Canker Sores: Causes, Symptoms and Home Treatment

If you notice small, shallow lesions or ulcers with a yellow or white center and a red border, in your mouth, you probably have what is known as canker sores.

Canker sores, as described above, are small, shallow lesions that often occur on the soft tissue inside of your mouth like under your tongue, inside your cheeks or lips and the base of your gums.

While canker sores are most commonly benign, they can be extremely painful. These sores can make eating, drinking and sometimes even swallowing a nightmare.

If you have a canker sore, you’ll experience one or all of the below symptoms:

  • Burning or tingling sensation in your mouth before the ulcer appears
  • Painful red area on the soft tissues of your mouth
  • Sores that are round with yellow or white center

Severe canker attacks include:

  • Fever
  • Sluggishness
  • Swollen lymph nodes

The exact cause of canker sores is not known; however, there are certain factors that are believed to be the cause of these sores.

Factors like stress or tissue injury, ingestion of certain kinds of food like citrus fruits, weak immune system, vitamin deficiencies and even dental fittings such as braces are all thought to be the reason why canker sores occur.

Canker sores go away on their own after 1 – 2 weeks. They usually do not require any treatment and there isn’t a dedicated treatment available for it either.

But even if they do go away on their own, it doesn’t hurt to speed up the process. While there are no medicines available for that, there are a bunch of natural remedies you can use to get rid of canker sores fast.

These remedies will not only speed up the process of treating canker sores, they will also help you combat the pain that these sores bring with them.

  1. Milk of Magnesia

Milk of magnesia is a suspension of magnesium hydroxide and is an antacid. This means that it is able to counteract any acidic effect.

Use milk of magnesia to rinse your mouth by taking a small sip of the solution every morning. You can also dab it on the sores using a cotton swab, 3 – 4 times a day.

Due to its antacid properties, milk of magnesia is able to neutralize the acids in your mouth which makes your sores sting. Continue reading “Canker Sores: Causes, Symptoms and Home Treatment”

How To Improve Your Health

With today’s rushed and busy lifestyle, you often forget to devote enough time to things that are important. You are always rushing from one place to another, always checking your phone for something new – and in the process, neglecting things that matter.

One most commonly neglected aspect of your life is your health. A sound mind and body are the basis of your entire functioning but somehow, one of the most important things in life is what you most commonly ignore.

Oh yes, there are all the excuses in the world. It’s too late now, you are too old, too busy, you don’t have access to facilities, it’s too much work etc. And for some part, you might have genuine reason.

See, all those health books and experts have probably led you to believe that taking care of your body and being healthy is an arduous task that involves spending hours at the gym and eating only boiled vegetables. But that is not true.

You can opt for a healthier lifestyle by just making small changes in your daily routine. You don’t have to go full on vegan; you can still eat your meat. The process of being healthy is not something that will turn your lifestyle upside down; it is small changes that can make a significant difference in your life.

How to do that? Well, read on to find out.

  1. Be Active and Exercise

A lot of your problems can be solved if you just get up and exercise. You have probably heard this a million times but that’s only because it’s true.

Exercise improves your physical health by making the body more active and flexible. It improves blood circulation, reduces risk of heart diseases and ensures you have a better life in your old age.

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym. Start with a 30 minute brisk walk or jogging thrice a week. Eventually, increase it to 5 days a week. That’s all the time you have to devote – 30 minutes for 5 days a week.

  1. Take Time to Meditate

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t just mean a physically fit body; it also means a sound mind. Your everyday lifestyle means your brain is constantly working.

This constant buzzing of your brain makes you inefficient – both physically and mentally. You need to spend some time in silence and meditate.

Meditation helps calm down your mind from the over worked state throughout the day. It enables you to think clearly and help manage your emotions such as anger or sadness.

Take 15 minutes from your daily routine and spend it in silence without any distractions or noise. Do it every day. You can eventually increase the time to 25 – 30 minutes if you want.

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleeping allows your mind to recalibrate and make space for new things that you will learn the following day. It also enables your body to rest completely and get rid of any fatigue or tiredness of the previous day.

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your mental and physical well being. It improves brain functions, enhances learning power, repairs blood vessels and helps boost the immune system.

On an average, you should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Teenagers and highly active adults should get 10 hours of sleep. It is also a good idea to catch a half an hour siesta in the afternoon that provides you with a jolt of energy.

  1. Limit your Intake of Alcohol

When it comes to alcohol, moderation is the key. Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts can be beneficial for your heart, although not completely risk free.

Drinking large quantities of alcohol can harm the liver and cause liver related problems like cancer or cirrhosis.

But you don’t have to cut out alcohol completely. In fact, a glass of wine with dinner is actually touted to be good for your health.

World Cancer Research Fund advises 2 units a day for men and 1 unit a day for women. This is because women are more prone to liver disease than men. Continue reading “How To Improve Your Health”

Important Global Health Facts You Need to Know

Global health is the health of the populations of the world. The term global health can be defined as ‘the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide.’

Basically, it means improving the health of the people all over the world. Global health issues include those that transcend borders and are likely to affect political and economical situations globally.

The impact of global health has risen due to globalization which led to increased dependence of countries on each other. There is also greater movement of people across the world with people emigrating and immigrating to different countries.

The increased dependence of countries on each other and large scale cross border movement of human capital means that health issues are no longer country specific; they have become a global issue.

For example, outbreak of Ebola in Africa didn’t confine the virus there; it spread to different parts of the world. Which is why, tackling infectious diseases becomes a global problem to be solved.

There is also the aim of improving lives of people across the world. Global health policies devised by World Health Organization and other philanthropic groups such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focus on reducing disparity among income groups in access to healthcare, combating child and maternal mortality rates, increasing accessibility to clean water, developing low cost vaccines etc.

Here are some important global health facts you need to know to understand the current global health scenario:

  1. Infectious diseases are still a looming concern

While the overall rate of deaths from infectious diseases like malaria or tuberculosis has decreased when compared to figures in 2000, the number of deaths from infectious diseases is still high.

In 2015 there were an estimated 212 million malaria cases alone, although this is decrease of 40% when compared to 2000. Tuberculosis still remains a major health problem despite being a curable disease. There were about 10.4 million new TB cases in 2015.

The healthcare situation is getting better but it still varies widely depending on the country. While the European region has improved statistics, the African region is still accounted for 92% of malaria related deaths whereas TB fatality rate was at 20%.

  1. Maternal mortality rate is high in developing countries

Maternal mortality rate refers to the annual number of female deaths per 100,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management.

Around the world, about 830 women died everyday in 2015, due to complications during pregnancy or child birth. The global maternal mortality rate was 215 per 100,100 live births.

This is a high number when considering the facts that most of these are avoidable deaths if pregnant women have access to regular and better healthcare. Just the presence of a qualified mid-wife, doctor or nurse could significantly lower the deaths during childbirth.

In 2016, millions of births around the globe were not assisted by a trained medical professional or mid-wife. Apart from that, there is lack of hygiene, advanced medical technologies, prevalence dangerous superstitions – all of which put a woman’s as well as her child’s life at risk.

  1. Under nutrition is still a problem among children

Lack of proper nutrition is still causing 1/3rd of all deaths in children below 5 years of age. While the overall percentage of death rate caused by under nutrition has declined to 18%, in some regions, it has increased.

One of the causes of increase in malnutrition is the high cost of food prices. Climate change is also interfering with food production with untimely rains or severe long droughts. This has also led to farmers not being able to earn enough.

So rising food prices due to lower food production and falling incomes have led to a surge in children dying as they don’t have access to quality food that could provide them with necessary nutrients.

  1. Spread of HIV has fallen

There has been a decrease in the spread of HIV thanks to increased awareness about the disease, how it spreads and how to protect against it.

Human Immunodeficiency virus or HIV spreads primarily through unprotected sex although it can also spread through infected needles, blood transfusion and from mother to child during pregnancy.

The number of people reported with HIV in 2013 was 2.1 million, which was lower compared to 3.4 million people in 2001.

  1. Access to safe drinking water has increased

The percentage of people having access to improved and safe drinking water increased from 77% to 87%. Access to clean drinking water could prevent nearly 10% of all global diseases and 6.3% of all deaths.

The target set by WHO for increasing access to safe drinking water was met in 2010; however, the African region was unable to meet its goal Another region falling short of the target was Eastern Mediterranean region.

90% of the people getting access to clean water were urban households belonging to lower middle and middle class. Rural and lower income groups still face disparity in getting access to drinking water. Continue reading “Important Global Health Facts You Need to Know”