NorthStar Nutritionals Blog

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  1. Why Am I So Thirsty?

    thirsty soBeing thirsty occasionally is normal.

    Everyone goes too long without a drink of water.

    But if it seems you are just so thirsty all of the time, then you may be wondering what’s going on.

    Let’s look at seven common conditions that might cause you to be thirsty.

    Then, you can deal with them appropriately, instead of guessing!

    1. Anxiety. Thirst is frequently a result of the other symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety can make you sweat – which would lead to you being thirsty. It can give you dry mouth – which would also make you thirsty. It can make you forget about self-care, so you aren’t drinking enough water – which can make you thirsty. To be clear, just because you’re really thirsty doesn’t mean you have anxiety. But it can be related to one of the classic symptoms. If these symptoms of anxiety sound familiar, go ahead and talk to your doctor.

    2. Dehydration. The most common reason for thirst is plain old dehydration. You just haven’t gotten enough to drink in too long. Combine being thirsty with dry mouth, dark yellow urine, and lightheadedness and you’re probably looking at the beginnings of dehydration. So before you do anything else, sip a large glass of water – or two. Not only will you quench your thirst, but you’ll feel better, too!

    3. Diabetes. No matter how much you drink, you’re still thirsty! Being so thirsty that it feels like you can’t get enough water is a classic symptom of diabetes. The overabundance of sugar in your bloodstream draws water from the rest of your body, making you thirsty all the time. If you just can’t get enough to drink, talk to your doctor about your chances of diabetes, just to be on the safe side.

    4. Diet. Sure, salty foods and spicy foods can make you thirsty, but even if you’ve cut out salt and go easy on the spice, you may still find yourself thirsty because of your diet! Some of the healthiest foods you can eat can also make you thirsty. Foods that are diuretics, like many vegetables and fruits, cause you to need to go to the bathroom more. The more you go to the bathroom, the thirstier you may end up. Don’t stop eating them, though. Just add healthy carbs, like oatmeal and brown rice, to your diet to help keep things in balance.

    5. Dry mouth. While dry mouth may feel like thirst or dehydration, it’s actually a completely different condition from either of them. When your saliva glands stop producing as much saliva, you end up with dry mouth, as well as bad breath, irritated gum, change of taste, and even trouble chewing. And since it’s not caused by a lack of water, per se, drinking won’t resolve it. Usually dry mouth is a symptom of something else – a medication or another, underlying medical problem. If you’ve started a new medication, ask your health professional or pharmacist if it might cause dry mouth. Otherwise, mention it to your doctor.

    6. Hormone imbalance. There’s a specific hormone imbalance called diabetes insipidus, but it has nothing to do with the blood sugar diabetes. Instead, it’s when the body doesn’t make enough of the hormone that helps your kidneys control the water in your body. Since the amount of water in your body is low, you end up so thirsty, all the time. Only your doctor can diagnose and treat this one, so make an appointment if your thirst isn’t going away.

    7. Low blood pressure. Being thirsty is a lesser known symptom of low blood pressure, but it’s very real. Your body is trying to tell you to drink more so that you raise the level of water in your body – which in turn helps raise your blood pressure. Address the reasons your blood pressure is too low and you’ll address the reasons you’re thirsty.

    Being thirsty all the time may just mean you need to drink more water. Start there.

    But if it’s waking you up at night, or becoming a problem, don’t ignore it. Thirst is sometimes a sign of something else – something bigger.

    So talk to your doctor and figure out why you’re always so thirsty.

  2. Coffee and Headaches – Is the Caffeine Helping or Hurting?

    headaches and coffeeWhenever there are two schools of thought on a topic, it’s hard to know which is true and which is false – as is the case with caffeine and headaches.

    Some people swear by caffeine’s ability to relieve headache pain.

    Other people swear that coffee is the cause of their headache pain.

    So which is it? Will coffee help your headache – or make it worse?

    The truth is: it depends.

    Read on, and we’ll look at how caffeine helps your headaches, and why it might cause them, too.

    Caffeine Brings Relief…

    If you’re in the school of thought that believes your cup of coffee and its caffeine help ease your headache, you’ll be pleased to know you’re right. In fact, caffeine helps headaches two ways.

    The first way caffeine helps headaches is completely on its own. At the onset of a headache, the blood vessels in your brain expand, allowing for a painful rush of blood.

    Caffeine is what’s known as vasoconstrictive. In other words, it causes those enlarged blood vessels to constrict, which in turn restricts the blood flow.

    This reduces the pain and eases the headache. Nothing more needed than a cup of coffee.

    Or, you can combine caffeine with other pain relievers, which is the second way it helps relieve pain. Caffeine makes pain killers even more effective.

    This is why it’s often added to over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen and/or aspirin – because caffeine can make them up to 40% more effective than taking them alone.

    Some reports indicate that when caffeine is added to pain relievers, not only do headaches go away faster, they stay away longer.

    There’s even one specific type of headache – a hypnic headache – that responds particularly well to caffeine alone. Hypnic headaches are severe, tend to strike older people, and hit in the middle of the night, waking the sufferer with extreme pain.

    The first line of defense against this headache is to have a cup of coffee immediately when the pain wakes them. Some doctors even recommend a cup of coffee right before bedtime to prevent the onset of a hypnic headache.

    …Does Caffeine Trigger Pain?

    According to the National Headache Foundation, caffeine doesn’t actually trigger headaches. Instead, what you’re feeling when you get a “caffeine headache” is a lack of caffeine.

    This happens when people either drink a great deal of caffeine, or even drink a small amount but drink it regularly, and then go without caffeine.

    Once it’s out of their system, these people go through a withdrawal of sorts. This withdrawal, the lack of caffeine, is what triggers the headache.

    Caffeine can also play a role in what’s known as a rebound headache. They work like this – with any pain killer, if you take too much or take it too often, when the pain killer wears off, the pain comes back with a vengeance, worse than before.

    This is called a rebound headache. And while it can happen with any pain medication, it’s more common in formulas that include caffeine.

    Listen To Your Body

    Unfortunately, what this all means is that there’s no one answer. For some people, caffeine will be exactly what they need for their headaches. For other people, that same cup of coffee will trigger the headache.

    All recommendations are to pay close attention to how your body responds to each cup of coffee. Maybe you can handle the one first thing in the morning, but not the one later in the afternoon.

    Or maybe you need to cut caffeine out entirely. If you try that, be sure to wean yourself off of caffeine slowly, not cold turkey, to minimize the risk of getting withdrawal headache.

    If you don’t have a problem with caffeine, when a headache strikes, pour yourself another cup of coffee or tea. It very well might help.

    No, there’s no one-size fits all when it comes to caffeine and headaches. So do what’s right for you, and that’s your answer!

     

  3. My Doctor Gave Me the Wrong Diagnosis – Now What?

    diagnosis wrongGetting the wrong diagnosis for a medical condition isn’t just an irrational fear. It’s a fact of life for 12 million Americans every year. That’s almost 1 in 20 people who are given the wrong diagnosis. Suddenly, that concern feels far more plausible. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the most common misdiagnoses, and then empower you to get the medical advice you need in the aftermath of a wrong diagnosis. Continue reading →
  4. Why a Lack of Fiber Could Be Killing You

    fiber lack ofThe average adult needs between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day. Unfortunately, the average American adult only gets about 15 grams of fiber per day – just about half the amount you need! And it turns out this lack of fiber could be killing you. Sound alarmist? That’s because it’s alarming – but it’s also the truth. Getting enough fiber isn’t just about feeling fuller, longer, so you stick to your diet. It’s not even only about the sustained energy that comes from the healthy carbohydrates where most people find their fiber. Getting enough fiber is about fighting off diseases that can actually kill you. Now that we’ve gotten your attention, let’s look at what a lack of fiber is doing to your health… Continue reading →
  5. 8 Critical Metabolism Vitamins Missing From Your Diet

    vitamins metabolismYou don’t worry about metabolism vitamins because you’re healthy. You eat well most of the time with a treat or two just often enough to keep you from feeling deprived. So you don’t worry about metabolism vitamins because you don’t have to. Except you probably should. Here’s why – Continue reading →
  6. What Correcting Bad Posture Could Mean For Your Health

    bad posture correctingWhen you were younger, you were probably taught to sit up straight, walk with your shoulders back, and generally maintain proper posture. But that was years ago, and you’ve let it slide a bit. You don’t really think about correcting bad posture these days. That’s okay, right? Interestingly enough, it might not be. It turns out that correcting bad posture may have positive effects. And not just on your height, but on your overall health. Continue reading →
  7. 17 Quick Ways to Thoroughly Cleanse Your Liver

    liver cleanse yourIn an ideal world, your body is designed to cleanse and detoxify without any help. But in today’s real world, it’s a different story. Your liver is exposed to chemicals, preservatives, and toxins that it was never designed to handle. Which is why it’s important to give your body the support it needs and cleanse your liver, so that it can function smoothly and well. Continue reading →
  8. 12 Empty Calorie Foods Disguised as Healthy Foods

    Eating healthily is easy – stay away from junk foods and empty calories. But what happens when you think you’re eating well, but really you are not? That can happen when you’re dealing with empty calorie foods disguised as healthy foods. Continue reading →
  9. 6 Common Metabolism Myths Explained and Debunked

    myths Metabolism Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight – and who hasn’t – has probably also struggled with metabolism myths. There’s so much misinformation out there, it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s false when it comes to your metabolism and losing weight. Rather than leave you guessing, we’re going to take a closer look at six common metabolism myths, so you know what’s real – and what’s not. Continue reading →
  10. 5 Healthy Cooking Oils to Boost Your Health

    cooking oils healthyWhen it comes to healthy cooking oils – or health in general – we want decisions to be black and white, good and bad, healthy and unhealthy. And sometimes, the choice is that clear cut. We know that trans fats are bad and should be avoided. Period. For better or worse, though, when it comes to cooking oils, it’s not always so straight forward. That’s why we wanted to look at cooking oils and clear up some confusion. Continue reading →
  11. 10 Tips to Cure Acid Reflux Naturally

    acid reflux cureThat burning sensation in the middle of your chest. That acidy taste in the back of your throat. You may think they are the issues, but they might just be the symptoms. If you experience these more than twice a week, you could be dealing with more than just heartburn. You could be dealing with acid reflux. The good news is, that you can cure acid reflux at home, naturally. And in this article, we’ll tell you how… Continue reading →
  12. Quick and Effective Thyroid Exercises

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    Exercises thyroidWhether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, thyroid exercises can be an essential part of your treatment plan. The key with thyroid exercises is to be smart about them, because, yes, both diseases can make exercising difficult. But that doesn’t mean you should stop moving! In fact, it’s just the opposite… Continue reading →
  13. Safe-Proof Your House: Avoid These 8 Harmful Household Toxins

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    toxins householdIt’s honestly frightening how many household toxins may be lurking in common, every day products. Especially when you’ve taken deliberate steps to make healthier choices and eliminate chemicals and toxins from your home and lifestyle. But the truth is that there are still products hiding household toxins so that you probably don’t even realize you’ve brought them into your home. And scarier still? Some of them aren’t required to be on any label, so you could go your whole life and never know. While a comprehensive list is too long for one article, here are eight of the most harmful household toxins, found in some of the most common products – Continue reading →
  14. 8 Natural Gingivitis Remedies That Will Bring You Relief Today

    remedies gingivitisPeople focus on overall health…heart health…mental health…but rarely do you hear much about oral health. After all, there’s not a lot of mystery to oral health. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and see the dentist. Except that, sometimes, that’s not enough. Maybe you’re not brushing well enough or flossing often enough. However it happens, sometimes you end up with gingivitis and needing a gingivitis remedy. The good news is that you’re not alone. The better news is that gingivitis remedies are easy to find, and even easier to do. Once you know it’s time to step up your oral hygiene routine… Continue reading →
  15. The Ultimate On-the-Go Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook

    Inflammation doesn’t just affect your joints. Inflammation is one of the leading causes of systemic, physical problems. In other words, you should be thinking about anti-inflammatory foods and recipes even if your joints don’t hurt! Which is why we’ve designed an anti-inflammatory cookbook, with some general guidelines and very specific recipes for every meal of the day. Use the recipes as they are, tweak them to suit your tastes, or just draw from the general section and create your own anti-inflammatory cookbook! The choice is yours. Continue reading →
  16. The Ultimate Guide to Great Summer Health

    health summerThere’s really no time like summer. The sun is warm, the food is fresh, people are happy – and it’s easy to maintain GREAT summer health. It just takes a little bit of planning. Because you want to be able to embrace and enjoy every day of summer! Continue reading →
  17. 8 Hidden Food Toxins You're Probably Eating

    toxins foodYou do your best to eat clean, stay all-natural, and live as healthy a life as possible. Unfortunately, there are some food toxins hiding in plain site that may be sabotaging even your best efforts! Continue reading →
  18. The Mysterious Link Between Processed Foods and Cancer

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    cancer and processed foodsWe’ve known heavily processed foods are less healthy than raw foods for decades, but how much physical damage they can cause is only now truly beginning to be understood. It’s not just that they’re full of fat, sodium, and preservatives – as it turns out, heavily processed foods are directly linked to cancer. Even the so-called “healthy” alternatives in your frozen food or baking aisle aren’t really healthy. In fact, it doesn’t matter which aisle you’re in. If you’re buying a heavily processed food, it can be linked to cancer. Continue reading →
  19. 7 Hidden Food Intolerances You Might Have

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    intolerances foodYou’ve heard about food intolerances – to gluten, yeast, and more – but you aren’t sure if that’s what’s going on with you. Well, we’re about to help you figure it out! Continue reading →
  20. Listen to Your Gut: The Complete Guide of Good and Bad Gut Bacteria

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    Nothing is more important than your health – but if don’t know how to listen to your gut, you aren’t taking care of your health the way you think you are. Don’t get us wrong, eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising are essential steps to maintaining your health and we’re not arguing that. But listening to your gut is the piece you may be missing. We’ve been taught that bacteria is bad, and when it’s on your kitchen counter or in a scrape on your knee, it is. Bad when it’s in your gut, it’s the cornerstone of health. Continue reading →