Showing posts with label bone health. Show all posts

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious bone condition that results from low bone density and weakening bone strength. It makes the bones fragile and susceptible to fractures. In fact, it is considered by medical experts as a silent killer since a victim will feel no symptom of bone loss until the bones become so weak that sudden strain, bump, or fall leads to a fracture and a notable loss in height. Fractures caused by osteoporosis are usually concentrated on the hip, ribs, vertebra, and wrist. Osteoporosis is diagnosed by measuring the bone’s mineral density using a low-radiation scan.


Many think that osteoporosis is prevalent among older people; however, even young people can fall prey to this debilitating illness.

Osteoporosis is a Serious Threat to Wellbeing

Studies conducted by the International Osteoporosis Foundation show that in Europe, one person suffers from osteoporosis-related fracture every 30 seconds. In the United States, more than 10 million people are diagnosed with osteoporosis and more than 34 million are at risk due to deteriorating bone mass. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, 50% of women and 25% of men 50 years old and above are prone to osteoporosis-related fractures. Furthermore, the World Health Organization warns that the number of fractures caused by osteoporosis around the world is expected to double within half a century, should there be an increase in elderly population.

Osteoporosis is an ailment that should never be ignored. It results to a high rate of disability and even mortality. Almost 25 percent of patients above 50 die within a year due to medical complications brought about by fractures.

Who is at Risk of Osteoporosis?

Studies show that osteoporosis is hereditary and parents who suffer from hip fractures are more likely to pass it to their children. Malnutrition also hastens a victim’s risk factor. Babies whose mothers are malnourished during pregnancy are at risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Age is another factor to consider, since older people may suffer from fragile bones. Medical conditions that show up in the later years, like Cushing’s disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism could also increase the chances of developing this ailment.

Women in menopause are four times more in danger of developing osteoporosis compared to men. This is because the production of estrogen, which is vital is bone mass protection, is reduced.

The risk of developing osteoporosis is always preventable through proper diet and healthy lifestyle. Deficiency in calcium and vitamin D will more likely cause bone deterioration, while excessive consumption of salt triggers calcium excretion. Excessive alcohol consumption and poor diet may also lead to osteoporosis.

Eating disorders also brings serious consequences to the health since they leads to dietary deficiencies, decline in body weight, and absence of menstruation for women. As a result, the body stops producing estrogen, which in turn weakens the bones.

A lifestyle of inadequate physical activity also hastens the development of osteoporosis. Since smoking decreases the bone’s mineral density, it also carries a significant risk. According to the World Health Organization, one out of eight fractures is linked to smoking, thus, when a person stops smoking, he alleviates his risks of suffering from fracture and osteoporosis.

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Preventing osteoporosis starts in childhood, when 90% of bone mass is developed. A diet rich in calcium, a nutrient necessary for strong bones, should always be prepared and consumed. Some of the main sources of calcium include milk, dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, eggs, salmon, nuts, oatmeal, sesame seed, tofu, and fresh, green, leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. This vitamin, when exposed to the sun, is synthesized in the skin. According to Dr. Manuel Mirassou Ortega, a member of the Mexican Bone and Mineral Metabolism Association, sunbathing for up 10 minutes every day provides 600 units of vitamin D, which is enough to prevent osteoporosis. A diet rich in eggs, saltwater fish, and liver also provides the body a steady supply of vitamin D.

Regular exercise is always emphasized as the main tool in keeping the bones and muscles healthy. Exercise increases the bone mass during childhood and adolescence while it prevents bone deterioration during old age. Even simple exercise, such as walking, jogging, and even dancing are proven effective in keeping the bones strong.

Prevention has always been said to be a better remedy than cure. And what blessings of good health and happy life come to those who make the effort in preventing osteoporosis.

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Health, Happiness, and Intelligence Comes With Tending a Garden

tending garden

Before more people join the urban and suburban gardening movement, a warning should go out that growing fresh vegetables and herbs, lovely flowers and shrubs, and gaining a sense of accomplishment are not the only favorable returns. Improved physical and mental health from the exercise and increased brain neuron growth stimulated by bacteria in the soil are also possible.

Gardening Relieves Stress and Anxiety Attack Symptoms

Anxiety affects both the brain and the body. Muscle weakness, fatigue, headaches, and other ailments often accompany anxiety attacks. Irritability, restlessness, nightmares, and insomnia are some of the mental manifestations.

An online article by Mayo Clinic staff titled: "Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms" details the benefits exercise can have on easing anxiety attacks. ". . . Research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood."

Tending a garden is physical exertion. The bending required uses the back, legs, and abdomen muscles. A second Mayo Clinic article titled, "Exercise and stress: Get moving to combat stress" states, "One way to take control of the stress in your life is through physical activity. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries." Raking the garden gets the body moving by working the core, shoulders and arms, and refocuses the attention.

Gardening is Bone Density Exercise and it Burns Calories
Gardening is strenuous exercise that involves lifting bags of fertilizer, turning soil, pushing a wheelbarrow, and squatting for lengthy periods. This type of exercise strengthens the bones. As pointed out in an article published by the National Institute of Health, "Vital at every age for healthy bones, exercise is important for treating and preventing osteoporosis. Not only does exercise improve your bone health, it also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance, and it leads to overall health."

Gardening is bone density exercise, which helps restore bone health by strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, chest, shoulders, arms, and back.

Lose weight naturally by gardening. Gardening calls on the use of nearly every body muscle. One hour of digging and pulling weeds can burn off 300 calories without the help of any diet aids.

Gardening Raises Serotonin and Intelligence Levels

Dorothy Matthews, a Microbiology Researcher at The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York and her colleagues were cited in a recent Science Daily article as having discovered evidence that breathing in bacteria from the outdoor environment and soil has antidepressant qualities that may increase learning behavior. At the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego, Matthews presented research findings that showed.

"Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil bacterium which people likely ingest or breath in when they spend time in nature."

Digging and raking soil exposes gardeners to the Mycobacterim vaccae soil bacteria. The research done with mice showed those fed live M. vaccae bacteria learned twice as fast as those not given M. vaccae. "We found that mice that were fed live M. vaccae navigated the maze twice as fast and with less demonstrated anxiety behaviors as control mice," Matthews said.

Gardening can quite possibly increase serotonin in the brain and improve the gardener's intelligence level. Luckily, not all gardening health benefits end with the growing seasons. Digging up the soil for the next spring or fall garden, raking leaves, composting, and engaging in other outdoor activities can increase exposure to M. vaccae.

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