Boiled potato diet: does is really work?

Let’s make something clear from the start: no long term diet can restrict you to eating just one type of food. Or two. Or three. To be sustainable and healthy, a weight loss diet must include foods from all of the three major categories: carbs, proteins and fibers. So this is definitely not a diet for life. However, if you absolutely need to fit into that specific dress and you need to drop a few pounds fast, this diet can be a good option. You can lose up to 5 pounds in just 3 days, especially if you reduce the quantity of salt as well. You surely know all too well that weight lost in such a short period of time is mostly excess water being eliminated from your body.

Now, we know that potatoes have a bad reputation for being one of the most fattening foods out there. But that because we either eat them deep fried or baked, with tons of butter. But, without any added fats, potatoes only contain approximately 80 calories per 100g, which is not bad at all, considering that they are very filling. Also, as a bonus, potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, phosphorus and vitamins from the B complex and they also contain fibers that keep you satiated for a longer period of time.  

This is a hypocaloric diet, that doesn’t provide your body with all the nutrients it needs, so it is definitely not recommended to follow it more than 3-5 days. But if you want to lose a few pounds fast, here are a few ideas for a daily menu:

1st day:

Breakfast: one cup of yogurt
Lunch: two medium boiled potatoes (or baked) and a cup of yogurt
Dinner: one boiled potato and a cup of yogurt

2nd day:

Breakfast: one potato and one cup of yogurt
Lunch: two potatoes and one cup of yogurt
Dinner: two cups of yogurt

3rd day:

Breakfast: one cup of yogurt
Lunch: one potato and one cup of yogurt
Dinner: one cup of yogurt

Bone broth: benefits for health&beauty

Sounds weird? All the best natural treatments do. But consuming bone broth on a regular basis can really boost your health and improve the appearance of your skin. So next time you go shopping or you carve some poultry, make sure all bones end up in a pot. Beef, pork, chicken or turkey, they’re all great. Add some water, just to cover them up, and let it simmer for at least 6 hours. Slow cooking helps release from the bones compounds such as collagen, glycine and proline, which have amazing effects on your health. Still not convinced? Here are just some of the benefits of bone broth:

  • Bone broth contains minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, in forms that are easily absorbed by our bodies.
  • Bone broth contains chondroitin and glucosamine, compounds that you can find in the most expensive supplements for inflammation and joint pain.
  • The chondroitin in bone broth helps prevent osteoarthritis, which can lead to the deterioration of the cartilage that covers and protects the joints.
  • The gelatin in bone broth helps repair the intestinal mucosa barrier, making it great in ulcers and colitis, and it even offers protection against certain allergies and food intolerances.
  • The collagen in bone broth helps maintain the elasticity of your skin and the overall health of your hair and nails.
  • Bone broth is rich in glycine, which boosts memory and helps with insomnia.
  • The bone marrow and minerals in bone broth help strengthen the immune system.
  • Bone broth makes your bones stronger due to the minerals in its composition.
  • Bone broth is efficient in treating diarrhea and other intestinal and metabolic conditions.
  • The gelatin in bone broth balances the level of probiotics in the guts.

You can consume bone broth as such, or you can add some vegetables and pieces of meat to it to make it even more delicious. Bon appetite!

Hemorrhoid cream for eye bags and dark circles: YES or NO?

We’ve all heard that certain celebrities and models use a weird trick to get rid fast of eye bags and dark circles: they apply hemorrhoid cream. And if that’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for us, right? But is it? Let’s find out!

Hemorrhoid creams contain vasoconstrictor substances that help reduce the diameter of the dilated blood vessels. But because dark circles are caused by dysfunctions at the level of the network of capillaries underneath the skin, constricting these capillaries might both help fade the dark circles and reduce inflammation of puffiness.

But even if these creams can indeed be efficient in reducing dark circles and eye bags, keep in mind that they weren’t designed to meet the needs of the sensitive skin around your eyes, therefore the side effects can be disastrous. If, however, you insist of trying this unconventional treatment, keep in mind that a hemorrhoid cream should never be applied on the skin around your eyes as such, but always in combination with another, more fluid, cream. Even so, the risks are still high:

  • The substances in the hemorrhoid cream can have unexpected chemical reactions in contact with the cream you would be mixing it with, so you can end up with irritations or rashes.
  • If you accidentally get hemorrhoid cream into your eyes, they can get inflamed or you can get a chemical conjunctivitis.
  • The skin around your eyes is extremely sensitive and hemorrhoid creams contain certain substances that can easily irritate it.

As a conclusion: even if this might seem like a trick that will probably work, nevertheless you should avoid it and choose, instead, to go with the classical prevention tools for eye bags and dark circles: get enough sleep, don’t eat too much salt, avoid allergens and apply cold compresses.

5 beauty procedures you should avoid while pregnant

The cosmetics industry and the industry of non-surgical cosmetic treatments has evolved greatly in the past few decades. Very many brands have started to invest more and more in research with the purpose of obtaining products with as few side effects as possible, that are environmental friendly and least aggressive with the human body. So you should meet no difficulties in finding products that are safe if you want do dye your hair, for example, do some nail painting or put on some mascara. If you make smart choices, read the labels carefully and do your homework, your daily care and beauty ritual should not suffer too much during the nine months of pregnancy. If anything, maybe you’ll even introduce a step or two, such as massaging the areas of your body that are now predisposed to stretch marks. Talk to your doctor about it and he/she can make the best recommendations in this regard.

However, there are a few beauty procedures that you should definitely avoid while pregnant. As a general rule, avoid using products that contain any harsh chemicals, even if their labels don’t say specifically that they should not be used by pregnant women, and stay away from any procedure that can raise your body’s temperature. Overheating in pregnancy can happen very fast and it can have serious effects on you and your baby. During the first trimester overheating can cause miscarriage. Also, research has shown that a temperature of over 39 degrees Celsius during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects in the fetus such as fetal growth retardation, neural abnormality and even intrauterine death.

The rule “better safe than sorry” applies amazingly well in this case, so don’t take any risks. Love to embrace your beautiful pregnant self and, most importantly, whenever in doubt, give your doctor a call.

  1. Avoid any type of artificial tanning!

According to FDA, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, concluded that tanning devices that emit UV radiation are more dangerous than previously thought. So dangerous, that today these devices are placed into the highest cancer risk category: “carcinogenic to humans.” And while there aren’t any clear indications that artificial tanning beds can directly affect the fetus, they can certainly affect the mother, and in more than one way:

– In an artificial tanning bed you ca easily get overheated and that can be dangerous both for you and your baby, especially (but not exclusively) in the first trimester of the pregnancy;

– Laying on your back reduces blood flow to the heart and, implicitly, to the fetus. You can feel weak and dizzy;

– And, finally, your skin is far more sensitive during pregnancy and exposing it to UV rays can cause the appearance of dark spots.

Don’t apply self-tanner either, as it can contain some harsh chemicals. For at least nine months, simply enjoy being a white beauty!

2. Body wraps

Sure, they’re amazing and you always leave the saloon after having one feeling like a newly born baby, with soft, velvety skin. But, during pregnancy, any type of body wrap is forbidden. That because it can raise your body temperature. For the same reasons, avoid taking hot baths, going to the sauna and hot waxing.

3. Teeth whitening procedures

While it is true that there isn’t enough evidence that teeth whitening is dangerous during pregnancy, there isn’t enough evidence that it’s safe, either. What we do know, though, is that hydrogen peroxide, a substance usually used for teeth whitening, can damage cells and tissues. Also, these type of procedures usually tend to leave your teeth sensitive for a while. But, as your teeth are most likely already sensitive due to the pregnancy, this can easily turn into a really unpleasant side effect. So try to avoid any type of teeth whitening procedure during pregnancy and a few months after, while you’re breastfeeding. In the meanwhile, try to avoid the foods and drinks that can stain your teeth or make them go yellow.

4. Avoid retinoid treatments for skin problems such as acne or wrinkles

According to the European Medicines Agency, retinoid medicines, used mainly to treat conditions affecting the skin such as severe acne, are harmful to the unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. Topical (applied to the skin) retinoids are less likely to cause harm to the unborn child. However, as a precaution, they must not be used during pregnancy and by women planning to have a baby.

Ask your doctor about the possibility of using essential oils and other natural treatments to prevent and treat acne and wrinkles.

5. Adjust your mani-pedi routine

During pregnancy, your immune system is weakened. This is a natural and efficient measure your body takes in order to prevent your organism from rejecting the fetus. But it also means that you should be extra careful in avoiding any infection. Don’t necessarily give up on doing your manicure or pedicure, but avoid cutting your callouses and cuticles.

Top Foods to eat for High Cholesterol

According to the CDC’s Cholesterol Fact Sheet:

  • 71 million American adults (33.5%) have high low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.
  • Only 1 out of every 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol has the condition under control.
  • Less than half of adults with high LDL cholesterol get treatment.

These statistics are quite worrying, as a high level of cholesterol seriously increases the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. Because high cholesterol has no symptoms and can only be detected by blood tests, it is estimated that the number of Americans who have a high LDL, and therefore a high risk of atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and heart attacks might be even higher than what the statistics show.

Genetics can contribute to high cholesterol, an so do certain conditions such as liver or kidney disease, pregnancy, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, underactive thyroid gland or polycystic ovary syndrome, but our diet and lifestyle choices play an important part as well.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type or organic lipid molecule, an essential structural component of all animal cell membranes. At normal levels, cholesterol is essential for the body, as it aides the production of hormones, plays an important role in digestion by helping the liver to produce the bile, it creates a protective barrier for every cell and contributes to the synthesis of vitamin D.

It is estimated that approximately 75-80% of the cholesterol is produced by our body, mainly by the liver, while the rest of 20-25% comes from the foods we eat. In ideal conditions, if we introduce in our body, through food, more cholesterol than it needs, the liver can compensate by reducing the production of cholesterol and by eliminating the excess cholesterol. But, unfortunately, not only that our genes aren’t always on our side, but also most of the times the excess cholesterol is so high, that the liver cannot possibly compensate enough to maintain normal cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is carried to and from cells by lipoproteins. Depending on the type of lipoprotein that carries it, cholesterol can be:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – also known as “bad” cholesterol;

Very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) cholesterol – which has been associated with plaque deposits;

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – also known as “good” cholesterol.

Why “good” and “bad”? HDL is considered to be “good cholesterol” because the high-density lipoproteins help the body get rid of the excess cholesterol by transporting it to the liver.

LDL, on the other hand, is known as the “bad cholesterol” because the low-density lipoproteins transport the cholesterol to the arteries, where it can cause atherosclerosis, the condition in which plaque builds up inside your arteries, which can lead to several types of complications – the plaque can break off and get carried through the bloodstream and get stuck, it can cause blood clots, which can block arteries in the brain or heart, causing a stroke or a heart attack, or it can cut off oxygen supply to the extremities, resulting in gangrene.

Triglycerides are another type of fat, the levels of which are also usually measured whenever you do a cholesterol test, as they are believed to increase the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries, when combined with a high LDL and a low HDL.

Normal cholesterol levels

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the desirable levels of cholesterol are:

Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dL*

LDL (“bad” cholesterol): less than 100 mg/dL

HDL (“good” cholesterol): 40 mg/dL or higher

Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL

* Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood.

Controlling cholesterol levels – Learn the difference between different types of fat

Fatty foods represent one of the most important external source of cholesterol. But instead of eliminating them completely from your diet, the recommendation is to learn to differentiate between fats that cause your body to produce even more cholesterol and fats that can help you maintain a normal cholesterol level.

Saturated fat usually comes from animal products – such as beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, butter, cream, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or 2 percent milk – but also from certain plants oils and products such as coconut oil, palm oil or cocoa butter.

Trans Fats (or partially hydrogenated oils) – are created industrially by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to give them a thicker consistency or make them solid. These are found in fried foods and baked goods such as pastries, pizza dough, pie crust, cookies or crackers.

Eating foods which contain saturated fat and trans fat determines your body to produce more LDL than it can consume, which in turn causes a rise of the cholesterol level in your blood. This is why the American Heart Association recommends reducing the intake of trans fat (by avoiding foods such as doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies or cakes) and limiting the consumption of saturated fat to 5-6 percent of the total calories your consume daily. That translates into approximately 11-13 grams of saturated day for a person of medium height and weight, who consumes around 2.000 calories / day.

Unsaturated fat, on the other hand – which can be either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated – are usually found in fish, such as salmon, trout and herring, avocados, olives, walnuts and some types of liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower, and they can lower the level of bad cholesterol (or LDL), especially when consumed instead of saturated or trans fats.

Foods that lower cholesterol

According to Harvard Health Publishing, a division of Harvard Medical School, there are several foods that can help lower your LDL in various ways – by delivering polyunsaturated fats, by providing significant quantities of soluble fibre, which bind cholesterol and its precursors and eliminate them through the digestive system, or by delivering plant sterols and stanols, substances occurring naturally in certain plants that can block the body from absorbing cholesterol.

These are:

Oats

Oatmeal is packed with soluble fibre that helps eliminate cholesterol before it can even reach the circulatory system. You can eat them at breakfast or add them in salads or yogurts.

Barley and other whole grains

Like oats, barley and other types of whole grains are rich in soluble fiber which help lower LDL cholesterol.

Beans

All types of beans – navy, kidney beans, lentils, garbanzos or black-eyed peas – are rich in soluble fiber and they keep you satiated for a long time, which means that you’ll be less likely to snack on foods that are rich in trans fats.

Eggplant and okra

They are low in calories and rich in soluble fiber.

Nuts

Almonds, walnuts and peanuts are all rich in unsaturated fats and Omega 3 that can help lower LDL cholesterol and protect the health of your cardiovascular system. Here are some highlights from two of the studies addressing the benefits of Omega 3 for reducing cholesterol and protecting the heart and arteries:

“Omega-3 fatty acids may have anti-inflammatory effects and also promote better cardiac healing” (Source: Raymond W. Kwong, American College of Cardiology. “Omega-3 fatty acids appear to protect damaged heart after heart attack.”)

“Results showed that average diastolic blood pressure — the “bottom number” or the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting — was significantly reduced during the diets containing walnuts and walnut oil. […] These results are in agreement with several recent studies showing that walnuts can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.” (Source: Sheila G. West, Penn State, “Walnuts, walnut oil, improve reaction to stress”)

Vegetable oils

You can help lower your LDL by replacing butter or lard with sunflower, canola or safflower oil. They contain unsaturated fats and help protect the cardiovascular system.

Apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits

They are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower LDL.

Foods fortified with sterols and stanols

Such as certain granola bars, orange juice or even some brands of chocolate. Sterols and stanols are also available as supplements and they can help lower LDL.

Soy

Studies showed that consuming 25 grams of soy protein / day (approximately two cups and a half of soy milk or 10 ounces of tofu) can help lower LDL by up to 5-6%.

Fatty fish

They are rich in unsaturated fats and Omega 3. Replacing meat with fish can reduce the triglycerides and LDL levels.

Fiber supplements

Psyllium, for example, is a great natural source of soluble fibers, which can help lower the LDL cholesterol. You can mix them in your cereals, add them in yogurts or salads.

One avocado per day may keep high cholesterol at bay

A study published in 2015 in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that eating just one avocado per day, as part of a moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet can help with additionally lowering LDL, while maintaining the level of HDL, in overweight and obese patients. The results also showed that avocados, which are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, have beneficial effects on cardio-metabolic risk factors that “extend beyond their heart-healthy fatty acid profile”.

Cooking tips for lowering cholesterol

In addition to recommending that we introduce in our daily diet the foods that can help lower cholesterol and eliminate, as much as possible, those that tend to raise it, the American Heart Association also offers a series of cooking tips to lower cholesterol:

  • Select, whenever possible, lean cuts of meat.
  • Trim the fat off meat.
  • Opt for broiling instead of pan-frying.
  • Drain the fat before serving the meat and replace it with marinades to keep it moist.
  • You can reduce the quantity of meat you’re consuming by replacing it, whenever possible, with mushrooms, eggplants or beens.
  • Cook stews, soup and stock a day before you plan on eating them. This way you can easily remove the hardened fat from the top.
  • Eat chicken and turkey instead of duck and goose, which are higher in fat, and remove the skin.
  • When baking, you can replace oils with pureed fruits to keep your muffins of breads moist. Bonus: you’ll also add extra nutrients.
  • Use low-fat milk and other low-fat dairy products in your recipes. Most of the times you won’t feel any difference.
  • When making a sauce or a gravy, let it cool first, then remove the hardened fat from the top before serving it.
  • When cooking meatloaf or meatballs, instead of breadcrumbs use oatmeal to increase your intake of soluble fibers.
  • Replace white rice with brown rice and your regular pasta with whole-grain pasta. They are richer in fiber and nutrients.

Maintain a healthy weight

What you eat is extremely important, but so is maintaining a healthy weight. According to statistics, approximately one in three U.S children are overweight or obese and more than one-third of U.S adults are obese. Being overweight or obese is one of the main risk factors for high cholesterol and other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes.

But being overweight or obese does not only increase the cholesterol level, but also negatively influences the LDL – HDL balance. In people that are overweight or obese the levels of triglycerides and LDL tend to be high, while the level of HDL, the “good cholesterol” is in many cases too low.

Losing weight can improve your triglycerides, LDL and HDL cholesterol and significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Start small, with the target of losing 5-10% of your body weight, or less, depending on your final goal, and work your way up until your get to a normal and healthy body weight.

Storing Raw Meat in Refrigerator: How to and for how long can you safely keep it

You see a beautiful piece of meat, perfectly sized and trimmed, and you can already think of a dozen recipes you can use it for. But you know that you’ll have dinner out tonight and that Sunday at the in-laws follows immediately after. Do you buy it? The recommendation is that you eat fresh meat as quickly as possible, ideally on the day you brought it home. But the reality is that most of the times we only get to go shopping maybe once a week and it is then when we need to stock up for another 7 days. Knowing how to store the fresh products and especially meat is, therefore, very important if you plan on eating fresh, tasty and safe food daily.

Pathogens in meat

We usually associate pathogens such as Salmonella or Escherichia coli with poultry. But recent studies have revealed that, due to contamination caused by improper handling, these were also found on beef and lamb as well. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, pathogens such as Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Bacillus, Clostridium and Escherichia coli can double in number every 20 minutes when left at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking usually kills all bacteria, but heat-resistant toxins are left behind, carrying the risk for food poisoning and potentially causing nausea and diarrhea. Also, some of the pathogens bear dangerous spores that can resist both high temperatures and freezing.

Special care should be given to the ready-to-eat products as well, especially those made out of meat, such as the chicken nuggets. Despite the fact that most of the time there are clear indications on the label on how to prepare and eat these foods, many people are still convinced that these are safe to eat without being re-cooked. But E. coli, Salmonella and Shigella have been found on ready to eat meat products, on several instances.

Shopping: Tips for selecting fresh meat

  • Almost always, shopping takes longer than you estimated. Therefore, always buy fresh meat last, so that you reduce to a minimum the amount of time it is exposed to high temperatures.
  • The package has to be tightly wrapped and intact. Avoid those with excessive liquid, the packages that are punctured or feel warm to the hand.
  • Place the meat next to the other refrigerated items in your cart, so that you keep it cool for as long as possible.
  • Watch out for the expiration date. If possible, choose the meats that were packaged that very day.
  • Avoid meats that look either brown or discoloured, have a strong smell or feel soft or slimy.

How to store meat in refrigerator

General recommendations:

  • Meat should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
  • It should be kept apart from any other products to avoid contamination.
  • It should be wrapped tightly, to avoid leakages.

Fresh meat should be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, or approximately 4 degrees Celsius. So make sure you set your fridge to the right temperature. But even though cool temperatures slow down bacterial growth, they still start to grow if the meat is stored for too long.  According to Foodsafety.gov:

  • Raw ground meats, all poultry, seafood and variety meats should not be refrigerated for longer than 1-2 days.
  • Raw roasts, steaks, and chops (beef, veal, lamb, and pork) should not be refrigerated longer than 3-5 days.
  • And, finally, cooked meat, poultry and seafood can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

In the freezer, at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below, meat can be kept as following:

  • Fresh beef, veal, lamb & pork: steaks – 6 to 12 months, chops – 4 to 6 months, roasts – 4 to 12 months.
  • Fresh poultry (chicken or turkey): whole – 1 year, pieces – 9 months.
  • Cooked meat or poultry: 2 to 6 months.

Good to know:

  • You should always trust your eyes and nose more than the expiration date on the package.
  • If you plan on preparing the fresh meat in a few hours from bringing it home, take it out of the package, put it on a plate, cover it with a paper towel and put it in the fridge.
  • If you know you will store it for a longer time, either leave it in its store package or, ideally, use a vacuum packaging.
  • Never wash poultry in the sink because you risk contamination. Instead, wipe it with paper towels.
  • The best way to defrost meat is to leave it in the fridge overnight. When it defrosts slowly, the meat releases less liquid. Take into consideration, though, that thawed meat will not last as long as fresh meat.
  • Minced meat is more sensitive because bacteria that usually stays on surface and is killed during heating is ground down inside the meat.
  • Oxygen accelerates the decline in the quality of foods, therefore to protect your fresh meat for longer periods you can either cover it in a marinade or a layer of oil or fat.
  • Avoid eating raw meat unless you are sure it is absolutely safe. Poultry and pork should not be eaten raw under any circumstance.

Headaches – when to worry

Headaches can be the result of a medical disorder or they can be caused by stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, high blood pressure or emotional distress. It’s no wonder, then, that most adults experience headaches quite frequently. And we’ve all learned to deal with them, either by using over the counter medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, or by reaching out to more natural ways of relieving the pain. For instance, you might find that a warm relaxing bath can simply take it away.

So, most of the times, even if they can affect our quality of live, headaches should not worry us, as they do not put our health at risk and they usually go away relatively fast. However, there are situations in which a headache can be the symptom of a far more dangerous underlying condition. Here are the alarm signals that should worry you and the type of headaches that could be dangerous and that might require urgent medical care:

Headache that gets worse in the morning

Headaches that worsen in the morning and are associated with vomiting may be very dangerous because they are often the first and only symptom of a brain tumor. Does the headache get better during the day? Does it get worse when you move or cough? If you answered yes to either of the two questions or to both, you need to see a doctor immediately. Don’t panic, as it can be just a migraine, but do all it takes to make sure you’re well.

Headache that is intolerable

A ruptured cerebral aneurysm can cause brain hemorrhage and an unbearable pain. It is usually associated with upper neck pain, stiffness in the neck, light sensitivity, confusion and vomiting.

Explosive or violent headache

If you have headaches on a regular basis, you already know how long they last and how intense they usually are. You will, therefore, easily recognize a headache that appears almost instantaneously, is very violent and lasts for just a few seconds. If this happens, you should immediately call for help as this kind of pain can be determined by a brain hemorrhage caused by a cerebral aneurism or a stroke.

Sudden onset headache

Any pain that appears suddenly should constitute an alarm signal. When this type of headache is associated with numbness or weakness on a particular area of the face, in your hands or feet, it may be the symptom of a stroke. Other symptoms include loss of balance, blurred vision, and difficulty walking and speaking.

Headache associated with other symptoms

Your headache is associated with fever, chills, weight loss? It’s important that you ask these questions as the answer can potentially save your life. These symptoms, associated with violent headaches, may be a sign of meningitis, a life-threatening condition.

Headaches may also be a symptom of a heart attack, especially in women, and especially if they are associated with other symptoms such as sudden loss of sight and numbness in the hands or face.

Headaches after an accident

If you were recently involved in an accident and you hit your head, any pain must be an alarm signal. It can be a sign that you have a cerebral concussion which requires supervision and appropriate medical treatment.

If you suffer from cancer, HIV, heart disease, diabetes, or if you are receiving an immunosuppressive treatment and you experience headaches, you need to talk to your doctor. The headaches may be a sign of medical complications or a dangerous side-effect of your medical treatment.

You should also talk to your doctor if your headaches:

  • Appear later in life, over the age of 50;
  • Are associated with difficulty breathing;
  • Appear after intercourse;
  • Become worse over time;
  • Affect your memory;
  • Affect your mobility;
  • Affect your ability to function in society;
  • Their frequency, location and intensity changes constantly.

Knowing and understanding the symptoms that can be a sign of alarm and how to distinguish between “common” headaches and potentially dangerous headaches is not equivalent to a self-diagnosis, but it only prompts you to take urgent measures that can save your life. So start listening do your body!