Month: May 2018

Bone Density – How Important is It?

Bone density has not been talked about very much until the last 5-7 years. However, today startling facts have come to light. One in 2 women, and one in 4 men,over the age of 50, will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Pretty scarey when you see statistics like that.

So, what is Osteoporosis and is it really such a big deal? Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease in which the density of the bone is decreased & the structural integrity of the bone is impaired, thus making the bone more brittle. The cortex, or outer portion of the bone, becomes thinner and more porous, thus making it more prone to fractures. This disease affects 75 million people in the United States, Europe, and Japan. It is known to cause at least 1.3 million fractures each year in the U.S. alone. Since the disease often shows no symptoms, many people do not know they have it until they actually break a bone.

Now, that we see how important bone density is to our health, just what can we do to protect our bone health or even improve it? You should start with a sit down visit to your physician. They will begin by taking a look at your diet and your lifestyle. A good healthy diet with adequate calcium and Vitamin D can help to keep your bones strong. Bones store extra calcium for basic body functions. However, when we don’t get enough calcium our body robs our bones of this calcium and it makes our bones weaker. Talk honestly to your Doctor about your diet and possible calcium supplements. You should also think about increasing your activity level. Exercise, especially weight bearing exercise, is proven to increase your bone strength and bone density. It can also help your muscle strength which takes pressure off your bones. Another important fact; Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and also phosophoric acid from carbonated beverages, have all been shown to decrease the calcium in your bones. There is a lot you can do to help protect your bones and your health the natural way.

Your Dr. will next recommend that you have a Bone Density Test. This a simple, painless procedure usually performed in the X Ray Department. It can help the Dr. diagnose osteoporosis in the earliest stages. The test is a major predictor of the strength of the bones and how they can withstand stresses. If your bone density is reduced by a significant amount then you are considered to have osteoporosis.

The most common test to measure Bone Density is called the DEXA Scan. It takes xrays using a minimal amount of radiation, of the lower spine, hips and perhaps the hands and wrists. This test compares your bone density levels to those of a healty young adult. Anything above a Minus 1 is considered normal bone density. For those within the -1 to -2.5, you are depleting your bone mass. Below the 2.5 level you are considered to have osteoporosis. Doctors recommend all women over the age of 60 to have a DEXA scan, and all men over 70. The disease is especially prevalent in this age group. Some younger patients with a family history of osteoporosis may need to followed closely and have a DEXA scan sooner.

For patients who are diagnosed with Osteoporosis there are many options for treatment. There are several medications on the market that have proven very effective in combating the disease. Also, there is more information than ever out there regarding better diets, different exercise methods, etc. All these things are vitally important in helping you to stay healthy and protect your bone density.

Defeat the Signs of Aging

Assuming that everyone leaves their home, it becomes inevitable that we will on a daily basis become exposed to unavoidable environmental factors which can cause premature aging of the skin Many of the same environmental insults that cause medical skin conditions also contribute towards the over all appearance of the skin with respect to aging. Over time, the aging process destroys the natural supplies of Hyaluronic Acid, causing skin to dry and wrinkle. The question then becomes what can we do to slow down the appearance of the skins aging process and how can we prevent further signs of aging from occurring.

Aging

Aging brings with it the realization that their skin will no longer have that youthful appearance. By reducing oxidative stress, restoring moisture, repairing signs of photoaging, and promoting healthy supportive tissues, these topical agents can literally turn back the clock on skin aging. There are many anti-aging skin care treatments, techniques and of course products available today to help you diminish the appearance of wrinkles, eye bags, dark circles and age related facial.

Anti-aging skin products cannot produce a 100% reversal of wrinkles, but using certain treatments will greatly improve your skin’s appearance. To help aging baby boomers actively restore the youthful look of their skin researchers have developed powerful new ingredients that take the science of skin care to a new level. If you have deeper wrinkles that you would like to minimize, there are many other treatments to consider.

Treatments

With multiple treatments fine lines and wrinkles, scars, pore size, and skin changes can be improved. There are cleansers, toners, serums, creams and treatments for every imaginable skin care concern. There are antibiotic treatments, which affect the skin from the inside, that she prescribes in cases of problem skin though treatment is usually the first step. Oxygen treatments have found themselves increasingly popular across many countries.

The Oxygen Facials

The oxygen facial has been steadily growing in popularity since it was discovered that combining oxygen with certain anti-aging ingredients enhances cosmetic results. Anti-aging facials use products and techniques designed to slow the aging process, brighten skin and reduce wrinkles. This treatment increases cellular respiration, enhances micro-circulation, fights premature aging, and it brings you a blissful sense of calm. Oxygen facials and oxygen skin care born from the anti-ageing medicine. By treating the skin with pure oxygen, you are restoring the nourishing elements that are not available in our environment as we know it.

Non invasive skin therapy treatments are now the right answer to people looking to keep healty and prevent skin ageing. Oxygen facials are designed to improve the appearance of your skin by renewing skin cells and fighting the bacteria that causes acne. Oxygen facials may also help reduce fine lines as well as protect skin from sun damage and everyday stress. Oxygen facials are also used to treat burns and redness in the skin As a result, your skin looks and feels firmer for a couple of days. Pure oxygen facials are the next big thing with celebrities such as Madonna, Sienna Miller and Kate Moss already reportedly converted to the new way to combat wrinkles and let your skin breath.

Please remember, preserving youthful skin is much easier than trying to repair skin that has been abused for years. Maintaining a beautiful, healthy and youthful skin is therefore very important, especially for women and girls. Skin care today is a very exact science providing us with a wide selection of treatments and supplements to counteract and slow down the aging process. The key to prolonged youthful skin is prevention, prevention, prevention.

Heart Healthy Eating Without Maligning the Saltshaker

If you are like most of us who made the commitment to getting on and staying on the road to improved heart health in 2013, you are probably worried about the dietary roadblocks and detours that may lie ahead. Although the road to heart healthy eating may have a few bumps it is not paved with salt free restrictions that disallow the enjoyment of food. Salt is a seasoning that most of us love, and often take for granted. However, we generally don’t miss it until it’s left out of our favorite foods. Most of us can’t imagine enjoying food without salt. When salt gets wet and then dries, nothing is left but a tasteless residue. The ancients realized that when salt lost its taste it was of no use in food preparation, as the biblical text tells us “Salt is good for seasoning. But if salt loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again?” Can you enjoy food using less salt or in some cases without salt? Is it possible for you to prepare and eat food without seeing the salt pour out of the shaker like a Midwestern snow storm?

Since knowing why makes knowing what a lot easier, you need to understand that Sodium chloride (salt) is essential to the body. Medical scientists tell us that the sodium in salt helps transmit nerve impulses and contract muscle fibers, and balances fluid levels in the body by working with potassium. Only a very small amount of salt is needed to do this. For most people their body is designed to generally rid itself of excess sodium, but for some people consuming extra sodium makes their body hold onto water. This increase in the amount of fluid flowing through blood vessels can increase their blood pressure. This increase in blood pressure puts their body at risk for stroke and other serious heart health problems. The official guidelines for Americans with hypertension limit sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day or less. For individuals who do not have high blood pressure the U.S. guidelines call for a total daily consumption of less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium which is about 1 teaspoon of table salt. The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams per day which is well over the recommended limit.

We’ve all heard someone say that the journey of a thousand miles always begins with the first step. The saying is true, and most of us need to take more steps toward heart healthy salt reduction. Start taking your first intentional steps now. Since more than enough sodium comes from your salt shaker let us take a look at some easy ways to effectively reduce your daily sodium intake. Use dried or fresh herbs, and roots such as ginger, or garlic to instantly transform your dish from dull to delicious. Wake up your taste buds with a mixture of fresh hot and sweet peppers. You can also add citrus, vinegar (such as balsamic) or wine to that special dish to have you a lip smacking experience with less sodium. Some chefs recommend that you sauté or pan sear foods to build flavor and others recommend roasting to bring out the natural sweetness of many vegetables. Searing and sautéing also enriches the taste of fish and poultry. If you prefer to steam or microwave your dishes, jazz them up with a drizzle of flavorful oil and a squeeze of citrus. Raise the taste of these dishes to the next level by topping them off with some sweet or tangy herbs. Use these suggestions as you travel the road of good tasting heart healthy food with less sodium. The possibilities are limitless.

Living With Hepatitis – Part Two in This Series

If you’ve just found out or if you’ve known for a while that you have Hepatitis C or HCV as it is sometimes referred to; you may be wondering if you should treat it and if so, how. You may understandably have some questions. Some of the main questions I know I had follows. Is there an easier way than the “Standard of Care” that involves taking a injection every 4-5 days? Can I avoid the horrible side effects I’ve heard about with the treatment? I’m asymptomatic; Should I even treat my Hepatitis C? I will try to answer some of these in this article.

The decision to treat is a personal one. Only you can answer that with your Doctor’s input. The “Standard of Care” that most Doctors recommend is the drug called pegylated interferon alpha (Pegasys, PEG-Intron). This drug is often combined with an antiviral drug called ribavirin (Viral). Interferon alpha (Intron A): Interferon is a protein that the body makes naturally in response to viral infections in order to fight the infection. Pegylation describes a chemical process that makes the interferon last longer in the body. The Interferon alpha is the one you take by injection. These two drugs have a lot of side effects that aren’t very easy to live with. Especially since you usually take this treatment for at least 24 weeks, and some doctors even recommend it for 48 weeks. Vomiting, diarrhea, and depression are only the tip of the side effects mountain.

It is well-known that pegylated interferon plus ribavirin can induce or exacerbate depressive symptoms that can affect whether you stick with the treatment or decide to discontinue treatment early and ultimately lower treatment outcomes. If you suffer from depression and decide to do the medically “approved” treatment, please make sure you are followed closely for your depression. Even in people without depression at the start of treatment, usually end up needing to take an antidepressant drug.

Here are some of the many reasons for deciding not to treat:

* You are concerned that you might not be able to work.
* You’re worried by the potential side effects, particularly depression.
* You are bothered by the fact that the medication is given by self-injection.
* You distrust the pharmaceutical industry and their products.
* You’d rather try natural or alternative medicine.
* You’re afraid that treatment will be not be tolerable
* You are scared that the medication will harm, maim or kill.
* You’d rather wait for better HCV medications.
* You are unwilling to go through treatment without better odds of success.
* You feel well and don’t want to give that up for a year.
* Your liver has little or no fibrosis and waiting makes sense.

These are all good and okay reasons to not treat at this time. After all, you’ve probably have had the virus for years and didn’t even know it. But there are some things you should do if you decide NOT to treat;

  1. Don’t drink alcohol.
  2. Keep your weight under control.
  3. Eat a low fat, high-fiber diet. Include fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
  4. Aim for 30 or more minutes of exercise every day. If you’re not sure about exercise, a simple place to start is tby walking 5 to 10 minutes a day and gradually increase your walking. Take the stairs instead of the elevators.
  5. Protect your liver from other viruses Get your flu vaccines, and the Hepatitis A & B vaccines if you haven’t already.
  6. Get regular check-ups. Your doctor will want regular labs to know if your viral load (the amount of antibodies in your blood) is going up or staying relatively stable.

If you decide to try to treat with an herbal remedy, you need to do your research. Many herbs are toxic to the liver. There are a lot of claims that this one is better than that one, but for your own safety, get advice from a doctor or professional who specializes in alternative medicine.

Some of the herbal/alternative products that I’ve researched ( asked an herbalist and others, for the best ones) and have found that they do claim to help to keep the viral load down are:

  • Liv-52,
  • Milk Thistle and,
  • Dandelion root.

But DO NOT take them all at the same time. Try one at a time to see which works best for you.

There are good and bad reasons to treat or not to treat. Ultimately, the final decision rest with you. Again, do your research, talk with your doctor, your family, and maybe even find a support group. Try to live a healty lifestyle with regards to your diet, and if you smoke, try to quit. Stay away from alcohol. Reduce stress, get plenty of rest. MOST IMPORTANT: Take Care Of YOURSELF. An important take home message from this article is the need for a solid support system before, during and after treatment. I hope this helps.

Benefits From Training During Pregnancy – Methods That Gets You In Shape

Remember those pre-pregnancy days when you’d rise early, dash to the gym, and finish, feeling more in control over the stresses of everyday life? Do you need to give that up from the moment your got pregnant. For most women – the answer is no. All you had to do is to adjust your exercise routine. So go ahead and join the millions of other women who sailed through their pregnancy staying healthy, strong, and invigorated through exercise.

If you exercise during pregnancy you will have stay healthier and there are a number of excellent reasons to exercise during pregnancy, including:

You will increase your self-esteem while lowering depression and anxiety levels.

You will maintain a steady, reasonable and normal weight gain.

You will reduce the pregnancy-associated discomforts like oedema, back pain etc.

You will lower the chance of having a caesarean.

You will recover quicker after giving birth.

You will lose weight faster after childbirth.

You will increase your energy levels.

You will have a better sleeping pattern.

For the mom with a healthy, normal pregnancy, exercise can be very safe. For those who have experienced pre-term labor, or had some obstetrical complications in this, or previous pregnancies, exercise may not be recommended. Pregnant women should not attempt a fitness program without consulting their doctor first. Only by taking a full medical history can your doctor recommend a routine that will be right for you and your baby.

Moms are often most comfortable, and have less injuries, when they follow a non-weight bearing exercise routine, such as swimming or cycling using a stationary bike.

It is very important that all pregnant women seek an okay from their doctor before joining a fitness program. When beginning an exercise program it is important to start slowly and gradually increase your activity level. Even if you have exercised regularly prior to pregnancy, you may find that you need to decrease your level of exercise. It is important that you listen to your body. If you feel uncomfortable, short of breath or very tired, reduce the intensity of your workout. If you get belly-pain contact your doctor.