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Gender Double Standards | Double Standards for Women | GETTIK

A photo of a sign with the common symbols of male and female bodies.

9 Examples of the Double Standards That Women Face in Today’s Society

Double standards occur when groups that should be held to the same measure are treated or regarded differently. This happens in a variety of circumstances, but often occurs when there is an unbalanced power dynamic, or an opportunity for favoritism. One way that double standards can manifest is between women and men. These double standards may begin in early childhood and can last lifetimes. They can occur in social settings, education, work, fashion, and economically. Consider the following nine examples.

1. Gender Wage Gap

The gender wage gap is the difference between what men and women earn and are paid. There are many factors that contribute to the gender wage gap including but not limited to: access to education, occupational segregation, direct pay discrimination, bias against working mothers, racial bias, disability, and ageism. It is also important to note that different groups of women experience different gaps in pay. 

According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a group that promotes equity and education for women and girls, the gender pay gap occurs across nearly all occupations and industries. The gap itself, when looking at median earnings, is about 18 cents per dollar. Meaning that for every dollar a male makes, a woman makes 82 cents. When considering racial bias, the percentages change. The following figures from AAUW are women’s percentages of men’s salaries broken down by race:

  • Asian women, 90%
  • White women, 79%
  • Black women, 62%
  • Native, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander women, 61%
  • American Indian or Alaska Native Women, 57%
  • Hispanic or Latinx women, 54%

2.  Leadership Positions

The gap of women in leadership roles is closely related to the gender wage gap. It is not that there are no qualified women to fill leadership roles; in fact, women are more present in the workforce now, than ever. It is more a matter of barriers and bias of the status of women in leadership. Negative stereotypes, hostile work environments, and bias are the true culprits and obstacles that women face when seeking leadership positions. Often women are battling gender roles, status quo, and stereotypes to embrace caretaking, supportive, and emotional roles. 

Gender inequality is also present in the gap in women’s leadership and political positions. In 2019, women only represent 24% of Congress, 24% of the House, and 23% of the Senate, while almost 51% of the U.S. population are women.

3. Voicing Your Opinion

Traits and characteristics associated with leadership can fall into stereotypically masculine traits such as assertiveness, ambition, and competitiveness. Feminine stereotypical traits tend to lean towards attributes such as communication, collaboration, and caretaking. These biases place women seeking leadership roles into an assertiveness double-bind that can result in a backlash against a woman who behaves assertively. 

Studies show that assertive behavior in the workplace can be a double-edged sword for women at work. Women who display assertive behavior may face the social penalty of being seen in a negative light. Likewise, studies on displays and expressions of emotion and anger in the workplace can disproportionately affect women. It was found that both male and female evaluators perceived angry woman professionals as a lower status than angry male professionals, regardless of the actual occupational rank. It was also found that women’s emotional reactions were attributed to internal and personal characteristics, as opposed to men’s emotional reaction attributions to circumstance.

4.  Sexual Conduct

Ideas of masculinity and femininity are rooted in rigid societal constructs and norms that can manifest behaviors and identities in individuals. Gender identity is a deeply held feeling of being male, female, both, or other. These constructs can be skewed into excessive and repressive definitions that result in extremes, such as toxic masculinity. 

Toxic masculinity equates “being a man” with aggression, status, and sexual conquests. The pursuance and abundance of sexual encounters can be viewed as a positive trait when assuming the cultural gendered behavior of men. However, women are commonly seen in a negative light for promiscuity.

5.  Insecurity

Notions of insecurities differ between gender identities and roles. The cultural ideal of “manliness” as defined by strength, and the categorization of emotions as feminine or “weak” can cause repressions and insecurity about emotional reactions. As a result, men may become insecure about expressing themselves. Women are often more insecure or concerned with physical attractiveness, as their looks can be more consequential for them.

6.  Emotional Expression

The cultural ideas of masculinity and femininity also include notions of how one is supposed to act and feel emotionally. The cultural idea of manhood values strength and represses emotions and insecurities as they are considered a form of weakness. As opposed to women, where femininity is often painted in emotional vulnerability or supportive roles. These views of gender traits are often reinforced in the media with near-impossible standards and stereotypes in which people are portrayed. These impossible standards create myths around distorted reality, depicting and reinforcing traditional roles and normalizing violence against women.

7.  Body Image

How bodies are portrayed in the media affects both men and women alike. Celebrities, influencer culture, and impossible standards of super-slim women, or muscle-bound men, have shaped body image and the satisfaction people have with their appearance. These standards are built from basic human instincts seeking sexually mature partners, youth indicators such as thick hair, stereotypical body shapes, or facial hair. This can lead to insecurities about female pattern baldness, male pattern baldness, unhealthy insecurities about “the perfect body shape”, or social media trends that can lead to unhealthy food obsessions. Ageism also culturally affects both genders differently, as women must stay highly focused on youthful looks with effort in make

8.  Childcare

Generally, women are more likely to be expected to take care of children and perform housekeeping duties than men are. The double standard is exceptionally strong in single-parent families. Perceptions of single-parent mothers are drastically different from single-parent fathers, who are often seen as exceptional parents for their involvement with their child. Studies on the double standards of praise and criticism of mothers and fathers also show that mothers reported higher levels of criticism than fathers did for too little involvement at home, as well as too much involvement at work. On the other hand, fathers reported being criticized more than mothers for too much involvement at home, and little involvement in work.

9.  Taking the Male’s Last Name

The social standard of a woman changing her last name in marriage is an old construct that has a history in ownership — in marriage, a wife was said to become one with her husband. This “coverture” prevented women from entering into contracts, participating in business, or exercising ownership over real estate or property.

In recent years, women are keeping their maiden names more often — about 30%. This deviation from the patriarchal marital traditions accompanies many social changes, such as women achieving higher education and entering the workforce, as well as the prevalence of same-sex couple marriages. Yet still, women face the question of whether they should change their name at marriage from the social expectation that nuclear families should share one last name. The female role is expected to be communal and sacrifice their individual interest to the well-being of the family. This directly causes a double standard of equity socially, as well as internally, as women continue to face the rebirthing of their self and identity.

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The Effects of Stress on the Body and Brain | GETTIK

A woman, dressed in a blue blouse, feeling the physical and psychological impact of stress.

The Physical and Psychological Impact of Stress

Stress can take a toll on the body both physically and psychologically. According to a 2018 Gallup Poll, “The majority of Americans (55%) said they had experienced stress during a lot of the day.” However, stress can often seem unrelated to effects in our bodies, brains, and behaviors. Having trouble concentrating, showing signs of balding, or feeling overwhelmed are much more real symptoms of stress than we’re led to believe. Understanding how stress occurs, as well as how to recognize it, are fundamental in its management.

What Is Stress?

When we feel threatened or under pressure, our bodies trigger a “stress response.” Also known as “fight or flight,” this response is a result of the nervous system instructing our bodies to release stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. 

This chemical process is necessary, but not always convenient. Think about the last time you had to slam on your car breaks as someone crossed the street without looking. What enabled you to break is the same stress response you experience after a difficult day at work. The difference is that it’s needed in the former, and not in the latter.

Effects of Stress on the Body

During stressful events, our body reacts by sending signals throughout our brain, blood vessels, and nerves. These signals cause pain and discomfort to course through our body. Stress can, in turn, affect nearly every physical facet of its composure, including but not limited to the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems. Below are a few symptoms of stress to be aware of.

Fatigue

One of the many symptoms of stress, fatigue is a feeling of tiredness and low energy. When stress causes disturbances to a person’s sleep, day time fatigue occurs as a result. Such disturbances include insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, and difficulty staying asleep. Research conducted by the National Institute of Psychosocial Medicine found that increased levels of stress at work rendered increased levels of stress at bedtime.

Headaches

Light sensitivity, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and dull, aching head pain are common symptoms of headaches. More often than people may think, stress is found to be the trigger for these symptoms. The stress can be brought on from a plethora of causes including a difficult day at work, financial hardship, or a strained relationship.

Muscle Tension and Chest Pain

Muscle contractions that don’t release, or muscle tension, is the body’s way of combating injury or pain. However, muscle tension does not have to come from physical exertion alone. Stress contributes to both short and long-term muscle and chest pain. This symptom of stress alone can contribute to other stress-related disorders such as headaches, chest pain, and upset stomach.

Decreased Sex Drive

A bad day at work can cause more than just a headache or an upset stomach. The stress felt during difficult times can seep into every aspect of a person’s life — whether they’re aware of it or not. Decreased sex drive, for example, is a potential result of stress. This problem is presented as having little to no interest in sexual activity or an inability to receive pleasure from sex. This occurs because the chemical response in the body turns off non-essential functions in order to focus on the perceived threat — whatever is causing your stress.

Upset Stomach

Before a big speech or on the first day of school, many people feel like they have butterflies in their stomach, making them woozy or nauseous. A well-disguised term for stress, butterflies in the stomach is actually the result of adverse chemical reactions in the body. The chemicals released, such as cortisol and epinephrine, can take a toll on the digestive system causing this well-known effect of stress.

Psychological Effects of Stress

Stress can weigh on your mind causing myriad concerns. Below are some of the psychological effects of stress:

Anxiety

A common reaction to stress, anxiety is the feeling of fear, worry, and unease experienced during challenging times. While anxiety is healthy in small amounts, too much is unfavorable, causing other symptoms such as an upset stomach or a decreased appetite. An important exam, for instance, may release a stress response that prompts you to study. However, continued fear and worry weeks after the exam is unnecessary and unfavorable.

Depression

Overactivity of the body’s stress response can lead to depression, a psychiatric disorder affecting over 300 million people globally. A decrease in serotonin caused by the stress response lends itself to feelings of hopelessness and sadness, as well as a loss of interest and restless sleep, among other symptoms. The effects of depression, in turn, contribute to increased stress — creating a vicious cycle, difficult to break.

Irritability and Anger

Irritability and anger are two often unwanted symptoms of stress. Though a healthy amount contributes to increased motivation, too much spurs dangerous transgressions, such as road rage, workplace violence, and assault. These actions, in turn, can lead to being fired or even jailed. When these situations occur, stress becomes distress — an unwanted affliction.

Lack of Concentration

Despite the common reference to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, lack of concentration is a normal occurrence for most people, with or without the disorder. Focusing on what someone is saying while a million other things run through your mind can be difficult for anybody. However, the multitude of thoughts on your mind causing such a lack of concentration could, in turn, be due to stress. Excessive amounts of stress can make concentrating difficult, if not impossible.

Restlessness

Restlessness is the inability to rest or relax, and can arise from stress. Arduous life events trigger a person’s stress response diminishing their ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and concentrate.

Behavioral Symptoms of Stress

The physical and psychological effects of stress can manifest in behavioral symptoms, such as those noted below:

Changes in Appetite

Changes in appetite occur as a part of the body’s chemical reaction to an overactive stress response. The gastrointestinal system becomes disrupted, resulting in suppressed digestion and a temporary end to breaking down food. Symptoms appear as an increased or decreased appetite.

Increased Drug/Alcohol Use

The use of alcohol and drugs releases chemicals in the brain that can feel calming during times of stress. However, their effects are a temporary fix that can potentially lead to adverse long-term effects. Using drugs and alcohol to cope with life’s stressful events results in reliance and abuse. Research shows that excessive levels of stress can increase vulnerability to addiction.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Sometimes recognizing how much stress we are experiencing does not occur until we feel completely overwhelmed. Consequently, poor judgment, negative, and racing thoughts are hard to stop once started. Operating in a constant crisis-mode does not bode well for long-term health.

Outbursts

When stress becomes too much to handle, people may react with an outburst of emotion, whether it be anger, tears, or something else. People have a breaking point, and uncontrolled stress may bring them to it. Outbursts are commonly found in children, who have not yet learned how to regulate their emotions. However, the same symptoms may present themselves in adults.

Withdrawal

Just as stress can lead to anxiety and depression, stress can further lead to withdrawal. The feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy experienced in these disorders contribute to the decline in social interactions. This kind of reclusive behavior may only worsen stress — creating a vicious cycle.

Long-Term Effects of Stress

Ongoing stress has the potential to exacerbate serious health problems that affect every facet of the body. The long-term effects of stress include:

Heart Problems

Research is still being conducted to determine whether or not stress causes a direct impact on heart-related problems. However, the different ways in which people react to stress can contribute to poor heart health. People who react by overeating or decreasing physical exercise have the potential to develop conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Managing stress is critical in diminishing the proclivity of these conditions. Exercising regularly, limiting caffeine intake, and maintaining a healthy diet are a few ways to enhance heart health while controlling stress levels.

Menstrual Issues

Too much stress causes adverse effects on a woman’s reproductive health, including irregular or missed periods, as well as amenorrhea — the absence of periods. As the hypothalamus becomes suppressed due to the increased stress, the interconnected system of glands disrupts a woman’s normal production of hormones, leading to menstrual issues. Maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle requires managing stress levels and implementing coping mechanisms.

Hair Loss

Stress-induced hair loss is one of the many surprising side effects that can afflict individuals. For some people, stress manifests in an urge to pull out one’s hair — known as trichotillomania — while in others stress makes hair fall out as a result of bodily functions. In the latter, the growth cycle of hair ceases upon exposure to high levels of stress leading to thin hair and balding. For quick relief, hair-growth and hair-thickening products can help mitigate this pattern. Long term relief, however, requires managing stress levels so that hair loss is stopped at the source.

Skin Irritation

Acne, eczema, hives, and psoriasis are all skin conditions that can originate from uncontrolled stress. Not only can stress bring about these irritations, but they can exacerbate already existing conditions. For example, the cortisol released from the brain during stressful moments informs the body’s glands to produce extra oil — causing acne. Feeling bad about your skin, in turn, can produce further skin irritations creating a cycle that is difficult to break. Regularly washing your face, eating healthy meals, and exercising are potential solutions to skin conditions exacerbated by stress.

Gastrointestinal Conditions

Types of gastrointestinal issues are heartburn, indigestion, bloating, and constipation, among others. According to Harvard Health, “Functional gastrointestinal disorders affect 35% to 70% of people at some point in life, women more often than men.” Since exact causes are often unknown, many researchers believe stress to be a potential culprit. However, stress and gastrointestinal conditions often influence each other. Though this cycle is not easy to break, life-style changes and medication help alleviate discomfort.

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Personal Style Tips | How To Change Your Style | GETTIK

A woman stands in a corner between two mirrors, wearing a black skirt, black knee-high boots, and a yellow top.

How To Change Your Personal Style

Everyone has their own personal style. Essentially, the way we choose to dress, do our hair, and even apply makeup allows us to create our own brand. 

Having your own unique personal style is extremely important for several reasons. For one, cultivating a personal style serves as a form of self-care. Dressing a certain way can evoke an emotion that allows us to feel good about ourselves, and the way we carry ourselves reflects a certain amount of our self-respect. 

Personal style is so much more than looking at the newest runway trends every year. Here, we’ll discuss the foundational parts of a person’s style, and the elements you can incorporate into your own style, to help you feel confident and comfortable in everyday life.

Ways To Change Your Look

There are a lot of different ways a person can change their look. From cutting your hair, to switching up your wardrobe or wearing a new shade of eyeshadow, you can change almost any aspect of the way you get dressed every day. Here are a few quick and easy ways you can switch up your personal style.

Pick Foundational Pieces for Your Wardrobe

Making changes to your wardrobe is perhaps the easiest way to update your personal style. To start, choose new pieces that will set the foundation for your new look. The foundational pieces of your wardrobe should include: 

  • Staple coat: Whether it’s denim, wool, or leather, no wardrobe is complete without a go-to coat or jacket. Invest in a high-quality one that will stand up to the test of time. Opt for a classic silhouette.
  • Neutral basics: Neutral basics like t-shirts, undershirts, pants, and dresses are great starting points for any outfit. They can be dressed up or down with colorful accessories like jewelry, cardigans, scarves, and even hats. 
  • Great jeans: Everyone needs a comfortable pair of jeans to wear on a variety of occasions. Whether you’re just running to the store or headed out for the night, find a pair of jeans in a fit and wash that makes you feel confident. 
  • Pantsuit: From weddings to job interviews, a quality pantsuit can take you far. If pants aren’t your style, you can invest in a skirt suit or business casual dress.

Find a new Hairstyle

Your personal style is so much more than your clothing. Changing up your hairstyle is another quick and easy way to revamp your personal style. Turn to the internet if you’re in need of some inspiration. Whether it’s a fresh cut or a new color entirely, the best part about making changes to your hair is that you can always change it again. 

If you’re someone who struggles with hair growth, there are a number of products that can help with that. For instance, if you find your hair is thinning and won’t work with a certain hairstyle that you want to try, there are products that can help thicken your hair

Perhaps you are someone who experiences male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. To change your personal style, you may want to try a product that promotes your hair to grow back in those bald spots.

Experiment with Makeup

When it comes to makeup, there are some simple changes you can make to refresh your daily routine and wake up your personal style. If you wear lipstick, consider adding a new color to your rotation. Other subtle but impactful ways you can experiment with makeup include: 

  • Change the way you apply your eyeliner. From the winged look to the cat eye, there are so many ways to apply eyeliner. 
  • Use lipstick as an eyeshadow or blush.
  • Wear colored mascara instead of black or brown. Mascara is available in shades like blue, purple, and metallics. Try a new one on for size! 
  • Apply powder or liquid highlight to your cheekbones for an added glow. 
  • Curl your lashes prior to applying mascara to give them a boost. 
  • Line your inner eyelid to define the shape of your eye.

Makeup for Men

Over the years, men have grown increasingly interested in the makeup world. From tinted moisturizers to brow gels, there are a variety of makeup products men can use to amp up their personal style. Here are a few introductory ways:

  • Use foundation all over the face to create an even appearance and cover any discoloration or scarring. 
  • Concealer can be used to disguise dark spots or moles. 
  • If your brows are thin, use a brow gel or pencil to fill in any spaces or gaps and give the appearance of fuller brows. 
  • Apply a lip balm every day to keep lips from drying out and cracking.

Personal Makeover Tips

Ready to get started on your new look? It’s easy; simply follow the personal makeover tips we’ve listed below: 

  • Try a new skincare routine out. To find the one that’s right for you, consider the type of skin you have and what you’re looking to get out of a new routine. 
  • Go through your existing wardrobe. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that you don’t enjoy wearing anymore. Be mindful of any basic items that you already have and keep them aside as the start of your new revamped wardrobe. 
  • Consider using body bronzer. The tanner you are, the trimmer you’ll appear. 
  • Have your eyebrows done. The shape of your eyebrows can say a lot about your personality, so choose a shape that fits your face and your new personal style. 
  • Schedule a mani/pedicure. A spa day can do wonders for your blood flow and mental health. Make plans for a manicure and pedicure to refresh and renew your hands and feet. 
  • Know what clothes will fit your body shape. Having a wardrobe full of items that fit properly can help give you the utmost confidence. 
  • Choose a hairstyle based on the shape of your face. Just as with clothing, consider choosing a hairstyle that fits the shape of the face and head. 

From landing a job, to dating, to just generally feeling good about yourself, changing up your personal style can make all the difference. Give some of these tips and tricks a try to try a new personal style on for size.

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Pros & Cons of Birth Control Pills | Birth Control Side Effects | GETTIK

A blister pack of birth control pills

What Are the Benefits and Risks of Birth Control Pills?

The primary intended use of birth control pills is obvious; it’s in the name. However, this medication has had many benefits over the years, and a particularly notable benefit was what it meant for the independence and autonomy of women. Birth control pills gave women greater control over their own destiny in a novel way.

Birth Control Before the Pill

When birth control pills were made available to the public in the United States in 1960, contraceptive methods were not new. Ancient forms of birth control can be traced back to as early as 1550 BCE in Egypt. However, what was new was the convenience, the safety, and the fact that it put unprecedented autonomous control of women’s bodies into their own hands. 

Previously, birth control methods could be unwieldy and of questionable efficacy, such as Lothario Casanova’s infamous use of lemon rinds as a contraceptive method. Many women would even turn to blatantly unhealthy or dangerous methods of birth control, like the practice of drinking warm mercury, which was used in ancient China. Throughout history, women’s control over their reproductive future was constrained by either requiring the cooperation of men (condoms) or risking their health by resorting to outlandish means of pregnancy prevention. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that birth control pills were a great stepping stone for women’s liberation. 

On the other hand, while allowing women this sole control over such forms of contraception was a huge boon for women at the time, and a step forward for the culture as a whole, the very same unique control has become a bane today. Although initially, birth control pills provided unprecedented autonomy for women, it also created a double standard that birth control was primarily the responsibility of women. Modern methods of male birth control are being developed, but are slow to catch on.

How Birth Control Works

Birth control pills prevent pregnancy in three primary ways:

  • Preventing ovulation;
  • Preventing sperm from fertilizing eggs;
  • Preventing eggs from anchoring onto the uterine wall.

Birth control pills accomplish this by releasing synthetic estrogen and progesterone (called progestin in its synthetic form) hormones, which alter the body’s natural reproductive cycle and biological signals. They must be taken regularly in order to remain effective.

Pros of Birth Control Pills

Beyond allowing people to better prevent and plan pregnancy, birth control pills have many other benefits as well.

Clears Skin

Some forms of birth control appear to lessen acne in some people. This is because the hormonal effects of many forms of birth control cause the body to reduce the production of sebum, the oil produced by sebaceous glands which can clog pores and cause acne. It is important to note, however, that this phenomenon seems to only be produced by birth control pills which contain both estrogen and progestin, not those than contain only progestin.

Lessens Symptoms of PMS

Because birth control pills use synthetic hormones to alter and inhibit various aspects of the menstrual cycle, they also often reduce symptoms of PMS and PMDD. PMS and PMDD can produce a wide range of symptoms, including stress, fatigue, and irritability, and last for approximately one week. This can have a significant negative impact on day-to-day life on a monthly basis for those who suffer from these conditions.

Prevents Anemia

Anemia is a condition characterized by an insufficient amount of healthy red blood cells. Symptoms often include fatigue, dizziness, and unusually pale skin. Birth control pills reduce the blood loss experienced during the menstrual cycle, which can help prevent or reduce the aggravation of anemia during each cycle.

Reduces Risk of Uterine and Ovarian Cancer

Many studies suggest that the use of birth control pills may reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. According to the American Cancer Society: “Women who used oral contraceptives for 5 or more years have about a 50% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with women who never used oral contraceptives.” Although not all of the causes of these cancers are known, it is hypothesized that a synthetic balance of hormones provided by birth control pills are behind the apparent decreased cancer risk. However, birth control can also increase the risk of breast cancer.

Regulates Your Menstrual Cycle

Regulating the menstrual cycle is actually a necessary underlying function of birth control pills in order for them to work properly. This is also why they are sold as a specific regimen of pills over the course of each month. The pills produce hormones that mimic the natural menstrual cycle, which then allows the medication to control the cycle. As a result, birth control pills cause an extremely regular menstrual cycle.

Cons of Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills do also come with their risks and disadvantages, as any form of medication often does.

Hair Loss

The hormonal changes introduced by oral contraceptives have also been known to cause hair loss in some people. Those who are sensitive to hormonal changes or already have a predisposition for hair loss, female pattern baldness, or alopecia are the most likely to be affected. Those suffering from these side effects, but want to stay on birth control pills do have other options, such as hair growth products.

Headaches and Migraines

The most common regimen of birth control pills include 3 weeks worth of “active” pills, which contain the synthetic hormones, and 1 week of “inactive” pills, which do not. This can result in a sudden drop in the body’s estrogen levels which can cause or increase headaches in susceptible individuals. However, headaches and migraines associated with oral contraceptives do tend to improve as the individual adjusts to the regimen.

Mood Changes

Hormonal changes are strongly linked to changes in mood and behavior. This is especially well-known when it comes to hormones such as estrogen and testosterone due to common public familiarity with the effects of puberty. However, puberty is not the only cause of changes in these hormones. Because an integral function of birth control pills is to introduce and regulate hormones, it is no surprise that mood changes are a common side effect of oral contraceptives.

Reduced Libido

While testosterone is highly associated with men, women’s bodies also naturally produce testosterone. Testosterone plays many important functions in the bodies of women, including the regulation of sex drive. With the introduction of synthetic estrogen and progesterone as a result of taking birth control pills, testosterone levels may drop, resulting in lowered libido.

Weight Gain

Birth control has been reported to cause weight gain in some individuals. However, studies do not support significant evidence of long-term weight gain in individuals using birth control pills. It is suspected, however, that short-term weight gain may be caused as a result of water retention, which is commonly affected by estrogen levels.

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Benefits of Genetic Testing | What Can Genetic Testing Tell You | GETTIK

An animated strand of DNA

What Information Can You Learn From Genetic Testing?

The boom in genetic testing began when multiple test providers started combining their DNA genealogy packages with health packages. Sales data specifics aren’t available to the public, however, reports show that genealogy test sales more than doubled in 2017 with the total number exceeding 12 million sales. Some popular at-home genetic test providers are:

Genetic testing can be used as preventative screening for certain health reasons, understanding family heritage, and even for revealing genetic predispositions. Although genetic testing has its benefits, it’s important to be aware of the disadvantages as well.

What Is Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing looks at specific markers to determine a person’s risk of developing diseases. Getting a genetic test can help your doctor:

  • Find the cause of your disease/symptoms;
  • See if you’re at risk of developing future diseases;
  • Inform you whether or not a disease could be passed down to your children;
  • Find the best treatment;
  • Provide better counseling. 

What exactly happens after a person submits their DNA sample? 

  • DNA Is Prepared: The lab gets the DNA and preps it for testing. 
  • DNA Is Sequenced: Depending on the type of test, there is a possibility that the lab will put the sample on a machine called a DNA sequencer. This machine reads the DNA and collects data known as short “reads” that represent a tiny portion of the total DNA sequence. Sequencing tests read the DNA, scanning for any mutations in the DNA strands. These test scans can provide detailed information about specific genes and DNA variants.

DNA Is Analyzed: Computers put together all of the information that has been acquired up to this point and compares the DNA sample to a human reference genome. The lab will then get a report that lists any variants in the DNA.

Types of Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is conducted in many ways and for many different reasons including:

  • Carrier testing: Used to identify those who carry a single copy of a gene mutation that, when present in two copies, causes a genetic disorder such as sickle cell disease. 
  • Diagnostic screening: Used to identify a specific genetic disorder in someone based on their symptoms, like Down syndrome. 
  • Forensic testing: Uses DNA to identify a person for legal cases for example, identifying human remains. It can even be used to figure out the paternity of a child. 
  • Newborn screening: This is done right after birth to identify genetic disorders that can be treated early on in life, like the cystic fibrosis heel prick test in the UK. 
  • Predictive testing: Used to detect genetic mutations associated with disorders that appear later in life, such as breast cancer, female or male pattern baldness. . 
  • Pre-implantation testing: This form of testing is available for couples who are at risk of having a child with a genetic or chromosome disorder, such as Huntington’s disease. 
  • Prenatal testing: This type of testing is offered during pregnancy if the baby has an increased risk of developing a chromosomal or inherited disorder.

Benefits of Genetic Testing

Purchasing the top DNA test kits has increased in popularity because they are helping people feel more informed about their genetic makeup and giving them the results they’ve been waiting to hear, whether they be positive or negative. The reason behind why someone needs the kit will vary along with the results they’re looking for. Aside from providing their clients with answers, genetic testing has many benefits.

Ancestry and Ethnicity

If you aren’t sure about where your family comes from, taking a DNA test might help. They often allow their users to learn about their ethnic background, where their family came from, and in some cases, different people from the past that they may be related to. Learning about your ethnic background can spark conversation about your family history and teaches you about your family’s past that you never knew.

Genetic Predisposition

Genetic predisposition is the increased chance of developing a disease or conditions due to the presence of one or more gene mutations and/or a family history that indicates an increased risk. This can cover everything from heart disease, to weight gain, or balding. However, even though it may be a genetic predisposition, preventing hair loss is possible. It is important to note that a predisposition is not an exact diagnosis, and that further testing may be done to better clarify results.

Disease

Genetic testing can help with the detection of disease within a person, both early on in life and later. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved DNA tests for 10 different diseases: 

  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Celiac Disease;
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency;
  • Early-onset primary dystonia;
  • Factor XI deficiency;
  • Gaucher disease type 1;
  • Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency;
  • Hereditary hemochromatosis;
  • Hereditary thrombophilia.

Drawbacks of Genetic Testing

Even though genetic testing has multiple benefits, it’s important to be aware of the drawbacks that are bound to follow.

Genetic Discrimination

Genetic discrimination is when people are discriminated against based on their genetics. Some fear that when they participate in genetic testing this may happen to them. These fears might also persuade people not to participate in genetic studies or testing that is necessary to continue to develop new tests. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was created in 2008 to prevent this from happening.

May Not Be Accurate

The most common question that is asked in regards to genetic testing is their accuracy. Since DNA test companies don’t release their data, scientists aren’t able to evaluate their accuracy and validate their testing methods. Experts are torn when it comes to believing the results — some do, and some don’t.

Privacy Issues

When you provide a company with your DNA you are providing them with your genetic code. Understandably, this can be nerve wracking. There have been a few cases of security breaches with big-name genetic test sites, resulting in millions of people having their identity and associated genetic data compromised. Some people also might question the security of their family’s secrets and whether or not someone else is able to steal their identity using their DNA.

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10 Ways to Build Confidence | How to Be More Confident | GETTIK

A group of three women chatting and laughing outside on a sunny day.

How to Be More Confident:
10 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Everyone has experienced a period of low self-esteem in their lives. Your self-esteem — how you feel about yourself and your capabilities — can have a major impact on your mental health. Low self-esteem can be linked to many negative outcomes including poor relationships, addiction, and mental conditions like depression and anxiety. 

Do you suffer from poor confidence? If so, try the following approaches to boost your self-esteem.

1.  Visualize What You Want

Visualization is a powerful tool. When you visualize yourself achieving your goals, you experience the feelings of excitement and contentment that accompany success. Once you stop this practice, your subconscious will sense the disconnect, then push you to take actions to make those achievements a reality. 

According to Psychology Today, “Brain studies now reveal that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions … Mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, (and) prime your brain for success … .” In short, visualizing yourself as successful primes your body to take action to become successful, giving you improved self-esteem.

Consider what specific goals you want to achieve. Imagine how your life will change when you do so. Where will you live, and who will you live with? How will your home look? Your goal is to be enveloped by the details. Get as specific as you can, then focus on the sensations you’ll experience. What will you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel?

By committing to this practice every day, you will reap the proven benefits of visualization. You’ll have the confidence to strive for your goals because you will have already experienced that success on a psychological level.

2.  Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

People develop routines based on paths of least resistance. We may avoid doing things we are unfamiliar with because we might fear failure or embarrassment. We may avoid going to unfamiliar places because we fear confusion or rejection. 

This avoidance becomes habitual, leading some people to believe they must stay strictly within their comfort zones. Because many have never done otherwise, they may even believe they are incapable of doing so. In this way, failing to challenge yourself can result in self-esteem issues. 

If you feel your lack of confidence is a product of a history of not challenging yourself, it may be time to get out of your comfort zone. If you have social anxiety, make an effort to gain new friends or take a course in public speaking. If you regularly drive to work, try taking the bus or riding a bike to get to the office. The next time you eat out, order something you’ve never tried before. Making a habit of regularly confronting your fears will earn you improved self-esteem, lifelong friends, and newfound skills.

3.  Quiet Your Negative Inner Voice

Your inner voice is inextricably tied to your sense of personal identity. It cuts through the fog of buzzing stimuli and condenses your mindset into a single coherent stream of thought. Ordinarily, it’s wise to grow to trust this voice. After all, you have to trust your inner voice to be confident — right? 

Sometimes, your inner voice can become hypercritical, clouding your judgment with negative thoughts. As a result, you might become socially withdrawn, learn to distrust others, lose focus on achieving major goals, and even turn to addiction. It can be impossible to feel confident with a negative inner voice sabotaging your every decision.

Take some time to analyze the source of your negative thoughts. What caused your critical inner voice to “speak up”? What is it pushing you to do? If your rational mind can dismiss the cause for this inward criticism, you can begin to ignore that voice.

4.  Improve Your Image

Focusing on your personal appearance isn’t superficial; it’s actually a sign of good mental health. How you feel about your image has an impact on your confidence. A negative body image can lead to poor self-esteem and a lack of emotional stability. 

A good way to improve your self-esteem is to improve your personal image. Sometimes this can be as simple as changing the way you dress or your body language. Other times, it may involve more drastic changes, such as adopting a diet and fitness regimen to lose weight. If there is something about your appearance affecting your ability to feel confident, do what you can to change it. 
For example, if you have a receding hairline, it may make you feel unattractive or that you’re older than you truly are. As a result, you may become socially withdrawn, which can impact your life in many ways. However, by using hair growth products like Minoxidil and Wild Growth Hair Oil, you might be able to reverse this issue and regain your confidence.

5.  Set and Accomplish Your Goals

Without defining the goals you want to achieve, life can feel rudderless. Boosting your self-esteem will be a serious challenge unless you make setting goals a regular habit in your life. Failing to take time to set goals and acknowledge your achievements may lead to a severe lack of confidence.

Setting and achieving goals both big and small can drastically improve your confidence. This is because we, as humans, are dissatisfied with stagnation. Organizational psychologist Dr. Benjamin Hardy states:

“ … (W)e are happiest when we are improving. Self-acceptance is important, but self-acceptance is also intended to be a vehicle for positive growth, not for staying stagnant and justifying mediocrity … Trying to force yourself to remain the same stunts hope and happiness.”

Setting goals is an excellent way to avoid stagnation. Start with small daily and weekly goals. This can include minor tasks such as doing household chores or exercising for a certain amount of time. The key is to be realistic with your expectations, then hold yourself to those standards. Accomplishing these goals will give you a sense of momentum and confidence.

This momentum can be parlayed into larger life goals. These are goals that may take years to accomplish, such as graduating college, getting married to your partner, or landing a major promotion.

6.  Exercise

There are many reasons people may not get the amount of exercise they need to be healthy. Busy schedules, an excessive reliance on cars to get around, and sedentary hobbies can make it difficult to get in enough exercise. The stagnation associated with a sedentary lifestyle can seriously harm your self-esteem, as can a poor physique.

Physical inactivity can lead to poor physical and mental health, and it can drastically reduce your lifespan. In fact, a lack of exercise is as deadly as smoking, leading to over 5 million deaths per year. It can lead to complications like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol — all of which can lead to major chronic conditions. However, regular exercise can lead to a healthier, happier, and more confident you by reducing each of these.

Your exercise regimen should be designed to help you get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, which equals 30 minutes of exercise five days each week. If it’s difficult to find time in the day to meet this minimum, explore your options. If your workplace is within a reasonable distance, you can try walking or jogging to work each day. Invest in desk exercise equipment to burn some calories while working. 

These are just a few ideas to get you started on living a more active lifestyle. Experiment with these, and be sure to continue to develop your regimen. Continuing to challenge yourself will lead to improved physical and mental benefits.

7.  Determine Your Values

Do you ever engage in behavior that makes you question your integrity or worth? Using addictive substances, committing infidelity, wasting money, not spending enough time with your children — each of these can deflate your sense of self-worth. However, if you can identify that these behaviors are “wrong,” you’re already on the right path.

Many people who have high levels of self-esteem are confident because they ensure their actions are consistent with their values. If you can identify destructive behaviors that are wrong, then you can modify your behavior to ensure you act in a way that adheres to your values.

Identify your core values. These can include values like honesty, commitment to family, or punctuality. When you establish your values, you can create a set of rules to abide by that will allow you to go about your day with confidence. Consistently following these values will help you embody what you hold dearest.

8.  Help Others

When you lack confidence, it’s easy to become socially withdrawn and close yourself off to new opportunities. Remaining focused on your personal needs can cause you to lose sight of what you can do for people in need. 

Ironically, volunteering to help others can be the key to finding personal fulfillment. According to Western Connecticut University, “Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment.”

There are many volunteer opportunities to help others. If you aren’t sure where to begin, find volunteer opportunities that match your interests. For example, if you’re interested in sports, you might find an opportunity to help in adaptive recreation programs — classes designed to help people with disabilities participate in sports. If you have a passion for cooking, you may find your abilities will be appreciated at homeless shelters.

9.  Practice Self-Care

Self-care ensures your physical, mental, and social health remains in top shape. It requires a certain commitment of time, but failure to do so can lead to negative results, including a loss of confidence. If you don’t take time to practice self-care, you may suffer from self-esteem issues, among many other problems.

Examples of self-care habits include:

  • Eating a healthy diet;
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene, including going to bed at a reasonable time each night and getting 7-9 hours of sleep;
  • Regularly meditating to clear your mind;
  • Taking occasional time off from work;
  • Scheduling regular “me” time to spend on your interests.

A major part of self-care has been discussed above: taking care of your personal image. If you have self-image problems due to thinning hair, you can explore methods to get thicker hair or try switching to a hairstyle for thin hair. This can improve your self-esteem immeasurably.

10.  Learn to Say No

Saying “yes” to everything — and often being unable to follow through — leaves you in a self-confidence trap. You want to appease your friends and family by agreeing to their plans, but not being able to follow through leaves you feeling inadequate. 

Saying “no” is a key skill confident and happy people practice. By defining boundaries, you can reclaim your time. Defining boundaries doesn’t push others away; it enables you to spend better quality time with others when you are able to do so. It empowers you to feel confident that, when you do say “yes,” you will be able to commit to it fully. An honest “yes” is worth immeasurably more than a dozen dishonest ones.

The key to learning to say “no” is to not obsess over what others think. You can be considerate of the needs of others without overcommitting and depriving yourself of the time and energy needed to pursue your life choices happily and with confidence.

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Types of Body Modification | GETTIK

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The Most Popular Body Modifications

Body modifications are cosmetic changes that allow individuals to change and modify their physical appearance. In the United States, almost half of all adults have some form of body modification, and this percentage is growing, especially among young people. These can range from very common modifications, such as pierced ears and tattoos, to more extreme versions, including piercings on other parts of the body, face implants, tongue splitting, and more. Body modifications are a way for people to express their individuality, express aspects of their culture, and assume ownership over their appearance.

Body Modification Culture

Body modifications have a long history in various cultures around the world. Historically speaking, body modifications such as wearing corsets and binding feet have been used to uphold traditional notions of feminine beauty and encourage women to meet a certain aesthetic standard in their appearance. Other body modifications in different cultures include neck elongation, henna tattooing, and earlobe stretching. While body modification can sometimes come with health complications, many popular body modifications today are low-risk and minimally invasive. There are a variety of reasons why an individual may choose to modify their physical appearance, including:

  • To adhere to cultural ideals about beauty and appearance;
  • To express their individuality and take ownership over their body;
  • To express membership in a group;
  • To adhere to personal conceptions of beauty.

Body modifications can range from small to extreme changes to the appearance. While people often associate body modification with the more extreme end of the spectrum, in reality even getting a haircut or getting your ears pierced can be considered a form of body modification.

Hair Dyeing and Cutting

It’s a cliche that a new haircut can make you feel like a whole different person. Like other forms of body modification, changes to the style and color of your hair can help you to express your individuality and sense of personal style. You can cut, dye, or thicken your hair in order to change its appearance. For men who struggle with balding and hair loss, there are also a variety of options to naturally improve hair health and stimulate hair growth.

Suntanning

Suntanning is another popular way to modify the body. By exposing the skin to sunlight, many people can change their skin tone, resulting in a darker tan. Historically, some cultures have also engaged in an opposite practice, avoiding the sun entirely in order to help achieve a paler skin tone. In general, suntanning is a common and relatively safe practice that lets you reap the benefits of vitamin D exposure and fresh air. Be careful, though: too much exposure to the sun can also result in sunburns, and could eventually lead to skin cancer.

Piercings

Piercings have been around for a long time, and have a variety of different cultural significances around the world. Common forms of piercings can include piercing the earlobes, cartilage, nose, lip, and bellybutton. In America, studies indicate that about 14% of adults have body piercings (not including ear piercings). There are also a variety of other, less common piercings, including dermal piercings, tongue piercings, and more. In general, piercings are more common in women than in men, with many women having had their ears pierced when they were babies or small children. Individuals can also express their individuality by customizing their piercings with a variety of different earrings and studs, allowing them to frequently modify their appearance.

Bodybuilding

While many people may not consider bodybuilding to be a form of body modification, bodybuilding and working out can affect tremendous physical changes on the body. Bodybuilding can be used to increase muscle, reduce fat, and change body composition. In extreme cases, bodybuilding can drastically change an individual’s physical appearance.

Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is popular, especially in Western cultures, and can be very controversial. In 2018, there were 17.7 million instances of plastic surgery in the United States alone. Common forms of plastic surgery include breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, and tummy tucks. In general, plastic surgery is more common with women than with men, and is often used to help women adhere to standards surrounding beauty and physical appearance.

Tattoos

Once viewed as taboo and a barrier to employment, tattoos are now relatively mainstream. Tattoos are a creative and artistic way to express your individuality and to sport artwork to which you may have a meaningful connection. Many people get tattoos to commemorate loved ones, important occasions, or personally significant images and symbols. Tattoos can range from small and unobtrusive to ones that cover the entire body.

Scarification

Scarification is a more extreme example of body modification that involves cutting, burning, or etching words or images into the skin. Scarification is similar in some ways to tattoos, in that it allows individuals to permanently modify their appearance with designs that are of personal significance. Scarification has also been used historically to indicate a rite of passage, as well as for aesthetic, social, and religious reasons. While scarification may seem extreme, it’s growing in popularity, and may someday be viewed in a similar way as tattoos.

 

While body modification may sound extreme, in reality, there are a variety of ways to modify the body, many of which you may already participate in. Ultimately, body modification allows individuals greater control over their physical appearance, and can help them to craft a sense of personal identity and style.

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Signs of Thyroid Problems | GETTIK

A diagram of a human torso, showing the location and functions of the thyroid gland

What Are the Signs of Thyroid Issues?

Your thyroid is an often overlooked, yet essential, part of your bodily functions. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is located in the front of your neck. From there, it produces hormones that help to regulate some of your body’s most important systems, like your metabolism. 

If your thyroid isn’t functioning correctly, you may be getting either too many or too few hormones. When your thyroid underproduces hormones it is known as hypothyroidism, and when your thyroid produces an overabundance of hormones, it is called hyperthyroidism. In either case, this can lead to a variety of symptoms of both a physical and mental nature.

What Causes Thyroid Issues?

There are a variety of different causes of thyroid issues: 

  • Some causes are from autoimmune disorders, such as Grave’s disease or Hashimoto’s disease. 
  • At other times the root cause can be due to a nutritional deficiency, such as a lack of iodine. 

Birth is another cause for thyroid issues, with between 5% and 9% of mothers suffering from a temporary period of postpartum thyroiditis and a small percentage of newborns being affected by a non-functioning thyroid gland.

Symptoms of Thyroid Issues

Along with the variety of different causes for both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, there is a battery of different symptoms that can wreak havoc on one’s mental and physical faculties. Here are some of the most common symptoms, along with suggestions for how to address them.  

Weight Gain

Weight gain is one of the more common concerns with thyroid issues, due to the gland’s intimate connection with your metabolism. Thyroid hormones play a key part in regulating body weight and food intake. 

Those suffering from weight gain related to a thyroid issue should consult with their doctor or another medical professional to find a nutritious diet that will help address their thyroid’s needs.

Hair Loss

Hair loss can be a long-term symptom of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

There are multiple ways to address hair loss concerns. Talking with your doctor and building a strategy to correct your diet is the first step. In addition, you can use a quality hair loss product to help restore your lost hair’s health and improve its thickness and appearance.

Dry Skin

Along with weaker hair, thyroid issues can affect your body’s largest organ. Dry, coarse, thin, pale, and even scaly skin are common symptoms of a more sinister thyroid problem. 

While you can address the issue in the short term with moisturizing lotion and skincare products, the only permanent solution is to meet with a medical professional and find a way to correct your thyroid’s imbalance of hormone production.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom of a lack of hormones. If you feel excessively tired, even after resting, you may have a deeper thyroid concern to address, specifically hypothyroidism. While you can do your best to take it easy, truly restoring your energy levels requires booking an appointment with your doctor in order to properly address the underlying issue.

Feeling Cold

Another symptom specifically associated with hypothyroidism is feeling persistently cold. If you can’t seem to warm up, no matter how close to the heater you sit, you may be struggling with a thyroid issue. 

The effect on your metabolism can lead to lower core body temperatures. However, feeling cold can also be attributed to other conditions, like circulation problems, and talking with a doctor is always advisable before making a self-diagnosis.

Muscle and Joint Ache

If you’re suffering from hypothyroidism, you may find that you have sore muscles and achy joints. These symptoms can manifest as stiffness, swelling, general aches and pains, and a feeling of tenderness or weakness.

Research also indicates that a thyroid disorder — especially an autoimmune one — may be closely linked to rheumatoid arthritis. If you suspect this to be the case, you will want to consult with your doctor and take steps to medically treat both issues.

Depression and Trouble Concentrating

Hypothyroidism can lead to intense mood swings and depression. Along with moodiness and depression, untreated hypothyroidism can also lead to trouble concentrating. 

As you address the deeper thyroid-related concerns, you can help increase your concentration and fend off the gloom by:

  • Meditating.
  • Getting quality sleep.
  • Using a SAD lamp.

Constipation

The influence that your thyroid has on your digestion system means an off-kilter thyroid can lead to issues with your bowel movements. 

As your digestion slows, especially with hypothyroidism, your food can struggle to move through your gut. This can lead to constipation. Once again, you should address your thyroid issues by consulting with a medical professional. In the meantime, you can try to naturally increase the ease and frequency of your bowel movements by:

  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Eating fiber.
  • Drinking coffee.
  • Exercising more often.

Heavy or Irregular Menstruation

Having a thyroid issue can lead to irregular or heavy menstruation, and thyroid issues can also crop up during menopause. Thyroid hormones interact with the hormones associated with a woman’s cycle, and when one of these is off-balance, it can affect the other. If you’re struggling with irregular or excessively heavy periods, you may want to have your physician check to see if your thyroid is the root of the problem.

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    Postpartum Recovery Tips | GETTIK

    A pregnant woman in exercise apparel holding a yoga pose.

    Your Body After Pregnancy: Physical Changes To Expect

    The term “postpartum” refers to the time immediately following the birth of a baby. Both pregnancy and this period of time after giving birth are marked by significant increases in hormone production, which can affect both a mother’s mental state and her physical body.

    Many of the physical effects can be negative, as the act of growing, delivering, and then caring for another human can take a serious toll on a woman’s mental and physical state. 

    While mental struggles like postpartum depression are important to address, here we will be specifically focusing on the physical effects that your body goes through in the period following a pregnancy.

    How Long Does Postpartum Last?

    The postpartum period is often divided into three distinct though continuous phases. 

    The first or “acute” phase is the initial 6-12 hours after birth. This is followed by the second or “subacute” phase, which typically lasts for around 2-6 weeks. After that, the third or “delayed” phase can continue for up to 6 months.

    Note that these numbers are approximations, and can be heavily influenced by things like how well you take care of yourself after giving birth, or the number of children you already have.

    Postpartum Symptoms

    Here are a few of the most common postpartum symptoms that women experience after giving birth.

    Swollen Feet

    The weight that you gain during pregnancy can put your feet under a significant amount of pressure for an extended period of time. This can lead to swelling, which can be severely uncomfortable, especially towards the end of a pregnancy. 

    Once you’ve had the baby, though, the swelling can continue. Your feet, ankles, and even your hands can remain swollen as your body slowly processes the excess amount of fluids from pregnancy.

    Stretch Marks

    Stretch marks are a common symptom that can appear during the postpartum period. They are a natural consequence of the intense amount of strain put on your skin during the pregnancy. Though stretch marks are often permanent, they typically lighten over time.

    Hair Loss

    Hair loss is another common change that the body can experience during the postpartum period. The experience of childbirth can push your body’s hair into the telogen or “resting” phase as opposed to a growing phase. This can lead to as much as triple the amount of hair loss on average.

    If you find that you’re losing more than your fair share of hair after giving birth, don’t be worried; it’s common. Fortunately, there are both natural hair thickening methods and hair growth products that can help slow or mitigate hair loss during the postpartum phases. 

    Joint Pain

    You may also find that you’re dealing with an unusual amount of joint pain during the postpartum period. This can be due to either maintaining a prolonged position during your delivery, or chemical changes that your body goes through afterward as your body returns to normal. 

     

    Postpartum Recovery Tips

    All of the above symptoms are normal and shouldn’t be causes for alarm. However, there are several easy steps that can be taken in order to help minimize their effect, or even help prevent them from flaring up in the first place.

    Drink Water

    Water is always a key element to a healthy lifestyle. Drinking plenty of water during the postpartum phase, in particular, can be an excellent way to flush out excess fluids from your system and make sure that you remain well-hydrated as your body heals.

    Eat Healthily

    While it’s okay to indulge in that cup of coffee each morning now that you’re done with your pregnancy, it’s important that you still maintain an overall effort to eat well. Stock your home with healthy snacks, such as proteins and veggies before the birth, and create health-focused meal plans for after baby.

    Take Vitamins

    Along with staying hydrated and eating healthy foods, it’s advisable to continue taking your vitamins. Talk to your doctor about what vitamins you should be taking after your birth in order to help provide the nutrition that you and your baby require.

     

    Get Some Compression Socks

    If you’re suffering from swollen feet and ankles, consider getting a pair of maternity compression socks or stockings in order to help reduce the swelling.

    Ask for Help

    Anxiety, broken up sleep, and general exhaustion can weigh heavily on a new mother. One of the essential ways to avoid the stress — and the postpartum symptoms that it can trigger — is accepting help with recovery

    Your partner, or other sources of help, may not do everything in exactly the same way as you would choose to do. However, it’s important to allow those that you trust to help you. Take advantage of the break to take some time for yourself in order to rest, meditate, or take a nap.

    Take a Bath

    A bath is a great way to help yourself unwind and relax any tight muscles that may be lingering from the delivery. It can also be an excellent way to clean up after breast-feeding. With that said, it’s important to remember that if you had a C-section you cannot take a bath until the scar is fully healed.

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    The Dangers of Fad Diets | GETTIK

    Why Are Fad Diets Bad? The Risks and Benefits of Fad Diets

    Any diet that is promoted as the best way to lose weight can be considered a fad diet. 

    Unlike traditional dieting, which focuses on paying attention to nutrition labels and cutting back caloric intake, fad diets require you to cut back on certain types of food or nutrients. In other words, you’re removing key nutrients from your diet and ultimately putting yourself at risk of serious health issues down the line. 

    The Keto diet, for example, eliminates carbohydrates from your diet and encourages excessive fat consumption so that your body can be in a state of ketosis. While your diet shouldn’t solely consist of carbohydrates, they are an important part of a balanced diet. 
    New fad diets pop up regularly. Discover how to spot a one, the ways in which they can be beneficial, and the risks associated with following a fad diet.

    Popular Fad Diets

    It’s easy to spot a fad diet; in fact, hearing about them is hard to avoid. While diverse in what foods you can and cannot eat, they usually have one thing in common, which is the exclusion of certain foods or food groups. 

     

    Fad diets that have become household names include: 

    1. Keto: This low-carb diet requires you to avoid carbs, consuming less than 50 grams a day so that your body can remain in a state of ketosis, which burns body fat. 
    2. Atkins: Another low-carb diet, Atkins encourages the consumption of proteins and fats while drastically cutting carbs to 20 grams or less a day. 
    3. Paleo: Also known as the “caveman diet,” Paleo is based on what our ancestors consumed during the Paleolithic era. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats are encouraged. 
    4. Southbeach: This diet is a modified version of popular low-carb diets, encouraging the consumption of good carbs, fiber, and lean proteins. 
    5. Cabbage Soup Diet: This seven-day detox specifies which foods you can eat on a daily basis in addition to a specially made cabbage soup. For instance, on the first day, you’re only supposed to eat fruit and soup. The second, only vegetables and soup.  
    6. Grapefruit Diet: This is another quick weight loss solution that ends up flushing the body of water weight. A small amount of food is allowed at each meal, typically accompanied by grapefruit juice. 
    7. Alkaline Diet: This diet seeks to change the body’s pH level to help you lose weight. 

    Benefits of Fad Diets

    Fad diets aren’t intrinsically bad or harmful. Participating in them can offer a few benefits, depending on the diet and the goals it is meant to help achieve.  

    Easy To Follow

    Many of these diets offer simple rules to follow, giving you an “easy” fix to weight loss or changing dietary habits. The Paleo diet, for example, is relatively easy to follow because it mostly consists of foods you already have in your fridge or pantry.

    Gives a Better Understanding of Nutrition

    Fad diets can help a person understand nutrition and compel them to try something new. For instance, maybe you didn’t realize you react to dairy in a negative way. By cutting dairy out of your diet, you may notice that you feel better or get an upset stomach less often. These diets commonly require the removal of certain foods, which can be eye-opening.

    Quick Weight Loss

    One of the most obvious reasons people engage in fad diets is because of rapid weight loss. Often these diets will promise weight loss in as little as two weeks to a month. If you are someone who needs a kickstart, starting with a fad diet can be helpful because it can encourage you to keep losing weight once you’ve shed the first few pounds.

    Forms New Habits

    Regardless of the type, diets help form new habits. This is especially true with fad diets. Many of them come with instructions and make dieters change their eating habits in a drastic way. Over time, these changes can become better, more healthy lifestyle habits.

     

    Risks of Fad Diets

    These diets aren’t for everyone. They do come with some risks that you should be aware of prior to making a lifestyle change.

    Dehydration

    Fad diets often lead people to believe they’ve lost more weight than they actually have. Losing too much water weight could lead to rapid dehydration. Water is an important component of any healthy diet, so it’s important to remember to drink enough.

    Malnutrition

    Many fad diets make people cut out certain foods or food groups to lose weight. Doing this will diminish calories and help prevent weight gain, but it can also present a range of other health issues. 

    Malnutrition can be a big issue when it comes to fad dieting. Certain diets that limit the amount or source of protein can cause a protein deficiency. This can present a whole slew of issues, including hair loss. 


    Fortunately, hair loss damage caused by protein deficiencies doesn’t have to be permanent. Hair follicles are metabolically active in the body; as such, hair growth can be impacted by a lack of protein. Often, a regimen of dietary supplements is suggested to help regain thickness in the hair.

    Yo-Yo Weight Loss

    If you’ve ever tried a fad diet, you understand that it’s not a sustainable way of living. Often, the weight comes back almost immediately, especially if you go back to your old eating habits. This method, also known as yo-yo weight loss, can put an unhealthy strain on the body and can lead to other unwanted side-effects and health problems. 

     

    A Greater Chance of Binge-Eating

    If weight loss or trying new fad diets becomes an obsession, or results in purging methods to keep on track of your diet, you may be binge-eating. This can also occur if you attempt to stick to a relatively restrictive diet. Because fad diets often restrict certain foods, you may feel strong cravings and give in, eating more than usual when you get ahold of a particular food that you cut out to lose weight. 

      

    Fortunately, there are better, more healthy ways you can lose weight and maintain that weight loss. Consuming a wholesome, healthy diet and enjoying treats in moderation and participating in daily exercise is a great way to stay healthy while losing unwanted weight.