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Showing posts with label Health & Wellness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health & Wellness. Show all posts

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Migraine Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

There are multiple health problems which we often ignore, expecting it to be a minor issue. One such issue which most of us ignore thinking is it a minor condition is a headache. You might be having a headache but you don’t pay much attention to it every time. As a result, the headache worsens and you pop in a non-prescribed pill. Have you ever thought that your repetitive headache could be a migraine? Well, you might not know yet but a headache is one of the migraine symptoms. If you don’t know what migraine is, it is time you do!

Migraine meaning

A migraine is a form of headache that affects a human body along with sensitivity towards light, vomiting, and nausea. It is a neurological condition which can last from 4 hours to 3 days. In the US, the AMF or the American Migraine Foundation researched about migraine. The results were pretty astonishing as almost 36 million people are affected by it. The data collected shows that women are more affected by migraines when compared to men. A general age group was also derived through the survey which showed that it affected people from the age of 10 to 40.

Migraine is said to be a hereditary health condition as well. For instance, if your parental grandfather suffered from migraines, there are high chances that you may get affected by it too. It can pass down from grandparents to parents and children. Migraine can be easily mistaken with common headache reasons and that is why most of the migraine cases go unrecorded. The diagnosis process includes clinical testing, verifying symptoms, and detecting the phenomenon.

Effects of Migraine Pain

As described by the people suffering from migraines, the pain has different forms. Some patients experience a pulsating pain, while some experience pounding, throbbing, debilitating and perforating kinds of pain. In some cases, patients have felt a steady and severely dull headache as well. It often starts as a regular headache but if kept untreated, things could aggravate to a much worse level. Migraine pain often affects one side of the head in the forehead area, but in some cases, it can occur on both sides too.

Types of Migraine Headaches

Coming down to the types of migraine headaches, the most common one is the ones without any aura. Although the migraine symptoms in all the cases are the same there are different types of headaches. The migraine headache with aura is known as the classic migraine. Aura is the signal which you might receive before the pain starts. Usually, the aura starts an hour before the actual migraine pain and can last up to 15 to 20 minutes. There are some visual auras which include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Jagged or wavy lines
  • Bright lights or flashing dots
  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Blind spots
Apart from these, there are other auras that can affect the senses of the patient. These auras can cause a minute change in your sensation like hearing, taste, feeling, and more. Some of the rarest migraine conditions have such auras. Here we have briefed about these rare migraine conditions as well.

1. Hemiplegic Migraine

Under this condition, you will experience a short time paralysis or Hemiplegia in one side of your body. Along with this, you might feel temporary dizziness, numbness and vision problems. Besides, these are also the symptoms of stroke so it is tough to distinguish both the conditions. Doctors recommend getting emergency help whenever you or anyone known to you experiences these symptoms.

2. Ophthalmic Migraine

This condition has different symptoms. These symptoms are dull ache behind your eye, partial or complete vision loss in one eye for a short period of time, and more. if you experience any of these symptoms, immediately ask for medical help.

3. Migraine with Brainstem Aura

Loss of balance, dizziness, confusion, mild headache is some of the symptoms prior to the actual headache. Under this condition, the pain affects the back of the head. Some of the other symptoms related to this condition are trouble speaking, vomiting and ears ringing. This form of migraine is common in teenage and adult women as it is strongly related to hormonal change.

4. Migrainosus

Migrainosus is a rare migraine condition that can last for more than 72 hours. Nausea and the pain are so intense that you just need to rush to the hospital. This is caused due to some medication or as a part of withdrawal syndrome.

5. Ophthalmoplegic Migraine

Paralysis of the eye muscles and pain around the eye are the common symptoms of this type of migraine headache. This condition is an emergency health condition and requires immediate doctor’s assistance. The pain can create pressure on the nerves of the eye. There are other symptoms as well which include double vision, droopy eyelids, and so on.

Migraine Facts

  • People who suffer from migraines can easily detect the migraine symptoms and the factors leading to it. The most common factors are allergies, stress, and anxiety.
  • Migraine patients get a warning before the pain starts and that is as a signal.
  • If you can detect the commencement of the condition, you can stop it from affecting you or anyone you know by acting upon it.
  • OTC or over the counter medication such as pain reliefs can reduce the pain. Further, if you can avail of the specific medication, it can help you escape the headache as well.
  • Migraine patients who are prone to severe attacks prevent it by keeping the required medications along with them all the time.

Migraine Symptoms

The symptoms of migraine might affect you a couple of days before the actual attack. This time period is known as the prodrome stage of a migraine attack. The symptoms you will experience during this stage are:

  • Excessive craving for food
  • Stiffness in the neck area
  • Low energy
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Frequent yawning
  • Irritability
  • Stress
  • Hyperactivity
In the cases where the patient suffers from migraine with aura, the symptoms occur after the prodrome stage. In the aura migraine case, you will experience vision problems, movement issues, speech problems, and sensation problems. Some of the examples of these problems are listed below:

  • Improper speech or difficulty while speaking
  • Temporary vision loss
  • Tingling or prickly sensation in the legs, face, and arms
  • Seeing bright spots, irregular shapes, and flashlights
Next comes the actual attack phase where you will experience a different set of symptoms. At this stage, things have already aggravated to a much severe condition. Now is when the migraine pain starts to affect you. This pain can occur during the aura time period as well. The symptoms of the migraine attack last up to a day or two. Although the symptoms vary from person to person the effects are pretty similar. The symptoms of the attack are mentioned below.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • High sensitivity towards sound and light
  • Various forms of head pain like pulsating, throbbing, pounding, and more
  • The pain of migraine occurs in only one part of the head, like the left side or right side. In some cases, it occurs in the back of the head or in the forehead too.
Once the attack is over, you will experience the postdrome phase. This phase has a distinct effect on the feelings and mood of the person affected by migraines. Feelings can be as different as feeling happy euphoric or feeling pathetic and fatigued. You might feel a constant mild headache after the attack is over. The intensity of the attack and the length, both vary in every individual. At times, you might not be affected by the aura phase or the prodrome phase.

Causes of Migraine Headaches

The exact cause of migraine is not known to a lot of us but the migraine symptoms are. Depending on these symptoms doctors tend to treat their patients too. It is stated in a study that migraine is caused due to the relative changes in the brain as well as the genes of the individual. As mentioned earlier, migraines can be due to hereditary. You can also inherit the symptoms of migraines from any of your family members such as grandparents or parents as well.

A group of scientists researched the cause of migraines. As a result, it was found that this condition can be caused due to the change in the pattern of blood flow in the brain. Some people think it is a brain condition that comes from the time of birth. Well, this has very little chances to be true but isn’t verified yet.

The process of migraine pain commences when an overactive nerve cell sends a signal to the trigeminal nerve to activate. Trigeminal nerves send sensation to the face and head. When this nerve is activated, some of the chemicals are released in the brain. These chemicals are CGRP or Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide and serotonin. CGRP leads to the swelling of the blood vessels in the brain. In addition to this, neurotransmitters are released which causes pain and inflammation in the head. Even though a definite cause hasn’t been verified by scientists and doctors, but there are some factors that contribute to the cause.
  • Traveling
  • Dehydration
  • Smoking
  • Loud noises
  • Alcohol drinking habits
  • Skipping meals
  • Unusual or foul smell
  • Intense physical workout
  • Selective foods
  • Improper sleeping habits
  • Oral contraceptives and nitroglycerin
  • Hormonal changes in women, like progesterone and estrogen instability during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Barometric pressure fluctuation
  • Severe hot and cold weather changes
  • Bright lights
If you experience any of the migraine symptoms then you might be affected by the condition. The best way to detect it is by consulting a doctor and opting for clinical tests.

Treatment for Migraine

Treating migraine is not an easy task as it is aimed towards eliminating the attacks completely. You can opt for some of the changes in your daily lifestyle to eliminate migraine headaches completely. These changes are:

  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Get rid of depression
  • Avoid foods which cause health issues
  • Avoid smoking
  • Eliminate the use of alcohol
  • Consume a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water daily
  • Exercise daily
  • Develop proper sleeping habits
  • Follow a proper and healthy diet
If these aren’t enough to help you with the migraine conditions then you must consult a doctor. You can also opt for certain migraine medications but only after your doctor recommends it to you. Besides, there is an option of surgery which is for severe migraine problems.

Medications to Eliminate Migraine Symptoms

You can control the migraine through medication courses given by doctors. You need to follow it up as prescribed else it might not resolve the issue. There are some specific medications for migraine as well as some painkillers which can help you get rid of the pain. These painkillers are available in every pharmacy. You can get them over the counter on placing the prescription of the doctor. The painkillers are:
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin with Acetaminophen and Caffeine

How to Prevent Migraines?

The best way to prevent migraines is by detecting the symptoms and eliminating the possible causes of it. Further, you can consume medications prescribed by your doctor for avoiding or eliminating the condition. Also, you need to keep a record of the symptoms and causes which trigger the headache. This, in turn, will help you to avoid the symptoms in the future.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the root causes of a lot of health issues. It also leads to migraine headaches as well. You need to avoid stress, anxiety, and depression to stay away from migraine pain. At any point, if you experience symptoms of migraine, straightaway consult your doctor for help. It will be a huge mistake if you allow the condition to aggravate.

Change in lifestyle can also help you avoid the symptoms of migraines and lead a healthy life. All these factors are only effective when you are aware of your health condition. If you don’t take proper care of your health, then you might be the next person visiting a doctor for migraine headaches. Stay fit and take good care of your health.

Friday, 4 October 2019

How To Control Anger With Meditation?

 Learn the numerous ways in which Meditation helps control anger.

We all know and experience Anger. It’s natural. Sometimes, it’s the deluge of bad news that we are presented in the morning, the heated politics where the world seems getting angrier, the hatred discourse with friends, so much of the modern world pursuit is fueled by animosity.

While anger in certain situations is justified, more often than not, a majority of times it fosters bad relationships at work and life both. Anger develops division and hampers the health of the mind, body, and spirit. Therefore, there is a raising question: Are there ways to control anger? Is it possible to lessen and limit this destructive emotion?

The science of meditation is the key to cope up with the temper flares and to manage the anger. Anger management through meditation isn’t the process of completely abolishing anger from one’s life. Instead, it is a positive step in how you respond to certain situations that trigger it. Meditation empowers us to take charge and to channelize the anger in a healthy and productive way.

Let’s Work On Anger Together With The Art Of Meditation:

Be Clear On The Cause Of Anger

Many times, we use anger as a power-honoring strategy when we feel helpless and powerless. We yell to take the situation under control. Meditation is a technique that upgrades our thoughts. It teaches us true means of control rather than the illusion of control that we seek through lashing out.

Be Cool And Clear Head

Anger clouds the mind and crumples clear thoughts. In situations of no way out, keep your mind cool and clear. Meditation practices help us achieve this goal. Meditation melts anxiety and fosters mindfulness long before the boiling point.

Emotional Outburst

Anger leads to emotional outburst as well. Deep within the anger, we store feelings of inadequacy, fear, etc. Meditation helps us notice our emotions on a deeper level. When in anger, turn your attention to the feeling, listen to the thoughts, breathe, and notice the sensations in the body.

How To Control Anger With Meditation?

1. Cease The Mind Chatter:

By hushing the numerous thoughts that our brain generates, meditation can still the mind and successfully transform the negative inner thoughts into more complacent and positive ones. In meditation, the practitioners are encouraged to observe the thoughts without judgments, disabling the storm of thoughts and spirals of emotions leading to anger. Learn the techniques of meditation on a Meditation Retreat.

2. Positive Mindset

Embrace positivity with meditation. Meditation fosters self-confidence that replaces the feelings of ineffectiveness, incompetence, and helplessness. It alters the thinking at every level, makes the mind calm, and thoughts rationale. When thinking is creative, the awareness will be pure. “What we think, we become”– Buddha.

3. Activate The Cerebral Cortex

“Meditation is the blossoming of the prefrontal cortex to overcome the momentum of nature.”– Amit Ray. One of the best Anger Management Tips is to Meditate. A study by Harvard Neuroscientist– Dr. Sara Lazar found that religious meditators have more neural density, thickness, folds, and electrical activity within their prefrontal cortex that results in psychological balance, happiness, and higher level thinking. With so much goodness, it is hard to get angry.

4. Making Impossible- Possible

We often sense hatred, bitter, and emotional instability. Instead of living life in a mental gutter, transcend your experience with meditation. Meditation has the power to develop a higher mindset above anger to enable the mankind to achieve the impossible. Unlock higher possibilities of life with meditation.

5. Subconscious Exploration

Meditation serves as mental ‘Magellan,’ it navigates the depth of our mind weathering anger causing emotions. A quiet and activated subconscious mind is necessary to find out the solution. “ Your subconscious mind is 30,000 times more powerful than your conscious mind.”– Unknown.

6. Letting Go Of Anger

Meditation effectively weakens the power of stressful thoughts and its effects on the body and mind, thus strengthening our immune system to the bad reaction of anger. The mindfulness learned through meditation makes us keenly aware of our thoughts, the rise, and fall of sensations and makes us witness the thoughts instead of changing or being in control of them. This assists us in achieving an internal balance.

Meditation rewires the inner circuitry, transforms the thoughts, emotions, alters the brain patterns, increases emotional intelligence and so much more thereby diluting the fury out from our Life.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

End of Summer Blues? How to Protect Against Seasonal Affective Disorder

With September here and the nights getting longer, some of us are truly affected. Understanding that this is just our inner mammal getting ready for hibernation can go along way to turning around what is for some an extremely debilitating feeling. It’s a fact that with summer behind us and autumn on the way GPs start to get themselves ready for the increase in seasonal blues at their surgery. Correspondingly, managers and HR departments receive an increase in sick notes with the nebulous ‘low mood’ listed as the reason for absence. In medical literature this is known as SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. Symptoms of what is medically classified as a mild to moderate depression do include feeling sad but also can include a general lowered mood, anxiety, lethargy, social withdrawal, decreased libido, increased appetite and at its darkest, literally and figuratively, hopelessness.

There’s a widespread misunderstanding that simply clinically observing a sequence of patterns is sufficient enough to conclude there is “something wrong with us”. Then with our feelings named into a disorder, we oftentimes take ourselves off to the GP, who – due to time, resources, process never mind a lack of psychological and dietary training – often resort to medication. Increasingly for talk therapists we see people prescribed antidepressants who don’t realise that once you get on that train, there’s no easy way to step off. Antidepressants themselves are definitely not seasonal! 

When we understand that our seasonal reaction is normal our anxiety can dissipate. This in turn can open the door to us using this time for, not just our mental and physical improvement but also our productivity. Knowing these patterns are actually quite normal and may not need medicating, but just self-awareness and informed understanding can really help. It’s important before we all press through that shinny foil for perceived winter happiness that we consider a number of aspects. 

First and in its basic form, we need to both deal with and accept that summers end and that can feel pretty grim in itself. It’s OK to feel this, but better to understand the feeling and give it a more appropriate name. Recharge could be one. Taking a more business perspective it could be considered a good time to capitalise, yes, put our heads down but instead to be more productive. 

Building on this is the inescapable fact that we are actually still mammals (maybe if a squirrel doesn’t fit your style, what about a bear!) This decrease in our upbeat flip-flop feeling is evolutionarily appropriate. In the not-so-distant past, winter was a time that food was scarce, the days shorter and colder, so a little extra cosy in the cave feeling, was appropriate. Electric lights and falsely longer days have had a deleterious effect on us. Our body’s evolution took millions of years, relatively new inventions do not mean we have fully physiologically adapted. Hence our body influencing our feelings. 

Obviously there are people with SAD that are actually much more than just sad and who are deeply affected. First thing to check – and is normally not part of a doctor’s remit – is our vitamin D. This is especially relevant to people of colour where Vitamin D insufficiency is more prevalent due to the differing melanin absorption. That said, all of us need this this sunlight boost so as to metabolise effectively and for our cells to function. Light, it is said by many, is as important as food! This brings us to diet. 

In the summer, we’re not just outside more but we’re also eating in a different manner. Diet must be considered but again is not part of a doctor’s main training. Let’s just say, takeaway pizza with a side of doughnuts washed down with a coke are not really going to help with your mood. Our nutritional considerations are closely followed by the big one – exercise. Our body, including our organs, was not designed to be placed quite so much on the softest purchase from Sofaland or propped up in the latest ergonomic chair. It’s all still sitting! We need to get up more. Thankfully, unlike in the US, British and European doctors ‘prescribe’ exercise as a first-line treatment for depression. So get out there! (Even squirrels leave their tree in winter.) Apart from the benefits of movement in itself, exercise positively impacts dopamine and serotonin. The very same chemicals that antidepressants aim to manage. There are innumerable studies that detail regular aerobic exercise is as effective as antidepressants in reducing symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Unfortunately traditional psychiatry lags far behind psychotherapists and health coaches in terms of treatment considerations, often preferring medication prior to talking. Not a way forward in my opinion. 

Talk therapy is by far the most beneficial route for seasonal blues and may need a minimal of visits to reframe ‘low mood’. Further, if coupled with any of the above insights correctly applied, it can make a world of long-lasting difference. Alas, popping a pill and watching Netflix, seems so much more inviting to many. We must realise that the impact of taking antidepressants along with staying indoors even more, is simply not a way forward for our health and longevity. There’s so much you can do before medicating away the winter. We are programmed to have SAD – so let’s start calling it out for what it is as opposed to a named cluster of symptoms. What about squirrelling? Maybe not – but let’s at least talk about it and learn. There’s nothing wrong with having season blues. It is very well treated with talk therapy and can be the key to living an incredible winter, as opposed to one that disempowers.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

8 Ways to Break the Ice With Your New Roommate

You’ve done the summer assignments, picked out all your bedding and dorm supplies, and learned where to go for all your upcoming classes.  You’re super prepared for your first semester at college! There’s only one unpredictable variable: your new roommate.

For many freshmen, being assigned a roommate is a stressful concept, as it involves sharing close living quarters with a perfect stranger. In order for you both to feel comfortable and “at home” in your dorm, it’s important to break the ice and get to know and respect each other. You don’t need to be best friends – though it often ends up that way – but a mutual understanding is important. Unsure how to get there? We’ve got you:

1. Look for Mutual Interests

Your desk is stocked with vegan snacks, her shelf on the mini-fridge looks like a deli. You spend your free time writing songs, while she prefers to go for bike rides. Yes, your hobbies and interests are different – but you’re bound to have something in common.

Tell her about your interests and ask about hers – you’ll find an overlap! Eventually, you’ll likely learn that you listen to the same “guilty pleasure” music, both find your RA weirdly cute or express mutual distaste for a popular TV series. It all depends on the two of you.

2. Start a TV Show Together

It’s fun to watch a series with a new friend. Not only does it give the two of you something new to discuss after every episode, but it can also help provide you some insight into who they are. Seeing how they react to certain scenarios, finding out what makes them laugh, and what type of (fictional) behavior bothers them can be useful to know as the two of you navigate your cohabitation.

Promise you won’t watch ahead without each other!

3. Learn About Their Life Back Home

The more you understand your roommate, the more you two will get along. This is especially handy if your roommate has any habits that annoy you. After all, if you can interpret someone’s behavior, it’s easier to either forgive or tactfully approach.

Without asking nosy or overly personal questions, inquire about their life back home. If they have photographs or mementos hanging up, you can ask about the stories behind them –  you’ll likely come away from the conversation with a better grasp of the person you live with. 

4. Go For an Adventure

One of the best things about having a roommate? You have an adventure buddy!

When we say adventure, we’re not suggesting a big commitment, like planning a Spring Break trip. We’re referring to a low-key kind of caper, which can be done in a few hours.

Have some extra space in your room? Perhaps the two of you can set off to the local thrift stores in search of the perfect cozy chair. Both love pizza? Search together for the perfect slices in your new town.

5. Be Generous

It’s time to practice the Golden Rule and treat your roommate the way you would like to be treated. If you can tell that she needs help or support with something, and you have the ability to offer that, be generous.

Let’s say your roommate is cramming for his first test of the semester. Instead of crawling into bed and saying, “Good luck studying,” offer him a helping hand. If you can tell he’s starting to fade, give him one the energy shots in your cupboard, or offer to do a snack run. Whether he says yes or no, he’ll appreciate the gesture.

6. Open Up

If your roommate has been opening up to you about their life and experiences, it’s time for you to do the same. You needn’t get overly personal or share things that you aren’t comfortable with, but in order to build a friendship, it’s important to let your roommate know who you really are.

If she tells you a hilarious story about something she did with her high school friends, tell her one about your own adventures back home. If she confesses that she’s afraid of dolls, you can tell her about your secret bird phobia. It’ll create new connections between the two of you.

7. “Co-Parent” a Plant

Not only will a houseplant brighten up your dorm, but it will also give the two of you a low-pressure, shared responsibility that makes you both happy. Visit a garden or DIY store together, and talk to the staff about what kind of plants will thrive in your space, and how to properly care for it.

8. Communicate!

In a small space like a dorm, it’s crucial to speak with your roommate about basic requirements. What kind of environment do they need to fall asleep or study? Do they have allergies or do certain smells that make them sick? When do they go to bed? How much quiet or alone time do they need? Communicate these same needs of yours to them as well.

After these conversations, you’ll be able to find ways to respect each others’ needs in a way that suits you both. That might mean something like getting a comfy sleep mask for the night owl and a set of headphones for the morning person.

Whether you need a boost for an early morning class, a late-night study session, or an adventure with your new friends, we have you covered – fast. Choose from over a dozen mouthwatering flavors, take a shot, and enjoy a sustained, energetic feeling – instantly!

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

5 Ways to Make the Most of Healthy Lung Month

October is Healthy Lung Month in the United States. This is a time for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together to brainstorm ideas to combat chronic illnesses like asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. Additionally, it’s a time to raise awareness for the harmful effects of smoking and air pollution, both of which lead to millions of instances of respiratory illness every year.

If you’ve ever been a health activist before, you know that in order to cause a major disturbance in the way that people think about their health, you need to start small. For this reason, If you’re looking to make the most of your time this Healthy Lung Month, you need to start by examining your own health first.

In this post, we’ll take a look at five key things you should be doing in order to promote healthy lungs. In the meantime, If you’re looking for further reading, the American Lung Association has a great resource page that can help you become an advocate for lung health.

1. Drop the Cigarettes for Good

Cigarettes and other inhaled drugs like e-cigarettes and marijuana are quite simply the worst things you can do for your lungs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labels smoking as the leading cause of preventable death not just in the United States, but worldwide.

When a cigarette is lit, it releases around 7,000 chemicals that cause irreversible damage to the structure and function of the lungs. And if that’s not enough, it’s worth noting that nicotine is an immunosuppressive drug, meaning it impairs your body’s ability to fight infection as well as chronic illnesses like diabetes and COPD.

2. Create an Exercise Plan

Exercise is another component of a lung-healthy life. Consistent and adequate exercise strengthens the muscles in the lungs and prevents the buildup of plaque in the arteries, meaning blood will flow more easily throughout the body without your lungs having to work overtime. recommends aerobic exercises for 150 minutes a week for both healthy adults and people with a respiratory condition, however, more than this can only help. While there’s no need to perform any specific type of exercise, you will want to ensure that you’re exercising consistently.

3. Create a Lung-Healthy Diet

Believe it or not, your diet has a huge impact on your lungs. A healthy diet will promote easy and efficient breathing while a poor diet could make you more prone to respiratory infection and chronic lung disease. According to the World Health Organization, vitamin A is one of the best ways to combat acute lower respiratory tract infections while speeding the recovery or reducing its severity if you already have it. Sources of vitamin A include eggs, orange and yellow vegetables, and green leafy vegetables.

Aside from food, you need to consume a high amount of water in order to maintain healthy lungs. Water is absolutely necessary for preventing respiratory infection because it helps regulate mucus production in the chest and hydrates every cell in the body including immune cells. While water consumption is a highly debated subject, most health specialists recommend at least eight glasses or two liters of water every day.

4. See a Doctor

Let’s face it, most of us try to avoid going to the doctor if we don’t absolutely need to go. And while this may work for a while, eventually this plan starts to show its holes. As we age, the chance that we’ll experience health issues increases significantly, and this is no different when it comes to our lung health.

According to the COPD Foundation, 63 percent of adults with signs of decreased lung function have never been diagnosed with respiratory condition. This is significant because many lung conditions progress slowly over the course of many years. If you go to the doctor for regular checkups, they’ll be more likely to catch the warning signs of conditions like asthma, COPD, or lung cancer.

5. Get Your Community Involved

Now that you’ve taken some time to evaluate your own lung health, it’s time to spread awareness to people in your community. If you’re interested, you can check online to see if there are any Healthy Lung Month events going on in your area. These are a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and discover new ways to help people suffering from chronic lung conditions.

If you know someone who’s coping with a chronic respiratory disease or they’re struggling with smoking cessation, now might be a good time to reach out to them. While it may seem like you’re a burden on them, many people lack the support they need and will accept your offer with open arms.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

How Can Sleep Affect Your Child’s Mental Health

Kids are very active. They love to play all day. However, during the night, they always hate to sleep. Sleep is necessary for our body because it allows us to recharge, When we sleep, our body rests, and repair its damaged cells. Aside from this, did you know that sleep affects your child’s mental health too? What are the risks and benefits of sleep? Let’s all find out.

Risks of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Risks mean the danger you and your child might experience when he or she can’t sleep well. Sleeping disorder can happen to young toddlers too. There is a documented case about a four-year-old kid who suffers insomnia.

Insomnia is the inability to sleep. Adults who suffer chronic insomnia are stress about their school, work, finances, health, and family. These things will keep the mind active at night. When you’re mind is occupied with a lot of things, you will experience difficulty in sleeping.

But how about for children’s insomnia? Insomnia for kids can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They will also suffer behavioral problems after two to three years. You will notice that if your child is not getting enough sleep, they tend to be moody. It’s hard to discipline these type of kids who always wants to get what they want. So to avoid these health risks, you need to help them get enough rest.

Benefits of Sleeping in Child’s Mental Health

Sleeping has a lot of benefits for kids and adults. It is not just about physical relaxation. Sleep is also great for our cognitive health. Especially in your kid’s mental health. Why? It is because of their brain continues to develop every single day. A healthy amount of sleep can help their neurons function well.

Their brain also needs to restore used resources during the day. Did you know that the human head can get tired too? Kids learn a lot from school and playing. So at the end of the day, their brain needs to relax. To solve this, you need to rest well. There are also areas in the human mind that are more active while we’re sleeping. These cells repair all the damage and prepare your healthy cells for the next day.

Sleep increases creativity and concentration.

According to studies, children who get consistent good night’s sleep are more creative and can concentrate longer. Toddlers use their brain for creativity in playing with friends and participating in school activities. When the brain feels draining, encourage your kids to sleep well. Concentration is also essential to accomplish homework and tasks inside or outside the school.

A good sleeper has better problem-solving skills.

Have you encountered a kid who talks and decides like an adult? You never know, these kids are good sleepers. When the brain gets enough rest, it can function well. These include solving problems and make positive decisions in life. Kids can sometimes think like a rational adult. Sometimes, they make sense without them trying.

Sleep improves learning and memory.

If your child is having problems at school because of poor memory, let them sleep. A good night’s sleep can make you learn and remember new things. When you are not mentally drained, you will have more energy for the next day. You will also notice that kids who eat and sleep well are happy and can maintain a good relationship with others.

5 Tips on How to Make your Child Sleep Early

Do you need help in making your child go to bed? Well, you can follow these steps. At first, it is very challenging to shift from one routine to another. But you will get used to it. These are simple steps on how to make your kid sleep early. It is best for newborns, toddlers, and preteens.

Set an individual bedtime according to your child’s age

In general, the average recommended sleep is 8 hours. But for kids, they need more than that. You need to know the individually prescribed rest so you can create a healthy night plan. For newborns, ages 0 to 2 months, they need at least 16 to 18 hours of sleep. They can take a 3 to 4 hours nap.

If you have 2-months to 1-year old babies, you need to help them sleep for 14 to 16 hours a day. On the other hand, for toddlers to school-aged children, they need 10 to 12 hours of sleep. Now that you know all of these, you can set an individual schedule for your children.

Create a meaningful bedtime routine

Bedtime routines work best for infants. Babies are still learning about the timezone in this new world. Plus, their rest time can happen anytime during the day and night. So as a parent, you need to set-up a bedtime routine to help out.

When we have a consistent routine, our body and mind already know what comes next. For example, having a warm bath and drinking hot milk before going to sleep can relax you in an instant. Therefore, your body is ready to go to sleep. Do this to your children and train them while they’re young.

No gadgets before bedtime

You need to implement this rule strictly. Gadgets produce radiation that can delay sleep. When you’re a kid is playing their phones or watching TV, their eyes are active.  The best way to do this is to turn off the TV, put away all the gadgets and dim all the lights.

Create a cozy and unstressful bedroom

How to create a cozy and unstressful bedroom for your kids? Simple. All you need is their favorite wallpaper, warm dim light, and a comfortable cotton weighted blanket. These bedroom essentials will make your child go to sleep. It will relax their brain and help improves mental health. Fear is one stress during bedtime, so eliminate all the shadows as much as possible.

Talk to your child

Yes, talking is the best. Before going to bed, talk to your child. You can ask them how their day went and they will surely appreciate it. Kids have so many stories to share. And they want to share it with you. You can read them bedtime stories. For your teens, you can share to them inspirational words to keep them going. Give some love. It always works.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Your Mind, Your Body, and Your Baltimore Lifestyle

Living in Baltimore is great. It’s wonderful to work in a tough and competitive city and feels right to support your town’s sports teams, even if you’re not always rewarded for your loyalty. Walking around Baltimore’s scenic areas, visiting the Aquarium, and raising your kids in a place like this is typically what most people want, but Baltimore isn’t always as great as it might seem. Like any other city, it has stresses and unhealthy temptations. It demands a lot of you, and sometimes your physical and mental health are short-changed. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of the Baltimore lifestyle, the ways in which it might be unhealthy, and how you can go about building a better life in Charm City.

All work and no play…

Like other East Coast cities, Baltimore is a fast-talking and fast-moving town. There’s a bit of southern charm in Maryland, but nobody would mistake this bustling city for a slow-paced town in the Deep South. Like D.C., Philadelphia, or even New York City, it’s a competitive, hard-working, fast-talking scene.

That’s great because you’re more than capable of building your career on a big stage. But be wary of your own work habits. Working too much is terrible for your health, and it can lead to serious mental health problems like burnout. Take care to build a healthy work-life balance: Keep work out of certain times and spaces (with specific rules and hard-and-fast habits that you actually stick to) and be sure to actually use your vacation days. Consider seeing a therapist, as doing so is a great way to manage your mental health proactively even if you’re not overwhelmed by stress at work or home.

You are what you eat

Baltimore is a city full of wonderful food. Unfortunately, the people here may be eating a bit too much of it. Baltimore’s obesity statistics may not be the worst in the nation, but they’re not admirable, either. If you’ve been sneaking Old Bay fries into your diet every other day for as long as you’ve been in Baltimore, then you’re probably starting to notice the problem on a personal level.

Be smart. Your diet should consist primarily of whole foods — unprocessed vegetables and meats that you’ll find around the perimeter of the supermarket. Cut back on processed foods, which include everything from regular old bread to corporate food-lab concoctions like Cheez-Its, which are delicious, but have no redeeming nutritional qualities whatsoever.

Meanwhile, try to get some exercise. There are lots of places to run and work out in Baltimore, not to mention lots of great outdoor activities like softball leagues. Get out and about, and get a move on. You should be getting 150 minutes of exercise per week — and that’s at a bare minimum.

Doctor, doctor

Smart lifestyle choices will do a lot to keep you happy and healthy, but you can’t handle everything on your own. That’s what healthcare professionals are for. Be sure to visit your doctor at least once a year for a check-up, and be quick to report symptoms and illnesses if you’re concerned about any.

Most people in Baltimore and beyond are pretty good about seeing doctors for check-ups, and you probably are, too. But what about your mental health? You should be just as proactive about your mind as you are about your body, explain the experts at Therapy Group of Baltimore. You should strongly consider therapy, which is not just for those with mental illnesses. Talk therapy can give you powerful insights and smart strategies for managing stress, building stronger relationships, and keeping yourself on-track in your personal and professional lives. It’s a very smart way to improve your Baltimore lifestyle.

Living in Baltimore is amazing, but it’s not without its stresses. By being conscious of your well-being through a better diet, work-life balance, and with a top therapist by your side, you’ll be able to tackle this city and live a more healthy and productive life.

Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women


Looking for a pre-workout supplement formulated specifically for women?

A pre-workout supplement is used by both professional and amateur athletes to get a good pump before and during their workout. Usually, such supplements contain substances like caffeine and guarana which make you feel more energetic and alive. Before a workout, both men and women need pre-workout drink to get themselves in the right mental and physical state. I am pretty sure you skip training sessions regularly due to fatigue or feeling sluggish. Once in a while, everyone suffers from tiredness. 

Why do women need a pre-workout supplement, you ask? Women need a pre-workout supplement for several reasons. Not every woman wakes up in the morning full of energy and focus. The way you need a cup of coffee to get your day going, you also need a pre-workout drink to get yourself fully prepared for what’s about to come. Secondly, on a typical workday, most women go to the gym in the evening. Work can sometimes be tiring. It also puts your mind in a stressful state. To break out of that thinking pattern, you need to put some vitamins and minerals in your body. 

Here are the 5 best pre-workout supplements for women

1. BeautyFit BeautyStrong Pre-Workout for Women

BeautyStrong Pre Workout Supplement for women is formulated to enhance add lean muscle to your body and enhance your ability to work out hard. This might be a good fit for you if you want to watch those extra pounds melt away. As the name suggests, BeautyFit is a supplement company having a line of sports nutrition products specifically catered to women. Their business motto is to “educate, inspire & motivate women to look and feel beautiful”.

This pre-workout is designed for women who lack the motivation to workout and are struggling to get their bodies back in shape. It can be difficult to get back to workout out after a break(due maternity period, injury, etc). You need a push in your journey back to the gym so that you can replace that flab with muscle. This is where BeautyStrong Pre-Workout comes into play. With this pre-workout, you can run faster, lift heavier and feel stronger in the gym.

2. RSP AminoLean – All-in-One Pre Workout

A pre-workout supplement doesn’t necessarily be loaded with a ton of caffeine and other stimulants. It can also be derived from natural sources of energy like Amino acids. This is what RSP AminoLean is all about. It is an Amino acid-based pre-workout for both men and women. It does have 125 mg of caffeine per serving, but it is extracted from organically grown Green tea. So, it won’t give you the “jitters” after consumption.

RSP AminoLean is available in 9 delicious flavors. Out of them, Fruit punch and Blackberry Pomegranate are the most popular. This zero-calorie product does not have any sugar in it. You can get 30 servings out of one can of RSP AminoLean. You can have it just before a workout or use it as an afternoon pick-me-up(on workdays).

3. Sheer Strength Pre Workout for Women with L Arginine

Looking for non-habit-forming pre-workout custom-made for women? 

Take Sheer Strength Pre Workout for Women 15 -20 minutes before arriving at the gym and have endless energy for the next few hours. This product comes in a savory Pina Colada flavor (without the rum, Obviously!). This pre-workout is made for women and by women. So, it does not contain a high dosage of ingredients that can sometimes be too much for a woman. Don’t worry about its efficacy. It is tested on female athletes and fitness professionals.

Sheer Strength Pre Workout does not contain ingredients that cause an itchy face or make you feel jittery. All it does is make you feel stronger and renewed before you step into the gym and hop on the treadmill. Moreover, it is also free of potentially harmful ingredients like GMOs, preservatives, binders, fillers, dairy, gluten, soy, peanut, egg, etc. This formula is science-backed and safe to consume every day. Plus, there is no risk involved. Sheer Strength Labs will give your money back if you don’t find it effective. No questions asked.

4. NLA for Her – Uplift

As the name suggests, this is also a product specifically formulated for women. It is made considering the unique needs a woman has. No extra powerful dosages(per serving) or ingredients specific to men. You don’t have to worry about it tasting like medicine either. The tart-tasting Raspberry lemonade flavor is out of this world. Assuming your workout 3-4 times a week, take this product 15 minutes before a workout(gym session, running, jogging, etc) and feel more energy and focus, right away.

The formula used in NLA for Her pre-workout for women has been scientifically proven to increase your energy, endurance levels, and fast-twitch muscle fiber activation during your workouts. It is also laced with naturally occurring Amino acids like beta-alanine, lysine, carnitine, glycine, and arginine. The nootropic blend in this product increases focus and concentration in the gym. It is gluten, sugar, and caffeine-free.

5. Diva Mode Fitness

Looking for a pre-workout with the power of Creatine Magnapower?

Diva Mode Fitness is a California based fitness product manufacturer. The word Diva is an Italian term which means goddess. But it is falsely being used by people who want to call out women for being arrogant and stylish. Their products are formulated to cater to women only. Hence, they make sure that their products don’t mess up your hormonal balance.

To give you an energy boost and increase your training capacity, it does contain 100 grams of caffeine per serving. A cup of pure coffee contains more than 100 grams of caffeine. So, it is safe to consume and won’t make you feel antsy or agitated. One downside of this product is it contains 1 gram of sugar. Sugar gives the Electric Lemonade flavor extra kick but it is never appreciated by high-level athletes.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Injury Prevention For Exercise

Fitness offers all kinds of obvious benefits — a way to gain muscle, lose weight, boost endorphins, burn calories and more. The only problem? For many people, it’s all too easy to accidentally get injured. Straining a muscle while trying to get in shape is the fastest way to put a halt on your zealous workout plan. To prevent the need to pause your fitness journey, here’s a look at good workout practices.

You don’t need a personal trainer to work out effectively, but it’s an excellent idea. A qualified trainer should know how to steer you away from bad habits that potentially cause injury. He or she will guide you toward a proper form that could give you better results. Even if you only book a few initial sessions, it’s worthwhile. Every time you start a workout, make warming up your first priority. This loosens your tight muscles and tendons so that they’re ready to move safely. Some good warmup ideas include brisk walking, jumping rope or biking for a few minutes.

Just as you warm up at the beginning of your workout, so too you should cool down at the end. Give yourself at least five minutes to slow down your movements, help your heart rate recovery and stretch. If you’re one of those exercisers who’s loyal to a certain machine, reach outside your comfort zone. Trying new routines works different muscles and gives others a break.

Especially when you’re going to be physically active, hydrate properly by drinking enough water. Also, be sure to take a day or two off each week to help your body recover from heavy lifting, cardio or another exercise.

As great as it is to stay active, your exercise is only as effective as your injury prevention. If you pull a ligament or strain a muscle, you’ll have to take time off — and easily can lose motivation. Use the tips above to protect yourself. To learn more about how to work out in the safest, smartest ways, check out the accompanying checklist. It presents injury-preventing tips in a visually friendly format to make it easy to remember!

Monday, 12 November 2018

The Effect of Cannabis on Dystonia and Spasticity

The cannabis plant derivative CBD has been known for years to treat various conditions thanks to its pain-relieving and neuroprotective effects. It has shown promise for relieving chronic pains including arthritic pains, pain due to multiple sclerosis, and nerve pain in general. It has also been used to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

But did you know that cannabis can also help to treat dystonia and spasticity? This article sheds a light on that.

Understanding Dystonia

Dystonia is a movement disorder that results in the muscles of the affected person having involuntary contractions. The contractions bring about repetitive movements and twisting, which may be painful at times.

Researchers believe that defective brain signals make muscles pull on the body of the patient incorrectly, spasm, and compel the body to twist, move repetitively, and form into abnormal postures. Dystonic tremors sometimes come along with these symptoms.

Dystonia is classified into three types:
  1. Idiopathic dystonia – Occurs with no obvious or known cause
  2. Genetic dystonia – Acquired from the parents, thus present at birth
  3. Acquired (secondary) dystonia – A result of environmental conditions or other brain damage
Some possible causes of dystonia include genetic inheritance, lead, and carbon monoxide poisoning, stroke, physical trauma, infections, and even pharmaceutical drugs, especially neuroleptics that are used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Most of the time, dystonia manifests as abnormal posturing. The opposing muscles contract simultaneously as if competing for control over a part of the body. Some of the symptoms of dystonia include:
  1. Difficulty in speech
  2. Tremors
  3. Diaphragm vibrations while breathing
  4. Sleeplessness
  5. Increased stress and anxiety
  6. Pain like that of restless leg
  7. The constant muscle and brain activity cause abnormal sleeping pattern, lack of concentration, blurred vision, mood swings, and mental stress.

Spasticity explained

Patients with spasticity experience muscle stiffness and problems with movement. They also suffer spasms whereby a muscle goes limp or jerks uncontrollably, which may sometimes lead to severe pain and sleep problems. This condition is common among patients suffering from spinal cord injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and other ailments.

Why cannabis is an effective treatment for dystonia and spasticity

The different types of dystonia vary by the part of the body they affect. With so much of the disease involving muscle spasms and involuntary contractions, medical cannabis can come in handy to treat the muscle spasms. Several studies have been conducted to support findings that CBD as a useful treatment for dystonia (movement disorders) and spasticity.

Cannabis contains two cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which stimulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system. The two cannabinoids help to regulate the inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters that are crucial for diminishing muscle tremors and spasticity.

With the understanding of the uses of medicinal cannabis for dystonia and spasticity treatment, patients with either of the two disorders can get relief by using it. They should ensure that they get high-quality cannabis products, and they can be sure to get them from reliable sellers.

Cases of cannabis efficacy in treating dystonia and spasticity

According to personal accounts, cannabis is known to relieve muscle spasms, even before it was available widely for medicinal purposes. From a 1982 study of people with spinal cord injuries, 21 out of 43 people indicated that cannabis eased their spasticity.

Additionally, a 1997 survey of multiple sclerosis patients who used cannabis frequently found that almost the entire population of 112 individuals also said that cannabis helped to minimize pain and spasticity.

A 2002 case study published in The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management reported alleviation of dystonia symptoms in a 42-year-old with chronic pain after inhaling cannabis smoke. The improvement was manifested by a drop in her subjective pain score from nine to zero. She was also in need of no other analgesic drugs for the 48 hours that followed. As per the researchers, no other treatment had offered significant relief for her condition.

Symptoms of dystonia treated by cannabis

Besides the contorting muscles and repetitive spasms that characterize dystonia, neuropathic pain also often accompanies them. The pain may target any part of the body including the hands. Parts like the shoulders, neck, and facial areas can also experience dystonias that are disabling and painful, resulting in the patient being unable to speak, walk, or move if left untreated.

Cannabis as a cure for dystonia comes in handy in such conditions. Even if it does not cure the condition or reverse any damage, it is said that in the majority of the cases, it can eliminate the pain and make the muscles unclench and relax. This happens to an extent the patient is not extremely disabled anymore and can function and move normally.

Although CBD helps alleviate some muscle spasms due to dystonia, it seems not to help as much as when it is mixed with high levels of THC. Patients do not seem to be relieved from residual pain when treated with CBD without THC.

Due to the antiemetic, analgesic, and appetite-stimulating characteristics of marijuana, it is effective as a treatment for dystonia since it helps to improve symptoms like severe pain, appetite loss, and nausea. Marijuana also has antispasmodic properties, and this helps to counteract the involuntary movement characteristics of dystonia.

Bottom line

Considering both the numerous medical research is done and the accumulating anecdotal evidence, it is evident that cannabis can be an effective alternative treatment to alleviate symptoms for patients with dystonia and spasticity.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Finer Choices for the best Escape from Cocaine

Cocaine is a natural alkaloid extracted from the Erythroxylon coca plant, central nervous system stimulant (CNS) and local anesthetic. It can cause significant acute physical and psychic effects, either in chronic, occasional or novice users, instill basic clinical problems or generate clinical complications from prolonged use.

Cocaine use has grown widely over the years. The effects that the substance causes vary with dose, individual user characteristics and mode of administration. For the proper drug rehabilitation this is the best deal.

Most individuals use cocaine associated with other CNS depressant drugs (alcohol, benzodiazepines and marijuana, and opioids) to counteract the sympathomimetic (stimulating) effects of the drug. There may be associated alcohol dependence, producing signs and symptoms of withdrawal and / or delirium in the days following drug administration.

Cocaine and crack sold on the streets, by their illicit nature, have no quality control and have all sorts of dodgy adulteration and refining and alkalinization methods, further increasing the vulnerability of users.

The presence of cocaine in our daily lives and its ability to generate or trigger focal and systemic complications makes it an important differential diagnosis for clinicians and psychiatrists in emergency rooms and requires an evaluation beyond the purely psychic and phenomenological gaze.

Cocaine Treatment – Clinical Evaluation of Users and Dependents:

The clinical assessment should take into account, in addition to detailed research of the individual’s clinical history, information from medical records, family members, friends or even employees. Factors such as route of administration, duration of effects and use of other substances are also taken into account. Laboratory tests also have great relevance, as do physical exams.

Cocaine Treatment – Administration and Bioavailability

Cocaine may be used by any route of administration, oral, intranasal, injectable or pulmonary. The route chosen interferes with the quantity and quality of the effects caused by the substance. The faster is the onset and duration of effects, the greater is the likelihood of dependence and abuse. The particularities of each route expose users to certain risks, such as needle-sharing contamination, exacerbation of asthma, persistent rhinitis, among others.

Oral administration, the habit of chewing or drinking coca leaf teas, is secular and cultural in the Andean countries for its reactive and anorectic characteristics. The leaves have low cocaine concentration (less than 2%), with remote chances of intoxication. Only 2 – 3% of orally ingested cocaine is absorbed into the body, the effects start about 30 minutes later and last about 90 minutes.

The intranasal or aspirated route has 30% bioavailability. Much of the refined powder attaches to the nasal mucosa, where it is absorbed into the local circulation. The effect of cocaine can be felt minutes after the first administration, lasting 30 to 45 minutes.

Smoked cocaine was little used until crack appeared. Cocaine paste, an intermediate refining product, is obtained after maceration and treatment of coca leaves with sulfuric acid, alkaline and kerosene. The cocaine hydrochloride is refined and obtained from the acidification of the paste with hydrochloric acid.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Approaching Mental Wellness in the Workplace

It’s rare to find anyone who has never been stressed by work. No matter what industry you're in, it’s completely normal for work to take a toll on your mental health. However, it doesn’t mean that it's okay for you to just sit by and do nothing. The next time you feel your sanity slipping, take the initiative to ask for a time out to recover. 

Why is it so important to make sure your mental health needs are met?

Approaching your boss to ask for time off for mental health reasons isn’t a sign of weakness or inability at all. By respecting your mental health needs, you are showing initiative and consideration for the work you do. Being in a good mental state is crucial to productivity. The positive energy you carry will also spread to the people around you and create a far healthier work environment for everyone. Also, by being proactive about prioritising your mental health, you are also setting a good example for your colleagues who may be in similar situations but are too afraid to voice out their needs. In a nutshell, don’t be afraid to talk to your boss about your mental health needs because by doing so, you are showing that you are a responsible employee who takes pride in your work. 

How to talk to your boss about your mental wellness

Mastering up the courage to actually book an appointment to sit down and talk to your boss is the first step. Here are the other aspects of having a proper conversation regarding mental wellness with your boss.

Choose the right setting

Pick a location and timing that you are comfortable with to have the big talk. Don’t pick a time when either of you has to rush off for another appointment as this can lead to a rushed, unfulfilling conversation. 

Be honest and straightforward

Come clean with how you are feeling and explain why you feel so stressed and mentally drained. A good boss will appreciate the honesty and it will be easier to decide on a solution when you have laid all the facts out on the table. 

Justify your need for a break

The hardest part of this talk is convincing your boss why you need that break. You need to put up a sound argument so use logic and facts – talk about how much companies that place a greater emphasis on mental wellness also enjoy greater productivity ratings. To emphasise your commitment to your mental health, show your boss how you intend to spend the time off. If you are going to see a therapist, let your boss know about it. This shows that you are serious about making the most of your situation so that you can come back as a stronger individual who can better contribute to the company. 

The stigma of speaking up about stress and burnout in the workplace is real, but you need to remind yourself that you have the right to be healthy mentally regardless of your station. Suffering in silence only makes things worse, so start taking active steps towards owning your mental wellness and be confident about addressing your needs. 

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Things to Know about Civet Coffee

Hey, listen up, all coffee lovers! Have you heard about civet coffee or kopi luwak? Well, it is the most costly coffee in the world made from poop. It’s rate range between $35 and $100 per cup, or about $100 to $600 per pound. Its high price is due to the unique method of producing coffee. Civets are grabbed from wild and fed coffee beans for mass production of coffee. They have a long tail same a monkey, stripes and face markings like a raccoon. It also plays a vital role in the food chain.

In Indonesia, Asian palm civet that raids commercial fruit farms is sees as a pest. Thus, the growth of kopi luwak industry motivated locals to guard civet cats for their pricey dung. Their digestive enzyme alters the structure of proteins in coffee beans that eliminates some of the acidity to make a tasty cup of coffee. It has also featured in the movie Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and on Oprah Winfrey Show. So let’s check out everything about the world’s best-tasting coffee.

What is Civet Coffee?

Kopi” is the Indonesian word that means coffee and “Luwak” refers to palm civet cat that consumes and digests coffee beans. Civet coffee (Luwak coffee or cat poop coffee) is produced from the coffee beans digested by an Indonesian cat-like animal known as civet cat or palm civet.

That is why it is also called as civet cat coffee or cat poop coffee. Cat feces is collected, finished, and sold as kopi luwak. That is why it has become a trendy drink amongst people. It is really a safe drink if you follow all the precautions seriously.

How Was Civet Coffee Discovered?

Civet coffee was discovered in colonial Indonesia at a time when native farmers worked Dutch coffee plantations. In the era 1800, coffee popularity increased fast. And to cater to the boosted demand, Dutch prohibited Indonesian farmers from harvesting coffee for themselves.

So they find other ways to harvest it for their own usage. Native farmers explored that a cat named civet ingest coffee cherries without actually digesting them. It means once the cherries were dropped out of the body, coffee beans are brewed. They were shocked that it takes good than the traditional coffee available in the market. Sumatra is now the primary producers of this amazing coffee along with other major producers like Bali (Ubud), Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Sulawesi, etc.

What’s So Special about Kopi Luwak?

Kopi luwak is one of the most costly coffee types in the globe. An essential specialty of civet coffee is its production process.

a) Coffee Tree

Coffea or Coffee trees are small trees native to tropical Asia and southern Africa. They produce seeds that have caffeine in them that acts as a defense mechanism against animals. But it is not protected against civet.

b) Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant. They are called beans as they resemble that of beans. They come from the round red berries of the coffee plant.

c) Palm Civet

Palm Civets or civet cats are tiny mammals belong to the Viverridae family. They are known as Luwak in Indonesia. Asian palm civet body is covered with bushy hairs usually grey in color.

It also has a tiny white patch under each eye, white mask across the forehead, the narrow dark line between eyes and a white mark on every side of nostrils. They are usually omnivore animals that consume fresh fruits such as berries, Chiku, coffee, and even small insects and mammals.

d) Digestion

Kopi Luwak is a coffee made using coffee beans subjected to ingestion and fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract of the wild Asian palm civet. It means beans are partially digested and then pooped out civet.

Also, after the creature consumes fresh ripe coffee cherries, their digestive systems impart a smooth aroma to the beans. Digestion removes all the fruity pulp that sometimes gets left on the beans during processing.

e) Feces

After 24 hours, coffee beans are defecated by a cat in clumps. Just note that civet coffee beans are brittle and harder in nature. In Southeast Asia, these feces are considered golden.

f) Finishing

In the final stage of the process, the farmers rinse, dry, pound, sort, and roast coffee well. If required, they also add other flavors as well like ginger and hibiscus to diversify the flavor profile.

Just note that washing and roasting provides a sufficient time for germs to get rid of, thereby making it a safe drink. The kind of coffee brewed depends on beans’ type that civet consumes that range from robusta plant to arabica coffee plant.

g) Enjoy

You can brew civet coffee like any other coffee. Avoid using milk, cream, and sugar in it. It is because it stops you from tasting its unique flavor.

What does this Wonderful Coffee Taste Like?

Kopi Luwak gets its fabulous taste from the unique processing that it goes through. Proteolytic enzymes involved in the process break down the coffee beans outer layer beans. It is the layer that causes bitterness. Since bitterness gets eliminated, it offers a smooth taste to the coffee. It usually has a rich nutty flavor.

This cat shit coffee is always lightly roasted before it serving since it is not as bitter in comparison to other coffee beans available. Light roasting also gives a boost to the natural flavors while preserving bean uniqueness. This allows coffee to taste slightly smoother than an average cup of joe. Tons of gourmets around the globe love its taste. Just note that original kopi luwak coffee has a potent taste, but it does not burn your throat when you drink it.

Health Benefits of Civet Coffee

Coffee connoisseurs enjoy tons of health benefits. Civet coffee not only offers a caffeine boost, but studies have shown it can help people get rid of depression and some health disorders at bay.

Great for Ulcers

Civet cat coffee has a low acidic concentration, thereby making it good for ulcer patients.

Great for Digestive Issues

Civet coffee is also good for people suffering from digestive problems. Start consuming it in the morning, and it will surely prevent your digestion problem in no time.

Control Diabetes

In comparison to regular coffee, civet coffee has Chlorogenic acid that suppresses the insulin resistance of the body, making it excellent for Type-2 diabetes patients. In fact, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, consumption of 3 to 4 cups of decaffeinated coffee lower diabetes by 50%.

Guards Teeth

Due to its anti-bacterial properties, this wonderful coffee keeps your teeth clean and free of bacteria. It means it causes minimal staining in comparison to ordinary coffee. In fact, drinking one cup of civet coffee a day can help prevent oral cancer.

Lower Muscle Pain

Drink two cups of Kopi Luwak after your workout to lower muscle pain.

Prevent Cancer

Cancer is one of the common chronic disorders in the world. As per Harvard study, people who drink this rich and flavorsome coffee may reduce their chances of having cancer. They also have stated that ladies that drink 3 to 4 cups of Joe have 39% less prone to getting cancer.

Help with Neurological Issues

Some people say that civet coffee guards people from cognitive decline later in their life. It can prevent cell damage related to Parkinson’s disease and can even control the inflammation of the brain linked to Alzheimer’s. It means kopi luwak helps you think better and stay more active. Start drinking civet coffee regularly to promote your neurological health.

Get Rid of Gall Bladder Disorders

Caffeine present in cat poop coffee can prevent the formation of mucus crystals in the bile. It also releases cholesterol crystals trapped in the gallbladder, thereby lowering the risk of gallbladder disorders.

Offer Psychological Benefits

This coffee can enhance your mood and energy beyond a standard caffeine boost. Civet coffee is also a good option for those suffering from migraines and headaches. Thanks to the vasoconstriction effects of caffeine.

Boost Heart and Liver Health

This traditional Balinese coffee guards the muscular chamber of heart against artery damage. Due to this, it will also prevent the risks of heart disorders like heart attack, hypertension, thrombosis, heart failure.

Furthermore, high consumption lowers liver enzymes levels which reduce the inflammation and damage to the liver. You can consume 1 to 2 cups of civet coffee every day to get the best health results.

Boosts Energy

The presence of caffeine in civet cat coffee will also boost the energy level in the person. Besides this, awesome aroma and delicious taste will enhance your spirit level as well.

Things to Know when Buying Kopi Luwak Coffee

There are certain things that you need to take into account when purchasing civet cat coffee.

Fake Civet Coffee

Kopi Luwak is available to purchase all across South East Asia. Due to its costly processing and price, it is usually faked. It means there are a lot of shops that sell civet coffee that is not 100% pure kopi luwak. So make sure you do your reach well when buying it. Also, to get real Kopi Luwak coffee, the excellent way is to order it at a supplier. This guarantees your unique processing.

Qualities of real coffee beans:

  • Real beans are yellow-green in color and have a uniform size.
  • They have a leafy smell, but the fake ones smell like rice.
  • There are no black spots on original civet beans.
  • Low price tags mean coffee is fake.
  • The aroma of real civet coffee is much powerful in comparison to ordinary coffee. It’s well balanced and has an earthy and nutty flavor. It also lacks acidity.

Kopi Luwak Farms

In earlier times, kopi luwak was simply an Indonesian specialty. It as exclusively made by wild civet cats. These animals graze in the wilderness, choose cherries on their own, and coffee producers hunt for their dung.

But as civet coffee has gained immense popularity and with Indonesia growing as the major tourist spot, more wild civet cats are caged for coffee production. It means it is not the wild civets that are producing kopi luwak any more now.

They have been captured and put in cages on giant plantations. These creatures are usually left in inhumane conditions; forced to excrete beans. In fact, these cages are neither comfortable no sanitary for the animal to live in.

This has caused a huge effect on the civets, thereby causing sickness, stress, and high mortality rates amongst them. Just remember that organic kopi luwak comes from natural sources without harming any animal.


Its price depends on the following factors:

  • Is the coffee produced from caged civets or wild civet cats?
  • How are you buying it – cup or pound?
  • What is the supply in your area in comparison to the demand?

In America, civet coffee can range anywhere between $100 to $600 USD. You can expect to pay at least $50 USD for one cup of civet coffee in comparison to average coffee that ranges from $2 to $5/cup.

Is Coffee Made from Civet Cat Feces Are Safe to Drink?

You might be wondering coffee beans coming from excreta of civet are full of bacteria? Yes, it is partly true. Scientists have studied the safeness of kopi luwak, and they have found beans from civet feces are more contaminated than regular coffee beans. But, processed beans have minimal bacterial contamination in comparison to other coffee beans. It means there is no contamination by e-coli or other bacteria.

Coffee Made From Poop – Final Thoughts

Civet coffee is, no doubt the most expensive and rarest coffee on the market. It is made using a special technique that includes being coffee beans that are excreted by the civet cat. Many people drink this traditional Balinese coffee for the unique taste, but others drink to take part in the strange nature that coffee comes from.

Any premium coffee that you get at your local coffee shop comes from the cherries processed through more advanced techniques than Kopi Luwak. With its exquisite taste and plenty of health benefits, it is something that everyone should try out. Do not forget to comment to tell us how this coffee turned up for you.

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