Bipolar Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Among the various mental health conditions that have been studied, there is one among them that may be hard to detect due to the fluctuations in behavior that it can cause. This is no other than the bipolar disorder, which can cause extreme swings in a person’s mood. Let us get to know this condition a lot more to get a better understanding of its causes, symptoms, and effects.

Bipolar disorder can be described best through the drastic changes it can cause to those with the condition. Such emotions can range to extreme highs or mania, medium highs or hypomania, and lows, or depression. When the person is in a state of hypomania, they may feel outbursts of energy that often lead them to be irritated easily. On the other hand, depression can make them feel hopeless and lose interest in activities that they used to find exciting. 

These emotional extremities are the prevailing symptoms of bipolar disorder. The episodes can last for days or weeks and can swing between depression and mania consecutively. As such, the condition can seriously affect a person’s day-to-day activity, sleep, judgment, and behavior. It can also hamper one’s productivity as one struggles to contain emotions while their episodes are ongoing. The person also finds it hard to maintain good relationships with those around them since their emotions make them too unstable to be sociable enough with other people. 

The disorder can be classified into several types depending on the severity of the symptoms observed on those afflicted by it. In the Bipolar I disorder, the subject had experienced at least one manic episode followed by an extremely high or low episode. For the Bipolar II disorder, he has gone through a major depressive and hypomanic event.

Those with Cyclothymic disorder have had at least two years of many hypomanic and depressive events. There are also other types that can be induced by drugs or alcohol when the person is also suffering from another medical condition. 

As of now, there is no definitive cause yet for the disorder. What is known is that the condition physically affects the brain of those who have it in terms of fluctuations in brain activity when undergoing depressive or manic episodes. First-degree relatives of those with the condition also have a high chance of bearing the disease, which indicates that genetics can be a cause of the disorder. Traumatic events that induce high levels of stress such as the death of loved ones have also been known to cause the disorder. Lastly, certain drugs and alcohol have also been seen as probable causes of the condition. 

Currently, there is not yet a solid cure for bipolar disorder. Treatment is available to help prevent it from worsening and developing into more serious mental conditions. Patients are advised to pay close attention to their symptoms so that they may control the onset of extreme emotions. This can be done by determining patterns in the episodes to pinpoint their triggers. To help you find them, you should consult a doctor and ask for help from relatives. It is also important to quit substances that can aggravate the condition such as drugs and alcohol. The patient must also diligently take his medications exactly as prescribed. 

Though it seems that bipolar disorder can truly hamper a person’s life, those with the condition can still live to the best they can if they are cautious of their condition and stay true to the treatment prescribed to them. It takes great awareness of the condition to be able to control its effects and prevent further damage to one’s mental health. 

Modern Medicine and Alternative Medicine—What’s the Difference?

It’s human nature to survive. That’s why we do everything we could to stay alive. And one of the factors that can greatly affect the quality of life is health. Hence, if our health is in danger, well, so is our life. And we know that sickness is the primary factor that endangers our health. If you are sick, you have two treatment options—modern medicine or alternative medicine. Which would you prefer? Knowing the difference will help you decide.

Modern Medicine

Imagine a sick person who needed medical help. After seeing his doctor, he headed to the nearest drug store and bought the prescribed medications. This standard of medical care is known as modern medicine. Modern medicine is usually practiced by medical doctors. The health care team, which consists of registered nurses, physical therapists, and psychologists, also practice modern medicine. The most common approach in this field is palliative care—to alleviate pain and treat the symptoms.

Pros. The advancement of modern medicine nowadays is at an increasing rate because of so many medical research and studies. New medications and treatments are being introduced in hospitals and clinics. These aid in the reduction of fatalities due to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, AIDS, and even cancer. Moreover, when it comes to emergencies, modern medicine is the most effective. 

Take for example an allergic reaction to a certain type of food. A worst case of allergy could be life-threatening, but thanks to modern medicine, a person’s life can be saved by just a single shot of antihistamine. Thus, we can say that the effects of modern medicine are faster compared to alternative medicine which requires long term use. Also, the medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which means it’s proven to be safe and effective. 

Cons. On the other hand, taking medications comes with a list of side effects—some even have adverse effects. Besides, doctor appointments, buying the prescribed drugs, and undergoing some laboratory tests will cost you time and money. Needless to say, modern medicine does not cure diseases. In most cases, it can only reduce pain or lessen the severity of the condition. 

Alternative Medicine

People all over the world are attracted to something that is “natural”. And that’s what alternative medicine is all about. It is a natural or traditional way of treatment. Acupuncture, chiropractic care, and herbal medicines are examples of alternative medicine. For some, going to the doctor is their last option. What has influenced this viewpoint? The advertisements and testimonies of people about alternative medicine everywhere.  

Pros. People who opt for alternative medicine spare themselves of painful injections and time-consuming laboratory tests. It’s more of a natural way of healing. Also, it is non-invasive—no surgeries, nor knives involved.

Cons. However, there are also risks in taking in something that isn’t prescribed by your physician. Some supplements may be effective and good for others. For some, however, it can be damaging. Since most of the alternative medicine products have not undergone a deeper study or medical research, some might contain minerals that are toxic to our body and might cause damage to body organs. 

Additionally, most of the alternative medicine has “No Approved Therapeutic Claims”, which indicates that the medications do not have a study that supports and proves its effectiveness. As mentioned earlier, this approach does not give quick results. Since it’s intended for the long term, it will also cost an amount of money.

After discussing the difference between modern medicine and alternative medicine, as well as their corresponding pros and cons, each individual will need to decide for himself—based on his own needs, circumstances, and preferences.

How Homeopathy Works: Its Pros and Cons

Homeopathy is a Greek word that means “similar suffering” and provides a special kind of cure different from other medical remedies such as Allopathy and Ayurveda, which is ideally a natural herbal therapy. On the other hand, Allopathy applies different chemical compositions to tackle illnesses. For instance, Allopathy dries a runny nose to cure it. This ideally involves drying up the nose by getting rid of the mucous. Some people prefer homeopathic medicine because it is not addictive yet economical. 

However, several debates surround their prescription and dosage. Some believe that homeopaths do not require any expertise to enable them to prescribe medicine, as long as one hand over a bottle with the disease name on it. This makes it very easy for the typical layman to get a bottle from off the shelf and obtain the cure without the intervention of an expert.

Homeopathy has been considered the second most popularly used medical system globally and has gained prominence in the U.S. as well over the last 10 years. Perhaps its success can be partly credited to the fact that it provides an alternative to traditional medicine, which is founded on the principle of “like cures like”, referring to the fact that an illness or disease can be cured by introducing a low dose of a substance that portrays similar symptoms to healthy people. Its success can be linked to several advantages, although some people remain doubtful and question the effectiveness of the therapeutic system. If you’ve heard about homeopathic treatment and would like to try it to cure your disease, below are the pros and cons to consider before making your ultimate decision.

Advantages

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of homeopathy is that the medicine is 100% safe, with no side effects when used to treat an illness. The medicine can also be administered to children without the fear of serious side effects that could harm their health. It is also recommended and safe for pregnant women and the remedy can be taken concurrently with other medications. These remedies are prepared using natural substances and are considered good for health. 

Similarly, homeopathy is considered very effective in the treatment of illness, as long as you follow the prescribed diet and make the necessary diet changes. This can deliver quick and long-lasting results. The remedy is also easy to take and parents can easily administer it to their children even if they dislike bitter medicines. These medications commonly come in sweet, tasty drops, powders, or simply tiny tablets. In addition, the remedy is not addictive and one can easily stop taking it after feeling some relief. 

However, if it does not bring the desired relief, then you must be taking the remedy the wrong way or taking the wrong remedy altogether. Taking homeopathy does not suppress the immune system, unlike other traditional medicines. It is also a holistic approach and treats all symptoms equally.

Disadvantages

While the remedy may have several advantages, it also has a few shortcomings. You may not get the right remedy at your local pharmacy. The right remedy may also take longer to cure than traditional medicine and there are only a few experts in the field.

Homeopathic treatments have several advantages and disadvantages and understanding these can help you make the right decision concerning your health. While it is not scientifically proven to work, its effectiveness has been demonstrated in successful cases. It may be more effective on some people than others but it is worth trying out to determine whether you can derive the health benefits.

The Difference Between a Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

“Heart attack” and “cardiac arrest” are two terms that are often used interchangeably. However, what most people don’t know is that they are two distinct conditions even though they are related. Whereas many people may not care whether they can tell the difference or not, understanding the two are different can be helpful when assisting someone with either of these conditions during an event. 

Perhaps the easiest way to tell the difference between the two is that a heart attack can be viewed as a circulation issue whereas cardiac arrest is an electrical issue. A heart attack occurs when blood flow is physically blocked by a narrowed or clogged artery that supplies blood to the heart. The severity of the damage caused by a heart attack depends on how long the attack lasts. When the heart muscle is deprived of blood and oxygen supply, parts of the heart’s tissue begin to die. In contrast, a person with cardiac arrest does not experience blockage of blood flow. Instead, an electrical malfunction occurs and stops the heart from beating, thereby stopping the flow of blood to every part of the body.

Another major difference between the conditions is that they present vastly different symptoms. To begin with, cardiac arrest causes people to lose consciousness and pulse. This shows just how serious the condition can be. Cardiac arrest can go from severe to fatal in a matter of minutes. In contrast, a heart attack does not cause you to faint or lose your pulse, but it is likely to cause some chest or arm pain. Other symptoms of a heart attack include shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, sluggishness, and cold sweats, and these are common among women.

Sudden cardiac arrest happens suddenly and without prior warning. An electrical malfunction can easily cause this condition, as the heart’s pumping function is disrupted and it can no longer pump blood to reach the brain, lungs, and other vital organs of the body. It only takes a few seconds before you lose consciousness and pulse. You can die in minutes if you don’t get the urgent treatment you need.

Therefore, cardiac arrest can be deadlier than a heart attack, as symptoms of the latter can start several hours, days or weeks before a full-blown attack. This gives the patient some time to seek medical attention if they are in a position to do so. It is advisable to call 911 immediately if someone is exhibiting symptoms of cardiac arrest or a heart attack because they can lose their lives in minutes if they do not receive urgent treatment. It is also important to note that numerous cardiac arrests that occur in adults are caused by a heart attack because a heart attack causes the heart to develop a dangerous rhythm that can potentially result in a cardiac arrest. Regardless, all of them are emergencies that require urgent treatment.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a heart attack, dial your emergency response number immediately because every minute counts. Similarly, sudden cardiac arrest can be deadly but it is also reversible if treated in time. If you are having trouble differentiating between the two, you should remember that a heart attack is caused by the blockage of the artery supplying blood to the heart whereas cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction that causes the heart to stop beating. You should also remember that both can be deadly but a heart attack may give warnings in advance whereas cardiac arrest can be sudden.

Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

What makes or breaks the best-laid “top ten goals for a healthier me”? Inertia, and it can’t wait to wreck all our plans. Counter-solution: stay focused on the positive stuff we will gain, right? To some, that is applicable and realistic, but to others, that sounds easier said than done.

Enter the concept of planning and aiming smart, not just planning to get tough. Read on to find out how gradual changes increase your chances for inner and outer success, more than just wishing for a shot-in-the-dark grand slam.    

1. Select a goal and aspire to achieve it.

Write down a healthy target, and make sure it is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. An example of a well-written SMART goal is: “I will (particular activity) to burn at least (X target) calories through (realistic: exercise?) in this (time frame).”

Here are some examples of some diet goals broken down into simpler targets:

Instead of the norm: a huge share devoted to carbs, then some protein, then a so-so bit of vegetables, try to set up in reverse order. Half your plate is for vegetables, then split up the remaining portion between a starch (consisting ideally of complex carbs) and a protein.

Another goal could be to drink a glass of water before eating.

Yet another is that for every hour spent sitting, step out and go for brisk five-minute walks. Sitting for most of the day is the hallmark of a sedentary lifestyle, and it is no help for your cardiac health. But remember what we said at the start: it may feel unrealistic to push yourself to exercise when you’re the activity go-getter, so scattering movement throughout your day might just be what suits you. Doing the above will help you achieve a total of a 40-minute walk.

2. Floss!

There are many reliable reports on how flossing daily is strikingly related to a longer life expectancy. Flossing helps you in two ways: it reduces the risk of gum disease, and may even prevent heart disease.

Now here’s something else to make you put that dental floss beside your toothbrush: there is some evidence linking bacteria found in a common type of gum disease to dementia. Just the same, many scientists, for now, can only say there’s enough of a connection to persuade everyone not to take chances. So, try to have healthier gums by incorporate flossing into your dental routine.

3. Get a healthy amount of sleep.

The stuff of nightmares for fitness lovers: getting a near-fatal stroke at a relatively young age. But similar news made the rounds of social media some weeks ago; a fitness instructor (who is also a family man, too) pointed to his stroke’s root cause in his 6 hours of sleep or less.

There is no way around your body’s request for 7 to 8 hours of sleep to repair cells. Try going to bed five minutes earlier each night (or just every few nights, if you find it tough). The point is to hit the seven to nine hours of sleep for adults, recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.

4. Make your social network (the actual real-life variety) add value to your lifestyle.

Tone down on TV and online gaming and devote it to developing better social connections. A good number of people nowadays describe social networking (allotting time for family and friends) as a time-consuming effort.

Nevertheless, these real-life investments are worth the effort when it comes to getting support to be able to face life-changing events (family issues, unemployment, a life-threatening disease, etc).  

Sometimes lifelong friendships start with mere effort to improve your communication with them (start with e-mail, phone or in person) by having a great story to share. What makes a great story? It builds connections, it’s a motive to collaborate, or that it simply implies concern and empathy.  

We could go on and on with great small steps you can take to start a healthy lifestyle. But remember, the lifestyle itself would be just a symptom of your success. The goal and target is a more meaningful time for people who matter to you, and this is possible because you are healthy, you can focus, or put effort into reciprocating them. But it’s easier for your brain to process a healthy lifestyle by breaking it down into SMART goals and aspiring to achieve them.

The Difference between a General Pediatrician and a Developmental Pediatrician

A mother and a boy walk hand in hand for a morning appointment. First, they stopped by the child’s favorite restaurant to have some breakfast. While the child roams around the restaurant with very high energy for a typical morning, his mother prepares his food on a plate. She calls the child and he comes rushing—bumping the table—and the glass of water spilled. After eating, they proceed to the second floor of the building and enter the clinic of the boy’s pediatrician for his regular check-up. The doctor performs his routine and asks many questions while the boy’s energy is still high. The doctor’s eyebrows slightly creased. After almost an hour of questioning and check-up, with a soft voice and calm manner, the pediatrician advised that they must see a developmental pediatrician.

This suggestion might bother many caring mothers. Countless unsaid questions and worries about their children come to mind. Why see a developmental pediatrician? Is there something wrong with my child? Will my child be fine and normal as he or she grows? What do developmental pediatricians do? These are some of the many questions that run through a parent’s mind. Identifying the differences between a general pediatrician and a developmental pediatrician might answer some of these questions.

General Pediatrics vs Developmental Pediatrics

Care, diagnosis, and treatment of many medical conditions and concerns from infancy up to early adulthood are usually under the scope of general pediatricians. On the other hand, developmental-behavioral pediatricians or most commonly known as Developmental Pediatricians have advanced experiences and are well-trained in analyzing, determining, and providing treatment plans for numerous kinds of developmental problems and behavioral concerns of children. They are also trained to provide treatment sessions, document the progress and changes, and prescribe appropriate medication suitable to the child’s needs. They can also assist parents and families as the child goes through different levels of education.

Education

General Pediatricians and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians went to medical school and spent years acquiring the knowledge and skills needed for the field. Four years of study and a year of internship are the requirements in the United States. A medical student will have to choose whether he wants to further his studies by focusing on a subspecialty during the internship period. Medical students will, later on, be general pediatricians if they choose not to take up subspecialty; while medical students will, later on, be developmental-behavioral pediatricians if they choose otherwise and go through further three years of residency in the field of pediatrics in order to be equipped and skilled in diagnosing and treating any behavioral problems and concerns on the development of children. Both are medical doctors who graduated and passed a national licensure examination.

Functions

The general health and care of a child are under the scope of general pediatricians. They look into the child’s attributes such as social, mental, physical and behavioral, and they compare it to the attributes generally accepted as standard or norm. Should there be any differences, concerns, or delays, they refer it to developmental pediatricians. Specialists in the development and behavior of children are called developmental pediatricians. Some (but not limited to) examples of the conditions they diagnose and provide treatment plans for are: behavioral disorders like anxiety, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and depression; learning disorders such as dyslexia and writing problems; developmental incapacities like spina bifida, mental retardation, visual and hearing defects and cerebral palsy, habit disorders; developmental delays such as cognitive and speech; and regulatory problems such as sleep and feeding difficulties and toilet-training problems.

Knowing the difference between a general pediatrician and a developmental pediatrician can guide loving parents in choosing the appropriate medical practitioner that can properly address their child’s medical needs.

Eating Disorder—Types and Its Effect on Our Overall Health

Almost everyone loves to eat. How about you? We eat, not just because we want to, but because we have to. It is one of the basic human needs, other than clothing and shelter. However, eating and healthy eating, are two completely different things. After all, everyone has their very own “favorite foods.” Still, no matter how basic a topic eating may be, there is something that needs to be addressed about it. Have you ever heard about eating disorders? Let us cover the most common types of eating disorders and their corresponding effects on our well-being.

Anorexia Nervosa: This is a grave and life-threatening eating disorder marked by excessive starving of oneself and extreme weight loss. Signs include visibly notable low body weight for one’s physical health, age, or sex, fear of becoming fat and gaining weight, distorted view of body appearance and weight, restricting oneself to eat then binge afterward. Fasting and excessive exercise to avoid weight gain are also exhibited by the affected individual. 

This should never be taken lightly as studies have shown that this type of eating disorder is possibly associated with depression. If prolonged and left untreated, it further leads to suicidal instincts, heart failure, hormonal imbalance, menstrual irregularity in women, weakened heart muscle, and gastrointestinal complications. Aside from that, a person with anorexia nervosa may experience frequent stomach aches, bloating, sexual deprivation, insomnia, irritability, and social withdrawal.

Bulimia Nervosa: Similar to anorexia, this is also life-threatening if left untreated. However, contrary to anorexia, bulimia is characterized by binge eating—then to be followed by self-induced vomiting to compensate for binging. Signs include a series of binge eating with the patient subconsciously having the idea that he is losing control over his eating behavior. Just like anorexia, overly conscious weight monitoring and self-evaluating one’s body weight or shape may also be noticed. 

Associated features are also very close to that of anorexia: menstrual irregularity, poor dental health, high suicide risk, and gastrointestinal complications. In addition to that, there can be also ruptured blood vessels, cardiac arrhythmias, pancreatitis, and chronic dehydration.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED): This may sound similar to bulimia, which is true, but there is one significant difference—no compensation for weight-control is done to counter the binge eating. Signs include intake of large amounts of food regularly, then feeling guilty and ashamed afterward. Hoarding food in strange places, the disappearance of great quantities of food in just a short time, and eating very quickly even when not hungry are also telltale signs of this disorder. 

Complications associated with BED include: obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure (including abnormally high cholesterol levels), heart disease, gallbladder disease, and the overall quality of life is affected. 

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID): This type of eating disorder is similar to anorexia—it also ends up in extreme weight loss. However, this is linked to zero interest in appetite to food such that no response is manifested by the patient. If there is such a thing as poor appetite, then people suffering from this technically have ‘no appetite.’ This is not because of the lack of food sources. 

Signs and symptoms of this disorder are both physical and psychological. 

Similar to the previously stated disorders, these also include excessive weight loss, fear of gaining weight, restricting food intake which results in significant nutritional deficiency, and gastrointestinal complications. If left untreated, it can take too much toll on the body and disrupt the processes and normal functions taking place which will eventually result in death.

Hair Loss: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

No one is exempt from losing hair; you see the evidence during your morning shower, near a mirror in the house, and for sure under the sofa—but usually that’s normal. Human hair, on the average, goes through its cycle, with new ones ever ready to replace it.” But losing hair more than what is average may be a sign of a more serious issue that needs medical attention and advanced treatment. Here are some top causes of hair loss, with data on symptoms and recommendations.

Hereditary Hair Loss

Genetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is a major cause of hair loss. It is possible to have it if both parents suffer from hair loss. Women undergoing this experience thinning at the hairline very near the forehead.

Nevertheless, a prudent solution is to use minoxidil, to be applied on the scalp twice a day. The medicine is useful for both men and women. Women ought not to use minoxidil during pregnancy.

Lupus

Lupus is a serious and long-term autoimmune disease wherein the body’s immune system goes after healthy tissues. The condition has around 1.5 million sufferers. Symptoms include headaches, oral ulcers, fatigue, and swollen joints. Some people report a butterfly-shaped irritation on the nose and heightened sensitivity to the sun. Many people also experience hair loss.

A rheumatologist could give more advice if the hair loss occurs together with joint fatigue, pain, plus other signs of lupus.

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid is a hormone heavily involved in a wide range of roles, from basal metabolic rates to the growth of your hair, nails, and skin. Thus having thyroid in unbalanced amounts may lead to serious changes in bodily functions.

Hypothyroidism (too low levels of hormone) may lead to symptoms such as constipation, depression, fatigue, unexplained weight gain, and difficulty in concentration. Hyperthyroidism (too high levels) may manifest in heart palpitations, nervousness, sudden weight loss, moist skin, irritability, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and a jumpy look in the eyes. Hyperthyroidism is more seldom in occurrence than hypothyroidism.

As a remedy, your doctor may recommend hormone medication to restore thyroid levels to within normal range.

Skin Conditions

Here are some various scalp issues that are connected to hair loss. Examples of skin conditions linked to hair loss are psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), and even some fungal infections.

Seborrheic dermatitis results in the shedding of the skin on the scalp; those affected will notice skin flakes in the form of yellowish scales on their shoulders or the hair. Psoriasis, an autoimmune condition mainly about excessive skin cell turnover, is not just limited to red scaly patches on the body, but also white scales on the scalp. As for ringworm, red patches on your scalp comes soon after acquiring the fungus via contact with an infected person or animal.

Each skin condition requires unique treatment, whether it be a medicated shampoo, medications or light therapy, or oral antifungals, among other treatments.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is yet another autoimmune issue with still-unknown causes where the immune system sees hair follicles as a threat. The condition has three forms. One type causes smooth patches of baldness on the eyebrows, scalp or legs. Total hair loss on the head is another type, while the third known type is hair loss for the entire body.

The condition is usually remedied with corticosteroids, or sometimes with minoxidil (Rogaine). But it’s also good to just keep in check stress levels.

To end, the overall look of your hair doesn’t just sum up your looks. it may give clues about your inner being too! Stop hair loss, see a medical expert today. 

Tips on How to Get Rid of Ingrown Toenails

Toenails often grow and curve at the edge, thereby penetrating the surrounding skin. This can be painful and may cause some swelling and redness. Both men and women experience this condition and the big toe is often the most affected. Ingrown toenails are commonly caused by toenail trauma when you stub your toe, cut them too short or at an angle and wear very tight shoes. However, treating them as soon as they occur can help to prevent infection. For mild cases, minor treatment using home remedies can make the problem go aware but more severe cases may require surgery. Below are top tips to help you eliminate ingrown toenails.

Soak them in warm, soapy water. This can help to ease pain and reduce swelling. This can be done for 20 minutes up to three times daily. You may also soak them in apple cider vinegar, which has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and some pain-relieving abilities, although scientific evidence seems limited. You can mix 1/4 cup of this vinegar with a basin of warm water and then soak your feet in it for 20 minutes daily. Ensure you dry your feet properly thereafter.

Over-the-counter antibiotic ointment can also reduce the risk of toenail infection and promote healing. Applying the cream or ointment to your toenail according to the manufacturer’s instructions can help relieve the affected area of pain and related symptoms. Examples of such ointments include Polysporin, Bactroban, and Neosporin.

Ingrown toenails are also caused by tight or uncomfortable socks and shoes. This means you should avoid wearing socks and shoes that crowd your toes. Wearing comfortable socks and shoes can help to control the growth of ingrown toenails. Also, wearing sandals often can reduce the pressure applied to your toenails.

Consider using over-the-counter pain relievers for ingrown toenails such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help relieve the pain caused by ingrown toenails. They usually have mild or no side effects unless you take more than 3, 000 mg, which is the daily recommended dosage. Consuming them with alcohol may also cause you to experience some side effects. Ibuprofen (Advil) may also be used if you are experiencing pain and swelling. However, ibuprofen may cause some stomach upset, abdominal pain, and even diarrhea in some cases. Also, do note that over-the-counter pain relievers should be taken as directed by the drug manufacturer or your physician.

You can also try toe protectors to give you the cushioning barrier you need to avoid developing ingrown toenails. They are in the form of rings to fit around the painful area or to cover the entire toe. A few contain a medicated gel to soften the affected toenails to give you an easy time for trimming. Alternatively, you can use toe braces made of adhesive, composite material and are thin enough to be placed on your toenail for protection. They can help to protect you from sharp, ingrown toenails that can cause injury to your skin.

Some doctors recommend using oral antibiotics but they are not routinely prescribed by physicians for unaffected ingrown toenails. They are ideal for infected toenails or a weakened immune system. Common signs of infection may include throbbing pain, redness, swelling, foul odor, and pus. However, antibiotics for effective treatment may include amoxicillin, ampicillin, and vancomycin.

Ingrown toenails are common and tend to affect the big toe. They can cause excruciating pain and become unbearable. Getting rid of them requires a mix of strategies that may include dipping your feet in warm, soapy water and applying ointment or cream and following your doctor’s prescription.

Important Tips to Achieve Good Nutrition

Many people are still confused when it comes to dieting, health, and nutrition. Several myths are surrounding the topic and even experts in nutrition tend to hold opposing views. A healthy diet is one that has been scientifically proven to deliver nutritional benefits and lower the risk of chronic conditions whilst keeping your weight and body in a healthy state. Such a diet should contain various types of foods to allow you to have enough intake of virtually all the nutrients that the body needs. 

Below are important tips to help your body gain all of the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy.

Avoid Drinking Sugar Calories. There is a reason sugary drinks are often referred to as ‘empty calories’. They can easily make you add weight and the brain is unable to measure calories from liquid sugar, in the same manner, it does from solid foods. Drinking soda and other sugary beverages can result in your body accumulating more total calories. This is commonly associated with obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and several other lifestyle diseases.

Avoid Junk/Processed Food. Junk or processed food has been associated with several health problems, including obesity and diabetes. The sugars, salts, and fat in these foods trigger pleasure centers, thereby tricking your brain into thinking you are hungry. As a result, overeating results in food addiction. They are low in protein, fiber, and micronutrients but high in refined grains and processed sugar. They will only give you empty calories. Therefore, eat real food instead and promote healthy living.

Choose Whole Grain Over Refined Bread. Opting for whole-grain bread instead of refined bread can make your regular diet healthier. Whole grains are associated with various health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. They are also rich in fiber and B vitamins. Several minerals, including iron, zinc, manganese, and magnesium, have also been found in them.

Add Fatty Fish to Your Diet. Fatty fish like salmon can be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fat, and high-quality protein. Eating fish has been associated with a lower risk of dementia, heart disease, and even depression.

Increase Protein Intake. When you think about nutrients and healthy dieting, protein always tops the list. It is often recommended because of its ability to influence hunger/ satiety hormones. Increasing your protein intake can reduce your overall daily calorie intake. It is also helpful in retaining muscle mass, which typically affects your metabolism rate. If you want to retain muscle mass as you age or lose weight, incorporate more protein into your diet. Other sources of good protein include lean meat, dairy products, eggs, beans, peanut butter, and nuts.

Drink Plenty of Water. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of nutrition because at least 80 percent of our body is primarily water. Drinking water has been associated with numerous benefits, including weight loss, weight retention, and high metabolism rate. Drinking water before eating your meals can significantly lower your appetite, thereby causing you to consume fewer calories. Rather than drinking soda and other sugary beverages, you should resort to drinking plenty of water.

Get Enough Sleep. Many people know that they should be getting sufficient and high-quality sleep but still ignore that fact. Poor sleep can fuel insulin resistance, lower physical and mental performance, and interrupt your appetite hormones. You also risk gaining weight and becoming obese if you don’t have enough sleep.

To achieve good nutrition, you should be eating real food and avoid junk/ processed foods. Your eating habits have a significant role to play in your overall health. Also, drink plenty of water and have enough sleep.