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Six Tips for Effective Headache Prevention

by Adam Johnson

Almost everyone suffers from a headache from time to time, but sometimes people don’t realize that the headache could actually have been prevented in the first place. Here are six helpful tips for preventing headaches.

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Regular Exercise

Many people suffer from tension headaches brought on by the stresses of everyday life. One of the ways to prevent tension from building up in the body is by exercising.

Daily exercise can even help prevent migraines. Just make sure not to exercise when you already have a headache or migraine, or the pain will become worse.

Exercising two or three times a week for thirty minutes will not only reduce stress and cut down on headache frequency, you will also look great and feel healthier too.

Caffeine Intake

Large amounts of coffee (three or more cups a day) or soda that contains caffeine can cause headaches or even worsen existing headaches.

If you do not regularly consume large amounts of caffeine, a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage can actually temporarily relieve headache pain. Small amounts of caffeine will constrict your blood vessels and even increase the effectiveness of over-the-counter headache medications.

Meal Time

Not eating regularly during the day can cause you to get a headache. Skipping meals can cause a significant dip in your blood sugar, which can easily bring on a headache.

Make sure to each small frequent meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable. This will also keep your metabolism working at its best.

Oversleeping

You wouldn’t think that sleeping too much could cause you to have a headache, but it can. Avoid excessive napping or sleeping in too long on the weekend to help avoid unnecessary headaches.

MSG

If you have frequent headaches after eating, then you may have an allergy or sensitivity to monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is a food additive used frequently in processed foods, and many people are sensitive to it and don’t even know it.

Check your food labels, and if you find that you are frequently getting headaches after eating, MSG could be the culprit.

Nitrites

Nitrites are another food additive that is known to cause headaches in some people. If you consume a lot of hot dogs, bacon, or lunch meats, and find that you often have headaches after eating, then you might want to try cutting out these food items and see if the headaches disappear.

Headache Relief

If you do get a headache, treat it early and and at the first sign of discomfort take the recommended dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The sooner you take the medication, the more effective it is in treating the pain.

Make sure to drink lots of water. Hydration helps alleviate most headaches within 30 minutes.

There are many things that can cause a person to get a headache. From stress to food allergies, it is sometimes hard to pinpoint where the headache is coming from. If you often suffer from headaches, take a good look at your daily routine and see if you have overlooked a possible cause. After you have determined what is causing your headaches, you can take steps to eliminate them completely.

Natural Cough and Cold Home Remedies

If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you are probably making good choices about what you eat. One of the goals of eating well is good health, however, everyone gets a cough or cold once in awhile. These home remedies will help you avoid the doctor and over the counter medicines and help to get you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

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Drink Lots of Fluids

Drinking lots of water or hot tea will help to keep you hydrated and sooth an irritated throat. Try to avoid milk and drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee and cola. Instead, try an herbal tea made with ginger. Ginger is known to be a natural decongestant and gentle pain reliever. Peppermint tea is also a good choice. Peppermint can help control a cough.

homemade cough syrup

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier will add moisture to the air and help make it easier to breathe. Place one in the room where you sit the most during the day and then move it to your bedroom when you go to bed. The steam from a hot shower will also help to open clogged nasal passages.

Use a Nasal Rinse

If you suspect you may be getting a sinus infection, then a nasal rinse will help keep your sinus passages open. You can buy over the counter nasal rinse kits, but you can also make your own natural solution at home very inexpensively.

Mix 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, and 8 ounces of warm distilled water together. With a bulb syringe filled with the solution, lean over the sink with your head tilted down and your mouth open. Squirt the nasal rinse solution into one nostril and let the solution drain out the other nostril. Keeping your mouth open will prevent the solution from going down your throat.

Even doctors recommend this home remedy for preventing sinus infections. Using this solution twice a day at the beginning of a cold will greatly reduce the chance of further infection.

Natural Cough Remedies

Gargling with warm salt water will help control stubborn coughs. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in a cup of warm water and gargle with it several times a day until your cough symptoms subside.

A sore throat and cough can also be soothed with a hot tea made from fresh lemon juice and honey.

You can make homemade cough syrup by combining 1 cup raw honey, 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger, and the juice of one lemon together in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. A teaspoon of this homemade cough syrup is a great home remedy for kids since now it is recommended that over the counter cough syrup not be given to children under 4 years of age. Just keep in mind that children under the age of 1 should not be given honey.

Eating Right

When you have a cold there are foods that you can eat that will help you recover more quickly. Make sure you are getting lots of Vitamin C by eating food high in Vitamin C, such as oranges.

Try to avoid high fat and processed foods as much as possible. Eating unhealthy foods can actually slow the recovery process. Foods with high fiber content such as oatmeal, whole grains, and fresh vegetables are all good choices.

Plenty of Rest

There’s no denying that just resting and getting lots of sleep is the best home remedy of all. It is hard in this day and age to get the extra sleep we need when we are not well, but not only does getting enough sleep help our body to heal itself faster, it also helps keep us from getting sick in the first place.

Jen Atkins is a copywriter with Mountainside Medical Equipment in Marcy, NY. Well-versed in marketing, Jen enjoys researching and writing about current health-related topics and sharing information about medical supplies with Mountainside Medical’s online community.

Back Pain Relief During Pregnancy

Even if a woman has never had a problem with her back before, pregnancy is often a time when a woman may have back pain that she has never experienced before.

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The good news is that often these aches and pains will disappear after the baby is born. Fortunately there are a number of ways that these aches can be temporarily eased.

If you think about it, it is nearly impossible to stand up straight when you are pregnant. Your stomach is extending out in front of you, causing your back to bend in an unnatural way. This can be the source of many aches and pains. Make sure to stand as straight and tall as possible when you feel yourself starting to slouch.

Pelvic Tilts

back pain relief

Pelvic tilts are a common exercise recommended for pregnant women. Not only will it help relieve back aches, but it will help improve your posture too.

Pelvic tilts can either be done on your hands and knees or lying on your back (only in the first half of pregnancy). When on your hands and knees gently contract the muscles in your abdomen and rotate your pelvis in the direction of the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then release the abdominal muscles. Repeat ten times.

Chiropractic Treatments

If you are pregnant and suspect that your spine is misaligned, then you should make an appointment with your chiropractor. If you don’t already have a chiropractor, this might be a good time to find one who feels comfortable working on pregnant women. There are many gentle adjustments a chiropractor can make to help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy. A chiropractor may indeed become your new best friend.

Swimming

Swimming is a great way for pregnant moms-to-be to give their backs a much needed break. Water supports your weight so that your back is no longer doing all the work.

Many health clubs offer great water aerobics classes for pregnant moms. It is also a great way to meet other pregnant women.

Maternity Belts

Many pregnancy stores and boutiques offer maternity belts that you can purchase to help support your back during pregnancy.

The belt wraps around your hips and fastens under your belly, helping to support the weight and take some of the pressure off your lower back.

If you are on your feet a lot of the time, a maternity belt is definitely something you will want to look into.

A Good Night’s Rest

It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when you can’t get comfortable. The further along a woman gets in her pregnancy, the harder it gets to get comfortable at night.

Pillows can be a pregnant mom’s best friend at night time. When you are pregnant, sleeping on your side is often the most comfortable position. Try using a firm pillow under your head and another pillow between your knees to help take some of the pressure off your back.

If necessary, you can place another smaller pillow underneath your belly to provide additional support.

Pregnancy is often an uncomfortable time for many women. If you are experiencing back pain during your pregnancy, remember that the pain you are currently experiencing will very likely completely disappear after your baby is born. These tips will hopefully help you pass this time more comfortably as you await your precious new arrival.

Signs that a Child Needs Glasses

It is often difficult to detect when a young child needs glasses, especially before they are old enough to read an eye chart. 

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Many parents wonder at what age they should start taking their child to the eye doctor. Many pediatricians perform eye tests when a child comes in for his or her annual well child check. The pediatrician will let the parent know if they think a child should also see an optometrist about possibly needing eyeglasses. Even babies can be afflicted with conditions such as “lazy eye”. This type of condition can easily be identified by the child’s pediatrician, and corrected if necessary. Here are some tell tale signs that a child might need glasses.
 
Sometimes the first indication that a child might need glasses occurs in school. If a child is having a hard time reading the board or is having a hard time focusing on his or her school work, there may be undetected eye problems that will require a trip to the eye doctor. Often a young child will not be able to express to a parent that eye problems are to blame, sometimes frustration on the part of the child may be the only indication that there is a problem.
 
Squinting while reading is a common sign that a child is showing signs of being farsighted.
 
A child may tilt the head to the side if he or she is experiencing double vision.
 
If a child is sitting too close to the television, this is a possible sign of nearsightedness.
 
A child who is experiencing frequent headaches should have his or her eyes checked right away. This could be a sign of uncorrected farsightedness.
 
Crossing of the eyes, frequent tearing of the eyes, and sensitivity to light are also signs that a child needs his or her eyes checked.
 
If a child is holding objects away from his or her face in order to focus on them, this is a sign of farsightedness. 
 
Covering one eye while reading or watching television is a sign that a child is seeing better out of one eye than the other.
 
At a child’s first trip to the optometrist’s office, the eye doctor will be looking for signs of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astygmatism.
 
If it is determined that a child needs glasses, there will be an adjustment period. Children don’t adjust to wearing glasses overnight. However, most children who have been having vision problems are happy when they can see with their new glasses. A parent should also make sure that the child’s glasses are always clean so that he or she can see clearly.
 
Kids can be hard on eyeglasses, but these days there are many types of children’s glasses from which to choose. Titanium frames with spring hinges are a popular choice for many parents. These types of frames bend easily without breaking. For children under the age of 3, there are frames available that have a wraparound earpiece to help keep the glasses in place, and glasses for babies have a strap that fits around the back of the baby’s head.
 
When choosing a frame for a child, it is important to keep in mind that round frames look better on angular faces, and square frames look better on round faces. A good eye doctor will also make sure that the glasses are comfortable and fit well.
 
And glasses are not the only option. By middle school, most children are ready to try out contact lenses.
 
In order to do well in school it imperative that a child’s eyesight be at its best. Starting at about kindergarten age, a child should have a yearly visit to the optometrist, as well as to the pediatrician. Prevention is the best medicine, it is best to get a child’s vision checked before there is a problem.
 

When Your Child Has a Sinus Infection


by

So you think your child might have a sinus infection? I didn’t even know kids could get sinus infections. It always seemed to me to be a chronic problem that plagues adults, not children.
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A sinus infection can start out as an everyday cold. I am not one to take my children to the doctor every time they get a cold. However, if you suspect they might have a sinus infection, antibiotics may be necessary to clear it up.

Some people do seem to be more susceptible to sinus infections than others, and this includes children. There are several characteristics of sinus infections that make them different from colds.

Only one of my sons has had a sinus infection, and he has already had two so far this year. Both started out as colds. When your child has a sinus infection, he will likely first complain of a headache. A headache can also be a symptom of a bad head cold, but there are several other symptoms that will help you know for sure. One is bad breath. The first time my son had a sinus infection I noticed a very foul odor coming out of his mouth when he breathed. It was not normal. It smelled like infection. Another sign is if the discharge coming from his nose is thick and green. This is also not normal, and should be checked out by a doctor.

Occasionally a sinus infection is difficult to detect. A friend of mine has a young daughter who ended up in the hospital because of an undiagnosed sinus infection. The only symptoms that she had were a slight cold and persistent headache that lasted at least four days.

If you suspect your child has a sinus infection, please take him to the doctor right away. Colds are bad enough, but sinus infections just don’t clear up on their own, and your child will be miserable until he is treated. And sometimes sinus infections and ear infections can go hand in hand. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

While your child is on antibiotics and recovering from a sinus infection, there are several things you can do to make him more comfortable. You can give him children’s Tylenol for headache pain. A cool mist humidifier will help promote drainage. Elevate the end of your child’s bed if possible, or just make sure his head is elevated while he sleeps to also promote drainage. Please don’t give a child with a sinus infection children’s cold medicine. This medicine turns the mucous in your child’s head into thick goo and makes it harder to drain. The humidifier provides the most relief.

Copyright 2011, Christian-Parent.com.

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