What are The Home Remedies For Dandruff?
Do you often see pesky white flakes on your shirt or find your scalp itchy? Do you see your washbasin/sink filled with flocks of hair? Watch out, as these can be the signs of dandruff on your head. Irrespective of age or gender, it can be found in both men and women and is not something you should take lightly. Know about the home remedies for dandruff treatment at home. Dandruff is a common condition that can be found in the hair all year round and is the result of a dry and itchy scalp. Often caused by the overgrowth of a fungus, Malassezia, it especially becomes evident during winter as the scalp is unable to get enough moisture and becomes dry. Malassezia feeds on the sebum i.e the oily substance secreted by the glands on the scalp. And when this fungus feeds on the sebum, it breaks into fatty acid that causes irritation on the scalp. Confused about what is causing you an itchy scalp? Dandruff should not be taken lightly as it denotes a microinflammation, which might be easily overlooked as there are no readily observable symptoms. Apart from dry and itchy scalp, there are a few other causes of dandruff which are: Prolonged period of stress Parkinson’s or illness such as eczema Harsh or irregular brushing Lack of nutrients such as vitamin B12 Unadvised or irregular use of hair care products Pollution and heat You are more likely to have dandruff if your scalp feels oily or your hair looks greasy at most times. At times you may also experience intense itching even when the scalp does not feel dry. In extreme cases, it can show up severe itching and worsened flakes over time or as large areas of redness or swelling on the scalp.Many of you resort to using multiple antidandruff products to get rid of the problem temporarily, but do you know there are several effective and easy-to-implement home remedies that can help you save that money you spend on hair care products? Some effective home remedies for dandruff are: Coconut oil and lemon: Coconut oil is something that everyone’s grandmother advices. Its antifungal properties can provide a great relief from itchiness and dry scalp. Combine equal amounts of coconut oil and lemon juice and massage the mixture on your scalp. Keep it for about 10-15 minutes and rinse your hair thoroughly. This will not only help you get rid of dandruff but also boost hair growth and nourishment. Make sure to preheat the oil in winter as it tends to freeze easily in colder temperatures. Yogurt: The lactic acid in yogurt helps reduce dandruff and the protein in it strengthens your hair from its roots. It is a treasure trove of friendly bacteria and helps prevent flaking of the scalp area. Apply a layer of fresh yogurt on the scalp and hair. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water and dry. You can try adding black pepper to yogurt since that is also loaded with anti fungal properties. Neem: Using freshly grounded paste made of neem leaves for skin problems dates back to the ancestral times. Because of its antibacterial, anti fungal and antimicrobial properties, it is a simple cure for dandruff and itchiness.Alternatively, you can simply boil some fresh neem leaves, let it cool and rinse your hair with that water. Aloe Vera: A panacea for all type of skin problems, Aloe Vera alleviates flakiness and skin irritation, acts as a natural coolant and makes your scalp itch free and cool. Aloe Vera has certain anti fungal properties that helps treat recurring dandruff and cleanses dead skin for regeneration of fresh cells.Apply aloe vera gel on your scalp, leave for about half an hour and later wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): ACH works as a natural hair cleanser and unclogs pores and hair follicles. Its acidic nature helps remove dead skin cells on the scalp, prevents the growth of fungus and restores the pH balance of your scalp.Simply make a mixture using 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a cup of cold water and rinse your hair after shampooing. Let it settle for two minutes before washing it off. To get the best results, it can be used once a week. Salt: Salt can absorb excess oil on your scalp, making it itchy and irritable. Oily scalp is also the reason for pimples on the forehead and hence it is best to treat dandruff at home as quick as possible.Just add a pinch of salt to your usual shampoo and apply on your hair. Massage it gently in circular motions all over your scalp and exfoliate. Leave it for a minute or two and wash with lukewarm water. Olive oil and Vinegar: Olive oil acts as a natural conditioner for hair, and being lightweight, applying it on hair doesn’t weigh them down. Combined with acetic properties of vinegar, the mixture guards the scalp from fungal infection and at the same time improves blood circulation. Mix 1 teaspoon olive oil with 2 teaspoon of vinegar. Apply the mixture evenly on hair and massage the scalp for 5 minutes. Wash it with antidandruff shampoo and apply a conditioner for best results. Apart from these quick home remedies to treat dandruff at home, there are other certain tips that can prove beneficial in reducing flakiness and dryness of the scalp. Try to avoid eating too much sugar, fats and carbs Avoid using styling tools too often as any kind of artificial heat can cause irreparable damage and precipitate dandruff Don’t scratch your scalp often Shampoo your hair 2-3 times a week to loosen the dead skin from the scalp Brush your hair often to improve blood circulation in the scalp Following a balanced and a healthy hair care routine can help reduce dandruff to a huge extent. However if you see no relief, and the itchiness or dryness still persists, you should consult a doctor for seborrheic dermatitis, a fungal infection on your scalp.
6 things you absolutely need to get healthier than ever in 2021
While working in a full-time office role, Jitin made sure to take small bursts of movement by taking stairs, taking a stroll along the office premises after lunch, and walk to his colleagues for that short discussion. But when the work from home started, his movements started to flunk. He only recognised that it is time to get back to a healthier routine when chronic back pain and digestion problems started to impact his daily routine. If you are also one of those people who feel that 2020 badly affected their physical and mental health, take a step back and think, are you motivated enough to make 2021 the healthiest year of your life? Echoed a “Yes” from your inside? Then do read further to know how to have a healthy and happy new year in a true sense. Here are 6 things you certainly need to do to get healthier than ever in 2021: Do not forget the pandemic isn’t over yetFirst things first. If 2020 was about survival, 2021 is going to be about endurance. We have to make sure that we continue keeping all the precautions needed to save yourselves from COVID-19. Stay at least 6 feet from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Avoid crowds. Do wear masks while you are heading out for a public place. And, do not ignore COVID-19 testing if you or a loved one show symptoms of the infection. Also, wash your hands often. Redefine exercise and workoutYou certainly do not need to hit the gym for achieving your exercise goals. Just invest a little bit of time with yourself. Analyze if you really like working out indoors or outdoors. Pick up one activity you absolutely love and pair your daily dose of exercise with that. You can listen to your favorite podcast while using the treadmill at home, or you can do stretching exercises while cooking that recipe you love. Set a health goal and track it Setting goals hold relevance not only in professional life but also in personal day-to-day life. You must know what you are aiming for. This goal or health number need not always be a weight loss goal. The idea is to feel healthier and stronger inside out. It can be having a healthy hemoglobin count, achieving better blood sugar values, or getting your cholesterol levels on track. Give enough importance to your healthThe previous year has taught us about the importance of a healthy body and mind. Let’s embrace this learning and carry it forward this year too. Ensure to take loads of immunity-boosting foods, avoid eating junk food items, do not ignore any of the symptoms that might be causing unknown harm to your body, and very important, check with your doctor and know about how frequently you should take a complete body health test. Do not be one of those who only take a health test when something is wrong. Take control and look for health test packages that are curated to suit your age requirements in advance. Amid the fast-paced life and sedentary routine, it has become quite common to fall prey to lifestyle-related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol levels. Regularly seeing your doctor and getting health tests done can help detect potential health issues before they become chronic conditions and allow you take right steps well within time. You can get the right treatment quickly and avoid any complications. Prepare to fail. It is part of succeedingYour mental health needs attention too. Do not punish yourself if you missed sticking to a new routine- whether it's eating less sugar or learning something new at the job. Mental health experts say the key is to accept failure as a part of the process. Acknowledge the fact that at some point you might mess up, things might not fall in the right place. Just keep patience, get back to taking steps toward your goal, and don't beat yourself up. Get enough sleepAdults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. For a healthier sleep, be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends. What happens when you don’t get enough sleep? Sleep not only affects your productivity and emotional balance but your brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, metabolism and weight also. No other activity imparts so many benefits with so little effort! Make sure to keep your cellphones aside at least 1 hour before you hit the bed. The blue light from screens interferes with quality sleep and disrupts your sleep schedule. The final messageNo doubt 2020 had been tough for many of us, but not giving up to the hardship is what we humans are known for! Let us convert the negative experiences into positive light, and welcome 2021 with an energized spirit, where we all and our loved ones enjoy good health- both physical and mental. Wish you a very happy and happy new year 2021! May you be the healthiest version of yourself, this year.
Here is what good and bad cholesterol actually mean
Have come across the term “high cholesterol” in several health-related discussions and could never decode what it exactly is? Here we explain what is cholesterol, the difference between good and bad cholesterol, and the basics of cholesterol tests. What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. Every organ in your body including the brain, skin, and other organs needs cholesterol to do their jobs. However, you need a little and not a lot of it!. In the body, cholesterol is produced from your liver. Apart from this naturally synthesized cholesterol, you also can get it from the foods you eat. Meat, fish, eggs, butter, cheese, and milk all have cholesterol in them. Fruits and green vegetables do not have any cholesterol. Too much of anything can be detrimental. Similarly, eating too much fat and cholesterol can impact your body and health negatively. What are the types of cholesterol? Cholesterol in your blood needs to travel through the body, but it can’t do this on its own. So, it combines with proteins to travel through the bloodstream. This cholesterol and protein that travel together are called lipoproteins. Chiefly, there are two types of cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or bad cholesterol: Carries cholesterol from the liver into the blood, where it can stick to the blood vessels. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or good cholesterol: Carries the cholesterol in the blood back to the liver, where it is broken down. Find it difficult to remember which one is good and what is bad? Here's a hack: the HDL is the good cholesterol, so remember it as "healthy" cholesterol — "H" for healthy. The other one is bad cholesterol. What happens if you have too much bad cholesterol? If your body has too much LDL (bad) cholesterol, this can stick and build upon the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called “plaque.” As this plaque continues to thicken over time, the inside lumen of the blood vessels get narrowed. These narrower blood vessels pose an obstruction to the blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. And, when blood flow to the heart is obstructed, it can cause chest pain or even a heart attack. So, bad cholesterol and heart disease are directly related. Your body naturally produces all the (bad) cholesterol it needs. However, an unhealthy lifestyle can make your body produce more LDL cholesterol than it needs and causes LDL cholesterol levels to rise in the blood: Factors that lead to an increase in bad cholesterol levels include: Eating unhealthy Sedentary lifestyle Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke Being overweight or obese When people say high cholesterol, they usually mean high levels of bad cholesterol and/or low levels of good cholesterol. Heredity can play a role too You may inherit genes from the family members such as your mother, father, or even grandparents that cause you to have too much cholesterol. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). FH is dangerous because it can lead a person to develop premature atherosclerotic heart disease. How to know if you have high cholesterol? A complete cholesterol test — also called a lipid panel or lipid profile — is a simple blood test that can measure the amount of cholesterol (and triglycerides) in your blood. This is an important tool for identifying people at significant risk of developing heart disease, especially coronary artery disease. This test can help determine your risk of the buildup of plaques in your arteries that can cause narrowed or blocked arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis. Who should get a cholesterol test? You might be at the risk of having high cholesterol levels and need to take a cholesterol test if you: Have a family history of high cholesterol or heart attacks Are overweight Have an inactive lifestyle Eat an unhealthy diet Indulge in cigarette smoking Are a man older than 45 or a woman older than 55 Have diabetes As per the clinical guidelines, people with a history of strokes or heart attacks need regular cholesterol testing to track the effectiveness of their medicines When to get tested? If you are an adult having no risk factors for heart disease, take it as a regular health checkup once every four to six years; children, teens, and young adults should be tested once between the ages of 9 and 11 and then again between the ages of 17 and 21. When risk factors for heart disease are present, when prior results showed high-risk levels, and/or when undergoing any type of treatment for high cholesterol levels, testing should be done more frequently and at regular intervals of time. If you are an adult at average risk of developing coronary artery disease, you should have your cholesterol checked every five years, beginning at age 18. How to prevent high cholesterol levels? Making lifestyle changes is the first and foremost step to lower your cholesterol level and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Make exercise an essential part of your daily routine. Avoid processed and deep-fried food items. If you think you might have high cholesterol, get tested, and consult your doctor to seek treatment on time. Making even modest changes now can help you to prevent high cholesterol levels that can save you from significant medical issues later such as heart attack and stroke.
Thyroid Blood Tests: Types, Symptoms and Interpreting Test Results
Your body has several glands to perform various body functions. The thyroid is a small gland located at the front of the neck, right at the spot where a bow tie would rest. It makes two types of thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). It helps your body maintain its metabolic rate, and do numerous other things, including getting energy from food, growing, and going through sexual development. Thyroid Tests The thyroid blood tests (also called thyroid panel) are simple lab tests that check if your thyroid is functioning right or not. In people who have already been diagnosed with thyroid problems, the tests are used to monitor and guide treatment. Types of Thyroid Blood Tests T4 Test: This test measures the levels of the hormone T4 (thyroxine) in your blood. It might be done in one or both of the following ways: Total T4, which measures the total amount of thyroxine in the blood. This includes the amount of T4 attached to blood proteins, which help the hormone move through the bloodstream; and free T4, which measures only the amount of free thyroxine that is not attached to blood proteins. T3 test: This test measures the level of another major thyroid hormone. It again can be of two types: T3 totaI and free T3. TSH Test: A thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is the most significant tool, in a way, to tell how well the thyroid is working. If you have any problem related to the thyroid gland and it prevents the gland from making enough thyroid hormone, another gland, called the pituitary gland, releases more TSH into the blood. If the thyroid is making too much thyroid hormone, the pituitary releases less TSH, which means less TSH levels in the blood. Thyroid antibodies test: There is one thyroid condition, called Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune condition. This means the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid gland. A test that checks for high levels of antibodies helps detect this condition. Antibodies are a sign of the immune system going awry and attacking the thyroid gland. Generally, two types of thyroid antibodies are measured: thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO). Symptoms and Diagnosis A high TSH level most often means you have low thyroid hormone levels in the blood (condition is called hypothyroidism), or an underactive thyroid. This implies that your thyroid isn’t making enough hormones. As a result of which the pituitary gland has to make and release extra TSH into your blood to stimulate the thyroid gland. A low TSH level usually means you have high thyroid hormone levels in the blood (condition is called hyperthyroidism), or an overactive thyroid. This implies that your thyroid gland is making excess hormones, and that is why the pituitary gland has reduced or stopped making and releasing TSH into your blood. A high T4 level may mean you have hyperthyroidism. A low level of T4 may mean you have hypothyroidism. If the TSH levels are elevated, T4 levels are normal to low, and T3 levels are normal, it might indicate early hypothyroidism. In some cases, high or low T4 levels may not mean you have thyroid problems since the levels might be affected due to factors such as pregnancy, certain medicines (oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, etc), severe illness, and other health problems. Basically, these conditions and medicines alter the number of proteins in your blood that “bind,” or attach, to T4.Please note that your doctor is the best guide to interpret your thyroid test results and suggest the diagnosis. HypothyroidismIf your thyroid is underactive, it makes too little thyroid hormone, which leads to hypothyroidism. Your body’s metabolic rate goes down and it uses up energy more slowly. Symptoms include tiredness, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin, infrequent menses or absent periods in women, and slow height growth in children. HyperthyroidismIf your thyroid is overactive, it releases too much thyroid hormone, which leads to hyperthyroidism. Your body’s basal metabolic rate goes up and it uses up energy more quickly than it should. Symptoms include sweating, trembling, weight loss, diarrhea, irregular menses or (increased bleeding which might also occur) in women, and fast heartbeat. Why You May Need a Thyroid Test? It is not uncommon to have hypothyroidism and still being unaware of the condition. It might take some time for symptoms to be noticeable. Regular thyroid screening helps get diagnosed on time and seek early treatment. It is more important to get tested if thyroid conditions run in your family. The more family members that have thyroid disease, the higher the chances the person will experience a thyroid disease.Moreover, women of all ages are more likely than men to have low thyroid hormone levels. If you're 60 or older, it's a good idea to check with your doctor to see whether your medical history suggests you might benefit from getting testing for thyroid levels. What You Can Do If you seem to have any of the symptoms of low or high thyroid levels, talk to your doctor and get tested as advised. Do not ignore any health symptoms. Getting the right treatment can help you get complete control of your thyroid-related symptoms.