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Articles related to depression, anxiety, narcissism.

Understanding Binding Sites

Since drugs usually act on the human body by engaging with a molecular target, it is important to find the perfect target for any drug under development. Usually, this means intensive research into the potential protein binding sites that may allow molecular interaction. What, exactly, is a binding site?

A binding site is an area on the outside of the protein molecule that can bind to a molecule, such as a messenger, hormone, or another modulator. Upon binding, the reaction between the protein and the binding partner – known as a ligand – usually changes the protein’s shape, altering its function. For many diseases, altering the protein’s function in a particular way can remedy issues related to that function.

Ligands and Their Importance

In most cases, protein binding sites will only allow bonds with specific ligands. Ligands that are not the correct shape or molecular structure will not bind adequately with the binding site. Conversely, the proper ligand will fit properly, allowing the formation of the strong hydrogen bonds that are necessary to keep it in place.

Once the ligand is in place, the hydrophobic atoms of the protein molecule shift into place, surrounding the ligand. This ensures limited reactions from the surrounding environment and provides the ligand with a more secure fit. Drugs that closely mirror the structure of a particular ligand can fit into their place and thus have their own effects on protein function.

You May Die From A Broken Heart, A Cardiologist Warns

R. Todd Hurst, MD, is a board-certified cardiologist and a director of the Center for Cardiovascular Health at Banner – University Medicine Heart Institute, and associate professor of medicine at the University of Arizona. He tells a story how 16 years ago he was called to see a 49-year-old woman who was experiencing a heart attack.

She had all symptoms of a heart attack – an abnormal ECG, chest pain, and a blood test that showed a heart muscle damage. However, he noticed that she wasn’t fitting the frame of someone that should be at risk of a heart attack. She ate well, was very active, had a healthy weight, she had no family history of heart disease, and her blood sugar, blood pressure, and her cholesterol levels were amazingly good.

And he also noticed another thing: she started experiencing the symptoms soon after she heard that her loved one died.

“After discussing the options, we decided to perform a heart catheterization to evaluate her heart arteries. The results were surprising. First, her arteries looked completely normal. But the bigger surprise was that, despite her healthy arteries, the function of her heart was severely decreased, with about 2/3 of her heart not squeezing” he said.

He and his colleagues cannot believe their eyes. Even though they had decades of experience, none of them had seen something like that before. No one has seen a perfectly healthy young woman with normal arteries to have so disastrously damaged heart.

After some time, he learned that there is a syndrome called a broken heart syndrome that exists but is not completely understood.

“We do know that increased adrenaline and the sympathetic nervous system surge that occurs with stress play an important role, we also see evidence that the central nervous system and endocrinology system are involved. But why broken heart syndrome occurs in some people and at some times, and not others, is not understood.”

The medical literature shows that any type of stress can cause the broken heart syndrome, including lightning strike, public speaking, bad news, illness, cocaine use, argument, gambling losses, thyrotoxicosis, surprise birthday party, and so on.

And when we think about it, what’s really the heart? Scientists and doctors describe it as a pump for pumping blood. Poets and writers describe it as the center of our emotions and a sacred place when we feel both heartbreak and love. Who is right? Well, this syndrome suggests that both are right.

What do you think?

Source: https://blogs.webmd.com/heart-health/20180626/you-really-can-die-of-a-broken-heart-a-cardiologist-explains

Are you strong enough to overcome addiction? Men-only rehabs will help you

There are no gender boundaries between those who suffer from tobacco, alcohol, and prescription or illicit drug addiction. This issue affects both sexes. However, effective treatment requires customized programs. For male patients, the success rate is increased in a treatment facility that’s designed for men only.

As a field of gender-specific rehab and recovery treatment, recovery for men has appeared relatively recently. But this new trend in addiction treatment will only grow as there’s already scientific evidence that proves the efficacy of the gender-based approach.

Male-Specific Rehab as the Best Option

Society expects men to be strong. That’s why some male addicts delay with getting professional help at a rehab for men https://addictionresource.com/drug-rehab/men-only/. They believe that the inability to cope with a problem on their own is a sign of weakness.

But you won’t treat a serious health problem on your own, won’t you? Substance use disorder is a disease. It requires medical intervention. And entering a treatment facility is one of the bravest decisions a man can make.

A stay in rehab allows an individual to understand that there are other men who are in the same position as he is. He engages in conversations with those who have already broken free from the vicious cycle. It boosts his motivation.

A man feels less judgmental attitude in a men-only setting than in a mixed-gender environment. This helps him to lower his guard and allow healing to occur.

Gender Differences in Substance Use Patterns

While both genders are prone to alcohol and drug addiction, there are several differences in the use, treatment, and relapse rates.

  • Substance use is more prevalent among men.

According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), men have higher rates of alcohol consumption. They also use marijuana more often than the opposite sex. And those with marijuana use disorders are more likely than women to try other illicit drugs or demonstrate antisocial behavior.  Also, men use greater amounts of heroin than women.

  • The root causes of addiction are different.

Women use substances to cope with emotional or relational pain, while men are pushed by financial, legal or behavioral problems.

  • Men seek treatment more often.

A recent study revealed that men face fewer barriers to accessing substance abuse treatment and are more likely to seek treatment than women. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that most clients in addiction treatment rehabs are male.

  • Men have higher relapse rates.

A study conducted by Dr. James McKay and fellow researchers from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia showed that men relapse for different reasons and they are more likely to relapse than women during treatment.

The Benefits of Male-Specific Rehabs

Enrolling in men-only rehabs can be advantageous for males looking to recover from substance addiction. Whether you go for rehabilitation for the first time or you want to regain sobriety after a relapse, a gender-specific program will offer you several benefits. They include:

  • a distraction-free environment that helps clients to focus on recovery;
  • therapies that address male-related issues in recovery, including masculinity and sexuality;
  • the opportunity to form lasting friendships with other men in recovery;
  • a high level of comfort due to the absence of potential barriers that may arise from being around members of the opposite sex.

The biggest plus out of the above-mentioned benefits is the level of comfort that allows men to get involved in the treatment process. It’s especially important when they need to discuss some sensitive issues. For example, men who have been molested as a child or raped may experience extreme shame or guilt that can be better addressed in a men-only treatment environment.

The Types of Treatment in Men’s Addiction Treatment Centers

Men-only rehab programs can consist of different types of treatment:

  • Medically-assisted detox

Detoxification is the process of cleaning the body from harmful toxins that accumulate as a result of prolonged alcohol or drug abuse.

  • Counseling

The aim of specialized counseling is to cope with the unique issues men face. It focuses on domestic violence prevention, anger management, and fixing unhealthy relationships.  

  • Behavioral therapy

It helps to examine unhealthy behaviors that have led to substance abuse and teaches to recognize potential triggers and use healthy coping mechanisms.

  • Holistic therapy

Some of the forms are yoga, acupuncture, music therapy, art therapy, animal therapy.

  • Family therapy

This type of therapy is recommended for those men whose families have been damaged during the abuse period.

  • Life skills

The programs teach men to develop healthy life skills like proper diet and exercise. It can contribute to sobriety. Some offer job skills classes and parenting classes.

Choosing a Men’s Rehab

Given the special needs of men in recovery, a gender-specific center is often the perfect choice. But not all men-only rehabs are the same. How to find the right one?

At first, determine what your goals of going into rehab for men. Of course, the major goal is to quit alcohol or drugs. But there may be additional issues that need to be addressed.

Often, male addicts suffer from co-occurring mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and ADHD. If you have this problem, find a center that can address both aspects of recovery.

The price also plays its role. Make inquiries on whether your insurance can cover some part of the cost. Consider a facility close to your home. If you can afford maximum comfort and want to stay anonymous, luxury rehab may meet your needs.

If you want to deal with some psychological trauma, make sure the center’s staff has competent counselors who can address the root causes that led to addiction.

Depending on your individual case, you’ll need one of the two rehab programs. Inpatient rehab for men will be beneficial for someone who has a severe and long-term addiction, needs detox, lacks strong support at home, and faces many triggers in their daily life.

Outpatient rehab will fit someone who has a support network at home, isn’t surrounded by triggers, and doesn’t have a history of relapses. It’s also referred to as “day hospital”. The patient visits the rehabilitation center throughout the day but lives at home. 

Unfortunately, neither gender is predisposed to seek treatment at high levels. More than 90 percent of those who need treatment fail to get it. Don’t wait! The earlier you start recovery, the easier it will be.

10 Tips for Maintaining Your Intellectual Health During Quarantine

The COVID-19 global pandemic has been a tough adjustment for the world, both for physical and mental health reasons.

You’ve likely been inside for a couple of weeks. Are you starting to feel stir-crazy at this point?

This is a super common occurrence during quarantine and has even been recognized by the CDC. Dealing with stress and keeping your mind occupied is an important factor for your health during this time.

Keep reading to learn the top ten tips for maintaining your intellectual health during the quarantine.

  1. Create a Routine and Stick to It

This pandemic has certainly changed all of our daily routines. There’s no more commuting, going out to eat, or regularly visiting friends. But trying to maintain as much normalcy throughout the day can be a relief to your mental health.

For example, if you were going to the gym before or after work, you could try to use that time to do a workout video in your living room or go on a run.

Another huge mental health activity is changing your clothes, brushing your teeth, and showering. Get ready for the day and do all of the things you’d normally do to help yourself feel productive.

  1. Stay Connected with Friends and Family

Having regular video chats with friends and family can create the support system you need during this time. If you’re feeling particularly anxious or stressed, reach out to someone you trust who you can lean on.

Just in general, keeping your family connected and providing regular updates will make you feel less isolated. Making the most of technology and reaching out to the people you love is highly recommended.

If you and your family have experienced a loss recently, continue to reach out daily so you feel less isolated. Using keepsake urns might also be something you can have with you and will make you feel connected to those you lost.

  1. Get Sleep, Drink Water, and Take Care of Your Health

Taking care of your health is a regular part of your life, regardless of this pandemic. So take this opportunity to refresh your health routine. Consider the amount of water you drink every day and the amount of sleep you’re getting.

Eating nutritious meals and exercising can also improve your daily life. When grocery shopping, try to avoid foods you know will make you feel bad later and aim for healthy portions when eating.

Finally, try to limit the amount of alcohol you’re consuming. This can be an easy substance to lean on during difficult times, but it can actually end up emphasizing any mental health issues you might be struggling with.

  1. Give Up What You Cannot Control

So much feels out of our control right now, and trying to give up the things that you are unable to control will provide you with a lot of mental freedom. It helps to focus on the things you can control.

Washing your hands, staying inside and avoiding too much news consumption are all ways you can stay within your control. In general, do what will help you feel safe.

This may be different for everyone, but staying in isolation and continuing to practice social distance are all things you can control and will likely help you feel safe.

  1. Unplug and Avoid Obsessing

Part of giving up what you can’t control also involves unplugging as much as you can. With a 24/7 news cycle, it can be easy to watch the news all day and listen for every update. But staying informed is different from obsessing.

Checking in on the news every now and again is important, but leaving your TV news program running all day might be too much for your brain.

  1. Go Outside But Avoid People

If you’re being told to stay inside, you should follow the recommendations of public health officials. However, if you’re able to go outside and avoid people, it can certainly help your mental health.

Take a walk around your neighborhood, but don’t linger or sit down anywhere public. Keep the windows open when you can and try to get some sunlight through the day. People are often vitamin D deficient so going on a walk will help your body.

If you live somewhere with a lot of nature, avoiding crowds while getting some fresh air will help you to feel more normal and healthy.

  1. Stay Positive and Focus on Gratitude

It’s very easy to spiral during a time like this, and one major way you can combat that feeling is by remaining as positive as you can. Take a few minutes out of your day to remind yourself of what you are grateful for. Try making an actual gratitude list and expanding on it.

This can actually help lower your stress levels and create a more positive thought process throughout the day. You can share what you’re grateful for with a loved one as a practice in spreading more positivity.

  1. Quiet Your Mind with Meditation

Staying in the present moment can help you to give up what you cannot control. Meditation and mindfulness can help you to improve your view on life.

Meditation can help you to feel calm and reduce your stress levels, so this is something you can practice several times a day.

  1. Do Things for Fun

While it’s good to stay productive and have a routine during this time, it’s also important to break up the monotony with some fun. What are the hobbies you enjoy but don’t usually have time to do? Is there a TV show you’ve been waiting to catch up on?

Without having social obligations or commutes, you’re getting more time back in the day to do things you enjoy. Try a new book and explore the projects you’ve been putting off. Staying active and switching up your days is a great mental health coping skill.

  1. Set Realistic Goals to Avoid Burnout

Along with setting time aside for fun, consider setting realistic goals for your professional and academic life. Take each goal and write down the steps you need to take to achieve them. Being realistic with your schedule will help you to not burn out.

Checking small items off your to-do list will help you to feel more of a sense of accomplishment. In general, try to not be too hard on yourself during a time of such high stress.

Keep up With Your Intellectual Health During Quarantine

This time can be very overwhelming for people, but not letting your intellectual health fall to the wayside is important. Remember to take care of both your physical and mental well-being to decrease your stress.

Follow the tips above and share this list with your friends and family who might be struggling during the quarantine. Check out other articles on our site to help you deal with these stressful times.

Running May Be The Best Therapy For Dealing With Depression And Anxiety

Running Best Therapy Depression Anxiety

Most runners will tell you that they choose to run to stay sane. Even though they may probably first started running to shape and strengthen their body or lose some weight, after a period of time, they got addicted to running mainly because it makes them feel good.

The technology of brain imaging discovered that there is a neurochemical activity that happens when we run which gives us the popular “runner’s high.” This is good news for anyone who suffers from depression and other mental health disorders.

Neurotransmitters are messengers that carry chemical signals between the neurons in the body. They also play a huge role in giving a sense of pleasure to a person who is running or performing another activity. Norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine are all feel-good chemicals that trigger the feeling of ‘pleasure’ in a person. Depression is merely a result of a decrease in norepinephrine and serotonin.

“Exercise can create a more responsive and balanced system,” says Kirk Erickson, a professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburg. Exercising affects the whole body and makes us feel good. It lowers the stress hormones and increases neurotransmitters as well as our body temperature which leads to reduced tension in our muscles and feelings of relaxation.

Moreover, a 1999 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, studied 156 moderately depressed people and divided them into 3 groups. The first group exercised, the second took SSRI medication, and the third one exercises and took the medication.

They found that while taking medication reduced the symptoms of depression faster than exercise, after 16 weeks there were no noticeable differences between the groups. After 10 months, members of the group who only exercised shown significantly lower depression rate than the members of the other two groups.

Furthermore, a 2004 study compared psychotherapy with running. Participants were randomly assigned to run for 20 minutes 3 times a week for 10 weeks, attend a 60-minute therapy session once every week, or both. All participants showed decreased depression levels with the positive results lasting at the 4-month follow-up.

Finally, everyone who experiences episodes of depression, or struggles with anxiety, or other mental health problems, should try running as a cure since it could be the best way to deal with them. It benefits the mind, body, and soul.

In 2019, how to lose weight (and keep it off!)

  1. Make it a way of life

Make slow changes to incorporate it with your present lifestyle when implementing a fresh diet and training program.Evite “fad” or “extreme” diets in the short term because you may bounce back. Think about it! You’ll likely discover yourself struggling if you force yourself into a “chicken and broccoli” diet or some sort of juice cleanse. Restrictive diets will make your body more anxious about the foods you want, which may eventually lead to binging.

Instead, cyclical ketogenic diet take quick and processed foods off slowly. Start buying healthy, nutrient-dense foods you’re enjoying. Find out what’s working for you! A lifestyle you can say, “Hey, I can handle this long-term and appreciate it!”.

This was NOT long-term sustainability! I looked good, but I felt mentally and physically awful.

  1. You don’t have to stick to the gym

There’s so much weight loss! To make it happen, you don’t need to sign up for a gym membership. Find what you like and fit in with your lifestyle! Have fun with that! Various ways of sweating and burning calories:

  • Yoga (frequent or warm)
  • Martial arts (Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, Muay Thai, etc.)
  • Circus or acrobatics

I do a blend of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and gym for myself! Whenever I can, I go to the BJJ courses at night after work, then I add morning gym sessions to my program if I can squeeze them in. It’s worked for me! I strongly suggest that you try various stuff and see what you like!

  1. Set your own weight loss objective

That’s a clear must! With a goal, you can’t just begin something fresh blindly. Figure what you want to accomplish in order to understand what to do! Whether it’s looking aesthetically better, feeling stronger physically and mentally, or competing in a sport. Once you’re set to an end objective, you’ll be more driven every day to work towards it.

My 2019 diet and training objectives are to enhance my strength, stamina, and explosivity. I want to concentrate on my BJJ practice and use my gym workouts as a manner to complement my physical shape. As far as diet is concerned, I will concentrate on eating healthy, well-balanced meals intuitively.

  1. Don’t count on the scale

I know, this article is about loss of weight and I’m telling you not to depend on it. There’s a reason for this, and that’s because your progress isn’t always accurately represented by the scale.

Probably before you heard it: muscle weighs more than fat, and it’s true. Your weight also fluctuates constantly depending on the moment of day, whether you ate or not, how much water you drank, month time (ladies, you understand what I’m talking about), etc. It will only haunt you to rely on the scale as the mean for your advancement.

Instead, take pictures of progress, measure yourself, or keep your lifts recorded. Focus on how you look and feel progressive changes! You’re feeling leaner? Do you gain muscle? Will your lifts become stronger? Concentrate on what matters to you.

  1. Don’t do cardio hours

According to https://www.ketogenicsupplementsreview.com Lastly, the answer isn’t always cardio. I suggest cardio improve your cardiovascular, strength but too much can burn off your muscle. Find a nice equilibrium between training for cardio and resistance. Another excellent way to burn fat is high-intensity cardio, also known as HIIT cardio. You can do a 30-minute killer circuit instead of spending an hour on the treadmill that will leave you soaked! Start incorporating some kind of resistance training into your program if you’re not doing it yet. You can use bands of weights or strength! Do anything that makes you feel comfortable!

I hope that these tips have been useful! May 2019 is a wonderful one for us all! Cheers for good fresh beginnings! If you’ve got your own tips or tricks, I’d love to understand!

Taking Some Time To Yourself Can Help You Deal With Mental And Emotional Exhaustion

Taking some time off can help you fight mental and emotional exhaustion

More often than not, we find ourselves torn between work, family, and chores around the house. A hectic lifestyle causes stress and that is if you play in all of life’s fields. But what if you are struggling to find a good job or finish college? What if you are on a good path career-wise, but you are struggling to find a matching partner or lose those pounds you gained during the holidays? Guess what? That causes stress too.

Life is all about bumpy roads around every corner, so stress has somehow become an inextricable part of our lives. We have become mentally and emotionally drained without realizing it, and maybe the time has come for a change. A change is done by giving some time to yourself to do the things you always wanted to do but felt insecure about and by getting out of your comfort zone.

So, on that note, before proceeding to reshape your life, there are a few signs you need to know in order to prevent both mental and emotional drainage:

1. Insomnia

If you are noticing signs of a lack of sleep try to empty your mind of worries and try being more active during the day to be able to fall asleep at night. Remember, a minimum of at least 7 hours is needed to keep your body function properly and to its full potential.

2. Detachment

The words “numb”, “disconnected”, “disengaged” or “senseless” ring a bell? You feel like you have fallen in some sort of an existentialist crisis and nothing really concerns you? You often catch yourself avoiding human interactions or when you do eventually interact with people, you feel like you cannot bond with them?

If this is happening, make sure to take some time to yourself to figure out what you want to do in life and heal your soul before moving on.

3. Nausea and fatigue

Emotional and mental burnout shows through physical discomfort, such as headache, nausea or dizziness. If you experience any of these, you should opt for a physical and mental recovery by boosting your immune system, sleeping longer, and taking one thing at a time. Physical exhaustion only reflects your state of mind, so do not rush to meetings, do not stress about details – just take a day off and relax.

4. Weight problems

As a sign of mental and emotional exhaustion, people may experience weight loss or weight gain, and this is not something to be overlooked. Get yourself back on track with an appropriate diet for your body, even if it means putting an alarm to remind you of eating.

5. Agitation

Do you easily get mad with your friends and family? Hurting your loved ones is not going to make you feel any better, but exercise or writing a journal about your emotions may just do the trick! Get all that frustration and disappointment out of your system by beating the boxing bag or writing about it in your journal – it helps!

6. No motivation

You are unwilling to undertake an action or start a new chapter in life. This is something we have all had to deal with at a certain point in life, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to last forever. This is just a temporary phase, so do your so-called silent period, wait up until you gather the strength and move on.

7. Panic attacks

Panic attacks often occur when we are changing a huge part of our lives, like our working or living environment or when we lose someone. Hyperventilation, tingling sensation in your hands, chest pains, or a sense of doom are among some of the symptoms of panic attacks. Do not let these attacks control your life and become part of your routine.

So, mind these signs, take a deep breath, start a journal, exercise, go on a picnic with friends, get a new haircut, or take up a dancing class – do whatever you need to recharge your batteries and heal.

Oh, and keep in mind that it’s just a phase, so now put some music on that good old radio, grab a glass of wine, and chill.

How To Properly Alkalize Your Body During Corona Outbreak

Drastic times call for drastic measures, some might say. However, when it comes to protecting yourselves and your dearest and nearest, a few quite simple habits will have a HUGE impact on your overall physical and mental health!

For those of you who are not that familiar with the state of ALKALINITY vs. ACIDITY here are all the basic facts.

A pH is a scale of acidity from 0 to 14 used to specify how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Neutral substances have a pH of 7. Every substance with a pH below 7 is considered acidic, and every substance with a pH above 7 is considered alkaline. Our body, or more accurately, our blood, is slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7,4, and our stomach is acidic so as to process the food that we consume. And that is all of the chemistry that you’ll need to know.

How does the food that we consume affect our overall health and why is it so important to alkalize?

Making quality food choices nowadays seems quite a challenge with all of the online nutritionists’ pieces of advice. It seems sometimes as though we ought to have a list of at least a dozen of habits in order to stay fit, vital and healthy; yet, we lack the time to practice all of them. When we do find the time, on the other hand, we often don’t know which practice or food is the right one for us. Here is where alkalinity takes the lead role.

Nourishing an alkaline body environment not only preserves us from even the most dangerous viruses and bacteria (yes, you are reading it right), but it also speeds up our metabolism, it promotes a healthy endocrine system, keeps our mood and emotions balanced and even aids in weight loss!

How to alkalize your body?

The rule is simple. Most raw foods are alkaline, most processed foods are acidic.

Drinking a big glass of water combined with the juice of 1 squeezed lemon in the morning, has never been more important! It alkalizes the entire body immediately! (Note that even though lemons are acidic in taste, they have an alkaline pH.)

Consuming leafy greens is also a very powerful tool to alkalize your body!

Almost 90% of people worldwide practice a so-called acidic diet, but this is none of their fault. It’s simply the ways of the modern world. We eat on the go, rarely cook and don’t pay much attention to what we consume in general. The crazy passed daily life and work, the environment and the food commercials, they all play a vital role in this.

The problem lies in the fact that people who aren’t familiar with the basics of chemistry or medicine, do not pay attention to the simple facts that almost 85% of all diseases arise from an improper diet. Diseases can’t live long nor develop in an alkaline body environment, and almost every doctor knows this. That is the main reason why cancer patients (and people with other severe diseases) are advised to radically change their diet, i.e. to transfer to a raw diet.

What to do now?

Change your food habits, start small but stay consistent. Consume lemon-water in the morning; this is basically the most important thing that you have to do. If you alkalize in the morning (when the body is most acidic), then your chances of catching a cold minimize. Start consuming leafy green salads. Consume more vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts in general. It is also crucial that, prior to consuming them, you keep all the fruits and vegetables in a solution of water and sodium bicarbonate for at least 20 min. (A tea spoon in a few litters of water will do the trick – don’t worry too much about the ratio.)

Avoid eating junk food, processed sugars, too much red meat, white rice, white sugar, white flour, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, soft and fizzy drinks, canned fruits… This doesn’t mean that you should immediately exclude all cravings, it just means that now, perhaps more than ever, your paying attention to what you consume can help preserve the homeostasis of your body!

Here is also a chart that will help you in your food choices and that shows the exact pH of each type of food.

Choose well and stay safe!

#stayhome

Why Pregnancy Challenges May Not Be Your Fault

Pregnancy is a truly beautiful gift, something bigger than your own self, a moment of creation that changes the world by welcoming someone who did not exist before. But, even such beautiful moments may be ruined because of excessive pressure and attention on the couple who are trying to conceive, sometimes, even turning negative where the couple either start blaming each-other or everyone else starts blaming them. But, we should always remember, not everything is in human hands, let alone something as spectacular as giving life.

There always external reasons that may cause problems in the journey towards pregnancy, especially in this day and age. The first step for those who are preparing themselves towards having a baby is to go through a basic fertility test for men and women that are easily available, both over-the-counter and in fertility clinics.  While it is important to take care of yourselves as much as possible, it is also important to support each-other and others who are struggling with pregnancy. Hence, it is important to understand why some obstacles in the journey towards pregnancy may not be your fault:

Toxin Exposure:

The environment is paying the price for human activities for many years now. In turn, dangerous environmental pollution impacts human lives too on an everyday basis, but sometimes it can have long-term effects. One of those effects is fertility problems. Rise of autoimmune diseases like PCOS and celiac disease are also connected to the infertility problem. Dioxins are known to cause problems in the menstrual cycle of women. Xenoestrogens can also mimic certain hormones in the body and cause disruptions. BPA may also trigger PCOS and damage eggs.

Sedentary Working Environment:

The work lifestyle of this age is something that is terrible for health but also something that cannot be rejected. There are gyms in almost every MNC but working hours start in the middle of the night, when is one supposed to use these facilities? Increase in desk jobs and even work-from-homes have led to a largely sedentary lifestyle for both men and women. This causes major problems in health as a whole and fertility also takes a massive hit.

Stress:

Another inheritance of our time is stress, poor work-life balance and sleep deprivation. Psychological disturbance can also have many negative effects on physical health. Stress causes many hormonal imbalances and the body gets mixed signals that ruin its natural functioning. For example, it is a ‘Fight or flight’ response of the body to secrete more cortisol that progesterone during stressful times which, thanks to our lives, is most of the time. Thus, it causes problems for pregnancy.

Medical Intervention:

Excessive medical treatments like contraceptives, antibiotics, supplements, etc., though mostly necessary, causes many problems in conception. It may also mask underlying problems like PCOS by providing temporary solutions like regularising menstrual cycles, etc. This is also true for supplements for erectile problems. Sedatives and stimulants, widely used to combat psychological problems may also posit obstacles when having a baby. This, again, is out of one’s control and no one’s fault.

Miscarriage: Obstacles don’t go away even when fertility is not the problem. This is one of the major threats to a pregnancy after it has already happened.There have been studies that one in five pregnancies end in miscarriages. That is a very high number but it is still unclear why miscarriages happen. Some of the common culprits are chromosomal anomalies, uterine anomalies, trauma or excessive smoking-drinking during pregnancy. But, these are still a lot of doubts when it comes to causes of miscarriages and more often than not, it’s out of anyone’s control, including doctors.

In conclusion, it must be said that though chances of a safe pregnancy dramatically increase when people adopt a healthy lifestyle and approach, there are still a lot of factors that are not in our hands and therefore we must not feel guilty or ashamed at the face of obstacles that come with pregnancy.

How to Recognize and Overcome Your Own Prejudices in College

It’s quite difficult nowadays to come by anyone who admits to never having been stereotyped. As college students, we go through prejudices nearly every day. Most of those stereotypical actions are so overtly expressed that they leave no doubt as to whom they were intended for. Other acts of prejudice are thinly veiled, ostensibly to try and make the object of the stereotype feel good about themselves, but still, take the message anyway. Stereotypes have led to some of the world’s most brazen massacres and persecutions. Of notable mentions include the Holocaust, the Trail of Tears, and even slavery.

We suffer all kinds of prejudices in colleges, that’s a given. Not only do these stereotypes affect our grades and social development, but they also leave a lasting impression on how we view the world and society in general. But for objects of prejudice, there are only two options to explore. You can choose to play the victim and hope the oppressors will change someday. Or, you can take charge and rise above every prejudicial treatment directed at you.

Right off the bat, let’s warn against submitting to any stereotypes. Doing so is tantamount to declaring the oppressor’s powers over you.  But what if you’re the perpetrator? How do you recognize and overcome your own prejudices and biases in college? That shall be the focus of this post, but first things first.

How to Recognize and Overcome Your Own Prejudices in College

Take a Course in Prejudice

The best way to tackle your prejudices in college is to first understand what those stereotypes are. Appreciating that you have a problem is key to overcoming prejudice. And to do that, you may consider taking a course in prejudice.

The first thing you will learn is that prejudices have nothing to do with your present situation, but rather it’s an attitude problem. The course will also introduce you to the unconscious bias, which is the primary cause of most prejudicial treatments out there.

You’ll appreciate the fact that you’ve also expressed prejudice at one point, and that the problem exists in our unconscious minds. It’s only after knowing what those biases are that you can successfully overcome them.

Be Empathetic To Others

Showing empathy to other people’s feelings can significantly help you overcome your prejudices. That especially applies if you’ve also been a victim of discrimination. To Kill a Mockingbird essay would be resourceful in helping put that into better perspective. Through the essay, you are free to learn of the many examples in the novel of how some characters used empathy to overcome their gender and racial biases. After that, you can extrapolate these lessons into your college environment to successfully overcome your own stereotypes.

For instance, you may have once been racially abused but now find yourself in a college setting where your oppressors form the minority. You can use your past experiences to express empathy instead of showing stigma.

Understand That It’s Human Nature

You should remember that even people who were brought up in the most cultured environments are predisposed to stigma. If you were born in a wealthy family and didn’t step into a shanty till you were 21, you’d believe all poor people are sluggards. Therefore, another tip to overcoming your prejudices is understanding that it’s an intrinsic behavior.  Let’s do a To Kill a Mockingbird literary analysis to help put that into perspective.

During Tom Robinson’s trial, we see Atticus making one of the most thought-provoking submissions to the jury. Atticus argues that immorality is a human problem and not necessarily a problem of specific races. His appeal is inspired by the glorious sentiments in the Declaration of Independence, which presupposes that all humans are equal. And his own admission that “there’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads–they couldn’t be fair if they tried’’ helps reinforce the notion that all humans are prejudicial by nature.

Diversify Your Social Circles

Another golden tip on how to overcome prejudice in college is to diversify your social spheres. Most college students tend to go for friends that are drawn from their own race, language, and academic abilities. It’s only natural to get attracted to people with whom we easily get along. However, associating only with students who are so similar to you in every aspect doesn’t help address your prejudices.

Why not consider diversifying? Start by seeking relationships with a cross-race friend. If you’re a white student in a predominantly white college, it will help to forge friendships with as many black students as possible. Even though the black population in your college suggests they’re a minority group, you won’t necessarily view them as such if you associate with them.

Reframe Negative Thoughts

All acts of prejudice emanate from negative thoughts. For instance, if your friends continuously ridicule you for your inability to pass exams, you may believe that perhaps you were born to fail. Therefore, you could start to view everything with the lens of failure. Tasks that would have otherwise been very easy to execute suddenly begin to bog you down.

But that’s not all; negative thoughts will cause you to view everyone else as evil. You’ll even begin to doubt the loyalties of those friends who always stood up for you. Eventually, you’ll become very prejudicial, constantly prejudging everyone’s intentions and opinions about you.

All that underscores the importance of reframing negative thoughts. The fact that you aren’t performing so well in your studies doesn’t mean you can’t sing or play soccer. And neither does it mean everyone else that holds a low opinion of you deserves the same treatment. In another To Kill a Mockingbird literary analysis, we can take some cues from Scout’s discussion with Atticus on why women can’t serve on juries. In the ensuing lengthy discussion, the two tend to dispel the cozy impression that certain assignments are a preserve of men. They end up agreeing, though passively, that it’s all due to the ingrained negative perceptions about women.

Overcoming your prejudices in college begins by appreciating you have a problem. You can then explore the numerous resources out there to rise above these stereotypes. From reading novels like To Kill a Mockingbird, to adjusting your social circles, and even reframing your thoughts; there are many solutions at your disposal. If it comes down to it, enlist for therapy sessions with a professional counselor.

A New Age Of Stress-Relief Is Here

In a time when lifestyle diseases are at an all-time high and the prevalence of stressors are manifest in everyday activities, it is expedient to find ways to keep our body functioning maximally and our minds free from life’s worry. Even in a time when environmental factors aren’t helping, noisy cities, car fumes, and the commotion that comes with life, in general, don’t make it seem any easier.

There are times when stressors would be unavoidable such as the loss of a loved one, work pressure, family issues and all. However, as life goes on, we must find ways to handle stress. Stress can be remedied using conventional medicine however these drugs have side effects and the body could develop tolerance to its effects thus reducing its efficacy. There are alternative ways of handling stress that has proven to be effective. These include meditation, herbs and a host of other ways. 

Interestingly, more and more people have been embracing this more natural approach as compared to conventional medicine which is expensive and has not always delivered results. There has also been the issue of trust. Individuals across the U.S. are also losing trust in the efficacy of drugs as the notion is that pharmaceutical companies are more concerned about the product than the people. A recent survey carried out showed that about 50% of Americans have lost faith in drugs. That said let’s turn our focus to new and alternative ways of dealing with stress.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the very effective ways to manage stress, it also is a proactive way to tackle future situations. A perfectly functioning body is less likely going to be affected by stress complications such as heart attack, stroke and other lifestyle diseases. Research has shown that exercise is a useful treatment for anxiety, especially those caused by stressful situations. Exercise helps produce endorphins in the brain, a hormone that acts as a natural pain killer and also improves sleep. It also reduces tension levels as well as stabilize and elevate moods which generally helps you to feel better. 

Exercise increases our energy and fitness level, the tiredness that comes from active workout would stimulate rejuvenation during sleep. It is also important to note that our reaction to events is important in determining whether we are stressed or not. It improves thinking and brain functioning by increasing the heart rate which in turn produces more oxygen for the brain. It also improves the production of hormones that enhance brain cells which overall helps the brain’s reaction to stressors.

Meditation 

Meditation is the ability to consistently train our minds on the thoughts we want to focus on. It is one new way really used to relieve stress and have a better outlook on life. There is a wide range of meditation that includes mindfulness, sophrology among others. Meditation has been really helpful in people with anxiety and mood disorders. It has also been discovered that it improves self-image and a better world view.

A research carried out on the potency of mindfulness meditation revealed that it reduced depression in about 4600 people. When stressed the body produces inflammatory hormones known as cytokines to help fight the stress, but often affects mood. Meditation is said to reduce the production of these chemicals. Meditation helps with sleep, a research carried out revealed that those who meditate sleep easier and longer than those who don’t. As it helps put a check on random thoughts that culminate in insomnia. 

Massage Therapy

This is another way to unwind, relax and stay stress-free. Massage therapy has been used actively for a while to relax the muscles and nerves, which leaves the body in a very relaxed state. Thus helping the mind stay free as physiological and psychological well-being are interwoven. Aromatic oils such as peppermint, lavender and more are also used in massage. These oils have been known to aid relaxation as their scents help induce a state of calmness. Thus, effectively merging aromatherapy, massage therapy, and a serene environment to yield results. 

Research has shown that massage therapy has reduced stress by 30% and increase dopamine and serotonin by about 23% in those who actively engage in a massage. For people who are stressed often there is a tendency their muscles might be a bit stiff, thus leading to joint pain. However, massage therapy helps loosen tight muscles and helps you feel better. 

Use Of Cannabidiol Oil

Cannabidiol or CBD oil is an extract, gotten from the cannabis plant. CBD is one of the two main components found in the cannabis plant and has unique healing properties which has been found to be effective in alleviating anxiety and depression caused by stress. It can be gotten from either the hemp or marijuana variety. 

Research has shown that CBD is effective in reducing social anxiety disorder. It doesn’t just help reduce anxiety it also helped the brain’s reaction to anxiety. More and more people are subscribing to using CBD oil for PTSD, OCD, and heart palpitations that arise from stress. For more information on other benefits of CBD oil visit veriheal.com/personalized-cannabis-consultation/.

It Is RSV Season, So Please Refrain From Kissing The Babies

If you’ve seen parents sharing photos on social media, asking that people refrain from kissing their baby, doctors say that they have a sound reason for that.

As flu season approaches, local doctors are advising parents on what to look out for in their babies and how to protect them from contracting viral infections.

According to WebMD, RSV is often mistaken for cold since it starts out with mild symptoms, such as cough, stuffed nose, and low-grade fever. But, this virus can be much more serious, especially for children under six months and young children who have chronic diseases.

Respiratory syncytial virus is, in fact, the most common cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in children younger than one year of age in the U.S. 

Children that are at highest risk for developing serious illness from respiratory syncytial virus include those that:

Have chronic lung or heart disease

Were born prematurely

Have neuromuscular disorders

Have a weakened immune system

How to Spot the Symptoms of RSV Infection

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people infected with respiratory syncytial virus usually display symptoms within 4 to 6 days after contracting it, and they are usually contagious for three to eight days.

RSV often starts out with cold-like symptoms, such as: sneezing, coughing, runny nose, decrease in appetite, and fever. And in very young infants infected with the virus, the only symptoms may be decreased activity, irritability, and breathing difficulties.

When it comes to the breathing difficulties a child infected with RSV might have, fast breathing, flaring the nostrils, or pushing the belly in and out are all signs that your baby is having trouble breathing.

How Can You Protect Your Child?

Respiratory syncytial virus is very contagious. It spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs. You can get infected if you touch a surface which has the virus on it and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands.

The best way to prevent your child from contracting RSV infection is with good hand hygiene. Throughout the day, often wash your hands as well as your child’s hands with soap and warm water. Additionally, clean countertops and other surfaces that can harbor germs.

Keep infected visitors away from your child and make sure healthy ones wash their hands before touching or kissing your child.

If your child is infected with RSV, make sure you keep them home from daycare or school so as to avoid spreading the infection to other children. Teach them to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue or their upper shirt sleeve, not their hands, whenever they sneeze or cough.

Also, don’t smoke around your child. Being exposed to tobacco smoke in the home will make your child more vulnerable to the RSV infection.

Last but not least, now that you know how susceptible infants are to RSV infection, next time you see a baby and think to yourself, “Oh, it’s so cute, I simply need to kiss it,” – please refrain from doing so.

I’ve seen pictures of other babies floating around the Internet with this caption. It’s one I can get behind. Almost…

Posted by Faith, Farming and Family on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity — United States, July 2008–December 2009MMWR. 2010;59:230-3.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity — United States, July 2007–June 2011MMWR. 2011;60:1203-6.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity — United States, July 2011–January 2013MMWR. 2013;62:141-4.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Circulation in the United States, July 2012–June 2014MMWR. 2014;62:141-4.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Circulation in the United States, July 2016–2017MMWR. 2018;67(2):71–76

The Reason Why Most Empaths Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue And Constant Exhaustion

Empaths Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue And Constant Exhaustion

We all know what it’s like to be completely drained or fatigued after a jam-packed day full of activities and responsibilities. Getting up at 8 am in the morning, riding your bike to work, working a full-time job, socializing with colleagues and customers, then riding back home to a pile of dirty dishes and many other household chores can be truly exhausting.

However, many of us don’t realize that sometimes mental and emotional exhaustion can be even harder to deal with. That is the reason why people with highly sensitive nature and empath personalities often suffer from adrenal fatigue and exhaustion.

For those of you who may not know, a person with an empath personality is someone who is extremely sensitive to people’s energies and emotions. Empaths have the power to absorb anything that others are dealing with, and because of that, they are known as healers. Experiencing sensory overload on a daily basis is the main reason why most empaths are introverted.

Judith Orloff, MD, the author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People and also the member of the UCLA psychiatric clinical faculty is an expert in her field. In her book, she explains how being an empath is both a blessing and a curse.

The Reason Why Most Empaths Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue And Constant Exhaustion

According to her, empaths have the power to find deep compassion for others. But at the same time, all of those emotions and energies that they pick up on can have a really bad influence on their overall wellbeing. If physical stress drains the body then mental stress drains both the body and mind. That is exactly what most empaths go through on a daily basis.

If you are someone who can relate to this, here are a few effective steps that will definitely help you clear your thoughts and minimize exhaustion throughout the day:

1. Make those boundaries. Listen to what your body is telling you. Don’t be afraid to say NO, if you feel like it. Make this word your weapon and learn how to use it when you need to protect yourself from greedy, energy-sucking vampires.  Protecting your personal space and taking care of your wellbeing should be on top of your priorities.

2. Take time for meditation. Stop with what you are doing and try to calm yourself. If you are someone who has a busy schedule, do your best to take a few minutes out of your day to reflect on yourself and just breathe. Start meditating and see how your body and mind slowly calm in the process. But don’t just do it when you feel stressed. Make it a habit. Take a few hours out of your day and spend it on meditating.

3. Focus on self-care. Having an empath personality in a cruel world like ours is a real challenge and sometimes a curse. To be honest, realizing that you are the only person responsible for taking care of yourself makes it even scarier. But it is important to understand that if we don’t help ourselves, no one else will. You choose how you do it. The only thing that matters the most is your wellbeing. Meditation, personal boundaries, imaginary shield and an active work on yourself will definitely help you keep the exhaustion and fatigue at bay.  

10 Health Benefits Of Dandelion That Prove Dandelions Aren’t A Pesky Weed

There are people who want to get rid of it and there are people who know about the benefits of dandelion and use it for healing their body. So, is dandelion good or bad? Of course, good!

Whether you drink its juice or make dandelion root tea, dandelion is a herb that has many health benefits. It helps with urinary and liver disorders, diabetes, anemia, acne, and even cancer. Sadly, many people are killing this plant that could cure and help them with their illnesses.

Here are 10 health benefits of dandelion that prove its healing and nourishing abilities and why you shouldn’t want to get rid of it, ever!

1. LIVER HEALTH

Dandelion improves the function of the liver by re-establishing hydration, removing toxins, electrolyte balance and bettering bile flow.

2. STRONGER BONES

Dandelions are rich in calcium which is the most important element needed for having healthy and strong bones. Also, dandelions have many antioxidants like Vitamin C and Luteolin which serve as protectors from bone weakening and loss of bone density.

3. URINARY HEALTH

Dandelions are an amazing natural diuretic and they get rid of any toxic build-ups in the urinary tracts and in the kidneys. They also prevent bacteria from growing in the urinary system which is excellent for those people who suffer from recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs).

4. DIABETES

Dandelion stimulates the production of insulin in the pancreas and regulates the level of blood sugar. Dandelion is also a natural diuretic which encourages urination and that helps in removing excess salt and sugar from your body while also reducing sugar build-up in the kidneys.

5. CANCER

A dandelion root extract is an effective tool against breast cancer and leukemia treatment. It induces apoptosis in leukemia cells while leaving alone the healthy ones. Moreover, dandelion has a positive impact on cancer cells that are immune to chemotherapy. Dandelion is also effective in fighting prostate and pancreatic cancer.

6. IMPROVES SKIN

Dandelion is a great antioxidant and detoxifier and one of the best herbal remedies for treating skin problems including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It also purifies the blood and betters the function of the liver which results in glowing, beautiful skin.

7. GALL BLADDER DISORDERS

The leaf of the dandelion is excellent for sluggish gallbladder stimulation. The gallbladder is the organ which excretes and stores bile as the body needs it. Gallstones can be flushed out from the body even by combining dandelion and milk thistle.

8. DIGESTIVE ISSUES

Dandelion contains inulin and mucilage which make the processing of food easier by soothing the digestive tract. Dandelion is also a big source of dietary fiber which is essential for having good intestinal health and healthy gut flora. If you have problems with diarrhea or constipation, eat some dandelion greens.

9. JAUNDICE

The liver-healing abilities of dandelion also help with jaundice which is a liver disorder when it overproduces bile and messes up the whole body’s metabolism. Dandelion helps regulate the production of bile and also encourages urination which helps the body to eliminate excess bile.

10. CIRCULATORY HEALTH

The high levels of protein, B-vitamins, and iron in dandelion make it perfect for those people who suffer from blood-related disorders such as anemia. Dandelion is a natural diuretic and it lowers blood pressure by getting rid of the excess salt in the body. Also, the fiber in the dandelion helps reducing cholesterol and maintains a healthy circulatory system.

How To Properly Wash Fruits And Vegetables During COVID-19 Outbreak

How to wash fruits and vegetables during the coronavirus crisis

Even if there is no proven case of people getting infected with coronavirus through fruits and vegetables, you should always wash what you bring home and get rid of the dirt and bacteria before you cook it and put it in your mouth.

Here is some advice on how to properly wash your fruits and vegetables.

LETTUCES AND OTHER LEAFY GREENS: Put the greens in a large bowl of water and then swish them around to loosen their grit, wait a minute so the grit can drop to the bottom of the bowl, and then lift the greens out into a colander. And then, run them thoroughly in the colander under cold water.

ROOT VEGETABLES: Because these vegetables grow in the dirt, it is essential to wash them deeply. You should scrub them under running water using your hands or a vegetable brush.

MUSHROOMS: Some people don’t like to put mushrooms in water because they absorb it like a sponge and it makes them steam while put in a hot pan. However, you should always wash them by swishing them quickly in a colander under the hardest blast of water you can get from your sprayer. If you see any dirt remaining, pluck them off while rinsing and then spread them on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to dry.

STURDY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: When it comes to asparagus, green beans, grapes, and cucumbers, you should rinse them very well under a high-pressure stream of water while gently rubbing them with your hands and then let them dry in a clean colander.

DELICATE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: Soft fruits and vegetables like ripe stone fruit and berries and tomatoes, should be rinsed under a low-pressure but steady stream of water while turning them carefully and gently with your hands to make sure all sides are clean. Then, place them on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to dry.

 

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