Should Your Order Hormone Tests Online?

Medical advances now make it possible to undergo essential testing right in the comfort of your own home. This is especially true when it comes to hormone testing, as there are a variety of tests that can be ordered online and delivered right to your door.


Hormone levels have a major impact on many bodily functions. When levels are out of whack, people can experience a wide range of bothersome symptoms. Hormone dysfunction can cause extreme tiredness, digestive issues, depression, unwanted weight gain or loss, excessive urination and many other health effects.


When these symptoms arise, hormone testing can identify the underlying cause, which is the first step toward treating it. While convenient, you may be wondering whether online hormone tests are actually worthwhile. This guide provides important insights to help you make the right decision.

Types of Tests You Can Order Online

The body uses many hormones to perform its essential functions. As a result, problem hormone levels can cause a variety of health effects. There's a wide range of online hormone tests to choose from, including the following:


Menopause - These tests look for specific hormones that can indicate whether you've entered menopause. This is often the first step for getting help with bothersome issues like night sweats and insomnia.
Stress - Known as the stress hormone, cortisol is crucial for activating your fight or flight response. However, too much cortisol increases your risk of heart disease and other ailments, including headaches and nausea.

 
Genomics - Genomics testing studies your DNA, but not to find distant relations. Instead, this test looks for possible markers that could indicate a higher risk of certain diseases. By knowing these markers, you can make changes to your lifestyle to lower your disease risk.

 
Metabolism - Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions needed to convert food into energy. This test will measure the hormones necessary in the metabolic process to ensure they're working properly.


Thyroid - Your thyroid gland is also crucial for your metabolism, as it controls your metabolic rate. Some thyroids are underactive, while others are overactive. This test can help determine thyroid function and whether there are any issues you should be aware of.

Benefits of Online Hormone Tests

The biggest benefit offered by online hormone tests is the convenience they afford. Tests are sent directly to your home and contain easy to understand instructions to ensure you conduct testing appropriately. From there, you can send the completed test back to the lab and receive the results once they've been interpreted.


Online hormone tests can also be the first step to making healthy decisions regarding your life. For example, they can uncover the reasons for unintended weight gain, extreme fatigue and other issues that can get in the way of your quality of life.

Drawbacks of Online Hormone Tests

There are lots of reputable companies that offer hormone tests online, meaning you can trust the results provided. However, you must perform your due diligence to ensure you purchase from a reputable brand. Many of these tests are not approved by the FDA and may not be as comprehensive as the tests you would undergo in your doctor's office.


Additionally, you should get any new symptoms assessed by your doctor as they arise. Home hormone tests can provide insight, but you may still require treatment for the issues you're experiencing. Checking in with your doctor ensures you receive timely treatment to prevent bothersome symptoms and other effects.


Having greater control over your health and wellness is definitely a good thing. And when online hormone tests are used correctly, that's exactly what they provide.

Food Labels: How To Read Them Without Being Tricked

As a health-conscious consumer, you may rely on food labels to inform you of what you put into your body. While it’s good practice to always read food labels, it may discourage you to learn that labels aren’t always transparent. Many labels are purposely complex — and spare — so as to hide the true nutritional value (or lack thereof) of the products within the packaging. So that you don’t fall victim to misrepresentations, it may be worth your while to learn how to interpret food labels accurately. Below are a few tips to help you out.  

Always Check the Serving Size

If you rely on food labels to tell you how much of any given ingredient is in a certain product, it’s crucial that you don’t rely on the numbers alone. First, check out the serving size information.

Most packaged foods contain more than one serving. For instance, a can of soup typically contains two servings. A box of Cheez-Its contains 12 servings. You can generally find both the serving size and the number of servings per container at the top of the food label. The nutritional values listed next to each ingredient apply to each serving, not the entire container. So, if a serving size of soup is half a can and you eat the whole can, you consume twice the amount of calories, fat and nutrients listed on the label.

Double Check the Calorie Count

In addition to highlighting serving size, most food labels like to draw attention to calorie counts. Because calories provide a measure of energy you gain from a serving of food — and because they directly contribute to weight goals — many health-conscious consumers strive to control the number of calories they consume on a daily basis. If you’re one such consumer, compare the advertised calorie count with the serving size. If a package asserts that the contents within contain 120 calories but the container contains 4 servings, the actual calorie count is 480.

Calculate % Daily Value

The % daily value refers to the percentage of the daily value of nutrients that each serving contains. More specifically, these values tell you how much a food or beverage contributes to your daily diet. The DVs are merely recommendations for how much of a particular ingredient you should consume or not exceed each day and are based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. For example, if a food contains 3% cholesterol, it provides 3% of the total amount of cholesterol a person who needs 2,000 calories a day should consume.

The DV percentages can help you assess just how nutritional or non-nutritional a food or beverage is. DVs of 5% or less are low in nutrients. DVs of 20% or more, on other hand, have a high nutrient count per serving. That said, whether a food is good for you depends on which ingredients have high DVs. Foods with high % daily values of vitamin D, iron, calcium, fiber and potassium are nutritious. Foods that are high in sodium, saturated fats and added sugars, however, are not.

Ignore Front-of-Box Labels

If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: Ignore all the claims and assertions on front-of-box labels. Front labels are not regulated and often use misleading — and sometimes downright false — health claims to lure health-conscious consumers into making impulse purchases. If you think you are above falling for these tactics, know that research indicates that front-of-box health claims convince an overwhelming majority of people to purchase a product.

Manufacturers are tricky with their food labels. If you are serious about building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you need to outsmart them by learning how to read labels accurately.

Ultimate Anti-Aging Foods for Preventing Alzheimer’s, Wrinkles and Cataracts

Many natural foods are proven to help prevent heart disease and support diabetes. Are these healthy ingredients the real answer to fighting aging, too? Many scientists say yes.

The Best Anti-Aging Diets

Doctors around the world have told people to eat plenty of veggies and fruit for decades. Now, they’re going a step further and specifically recommending two diets for preventing aging: the Mediterranean diet and the MIND diet.

The Mediterranean Diet

An all-around powerhouse for health, the Mediterranean diet supports weight loss, heart health, pain relief and mood benefits. It revolves around home cooking with nutritious ingredients:

  • Healthy fats
  • Lean proteins
  • Whole grains
  • Seasonal vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Wine in moderation

Extra-virgin olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids from fish play a big part.

The MIND Diet

MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. This diet combines elements of Mediterranean eating with other foods that help lower blood pressure:

  • Lots of leafy greens (romaine lettuce, cabbage, kale, sprouts, spinach, etc.)
  • Plenty of whole grains every day
  • Vegetables daily
  • Fresh berries each week
  • Fish and poultry
  • Nuts and beans

Real Science, Real Benefits

These two diets are backed by a large number of studies. In one study, the MIND diet significantly lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related mental decline. The Mediterranean diet appears to keep the brain healthy and prevent dementia.

Scientists aren’t completely sure how these foods help, mainly because they still don’t understand exactly what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Healthy fats such as omega-3s are amazing for fighting inflammation and stress, so maybe that’s what helps the brain stay in excellent shape.

Tasty Ingredients That Fight Aging

When you write down your grocery list, make space for foods that are rich in antioxidants. You also need good sources of protein and nutrients that help your body repair itself. Here are some of the top natural ingredients for avoiding wrinkles, cataracts, depression and dementia.

Salmon

A recent study found that eating fish regularly was the most important factor for long-term brain health. Fish is high in omega-3s, lean protein and antioxidants. Other types of seafood are great, too, including shrimp, clams, tuna, tilapia, trout and Atlantic mackerel.

Berries

Foods with vitamin C can help with overall skin brightness, elasticity, moisturizing and repair. Those things are a recipe for preventing wrinkles. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are high in vitamin C and several other age-defying antioxidants.

Chicken Breast

Lean protein replenishes your body’s reserves of collagen, an essential building block of smooth skin and healthy joints. Collagen can also contribute to less joint pain and muscle stiffness.

Dark Green Vegetables

Broccoli and spinach aren’t everyone’s favorite veggies, but you’ll love what they do for your eyes. Rich in an antioxidant called lutein, leafy greens can prevent cataracts, reduce glare and improve vision. They also have vitamin B2 and vitamin E for better nerve health.

These natural ingredients help to protect your cells from the damaging effects of pollution, UV rays, anxiety and other causes of premature aging. Other favorites include green tea, turmeric and probiotic foods such as cottage cheese.

My Favorite Natural Energy Boosters (They Aren’t What You Might Think)

Lack of energy is a pervasive problem in America, with as many as 42% of adults claiming they regularly feel tired before noon. In addition, an astounding 65% of 2,000 people surveyed said they never wake up feeling refreshed and energized. These statistics may account for the hundreds of self-proclaimed energy-boosting products on the market today — some of which make no claims of being natural and many more that do. Regardless of whether “energy” comes in a can, herb or supplement form, the truth is that the best energy boosters are already inside of you. You just have to make a few lifestyle changes to help them do their work.

Fortunately, the changes you need to make are not big or difficult to implement. See for yourself — check out the top five natural energy boosters that actually work.

1.    Say “Yes” Less

A major reason for the fatigue epidemic in the U.S. is obligation overload. Not only do Americans tend to overwork themselves but also, many find it nearly impossible to say no to their bosses, friends, family members and social obligations. To avoid burnout, learn to say “yes” less. When someone asks you to do something — whether five minutes from the moment or six months down the road — consider whether it is something you really want to do. When the time comes to do it, would you still say “yes” to the commitment? If the answer is no or not a solid yes, don’t commit.

2.    Manage Your Stress

Stress is a major energy zapper. If you don’t yet have a stress-relief outlet, adopt one. Such an outlet can be a support group, a happy hour date with a BFF on Tuesday afternoons, a yoga class or a simple 20-minute walk each evening. There are no rules to how you must control your stress, but you must find a way to do so.

3.    Get Moving

Exercise has many proven benefits, ranging from improved brain health to decreased risk of major health problems. It makes sense, then, that exercise has several energy-boosting properties.

Exercise helps you sleep better at night. It also generates higher dopamine levels in the brain, contributing to a better mood. Finally, exercise gives the cells more energy to burn, which helps circulate oxygen and increase energy levels.

4.    Drink Caffeine Sparingly

Yes, coffee does provide a much-needed jolt of energy in the morning. However, when consumed in large amounts, caffeine may prove ineffective, and it could even have adverse consequences across several areas of your life.

If you drink too much, your body may build a tolerance to caffeine. Moreover, high caffeine intake can lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation, contributing to fatigue. Coffee can also dehydrate you, which leads to fatigue, and affect your blood sugar levels, which also causes feelings of tiredness.

The bottom line is that caffeine is great in small doses. Stick to one to two cups a day to reap the benefits of the world’s favorite beverage.

5.     Drink Water

Water is the one nutrient proven to enhance the performance of all but the most rigorous endurance activities. If your body is even slightly dehydrated, decreased energy levels will be one of the first signs.

If you’re tired of being tired, you don’t need canned energy or fancy supplements to restore your energy. You simply need to make a few lifestyle changes. Incorporate the above five changes into your life today for more energy tomorrow.

How Meditation Benefit Your Life?

It's hard not to feel stressed these days, whether you're concerned about work, family, or world events. It can also be hard to release stress and get your mind back on track, which increases your risk of experiencing a physical or mental health issue.

If you're looking for an all-natural method of relieving stress, meditation is the way to go. This guide explains more about the practice, as well as how it can benefit you.

What Is Mediation?

An ancient practice, meditation has been in use for thousands of years. The goal is to focus your mind and clear it of extraneous thoughts for improved mental wellness. It can entail deep breathing, repeating a mantra (a word or phrase that is supposed to help with concentration), or just sitting quietly.

Additionally, there are different types of meditation one can use. Visualization entails thinking about pleasing images to induce a relaxed and happy feeling. Conversely, mindful meditation involved being fully present and "in the moment" to boost self-awareness. While it's also a form of martial arts, tai chi uses gentle gestures performed slowly that can also have relaxing effects.

What Benefits Does It Offer?

When you make it a regular part of your lifestyle, meditation offers certain key benefits:

  • Stress can exacerbate certain medical conditions, such as anxiety and chronic pain problems. Meditation can reduce stress and have a positive effect on underlying medical conditions. 
  • Reducing stress can also have other physical effects, including decreased heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and enhanced sleep quality. 
  • When worried, meditation can help clear the mind and allow you to make decisions reasonably. 
  • Meditation also offers mood enhancement, which can boost the quality of life and improve relationships with others.

Is Meditation Right for Everyone?

Most people can derive some benefits from meditation. However, it can also be detrimental when used incorrectly. It can take some time to experience a peaceful and relaxed feeling, and people can sometimes become frustrated when it doesn't happen quickly. In this case, you must allow yourself time to get acclimated to the practice.

Additionally, meditation can be problematic for people who fall victim to procrastination. You can avoid this time trap by scheduling meditation at certain times each day, such as in the morning or later at night before bed. Keep in mind that each person is different, so it's important to find a strategy that works best for you.

How Can Beginners Get Started?

Getting started with meditation is often the most challenging aspect. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to speed up the adjustment process. Begin by establishing a short time limit, such as five minutes. That way, you won't feel pressured if you're not able to get in the right frame of mind.

Find a quiet, comfortable place in your home, a place where you can fully unwind uninterrupted. Any position is acceptable, provided that you feel comfortable. For instance, some people choose to sit while others might lie down. The most important factor is that you feel relaxed.

Focus on your breathing when getting started. In the event your mind begins to wander, which is a natural occurrence when meditating, re-focus on your breathing. Don't get discouraged if your mind wanders frequently when first getting started, as this is a common occurrence for beginners.

In terms of how often you should meditate, that's a personal decision that you must make on your own. However, people derive the most benefits from the practice when they do it on a regular basis. Accordingly, try to take some time each day to meditate, even if it's only five to ten minutes.

Life can be pretty hectic and stressful for most people, but meditation is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Along with reducing stress, it can also improve your thinking and boost your overall wellness to enhance your quality of life.

Eat These 4 Lycopene-Rich Foods for Longevity!

Lycopene is an amazing antioxidant related to vitamin A. This natural compound is what gives some fruits and veggies their pink or red color. Some studies suggest that lycopene can have powerful protective effects on the body:

  • Lowering bad cholesterol levels
  • Keeping blood vessels flexible and healthy
  • Helping you avoid heart disease
  • Reducing the risk of lung and prostate cancer
  • Slowing the growth of breast cancers
  • Delaying the development of cataracts
  • Keeping your eyes healthy as you age
  • Helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss

OK, so you're convinced. But where can you find this perfect pink superstar?

1. Tomatoes

A diet with abundant tomatoes is guaranteed to be rich in lycopene. You can enjoy countless different varieties, including melt-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes and tangy Roma tomatoes. Here are a few fun facts to maximize the lycopene in tomatoes:

  • Cooked tomatoes have more lycopene than fresh.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes are packed with lycopene.
  • The amount of lycopene increases as tomatoes ripen.
  • Your body absorbs lycopene better when accompanied by healthy fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil.

In case you’re wondering, tomato paste and spaghetti sauce also have lots of lycopene, so you don’t have to make Italian favorites from scratch to benefit. That said, be careful with excess sugar or salt in processed tomato products.

2. Watermelons

Remember: If it’s red, it probably has lycopene! Watermelons are no exception. Feasting on this delicious, juicy summertime favorite can give you a whopping 7 mg of lycopene per cup, plus lots of vitamin C. This fruit is low in calories and great for staying hydrated on hot days.

Many people enjoy watermelon as a healthy snack or dessert option, but you don’t have to stop there. This tasty fruit works great in savory recipes, too, breathing life into garden salads and Mediterranean feta on toast.

Many Indian recipes feature watermelon also. Did you know you can sauté watermelon chunks (cooking boosts lycopene) with garlic, turmeric and other spices for a mouthwatering curry? Creamy yogurt, watermelon and mint are another classic combination.

3. Red Bell Peppers

Red peppers aren’t exactly overflowing with lycopene, but they provide a decent amount. What makes them a great choice for your diet is how versatile they are for cooking. Pizza, fajitas, tacos, stir-fries, kebabs, burgers and salads barely scratch the surface of the possibilities!

4. Pink Guavas

If you’ve never tried this marvelous, sweet fruit, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. It has a wonderful flavor similar to a combination of strawberries and pears. Even better, just one pink guava gives you over 5 mg of lycopene, which is more than fresh tomatoes.

Of course, not everyone has access to guava at their local farmers' market. If you live in a warmer state, such as Florida or California, you may have an easier time. Generally speaking, anywhere you can find papaya, you can also find guava.  Another option is to buy unsweetened guava juice.

More Lycopene

With so many benefits, it’s no surprise that some health professionals believe that making sure you’re getting enough lycopene probably helps you live longer. No wonder Italian grandmas with their fresh tomatoes live so long!

My Favorite Herbs for Female Health

Ladies, how often have you heard someone say that females are complicated? Once you get to be my age, you’ll probably hear such references at least a few dozen times. While you may be tempted to roll your eyes and blow off those types of statements, there is actually some truth to them. The female body truly is complicated, especially when you consider the many hormone changes we go through at different phases of our lives.

If we want to look and feel our best, we need to make sure our hormones are balanced, whether we’re still getting monthly periods or we’ve already gone through menopause. If our hormones become imbalanced, we’re likely to suffer from many unwanted symptoms. Fortunately, there are herbs available that can help you restore hormone balance even if things get out of whack for a while. Here are my favorite selections of herbs for supporting female health through all of life’s stages.

Ashwagandha

Despite its strange name, ashwagandha is one of the best herbs for supporting female libido and healthy reproduction. It is an Indian herb that has a long history of use in both men and women. While its stress-reducing properties have long been known, ashwagandha may have special uses for females. It targets the endocrine system specifically and supports the proper balance of female hormones. It can also reduce symptoms commonly associated with menopause, including hot flashes, anxiety and mood swings.

Maca

Maca root is one of the more popular herbs for supporting hormone health in both males and females. Research has shown it to help with common menopausal symptoms and can boost libido. It is also helpful for combatting sexual dysfunction caused by unbalanced hormones. Another excellent benefit that makes this herb so attractive is that it may help with weight loss. That makes sense when you consider that many causes of weight gain stem from unbalanced hormones.

Muira Puama

This herb is valued for its ability to stimulate female libido. Before I get into how it can help, I first want to say that it’s natural for libido to ebb and flow throughout life. So don’t be too hard on yourself if there are periods when you don’t really want to be intimate. But if you’re frustrated with a particularly long spell of decreased desire, Muira Pauma may be the answer. In one study, more than 65% of women experienced improved intimate satisfaction and intensity after taking this herb.

Tribulus Terrestris

Long known for its role in supporting female hormone balance, Tribulus Terrestris also shows great promise for boosting libido in both men and women. If you’re struggling with arousal, desire and satisfaction, try taking this simple herb and see if it helps. Considering the fact that it improved sexual desire in 49 out of 50 female study participants, the chance of it working for you is quite high!

Avena Sativa

Long known as a natural aphrodisiac, Avena sativa can support female health in other ways, as well. While it’s boosting your intimate desires, it may also be supporting your bone health. Since osteoporosis is more common in women than men, anything we can do to develop good bone health is a step in the right direction.

Whether you’re a big fan of herbs or you’ve never used them before, I recommend trying the ones outlined above to keep your female hormones in check. But before taking any type of supplement, it’s wise to check with your healthcare provider to make sure it won’t interact with any medications you’re currently taking. Once you’re given the green light, give one or more of the above herbs a try and see if it works for you.

4 Simple Ways To Make Yourself Poop

Everyone has a different frequency of bowel movements, but you can generally tell when something is off. If you need some help scooting things along, try a few of these simple tips to make yourself poop.

1. Go to Town With Fiber

Fiber is your best friend when it comes to pooping. Some types of fiber add bulk and signal your colon that it’s time to go. Other types of fiber act like a lubricating gel that absorbs water, softens your poop and helps it slide along smoothly.

Make sure you’re getting plenty of fiber by eating some of the following foods every day. Generally speaking, the more of these you eat, the more you poop:

  • High-fiber fruit: apples, pears, berries, bananas and papaya
  • Veggies: broccoli, avocados, leafy greens, carrots and beets
  • Legumes: lentils, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and split peas
  • Whole grains: rolled oats, whole wheat foods, barley, brown rice and popcorn
  • Nuts: almonds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, chia seeds and pecans

2. Grab a Big Glass of Water

Sometimes, constipation is caused by dehydration. Without enough water, poop turns into dry “concrete” in your intestines. You should be drinking plenty of water every day for good health anyway, but especially if you’re having trouble pooping. For the best results, drink a big glass of water at the same time you eat fiber, such as at breakfast.

3. Give Your Colon Some Gentle Encouragement

Did you know you can “push” poop through your digestive tract with a gentle massage? This technique is called colonic massage. It can provide many benefits including alleviating constipation, getting rid of gas and reducing the amount of effort you need while pooping.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sit up or lie on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Massage your abdomen using your fingertips or palms.
  3. Follow the colon from the lower right in a clockwise direction.
  4. Put gentle pressure on the four corners of the abdomen, including under the ribs.
  5. End the circle by pressing gently under the belly and pulling up.
  6. Repeat from the bottom right again.

Some people make small circles as they massage around the abdomen. Others use small taps. The idea is to help your body “squeeze” poop through the intestine without having to strain your muscles.

4. Take a Hike (Literally)

Have you ever accidentally passed gas while working out? This is no accident. Exercise is great for stimulating bowel movements. As your body moves, so does the food in your gut. You decide whether to enjoy some high-intensity biking, a healthy jog or a laid-back walk.

Exercise also produces feelings of calm. Stress is a common cause of constipation, so relaxation can be an excellent remedy. If you live near an outdoor space, go for a hike. Physical activity helps your bowels and the fresh air helps your mind.

Make Time for Your Gut

The next time you’re having trouble with bowel movements, get up early the next day to make yourself a healthy breakfast. Enjoy some whole wheat toast with avocado, and make a smoothie with bananas and berries.

Put on some light music in the background. Take your time eating. Relax. Then, kick back and get ready for the show.

6 Reasons Why You Should Stop Drinking Lemon Water

A cool carafe of water with fresh lemon slices practically screams “summer,” doesn’t it? For years, a pitcher of lemon water was a staple at family meals — especially those that took place in the backyard! Today, lemon water is no longer on the menu. Here are six reasons why you should consider curbing your lemon water consumption.

1. It’s Terrible for Your Teeth

If you’ve ever taken a stray squirt of lemon juice to the eye in the kitchen, I don’t have to tell you that lemons are very acidic. As such, every time you down a delicious glass of lemon water, you’re bathing your teeth in enamel-eating citric acid.

Ouch.

Over time, this corrosion can cause serious damage to your smile. Enamel is your teeth’s main line of defense; you might think of it like a suit of armor. The catch? Enamel doesn’t grow back or mend itself like a bone. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good, leaving your teeth defenseless against discoloration, decay and extreme sensitivity.

2. It Can Give You a Stomachache

Many people drink lemon water simply because they enjoy the taste. Others add lemon to their water for the health benefits it may offer. Some believe that lemons aid digestion, for example, by getting things moving. Research suggests that the antioxidants present in lemons support weight loss, too.

Enter irony. Lemons and other acidic foods can also wreak havoc on the digestive system. Eating acid-filled foods may lead to nausea, vomiting or heartburn and intensify the severity of acid reflux and GERD.

3. It May Make You Have To Go More Frequently

The vitamin C in lemons is great for your immune system, but it also a diuretic. That means the more lemon water you consume, the more often you’ll need to make a pit-stop or excuse yourself from conversations.

4. It May Give You a Canker Sore

Acidic foods, including lemons, are just one of several potential causes of canker sores. While scientists aren't sure exactly what causes these tiny mouth ulcers, research suggests that in addition to acidic foods, they're likely influenced by spicy foods, stress and injury (such as from braces or dentures). Several immune system diseases, such as lupus and ulcerative colitis, can also lead to canker sores.

No matter what causes a canker sore, lemons and other acidic foods may cause it to worsen.

5. It May Give You a Migraine, Too

If you’re one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from migraines, you should ditch the lemon water ASAP. Research suggests that citrus fruits may be to blame for some migraine headaches, particularly chronic ones.

Oranges, limes and lemons all contain large amounts of tyramine, a substance found in a wide variety of foods. Studies suggest a connection between tyramine and headaches. While more research is required, some scientist believe that tyramine may throw your brain chemicals off kilter, which can trigger pain.

6. Lemon Wedges in Restaurants Are Often Disgusting

When you plop a lemon wedge into your water at a restaurant, you may be dropping a sugar packet’s worth of pathogens in there, too. Cleanliness standards vary from restaurant to restaurant, and unless you work for the health department, you have no way of knowing how those lemons were stored, cleaned, handled, dropped, rolled, used as a hockey pu — you get the picture.

Lemons should be a staple of your diet. Research suggests that they’re good for everything from your heart to your gut. They might even lower your cancer risk! They shouldn’t be in your water, though. Stick to a squeeze or two here and use lemon juice in your cooking for wellness results that are anything but sour.

This Is Why Your Bladder Is Leaking

While embarrassing, bladder leakage is a legitimate health issue that numerous people experience in their lives. Urinary incontinence is also inconvenient, which is why the condition must be expediently diagnosed and treated by a medical professional.

This common urinary problem has numerous causes, some of which involve major medical issues. There are also lots of effective treatments and management methods available and finding the right one is key to improving your quality of life. Here are a few points to consider if you experience bladder incontinence.

Types of Incontinence

Bladder leakage has many distinct forms, including:

  • Urge Incontinence - An intense, sudden urge to urinate is accompanied by an increased frequency of urination. 
  • Stress Incontinence - Pressure on the bladder when lifting heavy objects, laughing, or coughing results in accidental urination. 
  • Overflow Incontinence - An inability to completely empty the bladder when urinating leads to leaks and increased frequency.

It's possible to experience two or more types of incontinence at once. In this case, you may be diagnosed with mixed incontinence. Incontinence can also result from a functional impairment that impacts a person's physical or mental abilities.

Common Causes of Bladder Leakage

Causes vary based on the type of incontinence you're experiencing. With temporary issues, it can result from overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol. When the condition is persistent, it may occur during pregnancy or after giving birth. Aging is another common reason why people experience bladder leakage due to menopause in women and prostate inflammation in men.

There are also a few risk factors to keep in mind. Carrying extra weight can put pressure on the bladder and weaken surrounding muscles. Women also tend to experience incontinence in greater numbers than men, particularly as they grow older. Family history also plays a role, as does medical conditions like diabetes.

How to Prevent Issues

Some instances of incontinence can be prevented depending on the underlying cause. Many menopausal women experience a weakening of the pelvic muscles as they grow older, which increases their risk of leakage. Performing specific exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles can often help women exert better control over their bladder.

Lifestyle changes can also help. If leakage is triggered by certain foods or drinks, cutting these items out of your diet can help you avoid bouts of incontinence. For example, alcohol is a common trigger for incontinence, so people who experience issues should greatly limit their intake.

A healthy diet is another key factor to improving bladder control. Maintaining a reasonable weight alleviates pressure on the bladder and reduces your risk of leakage. In this case, focus your diet on wholesome and nutritious foods and cut out processed snacks. You should also develop a fitness routine that consists of at least 30 minutes of activity every day.

Treatments for Incontinence

Most people require a mixture of lifestyle changes and medical treatments to overcome bladder issues. Doctors can recommend medications to improve bladder function by affecting the muscles that control urination. Medical devices can also be used to physically block the flow of urine during physical activities and other situations.

When other treatments are unsuccessful, surgery is the next option. Surgical mesh can be used to strengthen the muscle between the bladder and urethra and is often performed in conjunction with pelvic prolapse surgery. It's also possible to implant a device that fits around the bladder neck to control the flow of urine using a valve.

No one has to live with the inconvenience and embarrassment of bladder leakage. The right combination of treatments can provide a new lease on life, especially if the condition leaves you feeling socially alienated. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you'll feel like yourself again.