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Healthy Living: Osteoporosis Warning Signs

Osteoporosis is one of the most common ailments of adults over the age of 50 and it is a problem that people do not want to live with.  Weak bones lead to fractures and many other scary problems that could leave you disabled. 

Before turning into full-blown osteoporosis, osteopenia – the process of thinning bones - precedes the ailment.  There are some warning signs to look for to determine if your bones are in fact thinning.

 

Here are some warning signs for osteoporosis: 

  • Warning Sign #1 - You have had more than one fracture in the past two years or a fracture that seemed severe considering the circumstances.
  • Warning Sign #2 – You are naturally a small or thin person.
  • Warning Sign #3 – You have an autoimmune condition that causes you to take prednisone or another corticosteroid.
  • Warning Sign #4 – You are a smoker and have been throughout your adult life.
  • Warning Sign #5 – You drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day.
  • Warning Sign #6 – You do not drink milk, or you have a lactose intolerance that prevents you from drinking milk.
  • Warning Sign #7 – You have an eating disorder.
  • Warning Sign #8 – You are an Asian or Caucasian female over the age of 50.Warning Sign #9 – You have a family member who had osteoporosis before the age of 50 or before menopause.

Fitness for All: 10,000 Steps a Day: Where did it come from?

Whether you are an avid fitness guru or just your “Average Joe” you have no doubt at some point in your life heard that the key to being healthy is getting in your “10,000 steps” daily.

But have you ever wondered why 10,000 steps? And is it working? Or is it just causing us unnecessary stress?

Here is what the experts say…

Back in 1965, when the Summer Olympics was held in Tokyo, Japan, a local professor was working on coming up with the best way to fight obesity and heart disease. He calculated that walking 10,000 steps a day – or the equivalent of 5 miles – would translate into a 20% increase in calories burned for the average person.

The professor, Yoshiro Hatano, then came up with a pedometer-like device called the Manpo-kei, to encourage people to get up and moving during the Olympics when fitness was on everyone’s mind.

The popularity of the pedometer and taking 10,000 steps continued in Japan and has since spread to the U.S. and other countries, becoming the standard that World Health Organization (WHO), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still follow today.

While 10,000 steps a day might be an achievable goal for some, experts note that everyone’s fitness ability is different and their steps per day should be adjusted accordingly.

One way to figure out the number of steps that would work for you is to track how many steps you normally take in any given day, then set an achievable goal based on your baseline steps. If you are a person who typically gets in 5,000 steps a day, then shoot for 7,500. Already reaching 10,000 a day? Why not try for 12,500? Even though this theory has been around for decades, there is no need to stress yourself out about reaching this daily goal. Just take it one step at a time.

Healthy Living: Choosing the Best Hand Sanitizer

Since the beginning of the global pandemic, there is one product that has literally become “man’s best friend”… hand sanitizer.

Everyone knows that washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to fight germs and harmful bacteria on our hands, but if you can’t get to soap and water, hand sanitizer is a good stand in. But with so many out on the market nowadays, it is hard to decipher which hand sanitizer is best.

Experts suggest the following when choosing the best hand sanitizer that cleans and moisturizes:

Check the alcohol type and concentration. Experts say that you should always look for ethyl alcohol which is more effective than isopropyl alcohol killing microorganisms. Sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of 60 to 95 percent are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower concentration, but very high concentrations are more drying to your skin.

The CDC says that all you really need is 60 percent ethyl alcohol. Also, you want to label read and avoid potentially hidden methanol content in some sanitizers.

If you have sensitive skin, you might want to choose an alcohol-free sanitizer. Benzalkonium chloride is one option. It doesn’t kill as many infectious microorganisms as alcohol-based sanitizers, but it is known to deactivate COVID-19.

When choosing a sanitizer that also moisturizes, then you need to look for these ingredients - squalene, glycerin, and coconut oil - all of which help attract water and maintain moisture.

Lastly, when choosing the best sanitizer, especially if you have dry skin, you should avoid fragrances in your sanitizer. Fragrances can be irritants and can also exacerbate other skin conditions, like eczema.

In the News: Deciphering Dementia

One of the dreaded words that many elderly people fear hearing is dementia. And unfortunately, it is increasingly more common as the years go by. Although dementia is a progressive disease, there are currently no cures for dementia.

As with many diseases, early detection is key to giving doctors the chance to slow the progression and extend the quality of life.

According to experts, “Dementia is the term for many disorders that cause changes to memory, thinking, and personality. These interfere with a person’s ability to function. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia; at least 5 million Americans are affected. About 50 million people are living with dementia worldwide. That number is expected to triple by 2050, as the population ages and people live longer.”

But how do you know if you or a loved one are suffering from dementia? Memory problems are the first sign of dementia. And the most common memory problem… someone with dementia may forget where they left certain objects.

Sure, all of us lose objects from time to time, but for people suffering from dementia, they lose the ability to retrace their steps to find the item that they misplaced.

Other signs of dementia include language difficulties, such as trouble finding the right words or communicating generally; visual/spatial problems, such as getting lost while driving; trouble solving problems and completing mental tasks; difficulty organizing and planning; problems with coordination or walking; general confusion, including poor orientation to time or place.

Health 101: The Importance of Knowing Your Family Health History

As we begin a new year, this is the perfect time to gather with your family and work on or update your family health history. A family health history is a record of the medical conditions that have affected your family – from siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents – over several generations. But why should you work on a family health history? Here are 4 great reasons why you should:

It can determine your risk for certain diseases.

You can start early treatment for diseases that run in your family.

It can determine whether you should get certain genetic tests or not.

It can let you know if you are at risk of passing a disease onto your children.