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How Does Stress Affect Your Mental Health

How Does Stress Affect Your Mental Health

Health is only as crucial as it gets, and everyone must make it a top priority. Mental health has been in the spotlight for various reasons in the recent past. It’s affecting people’s lives in one way or another. Paying close attention to it entails being mindful of any kinds of triggers and keeping them at bay. Some of the stimuli, such as work or even some relationships, may be inevitable.

Being keen on them makes it easier to know what works best and enforce it. Stress is one of the factors that impact mental health at different levels. Here are ways in which it affects your mental health.

1. Irregular Sleep Patterns

Quality sleep is a significant aspect of the overall well-being of your mental health. However, sleep is not always guaranteed due to some inevitable factors that may cause disruption. Stress interferes with regular sleep patterns, seriously affecting one’s mental health. As mentioned earlier, some of the primary causes of stress are work-related or connected to some of our relationships.

Falling prey to these factors may cause your body and mind to react differently, but the levels of impact may not vary. Some victims of stress tend to oversleep, while others find it challenging to get a shut-eye even when extremely exhausted. On the bright side, there are convenient and effective methods of dealing with irregular sleep patterns.

Others prefer to read a book or watch a movie to induce sleep. Failure to enforce the said methods might lead to more crucial effects. Better still, monitor your sleep patterns and see a specialist in case they fail to add up. Try as much as possible to avoid the triggers of unhealthy sleep patterns. Your mental health may fall prey, and it might be too late to redeem yourself when you fail to act promptly.

How does stress affect your mental health

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2. Anxiety and Depression

When stress sets in, the affected people respond differently to its effects. Prolonged stress equals eventual anxiety and depression, which may worsen when medical help is out of the question.

Anxiety and depression come in different levels depending on the nature of the stress trigger. It comes in varying ranges from severe to mild and follows specific patterns. An individual begins to exude specific behavioral, cognitive, and even physical symptoms. Some of the most common mental symptoms of anxiety and depression are; low concentration levels, poor decision-making, little to no self-confidence, and worrying over things one has no control over.

Behavioral or emotional symptoms include; irritability over nothing, in particular, constant agitation and inability to relax, moody spells, and apprehensive behavior that’s often misunderstood. Behavioral symptoms are also coupled with feelings of hopelessness and desperation. This causes the victim to engage in unreasonable actions with dire consequences.

The physical symptoms can be pretty scary, especially for those who have never experienced stress in its full measure. For instance, the most common symptoms are constant migraines, nausea, and low or complete loss of one’s sex drive.

Stress & Social Withdrawal

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3. Social Withdrawal

Stress is sometimes highly underrated and has dreadful consequences when you least expect it. Dealing with long-term stress has been established as a notorious deterrent to the progress of our mental health.

The longer it goes on, the more complex the victim finds it to socialize. They may keep to themselves when in the middle of a group or distance themselves completely.

One of the reasons for adopting a withdrawn lifestyle when stressed is due to certain beliefs conceived in the victim’s mind. One of them is that they could be in danger and only try to look for their safety by keeping to themselves. Another reason for being withdrawn is the development of trust issues. These happen primarily to victims who have experienced heartbreaks and other fraudulent episodes in the recent past.

Keeping to themselves may be their way of preventing the same things from happening or even worse. It’s essential to seek medical advice from certified mental health experts before things get out of hand.

4. Lower Concentration Levels

If one is plugged into stressful circumstances, one begins to feel and act differently. The results of stress depend on the gravity of the causes in question. Since your mental health becomes affected, concentration levels begin to dwindle.

It might become nearly impossible for some people to concentrate on work, studies, or even duties at home. It’s essential to seek medical help rather than allow this symptom to go on for prolonged periods.

Reiki Self Treatment

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Reiki Self Treatment Can Work Wonders.

In Chinese, such energy is known as ‘Wi’ or ‘Chi’ – Martial arts and acupuncture are various other disciplines that can work parallelly with this energy residing within us. Since responses to Reiki treatments vary from individual to individual and session to session, average results comprise a profound emotion of peace and relaxation. At times, people feel that tingling or warmth or even notice visual imagery.

While undergoing a Reiki session, your body will shift from flight-or-flight mode into rest and digest mode. Also referred to as Parasympathetic mode, the rest and digest cycle can induce a relaxation response, one of the states your body requires to cultivate healing.

Since transformations might include physical shifts, like a more relaxed feeling or restful sleep, giving this 5-minute practice a chance is important.

• Lie down and get comfortable.
• Place hands behind the head, palms pillowing the back of your skull.
• For the following couple of minutes, breathe deeply.
• Imagine your palms sending healing energy to release thoughts that no longer serve your purpose.
• Allow similar forms of energy of healing and light to come into your heart.
• Now open your eyes slowly and notice how your body and mind feel together.

Conclusion

Mental health awareness is crucial for people of all ages and must never be shoved aside for some reason. Since stress is among the primary causes of most mental health challenges, we must learn all the crucial tactics to handle it. Stress is inevitable as most situations and aspects challenge us to fight back. This gives room to stress and its terrible effects when we fail to prepare adequately.


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Everything You Need To Know About Insomnia

Everything You Need To Know About Insomnia

INSOMNIA STATISTIC IN CANADA

Did you know approximately 30% of Canadians suffer from some type of sleep disorder? For most people, sleep disturbances are a temporary issue brought on by stress, worry, or environmental factors. For others, this condition can be life-long and debilitating.

Poor quality and lack of sleep have been associated with an overall negative impact on one’s health. Chronic sleep conditions can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and heart failure. Other problems also include obesity, depression, and impairment in immunity.

If you’ve noticed that falling and staying asleep can be a difficult task, you could potentially suffer from a sleep disorder – the most common being insomnia. Here is everything you need to know about living with and treating insomnia.

WHAT IS INSOMNIA?

Insomnia can be defined as having repeated difficulty with sleep initiation, maintenance, consolidation, or quality. This occurs regardless of whether a person has adequate time and opportunity to sleep. The sleep disorder often results in some form of daytime impairment – like lack of energy, decreased alertness and concentration as well as irritability and depression.

There are three types of insomnia: acute, transient, and chronic.

Acute insomnia usually lasts up to a month and is commonly referred to as adjustment insomnia. It occurs due to a stressor, such as a new job, an exam, or a deadline. This form of insomnia typically resolves on its own when the stressor is no longer present, or when the individual learns to adapt and adjust to the situational-based stress.

Transient insomnia is another short-term form of the disorder. This lasts for less than a week and is the result of another condition or changes in the sleep environment, stress, or depression. In most cases, it is due to jet lag, the end of a relationship, or a similar issue.

Chronic insomnia lasts for more than a month. For many people, this particular condition is not long-lasting, while for others it can impact them for a number of years. In the cases of chronic insomnia, it is associated with a chronic medical or psychiatric condition.

What is Insomnia

WHAT CAUSES INSOMNIA?

There are many reasons why an individual could be suffering from insomnia and disturbed sleep. As mentioned above, some forms of the condition are mild and resolve once triggers are no longer present. With chronic insomnia, a person could be feeling its effects for months and perhaps even years.

The causes related to the type of insomnia a person is struggling with are different for each individual. However, it is beneficial to know the various causes in order to better understand and identify the symptoms you are experiencing.

Here are some of the most common causes of insomnia:

Mental Health Disorders

Anxiety disorders, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and chronic anxiety can be the cause of disrupted sleep patterns. When a person is suffering from depression or any type of mental health disorder, they are unable to sleep because of lingering thoughts and constant worry.

Medications

Prescription drugs are another cause of insomnia as many of them can interfere with sleep. Antidepressants and other medications for asthma and blood pressure have known side effects. Lesser known is that many over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen, allergy tablets, and weight-loss pills can contain caffeine and other stimulants. These ingredients stimulate the body and can result in awakened senses, even during bedtime.

Medical Conditions

A variety of medical conditions have been linked to insomnia and the loss of sleep. Examples of these ailments include chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), overactive thyroid, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. When a person is battling illness, it can often keep their body in a state of stress and pain – making it difficult to keep a regular sleep schedule.

Sleep-related Disorders

There are disorders that prevent you from getting rest during the nighttime hours. Sleep apnea, for example, can cause insomnia because it stops you from breathing periodically during the night. This will surely interfere with your sleep. Restless legs syndrome is another disorder that creates unpleasant sensations in your legs and an unavoidable urge to move them. Struggling with any type of sleep-related disorder significantly increases your risk of insomnia.

Insomnia

Caffeine, Alcohol, and Nicotine

Similar to the effects of stimulants in medication, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are stimulants even when partaken on their own. When you drink coffee late at night (or even in the afternoon and evening), you run the risk of being unable to fall asleep. And although alcohol can help you fall asleep, it actually prevents deeper stages of slumber and causes disturbances throughout the night. Nicotine in tobacco products also interferes with your night-time resting period. If you are struggling with insomnia, these three triggers could potentially be the cause.

Aging

Unfortunately but true, insomnia becomes more common as you get older. This is due to a variety of factors. As we age, people tend to become less active both physically and socially. Lack of exercise and lack of social interaction can cause people to take more naps during the daytime and, therefore, interfere with their sleep at night. With aging also comes chronic pain conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, as well as prostate and bladder problems that cause frequent urination. All of these contribute to causes of insomnia.

Stress

Stress is something everyone has felt at one time or another. Whether it’s related to a school assignment, a toxic work environment, or relationships with a significant other – stressing is normal in our society. It is also one of the biggest causes of acute or transient insomnia. When someone is stressing, that is a stressor in and of itself. It can cause the person to stay awake at night, thinking about their worries and situation rather than getting rest. Although this cause of insomnia is usually temporary and clears once the stressor is removed, it can become a more prevalent problem if one is not able to adapt, remove or deal with stress.

Jet Lag

Adjusting to a different timezone is never fun, even if that means someone is on their dream vacation. Jet lag is one of the most common causes of insomnia and it can happen to almost anyone. Because a person’s body is not used to going to sleep in the new timezone, they could find themselves suffering from insomnia. This cause will usually only last a few days, but if someone is a frequent traveler or has to visit different places for work, it may become a bigger issue as time goes on.

WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH INSOMNIA?

Suffering from insomnia means more than just constantly feeling tired. That fatigue can interfere and create negative implications in many different aspects of a person’s life.

Sleep is crucial in order to maintain a healthy diet and regular physical activity. When a person loses sleep, especially over a long period of time, it can begin to affect them both mentally and physically. It is even clinically proven that those with insomnia experience a lower quality of life in comparison to those who sleep well and get their needed rest.

If you find yourself suffering from insomnia, it is important to be proactive and seek out treatments in order to combat your symptoms. There are risks associated with not getting consecutive nights of adequate sleep.

Some of the consequences of insomnia may include:

  • Low job performance and eventual job loss
  • Poor grades and difficulty staying up to date on assignments in school
  • Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse
  • Lowered immune system and increased risk of diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease

While mental health disorders, diseases, and alcohol are known to cause insomnia, the opposite is also true. Struggling with the ability to sleep can cause severe anxiety and well as substance abuse for those who are worried about their problem. To avoid the risk of depression or self-medication, it is best to utilize natural remedies or seek the advice of a medical professional to help manage insomnia.

How Common is Insomnia?

HOW COMMON IS INSOMNIA?

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. Through various studies worldwide, it has been reported that insomnia is prevalent in 10% to 30% of the global population. Those who deal with it fall into the demographic categories of older adults, females, and people with medical and mental health concerns.

The majority of sufferers experience acute and transient insomnia. On average, an adult is 30% to 35% likely to have brief symptoms of insomnia in their lifetime. 15% to 20% of adults have a short-term disorder, lasting less than three months. Approximately 10% of the population will experience chronic insomnia, which occurs at least three times per week over a three-month period.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE INSOMNIA?

Have you ever laid awake at night, tossing and turning and just not able to sleep? Or have you ever been so worried about a test or a pressing situation that your mind wouldn’t turn off and allow you to fall into slumber? If that’s the case, chances are you are experiencing some form of insomnia.

Insomnia can present itself differently, but people who have it are almost always in a state of fatigue. They still feel tired after waking up, and they find it difficult to nap during the day or get a good night’s rest even though they are extremely exhausted.

It’s important to monitor your symptoms when you experience any sleep-related concerns. This will allow you to determine whether your condition is situational, or if you require medical attention.

CAN INSOMNIA LAST FOREVER?

Insomnia can most definitely be a temporary condition, but alternately the chronic form can last and affect one’s quality of life for years on end. There is no clear-cut answer on how long someone can live with insomnia. It differs in each individual case because it largely depends on the underlying cause.

One way to better understand your experience with insomnia is to identify potential triggers. If you find yourself stressing over your job, or you notice it only occurs after taking a trip to a different time zone – you are likely suffering from an acute or transient form of insomnia.

If you can’t pinpoint the reason for your long-lasting lack of sleep, that is when you should seek medical advice from your physician. It could perhaps be a symptom of an undiagnosed medical condition.

NATURAL WAYS TO PREVENT INSOMNIA

When you can’t fall or stay asleep at night, it can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and hopelessness. However, there are several at-home remedies you can use to help manage your insomnia before even speaking to your doctor. If you find yourself struggling with insomnia, try using the following natural methods in order to better manage your systems:

Drink Less Alcohol And Caffeine

Sometimes that steaming cup of java is the only thing we look forward to on an early morning. And often, we need another few cups just to make it to the end of our workday. We’re exhausted, we’re tired and we’re stressed. And how do we reward ourselves? A couple of glasses of wine with dinner. This is a situation that many of us find ourselves in. We’re tired all day and we rely on caffeine to keep us awake and alert. And then we go home and drink alcohol. What we might not realize is that both of these beverages are stimulants and contribute to our insomnia. The reason why we’re so tired is that we haven’t slept. And we haven’t slept because we’re overstimulated. It’s a cycle.

Insomnia Symptoms

Luckily with the right knowledge and products, we can put an end to this cycle that seems never-ending. If you want to prevent insomnia, which is affecting multiple aspects of your life, you should start by cutting out or limiting your consumption of alcohol and caffeine.

Instead of a coffee in the late afternoon, consider a green tea or matcha latte. This recipe is absolutely easy to make and delicious to enjoy. And instead of wine or alcoholic beverages, you can try CBD sparkling beverages. Not only are these a great alternative in taste, but CBD has many relaxing properties that may allow you to fall and stay asleep faster.

Refrain From Eating Before Bed

We’ve all done it – realized we haven’t eaten dinner and proceeded to order and consume an entire pizza at 10 pm. Or woken up late at night with a sudden craving for cookies. A late dinner or a midnight snack may seem harmless but if you suffer from insomnia, the negative effects can be significant.

There is evidence to suggest that the time of food consumption plays an important role in the ability to fall asleep. When a person intakes food, the body begins to release insulin. This process is linked to the cardiac rhythm, which then signals wakefulness to the brain. Essentially when you eat, your body is using the food as fuel and that can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.

In order to avoid sleep deprivation and those overnight disturbances, remember to eat your meals at least three hours before you plan to head to bed. This remedy is easy enough to comply with, and can greatly reduce the number of nights you experience insomnia.

Incorporate Relaxing Baths

Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing, warm bath after a stressful or busy day? When we’re feeling anxious, sad or any type of negative emotion, a bath has been known to soothe and ease our mood. Now, research has even shown that a hot bath can actually aid in preventing and treating insomnia.

A recent study suggests that taking a hot bath approximately 90 minutes before bed could help people fall asleep faster. The hot water helps change the body’s core temperature, meaning that you will go to bed with a lower-body temperature. When your body temperature drops, it sends a signal to your brain that it is time for bed.

Incorporating lavender oil and salts can further assist in a good night’s rest.

Daily Physical Activity

Exercise can seem tiring but it is actually proven to enhance your mood and give you more energy. People who exercise for 150 minutes per week have significantly fewer symptoms of insomnia than those who do not.

Now while it may seem counterproductive to partake in activities that give you more energy while struggling with insomnia, it can truly help you manage your sleep condition. Exercising is a known remedy to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. When you are feeling less anxious or stressed, you will naturally be able to sleep better.

Allocate an hour of your schedule every day to physical activity of some sort. Exercise is the key to boosting your mood and energy during the day and sleeping well at night.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation go hand-in-hand when it comes to promoting ultimate relaxation and gratitude. Yoga is an ancient practice that has alleviated stress, improved physical health, and boosted mental focus in many people around the world. It involves breathwork and posture performance, both of which help you to relax and unwind.

Yoga and Meditation

Meditation also focuses on breathing in a quiet setting. It encourages you to observe your feelings, thoughts, and sensations, while also allowing you to let go of any negatives you are currently experiencing. The practice of meditation can be undertaken multiple times a day, and especially during a stressful period.

Try to incorporate yoga, meditation, or both into your bedtime routine because these rituals are a great and natural way to improve your sleep schedule. You can even download the Calm app, which has thousands of guided meditations and motivations to help you prevent and treat your insomnia.

Avoid Blue Light Before Bed

You might think watching TV before bed is a good way to fall asleep. However, your television, tablets, and cellphones contain blue wavelengths, commonly known as blue light. These lights, while beneficial for energy efficiency and boosting awareness and reaction time, can actually cause major sleep disruptions and insomnia.

Harvard study found that exposure to light can suppress the secretion of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that is associated with the control of a human’s sleep-wake cycle. Suppression in melatonin production can lead to insomnia.

While you could consider investing in blue-light lenses, which help your eyes manage the exposure, it is best to turn off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime. This will allow your body an opportunity to rest and relax before it is time to sleep.

MELATONIN AND MAGNESIUM

As mentioned above, the body needs a healthy dose of melatonin in order to have a properly functioning sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin will not only help you fall asleep faster but will also enhance your overall quality of sleep.

Your body does produce melatonin naturally, but if you find yourself struggling with insomnia, you can also consider taking supplements. Always consult with your doctor prior to starting any vitamins, but melatonin in lower dosages is usually safe.

Magnesium is also helpful in combating insomnia. It is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to relieve stress and relax muscles. When your body is in less pain, it generally promotes better sleep. Magnesium supplements are available at any local health food store, but always be sure to read the label and never consume more than what is recommended for each individual product.

Use Comfortable Bedding

When it comes to your bedding, you want to be as comfortable as possible. There are so many factors that can contribute to insomnia, but bedding shouldn’t have to be one of them. Many companies are now sourcing the best quality materials in order to make bedsheets. They know how important the role of sleep is in everyone’s life, and they want to make it easier for people to create an environment that encourages a comfortable and relaxing slumber.

Snoozy Monk specializes in Bamboo Rayon sheets and duvets. Bamboo sheets are conducive to restful sleep due to:

  • Smoothness, which helps to soothe both body and mind
  • Sweat absorption, ensuring you remain comfortable and dry all night long
  • Cooling and breathability, so you don’t have to worry about overheating
  • Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial elements, that make sure you don’t wake up feeling congested and stuffy

Snoozy Monk Bedsheets

If you find yourself struggling to stay comfortable at night, it’s definitely worthwhile to consider a new set of bedsheets.

The Snoozy Monk Bamboo Sheet Set is available in Double, Queen, and King in two color options: white and beige. The bamboo fibers are 100% resistant to dust. High quality and low maintenance, the sheets are easily machine washable and are sure to give you a good night’s sleep for years to come.

Also available in white and beige, the Snoozy Monk Bamboo Duvet Cover is eco-friendly and comes in both Queen and King sizes. With no harmful chemicals and the same comfort as the sheets, this duvet cover is a great option for consideration when it comes to preventing and treating insomnia. Sleep in comfort for a comfortable sleep.

OTHER WAYS TO PREVENT INSOMNIA

If a more natural approach to insomnia does not help ease your condition, it is crucial that you seek medical advice from your family physician. It is possible your sleep disruptions are a symptom of a more serious condition that could require medication or more medically-focused methods of treatment.

Your doctor will work with you to learn more about your sleep habits and will likely ask you to complete a diary each night. By keeping track of your sleep patterns, the physician can more easily determine which form of insomnia you suffer from and will make recommendations accordingly. They may suggest healthy lifestyle habits, such as keeping a more regular schedule. They may also recommend cognitive behavior therapy or medications.

If you’ve been struggling for a long time, your journey to preventing and treating insomnia may seem hopeless. However, there are so many options and treatment plans that can be undertaken to ensure you once again can enjoy a good night’s rest.

INSOMNIA IN CHILDREN

If your child is experiencing trouble sleeping three nights out of the week for several months, the issue could point to insomnia. It is extremely common for youth to experience insomnia at some point in their childhood. This could be related to nightmares, fears of bed-wetting, or just the fear of being alone in their room. Many of these insomniac issues stem from daytime habits.

When your child is cranky, moody, tired, or spaced out, it can be difficult for you to go about your regular routine. First address when the sleep condition appeared, and then analyze whether any significant changes were made to your child’s life in that time period. This could include the introduction of new medications, caffeine from sodas or energy drinks, school stress, or any incidents related to bullying, as well as any other medical issues such as allergies or skin conditions.

Some ways to help treat and prevent insomnia are to ensure your child:

  • Only uses their bed for sleep (refrain from allowing them to watch TV or use any digital devices while in bed)
  • Keeps the same sleep schedule every night (while it may be tempting to allow your child to stay up late on the weekends, this could lead to further disruption)
  • Leads a healthy, active lifestyle (make sure your child never goes to bed too full or too hungry, and encourage them to exercise for at least one hour a day)
  • Has a comfortable bedroom (keep the temperature cool, utilize a white noise fan or sound machine, and make sure the bed is not overloaded with toys)

Insomnia During Pregnancy

INSOMNIA DURING PREGNANCY

Difficulty sleeping during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy is extremely common. Not only is there a burgeoning belly that disrupts comfortable positioning, but hormonal factors also become more heightened. Frequent trips to the bathroom, leg cramps, pre-birth anxiety, aches and pains, and heartburn, constipation, and morning sickness can all lead to interrupted sleep and in a lot of cases – insomnia.

Many women also experience insomnia in the first months of pregnancy. This is related to thoughts about becoming a mom, the birth and delivery process, and just any stress that is associated with bringing home a new baby. It is completely normal to feel this way in the beginning stages, and it is important to recognize any disruptions in your sleep pattern and adjust accordingly. End your night with meaningful medications, try to take a relaxing bath, and be sure to wear something comfortable to bed. Exercising and keeping busy during the day have also been shown to help improve the quality of sleep at night.

THE TAKEAWAY

Insomnia affects millions of people every single day, or rather every night. If you find yourself experiencing nights of restless, disrupted, or incomplete sleep, it is important to address your concerns at the onset. Identify any potential stressors or triggers for your condition, and make the changes required in order to prevent further complications. This can include natural at-home remedies like changing your bed sheets or taking the medication provided by your physician.

Regardless of your treatment method, insomnia needs to be addressed in order to prevent further risks and complications. Good quality sleep is essential for your health and neglecting that can result in negative implications at work, school, or in your personal relationships.

Don’t put your health on the backburner. Manage your insomnia by treating symptoms, eliminating stress, and dealing with any chronic donations you may have. You deserve rest, so take the necessary steps in order to ensure it.


This article by Wayne Cappleman was originally published at Snoozy Monk

Featured Image Credits: Pexels

Sleep and mental health: The latest science and tips to improve both

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Vital Facts To Know About Women’s Health

Vital Facts To Know About Women’s Health

While men have various health-centric challenges, a woman’s body operates on a different level. Not only are their bodies induce multiple challenges, but they also are relatively more sensitive than men. In addition, girls and women face unique complexities across their lifespans. This blog will allow you to learn more about the health conditions that affect millions of females each year.

1. Caregivers are at risk.

Facts About Women's Health

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But, before that, did you know that 2 out of every 3 caregivers in the US are women? Several studies state that women who are into caregiving tend to develop a significant risk of poor mental and physical health, including anxiety, stress, and depression. Furthermore, the covid-19 has added more to the role of females in today’s date. Maintaining healthy behavior, seeking extra support, managing stress is integral, especially in the world we live in now.

Recognize, Adapt, & Improvise

  • Some straightforward ways to maintain and sustain healthy behaviors include practicing good sleep habits, regular exercise, and avoiding excessive alcohol.
  • If you want to manage stress, take rest, breaks, consider respite care, and make time to unwind.
  • Recognize when you need more help. There are several support groups that provide safe places for people caught in similar worldly situations to locate support.

2. Asthma

Asthma is more common in women as compared to their counterparts. In 2019, its rate was relatively higher among non-Hispanic Black women. And, when it comes to Hispanic women, it was lower as compared to non-Hispanic white women.

  • Fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, or menopause can make this condition’s symptoms worse in females.
  • Asthma is one of the health flags that may lead to problems associated with their babies during pregnancy.
  • Since women’s lungs are comparatively smaller than men’s, they can be sensitive to asthma triggers, making them breathe insignificantly.
  • People suffering from asthma should avoid such triggers. These triggers can be outdoor air pollution, pets, tobacco smoke, and mold.

3. Heavy menstrual bleeding

Recurring menstrual bleeding can last for several days, affecting around 10 million American women every year. In simple terms, heavy menstrual bleeding affects one in every five women. Numerous reports have suggested that bleeding disorders can trigger this issue.

Women's Health Issues

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  • If you experience heavy bleeding, consult your healthcare provider.
  • Educate yourself on potential causes like symptoms and signs of bleeding disorders.

4. Disability

It is essential to know that women with disabilities require similar health care as those without disabilities. Moreover, they may also require additional care to determine and address specific needs. Besides, did you know that around 36 million women in the United States are living with a disabling condition, impacting their mind and body? In addition, around 45% of women who’re 65 and above are living with one or many disabilities. Speaking of which, one of the most common causes of disabilities is arthritis in women, which can be categorized under osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, and lupus.

  • Female adults have reported experiencing recurring mental distress almost five times as compared to adults without disabilities. These mental distresses are associated with increased use of health services, poor health behaviors, chronic disease, mental disorders, and limitations in daily routine.
  • Remember, women with disabilities require similar health care as women without them. One of the research pieces shows that several disabled women may not obtain regular health screenings, like a Pap test or mammograms, as recommended.

5. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

BV or bacterial vaginosis is one of the common vaginal conditions in women aged between 15 to 44 years. It is imperative to know that such a change is caused by the average balance of vaginal bacteria. When it comes to the United States alone, an estimated 21 million women aged between 14 to 49 years suffer from such a condition.

6. Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking is a kind of human trafficking that is a severe health hazard affecting the well-being of families, individuals, and communities. When it comes to such a health issue, women are more susceptible to it. According to its definition, sex trafficking is harboring, recruitment, provision, transportation, or obtaining a person to perform a commercial sex act.

Women's Health

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  • Female victims can share consequences and risks associated with intimate partner violence, adverse childhood experiences, gang violence, and sexual violence.
  • Consequences can either be long-term or immediate. These can include relationship problems or physical problems, chronic health outcomes, and psychological concerns.

7. Overdose

Females should discuss all their ongoing medications with healthcare providers to ensure appropriate and safe use. The figure affecting overdose deaths from opioids is considerable among women. Besides, women are more sensitive to chronic pain, leading to the consumption of opioid pain relievers. That is why experts recommend women discuss everything with their family doctor or any healthcare practitioner. Since an overdose can result from any excessive medicine intake, one must know what to determine and look after.


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

The Ultimate Guide to CBD Oil Benefits

The Ultimate Guide to CBD Oil Benefits

CBD is touted as a cure-all to, well, almost anything. But – what about your needs? Could CBD oil cure, treat, or improve the symptoms of your specific condition?

Inside this guide, you’ll find a list of conditions that CBD can help improve. Along with each condition, you’ll find the scientific studies and explanations to back it up.

Don’t waste time searching the web for lack-luster information that may or may not be correct; find what you need to know here.

Want to know if and how CBD could help you or a loved one? This guide is the place to start.

 

CBD OIL FOR PAIN RELIEF AND INFLAMMATION

Chronic pain comes in many varieties and affects each sufferer differently. 

Regardless of the source of pain, however, those who must deal with it on a daily basis face challenges that the average individual cannot understand.

Because pain sources can be difficult to identify and finding effective treatments can be a challenge, many suffer in silence, forced to modify or completely avoid certain activities.

Those who suffer are not alone. In fact, recent estimates suggest that at least 11 percent of the general population suffers from chronic pain that impacts their daily lives. (source)

In many cases, this pain is caused by, accompanied by, or worsened by inflammation. When inflammation is present, pain can become much worse thanks to the biochemical reactions that this inflammation causes.

For both sufferers of chronic pain and chronic inflammation, CBD has been known to reduce symptoms and provide relief, without the negative effects of standard over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications, narcotics, opioids, and other traditional treatments.

The negative effects of traditional pain medication include:

  • Liver Damage
  • Cardiovascular Damage
  • Addiction
  • Withdrawal
  • …and more.

Cannabis, on the other hand, has been known to reduce pain – and has been used to do so for thousands of years. Recent studies, most notably those published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, have demonstrated the link between CBD and pain/inflammation reduction. (source) While some sufferers of chronic pain resort to traditional marijuana use, it may not be necessary. Because of how CBD interacts with the body, it may be just as effective.

Specifically, CBD helps suppress pain by targeting a3 glycine receptors, which are found in the spinal cord and brain, controlling the way we react to pain. By interacting with these receptors, the sensation of pain is reduced, similarly to how traditional pain management medications act, without the traditional side effects and negatives. (source)

QUIT SMOKING WITH CBD

According to the CDC, 38.7 million adults in this country are currently tobacco smokers, that’s over 15 percent of the population, for reference’s sake. (source)

It’s a deadly habit, but most of us – smokers included – already know that.

What we might not realize, is just how deadly it is.

Smoking is considered the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for about 1 in 5 adult deaths each year.

Many smokers have begun to realize this. In fact, 70 percent have a desire to quit or have attempted to quit and have failed. Nicotine and the other ingredients in standard, everyday cigarettes are simply that addictive. (source)

While many have attempted to quit using medications, counseling, or even e-cigarettes (which some consider an alternative that might not be as healthy as we’d like to believe), a natural option may be available that’s, perhaps, even more, effective than any of these methods.

You guessed it.

Smoking cessation may be one of the many benefits of CBD oil.

As revealed by the results of a study published by the Addiction Journal and performed by University College London, smokers wishing to quit and be treated with one 800mg dose of CBD, saw 40 percent more successful in the first week of their attempt when using CBD products, than those treated with a placebo. Those treated with even a low dose of CBD claimed fewer intrusive thoughts, enabling them to go about their daily lives without the need for a cigarette, unlike those who were not given the cannabinoid. (source)

Why?

We don’t know for sure. However, nicotine addiction seems to be tied to the endocannabinoid system, which, CBD interacts with and helps regulate. When this system is balanced, traditional addiction cues may become less severe, leading to higher success rates with lower levels of reported discomfort.

These positive effects of CBD are promising news for the majority of the aforementioned smokers who want to quit the habit.

TREAT EPILEPSY SYMPTOMS WITH CBD

Currently, studies around the country are ongoing to identify the way CBD can be used to treat epilepsy.

Why?

Because it’s already shown promising signs. Beyond that, just this year the FDA approved the first-ever CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, now available to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy. (source)

While CBD and marijuana have been used for centuries for many remedies, the role CBD can play in lessening the severity and number of seizures in those diagnosed with epilepsy came into the spotlight in the early 2000s. That’s when the Figi family began looking for a way to treat their daughter Charlotte’s seizures. At the time, she was suffering upwards of 300 seizures per week. (source)

After obtaining cannabis plants at a high cost, and extracting the oil by hand, they saw a major reduction in the number of seizures their daughter experienced. It was life-changing, leading to a series of legislative battles to change the status of medical marijuana and CBD products across the country.

Recent studies – in addition to new medication options that include CBD – have also shown promising results in various forms of epilepsy, including Dravet Syndrome. In summary, findings published by the U.S. National Library of medicine, multiple small clinical trials have shown that CBD is able to reduce the number of seizures and severity of seizures for those that experience specific forms of epilepsy on a regular basis. (source)

Perhaps just as exciting, studies have often shown that CBD has neuroprotective properties, allowing the brain to be better protected when seizures do occur.

CBD CAN REDUCE ANXIETY AND IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting 18.1 percent of the adult population across the country.

Anxiety doesn’t come in a single shape or form. Officially diagnosed conditions that fall under the realm of “anxiety” include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • And others

In addition to a standalone disorder, anxiety often accompanies other medical conditions making the diagnosis a challenge at best.

Those who understand the way anxiety can be debilitating – affecting daily functioning and activities and making simple tasks seem impossible – also probably understand the fact that finding a treatment that helps can be a significant challenge.

Most traditional treatments come with side effects that – in many cases – seem worse (or just as terrible) as the anxiety itself. These side effects range from mood-altering effects like depression, weight gain or loss, to dependence (the need for higher doses to achieve the same effect and avoid withdrawal symptoms)… the side effects are often a deterrent. Only around 36.9 percent of anxiety sufferers receive treatment for their condition.

Once again, as with many other disorders, CBD may be a natural option to combat the side effects of traditional anxiety and mental health conditions while providing noticeable relief.

Why?

At the most basic level, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and is widely believed to directly impact the brain’s CB1 receptors – the same receptors that certain anxiety medications interact with – lessening the effects of anxiety and related conditions. This allows sufferers to live more normal lives, free from the constraints of anxiety. That’s just the tip of the iceberg… the positive effects of CBD for anxiety are incredible!

CAN CBD CURE CANCER? NO, BUT IT CAN HELP.

Cancer.

The word all by itself is terrifying, perhaps because of how prevalent it’s become in our world – who doesn’t know someone who has (or has had) cancer?

Maybe because there are so many unknowns – what if we’re next? Maybe because potential treatments seem so harsh, and the negative effects are so easy to see when someone is fighting the disease.

One thing is for sure, however: we can all agree that the need for a cure is more urgent today than it has ever been before.

According to the National Cancer Institute, over 38 percent of people will be diagnosed with one type of cancer or another at some point in their lives. While standard treatments – like medication, chemotherapy, radiation, and various surgeries – have come a long way, there may be natural options to further the effectiveness of these drugs or to provide an entire set of other benefits. (source)

One of these might just be CBD.

Before you roll your eyes or write CBD off as another “hippie” remedy, check out the facts.

While CBD is often used to increase appetites, decrease nausea, and decrease the pain experienced by cancer patients, the true benefits of the compound may be further reaching.

In fact, recent studies have demonstrated that CBD may enable “antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic effects” that:

  • decreases the ability of cancer cells to grow.
  • decreases the ability of cancer cells to attach to various structures or “adhere.”
  • prevent cancer cell migration to other parts of the body and organs.
  • shrink tumors, and more.

With these potential health benefits, along with CBD’s proven interactions with the body’s endocannabinoid system to enable a sense of balance throughout various body systems, CBD may be an integral part of traditional cancer treatments in the very near future. (source)

CBD HEMP OIL FOR DIABETES (TYPE 1)

Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, often correlated with lifestyle factors and choices (including weight management, diet, and exercise), Type 1 Diabetes is an inherent condition that sufferers have little control over contracting.

1.25 million adults and children in the United States are currently living with Type 1 Diabetes, which is characterized as an autoimmune disorder, where the patient’s immune system destroys cells in the pancreas, leading to long-term damage and the inability to produce insulin properly, causing trouble controlling blood sugar. (source, source)

The disease – especially when poorly controlled – can lead to major negative effects, ranging from gout and skin infections to cardiovascular and even brain damage.

Because Type 1 Diabetes is classified as an autoimmune system, and because CBD is known to help regulate and promote balance throughout various body systems, especially as autoimmune conditions are concerned, it’s logical to assume that it could be helpful in the regulation of Type 1 Diabetes.

While the research is still forthcoming, and traditional medications and insulin are still the trusted first line of defense for Type 1 Diabetes, studies on the way that CBD interacts with the pancreas have become more popular, and the early results are promising.

In one study, posted in Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation, CBD was found to ease the inflammation Type 1 Diabetes causes within the pancreas in mice. Furthermore, it showed a lower overall occurrence of the disorder, which could have positive ramifications for future human studies. (source)

While CBD has not been proven able to reduce overall occurrences among humans, it has been demonstrated that the compound can reduce the amount of insulin a patient requires to reach target blood sugar levels and functionality.

CBD FOR ACNE AND SKINCARE

Acne.

Who hasn’t suffered from this unfortunate condition – or other skin conditions – at one point in life or another? 

Aside from creating social stigmas and challenges, the condition is uncomfortable and often associated with lower levels of self-esteem, and even, in severe cases, depression. (source)

A myriad of treatment options exists, from essential oils to prescription medications, laser treatments and more. But, what has dermatologists really excited is the potential for CBD, a compound nearly free of negative side effects, for treating acne and other common skin conditions.

According to one board-certified dermatologist who specializes in cannabinoids in skin care and treatment, Jeanette Jacknin, as recently published in The Strategist, the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, helps the skin look more “radiant and youthful” slowing down the signs of aging. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory actions and interactions with the body can help decrease the effects of acne, eczema, and psoriasis. (source)

Other studies have found that CBD may help lower the production of the specific sebum that is known to cause acne, reducing its visible effects. (source)

At the core of these seemingly miraculous effects, is CBD’s proven ability to lower inflammation throughout the body. Much like chronic pain and other chronic disorders, acne – and many other skin conditions – are worsened by inflammation, which often leads to the overproduction of the chemicals and other hormones that cause visible effects.

Because traditional acne treatments are accompanied by various side effects, ranging from dry skin and irritation to more serious complications like dizziness, and even high blood pressure (when non-traditional treatments like birth control pills are used), finding a more natural remedy is a top priority for patients and researchers alike. (source)

CBD FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Alzheimer’s Disease is frequently associated with many things: memory loss, the inability to care for one’s self, an increased likelihood of wandering off or becoming lost, fear, and (perhaps most importantly) the lack of a cure.

The disease is prominent; it’s the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and that figure is likely to increase. Between 2010 and 2015, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s cases grew by 125%. In stark figures, Alzheimer’s is responsible for more deaths than breast cancer and prostate cancer, combined.

Oftentimes, the burden of care lies in family members and other unpaid individuals due to high costs and a lack of options.

While researchers continue to search for a cure, and while early diagnosis techniques are improving, there may be hope for current sufferers: CBD.

As a neurodegenerative disease that progresses over time, sometimes more rapidly than others, the disease attacks the brain and various neuroreceptors of sufferers. A few of the hallmarks of the disease, only identified post mortem, are plaque build-up in the brain and inflammation. Each of these affects the cognitive abilities of patients.

Multiple treatments designed to reduce the effects of the disorder exist, but none are able to stop the physical momentum of Alzheimer’s in its progression forward.

In one study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers sought to study whether CBD’s known and proven anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties could help reduce the symptoms of sufferers. (source)

While the study was performed on mice, the results were promising. CBD was shown to reduce – and in some cases, remove – cognitive impairment and the inability to recognize familiar objects and structures in the rodents that were studied.

MANAGE NAUSEA AND APPETITE WITH CBD

Whether the side effect of disease – certain cancers, intestinal and digestive system disorders, cystic fibrosis – or the side effect of the treatment for a disease – medications, chemotherapy, epilepsy drugs – nausea and a loss of appetite can be just as damaging as the disease itself.

Our bodies rely on proper nutrients for regular functioning, healing, repair, and growth. When those nutrients are difficult to take in (or to keep in), increased suffering is likely to ensue.

Television shows, the experiences of others, and history have demonstrated cannabis’s ability to increase a user’s appetite… but what about CBD? Could the all-natural compound, relatively free of side effects help combat nausea, vomiting, and limited appetite associated with specific drugs and diseases?

The science is promising! It’s also far from new.

Back in the 1970s and ’80s before the development of “modern” anti-nausea drugs, CBD was widely studied for its anti-emetic (vomiting) properties. Then, when new treatments were introduced, the research was waylaid, paused, and put on the back burner, in simple terms.

The pharmaceutical industry had an interest in promoting more profitable options and pushed forward in supporting those initiatives instead of opting for the more natural option.

Recently, this has started to change.

One study – of many human trials – published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, found that cannabinoids – like CBD – may be more effective than standard anti-emetics in treating difficult to control, or difficult to treat – vomiting and appetite problems in both children and adults. (source)

CBD may work on the same receptors as traditional treatments, being similarly effective without all the negative side effects. The term promising may be an understatement for both suffering patients and medical professionals.

CBD HEMP OIL HELPS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

Multiple Sclerosis (or MS) is the most commonly diagnosed disabling neurological condition affecting young adults on a global scale.

Unlike many other neurological conditions prevalent among older population groups, MS primarily first affects individuals between the ages of 20 and 50. (source)

Currently, it’s estimated that 2.3 million individuals around the world are living with MS. Here in the United States, around 200 new cases are diagnosed on a weekly basis. (source)

While the lifespans of sufferers are generally considered “average,” the range of symptoms and progressive symptoms can range widely – from pins, needles, and tingling in various parts of the body to the inability to function and walk independently.

MS affects the central nervous system of sufferers, with lesions affecting the myelin, neurons, and fibers of the brain and spinal cord, which, in turn, affect and limit various bodily functions.

Multiple studies have concluded that CBD may be useful in:

  • Reducing the pain felt by MS sufferers.
  • Reducing muscle stiffness experienced as a result of MS.
  • Reducing extremity spasms commonly associated with MS and MS relapses.
  • Reducing bowel and bladder dysfunction associated with MS, and more.

While there is more research to be done, the fact that CBD could provide relief to those diagnosed with MS is promising. (source, source, source)

CBD CAN IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

Ranging from long-term conditions (like valve problems, arrhythmias, and more) to life-changing events (like heart attacks or cardiovascular-related strokes), the potential for cardiovascular problems throughout a given individual’s lifespan is great.

In fact, heart disease or cardiovascular dysfunction is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States, with regional differences in prevalence and type. Each year, over 630,000 people in the United States die due to heart disease.

The numbers are staggering, the research is ongoing, and early intervention and symptom identification education have grown in prevalence in order to increase heart health.

Today, Americans are (mostly) aware of the risks of heart disease, attempting to remain active and to focus on nutrition, and take other steps to prevent trouble. But, something that’s often left off the agenda might be more useful than previously thought – cannabinoids, like CBD.

CBD’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease and events, even for those considered “high-risk.”

Research compiled by the National Institute of Health hypothesizes that CBD may work directly on isolated arteries, to promote relaxation and to reduce negative cardiovascular responses to various models of stress, which could lead to damage over time. (source)

Other studies have shown promise in CBD’s ability to:

  • Reduce cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Reduce the risk of death following a cardiac event or heart attack for past users.
  • Reduce the risk of additional heart attacks after the first in surviving patients.
  • Potentially regulate hypertension.
  • Reduce imminent death rates among heart failure patients.
  • Reduce cell death relating to diabetic cardiomyopathy, and more. (source)
CBD is also helpful in combating and treating conditions that are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including:
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Smoking
  • And more.

CBD SHOWS ANTIBACTERIAL QUALITIES

In-house hospital infections, multi-drug resistant bacteria, and “new” bacterial infections are on the rise with the potential to be a crisis in the very near future.

The ones that have scientists, researchers, and medical professionals around the world most concerned – with good reason – are drug-resistant bacteria.

Because of the overuse of antibiotics, multiple bacteria have “evolved,” to develop a resistance to treatments that would have been effective not all that long ago.

Just a few decades ago, only 1-5 percent of bacteria and “bugs” were considered resistant to drugs. Today, that number has risen to somewhere between 60-70%.

According to the CDC, each year in the United States, over 2 million individuals become infected with a drug-resistant bacterial strain, and over 23,000 pass away. The age of superbugs has arrived. (source)

While researchers scramble for answers and new treatments, a more historically-trusted, natural alternative might be more widely available than any of us would have thought: CBD.

Research has shown that certain cannabinoids, including CBD, have antiseptic properties. Used both topically – as a cream on skin lesions and injuries – and internally, CBD – and other cannabinoids – have shown promising results against even the most deadly of drug-resistant bacteria (like MRSA). (source)

When applied to the skin, some studies have shown CBD and other cannabinoids to be more effective than traditional treatments and antiseptic lotions. Notably, the skin lotions had a lower number of negative reactions, in addition to their powerful results. (source)

Imagine the possibilities!

At the very least, CBD’s potential ability to mitigate a current cultural crisis – drug-resistant bacteria – warrants additional research, which is currently underway around the world. (source)

CBD OIL FOR SLEEP AND INSOMNIA

Sleep disorders come in many shapes and sizes. One thing remains clear: a lack of regular, quality sleep can have detrimental effects on the overall health of anyone.

CBD has shown promising potential for providing relief from many sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, REM sleep behavior disorder, excessive daytime sleepiness, nightmares associated with PTSD, reduced sleep due to chronic pain, and more. Then there’s the big one… CBD is proving to help with insomnia. (source)

This is significant: insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting 30 percent of adults in the short term, and 10 percent on a chronic basis. (source)

The inability to obtain quality sleep doesn’t just lead to tiresome days; it can impact regular functioning. Each year, numerous individuals make life-altering mistakes on the job, in vehicles, and more, leading to fatalities. In the medical field, sleep deprivation among practitioners may be responsible for up to 100,000 deaths in the United States.

Sleep. Matters.

But, when it’s hard to come by, what’s someone to do?

Traditional medications for helping an individual sleep have major side effects, including:

  • Dependency on worsening symptoms after medications are discontinued
  • Dizziness
  • A loss of balance
  • Addiction and Withdrawal difficulties
  • Digestive issues
  • Impairment upon waking
  • Shaking
  • Changes in appetite
  • And more

While many sufferers of insomnia depend on CBD due to its natural qualities and low rate of side effects, early scientific studies have begun to explain why.

It’s thought that the endocannabinoid system may be critical for regulating sleep and sleep stability, which makes sense, as it promotes balance throughout the body. Research seems to show that when CBD interacts with this system, sufferers may achieve longer periods of overall sleep. Furthermore, earlier research demonstrated that CBD may provide relief for insomnia sufferers who struggle to achieve REM sleep due to anxiety. (source, source)

CBD SUCCESSFULLY TREATS DRUG WITHDRAWAL

The opioid crisis – the drug category responsible for most addictions in the United States – is very real.

Opioids were responsible for over 42,000 deaths in 2016, rising over 5 times from just a decade earlier, and over 20 percent from 2015 alone. Today, over 800 individuals die from overdoses each week in the US. (source, source)

Many of these addictions are born with prescription painkillers (prescribed by medical professionals) used to treat varying levels of pain following accidents, medical and/or dental procedures, surgeries, chronic conditions, and more.

After initial use, the brain’s chemistry changes to require the drug – often in higher doses – to achieve the same level of pain control. When the drug’s usage is stopped, the brain still “needs” it, causing (sometimes) debilitating symptoms including:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Body twitching and shaking
  • Digestive symptoms
  • Muscle pain and body aches
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • And more

In most cases, the discomfort caused by these withdrawals (along with the brain’s need for the substance) force users to continue, often requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect. (source)

This cycle, along with the growing issues of synthetic drugs and Fentanyl lacing, leaves users forced to risk death from usage – OR – face life-threatening/life-altering withdrawal symptoms.

How could CBD make a difference?

Research is still in the early phases but has shown promising results. (source)

Because CBD helps reduce cravings for other addictive substances – like nicotine – it’s logical to believe it might be helpful for other addictions as well.

Those who have used CBD to reduce drug withdrawal symptoms have reported lower levels of anxiety and reduced side effects. But, why?

It’s believed that while CBD helps activate and regulate the body’s endocannabinoid system, it also helps regulate the neural pathways that are responsible for withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. In early rat trials, those treated with CBD were less likely to exhibit anxiety-related withdrawal symptoms and drug-seeking behaviors after being exposed to cocaine. (source)

There’s more work to do… but multiple studies are underway to learn more.

SUPPLEMENT IBS TREATMENTS WITH CBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease ranges in severity for sufferers, affecting daily functioning and requiring diet, lifestyle, and (sometimes) medication for management.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • And other unpleasant effects

There’s no known cause for IBS. Theories held by different medical professionals include muscle contraction control in the intestines, inflammation, nervous system malfunction, imbalanced gut bacteria, infections, and more.

Symptoms sometimes have no identified triggers. Other times, sufferers can find a link between certain foods, stress, and even hormones.

Because CBD has proven effects on many of these potential causes – especially inflammation, bacterial infections, and nervous system malfunctioning – it’s reasonable to believe that it may play a role in regulating the disorder.

It all starts with the connection between the endocannabinoid system and intestinal function/motility. Recent studies have found that the transmitters regulated by the endocannabinoid system are located throughout the human body. Some of these transmitters are responsible for gut function; when imbalanced, negative effects are likely to occur. (source)

A study highlighting this was performed approximately one decade ago. The study found a link between IBS sufferers and clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, which relates back to the fact that the system directly impacts intestinal motility and function. When CBD was used to activate and regulate the endocannabinoid system, sufferers of IBS saw significant symptom improvement. (source)

Another study (performed in 2011) found a link between nervous and immune system involvement and IBS. When CBD was used to treat IBS patients, regulation of gliosis in the nervous system (commonly associated with negative IBS effects) seemed possible, without the psychoactive and other common effects of traditional treatments or even medical marijuana. (source)

CBD OIL FOR ADHD

Often thought of as a childhood disease – which it is – ADHD has been known to last well into adulthood and throughout an individual’s entire life.

ADHD, or attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity, is often first noticed and diagnosed in school-aged children (it is the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood). Many sufferers must learn to adapt to difficulties in paying attention, remembering seemingly simple tasks, being over-compulsive, and more, over the long term. (source)

This can lead to difficulties in performing at work, keeping a job and growing in a given career track, and even interpersonal relationships. Because an estimated 6.1% of American children are estimated to suffer from ADHD – a number that has skyrocketed in recent years – there’s clearly room for improvement. (source)

Current protocols include managing ADHD with a combination of behavioral therapy and medications. Numerous medications, both stimulants, and non-stimulants have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ADHD. Because each individual reacts differently to each medication, finding an appropriate protocol can be a challenge associated with many negative symptoms, including:

  • Sleepiness
  • A loss of appetite
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • And more

Researchers have begun to search for a better way. One potential option? CBD, of course!

Because CBD works with specific neurotransmitters to reduce anxiety and increase the ability to focus, initial studies have shown promise in its ability to increase the quality of life by decreasing the symptoms of ADHD for many sufferers. Much of this research is still in the early phases (with a lot of room to learn more), however, CBD may be worth adding to a daily routine for those frustrated with traditional treatment options.

CBD OIL FOR ARTHRITIS

Arthritis hits close to home for many individuals. As a conservative estimate, around 54 million American adults, and 300,000 children suffer from arthritis that has been diagnosed by a medical provider, with many more believed to suffer in silence.

That means nearly a quarter of the US population is suffering from daily pain, swelling, and other negative effects caused by the disease. (source)

Furthermore, this number is expected to grow. According to the CDC, it is estimated that by 2040, over 78 million adults will have arthritis that has been diagnosed by a doctor, with 43% of those individuals limited in terms of activity because of the disease, without taking into effect other conditions that contribute to arthritis side effects, like growing obesity numbers and more.

Current arthritis treatments have a variety of negative side effects, including:

  • Cardiovascular effects
  • Hair loss
  • Digestive issues like nausea
  • Swelling and water retention
  • Elevated blood sugar levels
  • Breathing difficulties
  • And more
 In many cases, avoiding traditional treatments is not an option. Because the disease itself can harm the body due to chronic inflammation, many sufferers feel trapped; forced to decide between the “lesser” of two evils: allowing arthritis to continue its course – or – accept the side effects. (source)

There might be a better way: CBD.

One cannabis Sativa-derived medication, Sativex, has already been put to the test with impressive results, including an improvement in pain levels at rest and during movement, and increased quality of sleep due to lower levels of pain. (source)

Additionally, because of CBD’s ability to reduce inflammation, it has been noted that nerve damage (caused by inflammation) may be prevented or lessened by the consumption of CBD by arthritis sufferers. (source)

CBD – nature’s wonder drug – may reduce other effects of this debilitating disease, including cardiovascular damage, chronic pain, and more.

AUTISM IMPROVEMENT WITH CBD

Autism. Most of us have been touched by a disorder that falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. That’s because its diagnosis is becoming more common than most other childhood conditions. 

Today, 1 in 59 children has been identified as having symptoms consistent with autism spectrum disorders. This is up from 1 in 150 in the year 2000. (source)

Disorders that are classified as relating to autism are often shrouded in mystery. While some hereditary links seem to exist, other causes – though hotly debated – have been difficult to nail down with any clarity.

The symptoms range in both type and severity, from one individual to another. These could include:

  • Difficulty in communication
  • Struggles to connect
  • Hypersensitivity to specific sensory situations and stimuli
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Lack of speech and/or eye-contact
  • An inability to understand the emotional cues of others
  • Inability to handle specific textures
  • Lack of coordination
  • And more.

More severe forms are often identified in childhood, while others are often masked – or misidentified – as other conditions like anxiety or OCD. Treatments are often prescribed based on symptoms, in addition to behavioral and cognitive therapies, varying based on the individual patient.

This range of symptoms and lack of treatment leaves many parents and adults on the spectrum, wondering where to turn and/or where to start.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, CBD has shown promise in the treatment of autism-related symptoms.

Current studies, including one carried out by the UC San Diego School of Medicine, are looking into how the endocannabinoid system may be linked to reducing symptoms associated with autism. This is due to its role in social reward responsivity, neural development, and circadian rhythm, and anxiety regulation – all of which are often affected by autism. (source)

If these links are found, regulation of symptoms may be possible using therapeutic CBD. (source)

CBD OIL CAN HELP DEPRESSION

Depression and major depressive disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in the world.

In the last year, nearly 7% of adults have suffered from one major depressive episode – lasting two weeks or longer – with 10 percent of physician office visits mentioning depression as a topic of conversation. (source, source)

The potential negative effects of depression are great; each year, over 44,000 American lives are lost to suicide, with depression noted as a common link.

For those who seek help, therapy, lifestyle changes, and medications are often recommended. Unfortunately, finding a targeted treatment is often a long process with periods of worsening depression and other side effects, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Appetite changes
  • Sexual side effects
  • And more.
 Currently, researchers are looking for a better way. Studies are currently being conducted to create a novel line of anti-depressants (that effect and help regulate the endocannabinoid system) using cannabinoids like CBD as a more natural treatment option. (source, source)

Preclinical and research findings indicate that, by enhancing the signaling of the endocannabinoid system, CBD may be able to reduce activity related to neuroendocrine stress while enhancing serotonergic and noradrenergic transmission – similar to how current anti-depressants function, but without the side effects.

Other research indicates that CBD may provide more fast-acting benefits, with a shorter time period between consumption and positive effects for those suffering from depression. (source)

The fact that CBD can help to combat the side effects of depression, allowing sufferers to function at their optimal level of performance, is nothing short of positive.

IMPROVE FIBROMYALGIA WITH CBD

While many of us associate fibromyalgia as a pain-related condition, pain is not all the disorder causes.

It’s true that nerve pain is one of the most commonly reported symptoms of fibromyalgia, but it goes further than that. Sufferers are often faced with fatigue, memory problems, mood changes, and much more. (source)

Unlike other chronic conditions, fibromyalgia is not known to cause muscle or joint damage, but the symptoms it causes are no less devastating. Today, 3.7 million Americans are living with fibromyalgia, often in tandem with other conditions, including depression, anxiety, arthritis, and more.

Because the cause of fibromyalgia cannot be pinpointed, treatments are often prescribed to lessen the side effects, providing a better quality of life for those who are afflicted with the disease. (source)

These often include pain medications, sleeping pills, anti-seizure drugs, and anti-depressants.

As mentioned in previous conditions, these treatments are often associated with devastating side effects, ranging from mild mood changes, sleeping problems, and/or appetite changes to depression, dependence, and more. In many cases, as patients become acclimated to specific doses, they are increased, leading to a higher potential for negative effects.

Once again, CBD – nature’s miracle compound – may provide a better alternative. Because of its role in treating chronic pain, depression, nausea and appetite issues, and even nerve pain, CBD may provide benefits to fibromyalgia sufferers as well.

One study (in 2009) found that CBD may be more effective at treating neuropathic pain than opioids. A 2013 review demonstrated similar findings. (source, source)

Because the endocannabinoid system may help regulate the way various neurons fire, this is promising for fibromyalgia patients looking for a better way to treat symptoms.


The original article by Laura Pyne was published at cbdcentral.com

About the Author:

Laura Pyne – CBDC Lead Researcher

As a nature/natural-living enthusiast and professional writer/researcher, Laura enjoys learning about and sharing the benefits of healthy alternatives to traditional medicines and options that more mainstream outlets often fail to highlight.


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