Healthy And Happy Summer Holiday Tips For Our Young People In Cork
As the long summer holidays begin, we thought it would be helpful to come up with some ideas and tips to help ensure that your kids and adolescents enjoy a happy and healthy summer holiday in 2017.
Keeping Our Young People Happy And Healthy In Cork This Summer
May 2017 has been a busy month in Cork for initiatives to raise awareness of mental health issues in our teens and young people.
Munster rugby star Simon Zebo is swapping drop goals for dropping beats by giving his backing to a rap track by Cork teenagers to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst teens. The music track is an initiative by the Mayfield Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force Project and is motivated by the group’s concerns about the rates of teenage bullying, anxiety, depression and suicide. You can read more about the Reach Out Speak Out music track by Cork teenagers on the Irish Examiner website.
May also saw the Scartleigh National School in Saleen hold a very successful wellbeing week which included a series of activities for pupils, both physical and psychological. The activities involved building healthy habits and skills amongst our young people to help themselves stay healthy and happy. Activities included mindfulness exercises, reading whilst out in the sun on Monday morning, participation in basketball, yoga and dance classes, swimming for PE, reduced written homework and SPHE activities.
Top Tips For Healthy School Holidays This Summer In Cork
Summer Holiday Healthy Eating
If you’re looking after children or young people this summer holidays you’ve probably given a thought to how you’re going to fill the time, but it’s also important to spare a thought for what you’re going to eat. Summer holidays invariably brings routine changes, and healthy eating and regular activities can easily fall by the wayside.
It’s important to try to think ahead about what you’re going to eat during the holidays as many studies have shown that a healthy diet in childhood is critically important. Studies have shown that a healthy diet in our youth is a foundation for good physical and mental health in adulthood. There’s an excellent article on the British Heart Foundation website with 8 tips for healthy school holiday eating.
Family Fun Activities In Cork This Summer
Keeping busy and active is vital for young people at any time of year and is especially important during the long summer holidays. Fortunately, there’s loads going on for young people and families this summer in Cork. Click here for a list of some of the best summer camps in Cork for younger kids and teens in Cork in summer 2017. For family activities to enjoy with your kids this summer see this guide to family fun things to do in Cork this summer.
Activity Tips To Get Active With Your Kids
Physical activity helps kids and adolescents grow strong bones, maintain a healthy weight and discover the world around them. Best of all, staying active is fun and proven to help you stay happy and healthy at any age. Some suggestions to make exercise fun for all the family this summer in Cork include:
- Walking and cycling. There are lots of cycling routes and cycling events in Cork to enjoy this summer.
- Build a den with your kids. Under supervision, you could even encourage your kids to climb a tree or two.
- Rollerskating. rollerblading or skateboarding, indoors or outside. Kids also love to get on their scooters.
- Do an activity or challenge for a charity. Find out about charity events in Cork.
- Take the dog for a walk together. If you don’t have your own dog to walk, you can always borrow a friend’s dog or a neighbours.
- Find time every weekend do something active with your kids. Why not play Frisbee or football in the park, go trampolining or try indoor rock climbing.
- Enjoy a day at the beach. Why not head down to Garrylucas or Garryvoe for the day.
- The National Parks in Ireland website has lists of events including children’s fun days or guided walks which are great ideas for active days out for this summer
Tips To Manage Hay Fever In Cork This Summer
Hay Fever In Cork – Top Tips To Combat Hay Fever This Summer
Manage hay fever in Cork this summer with our top tips and treatments. Hay fever – or seasonal allergic rhinitis – is a common ailment afflicting many people. Each spring and summer, one in five people in Ireland is affected by hay fever.
Hay Fever Season In Cork
In Cork, hay fever often kicks in during April and lasts until August, peaking in the last fortnight of June. Some experts argue that it appears as early as mid-March. The main culprit is grass pollen, especially Timothy grass.
The warmer weather in South West Cork means that the grass pollen season tends to start here in mid-May, earlier than the rest of Ireland. In Dublin and the midlands, the high season usually begins at the start of June. In North West Donegal the high season starts up to a fortnight later.
Hay Fever Symptoms And Causes
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to airborne particles, such as pollen or fungal spores. Hay fever is most commonly triggered by grass or tree pollen. When the allergen is inhaled, the immune system produces a histamine response resulting in some unfavourable physical symptoms which include:
- Runny nose,
- Itchy and watery eyes,
- Coughs and sinus congestion.
Hay fever is caused when your body defends itself against allergens by producing antibodies. The antibodies bind to mast cells, a process which leads the body to releases a chemical called histamine.
Nutritional Tips To Combat Hay Fever
Following these nutritional tips can help to strengthen your immune system and reduce your hay fever symptoms:
- Drinking green tea and eating apples. Green tea and apples contain plant sterols, which are known to regulate the immune system and help to stabilise histamine reactions.
- Eating two portions of omega 3-rich fish weekly. A diet rich in omega 3 will be less prone to inflammation. Wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring are great sources of omega 3. Almonds, flax and chia seeds are also good sources, however you would need to eat them in larger amounts.
- Boost your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps to keep the immune system balanced and also has anti-inflammatory properties. If you aren’t getting some time in the sun, you might want to consider a good supplement.
- Support your gut with probiotics. As most of your immune system is located in the gut, make sure yours is in balance by taking a good quality probiotic.
- Eat foods that are rich in flavonoids and an amino acid called methionine. Sources rich in flavonoids and methionine include nuts, berries, and fish. When it comes to flavonoids, it is generally true that the darker the berry is, the more it contains. Not only are these foods great to eat, the flavonoids and methionine have natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help counteract the allergic reaction that brings on your hay fever symptoms.
Daily Living Tips To Manage Hay Fever
Other daily living tips which can help you deal with hay fever include:
- Avoid lush grassland areas
- Keep windows closed during late morning and mid-afternoon, the peak times for pollen levels
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses to prevent pollen from affecting your eyes
- Avoid smoking and smokers
- Try to get someone else to help with mowing the lawn and gardening, or at least make sure you’re wearing a face mask if you need to mow it yourself
- Keep your bedroom windows closed while sleeping
- Used tea bags chilled in the fridge make for the perfect smoothing compress for watery or itchy eyes
- Keep an antihistamine medication on-hand for sudden allergy attacks
Methionine Supplements for Hay Fever
If the natural methionine sources aren’t doing the trick alone, methionine supplements up to 500mg per day may help. Another supplement that may interest you is quercetin. Quercetin helps to work as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Menthol inhalers such as Siang Pure
These small plastic tubes contain a mix of menthol, eucalyptus oil, camphor, and borneol. This combination of ingredients helps to clear away mucus, thus reducing the chances of repeat sneezing. These inhalers are also sometimes helpful in treating motion sickness, vertigo, and dizzy spells.
Fixes From Your GP
When all else fails and you need an emergency short-term fix, your GP can prescribe oral steroids. Repeated or prolonged courses of oral steroids are harmful but they will get you through that vital client meeting or your baby’s christening.
Cork Pollen Forecasts
For the latest pollen forecasts across Ireland visit – Met Eireann Pollen Forecast For Ireland
Get Involved in Cork and Cultivate your Wellbeing in Older Age
Get involved and stay social, that’s the overriding message from a new Age UK charity study into the wellbeing and health of older people. The clear message, the report says “is the importance of maintaining meaningful engagement with the world around you in later life – whether this is through social, creative or physical activity, work or belonging to some form of community group”.
The overarching message from the study is that, as human beings, we are social by nature. Maintaining vibrant and healthy social lives is so important at all ages. We wanted to highlight local groups and opportunities in Cork, around the important factors for health and wellbeing highlighted by the report.
Creative and Cultural Activities
As the report says, older people with the highest levels of wellbeing “are all involved in some form of creative and cultural activity”. The study found that participating in creative and cultural activities makes the greatest contribution to your overall health and wellbeing, out of a long list of contributing factors.
You can check the city council website for news on the latest upcoming cultural events and activities in Cork.
Illness and Disability
A key finding from the report identifies that if your illness or disability allows you to participate is social activities, the activities can counteract the negative effects of ill health on your overall wellbeing.
There are currently 57 Active Retired Groups based in and around Cork, if you’re looking to get involved socially in your area.
The Wellbeing of Carer’s
Caring for a loved one, often your partner, is a role that many older people have to take on. According to the report, when the caring is fairly low intensity it actually has a positive effect on the carers wellbeing. However, where the care given needs to be high intensity, the caring has been shown to have a negative effect on the carers wellbeing. Perhaps this is due to the carer being less able to work or get involved in other activities.
Remain Active and Healthy
At any stage of live, keeping active is so important to remaining healthy and enjoying increased wellbeing.
With the aim of getting older people more active, more often, the Go for Life Programme helps older people to plan and lead activities and sports. Go for Life also fund groups who are getting older people more active. They have lots of ideas for activities that can be done – either alone or with friends. The Go For Life Programme is very active in Cork, in partnership with the Cork Sports Partnership, to support and coordinate active events in the area including the FitWalk Programme.
In March, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, announced TILDA, a study by Trinity College, which proves that older people make an enormous contribution to Irish society. The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) states that its overarching aim is to make Ireland the best country in the world to live for the over 50’s.
On the back of the increasing spotlight being shone on the wellbeing of older people by Government and in the media, we want to highlight some of the community groups in Cork for the over 50’s:
Groups and programmes for older people in Cork
Active Retirement Ireland reaches out to all older people to stop loneliness through friendship and support.
AgeFriendly.ie, aims to be the one stop website for all your information needs. The website aims to deliver all the vital information that is the relevant to older people and their families in Cork and throughout Ireland.
Go For Fitline is a phone based service that encourages those over 50 to get more active. Freephone Go For Fitline on 1800 303 545 and their mentors will ring you every few weeks until you’re happy with your progress
Go for Life is the national programme for sport and physical activity for older people in Ireland.
The Care and Repair programme carries out minor repairs for older and vulnerable people free of charge at locations all over Ireland and provides contact details of local tradesmen for larger jobs. Befriending services are also provided through visits and telephone calls.
Contact: John O’Mahony on 021-2067399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Tips to Help Prevent Sports Injuries in Kids and Parents
Participating in sports and taking regular exercise is well known for being good for your health, or the health of your kids. Sports also play an important role in our lifestyle and culture. However, sports injuries can and do happen regularly.
With the Irish Times reporting that one-third of visits to HSE minor injury clinics are sports related, it’s important to always keep the risks in mind as sporting injuries are common. There are simple steps you can take to reduce the risks. By following some basic tips and preparing properly, you can minimise the risk of sports injury that could keep your kids off school, parents unable to work or being unable to participate in the sports and hobbies that we enjoy.
The Benefits of Sports and Exercise
In addition to being highly beneficial to our physical health, sports provide us with social contact, competition and are proven to be good for our all-round health and wellbeing. Participating in sport and regular exercise play a key part in a healthy and active lifestyle.
Common Sports Injuries
Sports injuries are commonly caused by:
- Accidents – such as a heavy blow, a fall (or a mistimed tackle from an opponent)
- Failing to warm up sufficiently – not warming up properly is all too common and one of the key things to you can do to reduce the risk of injury
- Using inappropriate equipment, footwear or clothing
- Pushing yourself too hard
- Using inappropriate or poor technique
Although ankles and knees are commonly affected, sports injuries can affect any part of the body including bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Tips to Prevent Sports Injuries
You can reduce the risk of getting injured, or the risk of your kids getting injured, by ensuring that you:
- Warm up properly – a qualified healthcare professional or sports coach is the person to seek advice from, about the most appropriate warmups and stretches for the specific sport
- Don’t overdo it – be mindful and realistic about your personal fitness levels, experience in the activity and your technique and skill levels
- Use appropriate equipment for the specific sport or activity – your coach, supervisor, sports teacher and other qualified sports professionals are the best people to talk to about getting the right gear
- Wear the right footwear and clothing – for example suitable running shoes, shin pads for football, gum shields for rugby or suitable walking boots for hiking and the terrain and weather conditions
- Get expert advice and coaching – to learn the correct techniques
If you or your children are starting a new sport, it’s important to get advice from a qualified sports coach or healthcare professional.
Physiotherapy Techniques You Can Use Before Your Activity
Techniques used by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists sports injury rehabilitation programme could also be useful before your activities, to help prevent injuries from occurring in the first instance. On top of that, they could also be beneficial to your sporting performance.
It would be well worth asking your coach, supervisor or the trained staff in the facility you play your sports in for advice on how you can use the techniques prescribed by physiotherapists as rehabilitation treatments, before you play.
Ask your coach, trainer, supervisor or the staff at the sporting facility for advice in the following areas, before your sporting activities:
- Injury prevention advice
- Advice on techniques and properly using the equipment
- Advice on properly warming up and warming down
- Customised exercise routines, tailored to you and your specific sport
- Advice on when to return to your sport or activity, when you’ve got a slight niggle or injury
- Preseason fitness training, testing and screening
What to do if you have A Sports Injury
If you’ve picked up an injury, you are likely to notice symptoms such as swelling, bruising, tenderness, pain, stiffness and restricted movement in the affected area. Sometimes, it can take several hours for you to notice any symptoms after you’ve finished exercising or sports.
If you feel any pain whilst you’re playing sports or exercising, it’s vital that you stop immediately. Continuing to exercise whilst injured is a critical factor in the amount of damage and the time it will take to recover.
If your injury is minor, you probably don’t need to see a doctor. For minor injuries, there are some basic steps you can take at home. You can usually treat minor niggles and injuries at home with:
- Rest – the affected body part for the next 48 – 72 hours to prevent any further damage
- Apply an ice pack – holding an ice pack on the area affected can reduce swelling during the first 48 – 72 hours after injury
- Take over the counter painkillers – painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can relieve pain
If your symptoms are severe or don’t get better within several days or a few weeks, your doctor may be able to refer you for specialists sports treatments, such as physiotherapy. Click here for a list of Chartered Physio’s in Cork.
It can take from a few weeks to a few months to fully recover from a sports injury, depending on the type of injury you have. While your injury is healing, it’s important that you avoid trying to do too much too quickly. You should aim to increase your physical activity gradually, as your symptoms get better over time.
For more information and guidance on what to do if you have a sports injury, click to download a sports injury guide leaflet from the Irish Society of Chartered Physios.
The Pre-Baby Blues – Recognising and Treating Antenatal Depression
Unlike postnatal depression, a term that many of us are familiar with, there is far less awareness of antenatal depression. Recent studies have shown that antenatal depression is just as common as postnatal depression, but often goes undetected.
The first study in Ireland into antenatal depression, conducted by Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Obstetric Services, indicates that antenatal depression is probably more common in Ireland than in most other EU countries.
Recognising and treating antenatal depression is crucial, not only for mum but for baby too, as depression during pregnancy has been shown to increase the chances of development problems during infancy. Antenatal depression has been linked to brain development and behavioural development disadvantages. In some cases, depression during pregnancy has also been linked to psychiatric disorders in adult life.
Pregnancy is typically a time of happiness, fulfilment and joy. Perhaps because of this, depression during pregnancy can be harder for women to recognise, and harder for those who love them to recognise and accept.
It’s not uncommon to experience shifting emotions during pregnancy. However, if you are experiencing the signs below, for any extended period of time, you may have prenatal depression:
- Feeling tired all the time
- A loss of interest in yourself, your pregnancy or both
- Always feeling down, angry or anxious
- Trouble sleeping
Hormone imbalances during pregnancy can lead to prenatal depression. Other contributing factors can include being rundown by pregnancy sickness and tiredness, anxiety over the coming motherhood, and money or relationship worries. Typical concerns reported by women who are experiencing depression during pregnancy include:
- Feelings or concerns about such a life-changing event
- How you view yourself, particularly as you experience physical changes, such as weight change, enlarged breasts and general discomfort from pregnancy
- How you view the changes in lifestyle that motherhood may bring for you
- How your partner and family see your new baby
- Worrying about how depression may impact on your relationships
- Memories of difficulties with past pregnancies
Symptoms of antenatal depression can surface at any stage during pregnancy. Although more common with women who have suffered from depression in the past, it is by no means inevitable. A depression free history also doesn’t guarantee that you won’t develop depression during pregnancy.
Antenatal depression is characterised by higher than normal levels of worry about the birth and motherhood. Symptoms can include tearfulness, emotional detachment, chronic anxiety, lack of energy and feeling isolated or guilty.
If you are suffering from any of the signs and symptoms above, it may be helpful to consider these recommendations by the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists:
- Take it easy – try to avoid doing too much and take care not to become overtired
- Talk to someone – If you don’t have a close friend that you feel you can talk to, there are local groups that can be supportive before and after the birth such as Cuidiu Cork
- Attend antenatal classes – If you don’t have a partner to take with you, take a relative or a friend
- Don’t change antidepressant medication during pregnancy without getting medical advice first
- Keep in touch with your GP and health visitor regularly
- Make sure you get treatment for depression in pregnancy. Treatments can range from talking therapy to medication, your GP will be able to advise on what’s best for you
- Accept help – be open to any help from family and friends, don’t try to be ‘super-woman’ and deal with everything on your own
It’s important that you speak with your midwife or GP if you are feeling low during pregnancy. There are various antenatal depression treatments available to help. People respond differently to different treatments so it is really important that you speak with your GP or other specialist services and organisations.
Treatments available include:
- Counselling and therapy – as well as helping you to feel better, talk therapies offer an opportunity to look into any underlying causes that may have contributed to the depression.
- Medication – your GP can prescribe antidepressants, which can help to ease the symptoms of antenatal depression. Your doctor will ensure that the medication selected for you is safe during pregnancy.
- Peer support groups – in the right environment, peer support can be highly beneficial to mothers suffering with antenatal or postnatal depression. Speaking to other mothers who have come through antenatal depression enables mums to see that they can get better. It’s important to check that the group is properly safeguarded with fully trained staff.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone. Particularly during pregnancy, suffering from depression can feel very isolating and confusing. It’s important to talk about how you are feeling and try to be proactive and seek help. With the right help and support, things can get better.
For more information, advice and support you may want to visit these websites:
Postnatal Depression Ireland (PND) – providing support and friendship to those suffering post-natal depression
Preventing Stomach Flu – Tips To Avoid Norovirus
It seems that each winter these days, there are more and more stories in the news about outbreaks of the public’s winter health enemy No.1 – norovirus. Also commonly known as stomach flu, or the cruise ship virus, norovirus can really put your body through the ringer at any time of year. Although another common alias for the virus, winter vomiting bug, highlights the fact that this extremely infectious stomach bug is more common in winter.
Fortunately, although it is an extremely unpleasant stomach bug, norovirus is usually over within a couple of days. Symptoms commonly surface one or two days after you become infected. You are likely to have norovirus if you experience –
- Sudden feelings of sickness
- Projectile vomiting
- Watery diarrhoea
Accompanying symptoms can also include:
- Slight fever
- Stomach cramps
- Aching limbs
Sudden diarrhoea and vomiting are the tell-tale signs that you’ve caught norovirus, the best thing you can do, to prevent spreading, is to stay at home until you’re feeling better.
How the Virus Is Spread
As you may well have seen in the news recently, the virus is easily spread in confined spaces, especially wherever numbers of people are in close contact. Schools, hospitals and nursing homes are often in the news after an outbreak. The common alias of ‘the cruise ship virus’ is a label that tells you how contagious the stomach flu virus can be in confined spaces.
It is not always going to be possible to be 100% sure of avoiding norovirus. However, following the tips below can help to stop the virus spreading and can help keep you and other virus-free:
- Stay at home and away from work or school for at least 48 hours after symptoms have passed. It is particularly important to avoid visiting anyone in hospital, a nursing home, a school or indeed any environment where there are numerous people in confined spaces.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water is fundamentally important for avoiding the virus in the first place, and critical to prevent you from spreading the virus others if you have contracted it. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are shown to be less effective against norovirus. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers for removing or inactivating certain germs, including norovirus.
- Disinfect surfaces and objects that could be contaminated. To be sure that the germs have been thoroughly cleansed, a household bleach cleaner is best.
- Don’t forget to clean the less obvious places around the home. If you or someone at home are ill, don’t forget to clean all of the small spots that the sick person is likely to have been in contact with. Norovirus can live on hard surfaces for days, so it’s important to cleanse all the small places that you’ve come into contact. Small spots to be particular with include doorknobs, computer keyboards and mice, remote controls and mobile phones.
- Wash clothing and bedding that could be contaminated on a separate hot wash.
- Clean carpets and rugs. Viruses can live for considerable periods of time in rugs and carpets. If someone vomits on your carpet, it may be best to have it professionally cleaned. Some studies show that steam cleaning can be more effective for killing germs than wet shampooing.
- Avoid sharing flannels and towels.
- Raw, unwashed, produce is best avoided if there is a known outbreak of norovirus at home or in town. In particular, Oysters can carry norovirus, so it’s always advisable to only eat Oysters that have come from a reliable source.
Top Foods to Combat Colds
If you’ve ever had a common cold, you’ll know the feeling of misery that it brings with it. To avoid that horrible feeling and all of the nasty side affects that come with having a cold, it’s important to do your best to combat catching a cold as best you can.
With winter just around the corner, this couldn’t be more important than it is right now. If you are one of the unlucky ones and have failed to prevent yourself from a cold or flu this season then you have come to the right place. We know just what to do to help you feel better soon.
Maintain a diverse diet
Your daily diet is the most important factor when it comes to fending off germs and illnesses such as the cold. No single food group has the power to protect against illness. You need to combine foods from different groups to keep you healthy.
This is why it is so important to eat a varied diet each day and consume all of the vitamins your body needs. Your immune system needs to be strong if you’re going to be successful in fending off that cold, and it’s the fuel that you give your body that will determine how strong your immune system is.
Foods to boost the immune system
- Yogurt is a delicious way to introduce a dose of good bacteria into your body. Good bacteria will line your intestines to help fend off invading germs. They are called probiotics and studies show that eating yogurt will lead to an improved immune system by increasing the body’s healthy white blood cell count.
- Turmeric is an amazing spice with very strong cold and flu fighting properties.
- Garlic is the most widely used plant worldwide and, as it’s a natural antibiotic, it has huge medicinal properties.
- Red peppers, oregano, green tea, ginger and broccoli will also serve to help your immune system on a daily basis.
- Beef is a great source of zinc and zinc plays a vital role in the development of bacteria-fighting white blood cells.
Vitamin C foods for colds
Vitamin C is widely known for its ability to fight and heal infectious diseases. The following Vitamin C rich foods should be on your shopping list if you want to increase your chances of not catching a cold this winter:
- Green bell peppers
- Sweet potato
- Citrus fruits
- Butternut squash
- Brussels sprouts
- Dark leafy greens
- Herbs such as parsley, basil and chives
Make sure that your body is ready for the cold months of winter that lie ahead of us by eating the above foods. As well as the foods that we’ve listed, be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet that will give your body all of the required nutrients that it needs to function at its very best.
How to Get Rid of Headaches
Most of us suffer from headaches from time to time. They can be the result of lots of different causes and some can be a lot more painful and long-lasting than others.
One option to treat a headache maybe to visit your local pharmacist but there are also many other simple options available to you.
- Apply Heat Packs/Ice Packs
We’ve been using hot and cold application techniques to relieve pain for many years now and it’s no surprise considering how effective they are.
By simply placing an ice pack to the area of your head that’s causing you pain, the cold will help to shrink your blood vessels, improving circulation and, in turn, easing the pain that’s being caused by the pressure they’re causing. Hold the pack there for 10-15 minutes for best results.
Applying heat on the back of your neck will help relieve migraines and other kinds of headaches that are caused by stress. Heat relaxes your muscles and, in turn, has the power to relieve throbbing pain. You could hold a water bottle on the back of your neck or take a warm bath as any type of heat will help relax your muscles.
Note: You should never apply heat packs or ice packs directly to your skin as doing so can cause damage. Instead, wrap the pack you are using in a tea towel before applying it to the affected area.
Stress is the number one cause of most people’s headaches. Therefore, taking some time out to relax will most likely relieve a lot of your discomfort.
Have a long soak in a bubble bath, go for a walk, take a nap, watch a movie, read a book or do whatever you like to do to help you forget what’s bothering you.
- Turn off the Lights
Bright lights (including those from a computer screen) can be the number one reason why you’re suffering from a headache.
If you feel a headache coming on, try and stay away from direct light including sunlight. This is very important if you are prone to migraines as taking a break in a quiet, dark room will be your solace.
- Drink Water
It’s been proven that dehydration can bring on a headache and even though experts recommend that we drink at least eight pints of water a day, many of us don’t.
Not consuming enough fluids can dehydrate your body leaving it in a bad state, which can cause headaches among other things. Give your body the water if needs and you’ll experience less headaches for doing so. It’s sometimes that simple.
- Let your Hair Down
If your hair is in a tight ponytail and you’re suffering from a bad headache, taking your hair down might just be the answer to your problem. Pulling your hair back and holding it tight in place will put pressure on certain points and nerves in your head causing you pain.
These types of headaches can also come about as a result of wearing a hat, a headband or swimming goggles that are too tight.
- Over the Counter Medicine
When all of the above fails, Ibuprofen is the number one medicine used to treat a migraine or headache. This is because it is an anti-inflammatory drug and, rather than just treating the pain itself, it’s effective in relieving the tension that a headache causes.
What headache medicine to take when pregnant?
Many women will suffer more with headaches during pregnancy. It is not advisable to take lots of medicines when pregnant for many reasons, making it difficult to treat a simple headache.
If a natural remedy doesn’t work, paracetamol can be taken. That said; when you’re pregnant, you should always consult your doctor before taking any medication. If you don’t have time to see your GP, you can also go to your local chemist and consult them for the best advice.
The above are just some of the many ways to treat and relieve headaches. Each person and type of headache is different so while one remedy might always work for one person, it may never work for another.
Find what works best for you and you’ll know what to do the next time a headache strikes.
How to Deal With Indigestion & Heartburn
You’ve just eaten a delicious meal but your stomach is now starting to rebel. You’re feeling decidedly full and a little bit sick. Maybe you’re belching a lot or even hiccupping. Perhaps you’ve got a burning sensation in your chest and throat. It’s likely that most of you will have experienced these feelings at some point in your lives, but do you have indigestion or heartburn?
Indigestion and heartburn is not the same thing although many people do get them confused. We’re about to expose the differences between the two so let’s start with indigestion.
Causes of indigestion
Indigestion is a medical condition, otherwise known as dyspepsia. Many people experience indigestion after eating too quickly or eating too much food, especially foods that are high in fat, greasy or spicy.
You can also experience indigestion after drinking too much alcohol or caffeine. However, indigestion may also be caused by conditions such as pancreatitis, gastritis, gallstones and ulcers, or if you’re under a lot of stress or feeling anxious. Some medications will also cause indigestion, while smoking is another culprit.
Symptoms of indigestion
If you’re suffering from indigestion you’ll probably feel generally uncomfortable in the stomach area; you may feel bloated or over full and you may experience pain and nausea. You’ll probably belch frequently and you may suffer from heartburn.
Causes of heartburn
Which brings us onto heartburn. It’s not a condition or a disease, but a symptom of indigestion. You may suffer from heartburn if you’ve been eating chocolate, fatty foods, acidy foods or peppermint.
Heartburn can also occur as a result of a hiatus hernia, as a side effect of medication, or if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease. Put simply, it’s caused by acid reflux, which allows acid to go from your stomach into your oesophagus.
Symptoms of heartburn
Most people will experience symptoms such as a sour taste that creeps up the throat into the mouth, a burning sensation in the chest, or a pain in the throat or neck.
So why the confusion between indigestion and heartburn?
Both describe the symptoms that one might feel after they’ve eaten. They’re usually caused by eating certain trigger foods, or by eating too much or too quickly. However, heartburn is linked to stomach acid and is a symptom of indigestion. Indigestion doesn’t have anything to do with stomach acid; it’s often triggered by emotions, such as feeling stressed, nervous or anxious.
How to treat indigestion
One of the easiest ways to treat both indigestion and heartburn is to avoid the common trigger foods such as spicy and fatty dishes, and to resist drinking too much alcohol. You should also try to slow down as you eat, and eat smaller portions.
To prevent indigestion, try to relax more before meals. You should also do things that will reduce the amount of air that you swallow as you eat, such as closing your mouth as you chew and avoiding talking with your mouth full of food.
How to treat heartburn
As heartburn involves stomach acid there are several over the counter medications available to treat it, such as antacids and drugs that reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. However, if you prefer not to rely on such medications, here are some simple steps to relieve the discomfort.
- Firstly, loosen any tight clothing and try to sit up as straight as possible. It may also help to stand up. This will reduce the pressure on your internal organs.
- If you don’t have any specialist medication, head to the kitchen for some baking soda to neutralise the acid in the stomach. Just a teaspoon in a glass of water will do, and don’t forget to drink it slowly.
- If you have chewing gum handy, this will also help to neutralise and remove the acid by increasing your production of saliva.
Don’t rely on antacids
You should not rely on antacids as a long-term way to treat indigestion as they may cause their own side effects, including diarrhoea, constipation, sickness and headaches, and ultimately make the problem worse.
5 Best Skin Care Products for This Summer
Nailing down a definition of the best skin care products really depends on whom you ask and what their particular interest in the matter is. A dermatologist and a beautician are likely to have quite divergent views.
The opinion of somebody from the Cancer Council can be expected to be different to both. And of course retailers have their own motivations, so they’ll give you advice that probably runs contrary to all the others.
So selecting the five best products is actually quite a difficult task since the concept of what is “best” means such radically different things to different groups of people. Then there’s the tricky issue of the fact that some products claim to be formulated especially for men’s skin or for women’s skin.
Finally there’s the matter of whether skin care is primarily to be considered a matter of the face or of the whole body, since the vast majority of products indicate they are created primarily for facial application.
But what about your views as a consumer? What do you care about? Do you want something that keeps your skin clean and free of blemishes? Do you want something that rejuvenates and nourishes? Do you want something that protects your skin from the ravages of the Sun?
Ultimately it seems the only way to effectively cover this topic is to discover the best product in each category, ensuring that only gender-neutral products are considered.
- Best General Application Anti-Ageing Product
This accolade goes to Advanced Dermatology Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Treatment. It is part of a range of Advanced Dermatology products that, when used together, should give excellent results.
It’s not available in shops, and you can only buy it online. A one month supply of the whole contingent of products is officially valued at €200, but is now currently being offered for €59.95 plus €19.95 for shipping and handling. The power of this product range comes from a potent mix of plant stem cells, peptides, antioxidants and other ingredients.
- Best Targeted Anti-Ageing Product
Targeting refers to the concept of you applying the product directly to a particular area of skin that you want to rejuvenate, rather than generally applying it to a broad area.
The winner in this category was SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0, which is available in shops and costs about €65 for a 30ml tube.
- Best Acne Treatment Product
Surprisingly enough, the best product in this category isn’t even marketed as a skin care product at all. It’s just plain old humble Baking Soda, which you mix with water to form a paste and apply to your skin.
The bacteria responsible for acne thrive in an acidic environment, and the baking soda raises the pH level of your skin, creating a hostile environment for the bacteria. A box of the best baking soda in the shop shouldn’t set you back more than one euro. You can find instructions for how to prepare it all over the Internet.
- Best Full Body Moisturising Lotion
It may seem a little clinical, but Cetaphil Moisturising Cream is a really excellent product for hydrating and nourishing dry skin. It’s also wonderfully inexpensive at around €10 for a 453g tub.
- Best Moisturiser with SPF
Having a moisturiser with an SPF is a bigger deal than most people think it is. Although having this essential in your makeup bag is recommended for all months in the year, it’s especially important in summer.
The winner of this category is the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturiser with an SPF of 47. It’s made with a combination of natural ingredients including argan oil and mineral sunscreens including titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It’s non-greasy and is reasonably priced considering the quality of the product.