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Let’s Talk About Farts

Everyone farts, even the rich and famous, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t discuss it in terms of its significance in showing—err, making noises—about our health.

The Role of Gut Microbes

While farting in public seems more horrifying to you than, say, sneezing, it’s just one of the ways your body tells you that the good microbes in your gut are happy. According to research, these microbes that produce gas also have a role in boosting the immune system by protecting the lining in your intestine and your body from infections.

18 Farts a Day

Most doctors agree that a healthy person should have at least eighteen flatulence daily, but an average of fourteen is okay, too. The human body cannot naturally digest fiber, that is why the microbes are responsible in breaking them down, but the process produces gas as a result. Keeping the good bacteria healthy means that your gut is an ideal habitat for diverse microbes with several different health benefits.

What Makes Up a Fart

The gas that gets trapped in your body is mostly nitrogen, while your fart is made up mostly of carbon dioxide, methane, oxygen or hydrogen, but these are odorless gases. So, where does the smell come from? Occasionally, your fart includes some traces of sulfur from some of the vegetables you eat. Fear not, because sulfur compounds (such as, methanethiol, hydrogen sulphide, and dimethyl sulfide) are harmless.

Too Much Fart

However, there are days when you seem to pass wind more than usual. Is that normal, too? According to doctors, there are several causes of gassiness, such as; high-altitude locations and flights; eating vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains; swallowing too much air; food sensitivity; nutrient absorption problems; and celiac diseases and irritable bowel syndrome. The first three items should not cause any alarm, but the last three will need immediate medical attention and diet changes.

Good and Bad Smell

Majority of the farts we produce are odorless, but some are slightly embarrassing, although not a cause for alarm. If it smells like rotten eggs, then it’s okay. However, if your fart smells unusually stinky, it could be a sign that your gut cannot break down some of your food or you have an intolerance. This is also usually accompanied by other symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pains. Visit your doctor in Singapore to determine the cause.

Silent and Loud Farts

Is a silent fart healthier than loud, trumpet-like sounding farts? There really is no difference in the content of both, but the sound that it makes has something to do with the position of your sphincter. Both are harmless, but the latter could cause embarrassment. Holding it in will also not cause any health problem, but you could experience bloating and slight pain if you try to keep it in.

Dangers of Being Overweight

The difference between overweight and obese is the range of the body weight to height ratio or body mass index (BMI). Both categories are considered above the recommended healthy average weight of a person and are at risk of various diseases. However, an overweight individual weighs less than an obese; a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is overweight, while a BMI of 30 and above is obese.

You’re at Risk of Several Health Problems

An overweight is at risk of contracting different diseases, because your body is working harder than usual to keep all your organs functioning properly. While the impact isn’t felt immediately, you will notice some changes in your appearance (waist size) and physical capabilities (fatigue and mood changes). When you are overweight you are at risk of the following health problems: type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, sleep problems, osteoarthritis, kidney and fatty liver disease, cancer, and fertility and pregnancy problems. However, this is only a list of the most common diseases, but you’re also going to be exposed to a host of other health problems.

How You Gained Excess Weight

Some doctors agree that genetic factors play a role in an individual’s fitness level, but most cases of excessive weight are caused by unhealthy lifestyle. Specifically, you can become overweight through eating larger servings of meals, excess consumption of food that are high in energy, and not being able to burn off that excess energy from food because of a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, the number of individuals who are either overweight or obese are increasing even in Singapore.

How Obesity is Measured

There are some tests that can be performed besides measuring your BMI to get a good idea of how much weight you need to lose. Among these are hydrostatic body fat test, bioelectrical impedance, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, height and weight charts, and the use of calipers to measure body fat.

What Metabolic Syndrome Means

Some individuals also have a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of different issues that are the result of abdominal obesity. To diagnose an individual, he/she must have at least three of the following symptoms: high triglycerides (150 mg/dL and higher); big waist (more than 40 in men and more than 35 inches in women); high blood pressure (130/85 mm Hg and higher); low HDL level (less than 50 mg/dL in women and 40 mg/dL in men); and high blood glucose levels (100 mg/dL and higher).

More Weight Equals Shorter Lifespan

According to research, more people are now prone to having excess weight because it’s easier to perform different tasks nowadays, therefore, fewer choices in the activities that will burn excess energy stored in the body. Because of this, an overweight individual becomes more susceptible to a host of diseases that can be fatal especially at ages between 50 to 71. The only way to address these problems is to formulate a weight loss program that is appropriate for your condition and age.

5 simple oral hygiene tips

People want whiter teeth but it isn’t always a good indication of oral health. Your mouth isn’t just composed of teeth, so there’s a lot more to consider to keep it healthy. Besides, healthy teeth has nothing to do with color. A sentiment experts don’t tire to emphasize.

So here’s a few tips to keep your oral hygiene in check:

1. Clean your mouth properly
Toothbrushes are our oral health’s bestfriends. They are the go-to cleaning tool and is a basic for anyone regardless of culture. But the catch is, your teeth aren’t the only ones needing good brushing. Along with your teeth, your gums, tongue and roof of the mouth need a good brushing from all the food particles lodging on them. Brush along these surfaces in a 45-degree angle to ensure good cleaning. Don’t attack your mouth with your toothbrush either; good brushing has nothing to do with force. Don’t try to bleed your mouth clean, as this only damages it. Twice a day brushing is good for your oral health.

2. Floss regularly
As regular and proper brushing keeps surfaces of your teeth clean, the spaces in between them sometimes get neglected. This is where floss conveniently comes in. They target those areas brushes can’t reach. Once a day flossing could do wonders to prevent cavity build up.

3. Refrain from sodas, alcohol and tobacco
Tobacco makes your gums unhealthy and it shows with its darker tinge. So stay well away from those and not only is your mouth happy, but your lungs as well. Sodas and alcohol don’t sit well with your oral health either. Even though phosphorous is somehow beneficial for your teeth, too much of anything is bad. Both sodas and alcohol contain too high levels of this substance, and may cause tooth decay and gum disease. If you must drink them, do it with a straw to lessen its contact with your teeth.

4. Stick to the good-for-the-teeth diet
If you aren’t aware yet, nuts, cheese, vegetables, fruits (such as apples) and chicken are good for the teeth. If you don’t have allergies for either of those, taking in a generous amount in your diet might do good for your teeth.

5. Regular check up
Even if you follow all the preceding tips religiously to the dot, nothing beats a regular check up with your dentist. Experts know what to look out for depending on your condition so keeping a regular check up with them could do you loads of good and will save you from a lot of pain in the future. They can detect problems way before you even feel them so make sure you have a trusted dentist to do the monitoring for you.

Is Motion Sickness an Illness?

Motion sickness is characterized by the feeling of dizziness, nausea, sweating, headache and sometimes even vomiting, pale skin, fatigue and an increase in saliva production. It’s a common condition that affects a lot of people especially when they travel or when they are on amusement park rides.

Common Causes of Motion Sickness
Motion sickness happens when the movement you see is different from the movement that you sense in your ears and eyes. This means that the signals that your brain receives from your eyes, skin pressure receptors, joint and muscle sensory receptors, and inner ears (the labyrinth) are not in sync. If your eyes see differently than your body feels, or vice versa, you will get the feeling of motion sickness. The inner ear senses the gravity, motion and acceleration, the deeper tissues of the body are the proprioceptors, while your eyes get the signal through the vision. In order not to feel sick, all four sources of the signals must be in coordination.

Motion sickness might also be affected by the levels of the neurotransmitters in the brain such as the norepinephrine, histamine, and acetylcholine. These neurotransmitters are substances that assist in the transmission of the signals in the nervous system.

You may have heard of the name sea sickness or mal de mer that refers to people getting sick from the repeated motion of the boat caused by the swell of water. Sea sickness is a form of motion sickness and is similar to the sick feeling you get when you’re on a roller coaster, elevator, plane or car.

Prevention and Treatment of Motion Sickness
Motion sickness isn’t fatal, but the affected person should watch out for dehydration caused by excessive vomiting. When motion sickness progressively worsens or happens more frequently, you will need to book an appointment with your doctor to check if you have problems in the inner ear or nervous system.

If you have car sickness, make sure that you check the proper ventilation and seating area in the vehicle, because poor ventilation and sitting in areas where you cannot see outside the window can trigger motion sickness. Make sure to observe the following as well so you don’t experience motion sickness: do not read while you’re traveling, do not smoke, avoid big meals before traveling, keep your eyes fixed on the horizon and rest your head properly, and avoid dairy products and salty food before traveling.

The following medications will also help alleviate the symptoms:
1. Meclizine. This should be taken an hour before travel, but it’s not suitable for children younger than 12 years.
2. Scopolamine. The most prescribed medication for motion sickness and can last for a maximum of three days.
3. Cyclizine. This should be taken 30 minutes before travel, but it’s not suitable for children younger than 6 years.
4. Promethazine. This should be taken 2 hours before travel so the effects can last for up to 8 hours.
5. Dimenhydrinate. This is taken every 4 to 8 hours depending on your travel time.

4 Morning Rituals for a Kickass Start

What is the very first thing you do the moment you open your eyes in the morning? I’m guessing it’s your phone. In a matter of seconds, you probably check your inbox, Facebook and everything else in the virtual world don’t you?

Most people do this and before they even move to pull out of bed, they feel stressed out already. Why is that? The number of questions (especially work-related), emails, comments and calendar meetings flood into the mind all at once. But the first 5-10 minutes after waking up is crucial to the mood and tone of one’s day for it sets the vibe. What if those first few minutes were spent differently?

Here are suggested ways how to jumpstart a day like a boss:

Wake up to a vision board
Literally, a vision board is where you post images or words that reflect what you want to be or have in life. What’s special about this is it gives you a visual representation of what a “better life” looks like for you. Hang one beside or at the foot of your bed to make it the first thing you see in the morning so you wake up with intention. Be inspired by the goals and things you are grateful for each day. Kristen of kristensjourney.org shares her real-life experience of having a vision board when she was in search of a perfect apartment: “I was able to manifest the perfect sofa and several other items of furniture for my apartment. When I say, “perfect,” I mean I knew EXACTLY the style, color, price range, etc., and that is just what I got!”

Make that affirmation and intent clear to your inner self each and every day.

Prepare your clothes ahead of time
One of the things that can ruin a day’s start is when you consume so much time in figuring out what clothes to wear for the day or finding that particular shirt in the cluttered closet. To avoid this mood destroyer, plan your attire the night before (accessories included) and all other things you need before you hop in the shower.

If possible, plan out and prepare your outfit for the entire week to minimize your things to do each night.

Take a dose of reinforcement
If you have extra time, while taking your cup of coffee, listen to audios of your favorite artist or comedian, or read self-help book portions like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins (sold usually on opentrolley.com.sg), to give yourself the chance to get motivational support and a good laugh in the morning. It feels great to be reminded of why we should push further and go on each passing day with a smile in our faces.

Get in the “Ready” mode
When you are getting yourself prepared (putting makeup on, getting dressed, preparing things to bring etc.), set your high energy by powering up songs that you love hearing or videos that give inspirational quotes—you don’t need to finish the entire course, just enough to get you rocking that day.

“Your only job in this world is to love yourself; everything else works after that.” -Affirmations of Louise Hay.
So the next time you catch yourself fishing for your phone, allow yourself for a moment to enjoy self-time and self-love.

Sleeping Positions That Cause Wrinkles and What to Do About It

We have been told of the obvious factors about how we can get wrinkles such as frowning, sun exposure, unhealthy lifestyle and the list goes on. When it comes to beauty, it is no secret that getting the right amount of sleep can do the trick, but what if the “very act” of sleeping may cause wrinkles when the sleeping position is not right? This may come as a surprise but bad sleeping forms might be leading someone to age overnight.

Generally, wrinkles happen when there is loss of collagen but putting in repeated pressure on collagen can lead to its breakdown, eventually resulting to noticeable lines. In the same respect, facial fault lines are caused by continuous folding of the skin in the same place and the way someone sleeps (not the main culprit) can contribute to that, creating so called “sleep lines.” According to a NY Dermatologist, Dr. Jaliman, you can get them by crunching your face against a pillow.

Experts say that other wrinkle-causing sleeping positions are lying on your side, curling up and sleeping face down—which means that fluid accumulate in that area resulting to puffy eyes. Most importantly, waking up from these creates noticeable sleep marks and lines on the face, which are actually a sneak peek of sleep lines forming. Considering the amount of time someone spends in sleeping than that of frowning, chronic sleeping positions could be more of an aging factor.

Good thing, not all sleeping forms are bad for one’s baby face. There are ways that can prevent wrinkles while on a beauty sleep:

Be a Back Sleeper
Unwanted facial pressure brought about by sleeping on your side or face smashed against the pillow can be minimized by sleeping on your back. This way, sleep wrinkles are avoided as there is no facial contact with pillow. Position should be comfortable in a way that there is body alignment, according to senior physiotherapist Ngo Xueting from Tan Tock Seng Hospital, “This is when the right and left sides of the body mirror each other and the spine maintains its subtle S-curve”

Sleeping on your back can also prevent break-out causing germs that are stuck on the pillow and helps fluid to move properly. As involuntary movement during sleep is possible, this can easily be adapted through practice.

Try a Different Pillowcase
If trying out a new sleeping position is difficult to master, consider using a wrinkle-free pillowcase. This means you use a different pillow texture which is satin or silk. According to Dr. Jaliman, these type of pillowcases allow the skin to slide on the pillow. In short, there is minimal facial pressure against the pillow and it will not crunch compared to a cotton one.

Apply Anti-Aging Night Cream
What better way to prevent wrinkles than using products that directly help you delay them? Anti-aging night creams with Hyaluronic acid properties that promote firmness of the skin is a must-try. The greasy and glowing part is absolutely something you can get away with during the night.

Hydrate Yourself
As aging is unstoppable, it is more critical to drink lots of water to manage a well-hydrated skin. As recommended by experts, drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day. This is also a good way to flush out toxins from your body and keep a moisturized skin.