Migraines are much more than a headache. They’re an entire host of symptoms that may include dizziness, nausea and visual disturbances that prevent you from doing your daily tasks. How long can a migraine last? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to give a precise timeline — but you have clues based on research and other people’s experiences. This disorder is complex, comes in various types and can result from multiple causes, as much as the symptoms look similar. How long will your pain last? Let’s examine the typical migraine. How Long Does a Typical Migraine Last? Most migraines last for several hours. However, there are various stages to an attack that can last up to three days. Rarely, migraines will last longer, although people who experience this often have a more rare, complex form of the disorder. 1. The Stages of a Typical Migraine A typical migraine goes through four distinct phases in most sufferers. Here’s what you can expect from each one. Prodrome: This stage typically occurs a day or two before the whopper hits. You may feel vaguely “off,” feel more irritable or euphoric than usual, experience strange food cravings, neck stiffness, increased thirst and urination and excessive yawning. Aura: This phase occurs right before the pain hits. It can include anything from visual disturbances, dizziness, a pins-and-needles sensation, weakness or even paralysis on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, uncontrollable jerking motions and mild auditory hallucinations. Attack: During this stage, you may experience intense, throbbing pain, especially behind one eye or on one side of the head, grow nauseous, vomit, get dizzy or lightheaded and become sensitive to light, touch and sound. In rare cases, you may lose consciousness — if this occurs, please seek medical attention. Postdrome: As the pain subsides, you feel debilitating fatigue, confusion, brain fog and a general sense of being “not quite there.” This stage can last for a day or two before you feel normal. Migraines are the second-leading cause of disability worldwide. Those who experience them understand why — it’s often impossible to drive or work when an attack occurs. Some people have multiple episodes a month, greatly interfering with their quality of life. 2. What Are Some Common Migraine Triggers? Migraine triggers vary from person to person. For example, one individual may do fine with chocolate, while a mere whiff of the stuff sends another into an attack. However, here are some common precipitating factors: Stress Changes in schedule, especially those that impact sleep Hormones Bruxism or teeth-grinding Weather changes Dehydration Medication overuse Alcohol and caffeine Bright light exposure Certain smells Certain foods — chocolate, MSG, nightshade foods, dairy, artificial sweeteners or prepared meats are frequent triggers for some. What Is Atypical Migraine? Sometimes, an atypical migraine can last longer than a traditional attack. Other times, you have symptoms that may come and go, with or without associated head pain. While it’s beyond the scope of this article to take an in-depth look at atypical migraine, here are some types you should know about: Hemiplegic migraine: This variation results in partial paralysis, which typically reverses after an attack subsides. Those with this subtype may experience facial dropping typical of stroke. It’s urgent to seek medical care, as minutes count if you are dealing with the latter. Migraine with brainstem aura: Formerly called basilar migraines, this type is similar to hemiplegic migraine without the associated weakness. Movements may become uncoordinated, and vertigo and slurred speech may occur. Abdominal migraine: Although these typically strike children who may go on to develop another migraine type as adults, abdominal migraines can occur at any age. You may get nauseous, develop a stomach ache, lose your appetite and grow pale without the associated headache. Ocular migraine: These create the stereotypical visual disturbances without head pain. You may feel as if you see kaleidoscopes, dancing or flashing lights or experience blind spots. Vestibular migraines: This form of migraine causes you to lose your balance and fall. It can also cause auditory hallucinations. What Is Status Migrainosis? Occasionally, a migraine can last longer than a week. Status migrainosis refers to any migraine that lasts longer than 72 hours. How long can it last? Sometimes, for life. Treating this type of migraine presents special challenges. Those who experience status migrainosis run a high risk of medical trauma, as even professionals may suspect — or outright accuse — them of exaggerating their symptoms. Many try treatment after treatment without success. Unfortunately, status migrainosis can lead to isolation and mental health problems. Those with this condition often must make significant lifestyle changes, such as reducing their work hours, telecommuting or leaving the workforce altogether. While they can thrive with support, the invisible nature of their illness often leads to issues relating to others who doubt their experience. When Should You Seek Emergency Migraine Treatment? Fortunately, most migraines disappear on their own within 72 hours. All you need to do is wait it out in a dark room, tending to your comfort and taking pain medication as you are able to stomach it. However, some situations warrant a visit to the ER. You should seek medical attention for any migraine that feels like the “worst pain ever,” as it could be a sign of a stroke. Likewise, attacks that result in lack of consciousness or partial paralysis also warrant emergency treatment because of the stroke risk. If it is a stroke, doctors must administer some medications within the first four and a half hours, so please don’t delay. Home Remedies for Migraine Now that you know how long a migraine lasts, you still crave faster relief. Although these home remedies might not entirely alleviate your symptoms, they can make you feel better. Here’s what to do if an attack strikes: Supplements: Riboflavin or vitamin B2 and magnesium help some people. Some migraine sufferers take these regularly as preventatives. Herbs: Butterbur, ginger, lavender and peppermint work for some. You can sip tea, take a supplement or topically apply an essential oil roller. Caffeine: A hot cup of joe might be your best migraine relief, thanks to its ability to narrow your blood vessels. Cold compresses: A cool rag across the forehead or over your eyes can feel heavenly. Acupuncture or acupressure: Although driving to an appointment might be inadvisable on sunny days when the light stabs your eyes, acupressure can offer home relief. Pressing the webbing between your thumb and index finger works for some. Others include your third eye and the sides of your nose. Exercise: Although it might be the last thing you want to do, working up a sweat can sometimes help — if you are able. Relaxation: Meditation, gentle yin or restorative yoga or mindfulness-based stress reduction can sometimes bring relief. How Long Can a Migraine Last? A migraine typically lasts a few hours to days. However, sometimes, they can be longer or shorter, especially if you have an atypical type. Although most migraines disappear on their own, you should seek medical care for any migraine that lasts more than 72 hours. Otherwise, try one of the above home remedies or rest quietly and wait for the storm to pass.
People spend a great deal of their pregnancies preparing to give birth. It’s a significant medical event and the memory you’ll tell your child when they want to hear how they came into the world. Give yourself some peace of mind by learning how to prepare for labor, no matter what you have in mind. You’ll feel more prepared and at ease when the time comes. 1. Sign Up for a Birthing Class You can imagine giving birth all you want, but nothing compares to hearing about it from expert sources. See if there are any local birthing classes you could take by yourself, with a partner or with a friend. An instructor will guide the room through each step of a stereotypical birthing experience. You’ll learn the various stages of labor, including your water breaking and contraction cycles. Everyone studies things like pain reduction techniques, birthing positions and even tips on how to care for a newborn baby. They’re worth the time if you can find one close to home before your due date. 2. Discuss Details With Your Birthing Partner You likely want someone by your side when you’re giving birth. Whether they’re your romantic partner, best friend or family member, your birthing partner will need to know how to support you. You might be in too much pain to give specific instructions, so discuss the details before your water breaks. They should know where to access your birthing playlist if you make one or use your favorite insulated mug to hold ice chips. Reviewing tiny details like these by making a list might seem strange at first, but it’s a great way to prepare for labor and keep your birthing partner updated. 3. Connect With Your Doctor Your OB-GYN will help you throughout your pregnancy, but they don’t typically leave time to create a birthing plan with their patients. Bring your list of wants and needs to your next appointment to review it together. They should know what you do and don’t want to experience. You might not prefer to be part of the 32.1% of people who give birth by undergoing a Cesarean section (C-section). Some expecting parents prefer all-natural pain relief options, epidurals or specific positions to aid their comfort during contractions. Remember to write your birth plan down digitally and on paper so there are multiple copies. You wouldn’t want to lose the single copy before your due date arrives and have to recall it all from memory for your birthing team. 4. Eat Healthy Foods Nutrition is crucial during pregnancy, even up to the point of labor. Your body needs the strength and energy to undergo the birthing process. Your doctor will likely discuss prenatal vitamins you can take during each trimester but don’t forget to snack on healthy foods before your due date. Whole foods and less processed ingredients could stabilize your blood pressure, which becomes a tricky issue for many pregnant people. Nutrients will also boost your immune system and energize your muscles for contractions. Consider enjoying things like individual packs of nuts or baggies of chickpeas to get more vitamins, proteins, minerals and natural fatty acids that help your body thrive. 5. Enjoy Gentle Cardio Exercise is another way to prepare for labor. Your muscles will be working overtime no matter how you give birth. Contractions require lots of strength and energy. Add some gentle cardio to your weekly routine so your body is ready when your water breaks. Walking on a treadmill, participating in gentle dance classes or getting on an elliptical machine are just a few ways to get your heart rate up without pushing yourself too hard. Your doctor can also recommend specific exercises as your pregnancy progresses. Your belly might get too big for some workouts as your second trimester turns into your third. 6. Find Relaxing Resources People can’t completely relax after they go into labor because the contractions intensify, but you can spend your pregnancy exploring the best ways to calm your anxiety. You’ll have more control over your thoughts so your energy stays focused on your body’s needs. Practice meditating along with YouTube videos to get used to controlling your thoughts. It’s an easy routine that only takes a few minutes but is entirely effective for stress and anxiety. You might also enjoy noise-canceling headphones before and during the early parts of your labor. The sounds of a hospital can increase a person’s baseline anxiety. If you wear headphones and listen to calming music, you can feel more comfortable as you wait for your cervix to dilate. 7. Get Your Hospital Bag Together When your water breaks, you never know what your mindset will be. You could be calm and ready to go or rushing around with excited, distracted thoughts. No matter how you react, getting in touch with your doctor or midwife will be much easier if you don’t have to worry about getting your go-bag together. Prepare a hospital stay bag with everything you need if you’ll give birth away from home. It would include essentials to keep you comfortable, such as: Bathroom toiletries A phone charger cord A bathrobe Comfortable postpartum clothes A fan, if you prefer sleeping with a fan As you get within a few weeks or days of your due date, you could also add pre-packaged snacks so you have a tasty treat to enjoy after meeting your baby. Your birthing partner can help brainstorm go-bag ideas if you feel lost. 8. Nest for Your Needs People think nesting is just preparing your home for your baby. Although that’s essential, nesting also involves getting your living space ready for your post-labor needs. Giving birth may be less stressful if you know you have everything you need to recover. Consider doing things like stocking up on non-perishable groceries, freezing casserole meals and keeping a few clean outfits ready in your closet to postpone your laundry routine when you’re closer to your due date. Getting extra household supplies like paper towels and refilling your prescriptions can also make life easier. Ask your loved ones to help stock up if you need assistance getting to different stores for your various nesting purchases. Learn How to Prepare for Labor Once you know how to prepare for labor, you can look forward to the most stress-free experience possible. You’ll know your mind, body and household are ready to meet your baby. As your due date gets closer, you can devote more energy to enjoying things like your baby shower and decorating your future child’s nursery.
Getting sick is never fun. You don’t feel like yourself and life has to pause until you recover. The good news is that you don’t have to wait around until the flu runs its course. Use this guide to learn how to recover from the flu and enjoy longer periods of robust health between fevers and stuffy noses. Watch for Flu Symptoms The flu — also known as influenza — has some typical symptoms but may not always exhibit the same signs when someone gets sick. Everyone must learn how the flu presents, which includes the following symptoms that last seven to 10 days: Lung inflammation (a wet cough) High fever Body aches Headaches Sore throat Stuffy nose People can easily manage these symptoms at home by waiting seven to 10 days until they resolve themselves. Those at higher risk due to age or preexisting conditions could experience complications if the virus overwhelms their immune systems. If you exhibit these symptoms and struggle to breathe or experience a fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, contact your doctor or go to the emergency room. You may have other more complicated illnesses with flu-like symptoms that require medical attention. Start Your Journey to Recovery Regain control over your health using these tips to recover faster from the flu. You’ll give your body what it needs to fight the virus and heal itself in record time. 1. Get More Sleep Than Usual You might have heard a loved one recommend that you get some sleep when you’re sick. The kind advice has scientific backing. When you’re napping or sleeping through the night, your body uses your restored energy to repair and regulate inflammatory signaling, making your immune system more effective. It’s crucial to sleep as much as possible when you have the flu. Try taking an over-the-counter fever or congestion medication if your symptoms make you uncomfortable. If sleep is elusive even when you’re not sick, journal about your anxiety to release it from your mind. You might fall asleep more easily when your body is less stressed. 2. Drink Extra Water Enjoy a mug of tea or flavored water with extra electrolytes when you have the flu. Staying hydrated gives your body enough water to regulate your temperature, which could shorten the length of your fever. The average adult drinks 44 ounces of water daily, but you could increase your intake to aid your immune system in its fight against your fever. 3. Take Some Vitamins Although there isn’t a singular vitamin or mineral that eradicates the flu virus, you can eat a healthier diet to fortify your immune system when you’re sick. Research shows that vitamin D aids macrophages and T-cells people use to overcome viruses. Zinc can also limit a virus’s replication abilities when consumed after you get sick. Ask a loved one to help you find healthier foods if you’re already sick and can’t devote your typical time or energy to your research. You can always make a list to know what to eat the next time you catch the flu. Foods like carrots, broccoli and nuts are great places to start. Depending on your health history, you could also talk with your doctor about taking specific vitamin supplements. 4. Stay Warm Indoors and Out Wear a sweatshirt in bed and layer your jackets if you need to go outside while battling the flu. If you stay warm, you’ll improve your immune response by giving your body the heat it needs to maintain its energy. If you’re cold, it prioritizes warming your internal organs rather than maintaining your immune system. You could also increase your thermostat by one or two degrees if it wouldn’t affect your electricity bill very much. 5. Use a Humidifier Imagine stepping into a warm, dry room. You inhale a big breath and the thin air rakes up your nasal passages. Your imagination isn’t causing the sensation. Dry air irritates the nose by stealing its moisture and causing microscopic cracks. Your body responds by producing mucus to protect your airways. This might be helpful if you’re taking a winter stroll while you’re healthy, but it’s a challenge for anyone who’s already congested with influenza. If you can’t breathe through your nose, try hanging out or sleeping by a humidifier. It could make your congestion less intense if your home has dry air. Prevent Future Illnesses You won’t need to worry about getting sick if you use these tips to protect your health. See how you could integrate them with your daily routine to fortify your health in seemingly effortless ways. Wash Your Hands More Effectively You’re already washing your hands before making a meal and after using the restroom. How much effort do you put into scrubbing and what’s the temperature of the water? Follow expert-approved handwashing steps to wash bacteria and viruses away, like counting for 20 seconds or using high-quality soap. You’ll be less likely to get sick by touching your mouth or eyes afterward. Wear a Mask When Needed Washing your hands is great, but it’s not super effective if you’re breathing the same air as someone with the airborne versions of influenza. Check your state health department’s website to watch their seasonal flu tracker. If the reports of flu cases increase where you live, you can always wear a mask in public until the numbers start decreasing again. Get Your Vaccinations The flu vaccine is available for people older than six months of age. Research shows it reduces the odds of getting influenza between 40–60% and reduces symptom severity if you get the virus after your vaccination. Check with your doctor to get caught up on your vaccination history and get further protected with the annual flu shot. Study How to Recover From the Flu Battling the flu is a shared experience. You’ll get it occasionally throughout your life, but it doesn’t have to be severe or scary. Use these tips to recover from the flu and stay healthy more easily. Preventative measures and science-baked recovery strategies will make you feel your best and quickly bounce back from illnesses.
Wellness trends come and go, but some have roots in historic ingredients like charcoal. People have used it to better their health for centuries. Is charcoal toothpaste bad for you if it’s always been around? Check out the pros and cons before deciding if it’s the next addition to your dental routine. What Is Charcoal Toothpaste? Charcoal toothpaste is any toothpaste with activated charcoal as a primary ingredient. When decomposing plant remains burn, they turn into charcoal and become the powerful material known primarily as an energy source. Deactivating it by adding more oxygen transforms charcoal into a more absorbent material that purifies or detoxifies whatever it touches. Benefits of Charcoal Toothpaste Toothpaste manufacturers often add charcoal as a secondary product for people seeking dental help. These are the primary benefits you could enjoy if you decide to use it at least once a week. 1. It Whitens Teeth Researchers recently discovered that charcoal toothpaste whitens teeth as effectively as fluoride toothpaste with whitening ingredients. The purifying effects of the activated charcoal and abrasive texture scrub stains away with ease. People may try it if the ingredients in fluoride toothpaste aren’t as effective as they wanted. 2. It Freshens Your Breath You may occasionally have bad breath if you don’t brush your teeth daily. Bacteria builds up in your teeth, along the gumline and over your tongue. It’s what causes the foul odor that makes people reach for breath mints. Activated charcoal toothpaste assists with that challenge too. Charcoal is a naturally purifying substance due to its ability to bind with impurities. It acts like a sticky fly trap to the bacteria in your mouth, carrying it down the drain when you spit and rinse your toothbrush. Comparatively, toothpaste provides ingredients that fortify your teeth but don’t focus primarily on removing bacteria. 3. It Scrubs Plaque Away Plaque is the slimy substance that may coat your teeth when you wake up. It can fortify into a solid mass along the gumline if you don’t have a daily dental routine. It’s challenging to remove without dental tools, but charcoal can help. The abrasive material is tougher on plaque than smooth toothpaste, so you’ll scrub more of the plaque away by using charcoal toothpaste. Drawbacks to Brushing With Charcoal There are a few notable downsides to using charcoal toothpaste that you should consider before trying it. They may change your mind about the tools you collect to protect your dental health. 1. It Absorbs Medicines Doctors often recommend that their patients take prescriptions first thing in the morning or late at night. The side effects make one or the other better for the patient’s quality of life, but both options would require taking a prescription medication around the same time as a person would use charcoal toothpaste. Charcoal sits in the digestive system and absorbs ingested medications because it purifies whatever substance it’s in. The medicine never reaches the person’s bloodstream. It could prevent your body from processing your prescription medication if you accidentally swallowed some of the toothpaste. 2. It’s Rough on the Gums People can have sensitive gums for various reasons. They might have nausea during their pregnancy, which erodes the gums with potent stomach acid if the pregnant person vomits frequently. Individuals can also develop gum disease or have minimal gum development due to their genetics. Charcoal is an abrasive material. The larger granules will tear at the gumline even with gentle brush strokes. It may cause excessive bleeding if you already have gum issues. 3. It Could Cause Constipation Adults know not to swallow toothpaste, but sometimes it’s hard to spit all of it out. Regular toothpaste has ingredients that account for accidents like that. Activated charcoal is much different. If someone accidentally swallows their charcoal toothpaste, it could cause constipation by absorbing the liquid in the colon. Your stool may also turn black, but that’s more common when people swallow things like charcoal beverages. Best Charcoal Toothpaste Options These are some of the most popular charcoal toothpaste options available to consumers. See what they could do for your dental health if you’re interested in trying it. Colgate Optic White Toothpaste With Charcoal Colgate is a well-known dental hygiene brand. They have numerous toothpaste products available for various health benefits, including whitening teeth with charcoal. The cool mint flavor may remind you of your previous toothpaste choices, while the fluoride strengthens your enamel. This is a great option for anyone who wants to use charcoal toothpaste long-term. The affordable price includes two tubes, so you won’t run out anytime soon. $11.93 from Amazon Burt’s Bees Charcoal + Whitening Toothpaste Try an all-natural charcoal toothpaste by opting for Burt’s Bees. The brand, known for organic lip balms and lotions, has a charcoal dental hygiene line with a subtle mint flavor. It has thousands of positive reviews for everything from its effectiveness to the brand’s commitment to never testing products on animals. It could align with your cruelty-free or vegan lifestyle and dental health goals. $14.91 from Amazon Sensodyne Charcoal Toothpaste for Whitening Sensitive Teeth You might be familiar with Sensodyne if your dentist has ever recommended a specialized toothpaste for your sensitive teeth. The brand makes different types of toothpaste for people who have weakened gums or experience sharp pain when they brush with cold water. The company’s charcoal product still sticks to its 24/7 sensitivity protection promise by using smaller granules. This deal includes a pack of three that are equally good at whitening and strengthening teeth. It’s an excellent place to start if you already rely on brands like Sensodyne to make your mouth more comfortable. $20.99 from Amazon Is Charcoal Toothpaste Bad for You? Once you’ve weighed your options and potentially talked with your doctor, you’ll know if charcoal toothpaste is bad for you. It could eliminate your bad breath and whiten your teeth if you haven’t had much luck with traditional products. Consider the risks before making an educated purchase the next time you visit the dental hygiene aisle at your local grocery store.
People often describe pregnancy as one of the most beautiful times in your life. While it may seem that way looking back on it, you’re probably not feeling too glamorous right now. Backaches, exhaustion and the constant need to use the restroom are likely already starting to get old, but one symptom is one of the most frustrating of them all. What is morning sickness and how can you manage it? How Typical Is Morning Sickness? As many as seven in 10 pregnancies will cause morning sickness, so it’s a practically universal experience. Hopefully, you’ll fall into the 30% that don’t experience it — you should know by the time you’re about six to eight weeks pregnant, which is when morning sickness is most likely to appear. It should wrap up by 16–20 weeks, but there’s always the chance it could last the whole 39 weeks. There’s also a rarer, more severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which affects less than 11% of people. While the milder form of this symptom consists of nausea that sometimes leads to vomiting, HG will almost always cause vomiting will likely last until your pregnancy is over. What Is Morning Sickness? According to the American Pregnancy Association, morning sickness is when you feel nauseous during your first trimester. As scientists have recently discovered, the influx of hormones your body produces is often the culprit — specifically a protein called GDF15 within the placenta. It began as an evolutionary benefit that warned the brain of foods that could harbor infectious organisms, but now, it can make your favorite foods seem stomach-turning. However, they do note that many factors can lead to morning sickness. Even though “morning” is in the name, nausea could strike at any time of day. Doctors do believe it’s a sign that the placenta is developing healthily, so at least there’s one benefit, even if it drives you crazy. When Morning Sickness Becomes Hyperemesis Gravidarum As stated earlier, while morning sickness will cause nausea and occasional vomiting, HG will almost always lead to getting ill. It’s characterized by frequent enough vomiting that leads to extreme dehydration and weight loss of at least five percent of your pre-pregnancy weight. You may also experience ketonemia, ketonuria or abnormal electrolyte levels. The National Library of Medicine currently lists higher levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) as the cause but notes that the data has yet to be consistent. Researchers also offer excess estrogen levels and gastroesophageal reflux disease as potential causes, but as is the case with hCG, more research is necessary. However, you’re more likely to develop it if someone else in your family had an HG diagnosis. How to Treat Morning Sickness at Home Feeling sick nearly every day can make your pregnancy a struggle. Luckily, many have come before you and discovered the following remedies to make your nausea easier to stomach. 1. Take Supplements While there are plenty of companies on the market that promise morning sickness relief, your doctor can help you find a supplement that’s safe for your body. Vitamin B6 is a common remedy, along with ginger tea, which you can make by slicing some of the root and steeping it in hot water. The longer you leave it, the stronger it’ll be, so remember to set a timer. 2. Avoid Trigger Foods The easiest way to dodge your morning sickness is to save your favorite but nausea-triggering foods until after the first trimester or you’ve given birth. One common trigger is fried and fatty foods — as yummy as they are, they stick around in your stomach for longer, which is a surefire way to make you feel sick. Warm meals can also be an issue if they have strong smells. According to TLC, other common triggers can include: Spicy foods Anything pungent, like garlic and onions Milk Coffee Citrus With milk, coffee and citrus, it can help to eat something before you consume them. 3. Keep Your Meals Small If you tend to feel sick after eating, try to eat frequent and smaller meals. Eating something large and nourishing does feel much more satisfying, but it could overwhelm your stomach. Bland snacks like crackers and pretzels can keep you full throughout the day without irritating your already sensitive digestive system. According to Ohio State University doctors, these foods can be your go-to easy meals: Popsicles Vegetables and chilled fruit Eggs Cereal Chicken Yogurt 4. Drink Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer If you don’t feel like making tea every time your morning sickness comes on, stock up on ginger beer or ale. Both contain gingerols and shogaols that have anti-inflammatory and nausea-fighting properties, making either beverage an excellent choice when your stomach starts turning. Even just the carbonation can help — you’d be surprised by how much a few big burps can do. Be cautious about which ginger ale you buy, though. The sugar and caffeine in some brands can make you feel even sicker, while others only contain ginger flavoring, so check the labels, and try to buy sugar- and caffeine-free versions. Ginger beers can have more ginger than ale, but again, it’s crucial to read the nutrition facts. Also, it’s often stronger than ginger ale, so you’ll either think it’s delicious if you love the taste or might find the soda form more palatable. 5. Get Plenty of Rest Unsurprisingly, pregnancy makes you pretty tired, so you may need to adjust your sleep schedule to avoid morning sickness. Give yourself enough time in the morning so you don’t have to rush out of bed and start with something simple, like cereal or fruit. You’d probably also benefit from going to bed earlier. When to See a Professional for Help You should see your pregnancy care professional for advice if none of these remedies help and your symptoms sound more like hyperemesis gravidarum. While frequent sickness isn’t necessarily harmful, HG can cause dehydration and weight loss, which could lead to complications. What Is Morning Sickness? Your Guide to Tackling This Irritating Symptom No one likes feeling nauseous, but it’s particularly frustrating when you’re feeling that way every day along with being pregnant. Unfortunately, the answer to “What is morning sickness?” is it’s one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. You have many options for treating it at home, but be sure to talk to a specialist if you feel and get sick constantly — they’ll give you specific advice that can provide relief.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are no joke. If you have one and do nothing to treat it, it can lead to sepsis, where the condition goes to your kidneys and spreads around the body. But how will you know you have a UTI if you’ve never had one? Before you make an expensive trip to the doctor, knowing the signs of urinary tract infection can help you determine if further action is necessary. The likelihood of sepsis will only grow as you age, making learning the signs of urinary tract infection essential. Not only will they save you a lot of pain, but they might just save your life. 1. Discomfort While Peeing Perhaps the most significant indicator of a UTI is how you feel while urinating. As you likely know, urinating doesn’t have much of a sensation beyond relief, but UTIs are much different. “Discomfort” is a bit of a clinical term — a urinary tract infection is often painful, accompanied by a burning sensation. You also won’t feel like you’ve completely emptied your bladder and need to pee frequently while only passing a small amount of urine at a time. 2. A Change in Your Urine’s Look Another of the telling signs of urinary tract infection is the appearance of your urine. While it may be dark if you haven’t been drinking enough water, UTIs will give it a cloudy appearance. However, there could also be some blood in your pee, so take note if it looks brown, red or pink. Blood might also appear when you wipe. 3. A New, Strong Smell UTIs will also come with a powerful scent — it’s hard to describe, but you’ll notice it if you smell it. Urine typically doesn't have an odor, but a urinary tract infection can cause it to smell a bit like ammonia. If you suspect you have a UTI and notice a new, strong smell when you be, you’re likely correct. 4. Bodily Symptoms When you have an infection, it can affect the rest of your body. A UTI can lead to chills or shudders, nausea or vomiting if you leave them alone for long enough. These could be signs you’re going septic, along with increased pain, temperature changes, confusion or excessive exhaustion. Home Remedies for UTI Relief If you start noticing the signs of urinary tract infection, try a few home remedies to relieve your discomfort before visiting a doctor. Here are a few tips to try resolving a UTI. 1. Cranberries Most people you know have likely touted cranberry juice as a cure-all for urinary tract infections. However, the beverage doesn’t really have the amount of proanthocyanidin necessary to eliminate the bacteria. Instead, try pure, unsweetened cranberry juice — despite how tart it is — or cranberry supplements. 2. Water One thing you should absolutely drink with a UTI is water — and a lot of it, even if you’re not thirsty. Urinary tract infections will cause you to feel like you have to pee a lot, so the more water you drink, the more opportunities you have to flush out the bacteria. Additionally, you can bathe in hot water or use a warm water bottle to ease any pain. 3. Probiotics Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria your body uses to keep itself healthy. While studies have discovered different findings on if they can effectively prevent UTIs, they seem to help lower the chances of recurring infections. You can either take probiotics daily or buy the ones designed specifically for urinary health. Learn the Signs of Urinary Tract Infection Knowing how to identify a UTI is as crucial as knowing how to treat it. Be wary of relying on home remedies exclusively, as the risk of leaving an infection untreated can be deadly. If your urinary tract infection starts to cause worse symptoms, visit a doctor to receive antibiotics.
Plant-based diets have become popular as a solution to the alarming rise of obesity and overweight cases among Americans. With people trying everything from weight loss pills to strenuous exercise routines and medical procedures, many see the plant-based eating pattern as a healthier solution to maintaining weight. Learn what a plant-based diet is, its benefits and downsides and how to transition to this lifestyle safely. What Foods Do You Eat on a Plant-Based Diet? A plant-forward eating pattern focuses on foods primarily sourced from plants, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and oils. It's worth noting people have different definitions of a plant-based diet. For others, it means exclusively eating foods made from plants, while some people prioritize plant sources but may also consider meat or dairy products whenever their alternatives are limited. This eating habit has several health benefits and is preferred by those who want to manage their weight or health conditions and reduce their risk of diseases. What Are the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet? There are abundant upsides to a plant-based eating structure. 1. Supports Healthy Weight Eating fruits and vegetables can help you lose excess weight. They’re rich in fiber — good for digestion and metabolism — and have high water content, promoting a feeling of fullness. Fruits and vegetables also have low calories and fat so even if you eat more than one serving, it has little to no effect on weight gain. 2. Reduces the Risk of Diseases A plant-based diet can lower your risk for various illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fruits, vegetables and nuts are packed with essential vitamins and minerals — like vitamin C and antioxidants — to power up your immune system. With a stronger immunity, your body is well-armed to fight inflammation before it becomes a disease. 3. Environmentally Sustainable Fruit-bearing trees and vegetables are more sustainable as they use fewer natural resources and don't leave a massive toll on the environment, unlike animals. Changing to a plant-based diet can reduce diet-related greenhouse gas emissions by 49% and land use by 76%, making it appealing to people with sustainable lifestyles. What Can You Not Eat on a Plant-Based Diet? When on a strict plant-based diet, you can't eat all types of meats. Some people are confused as many think they can eat eggs. The standard of the full plant-based eating pattern is all sourced from plants so this excludes eggs. However, others may also choose to eat primarily plants and small amounts of meat and still label this eating style plant-based. What Are the Variations of Plant-Based Diets? A plant-forward eating style has multiple variations to suit the eating habits of many people. Vegan: Excluding all meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish and seafood. All foods are sourced from plants. Vegetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian: Including dairy and eggs but excluding meat, fish, seafood and poultry Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian: Including dairy and eggs and small amounts of fish, seafood, poultry and meat Pescatarian: Including eggs, fish, seafood and dairy and excluding poultry and meat Lacto-vegetarian: Including dairy but excluding fish, eggs, seafood, poultry and meat Ovo-vegetarian: Including eggs and excluding fish, seafood, dairy, meat and poultry Based on this, not all plant-based diet systems are restricted to plant sources. While others may prioritize consuming fruits and vegetables, they may also occasionally eat meat, poultry, dairy and seafood. What Are the Downsides of a Plant-Based Diet? Plants offer abundant sources of fundamental nutrients, but is it enough to fully nourish the body? Some people may hail a fully plant-based diet, but others may argue fruit and vegetable food groups are inadequate to support the body’s optimal health. Here are some known setbacks of a plant-based eating lifestyle. 1. May Increase the Risk of Stroke A long-term study spanning two decades looked at the risk of stroke and health problems in almost 50,000 individuals based on the diets they incorporate into their lifestyles. It revealed that while the rates of heart conditions were down to 22% among vegetarians, their chances of experiencing stroke were 20% higher. About three cases in every 1,000 vegetarians had a high likelihood of stroke in 10 years due to hemorrhagic stroke or bleeding in the brain caused by a ruptured blood vessel. No high stroke risk was observed among pescatarians. The study has limitations, but it's worth reconsidering whether integrating a plant-based diet is safe. Consult your health care provider to check if it suits your health situation. 2. May Lower Bone Mineral Density Meat is an excellent nutritional source for bone health. Another study found that pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans have a higher risk of hip fractures than meat eaters. Fish eaters and vegetarians were more prone to experience hip fractures by 26% and 25%, respectively. Vegans were 2.3 times more at risk of hip fracture and 2.05 times more likely to suffer a broken leg than meat eaters. If you have conditions affecting your bones, the other three types of diet may not be ideal for you. 3. Nutritional Deficiency Several health conditions of the mind and body can arise from insufficient nutrition. Those eating foods exclusive from plants are more prone to nutritional deficiency with the following substances: Vitamin B12 Vitamin D3 DHA Heme iron Carnosine Creatine Taurine B12 — a common deficiency among plant eaters — is essential for producing red blood cells and maintaining brain health. It's abundant in fish, dairy products, eggs and meat. A few plant options containing traces of this vitamin are tempeh, shiitake mushrooms and nori seaweed. Supplementation may be an alternative if you want to improve the amount of vitamin B12 in your body without giving up a plant-based diet. How To Get Started With a Plant-Based Diet While a plant-based diet pattern is generally safe, consult your physician on the risks of transitioning. When you're cleared of any adverse effects, introduce small changes first to allow your body to adapt to the new eating habit. Here are a few tips to begin with a plant-based diet. 1. Create a Weekly Meal Plan You can ask for help from a dietician or nutritionist for ideas. It’s ideal for habit-building if you have a plan and know what you should have for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week. 2. Stock up on Plant-Based Foods Load up your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables and get everything you need to pursue a healthy diet in handy. 3. Make Your Healthy Plate Colorful Switch up your plate by including as many colored veggies and fruits as possible to get the nutrients you need for good health. 4. Visit Your Doctor Regularly Meet with your doctor for an assessment to know immediately if you have a nutritional deficiency and begin supplementation. Reconsider a Plant-Based Diet An eating routine consisting of plants has undeniably many health benefits — but it has limitations and it’s clearly not for everyone. This type of eating style requires comprehensive and mindful meal planning and preparation. You’ll have to include as many varieties of vegetables and fruits — which sometimes are not very accessible — to provide adequate nourishment to the body. Nutritional deficiency can likely happen if you regularly eat the same thing. To prevent this from happening, work with a food expert who can closely oversee your diet.