Tag Archives: Hydration


Fall Detox for the Skin

As the largest organ in the body, conditions of the skin is a trusted indication of one’s overall health. If you are experiencing skin issues such as severe acne or dermatitis, or flare-ups in your eczema or psoriasis, maybe consider a detox this fall to help settle those symptoms.

Eczema

This common skin condition prevents the skin’s ability to retain moisture, leaving it dry, itchy and easily irritated. Eczema is a distinctive type of hypersensitivity that is characterized by barrier defects in the skin and allergic hypersensitivity. Thought to be caused by a genetic defect in the filaggrin protein, which is crucial for skin cells to correctly mature into the outermost protective layer of the skin, eczema is typically present on the neck and on places where skin folds, referred to as flexor surfaces.

Affecting both children and adults, eczema can range from mild to severe depending on the size of skin area affected and the degree of itchiness. Though symptoms may flare and subside, the reoccurrence of eczema over the same patch of skin may lead to thickening and tough skin. Triggers of flare-ups may include weather conditions, certain foods, fragrances, and stress.

Psoriasis

Though common, this auto-immune disease is an inflammatory skin disorder that results from excessive proliferation of keratinocytes. Essentially, the body is overly reproducing an epidermal cell that produces keratin, which is responsible for the tight functions formed between the nerves of the skin.

The initial sign appears as a sharply differentiated red plaque of skin covered in silvery-white scale. Once the scale is removed, pinpoint bleeding is shown. Psoriasis is typically present in extensor surfaces, the scalp, oily areas of the face, and sometimes flexor surfaces such as the genitals and intergluteal folds. Another common symptom is nail thickening, yellow discolouration of nails, and separation of the nail from the nail bed. Flare-ups can be triggered by dry skin, and picking at the patches.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

In connection to celiac disease, this auto-immune blistering disease presents small and fragile vesicles typically found on extensor surfaces, such as elbows, knees, scalp, back, and buttocks. The blisters are extremely itchy and can be easily punctured during physical examination; however the diagnoses of dermatitis herpetiformis is accomplished through a skin biopsy and direct immunifluorescence of normal appearing skin adjacent to lesions. Triggered by the ingestion of gluten, those with dermatitis herpetiformis should watch their diet.

Between Bowel Health and Skin Issues

Many chemicals within perfumes, lotions, soaps, detergents, deodorants and other personal care products can wreak havoc on the endocrine system.

Liver: The liver is one of the main organs of elimination that cleanses the blood from the chemicals that we ingest from food, drugs and excess hormones. This two-part detoxification process begins at converting toxins into less toxic molecules, then changes into a water soluble compound making it easier to excrete by the intestines and kidneys. In order for this organ to function smoothly, the liver require nutrients such as antioxidants, amino acids and vitamin B, which can be found in Detox Pro by CanPrev.

Small and Large Intestines: When food leaves the stomach, it first arrives at the small intestines, where absorption occurs. Unfortunately, optimal digestion does not always occur for reasons like eating too fast, food quality and quantity, antibiotic or anti-acid medication, and many more. This leaves the intestines working too hard at jobs which they are not capable of and thus, inflammation is created. The gut loses its integrity and releases food and nutrients back into the bloodstream. To ensure that this does not happen, a good fibre supplement like CanPrev’s Fibre Flow, and supplement for improving bacterial cultures like Probiotik 15B, can help to support the bowels.

Kidneys: The kidney is responsible for removing waste products, drugs and excess fluid from the body. When blood enters the kidneys, the stream flows through nephrons to filter the blood and requires approximately a minimum of 500ml to 1000ml of waters per day to support these elimination processes. By using ElectroMag from CanPrev, an effervescent drink mix consisting of electrolytes and vitamin C, it can greatly aid kidney health for hydration and nutrients that they body and kidney need.

Lungs: Little do people know, the lungs help the liver by eliminating chemicals that have been metabolized in a gaseous form. An example of this would be alcohol ingestion and having the smell of alcohol on the breath, the next day.

Detox Protocols

It can easily be forgotten that anything we put onto our skin or come into contact with, is literally absorbed into our bodies. Our bodies are then responsible for processing all these toxins. One of the first things you can do by taking care of your entire body is to keep your skin healthy:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water,
  • Use a humidifier during dry/cold temperatures,
  • Switch to natural lotions with less chemical ingredients,
  • Dry brush the skin to help get rid of excess skin,
  • Provide the skin with antioxidants to support and protect healthy skin, such as vitamin E, selenium and zinc, which can be found in CanPrev’s Antioxidant Network

Try some of these common detox protocols to keep your skin and ultimately your body healthy!

 

What will you be doing to keep your skin healthy? 

 

Beyond The Health Benefits: 10 things You Should Know About Water

Water is the foundation and truly the lifeblood of our health.

It is essential to sustain life, and assists in everything from our digestion to brain function. But, there are a lot of surprising ways water can help us maintain our health that we’ve maybe never considered.

Here are 10 things to know about how water keeps us healthy and how you can keep our drinking water safe:

Say goodbye to 8 cups a day

So how much water do we really need to drink? Gone are the days of the “8 cups of water per day” rule.  

In fact, the Dietitians of Canada recommend approximately 12 cups (3 L) for men over 19 and ~9 cups (2.2 L) daily for women over 19 years of age. However, this is the total recommended fluid intake which includes other beverages as well as high-water-content fruits and vegetables.

While this is a good guideline to start with, it’s also important to note that factors such as activity level and humid climates will increase our need for water.

As we lose more sweat with activity and in warmer temperatures, it’s important to replace the fluid in our body more frequently.

Drink up before you drive (water that is!)

It turns out that a hydrated driver is a better driver.

A 2015 study from Loughborough University studied the effects of dehydration on drivers. The conclusions were that dehydration significantly affected a driver’s cognitive and motor skills.

According to the study, when drivers were mildly dehydrated, they were more likely to make errors such as lane drifting and late braking.

Since our brain is primarily made of water, ensuring adequate hydration will help to keep it functioning at its best and as indicated by this particular study – help you stay safe on the road!

Some like it hot

Can the temperature of your drinking water really make a difference in your health? Some believe that it can.

Drinking your water tolerably hot can aid in digestion, improve circulation and even relieve nasal congestion.

Try drinking your water at a higher temperature, plus adding a little fresh lemon juice to it will give it an extra boost for your digestive health while keeping you hydrated.

Others like it cold

Just as the temperature of your drinking water is important, so is the temperature of your shower.

While it may not seem appealing to start your day with an ice-cold shower, the benefits may cause for pause!

Taking a cold shower touts significant health benefits including improved circulation, quicker post-workout recovery (think like an Olympian!), better sleep and a stronger immune system.

One 2015 study found that participants who took a cold shower had 29% less sick days than those who didn’t.

If you’re not ready to commit to a full cold shower, you can still reap some of the rewards by turning the temperature down just before you get out.

Are you bottled in or tapped out?

Is “clean” bottled water really all it’s cracked up to be? The bottled water industry really wants you to think so.

Bottled water manufacturers lead us to believe their water is coming from a pure mountain spring, when in fact, over 25% of the sources are using a municipal supplier.

Translation: it’s not a whole lot different than your tap water.

The other major concern with bottled water is the plastic packaging which often contains harmful chemicals such as phthalates; an endocrine disruptor that has documented negative effects on our health and hormones.

And while most bottles are recyclable, it is estimated that only 14% of bottles are recycled.

The bottom line on bottled water: Bottled water isn’t any safer than tap water. Save your dollars and use a reusable, preferably glass vessel to fill up and drink from, and to keep the environment – and your health safe.

Want to know more about the safety of bottled water? Read more in this CBC News Report.

Go alkaline – your bones will love you for it

Some swear that alkaline water is the key to health, while others say it’s not worth the hype. The verdict, however, is entirely dependent on your body’s unique needs.

At a basic level (pun intended), alkaline water has a much lower acidity than tap water and also contains a higher amount of essential minerals such as calcium, silica, magnesium, and potassium.

Drinking alkaline water is reported to have a positive effect for those with osteoporosis, as well as on pancreatic beta cells due to its higher mineral content and antioxidant effect.

You can go too neutral  

While there can be significant benefits of alkaline drinking water for some, there can also be negative side effects for others.

Drinking water with a higher pH level changes the stomach’s natural acidity. This change of stomach acidity can lead to a condition called alkalosis. Side effects this condition can include nausea, vomiting, muscle twitching, and extreme confusion.

Check with your Naturopath to decide if alkaline water would be a helpful addition to your health routine.

Float your worries away

You don’t always have to drink your water to receive health benefits from it! Floatation therapy is a growing trend citing benefits from improved creativity to stress reduction.

A typical floatation therapy session involves entering a sensory deprivation chamber filled with water and an abundance of medical grade Epsom salts. Participants put in earplugs and then simply lie back and relax.

After a typical 60-90 minute session, participants report a significant reduction of stress.  

A Swedish research study concluded the same, citing significant beneficial effects for those with sleep difficulties, difficulties in emotional regulation, and depression.

Our water sources are on the decline

It’s easy to take our drinking water for granted when we can literally just go to our tap and get fresh water on demand.

However, our water sources are becoming increasingly more limited and contaminated on a global level. Without change, we run the risk of relying on polluted drinking water that can make us sick.

We can do our part to keep our water safe by reducing or eliminating widely used chemicals such as fertilizer and toxic cleaning products in our homes.

Regular car maintenance can also eliminate oil and antifreeze leaks that run off into our water system.

Small changes to our lifestyle can help us maintain the safe drinking water that does so much to keep us healthy.

Stop the salt insanity!

Every winter, folks in colder climates salt their roads, sidewalks, and driveways to prevent slips and falls.

While this may be good for keeping us upright as we navigate the icy conditions, this salt doesn’t just disappear into thin air. It ends up in our lakes and streams AND our drinking water.

The consequence? High amounts of salt in our water can harm or even kill aquatic animals and plants which affects overall water quality. In addition to this, drinking water with a higher salt content can be dangerous for those with hypertension.

To reduce the harm to our water supply, use salt more sparingly if not at all. In cooler temperatures (-10C or lower) try switching to sand instead.

Hopefully, we’ve shed some light on all the ways water touches our life, our environment, and its health benefits.

The thirst is real

You’ve probably heard that if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated.

Well, it’s sort of true. Thirst is basically your body’s way of telling you to get some sort of liquid into it. Your fluid levels are always fluctuating depending on the foods you eat and what you excrete.

While a parched mouth may only mean that your fluid tank is down by 1.5 per cent (which is by no means dangerous),[1] it could also mean that you’re borderline dehydrated.[2] If you find yourself heading for the water tap again and again, you should explore what else might be going on.

But there could be a host of reasons as to why you might have a persistent dry mouth. It could be as simple as sleeping with your mouth open and not breathing through your nose, or not drinking enough water while you’re exercising.

But being thirsty all the time can also signal a serious medical condition.

In technical terms

Xerostomia is the clinical name for having a dry mouth. It means that there’s not enough saliva to help you chew, eat, swallow or talk.[3] Everyone suffers from it from time to time, especially when they’re in situations that make them nervous.

Maybe it’s your medication

There are over 400 different medications that can cause a dry mouth. OTC antihistamines, decongestants and sedatives, or more specific prescription medicines like antidepressants, anti-Parkinson and anti-hypertensive drugs can all be culprits.[4] A lot of medicines act as diuretics, increasing your urine output and causing you to become dehydrated.[5] Your kidneys act as water sensors – too much and they send you to the bathroom, not enough and they send you in search of fluids.

The food-thirst connection

Ever notice how your mouth feels after you eat a bag of chips? It’s almost like the sodium sucks every bit of moisture out of it. In fact, OD-ing on salt can cause you to suffer from hypernatremia, a condition where your body has too much sodium and not enough water.[7] Though a small amount of sodium is necessary for optimum muscle and nerve function, too much sends that signal to the kidneys to flush it out – and all the extra fluids along with it.[8]

Even spicy foods can send you running for a cool glass of water, but not just because your tongue is on fire. Eating a meal with lots of heat slightly increases your body temperature, so in order to bring it back down, that thirst reflex kicks in once again.[9]

Strangely enough, reducing carbohydrates in your diet can also make you thirsty. When you reduce carbs you lose water weight, because both are stored in the body together. Certain carbohydrates like oats, brown rice and pastas absorb liquids when cooked and are a good source of hydration.[6] Cutting them out can leave you on the hunt for fluid replacement.

Alcohol and Caffeine

Try to make it a rule to have a glass of water for every cup of coffee you drink. Though caffeine itself isn’t dehydrating in small amounts, it can quickly turn the other way if you drink more than 500 milligrams, or about three to five cups, a day.[10]

Drinking alcohol decreases the body’s production of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which the body uses to reabsorb water. When that hormone is compromised, more fluid than usual is excreted, leaving your body begging for water.[11] You might be familiar with that foggy feeling the morning after a night out. Vomiting also causes fluid loss, just saying…

Naturally dry

Though they can be very effective solutions for many health issues, some natural remedies cause increased urinary output and can make you feel thirsty. Dandelion, ginger, parsley, hawthorn and juniper[12] all have natural diuretic side effects, so check your supplement labels if you feel like your remedies might be leaving you a little parched.

Treat your diabetes

You may have already been diagnosed or be just on the cusp. Either way, having a constant dry mouth can be a big red flag for diabetes. When you’re diabetic, glucose builds up in the blood and your kidneys are called in to work double time to filter and absorb the extra sugar. If your kidneys can’t keep up the pace, the excess sugar ends up in your urine, bringing along fluids from your tissues. The more you urinate, the more you become dehydrated. The more water you drink, the more you’ll urinate still; it becomes a constant cycle until your diabetes is treated.[13]

Watch your mouth

Saliva is important for washing away food particles and plaque. Severe tooth decay and gum disease can result if you have constant dry mouth, so drink water to keep the saliva going. About 30 per cent of tooth decay in older adults is caused by low saliva levels.[16]

The nerve of it

Suffering any kind of head or neck trauma can damage nerves that carry messages from the brain to the salivary glands telling them to make saliva. Radiation on the head and neck, as well as chemotherapy drugs used to treat certain cancers, can also decrease saliva production. The results can be temporary or permanent, depending on the length and intensity of treatments.

So those are some real reasons why you might be craving a tall, cool, glass of water more than usual. There are also some myths around why you might feel thirsty, and how to tell if you’re really dehydrated. We’ll try to set the record straight for you here with these FAQs:

Is it possible to drink too much water?

Though rare, it does happen, especially in very hot weather, or if you are an extreme competitive athlete. Drinking small amounts over longer periods of time is ideal. That way the kidneys can keep up with the extra intake of fluids and process and excrete them at a reasonable rate.

When too much water is ingested too quickly, the kidneys can’t keep up and dilute and reduce important electrolytes. As your body works to balance levels out, you might feel tired or nauseated and suffer from muscle cramps or vomiting.[14]

Do I really need eight glasses of water a day?

There is no hard and fast rule regarding how many glasses of water you should drink per day. Actually, the recommendation should include all fluids, sugary drinks excluded.

What you really need to examine is how active you are, the climate that you live in, and if you already consume foods with high water content. The Institute of Medicine recommends about three litres of total beverage intake a day for men, 2.2 litres for women.

About 20 per cent of your water is already contained in the foods you eat, the rest is up to you to take in whenever and however much you want. Of course if you live in a hot and humid climate, or you sweat a lot when you exercise, you’ll want to drink more.[15] Just listen to your body.

Does the colour of my urine tell me if I’m dehydrated or not?

It can be alarming to see dark urine, but the colour does indicate how dehydrated you might be. If it’s amber or honey coloured, you are definitely dehydrated and should get some fluids into your body immediately. Dark yellow is normal but drinking a glass of water wouldn’t hurt. Transparent yellow or a pale straw colour is ideal, but if your urine is clear, you’re drinking too much water.

Some quick fixes

Say you’re parched but your water bottle is empty. What can you do to get the saliva going?

  • Chew sugar-free gum or candy – chewing stimulates saliva flow, so always keep some mint, citrus or cinnamon flavoured gum or candy around
  • Stay away from coffee, tea and sugary sodas – while small amounts of coffee and tea are okay, if you’re thirsty, they’re not the first beverages to turn to as they can make a dry mouth even worse
  • Put the cigarette out – we know that smoking is bad in every way. A number of studies have shown that while cigarette smoking can typically cause a noticeable short-term increase in salivary flow rates, it’s still better for your mouth (and your health) if you butt out.[19]
  • Saliva-stimulating mouthwashes and sprays – yes, they do exist. If you suffer from persistent dry mouth, look for products that contain xylitol, which is a natural saliva stimulator[17][18]

Sources:

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/dehydration-myths_n_3498380.html
[2] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20815262,00.html
[3] http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/DryMouth/
[4] http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/complications/xerostomia.php
[5] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20815262_4,00.html
[6] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20815262_5,00.html
[7] http://www.livestrong.com/article/476234-why-do-you-get-so-thirsty-when-you-eat-foods-high-in-sodium/
[8] https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002415.htm
[9] http://www.livestrong.com/article/445101-i-drink-enough-water-but-still-feel-dehydrated/
[10] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/dehydration-myths_n_3498380.html
[11] https://gastrolyte.com.au/dehydration/dehydration-and-alcohol/
[12] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/water-retention/faq-20058063
[13] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-symptoms/art-20044248
[14] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/im-thirsty-all-the-time-should-i-be-worried/article4550394/
[15] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/dehydration-myths_n_3498380.html
[16] http://www.toothwisdom.org/resources/entry/dry-mouth-causes-associated-problems-and-treatment
[17] http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24073&page=2#can
[18] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424
[19] Bouquot DJ, Schroeder K. Oral effects of tobacco abuse. J Am Dent Inst Cont Educ . 1992;43:3–17