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Five habits that can make period cramps worse



Menstruation is a natural body process women experience every month. It is that time of the month when women lose blood and simultaneously experience a host of uncomfortable symptoms, such as cramps, bloating, and mood changes.

Even though some level of pain and discomfort is normal during menstruation, certain common habits and mistakes can make it worse.

So instead of dreading that time of the month because of the pain, here are some of the habits you need to take note of and avoid.

Poor diet
The foods you eat during your period tend to influence how intense or mild your period pain is.

Consuming processed and salty foods, refined sugars, caffeine, and alcohol can all be detrimental to your health during this period.

Caffeine has been discovered to cause the blood vessels to narrow and further slow the flow of blood. This also constricts your uterus, making cramps more painful.

Constant intake of caffeine has also been linked to being a risk factor for most menstrual abnormalities. So taking coffee isn’t a habit that will help alleviate period cramps, avoid it.

Also, taking excessive sugar and salt can also double the discomfort during the period.

Using the same pad/tampon for a long time
Not changing pads or tampons regularly is another common habit that can worsen menstrual pain.

Leaving a pad or tampon on for too long can lead to bacterial growth, itching, and infection, which can cause additional pain and discomfort.

This habit can also increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but serious condition caused by certain strains of bacteria. It’s often associated with tampon/pad/ menstrual cup use as bacteria may grow on them when not changed often enough.

Therefore, it’s important to change pads or tampons every 4-8 hours or more often to maintain proper hygiene and reduce the risk of infection.

Skimping on sleep
Getting inadequate or poor-quality sleep can exacerbate menstrual pain and discomfort.

A study found that people who got less than six hours of sleep on average nightly were 44% more likely to have an irregular period and 70% more likely to have heavy bleeding during a period than healthy sleepers.

However, it is advisable to always get at least 7-9 hours of sleep during your menstrual period to alleviate the pain.

Skipping meals
It is understandable that during your menstrual period, you don’t have the appetite to eat. But truth be told, it won’t do you any good.

Even if the pain is unbearable, skipping meals, particularly breakfast, might worsen the menstrual cramping according to a study.

Skipping meals tend to make you hungry, weak, and nauseated, and further aggravates the pain.

So, rather than skipping meals during this period, choose natural and unprocessed foods when possible.

Also, ensure you’re staying hydrated to lessen the severity of the cramp.

Having high-stress level
Stress can be said to be a normal part of life. However, failure to manage it appropriately during your menstrual period can intensify the pain.

High levels of stress can cause the body to release cortisol — stress hormone, which can increase inflammation and make menstrual pain worse.

Research has found a link between high-stress levels and painful periods. In one study, “the risk of painful periods was more than twice as great among women with high stress compared to those with low stress”.

Try yoga, distance yourself from your stressors, and enjoy a warm bath. This can help lessen the pain and other discomfort that might come when you are on your period.

However, if your periods are so heavy that you have to change pads or tampons often (more than once every 1 to 2 hours).

Or you have bad cramps that keep you from doing your regular activities and pain relievers and activities don’t help, see a medical practitioner.


Turmeric may be as effective as medicine in treating indigestion, study says




A study says turmeric, a natural compound found in spice, may be as good for treating indigestion as medicine.

According to the study published in the medical journal, curcumin, a natural compound found in turmeric, may be as effective as omeprazole, a drug used to treat dyspepsia (indigestion).

Turmeric is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has long been used as a medicinal remedy, including for the treatment of indigestion.

The study involved 206 patients aged 18 to 70 with recurrent upset stomach who were recruited from hospitals in Thailand between 2019 and 2020.

The participants were randomly assigned to three treatment groups for 28 days.

One group received two large 250 mg capsules of curcumin (turmeric) four times a day and one small dummy capsule; another received one small 20 mg capsule omeprazole daily and two large dummy capsules 4 times a day; and the last group received turmeric plus omeprazole.

Patients in all three groups were evaluated for their symptoms after 28 days and then again after 56.

The researchers found that oral curcumin was safe and well tolerated, and that patients in all three groups experienced a similar improvement in symptoms.

“Curcumin and omeprazole had comparable efficacy for functional dyspepsia with no obvious synergistic effect,” the researchers concluded.

“This multi-centre randomised controlled trial provides highly reliable evidence for the treatment of functional dyspepsia.

“The new findings from our study may justify considering curcumin in clinical practice.”

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5 foods and drinks to avoid while on drugs




Some drinks and foods don’t mix with prescription drugs.

When the doctor prescribes certain drugs, there are drinks and foods you should stay away from so your drugs can work effectively.

Here they are:

Dark chocolate, in particular, might reduce the effectiveness of medications used to relax or induce sleep, such as zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) for those with hyperactivity. If you take a MAO inhibitor, which is used to treat depression with chocolate, it can cause dangerously high blood pressure.

Calcium in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt, can inhibit drug absorption in antibiotics like tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. This compromises the medication’s effectiveness in treating infections. Avoid calcium-containing meals an hour before or two hours after taking these antibiotics.

Grapefruit, a citrus fruit, can affect over 50 drugs in the gut, making some less effective and others too strong, especially cholesterol-lowering drugs like atorvastatin.

Eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice can inhibit an enzyme necessary for statin metabolism, increasing the risk of side effects like muscle pain. The most problematic statins are atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin, which are commonly used in cholesterol-lowering drugs.

To be safer, patients are advised to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice entirely while on statins.

Apple or orange juice can decrease levels of beta-blockers like Tenormin and Tekturna which prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

New-generation antihistamines for allergies can also interact with acidic juices like apple, orange, and grapefruit, affecting absorption and neutralizing the effect of these medications.

For those taking calcium channel blockers, avoid grapefruit juice, as it can render the drug ineffective. Also avoid orange fruit juice if you are on malaria drugs.

  1. Alcohol and most drugs
    Alcohol can impair the efficacy of drugs, weaken blood pressure and cardiac medications, or enhance their effect and produce dangerous adverse effects.
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7 effects of prolonged headphone usage




In our modern world, headphones have become an indispensable accessory which has become more like a necessity.

Whether we’re grooving to our favourite tunes, immersing ourselves in a thrilling podcast, or trying to find some peace in a noisy environment, headphones offer a convenient escape. However, the convenience they provide comes at a cost.

Prolonged headphone usage can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental well-being.

One of the most apparent consequences of excessive headphone usage is hearing damage.

The World Health Organization estimates that over a billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices, including the prolonged use of headphones at high volumes.

When the volume is cranked up to dangerous levels, it can cause permanent damage to the delicate hair cells in our inner ears, leading to hearing impairment.

Wearing headphones for extended periods can also increase the risk of ear infections. The enclosed environment inside the ear cups can trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

Over time, this can lead to painful ear infections and discomfort, potentially requiring medical attention.

Tinnitus, often described as a persistent ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears, can be a consequence of excessive headphone use. Listening to music or other audio at high volumes can overstimulate the auditory nerves, leading to the perception of these phantom sounds. Tinnitus can be not only distressing but also challenging to treat.

While headphones offer a refuge from external noise, prolonged use can result in social isolation.

When we constantly plug into our own private auditory world, we may unintentionally distance ourselves from friends, family, and the surrounding environment.

This isolation can lead to a decline in interpersonal relationships and a disconnect from the real world.

Listening to calming music can be a great stress reliever, but when used excessively or in noisy environments, headphones can contribute to stress and anxiety.

The need to block out external sounds can indicate a desire to escape from stressors, and this can become a maladaptive coping mechanism, potentially exacerbating mental health issues.

Wearing headphones for long hours can cause physical discomfort, such as ear pain and soreness.

The pressure applied to the ears and the heat generated within the ear cups can lead to irritation and discomfort. This discomfort can be particularly pronounced when using over-ear headphones.

Prolonged headphone usage can also impact cognitive function. Constant exposure to loud music or audio can reduce concentration and productivity levels, making it harder to focus on tasks.

This is especially concerning for students and professionals who rely on their ability to concentrate.

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