Do I really need to drink eight glasses of water a day?
Fiction. Well, kind of. Eight glasses are recommended by the American Dietetic Organization, but there haven’t been studies or anything. The best way to figure out if you are drinking enough water is to look at your urine. It should be a very light shade of yellow. If it is darker, then drink up. Also, let your first thirst guide you. On a mild day, you might not need eight glasses to feel hydrated. If it is hot or you are exercising, you could crave for nine or ten glasses. The bottom line? Your body is 90 percent water and needs it for digestion, healthy skin, blood circulation, temperature control and lots of other valuable reasons. So drink to your health!
I am getting headaches almost every day. I take ibuprofen, but it seems like they get worse. Why?
Believe it or not, some medicines for headaches can actually cause them. This is called rebound headache, and it’s common especially to people dependent to painkillers. Over-the-counter meds, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil), help in the short term, explains Dr. Mark Green, director, Columbia University Headache Center, Columbia-Presbyterian Eastside, New York. But they can make matters worse if taken more than once or twice a week.
Caffeine, sleep deprivation and stress also cause dull, thudding brain pain. The best way to rid headaches for good is to ditch the drugs and make a few lifestyle changes. Dr. Green suggests going to bed and waking up at a set time daily: “People with headaches find that they’re worse when they sleep late.” Whenever you go to far places or you attend time-consuming activities, carry snacks with you because your hunger can trigger the problem. And of course, exercise regularly to release endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers. Still, if nothing works, a doctor can prescribe medicine in safe doses.
Whenever something really stressful happens, I feel like I am going to throw up. How can I make this go away?
Nausea or the desire to vomit because of stomach pain is a natural response to stress. When you are under pressure due to an oral report or an interview, family issues, friendship strife or whatever, your body secretes hormones into your bloodstream, raising your heart rate, dilating your pupils and, well, making you want to hurl. Dr. Andrew Spooner, director of pediatrics, University of Tennessee Medical Group, Memphis, recommends relaxation techniques: Breathe deeply, make sure it doesn’t rise. “Your belly will stick out if you’re doing it right,” says Dr. Spooner. Breathe and tell yourself, “I’ll be fine; I can handle this.” Next, imagine a serene scene, like walking in the shore or lying in the beach. Aaahhh… So comforting, isn’t it? But still, if your anxiety is interfering with your life, I think you should see your doctor. Some medications might help you ease that pain you are feeling.