Influenza (flu) is an infection of the respiratory system which is triggered by the influenza virus. Flu outbreaks happen every year but they are quite prevalent between November and April. Since this virus changes from year to year, it’s impossible to have immunity against it for a long period of time. That explains why people don’t get the flu more than once, hence the term “seasonal flu” to refer to influenza viruses that spread from year to year.

The flu virus undergoes major changes from time to time so no one is immune from it. During such times, a lot of people around the world, regardless of their age, get affected within a few months. This is referred to as an epidemic. There have been epidemics in 1889, 1918, 1957 and 1968, and 2009 (H1N1).

Is It Cold or Flu?

When either cold or flu is starting, it begins as an upper respiratory infection. This is according to Henry H. Bernstein. He is a DO, professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H., and member of the Committee for Infectious Diseases, American Academy of Pediatrics.

Cold and flu have some similar symptoms. This includes a stuffed nose, coughing, lethargy, headache and muscle pain. With a cold, you will experience the following symptoms; a runny nose, the body temperature of up to 102 degrees, sneezing and sore throat. When it comes to flu, your body temperature will rise to 102 degrees. You will also experience chills, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and sweating.

According to Bernstein, you can get vaccinated every year, so as to prevent flu but there is no vaccine against the common cold.

Is Flu Contagious?

Flu is highly infectious. This is to the extent that you might even begin transmitting it to other people a day before you get any signs and symptoms.

You can transmit the disease to other people five to eight days after you have experienced the first symptoms. Kids can be infectious for more than seven days after they experience the first symptoms. If your immunity is low, you will experience the symptoms for a longer period of time.

The best way to prevent the flu from spreading to other people is to limit your movements by staying at home. Once you have been diagnosed with the illness, let everyone that you came into contact with the day before your first signs appeared know.

Types of Flu Virus

There are four kinds of flu viruses: A, B, C, and D.

Influenza A and B are responsible for causing seasonal infections that happen every year.

A lot of different species can get influenza A. This includes human beings, pigs, and birds. Consequently, there are different kinds of influenza A due to the variety of hosts. They have the capacity to cause an epidemic, particularly when a different strain of the virus that is different from the one circulating emerges.

Influenza B and C only affect human beings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza D only affects cattle. It is not known to affect human beings.

Over-the-Counter Relief

There is no medication that can cure a cold or flu. However, there are some medications that can help to alleviate the symptoms experienced, especially in young kids. You can give kids acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help deal with the fever, headache, muscle pain, and sore throat experienced. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions when using the medicine.

Bernstein states that care should be taken when using cold and cough medications. This is due to the serious side effects that they can have, especially when they have not been properly used. For instance, while decongestants can help to dry up the secretions, if not taken as required, they are a cardiac stimulant and can even result in death, if not properly handled. Other severe side effects include fast heart rate, convulsions, and loss of consciousness. Avoid giving cold and cough medications to children under the age of 6.

Generally, antibiotics are not given when one is suffering from cold and flu since antibiotics cannot cure the virus. However, according to Bernstein, in case there’s a risk of bacterial infection, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics.

Do not give children aspirin or any medicine that contains aspirin, even those that have salicylic acid or salicylate. When children are given aspirin, it can result in Reye’s syndrome, which is a fatal disease that can affect the brain, liver, and blood.

When is Flu Season?

Flu seasons refer to the time when flu is quite prevalent among many people. Typically, the rate of infection starts going up in October and is at its highest during winter months-December, January or February.

This seasonality could be as a result of the cold, dry climate in winter. This causes the virus to be more stable. Research done on a guinea pig model backs up the claim that the flu virus in animals is usually spread more effectively at low humidity and low temperature.

Another cause of flu spreading more during winter is because people tend to spend more time indoors. This results in people being enclosed for long periods of time with people who are already infected. In addition, due to the low levels of vitamin D, as a result of reduced exposure to the sun, it can result in individuals being more susceptible to this disease.

How Long Does the Flu Last?

You can recover from flu within one week. However, it will take a few more days before you can feel like your normal self again. You might also feel fatigued several days after your symptoms have gone away.

It is essential that you stay home instead of going to work or school until your fever has subsided for at least two days, without you having taken any medication to keep your body temperature low. When you have flu, you are highly infectious a day before you see the first symptoms and five to seven days after the first signs of infection.

Flu Symptoms

Knowing the first symptoms of flu can help you to treat the disease early and prevent your symptoms from getting worse.

Early signs of infection include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Body chills
  • Coughing
  • A sore throat
  • High body temperature
  • Upset stomach

There are symptoms of flu that are only specific to kids.

Here is more information about symptoms and how to best handle them.

Sudden or extreme exhaustion. Having shorter days and reduced sunlight hours can result in lethargy. However, being lethargic and being very exhausted are two different things.

Feeling suddenly exhausted could be one of the earliest indications that you have a cold or flu. This is one of the earliest signs that you might experience even before you see other symptoms. You might also feel exhausted when you get the common cold, but the feeling is more severe with flu than with common cold.

Having low energy levels and being lethargic can make it challenging for you to carry out your normal day to day tasks. That is why you should cut down on your usual activities and rest as much as possible. Take a couple of days off work or school and rest in bed. Resting will help to strengthen your immune system and help you fend off the virus.

Body pain and chills. Body pains and chills are signs that you have flu.You might mistakenly think that the body pains that you are getting are as a result of exercising and not realize that you are getting the flu. You might experience body aches in the head, back, and legs.

You might experience body chills even before your body temperature spikes. The chills are usually accompanied by body pains.

Taking over the counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help you deal with the body pain. In addition, wrap yourself up in a warm blanket, so as to prevent the chills and increase your body temperature.

A cough. A cough that does not go away could be a sign that you have flu. The coughing can result in wheezing and tightness in the chest. Even though it is quite rare in the initial stages of flu, you could end up coughing up phlegm or mucus.

In case you suffer from respiratory problems, such as asthma and emphysema, it is best that you see a doctor. This will prevent you from developing further complications. In addition, if you observe that the flu is colored, it is best that you consult a doctor. Some of the complications that you can get from flu include pneumonia and bronchitis.

Taking cough medicine or cough drops can help to calm down a cough. Also, drink lots of water and teas that do not have caffeine. Cover up your mouth when coughing. This will prevent you from spreading the disease.

A sore throat. Coughing that is a result of flu can result in you having a sore throat. In some cases, some viruses can result in you getting a sore throat even if you are not coughing.

During the initial stages of the flu, your throat might feel itchy and irritated. You might also get a strange feeling in your throat whenever you are swallowing food or fluids. In case you get a sore throat, it will worsen as the virus progresses.

Drink lots of tea that does not have caffeine. In addition, drink lots of chicken soup and water. You can also mix one teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of baking soda and eight ounces of warm water and drink up.

High body temperature. A high body temperature is a sign that your body is fighting off an infection. When you get a fever when you have flu, it will be in the range of 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher.

Even though lots of people get a fever when they have the flu, not everyone will get a fever. You will also get chills, whether you have a fever or not as the flu progresses.

You can use Acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help you reduce the fever. However, note that these diseases cannot cure the virus.

Gastrointestinal issues. Other flu symptoms will go beyond the head, neck, and chest. Some strains of the virus will affect the lower parts of your stomach, such as causing stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

You might get dehydrated as a result of vomiting and diarrhea. To avoid this problem, drink lots of sports drinks, fruit juices, sodas and teas that are free from caffeine.

Symptoms of Flu in Children

In addition to the normal symptoms that children might experience when they have a cold and flu, they might get other symptoms as well.

These are:

  • Not being able to drink up lots of fluids
  • Not producing any tears when crying
  • Not wanting to wake up or socialize
  • Failure to eat
  • Fever might result in a rash
  • Having trouble peeing

It’s hard to distinguish flu from cold in kids. When it comes to cold and flu, your kid can start coughing; have a painful throat and pains all over the body. The symptoms are much worse if it’s flu. In case the child does not have a fever, this could be a sign that they are having a cold.

In case you have any worries about any of these symptoms displayed by your youngster, be sure to call a pediatrician.

Emergency Symptoms

Since flu is a progressive disease, it means that the signs will get worse before they start getting better. Since everyone responds differently to cold and flu, the symptoms that you experience will largely be determined by your current state of health. You might experience mild or extreme symptoms.

When you notice any of the signs below, it is time to seek medical care:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Problems with breathing
  • Skin and lips turning blue
  • Extreme dehydration
  • Feeling light headed and confused
  • Fever that is reoccurring
  • A cough that’s getting worse

Recovery Period

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should not go back to work until your body temperature has gone back to normal for at least 24 hours without you taking any medication. Give yourself enough time to rest and recover.

It is best that you go back to work or school once you stop feeling so tired all the time. Wait until most of your symptoms have improved.

The time it takes for you to heal completely is not fixed. Even after feeling better, you might experience coughing and exhaustion for a couple of more weeks. If you notice that the flu has reoccurred after you had already recovered from the bout you had or you notice that things are getting worse, it is best that you consult a doctor.

Protect Yourself

It’s important that you take the necessary measures to protect yourself from getting infected during the flu season.

This virus is primarily spread through saliva droplets that get propelled into the air when an infected person coughs or when they sneeze.

The saliva droplets can get projected up to six feet away from the infected person. They can be projected onto other people or on surfaces. When you breathe in this air or when you touch surfaces where the droplets have landed, you will be at risk of getting an infection.

Prevention

You can take measures to prevent yourself from catching this virus.

Get a flu shot at least once a year. Anyone who is six months old and above can get this shot. This includes pregnant women.

Other measures to put in place include:

  • Do not get in contact with someone who is infected
  • Rest at home when you are infected, particularly if you have a fever.
  • Cover your mouth whenever you are coughing to minimize spreading the disease
  • Clean your hands
  • Avoid touching your mouth and nose

What could cause flu-like symptoms during summer?

There are various illnesses that have similar symptoms as flu.

This includes:

Common cold. The common cold is a respiratory disease that is caused by multiple viruses. The flu and common cold have lots of similar symptoms. This includes having a runny nose, nose congestion, sneezing, painful throat, and coughing.

Nevertheless, the main difference lies in the fact that symptoms of the common cold are not as extreme as those experienced when you have flu. Other differences exist between the common cold and flu.

Stomach flu. Another name for gastroenteritis is stomach flu. Nevertheless, it does not have anything to do with influenza. There are a number of viruses that cause it. This includes Rotavirus or norovirus.

Similar symptoms between gastroenteritis and flu include stomachache, fever, headache, body pains.

The biggest disparity between gastroenteritis and flu is that the symptoms experienced with gastroenteritis center around the stomach, this includes loose, watery stool and abdominal pains.

Pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection that affects your lungs. It can come up as a result of complications experienced when you have flu. There are other factors as well that contribute to you getting pneumonia. These include chemical and environmental elements, viruses and bacteria.

Some of the initial symptoms that you get might be similar to those experienced when you have a cold or flu. This includes fever, chills, and headache.

Other signs that might specifically show that what you have is pneumonia include coughing with yellow or green mucus, sharp pains in the chest and shortness of breath.

Bronchitis. Bronchitis is when the bronchial tubes in your lungs get irritated. Bronchitis can be a complication of the flu virus. But it can also come about as a result of other elements as well, like cigarette smoke and environmental factors.

Some similar symptoms between flu and bronchitis include coughing, feeling ill, fatigued, chills and fever.

Signs to be on the lookout for are similar to those of pneumonia. It includes discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath and cough with mucus.

Food poisoning. You are at risk of getting food poisoning when you eat foods that are laced with bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

The symptoms of this disease will mainly be experienced around the gastrointestinal area. This includes vomiting, nausea, fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

You will get the symptoms of this disease shortly after you have just consumed poisoned food. In some cases, you might experience symptoms much later on after days or weeks have passed.

Lyme disease. You can get Lyme disease when a tick bites you. This is a bacterial disease that can cause serious complications if it is not treated in time.

Initial signs of this disease are similar to those of cold and flu. This includes fever, chills, body pain, and weariness.

In most instances, the affected person will have a bull’s eye rash in the affected person. However, not everyone experiences this.

This disease can easily be confused with summer flu. In case you experience flu-like symptoms and you have been in an area where there are lots of ticks or in areas where Lyme disease is prevalent, you need to see a medical doctor.

When to See a Doctor

If you notice any flu-like symptoms like the ones below, see a doctor:

  • Fever that is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Coughing with yellow, green or brown mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sharp pains in the chest, especially when you are breathing in
  • Feeling faint and giddy or even fainting
  • Rash
  • Continued vomiting
  • Flu symptoms that start to improve and then get worse
  • Flu-like symptoms in addition to other serious diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease

Prevention

You can get this virus at any time of the year. However, it is quite prevalent during cold months. In case you get flu-like signs during summer months, chances are that you might not be suffering from cold and flu.

To minimize chances of you getting the virus during summer months, observe good health habits. For instance, wash your hands on a regular basis, cover your mouth whenever you are coughing and sneezing and stay away from any infected people.

In case you have flu-like symptoms that you are worried about, then it is best that you consult a doctor.

Flu Shot Facts

Influenza is a severe disease that can lead to so many illnesses every year. It is not only small kids or those with weak immunity who can get seriously affected by this illness. Even healthy people can get this disease and spread it to people they are close with.

There are cases where flu can be fatal. This is mostly among individuals who are over 65 years old and small kids and young adults.

In order to prevent yourself from getting the disease, it is essential that you get vaccinated. The vaccine is injected into your body. If a lot of people get the flu vaccine, then it means that the disease won’t be widely spread. When you get vaccinated, in case you get sick, you will recover much more quickly and experience less severe symptoms.

How Does It Work?

Scientists make the vaccine from virus strains that are likely to be widely spread during that flu season, based on research. Then millions of these vaccines are manufactured and then distributed.

Once the vaccine is injected into your body, your body starts producing antibodies that will protect you against the virus. In case you come into contact with a flu virus, later on, then there are low chances of you getting infected.

However, in case you get into contact with a different strain of the virus that differs from the one you got vaccinated against, chances are that you might get sick. But your symptoms will not be quite severe since you were vaccinated.

Who Should Get the Flu Shot?

Anyone who is over 6 months old should get vaccinated. This is especially high-risk populations, such as:

  • Adults over 65 years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • Kids under 5 years old
  • Individuals whose immunity has been weakened as a result of chronic disease

Flu Shot Side Effects

A lot of people do not want to get the flu vaccine because they think that it will cause them to get sick. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vaccine has a deadly flu virus, so it cannot make you sick as the virus is not that strong.

Nevertheless, you might experience some side effects of the flu shot. The side effects are not as severe as the actual illness.

Some side effects that you might experience include:

  • Pain in the injected area
  • Low-grade fever a couple of days after you get the injection
  • Mild pain and stiffness

A lot of people will not get side effects. For those who do, the effects might only last for a day or two.

Some people might react severely to the vaccine. If you have heard sever reaction with any vaccine before, let your doctor know.

Remedies for Flu Symptoms

Here are some things you can do to alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu:

  • Pain relievers. Use painkillers to deal with headaches, body aches, and fever.
  • Decongestants. Use this to get relief from nasal congestion and take pressure off your ears and sinuses. Just be sure to read what the expected side effects are.
  • Expectorants. Use this to loosen thick mucus that might leave your head feeling clogged and cause coughing.
  • Cough suppressants. You can get relief from coughing by using some cough medicines. However, you can opt to use honey and lemon to soothe your throat and reduce coughing.

Just take care not to mix up different kinds of medicines to minimize side effects experience. Take medication for the most predominant symptom. Also, be sure to get plenty of rest until your fever goes away.

What’s the Incubation Period?

The flu virus is incubated for one to four days. The incubation periods is when the virus is in your body developing. At this stage, there will be no outward signs that you have the virus, but you are highly contagious.

The millions of saliva droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks can enter another person through the mouth, nose or eyes. You can also pick up the virus by touching an infected surface and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.

What’s the 24-Hour Flu?

The 24-hour flu is not influenza. Rather, it is norovirus. Signs that you have a norovirus infection include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pains
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

This virus is known as the stomach flu since it affects the gastrointestinal area. It can last for up to three days.

Natural Flu Remedies

If you are suffering from the flu, you will feel better after one week even without any medical intervention. There are several things you can do to make your symptoms much more manageable.

You can get some viral prescriptions that will make your symptoms less severe or even shorten the duration of the illness. You can also use some OTC medications to manage the symptoms of the disease. You can also use some home remedies to help you manage the symptoms.

A lot of people might respond well to home-made remedies. Some of the remedies that are backed by scientific research include:

  • This is a marvelous remedy for flu. Drink it warm. It will help to soothe a sore throat and also hydrate you and provide electrolytes. It can also help to reduce inflammation by changing the movement of white blood cells in the body.
  • Honey is a natural cough suppressant. That is why a lot of cough medicines have honey. Take a spoonful or add some to your tea to stop a coughing bout.
  • Add a few slices of ginger to your tea or warm water and drink up. It is also quite great at dealing with nausea.
  • Increase the good bacteria in your gut to help your body fight infection. Boost your immune system with a healthy gut microbiome and prevent new infections and get faster better.

It’s important that you get plenty of rest, to make it easier for your body to fight off the infection. Rest as much as possible and get lots of sleep.

The post 7 Ways to Reduce Flu Symptoms In Children appeared first on Positive Health Wellness.

Source: Postive health Welness

If you like to make your own coffee, you most likely have your own equipment. One of the most important things that you need to purchase is a coffee grinder. In fact, as long as you intend to buy a machine, whether an espresso or French Press, you should set aside a significant amount of your money to buy a grinder. This is regardless of the kind of equipment that you have because having ground coffee that’s of uniform size is an important part of making your drink. Unevenly ground coffee can only be compared to roasting vegetables that have been chopped up into different sizes with some being thin and others being very thick. Veggies that have been cut in uneven sizes and shapes will cook at different rates. This is the same way that unevenly ground coffee will not brew well.

This means that you will end up with a cup of coffee that has not been brewed well and this is something that could have been easily avoided.

In this article, we will examine different kinds of coffee grinders that are available at different prices and for different uses. This is regardless of the kind of coffee that you want to make, whether an espresso or French Press or anything in between. This is to ensure that you always have a perfect cup of coffee every time.

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61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Breville BCG820BSSXL
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Designed to minimize grinding heat and protect the essential oils
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Baratza Virtuoso – Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Providing technical skill, classic style and a consistent, quality grind.
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • OXO On Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Integrated Scale
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Drip grind that is consistent
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Preserves bean’s flavor and aroma while maintaining a consistent grind

Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder

In order to reduce the heat used when grinding and to protect the vital oils that are in the coffee, this grinder comes with stainless steel conical burrs. This ensures that the ground coffee you produce has a rich flavor. This appliance has 60 settings for grinding. You can grind from the finest espresso to French Espresso to any other size of grain that you want.

You can adjust the grind time in this appliance in 2/10 increments using the timer that it comes with. This gives you the opportunity to grind the coffee to whatever size that you want.

It is easy to insert and remove the hopper that this appliance comes with. This makes it easy to clean due to its locking system that is easy to use. If you want to make your work easier, grind the coffee directly into your favorite container or directly into a filter. This will be less messy for you to clean up.

You can find this appliance in three different colors. It has two portafilter cradles and it comes with its own cleaning brush and a ground coffee container that has a lid.

Pros

  • It is quite
  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable for most people

Cons

  • Container lid is not airtight
  • Not good for French Press
  • When used at its lowest settings, it might get jammed

Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

This is a reliable appliance that does not cost an arm and a leg. It has long-lasting conical burrs. You can be able to grind even coffee particles with the machine, the same way more expensive machines would.

You can grind coffee particles that range in size from very fine to coarse particles that can be used to make an espresso. Repairing these appliances and finding its parts is not that difficult.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use
  • Have good customer service
  • Quiet
  • Small in size

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Can get your space messy, as the some of the ground coffee can get on the counter

OXO On Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Integrated Scale

This is a basic grinder without any fancy features.  One of the key things that it has is a scale. It also has a simple interface that you can easily operate to get the grinder to perform different functions, such as changing the weights and programs. It is quite precise, such that you can weigh five batches of espresso or even five doses of filter ground coffee. The hopper can easily come off and you can adjust the strength of the coffee to your liking.

Pros

  • Looks quite nice
  • Has 3 grinding modes
  • Not too noisy
  • Drip grind that is consistent

Cons

  • Can get messy
  • The coarse setting can result in an inconsistent grind.

Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder

This classy grinder is quite affordable and works quite well. This is a solid appliance that will get the job done. It is quite good for beginners, who have been purchasing pre-ground coffee.  It also comes in five different colors.

Pros

  • Comes with a two-year guarantee
  • It is compact in size
  • Has 14 ground settings
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • You will need to rinse the ground container frequently
  • You can only ground small amounts of coffee at a time

Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

This is the perfect grinder if you love coffee and you travel a lot and have only a little space and appreciate a noiseless grinder. It has many grinder settings, making it possible for you to grind fine particles for French Press all the way up to the espresso. You can grind as much as 40g at a time. This is enough for two cups of coffee; however, you won’t be able to grind enough for a big crowd in a single round.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t create a lot of mess when being used
  • Has a small design that makes it portable

Cons

  • Takes time to grind
  • Some people might find 12 ground settings to be inadequate

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill “Skerton”

You can take apart the various parts of this grinder, making it an ideal travel companion.  You can even take apart the bottom part of the grinder and use the bottom bowl to store ground coffee. It has durable ceramic burrs that are quite precise, making it easy to grind even particles. However, it is quite a pain to adjust the grind settings but once you do it, it will work just fine.

Pros

  • It is quite affordable. It costs $50-$70.
  • It is quite portable, making it suitable for someone who travels a lot.
  • It is manual, therefore it doesn’t use electricity
  • Doesn’t make a sound

Cons

  • It is manual; therefore, it is time-consuming to use
  • Can get quite tiring, considering that it is manual
  • You can only be able to grind enough coffee for two-three cups, so you can’t use it to grind coffee for a big crowd of people.

Gaggia 8002 MDF Burr Grinder with Doser

This appliance provides the fine grind that espresso needs. This is possible because of its 30mm hardened steel burrs, 34 grind settings, and its 120-watt motor.  It is made out of tough plastic that is hard to break and it is easy to clean. It comes with a 10-ounce bean hopper and an eight-ounce container for the ground coffee. You can mete out a pre-measured quantity of coffee. All you have to do is to pull the lever; once for a cup of coffee and twice for two or three cups of coffee.

Considering that the manufacturer tests all machines before shipping them to customers, you might find some ground coffee remnants in your machine. It has various settings, so you can easily use it to make your coffee on a regular basis.

Pros

  • It is not noisy when being used
  • Best for medium-sized to large households
  • Quite durable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Looks a bit plain
  • Made out of plastic
  • Can be slow
  • Takes time to get the right settings
  • Can slide on a smooth surface since its bottom doesn’t have rubber

 KCG0702OB Burr Coffee Grinder

The shape of this grinder is quite striking. It is shaped more like the KitchenAid Mixer. Being quite short, it can easily fit under low kitchen shelves or cabinets. It has 15 ground settings and it can make quite a fine grind that you can use to brew espresso.

It has a 7-ounce bean hopper that is made out of glass. The grind jar is also glass. This means less static as compared to what would happen if you were using a plastic grinder. It also comes with a coffee scoop and a brush for cleaning the burrs. The steel burrs are long lasting and quite strong.

Pros

  • Comes with a one-year warranty
  • Has an elegant design
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 15 grind settings
  • Easy to use and assemble

Cons

  • Some people find it to be too noisy
  • You frequently have to pop it, so that the beans can fall
  • You have to handle the glass bowl with care otherwise it might break

Krups Expert GVX231 Burr Coffee Grinder

It is fairly priced. It’s small in size and easy to use. It has 17 grind settings. You can brew coffee for two to 17 cups of coffee. The hopper has a tight lid. The upper burr can be removed and get easily cleaned. Some people complain that it does not produce a good coarse grind.

Pros

  • The tight lid of the hopper preserves the freshness of the flavor
  • Easy to clean due to the removable top burr and the fact that it comes with a cleaning brush

Cons

  • It is not quite good when it comes to dispensing. It might mess up your counter space as you dispense.
  • The grinder might clog up after some time and need to be cleaned
  • In some cases, the power button might stop working after a year or a year and a half

Wilfa Svart Aroma

This grinder is reasonably priced considering what a great job it does. It is simple to operate and comes with a manual that provides guidance on how long to grind. All you have to do is to set the amount of time to grind and then press the grind button. The motor is slow, helping it to preserve the fresh smell and flavor of the coffee. However, a lot of users complain that its espresso grinds are not fine enough, but it is tolerable if you are not such an espresso fanatic.

Pros

  • Sleek
  • Durable

Cons

  • It is not good for grinding for espresso
  • The ground container is too tiny to hold most of the ground coffee

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61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Breville BCG820BSSXL
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Designed to minimize grinding heat and protect the essential oils
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Baratza Virtuoso – Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Providing technical skill, classic style and a consistent, quality grind.
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • OXO On Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Integrated Scale
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    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Drip grind that is consistent
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Preserves bean’s flavor and aroma while maintaining a consistent grind

Blades and Burrs

When choosing between grinders, you have two basic choices: blades and burrs. In most cases, blade appliances can be found in department stores or places like Bed and Bath. These models are generally cheaper, but they are not quite ideal for grinding coffee. Here’s why:

The blades work by slicing up the coffee beans. However, they chop up the beans is uneven sizes. This means that the coffee produced from these chopped up beans will not be quite the best. In order for you to get good quality coffee, the coffee particles need to be of even sizes and brewed at the right temperature, among many other factors.

What does it take to brew quality coffee and how much will you pay for this?

If you want to get a quality grinder, expect to pay at least $130.

However, it is still possible to get something cheaper than this. This can work though not so great. You can get a few such models.

Nevertheless, you should realize that some of these grinders are manual. That means that you will need to put in the hard work of grinding the coffee and it can get tiring after a while.

If you want to get good results, the best option is to go for a burr-based appliance. These appliances use a burr (it can be a series of balls, disks or cones) to shave or flake the coffee beans. It does not chop up, tear, crush or compress the beans the same way the blade appliances do.

Flat Burrs Vs. Conical

When it comes to burr appliances, they come in two different shapes. This includes cone-shaped burrs and flat ones.

You can find conical burrs in different models of appliances. These range from a simple appliance to the more expensive and classy models.

Due to the fact that cone-shaped models have a greater surface area, they lose heat much faster than the flat variety.

The flat burred models have a flat disk that has a number of teeth that have been engraved in the grinding stone or plate. Most medium-sized to higher priced models have flat burrs.

The flat burrs have a larger diameter than the comical ones; therefore, they are able to lose heat fast though they need to be much bigger in size.

There is much debate online about which of the two models are better. Some people argue that the conical varieties are much better and are easier to use and that they produce fluffier varieties of coffee to be used in making espresso.

Other people are of the opinion that the conical burrs produce better tasting coffee that has a fruity or citrus flavor, while the flat burrs enhance the taste of the coffee and have a more caramel taste.

There are other more important qualities that affect the goodness of the machine, apart from its size and shape. This includes the kind of burrs used and the quality of the machine.

Steel vs. Ceramic

Burrs are usually made out of ceramic or steel burrs. This includes cheap, fairly priced and even more expensive models. Both ceramic and steel burrs are okay to use, and it cannot be said that one is better than the other. However, they each have different features.

Steel Burrs Pros

  • Steel is much cheaper to manufacture and buy, so you can easily replace it
  • It is tough, so if something hard like a stone happens to get into the grinder, it doesn’t mean that the grinder will stop working. Most commercial owners need this kind of reassurance to know that they won’t have to shut down their business in case a stone gets into the grinder.
  • Most experienced and commercial users of this machine prefer to use steel burrs when it comes to machines that are used to pour over, siphon automatic drip and other coffee drinks that are non-espresso. Even though manufacturers like Baratza usually make their machines using flat, ceramic burrs, when it comes to coffee machines that are used to make non-espresso drinks, they also use steel burrs.

Steel Burrs Cons

  • Doesn’t last as long as ceramic burrs, however, it is not that hard to replace.

Ceramic Burrs Pros

  • They are twice as durable as steel burrs. They can grind from 750 pounds to 2,500 pounds of coffee before they need to be replaced.
  • Quite good for grinding coffee for making espresso

Ceramic Burrs Cons

  • Can easily break in case a stone or any other hard object is put into the grinder. Once it breaks you cannot use the machine until you replace the burr.
  • Much more expensive to make

Just keep in mind that the type of burr used does not affect the quality of the ground coffee. What matters is the general design of the machine. When you are considering which burr to go for, the main thing to keep in mind is its sharpness and ability to grind the coffee well.

Stepped vs. Stepless

In order for the grinder to grind the coffee into different sizes, you will have to adjust the distance of the burrs to the grinding plate. In this regards, there are stepped and stepless designs.

Stepped designs allow you to adjust the machine so that it can grind the beans into different sizes. A lever or a knob is used to change these settings. The disadvantage of this is that you can only change the settings into the given number of preset settings, so you cannot make infinite adjustments.

If you are using an inexpensive machine, this might be locked down to 10 or so settings, while more expensive machines might give you the option of up to 40 steps. If you do not need evenly ground sizes, such as when you are making automatic drip or French press, then these models will work just fine.

However, when you are making espresso, the size of the coffee particles matters a great deal as they should be even throughout. Any slight change in sizes of particles can greatly affect the flavor of the coffee.

Doser vs. Doserless vs. Bins

There are three different ways used to collect the ground coffee. This is through the use of dosers, bins and doserless, with some machines having all these three options.

Doserless

This design is made in such a way that the ground coffee is dispensed into a portafilter basket or an espresso machine or into a basket or into a filter of a drip coffee maker or a pouring device.

Advantages of Doserless

  • Fewer grinds that are older remain in the appliance that could affect the freshness and flavor of future brews.

Disadvantages of Doserless

  • The burrs can trap coffee particles between the fine guards. Some people deal with this by using finger guards to remove the particles, but this is not advisable.
  • They are likely to bunch together, which does not happen in the case of doserless varieties
  • You can end up with a messy counter as they spray the coffee about
  • You have to hold the portafilter or other containers in place as the machine grinds

Dosers

In this design, the ground beans will be released into a bin. There is a lever that you use to adjust this. This design has been in use since the 1930s. Most machines that have this design tend to be more expensive than the other models.

Advantages of Dosers

  • The ground coffee does not bunch together, as what would happen in doserless designs
  • Less messy as less coffee is spilled onto the counter

Disadvantages of Dosers

  • Lots of ground coffee might get trapped and need to be freed up and cleaned
  • Less precise when it comes to measurements, especially the cheaper varieties

Grinders with Bins

They have an inbuilt bin where the ground coffee automatically falls into. Most Baratza designs have this feature. The ground coffee falls into this bin. Mostly used for homemade models. Ideal for use in making automatic drips and French press.

Considerations

There are three main types of motor designs. This includes high-speed design, high-speed with gear reduction and low-speed direct drive.

High-Speed

They are mainly found in inexpensive machines that are blade based or in the cheaper burr models. The electric motor is usually cheap and a high speed one.

Advantages

  • it is inexpensive

Disadvantages

  • It has a tendency of heating up fast. This requires that you take breaks as you grind the coffee. This start-and-stop mechanism as you take breaks tends to wear out the machine much faster.
  • Best used if you are not a heavy user. If you want something more long-term, then this is not the best model to go for.

High Speed with Gear Reduction

These machines use DC power, making them a better option than the straight up high-speed ones. They are more durable.

The gear function makes it possible to maintain the high speed while minimizing the speed of the burrs and increasing the rotating force.

This model is less likely to heat up, has less static and is quieter

Direct Drive

They have a heavy duty low speed and high rotating force motors that work the grinder either through the use of a belt or a direct attachment to the burrs through a driveline. A lot of force is used to turn the burrs. These models are mainly used in commercial establishments and industrial machines.

They do not produce any sound or static or heat up at all. They are of superior quality and are long-lasting.

Other Important Factors

Storing room and size of the machine

Take into consideration the frequency of use of your machine, as the hopper come in various sizes.  For instance, if you are using the machine for commercial basis, buy something that can take in more coffee beans in the hopper.

Some machines come with the option of smaller or bigger hoppers or hopper extensions. This allows you to choose the size to use.

However, keep in mind that if you want a large hopper, this is going to take up lots of space in your kitchen. But if you are a commercial establishment, this might not be that much of a big deal.

Are you using it to grind for espresso or coffee?

If you intend to be solely making espresso, then go for a grinder that is exclusively made for this delicate process.  Such a grinder will produce even particles that are fine. In addition, you can dial in the exact amount of coffee needed based on the beans that you are using, the roast level, temperature, and humidity level.

If you intend to make French press, espresso, medium drip or powdery Turkish, you can go for an adjustable coffee level.

The major disadvantage that these multipurpose machines have is that it is quite challenging to maintain the same particle consistency, as what you would get if you were using a dedicated espresso machine.  However, most Baratza models have tried to improve on this over the years and they have narrowed down the gap.

When it comes to choosing a machine, you will get your money’s worth. More expensive models tend to be of better quality and will last longer. They have better quality burrs; they are more reliable and provide you with different levels of settings to adjust the coarseness of the ground coffee.

How finely and evenly the coffee has been ground affects 50-60% of its taste. Therefore, you should adjust based on the brewing technique that you are using, type of coffee beans and amount of oil, roast level among many other things.

Having a coffee grinder will make it possible for you to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee whenever you want to. It is essential that you use your freshly ground coffee as soon as you can, since the longer you leave it lying around, the more the flavor will start to dissipate.

When the beans are first roasted, it causes a chemical reaction that produces over 800 compounds.  This affects the flavor and the taste of the coffee. Grinding the beans helps to release these flavors that have been trapped inside it. Therefore, in order to capture the taste and aroma of these fresh grinds, use up the ground coffee as soon as you can.

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61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Breville BCG820BSSXL
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Designed to minimize grinding heat and protect the essential oils
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Baratza Virtuoso – Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Providing technical skill, classic style and a consistent, quality grind.
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • OXO On Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Integrated Scale
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Drip grind that is consistent
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Preserves bean’s flavor and aroma while maintaining a consistent grind

Conclusion

Life is too short, and beans are too rich for you to just have a regular cup of coffee. One of the secrets to getting that perfect cup of coffee lies in the type of grinder that you use.  Being able to grind your own coffee beans makes it possible for you to adjust it to your taste

However, not just any grinder will do. That is why we have discussed the top picks when it comes to coffee grinding machines. Finding the right machine that will meet your needs is advisable. Each and every one of these machines will work well for you, based on what your needs are.

However, if you are looking for the top pick for home use, then it’s got to be the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. The Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder comes with 60 grinding settings and a capacity of 16 ounces. There is nothing that you cannot do with this grinder. You can brew professional coffee with this machine.

It is ideal for home use for those who love coffee. Its lightweight design, accuracy, conical shape, dependability and attractive design makes it the best option for coffee enthusiasts.  The best thing about it is that it is quite affordable.

In addition, this machine is much more convenient for home users, given the user-friendly features that make it easy to use. This is as compared to other Breville or Baratza models.

 

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Hepatitis C is a virus that causes inflammation and damages the liver. It can be chronic or acute and develops after an individual is infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). There’s no vaccine available for Hepatitis C, unlike A and B. The spread of Hepatitis C all over the world can be attributed to the fact that this is a highly contagious virus.

Viral Hepatitis Types

There are 5 viral classifications of Hepatitis (A, B, C, D & E), that affect the liver, with each of the Hepatitis types caused by a different virus.

Hepatitis A is a short-term infection and is usually acute. Hepatitis B, C, and D can persist over a long time, and will, in most cases, be chronic. Hepatitis E, on the other hand, is often acute, but it can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women.

Hepatitis A. This type is caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). The most common form of transmission is by coming into contact with or consuming water or food that’s contaminated with feces from a Hepatitis A infected person.

Hepatitis B. This type is transmitted through contact, especially with infected body fluids like vaginal secretion, blood, semen that contain the HBV virus. Engaging in high-risk activities such as unprotected sex with an infected person, using injectable drugs or sharing things like needles and razors increase the risk of infection.

According to the CDC, more than 350 million people in the world have Hepatitis B, with more than 1.2 million in the US alone.

Hepatitis C. As mentioned earlier, Hepatitis C is transmitted through infection with the HCV virus. It’s transmitted through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, as is the case with Hepatitis B. This is one of the most common viral blood infections in the US, with more than 3 million Americans currently infected.

Hepatitis D. Hepatitis D is also known as delta hepatitis and is a chronic liver infection that’s caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). Transmission also happens through contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person.

The occurrence of hepatitis D is unique because it only occurs together with hepatitis B. Without hepatitis B, hepatitis D cannot manifest.

Hepatitis E. While the other types are transmitted through interaction with body fluids from an infected person, hepatitis E is different. It occurs as a result of infection with the hepatitis E virus (HEV). This is a waterborne virus that primarily manifests as a result of improper sanitation. Usually, those affected have consumed water that’s contaminated with fecal matter. It’s an uncommon virus in the US, and most of the cases are reported in Africa, Central America, Asia and the Middle East.

Chronic Hepatitis C. When you are infected with hepatitis C, the symptoms can manifest in a very short time and will last a number of weeks. Chronic hepatitis, on the other hand, gradually develops within a few months. During the early stages, it might not even be noticeable. Currently, there are more than 70 million people all over the world who suffer from chronic Hepatitis C, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, more than 70% of the people who have Hepatitis C never show any symptoms. However, there are some who might report mild symptoms, that might often be mistaken for something else.

Some of the symptoms of Hepatitis C include:

  • Jaundice
  • Discomfort or abdominal pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Pain in the joints

These symptoms are not instant. In fact, in some patients, they might appear only after 6 weeks.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C in Men

Men are usually more vulnerable to infections than women, and when they are infected, they struggle to fight off the virus. Based on relevant studies, there’s a higher clearance rate in women than in men. This is the rate at which the body rids itself of the virus to the point that it cannot be detected at all.

In fact, more women can clear the virus than men. Scientists haven’t been able to find the real reason behind this but there are some possible factors that might be responsible, including the following:

  • Whether the infected person has other infections like HIV
  • The age when the person got infected with Hepatitis C
  • How they got infected (drug use, sexual contact, blood transfusion)

This is a blood-borne disease, so it can only be transmitted through contact with blood from an infected person. There are several ways through which this can happen, including sexual intercourse.

There’s actually a higher risk of contracting Hepatitis C through anal sex, basically because of the fragile nature of the anal tissues which may tear and bleed during intercourse. Infection can occur even with the tiniest exchange of blood between the infected and non-infected party. In fact, microscopic tears on the skin that you might not be able to see with a naked eye are more than enough to warrant infection.

There are other people too who might have a high risk of Hepatitis C infection, especially those who do the following:

  • Were born between the years 1945 and 1964
  • Have HIV/AIDS
  • Have had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • Require dialysis for a very long time
  • Have a body piercing or tattoo from infected needles
  • Share needles when using recreational drugs.

You might not necessarily engage in high-risk behavior, but the mere act of sharing a toothbrush or razor blade with someone who’s infected can be enough to pass on the HCV virus.

How Do People Get Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is only transmitted from infected persons through blood to blood contact.

There are several cases when this can happen, including the following:

  • Bloodied sexual contact
  • Childbirth if the mother has Hepatitis C
  • Sharing needles
  • Sharing toothbrushes
  • Sharing a razor blade
  • Blood transfusion
  • Organ transplant

There are people who are considered high-risk persons, and vulnerable to Hepatitis C infection.

They include those who:

  • Reuse needles
  • Have sex with an infected partner
  • Were born to an infected mother
  • Have been receiving hemodialysis for a long time
  • Have used blood products like clotting factor concentrates before 1987
  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Have had a blood transfusion before 1992

Is It Contagious?

While Hepatitis C is contagious, it’s highly unlikely that you will be infected through casual contact. It only spreads through blood contact. In fact, there are lots of other infections out there that are way more contagious than hepatitis C.

How Hepatitis C Can’t Spread

Hepatitis C is not an airborne disease like a common cold. Therefore, you cannot get it when you share your food with someone, through coughing or sneezing. It’s also not possible to get infected by hugging or kissing someone who’s already infected.

However, there’s a small chance of infection in case you share some of your personal care items with someone who’s already infected, like a razor blade or a toothbrush. Anything that creates a chance of blood to blood contact is a risk.

On the same note, there’s a very low risk of infection through sexual contact, especially if both participating parties maintain a monogamous lifestyle. However, in case one of the partners has ever engaged in multiple sexual relationships, has had sex with someone infected with Hepatitis C, or might engage in a high-risk sexual behavior, you need to consider using protection.

For those who travel from time to time, you cannot be infected when you travel abroad, unless through blood to blood contact with someone who has Hepatitis C, or if you receive a blood donation from an infected person.

How to Diagnose Hepatitis

History and Physical Exam. The doctor must first study your medical history to check for any risk factors that you might be exposed to, which leave you vulnerable to hepatitis (infectious or not). During the physical examination, the doctor tries to see if you feel tenderness or pain by pressing down on your abdomen gently.

They must also run tests to determine whether the liver has become larger. Other signs that the doctor will be looking for include yellow eyes or yellow skin.

Liver Function Tests. These are tests that are conducted through blood samples to understand the efficiency of your liver’s performance. The first indication that you might be having a problem will be abnormal results from these tests, particularly for someone who doesn’t show any sign of a problem during the physical live examination.

The doctor will know your liver is under undue pressure, damaged or is not working at full capacity when they notice high levels of liver enzymes.

Other Blood Tests. In case all your liver tests come back abnormal, your doctor will request for more tests in order to identify where the problem lies. These tests will look for, among other things, hepatitis-causing viruses. These can also be used to look for antibodies that occur naturally in the body in such a situation.

Ultrasound. You might be asked to do an ultrasound test. The ultrasound waves show images of all the organs that lie within the abdominal cavity. Through this test, the doctor has the best view of the liver and the organs close by.

This test will also show the following:

  • Tumors in the liver
  • Gallbladder abnormalities
  • Enlarged or damaged liver
  • Fluid within the abdomen

In these images, it might also be possible to see the pancreas. This is one of the most useful tests that can tell the doctor the real reason behind your abnormal liver function.

Liver Biopsy. Through a biopsy, the doctor will be able to get sample tissue from the liver, which they can then take to the lab to run tests. This procedure doesn’t always require surgery since it can also be done with a needle through the skin. In other cases, the doctor might use an ultrasound to guide them as they take the sample.

It’s from this test that the doctor can figure out how damaged the liver is as a result of the inflammation. This might also be used to get samples of the parts of the liver which might seem abnormal.

Hepatitis C Antibody

When foreign substances get into the body, the immune system is triggered to produce antibodies. These are produced uniquely to fend off the foreign substance. Therefore, when you are infected with Hepatitis C, the body will produce Hepatitis C antibodies to fight the HCV virus.

Your body will only produce Hepatitis C antibodies in case you already have Hepatitis C. Therefore, this test is useful in determining whether you have an HCV infection or not.

Hepatitis C Vaccine

At the time of this writing, there’s no vaccine for Hepatitis C. There are, however, several ways to prevent and treat Hepatitis C.

How to Treat Hepatitis

The treatment options for hepatitis depend on two things, the type of hepatitis and whether it is chronic or acute.

Hepatitis A. This is a short-term infection, and in most cases, you might not need treatment. Most of the time, patients simply get bed rest, especially if they feel uncomfortable. In case you have diarrhea or you vomit a lot, your doctor can guide you on the best procedure for nutrition and hydration.

There’s, however, a vaccine for Hepatitis A which is usually administered to children between 12 and 18 months old. For adults, there’s also a vaccine which is administered together with the vaccine for Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B. Specific treatment is not always necessary for acute Hepatitis B. However, there’s an antiviral medication that can be used to treat chronic Hepatitis B. Treatment might last a few months or years in some cases, so it might be an expensive ordeal.

The patient will also need to consult a doctor from time to time while keeping tabs on the virus to make sure it’s responding well to the treatment.

Vaccination is the easiest way to prevent Hepatitis C. According to the CDC, all newborn babies should get the vaccine which is available in a set of three vaccines. They should be done by the time the child turns 6 months old. Everyone in the healthcare industry is also advised to get this vaccine.

Hepatitis C. There are antiviral medicines that are used to treat chronic and acute Hepatitis C. Individuals who develop chronic Hepatitis C might be given different drug therapies. To determine the best treatment, they might also be subject to more tests.

If you have developed liver cirrhosis as a result of chronic Hepatitis C, one of the best options for you would be a liver transplant. As it is, there’s no known vaccine available for Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis D. There’s no medicine yet for treating Hepatitis D. However, in 2013, a study was conducted using a trial drug, Alpha Interferon to treat Hepatitis D. This drug only yielded progress in around 30% of those who used it.

It’s, however, possible to prevent hepatitis D by using the Hepatitis B vaccine, because it cannot develop without hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E. There are no medical therapies present for treating hepatitis E. More often, this infection is acute, and as a result, it just resolves on its own. Individuals who have Hepatitis E usually get relief by resting, eating enough nutrients, drinking lots of fluids and keeping away from alcohol for a while. In the case of pregnant women, however, it’s advisable to see a doctor for further monitoring.

Autoimmune Hepatitis. Treating autoimmune hepatitis during the early stages is easier with the use of corticosteroids like budesonide and prednisone. More than 80% of individuals who have taken these treatments have had good results.

One of the most effective drugs that are usually administered is Azathioprine (Imuran) which can be administered with or without the use of steroids. There are other drugs that can be used as an alternative to Azathioprine, including Tacrolimus, Mycophenolate, and Cyclosporine.

Hepatitis C Medications

There are several medicines that have been used in the past to treat Hepatitis C, including antivirals and interferons. Not all the hepatitis medicines treat all the HCV infections, especially because of various genotypes of the HCV virus. Your doctor will try to figure out the type of Hepatitis C you have so that they can prescribe the right medication that will work best for you.

Complications Associated with Hepatitis C

There are a lot of complications that might be associated with Hepatitis C, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. In some severe cases, the Hepatitis C patients will need to have a liver transplant. Most of the time, complications occur as a result of chronic Hepatitis C.

The sooner you can get a diagnosis for chronic Hepatitis C, the sooner you should start your treatment so that you don’t have to experience the full-blown complications.

Hepatitis C Guidelines

Hepatitis C will manifest in different people in a unique way. Because of this reason, there’s no specific guideline for managing the infection. However, you can talk to your doctor about making a few changes in your life that will help you manage the infection better, like making lifestyle changes or starting a new diet.

Hepatitis C Screening

Hepatitis C is transmitted through the blood so it can’t spread as easily as most of the other infectious diseases. While there might be treatments for Hepatitis C, most of them come with serious side effects. One of the safest options you have is prevention.

In case you are a high-risk individual, it’s wise to get Hepatitis C screening regularly. In case you get infected, the earlier you know about this and start treatment, the better.

Acute vs. Chronic Infection

Doctors use the type of hepatitis virus to determine whether you have an acute or chronic infection. An acute infection shouldn’t last more than 6 months. Anything that exceeds 6 months is a chronic infection.

In the case of Hepatitis B, the infection can either be chronic or acute. Most of the people who have acute hepatitis B rarely progress to the chronic level. On the other hand, acute Hepatitis C can easily advance to chronic levels. In fact, more than 75% of people who are diagnosed with Hepatitis C usually advance to chronic Hepatitis C, according to reports from the CDC.

If you have acute Hepatitis C, you might not display any symptoms. In fact, most of the acute hepatitis C cases are asymptomatic. This means that you barely notice the symptoms. Only around 15% of the acute infections usually show symptoms.

Mortality Risk

A high percentage of people who have Hepatitis C barely ever clear the virus, and as a result, they become chronic carriers.

This can become a problem later on in life because the infection will cause other problems that can be fatal such as the following:

Liver Cancer. When liver cells are reproducing at a fast rate, you might develop tumors which can cause liver cancer. If the Hepatitis C advances to cirrhosis, you will be at a very high risk of liver cancer.

Cirrhosis. This happens as a result of fibrosis (when scar tissues build up) dominating the liver. In case you have cirrhosis, the healthy normal tissue will be replaced by the hard scar tissue, and this prevents the normal function of the liver. It’s important to know that it might take up to 30 years of damage to the liver for cirrhosis to develop.

Liver Failure.This is an advanced stage of the liver disease which means that the liver will have been damaged to the point when it doesn’t function properly. You might even develop jaundice, ascites, stomach bleeding or hepatic encephalopathy. If you have these symptoms, you are in serious need of a liver transplant to save your life.

Every year, more than 300,000 people die as a result of liver diseases linked to Hepatitis C. The only way to prevent this from happening is to seek medical help as soon as you confirm the diagnosis. This is the easiest way to mitigate the damage that hepatitis might do to your body.

How Does Hepatitis C Affect Your Body?

There are two stages of Hepatitis C; chronic and acute. Acute Hepatitis C is within the first 6 months of exposure to the hepatitis virus. It might be a short-lived illness in some people. However, according to the CDC, most people (around 80%) whose immune system doesn’t clear out the virus at this stage eventually advances to the chronic stage. Chronic Hepatitis C can be a lifelong battle. In fact, most people don’t even notice they are infected until some of the symptoms start showing.

Your Liver. The role of the liver is to process blood and filter toxic substances from the bloodstream. The liver also helps with digestion, produces proteins, bile, and important blood components. A healthy liver should also help the body store vitamins and glucose. An HCV infection will inflame the liver, damaging its ability to perform all the important functions it does.

Some of the symptoms might be mild during the early stages, and it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible so that the damage doesn’t become too serious. A chronic infection can easily advance to cirrhosis. As the infection progresses, there are certain symptoms that you will notice like blood disorder, skin problems, and weight loss. When things get out of hand, liver failure, liver cancer, and severe liver damage are possible.

You can visit a doctor to test and measure the HCV antibodies present in your bloodstream. The presence of HCV antibodies in the blood means you are already infected. However, a second blood test would help you allay any fears.

Digestive System. It’s important that you keep your liver healthy, considering that the liver supports several body systems. The liver produces bile, an important substance in fat synthesis. The body stores bile in the gallbladder and transports it to the small intestine as and when needed. The bile will then mix with digestive fluids including stomach acid from the pancreas, helping this way with nutrient absorption into the bloodstream.

The HCV virus will affect the liver’s bile production. When this happens, you will find it difficult to digest fatty food. Over time you will also experience a buildup of fluids within the stomach which can result in abdominal pain. This is a condition known as ascites. It happens when the liver is unable to produce the required amount of albumin to regulate the cellular fluid content.

Some of the other symptoms that you might be having liver problems include:

  • Clay or pale-colored stool
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

If HCV causes inflammation in your gallbladder, you might endure a lot of pain. This is, however, a rare occurrence, and it only happens during the acute stage of the infection.

Central Nervous System. As long as the liver is unable to filter toxic substances from the blood, it might damage the nervous system. There are a number of symptoms that you might notice, including musty breath, sleep deprivation or problems with your motor skills. In some cases, HCV infection is also linked to dryness in the mouth and eyes.

When toxins build up in the brain, they can cause any of the following situations:

  • Personality disorders
  • Lack of concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion

Some of the advanced cases include the following symptoms:

  • Slurry speech
  • Disorientation
  • Agitation
  • Abnormal shaking

In severe instances, you might even end up in a coma.

Circulatory System. Other than filtering out toxins from the body, the liver is also involved in protein synthesis for clean healthy blood and makes sure your blood clotting is regulated. If your liver is not performing well, you might have problems with blood flow, which eventually increases pressure to the portal vein. This, in the long run, causes portal hypertension which eventually forces blood to find pathways through other veins. When blood is forced into these veins, the undue pressure can make them rupture, causing severe internal bleeding (variceal bleeding).

It’s, therefore, impossible for a liver that’s not functioning well to transport, absorb or store iron, and as a result, you might suffer anemia.

Integumentary System. There are several skin problems that are associated with Hepatitis C. Some of the common ones include a loss in the skin pigment, bruises in the eyes, itching, and rashes. One of the important byproducts of hemoglobin breakdown is bilirubin. As long as the liver is not functioning properly, bilirubin will pile up in the body, resulting in jaundice. You will notice this when the skin and eyes start turning yellow. Improper function of the liver might also be caused by poor nutrition, and you will notice this in stunted growth of the nails and hair.

Endocrine and Immune Systems. The role of the endocrine system is to regulate hormones in the body. The thyroid gland is an important part of this system, and its role is to push the hormones into the bloodstream. There are instances where Hepatitis C might cause the immune system to attack the thyroid tissue.

When this happens, there are two possibilities:

  • An overactive thyroid – hyperthyroidism, which will cause weight loss and sleep problems
  • An underactive thyroid – hypothyroidism, which can cause weight gain or fatigue

Having a healthy liver is important in managing the way sugar is consumed within the body. This also translates to keeping away type 2 diabetes.

Hepatitis C Diet

In case you have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, there’s no specific diet that you need to keep. However, you should limit your intake of junk food, and instead, start eating healthy food.

The liver naturally acts upon anything that you drink or eat. Therefore, by keeping a proper, clean diet, you will easily improve your liver health, and reduce the damage that can be caused by Hepatitis C.

You should know that your liver is already struggling with inflammation by the time you have Hepatitis C. As time goes by, this might end up in cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, which will definitely hamper or reduce the function of the liver. Since the liver already has too much to deal with, keeping a clean healthy diet might make things easier for your liver.

What You Should Eat

Naturally, you need to get the best nutrients with your meals to live a healthy life. This will go a long way towards protecting your immune system and will also boost your weight management efforts.

You should always keep an eye on your weight when you have Hepatitis C. This is because the more weight you gain, the higher your risk of hepatic steatosis will be. This is a condition where a lot of fat is deposited into the liver, which might eventually make it difficult to control Hepatitis C.

With Hepatitis C, you are already at risk of type 2 diabetes, so it would be wise to be keen on the amount of sugar you consume. You should also consider meal plans, especially approved meal plans like the United States Department of Agriculture MyPlate Plan.

In this plan, the following are the recommendations for a balanced diet:

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are important because they provide the following:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Folic acid
  • Fiber

You should try to have no less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. To get the best results, try to get a variety in the type of fruits and vegetables that you eat. If you buy canned food, make sure you get the ones that don’t have sugar or salt additives.

Protein. Protein foods are important because protein helps replace and repair damaged liver cells.

Some of the best lean protein options you have to include:

  • Soy products
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Chicken (skinless)
  • Seafood
  • Fish

The recommended amount of daily protein intake depends on things like your level of activity, sex, and age. At least 5 ounces of protein a day is good for you, but for people who have liver cirrhosis, the doctor might recommend more in order to prevent fluid buildup and muscle damage.

Dairy Products. like cheese, yogurt, and milk are rich sources of calcium and proteins. Adults need up to 3 dairy servings daily. When factoring cheese into your diet, a cup should count as two ounces of processed cheese or 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese.

Whole Grains. Whole grains provide natural fiber which helps with proper bowel function and also reduce your risk of heart disease.

Some of the best options you have to include:

  • Oats
  • Wild or brown rice
  • Whole buckwheat
  • Quinoa pasta
  • Sprouted whole grain bread

Don’t go for the refined or white products. Instead, insist on whole grain because they have a higher content of:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin B group

In the unlikely event that you have Celiac disease, you should stick to gluten-free options like amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat. The quantity varies according to your sex, level of activity and age. An adult needs at least 3 ounces of grains daily, with no less than half coming from whole grains.

What You Shouldn’t Eat

You must pay attention to your calories so you will need to think about the quality as much as the quantity of the food you eat. Too much food will definitely cause weight gain, or make you obese, which makes you vulnerable to diabetes.

To be on the safe side, limit the intake of foods that are:

  • Canned
  • Frozen
  • Processed
  • Greasy
  • Fatty
  • Obtained from fast food outlets

 

The post Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C appeared first on Positive Health Wellness.

Source: Postive health Welness

According to the World Health Organization’s Global Health Estimates, people in the world living with anxiety disorders in 2015 numbered around 264 million. This was an increase from estimates from previous years, and the Americas have the biggest percentage among all regions in the world.

There are many reasons for anxiety disorders, including prolonged exposure to stress, a history of anxiety in the family, and abuse of certain substances. But did you know that your diet may play a role in anxiety, too? A deficiency in our diet, in particular, can trigger imbalances that may translate to negative changes in our mood.

Numerous studies have pointed to the importance of magnesium homeostasis in our bodies to reduce risks for anxiety, as well as other mental disorders. This is because the mineral is critical to over 300 biochemical processes, some of which are neural.

A lack of magnesium renders the brain defenseless against certain mechanisms, which can lead to the development of anxiety. Additionally, external factors such as stress have been found to have a profound effect on the way the body utilizes magnesium, which further exacerbates symptoms of anxiety.

To correct magnesium deficiency and alleviate anxiety, magnesium supplements are available. The medical literature is rife with various research findings that support the use of supplementation to treat anxiety, and ten of the most celebrated are as follows.

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61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • LES Labs Mood Boost
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • 100% Chelated with Albion Minerals
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Reborn Labs Calm2
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • All Natural
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Nature’s Nectar Keep Calm Stress Support
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • NATURAL STRESS RELIEF & MOOD SUPPORT

LES Labs Mood Boost 

 

Containing magnesium citrate, Mood Boost from LES Labs is considered by many to be effective in easing anxiety and its symptoms. This supplement features a blend of natural ingredients that offer relief from mood disorders, including depression. It is also associated with minimal side effects.

Pros

  • Features 10 powerful natural ingredients, including ashwagandha, L-theanine and L-tyrosine, passion flower, chamomile, and lemon balm
  • Does not contain chemical drugs

Cons

  • Not recommended to be taken by people who are taking antidepressants
  • Also gives rise to side effects for some people

Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium

 

This magnesium supplement from Doctor’s Best does not only feature chelated magnesium, it is specifically formulated with a patented technology to ensure maximum bioavailability. It is also vegan, gluten-free, and contains no GMO. And it is reported to be effective in other biochemical processes, such as the regulation of heartbeat and support of bone density.

Pros

  • Features a formulation that is easy to digest
  • Non-buffered, which means that it is not cut with cheap magnesium oxide
  • Provides good value for its quality

Cons

  • More expensive than other products of its kind
  • Contains large tablets, which can be difficult to swallow

Reborn Labs Calm2

Like Mood Boost, Calm 2 from Reborn Labs also contains a nice blend of ingredients that ease stress and anxiety such as biotin, vitamin B6, and niacin. It is also ideal for those who want instant calmness in situations that may otherwise be stressful, such as when flying. And it is said to help with improving cognitive functions.

Pros

  • Only contains natural ingredients
  • Offers instant relief for anxiety

Cons

  • Only available online
  • Does not come with comprehensive information from the manufacturer
  • May also cause allergic reactions to some patients

Nature’s Nectar Keep Calm Stress Support

Another 100% natural product, this supplement contains magnesium, as well as other necessary minerals and vitamins, for stress relief and mood support. The brand purports to feature a research lab-tested formula that can improve mood, produce relaxation, and naturally manage the body’s responses to stress and panic.

Pros

  • Considered effective by many people
  • Also improves sleep

Cons

  • May give rise to side effects for people with certain medical conditions

Pure Micronutrients Pure Magnesium

 Pure Magnesium from Pure Micronutrients helps enhance energy while boosting muscle relaxation. It also contains a very absorbable form of magnesium, which can facilitate faster results. And this supplement helps generate a better quality of sleep.

Pros

  • Easy to swallow, digest, and absorb
  • Contains no artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Features a GMO-free formula

Cons

  • Can give a laxative effect to some patients

Natural Rhythm Triple Calm Magnesium

Like its name denotes, Triple Calm Magnesium from Natural Rhythm produces three times the calmness, because it contains three forms of magnesium. These are magnesium glycinate, magnesium malate, and magnesium taurate. This triple action makes maximum absorption possible.

Pros

  • Contains three forms of magnesium for maximum absorption
  • Helps with anxiety, heart, and sleep issues
  • Gluten-free and vegetarian

Cons

  • Can provide a laxative effect to some people

 

Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium Anti Stress

The original 16-oz version of the Natural Calm Magnesium Anti Stress pill from Natural Vitality combines the power of calcium and magnesium to ease anxiety symptoms. The magnesium energizes cells, while the magnesium relaxes cells.

Pros

  • Widely considered effective by many users
  • Tastes and smells good

Cons

  • May cause migraines and upset stomachs

KAL Magnesium Glycinate

This Magnesium Glycinate supplement from KAL contains a high amount of bioavailable magnesium that is considered to be helpful for producing calmness, as well as promoting healthy functioning for muscles. It also features ActivTab technology, which ensures that the tablet disintegrates and gets ready to be absorbed in 30 minutes. It is also vegan, as well as dairy and gluten-free.

Pros

  • Disintegrates in 30 minutes for fast absorption
  • Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO
  • Non-buffered, which means that it is not bonded to inexpensive and ineffective magnesium forms

Cons

  • Can have a laxative effect on some stomachs

Nature Made Magnesium Oxide

 

Touted to be all-natural, this Nature Made magnesium oxide contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, yeast, or starch. It is considered to be effective not only in easing anxiety, but also helping boost bone, heart, teeth, nerve, and muscle health.

Pros

  • Good for nerve, heart, and muscle function
  • Contains no artificial ingredients
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • Some people may consider the dosage too high
  • Has been known to cause diarrhea for some people

NOW Magnesium Citrate

Another non-GMO supplement, this one from NOW is effective at alleviating anxiety, while also providing nervous system support. It also boosts energy production.

Pros

  • Provides heart, nerve, and muscle support
  • Provides good value

Cons

  • Difficult to swallow, for some users
  • Ideally not to be taken on an empty stomach

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61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • LES Labs Mood Boost
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • 100% Chelated with Albion Minerals
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Reborn Labs Calm2
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • All Natural
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Nature’s Nectar Keep Calm Stress Support
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • NATURAL STRESS RELIEF & MOOD SUPPORT

Who Needs Magnesium Supplements for Anxiety

Anybody who wants to mitigate symptoms and intensity of anxiety disorders can benefit from magnesium supplements, especially those who do not wish to go on prescription medication to manage panic attacks and other symptoms. Additionally, people who are constantly exposed to highly stressful situations may improve the way that their body utilizes magnesium.

People who suffer from magnesium deficiency due to various reasons should also look into supplementation. These reasons include:

  • depleted soil quality that lowers the amount of magnesium in crops
  • high prescription and antibiotic drug use that leads to digestive tract damages;
  • and digestive disorders that affect the absorption of magnesium and other minerals by the body

Magnesium Deficiency and Anxiety

According to reports, it is estimated that up to 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. What makes this concerning is that lacking in the mineral can hardly be assessed through a blood test, as only about a percent of the mineral is distributed in the blood.

Additional research also says that only around 25 percent of Americans are getting the recommended amounts of magnesium in their diets. These are 310 to 320mg for women and 400 to 420mg for men.

This deficiency has been linked to the persistence of some symptoms of anxiety, as well as other affective mood disorders. In addition, it can trigger a host of other medical conditions, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • A migraine; and
  • Osteoporosis

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Early signs of hypomagnesemia include weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, and nausea. Persistent lack of magnesium, on the other hand, is characterized by muscle contractions and cramps, coronary spasms, numbness and tingling, arrhythmia, seizures, and personality changes.

Benefits of Magnesium Supplements for Anxiety

There are many advantages associated with using magnesium supplements for anxiety. Some of the most essential are as follows:

  • Stability of Biochemical Functions

Studies have indicated that magnesium plays an important role in important biochemical processes in our bodies, such as the help that it provides in regulating GABA functions. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is responsible for the production of happy hormones such as serotonin. A 2012 report published in the Journal of Neuropharmacology showed that test mice which were made magnesium-deficient exhibited more anxiety-related behaviors, compared to test mice which were given magnesium supplements.

Additionally, the report asserted that magnesium impacts the stress response of the mice models. Insufficient blood plasma and brain Mg levels, for instance, were found to correlate to a spike in the production of cortisol in the brains of the test subjects through the activation of the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, which is the part of the brain that manages the body’s response to stress and anxiety.

In human beings, the role of magnesium in moderating stress responses has also been studied. Numerous papers cite that magnesium has control over the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPAA), an important substrate of the body’s stress response system. When the HPAA is activated, the brain releases autonomic, neuroendocrine, and behavioral responses to stress, such as the production of the adrenal corticotropin hormone or ACTH. ACTH is responsible for the release of cortisol and adrenaline. Magnesium has been found to not only limit the release of ACTH, it can also control the way the adrenal glands respond to ACTH.

Magnesium also helps inhibits the activity of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which are associated with anxiety and panic disorders. These receptors can be activated by calcium and glutamate, but magnesium keeps the two in check. When there is not enough magnesium, the NMDA receptors are left to the excitatory mercy of calcium and glutamate, which – in the long run – can promote cell death.

  • Mitigation of Other Affective Mood Disorders

In addition to anxiety, magnesium supplements can also help reduce the potential development of other affective disorders such as depression. This is because magnesium has been known to be instrumental to various psychoneuroendocrine systems, as well as biological and transduction pathways that are commonly associated with depression.

In previous studies involving test mice, experimentally-induced hypomagnesemia or magnesium deficiency has been found to result in depression-like behavior in the mouse models; in human beings, research has also shown that a diet lacking in magnesium is associated with depression. In fact, low levels of the mineral in serum and cerebrospinal fluids have been linked to the development of symptoms of depression, including suicidality.

Case studies for both test mice and human beings have discovered that magnesium supplementation can have a positive effect on the depressive symptoms of rodent models and patients. One study said that taking 450mg of elemental magnesium for 12 weeks was as effective as administering 50mg of tricyclic antidepressants in reducing symptoms of the disorder among elderly patients with type II diabetes.

  • Improvement of Sleep

Magnesium supplements have also been known to have a positive effect on sleep. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Science asserted that of the 46 patients given either placebo or magnesium supplementation over eight weeks, those who were taking the supplements had longer hours of sleep and higher melatonin, and found it easier to fall asleep. Also, they had lower levels of cortisol.

  • Promotion of Overall Health

In addition to easing anxiety and other affective mood disorders, magnesium supplementation can also:

  • Promote healthy bones and teeth
  • Relax muscles
  • Prevent the formation of kidney stones
  • Ease fatigue
  • Provide help with detoxification, since magnesium is necessary for glutathione synthesis
  • Improves insulin receptor sensitivity
  • Mitigate metabolic syndrome, a set of conditions that increase risks for stroke, diabetes, and heart disease

Magnesium Supplements for Anxiety

There are many types of magnesium supplements that you will find on the market, which are commonly known as chelation or magnesium salts. These contain magnesium that is bonded to amino acids or other compounds that make it easier for the body to absorb magnesium. Chelation also ensures that magnesium, which is a reactive ion, cannot readily react to other reactive ions.

Of the various forms that you will see, some are considered better than others. Bioavailability, for instance, is a significant factor that should be considered when choosing your magnesium supplements. This is because bioavailability measures the absorption rate of the magnesium in the supplement by the body; the higher the bioavailability, the more effective the pill will be at producing the benefits associated with magnesium supplementation.

Another factor to consider in your selection is the amount of magnesium found in the supplement, which is referred to as “elemental magnesium”. During your search, you will see that some supplements will have high elemental magnesium, but this should not stand in the way of considering the bioavailability of the magnesium found in the product. There may be too much magnesium in a pill, but if the body cannot absorb most of the mineral, then it won’t be useful.

Now, let’s look at the different types of magnesium supplements.

Types of Magnesium Supplements for Anxiety

Magnesium oxide or Magnesium oxalate. Of all the forms of magnesium supplements for anxiety that you will find, magnesium oxide or magnesium oxalate contains the highest elemental magnesium. This is why it is popular among manufacturers of magnesium supplements. However, only about 4% of the magnesium that it contains can be absorbed by the body. In addition, it has been known to cause diarrhea. In fact, it is mostly used for laxative purposes.

Magnesium gluconate. In studies involving mice models, magnesium gluconate has been found to have the highest bioavailability among ten forms of magnesium in supplements. However, there are not enough studies done in humans to back up this claim. Experts say the findings could be extrapolated to humans, but using this form of magnesium should still warrant proper medical guidance.

Magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate, the most common form of magnesium supplementation, has a reported bioavailability of about 25 to 30 percent. It also mixes well with liquids and does not cost as much as other forms of magnesium.

Magnesium chloride. Like magnesium oxide or oxalate, magnesium chloride may generate mild diarrhea. This is because it is poorly absorbed by the intestines, but it has a higher bioavailability than magnesium oxide.

Magnesium hydroxide. Also known as Milk of Magnesia, magnesium hydroxide is mostly found in many antacids. As with other forms of magnesium, it has laxative effects. It is also considered to be highly un-absorbable by the body.

Magnesium malate. Magnesium malate contains magnesium that is bound to malic acid. Malic acid is usually utilized as a substrate to produce cellular energy.

Magnesium Aspartate. In a study that compared the bioavailability of magnesium chelates, magnesium aspartate or magnesium L-aspartate has been found to be better at treating hypomagnesemia than other forms of magnesium. This particular type offers good bioavailability; in fact, magnesium monosaspartate reportedly has 42% bioavailability. One drawback, though, is that it is not as readily available for purchase as other magnesium supplements.

Magnesium glycinate. Magnesium glycinate or diglycinate is another good option, in terms of bioavailability. It is absorbed in different areas of the gut, which promises higher efficacy for delivering the ideal results.

Magnesium taurate. A combination of magnesium and taurine, this specific form of magnesium is said to produce a calming effect, which makes it popular for alleviating anxiety.

Magnesium Orotate. If used for intravenous ingestion, magnesium orotate (or orotic acid) has good bioavailability. Used in pill form, however, there is still a lot that needs to be known about this form of magnesium. At present, even, it is not recommended to be taken orally.

Magnesium L-threonate. One of the newest forms of magnesium chelates, magnesium L-threonate has been linked to enhancing learning and memory. However, it contains low elemental magnesium, which does not make it ideal for correcting a deficiency in magnesium enough to positively affect anxiety.

Other forms of magnesium include magnesium salicylate, magnesium borate, and magnesium sulfate. These are most commonly used as antiseptics. Magnesium sulfate, too, for its part, is better used in bath salts and laxatives, because it is not for safe oral use.

Safety Issues to Consider When Using Magnesium Supplements for Anxiety

Using magnesium supplements for anxiety is largely safe. The medical literature features numerous studies that provide some basis for the efficacy of supplementation in correcting hypomagnesemia, which can have a direct effect on mild anxiety disorders. These studies have also carefully assessed the right set of symptoms, so their findings can be reasonably adapted to provide recommendations for supplementation.

However, it is important to remember that these studies are not absolute in their findings. The design of most of these studies, in particular, leaves a lot of room for growth. Those that featured placebo conditions were found to be ineffective in assessing the results properly, while others did not include a reasonable number of samples, or otherwise employed weak statistical analyses.

This is why many experts are of the opinion that there is a need for more randomized controlled trials. These should particularly be angled at carefully screening samples and properly establishing anxiety levels so that there can be a clear evaluation of treatment results. Subjects with hypomagnesemia should be particularly studied better, because of the linked relationship between deficiency and affective disorders. Placebo options should also be included.

The specific effects of magnesium on stress responses also merits further and additional work. The pathways by which the mineral affect central and peripheral endocrine responses, in particular, should be better studied.

When it comes to side effects, an overdose of magnesium through supplementation has been known to result in diarrhea, cramping, and nausea. However, large unregulated doses can spell more serious consequences. These include urine retention, damage to the central nervous system, depression and lethargy, low blood pressure, kidney problems, and even cardiac arrest.

Product Use Limitations

To avoid negative side effects, it is important to be aware of specifications that do not work well with using magnesium supplements to treat anxiety. Foremost of these is kidney problems; normal kidney functioning is important to making the most out of magnesium supplements. In addition, you should not have a bowel obstruction, myasthenia gravis, and bradycardia.

Magnesium supplements can also lead to potential interactions with certain drugs. In fact, it has been known to reduce the efficacy of chlorpromazine and oral anticoagulants, as well as the quinolone and tetracycline classes of antibiotics. It can also interfere with the way the body absorbs pharmaceuticals such as bisphosphonates, anti-malaria medication, nitrofurantoin, and:

  • digoxin
  • ketoconazole
  • elvitegravir
  • pazopanib
  • dabrafenib
  • licorice
  • mycophenolate mofetil
  • phenytoin
  • vismodegib
  • eltrombopag
  • mycophenolic acid
  • raltegravir
  • gefitinib
  • rilpivirine
  • levomethadyl
  • quinine; and
  • ledipasvir

Also, taking other mineral supplements influences the way your body utilizes magnesium. High doses of zinc, for instance, are said to interfere with magnesium absorption, so the two are usually not recommended to be taken at the same time. If you’re taking vitamin B6 supplements, you need to talk to your doctor; levels of vitamin B6 can affect magnesium absorption, as well.

Tips for the Safe Management of Using Magnesium Supplements for Anxiety

Now, to ensure that your use of magnesium supplements for anxiety remains safe, the most important thing to do is to seek the advice of a doctor before starting or continuing. Even if you do not have contraindications to magnesium supplements, your doctor will still need to administer the proper dosage so that you can make the most out of the products.

Experts recommend getting between 200 to 400 mg of magnesium for adults, but again, this is a general guideline. A proper assessment of your medical situation is necessary for hitting the right amount, and your doctor will be able to help with that. Additionally, if you are taking other medications or supplements, your doctor will be able to guide you as to the proper approach to magnesium supplementation.

Important Factors to Keep in Mind

When using magnesium supplements for anxiety, there are certain numbers to consider. Some of the most important of these are:

Recommended Daily Allowance

According to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (which is formerly known as the National Academy of Sciences), the Recommended Daily Allowance of magnesium for different age groups and genders are as follows:

Age                                        Male                      Female                 Pregnancy           Lactation

Birth to 6 months             30 mg*                 30 mg*

7–12 months                     75 mg*                 75 mg*

1–3 years                            80 mg                    80 mg

4–8 years                            130 mg                 130 mg

9–13 years                          240 mg                 240 mg

14–18 years                       410 mg                 360 mg                 400 mg                 360 mg

19–30 years                       400 mg                 310 mg                 350 mg                 310 mg

31–50 years                       420 mg                 320 mg                 360 mg                 320 mg

51+ years                            420 mg                 320 mg

*Adequate Intake

Factors to Consider in Choosing Magnesium Supplements

Now, when it comes to choosing your magnesium supplements, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Some of the most essential are:

Amount of magnesium. The magnesium found in the product is significant to its resulting efficacy. If your doctor recommends starting small, supplements with at least 200mg of magnesium in their serving will be ideal.

Type of magnesium. As previously discussed, some forms of magnesium are more efficient in alleviating symptoms of anxiety than others. When choosing, make sure to assess the absorption rate of the magnesium in the supplement, as well as the ways by which it can affect you. Remember that some types of magnesium may contain high amounts of elemental magnesium, but they may also give rise to certain adverse side effects.

Other ingredients in the supplement. Magnesium supplements for anxiety also contain other minerals, including potassium and calcium. If you have other conditions that you need the pill to treat, choose accordingly.

Similarly, make sure that your chosen supplement ideally contains no artificial ingredients. Some supplements feature colors or dyes, but some are naturally-occurring. Always know as much information as you can so that you can be guided accordingly.

Finally, consider the value that the supplement can give you. A good rule of thumb to follow when calculating is to look at the cost-per-serving value of the supplement.

Other Sources of Magnesium

If you want to consider other sources of magnesium aside from supplements, the US National Institutes of Health recommends the following:

  • almond
  • avocado
  • black beans
  • cashews
  • edamame
  • peanut butter
  • soy milk
  • spinach; and
  • whole grain bread

Other nutritionists swear by sunflower, squash, and pumpkin seeds, as well as tempeh, black-eyed peas, and Brazil nuts.

There are also magnesium-rich mineral water options. These include popular brands such as Fuji, Evian, Gerolsteiner, and San Pellegrino.

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Conclusion

Magnesium supplements are a natural way to help mitigate symptoms of anxiety, as illustrated by many studies. The fact that it is also readily used by the body to manage various biochemical processes also lends additional merit to the use of supplements to regulate moods.

However, it bears noting that your doctor should still be consulted before you decide to pop one of these pills every day. There are few associated side effects with magnesium supplements, but harnessing their full efficacy is still done best when you know your optimal safety is ensured.

Those who have contraindications should be particularly careful. Additionally, if you are taking other supplements, you will need to secure the express recommendation of your doctor, so that you can manage potential drug interactions.

Also, be careful about the dosage that you will take. Some magnesium supplements require a short period for the body to adjust, which may give rise to some side effects. Ensure the guidance of a doctor as you go through this initial phase for your safety.

Additionally, there are other sources of magnesium that you can use, aside from or in addition to supplements. The food sources listed above, in particular, are ideal alternatives to supplements that provide the same set of benefits.

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Many of us have experienced some sort of pain on our heels without even knowing what’s causing it. Some symptoms, when presented to a doctor, a podiatrist specifically, can help them identify the cause of such pain. With the right symptoms, one might be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This is a disorder of the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot and is characterized by pain in the heel and bottom of the foot that’s usually most severe with the first steps of the day or following a period of rest. The manifested pain typically occurs gradually and can affect both feet.

Let’s take a short lesson on foot anatomy. Basically, the foot is made up of thick, fibrous web-like bands of tissues called the plantar fascia which extends from the heel to the toes. These tissues support the muscles and the arch of the foot. Overstretching these tissues through rigorous activities can cause the surface of these tissues to tear and, in turn, these can lead to inflammation and pain. The term “heel spurs” was coined by early doctors as it was believed the pain was caused by tiny bony growths. In actuality, heel spurs are not the cause but the result of pain from plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

To reiterate, plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot. The tissue extends from the heel to the toes of the foot. This condition is one of the most common complaints to orthopedics and it affects about 8% of the populace. Of these, 10% have had the disorder at some point during their life and this becomes more common with age. Being one of the most used tissues in the body, the plantar fascia will experience a lot of wear and tear. They support the arch of the foot and act as the body’s shock absorber. When subjected to a lot of pressure, these ligaments can either be damaged or torn leading to inflammation which, in turn, can cause stiffness and pain.

The Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

It would be obvious that those who are overweight or obese have a greater risk of developing this disorder. Pressure is the operational word here. Too much weight will put stress on the plantar fascia ligaments, more especially so if the weight gain is sudden. An example of this is women during their late months of pregnancy where they will experience bouts of plantar fasciitis.

Many groups are likely to develop this disorder. Consider long distance runners for one. Also, there are those with jobs that keep them on their feet for long hours like waiters and assembly line workers. An active lifestyle where hours of exercise is required but this also has some risk. Although not many studies have been made, the cases of plantar fasciitis are more common among women.

The disorder can also occur in people with structural foot problems. Those with very high foot arches or are flat-footed are high risk. So are those with tight Achilles tendons. They can also develop plantar fasciitis. Even wearing the wrong shoes can cause the disorder, especially shoes with poor arch support and soft soles.

As mentioned earlier, plantar fasciitis isn’t the result of heel spurs. A heel spur is a bony spur projecting from the back or underside of the heel that often makes walking painful. Only about 1 out of 10 people can develop heel spurs and 1 out of 20 will experience pain.

Too much pressure on the plantar fascia can cause it to become tight and this could lead to inflammation. With a further increase in pressure, the tissue becomes tenser and this could lead to tearing. Consequently, there will be more irritation and inflammation. This will likely be more experienced with people between the ages of 40 and 70 and have active lifestyles like long distance runners and athletes.

The Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

Presently, there’s still no specific and identifiable reason why plantar fasciitis develops, only that the risk of having it is associated with several factors:

  • Rapid weight gain or obesity. These conditions may cause damage to the plantar fascia tissue which makes it less effective in absorbing shock and this can cause heel pain. Research has shown that about 70% of plantar fasciitis patients suffer from obesity. Also at risk are those non-athletes who have a sudden increase in BMI. The same thing goes for expecting mothers, especially in the later months of their pregnancy.
  • A lot of pressure placed on the heels. For those who run or walk frequently, especially for long distances or those with jobs that require them to be on their feet for hours, they may also have this disorder. Athletes, joggers, factory workers, teachers, and more can fall under this category as the pressure on their heels can result in plantar fasciitis. Studies show that too much stretching and tightening of a person’s Achilles tendon can overstrain the plantar fascia.
  • Foot abnormalities. The reason why people who have overpronation have a high risk to develop plantar fasciitis is that the whole soles of the feet come in contact with the ground while standing up. Overpronation is more commonly known as flat-footed. Conversely (and similarly), those with really high arches are also at a high-risk because their condition will put excessive amounts of pressure on the ball of the foot and the heel when they are walking or standing. Increased pressure on the plantar fascia can also cause the disorder for people who have unusual walking gaits or running styles.
  • Conditions like arthritis and diabetes. If diabetes can cause plantar fasciitis, this is a matter that needs further research. Although it’s known that diabetes can cause an augmented thickness of one’s Achilles tendon. Also, plantar fasciitis is a lot more common in people who have diabetes. There are also some kinds of arthritis that are associated with plantar fasciitis. Among these are ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
  • Wearing the wrong kinds of shoes. Any shoes that don’t have a good fit will most likely not provide ample support to the foot. That is common sense. The wrong shoes can mess up walking and this can put more pressure on the plantar fascia ligaments. Avoid worn out or old shoes as they may not be able to provide the needed protection and support for the feet. The right shoes will not just benefit the feet but many parts of the body as well. These include the feet, legs, and lower back. Wrong shoe choices can affect body health. The choice of shoes is especially relevant for people who have diabetes and circulatory problems.

Obviously, the best kinds of shoes are those that can lessen the pressure on the plantar fascia ligament. In general, the shoes should be firm and solid. Sandals and flip-flops don’t offer much support for the feet. But if they have the right insoles, they can become a good option because they can be worn pain-free.

The Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Those who are afflicted with this condition have pain on the bottom of their feet as the most common complaint and that pain gradually develops over time. Although the disorder usually just affects one foot, it can happen to both feet as well. The experienced pain varies, from dull to sharp. Some may also experience a burning sensation on the bottom of their foot which starts from the heel and extends outward. Here are some of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis:

  • The time when the pain felt is at its worse happens when it’s morning as one takes his first steps of the day.
  • The pain can also be experienced when one has been lying down or sitting for some time. Because of the stiffness, climbing the stairs could become an ordeal.
  • Prolonged physical activities can cause the pain to a flare-up because of an increase in inflammation.
  • Pain brought about by the disorder is usually felt after stopping the activity and not during.
  • Although one plantar fasciitis symptom is generally described as shooting pain, this disorder can also cause swelling especially on the heel area.
  • The pain caused by plantar fasciitis is most intense after a rest from physical activities, then eases out during the daytime. However, the pain will certainly recur after some physical exertions or after staying on one’s feet for long periods.

The plantar fascia is a broad web-like band of connective tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. It supports the foot’s arch and is designed to absorb any strains and stresses that the foot may be subjected to. When not using the plantar fascia, it isn’t tight. Conversely, when used, it tightens. At one point in a person’s life, he may develop inflammation or a strain of the fascia into the bone of the heel. This is understandable because the foot will always be engaged and can never really rest enough to get better and start healing. Plantar fasciitis inevitably can become a chronic and repetitive condition.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis?

Podiatrists will usually make a routine examination to determine if you have plantar fasciitis. There is a test for tenderness felt in the foot, locating the pain’s exact point, making sure that it’s not another foot issue. The person may be requested to flex his foot while the doctor will push against the plantar fascia to check if the pain will worsen as he flexes or as he points his toes. There will also be a check on swelling or redness. An evaluation of muscle strength and health of the nerves is accomplished by checking on the muscle tone, reflexes, sense of sight and touch, coordination, and balance. To make sure that there’s nothing else causing the pain in the heel, a fractured bone, an X-ray or MRI may also be required.

Various Options for Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Although reducing the inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis is an essential part of the treatment, this will not deal with the underlying injury of the plantar fascia ligament. But there are different treatment options available including:

  • Home remedies. There are some simple steps one can follow to treat the condition. First of all, it’s very important for the person to stay off his feet. One can also apply a cold compress on the affected area for about 15 minutes up to 4 times daily to reduce the swelling. Also, reduce exercise time or change exercise routines and try to use arch supports which can be placed in the shoes. One can also try some stretching exercises as they may help relieve pain.
  • Pain relievers. NSAIDs can often reduce ligament inflammations. If these over-the-counter medications don’t work, consult with a doctor. He may administer corticosteroid injections directly into the injured part of the plantar fascia ligament to relieve the pain. An ultrasound may be done to specifically locate the ideal place for injection. Another method is applying corticosteroids topically to the arch of the foot or the heel then applying a painless electric charge to allow the steroid to enter the skin then the muscle.
  • Physical therapy. This is also an essential part in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Through therapy, the plantar fascia along with the Achilles tendon can be stretched. Physical therapists can also help by recommending exercises that can strengthen the lower muscles of the leg. This will help stabilize one’s walking and thus reducing the pressure on his plantar fascia ligaments.
  • Supports and Braces . Another treatment option which may help in stretching the arch of the foot and the calf is by using night splints. These are types of braces that will hold the foot in a position that’s flexed, thereby lengthening the plantar fascia along with the Achilles tendon all through the night. This action will prevent the occurrence of stiffness and morning pain.

To help relieve the pain through stress distribution, one can avail of arch supports for the shoes or even special orthotics. Using these will stop any further injury to his plantar fascia ligament. Or one can even order a boot cast. This will temporarily immobilize the foot reducing the pressure or strain while the person’s plantar fascia ligament heals.

  • Surgery. This is the most dramatic therapy and should be done only when the pain becomes really severe. The surgeon can partially detach the plantar fascia from its heel bone attachment. This can seriously weaken the foot’s arch and its full function may be lost. Another type of surgery involves the lengthening of the foot’s arch through an operation called the gastrocnemius recession.

If still nothing works with the aforementioned treatments, the podiatrist may recommend extracorporeal shock wave therapy. A relatively new procedure, it uses sound waves to bombard your heel which will stimulate the healing process within the ligament. This method hasn’t been proven to be consistently effective in relieving symptoms. Furthermore, there can be some side effects which can include bruising, swelling, numbness, and pain.

Other Medical Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

Aside from the ones mentioned above, there are also other types of medical treatments for plantar fasciitis. These include:

  • Orthotics. It’s best to ask one’s doctor about this type of treatment. He can prescribe custom-fit or off-the-shelf arch supports that will help in distributing pressure to the feet evenly.
  • Injection. A kind of steroid medicine is injected directly into the area that’s tender for fast but temporary relief from pain. Multiple steroid injections are not recommended as it can weaken the plantar fascia. Also, there’s a possibility of it rupturing. A more recent method is using a plasma that’s rich in platelets under the guidance of ultrasound to provide relief from pain with a lesser danger of tissue damage.
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy. This is a relatively new procedure which uses sound waves that are directed at the heel area where the pain is felt. The waves are supposed to stimulate the healing. Although there are promising results with this method, it still hasn’t been proven to be effective each and every time.
  • Tenex procedure. This is not a common method of treating plantar fasciitis. It’s a minimally-invasive method is used to remove scar tissues of plantar fasciitis without any surgery.

Lifestyle And Home Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

There are also things one can do at home to improve the condition. A person can do some home treatments to lessen the pain caused by plantar fasciitis:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being obese or overweight will add extra stress to the plantar fascia. For this, losing weight is the obvious solution.
  • Select supportive shoes and, if possible, avoid high-heeled shoes. Choose a pair with moderate heels, have great arch support, and should be shock absorbent. Also, avoid moving around on barefoot especially while walking on surfaces which are hard.
  • Discard athletic shoes which are already worn-out. As they get older, old shoes will give less support and cushion to the feet, making one at risk for plantar fasciitis. For runners, buy a new pair after about 500 mileage of use.
  • Consider changing sports. Choose one which will allow less impact on the feet. Definitely, jogging and running are out. Swimming, bicycling, and other similar sports are more advisable.
  • Apply ice on the affected area. This is a simple procedure for relief from plantar fasciitis. Hold an ice-pack covered in cloth on the affected area for about 20 minutes. Do this three to four times daily or after some physical activity. One can also try an ice massage. Simply roll a paper cup that has been filled with frozen water over the area of pain for about 7 minutes. This massage will help in reducing inflammation and pain.
  • Stretch the arches. One can do some simple exercises at home. Ask the physical therapist about the best exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendons.
  • Rest is also highly recommended. This is perhaps the best way to reduce the pain caused by any disorder or injury. This condition is no exception. This remedy is simple. It just requires one to either lie down or sit a couple of times all throughout the day. This will take off the strain of the body’s weight on of the feet, especially the plantar fascia ligament. A person can even do this at work. Use the break times in the office sitting down. Or apply the same to workout routines. Take several minutes off in between the exercise activities. Rest is essential in the healing of the plantar fascia’s micro-injuries. Over time, one will feel the healing effects of these resting periods.
  • The icing is another simple but effective remedy. Just place an ice pack on the areas where there is inflammation or redness for 20 minutes, two to four times daily. This will help in easing the pain and will promote the healing.
  • Stretching can help too. A strong and flexible arch can more easily bear the body’s weight when walking, jumping, and running without any injuries. And such properties are achieved through stretching exercises that are done once or twice each day for about 20 minutes. These exercises have some excellent benefits. They can break up the adhesions on the arch and enhance circulation to any micro-injuries or tears of the plantar fascia. Such exercises can also make the surrounding ligaments and muscles stronger and improve the flexibility.

Treatment for Chronic Plantar Fasciitis

There are several methods of treating plantar fasciitis when the condition becomes chronic or stubborn. This means that it becomes resistant to conservative treatments. In such cases, it would be well-advised to seek and explore other effective treatments:

  • Extracorporeal shockwave treatment or ESWT. This is a non-surgical procedure which involves the use of shock waves to treat damaged arches. Some say it’s effective in treating chronic cases of plantar fasciitis without surgery although nothing is yet conclusive. Although non-surgical, the procedure involves some degree of pain.
  • Intracorporal pneumatic shock therapy or IPST. The principle of this method is similar to the aforementioned ESWT. The difference is that the applied shock waves will be targeting the heel spurs. Local anesthesia is necessary but is a lot less painful than ESWT. Of those who underwent this procedure, according to a study, there is a 92% success rate in the reduction of pain.
  • Radiation therapy. This is another non-surgical procedure which involves the use of radiation in small doses to deal with the damaged tissues of the arch. It has good advantages which include reasonable cost, very little side effects, and is non-painful. A study conducted about its effectiveness indicated that 80% of people had felt a complete relief from pain after the therapy. Also, 64% of these were still free of pain after 48 weeks.
  • Surgery. This isn’t recommended and is used only with severe cases of plantar fasciitis. The surgery involves a partial removal of the injured plantar fascia ligament, release a part of the same or remove heel spurs. The operation is expensive and there is the possibility of potential complications. On a positive note, there is a high success rate with positive long-term results on many of those who underwent this method.
  • Dry Needling. Through dry needling, the physical therapist can relieve the tension in the calf muscle at a second’s notice. Meaning instant pain relief from plantar fasciitis. Many are convinced that this is the most helpful way of dealing with fasciitis pain because patients are given relief immediately after a session of dry needling.

How does the treatment work?  Well, it’s simple enough. Unlike the other procedures, dry needling works on the calf muscle rather than the plantar fascia ligament. We have earlier discussed the stiffness of the calf muscles and how this increases pressure on the plantar fascia ligament. By alleviating the tension in the calf muscle, it will also be reducing the pressure on the ligament and, consequently, pain is also reduced. To be more effective, combine this treatment with stretches of the Achilles tendon and the calf.

  • Taping. This is another new innovation in dealing with plantar fasciitis pain. This procedure is simple too. It involves taping the affected area for pain relief. The biggest drawback of this technique is that it serves more like a painkiller rather than a cure, meaning the treatment will keep on working as long as one applies the tape. Once the tape is removed, the pain will come back.

Can One’s Diet Play a Role in Managing Plantar Fasciitis?

Most people who suffer from plantar fasciitis can treat themselves by applying ice to the affected area and resting. Performing strengthening and stretching exercises can also be very beneficial as these may promote healing and help prevent the occurrence of complications such as weakness or tightness of the other muscles of the foot. Despite all the efforts though, one would still need several months to recover.

Prescription medications and over-the-counter medications may help reduce some of the inflammation and pain that usually comes with plantar fasciitis. Shoe inserts and orthotics may provide the foot with the needed support and relieve the pressure too. Also, these can provide the person with short-term relief from the pain of the condition. However, in more severe cases, one may need to undergo surgery to treat plantar fasciitis.

Some people wonder whether diet plays a role in managing plantar fasciitis. There had been a study done where a patient with plantar fasciitis followed a gluten-free diet then went into remission. But this didn’t really establish a concrete cause-and-effect relationship. What we can be sure of is that certain types of food such as sugar, trans fatty acids, and dairy may contribute to various inflammatory conditions including plantar fasciitis. But this association hasn’t been established clearly in studies and medical literature.

One known risk factor for plantar fasciitis is obesity. Studies show that obese and overweight people have a higher likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis. Although it’s still unclear if their diet is a factor, trying to lose weight may benefit obese and overweight people a lot, especially health-wise. Doing this would also reduce the pressure on their heels since they would weigh less.

How Do You Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?

It’s much easier to prevent plantar fasciitis that it is to treat it. Fortunately, if a person follows some healthy habits, he can keep heel pain and plantar fasciitis at bay. Consider these tips:

  • Try to avoid excessive weight gain. Chronic or rapid weight gain is a major risk factor for developing this condition. When a person is overweight or obese, this places a lot of strain on the plantar fascia ligament, the heels, and the balls of the feet. This, in turn, strains the arches which might lead to pain, inflammation, and eventually, plantar fasciitis. Following a healthy diet and eating the right foods which contain the essential nutrients can be very beneficial. Also, choose foods which have anti-inflammatory properties in order to protect you against the condition.
  • Perform warm-ups before exercising. Some say that warming up before starting a workout is “good but not really necessary.” However, warming up and stretching the muscles before diving right into one’s exercise routine will have a good effect on how the tendons and muscles prepare for the exercises and respond to them. Also, tight muscles can’t stretch easily and are more susceptible to injuries. They won’t be able to perform as well and they won’t be able to support the other tendons and muscles including the ones found in the feet.
  • Wear the proper shoes. In terms of preventing plantar fasciitis, the best thing a person can do is wear shoes which will provide support to the heels and the arches. The proper shoes would mean that they fit well, they have thick soles, they will cushion the heels, and they won’t allow the heels to wiggle or move around while walking or exercising. Never wear shoes such as heels which will strain the arches of the feet all throughout the day then just use the supportive shoes for exercising. All the shoes a person wears every day will have an effect on his feet’s health. Aside from avoiding unsupportive heels, flip-flops, and other kinds of improper shoes try to avoid going barefoot too.

A lot of people think that using orthotics and other supportive items is only for people who have full-blown foot issues. But this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, using such supports is a great way to “empower” the shoes one uses and help prevent plantar fasciitis from developing. Doing this is also a cheaper alternative to purchasing orthotic shoes which are a lot more expensive.

  • Only run on soft surfaces. Even runners can keep plantar fasciitis at bay. The easiest way to do this is to run on soft and even surfaces as much as possible. Try to run on groomed paths or sidewalks whenever feasible. Running or jogging on soft surfaces will minimize the impact absorbed by the feet as they come in contact with the ground. This means that there’s less risk of stress and inflammation of the fascia and the heels. Also, staying away from uneven surfaces will mean less risk of straining or twisting a tendon or ligament or even of landing the wrong way.
  • Try not to overdo it. Another great habit more people should start is to listen to their bodies and know their own limitations. This will help prevent plantar fasciitis as well as other types of illnesses and ailments. While exercising or performing strenuous activities, watch out for signs of exhaustion and pain. Do this while also focusing on the fitness goals one wants to achieve. This will help prevent the overexertion of tendons and muscles. If planning to increase the intensity and duration of workout routines, it’s best to do so incrementally.
  • Stay active. Finally, it’s important to stay active. This might sound counterproductive but this will also help prevent plantar fasciitis. Exercising at least 15 minutes each day will maintain the flexibility, limberness, and health of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the feet. This, in turn, will allow your feet to support you better while also avoiding plantar fasciitis. The best part is, one doesn’t have to perform strenuous activities in order to stay active. A simple walk around the park, a few stretching exercises or even a friendly game of catch with one’s child can keep anyone active and limber.

All these healthy habits will help one prevent plantar fasciitis. Adding them to one’s fitness and health routine won’t just prevent the condition but also help the person enjoy life while remaining active. These healthy habits will also help the person prevent the pains that usually come with plantar fasciitis and other similar conditions. As long as the feet are healthy, there’s less risk and one can enjoy to the fullest!

The post The All-In-One Guide To Treating Plantar Fasciitis appeared first on Positive Health Wellness.

Source: Postive health Welness

Breakfast cereals are one of the most popular types of breakfast food out there. Adults love them, and kids do too. They’re convenient, fun, and there are so many different varieties out there that you’ll never get tired of them! Of course, when you’re buying cereals for kids 7 years old and below, it can be a lot more challenging.

Unlike adults, kids have special dietary needs, and you must consider which cereal product to choose carefully. When you visit your local grocery store, you’ll find so many options in the breakfast cereal aisle and choosing just one can be quite a task. Fortunately, there are certain products out there which will be good for your kids. These are the healthier breakfast cereals that kids love because they taste great too!

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  • Banana Nut Cheerios Cereal
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Flavored with Real Banana and Natural Banana Flavor
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  • Kix Breakfast Cereal
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Kid Tested-Mother Approved
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  • Kelloggs Rice Krispies
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • 1% fat and cholesterol free
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  • Post Cereal-Honey Bunches of Oats
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Made with Natural Wild Flower Honey

Banana Nut Cheerios Cereal

This cereal contains all the wholesome goodness of the well-loved Cheerios cereal, and it’s mixed with the delicious taste of real bananas in every bite! This cereal is number one on our list because it’s a heart-healthy breakfast treat which delivers the needed nutrition coupled with its whole-grain goodness in each bowl you will give your kids.

The Banana Nut Cheerios Cereal is low in fat, and it contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a great source of calcium, and it will also help lower the risk of developing heart disease as the kids grow up. This cereal is also an excellent source of vitamin D and iron which are important for the growth and development of kids.

You can’t go wrong with this one because it’s been a family favorite for the past years and for a good reason! It’s ready-to-eat, and it’s even clinically proven to help lower cholesterol levels. It’s not only for kids… it’s perfect for teens and adults too. Whether you have this for breakfast or a snack, you’re sure to enjoy!

Pros

  • Made with whole grains and a real-banana taste.
  • Contains vitamins, minerals, calcium, iron, and vitamin D.
  • Great for kids and the rest of the family too!

Cons

  • It’s expensive.
  • Some say that it’s too sweet.

Kix Breakfast Cereal, Crispy Corn Puffs Cereal

Here’s another great cereal for you to consider especially if you like corn puffs which are crispy and tasty. With this cereal, you can start your chid’s morning right every time. It’s made with all-natural, simple ingredients which are good for kids and the rest of the family too.

The Kix Breakfast Cereal, Crispy Corn Puffs Cereal is rich in calcium which is important for the health of the teeth and the bones. It also contains fiber which is an essential part of the diet, and it’s also great for the overall health of kids. Finally, it’s also rich in vitamin D which will help their bodies absorb the calcium more effectively.

It’s made with whole grains, and it doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, preservatives or colors. It’s perfect for your child’s breakfast, for snack time or anytime at all!

Pros

  • Wholesome cereal which contains vitamin D, fiber, and calcium.
  • Perfect for breakfast or a healthy snack for kids.
  • Doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

Cons

  • Not non-GMO or organic.
  • Some say the quality of the cereal isn’t as good as before.

Rice Krispies Toasted Rice Cereal

This cereal that’s made with toasted rice has been a popular choice of families for generations. The Rice Krispies Toasted Rice Cereal is even considered as one of life’s simple (and tasty) pleasures. So why not give your little ones this cereal to make them enjoy breakfast each morning! It’s lightly-sweetened and totally cholesterol free. It’s also a great source of the essential minerals and vitamins.

Pros

  • Healthy cereal that’s lightly-sweetened.
  • Contains the essential minerals and vitamins.
  • Tasty, healthy, and fun to eat.

Cons

  • Without milk, it tastes quite bland.
  • Doesn’t have a long shelf life.

Cereal-Honey Bunches of Oats Crunchy Honey Roasted

The Cereal-Honey Bunches of Oats Crunchy Honey Roasted is tasty, crispy, and nutritious too. It’s cholesterol-free, and it will provide your child with up to 9 essential minerals and vitamins. This ready-to-eat cereal will give your kids a healthy start when they eat it for breakfast. It’s made with the perfect combination of flakes which are crispy, oat bunches which are crunchy, and just a hint of sweet honey.

Pros

  • Healthy cereal which is a perfect combination of crispy and crunchy oats.
  • Doesn’t contain any cholesterol or trans fats.
  • Heart-healthy breakfast cereal which contains vitamins and minerals.

Cons

  • The shelf life isn’t very long.
  • Some issues with the received products.

Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal

Treat your little one with this tasty breakfast cereal that’s made with the purest ingredients. It contains sesame seeds, whole grains without the sodium and GMOs. The Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal doesn’t contain sugar, cholesterol, and saturated fats. Consuming this cereal can help lower the risk of developing heart diseases and certain types of cancer.

Pros

  • Whole-grain puffs which are nutritious and delicious.
  • Sodium-free and non-GMO.
  • May help prevent certain diseases.

Cons

  • Some say the cereal has a bland taste.
  • Not very crunchy.

Lucky Charms Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereal

The Lucky Charms Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereal is great for those who love marshmallows and are always on the go. This means that it’s perfect for kids! You can give this cereal to your kids on its own, or you can use it as an ingredient for different recipes. Some of the healthy ingredients in this cereal include spice extracts, natural flavors, and vegetable juice. It’s a delicious, gluten-free choice which your little one will love.

Pros

  • The toasted and frosted oat cereals come with marshmallows in fun shapes.
  • Gluten-free cereal that’s made with whole grains.
  • Perfect for breakfast and a filling snack too.

Cons

  • Contains trisodium phosphate which a lot of parents don’t appreciate.
  • May cause constipation in some kids.

Love Grown Kids Cereal, Fruity Sea Stars

This fun and flavorful cereal will make your child’s breakfast a lot more interesting. There are different varieties to choose from, so you can even ask your little one to choose his favorite. The Love Grown Kids Cereal, Fruity Sea Stars are corn-free, wheat-free, and full of crunch and flavor. It’s made with a powerful blend of garbanzo, lentil, and navy beans which will fuel your child for the rest of the day.

Pros

  • Made with ingredients that are power-packed to give your child enough energy throughout the day.
  • Contains healthy ingredients such as lentil, garbanzo, and navy beans.
  • Tasty, healthy cereal which is full of crunch and flavor.

Cons

  • Some say the cereal is dry.
  • Some customers don’t appreciate the taste.

Envirokidz Organic Gluten-Free Cereal, Cinnamon Jungle Munch

Just by the name, you’ll know that the Envirokidz Organic Gluten-Free Cereal, Cinnamon Jungle Munch is a healthy breakfast option. It doesn’t contain any artificial pesticides, herbicides, flavors, and colors. This is a gluten-free cereal which is great for kids and the other members of the family too. It’s tasty, kosher, non-GMO, and vegetarian. This makes it an excellent choice for everyone.

Pros

  • A kosher and vegetarian cereal that’s made with all-natural ingredients.
  • Non-GMO and free of wheat and gluten.
  • Available in 7 different flavors.

Cons

  • Some say the cereal is too sweet.
  • The cereal is quite hard.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Breakfast Cereal

Here’s another cereal you can give to your kids to start their morning right. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Breakfast Cereal contains real cinnamon in every bite. The crispy, rice and whole wheat cereal is an excellent source of the essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. It doesn’t contain any synthetic colors or flavors which are derived from artificial sources. Your child will surely enjoy this cereal for breakfast or as a filling snack!

Pros

  • Contains rice cereal, whole wheat, and real cinnamon sugar.
  • Kids love this cereal for breakfast and for snack time.
  • Tasty, crispy cereal is full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Cons

  • It gets soggy quickly.
  • Some issues with how the product was delivered.

Kellogg’s Froot Loops Breakfast Cereal with Marshmallows

Finally, we have this fun, healthy, and tasty cereal. The Kellogg’s Froot Loops Breakfast Cereal with Marshmallows is another favorite, especially for kids. It’s colorful, and it even comes with marshmallows with fruity shapes. This cereal is a great source of up to 8 minerals and vitamins. It will provide the energy your child needs to get through their active day. It’s great to eat any time and any place!

Pros

  • Multi-grained cereal which comes with marshmallow bits mixed in.
  • Contains the essential minerals and vitamins for your kids.
  • Doesn’t contain cholesterol and it’s also low in fats.

Cons

  • Some don’t appreciate the taste of the cereal.
  • Some claim it’s too sweet.

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61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Banana Nut Cheerios Cereal
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Flavored with Real Banana and Natural Banana Flavor
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Kix Breakfast Cereal
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Kid Tested-Mother Approved
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Kelloggs Rice Krispies
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • 1% fat and cholesterol free
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Post Cereal-Honey Bunches of Oats
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Made with Natural Wild Flower Honey

Who Needs Breakfast Cereals for Kids?

Some kids are so difficult to feed especially during the morning. And if you live in a home with busy mornings, then you need to find a great breakfast cereal that’s tasty, healthy, and easy to prepare. There are so many different cereal products out there which means you have a lot to choose from.

Think about what’s important to you to make your choice easier. You may have to go through some different breakfast cereals before you find one that you (and your child) like. Don’t worry though, trying out different products is half the fun. And if your kid loves cereal, then all the better!

What are the Benefits of Eating Breakfast Cereals for Kids?

Breakfast cereals are very popular food items and for a good reason. They’ve been around for a long time and are well-loved by people of all ages. But did you know that these cereals have a lot of great benefits too? Aside from making it easier for you to feed your child in the morning, you can also enjoy other advantages.

For one, breakfast cereals for kids can promote their overall health especially if you choose the right product. Cereals can help reduce the risk factors for diseases which may lead to obesity and other common health issues. If you choose a healthy cereal, it will help your child adopt healthier eating habits especially in the morning.

Generally, cereals are low in fats and cholesterol. This makes them a great option for breakfast. These products are also nutrient-dense as they contain the essential minerals and vitamins. And if you pick cereal that’s made with whole grains, this would also come with its health benefits!

Another great benefit of breakfast cereals is that there are so many different choices available. This means that if your child doesn’t like the one you choose, then you can easily look for another product. That’s why it’s also important to know the factors which you must consider before you start looking around.

Giving your child cereals for breakfast can help improve their nutrient intake. This is especially true when your child eats the cereal along with milk which contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Cereals are easy to prepare and affordable too which means that you won’t have to spend too much time and effort in preparing them.

Children who eat cereals are also more likely to become more well-rounded. Kids who consume a healthy breakfast each morning are less likely to become obese or overweight compared to those who either skip breakfast or consume unhealthy foods. Also, eating a healthy cereal for breakfast can prepare your child for the rest of the day.

Cereals can help improve memory, psycho-social functions, and mood. This means that your child will be able to perform better in school. You may notice an improved attendance, better grades, and a happier child in general. Remember that breakfast is important to your child must never skip it. Fortunately, breakfast cereals are convenient food options.

Finally, cereals are tasty which is why kids and adults love them! So, when choosing a cereal product, remember that the taste matters. After looking at the nutrition information, also check if your child will like the taste of the cereal. Do this, so you’re sure that your child will enjoy his breakfast each morning.

What are Breakfast Cereals for Kids?

Most Americans are familiar with cereals especially those made by the big brands. They have either tried the cereals at home, or they have seen the products being advertised in commercials on television. In fact, you can find cereals just about everywhere!

Because of the familiarity and fun which surrounds cereals, it’s quite easy to convince children to consume these treats. This is a great thing especially for families who have busy mornings every day. Nowadays, many parents don’t have the time to prepare an elaborate breakfast for their kids and be able to prepare them for school as well.

No matter how popular cereals are though, you should still consider which product to choose before making the purchase. This is especially true if you want your child to consume a cereal that’s healthy aside from being appealing to your child’s taste buds.

Many breakfast bowls of cereal available on the market do contain the essential minerals, and vitamins children need. They can also help with the nutrient intake of kids especially if you find one which contains the right amount of fiber and other nutrients. Also, make sure that the cereal you choose doesn’t contain any unhealthy ingredients which might cause harm to your child.

When giving your child breakfast cereals, also make sure to give them the right amount. Just like other kinds of food items, cereals are best when given in moderation. Remember, too much of a good thing will also be bad for your child. This is especially true if you’ve chosen cereal which contains a lot of sugar.

No matter which breakfast cereal you choose though, make sure that your child enjoys eating it. In fact, you can also purchase a few healthy choices to give your child variation. Do this so your child will be excited each morning not knowing which cereal he will be eating for breakfast.

What Safety Issues Should You be Aware of for Breakfast Cereals for Kids?

When you go to the supermarket and check the breakfast cereal aisle, you’ll see that it’s full of different choices. They come from different brands from the popular ones to those which aren’t as known or are new. So how do you choose just one breakfast cereal out of the hundreds of choices to give to your child?

If you want to find the best (and healthiest) cereal out there, the key is to read the nutrition facts. Never rely on the brightly-colored information printed on the boxes as this information just highlights what the manufacturers want you to see. You should also know how to safely choose the cereal, so you don’t end up giving your child something unhealthy.

If you know how to count the calories of the cereal, then do it. You can also check the cereal’s serving size. Generally, your child should already feel full after eating about a cup of the cereal. This is a good serving size. Another thing to remember is to be cautious when picking cereals with granola. A lot of people assume that this food item is healthy.

However, some granola products contain a lot of calories, fats, and sugar. If your child likes granola, then you can purchase some but don’t use it too frequently. You can use the granola as a condiment to pair with a healthier breakfast cereal which doesn’t contain much sugar.

Finally, consider the hot as well as the cold cereals. Either of these can be considered as healthy breakfast options. You can even buy one of each and mix it up, so your child doesn’t get tired of eating the same cereal every day. Then make sure to pair the cereal with milk to add some protein and other nutrients are making the meal a whole lot healthier.

A Brief History of Breakfast Cereals for Kids

As we’ve mentioned earlier, breakfast cereals are very popular food items. People of different ages eat them every day. And therefore, manufacturers keep on coming up with different products to please the customers. But do you know where and when cereals came out? Let’s talk about a brief history for you to appreciate them more.

Nowadays, a lot of people all over the world enjoy munching on a bowl of their favorite cereal paired with milk. But there was a time in the past when people didn’t like cereal. And this was because it was significantly different than the cereals we love today. In the past, cereals had a heavy consistency, they were difficult to chew, and they didn’t taste good at all!

Late in the 1800s, most people in America enjoyed a breakfast of potatoes, meat, eggs, and bread. But such breakfasts were quite heavy and calorie-laden. That also caused some problems such as constipation. Such breakfasts also took a long time to prepare because they had different components. Because of this, people wanted a change in their morning meals which then prompted the start of a new fad.

A health craze among the wealthy and middle-class Americans started. During that time, there was a place called The Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan which was a health resort. There, people tried innovative health fads to start a healthier lifestyle.

A man named Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was the head of this health resort. Among all the activities and regimens, he also came up with nutritious diets for the customers. One of Dr. Kellogg’s goals was to come up with a way for the customers to adopt healthier breakfast habits.

He served the guests a healthy type of breakfast cereal which wasn’t very appetizing. It was heavy, grainy, and it was like consuming raw oatmeal. But one day in the year 1894, Dr. Kellogg’s brother, Will Keith Kellogg, got interrupted as he was cooking a batch of wheat.

When he got back to the kitchen, he saw that the wheat was already stale and dried out. Since they didn’t want to waste any food, the brothers attempted to convert the wheat disaster into a dough. They did this by forcing the paste-like mixture through rollers. But rather than sheets of dough, the wheat mixture turned into flakes!

The brothers then decided to toast the flakes to make them easier to chew. By accident, they had invented wheat flakes, and this became the very first breakfast cereal. Of course, the people at the resort loved this new food item. The light, toasted flakes were a tasty alternative to the grains they had been eating previously.

And when the guests went back home, they even contacted the resort as they wanted to purchase more of the cereal. Just like that, the Kellogg brothers had an in-demand cereal business to deal with! From then on, they continued to create and experiment with different cereals.

In 1906, the Kellogg Company was created. Since then, other companies and manufacturers started making their cereals in different forms, types, and flavors. And until now, new cereals are being created, and people all over the world love them!

Important Factors to Keep in Mind

The Sugar Content of the Breakfast Cereal for Kids

This is the first factor you should consider especially if you want to pick the healthier breakfast cereals for kids. Just because the cereals are for kids, some manufacturers include a lot of sweeteners and artificial flavorings to make them more appealing. Unfortunately, these components do nothing for the health of kids.

Sugar is one of the most common ingredients used in cereals which is considered as unhealthy. So always check the label of the cereal especially the nutrition information. Try to go for products which don’t contain too much sugar per serving. Also, you can opt for the cereals which have natural sweeteners instead of the artificial ones.

Of course, when it comes to breakfast cereals for kids, they might not want to eat those products which don’t contain any sugar at all because of the bland taste. So, for a healthy twist, try adding a bit of honey or even some sugar at home rather than buying cereal with the sugar already incorporated into it.

You can also look for breakfast cereals which contain low amounts of sugar. It’s best if the sugar content of the product is only in the single digits, at least up to 8 grams. This is important since consuming foods which contain high-fructose corn syrup can make the kids crave for more sweets.

Sugar comes in many forms whether obvious or subtle. So, when checking the ingredients of the cereals, keep in mind that some types of sugars aren’t very recognizable. These include corn syrup, monosaccharide, fructose, glucose, and more. The lesser-known sweeteners are malt syrup, rice syrup, barley malt, cane sugar, and others.

The sugar content of the breakfast cereal can also come from the included fruits. For instance, the raisins in a raisin bran cereal. Also, the bananas and other fruits in cereals which contain them. Of course, the natural fruit sugars are better than the refined sugars health-wise. That is if the sugar is sourced from real fruits.

The Fiber Content of the Breakfast Cereal for Kids

This is the second ingredient you need to consider when searching for a breakfast cereal for your child. It’s best to go for the products which are high in fiber as this is a great component of the overall health of kids (and adults too). A tasty bowl of breakfast cereal is a great way to add fiber to your little one’s daily diet.

You may choose cereals which contain dietary or soluble fiber. It doesn’t matter if it contains fiber. The more fiber the cereal contains, the longer your child will feel full after consuming it. This means that a high-fiber cereal won’t make your child go hungry after just a short amount of time.

When it comes to cereals, the fiber commonly comes in the form of whole grains. This is the form of fiber which has a lot of health benefits. So, it’s best to choose cereals with whole grains instead of those which contain soy fiber, corn fiber or oat fiber.

Other Ingredients of the Breakfast Cereal for Kids

The sugar and fiber content are the most important ingredients to look out for when choosing a cereal for your kids. But you should also find out the other ingredients to make sure that the product doesn’t contain any components which may be harmful. Make it a practice to carefully read the nutrition facts of the food products you buy.

If you want to be able to choose a healthy breakfast cereal, then you should choose one which contains healthy ingredients. Compare the sugar, fiber, salt, fat content, and more of the different products. Read the labels even if the cereal says “healthy” or “all-natural” on the box.

For the healthier options, for the breakfast cereals which contain whole grains. These are very important especially in the prevention of different health issues such as obesity, heart disease, constipation, and more. Wheat, oat, granola, and bran cereals usually contain more whole grains, and thus, more fiber. They also contain other healthy ingredients compared to the over-processed products.

Next, check if the cereal is fortified with additional minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. A lot of healthy breakfast cereals contain these components which makes them an essential part of your child’s breakfast. Fortified breakfast cereals contain the essential nutrients which are listed in the nutrition facts. You can also look for important ingredients such as folate, iron, vitamins B6 and B12, and more.

Your Child’s Preferences

Here’s an important factor to consider. Although you want to pick the healthiest option, it’s also important that your little one likes the cereal. Otherwise, he won’t eat it, and you might end up wasting your money. Yes, health is important but so is the taste of the cereal.

Fortunately, there are many products out there which you can consider. Just because they’re flavored, it doesn’t mean that they’re unhealthy. Check what ingredients were used to flavor the cereal. If the flavors were sourced from natural ingredients, then all the better. But try to avoid those products which contain artificial flavors, colors, and additives if you want to give your child a healthy cereal for breakfast.

Organic or Not?

This may not be a very important factor for some parents, but organic food items are becoming more and more popular. Of course, choosing an organic breakfast cereal isn’t a must. In fact, when it comes to breakfast cereals, organic ones aren’t necessarily superior. It’s more of your preference as well as your child’s.

If you want your little one to consume food items which are only organic, then you can go for the organic cereals. But it’s not necessary for the nutrition of your kids. You can even go with the generic brands which can be as healthy and as tasty as the more expensive, branded cereals.

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61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Banana Nut Cheerios Cereal
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Flavored with Real Banana and Natural Banana Flavor
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Kix Breakfast Cereal
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Kid Tested-Mother Approved
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Kelloggs Rice Krispies
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • 1% fat and cholesterol free
61UsR2MdJpL._SX522_
  • Post Cereal-Honey Bunches of Oats
  • Our rating
    ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Made with Natural Wild Flower Honey

Conclusion

Breakfast cereal is part of our lives. Adults love them, and so do kids. But when choosing a cereal for kids, there’s more to think about and consider. Of course, you need to choose healthier options which don’t contain much sugar, sodium, and other unhealthy ingredients. Fortunately, you’re now armed with the information you need to make a better choice.

When you think about it, choosing cereal for kids is not as difficult a task as a lot of people see. That is if you know what to look for and what to avoid. It’s also helpful to know the best products available out there, so you don’t have to go through hundreds of cereal products just to find one which is healthy and delicious.

 

 

 

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Tiny as ticks are, they can be very harmful because they can cause Lyme disease. Cases of Lyme disease in the US alone have increased in the past few years. And it will keep on growing if left unchecked. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening to you and your family is to learn all you can about it. From the disease itself, the causes, symptoms, and ways to prevent it, there’s a lot to learn!

You may not see it but the black-legged tick is always on the move. Generally, ticks come in three different sizes and the size depends on the tick’s life stages. In the larval stage, a tick is as small as a grain of sand. When the tick becomes a nymph, it grows to the size of a poppy seed. Finally, adult ticks are as big as apple seeds.

What is Lyme Disease?

A bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease. It gets transmitted to people who get bitten by an infected deer or black-legged tick. Symptoms may manifest anywhere from a couple of days to a month after the person gets bitten. Also, the symptoms are wide-ranging and they depend on the person’s stage of infection. There are also some cases where the symptoms only manifest a few months after being bitten.

According to the CDC, a person’s chances of getting Lyme disease depends on the type of tick, the body part where the person got bitten, and how long the tick was attached to the person. In order to transmit the disease, a black-legged tick must be attached to the person for about 36-48 hours. So if the person is able to remove the tick within that time period, the chances of getting infected aren’t very high.

Unfortunately, because the ticks are really small, a person’s eyesight must be really good if he wants to spot the tick in time. Again, the CDC recommends that anyone who has been working in their garden, through the woods or in areas with tall grass should check his or her skin afterward. It’s best to do this in the bath or in the shower so one can see all the parts of his body as well as his clothes which may also carry the ticks.

Once a person has spotted a tick (or more), he can remove it immediately using a pair of tweezers with fine tips. It’s best to use steady pressure and pull the tick out with an upward motion. If there are any parts of the tick left on the skin, it’s important to remove them using the tweezers too. After the skin is clear of the tick, clean the area of the bite with water and soap or rubbing alcohol.

What’s the “Real” Cause of Lyme Disease?

Most people know that tick bites cause Lyme disease. However, there’s more to the disease than just the bite. When the bite gets infected, it will cause the disease to develop. Also, the disease may be linked to specific factors including a weakened immune system, inhibited protection and function of the cells, a bacterial infection that’s systemic, and some environmental factors such as exposure to parasites and mold.

A person who struggles with Lyme disease may also be experiencing one or more of these factors. Also, some people may be able to overcome the condition more easily than other people. But for some, the disease becomes chronic which means that they experience the symptoms for months or years. Unfortunately for these people, their bodies don’t respond to the traditional treatments and they may experience a lot of hardships because of the disease.

Some experts believe that there may be thousands of people who actually have the disease but they aren’t aware of it. In fact, not every person who tests positive for the bacteria which causes Lyme disease will experience the symptoms. The bottom line is this: each and every person hosts a range of bacteria, fungus, viruses, and even cancerous cells in their body at one point or another. But the important thing is the strength of a person’s immune system as this is what keeps all those foreign invaders from making the body sick.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

The earliest symptoms and signs of Lyme disease include headaches, chills, fatigue, fever, joint and muscle pain, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Also, in most cases of Lyme disease, one of the first symptoms is a rash. If left unchecked, the symptoms of the condition may worsen. Basically, the symptoms occur in different stages of the disease.

  • Early stage of Lyme disease. This stage develops within a couple of days or weeks after the person gets bitten by the tick. The symptoms are usually flu-like such as headaches, fatigue, fever, and more. It’s also possible for the person to get a bull’s eye rash during this stage.
  • Late stage or chronic Lyme disease. The development of this stage occurs within weeks, months or even years (though very rarely) after the person gets bitten. Since this stage is already severe, it can be quite debilitating. Common symptoms for this stage include rashes, severe headaches, painful arthritis, other types of skin issues, heart problems, swelling of the joints, neurological impairment, and even disorders which involve the central nervous system.

Without proper treatment, the symptoms of the disease can progress even further. Such symptoms may include neck stiffness, rashes which appear on other parts of the body, severe swelling and pain in the joints, muscle tone loss, “drooping” of one or even both sides of the face, heartbeat irregularities, inflammation of the spinal cord and brain, numbness, shooting pains, or tingling of the feet or hands.

What Must You Do if You Get Bitten by a Tick?

Even when faced with the worst-case scenarios, it’s important not to panic. There are early treatments and intervention procedures available. When in doubt, one can place the tick in a sealed container then consult with his physician. Remember that ticks have to be attached to the skin for at least 24 hours before they will be able to transmit the disease. Therefore, discovering them early and removing them correctly can reduce the risk of infection. If bitten by a tick, try these methods for removing the pest:

  • Straw and knot method. Place an ordinary drinking straw over the tick at a 45° angle. The straw will serve as a guide for directing the knot. Then with some thread, tie a knot at the midsection or the top of the straw. Then slide the knot down the straw all the way to the site of the bite. Place the knot underneath the belly of the tick so that it encircles only the embedded part. Gradually tighten the knot so it will snugly close around the tick’s jaws. Then gently take out the straw then start pulling the thread in a steady and upward motion. This action will detach the tick without risk of regurgitation.
  • Transdermal blister method. With this method, the doctor injects xylocaine with adrenaline to the patient intradermally. This will create a blister at the site of the bite. The tick will then release its grip on the skin because of the pressure from the swelling and the lack of blood.
  • Tweezer method. Among all these methods, this one is the least recommended. This is because there’s a risk that the head or the jaws of the tick will get separated from the body and stay on the skin. For this method, use a pair of tweezers with fine points to grasp the tick’s mouthparts. Then slowly pull the tick out without twisting.

These methods will keep the tick alive so you can have it examined for potential diseases. To prevent the tick from dying, place it on a wet paper towel then place that in a medicine container or a plastic bag. Then place the container in the freezer until it’s time to have it tested.

Are Children at Risk for Lyme Disease?

Even children are at risk for Lyme disease especially those between the ages of 5-13 years old. These kids are prone to tick bites because they spend a lot of time playing outdoors. Although ticks generally prefer bushy or densely-wooded areas which have tall grass, a lot of children and adults may get bitten by ticks while playing or performing other kinds of outdoor activities such as gardening. If a child has been playing in an area which is known to have deer or black-legged ticks, it’s important to check the child from head to toe after spending time outdoors. If a tick is found, the parent can perform any of the methods for tick removal then wash the bite site using water and soap. Even if parents are able to remove the tick right away, they should still monitor their child for any symptoms of the disease.

Stages and Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease has three main stages and they all have different symptoms. First of all, there’s the early, localized stage. At this stage, the person will manifest flu-like symptoms such as headaches, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, a sore throat, and a bull’s eye rash. The second stage is the early, disseminated stage where the person will also experience flu-like symptoms. Other symptoms that manifest at this stage include numbness, pain or weakness in the arms and legs. Also, the person may experience heart palpitations, chest pain, facial paralysis, and changes in vision. Finally, there’s the late, disseminated stage which may occur weeks, months, or even years after the person gets bitten by a tick. During this stage, the person will experience more severe symptoms such as severe headaches and fatigue, arthritis, mental confusion, vertigo, and sleep disturbances.

Although experts don’t really understand it, about 10% of those treated for Lyme disease aren’t able to shake it off. Even after the treatment, these people may still experience the core symptoms namely mental confusion or short-term memory loss, fatigue, and muscle or joint pain. When this happens, it’s known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome and it’s quite controversial. There are some theories which may explain while the symptoms of Lyme disease become chronic. One such theory is that it becomes something like an autoimmune disorder because the body will continue fighting-off the infection even after the bacteria is long gone.

Doctors diagnose Lyme disease based on the symptoms as well as the history of the tick exposure. If used properly, there are two-step blood tests which can be very helpful in the diagnosis. However, the test’s accuracy would depend on when you acquired the infection. If you get the test in the first couple of weeks after getting infected, the test may come out negative. This is because the antibodies need a couple of weeks for them to develop. Therefore, such tests aren’t advisable for people who haven’t manifested the symptoms of Lyme disease yet.

Treatment of Lyme Disease

During the early stages of Lyme disease, doctors would prescribe antibiotics as treatment. Typically, a patient would have to take doxycycline from 10 days up to 3 weeks. Or a patient may take cefuroxime and amoxicillin for about 2-3 weeks. In most cases, taking antibiotics would be enough to cure the disease. But if that doesn’t do the job, patients may have to take other kinds of antibiotics either intravenously or orally.

If the Lyme disease is in the early disseminated stage, then the doctor may recommend oral antibiotics for the symptoms. This stage occurs when the infection is left unchecked or untreated and the person will start experiencing symptoms like abnormal heart rhythm, facial palsy, and more. If the person also has severe heart problems, meningitis, or an inflammation of the spinal cord or brain’s lining, the doctor may prescribe intravenous antibiotics.

Finally, if the Lyme disease is already in the late stage, the doctor may also prescribe intravenous or oral antibiotics. If, after the treatment, the person is left with lingering arthritis, he would have to receive conventional arthritis treatment. Unfortunately, there’s no treatment for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

Natural Forms of Treatment for Lyme Disease

Aside from taking antibiotics, there are also natural ways to treat Lyme disease. These remedies are easy to do and can be very effective when followed correctly. Consider these natural forms of treatment:

  • Eat healthy foods to improve the functions of the immune system. One of the best ways to overcome Lyme disease, especially the chronic kind, is to give the immune system a boost. This will help lower the inflammation and control the root cause of the disease’s symptoms. Once a person is able to control the inflammatory responses that the disease is triggering, only then will his body be able to overcome the disease.

Basically, people with Lyme disease or any other type of inflammatory condition should try to eliminate fruits, sugar, and grains from their diet while also consuming a lot of anti-inflammatory foods. These include bone broth, seeds, nuts, vegetables, coconut, raw cultured dairy, and organic meat.

There are some types of foods which can naturally give the immune system a boost. Foods which are rich in antioxidants are very beneficial to the immune system. Such foods include leafy greens and other vegetables with bright colors. These kinds of vegetables can help reduce inflammation as well as free-radical damages. They can also lower the risk for nutrient deficiencies and help protect the body from the complications of Lyme disease.

Bone broth is another excellent immune-booster. It naturally contains glycine and proline which are amino acids. These can help improve the immune system and fix a “leaky gut.” The health of the gut and the digestive system are important in the overall functioning of the immune system. As a matter of fact, about 70% of the body’s immune system is located in the gut. Therefore, foods which help replenish the healthy bacteria in the gut and rebuild the gastrointestinal tract’s lining are very beneficial.

Finally, foods which are rich in probiotics are also excellent for the immune system. According to research, probiotics can help reduce the symptoms and the progression of infectious diseases such as Lyme disease. So it’s a good idea to consume a lot of these foods to make one’s immune system stronger. If a person wants to eliminate all the bad bacteria from his system, the best thing to do is overcrowd his gut with probiotics otherwise known as the good bacteria.

  • Take supplements to help enhance the functions of the cells. This is another natural treatment for Lyme disease. Anyone who wants to manage the disease must improve his cellular protection and functioning. When infected, the bacteria that causes the disease can attack a person’s healthy cells and weaken the body’s defenses. Because of this, one can take supplements to stay healthy.

Vitamin D is a beneficial supplement which can boost the immunity naturally while playing a role in the regulation of inflammations. It’s especially important for people who suffer from vitamin D deficiency. CoQ10 is a supplement which can protect the nervous system and the brain from inflammation and degradation. It can also help reduce symptoms like joint aches and pains. This supplement is commonly taken by people who suffer from symptoms of autoimmune disorders and chronic fatigue.

Medical mushrooms can also be taken to promote the health of the immune system and control autoimmune reactions. These medical mushrooms come in various forms including supplements. They can help reduce the reactions to stress and inflammation. Medical mushroom supplements can give the intracellular antioxidants a boost in order to protect the cells. They can also enhance the functions of killer cells which eliminate the bad bacteria in the body.

One may also take B-complex supplements. B vitamins support a lot of the cellular and metabolic functions. They can also help the body fight infections and enhance the health of the neurological system. For those with Lyme disease, vitamin B-6 is especially relevant. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can also be very beneficial because they have anti-inflammatory properties and they support cognitive and neurological functions. Aside from consuming foods which are rich in Omega-3’s, supplementing can help make one healthier and less prone to the symptoms of Lyme disease.

There are also magnesium supplements which can help one cope with stress. This is especially essential for people who have Lyme disease and are also experiencing a lot of stress. Turmeric can also be beneficial because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties. This can help reduce symptoms such as headaches, joint pain, and even damages to nerves or blood vessels.

  • Get adequate rest and learn how to manage stress. Chronic stress, whether emotional or physical, can make the immune system weaker. When this happens, it will increase your risk of getting ill or infected. Stress can also trigger inflammations and cause hormonal imbalances. They can also disturb the functions of one’s digestive system which, in turn, can worsen the symptoms of Lyme disease. Therefore, if a person wants to prevent the worsening or spreading of the infection, one must learn how to manage stress.

In order to fight chronic stress, it’s important to incorporate rest into one’s routine. Spend quality time alone, with family, or with friends regularly. This may seem silly to some but this will greatly reduce one’s stress and make him healthier overall. People who have Lyme disease should focus on getting a lot of rest. Lyme disease can even contribute to fatigue which means that the person may have to get even more sleep and relaxation.

  • Reduce exposure to molds and parasites. According to experts, environmental triggers can play a big role in the development of Lyme disease and other autoimmune diseases. These triggers include bacteria, viruses, and other types of pathogens which can cause infections. Exposure to molds, parasites, and other such triggers can contribute to lasting symptoms of Lyme disease by causing unnecessary stress on the immune system.

If a person wants to treat toxicity and other parasitic infections, one can use activated carbon or activated charcoal. This has been proven quite effective in helping the body get rid of harmful and toxic substances. If treating parasites specifically, it’s best to consume foods which have low sugar contents but are rich in the healthy fats. It will also be very beneficial to take probiotic-rich foods or supplements.

  • Here’s a bonus!. Although not widely-known, stevia may help eliminate Lyme disease. Although this sounds “too good to be true,” evidence suggests that stevia has a beneficial side effect which can include eliminating the pathogen that’s responsible for Lyme disease.

Preventing Tick Bites to Prevent Lyme Disease

The good thing about ticks is that they can’t jump or fly. Rather, they live in bushes or shrubs and they grab on to people who pass by. This means that people can actually avoid getting bitten by ticks in order to prevent the disease. Here are some tips:

  • When taking a walk in the woods or in areas which have a lot of trees, it’s important to wear socks and long pants. The same thing goes for when one handles fallen leaves.
  • Wear a tick repellent on the skin and the clothes which contains eucalyptus, lemon oil or DEET.
  • One may even use permethrin, a kind of chemical, on camping gear and on clothing as this will provide more protection.
  • After spending a lot of time outdoors, it’s best to take a shower within 2 hours.
  • Also, check one’s skin, hair, and clothes for ticks after spending a lot of time outdoors.
  • Place the exposed gear or clothes into a hot dryer to kill the ticks or pests which might remain.

General Tips and Tricks for Those Living With Lyme Disease

Unfortunately, no matter how much one tries to prevent getting the disease, there may come a time when the person acquires the infection anyway. In such cases, the best thing to do is live with the disease and prevent it from getting worse.

  • Deal with the sun sensitivity. Some people with Lyme disease may take doxycycline and would become strongly affected by the sun. In such cases, using sunscreen won’t be advisable as this is ineffective against the sun sensitivity. The best thing to do is to stay indoors especially when the sun is high in the sky and the UV rays are highly damaging as well. One can also wear long pants and shirts with long sleeves to get protection from the rays of the sun. Other protective gears include sunglasses, hats with a wide brim, and light gloves.
  • Take probiotics. Anyone who takes antibiotics to treat the Lyme disease should also take probiotics at least a few hours before taking the medications. The reason for this is that the antibiotics tend to kill the bad bacteria along with the good bacteria in the gut. When this happens, it will make the person more susceptible to other infections.
  • Have blood tests. Some of the medications prescribed for the treatment of Lyme disease are very strong. These medications can cause the bugs that are responsible for the disease to die off which causes them to release neurotoxins that can cause damage to the brain and to the other organs of the body. That’s why it’s important to have blood tests regularly to check if the liver, kidney, and other organs are still functioning normally. It’s also important to have one’s neutrophil and white cell count checked regularly as well so that he can find out exactly how his immune system is coping with the disease.
  • Watch out for co-infections. According to studies, almost everyone who suffers from Lyme disease also has some kind of co-infection which they may have acquired at the same time as the infection. There are different kinds of co-infections and it’s crucial that the person treats this as well. This is because co-infections can further weaken the immune system which will make it difficult for the body to fight off the Lyme disease too.
  • Keep the immune system healthy. When a person has a weakened immune system, he should stay away from anyone who’s sick. A lot of people who have died from Lyme disease typically die because they’ve acquired infections from the people around them. Therefore, if the immune system is low, one needs to be very careful when interacting with others. Taking precautions can save one’s life no matter how simple those precautions are.
  • Stay away from hot weather and conditions. Usually, people who suffer from Lyme disease may notice that their condition worsens in hot weather and conditions. So for those who live in places with hot climates, they have to stay indoors if possible with air-conditioning, during the daytime. Then the person can go outside when the temperature drops which usually happens after the sun goes down. Unfortunately, the hot and humid weather is a lot more challenging to deal with that hot and dry weather.
  • Expect hot flushes and night sweats. Sometimes, people with Lyme disease may experience hot flushes and night sweats. In such cases, one can keep a miniature portable fan on hand. Keep one beside the bed in case these start causing sleep disturbances. When feeling hot, sleep while facing the portable fan. Once cooled down, turn over and sleep while facing the opposite direction. This will be very helpful in controlling the body’s temperature throughout the night.
  • Follow a healthy diet. People who suffer from Lyme disease also need to be careful with their diet. Again, this is mainly because the disease impacts the immune system. Also, the immune system gets affected by the medications prescribed to treat the disease. Those who take antibiotics orally should stay away from foods which contain a lot of sugar. Oral antibiotics tend to kill all the bacteria in the gut, both the bad and the good. So if the person also eats a lot of sugar, this feeds the bad bacteria. Then the person will run the risk of developing a Clostridium difficile infection which can be potentially fatal.

If one wants to heal from the disease, it’s important to keep the immune system healthy and functioning optimally. When a person consumes sugar-based food or drinks, it will temporarily depress the immune system for as long as 12 hours. A lot of people who have this disease have damaged GI systems. Therefore, they need to stay away from foods which tend to put extra stress on their gut such as dairy and gluten.

  • Get ready for the long haul. The treatment of Lyme disease can run quite long. As a matter of fact, the average time one would spend for treating Lyme disease is about 2 years. Of course, some people don’t need this much time while others require longer treatment. When treated properly, a lot of people are able to achieve remission. Unfortunately, when their immune systems are under stress or when they experience stressful situations, the disease tends to return. That’s why people who have had this condition need to keep on monitoring their health even if they’re able to get into remission. That way, they will be able to overcome the relapse quickly.

What Support is Available for Those Living With Lyme Disease?

Anyone who suffers from Lyme disease must be able to know that there’s hope. Fortunately, there’s support available for people who have to live with this condition. It’s a fact that Lyme disease can be a very isolating condition. A lot of people diagnosed with this disease are usually in the late or chronic stages. Also, many of those people are severely affected because of poor health. At its worst, people might lose their homes, their jobs, and a lot of their relationships. The best thing to do is surround oneself with those who can provide the support needed.

  • Family. Although the person who has Lyme disease feels bad because of the illness, his family members may also have a hard time dealing with the illness. No one wants to see any of their family members suffering. The important thing is to stick with each other and try to support each other throughout the illness. Having a supportive family will also make the healing process faster especially if the rest of the family will help out in terms of home care. This is especially important for children who have the disease. It’s much more difficult when kids are sick. It’s stressful for the parents as well as for the kids which is why support from family is so important.
  • Friends. When a person suffers from Lyme disease, he will be able to find out who his true friends are. Aside from being painful, this disease can be very lonely. But if a person can find friends who will stand by him throughout the illness, this can make things a lot better.
  • Counseling. There may be times when the strain of the disease or having to support someone who has the disease gets too much. In such cases, it’s would be a good idea to speak to a psychologist or a counselor to be able to cope with the situation. For those who can’t afford professional help, there are also free counseling services available. Usually, the people who offer free counseling services are those who know what it’s like to live with an illness that’s either life-threatening or chronic. No matter what kind of support one is able to get, it will definitely be a huge help.

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