Daily Archives: December 14, 2015

15 Tips for Day and Night Cough relief

1. Try an expectorant.
Over-the-counter (OTC) cough medications with an expectorant such as guaifenesin work by clearing the mucus and other secretions of a productive cough so that you can breathe easier.

2. Take a cough suppressant.
OTC cough remedies often contain dextromethorphan, which may provide temporary relief from a dry, hacking cough.

3. Sip green tea.
Hot, soothing tea has been a cough remedy for hundreds of years. Antioxidant-rich green tea may also help reduce upper respiratory infection symptoms. Add honey for an extra boost (see nighttime tips, below).

4. Stay hydrated.
Getting enough fluids is always a good idea, and even more so when you have a cold, as staying hydrated helps to thin mucus and make coughs more productive, and helps fight infection. Water is ideal, but soothing chicken soup counts, too.

5. Suck on lozenges.
These cough drops are good for soothing a scratchy, dry throat and reducing the urge to cough. No lozenges? A hard candy also provides moisture and can help relieve a dry cough.

6. Have some honey.
Honey has been used as a home cough remedy for ages, and a recent study showed that giving honey to children reduced their coughing at night. In fact, honey worked as well as medications containing dextromethorphan. However, honey isn’t suggested for children younger than 1 year because of possible impurities and the risk of infant botulism.

7. Elevate your head while you rest.
Sleeping with your head elevated can reduce coughing from post-nasal drip. Sleeping this way also helps alleviate GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which can cause coughing.

8. Apply vapor rub.
The same menthol-scented balm your mother or grandmother rubbed on your chest when you were a kid can help clear nasal passages, which can help relieve nighttime coughing. It still works great on your kids as well.

9. Switch to a nighttime cough formula.
These versions of both expectorants and cough suppressants include an antihistamine, which would make you drowsy at work — taken at night, however, they will help you stop coughing to get the sleep you need to feel better in the morning.

10. Use steam cautiously.
Dry airways can make your cough worse. You may find relief from taking a shower or bath before bed — or just sitting in a steamy bathroom. Edelman has one caution: “If you have asthma, steam can actually make a cough worse.”

11. Watch the humidity.
Humidifiers can help coughs if the air is dry. But too much moisture in your bedroom can keep you coughing, too. Dust mites and mold — both common allergens — thrive in damp air. Edelman suggests that you keep humidity levels at 40% to 50%. To measure humidity, pick up an inexpensive device — a hygrometer — at your hardware store.

12. Prepare your bedside.
In case you start coughing in the night, have everything you need by your bed — a glass of water, cough medicine or drops, and anything else that seems to help. The sooner you can stop a coughing fit, the better. Continually coughing irritates your airways, which can make your nighttime problem last longer.

13. Keep bedding clean.
If you have a cough and are prone to allergies, focus on your bed. Dust mites — tiny creatures that eat dead flakes of skin and lurk in bedding — are a common allergy trigger. To get rid of them, each week wash all your bedding in hot water, Edelman says.

14. Consider medicine.
Over-the-counter cough medicines can help in two ways. An expectorant can help loosen mucus. A cough suppressant blocks the cough reflex and reduces the urge to cough. Look carefully at the label to make sure you get the medicine that’s right for your cough. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you’re not sure.

15. See your doctor.
If you’ve had a nighttime cough for longer than 7 days, it’s time to check in with your doctor. It may take some time, but together, you and your doctor can figure out the cause — and make your nights peaceful again.


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12 Simple Ways to Prevent Common Cold

1. Wash your hands often.
This is probably the single best measure to prevent transmission of colds. Especially after shopping, going to the gym, or spending time in public places, hand washing is critical. Frequent hand washing can destroy viruses that you have acquired from touching surfaces used by other people. You can also carry a small tube of hand sanitizer or sanitizing hand wipes when visiting public places. Teach your children the importance of hand washing too.

2. Avoid touching your face
Avoid touching your face, especially the nose, mouth, and eye areas, if you are around someone with a cold or have been touching surfaces in a public area.

3. Go to bed
As if getting enough sleep on a normal basis isnt hard enough, you need more zs when youre feeling under the weather. When youre tired, your body isnt fighting as hard, so Mengel suggests getting 8 to 10 hours a night.

4. Get your shot
Last years flu-shot shortages are, well, last years shortages, says Jeff Robertson, MD, and chief medical officer for health insurer Regence. Finding flu shots should be easier this year, but you should get one early.

5. Build up with healthy food
You may think its hard to eat healthy on a regular basis, but eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables supports your immune system, Robertson says. And thats a lot easier than fighting off the flu.

6. Work out
Get those sweats on and exercise, says Ann G. Kulze, MD, CEO and founder of Dr. Ann and Just Wellness. Working out regularly enhances immune function, she explains.

7. Stay away
Keep your distance from people displaying symptoms like sneezing and coughing. While that strategy may seem obvious, it applies to more than just strangers and colleagues. Stay away from sick friends and family when possible, Robertson says.

8. Don’t smoke.
Cigarette smoke can irritate the airways and increase susceptibility to colds and other infections. Even exposure to passive smoke can make you (or your children) more vulnerable to colds.

9. Use disposable items if someone in your family is infected.
Disposable cups can be thrown away after each use and prevent accidental spread of the virus from sharing of cups or glasses. This is particularly important if you have young children who may try to drink from others’ cups.

10. Keep household surfaces clean.
Door knobs, drawer pulls, keyboards, light switches, telephones, remote controls, countertops, and sinks can all harbor viruses for hours after their use by an infected person. Wipe these surfaces frequently with soap and water or a disinfectant solution.

11. Use paper towels in the kitchen and bathroom for hand washing.
Germs can live for several hours on cloth towels. Alternatively, have separate towels for each family member and provide a clean one for guests

12. Control stress.
Studies have shown that people experiencing emotional stress have weakened immune systems and are more likely to catch a cold than their calmer counterparts.





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10 Best Ways To Prevent Depression

1. Avoid Junk Food, Fast Food, And Processed Food
It may or may not be surprising, but junk food has actually been linked to depression. In fact, according to one study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, both junk food and fast food (if there is really a difference) consumption sparks depression. The researchers found that those consuming fast food are 51 percent more likely to be depressed than those consuming very little or none of the health-compromising food. The study concludes with: “Fast-food and commercial baked goods consumption may have a detrimental effect on depression risk”.
2. Expose Yourself To More Sunlight, Up Vitamin D3 Intake
You’ve probably heard it before: if you’re feeling depressed, get some mood-uplifting sun exposure. Well, this advice actually holds true for multiple reasons. There are a multitude of studies that have found an association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of depression. Further, increasing vitamin D was found to reduce depression risk specifically.

3. Don’t Drink Diet Soda
Similar to findings linking processed foods with depression, research has also found a link between diet soda consumption and depression. A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that 31% of individuals consuming 4+ daily servings of artificially sweetened soda, iced tea, or fruit drinks had been diagnosed with depression. This compares to 22% of regular soda drinkers reporting a diagnosis of depression. Further, those drinking 4 or more cups of coffee per day were 10% less likely to suffer from depression than non-coffee drinkers.

4. Consider Throwing Away The Antidepressants
Some individuals taking antidepressants view the medication as a life-saver, but these pharmaceuticals often have no positive effect. In fact, research has shown that a simple placebo can match antidepressants. A Harvard Medical School lecturer and Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies at Harvard was recently featured in a CBS 60 Minutes new program showing that anti-depressants are uselss for mild to moderately depressed patients. A placebo is almost always nearly as effective. The best part? No negative side-effects.

5. Stop Ingesting So Much Fluoride
Seeing as fluoride can lower IQ, cause cancer, damage the thyroid and pineal gland, and even up heart disease risk, is it any surprise that the toxic chemical can cause depression?

6. Get enough sleep.
There’s nothing like tossing and turning all night to put you in a bad mood, but sleep disturbances may go further than that. According to researchers, disturbances in circadian rhythms have been linked to depression, and resynchronizing circadian rhythms using melatonin supplements or light therapy may actually have antidepressant effects.

7. Exercise.
You’ve probably heard this before, but listen up: Exercise is incredibly valuable, not only for general health, but for its mood-boosting effects, too. You don’t need to run a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise. In a recent study, researchers had depressed patients pedal a stationary bike, measuring their subjective symptoms and cortisol (stress hormone) levels before and afterwards. They found that after just 15 minutes of exercise, both the patients’ symptoms of depression and cortisol levels were significantly reduced.

8. Regulate your blood sugar.
Have you ever eaten a sugary snack, only to find yourself starving and miserable an hour later? What goes up must come down, and a blood sugar spike followed by a crash is a one-way ticket to a lousy mood. But according to one study, sugar may have a bigger role to play in depression than originally thought. Researchers analyzed data from six countries and found a highly significant correlation between sugar consumption and depression rates.

9. Eat healthy fats.
Are you getting enough fish in your diet? Researchers have found that eating omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (like those found in salmon, trout and sardines) reduces symptoms of depression. Flaxseeds and walnuts are also great sources of omega-3s.

10. Find passion in life.
Even if you’re eating healthy, getting enough sleep and doing your exercise, nothing will boost your mood like having a sense of purpose. According to Blue Zones, people who have a sense of purpose live up to seven years longer than those who don’t.


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12 Home remedies for Constipation

Constipation is a very common digestive disorder that affects people of all ages. Constipation causes difficulty passing stools and may even lead a person to strain too much to empty the excessively hard stools.

Other symptoms are bloated abdomen, abnormally small or large stools, acidity, loss of appetite, bad breath, headache, depression, acne, and mouth ulcer.

Some of the main causes of constipation are poor diet, insufficient water intake, irregular defecation habit, lack of physical activity, weakness of abdominal muscles, hemorrhoids, stress, intake of certain medications, and laxative abuse.

1. Lemon juice
It acts as a cleansing agent for the intestines, the salt content helps in quick and easy passage of stool. This juice also is a great way to detox your body. Here are more reasons to add lemons to your diet.

2. Fennel
Fennel seeds are useful in treating issues like indigestion, bloating, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome as they encourage smooth muscle movement in the digestive tract.

3. Figs
Figs are very high in fiber and act as a natural laxative. Those suffering from chronic constipation should include figs in their diet. For the treatment of constipation, both fresh and dried figs can be used. When fresh figs are available, eat them with their skin on. The skin contains most of the fiber and calcium.

4. Castor Oil
Being a stimulant laxative, castor oil stimulates the small and large intestines and improves the bowel movement. Simply swallow one to two teaspoons of castor oil on an empty stomach. To improve the taste, you can take it with a fruit juice. Within a few hours, you will notice a huge improvement in your condition. You must not repeat this remedy for a prolonged period as it can cause side effects.

5. Honey
Honey is highly beneficial in relieving constipation as it acts as a mild laxative. You can have it daily to prevent as well as treat constipation.

6. Flax Seed
Flax seed has many medicinal properties along with tons of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, flaxseed has a laxative property, which can be very useful in curing mild to very serious cases of constipation.

7. Grapes
Grapes contain insoluble fiber that helps produce regular bowel movements. Eat a small bowl of grapes or half a glass of fresh grape juice daily.

8. Spinach
Spinach is really good for the digestive tract, especially when you are suffering from constipation. Raw spinach has various components that can cleanse, reconstruct and regenerate the whole intestinal tract.

9. Molasses
Molasses is one of the best natural laxatives to get your bowels moving. Eat one teaspoon of blackstrap molasses before going to bed. If you do not like the taste, you can mix it with milk, fruit juice or prune juice. If the problem persists, increase the dosage to one to two tablespoons.

10. Water and Fiber
Most often, the cause of constipation is lack of fiber in the diet. Fiber is a kind of material that binds to water in the intestine. This adds volume to the stool and the water softens the stool. It is essential to eat high-fiber foods like beans, potatoes, carrots, brown rice, prunes, wheat germ, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, all kinds of nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, peas, and so on. You can also opt for fiber supplements.

11. Triphala powder or churna
This consists of three fruits – amla, haritaki (Chebulic Myrobalan) and vibhitaki (Bellirica Myrobalan). It is a great laxative and helps to regulate digestion and bowel movements.

12. Oranges
They are not only a great source of vitamin C but also have a large amount of fibre content. Eating two oranges every day, once in the morning and once in the evening can provide great relief from constipation.



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