Amelia Grant

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.

4 Effective Tips to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels During Coronavirus Pandemic

Self-isolation during this pandemic can affect both our mental and physical health. Many of us are missing out on some healthy habits and necessities we are used to. Staying at home more than we might have before can actually affect our health in different ways. One of them is decreased levels of essential vitamins, especially vitamin D. Fortunately, there are some things that can help. 

 

So, why is the sunshine vitamin is so crucial for us? It plays a role in many body processes, for example, maintenance of normal blood levels of calcium and phosphate, support of the immune system, and regulation of kidney and cognitive function. So, it’s essential and helps your bones, muscles, and teeth remain strong and healthy.      

 

Vitamin D is different from other vitamins since it acts as a hormone. Moreover, sunshine vitamin is necessary for every immune cell. People who lack vitamin D might have bone deformities and bone pain, provoked by a disease called osteomalacia.

 

Vitamin D can also help us avoid depression and other mood disorders. According to research, supplemental Vitamin D can boost mood in people who suffer from the seasonal affective disorder. 

 

We can get vitamin D either from the diet or summer sunlight exposure, so it is clear why during the coronavirus pandemic, we may not be getting enough of this vitamin. 

 

Vitamin D is created by our bodies when sunlight reaches the skin, that’s why during self-isolation, our bodies won’t be able to produce as much of sunshine vitamin. You can get Vitamin D simply by making use of the following effective tips: 

1. Change Your Diet

One of the greatest sources of vitamin D is a diet rich in foods that contain vitamin D. This means it’s wise to add some foods to your daily menu right now. Although, vitamin D is only present in a small number of foods such as red meat, oily fish, liver, egg yolks, and fortified foods, even small doses of this vitamin will help you prevent vitamin D deficiency.

2. Take Vitamin D Supplements

Public Health England (PHE) recommends taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D supplements per day to provide your bones and muscles with enough macronutrients and keep them healthy and strong. 

 

Since the vast majority of the population has vitamin D deficiency, it’s important to give your body enough sunshine vitamin. Supplements can really help.

 

If you have any chronic diseases or experience unexplained pain, mood swings that get more noticeable in the winter months, or you suffer from frequent infections, it’s time to consider a larger dose of vitamin D. 

 

There are so many vitamin D supplements that have different doses, but in order to choose the best brand and dose, you need to consult your primary care physician and run a blood test that determines the levels of vitamin D in your blood. 

3. Incorporate Some Lifestyle Changes Into Your Life

In addition to dietary changes and vitamin D supplements, it’s crucial to consider other lifestyle changes. Avoid things that are able to lower your vitamin D levels like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

 

Actually, self-isolation might be an excellent opportunity to learn techniques that help manage stress. For instance, meditation, mindfulness, or even time in your garden. Prolonged stress is harmful to your body since it activates the immune system and causes overall and chronic inflammation which in turn depletes your vitamin D stores.

4. Try To Get More Some Sunlight

You still can get some sun even while being on self-isolation and adhering to lockdown rules. You can still exercise outside, go for a walk, run, or cycle. Try doing these activities during daylight hours, particularly when the sun is out.

8 Reasons Why Hugs Are Good for Your Health

Physical touch brings us a lot of joy. But why? This is due to the fact that any kind of physical touch, especially hugs, triggers the release of one hormone from your brain’s pituitary gland. This hormone is called oxytocin. This hormone is considered the "love hormone” or “cuddle hormone”. Actually, this is the primary hormone that occurs during orgasm and is able to improve bonding in couples. 

 

Furthermore, various studies have shown that oxytocin plays a big role in maintaining your overall health and it has many powerful health benefits. Let’s review eight amazing reasons to cuddle more.

1. Hugs can improve immunity.

Your gut is essential for your immune system. Your gut and brain are connected through the gut-brain axis. Many studies have shown that oxytocin plays an important role in gut health. By increasing oxytocin levels through hugs, you can improve your T-regulatory cells, which are responsible for keeping your immune system healthy.

 

Hugs also contribute to the release of serotonin also called a “happy hormone”. In fact, nearly 95 percent of this hormone is produced and stored in your gut. Serotonin also plays a big role in maintaining your immune system strong and healthy. Research has shown that people who actually hugged more often were less likely to get sick.

2. Hugs can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Chronic stress, anxiety, chronic inflammation, and high blood pressure are the leading causes of high heart disease risk. All these problems can be eliminated when your body releases enough oxytocin. This is another weighty reason to hug more.

3. Hugs can help you fight cravings and stop weight gain.

Weight gain and inability to lose extra pounds have lots of underlying causes. However, when it comes to the psychological side of eating and cravings, oxytocin is able to help you overcome the urge to eat for pleasure. It can also enhance the feeling of being full and satisfied, which can improve your food choices and lower sudden food cravings.

4. Hugs can help you manage chronic pain.

Low oxytocin levels have been linked to chronic pain, which means that this hormone is effective in pain management. According to one study, children who suffered from recurring abdominal pain had lower levels of oxytocin than children of the same age without abdominal pain. Scientists have found that oxytocin can reduce pain in people struggling with lower back pain, cancer, and even IBS.

5. Hugs can boost your sleep.

According to statistics, about 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. This is a condition in which breathing stops and starts during the night. Scientists have found that oxytocin can improve the quantity of sleep as well as the quality of sleep. The hormone is also able to boost cardiorespiratory homeostasis. So, it’s a good reason to hug your loved one at night.

6. Hugs strengthen relationships.

As was mentioned above, oxytocin is also called the "love" hormone, since it possesses a powerful ability to improve bonding between people. In fact, oxytocin is connected with childbirth. When a woman is pregnant, her body rapidly releases oxytocin to help her uterus contract. This hormone also helps the body to prepare for childbirth. Finally, it’s able to strengthen the bond between mother and baby.

7. Hugs are able to lower inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is one of the most harmful things for your body. However, oxytocin can not only boost T-regulatory cells, which can decrease inflammation, but it also can reduce inflammation since it lowers pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6.

8. Hugs can decrease anxiety.

Yes, regular hugs can decrease anxiety due to oxytocin. This hormone is able to significantly reduce anxiety and even help people suffering from severe anxiety disorders, for instance, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. 

5 Incredible Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has been used in Australia to naturally heal common issues. It possesses antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. This magic oil may help fight acne, toenail infections, athlete’s foot, and more. However, it may cause allergy and skin irritation and must not be ingested. Read this article to find out the health benefits and side effects of tea tree oil.

 

1. It fights inflammation

Tea tree oil contains a component called terpinen-4-ol that prevents the production of various inflammatory compounds. According to a human study of 27 subjects, when applied to the skin tea tree oil can significantly reduce swelling.

 

2. It can combat fungal infections

Tea tree oil worsens the permeability of Candida and other fungal cells. The oil can stop the formation of spore outgrowths by increasing the fat membrane’s resistance to deformation. Actually, all of the components of tea tree oil except β-myrcene have antifungal properties.

 

Dandruff

Dandruff is a very common fungal skin condition that provokes itchy, red patches. According to one study, tea tree oil improved dandruff severity by 41%.

 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is another common condition caused by various types of fungus found on the feet. In one study, both 25% and 50% tea tree oil caused a marked clinical improvement in 158 patients with this condition. It’s worth talking to your foot doctor about adding tea tree oil to your athlete’s foot treatment.  

 

Toenail Infections

Using tea tree oil regularly for six months can help you cure toenail infections (onychomycosis). It can also improve nail appearance and symptoms. In fact, tea tree oil has effects comparable to those of clotrimazole 1% solution.

 

3. It reduces acne

Tea tree oil is a very popular option for treating acne since it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It can calm redness, swelling, and inflammation. Tea tree oil is able to prevent and reduce acne scars.

 

According to a study of 124 patients with acne, 5% tea tree oil significantly decreased the number of lesions, scaling, itching, and dryness compared with the control treatment. Another study has shown that a 5% tea tree oil gel is able to effectively reduce acne lesions, pustules, and other skin changes.

 

4. It stops Bacterial Infections

Adding tea tree oil to a hand wash formula can reduce the spread of pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus. According to a small study, a product containing 5% tea tree oil and water and a product containing 5% tea tree oil and 10% alcohol killed pathogens better than a non-medicated soft-soap.

 

This is due to the fact that tea tree oil destroys the cell membrane that results in complete cell death in multiple species of microbes.

 

5. It promotes oral health

Tea tree oil when added to mouthwash can reduce the number of harmful mouth bacteria and treat gingivitis. The oil also decreases the levels of compounds linked to bad breath. According to a study, tea tree oil has been shown to treat gingivitis and eliminate mouth bleeding. 

Risks and Side Effects

Despite its natural origin and mindblowing health benefits, tea tree oil has side effects like skin irritation, allergic skin rash (dermatitis), itching, burning, scaling, redness, and dryness. Also, tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed, but is safe to inhale or apply topically.

 

If you’re experiencing any side effects, contact your health care provider. The skin reaction may range from mild to severe and is usually caused by oxidation (breakdown) of the product. If you have eczema or skin dermatitis don’t use tea tree oil until you talk to your doctor.

5 Wonderful Benefits of Collagen for People Who Like to Work Out

You probably know about the amazing benefits that collagen has on the skin. It turns out, collagen also looks promising for exercise. This protein provides the strength and structure of many connective tissues such as the bones, tendons, and ligaments. These body tissues help you move, squat, and stretch. 

 

So is taking collagen what your work out regimen needs? Let’s look at five reasons this protein may be helpful:

 

1. It maintains circulatory health

Yes, your blood vessels also need collagen. Collagen gives structure to your arteries, allowing blood to move from your heart to other body parts and tissues with ease. That’s why collagen is essential in promoting a healthy functioning heart. If your body gets enough collagen, your arteries are less likely to become weak. In terms of exercise, arteries provide your muscles with enough nutrients and oxygen throughout your work out. 

2. It may help you manage exercise-related pain

Exercise-related pain is quite common among active people which can seriously hinder your exercise goals. Actually, fitness progress is impossible without some discomfort, but it's still necessary to listen to your body and rest regularly.

 

According to one 2008 study, collagen supplements helped control exercise-related joint pain in a group of physically active participants. Also, recent studies found that collagen peptides are helpful for pain management as they improve muscle pain after jumping exercises, suggesting it might aid in overall athletic performance. Additionally, collagen peptides play a role in controlling activity-related knee pain in young athletes. 

 

3. It may promote post-exercise recovery

Exercise recovery is an important aspect of a successful workout routine. Recovery lets your tissues repair and grow. It also decreases the risk of an exercise-related injury. And collagen may help you boost your post-exercise recovery. Collagen has an anabolic effect on cartilage tissue which supports healthy muscle growth. 

 

4. It can support the healing process

Any injury or surgery can seriously limit your physical activity. And, of course, it may be frustrating to pause your routine, but don’t forget that you need to help your body heal. In most cases, the healing process requires lots of rest and a healthy diet. Adding vitamin-C-rich gelatin to your diet will support your tissue repair. And according to many specialists, foods or supplements containing collagen taken with collagen-boosting nutrients like vitamin C can be beneficial for those who are healing from a surgery or injury of the bone, skin, or ligament. 

 

When your body is healing, it’s in a high metabolic state and needs more protein. Therefore, it’s important to consume more collagen-containing foods as they will help you meet these protein needs.

5. It can keep your bones healthy 

People with an active lifestyle should also take care of their bones. Healthy bones allow you to move with ease.  To keep them strong, you still need collagen. According to a human study, collagen peptides helped control bone degradation and prevent it from progressing in postmenopausal women with age-related bone loss. 

 

It’s important to keep in mind that our bodies stop building bone as we age. This means that bone density naturally decreases over time. Aging changes in the bone increase the risk for osteoporosis, making you more likely to fractures and breaks. That’s why it’s essential to maintain bone health at any age, especially when you are physically active. 


Supporting bone health by getting essential nutrients such as collagen could also help your bones function properly during exercise. Collagen supplements will improve your connective tissues and bones, as well as hair and nails which is a great bonus for anyone.

4 Commonly Asked Questions About Dental Veneers

 

A lot of people are highly concerned about their smiles. It is an important element in a good first impression so a lot of people believe that this is definitely something worth investing in. A recent study showed that 48% of Americans look at a smile as a person’s most memorable feature. In case if your teeth are not as white as they used to be, you might not be making the impression you want to. 

 

Dental veneers are considered a perfect option to repair cracked, chipped and stained teeth. However, it is highly important to understand the way the whole process works in order to make a commitment to this option. The following section depicts answers to the most common questions people have about dental veneers. 

  • What are dental veneers? 

Porcelain veneers are thin covers that are applied to teeth in order to provide it with a more classically shaped appearance. Nowadays, there are different varieties of dental veneers to select from. Due to its high effectiveness, it has gained popularity in the recent few years.

  • How do they work? 

This is probably the most common question people have about dental veneers. First of all, it should be clarified that they are thin, custom-made ceramic shells that are applied to the fronts of your teeth. They are applied similarly to nail appliques and might last for decades if you care about them properly.

 

If going more in-depth into the topic, the porcelain material is tinted to the same shade of whiteness that looks best with your complexion. Thanks to recent technological advancements, it is possible now to have veneers that possess the same translucent quality as real teeth. Dental veneers are a great option for people wishing to keep their natural teeth but at the same time need more substantial modification than whitening can provide. 

  • What are the steps in getting veneers? 

You should clearly understand that the process of getting dental veneers normally takes between two to three dental visits and a couple of weeks. The process will start from the initial assessment and consultation. You will have your smile evaluated and determine whether you are a good candite for this procedure or not. Perfect candidates are the ones with substantial cracks, chips, staining, mismatched teeth and wear and tear problems resulting from aging.  If it happens that you need dental implants or fillings, your dentist will have to take care of these first. 

 

The next step would be preparing your teeth for dental veneers. It is normally accomplished by shaving a very thin layer of enamel of the front of your teeth. After that, your doctor will make a set of temporary veneers that you will have to wear until the permanent ones arrive. During this period you will be able to determine whether any changes need to be done to the color or its shape. When the permanent porcelain veneers arrive you will have to make one more dentist visit in order to have them applied. As soon as temporary veneers are removed a bonding cement is applied to your teeth. The next step is carefully installing your permanent veneers and you are good to go. 

  • Can everyone get dental veneers? 

As was mentioned before, not everyone can get porcelain veneers. There are several factors that restrict people from this procedure and they are as follows: 

 

  • Serious structural tooth damage 
  • Gum disease
  • Serious tooth crowding 
  • Labial version of the teeth 
  • Extremely poor oral hygiene and/or excessive cavities 
  • Grinding of teeth 

 

Therefore, if you experience any of the aforementioned conditions, you should discuss with your dental specialist whether dental veneers are the right option for you. 

4 Commonly Asked Questions About Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is also called a nose job. This is a procedure on a nose, which is aimed to modify the shape of it or improve its function. Some people decide to undergo this surgery for medical purposes in order to fix the breathing problems or correct its disfigurement resulting from an accident. We have prepared a list of most commonly asked questions and answers to them that will help you to get to know this procedure much better. 

 

What is rhinoplasty? 

As was already mentioned, rhinoplasty is also referred to as a nose job, which aims to modify the shape of your nose or improve its function. This is normally done by modifying the bone or cartilage. There are mainly two types of rhinoplasty surgery. The first one deals with health problems meaning that the surgery is performed to improve the function of your nose. The second type of surgery is cosmetic, which is done in order to alter the shape of your nose for a better appearance. 

 

What are the reasons for rhinoplasty?

As was mentioned above, there are several reasons for undergoing this plastic surgery. Some people might decide on this surgery in order to repair their nose after an injury, accident or birth defects. In addition to that, some people might experience breathing problems and rhinoplasty is a great solution for them. Other people might be just simply dissatisfied with the appearance of their nose. To conclude, the main reasons for making use of rhinoplasty surgery are as follows: 

 

  • A change in angle 
  • A change in size 
  • Reshape of the tip 
  • Straightening of the bridge 
  • Breathing problems 

 

Rhinoplasty specialists claim that if rhinoplasty is being done for appearance purpose you should wait until your nose bone is grown completely. This is about 15 years old for girls and for boys it is a bit older. On the other side, if you encounter breathing problems, rhinoplasty can be performed at any age. 

 

What is the recovery time after the surgery? 

You will have to wear a nose bandage for the first week after the surgery. You might also experience some degree of swelling and bruising around the eyes after the surgery. However, that will begin to disappear after the third day. However, in some cases, it might take up to two weeks. Rhinoplasty doctors say that you will be able to return to your normal activities already after two weeks. Keep in mind that the final shape of your nose will be apparent only after it has completely healed

 

What are the risks associated with rhinoplasty? 

Just like any other surgical intervention, rhinoplasty involves some degree of risk. These might include bleeding, infection, or bad reaction to anesthesia. In addition to that, rhinoplasty might also increase the risk of: 

 

 

In rare cases, people might be dissatisfied with the outcome of the surgery. However, it highly depends on the expertise and experience of your rhinoplasty doctor. In order for the second surgery to take place, your nose needs to heal completely. 

 

What is the cost of rhinoplasty? 

It is almost impossible to state the exact price of rhinoplasty surgery. It extremely depends on your situation, rhinoplasty doctor and the clinic itself. Although, a recent study shows that the average cost of rhinoplasty is around $5,400. You need to understand that this is only part of the total cost excluding anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related expenses. In order to get the exact price for rhinoplasty surgery, you will have to consult a specialist. Keep in mind that this a complex procedure, which involves a high level of expertise and experience of the plastic surgeon. Therefore, make sure to analyze all the possible options out there and do not go for the cheap deals. 

Tips on How to Drink Less Alcohol

People drink alcohol for different reasons, for example, stress relief or peer pressure. However, drinking is associated with serious health risks, even if you think you don’t drink that much. 

 

Many people believe that red wine is good for your health and this is partly true. Moderate drinking of certain alcohol may positively affect health. Red wine reduces the risk of a heart attack and type two diabetes. But even red wine has its flaws.

 

Even moderate alcohol use can cause sleep problems, cognitive impairment, and weight gain. Studies show that drinking one glass of wine per day slightly increases the risk of breast cancer in women. The more alcohol you drink, the higher the health risks.

 

Why Do You Need to Drink Less Alcohol? 

 

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), people who abuse alcohol are more injury-prone, have an increased risk of liver and heart diseases, depression, stroke, and several types of cancer. In addition, alcohol abuse can exacerbate chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension.

 

Signs You Drink Too Much Alcohol

 

The following situations can indicate that you are abusing alcohol:

 

  • You often forget where you parked your car after drinking
  • You behave inappropriately at parties
  • You often forget where you were the day before

 

However, even if you have never faced such situations, this doesn’t mean that alcohol doesn’t harm your life. Negative consequences don’t always mean getting a disease or bad deeds, it also includes the lack of good things, which are replaced by alcohol.

 

Some people when experiencing health problems or unhealthy weight gain associated with alcohol often give up alcohol. In order to prevent any health problems, you may try some effective methods to drink less.

 

How to Control Alcohol Intake?

 

1. Start keeping track of every drink 

This method can be helpful in reducing alcohol consumption and changing your drinking habits. You can use certain alcohol tracking apps which will help you track both your alcohol and calorie intake since alcohol is high in calories. 

2. Have alcohol-free days

Alcohol-free days can improve your sleep and well-being. Starting your morning without a hangover means starting the day without being sluggish, foggy-headed, and nauseous. In addition, good sleep and feeling energetic positively effects mood while alcohol is a depressant. 

3. Replace alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks 

We often drink only because our peers drink. A glass in your hand is just a way not to be the black sheep. Try to fill the glass with a non-alcoholic cocktail or even water. This will help you hide the fact that you drink less than others if you are under social pressure.

4. Eat food when you drink

Eating before or during drinking alcohol will help you feel more full and will decrease some of the negative effects linked to alcohol. However it’s important to eat the right foods in order to prevent heartburn, bloating, and dehydration which can result in a severe hangover. Here is a list of the best foods you can eat before or during drinking: 

  • Bananas
  • Greek yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Grapefruit
  • Avocado
  • Sweet potatoes

5. Seek help 

If the tips above didn’t help you and you can’t give up alcohol, you may need to seek professional help. Don’t be afraid to admit you have a problem. It’s important to share your problem with people close to you and visit a specialist who will help you overcome alcohol abuse. We sometimes can’t cope with certain life issues, therefore don’t be shy asking for help and start addiction treatment before it’s too late.

7 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Veneers

Veneers are a layer of material, usually porcelain, placed over your teeth. Veneers cover your natural teeth creating a more aesthetic and white smile and protecting your teeth from damage. Veneers are a great solution if you have chipped, uneven, or discolored teeth.

 

Here are some things you should know before getting veneers.

They Are Permanent

 

Veneers are permanently bonded to your teeth, meaning they are not removable. Typically, they last from 15-20 years, sometimes longer. Some patients never need to replace them. Make sure you talk to your dentist about how you want your veneers to look because these will likely be your teeth for the next few decades. 

They Can Chip

 

Although permanently adhered to your teeth - veneers are not indestructible. They can chip if you are not careful. Don’t chew on ice with your new veneers and be careful eating hard foods. Don’t use your teeth as tools. We’re all guilty of it- using our teeth to rip something open or crack a beer. Treat them as your regular teeth- but you paid money for these!

 

Veneers can also get discolored. Moderate your coffee, wine, and tea consumption. Of course, we would never tell you to give up coffee completely, but be conscious of how much you drink and its effect on your veneers. 

 

Grinding can also wear them down. So if you grind your teeth in your sleep, talk to your dentist about a tooth guard to prevent damaging your veneers

They Can Be Too White

 

Yes, you read that right. If your teeth are too white they tend to look fake. You want your veneers to give you a beautiful, straighter, and whiter smile- but you still want your teeth to look natural. A softer white is usually a good color to go with. Your dentist will help you pick a color a few shades lighter than your natural teeth to get visible, but a natural-looking improvement. 

 

You Don’t Need Them for Your Entire Mouth

 

Of course, you can get your entire mouth done, but fixing one chipped tooth is also an option. You do want all your teeth to match, so usually, 8-10 veneers are normal. Consider how wide your smile is and how many teeth are visible when you smile and talk. Sometimes, people opt to get veneers only on their top teeth, sometimes top and bottom teeth are done.

 

Have your dentist take a picture of your smile to determine how many veneers you want, but remember, it is up to you!

It’s an Investment

 

Veneers are expensive. There’s no way of getting around that. But, consider it an investment. Your smile is usually the first thing people notice about you. As mentioned above, your veneers can last you up to 20 years so think of it as an investment rather than an expense. Veneers are the gift that keeps on giving when you wake up in the morning with beautiful, straight, and white teeth. 

 

Most people believe better teeth and a nicer smile lead to being more successful in business and in their personal lives. Invest in yourself to look and feel better.

Your Teeth May Be Sensitive

 

You may experience some sensitivity to hot or cold right after getting your veneers from the cement bonding. Your gums may also be sore, too. This can be cured with a saltwater rinse or a pain killer, such as ibuprofen. 

 

It may also take you some time to get used to having veneers in your mouth. Talking may feel slightly different, but you should get used to them in a few days. 

You Can Clean Them as Your Regular Teeth

 

Daily brushing and flossing are still a must with veneers. If you want them to last 20 years, you have to take care of them. Treat them as your regular teeth. 

16 Symptoms of Lupus That You Need to Know

Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks organs and tissues. It often affects the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Lupus is an insidious disease since its symptoms are similar to many other illnesses. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, there are around 16,000 new cases of lupus every year and up to 1.5 million Americans may be living with this condition. Scientists still haven’t found the exact cause of lupus but some factors may increase the risk of the disease. These include: 

 

  • Emotional stress 
  • Taking certain drugs (antifungals, antibiotics, thyroid medications, and oral contraceptive pills)
  • Long-term sunlight exposure 

How Does Lupus Affect the Body?

Kidneys 

Lupus can rapidly destroy kidneys and cause nephritis. Around 1 in 3 patients with lupus have kidney problems, moreover, kidney failure is the most common cause of death among people with lupus. The main symptom of damaged kidneys is blood in the urine. 

Brain and central nervous system

Frequent headaches and dizziness indicate brain damage in people with lupus. Rain and central nervous system damage are also characterized by changes in behavior, vision impairment, seizures, depression, and even stroke. Many patients with this disease have memory disturbances and can’t express their thoughts. 

Blood and blood vessels      

Lupus can change blood coagulation and even lead to anemia and thrombocytopenia. The disease can sometimes provoke vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels). Therefore, people with lupus should regularly visit a vein specialist

Lungs  

Lupus may provoke pleuritis or inflammation of the chest cavity lining which can cause chest pain, shallow breathing, and pneumonia.   

Heart 

If lupus affects the heart, it can result in endocarditis and myocarditis which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. 

Symptoms of Lupus 

Lupus symptoms may differ and often depend on what body system is attacked by the disease. However, lupus has certain general signs that may help detect this condition and prevent irreversible consequences and death. These include: 

 

  1. Frequent headaches
  2. Memory impairment
  3. Chronic fatigue
  4. Hair loss
  5. Joint pain 
  6. Anemia 
  7. High body temperature
  8. Regular leg swelling 
  9. Chest pain 
  10. Dry eyes 
  11. Sensitivity to the sun 
  12. Unexplained and rapid weight loss
  13. Swollen lymph nodes 
  14. Arthritis 
  15. Deep breathing 
  16. Butterfly rash and red patches 

 

The last symptom is the most obvious sign of lupus. Other symptoms may indicate different diseases but if you notice several of the described above signs, you need to consult your therapist to make the right diagnosis.  

 

How to Treat Lupus? 

Lupus is still incurable but it can be managed. Doctors usually plan individual lupus management which will be the most effective in the particular case and prevent dangerous health consequences. But there certain medications that are most commonly used in most cases: 

 

  • Antimalarial drugs. These medications affect the immune system function and reduce the risk of lupus flares. They are also used for joint pain, fatigue, skin rashes, and lung inflammation. But antimalarials have dangerous side effects including retinal damage, therefore before taking them, consult your doctor.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs. Ibuprofen helps relieve internal inflammation, joint pain, swelling, and lupus-related fever.   
  • Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids help reduce swelling and inflammation and in high doses, they can calm the immune system. They are used for treating kidney and brain problems caused by lupus.    
  • Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is usually used in severe cases of lupus when it affects major organs and other medications don’t help. 

 

Proper lupus management, giving up bad habits, taking medicines, getting regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet will help you live a healthy and happy life and avoid complications.  

5 Weighty Reasons Why We Need to Eat Less Meat

 

A plant-based diet is a panacea for almost all health problems. Fruits, veggies, nuts, lentils, whole grains, and seeds have countless benefits for your body as well as the planet’s health. It’s not about giving up meat and going vegan, you can simply cut down your meat intake. If you need some motivation, read this article and find out five great reasons to eat less meat. 

 

1. You’ll save money 

This is a good reason to consider eating less meat since vegan and vegetarian meals are usually less expensive than meat products. 

 

2. You’ll reduce emissions of greenhouse gases 

Giving up or cutting down your meat intake will positively affect climate change since animal agriculture has environmental impacts including high emittance of methane gas and CO2.   

 

3. You’re likely to reverse obesity and heart disease 

Since most meats are high in fat, they are associated with a higher risk of obesity. Moreover, meat consumption is linked to heart disease which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Eating a plant-based diet can treat heart disease as well as reverse its progression. Consult cardiologist NYC and try to switch to a plant-based diet.   

 

4. You’ll reduce animal cruelty 

Did you know that factory farming is the largest source of animal cruelty in the world?

 

  • Animals on factory farms are often given so little space that they can’t lie down comfortably.
  • Factory farms often use antibiotics to keep animals alive in unsanitary conditions which can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten everyone’s health. 
  • Factory farms make animals grow larger or produce too much milk or too many eggs. Due to these manipulations, chickens become abnormally large and their legs can’t even support their bodies, that’s why they suffer from dehydration and starvation since they can’t walk to get water and food. 

 

Switching to a plant-based diet or at least cutting down on meat consumption will reduce animal cruelty and health risks. 

 

5. A plant-based diet will give you incredible benefits 

Science says that a plant-based diet can reverse certain diseases. These include: 

1. Asthma 

In one study, 76 percent of people with asthma who have been eating processed red meat had worsened asthma. A plant-based diet is able to relieve symptoms of asthma and decrease the risk of asthma outbreaks.    

2. Colon and stomach cancer

The World Health Organization results of a comprehensive analysis showed that processed red meats cause colorectal cancer. Scientists also found that the risk of colorectal cancer increases by 12 percent for every 100 gm/day of processed and red meats eaten while veggies and whole grain products decreased the risk. 

After combining 42 studies relating diet to stomach cancer, researchers found that high red meat intake increases the risk of stomach cancer by 70 percent and processed red meat increases it by 80 percent. 3. Type two diabetes    

Finnish scientists have found that replacing at least one percent of daily calorie intake from animal proteins with plant proteins can lower the risk of type two diabetes by 18 percent. 

4. Head and neck cancer 

According to one big study from the Netherlands, processed red meat intake is linked to neck and head cancer. 

 

6 Signs That Your Workout Is Not Suitable for You

It’s sometimes difficult to understand if a certain sport or workout intensity is not suitable for you because physical activity is always an endurance test. In order not to harm yourself, pay attention not only to the trainer’s words but to your body also. If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to adjust your workouts.

 

Signs That You Need to Change the Workout

1. You Feel Lethargic After Workout

Workouts should add energy and not take away your last strength. If you feel exhausted and lethargic after training, perhaps you are strained too much. Try other types of training like yoga and Pilates or add some free days to recover. Make sure that you eat well and get enough sleep since the result of exercises and your well-being directly depend on this.

 

2. Dizziness During Workout

Dizziness, headache, and nausea during active exercises indicate that your body is extremely overloaded. It doesn’t matter how simple the exercise is if your body can’t cope with the load. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, or dehydration may be the cause of this. You should not ignore these symptoms and must immediately stop your workout.

 

3. Experiencing Severe Muscle Pain

Muscle pain is the main sign that you did your best at training but if the unpleasant sensations are so strong that they interfere with your normal functioning or don’t disappear in the next 3 days, this is a bad sign. The body shows that the load you chose is too strong and your body does not have the time to recover. 

 

Take more breaks between classes, reduce the load, and then gradually increase it, allowing the body to adapt. This applies not only to pain after a workout. You also should not continue classes with discomfort in the joints or internal organs.

 

4. Training Has Become Easy

Absolute comfort and lightness during training is no less disturbing sign than unpleasant sensations. If the exercises you performed before no longer require effort, then they won’t bring you any benefits. It means your body has adapted and stopped developing. As soon as you feel this, slightly increase the load.

 

5. You Are Often Sick

Excessive training can seriously harm your health. Such training reduces your immunity, causes problems with the adrenal glands, disrupts the menstrual cycle, causes loss of appetite, insomnia, and anxiety.  If you feel that you have become ill, pay attention to your workout regime and take a break from training for a few weeks. In order to not gain weight during this period, you must follow a healthy diet or try lymphatic drainage massage.

 

6. Push Yourself to Train

The need to force yourself to train periodically happens to everyone, especially at the beginning of training. But every visit to the gym should not be a trial for you. In pursuit of results, do not forget about your own psychological comfort. If training causes hostility, fear, and insecurity, you should try other sports, change the regime, or even the gym. Learn to enjoy the process.

How to Choose a Suitable Physical Activity?

For calm people, calm sports and exercises will be suitable. Do not force yourself to play football, basketball or other fast sports. It is unlikely that they will bring you the desired pleasure. A good choice for you can be ballroom dancing, cycling, perhaps even rock climbing.

 

For people with an active character, any sport and physical activity are suitable, except that which inspires boredom. If you are a social person and you have a good company, you can play soccer, basketball, volleyball, or water polo even without a coach. If at first you can not make the right pitch or throw directly in the ring, a few days of practice and you will not be able to live without sports.

8 Most Common Things Created by NASA

All the things that surround us were once invented by someone. James King created the first washing machine that facilitates our daily routine. We are able to talk to our friends over the ocean because Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Did you ever imagine that you should thank NASA for the isolation in your walls, camera on your phone, and such a comfortable mattress that you dive into at night? Here is the list of eight things you might use every day that were created by NASA.

1. Precision GPS

A few decades ago GPS wasn’t as perfect at determining your position. Jet Propulsion Laboratory employees began developing precise GPS software that could correct these errors in the middle of the 90s. It is helpful not only for sailors and pilots. Precision GPS is also used by phones, cars, and even self-propelled agricultural equipment.

2. Healthy baby food

Developing nutritional alternatives for astronauts that will travel to Mars, researchers accidentally discovered a form of omega-3 fatty acids. Those acids were found only in breast milk and they are really vital for child development. Omega-3 fatty acids are added to over 90% of baby food on the market. 

3. LED light bulbs for night and day

The dual-tone light bulbs were created to enhance daytime attentiveness and to calm down when you need to turn off the lights. The National Space Biomedical Research Program team created a prototype in 2015 and found that light of different colors or wavelengths can help people stay alert or feel sleepy.

4. Plant-air purifier

Plants emit gas and it usually accumulates in the closed conditions of the space station. So NASA developers created an ethylene scrubber that is used in the International Space Station. Now similar technology is common for many industries. It helps to keep food fresh for a long time in grocery stores and prevent waste in winemakers.

5. Safe food storage

NASA, in partnership with Pillsbury, has developed a new standard that keeps freeze-dried foods safe and healthy. This standard is now used all over the world and is profitable for almost everyone. The standard prolongs the shelf life of food and reduces the risk of infection by chemicals and different bacteria. 

6. Scratch-resistant glasses

Most of us take the scratch-resistant eyeglass coating for granted. But some fundamental studies on it were done at NASA's Ames Research Center. The researchers were trying to improve the visors of helmets for astronauts and membranes of water cleaning systems. In the 1980s this science was applied to glasses, sunglasses and protective masks for security and color enhancing.

7. Transparent braces

You certainly know about Invisalign Bronx and the Direct Smile Club. Invisible transparent braces became an opportunity to avoid the Brace-Face shortcut. So everyone who transformed their smiles thanks to those bracers should be thankful to NASA and 3M Products for developing the transparent ceramics.

 8. The handheld vacuum

The famous Dustbuster was also kindly provided by NASA. They developed battery-powered instruments for collecting samples from the lunar surfaces in partnership with Black & Decker. The device was so good and so convenient for this task that it was immediately adjusted for hospitals, industry, and home needs. This is where portable cordless tools come from.

6 Signs That You Need to Add More Fat to Your Diet

Lots of people who try to lose some weight think that they need to significantly reduce their fat intake. But not everybody knows that a lack of fats may lead to serious health problems. Fatty acids such as omega-3s reduce chronic inflammation and prevent dementia. Fats also make our hair, skin, and nails strong and beautiful and are essential for overall health. How to recognize that the body lacks fats? Read this article and find out signs of a lack of fats in your diet. 

1. Your skin is dry 

 If your skin is dry and scaly, avocado and nuts will help you moisturize it. They are rich in fatty acids which are necessary for sebaceous gland function. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support cell membrane health and provide lipid production. Lipids retain moisture inside the skin preventing dryness and aging. 

2. You’re irritable and depressed 

Norwegian scientists conducted a study in which about 22 thousand people took part. They found that people who regularly consume oily fish (which is rich in omega-3s) were 30% less affected by depression.

 

This is not the only study that confirms the positive effect of fats on mental health. There are a lot of studies that argue that a lack of omega-3s affects the psyche. Scientists found that increasing omega-3 fatty acids intake affects a patient with depression better than antidepressants. Lack of fatty acids often leads to excessive impulsiveness, aggressiveness, and anger.

3. You’re always fatigued 

Chronic fatigue is another symptom of a lack of fat in the diet. Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are the fuel for the body but fats are the main source of energy. Healthy fats slow down the absorption of carbohydrates. This minimizes blood sugar spikes caused by foods rich in fast carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta.

 

Blood sugar spikes give us short-term energy and power which are quickly replaced by fatigue and drowsiness. Integrative medicine will help you correct your nutrition to improve your overall health.

4. You are always hungry

Your constant hunger may also be caused by a lack of fat in your diet. Studies prove the fact that consumption of even a small amount of dietary fat can feed the hunger and regulate appetite. 

 

Foods rich in polyunsaturated fats (fatty fish, walnuts) and saturated fatty acids (butter and ghee, lard) are more filling than foods that contain monounsaturated fats (avocado, olive oil, peanut butter).

5. You have vision problems

Vision problems may indicate a lack of fat in the diet. Omega-3 acids protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration, overpressure, and glaucoma.

 

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss. A study that lasted 12 years revealed that people who consume enough omega-3s are 30% less likely to develop macular degeneration.

 

But a diet high in harmful trans fats contributes to macular degeneration. You should keep that in mind and restrict trans fat consumption if you want to have healthy eyes and slim figure. 

6. You have a vitamin deficiency

Each person sometimes experiences a lack of energy and power. This is often associated with vitamin deficiency which may appear due to a lack of fats in the diet. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are not absorbed if the body lacks fats. Natural coconut oil consumption is a good prevention method for vitamin deficiency. This product improves the absorption of antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients essential for health.

What Our Body Smell Tells About Our Health

Smells are one of the most recognizable signs nature gave us. Animals use smells to tell others about themselves, mark their territory or give hints to potential partners. Although we are a highly intelligent species, we’re still animals and our bodies work according to nature’s eternal laws. 

 

Even now the language of smell is relevant. First, it plays an important role in understanding what kind of person you like and can be sexually attracted to. These are pheromones, active substances that our body produces. We may not feel them but other people do. It still works! There are even special perfumes that claim to contain pheromones to attract other people. 

 

Sometimes you can feel that someone’s smell irritates you, although it isn’t bad or unpleasant. This is a sign that you and this person wouldn’t make a good match. Even now, when we fly into outer space, invent AI and other things, we remain animals deep inside.

 

There are also other important signs reflected in the body’s smell. It’s the health of the person. If the smell of someone’s body has changed, that means some big changes are going on in this body’s functions. Mostly they are conditioned by hormonal balance but there are other reasons as well. Let’s observe the most common causes of such weird changes.

 

Feet smell

If your foot started to smell bad all of a sudden, this may mean a fungal or bacterial infection. They can appear on our feet if we don’t follow the rules of personal hygiene and don’t pay enough attention to keep our feet always clean. Sometimes feet can have a bad smell because of poor quality synthetic footwear.

 

Bad breath

An experienced doctor can diagnose a periodontal disease as soon as the patient enters the office. This disease can be a problem on its own or may occur as a symptom of deeper systemic diseases like a weak immune system, diabetes, etc. 

 

Armpit smell

The smell of sweat is natural in this body area, but sometimes it changes into a stronger and unpleasant smell. This can happen due to poor personal hygiene or an unhealthy diet. Some spices can also affect our body's smell. But it may also be a symptom of an endocrine disorder, renal disease or even cancer. Go to the doctor to find out the cause if you or someone else notices this.

 

Head smell

This type of smell refers to your head rather than hair smell. Some medications may affect this smell. If you don’t take any medications and the smell has changed, this may be due to poor hygiene. If your hygiene is good, fungal or bacterial infection may be to blame.

Genital smell

An unpleasant smell from genitals is a very concerning symptom. Genitals have their unique smell but it isn’t unpleasant. If you take proper care of your intimate hygiene, this may be a sign of infection and requires a doctor’s consultation. 

 

During menstruation or hormonal transformation, like teenage years, menopause or elderly age, the change in body’s smell is understandable and doesn’t mean disease if there are no other warning symptoms. Be attentive to yourself and your closest people and don’t ignore the warning signs of body smell.

7 Tips on How to Deal With Night Hunger Attacks

With the onset of cold weather, the body consumes more energy than in warm weather, because it has to spend a lot of effort to adapt to a constant change in temperature. Due to this, most people feel an increase in appetite, especially in the evening. Many people feel an irresistible need to eat lying in bed. Some can’t even fall asleep without a cake, a spoonful of salad or a small piece of banana.

 

You should not succumb to such zeal despite the desire to eat before bedtime or in the middle of the night. The body is not at all ready for the digestion process. The next morning after a midnight meal, you will feel weakness, irritability, and heaviness in the stomach. After a couple of weeks, you will notice a couple of extra inches and pounds. We have prepared some practical tips for you to protect yourself from nightly overeating:

1. Add Protein

In order for the body to require less food in the evening, provide it with the necessary number of calories in the afternoon by consuming protein-rich food. Increase the consumption of chicken, beef, eggs or cheese in your diet by about 10-15%. These products contain the necessary substances that the body spends as quickly and in large quantities as the calories themselves. Try to eat meat products in a boiled or stewed form. This way useful substances are more easily stored in the stomach.

2. Dine Without Spices

To avoid hunger at night, do not skip dinner (it should take place 2-3 hours before bedtime). For an evening meal, choose dishes that are prepared without spices, seasonings and a minimum amount of salt. All of them stimulate the production of gastric juice and increase appetite both during meals and after. It can provoke a feeling of hunger even after a few hours.

3. Brush Your Teeth

Mint toothpaste will also help protect against nightly food cravings. Perform evening oral hygiene just before bedtime. The paste itself temporarily blocks the receptors in the mouth, which are responsible for the sensation of taste because the appetite will be dulled for at least an hour. The brain centers responsible for transmitting signals about the onset of hunger will be deceived for a while. Such a habit will surely please your family dentist as an added benefit. 

4. Drink Water

If you feel a slight desire to eat then drink a glass of water. Put it by your bed in advance so there will be no temptation to look into the refrigerator on the way to the water cooler. Instead of hunger, you may simply be overcome by thirst rather than hunger as often the feelings are similar. Secondly, if your appetite suddenly increases, then water will quickly fill the stomach and create a temporary feeling of satiety so you will have time to fall asleep.

5. Smell Some Oil

If water didn’t help then put a couple of drops of rosemary oil on a cotton pad and inhale its aroma for a minute or two. Aromatic oil contains volatile, which when inhaled causes positive chemical reactions that improve mood, soothe the nervous system and dull the feeling of hunger.

6. Breathe

Lie down in bed comfortably and breathe in the “4x4” technique. First, inhale and count to four, then hold your breath for four seconds and exhale, also counting to four. Repeat the entire series for 5–7 times. This technique helps calm the nervous system and dulls all signals of the brain centers, including those responsible for the feeling of hunger.

7. Press on Points

After breathing exercises, so that the result is certain, massage the points responsible for the activity of the digestive system. For 30 seconds, moderately press on the point between the nose and lip. Then massage the same amount on the palm between the pads of the second and middle fingers.

6 Ways to Make a Fashionable Interior Without Extra Costs

The main features of a modern interior are convenience, minimalism, functionality and environmental friendliness. Dust collecting elements of decoration and bright wall prints are no longer relevant. In this article, we will tell you how to make a fashionable interior in your apartment without unnecessary costs.

 

1. Comfort

One of the most popular interior trends is a cozy atmosphere. Upholstered furniture, warm rugs, hand-made items, decorative pillows with embroidered pillowcases and other cute things create a cozy interior.

 

You may repaint and paint the old table or wooden chair. You can use stencils for this idea. Tie a blanket or decorate wooden frames for photos. Imagine and create because not a single designer can do it better than you.

 

2. Throw Away All Unnecessary Things 

Minimalism combined with functionality is always relevant. A prime example of minimalism is a Scandinavian interior.

 

What should you do to fit this style? Get rid of all unnecessary items such as a cupboard with old books, an old bedside table, a chair on which no one has sat for a long time.

 

Open shelves, small coffee tables, lightweight blinds instead of heavy curtains, simple lines, the absence of dark tones will help you create Scandinavian style. Use white, beige or any other pastel shade. You can also add a bright element such as a chair, a table, a picture or a vase. 

 

3. Mix Interior Styles

Eclecticism admits a mixture of no more than three directions. High-tech elements can be mixed with an eco-style, shabby-chic style which uses artificially aged furniture, retro and Scandinavian style.

 

Choose interior items for some single attribute: color, texture, size, style, shape. If your home furniture has sharp corners, choose the same decor elements. You can also add a little rigor to the style using panoramic aluminum windows and metal elements of decor.

 

4. Use Relevant Colors

Designers have already announced colors which will be relevant next year. You will not be mistaken if you choose pastel shades of pink, soft coral, emerald green, cream tones or rich blue. You can also unite these colors to create the most incredible combinations. Light tones visually increase the space, cold tones make the sunny room less hot. To design a small apartment, it’s recommended to use several colors, and one of them may be contrasting.

 

5. Express Your Personality in the Interior

The American designer Nate Berkus, despite his popularity, believes that not only professionals are able to create a beautiful and stylish interior. The most important thing is the expression of personality. The house should be filled with the owner’s favorite colors, materials, and furniture. Therefore, compositions from your favorite photographs on the walls won’t spoil the interior. You can also decorate the table with your grandmother's vase and create your own story.

 

6. Enhance Lighting

If you think that the room looks dull and faded and due to this you want to add bright colors in the interior, you should try first to evaluate the quality of lighting. Perhaps a good chandelier with powerful bulbs, a pair of sconces, and a floor lamp will make the atmosphere look fresher and more interesting than you thought.