How to Stop or Prevent Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps attack suddenly, but usually only last for less than a minute. It is a common occurrence although it can be very painful for some individuals.

What causes muscle cramps and can it be prevented? What should you do if you have cramps?

How Does It Start

Most of the muscle cramps occur on the legs and is caused by strenuous activities, like exercise. It can also occur suddenly at night for no discernible reason.

Muscle cramps can happen to anyone, even healthy people who exercise regularly, but some are more susceptible to such an event. Individuals with tight calf muscles as a result of a sedentary lifestyle, accumulation of fluid in the lower leg through inactivity, dehydration and low levels of electrolytes, and a pre-existing nerve condition and thyroid problems will increase the chances of having muscle cramps.

In rare cases, muscle cramps mimic the symptoms of other medical conditions such as tetany, peripheral arterial disease, illusory muscle cramps, and involuntary muscle contractions.

What are Its Symptoms

Besides the legs, cramps can sometimes occur on the arms and abdomen. The intensity of the cramps can vary from nearly unnoticeable tics to very painful contractions. It could also last from a few seconds to a full 15 minutes depending on its cause and might even recur several times. The affected area might feel hard to the touch and could also twitch and distort depending on the intensity of the cramping. Fortunately, most muscle cramps are benign and will go away on their own without any treatment.

How to Prevent It

Some people are more likely to experience muscle cramps more frequently than others depending on their lifestyle. Athletes for example, tend to have cramps if they fail to condition their body or after an intense training session. The elderly are also prone to muscle cramps because of muscle atrophy caused by inactivity. To prevent muscle cramps, you should warm up by stretching properly before exercise and live an active life in general.

Avoid twisting or arching your back when stretching, however, because it can lead to injuries. Stay hydrated always and eat a healthy diet especially if you’re pregnant, because calcium and magnesium deficiency can also cause muscle cramps. Avoid prolonged exposure to heat or cold and avoid sitting or standing in the same position for a long time.

How to Treat It

Muscle cramps do not need any treatment, because they will usually go away on their own. However, you need to stop what you’re doing when you’re experiencing cramps. You can massage or stretch the affected area while waiting for the cramps to stop. You could also apply a hot compress on the cramping muscles, or a cold compress if your muscles feel sore, especially after an intense workout. If your cramps are severe, however, you need to see a doctor to determine its cause. It could be a symptom of a serious problem with your nerves, circulation, or hormones.

How to Teach Your Kids Proper Hygiene

Personal hygiene should be taught first at home not only because it will speak volumes of your own hygiene, but it will help your kids avoid hygiene-related illnesses. Explaining hygiene, however, can be tricky especially when kids love to put things in their mouth, explore, run, climb, and just touch everything they see interesting.

Make bath time fun. The prospect of washing should not be terrifying for a child, so make it a pleasant experience every time. You can use bath toys or fill a small tub where they can soak it to make it fun. It’s also important to teach them how to wash different parts of the body because some parts like the neck, armpits, back, and feet are often overlooked. You can also show them how to clean their hair by encouraging them to wash their doll’s hair.

Check their teeth. Show your child how to do it properly by brushing together. You can also encourage them to care for their teeth by showing pictures or watching fun videos about dental health. By the time the child is about 8 years, he/she should be able to perform the task without your assistance.

Encourage regular handwashing. This is the most basic of good hygiene habits and must be taught to toddlers. Tell them that is okay for them to play on the dirt or explore outdoors or use the bathroom as long as they wash their hands after and wash it again before they pick up food. using a hand sanitizer or alcohol might not be enough to get rid of the caked dirt.

Teach them about sneezing and coughing etiquette. There is a proper way to wipe the nose and to cough without passing your germs. Show them that it is good practice to cover one’s mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing. If they do not have a tissue, they can also cough or sneeze into their sleeve. It’s better than covering with their bare hands because then they will need to wash it.

Teach them to handle food properly even if they can’t cook yet. Remind your kids about the proper way of handling food when you’re not around to assist them. Basic food hygiene include washing hands before handling food, covering their mouth and nose to avoid contaminating food with droplets, using a clean cloth to wipe stains, and storing food after a meal.

Make sure they know proper toilet habits. Toddlers should at least be taught basic toilet habits such as washing hands so that potty training is easy. You would not want your child getting humiliated for still pooping in their undies when they begin school.

Set a self-care routine. Bathing, brushing the teeth, using the toilet, and preparing or storing food should be part of the routine. These are lifelong skills that will get them far when they are adults but are often overlooked today by overprotective parents. Consistency and practice build character and confidence, but leading by example is much better especially for other tasks like trimming nails, combing/brushing hair, using body products, handling dirty clothes, and keeping a clean home.

Why Do Some People Prefer Drinking Warm Water?

You always hear that people should drink 8 glasses of water a day. If you practice that already, you may already understand how healthy it can be. But if you observe, you’ll actually find that there are others who prefer drinking hot water. How different is it and are there any benefits? Here are some reasons why people prefer drinking warm water and maybe you’ll be convinced to do it too.

1.  Can still rehydrate you even in hot weather

The hot climate in Singapore will, of course, leave you looking for something cold to drink and cold water is very accessible. But drinking warm water may have its benefits as well. For one, our body doesn’t have to adjust to the temperature of the cold water. When it’s hot outside and you drink cold water, your body will have to take more energy to convert the cold water down to a temperature the body can adjust to.

2.  Improves digestion

One great benefit of drinking warm water is that it aids our digestion. This has something to do with the point above. Our body temperature does not have to adjust drastically to warm water compared to cold water. So when we drink warm water, it can help our stomach break down food a lot faster. It can also keep the blood vessels in our digestive system more active overall.

3.  It can also improve circulation

When we drink warm water, our blood circulation briefly improves. This is because warm water can make our blood vessels expand. That means it’s easier for the blood to circulate throughout the organs and around the body.

4.  Can help cleanse the body

Another advantage of drinking warm water is that it helps our internal body temperature rise temporarily. At this time, you can expect to release a decent amount of sweat. That can help eliminate any excess toxins still left in the skin or the body.

5.  Helps you get a deeper and better-quality sleep

Warm water also has a calming effect on our nerves, which then makes it easier for us to relax. That simply means it will help us get to sleep faster. Not only that, because our nervous system isn’t on high alert, we can enjoy a deeper sleep. So, if you’re one of the many Singaporeans who have difficulty sleeping, this might just be for you. 

6.  Makes you feel less pain

The above mentioned about warm water aiding circulation is also connected to how it helps reduce pain. Drinking warm water can help alleviate muscle aches, for example, because it allows our blood to travel through the muscle tissues faster. In addition to that, the calming effects and also ease the tension around the muscle.

Self-Discovery in Singapore

Singapore has been known to be one of the busiest countries in Asia but is it possible to find solace in a place deemed as way too career oriented? Friendship, purpose, love, and even self-discovery are questions not frequently asked when it comes to Singapore but this is why these questions need to be addressed. Being raised in Singapore means you are already used to the competitive lifestyle as perfection turns into the definition of success as the culture demands high grades and perfect performance from residents as young as five years old.

Tutorials have become a daily routine as people strive for that perfect GPA and overtime has become just another regular day at the office. Does Singapore seem like a place that kills your spirit? Well, think again! One of my favourite experiences in Singapore walking around slow placed doing the exact opposite of what most Singaporeans do. Most Singaporeans seem as if they want to get to where they’re going as soon as possible.

The most attractive word for most Singaporeans is “efficiency” which may be a dreadful word for the freethinkers of this world who like to grasp everything around them but do we really have to fear that specific word? Go to Singapore and take a look around as people are pouring their lives into the pursuit of success and although it may differ to self-discovery, it is actually the same thing as they are also chasing after something.

There are two major beliefs of life, existentialism and essentialism. Existentialism is the belief that we are born without purpose and though it may seem quite negative, it is actually a very comforting belief as it prompts us to create meaning of our own. You see, existentialism looks as life as a blank canvas and our actions as the paintbrush, existentialism teaches us the value of our actions. Essentialism on the other hand believes that the point of life is to find the meaning or calling of life which was already there for you from the start.

Why is knowing these two different beliefs important? Because they shape your perspective on Singapore. Are you planning to go to Singapore to find yourself or to build yourself? Imagine a busy crowd, would you strive to walk faster towards their direction or would you go against the flow and make your own path? Singapore is the land of opportunity. Now, once again, will you find yourself? Or will you build yourself.

What Can You Do About Childhood Obesity?

Although obesity can be prevented, there seems to be a rise in the number of overweight individuals in the world, including children and teenagers. Obesity is defined as the excessive fat accumulation that can impair health or cause several health problems.

Here are the things you need to keep in mind to help stop your child from becoming obese.

Know Your Child’s Ideal Weight
For a growing child, the ideal weight trajectory should be based on the height and weight change proportional to the overall development. A child will be classified as overweight if the weight is above the recommended average for his/her age and height. If the weight is not monitored properly, the child could become obese as an adult and will have a much more difficult time changing bad eating habits later.

Know the Risks for Obesity
Some children are more likely to become overweight than others because of several factors; such as unchecked bad eating habits, genes, lack of physical activity, and consumption of food and drinks high in sodium, sugar, and fat. Parents who encourage unhealthy lifestyle and those parents who are unhealthy themselves, create an obesogenic environment for a child that can be difficult to change. According to various research, majority of the children who were obese were still obese as teenagers and even as adults.

Know the Cause of Weight Gain
Weight gain is the result of more energy taken from food and beverages than the body can burn off through physical activity. A deadly combination usually involves easy access to food high in fat and calories and an environment that discourages or lacks opportunity for physical activities. Only a small percentage of obese children have problems with hereditary diseases that contribute to obesity, so majority of the cases are caused by unhealthy lifestyle.

Know the Results of Obesity
While chubby kids might look cute, there is a risk of developing serious health problems that can plague the child until he/she becomes an adult, such as diabetes, heart problems, asthma, and depression. That is why it’s important to address lifestyle problems as early as possible, beginning with the adults who look after the child.

Know How to Fight Obesity
Children don’t need to go through a strict diet to reduce weight, unlike obese adults. The goal of childhood obesity treatment is to slow weight gain until the child grows into his/her ideal weight. You are not supposed to cut off a child’s supply of fat and carbohydrates, because these are needed for growth and development. However, you have to avoid trans fats and choose saturated fats properly. The same is true for sugar, so instead of a no-sugar diet, limit the child’s sugar options by preparing healthy meals and small snacks. The treatment, however, involves the entire family by exposing the child to healthy food, encouraging physical activities and socialization, and to limit their idle time watching the television or the use of the computer.

What is Gluten Intolerance?

A lot of people think gluten intolerance is just a fad or another newly discovered type of allergy, but this condition is neither of those. Sometimes it is a symptom of celiac disease, but gluten intolerance can also exist outside the disease and even wheat allergy or gluten ataxia, which are all different conditions.

Gluten and Gluten Intolerance
Simply put, gluten intolerance or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is the person’s sensitivity to gluten in food such as wheat, rye, barley, oat and triticale. Gluten is the name of the proteins, prolamins and glutelins, found in the food listed and are responsible for maintaining their shape. It is the component that makes the dough elastic or the food chewy. Fortunately, gluten is only found in the food listed above and the related species and hybrids, so it is possible to monitor the person’s diet to avoid the symptoms.

Cause of Gluten Intolerance
There is no known cause for gluten intolerance, although some researchers are trying to look for markers in the genes to determine a treatment. What they found, however, is that it is a distinct condition that is separate from celiac disease, which is an autoimmune condition that makes the body react to gluten as if it is a poison. It was also determined that there are more people who are gluten-intolerant than those diagnosed with celiac disease.

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
With celiac disease, the body will try to destroy the part of the small intestines that absorb nutrients, but a person with gluten intolerance will not have the same response. Symptoms of gluten intolerance vary among those with the condition, but signs may include diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, cramping and bloating, muscle and joint pains, frequent headache, chronic fatigue, mood changes, skin problems, difficulty concentrating and remembering, and nutrient deficiencies.

Gluten-Free Diet
If you think you have gluten intolerance, you need to talk to your doctor about tests that will rule out other possible conditions such as celiac disease. Remember that celiac disease can cause damage to your intestines, while gluten intolerance does not. While there is there no cure for gluten sensitivity and treatments are limited because the condition is poorly understood, a patient with this condition is advised to practice gluten-free or low-gluten diet. For the next 30 days, you will eliminate gluten from your diet until your condition improves, then the doctor will ask you to reintroduce it and to look for symptoms. If you have adverse reaction to gluten, you will have to avoid food that contain wheat, rye, barley, and other related species and varieties. Remember to read labels carefully, because not all manufacturers indicate that their product is gluten-free.

Know the Different Types of Antidepressant Medication

Some patients prescribed with antidepressants are confused by the effects of the medication on the various symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. How does your doctor find one that’s right for you and why do some patients switch to a different medication?

How Do Antidepressants Work?
Antidepressants are grouped into classes based on how they chemicals work in the body, although some might differ slightly from the others. The role of antidepressants in the treatment is to increase the level of specific neurotransmitters to reduce the symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, because depression at its most basic definition is the imbalance of brain chemicals that control a person’s mood.

Neurotransmitters or brain chemicals are supposed to control the different functions in the brain, and one such neurotransmitter, serotonin, affect the mood of the person.

How Does the Doctor Find the Right Medication?
Deciding which type of treatment will work on you, or if you need medication or not, will depend on each person. Most antidepressants should affect all the patients similarly, but the differences and the severity of the side effects are usually the deciding factors in picking the right medication.

Determining the severity and type of side effects could be trial-and-error process, but doctors usually take into consideration the other medication you’re currently taking, the risk of affecting pregnancy and breastfeeding among female patients, the medication’s effect on a relative of a patient, and other existing health conditions that could change the medication’s effect. The doctor might recommend a combination of antidepressants and other medications to reduce the symptoms.

What are the Types of Antidepressants?
• SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are known to generally cause mild or fewer side effects even at high doses. Examples are paroxetine, fluoxetine, and escitalopram.

• SNRIs or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors include duloxetine, levomilnacipran, and desvenlafaxine.

• MAOIs or monoamine oxidase inhibitors are given if the other types of antidepressants don’t work. However, the person is advised to observe a strict diet because the antidepressant can have negative interactions with food and other medications. These include isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine, and phenelzine.

• Atypical antidepressants are called as such, because they do not fit into the other antidepressant categories. These include bupropion, vortioxetine, vilazodone, trazodone, and mirtazapine.

• Tricyclic antidepressants are known to cause a lot of side effects, but they are given to the patient of the other antidepressants do not improve the symptoms. These include imipramine, amitriptyline, desipramine, doxepin, and nortriptyline.

What are the Side Effects of Antidepressants?
All medications have side effects, including antidepressants, but some can be unpleasant for others, that is why the doctor might switch your antidepressant for another class. Fortunately, most side effects are short-term and harmless, and will usually go away after several weeks. These include nausea, diarrhea, weight gain, and sleep problems. Some classes are known to have nasty effects, that is why if you’re taking an antidepressant, monitor changes in your sleep, appetite, weight, and sexual function.

6 Simple Things You Can Do Every Day to Detox Your Body

While some people recommend a week-long detoxification or regular long-term cleansing, it’s actually easy to perform daily practices that will help your body get rid of toxins. Here are six simple things you can do every day to encourage your body to detoxify.

1. Start Your Day with Water—and Lemon
Kickstart your body’s detoxification process by drinking a glass of water with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice when you wake-up in the morning. the lemon juice helps re-hydrate your body from hours of sleep and speeds up your digestion, which helps accelerate the flow of toxins out of your system.

2. Drink Lots of Tea
Not only it is loaded with antioxidants, but teas hydrate you and fill you up. This means you’ll less likely be craving and overeating the wrong foods. If the caffeine content is what bothers you, remember that the caffeine in teas is much gentler than in coffees. It’s a quick pick-me-up sans the jitters.

3. Have More Fruits and Vegetables
This may sound cliché, but fruits and veggies will give you nothing but goodness for your overall health. Most of them are rich in fiber, which helps your digestion, and are low in calories, so you won’t feel guilty consuming a lot of them.

4. Dry Brush your Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and part of its functions is waste elimination. Dry brushing your skin is an easy and effective way to detoxify your system. It improves the look of your skin by eliminating dirt and dead skin cells and also stimulates blood circulation, which enhances toxin elimination.

5. Minimize Sugar Intake
To boost your body’s detoxification, lower the amount of your sugar intake in a day. Avoid sweet beverages and foods with sweeteners that seem healthy like calorie-free sweeteners, molasses and even honey.

6. Sweat It Out
If you can’t handle weights or any strenuous activity, sweat out in a sauna. But if you crave for adrenaline and want to get your heart pumping, go run on a treadmill or lift some weight in the gym. Nothing is more detoxifying than sweating it all out.

Part of living healthy is about finding joy in living in it. Going to extremes in fitness, diet or detoxification strip us off of the fun and healthy life we’re aiming for. So if you want to cleanse your body, start by doing healthier choices and let your body do what it is designed to do.

Scroll To Top