9 Medical Reasons You Need to Pee All the Time- VyWhy

Last updated on 2021-12-24 04:14:43


Frequent trips to the bathroom could be normal—or something serious. Read on to make sure you don't have to rule out any medical issues.

Illustration of a pregnant woman.Nicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, shutterstock

During the early stages of pregnancy, hormonal changes can lead to an increased frequency of urination, so it’s common to pee a lot, especially during the first trimester. “Later in pregnancy, you can thank your enlarged uterus, which is putting pressure on your bladder. But luckily, these causes of frequent urination during pregnancy are very common, and they are not harmful to mother or baby,” says Nita Landry, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Los Angeles, CA, and a co-host on The Doctors.

“Kegel exercises can be helpful, and pregnant women should also avoid excessive caffeine—which will help with frequent urination and prevent other pregnancy related issues,” she says. Side note: Kegel exercises can also benefit men, so feel free to grab your partner and do them together.

“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises pregnant women to limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day, which is about one 11-ounce cup of coffee,” she says.

What’s more, pregnant women can also get UTIs, says Dr. Landry. “If a pregnant woman has a UTI, she might not have any symptoms, an increased frequency of urination might be her only symptom, or she might also notice additional symptoms including, but not limited to, the following: burning with urination, cloudy urine, foul-smelling urine, and red, pink, or concentrated urine,” she explains.

Urinary tract infections need to be treated promptly with an antibiotic during pregnancy, because UTIs can lead to very serious problems in both mother and fetus, she adds.

Illustration of a bladder.Nicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, shutterstock

This can be fairly common: People with overactive bladder syndrome might experience involuntary bladder contractions that lead to frequent and often urgent urination, meaning you get that urge even when your bladder is empty.

A frustrating situation, says Dr. Nandi, as it may also lead you to wake up once or more during the night to use the bathroom. The good news is that treatment for an overactive bladder can help. Try bladder retraining, says Nandi, which involves “increasing the intervals between using the bathroom over the course of about 12 weeks. This helps retrain your bladder to hold urine longer and to urinate less frequently,” he explains.

Some people find success with Botox, he notes. “Botox can be injected into the bladder muscle, causing the bladder to relax, increasing its storage capacity, and reducing episodes of leakage, and several types of surgery are also available. The least invasive involve implanting small nerve stimulators just beneath the skin. The nerves they stimulate control the pelvic floor and the devices can manipulate contractions in the organs and muscles within the pelvic floor,” he explains. Here’s how to recognize 10 other signs you have an overactive bladder.

Illustration of a bladder and interstitial cystitis.Nicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, shutterstock

A few signs and symptoms include: “pelvic pain that is alleviated by urination, a persistent need to urinate, and frequent urination,” says Dr. Landry.

According to Dr. Nandi, “Most people will urinate up to seven times a day, but those suffering with interstitial cystitis may urinate as much as 35 to 40 times a day, and many times the actual act of urination will only produce a few drops of urine and the distracting sense of urgency may not always subside after going. This symptom will occur all day and usually throughout the night, which can cause problems with sleep patterns. Plus, pain might be present, and it’ll intensify as the bladder fills up,” he explains.

Unfortunately, the exact cause of interstitial cystitis is not known, but many factors probably play a role. “For example, there might be a defect in the protective lining of the bladder; as a result, a leak in the epithelium might allow toxic substances in urine to irritate the bladder wall. Additionally, there might be a genetic cause or an infectious etiology,” Dr. Landry explains.

Regarding treatment, not every patient will respond, she cautions. But your doctor might recommend the following: oral medications, nerve stimulation techniques, bladder distension (filling the bladder with water), medications instilled into the bladder, surgery, or acupuncture, which might also provide some relief, she says.

Homemade Protein Bars: 7 Protein Bar Recipes From an RD ...

2 teaspoons cold water; 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract; 1/4 cup shelled, roasted, lightly salted pistachios; Instructions: 1. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Cover and pulse several times (about 20–25 times), until the mixture is crumbly yet well combined. 2.


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Medical Reasons Your Short-Term Memory Is Getting …

Forgeting names or where you put your keys? There are simple explanations—and fixes—for your short-term memory loss.

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Short-term memory is the type of memory you need to accomplish your immediate goals, explains Patrick Lyden, MD, chair of the department of neurology at Cedars-Sinai. That may be working your way through tasks during the workday, remembering someone’s name, email, or phone number, or recalling where you tossed your keys when you got home.

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When someone rattles off their phone number, you file it away in brain circuits that include the hippocampus (your memory center) and the amygdala (your emotional hub). Depending on how important the short-term memory item may be (your address, someone you call all the time), it can be converted into long-term memory, says Dr. Lyden. (Want to work on your memory? Try these morning brain boosters to stay sharp.)

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Short-term memory isn’t just about being able to quickly recall new info; there are three phases. “You have to register the information, store the information, and retrieve the information,” says Dr. Lyden. Registering means that you’re paying attention in the first place. Storing the info means you’ve filed it away in your brain. Retrieval is the ability to access the memory again. Any of these steps can break down, he says.

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Many people assume they have a memory problem when the explanation is something else entirely, says Dr. Lyden. Maybe you’re not paying attention because you’re gazing at your phone or texting, for example. The first step to figuring out if something is going on is to “pay closer attention,” he says. Repeat the new information three times to commit it to memory.

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If you can’t pass the “pay attention test” despite repeating the information, your next step, advises Dr. Lyden, is to determine if your problem is storing new memories or retrieving them. If you’re having a problem remembering a new acquaintance’s name, ask them to give you three choices—like Carrie, Lauren, or Janet. If your problem is storing new memories, you won’t be able to remember. But if your problem is retrieval, you’ll remember that her name is Janet once you hear the correct name.

Having trouble with retrieving a short-term memory isn’t as serious as being unable to store them. “The storage problem is a serious problem, and you should see a neurologist,” he says.

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With the legalization of recreational marijuana in some states, many people assume that the drug isn’t harmful. However, Dr. Amen calls this a toxin that impairs memory. “Marijuana lowers every area of the brain and ages it. On average, pot smokers have brains three years older than non-smokers,” he says. Alcohol abuse can also harm your memory.

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People tend to miss their own depression. But if you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or chronic stress, get help or your memory can also pay the price. “These conditions may all hurt the brain,” says Dr. Amen. Getting relief will not only improve your life and outlook but save your brain. (Here are 8 hidden signs of depression to watch for.)

unmade bedJes2u.photo/Shutterstock

When considering short-term memory loss causes, poor sleep is a big one. “If you don’t sleep seven hours a night or more, you’ll be in trouble. Your brain cleans itself at night. When you don’t get enough, it’s like the trash crew didn’t come to clean up,” says Dr. Amen.

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Lyme disease is transmitted through a tick bite, and causes early symptoms like fever, chills, headache, and fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Later on, without treatment, some people also may notice short-term memory problems. Dr. Amen points out this may include trouble with attention, focus, and organization.

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Before you panic, there’s some good news: “The vast majority of people who are healthy will not have a degenerative neurological condition causing short-term memory loss,” says Dr. Lyden. But dementia or Alzheimer’s is a possibility in some groups. If you’re over 60 and have risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity, then you may be more prone to problems and need to be evaluated, he says.

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If you lead a healthy lifestyle, eat right, exercise, and go easy on alcohol and other substances that can harm memory, yet you still feel like your memory if failing, talk to your doctor about your medications—prescription and over-the-counter, advises Dr. Lyden. Cholesterol drugs, painkillers, high blood pressure pills, and sleeping pills are among the drugs that can trigger memory issues.

Sleeping woman covering face with blanketanon_tae/Shutterstock

When you have an underactive thyroid, everything in your body runs slower. Your digestion will slow and you can become constipated; cell growth slows and can lead to hair loss; your metabolism becomes sluggish, triggering weight gain. And you may be plagued by muddied thinking or forgetfulness. Often, medication to restore thyroid hormones can help alleviate symptoms and help you feel better all over.

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Inflammation is bad for your body and your brain. “The higher the inflammation levels in your body, the worse your memory will be,” says Dr. Amen. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet, like the Mediterranean diet, and avoiding foods that increase it (highly processed foods, loads of sugar) is key. He also recommends taking fish oil and probiotics.

Doctor and patient discussing resultsBranislav Nenin/Shutterstock

Along with the self-test mentioned earlier, think about how you perceive your short-term memory. Ask yourself: Is it getting progressively worse? Is it worse than 10 years ago? Are other people noticing a problem? “Those are things you should take seriously,” says Dr. Amen.

Next, check out the 50 habits that reduce your risk of dementia.


medical-review-check.pngMedically reviewed by Renata Chalfin, MD, on October 15, 2020

Originally Published: April 16, 2018

This Is Why Some People Are Ticklish—and Others Aren't ...

06-08-2020 · Similar to why some people are ticklish and others are not, mood can influence why some people like or dislike it. “How our brains and bodies interpret tickling is dependent on our emotional state,” explains Katie Lear, a child and adolescent therapist in …


close up of hand tickling child's feetStandart/Getty Images

If you’re ticklish, you know that strange mix of pleasure, surprise, and weirdness when someone finds your ticklish spots. But have you noticed that some people aren’t ticklish? And some people enjoy being tickled and others who find it miserable? Good news: It’s all normal.

“As with any sensory experience, people have different levels of sensitivity to touch and tickle,” says Alicia Walf, PhD, a senior lecturer in cognitive science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

And your mood and history with tickling both affect whether you find it delightful or a form of torture. Here’s more about the fascinating science of ticklishness.

What causes a tickle?

Every time you’re tickled, a chain reaction begins involving your brain and your sense of touch. First, it activates “nerve endings in our skin for pain and sensory receptors that are sensitive to light touch and pressure,” Walf says. From there, signals go out to the somatosensory cortex in the brain—that’s the brain region where you identify touch. Through the brain’s limbic structures, such as the anterior cingulate cortex, the brain addresses how it feels, Walf adds. (Think: Does that feel good—or not?)

Next, your brain prompts you to reflexively giggle. “The laughter is processed through the hypothalamus, a conduit between mood and somatic responses,” says Walf. “The cerebellum in the back of the brain exquisitely coordinates all of these responses (and all sensory and movement processes of the brain).” (Learn about the condition that makes people laugh uncontrollably.)

If you’re one of those people who starts giggling before the other person’s hands are even on you, you probably wonder what’s up with that. It’s about surprise and anticipation—as well as context. “The giggling in anticipation often happens with someone you are comfortable with—not a complete stranger,” Walf says.

Why? The theory is that we’re recalling the pleasant feeling of being tickled by close friends and family in the exact moments before the tickling starts, Walf explains, and that may prompt up to erupt in anticipatory giggling.

You’re more likely to do this pre-giggling if you have happy memories about past tickling with this person and you’re currently in a good mood.

To feel that ticklish sensation, there needs to be an element of surprise—and that’s something only another person can supply. In fact, multiple studies, including a report on tickling published in NeuroReport, suggests that we only feel ticklish when someone else is doing it to us because that way our brain—in particular, our cerebellum—can’t predict what sensation is coming next. (Here are some of the best simple pleasures in life.)

Fun fact: There is an evolutionary point to being able to feel and react to a feather barely grazing your foot. “Being very responsive to even slight sensations—especially in places you cannot see and are often particularly ticklish like the bottom of the feet and back of the neck—was adaptive, because these are areas that are important for us to protect from injury,” Walf says. “Even if that injury is the bite of a mosquito on the back of the neck, we feel that slight sensation and reflexively swat the sensation away or try to wriggle away from the source.”

Another theory of tickling is that it is a form of social bonding, just like in animals, and a way to teach children about touch, a PLoS One study suggests. When we tickle our baby’s tummy with kisses or let our preschooler tickle us, we help teach kids which areas of the body are sensitive and what different sensations might be.

Why are only some people ticklish? This is one of the unsolved mysteries of the body. While scientists aren’t sure why some people are much more prone to being ticklish than others, they do know that current mood influences how ticklish a person is at any given time, Walf says. (Did you know your friends affect your mood?)

How you feel about tickling can depend on your mood

Similar to why some people are ticklish and others are not, mood can influence why some people like or dislike it. “How our brains and bodies interpret tickling is dependent on our emotional state,” explains Katie Lear, a child and adolescent therapist in Davidson, North Carolina. “A lot of research suggests that when we are feeling calm and relaxed, our body might interpret tickling as pleasurable, but that’s not the case when someone is angry or stressed.”

Feeling stressed, after all, puts us on high alert, Walf adds. “When we are stressed, we are more attentive and responsive to the information coming through our senses,” tipping the balance from a tickle being a surprising, pleasurable sensation to one that’s unbearable, she explains. (Feeling burnt out? Here’s how friends relieve stress.)

Your overall temperament also plays a key role. Are you a giggler in general? Then you may be more susceptible to being ticklish, according to science. In a 1990 study of 100 college students published in Biological Psychology, preliminary findings suggested that people who are prone to smiling and laughing may be more likely to be ticklish.

Another ticklishness study in the journal Cognition & Emotion found that a predisposition to laughter is associated with feeling ticklish. (Here’s how a laughter journal changed this person’s outlook.)

“We all process sensory information in different ways,” says Lear. “If someone isn’t ticklish or actively dislikes tickling even when calm, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with them—it’s just a personal preference.”

grandfather and grandson laughing together overheadmonkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

When tickling can trigger anxiety or panic

Loving, consensual touch is powerful and essential to healthy relationships, says Lear. That said, she adds, “touching someone in a way that doesn’t feel comfortable for them has the opposite effect and can erode your relationship over time.”

If your brain has formed a link between tickling and a negative or stressful event (such as being mercilessly teased by an older sibling), being tickled could definitely trigger anxiety or panic. “When you consider that tickling often comes as a surprise, and without clear consent, you can imagine how invasive it might feel to someone who has had previous negative experiences with unwanted tickling or other forms of unwanted touch,” says Lear.

Tickling may be more likely to freak you out early in a relationship when you “haven’t established appropriate trust,” says Lear.

Beyond that, it’s alarming to feel like your boundaries aren’t being respected. “Consent is an issue with tickling, and it’s built right into the game,” says Lear, “how many times have you seen someone saying ‘No, stop it!’ as they’re being tickled, only to have the tickling continue?”

While sometimes these protests are a part of the game and everyone’s in on the joke, that isn’t always the case, she points out. Being repeatedly tickled by your date or partner after you’ve asked them to stop is a “boundary breach and can diminish trust in a relationship,” Lear says.

If the tickling is coming from an innocent place, try having a heart-to-heart. Chat when things are going well, not in the middle of a fight, so your partner is really hearing what you’re saying. Lear recommends focusing on how it makes you feel—not what they did wrong. Her sample script: “I feel really panicked and not in control when you tickle me after I tell you to stop. Please don’t tickle me anymore.”

Keep in mind that your significant other might be tickling as a way to bond as a couple. “Because tickling is such a common bonding experience for parents and children, some people grow up seeing tickling as a way of expressing love and affection,” Lear points out. “Speaking about it in a non-accusatory and even playful way can help your partner empathize with your plight without shaming or otherwise damaging your intimacy.” (Next, read how laughing with friends may make you healthier.)

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Originally Published: August 06, 2020

How to Move on From a Relationship: 10 Expert Tips

24-12-2020 · When it comes to how to move on from a relationship successfully, a key component is to adopt self-compassion. The way you react to your breakup is your business, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it, says Sonnenberg: some people may grieve at first and then slowly get over it, …


Whether you are the dump-er or the person being dumped, ending a relationship is a painful process—and that’s an understatement.

In a 2019 study published in PLoS One, Dutch researchers found that 26 percent of men and women who broke up with their partners developed depression-like symptoms, even if the breakup happened six months before they were surveyed about the emotional fallout. That’s not surprising to experts, though. (Here are more science-based facts about breakups.)

“You are dismantling normality. Your life has been built around this person who is your person. They are your plus one. They’re your emergency contact. They’re the person that you tell when you’ve had a raise, or you’re mad at Mindy at work,” says Susan Winter, a relationship expert, coach, and author of The Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache. “Now in their absence, the entire foundation of what you had as your working model of day-to-day functionality has been disrupted.”

This is true even if you’re feeling relieved or at least neutral about the breakup. (This is how to know when to break-up with your partner.)

“It’s almost impossible to escape a breakup unscathed. You’re always going to have some degree of hurt feelings,” says Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., professor of psychology at Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, New Jersey.

“So people report feelings of lost identity, not knowing who they are anymore. And that’s all on top of the negative emotional experiences of hurt, grief, loneliness, and depressive symptomology. All of those are typical,” says Lewandowski, who’s also author of the forthcoming Stronger Than You Think: The 10 Blind Spots That Undermine Your Relationship…and How to See Past Them. (Here are some other ways your body reacts to a breakup.)

It’s what you do with these raw emotions that can turn a failed relationship into a learning experience—and give you the insight you need to get to a happier place.

To reach a happier place, our panel of experts share their tips on how to move on from a relationship and feel better about it.

Allow yourself to feel sad

You’re heartbroken, so give yourself permission to stay in bed listening to your go-to breakup song on repeat.

“Give yourself a week or two nights or whatever you need to watch sad movies and cry, but then make a specific date and say, ‘By this date, I’m going to get up, I’m going to get dressed, I’m going to go out,'” says Beth Sonnenberg, a licensed clinical social worker and a psychotherapist in Livingston, New Jersey.

“Giving yourself an allowance to be sad is helpful because then you don’t feel guilty. And if you do it for a distinct amount of time, then you can do it in a healthy way,” she says.

It also helps to realize you’re not always going to feel this broken up, angry, or lonely, Sonnenberg adds. “This is just how you feel right now, and next week, next month, next year, you’re going to be in a different place.” (And remember—there are benefits of crying.)

Make plans with friends and family

Distraction is a great way to get out of your own head—especially making lots of time to have fun with friends and family who love you and have your back, says Sonnenberg. (Check out this story if you need a reminder of how friends relieve stress and help us cope.)

Of course, easier said than done while there’s still a pandemic, but you can still be social and stay safe. “Make plans to meet a friend for a walk or hike, Zoom with a group of friends and make it special by playing trivia, doing a treasure hunt or dress up, have an outdoor driveway or fire pit socially distanced hang-out, or get a group of friends together to do a virtual wine tasting or cooking class,” says Sonenberg. (Hanging out with friends is just one way to stop thinking about someone you’re trying to get over.)

Do some self-care, which is another way to distract yourself. If taking a bath or reading a good book doesn’t help, listen to music that makes you happy or sparks a positive memory, call an old friend or do some virtual or social distance volunteering so you can focus on others, she adds. (Here are some self-care health products to try.)

At the very least, treat yourself to something that you wouldn’t normally do—an indulgent takeout meal, a splurge buy—so that you can be good to yourself. “You have to love yourself for someone else to love you, and sometimes people forget that. Reframing and refocusing on that can be helpful,” Sonnenberg notes.

woman with headphones listening to musicDelmaine Donson/Getty Images

Remember the good times

Taking stock is important so that you can look at the big picture in a more helpful light. One way to do that is to focus on the positive aspects of your couple-dom.

“So being able to look back and say, ‘We did a good job. We raised two beautiful children,’ or ‘ I couldn’t have gotten through Covid-19 without you.’ Whatever it is that was working, because then we start to see the benefit. And it’s easier to walk away from something when we don’t feel that it’s a total loss,” says Winter. (Check out the other benefits of gratitude.)

Keep in touch with your ex (if possible)

If you’re able to keep in touch with your ex, the loss may not feel as big, says Sonnenberg. “Maybe you have a lot of the same friend group and you’re able to still hang out and have some kind of relationship, even if it’s not as serious of one,” she adds.

Let it happen organically instead of making plans to stay friends during the breakup discussion. Instead, text your former flame a week or two later with a simple “hey.” Or be more direct: “Ask, ‘Is this OK that I’m reaching out? I still care about you and want to hear what’s going on with your work’ (or your mom or whatever was going on at the time of the breakup),” Sonnenberg suggests.

If it’s well-received, that’s great. If not, you have your answer. Just expect that first meeting post-breakup to be awkward (there’s no getting around that), says Sonnenberg. (This breakup hurts most, according to science.)

Rediscover yourself

All of us make sacrifices to be with the person we love, even in the best of relationships.

“You have someone else that you need to account for, and care about, and so you have to consider their preferences, right?” explains Lewandowski, who does research on romantic relationships. For example, he adds, you may love going to the beach but if your partner didn’t enjoy it, you may have given up most beach vacations while you were together.

But going back to the things you once loved can help you manage the loss in a healthier way.

In a study on how people cope with breakups, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, Lewandowski assigned one group to do activities that they’d given up while they were in the relationship.

“It turned out the rediscovery folks actually did better—doing these activities helped them recapture that person they were before the relationship. And it helped reestablish their individual identity as separate from the couple identity,” he explains. (Here’s how to carve out more “me time.”)

Avoid a rebound relationship

Getting involved with someone right after a breakup is a terrible idea, especially if you were the one being dumped, say experts. But it’s understandable—it’s one way to get rid of the pain and loneliness. It’s also a way to get back at your ex and prove to your former flame (and yourself) that you’re desirable, says Winter.

“If you date too soon when you’re too wounded, I promise you horrific things will happen. You’re going to be even more heartbroken if that new person plays with you or dumps you or ghosts you,” she says. (Also, beware of these gaslighting phrases that are red flags.)

This advice comes with a caveat, though. If you were the partner who walked away, you probably were thinking about it for a long time and once you’ve gotten through the chaos of the breakup and made a life on your own, you could be ready to date again, Winter notes. (If you’re ready to go out, check out these tips on dating while staying socially distanced.)

Write about it

Writing can help people deal with traumatic experiences because it helps them organize and articulate their emotions, Lewandowski notes. In a TEDx Talk led by Lewandowski, he discussed a study where a group of people vented about the negative aspects of their breakups while another focused on the benefits of the breakup.

“No breakup is 100 percent negative, nor is it 100 percent positive. But a lot of times when we’re hurt, it’s really easy to focus on the hurt, and we forget to focus on some of the positives,” he explains.

When people in this study focused on the benefits of breaking up, they realized, for example, that they were incompatible with their partner or that they fought a lot. Or they might acknowledge their feelings of relief: “Like, ‘This had been building for some time, and now I just feel kind of relieved that I don’t have to worry about this anymore,'” Lewandowski says.

The beauty of this exercise? “This forces that perspective thinking,” he says, and stops you from ruminating over the more negative emotions like hurt, sadness, and loneliness. (Was your relationship abusive? Here are abusive relationship quotes to help you move on.)

Avoid getting back together

When you’re grieving over the loss of your partner, rekindling your romance can be appealing. But avoid the temptation. “It doesn’t work,” says Lewandowski.

“If things were bad enough that you were willing to end the relationship, there’s probably a pretty good reason for that. And we know getting back together just tends to prolong the agony,” he explains.

If you do decide on a do-over, just take note: There’s a scientific reason why couples get back together after a breakup.

Do a postmortem

Whatever you do, you want to take the time to process the entire relationship so you can heal and move forward, say experts. Take time to reflect on the situation by journaling, meditating, or speaking with friends and family members. Although it’s not necessary, a counselor could be helpful, too.

“Go to a therapist or specialist so you can systematically review everything,” suggests Winter. That means looking at the whole arc of the relationship and reviewing the good, the bad, and all the in-between, she explains: “What happened, where things went wrong, your part in it, their part in it, and the inevitable ending.”

Lewandowski agrees, noting that nobody is very good at self-analyzing, so it’s good to go to a therapist or someone who could help you be objective and get perspective. (Here are tips for finding a therapist.)

And it’s important to get that help. “Without some sort of analysis like that, people are more prone to make the same mistake again,” he says.

Just don’t pin all the blame on your ex.

“It’s something that I talk to students about all the time in my relationships classes. As much as it can be your partner’s fault—they yell at you, and they’re a horrible person, all this kind of stuff—you picked them. And you stayed with them probably longer than you should have. So you’ve got to own your role in that,” Lewandowski says.

When it comes to how to move on from a relationship successfully, a key component is to adopt self-compassion. The way you react to your breakup is your business, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it, says Sonnenberg: some people may grieve at first and then slowly get over it, others do the opposite.

“Maybe you’re distracting yourself so much that you don’t even think about it, and then something reminds you of your partner and you’re overcome with sadness. I just don’t think people can judge for how one person copes with it versus another,” she says.

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Originally Published: December 24, 2020

Espresso vs. Coffee: What's the Difference?

10-03-2021 · Nutrition experts compare espresso vs. brewed coffee, including their calories, nutrition, potential health benefits, and caffeine levels (in both full-strength and decaf). Caffeine 101 Some people claim that the only “true” coffee is a tiny cup of espresso.


Some people claim that the only “true” coffee is a tiny cup of espresso. Others are diehard fans of a simple cup of drip joe.

Both are delicious caffeinated drinks, but is one better than the other?

Here’s what sets them apart, plus everything else you need to know about how espresso and coffee differ.

Espresso vs. brewed coffee

Espresso means “express” in Italian, a hint at one way it’s different than coffee, says Megan Meyer, the director of science communication at the International Food Information Council Foundation.

“The process takes about 25 seconds to brew a 1-ounce shot and requires a special machine or pot to make it,” she says.

While drip and pour-over coffee send hot water over coffee grounds (over a longer period of time), espresso is made by forcing boiling water or steam under pressure through finely-ground coffee beans.

The hot water, pressure, and very finely ground beans make this an intense beverage, says registered dietitian nutritionist Lisa DeFazio, RDN. The concentrated drink is a smaller serving size than a regular cup of drip coffee, about 1.5 to 2 oz.

There are some basic similarities between the two beverages, too. Coffee and espresso both contain caffeine and are made from coffee bean, typically robusta or Arabica beans, which have a bold flavor, DeFazio says.

(Switch things up with this dalgona coffee recipe.)

Coffee Vs Espresso Infographic1thehealthy.com, Getty Images (2)

Which has more caffeine?

Ounce for ounce, espresso has about five times the amount of caffeine as brewed coffee, Meyers says. Typically, a 1-ounce shot of espresso contains between 40 and 75 mg of caffeine (a 2-ounce cup would be 127 mg), while an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains anywhere from 85 to 185 mg , according to DeFazio.

“Espresso has a higher concentration of caffeine per ounce,” DeFazio says. “A few sips of espresso gives you a boost of energy.” It may take at least two cups of coffee to get the same boost of energy.

But there are some other things to consider. Although espresso has a more concentrated caffeine content, serving sizes of espresso are smaller than those of brewed coffee, says Malina Malkani, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author.

If you are a decaf fan, know that both beverages can be made from decaffeinated coffee beans. (This is how much caffeine is in decaf coffee.) In that case, a 2-ounce cup of decaf espresso contains about 0.6 mg of caffeine, and an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains 2.4 mg of caffeine.

Espresso calories vs. coffee calories

Although both espresso and regular coffee contain mostly water, they are not calorie-free. One cup (8 fluid ounces) of brewed coffee has 2.4 calories.

One standard cup of espresso (2 fluid ounces) has 5.4 calories. Note that espresso contains more calories per ounce than coffee because it’s concentrated.

However, a typical cup of espresso is a smaller serving size than that of an average coffee cup. Adding in any mix-ins like cream, milk, or sugar to either beverage also increases calories.

Which has more antioxidants?

Coffee contains antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols that can decrease oxidative stress (which plays a role in disease development) by eliminating damaging free radicals, says Malkani. More specifically, Meyers points to chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, and n-coumaric acid as key antioxidants in coffee.

“Several factors affect the antioxidant profile of coffee beverages, including the brewing method and bean variety,” Meyers says.

One 2020 study in the journal Foods found that the brewing method impacts mineral content and antioxidant activity, as well as the acidity of coffee.

The researchers looked at five coffee brewing techniques: Aeropress, drip, espresso machine, French press, and simple infusion. (Learn why french press coffee is bad for you.)

They found the highest levels of calcium in coffee from the espresso machine and the lowest level in the drip-brew. Coffee from the espresso machine was the richest source of zinc.

When it came to antioxidant potential, AeroPress coffee came out on top, with the most polyphenols. (Does coffee cause inflammation?)

What impacts antioxidant content?

The brewing method of espresso vs. coffee can affect antioxidant levels. But the coffee beans themselves also play a role in whether one cup is more antioxidant rich than another. That goes for both coffee and espresso, which are brewed from the same beans.

Consider the quality, age, and freshness of the coffee beans. How the beans were farmed, the soil where they grew, how long they were roasted, how long it has been since they were ground, and the extraction process used to prepare them all have an impact, Malkani says.

Espresso may have an advantage over drip coffee in terms of antioxidant content, given that coffee beans are typically ground right before making espresso, Meyers says.

Many drip-coffee drinkers use pre-ground coffee that sits in the pantry and on store shelves prior to use. And the longer coffee beans sit ground, the greater their antioxidant loss.

Overall, though, debating esspresso vs. coffee based on each drink’s antioxidant content may not not be as helpful as Malkani’s recommendation: Pay close attention to the coffee beans you use. (Here’s how much coffee you can drink daily.)

“While these antioxidants can contribute to overall health, what is most important is to make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits and veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains,” Meyers says.

Are there any other nutritional differences?

Nutritionally, both espresso and drip coffee without add-ins are similar. Both contain small amounts of some B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese, says Malkani.

According to research in Nutrition Reviews and Neurology, these may help reduce the risk of developing various diseases, including type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Other studies, published in World Journal of Hepatology and BMC Cancer, found that coffee may help prevent liver disease and some types of cancer, too. (Here are other surprising health benefits of coffee.)

The paper filters used during the brewing of regular coffee may help remove diterpenes. These substances can cause an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the type of cholesterol linked to heart disease. The ability to filter out diterpenes may give filtered coffee an edge over espresso in terms of an overall impact on health.

In fact, an April 2020 study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that filtered brew is linked to a lower mortality rate than unfiltered coffee, as long as you stay below five cups a day.

The bottom line: Espresso vs. coffee

Both espresso and coffee contain caffeine (even decaf versions have a little bit) and are made from coffee beans. One isn’t necessarily healthier than the other.

“What’s most important, and is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is that you stay below 400 milligrams of caffeine per day,” Meyers says. (Here are the signs you’re drinking too much coffee.)

The espresso vs. coffee health debate may come down to how you dress them up.

“In other words, a cup of black coffee is healthier than an espresso drink with syrup, sprinkles, and milk,” says Malkani. “But a plain shot of espresso will not increase total calories, fat, and sugars as much as a cup of coffee with cream and sugar.”

So whether your favorite is espresso or regular drip coffee, be mindful of how much caffeine you consume, where you get your coffee beans, and anything else you add to your drink.

Next, check out the truth on whether coffee can dehydrate you.

healthy coffee recipeCourtesy Megan Byrd
pouring coffee at breakfastyipengge/Getty Images
hot coffee being poured into mugCatherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images

Originally Published: March 10, 2021

Does Coffee Dehydrate You? Here's What Experts Say

25-02-2021 · Coffee contains caffeine, which could cause you to pee more often. However, our experts all agree that coffee does not contain enough caffeine to dehydrate you. But they recommend maintaining a moderate intake of coffee. For …


Whether you take your coffee black and piping hot or milky and iced, if you’re an avid coffee drinker, it’s probably part of your morning (and afternoon) routine.

A whopping 58 percent of Americans drink coffee to help them wake up, according to a 2021 report by the market-research company Statista.

“From the aroma to the flavor of the first sip to the stimulating caffeine hit that coffee imparts, java has become a staple in the American lifestyle,” says Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, host of the “Nourishing Notes” podcast. “However, like everything, drinking too much coffee is not beneficial.”

So, how much coffee is too much? And can overindulging lead to dehydration?

Here, three experts break down the details of why coffee might send you to the bathroom, whether it can dehydrate you, and how to maximize the health benefits of this age-old breakfast favorite.

Does caffeine make you pee more?

If a cup of coffee sends you to the bathroom in a hurry, you’re not alone. Blame it on the caffeine. “Research indicates that caffeine can have a mild diuretic effect,” says Shanta Retelny.

Simply put: A diuretic is a substance that triggers your urge to pee. While studies haven’t unearthed the exact reason, caffeine can trigger the need to pee. “This may be more pronounced in those who are newer to drinking coffee,” Natalie King, a Chicago-based neuroscientist and medical science liaison.

Vancouver-based physician and scientific researcher Hélène Bertrand, MD, explains that caffeine “just makes your bladder more irritable” so that you feel the urge to pee sooner than you normally would.

Because drinking coffee might make you pee more often than usual, you might wonder if that means you’ll get dehydrated if you drink too much of it. First, you need to understand how much caffeine is in your cup of joe.

You probably already know that coffee contains caffeine, which is a natural stimulant also found in tea, chocolate, kombucha, and more. Coffee’s caffeine content can vary from cup to cup, depending on the type of coffee bean and the preparation method.

An average 8-ounce cup of brewed black coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine. Shanta Retelny recommends limiting your caffeine intake to 400 milligrams (or fewer) daily, which she says the Food and Drug Administration estimates as four to five 8-ounce cups of coffee.

Determining the best amount of coffee for you might not be so simple though. “Caffeine affects people differently,” says Dr. Bertrand. She adds that this makes it impossible to give everyone the same recommendation.

The caffeine content in coffee is not high enough to cause dehydration. However, certain coffee beans and types of coffee have a higher caffeine content, which can increase their diuretic effect. King says Robusta coffee beans tend to have more caffeine.

Some coffee retailers specifically focus on high caffeine content. On the other end of the spectrum, even decaf coffee has a small amount of caffeine.

“Individuals metabolize caffeine directly, and regular coffee drinkers will most likely build up a tolerance to caffeine and therefore experience less of the diuretic effects,” Shanta Retelny says.

Young woman sitting on park bench drinking coffee to goWestend61/Getty Images

So, could coffee dehydrate you?

All of our experts agree that coffee is extremely unlikely to cause dehydration.

“Unless you drink huge amounts of very strong coffee, you are not likely to get even moderately dehydrated, as every cup of coffee contains water,” says Dr. Bertrand.

“Coffee can count toward your daily fluid goals,” says Shanta Retelny. “It’s considered a mild diuretic, but the water in a typical cup of coffee appears to offset its dehydrating effects.”

In a 2014 study published in PLOS ONE, researchers compared the hydration effect of coffee with that of water among 50 men who typically drank three to six cups a day. Researchers asked the men to drink either four 200-mL cups of coffee (containing 4 mg of caffeine) or water.

The findings revealed there were no differences in hydration levels when the men drank coffee versus when they drank the same amount of water.

In other words, you don’t tend to lose much more fluid or dehydrate more easily when you drink coffee instead of water.

Potential drawbacks of caffeine

Coffee isn’t dehydrating, but that doesn’t mean its caffeine content can’t cause other issues. As Dr. Bertrand mentioned, everybody has a different tolerance for caffeine.

“Most people can have up to 400 mg of coffee [4 to 5 cups] with no real consequence,” King says. “But regularly consuming beyond that can lead to issues with restlessness, shakiness, headaches, and ultimately potential dependency.”

Caffeine can also exacerbate anxiety, heartburn, and sore breasts, according to Dr. Bertrand. Shanta Retelny adds that people who are pregnant should limit caffeine to less than 200 mg per day.

However, there are many surprising health benefits of coffee, too.

The last word

Coffee contains caffeine, which could cause you to pee more often. However, our experts all agree that coffee does not contain enough caffeine to dehydrate you. But they recommend maintaining a moderate intake of coffee. For most people, that is four to five cups per day.

“If you find yourself relying on coffee to simply get you through the day, it might be a great time to reevaluate its overall effects on your health and well-being,” King says. “The bottom line is if you enjoy coffee, drink it in moderation with a touch of your favorite unsweetened milk or cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, or unsweetened cocoa powder for a plant-powered flavor boost.”

Next, read how to make healthy choices at coffee shops.

hot coffee being poured into mugCatherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images
pouring coffee at breakfastyipengge/Getty Images


  • Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, LDN, host the "Nourishing Notes" podcast
  • Natalie King, PhD, NREMT-B, a Chicago-based neuroscientist and medical science liaison
  • Hélène Bertrand, MD, CM, Vancouver-based physician and scientific researcher
  • Statista: "Coffee Market in the U.S."
  • PLOS ONE: "No Evidence of Dehydration with Moderate Daily Coffee Intake: A Counterbalanced Cross-Over Study in a Free-Living Population"
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Beverages, coffee, brewed, prepared with tap water"

Originally Published: February 25, 2021


06-07-2017 · By Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards, frozen broccoli can have 60 insects per 100 grams (about 1/2 cup), Terro reports. Technically, the average coffee drinker could consume almost 140,000 insect fragments per year. And beetles are the most popular insects eaten globally; they make up 31 percent of bug consumption.


Courtesy TerroAre you brave enough to try roasted grasshoppers? It probably wouldn’t be your first meal that contains insects. Odds are, you’ve been eating bugs this whole time—and you just never knew it.

Yep, you read that correctly. According to a new study by Terro, an ant and insect control company, bugs could be in your breakfast… or lunch… or dinner. After analyzing data from the FDA and FAO, Terro found that insect fragments are found in many of the foods that you’d buy at the grocery store (and it’s even legal!)

The highlights? By Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards, frozen broccoli can have 60 insects per 100 grams (about 1/2 cup), Terro reports. Technically, the average coffee drinker could consume almost 140,000 insect fragments per year. And beetles are the most popular insects eaten globally; they make up 31 percent of bug consumption.

Sounds scary. But wait! Before you toss everything in your pantry, you’ll want to read the fine print.

While the idea of an insect head squished inside your chocolate bar might be pretty gross, it’s totally harmless. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “allows for a small amount of insect material that is guaranteed safe for human consumption to pass into our food,” Terro writes. “Otherwise, resource costs would be too unmanageable to eliminate all defects from food production.” Not to mention it’s nearly impossible to remove every single bug from food grown on farms.

Thankfully, there’s a lot of nutritional value in insects, too. Mealworms provide more protein than chicken or salmon, and crickets have almost as much iron as red beef, according to Terro’s research. So chow down—if you can stomach it!

Read Terro’s charts above for even more fascinating facts about your insect consumption. And by the way, not to gross you out, but there might be fecal matter in your coffee.

Originally Published: July 05, 2017

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