that much weight and decided to share five of the tips we learnt.

  1. Set a goal and break it down into small milestones

Weight loss is a journey towards one big goal. But you don’t want to bite it whole as one big morsel. Instead, it helps to break it down into several, small, easily attainable milestones to motivate you with each completion. Skip the elevator, for instance, on your way to the office today, then make it a routine to use the stairs for the rest of the week. Once this milestone is complete, you’ll have gained some good knee power to hit the treadmill, get into jogging every morning, and more. Frequency and consistency, and not intensity is what yields progress.

  1. Make physical exercise part of your life

Cardio exercises can be such a quick way to burn fat. Lifting weights at the gym (or even at home) with the help of a trainer will help you not only lose fat but also build the power to work out more and shape up into the look you desire.

Make it gradual and fun. Your workouts can be as simple as taking a 15-30-minute walk during your lunch breaks. Just be sure to do it even on rest days. Taking a hike or yoga class on weekends or holidays should be ideal for women.

  1. Start with one small lifestyle change at a time  

Starting small, one-step-at-a-time, is the order of the success game. Ideally, you want to avoid anything that would set you up for discouragement. It could be about the amount of sugar in your diet that you want to cut, or the sedentary lifestyle that you want to change first. Challenge yourself to replace the soda with water. Success. Take on another challenge: Swap the regular rice with brown rice. Success. Drop the white bread for turkey sandwich made from slices of whole wheat bread with mustard…

  1. Stock only healthy foods at home

When you can see carbs in sight, you’ll want them. And since carbohydrates like pasta are known to create brain-altering cravings, the best way to avoid their temptation is to make sure you won’t be seeing them every time you open the fridge or kitchen cabinet. Just don’t stock foods that you’re trying to avoid.

  1. Eat smaller portions more frequently

Instead of doing three large meals a day, switch to five to six healthier alternatives every day. You could carry stuff like protein bars or nuts with you to eat whenever you want a meal. This can effectively help you avoid the temptation to settle for a quick snack on your way home.

Wrap up

Whether a health scare or preferred piece of clothing is your motivation, you may hit a plateau in your weight loss journey that can feel like all hell breaking loose. Just never give up. Refer back to these tips and keep the effort going – success will come eventually.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes with LloydsPharmacy #LetsTalkDiabetes

Some of you may know that I’m a Type 2 diabetic; I’ve written about it a few times before but it’s not something I talk about at great length, probably because it’s just become a part of my life now. My diabetes started when I was pregnant with Sausage and never went away once I gave birth, probably due to the fact that I struggle with my weight and I have a family history on one side.

Anyway, type 2 diabetes is one of those condition which doesn’t need to take over your whole life, but it does need a certain amount of management to make sure that your sugar levels are not affecting your health in other ways. Unmanaged diabetes can cause heart problems, stroke, infections and other issues, so ensuring that your levels are correct is important, so when LloydsPharmacy asked me if I’d like to go along to one of their branches for a Medicines Check Up, Cholesterol & Heart Check and Blood Pressure testing, I thought it would be a great opportunity.

Lloyds Pharmacy

When I got there, I was greeted by a lovely lady who took my blood pressure and checked my cholesterol and blood sugar levels – it’s a super simple process which needed just one finger prick to get the blood for the sensors and it’s over in less than a second. She also took my blood pressure in both arms to ensure she was getting an accurate reading.

Once the results were in, I was handed a chart which showed my results, and as it turned out, my blood sugar was a little high at that moment (probably because I was slightly stressed out), as was my blood pressure, but that’s normal for me as I get what they call “white coat syndrome”. My cholesterol levels were interesting; my LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) was borderline – not great but not a worry, either.

My HDL (the “good” cholesterol) was actually a little bit low, and it was explained that I could stand to increase this by eating good fats like coconut oil, avocados and other things, which in turn will reduce the amount of bad cholesterol, too! Based on all of my results, I was told that my chances of having a heart attack in the next ten years was 6%, which may not sound high, but it’s a number that I’d like to dramatically reduce.

After my results were in, I was handed over to the pharmacist who came in to do my medicines check-up, and this was where it got really interesting for me. I take several different medications to manage different conditions, but one of the medicines that I take for my underactive thyroid should be taken half an hour before any other food or medication, but in the 12-odd years I’ve been taking it, I’ve NEVER been told this! I also learned that, not only have I been taking my diabetes medications at the wrong times of day, I also should have been taking it with food each time. I’m a HUGE fan of the NHS, but sometimes the lack of time they’re able to spend with each patient means that things can get lost in communication, exactly like this. I was also given a Type 2 diabetes support pack to take away and read at home, containing lots more useful info for managing my diabetes. You can download the support pack here.

LloydsPharmacy Diabetes Support Pack

I can’t believe how much I learned in one short consultation and my medicine routine has changed completely now. I’ve spaced my pills totally differently so that hopefully they should have a better level of effectiveness when I take them and I’ve booked myself in for a repeat health check with LloydsPharmacy in 3 months to see if there has been any improvement with my levels. I’ll be eating more avocado, too! If you’re concerned about any health issues or management of any existing conditions, I can totally recommend a trip to LloydsPharmacy.

According to Diabetes UK, there are 1.1 million people in the UK with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and LloydsPharmacy is on the hunt to find them! They will be visiting a city near you to offer FREE type 2 diabetes screenings as well as lots of useful information, advice and support. Click here to find your local event.

How To Stop the Health Damages of Noise Pollution At Home

noise pollutionNoise pollution brings about negative effects to human health. Especially for those living in areas where noise has already become part of their daily routines, addressing the issue of noise pollution should be considered a primary concern. Let’s look at some effective tips to protect us from health risks caused by noise pollution in our homes.

Brief Background on Noise Pollution

Globally, noise pollution is considered one of the most pressing environmental issues. The World Health Organization mentions that exposure to noise pollution usually results to health risks such as heart illnesses, cognitive abnormalities on children, and sleep deprivation that could lead to serious mental health disorders.

Responding to the threats of noise pollution has become a trend in global politics. For one, the United States Environmental Protection Agency summarizes the provisions of the Noise Control Act of 1972, which identifies the major contribution of the transport sector and business establishment in the problem.

Techniques To Protect Yourself From Noise Pollution At Home

The home should serve as a relaxing haven to rest our tired bodies, but that won’t be possible when ambient sounds disrupt the tranquility. Here are some tips to control the noise in your home:

Install soundproof windows

One of the best and most effective ways to soundproof your home is to install soundproof windows. Laminated glass or a combination of glass-plastic-glass are perfect materials for windows to reduce noise. This works well in homes that need soundproofing against plane noise pollution or any disturbing outside sound.

Ensure that windows are fit perfectly

The entry of noise is lessened if the gaps in your windows are lessened, or better, if they are completely sealed.  Furthermore, choosing perfectly fit windows makes it easier to manage air and noise pollution, which are common issues when a home is located in areas where transportation modes pass by.

Use thick curtains

Although using thick curtains is certainly not enough, doing so goes a long way in blocking the noise you need to spare yourself or family from. Choose stylish drapes that not only reduce heat from sunlight but also block the noise from the outside.

Consider using thick carpets

Whether it’s your bedroom or an elegant loft, putting carpets may effectively absorb ambient noise entering your home. Carpets are not only a stylish way to decorate your home, but are also effective pieces for soundproofing.

Use personal protective gear

If you have no control over the source of the noise and if you cannot afford window or carpet installation, your next best solution would be to wear earphones and similar protective equipment. These things can protect your ears from constant noise and are much cheaper than other options.

Ask help from authorities

You may approach government agencies or local authorities to handle the noise situation, especially when it’s beyond what you can control. In most cases, they can address the sources of noise and allow you (and your neighbors) to enjoy a more peaceful community.

We all dream of sufficient rest whenever we are home, and this can only be achieved if we reduce unnecessary noise coming from the outside environment. Although we cannot do anything about most sources of noise, the least you can do is soundproof your homes. That way, you can protect yourself from the health damages of noise pollution.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/usa-manhattan-contrasts-new-york-1777986/

5 Unexpected Benefits of Vaping

vapingAs you’ll know if you read my blog regularly, I’m a bit fan of vaping. I haven’t smoked for years, but I’ve always missed nicotine and when I discovered that I could basically have all the nicotine I wanted without all of the health risks of smoking, I was ALL IN. I started with a slimline e-cig and moved to one with a larger tank and battery, and I just keep discovering more and more benefits of vaping, so I thought I’d share some of them with you.

You Don’t Need to Brave the Cold

Vaping doesn’t have second-hand smoke risks, nor make the whole house stinks, so although we don’t vape in the same room as the girls, we often sneak into a different room for a quick vape, which means that we won’t have to go out in the cold when the winter arrives!

Easy Charging

Most e-cigs charge using a micro USB, which we have LOADS of around the house. Most of the chargers at Greyhaze are quick and easy to use, and can be plugged in anywhere, even in the car, which means you don’t have to worry about running out of power when you need it the most.

ALLLLL the Flavours!

With smoking you get two options: tobacco and menthol. With vaping, you can have those traditional flavors along with a myriad of fruits, deserts, and drink options. And who doesn’t like more options?

You Can Just Have a Few Puffs

If you want one or two puff of a cigarette, you have to light it, have a few puffs and then put the cigarette out, either leaving it in the ashtray or putting it back in the box which makes the whole box smell rank! With an e-cig, if you want ONE puff, you can do it and it’s not a drama.

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth but struggle with your weight, you can indulge your craving without needing to eat any sweets. It’s a great way to make yourself feel like you’re having a treat without any of the calories or sugar!

Have you discovered any unexpected benefits of vaping since you started?

Ways to Make an Elderly Relative Feel More Connected

One of the things that elderly people can really struggle with once they lose their mobility is feeling disconnected from the outside world, and this isolation can lead to mental health issues, on top of what they might already been dealing with. Unless they’re lucky to have family around them all the time, the loneliness can be awful, so finding ways for them to have interaction and enjoy things they once loved can really improve their mental state. Here are a few things that you can do to help.

Get Them Online

The internet is an amazing resource and if your relative is open to learning how to use technology, it can help them to keep in touch with people and do a whole load of things that they once enjoyed. If your relative enjoyed bingo or having a flutter every now and then, teaching them how to use websites to do this could give them a much needed source of fun and freedom – the least you can do is check it out!

Join a Club

There are loads of clubs all over the country which are set up for elderly people to give them a chance to socialise. Many of them have weekly entertainment or talks and in some areas the council will even provide transport, so we’d strongly advise you to have a look in your local area to see if there’s anything like that where you live.

Keep Them Young

It’s a well-known fact that when elderly people spend time with kids, it keeps their mind active and can have a real rejuvenating effect on them, so taking your kids to visit your elderly relatives can actually help them on an even deeper level. Also, happiness can lower blood pressure and stop the blood from thickening, so you’re helping them on a medical level, too!

Do you have any tips for helping to keep elderly relatives feeling young? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear them,

The Effects of Domestic Abuse and Why You’re Not Alone

The effects of domestic abuse vary from person to person depending on their circumstances. Abuse can come in many forms. Physical attributes, such as bruising, broken bones, scars and burns, can be very hard to deal with, and are the most obvious signs of abuse from a partner, friend, family member or anyone you have a relationship with. But what about the mental effects of domestic abuse? These are harder to spot, and worryingly, only around 40% of abuse survivors have the courage to speak to friends or family about their ordeal. If you know someone who has survived an abusive relationship, it’s important to understand that, although they can claim compensation for abuse, they will still need help moving on emotionally. Below are some common effects of domestic violence to look out for. You can learn how to spot them, offer help and be there for survivors.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an anxiety disorder which occurs after a stressful or traumatic event. When you have PSTD, you tend to relive your experiences in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from PTSD, then speak to them. Some symptoms include avoidance, alcohol misuse and more. PTSD can be treated thanks to therapy. The earlier someone sees a therapist, the earlier their PSTD can be treated.

Suicidal Tendencies

People with suicidal tendencies will usually not openly show any signs of their turmoil. However, if you suspect someone is depressed or suicidal, ensure that they cannot harm themselves with household objects, such as knives. Another way to keep them safe is by hiding any pills that can cause harm in large amounts.

Emotionally Numb

If you have noticed that your loved one has become socially detached, excusing themselves from social events, acting strange or not emotionally responding to certain events, then they may be showing signs of emotional numbing. This is a typical symptom of PTSD, depression and anxiety. They may not even know they’re excluding themselves emotionally. In order to open up a dialogue, mention that you’re concerned for their mental health, and that you will be there for them if they need to speak to a professional.

Anger

Not everyone is the same, and many people may lash out as a response to their emotional trauma. If you’re experiencing this, it may be a good idea to sit your loved one and down, and explain that although you are here for them as a friend or partner, you will not tolerate anger in your direction. Usually, anger is used a reaction by someone who cannot emotionally understand their trauma. Many therapists can address this.

Guest post by Gina Kay Daniel