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  • How to Heal a Burnt Tongue

    How to Heal a Burnt Tongue

    We’ve all put a forkful of food into our mouth or taken a sip of a fresh cup of coffee that is hotter than expected, then tried desperately to soften the blow by fanning our open mouth with our hands to cool it down.

    While this often works, at times you may end up with an actual burn on your mouth, lips or tongue.

    Some people feel a burning sensation on their tongue all the time for no apparent reason. This is a medical condition known as burning tongue syndrome and is different from a burnt tongue.

    No matter what, a burnt tongue affects your taste buds and lessens your sense of taste. Depending on the degree of the burn, you also may have symptoms like pain, redness on the tongue’s surface, swelling and even blisters.

    Even a mild burn on your tongue can cause a lot of discomfort, which you may mostly experience when you eat or drink something warm.

    The burn will heal eventually, but you can speed up the process with some simple home remedies.

    A severe burn can lead to an infection. If the burn is severe, consult a doctor immediately.

    1. Breathe through Your Mouth

    As soon as you have eaten something very hot, spit it out and stick your tongue out of your mouth and start breathing orally.

    1. Breathe through Your Mouth

    As soon as you have eaten something very hot, spit it out and stick your tongue out of your mouth and start breathing orally.

    When you breathe through your mouth, cold air flows over the surface of your tongue and provides relief from the pain.

    Keep breathing oodles of air with your tongue out until you get relief.

    2. Have Something Cold

    Another good first response to a burnt tongue is to get something cold on it as soon as possible. It will help bring down the temperature of your burning tongue.

    It will also reduce inflammation and prevent tissue damage. Plus, it will keep your mouth hydrated to ensure harmful bacteria do not cause an infection.

    You can:

    • Suck on an ice cube or lick an ice pop.
    • Eat your favorite ice cream or drink some cold juice.
    • Take small sips of cold water.

    Try to hold any of these items in your mouth for as long as possible before swallowing. Keep doing it until your symptoms subside.

    3. Swish with Warm Water

    Swishing warm water around in your mouth is another natural remedy for a burnt tongue.

    A 2013 study published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery reports that in order to limit damage after a burn injury, burn progression can be prevented with the application of warm water. It also improves the microcirculatory perfusion, which translates into increased tissue survival.

    It is best to use warm salt water, as salt helps prevent an infection from developing in the mouth and around the damaged tissue on the tongue.

    1. Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
    2. Swish the solution around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
    3. Do this several times a day until your tongue heals.

    4. Honey

    Honey is another excellent home remedy to heal a burnt tongue.

    Its antibacterial nature prevents bacteria from infecting damaged skin. Plus, being a natural anti-inflammatory agent, honey reduces swelling and pain.

    A 2014 study published in the Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters highlights the anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory properties of honey, as well as its favorable effect on wound regeneration.

    1. Spread 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey over your tongue.
    2. Allow it to sit on your burnt tongue for as long as possible before swallowing.
    3. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times a day.

    Note: Honey should not be given to children under 1 year of age, as it can harbor toxic spores causing infant botulism.

    5. Aloe Vera

    Aloe vera is another amazing remedy to heal the burn on your tongue.

    It not only soothes the damaged cells on the tongue but also aids healing. Plus, it helps reduce pain and inflammation.

    A 2007 study published in Burns analyzed several studies and concluded that aloe vera might be an effective intervention used in healing first- to second-degree burns.

    • Extract fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe vera leaf and apply it all over the tongue to soothe the burn. Repeat several times a day.
    • You can also freeze the aloe vera gel into ice cubes and suck on them regularly.

    6. Yogurt

    Yogurt is another burnt tongue remedy that can provide instant relief from the discomforts.

    The soothing nature of yogurt takes away the heat from the burn. It also helps ease the pain of a sore and sensitive tongue.

    1. Take ½ cup of cold, plain yogurt.
    2. Eat a little and keep it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing.
    3. Repeat until you have eaten all the yogurt.
    4. Have yogurt a few times a day.

    7. Sugar

    Another simple home remedy that works effectively when it comes to relieving a burnt tongue is sugar.

    Sugar works as a soothing agent to provide comfort from the burning sensation. It even improves the taste in your mouth.

    1. Place 1 teaspoon of sugar on your tongue.
    2. Hold it against the roof of your mouth and allow the sugar to melt.
    3. Repeat as needed.

    Note: This remedy is not recommended for people who have high blood sugar.

    8. Mint

    Mint is another good remedy that you should try to ease a burnt tongue. This herb contains menthol that helps activate the cold-sensing nerves, numb the area and reduce inflammation.

    Sugar works as a soothing agent to provide comfort from the burning sensation. It even improves the taste in your mouth.

    1. Place 1 teaspoon of sugar on your tongue.
    2. Hold it against the roof of your mouth and allow the sugar to melt.
    3. Repeat as needed.

    Note: This remedy is not recommended for people who have high blood sugar.

    8. Mint

    Mint is another good remedy that you should try to ease a burnt tongue. This herb contains menthol that helps activate the cold-sensing nerves, numb the area and reduce inflammation.

    It also has antibacterial properties that help prevent the risk of infection.

    • Apply some mint toothpaste over the surface area of the burnt tongue. Keep your tongue out of your mouth for some time until the paste dries up. Then, wash it with cold water. Do it 2 or 3 times a day.
    • Allow mint tea to cool down in the refrigerator and sip it slowly.
    • You can even chew some mint gum from time to time.

    9. Vegetable Glycerin

    Vegetable glycerin can also provide comfort from a burnt tongue. It helps soothe the inflamed tissues and keeps the tongue well-moistened, which is essential for quick healing.

    • Dab your tongue with a generous amount of vegetable glycerin. Allow it to sit for as long as you can bear the taste, then spit it out. Finally, rinse your mouth with cool water. Repeat several times a day.
    • You can also use a glycerin-based mouthwash to rinse your mouth a few times a day.

    10. Vitamin E

    When it comes to healing a burnt tongue, vitamin E capsules are also effective.

    The soothing nature of vitamin E oil provides instant comfort. It also speeds up the healing process by helping the tongue tissue to regenerate.

    1. Open a vitamin E capsule.
    2. Empty its content onto the surface of your tongue.
    3. Spread it gently using your fingers to cover the entire burnt area.
    4. Repeat a few times daily.

    Additional Tips

    • Avoid warm or hot liquids, which could irritate the burn.
    • Avoid eating acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits.
    • Avoid eating crunchy foods like potato chips or nuts.
    • Avoid spicy foods, as the strong flavors could irritate your burnt tongue.
    • Keep your tongue and mouth moisturized by drinking cool water.
    • Suck on hard candy or chew gum to stimulate saliva production.
    • Avoid alcohol and products with alcohol, as they may irritate the lining of your mouth.
    • Take all necessary steps to maintain good oral hygiene.
    • Before eating anything, always test the temperature of hot liquids and food.
    • If you notice no significant improvement in your condition, consult your doctor immediately.

     

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  • 10 Signs & Symptoms of an Unusual Blood Clot You Should Know

    10 Signs & Symptoms of an Unusual Blood Clot You Should Know

    If you think about it, your blood has the most crucial job of all— to keep on pumping throughout each and every organ of your body, for as long as you’re breathing.

    Without a healthy and adequate amount of blood in your body, you become vulnerable to numerous diseases, some of which could prove life-threatening.

    At times, your blood performs the important function of clotting. When you injure or cut yourself, your blood assumes a gel-like texture to cut off its flow and prevent excess loss of blood.

    However, not all blood clots are good. Many times, a blood clot may occur deep inside your veins, especially the veins in your legs, and has nothing to do with an injury or cut. This condition is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

    Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

    Many factors could lead to DVT in an individual. Most common among these include smoking, obesity, pregnancy, heart and lung disease, cancer (especially of the brain, bone, pancreas, ovaries and lymphomas), chemotherapy, hormone therapy (such as being on birth control pills), and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    Immobility is one of the leading causes of DVT, and usually occurs after a person has had major surgery or an accident that renders him or her unable to move freely.

    Genetics also play a huge role in determining whether a person is prone to developing DVT. However, in some cases, DVT can occur for no apparent reason.

    DVT can be an extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition. The clots in your veins can break away, find their way to the lungs and lodge themselves in there, blocking the blood flow.

    A blood clot in the lungs is referred to as a pulmonary embolism (PE) and is considered a serious medical emergency.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 60,000 and 100,000 Americans succumb to DVT/PE annually.

    Although DVT is largely asymptomatic, it does produce symptoms in some people that are definitely worth knowing. Simple awareness of these symptoms could prevent a serious illness and even death.

    You may think these symptoms are not distinguishable enough to know if one might be suffering from DVT or some other condition.

    However, if you have any of the conditions that qualify as possible risk factors of DVT, and then find yourself experiencing the following symptoms, you might just seek the medical help you need, as quickly as possible.

    Here are 10 signs and symptoms of an unnatural blood clot that you should know.

    1. Swelling

    Swelling, especially in the leg(s) and often called leg edema, is one of the primary and classic symptoms of DVT.

    You may notice a significance difference in the appearance and feel of one leg compared to the other. You may feel like there is fluid buildup in your leg as you stand up and begin to walk.

    Although a swollen leg could mean many things, when combined with the risk factors of DVT along with its other symptoms, you have reason enough to suspect DVT and seek appropriate medical attention.

    Leg edema was identified as one of the most common and significant symptoms of DVT in the leg, according to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

    Hence, an unnatural swelling of the leg is not always a reaction to an intense workout session likely to resolve itself, but could be indicative of a blood clot.

    2. Pain & Tenderness

    Swelling may or may not accompany DVT-associated pain, but leg pain and tenderness are likely to occur when one experiences DVT-associated swelling.

    Leg pain is one of the most prominent symptoms of DVT, according to a 2000 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

    You may experience a sharp and/or burning leg pain and tenderness for a variety of reasons, and it may be located anywhere in the leg.

    However, DVT-associated leg-pain and tenderness is highly likely to be restricted to the calfregion, as well as along the medial thigh area (middle of the thigh to the outer sides).

    About 50 to 75 percent of patients with DVT who show symptoms are likely to experience pain. DVT patients are likely to experience the most consistent and extreme pain when they are walking, as it puts pressure on the blood clot.

    Such people will notice that their pain subsides when they take a break from walking for a specific amount of time (which varies from person to person), likely to come back when they resume walking.

    If you notice such a pattern of pain upon walking, reduction upon resting for a fixed time, and pain again, you should definitely seek medical help. You can also squeeze your calf to see if you experience a sharp pain upon squeezing.

    A person with DVT will also experience pain if they lift their leg up in a straight position and pull their toes toward themselves with their hands. This is called the Homan’s Test for DVT.

    Typically, such pain will not occur when sitting or lying down, unless the clot has reached an advanced stage.

    3. Unusual Warmth

    A person who has a DVT blood clot in their leg may feel an unusual warmth in the area where the clot has developed. This is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as swelling and pain, but can exist without either symptom as well. However, it is most likely to be warm and tender upon touching.

    Each time you experience pain after walking, and you are stopping and/or sitting down to take a break, run your hand over the area from which you feel the pain is emanating.

    If it is warm, you should consider it your body’s distress signal and seek immediate medical attention.

    4. Skin Discoloration

    If you have DVT, you may notice a certain part of your leg assuming an unusual color or, as is the most common case, becoming blue or red in color. This is likely due to a blood clot developing under the discolored area.

    Since a blood clot is, essentially, a trauma to the vein, it causes inflammation of the vein, manifesting itself via a visible discoloration on the skin’s surface. This irritated part of the skin may or may not become flaky and excessively dry, causing an itching problem.

    Should this happen, you are advised to NOT scratch the area incessantly, as it could further aggravate the skin as well as the underlying blood clot.

    This discolored area may be swollen, painful, tender and warm. Thus, skin discoloration will occur with all, or the majority of, the symptoms described above.

    5. Weakness

    A DVT patient may feel a particular weakness in their quadriceps (located in the middle of the thighs), and may often feel like their legs are unable to carry their body’s load.

    This feeling of weakness can be accompanied by a feeling of dizziness and mental weakness. This feeling likely subsides after resting for a while and consuming some fluids.

    This is not one of the primary and most common symptoms of DVT, but it does occur in many patients and thus is worth keeping an eye out for.

    The above symptoms indicate a blood clot in the leg, which has not yet detached itself.

    The following symptoms represent an advanced stage of DVT and the onset of pulmonary embolism (PE), a condition in which the blood clot in the leg detaches itself, travels to the lungs and blocks blood flow. PE is potentially fatal.

    6. Fever

    A low-grade fever is a symptom of DVT that has progressed to an advanced stage. In fact, a fever is a common symptom and may indicate serious outcomes, according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis.

    In the majority of the cases, it may indicate that the blood clot has travelled to your lungs and settled therein, thereby signaling a blockage and causing a PE.

    7. Shortness of Breath

    This is another alarming symptom of advanced DVT and also indicates pulmonary embolism. Shortness of breath is a clear-cut indication that the blood clot has successfully settled in the lungs, obstructing not only the blood flow through the lungs but also the airflow, resulting in obstructed breathing.

    Dyspnea (shortness of breath) is reportedly the most common symptom of PE, with the majority of PE patients suffering it, according to a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Medicine.

    The breathing may also be abnormally quick and rapid.

    8. Chest Pain

    When a person’s lungs are blocked due to the settling of a blood clot in the lungs, they suffer extreme strain when trying to breath, often resulting in a sharp chest pain.

    A majority of patients with advanced DVT and PE are likely to report chest pain, according to a 2013 study published in Experimental and Clinical Cardiology.

    9. Coughing

    Coughing is also an accompanying symptom of advanced DVT and PE-associated shortness of breath.

    It is indicative of the obstruction caused by a blood clot that has travelled to the lungs, making breathing impossible and manifesting the irritation through incessant coughing.

    Such coughing may or may not be accompanied by blood.

    10. Extreme Sweating

    A person with advanced DVT and possible PE will suffer, along with the above-mentioned symptoms, an extreme case of sweating. They are also likely to feel light-headed, as if they could pass out any minute.

    Night sweats also are a common occurrence in patients of PE, and can help detect PE at an early stage, according to a 2015 study published in Case Reports in Pulmonology.

    The blood clot in the leg can not only travel to the person’s lungs but also their heart and brain, resulting in a heart attack or a stroke.

    Therefore, if you notice any of the above symptoms at any point of your life, it is best to get it properly diagnosed.

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  • Anal Itching: 10 Ways to Soothe the Discomfort Naturally

    Anal Itching: 10 Ways to Soothe the Discomfort Naturally

    Anal itching, medically known as pruritus ani, is a common dermatological problem affecting both men and women, although it is more common in men. It can occur at any age but seems to be most prevalent among people in the age bracket of 30 to 50 years.[1]

    Pruritus ani is characterized by an excessively discomforting and often embarrassing itching or burning sensation of the skin around the anus (rectal opening). This itch is sometimes so intense that it becomes almost impossible not to scratch.

    The incessant scratching, in turn, results in further skin irritation and damage and can even escalate the problem to a chronic stage, resulting in chronically inflamed and thickened skin called lichen simplex chronicus.

    Rigorous scratching, particularly at night when the patient is asleep, or abrasive vigorous scrubbing with toilet paper to relieve the itch after urination or a bowel movement can cause tiny ruptures in the affected skin.

    As a result of this additional trauma to the anal skin, occasional bleeding occurs when wiping after a bowel movement. Moreover, this tearing of the affected skin can make one more susceptible to developing an infection.

    What Causes Anal Itching?

    Anal itching can be due to skin related problems or internal medical issues. Skin-related causes include:

    • Atopic dermatitis
    • Psoriasis
    • Excess friction in the anal area
    • Excess sweat and moisture around the anus
    • Exposure to chemical-based perfumes and dyes
    • Improper wiping after a bowel movement

    Some of the medical causes are:

    • Food allergies
    • Anal fissures
    • Anal tumors
    • Persistent diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Leakage due to fecal incontinence
    • Hemorrhoids
    • Parasitic, sexually transmitted, fungal, and yeast infections.[2]

    Signs and Symptoms of Anal Itching

    The main symptom is itching in the anal area, which is often intense and causes a strong urge to scratch.

    Other symptoms of pruritus ani are burning sensation, dryness, soreness, redness, swelling, ulcers, and a rash in and around the anal region.

    The symptoms may be temporary or more persistent, depending on the cause.

    Diagnosis of Anal Itching

    In order to zero in on the probable cause of your anal itch, the doctor will take into account your symptoms, the duration and pattern of the itch, current dietary intake and medications, your personal care habits such as the way you routinely clean your anal area after a bowel movement, and the regularity of your bowel movement.

    The doctor will also inquire about your medical history, particularly any relevant past experience with other rectal problems such as fissures, hemorrhoids, and fistulas as well as skin problems such as eczema, seborrhea, and psoriasis.

    This line of questioning will be followed by a physical examination of your anal area, sometimes including a digital rectal examination.

    A visual analysis of the area will help reveal the extent of damage caused by scratching as well as any signs of hemorrhoids, eczema, or anal fissures.

    The doctor may then probe the anal cavity with a gloved and lubricated finger to rule out rectal tumors or bowel cancer. If you happen to have grappled with skin issues involving other parts of your body in the past, your doctor will want to examine these skin areas as well.

    The doctor may rarely administer a more invasive examination using a special viewing instrument called an anoscope. This short tubular device is inserted into your anus to take a closer look inside your rectum, which can help your doctor determine whether the itch is being caused by a problem inside your rectum.

    Additionally, the doctor may order the following tests:

    • Stool cultures
    • A biopsy in case of skin abnormalities
    • Anal swabs to rule out infection
    • Routine blood tests to get a holistic picture of your renal, thyroid, and liver function as well as general health markers regarding diabetes, blood count, and bodily inflammation

    Treating Anal Itching

    Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines. These can relieve pain and itching to help the affected skin heal.

    These medicines may include skin ointments, steroid creams, antibiotic creams, and antihistamines. You may need antibiotics if there is an infection.

    Simple Ways to Treat Anal Itching at Home

    You may find anal itching to be embarrassing and uncomfortable. You can treat it at home with simple lifestyle changes and easy-to-follow home remedies.

    Here are 10 home remedies for anal itching.

    1. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar in Water

    Both yeast and fungal infections can cause anal itching. In these cases, you can use apple cider vinegar to help control the infection. In addition, it helps alkalize the body.[3]

    • Mix 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of water. Drink it twice daily.
    • Another option is to add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to a hot bath. Soak in this bathwater for 15 to 20 minutes, once daily.

    Follow these remedies for several days until the anal itching and irritation subside.

    2. Eat Garlic Cloves Daily

    Garlic helps treat anal itching from the inside out. It helps eliminate intestinal worms, one of the main causes of this problem.

    In addition, the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties of garlic help treat any kind of infection responsible for anal itching.[4][5][6]

    • Eat 2 to 3 cloves of raw garlic on an empty stomach daily for 1 week.
    • Another option is to boil 2 crushed garlic cloves in ½ cup of milk. Drink this milk on an empty stomach for a week.

    3. Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet

    Coconut oil is one of the best remedies for anal itching. It soothes the skin, and its antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties can treat any infection responsible for anal itching.

    Moreover, it can help expel intestinal worms.[7][8]

    • Eat 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil daily. You can also use this oil for cooking purposes.
    • Rub some warm coconut oil in and around the affected area several times a day to relieve itching and burning sensations.

    4. Apply Aloe Vera Gel to the Affected Area

    Aloe vera has soothing and calming properties that can relieve anal itching, soreness, and inflammation. Aloe vera also helps reduce the irritation of hemorrhoids or anal fissure, one of the main causes of anal itching.[9][10]

    1. Slice away the thorny edges of a fresh aloe vera leaf and then cut it open.
    2. Extract the gel and rub it in and around the anus for 5 minutes.
    3. Reapply the gel every few hours to get rid of the itching and soreness.

    5. Take an Oatmeal Bath

    You can also use oatmeal to treat an itchy anus. Oatmeal contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties that help heal irritated, inflamed, and itchy skin.[11][12]

    1. Mix 1 to 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal or unprocessed oat flour in a bathtub filled with lukewarm water.
    2. Soak in this water for about 15 to 20 minutes.
    3. You can take an oatmeal bath 1 or 2 times a day.

    6. A Dose of Probiotic Yogurt can Help

    To treat a yeast infection, which may cause anal itching, you can use yogurt. Not all types of yogurt are beneficial.

    You must use probiotic yogurt with live active cultures (good bacteria). These bacteria can help control the growth of the infection. Use plain, unsweetened probiotic yogurt only.[13]

    • Rub some plain yogurt on the affected skin. Let it sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes, preferably overnight. Then, rinse it off with warm water and dry the area thoroughly.
    • Also, eat 2 to 3 cups of plain yogurt daily.

    7. Warm Epsom Salt Bath can Provide Relief

    An Epsom salt bath is great for skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, two key causes of anal itching.

    It helps relieve the itching and burning sensations.[14]

    1. Mix 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt in a bathtub filled with warm water.
    2. Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
    3. Finally, pat your skin dry thoroughly.
    4. Enjoy this soothing bath two or three times a week.

    Note: People who have kidney problems or diabetes should not use Epsom salt remedies.

    8. Drink a Mixture of Licorice and Honey

    According to Ayurveda, licorice can also help treat anal itching.

    Licorice is good for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis that cause anal itching. It helps reduce itching, redness, and irritation.[15][16]

    1. Slightly roast a mixture of equal amounts of licorice, rind of chebulic myrobalan (also called haritaki), and cardamom.
    2. Grind them into a fine powder.
    3. Mix ¼ teaspoon of this powder and 1 teaspoon of honey in a glass of water.
    4. Drink this mixture once daily until you get relief.

    You can also apply an over-the-counter licorice cream on the affected area a few times daily.

    Note: Licorice is not recommended for pregnant women and people suffering from hypertension, kidney dysfunction, hypokalemia, and testosterone imbalance.

    9. Increase Your Fiber Intake

    A common cause of anal itching is constipation. When the constipation is treated, anal itching will automatically resolve.

    To treat constipation, the best option is to increase fiber intake. Fiber promotes healthy digestion and can soften the stool and increase its bulk.

    • Eat high-fiber foods such as beans, potatoes, carrots, brown rice, quinoa, prunes, buckwheat, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, and peas.
    • You can also opt for fiber supplements after consulting your doctor.

    10. Avoid Food Allergens

    Certain foods can cause irritation during a bowel movement, leading to anal itching. Moreover, there are certain foods that can increase itchiness and inflammation.

    So, it is best to choose foods wisely and avoid food allergens for some time.[17]

    • Foods that can increase rectal itching are coffee, tea, soda, alcoholic beverages, and chocolate.
    • Avoid spicy foods such as peppers and jalapenos.
    • Avoid citrus fruits such as grapes, lemons, and oranges.

    Avoid these foods for at least 2 weeks, and then reintroduce them into your diet gradually.

    Precautionary Measures for Anal Itching

    Anal itching or irritation may be prevented or treated if you take some precautionary measures, including the following:

    • Avoid scratching as this will only exacerbate the condition. To get temporary relief from itching, apply a cold compress.
    • To prevent unconscious scratching while sleeping, wear cotton gloves at night until the symptoms subside.
    • Use damp toilet paper to clean yourself thoroughly after a bowel movement. Then, give a final wipe with dry paper to soak up any excess moisture.
    • Avoid using scented or colored toilet paper, as these may aggravate the condition. Always use white, unscented toilet paper.
    • Always make sure that you dry your bottom well after using the bathroom.
    • For anal itching caused by excessive sweating, apply talcum powder on the affected area to absorb moisture.
    • Do not sit in the same position for hours, as it may lead to a buildup of moisture or sweat in the anal area, causing more itching.
    • Avoid using scented soaps on the affected area, as these may cause irritation.
    • Avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear. Choose underwear made of cotton, rather than synthetic fabrics.
    • Never use cornstarch on the affected area, as it may worsen the skin infection.
    • Manage stress. This will help overcome anal itching.

    When to See a Doctor

    Generally, anal itching is not a serious problem and usually does not require medical attention.

    However, seek medical advice if the itching becomes unbearable or persistent or if there is blood in the stool or stool leakage.

     

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  • Acid Reflux in Babies: Home Remedies to Help Your Baby Get Relief

    Acid Reflux in Babies: Home Remedies to Help Your Baby Get Relief

    Like adults, infants also tend to suffer from acid reflux, which causes them to spit up. Unfortunately, it can be quite frequent for many.

    What Causes Acid Reflux in Babies?

    According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, gastroesophageal reflux (GER) happens when stomach contents come back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn.

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious and long-lasting form of GER and may prevent an infant from feeding.[1]

    In infants, gastric reflux is common as the band of muscle, or sphincter, that squeezes the top opening of the stomach shut does not yet close at full strength, especially in premature babies. As a result, babies often have reflux and spit up after feeding.[2]

    Certain factors, such as being born prematurely, lying flat most of the time, and consuming only a liquid diet, contribute to infant reflux in most cases.

    Note: Consult a doctor if your baby is showing signs of poor growth, along with spitting up food forcefully, recurrent vomiting, blood in the stool, chronic coughing, and unusual irritability after eating. These signs indicate a more serious condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause poor growth.

    Signs and Symptoms of Acid Relux in Babies

    Kids with infant reflux often spit up more than usual after feeding. Plus, they become fussier.

    Other symptoms include colic, gagging or trouble swallowing, irritability (especially after eating), poor eating or refusing to eat, poor weight gain or weight loss, and wheezing or trouble breathing.[3]

    As long as your baby is healthy, content, and growing well, acid reflux is not a cause for concern. In fact, the problem will occur less frequently as your baby gets older and becomes more active.

    You can always try some natural remedies that are effective in reducing the episodes of infant reflux and associated discomforts.

    Simple Ways to Deal with Acid Reflux in Babies

    Here are some home remedies for acid reflux in babies.

    1. Adjustments While Sleeping

    Babies with acid reflux often have difficulty sleeping. In fact, an incorrect sleeping position and timing can worsen their condition and make them fussier.[4]

    Never feed your baby while he or she is in a sleeping position. It is always better to have your baby sit upright on your lap while nursing, and don’t lay your baby down immediately after feeding.

    Hold your baby upright for at least 30 minutes after feeding.

    2. Try Massage Therapy

    Regular massage helps improve the functioning of the respiratory and digestive systems in babies.

    Massage stimulates the vagus nerve, the nerve in the brain that controls various regions of the respiratory and digestive systems.

    It even helps the body develop more quickly so that each and every body part starts operating more effectively sooner.

    A 2014 study published in Biological Research for Nursing reports that massage helps reduce symptoms in infants suffering from GERD.[5]

    Massage even helps improve cognitive ability, reduce crying, and aid in sleeping.

    1. Put your baby in a lying position.
    2. Apply some warm olive or coconut oil on your baby’s stomach.
    3. Gently massage the stomach in a clockwise direction for 3 to 4 minutes.
    4. Then, massage the back gently for 2 minutes.
    5. Finally, massage the hands and legs with long, firm strokes.
    6. Repeat this two or three times daily.

    Note: Do not massage your baby immediately after a feeding.

    3. Make Your Baby Do Some Exercise

    To help babies deal with the symptoms of acid reflux, you must try some basic movement exercises.

    Exercise will help improve digestion.

    A 2017 study published in Oxidative and Medicine Cellular Longevity reports that exercise appears to be an environmental factor that can determine changes in the qualitative and quantitative gut microbial composition with possible benefits for the host.[6]

    However, it is important to note that you should not feed your baby until about 30 minutes after exercise and never feed immediately before an exercise session.

    Exercises that target gas and bloating, such as bicycle legs or knee-pushing exercises, are some of the best options to try.

    1. Put your baby in a lying position.
    2. Hold the legs in a half-bent position with your hands.
    3. Gently begin to move your baby’s legs as if he or she was riding a bicycle.
    4. Do this for 10 minutes, several times a day.

    4. Feed Your Baby More Frequently

    Sometimes, acid reflux in babies can be treated by making small changes in the feeding routine.

    For instance, start giving less breast milk or formula at each feeding to your baby. To make up for the smaller quantity, give more frequent feedings.[7]

    Always remember that babies are more likely to have reflux and to spit up when their stomach is too full.

    On the other hand, a less full stomach puts less pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), and this in turn prevents food from going back into the esophagus from the stomach.

    When feeding, try to hold your baby in a more vertical position, and keep him/her upright for 10 minutes after feedings, too. Avoid putting your baby down right after feeding, and make sure to burp your baby after every feeding.

    5. Thickening the Breast Milk or Formula may Help

    Whether you are giving your baby breast milk or formula milk, thickening it a little with some rice cereal can help in treating acid reflux in babies.

    Thickening the food is thought to help stop stomach contents from sloshing up into the esophagus.

    In a 2017 study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, researchers found that term babies with GER given feed thickeners had nearly two fewer reflux episodes per day. Babies with GER were also 2.5 times more likely to have no reflux symptoms if feed thickeners were used.[8]

    You should consult a pediatrician to know about the kind of thickening formula that you can add to formula or breast milk depending upon your baby’s age.

    6. Avoid Secondhand Smoke Exposure

    Lifestyle changes can help reduce reflux, and an important strategy in this regard is to avoid exposing your infant to secondhand smoke. In fact, infants or children of any age should completely avoid exposure to tobacco smoke.

    Tobacco smoke can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the tendency for reflux to occur.

    A study published in the Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association found that environmental tobacco smoke represents a significant contributing factor to GER.

    The study even stressed that pediatricians should systematically ask questions about the infant environment and recommend that children should remain in a smoke-free environment.[9]

    Secondhand smoke can also increase the likelihood of an infant suffering from colic, irritability, asthma, pneumonia, croup, and middle-ear infections.

    7. Nursing Mother’s Should Take Care of Themselves too

    Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.[10]

    When you are breastfeeding your baby, you need to give importance to your diet, too. The diet you follow has a direct influence on your baby’s health and its growth and development.

    In fact, breastfed babies may benefit from a change in the mother’s diet. Hence, breastfeeding mothers should keep a close eye on their diet to help avoid acid reflux in babies.

    • Give up all dairy products immediately, as the protein found in dairy products can irritate a baby’s immature digestive tract.
    • Avoid common allergens including wheat, gluten, citrus, nuts, eggs, and soy.
    • Limit high-fat, fried, or spicy foods, as well as carbonated drinks, chocolate, and caffeine.
    • Keep away from alcohol and cigarette smoke.
    • Breastfeeding mothers should eat probiotic yogurt daily to improve both their own and their baby’s digestive system.
    • As water is a key ingredient in breast milk, nursing mothers should drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep their body hydrated.

    Additional Tips

    • Feed your baby smaller amounts of food at regular intervals, several times a day.
    • Never try any kind of solid food without consulting your doctor.
    • Make sure your baby is not overeating.
    • Avoid rough handling or bouncing your baby.
    • Avoid any tight clothing, such as tight diapers or elastic waistbands, while sleeping.
    • If a food allergy or intolerance is suspected, consult your doctor.
    • If bottle feeding, check the bottle’s nipple size. A smaller nipple will make your baby gulp air while eating and a larger nipple will speed up the flow of milk.

     

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  • How To Get Rid Of Brown Spots On Skin

    How To Get Rid Of Brown Spots On Skin

    When skin is exposed to the sun, it causes an increase in the production of cells known as melanocytes that increase melanin in the skin, thus turning the skin darker. These dark skin patches are known as brown spots, age spots, dark spots, sun spots and liver spots.

    Brown spots generally appear on exposed skin areas like the face, back, neck, chest, shoulders and hands. Some of the main causes of brown spots are sun exposure, aging, and genetics. Factors like stress, pregnancy, vitamin deficiencies, and weak liver functioning may also contribute to this problem.

    The spots are usually harmless, but many consider them unattractive. To lighten brown spots, you can try a few easy and natural home treatments.

    Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of brown spots on your skin.

    1. Lemon Juice

    Lemon juice has bleaching properties that can help get rid of brown spots. Plus, it helps maintain soft, clear and beautiful skin.

    • Simply apply fresh lemon juice directly on the affected area. Leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Repeat this remedy twice daily for about two months to notice positive results. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the lemon juice with water, rose water or honey.
    • Another option is to mix enough sugar in lemon juice to make a paste and use it as a scrub on your face, especially on your brown spots. Finally, rinse it off after 5 to 10 minutes. Do this a few times a week. You can also add some oilve oil in this recipe.

    2. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk contains lactic acid that helps exfoliate the skin to remove blemishes and brown spots without drying out your skin.

    • Apply buttermilk on your brown spots using a cotton ball. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing the area with water. If you have oily skin or acne, you can also add some lemon juice to the buttermilk.
    • Another option is to mix four teaspoons of buttermilk and two teaspoons of tomato juice together and then apply this mixture on the affected skin.

    Repeat either of these remedies once or twice daily until you are satisfied with the results.

    3. Castor Oil

    Castor oil has strong healing properties and can be used effectively to get rid of brown spots or age spots. Along with castor oil, you can use vitamin E oil, coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil to remove brown spots.

    1. Use a cotton ball to apply castor oil on the affected area.
    2. Gently massage the area for a few minutes.
    3. Leave it on for a few hours and then wash it off.
    4. Do this once in the morning and once at night to help the brown spots fade and make your skin tone even.

    4. Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for a number of skin problems including brown spots. It will help dry out and fade the spots faster.

    • Dilute some apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water. You can also add some honey. Apply this solution on your brown spots and wash it off after a few minutes. Do this once daily for a few days or until you get positive results. You can use straight apple cider vinegar too, but it may sting.
    • Alternatively, mix one-half teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a few tablespoons of orange juice. Apply it on the affected area and leave it on until it dries completely before washing it off. Repeat once or twice daily for four to five weeks.

    5. Aloe Vera

    Aloe vera has healing properties and aids skin regeneration. So, it is excellent for getting rid of brown spots, especially when caused by sun exposure.

    • Gently rub fresh aloe vera gel on the spots. Leave it on for about 30 minutes before washing the area with cold water. Repeat twice daily and within a month you should notice improvement.
    • If fresh aloe vera gel is not available, you can opt for aloe vera juice that you can readily buy from the market.

    6. Sandalwood

    Sandalwood is an anti-aging agent and an antiseptic that can helps reduce hyperpigmentation and get rid of brown spots.

    • You can make homemade pack with two tablespoons of sandalwood powder, two teaspoons of rose water, and one teaspoon each of glycerin and lemon juice. Apply this pack on the spots and allow it to dry naturally. Use cold water to wash it off. Repeat a few times a week until your brown spots disappear.
    • Another option is to add one tablespoon of orange juice, one teaspoon of lemon juice and the contents of two vitamin E capsules in two tablespoons of sandalwood powder. Mix it well and then apply it on your face. Leave it on for about half an hour before washing it off. Do this a few times a week until you see improvement.
    • Also, massage the affected area with a few drops of sandalwood oil mixed in one tablespoon of olive oil or almond oil, daily before going to bed and leave it on overnight.

    7. Horseradish

    Horseradish is a fantastic herb that helps remove age spots and freckles and makes your skin spotless, thanks to its skin lightening properties.

    • You can make horseradish paste and apply it directly to the skin. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off. Use it a few times a week.
    • Another option is to grate a four-inch piece of horseradish with mix it in one-quarter cup of apple cider vinegar and allow the mixture to sit for two weeks. After two weeks, strain the mixture. Use a cotton ball to apply it on the affected skin. Follow this remedy three times a day for at least one month.

    8. Papaya

    Certain enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids present in papaya can help exfoliate your skin and reduce age spots, skin blemishes, acne and other skin problems. It will also give your skin a cleaner and brighter look.

    1. Rub one tablespoon of fresh grated papaya on the brown spots.
    2. Leave it on for about 20 minutes before washing the area with lukewarm water.
    3. Repeat twice daily until the brown spots fade away.

    Note: As some people can be allergic to papaya, it is advisable to do a 24-hour patch test before following this remedy.

    9. Yogurt

    Due to its mild bleaching properties, using yogurt is a safe and easy way to keep your skin glowing and lighten brown spots naturally.

    • Apply some plain yogurt directly on the spots. Let it dry on its own for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. For faster results, apply yogurt on the affected area before going to bed and leave it on overnight.
    • Alternatively, you can make a skin pack by combining one tablespoon of plain yogurt, two tablespoons of ground oatmeal and one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Apply this pack on the spots and allow it to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Then apply some moisturizer. Follow this remedy a few times a week.

    10. Onion Juice

    Another easy way to get rid of age spots is to apply onion juice. It acidic nature and the bleaching property will help the brown spots fade. In addition to onion juice, you can also try garlic juice.

    • Simply slice up some onions and rub the slices over the affected area two or three times a day.
    • Another option is to mix one tablespoon of onion juice with two tablespoons of honey and apply the mixture on the affected area. Leave it on for about 15 minutes before washing the area thoroughly so that the strong smell goes away. Do this once or twice a day.

    You will need to have patience when using these home remedies. The brown spots will not disappear in a week or two, so you need to follow the remedies for several weeks to notice positive results.

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  • Cluster Headache Relief: Tips and Remedies to Feel Better

    Cluster Headache Relief: Tips and Remedies to Feel Better

    Cluster headaches are a rare form of headaches that are marked by a debilitating one-sided pain. Cluster headaches derive their name from their occurrence in groups (clusters). They are also known as “suicide headaches,” owing to their reputation of rendering the suffering individual drained and exhausted after an attack.

    Cluster headaches involve the trigeminal nerve of the face. The hallmark symptom of a cluster headache is a deep, burning pain around on eye (the site of the trigeminal nerve). This period of intense pain is the attack that can occur several times throughout the day/week(s)/month(s), hence the name cluster.[1]

    Cluster headaches tend to occur five to six times more in men than women and are most common between the ages of 20 and 40.

    Cluster headaches affect approximately 0.1 percent of the population. These headaches can be familial and have an autosomal dominant genetic basis in some cases. Cluster headaches are different than migraines both in intensity of symptoms and frequency of occurrences.

    There is no concrete evidence regarding the exact cause of cluster headaches, making the complete treatment or prevention of a cluster headache all the more difficult. There is literature that suggests a role of a portion of the hypothalamus as a cause of cluster headaches. Certain substances, habits, and environments have also been known to trigger cluster headaches.

    Although over-the-counter painkillers are often ineffective in ameliorating the intense pain of a cluster headache, one can avert or reduce its occurrence by using prescribed medications, abstaining from and avoiding predictable triggers, and trying alternative therapies.

    Let’s take a look at the various aspects of a cluster headache.

    Pattern of Attacks

    Cluster headaches may follow one particular pattern in each individual. It may awaken a person in the middle of the night. Several people may experience more than a single attack a day, about the same times every day. These headaches may also occur at the same time every year, especially during the months of autumn and spring. The pattern differs from person to person.

    Each attack may last for several days, weeks, or months before the symptoms may reduce or disappear. This period where the individual may experience no symptoms at all can extend from a few months to years prior to the onset of a cluster headache.

    A small 10–20 percent of people may experience chronic cluster headaches that may last for a lifetime or may take a month or less for the symptoms to subside or resolve.

    What Can Trigger a Cluster Headache?

    The primary reason behind a cluster headache is not yet known. It is suggested that it is an outcome of a sudden release of biochemical compounds such as serotonin and histamines that act as an irritant/trigger on the trigeminal nerve.

    The common triggers include:

    • Physical activity, especially exercising in hot weather
    • Intense light, including sunlight accompanied by heat/high temperature
    • Alcohol
    • Smoking
    • High altitudes during air travel or trekking
    • Certain foods such as shellfish, smoked fish, and canned meats
    • Certain medications including nitroglycerin
    • Genetics

    Signs of a Cluster Headache

    The signs and associated symptoms that are indicative of a cluster headache include:

    • Severe excruciating pain around one eye, radiating to the forehead, cheeks, temples, and upper gum on the same side of the face.
    • Nasal congestion and/or rhinorrhea.
    • Agitation and restlessness.
    • Unilateral sweating on the forehead.
    • Drilling pain that may be prominent around one eye, which may become watery or bloodshot with drooping eyelids.
    • The affected side of the face may be reddened or flushed.
    • Steady painful attacks one to three times a day, lasting for 15–180 minutes. Attacks may occur consecutively for 6-8 weeks.
    • Photophobia may occur.

    Diagnosis of a Cluster Headache

    Your doctor will diagnose your case based on the pain, pattern of attacks, and symptoms you have been experiencing during a headache. He will physically examine your pupils and eyelids to check if they appear to be different than normal.

    Keeping a track of your triggers can help you identify them and steer clear of an attack in the future. It is advised to keep a log book and write down the details pertaining to the attacks you experience, including the severity, frequency, and type of pain and anything that might be a possible trigger to your headache episode.

    Standard Treatment for a Cluster Headache

    Cluster headaches cannot be resolved with over-the-counter painkillers.

    You can considerably reduce your chances of having a cluster headache episode by avoiding triggers such as alcohol, stress, high altitude, and insufficient sleep.

    Your doctor is likely to recommend the following medications or therapies for you to survive through a cluster headache:

    1. Sumatriptan injections – These work by constricting the blood vessels in the brain that help to block the transit of pain signals. Also used to treat migraines, sumatriptan injections are administered into the skin of the upper arm or thigh, but never into a muscle or vein. Always get these injections under the supervision of a doctor.
    2. Oxygen therapy  Inhaling pure oxygen can help bring down a cluster headache. A face mask is used to deliver at least 7–10 liters per minute of oxygen for a short period of 15 minutes. You and your doctor will have to sign a Home Oxygen Order Form (HOOF) if you want a small unit at your house. NOTE: Oxygen in such high concentrations is toxic to the lungs and can scar lung tissue. It must be used for short periods of time (<15 minutes) only once or twice in a day.
    3. Nasal sprays – Nasal sprays such as lidocaine may provide relief from acute pain induced by a cluster headache.
    4. Biofeedback technique  Biofeedback has been used as a therapy to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches with a 45–60 percent positive outcome. Its efficacy is backed with evidence from researches for the past 25 years. This alternative therapy is targeted at controlling involuntary body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and brainwave activity.[5]
      • When combined with conventional medications, biofeedback can help control a headache.
      • It includes relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, relaxation exercises, and focus and concentration imagery exercises.
      • For most patients suffering from headaches, a combination of electromyographic (EMG) feedback and temperature feedback is preferred.

    Tips to Manage a Cluster Headache

    Besides the standard prescribed medications, you can incorporate certain changes in your lifestyle, diet, and daily routine to overcome a cluster headache.

    1. Apply a Cold/Hot Compress

    An easy solution to your cluster headache is a cold compress.[10] The cold temperature of the ice has a numbing effect on the pain.

    • Take a bag of frozen vegetables or wrap some ice cubes in a washcloth. Apply this on the back of your neck. Alternatively, you can dip a washcloth in cold water and place it over your head for 5 minutes. Repeat the application several times as needed.

    Heat will help relax muscle tension and relieve you from the pain of a pulsating headache.

    • Take a hot water shower and let the water drip on your neck. This will help relax your neck muscles.
    • Keep a cotton cloth on the back of your neck and place a hot water bag over it. Keep it on for 10–15 minutes.

    Note: You can do any of these remedies according to what provides you relief.

    2. Consider Acupressure

    Acupressure is a widely used technique in Chinese medicine.

    Pressure is applied on specific points in the fingers and hands, called acupoints. Stimulating these points with pressure can help reduce pain and several other health ailments.

    A 2014 study published in Pain Management Nursing corroborated the use of acupressure as an alternative therapy for people suffering from the pain of chronic headache and other traumatic pains.[2]

    Another 2010 study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine highlighted the effectiveness of acupressure treatment in reducing chronic headache compared with a muscle relaxant treatment. The study was conducted for a period of 1 month and the commonly used acupoints to relieve pressure were BL2, GV20, GB20, TH21, and GB5.[3]

    Make sure that acupressure is done by an expert or under the supervision of a professional.

    3. Get a Massage

    A gentle head massage can help relax your headache by promoting serotonin activity and triggering the serotonin receptors to curtail the frequency and symptoms of a headache.[4]

    It can also help relieve a headache by blocking the signals for the headache-induced pain sent to the brain.

    • Using your first two fingers, massage your head gently in a circular motion. Properly pressing the pain-relieving pressure points lying at the base of the skull, in the corner of the eyes, and in between the eyebrows can help provide some relief from the pain.
    • Alternatively, you can prepare a massage oil by mixing 2 tablespoons of hot sesame oil and ½ teaspoon each of cardamom powder and cinnamon powder. Use this mixture to massage your forehead. Leave the oil mixture on for a few hours.

    4. Go for a Chiropractic Therapy

    Cluster headaches can be relieved by chiropractic care by tending to the regions from where the headache is stemming from.[5]

    Chiropractic therapy is a treatment wherein a practitioner helps relieve the tension around the bones, joints, and muscles of the cervical area by making use of his hands.

    The chiropractor will use different techniques to relieve the pain. These include:

    • Stretching or pulling the muscles in varied directions
    • Sharp short thrusting movements
    • Moving the joints in different positions
    • Applying force in the spinal region

    Note: Although this therapy is not painful, any amount of discomfort experienced should be reported to the practitioner.

    5. Give Essential Oils a Thought

    Essential oils are accredited with antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that can have a soothing effect on your nerves and help calm your headache.[14]

    Note: Avoid oral consumption of any essential oil as a relief for cluster headaches.

    5.1. Marjoram Oil

    The fresh and dried leaves of the marjoram plant (Origanum majorana) yield an essential oil that harbors analgesic properties. The oil, when massaged on to the temples, has an ability to recirculate the flow of blood.[14]

    It also relaxes and calms the mind and body and helps bust stress and anxiety.

    • Add it to your bath water, or use it to massage your head.

    5.2. Rosemary Oil

    Rosemary oil contains soothing and anti-inflammatory properties owing to its primary bioactive ingredient – rosmarinic acid. These properties can help relieve a headache.

    A 2013 study published in Food Chemistry stated that rosemary has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making it a suitable choice to treat headaches.[15]

    • Mix a few drops of rosemary oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and use the oil mixture to massage your temples.

    Note: Rosemary oil is not recommended for those suffering from high blood pressure or epilepsy.

    5.3. Peppermint Oil

    Peppermint oil boasts a rich composition of menthol that is known to have an analgesic effect on headaches. It works by opening up the blocked blood vessels that are known to cause a cluster headache.

    A 2016 study highlighted that a solution of 10 percent peppermint oil in ethanol can effectively treat headache in children over 6 years old as well as in adults.[16]

    • Add 3 drops of peppermint essential oil in 1 tablespoon of almond oil or olive oil. Use this oil mixture to massage your temples.
    • You can also put roughly ground peppermint leaves on your forehead.
    • Alternatively, do steam inhalation. To a small pan of boiling water, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Inhale the vapors emanating from the pan for a few minutes.

    5.4. Lavender Oil

    Lavender essential oil is a soothing remedy to relax a cluster headache.

    A 2013 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine accredited lavender oil with pain-relieving properties.[17]

    • Smear a tissue with a few drops of lavender essential oil. Smell this tissue throughout the day.
    • You can also do steam inhalation. To 2 cups of boiling water, add 2 drops of lavender essential oil. Inhale the vapors.
    • In 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil such as almond oil or olive oil, add 2–3 drops of lavender essential oil. Use this oil mixture to massage your forehead.

    5.5. CBD Oil

    Applying CBD oil (Cannabidiol) can influence the vast network of an individual’s endogenous endocannabinoid system to ameliorate many types of headaches, including cluster headaches.[21]

    6. Lifestyle Changes

    6.1 Drink Adequate Amounts of Water

    Drinking little or inadequate amounts of water is associated with headaches.[6] If you have a habit of not drinking an adequate amount of water a day, you might get dehydrated, which can result in a headache.

    A 2015 study published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice links the role of chronic mild dehydration as a possible trigger for headaches. Such headaches can be prevented by increasing a person’s water intake.[7]

    If you have a headache of any sort, be it migraine or a cluster headache, make sure to drink plenty of water.

    • Aside from drinking the required 8 glasses of water a day, you can also consume coconut water, lemon water, and ORS to steer clear of dehydration.
    • Eat fruits and vegetables that contain a huge percentage of water such as watermelon, spinach, and cucumber, to name a few.

    6.2 Avoid Food Triggers

    Certain individuals can get a headache by eating certain foods. Once you have identified these food triggers, you can easily avoid their consumption to prevent a headache. Such triggers include:

    • Alcoholic drinks
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • Monosodium glutamate
    • Nitrite rich foods in wine, cured meats, aged cheeses, and some medicines
    • Caffeine-containing drinks such as tea, coffee, and cola

    Several other common foods that can engender a headache in susceptible individuals include dairy products, chocolates, meat, wheat, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, bananas, onions, eggs, and citrus fruits.

    6.3. Do Yoga

    Yoga is an alternative therapy that is being practiced since ages to manage chronic pain. It is a combination of various postures and deep-breathing exercises that promote the overall health of an individual.[8]

    A 2015 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science corroborated that yoga should be used as an adjunct therapy to help provide relief from the frequency and intensity of headaches.[9]

    Yoga does not have any side effects as a treatment to relieve headaches. You can include the following simple yoga poses for a few minutes every day to relieve your headache and prevent it from happening:

    • Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
    • Paschimottanasana (Two-Legged Forward Bend)
    • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
    • Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
    • Shishuasana (Child’s Pose)
    • Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
    • Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)
    • Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

    6.4 Quit Smoking

    Smoking can trigger a headache.

    Moreover, exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful and can have side effects such as the narrowing of blood vessels and triggering a headache.

    Individuals suffering from a cluster headache must stay away from secondhand smoke or give up smoking altogether.[20] Doing so can reduce the occurrence of headaches.

    7. Dietary Additions

    7.1 Include Magnesium in Your Diet

    Magnesium is an essential nutrient that helps regulate various metabolic processes and the nervous system.

    The recommended dosage of 300–400 mg/day of magnesium is sufficient for your daily intake.

    Magnesium deficiency has been related to headaches and migraines.

    According to a 2015 study published in Nutrients, declining magnesium levels can be related to several diseases.[11]

    • Enrich your diet with foods rich in magnesium such as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter, and milk.
    • Magnesium supplements can have side effects on digestion; hence, consult your doctor for approval.

    7.2 Take Melatonin

    Melatonin is the hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycles and hormonal levels. Sleep hygiene and its disturbance are related to cluster headache initiation and recurrences.

    Some studies have also reported that people experiencing cluster headache may have decreased melatonin levels. However, melatonin can help only when it is taken before the cluster headache episode starts.

    Melatonin can improve the quality of your sleep. People who experience trouble sleeping are often recommended to take melatonin supplements. It may be useful as an adjuvant treatment for cluster headaches.[12]

    As cluster headaches tend to occur at night, a peaceful sleep may help avoid their occurrence.

    7.3. Consider Cayenne Pepper/Capsaicin Cream

    Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin that can stimulate the flow of blood and relieve the pain of a headache.

    The bioactive capsaicin can also help alleviate cluster headaches by reducing the related inflammation.[13]

    • Consider taking capsaicin supplements upon your doctor’s approval.
    • Alternatively, you can make a cayenne pepper drink by mixing ½–1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder, a few drops of lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon of honey to 1 cup of warm water. Drink this solution to reduce the pain of a cluster headache.

    7.4 Consult Your Doctor for Vitamin Supplements

    Around 80 percent of people with an existing cluster headache condition experience an increased incidence of cluster headaches as a result of seasonal changes.

    Weather changes with decreased sunlight availability can result in decreased synthesis of vitamin D. Researchers have proposed that depleted levels of vitamin D may play a role in inducing chronic headache, including a cluster headache.[18]

    Incorporating a high dose of vitamin B2 in the diet has been reported to reduce the incidence of headaches. Administering 500 mg of vitamin B2 every day for a month has been reported to keep away headaches.

    • Include foods that are rich in vitamin D including milk, eggs, and fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel.
    • Eat foods rich in vitamin B2, including beans, seeds, nuts, organ meats, legumes, and green leafy vegetables.
    • Alternatively, keep a check on your vitamin D and vitamin B levels. Low levels of these vitamins can be tended to with supplements approved by your doctor.

    7.5 Consume Psilocybin Mushrooms

    Psilocybin mushrooms can help lessen the intensity and even wipe a cluster headache for weeks to months.

    The positive effect of psychedelics, such as psilocybin mushrooms, on people suffering from a cluster headache is quite clear.[19]

    Psilocybin mushrooms act as a hallucinogen and it may help treat a cluster headache. However, do not consume them in excessive amounts and avoid them if you suffer from a mushroom allergy.

    Anecdotal Remedies

    There are several remedies that have not been researched enough to be backed by evidence but do require a mention because of their popularity among people as a solution to their health conditions.

    Although medical doctors do not appreciate the use of the below-listed options very much, they have been used immensely as an old wives’ remedy to calm an existing headache and stop a cluster headache in its tracks.

    1. Inhale the Steam of Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries for its varied health benefits.

    You can calm your throbbing headache by inhaling the vapors of apple cider vinegar.

    1. Fill half a bowl with boiling water and add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to it.
    2. Use a towel to cover your head, lean over the bowl, and inhale the vapors by taking deep breaths. Make sure to keep your face at a safe distance to prevent burns.
    3. Do this for 5–10 minutes.

    2. Apply a Paste of Sandalwood

    Sandalwood paste has been used as an age-old remedy to help calm a cluster headache. It can help lessen headache pain by soothing the tensed nerve endings in the optical region.

    • Using a little water and ½ teaspoon of sandalwood powder, make a paste. Apply a thin layer of this paste on your forehead. Keep it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.

    3. Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea

    Chamomile Tea

    Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and soothing properties that help relieve a headache. Regularly drinking chamomile tea can also help prevent the problem.

    • Steep 2–3 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in 1 cup of hot water for a few minutes. You can also add some lemon juice and honey. Strain the liquid and drink this tea three or four times a day for relief from migraine symptoms.
    • Another option is to steep equal quantities of chamomile, horehound, and meadowsweet in 1 cup of hot water for at least 5 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it. Repeat as needed.

    Ginger Tea

    Ginger contains bioactive compounds called gingerols. These have potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have a therapeutic effect on pain.

    Ginger can help alleviate pain and nausea, which are the signs of an impending cluster headache.

    • Drink ginger tea two times a day to help reduce the symptoms of a cluster headache.

    Types of Cluster Headaches

    Cluster headaches can be categorized into two distinct types depending on the pattern:

    1. Episodic cluster headaches – These are marked by sudden attacks that last for short periods of time, ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Although these attacks have a short duration, the frequency might range from 1–8 attacks a day, lasting for weeks to months. The headaches can be predicted by keeping in mind the time when the headache usually strikes. Each attack may be separated by a symptom-free period.
    2. Chronic cluster headaches – These headaches are chronic and are marked by long durations of severe headache. The individual suffers from a continuous blow of cluster headaches without any symptom-free periods in most cases. In some cases, the symptom-free periods are very short, lasting for less than 1 month in a 1-year time span.

    When to See a Doctor

    Seek immediate medical help when you experience the following warning signs:

    • Seizures
    • Changes in vision
    • Numbness or inability to move
    • Sleepiness
    • Protracted nausea or vomiting
    • Increased frequency, duration, and severity of the cluster headaches

    Final Word

    Although cluster headaches are incurable per se, you can take measures to reduce the associated discomfort and prevent their recurrence.

    It is advised to keep tabs on the triggers and be mindful of the symptoms.

    Aside from the conventional medications prescribed by your doctor, develop healthy habits, follow alternative therapies, get a massage, and incorporate changes in your diet to curtail the discomfort and severity of a cluster headache.

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  • 7 Steps To Make Healthy Life In Hindi

    7 Steps To Make Healthy Life In Hindi

    आज हर सफल व्यक्ति खुद को जीवन के हर क्षेत्र में बेहतर बनाने में लगा हुआ है. खुद को ऐसे मुकाम पर ले जाने की कोशिश करने में लगा है जहाँ उसका जीवन सुखी और खुशहाली से भरपूर हो. अपनी life को बेहतर बनाने के लिए वह नए तरीके ढूंढता है और नए Ideas को अपनाता रहता है.

    इस कामयाबी या अपने सपनो को पाने में कई लोग सफल हो जाते है किन्तु कई ऐसे लोग भी होते है जो अपने जीवन में सफलता पाकर भी खुश नहीं रहते. उनके पास दौलत होती है, परिवार होता है, इज्जत होती है तथा अपने ऐशो-आराम की हर चीज को खरीदने के वे काबिल भी होते है. लेकिन उनके पास जो चीज नहीं होती वह है-अच्छी सेहत. जब वे खुद को स्वस्थ ही नहीं रख पाते तो ऐसी सफलता तथा धन – दौलत उनके किसी काम की नहीं रहती.

    हम आज आपके साथ यहाँ अच्छे स्वास्थ्य के लिए 7 उपाय शेयर कर रहे है जिन्हें आप अपनी लाइफ में अपनाकर Better Helthy Life जी सकते है.

    1. खाने में संतुलन अपनाये (Adopted in the Balance Diet) :

    अच्छे स्वास्थ्य के लिए आपका खाना या भोजन प्रमुख भूमिका निभाता है. अगर आपका खाना अच्छा और पौष्टिक होगा तो वह आपकी सेहत को भी अच्छा बनाएगा वही अगर आप अपने भोजन के प्रति लापरवाही बरतते है या पौष्टिक भोजन नहीं लेते है तो यह आपके स्वास्थ्य को बीमार बना देगा. आपको कौन सी चीज खानी चाहिए तथा किन चीजो से आपको परहेज करना चाहिए यह बात आपको अपने Body के हिसाब से पता होनी चाहिए.

    2. अपनी दिनचर्या को रखे संतुलित (Keep your routine balanced):

    हमारी दिनचर्या का जितना प्रभाव हमारी सफलता पर होता है उतना ही असर इसका हमारे स्वास्थ्य पर भी पड़ता है. अगर आपकी दिनचर्या बहुत संतुलित होगी तो आपका स्वास्थ्य भी उतना ही अच्छा रहेगा. जब हमारी दिनचर्या रोजाना एक ही होती है तो इससे हमारे Mind को हमारे शरीर को समझने में बड़ी आसानी होती है और वह हर काम को करने का आदी बन जाता है.

    3. ऋतुचर्या को न करे नजरअंदाज (Do not overlook the Hritucharya):

    ऋतुचर्या का मतलब है ऋतु के मुताबिक हो जाना. प्रकृति का नियम है परिवर्तन, इससे प्रकृति हमें यह सन्देश देती है कि अब हमें भी प्रकृति के हिसाब से खुद को परिवर्तित कर देना चाहिए. जाड़ा, गर्मी और बरसात प्रकृति में जब ऋतु परिवर्तन होता है तब हमें भी खुद में परिवर्तन के लिए तैयार रहना चाहिए.

    4. योगासन अपनाकर रहे स्वस्थ (Yoga are adopting healthy) :

    आज योगा हमारे जीवन में अपना प्रमुख योगदान निभा रहा है. योग करना आज हमारे जीवन का अभिन्न अंग बन गया है. योग करना इतना अधिक प्रचलित यू ही नहीं हुआ बल्कि योग द्वारा ऐसे Result भी हमारे सामने आये है जिसमे किसी को भी अचरज हो. योग द्वारा कई लोगो ने गंभीर बीमारियों से निकलकर स्वस्थ जीवन पाया है. जा चुका है. इसलिए योग करना हमारे हेल्थ के लिए भी बहुमूल्य है.

    5. पॉजिटिव सोच अपनाये (Think Positive) :

    दोस्तों Positive Thinking हमारे जीवन में कितनी बड़ी भूमिका अदा करती है यह आप जरुर जानते होंगे. ज्यादातर तनाव और अवसाद जैसी समस्याएं नेगेटिव सोच की वजह से पैदा होती है. इसलिए तनाव व डिप्रेसन से लड़ने के लिए हमें अपनी थिंकिंग को सकारात्मक बनाना होगा. आपको अपनी सकारात्मक सोच को बढाने के लिए रोजाना भ्रामरी का अभ्यास करना चाहिए. रोज सुबह सूर्योदय से पहले बिस्तर छोड़ दे.

    6. खुलकर हँसने का प्रयास करे (Frank tries to laugh) :

    अगर मैं आपसे यह कहूँ कि आप एक रूठे हुए इन्सान या एक हँसते हुए इन्सान में से किसी एक का चुनाव करे तो आपकी पसंद वह हँसता हुआ इन्सान ही होगा, ऐसा इसलिए होता है क्योंकि सभी लोग हँसते-मुस्कराते हुए व्यक्ति के साथ रहना ही पसंद करते है. कोई भी मायूस व्यक्ति के साथ नहीं रहना चाहेगा. हमेशा खुश रहने से या हँसते-खिलखिलाने से हमारी खुबसूरती भी बहुत बढ़ जाती है जो हमारे व्यक्तित्व में चार चाँद लगाती है.

    7. तन व मन में रखे संतुलन (Keep balance in body and mind) :

    सन्तुलित आहार, आसन-व्यायाम और अन्य तरीको को आजमाने से आप यह बिल्कुल भी न समझे कि आप पूरी तरह फिट है क्योंकि खुद को सेहतमंद बनाये रखने का यह मतलब नहीं है कि आप कोई भी शारारिक या मानसिक काम से तौबा करे. अगर आपका काम मानसिक रूप से अधिक होता है तो Free Time में थोड़ा बहुत शारारिक कार्य भी करे और अगर वही आप शारारिक कार्य अधिक करते है तो खुद को मानसिक रूप से बेहतर रखने के लिए अपने आप को समय दे और अपना मनचाहा कार्य करे जिससे आपको Better Feel होगा.

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  • Secret to grow your Beard faster and Thicker

    Secret to grow your Beard faster and Thicker

    Be it masculinity, power, leadership or wisdom, a man’s beard symbolizes all these qualities. This is why beards remain a fashion statement for many, even today. We have some Secret to grow your Beard faster and Thicker.

    In fact, it is the secret desire of every man to grow a thick beard as soon as he hits the teenage years. However, many men find it hard to grow the beard of their dreams.

    Several factors influence the growth and quality of your facial hair. Some of those factors are genetics, hormones, certain health problems, ethnicity, nutrition and certain medications.

    While you cannot do anything about genetics or your ethnicity, there are several things you can do to make your beard grow faster and thicker.Like a good head of hair, a beard requires proper care. Also, you must bear in mind that it takes time and dedication – not to mention a strong willpower to resist the urge to scratch.

    1. Groom Occasionally

    To enjoy a thick beard, you must refrain from shaping or trimming your facial hair too often.

    If you want stubble, that’s easy. Don’t shave for a few days and you have it. After that, it only requires basic grooming for maintenance.

    But growing a beard is a commitment. You need to allow your beard to grow without any interference for about four to six weeks. Groom your beard only after six weeks, when it is full grown. Start shaping your beard only when it has grown at least 1 or 1½ inches.

    Once you’ve allowed your facial hair to run wild, you can choose the style of beard you want. Then, it’s time to undertake the delicate process of trimming your beard. You can do it on your own or get it done by a professional.

    Trim occasionally to keep it well maintained and even.

    2. Wash and Condition Regularly

    Just like your hair, your beard also needs some regular love and attention.

    Wash your facial hair using a mild cleanser and warm water twice a day. This will accelerate hair growth.

    Also, use a mild shampoo on your beard two or three times a week to keep the hair clean and free of stray food and other particles. After shampooing, use a little conditioner to keep the hair strong and give it a full and thick appearance.

    3. Massage Your Face

    To stimulate hair growth on your face, regular massaging is a must.

    Massaging your face will improve blood circulation to the area and help nutrients reach the hair follicles so that the hair grows faster and thicker. This will give the appearance of a fuller and more developed beard.

    To prepare the massage oil, you can combine 1 tablespoon each of olive oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil and add 5 to 7 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to it. Or, you could simply use a mixture of 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a few drops of eucalyptus oil.

    1. Warm the oil in a microwave for a few seconds.
    2. Put a liberal amount of warm olive oil in your palms.
    3. Apply it thoroughly throughout your beard.
    4. Massage gently in circular motions for 10 minutes.
    5. Rinse off the oil using lukewarm water
    6. Do it twice a day.

    4. Start Exercising

    Exercising is another effective way to enjoy a thicker and fuller beard. Exercise improves blood circulation, which means more proteins and vitamins reach your hair follicles.

    Exercise also helps you shed excess weight, which in turn increases testosterone. Weightlifting and strength-oriented, high-intensity interval training will also help increase your testosterone level.

    The male hormone testosterone triggers the facial hair follicles to grow a thicker and fuller beard.

    Plus, exercise helps you stay fit and improves your overall health.

    Aim to exercise at least 5 days a week for a period of 30 minutes to 2 hours a day.

    5. Manage Your Stress Level

    Excessive stress can affect the hair growth on your face as well as on your head.

    When you are under chronic stress, the male hormone levels suffer a lot. Stress leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol in your body, which can have a negative impact on your testosterone level.

    Plus, stress constricts blood vessels, causing fewer nutrients to reach the hair roots.

    So, to enjoy the beard of your choice, you must manage your stress level. Try to manage stress in healthy ways through meditation and yoga for better results.

    6. Get Proper Rest and Sleep

    When your body is not healthy, it affects your hair growth. Healthy bodies need proper sleep to function and to maintain a good level of testosterone.

    A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that if you sleep for 5 hours or less, your testosterone level suffers by as much as 15 percent.

    So, try to get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily to help your body regenerate testosterone and promote facial hair growth. Also, sound sleep helps keep your stress level under control.

    7. Improve Your Diet

    Taking care of your body by eating well is another way to facilitate beard growth.

    As hair is mainly made up of protein, you must include protein-rich foods in your diet. Also, protein increases testosterone production and gives your beard that luxurious, thicker appearance. You can get good protein from oily fish, lean beef and chicken.

    In addition, you must include vitamins in your daily diet. Vitamins A, B, C and E can speed up the hair growth process. Leafy green vegetables (such as spinach, kale and broccoli) as well as fruits are good sources of vitamins.

    You should also try to increase your intake of healthy, saturated fats, such as those from nuts, fish and eggs. Also, be sure to get the required quantities of zinc, magnesium and vitamin D.

    At the same time, avoid high-sugar junk foods, as such foods have no nutritional content and will contribute to weak, brittle hair.

    8. Take Biotin Supplements

    Biotin (vitamin B7) is very important for hair growth. It not only affects your hair growth but also impacts the health of your skin and nails.

    You can find natural biotin in nuts and raw egg yolks, but it is better to take a supplement to obtain the maximum hair growth benefits.

    Take 2.5 mg of biotin every day to help your beard grow faster. Bear in mind that you will get results only if you take it consistently, and it will take some time. It is always best to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

    9. Control the Itch

    In addition to the unkempt look, another irritating problem that you are likely to face when striving to grow a beard is facial itching. The newly growing hair tend to irritate the skin and cause repeated itching, especially in the initial days of beard growth. Beard itching could also indicate that the skin beneath your beard is dry.

    To relieve the itching, keep your skin moisturized by applying a little oil. You can use coconut oil to help soothe your skin and ease the itching. To increase its effectiveness, add a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil in the base oil and then apply. You can also apply hydrocortisone cream to your face.

    Plus, exfoliate your skin once a week to help remove dead skin cells, unclog the pores, and stimulate hair growth. To exfoliate, simply wet your face, dip a medium-bristle brush in a gentle cleanser and gently scrub beneath your beard to get rid of the dead skin cells.

    Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated from within.

    Needless to say, resist the urge to scratch your beard or shave it.

    10. Quit Smoking

    Regular smoking can lead to slower hair growth.

    The nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood flow, which in turn affects hair growth. By impairing circulation, smoking decreases the capillary blood flow to the hair’s roots and results in fewer nutrients reaching the hair follicles.

    Plus, cigarettes contain several other harmful chemicals that can cause oxidative stress on hair growth and pigmentation.

    Additional Tips

    • Don’t fall prey to the popular misconception that shaving every day will make your beard grow faster. This is a popular myth with no scientific backing.
    • Invest in a good quality facial groomer kit to style your beard as it grows and to keep it in good shape.
    • Trim regularly to manage the split ends on your facial hair.
    • Steer clear of ingrown hair as it will keep your hair from growing evenly.
    • If you have been trying to grow your beard for 2 or 3 months but it is still patchy with scanty growth then look for styling options that do not require you to grow a full beard. Not all men have the genetics to grow a full beard.

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