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Archive for July, 2018

Can’t shake that queasy feeling? Here’s how to feel better in no time.

There’s nothing worse than when you start to get that sick, queasy feeling deep in the pit of your stomach. If you’re not already puking (the absolute worst), it can leave you feeling dizzy, disoriented, and down for the count until you get to the root of the problem.

“Nausea is a very general symptom that can occur in a wide variety of illnesses and as a normal process of your body’s regulation,” says Jayme Hoch, DO, a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System.

That’s the tricky part: It seems like everything and anything can make you feel nauseous. Stomach flu or food poisoning, motion sickness, early pregnancy, and overeating are common causes.

When your stomach starts rumbling, anti-nausea medications—like Emetrol and Dramamine-N—can help you find relief fast in most cases. If you don’t want to go for meds, some people also find relief from mildly scented oils such as peppermint, lavender, or ginger. (These 15 stomach-soothing remedies are a safe bet, too.)

Still, there are lots of other stomach-turners that may need a little extra attention. Here, eight reasons you can’t shake that queasy feeling—and how you to keep your stomach feeling happy moving forward.

You’re about to get a migraine

Why migraines occur is not fully understood. But they are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. There are multiple theories on how migraines cause nausea, however.

Experts believe the brain chemical serotonin plays a role. The theory? Serotonin sends signals to the blood vessels in your brain, telling them to grow bigger, which can sometimes activate the part of your brain responsible for nausea and vomiting, explains Christine Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

“Another theory is that migraines influence the part of the brain that is linked to inner ear disturbance, hence the strong correlation with vertigo and dizziness with the symptom of nausea,” Dr. Lee explains.

✖️Nix the nausea: “To prevent migraines, you should avoid common triggers that cause your migraines, including emotional stress, bright lights, strong odors, lack of sleep and not eating,” Dr. Hoch says.

You’re anxious

anxiety nausea
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Anxiety can increase activation of your autonomic nervous system, specifically your ‘fight or flight’ reaction,” Dr. Hoch says. When this happens, more of your blood flows to your muscles instead of the organs that make up your digestive system, which causes nausea.

Stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and others also get dumped into your blood, which spikes the number of contractions in your stomach, creating that queasy feeling, Dr. Lee says.

✖️Nix the nausea: The best thing you can do to avoid future bouts of nausea is to find a way to manage your anxiety, says Dr. Hoch. That might mean practicing self-relaxation techniques, going to counseling, exercising, or taking medications prescribed by your doctor. These eight natural anxiety remedies are a good place to start.

You’re dehydrated

dehydration nausea
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Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have enough water to carry out its normal processes—meaning the symptoms go beyond feeling super thirsty.

“When you have less fluid circulating in your body, your body preferentially sends that fluid and your blood flow to the organs it sees as most important—your brain and your heart,” says Dr. Hoch. “This can cause decreased blood flow to the organs of your gastrointestinal tract, causing nausea and abdominal pain.”

✖️Nix the nausea: Filling up on lots of fluids is key. While the ideal amount of water needed varies from person to person, most adults should get anywhere from 11 to 16 cups per day, says Dr. Hoch. That may sound like a lot, but you don’t need to chug from a water bottle to hit that amount. Tea and coffee, seltzer, vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as fruits like watermelon all count toward your daily water intake.

Your blood sugar is too low

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Your hormones work to regulate your blood sugar levels. But if your blood sugar starts to dip too low (known as hypoglycemia), certain hormones (like glucagon and epinephrine) spike to help your body produce more glucose. When this happens, your stomach experiences a surge in signals that can create the sensation of nausea, says Dr. Lee.

“Low blood sugar can also affect your autonomic nervous system, similar to the mechanism of nausea associated with anxiety,” says Dr. Hoch.

✖️Nix the nausea: To help keep your blood sugar steady, go for foods on the lower end of the glycemic index (GI), says Dr. Hoch. The GI measures how quickly the carbs in various foods are broken down to sugar and released into your blood. Most fruits, non-starchy vegetables, legumes, and oats are all great options, according to the American Heart Association.

The timing of your meals matters, too. “Hypoglycemia can be prevented by consuming small frequent meals throughout the day,” says Dr. Hoch. Keep your portion sizes under control, include a mix of lean protein, quality fats, and low-GI carbs (like bulgar, sweet potatoes, and corn), and aim to eat every 3 to 4 hours.

You have acid reflux

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According to Dr. Lee, “gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause nausea due to the splashing of gastric acid up and out of the stomach into the lower esophagus,” the tube that connects your mouth and stomach.

This acid can damage the lining of your esophagus, which can make you feel nauseous. Other common symptoms of acid reflux include chest pain, heartburn, trouble swallowing food, or feeling like you have a lump in your throat.

✖️Nix the nausea: Avoid overeating, smoking, drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, and eating spicy, fatty, or acidic foods. These things can make all of the symptoms associated with your acid reflux feel worse, says Dr. Hoch.

It can also be helpful to stay upright for at least 30 minutes following meals. Medications, like Zantac or Nexium, also work to tame your heartburn. (These six natural remedies for acid reflux can help you find relief, too.)

You may have peptic ulcers

Peptic ulcer nausea
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Peptic ulcers—most commonly caused by an infection from an H.plyori bacteria—occur when acid penetrates deep into the mucosal lining of your stomach, causing an open sore. This can lead to burning stomach pain, bloating, heartburn, and nausea, says Dr. Lee.

✖️Nix the nausea: To heal your ulcers, your doc will typically describe antibiotics or drugs to slow the production of stomach acid to aid in the healing process. You might also need to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen and naproxen) and steroids since they can increase your risk of peptic ulcers, says Dr. Lee. Alcohol, smoking, and spicy foods can also make your symptoms worse.

To prevent peptic ulcers from coming back, remember to keep things clean. “Good hand washing hygiene is important to avoid contracting an H. pylori infection, which is contracted through fecal or oral transmission,” says Dr. Lee. This means you should lather your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds (be sure to get between your fingers and under your nails).

Your allergies are getting the best of you

Along with watery eyes, an itchy throat, and constant sneezing, seasonal allergies can cause post-nasal drip, meaning excess mucous in your nose trickles down the back of your throat rather than out of your nostrils. This can easily irritate your throat or cause a cough, but when that mucous makes it’s way down your esophagus and into your stomach, nausea may hit.

✖️Nix the nausea: First thing’s first—try to avoid anything that seems to trigger your allergies (sorry, early morning farmers’ market). Keeping your mucous under control with some over-the-counter allergy meds—like NasalCrom Spray and Claritin—can also help. Just be sure to discuss with your doc. If your allergies become unbearable overall, he or she may recommend prescription-strength medication or even an allergy shot.

You popped a pill on an empty stomach.

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“Nausea is a common side effect of many different medications including antidepressants, blood pressure medications, oral contraceptives, pain medications, antibiotics, and many more,” says Dr. Hoch. Your gut processes food by releasing stomach acid—so when you take a pill before you eat, that acid will still be released, causing irritation or nausea, says Dr. Hoch.

✖️Nix the nausea: First, try taking your meds with food to see if it helps settle your stomach. If the medication itself is actually making you nauseous, talk to your doc about testing out the lowest dose. You may also need to cut out other unnecessary medications or supplements, says Dr. Hoch.

Source: https://www.prevention.com/health/a22548362/what-causes-nausea/

 

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Remember that time you ate too much birthday cake as a kid (…or maybe that was last week)? For a few minutes you were flying high, happy as can be. Then came the equally intense crash, leaving you exhausted, cranky, and craving another sweet treat.

We’ve all experienced the profound impact our blood sugar levels have on energy and mood, and it’s no fun. But beyond being an energy-draining annoyance, imbalanced blood sugar can seriously impair your ability to meet the demands of daily life, and—if chronically elevated—wreak havoc on your long-term health.

Even if you think you lead a relatively healthy lifestyle and have your blood sugar levels under control, not everyone’s good at spotting the warning signs. In fact, a staggering one-third of Americans have prediabetes—higher than normal blood sugar levels that aren’t yet considered type 2 diabetes—but 90 percent of them don’t even know it.

With prediabetes, instead of fueling your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. High blood sugar occurs when your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, or both. Among other complications, prediabetes puts you at greater risk for stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Even for people who aren’t necessarily at a high risk for developing diabetes, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to common complications, including fatigue, weight gain, and sugar cravings.The good news: With the right lifestyle and dietary tweaks, lowering your blood sugar and avoiding complications is easier than you think.

Here’s how to tell if your blood sugar is out of whack and simple ways to lower your blood sugar naturally and effectively.

Signs your blood sugar is out of whack

When you don’t manage your blood sugar levels appropriately, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can occur as levels rise and fall drastically. This comes with number of unpleasant side effects, including:

  • Dry skin
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent peeing
  • Blurred vision
  • Nerve damage or tingling sensations
  • Slowly healing cuts and bruises

15 ways to lower blood sugar naturally

If the above symptoms sound all too familiar, consider implementing the following strategies to lower your blood sugar to healthy levels and keep it balanced.

1. Follow a minimally processed diet.

Your first dietary step towards more balanced blood sugar: ditching (most of) the packaged foods and focusing on high-quality whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and quality meats and fish. Many processed foods are high in sugar, refined grains and carbs, and artificial ingredients and flavorings, while being low in blood-sugar-stabilizing fiber and protein. Of course, it’s also important to be realistic. You’re probably not going to be able to nix packaged foods completely, so just make a point to select those that are made from mostly whole-food ingredients, like a bar that lists just nuts, seeds, and dried fruit on its label.

2. Load up on fiber

Your minimally processed diet should be heavy in non-starchy, fiber-rich vegetables and (to a slightly lesser extent) fiber-rich fruit and whole grains. That’s because fiber slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, which means you experience a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels after meals. Fiber has also been associated with a reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Good sources of fiber include leafy greens, brussels sprouts, broccoli, artichokes, raspberries, pears, beans, lentils, peas, avocados, pumpkin seeds, and oatmeal.

3. Eat plenty of high-quality protein.

Like fiber, protein tempers insulin secretion, leading to a more gradual rise in blood sugar after a meal. It also fills you up better than any other nutrient. Eating a protein-rich breakfast may be particularly important, as it helps set the tone for the rest of the day. The amount of protein you need in your diet depends on a number of factors, but general protein recommendations for healthy adults are 0.8 to 1.0 gram per kilogram of body weight (55 to 68 grams per day for someone who’s 150 pounds). Good animal sources include wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, and pasture-raised chicken and eggs. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, load up on these eight plant-based protein sources.

4. Consume healthy fats.

Like fiber and protein, fat buffers blood sugar spikes. In fact, unsaturated fats have been specifically linked to improved insulin resistance. Just be sure to avoid refined fats, including trans fats and processed vegetable oils, like corn, soybean, and safflower oils, which can be pro-inflammatory. Sources of quality fats to consider adding to your diet include: nuts, olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, avocado, and fatty fish like salmon.

5. Switch up your carbs.

Lowering your overall intake of carbohydrates is also important for balanced blood sugar, but you don’t need to cut them completely (they’re still a crucial source of fuel for your body). Simply swap out refined carbohydrates like bread, white pasta, and candy for fiber-rich, whole-food sources such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, and fruit, which contain a number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential for health.

6. Balance your meals.

Eating some protein, fiber, and healthy fat with all of your meals can help stabilize blood sugar and manage your appetite, especially when your meal also contains carbohydrate-dense foods like high-sugar fruits (mangos, grapes, cherries) or starchy vegetables (potatoes). Each of these nutrients helps balance blood sugar on its own, but they’re even better together. We love a good kale salad topped with avocado and grass-fed steak.

7. Eat bigger meals earlier in the day.

A giant, late-night dinner is your blood sugar’s worst enemy. That’s because our bodies become more insulin resistant as the day goes on—so a meal that you eat in the evening will cause a greater spike in blood sugar than a meal you eat in the morning. Because of this, many nutrition experts advise front-loading your meals, or eating bigger meals earlier in the day and having a smaller dinner at least three hours before bed.

8. Sleep more, stress less.

Both sleep deprivation and stress can cause elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which raises blood sugar. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and adopt stress-busting habits such as exercise, meditation, or yoga. One study found that nursing students who did meditation and yoga experienced lower blood sugar spikes after meals. If you’re ready to start your meditation practice, check out mindbodygreen’s 14-Day Guide to meditation with mbg Collective member Light Watkins.

9. Drink plenty of water.

Drinking water helps your kidneys flush out excess blood sugar through your urine. One study found that people who drank more water had a lower risk of developing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Can’t seem to drink enough? If water is just too plain for your taste buds, add slices of citrus, or sip on a flavored seltzer or herbal tea throughout the day to hit your hydration quota.

10. Exercise regularly.

Your muscles need blood glucose for fuel, which means that when you take that barre or CrossFit class, you’re helping move blood sugar from the bloodstream into the muscles where it’s then burned up. Over time, this can lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity (i.e. how well your cells are able to absorb glucose from the blood and use it for energy). Intense exercise can temporarily raise blood sugar, so if you have poor blood sugar control, it make sense to start moderate (think: walking, jogging, or yoga), and then work your way up.

11. Take a shot of apple cider vinegar.

Swigging ACV may not sound appealing, but it could help keep blood sugar in balance if taken before you eat. Some research has found that consuming apple cider vinegar before meals reduced blood glucose levels of patients with prediabetes by nearly half. The theory is that acetic acid, a component of the vinegar, slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar in the bloodstream. Pro tip: Mix a tablespoon or two into a glass of water—taking it straight will burn!

12. Sprinkle on some cinnamon.

Research on cinnamon’s blood sugar-stabilizing powers is a little mixed, and it may not be a wonder spice. But if you’re adding it to an already healthy diet, it may have a subtle benefit. Some studies suggest that cinnamon lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, or making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells. Try sprinkling it onto oatmeal or into low-sugar smoothies. Bonus: It tastes delicious!

13. Eat magnesium-rich foods.

Magnesium seems to be of particular importance when it comes to keeping blood sugar balanced. Deficiencies in this mineral have been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, and one study found that people with the highest magnesium intake were 47 percent less likelyto develop diabetes. Supplementing with magnesium has also been shown to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Making a point to consume plenty of magnesium-rich foods—leafy green veggies like spinach and Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, almonds, black beans, dark chocolate, and avocado—is smart in general, as magnesium plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Nosh on some chromium-rich foods like broccoli, barley, and oats, while you’re at it. One study found that the combined effects of chromium and magnesium were more beneficial than either mineral alone.

14. Get familiar with l-glutamine.

L-glutamine, an amino acid needed in large amounts by your body, has been shown to help build lean muscle by suppressing insulin levels and stabilizing blood sugar. One study found that supplementing with L-Glutamine for six weeks improved body composition in patients with type 2 diabetes. L-glutamine has also been shown to help heal a leaky gut, which is important for digestive health and immunity. In addition to supplements, you can find L-glutamine in foods such as bone broth, grass-fed beef, cottage cheese, spirulina, asparagus, broccoli rabe, salmon, and turkey.

15. Pop a probiotic.

Probiotics are an obvious supplement for digestive health, but they may play an important role in lowering blood sugar, too. One small study found that people who were following a heart-health DASH diet and also consumed probiotics experienced a decrease in fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels (a marker for testing long-term blood sugar levels). Start by adding healthy, probiotic-rich foods to your diet such as kefir, plain yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, or even a little low-sugar kombucha. And, to help probiotic bacteria to thrive, eat plenty of prebiotic foods such as fiber-rich leafy greens and vegetables.

The bottom line: Take a whole-body approach to lower blood sugar

No single food, supplement, or workout session is going to be the magic bullet. To lower blood sugar (and keep it balanced for good), start eating a minimally processed diet that contains fiber, protein, healthy fats, and high quality carbohydrates; get regular exercise; make sure you’re hydrated and well rested; play around with meal composition; and experiment with research-backed superfoods and supplements.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-lower-blood-sugar

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Utah and Idaho, the last two states to allow women to feed their infants in public, finally folded.

Utah and Idaho—the last two states in the country that lacked clear legislation protecting breastfeeding mothers from obscenity laws—recently passed legislation that puts them on-pace with the rest of the country.

As reported by the Salt Lake City Tribune, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law on Monday a bill that makes it “crystal clear” breastfeeding is legal in public in the state. Though, because even devastatingly slow progress doesn’t come without qualifiers, the Salt Lake City Tribune notes that a (male) state representative complained about the wording in the bill, which originally said breast-feeding was allowed “irrespective of whether the woman’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.”

Utah state Rep. Curt Webb said the language “seems to say you don’t have to cover up at all,” adding: “I’m just not comfortable with that, I’m just not. It’s really in your face.”

In light of Webb’s complaints, the bill passed without the “controversial” language that he was “not comfortable with.”

The Idaho legislature passed its bill with less drama from the men. Which is reportedlya big step-up from a previous attempt in the state 15 years ago, in which male legislators raised concerns that public breastfeeding protections would encourage women to “whip it out and do it anywhere.”

As the Idaho Statesman reports, Idaho’s breastfeeding law passed unanimously, though it doesn’t state as clearly as other, similar laws that women explicitly have the right to breastfeed in public. Hmm.

It’s now official: All 50 states, including the District of Columbia, have laws protecting mothers who breastfeed in public. As People notes, this lobs the United States up to the same level as the United Kingdom and Australia, two countries that already had nationwide protections of the sort.

Source: https://www.prevention.com/health/a22575023/breast-feeding-legal-united-states/

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