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What Are the Causes of Brain Fog?

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If you notice that your memory isn’t as sharp as before, or that you find it hard to focus on your tasks, those might be signs of brain fog. To put it simply, brain fog occurs when you already have difficulty thinking clearly every day. The thing is, there can be many causes of brain fog. Here are some of them.

1. Lack of sleep

It’s already common for many working Singaporeans to not have enough sleep. Though you can say you’re used to it, there will come a time when you’ll definitely experience brain fog because of lack of sleep. Sleep gives our brain some much-needed time to rest. It also helps the cells and muscles tissues all around our body to recover. Sleep is a natural need for humans, so don’t take it for granted.

2. Too much stress

It’s already obvious that too much stress affects us negatively. That’s why it’s one of the main causes of brain fog. The thing about stress is that it slowly builds up and affects our mental health, and sometimes we don’t even notice. When we experience stress too often, our thoughts will be all messed up and we’ll have difficulty getting ideas. That means our creativity and productivity will be affected.  

3. Having an unhealthy diet

Eating too much unhealthy food and not drinking enough water can also be causes of brain fog. Usually, when we talk about healthy food, we think about it in the physical aspect. For example, it’s to help you lose or maintain weight. But eating healthy actually has a greater impact on our minds. So, try to avoid food with too much sugar, junk food, processed food, and the like.

4. Spikes in hormones

Hormonal fluctuations can be caused by many things and one of the most common is stress. Hormonal changes can affect our mood and our brain overall, this is why too much stress can be very detrimental. Another cause of hormonal changes that’s not exactly bad is pregnancy. To put it simply, pregnancy can change a lot of things in the woman’s body. If you notice, some mothers have difficulty remembering things sometimes. This may be a small sign of brain fog caused by the hormonal changes.

5. Certain medications

There are prescription medications that actually have side effects. Surely, your doctors will tell you about these though. Some pain relief drugs and hypertension medications, for example, can affect the brain in a certain way. Although it’s nothing big to worry about, it can cause brain fog in the long-term. As long as your doctor says it’s fine, then don’t worry too much about it.

Too Much to Eat: How to Treat a Full Tummy and Feel Better

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Oh dear, we usually find ourselves in situations where we’ve eaten more than we could possibly chew. The food was just that good we couldn’t help but eat a fortune. What do we do now? Although full and happy, we need to move around. What if we still had things to do after our meal?

This might call for you to digest your food as fast as you can. Do you know that you can actually make your body metabolize faster? Don’t expect to instantly get rid of the food coma, though, just try to get out of it as fast as you can. Here are a few tips for you to get out of the food coma as fast as possible:

1.  Stand straight

Standing up straight allows your digestive system to be right where it has to be and therefore helping out with the digestion process. You’ll need to stand with your back straight and allow your stomach to do the work. Don’t slouch at all. Slouching could really delay the digestion process and that could be disastrous for you if you’re deep into the food coma.

2.  Walk around a little

Walking around a little helps your body digest faster by pushing your body from a very relaxed state into a more active state. Don’t push your body too much as your stomach might hurt. Just give yourself the right kind of push to walk around, heating up your body a little bit, and digesting along the way. No matter how much you feel like sitting down, don’t do it. Walk around a little more.

3.  Drink tea

Ah yes, the medicine for food coma. Tea might be the best way to speed up your digestion process and get you out of a food coma because tea deals with the problem internally. The somewhat hot temperature of tea helps break down solid food still stuck inside your stomach and basically clears the way for a smoother digestion process.

4.  Stretch

Slowly but surely, stretch with all your might. Be careful not to stretch too far too soon as that might shock your body and might even give you stomach cramps. The main reason why stretching is helpful is that it helps normalize blood circulation within the body which in turn helps your digestive system work just right despite being on a food coma.

Although over eating or eating way too much than what we can take is never good for us, we can’t help it sometimes. The food is just too good. Despite that, we should learn to control our appetite as neither starving nor over eating is good for us. Eat what you need and try not to be excessive.

Tips for Busy People: How to Change Your Body Clock

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Let’s all admit: it’s hard to adjust our body clocks. As much as we’d love to get enough sleep every night, we’d also love to do other things as well. Sometimes we get too fond of this habit that we end up sleeping way past our bedtime and it greatly affects our productivity the next day.

Not only does this result to lack of energy, it also results to lack of focus. We can go on and on about the effects of the lack of sleep towards our body but let’s go straight ahead and talk about adjusting our body clock.

Let’s start from the top, what is a body clock? It’s a preferred schedule your body is most likely to fall asleep. But let’s simplify this even more. We said schedule. What is a schedule made of? A schedule is made up of constant habits. Your habits make up your schedule. Really easy right? Now that we’ve talked about what makes up your body clock, let’s talk more about how to adjust it.

Now here’s one thing about habits, it takes about 21 days to correct a habit or to develop a new one. What does this mean? Well, this means that to break down your body clock, you’d need 21 days. You’ll need 21 days for you to be able to create a new habit. Exactly 21 days? Well, not exactly, you’ll have to get it right first.

It might take some time to adjust into your ideal body clock but once you’ve got it down, it’ll only take 21 days for you to get it right. Consistency is the key to success. It always is. But then again, there are times when we are most definitely inconsistent.

Well, we just have to cope up with our flaws and don’t get discouraged. You might find it hard at first, but once you get it down, there’s no stopping you. In fact, when you get your ideal body clock, it would be hard to deviate from your body clock. Even if you would want to stay away, your body would automatically tell you to rest. It’s okay to struggle but don’t let yourself struggle for too long. Allow yourself to be able to achieve the body clock you need to get the rest you deserve. We can’t all be superhuman. We need rest. Our lives are always a battle, there’s always something to conquer everyday but the first thing you need to conquer is getting enough sleep.

How to Lose Weight if You’re a Diabetic

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Although not all diabetics are overweight, majority of the cases are caused by poor eating habits that led to weight gain. If that is the case, then your doctor will recommend that you lose weight so that it will be easier to treat the symptoms and to avoid the complications of the disease.

Here are the things to keep in mind when losing weight as a diabetic.

Consult Your Dietitian
While there are hundreds of diet fads designed to make people lose weight fast, remember that these are not for everyone. Some diets restrict people in eating only a few certain types of food, and that is not necessarily a good thing for you. Therefore, you should consult your doctor or your dietitian about your plans to lose weight, so that they can come up with the right diet plan for you. A diet for a diabetic will usually consist of the following: beans, nuts, poultry, eggs, oily fish, berries, sweet potatoes, non-starchy vegetables, nonfat milk and yogurt or low-fat milk and yogurt, and whole grains.

Learn to Count Calories
Ideally, a diabetic should have a diet of high fiber, lean protein, low-fat dairy, low sodium, vegetable-based fats, and fruits. But more importantly, you need to learn how to monitor your daily carbohydrate intake, which should be 60 grams per meal for men and 45 grams per meal for women. Some of the food you need to avoid are the following: processed grains, fruits with sweeteners, full-fat dairy, fried food, high-trans fat or saturated food, food with refined flour, and high-glycemic content food.

Get Regular and Proper Exercise
Regular exercise can help lower your blood sugar levels and improve your health overall, but before you begin any exercise regimen, you need to consult your doctor especially if you have other existing health problems such as hypertension. Most doctors recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily, but you can start slowly if you have not been active for years. You also don’t need to sign up for a gym membership, because general activities such as doing household chores can count as exercise. Other activities such as brisk walking, light jogging, and bike riding are good alternatives. However, make sure that you look out for hypoglycemia by eating properly and taking the right medication as per doctor’s instructions before exercising.

Check Your Sugar Levels
Lastly, do not forget to monitor your sugar levels regularly by observing the following ideal numbers:

• Fasting: 80 to 130 mg/dl or 4.4 to 7.2 mmol/L
• 2 Hours after a Meal: not more than 180 mg/dl or 10 mmol/L
• HbA1c: 7% or less

Record the results of your blood tests, especially if you are taking rapid-action insulin or practicing a rigorous exercise routine.

Managing Your Blood Sugar Level if You’re a Diabetic

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Controlling the blood sugar level will enable a diabetic to have a productive, healthy life regardless of the type of diabetes that is affecting the body. This means arming yourself with the right information about normal blood glucose levels, testing and recording blood glucose levels, and coming up with the right diet plan, exercise, and weight control regimes.

Understanding the Blood Sugar Chart
For a diabetic, the blood sugar chart is usually divided into three sections with different values for fasting, HbA1c, and two hours after meal.

The blood sugar level for a non-diabetic after fasting should be between 70 to 99 mg/dl or 3.9 to 5.5 mmol/L. For a diabetic, the numbers are slightly higher, such as the fasting blood sugar level that should be between 80 to 130 mg/dl or 4.5 to 7.2 mmol/L. After a 2-hour fast, the level should be less than 180 mg/dl or 10 mmol/L, while your HbA1c should be at 7% or lower.

Fasting blood sugar (FBS) means that you should not eat anything for at least 8 hours before checking your blood glucose levels, while the 2-hour postprandial measures your blood glucose level 2 hours after the last meal. FBS is the standard test to determine if you are diabetic or not. HbA1c on the other hand, refers to hemoglobin A1c or glycated hemoglobin test, a method that determines how well you are controlling your condition over the past 2 months.

Testing and Recording Blood Glucose Levels
A diabetic should check his/her blood glucose daily at home or as recommended by the doctor. There are blood glucose meter kits sold in pharmacies at Singapore or you can get one from your healthcare provider. It comes with test strips, lancets and a lancet device, and a blood glucose meter.

To test your sugar levels (either before breakfast or 2 hours after a meal), you prick your finger with a lancet and add the drop of blood on a test strip. The strip should then be inserted into the meter so that it will display figures indicating your blood sugar level. Record all the results of your tests in a diary or a notebook so that you can show it later to your doctor during routine check-ups. How often you need to check your blood glucose level will vary for each diabetic.

Correct Diet, Exercise, and Weight
Diabetics are advised to observe a diet that is very low in calories, low in carbohydrates, and low in fats. The advisable calorie intake should be between 1,500 to 1,800 per day, and with a ratio of 60:20:20 for carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. You will feel more confident about what you eat if you prepare the food yourself.

With proper diet and regular exercise, you should be able to control your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 to 24.9. You should also remember that your waistline should not exceed 80 cm (females) or 94 cm (males).

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