Monday, July 30, 2012

Good Osteoporosis Article

A very good article on Osteoporosis from Real Age.  10 Facts About Osteoporosis and Bone Health Learn about common causes and risk factors for osteoporosis.

Throughout your life, you constantly lose old bone and form new bone. As a teenager and young adult, your body made more bone than you lost. But with age, bone production drops off and bone loss increases, putting you at risk for osteoporosis (porous bone, which fractures easily). According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), roughly 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and 34 million have osteopenia (low bone mass). But osteoporosis and related fractures don't have to be inevitable. Here are 10 things you need to know to lower your risk.

A broken bone might mean you already have osteoporosis. A simple fall that results in a fracture is the most telling sign that you may have osteoporosis, says Connie Weaver, PhD, chairman of the department of nutrition science at Purdue University and a calcium researcher. "Many times, people just assume the fracture is due to the trauma and don't investigate if they need to be treated for osteoporosis," Weaver says. But it's possible that the fractured bone was already in a weakened condition due to osteoporosis before the fall. People who break a bone and have other risk factors for osteoporosis -- such as a small build or a family history of fracture and low body weight -- should be especially vigilant, she says.

Having diabetes can raise your risk for osteoporosis. People who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes are prone to weaker bones. "The quality of the bone they make isn't good," says Diane Schneider, MD, a geriatrician and the author of The Complete Book of Bone Health. "In people with type 1 diabetes, there is more bone breakdown, and in people with type 2 diabetes, the bones are more fragile." Medications for type 2 diabetes can also cause bones to be weaker. Even extra body weight doesn't help. "We're finding a growing connection between bone and fat," Schneider says. "Being overweight is not as protective as we once thought it was."

Being thin increases your chances for osteoporosis. Having a small frame and a slight build means you have bones that are less dense, making them more vulnerable to osteoporosis and fracture. Some studies show you may be especially prone to developing osteoporosis if you weigh 127 pounds or less, Schneider says. Since there isn't much you can do about the way you're built, women who are small-boned need to take charge of osteoporosis risk factors that they can control. "You have to pay special attention to what I call the ABCDs of bone health," Schneider says. "Activity, balance -- because you need core strength to prevent falls regardless of bone density -- calcium, and vitamin D."

Not getting enough calcium puts your bones at risk. Calcium is a mineral essential to bone strength, but a recent study showed that many Americans may not be getting enough of it in their diets. Before you reach for a bottle of supplements, new research suggests taking calcium supplements may raise your risk of heart attack and kidney stones. The fact remains that calcium is a necessary part of our diets. According to the Institute of Medicine, women need 1,000 mg of calcium each day up to age 50, and 1,200 mg of calcium a day after age 50. Schneider recommends getting the bulk of your calcium from food -- milk, yogurt, broccoli, turnip greens, and calcium-fortified foods -- and taking less than the recommended dose of calcium supplements.

A lack of vitamin D raises your risk for osteoporosis. Vitamin D is essential for bone health because it helps your body absorb calcium. Spending just 20 minutes a day in the sunshine -- without sunscreen -- during the summer months provides enough vitamin D to last you through the year, says Dana Simpler, MD, a physician in private practice in Baltimore, MD. "People with dark complexions may need up to an hour," she says. You can also get vitamin D from supplements and foods such as dark leafy greens, and vitamin-D fortified orange juice and soy milk. According to the Institute of Medicine, most people need 600 IUs of vitamin D a day. People aged 71 and over require 800 IUs of vitamin D daily, possibly more, depending on their health.

Some medications can hurt your bones. Certain medications -- among them antidepressants, corticosteroids and proton pump inhibitors -- can put your bones at greater risk for osteoporosis. Anti-seizure medications, certain cancer treatments, and diabetes drugs may also cause bone loss. In most cases, the risk of osteoporosis goes up the longer you take these meds and the higher the dose. Before going on any medication, ask your doctor about the impact on your bones. If you must take one of these drugs, work with your doctor to take the lowest dose possible, and discuss ways to lower your risk of osteoporosis.

After menopause, your risk for osteoporosis goes up. For women, menopause causes a steep drop in estrogen, a hormone essential for strong bones. The earlier you go into menopause, the higher your risk of osteoporosis. A recent Swedish study found that women who entered menopause before the age of 47 were nearly twice as likely to have osteoporosis later in life as those who entered menopause when they were older. "Women lose the most bone in the first three to five years of menopause," Weaver says. "They can lose as much bone as they gain during puberty." Menopause, says Weaver, is an important period to make lifestyle choices that protect against bone loss, namely with exercise and diet.

A bone density test can detect bone loss. Bone density is commonly measured with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), also known as a bone density test. This simple, painless test gauges bone strength by comparing your bone mass to those of young adults of the same gender at peak bone mass, using a T-score. A T-score of -2.5 or lower, means you have osteoporosis. A score between -1.0 and -2.5 means you have osteopenia, low bone mass. A T-score of -1.0 or higher means your bones are normal. "Women usually don't need a DXA scan until they're 65 and men until age 70," says Schneider. Talk to your doctor about when to get screened and about follow-up tests. The answer will depend on your age, osteoporosis risk factors, and previous bone density test results.

Being physically active protects you against osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises -- the kind that force your body to work against gravity, such as walking, running, dancing, and tennis -- are the best for keeping bones healthy. The key, Schneider says, is to simply be active. "It doesn't have to be exercise in the gym," she says. "You simply want to spend more time on your feet and move. You want to spend less time sitting."

Not everyone with osteoporosis needs medication. In recent years, some drugs used to treat osteoporosis have come under fire for potentially increasing the risk for breakage of the femur bone, esophageal cancer, and the death of bone tissue in the jaw. In reality, only women at high risk for a fracture need treatment, says Ruth Freeman, MD, a professor of obstetrics-gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. "I always recommend lifestyle changes first," Freeman says. Women who have osteoporosis and other risk factors such as rheumatoid arthritis, low body weight, and a family history of fractures for instance, may want to take osteoporosis drugs. But women who have no other risk factors might consider opting out. Talk to your doctor about your best option.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Hungry for Change - Change we can all use

Hungry for Change - The Movie, is a A Documentary Film About Creating Lasting Weight Loss, Abundant Energy and Vibrant Health. Featuring many nutrition experts such as Dr Alejandro Junger, Dr Christiane Northrup, David Wolfe, Daniel Vitalis and Dr Joseph Mercola.

More on this movie can be seen and many media product ordered at the Hungry For Change website.

From my perspective poor nutrition is a major cause of all sorts of degenerative disease including the joint and back pain that brought me into what is a now a life long quest to ensure I get the nutrients my body needs to fight off, as best I can, the on-set of these debilitating diseases. 

Watch this trailer and see if it doesn't get you to order the movie.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Smartest Doctor in the World

I recently changed Doctors.  My new doctor is a older man from Taiwan,...maybe he is from Malaysia,...heck, I don't know. His English is good enough to make his common sense points to me concerning my health.  Here's how our first appointment went:   

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life Is this true?
A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it... Don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually.. Speed up heart not make live longer; that like say you can extend life of car by driving faster. Want live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables? 
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. What are these? Vegetables. So, steak nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give 100% recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake? 
A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine. That means they take water out of fruity bit; get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio? 
A: If you have body and you have fat, ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program? 
A: Cannot think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you? 
A: YOU NOT LISTENING!!! .... Foods fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle? 
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only do sit-ups if want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me? 
A: You crazy? HELLO ... Cocoa beans! Vegetable!!! Cocoa beans best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure? 
A: If swimming good for figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle? 
A: Hey! 'Round' is shape! Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

AND.... For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies:

1. The Japanese eat very little fat And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
 3. The Chinese drink very little red wine And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4 The Italians drink a lot of red wine And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. CONCLUSION..... Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

9 Health Risks that Aren't Worth Taking

9 Health Risks that Aren't Worth Taking Redbook Healthy Living – by Melinda Wenner Moyer. 

Thanks to Wendy for this great reminder for some of us, as well as identifying new health risks in our already overly toxic environment.  I for one did not know about shower curtains and never thought about pet flea and tick collars.  I did however know about the toxicity of tooth paste and have been using a natural toothpaste for the past six years.  My dentist remarks how healthy my gums looks.   I guess that's a complement.  Plus I'm pretty happy not waking in the morning with bad breath.       

Cell Phone.
Holding your cell phone up to your ear. Although the overall risk is still very low, research suggests that people who have spent the past decade or more frequently talking on their cell phones in the traditional way are more likely to develop brain tumors. John Walls, a spokesperson for industry trade group CTIA: The Wireless Association, points out that no major American health organization has said that wireless devices are a public health risk. (The World Health Organization, though, has expressed concern.) And texting or talking while driving--which boosts your chances of having a car wreck by a factor of four--poses a far bigger risk than the radiation may. But considering that you can get an earbud-type hands-free set for as little as five bucks, why not take the safest tack? "I think the data are strong enough that using a hands-free set with your cell makes a lot of sense," says public health expert Ted Schettler, M.D., science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network.

PVC shower curtains.
That funky, chemical-y smell of new polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shower curtains comes from volatile organic compounds, which may be carcinogenic over time and can cause nausea and headaches in the short term, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. "I always recommend the good old-fashioned fabric curtains," says preventive-medicine expert Suzanne Pham, M.D. Want something waterproof? Look for vinyl acetate, which is safer, she says.

Microwaving in plastic.
Heat releases some of the chemical building blocks in plastic, sending them into whatever food or drink you're warming up. One such chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), "can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, potentially leading to issues like premature puberty and breast or testicular cancer," says Pham. Even BPA-free plastics could release substances that can have negative effects, so it's best to avoid microwaving any plastic container, says Jennifer Lowry, M.D., a medical toxicologist at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO. All of our experts agree: Heat food or drink in glass or ceramic.

Pet Tick Collars.
Adults who play with a cat or dog while it's wearing a flea and tick collar are exposed to up to 500 times the Environmental Protection Agency's safe level of pesticides, according to a first-of-its-kind study by scientists at the Natural Resources Defense Council. For children, the levels can be 1,000 times higher than what's safe. The worst are collars containing chemicals called (get ready for a mouthful) propoxur or tetrachlorvinphos, which kill pests by disrupting their nerve pathways. Four out of five top-selling brands we shopped for contained one of these, so check labels. Luckily there are other effective pest-killing options. "Pills that pets take internally seem to be safer," says Jerome Paulson, M.D., chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics council on environmental health. Two common brands are Capstar and Program, which you can get for between $20 and $60 online or from your vet.

Constantly running a humidifier.
Those little steam machines can be a life saver for parents with a stuffed-up kid who can't sleep, but using them too often might make things worse. A study by the New York State Department of Health found that one of the biggest predictors of whether children developed asthma was the frequent use of a humidifier at home. "Too much moisture promotes mold and dust mite growth," which could be a problem for the whole family, explains Morris Nejat, M.D., a pediatrician and allergist in New York City.

Certain antibacterial soaps and toothpastes.
Triclosan is a germ killer found in a lot of antibacterial hand soaps, body washes, and even some brand-name cavity-control toothpastes. But the American Medical Association recommends against the use of triclosan in our homes, because it may encourage the development of scary bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. "Studies have shown that these triclosan products don't work any better than regular cleansers or toothpastes, but they damage the environment and potentially place our long-term health at risk," says Susan Shaw, Ph.D., an environmental scientist at the State University of New York, Albany.

In fact,  I suggest everyone read the ingredients label on their toothpaste and especially the warning for consuming too much of it.  A few years ago when I had my teeth cleaned, the dentisit gave me a flouride rinse. Having not been on flouride for several years, the amount he gave me almost made me throw up.   Since then I do not take the flouride rinse.  My dentist cannot tell the different to my teeth, so I'm starting to convince him that a quality natural toothpaste is good for the person and flouride is bad.  

X-ray airport scanners.
You know those "backscatter" full-body X-ray machines at airport security gates? Europe banned them several months ago because of health concerns, but the machines are still in use in some airports in the States. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says the amount of radiation emitted by each scan is minuscule, but independent research suggests the dose to some parts of the body is at least 45 times higher than the TSA claims and may even increase cancer risk, particularly for the elderly and women predisposed to breast cancer. Since you're already going to be exposed to radiation by flying, avoid the extra rays and ask for a pat-down, says John Sedat, Ph.D., a professor emeritus at the versity of California, San Francisco.

Colon cleanse.
Celebs may swear by this kind of thing, but colonics and colon-cleansing pills could be dangerous, our experts said. The intestines are self-cleaning, so unless you're getting a colonoscopy, there's no reason to sweep the whole thing out, says gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu. The pills are poorly regulated and could make you laxative-dependent, she says; colonic enemas carry a risk of intestinal perforation, which requires surgery to fix. To keep your digestive system working smoothly, says Ganjhu, stay hydrated; eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains; and exercise. If you regularly have gas or constipation, a probiotic supplement may help by adding more healthy bacteria to your gut.

Ready-to-feed canned baby formula.
Bisphenol A (BPA) isn't only found in plastic--it's also used to line the inside of cans to keep bacteria out. And according to tests conducted by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, one of the foods that ends up most contaminated with BPA is canned liquid infant formula. (Powdered formula, on the other hand, contains almost no traces of BPA from its packaging.) If you must use liquid canned or bottled formula, make sure not to warm it up in its original container, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends.

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