Your Weekly Wellness Vol. #5

WEEKLY WELLNESS

Volume #5

CAME THROUGH DRIPPIN’
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
IV vitamin therapy (also known as vitamin IV drip and IV vitamin drip therapy) involves having nutrients directly injected into your bloodstream. The treatment, which you might have seen posted on everyone from Miley Cyrus to Chrissy Teigan’s IG, promises to cure hangovers, give the immune system a boost, and amp up energy levels all in one shot.

Drip Drip
What happens during an IV drip? Intravenous fluids containing a blend of saline, water, vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium are administered directly into the veins using a needle. Advocates say that by supplying the nutrients directly into the bloodstream, you bypass the digestive system and feel better faster. The treatment usually takes around 45 minutes and costs upwards of $100. Its popularity has even spurred on IV drip lounges. If the pre-game = taking shots of tequila at a friends apartment, are IV drip lounges with shots of saline and vitamins the post-game?!

OK...so IV drips are trendy, but are they safe?
Simply put, research on IV drips is preliminary, and their safety is highly contingent on where and how they are administered. Many patients claim to experience an immediate pick-me- up after an IV drip, but it’s not clear whether the reported health benefits are long lasting. IV treatment risks include bruising, infection, and vein inflammation. Also, many doctors warn that if the treatment is done outside of the hospital, there’s no guarantee that the ingredients in the infusion can be properly controlled.

Knowledge is power
Read up on all the risks, and choose a clinic wisely. Most importantly, remember IV therapy is one debatably necessary puzzle piece – alongside good nutrition, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep – toward good health. 

ROLLING IN THE SLEEP
Sleeping Beauty
Sleep hygiene is the set of practices and routines you incorporate into your waking and non-waking life to make sure you get the most out of your pillow time. Just like you have a skincare routine to get the best skin or a fitness routine to get the best results in the gym, think about your sleep hygiene as your bedtime routine to help you get the best rest so you can function at your prime throughout the day. Because better, high-quality sleep = less stress, better mood, greater alertness, lower blood pressure, better memory, better immune system, better weight loss or maintenance, the list goes on.

Sorry, I dozed off on you there…
That’s OK! According to the National Sleep Foundation, you are not alone. In fact, 45 percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days. For the record, getting “good sleep” includes falling asleep within 15-20 minutes of lying down, sleeping a total of seven to nine hours in a 24-hour period, and having continuous periods of rest. In other words? Waking up feeling refreshed and like you’ve “filled the tank”...or in other words, weekends only?

OK, get me those high-quality Z’s
The great thing about sleep hygiene? It’s just a few minor changes that you can facilitate yourself to be on your way to the best sleep of your life. Some of these changes are things that might be on your health bucket list anyway, like exercising during the day and limiting junk food, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol especially before bed. A lot of the changes involve turning your nighttime sleep sesh into a sacred ritual by making the cleanest, coziest version of your bed and bedroom for yourself, creating an awesome bedtime routine that relaxes you every single night and not going HAM on screen time before bed. Oh, and our personal favorite way to protect your sleep hygiene? Get some sunshine during the day! That vitamin D is your ticket to better Z’s and your body being able to get its wake-sleep cycle in sync with the outside world. 

THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND THE IUDS
Where to begin…
IUDs, the barrier method, spermicide...Even if you’ve been on the pill since your teens, birth control might still feel kind of confusing-ish. Luckily, in 2020 there’s a ton of contraceptive options out there, making it an incredible time for women to figure out what’s right for them when it comes to managing their reproductive system (can we get a hell yeah?). 

Detective emoji
On the flip side, it also means there’s a lot to investigate when it comes to birth control, especially considering we’re the first generation of women having kids after having taken the pill and are more woke (as the kids would say) to the hot debate going on with big pharma and women’s health.

Beyond the pill
Let’s do a quick zoom out before diving in, shall we? The main birth control categories are hormonal and non-hormonal, each with various options to choose from. Non-hormonal birth control includes options like tracking your cycle and refraining from sex on fertile days, copper IUDs, barriers like condoms and cervical caps, spermicide, pulling out, sterilization (commonly known as getting your tubes tied), and abstinence. There are also a variety of hormonal birth control options that alter hormones to stop the reproductive cycle. These include things like the pill, birth control shots, arm implants (known as Nexplanon), vaginal rings, a hormonal IUD, and for emergencies, Plan B.


Fine print, please
Some of the most common hormonal birth control side effects include weight gain, mood changes, decreased libido, and even changes in your eyes. The increased estrogen in most hormonal birth controls has also been linked to heart attacks, although scientists still say it’s mostly safe. For non-hormonal options, there are fewer side effects but also some have a decreased rate of effectiveness. The copper IUD has the highest rate of success but is associated with heavy, irregular bleeding and intensified cramps for months after insertion.


OK, cool. How do I pick?
Step one: Discuss these options with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to talk to you about your specific needs and all of the risks and stats associated with each form. People really do respond differently to all of these. Your doctor will likely have a larger focus group of information to reference than simply asking your gal pals at dinner. Step two: Decide what you’re most comfortable with. It’s your body and you have the final say. Does your doctor’s recommendation align with your personal beliefs? Step three: Wait for scientists to finally be done testing male birth control and then let’s have one huge giant HelloWellness party. 

 

 

CHEMICAL ROMANCE
There’s what in crayons?!
Petrochemicals are chemicals that come from petroleum (aka “oil) or natural gas. As fossil fuels, petrochemicals have the same chemical compounds as the gas from gas station. Even if you’ve never heard of these guys, you’ve most definitely brushed shoulders with them, considering they are surprisingly in basically everything you can imagine, from crayons to food, and nail polish to food.

So vote for petro?
Well, here’s the deal. First, the good: According to American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, petrochemicals are being dubbed “the building blocks of the future,” contributing to water-resistant phones, fire-retardant clothing for first responders, and even cutting-edge medical and space technology. The bad? Petrochemicals are infiltrating way more products than just those and come with some pretty hefty health concerns. Petrochemicals fall in the category of endocrine disruptors and can interfere with our natural hormone production. They can generate 1,4-dioxane, a substance known to potentially contribute to some cancers and been proven to release harmful greenhouse gases when burned. In fact, Petrochemical plants have been dubbed “America’s new super polluters,” which definitely isn’t the yearbook superlative vote anyone is looking to receive in 2020.

BRB going home and getting rid of everything…
So should you be scurred? Um, maybe a little. The U.S., and other countries, has a history of not policing potential harmful chemicals, leaving U.S. consumers exposed to a higher rate of carcinogens. In just beauty products alone, there are 1,300 toxic chemicals that Europe has banned. The U.S.? 11. Say whaaaaaaat. It’s important to remember that your skin is your biggest organism, and what you put on your skin goes into your body. But before you go full Burning Man and throw out every item you own, it’s important to know that petrochemicals encompass literally thousands of chemicals so you may not see the generic term “petrochemical” listed on a label. You’re going to have to read up to understand the who’s who and what’s what of petro. You can get started with this glossary of terms from PopSugar before diving into this field guide to the petrochemical and plastics industry. 

 


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