7 Subtle Signs You Have Kidney Infection

The kidneys serve a vital role for the body’s overall wellness. This is the organ that helps our body remove waste, prevent toxicity and maintain the health of the entire body.

In case of kidney disease, subtle symptoms may indicate early signs of malfunctions. As the kidney problem aggravates, symptoms become more obvious and even more painful. Health professionals suggest recognizing these symptoms as early as possible to get the right medical intervention right away.

  1. Blood in Urine

Most kidney diseases start with bacteria travelling up the urinary tract, which can eventually find its way to the kidneys. And since women have shorter urethra, they are more prone to getting UTIs than men, thus increasing their risk of kidney infections. As the body tries to fight the bacteria away and gets rid of the infection, red blood cells get into the urine.

  • Pain When Peeing

Kidney infection can start with UTI; therefore expect the inflammation all over the urethra. The bacteria will not just infect the bladder and the kidneys, but also the tissues and the nerve endings in the urinary tract, triggering all pain receptors nearby—the reason why it’s painful to pee.

  • Foul-Smelling Pee

Notice a strong stinky smell whenever you urinate? That could be a sign of a kidney problem. The foul odor could be the fermentation of bacteria. However, it can also be a sign of dehydration. Drink more water and see if it helps tone down the smell. If not, get checked immediately.

  • Fever

Problems in the bladder do not usually cause fever, so a rise in temperature could mean that the infection may have travelled up to your kidneys. As your body heightens its immune response to the infection, your body temperature climbs.

  • Pus in Urine

In more advance cases, pus may be present in the urine due to build up of bacteria and white blood cells. At the point when you start to see pus in your urine, it’s likely that you have an alarming infection and that you should get checked by a doctor right away.

  • Dry, Itchy Skin

Other than removing wastes from the blood, the kidneys also promote production of healthy red blood cells and ensure that the body receives balance amount of minerals. An imbalance distribution of nutrients can cause dry and itchy skin, which signals a problem in the kidneys. Try if you can improve your skin’s condition by drinking more water.

  • Prolonged Backaches

Normal backaches without other complications are not signs of kidney problems. However, backaches accompanied by fever other symptoms in this list can be because of kidney dysfunction. The pain also feels deep and may extend at the side area below the rib cage.

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms quite often or have suddenly noticed symptoms that you haven’t experienced before, the best way you can do is to consult your healthcare provider.

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Reasons to Try a Social Media Detox

It can be hard to deny that the internet, specifically social media, is quite significant to our lives today. We get to see what’s going on around our country or even around the world and even share about our own lives. But if you take a step back and really think about it, does everything in social media really have any significance to our lives?

If you think about it, there are a lot of times that social media does you more harm than good. Need more convincing? Here are some reasons to take a break from social media. 

You regain all your free time

The important word here is that you “regain”. You don’t get more free time, you already have it, you’re just not using it right. Let’s say you want to try out a new hobby but what’s stopping you is that you’re saying you don’t have time. Then if you reflect on your daily activities, you’re spending 2-3 hours scrolling on your phone, sometimes even mindlessly. That’s already enough time for you to try out something new!

You learn to stop comparing yourself with others

Another great reason to try a social media detox is that you’ll be able to stop comparing yourself with others. A lot of people say you shouldn’t compare yourself because others only share the positive moments that happen to them and never the negative ones. But thinking that way won’t have much effect if you keep seeing people having better lives than you. When you’re away from social media, you’ll see that you actually are just as blessed as these people.

You don’t really miss out much

Kiasu orthe fear of missing out, is a trait that many Singaporeans consider to be a double-edged sword. This is mostly the reason why we have a hard time stepping away from social media. We’re anxious that we’ll miss out on news about our friends, or the latest trends in fashion, or uploads from our favorite vloggers. Once you do a social media detox, you’ll realize that you actually don’t miss out much. Just try it and you’ll see!

You can avoid negativity

As said earlier, social media can sometimes do more harm than good. We all have that one friend on Facebook who criticizes almost anything or that person you follow on Twitter who just rants every day about his/her life. Sometimes, as small as these things can be, they can influence our thoughts and trigger negative emotions.

You can enjoy a little privacy

Something that we usually disregard when it comes to social media is that we’re giving away a little too much about ourselves. We directly share about ourselves through pictures, but there’s also a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for example, usually ask for your location when posting or uploading pictures. Basically, the more accounts we make, the more we expose ourselves.

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Simple Reasons Why She Didn’t Give You Her Number

So let’s say you’re at a museum exhibit, just walking around, when unexpectedly you strike up a conversation with a girl. She’s pretty and just about your age, you talk and walk with each other for about 20 minutes and have a really fun time. Before you leave, you pick up the courage to ask for her number… but then she refuses.

This is an all too common scenario no matter where you are in Singapore. Whether at nightclubs, parks, beaches, and etc. And before you feel bad about yourself, be rational and know that there can be simple reasons why a girl doesn’t give you her number.

She’s not interested in romance

She might be focusing on her work, she might be close to pursuing her dreams, and she might just not be interested in dating at the moment. It’s simple, any girl can hold conversations with others without the intention of being in a relationship. She may enjoy talking or she may like your company, but it doesn’t mean that she wants you to be her boyfriend already. The simplest things to do initially is just not to assume things!

She’s already in a relationship

This is also another obvious reason why she won’t give you her number. Although there are some girls who say it outright once you start talking to them, it is important to consider beforehand the possibility of them being in a relationship. She may be out with her friends at a club or bar, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a boyfriend or even a husband. Sometimes girls in relationships and talk with guys as long as everything stays neutral. So clear everything up before asking her for her number.

She just had a breakup

Opposite the point above, even when a girl is not in a relationship, there’s also the possibility of a recent breakup. Everyone handles breakups differently. One can get over his/her ex in 2 years and one can do so in a month or even a week maybe. In this case, if you meet a girl when she’s still getting over a breakup, you’ll surely have a difficult time asking for her number or talking with her casually.

She’s not attracted to you

Now, calm down, this doesn’t exactly mean you’re ugly! There are hundreds of guys who are good-looking but don’t land a date with a girl they like. Just like how you can have preferences or “ideal types”, girls can too. Some girls can like tall guys, short guys, skinny guys, muscular guys. She might like your voice, or she might hate the way you move, there are some many reasons why a girl can like or unlike you.

Everything above sounds a bit harsh, huh? Not exactly! Even if there are reasons why a girl doesn’t give her number, there can be just as many reasons for another one to like you! So just be you!

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5 Brilliant Tips to Handle Your Picky Eaters

When you get home after a busy day at work, the last thing you want to do is to endure a war over broccoli at the dining table. That is why parents fall easily into the trap of fried chicken or ordering out. It’s just priceless not having to chant ‘eat your veggies’ after a very tiring day. Fortunately, feeding picky eaters with nutritious food isn’t as difficult with these helpful tips.

  1. Start by incorporating healthier elements into your kid’s favorite foods

Pancakes, cereals and muffins are just some of the foods kids love. Try to incorporate fruits and veggies into these already-favorite choices to get your kids eating healthy. For example, offer carrot cake or muffins, banana pancakes and fresh fruit slices over cereals.

  • Schedule your meal and snack time

Establish regular meal and snack time to address behavior changes in your children. Kids are smart. They will skip dinner because they know they can ask for snack later on. If you always give in to their requests, they will continue doing this pattern every night. Your goal is to establish expectation from them that meals and snacks happen at a certain time. This lets children to feel hunger when it’s time to eat, and provides better chances that they will eat whatever is served to them.

  • Always have healthy snacks available

Even if you have set meal and snack times, sometimes kids just look for something to much on throughout the day. And even if they sneak to the fridge, having healthy finger foods readily available in a reachable area will encourage them to pick it up and eat it. Slice up some apples and carrots and keep the chips and cookies far from your kids’ sight.

  • Get kids involved with meal planning

From grocery shopping to meal planning, get your kids involved. In the grocery, skip the chips lane and go straight to the fresh produce area. Let them pick their choice of fruits and veggies. When meal planning, ask your children to pick out two to three recipes that they would like to eat, then let them help you make it. If they feel a sense of autonomy over a meal, they may be more inclined to eat it.

  • Go moderate with treats

Instead of cutting out the treats altogether, offer it in moderation. A serving of Oreos with a glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream over blueberry pancakes occasionally won’t do any harm. If you completely cut out the treats, children will be more likely to overeat once they get them again. Simply make sure to moderate their goodies consumption.

Above all, let this be the final point: food is fun. We do not want to turn meal times into wars, which happens quite commonly in homes with picky eaters. Set as a good example to your kids and encourage them to be brave and adventurous foodies.

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4 Warning Signs of Child Depression

In order to detect depression in children, it is critical to be mindful of the signs and symptoms. Since kids aren’t as articulate as adults when expressing their emotions, you can’t expect your child to turn to you and say ‘I’m depressed’ like how adults do. In fact, they themselves may not even realize that they are already in distraught. To save your kids from this emotional agony and bring back their youthful, joyful outlook, pay attention to these signs no matter how subtle or extreme they may be.

  1. Withdrawal from Family and Friends

Looking out for this sign can be challenging, because older kids and teens have the tendency to withdraw themselves to their families, while they cling so much to their friends. Ask yourself these questions to help you figure out: Are they spending more time alone or engaged in some activities with friends? Do they often feel and look ‘tired’? Do they want to spend more time alone in their room just by themselves? Even the slightest differences could make a world of difference in catching early signs of child depression

  • Expression of Shame, Guilt, Worthlessness or Sorrow

This one ties closely to children with ADHD, though any children without ADHD can show these signs. The embarrassment and shame that a child with ADHD feels often exceed the actual severity of the incident. A child’s emotions can go very deep that a seven-year-old child can even think of punishing himself over a minor incident. It is the pattern of thinking that is greatly affected by the way their brain operates that needs to be professionally addressed and be treated.

  • Change in Appetite

Many individuals who suffer from depression notice either a sudden drop or increase of appetite. Children are no different and can also experience the same thing. Those with healthy appetite may loss interest in eating, or could be the complete opposite of eating their way out of rut.   

  •  Frequent Aches and Pains

These symptoms can come in a form of stomach aches and headaches without any physical reason. These symptoms could also mean that the depression treatment and medications are not working as they need to be. If you start to notice that your child frequents in the school clinic so much and exhibits any of the above signs, it’s probably time to bring your child to a professional psychologist.

Being aware of these signs and symptoms is critical for the healthy growth and welfare of your child. If these signs seem familiar to you and you suspect that your child is in the verge of depression, the next step to take is to seek professional help.

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A Quick Beginner’s Guide to Craft Beer in Singapore

If you fancy yourself a good drink to wind down after hours, and especially if you happen to be an enthusiast of beer yourself, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of the term “craft beer” and how it’s started to become more popular over the years.

But what exactly is a “craft beer”, and how can you tell that it’s that instead of simply being another brand name of the stuff that’s owned by a larger brewery?

The Meaning of Craft Beer

While it’s certainly debatable, and many people have been debating it for a while, there is a definition of that most would definitely agree on based on the three following criteria:

  • Small – The brewery doesn’t distribute more than six million barrels of bear yearly;  
  • Independent – Larger, non-craft beer breweries own only up to a quarter of the said brewery; and
  • Traditional – The brewery mostly produces beer that’s made from traditional ingredients for brewing and fermentation processes (but can also use innovative methods).

There have also been a number of terms that emerged with the rising popularity of craft beer, such as the following:

  • Hops – A leafy, light green flower that’s boiled down with a sweet liquid extract from malt in order to give craft beers different flavor notes, from bitter, to spicy, and even floral.
  • Malt – A key ingredient in brewing that’s moistened and kilned to achieve the desired effects from seed germination. The resulting beer’s color will depend on how the grains are roasted.
  • “Sessionable” – Used to describe beer that’s low on bitterness and alcohol, and can be consumed in more amounts in one sitting.

Microbreweries in Singapore

Craft beer has definitely spread all over the world, and Singapore is no exception when it comes to the craze – in fact, you can probably recognize some of the following bars that serve great craft beer:

  • Alchemist Beer Lab – When it comes to extracting flavor, they don’t use the traditional method of cooking ingredients in high heat for a long time – they do this instead with an infusion tower to not just make instant results, but also add more depth to the beer’s flavor.
  • Burger Joint – While the main attraction is the selection of burgers that go with your drinks, the drinks themselves are served from Burger Joint’s full bar of different craft beers from all over the world, including Sweden, the UK, and Japan.
  • Smith Street Taps – The only craft beer bar situated in a hawker center certainly doesn’t disappoint with its selection of experimental brews, and the stall has become a favorite for all kinds of beer enthusiasts in Singapore.

There are also all kinds of craft beer that you should especially out if it’s your first time, from Albens, to Green’s, to Hitachino Nest, and even Crossroads and Far Yeast Brewing.

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Different Brines Used in Fermenting Vegetables

Brine is an important component for fermenting vegetables since they provide the environment that allows the fermentation process to take place, and the right type of brine in the right quantity can enhance the flavors and add a lot to the process.

When it comes to fermenting vegetables, you want to choose your brine from one of the following:

Salt

Salt is one of the easiest brines to use if you’re looking to get started on your own batches of fermented vegetables.

It not only pulls out moisture (and allows only salt-tolerant Lactobacilli strains to thrive), but also hardens the pectins in vegetables. This keep the vegetables crunchy while also adding to the flavor.

These are the types of salts that can be used for fermentation:

  • Sea salt – This can be refined or unrefined, and is usually moist since it hasn’t been fully refined after being separated from sea water.
  • Himalayan salt – While sea salt is extracted from the sea, Himalayan salt is extracted from rocks, which is why it can be pinkish or reddish in color.
  • Pickling salt – Similar to iodized table salt in that it has been refined. However, pickling salt lacks the iodine and anti-caking agents that are present iodized salt, and because it’s refined, it may also not be the optimal choice for fermenting.

When using salt as a brine for fermenting fruits, condiments, and especially salsa and chutney, do use them in smaller amounts that you would otherwise use in vegetables.

Whey

Whey is often used as a culture starter for lactic acid fermentation because it’s full of healthy bacteria and enzymes that improve your gut flora, and this makes it a great brine for vegetables.

You can strain whey from dairy products such as yogurt, milk kefir, and even certain cheeses or cultured buttermilk.

However, the downside of whey is that it’s dairy-based and may not be good for people who are sensitive to this. If you have lactose intolerance, this may not be the best brine for you to ferment your vegetables with.

Freeze-Dried Culture Starters

Other types of bacterial starters can be bought in different health stores in Singapore, or ordered online, and depending on the strain, it can be used along with salt.  

But if these aren’t available, keep in mind that you can use substitutions for culture starters, such as whey or even salt, and they can still be used interchangeably in any recipe.

You also don’t need to throw away the brine from a previous batch. In fact, this brine can also be used for the next batch of vegetables, and this can save you a lot of time in preparing them for fermentation.

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6 Amazing Things You Can Use Your Freezer For

Having a working freezer at home is great for keeping food from spoiling, but there’s a lot more that you can do with it than storing perishable food items.

Here are a few things you can do with your freezer:

  1. Emergency cooling. You can now find a use for your plastic bottles by filling them with water and placing them in your freezer in advance! This way, if the power goes out or if you need something to keep your icebox contents cool when you’re on an outdoor trip, you already have something in your freezer that will do the trick. And if the ice melts during a hot day, you can refresh yourself with cold water!
  • Cleaning jeans. While most clothes come with washing instructions, jeans are actually designed to not be washed – especially when you’re dealing with raw denim. This is to avoid breaking down the fibers in the denim. So instead of washing them, you can either turn them inside out or hang them outside in the sun, or you can place them in the freezer and let the cold kill the odor-causing bacteria.
  • Freshen up shoes. The same principle also goes for shoes – simply place them in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer for a few hours while the cold does the work. Not only will the cold kill the odor-causing bacteria in your shoes, but they will also stretch your footwear and make them easier to put on. However, you may have to freeze a bag of water and place it inside the shoe first.
  • Store candles. If you’re a fan of lighting up scented candles to wind down after a long day, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a way you can make them last longer – and that’s by storing them in the fridge.
  • Envelope opener. Want to open envelopes without having to tear them up? That’s easy – stick them in the freezer! Most adhesives don’t stick well in low temperatures, which means you can open letters and re-seal them without having to use a letter opener and tear out the envelope. To make the adhesive work again, simply take it out of the freezer and wait for a few hours.
  • Keep sweaters from shredding. When it comes to your favorite knitted or fuzzy sweaters, there’s nothing more annoying than seeing them shed when they come out of the laundry. You can prevent this by simply rolling it up inside a sealable bag and freezing it overnight.

By doing this, you allow the low temperatures to shrink the fibers and make them less prone to shedding.

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5 Big Laundry Mistakes You Had No Idea You Were Doing

Doing the laundry is an essential part of daily life. When you do it right, you can keep your clothes clean and fresh, and preserve their quality for a long time.

However, there just as many mistakes you can make when cleaning your clothes, whether via handwashing or laundromat. Here are a few that you may not even know that you’re doing (until now):

1. Furiously rubbing stains

When given enough time to set, many stains can be difficult to remove with just rubbing them, and rubbing too fast can even make the stain worse or just ruin the fabric.

To get around this, try dabbing stains instead of rubbing them, and use a white cloth so that the colors won’t bleed into other fabrics. You will have a better chance of removing stains by being gentler towards your fabric.

2. Mixing socks with clothes

This is another common mistake that many people make, but while it’s easy enough to fish them out when you’re handwashing, you won’t always be able to find the other pair when you use a washing machine.

You can solve this problem by placing your dirty socks in the laundromat first before adding in the rest of your dirty clothes. This way, you’ll be able to find them more easily.

3. You leave dress shirts buttoned

While it’s true that zippers should be fastened when washing them, the same isn’t the case for dress shirts. In fact, when you do leave them buttoned when throwing them in the washing machine, you’ll only end up ripping them off their button-holes. 

To avoid this, be sure to pay attention to any buttoned shirts and unbutton them in advance.

4. Using too much detergent

Detergent is important for getting rid of stains, whether you’re washing them by hand or via washing machine. However, you shouldn’t use too much, since excess suds can get caught in certain areas and won’t always rinse off.

Instead, use only half the detergent you usually would, and slowly add more if you feel that you’re not getting the results that you want.

5. Pouring detergent directly on your clothes

Pouring the laundry detergent directly on clothes only means disaster for your fabrics, especially for your fancy dress shirts. When you’re using a washing machine, place the laundry first before adding in water, followed by a small amount of detergent.

If you’re washing by hand, add the water first before the detergent, and put the laundry last.

However, in the case of bleach, add the water first before the laundry, and follow it up with a small amount of bleach.

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