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Posts Tagged ‘osteoporosis’

I’m Over Age 50: What Health Screenings Do I Need?

December 27, 2013

As we age, we become more at-risk for certain diseases that impact older adults more often than younger adults. Individuals over 50 should be screened regularly for a variety of health problems. Preventive health screenings can detect conditions that have yet to present any symptoms so treatment can be sought sooner.

Various health institutions, including the National Institute of Health, the National Cholesterol Education Program, the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend adults over age 50 take advantage of the following health screenings:

1. Prostate Cancer Screening

The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is a method of screening for prostate cancer that the American Urological Association says is for men who want to “pursue early diagnosis” of the condition. Approximately a third of all men over fifty have cancer in their prostate gland. While this type of cancer may never cause a problem, that is not easy to tell at an early stage. Early discovery via screening may prevent catastrophic consequences from prostate cancer.

2. Mammogram

A mammogram is the main method of screening for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that women start having a yearly mammogram after age 40. However, women should talk to their doctors to see what’s right for them, especially if they are considered high-risk.

3. Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is a problem for both genders, but it can often be detected through a colonoscopy. The American Cancer Society recommends men and women have a colonoscopy every five to ten years starting at age 50, depending on risk factors.

Other tests that can detect colorectal cancer include flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography, fecal occult blood test and double-contrast barium enema. Talk to your doctor to see which test is right for you.

4. Heart Disease Screening

Health screening tests for heart disease include blood tests for cholesterol, blood pressure tests and screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. People with high cholesterol are at a higher risk for heart disease. Age and other risk factors (like a history of smoking) raise the likelihood of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Life Line Screening recommends at-risk individuals should undergo the aortic aneurysm screening annually.

5. Bone Density Screening

Bone density scans have the ability to better detect osteoporosis risk. It is recommended that women start getting screened for this condition at age 65 and men at age 75. Women at a higher risk should start getting screened at menopause and men at age 50, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

 6. Pap Test

Pap tests are capable of detecting cervical cancer. Until she gets to 65, a woman should have a pap smears at least once every three years. If the results have been normal up that point, she can stop getting the tests at 65 or 70, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about which health screenings you should be having and how often you may need them.

 




Study: Not Only Bone Density, But Also Quality of Bone Predicts Fracture Risk

October 18, 2013

Not all bones are created equal. Or at least that’s what the findings from a recent study conducted by the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio revealed.

The study, which looked at abnormal bone property in children who suffered from vertebral fractures, or had been the subject of a solid organ transplant, is the first to document bone compositional changes in children. Using histomorphometry and infrared spectroscopy, the study suggests that the understanding the rate of bone deterioration may be more important indicator of future problems than bone density itself.

Simply stated, bone histomorphometry is a way to measure the shape and form of bone tissue to arrive at a fuller understanding of the bone’s architecture, while spectroscopic technology provides a way to accomplish that goal by studying the interaction between matter and radiated energy.

One of the leading causes for increased risk factors of bone fractures is the disease known as osteoporosis. Characterized by abnormal bone formations, osteoporosis has no symptoms but generally results in what’s known as fragility fractures that typically target the hips, ribs, wrists, and vertebral column of the sufferer. Whereas earlier studies focused on measuring bone density, this latest study suggests that the quality of the bone, rather than bone density, may be the better indicator of bone fragility problems in children.

The new study confirms that to study remodeling balance in younger patients, bone histomorphometry is needed in clinical studies to better understand the effects on children. Study researchers emphasized how bone histomorphometry provides valuable information that can aid in an accurate diagnosis and treatment regime, which is especially important when treating pediatric patients.

“Especially in clinically challenging scenarios where different treatment options are being considered, bone histomorphometry provides valuable information. An accurate diagnosis and choice of medication are especially important when treating pediatric patients.” Said study author Dr. Inari Tamminen in a recent Science Daily article.

Osteoporosis screening is an easy way to determine the health of a patient’s bones and annual screenings are highly recommended for anyone who at risk for bone density loss. Life Line Screening provides painless osteoporosis screenings for those interested. Learn more about it today.

 




3 Essential Bone-Building Steps You Should Take as You

October 16, 2013

When we imagine ourselves in our golden years, many of us probably picture the kind of person who is still active and able to get around. To make that vision a reality, it’s essential to cut down your osteoporosis risk by taking necessary bone-building steps. It’s time to start preparing today for the person you want to become tomorrow.

For men and women, the older we get the weaker our bones become. Women start losing bone density in their 30s and have whopping 50% chance of contracting osteoporosis. The best way to avoid osteoporosis is through prevention. The National Osteoporosis Foundation names these three components as being essential for building stronger bones:

 

Vitamin D

For your body to properly absorb calcium, it needs vitamin D. The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. Many of us, however, don’t live in perpetually sunny climates, or we may be homebound. Talk to your doctor about what level of Vitamin D supplements may be right for you.

 

Exercise

Building bone mass is easier than you think. Any weight bearing exercise can cut down on bone loss. Try to work simple exercises into your everyday routine. This can include:

  • Walking up stairs
  • Carrying heavier loads, like bags of groceries, small children, loads of laundry, etc.
  • Jumping up and down for at least 2 minutes

Keep dumbbells and ankle weights at your desk or next to your television. While you’re sitting, use them to do simple exercises so you can build bone mass and cut back your osteoporosis risk even while being sedentary. Start with light 2 or 3-pound weights and slowly work your way up to heavier ones as you build up your muscle strength.

 

bone health - osteoporosis screening

 

Diet

Your diet plays a huge role in the health of your bones. For optimum bone health, the most important element to work into your diet is calcium. Foods rich in calcium include:

  • Low-fat dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collards, chard)
  • Canned salmon or sardines (with bones)
  • Soy products like tofu or soybeans
  • Calcium fortified cereals or orange juice.

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also greatly increase your osteoporosis risk, so it’s best to avoid both.

Osteoporosis screening is also important for prevention, especially among women at high risk of bone density loss. It is a painless procedure that can help you take control of your life and allow you to become the active, happy person you envision for yourself throughout your years to come.

 




How to Nix Knee Pain the Natural Way

October 8, 2013

Knee pain can put a damper on any type of lifestyle. The constant pain that can occur during movement and all of those popping sounds you may be hearing can be disheartening. You probably already realize that pain killers don’t always get the job done when it comes to knee pain. Plus, it’s no fun to be reliant on pain relievers.

Luckily, there is good news. It is possible to relieve your knee pain without having to rely solely on medications. Just make sure you discuss any pain remedies with your doctor, especially before stopping use of a medication.

According to Prevention.com, choosing a healthy diet and the correct type of exercise can reduce inflammation – a direct contributor to knee and joint pain. This is especially true if your knee pain is caused due to osteoarthritis.

A study completed by Wake Forest University found that knee pain sufferers who ate a balanced diet and exercised three days a week had a 45% reduction in their pain levels. Along with the reduction in pain came gains in mobility and weight loss.

 

Diet

When it comes to what you eat, a balanced diet designed for weight loss may be the best choice. Choosing a low calorie diet that includes a larger percentage of vegetables than any other type of food can help you to lose weight, which in turn reduces the burden felt by your knees.

 

Exercise

For healthy exercise, you don’t have to have a strenuous workout. Three times a week for an hour mixing strength training and brisk walking will benefit your joints and even help you lose excess weight. Plus, it may also benefit your cardiovascular system and overall health.

 

Natural Supplements

Natural supplements may also help with joint paint. An article from the Hospital for Special Surgery website reveals that taking high doses of calcium supplements and vitamin D supplements can help strengthen the bones and joints while reducing inflammation.

As you age, your bones and joints become more susceptible to pain and inflammation. To keep them healthy and relieve pain naturally, it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget about the health of your bones. If they’re taken care of, they can keep you moving for years to come.

Learn more about the osteoporosis screening provided by Life Line Screening to see if you may be at risk for bone density loss today.




Do You Have Chronic Pain? Eat These Foods

July 6, 2013

Chronic pain is often caused by inflammation in the body. Certain conditions, like arthritis, go hand-in-hand with inflammation. Inflammation is a natural part of your body’s immune response to oxidative stress. This type of stress occurs when the body undergoes more cell damage than it can handle, resulting in inflammation and chronic pain.

Taking over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen may relieve the pain temporarily, but they fail to address the underlying cause of the pain – inflammation. Certain foods, however, contain ingredients that directly impact inflammation and can therefore help to decrease and prevent chronic pain.

Fish

Compared to beef, pork, poultry, and dairy proteins, fish provides more of the omega-3 fatty acids that help stop inflammation. Salmon is especially high in omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients have been directly linked to improvements in symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Herbs and Spices

Tumeric, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, tart cherry, curry and rosemary are all herbs and spices that contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Tumeric is an especially powerful spice because it has been seen to inhibit the formation of inflammatory prostaglandins and COX inhibitors – the same goal of medications like Vioxx and Celebrex.

Vegetables

A wide variety of plants have been seen to combat chronic pain symptoms, especially kale, beans, lentils, and all dark green, red, orange, yellow, blue and purple fruits and vegetables. They work because they are fibrous, low in calories, and full of nutritious flavonoids. Eating too many processed foods and not enough unprocessed foods like vegetables can raise blood glucose, insulin production and, inevitably, pain-causing inflammation.

Probiotics

Probiotics like Greek yogurt contain live microorganisms that help supplement the good bacteria already in your digestive system. They are also found in other fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut and kefir and are a major source of vitamin D. Healthy bacteria in the body can be destroyed from things like poor nutrition, stress, smoking and air pollution, so eating foods with probiotics helps to restore the necessary bacteria.

As you age, your body becomes more susceptible to chronic pain caused by inflammation. Even if you don’t have arthritis, you could still be dealing with chronic pain. Instead of temporarily relieving the symptoms, get to the bottom of the problem by addressing the cause. Eat more of the foods above to prevent unwanted chronic pain.

 

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