Pilates is Good Exercise for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, also known as the “silent disease”, is characterized by low bone mass and decreased bone tissue. The bones become brittle, thin and prone to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist. Risk factors for developing primary osteoporosis are being postmenopausal, Caucasian or Asian descent, family history, low body weight, little or no physical activity, and smoking.

Physical activity has been shown to have a positive affect on bone remodeling. Many people who suffer from osteoporosis mistakenly assume they will fracture bones with exercise and do not realize that regular muscle use and exercise actually protects their bones. Research shows that regular exercise actually increases and maintains bone density at any age. The Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society states physical activity may lower the rate of bone loss, improve muscle strength, and fitness can help lower the risk of fractures and falls among the elderly.

Osteoporosis changes the shape of the vertebral bodies (they become wedge-shaped) leading to Kyphosis, which means that curve of your thoracic spine is increased. The Kyphosis decreases postural support on your upper back and leads pains and spinal pressure.

Pilates is all about body alignment and its specific, corrective exercises help to relieve postural strain on the spine and to prevent further wedging and compression fractures. Pilates repertoire uses your muscles and joints evenly and safely move your joints through their full range of motion by improving flexibility, strength and overall posture. Pilates is a whole-body experience and promotes symmetry of the musculature along with proper body mechanics.

Most important exercises for osteoporosis are the exercises that strengthen the back muscles. Back strengthening exercises overall constitute a powerful intervention for reducing pain and increasing functional capacity.

Avoid any exercise that causes pain. Avoid also exercises where you have to lift up your head and chest off the floor and exercises where you have to flex (bend) and rotate (twist) your trunk in the sitting or standing position. All of those exercises put a lot of pressure to vertebrae and discs. Stress into spinal flexion also increases the risk of a vertebral compression fracture.

However, while Pilates is good for osteoporosis, it’s not recommend to start with Mat Pilates. Many Mat Pilates instructors have only very little training and don’t know how to modify exercises for osteoporosis clients. Private Pilates sessions with Pilates instructor, who has knowledge about your disease and condition can really make a difference and help your fight against spinal and bone changing process and enhancing your quality of life.

And it’s never too late to start Pilates program, especially after menopause, when the pace of bone loss really picks up. Even then, starting a Pilates program will increase your muscle strength, improve your balance and it may keep your bones from getting weaker.

Who is Taking Care of Your Baby?

Things have changed quite a bit since the days when it wasn’t uncommon that a baby or its mother died during the birthing process. These days, mothers are able to take home their babies within hours of having given birth. Still, though, there are complications associated with giving birth to a child. 75 percent of cerebral palsy cases develop within those first crucial days of the baby’s life.

More and more, hospitals are using neonatal nurses to care of newborns. After the baby is born, these people are responsible for the health and care of your new addition to the family. They specialize in the area of taking care of newborns.

There are three different level of specialization in neonatal nursing. Level 1 nurses are responsible for the care of healthy newborn babies. The need for this particular kind of expertise is reducing due to improvements in techniques and technology. Healthy babies can now go home much sooner and are no longer kept separate from the mother in most hospitals.

Level 2 nurses specialize in caring for ill or prematurely born babies. Their responsibility includes making sure these babies get the medicines they need at the times that they need them. They are trained on the best methods for administering these medicines. Since each case is unique, the nurse must understand each baby and the best way to help that baby overcome his or her sickness.

Level 3 nurses are the highest trained nurses and the most in need. They take care of the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Some babies are in such dire need of attention that these nurses need attention every hour or half hour to make sure that there are no complications. Not only are the nurses in charge of the baby’s healthcare, but they are also in charge of making sure that the machines keeping the baby alive are fully functional. The machines usually take readings from the baby’s vital signs, and these help the nurse understand what is needed for the baby’s healthcare.

It is important to know who is taking care of your newborn baby. With its livelihood at stake, negligence and detrimental mistakes cannot be tolerated. Many cases of birth-injury, including cerebral palsy can be prevented if your baby received the appropriate care it needs.

Book Review – The Second Civil War, How Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America

Ronald Brownstein in this short, concise 2009 book has produced a complete and accurate account of the recent ugly, partisan side of politics. He provides a backdrop and history of some of the contributing factors and events which have led to this unfortunate era of United States political intrigue and competition – some of the most divisive since the Civil War.

Having been a high school teacher of Current World Problems and Political Science during the 1980s-2000, I can attest to the accuracy of the events of the time period. This book starts with the highly partisan retirement speech of Tom Delay, House of Representatives Speaker, Republican, and it continues with the on-line ultra-leftists like The Daily Kos and MoveOn.org, as well as the stance of Brownstein’s description as extreme Democrat leaders – those like Harry Reid and Howard Dean… those blamed for the escalation of the “scorched earth”, highly partisan politics of our current day. Also, in this account, the author thoroughly covers the time period leading up to the early 2000s.

The problems cited by the author in 2007 are the same problems which we have nine years since that time period. Without compromise, there can be no agreement or resolution of those problems, or even an agreement of what the problems are, or whether it’s the job of an ever-growing federal bureaucracy to correct those perceived problems. One intriguing section points out that former Governor George W. Bush, as governor of Texas and serving with a democrat majority in the state legislature, compromised and was well-known as “a uniter, not a divider”. Brownstein went on to point out Bush’s attempts to duplicate that result, but to no avail. The Democrat leaders would have none of that compromise or even cooperation at the federal level. Brownstein compares this lack of cooperation and the pursuit of extreme partisan politics to the divisions over slavery – hence, the comparison to the Civil War. I wonder what the author thinks about the purely partisan passage of the so-called “Affordable Care Act”.

This is a very beneficial and informative book that contributes to the conversation – a conversation that will optimistically lead to another era of cooperation. Hopefully, that can solve the problems of the out-of-hand federal debt and budget deficits, the encroaching power of the federal government, as well as the stagnant economy and the creeping, under reported unemployment problem.

Reflux Esophagitis – If You’ve Got It, Do This Now

If you have reflux esophagitis, chances are you’ll know it. It presents with some very obvious symptoms. The main symptom is a burning chest pain that is similar to heartburn. This pain is caused by acid backing up into your esophagus and can cause damage to the esophageal lining. Left untreated, it can also increase your chances of getting esophageal cancer. The other main symptoms of this condition are having worse esophageal pain at night, worse pain when lying flat on your back, and having worse pain after eating or drinking things that have high acid contents.

The cause of reflux esophagitis is a weak esophageal sphincter valve that allows food and stomach acid to exit your stomach the way it came in, bringing it up into the throat, and sometimes even the sinuses. Being overweight, frequently eating fatty foods, and frequently overeating can cause this condition, because all of these things contribute to stretching out your stomach and weakening the esophageal valve. Simply avoiding these things can go a long way toward preventing the condition from developing in the first place.

Sometimes, hernias in the area of the esophagus can precipitate the condition, as well. Doing exercises to increase the strength of the muscles in this area can help heal and even prevent the disease. If you already have the disease and have to take muscle relaxers for any reason, it may make the symptoms worse while you are on that medication, since it will relax the esophageal sphincter even more than it already is relaxed. If you must take muscle relaxers, try to take them for the smallest amount of time possible to ensure you don’t cause permanent damage to your esophagus.

If you suspect you may have this condition, you should see a gastroenterologist or an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for a definite diagnosis. You will have to go through a few diagnostic procedures to see if it is reflux esophagitis or some other acid condition affecting the esophagus. There are several different kinds of reflux conditions, and while they are all similar, they may need to be treated differently in different people. The important thing is to get treatment so that no permanent damage is done to your esophagus. Left untreated, this condition can cause permanent hoarseness, a persistent cough, or sinus troubles. Whether you use traditional prescription medications or home remedies, you want to treat it as soon as you get a diagnosis to minimize possible damage and persistent problems.

Swollen Taste Buds – Cause for Concern?

Most people have had swollen, irritated or painful taste buds at some point in their lives. Fortunately, in most cases this is not a serious problem and there is no need to seek medical attention. Simple home remedies can often help reduce the discomfort.

More serious causes of swollen taste buds include allergies, and some diseases such as yeast infection, geographic tongue, GERD and herpes infection. Yeast infections of the mouth sometimes occur after the use of antibiotic medications. This is because the antibiotic kills off the “good bacteria” in your gut and leads to an overgrowth of the bad stuff – yeast. Yogurt can help restore balance in your digestive tract.

Geographic tongue is a harmless condition and generally of little concern. The name describes how the tongue looks when it is discolored by inflammation – kind of like a “map” with some areas lighter than others. The cause is unknown, but it is thought to run in families and may be affected by stress and hormonal changes. People with Geographic tongue often have other allergies, asthma or eczema. Though the tongue looks abnormal, most people will have no other symptoms and not need treatment. This is not a contagious condition so you don’t need to worry about passing it on to other people through kissing.

By contrast, herpes is a contagious viral infection. Red, swollen sores can develop on the tongue. While there are antiviral medications that can help with outbreaks, there is no cure. Talk to a doctor if you suspect you have this infection.

Acid reflux is another health problem that can cause tongue problems. GERD, as it is also known, occurs when acid backs up from the stomach and irritates the throat and tongue. If you suspect that you have GERD, you should seek medical attention. Left untreated, it can actually lead to cancer of the esophagus.

However, the most common cause of swollen taste buds is something that you’ve eaten: eating foods that have irritated the tongue. Very hot (spicy foods) contain a chemical called capsaicin. This chemical is what gives spicy food its kick, but it irritates the tongue quite badly and over time can actually decrease your ability to taste food. Salty food such as chips will dry the tongue out and irritate the individual taste buds because of the crystalline structure of salt. Vinegar is another tongue irritant – so salt and vinegar chips are a double whammy! Other examples of foods that can cause this problem include: acidic fruits (such as lemons, limes or grapefruit), mustards, horseradish, wasabi, cinnamon, and ginger. If you know that you’ve eaten food that has irritated your tongue, then the best way to avoid getting swollen taste buds in the future is to simply not eat such foods. In just a few days, your tongue will start feeling much better.

For more immediate relief, try ice cubes. The cold helps to numb the tongue and will soothe the pain quickly. Similarly, ice cream or any other cold food will help ease the discomfort. If problems with your taste buds and tongue persist, you should check with your physician to make sure that a more serious problem is not the cause. However, in most cases, the tongue will heal itself within a few days and you’ll be feeling much better soon!

Summary: Swollen or inflamed taste buds sometimes alarm people, but most often the cause is not serious and the symptoms will go away on their own. Often a simple home remedy will help, but being aware of the more serious causes is important so that you know when to seek professional help.

Wrong Concept of Facial Paralysis Relative to Tooth Extraction

Human beings live their lives in pursuit of many things. More often than not, we are pre-occupied with material things, which would seem to make our lives better. We are often consumed with our jobs, money and status in society. We often forget one of the most fundamental pillars of happiness: health. They say that if you are in good health, then you are rich. This becomes evident when we fall ill or suffer some physical harm. Even the things that we had our eyes on, i.e. the money and wealth, starts looking like a distant dream because we are not in good health. A healthy body allows for a healthy mind, which is essential in our daily living.

What can we do to achieve this good health? There are several things that you can do to reduce the risk or occurrence of sickness and disease. The simplest form you can start by taking is practicing good hygiene. This involves making sure you wash your hands with soap after leaving the washroom or after working in the farm. Another step that you can take is to be conscious of the food that you eat. Take note to see that you are eating healthy, natural foods that will be beneficial to your body. A secondary measure that you can take is to visit the doctor’s office periodically for routine tests and examinations. The doctor will also be in a position to advice you on how to live a healthy life.

There are some health concerns that we all generally do not like to get into. One such concern is our dental health. People say that some pains are mental, some are physical, but one that is both is dental. The truth is most people dread the thought of going to the dentists. This might be informed by their own past experience or other persons’ experiences they have heard about. Whatever the case, we miss out on the opportunity of detecting and treating dental issues early. Some of the dental procedures may prove to be a difficult pill to swallow, but they do make sense in the long term.

One of the questions that you will frequently hear is whether wisdom tooth extraction can cause facial paralysis. There are several schools of thought on this issue. The most common holds that facial paralysis can be associated with a dental procedure and not necessarily an extraction. There are several reasons why facial paralysis can occur after a dental procedure. The most common are viral infections, primarily herpes simplex or facial nerve trauma, which seldom ever occurs. There are products in the market that one can take to cure these symptoms. You can use an antiviral agent and corticosteroid, which more often than not get rid of this problem successfully.

As with all medical conditions, it is important to see a medical specialist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Facial paralysis could be a symptom of a much more severe illness.

Bee Propolis a Natural Antibiotic

So isbee propolis a natural antibiotic? Here’s some research to help you judge for yourself!

Did you know that propolis is used so extensively in Russia that it has been labelled the ‘Russian Penicillin’? I certainly didn’t, until very recently. But I was aware that knowledge about the antibiotic and healing properties of propolis dates back over 2000 years.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used it as a salve to treat wounds, while during the days of Aristotle propolis was taken internally to relieve ulcers. In his classic ‘Natural History’, Pliny wrote about the healing powers of propolis.

So what is propolis? It’s a resinous substance that bees gather from leaf buds and the bark of trees such as poplars. After adding their own glandular substance, they use it as a kind of cement to seal and tighten the hive to protect it. Any invader that wanders in is encased in the resin, so the bees avoid contamination.

Perhaps this insight seems uninspiring in terms of how it might help our health! Yet propolis has been revealed to be a natural antibiotic for man – and beneficial to the immune system against the onslaught of infectious disorders.

To quote Dr Arnold Pike D.C, Director of the Academy of Nutritional Sciences and member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Task Force on Nutrition:

‘Nature has given bees a natural antibacterial substance in the form of the sap-like propolis to keep their hives free of infection. No strain of bacteria has developed immunity to it. Propolis is resistant even to bacteria that are immune to antibiotic drugs.’

And Soviet doctors A.I. Tichonov and D.P. Salvo, in ‘The Healing Properties of Propolis’ reported on their successful use of propolis in more than 70 different studies over 20 years in Russia.

Highlighting the beneficial effects of propolis on the thymus gland, they stated: ‘When propolis is taken internally, the rate of metabolism is increased and the resistance of the organism is raised. Propolis, in contrast to antibiotics, intensifies the whole immunological reactive capability of the macro-organism.’

Dr Reny Chauvin, of the Sorbonne in Paris, a European researcher studying propolis, had this final word to say on the subject:

‘Scientists have long believed that nature has an answer for every disease. It is just a matter of finding it. Bee propolis boosts your powers of resistance and even immunity against such problems as viral infections, colds, flu, coughs, tonsillitis and cystitis. It works by a unique method, raising your body’s natural resistance to infection by stimulating your own immune system.’

Hernia Patch Lawsuits

Hernia Patch Litigation Court Will Hear Claims by Patients With Non-Recalled Hernia Mesh and Patch Devices Manufactured by Bard, Inc. and Davol, Inc.

The court assigned to oversee the nationwide hernia patch and mesh lawsuits will hear claims of patients with both recalled and non-recalled hernia mesh and patch devices.
Over the last few years a number of patients have brought hernia mesh patch lawsuits against C.R. Bard, Inc., and Davol, Inc. alleging that their hernia mesh patch devices were defective and caused injuries. A large number of the claims were brought after an FDA hernia patch recall including claims based on defects in hernia mesh patches non-recalled hernia mesh patch devices.

Hernia patch lawsuits from across the United States have now been consolidated into a single court for all pretrial proceedings. In a recent ruling the court clarified the scope of the consolidated proceedings to include both recalled and non-recalled devices.

The federal Multi-District Litigation court has announced that it will hear hernia mesh and patch lawsuits involving both recalled and non-recalled devices manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc., and Davol, Inc., including the following;
-All nine (9) models of Bard® ComposiX® Kugel® Hernia Patches (Product Codes 0010201 through 0010209);
-All other Davol hernia patches with PET rings, including the Bard® Kugel® Hernia Patch; Bard® VentraleX® Hernia Patch; Bard CK Parastomal Patch; and Bard® Modified Kugel™ Patch; and
-Other Davol hernia meshes composed of layers of polypropylene and ePTFE, including the Bard® Composix® E/X Mesh.

Hernia patch lawyers at The Johnson Law Firm, a national law firm representing a large number of patients who have been injured by the recalled Bard Composix Kugel Hernia Mesh Patch are evaluating claims by patients with non-recalled hernia patch and mesh products manufactured by Davol, Inc. and C. R. Bard, Inc. Hernia patch lawsuit information, hernia patch class action information, hernia patch recall information and claims evaluations are available at no cost to affected patients at http://www.lawyersforclients.com/kugel-mesh-patch-2.html and toll free at 1-866-374-0338.

Metabolic Acids and Plantar Fasciitis

Our feet are critical for our balance, coordination and of course, walking. We take them pretty much for granted until they hurt. Then we are really aware how important they are for our comfort. Thousands of people suffer from different conditions with the feet. One of the most painful is called plantar fasciitis. This is where there is sharp or throbbing pain in the heel and under part of the foot, particularly the arch.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common and frequently seen conditions by medical doctors and foot specialists. More people hobble in to their doctors seeking relief. The tissues on the underside of the foot become irritated and inflamed to the point that it is almost too painful to walk. The inflammation affects the band of fascia or tissue which supports the arch and runs the length of the foot from the heel to the toes. When it gets that painful, it is called a “stage 4 acidic wear and tear injury”.

Steven Ross, MD, clinical professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California at Irvine, and President of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) says that plantar fasciitis is a very common problem in adults, particularly overweight, middle age women. It does affect all walks of life. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are very active or sedentary, you can still get plantar fasciitis.

The medical model explains that plantar fasciitis is a repetitive stress injury, but people who sit at a desk all day, want to know how they can get a repetitive stress injury when they are on their feet very little. The answer lies in their diet and lifestyle which accumulates metabolic acids in the body tissues. When the rate of inflammation rises high enough, certain vulnerable tissues start screaming in pain. Metabolic acids can cause burning pain much like the pain you would feel if you spilled acid on yourself, or a significant ache in the bones and joints.

Metabolic acids are the waste products burped out of cells after the cell has consumed its fuel and spit out the waste. Basic high school chemistry tells us that if something is acid and you want to neutralize it, you need to add something that is alkaline or base to it. That is the simplest non-invasive, non pharmaceutical (read, no side effects) way to fix an acidic condition. You can be sure that if you have inflammation in your feet, you have it everywhere, you just can’t feel it yet. If you wait long enough without getting rid of the acids in your body, you will feel it sooner or later. The fastest way to get rid of an acidic body condition, called acidosis by scientists, is to alkalize the body. Strict alkaline diet takes between 6 to 8 months to begin to see the results, but who wants to eat five dinner salads every day or 2 pounds of kale for dinner? Wouldn’t you rather just drink alkaline, ionized water and start to turn more alkaline within two to three days. As you alkalize, the pain reduces until it is gone, the length of time varies with how acidic you are.

Other forms of treatment that alkalize the foot area only, come in the form of sodium bicarbonate injections, into the painful tissue area to neutralize the acids in the arch of the foot. Clay packs on the feet can also pull out acids. These are similar to clay packs for the face. Hot mineral salt baths for the feet, using bicarbonate salts like calcium bicarbonate, magnesium bicarbonate, etc. are comforting and do help draw the alkaline water through the skin and increase the circulation so it can be eliminated.

Some forms of treatment involve soaking the feet in heated ionized acidic water for 30 minutes twice a day. It is believed that the positively charged acidic water draws into the skin, which causes the negatively charged blood to flow into the feet, thus increasing circulation to remove acidic waste.

There are also ionized foot pads that are available from Ionways called Acupeds. See the article called “Acupeds and Plantar Fasciitis” for how they work. These pads are worn on the bottoms of the feet at night. They actually draw the toxins and metabolic acids from the muscles and tissues of the feet as you sleep. As the toxic load becomes less, the pain is relieved.

Other treatments that do not involve alkalizing include different types of exercises, stretching and foot massage. These forms of therapy can improve the circulation and increase the cellular pumping action that gets those nasty acids moving into the blood stream to eventually go down the chute.

There are surgical procedures that relieve the strain in the plantar fascia but it actually transfers the problem to other areas of the foot. There is another surgical procedure that is done to relieve the tightness in the calf muscles, believing that it will reduce pressure on the heel and the under-foot fascia. I, myself am not sure why one would do surgery on an acidic condition that can be reversed simply and easily without it.

Some foot specialists recommend orthodics or orthodic-like inserts into the heel and arch portion of the shoe. Some are custom made and some can be purchased over-the-counter. Some of the inserts that you buy over-the-counter can act by stimulating acupressure points on the bottom of the foot. It doesn’t seem to matter how long you have been having foot pain and severe the pain is, some people obtain relief within minutes.

Believe it or not, the size of your waist-line can have an effect on whether or not you get plantar fasciitis. Toxins are stored in body fat, that is why the body makes fat. If you did not have a lot of toxins, you would not be over or underweight. By modifying your diet to include more alkaline foods and more alkaline, ionized water, your body would discharge toxins into your waste chutes and your weight would naturally find its ideal. We have other articles to reference this, so check them out.

Dr. Ross explains that without surgical intervention, plantar fasciitis usually sorts itself out with patience, time and exercise. Nothing is a quick fix and quite often the surgical treatments don’t work as they are intended. Dr. Robert. O. Young says that approximately 99 percent of those with plantar fasciitis, who alkalize with diet and alkaline, ionized water will see relief much sooner without surgery.

Diabetes and Trehalose – A Layman’s Review

Dietary advice from Governments and their advisers has been fundamentally flawed, not totally wrong, but flawed in one or more ways. The advice surrounding sugar is just one such area. True we should limit our intakes of sugars like Glucose, Fructose (corn syrup and other derivatives) and the biggest villain of all Sucrose. The only problem with this approach is that now all sugars have a bad press. Not all sugars are bad just one or two and even they have their place. For example Sucrose has a major role to play in brain function and if we didn’t get any our bodies would make it. Similarly Glucose is vital in terms of energy production and if we don’t have enough the body will find some.

However, in terms of sugar there is a new kid on the block, and this short article is to give you some simple understanding as to why it is not only important but useful. Let’s get one thing straight right at the start Artificial anything including artificial sugar substitutes are not what we should be eating. In that bracket, at risk of offending the chemical companies, I include aspartame (and its brand name identities – NutraSweet etc.), Sucralose (Splenda), Sweet-N-Low, and many others. If it doesn’t occur in nature then I’d probably prefer not to eat it. By the way that’s not saying that everything in nature is good either – Deadly Nightshade being a good example.

When we eat bread rice pasta and potato it very quickly turns into glucose which ends up being dumped into our blood system – we end up with high blood glucose levels which have to be reduced, to avoid damage, by Insulin. If we have too much glucose in our blood routinely and frequently then we end up exhausting our ability to control our blood glucose levels and that is what is termed by medics as diabetes.

If only we could find a substance that is sweet to taste, doesn’t harm us with chemicals and which doesn’t raise our blood glucose levels and yet gives us good energy levels we’d have the solution. That problem has been the driving force behind the development of all these artificial sweeteners, the inevitably harm us, and until recently there was little we could do but compromise on one of the goals above..

A few years ago scientists discovered a sugar that enabled succulent desert plants to survive long periods of extreme drought, heat and cold. That sugar was given the name Trehalose but its existence stayed in the science and research world for many years because the amounts were so small as to be impossible to harvest. It has been researched for its possible use in cryogenics, stabilizing proteins in the laboratory and many other intensely scientific areas and that is where it stayed until quite recently.

A bright scientist recognized that by using an enzyme (the tools of many scientists) that it might be possible to create larger amounts of Trehalose from another suitable sugar like glucose. Glucose is a simple monosaccharide (a fancy name for a simple sugar) that is in a ring form. Trehalose coincidentally is a disaccharide (a fancy name for a sugar with two distinct but interlinked structures – often monosaccharide structures).

His idea was to join two glucose molecules together and produce a (disaccharide) Trehalose molecule. This novel approach took considerable time to perfect and his work now means that we can have an abundant supply of Trehalose at reasonable prices.

When we eat Trehalose it tastes sweet, only just a little less sweet than Sucrose, but is not converted to Glucose (at least initially). The Trehalose passes into the stomach and through into the small intestine where there is a small amount of Trehalase, the enzyme, that breaks down Trehalose into 2 Glucose molecules. From here it is once again absorbed as Glucose but because of the way the digestive process works the food containing the Trehalose is spread out and you don’t get the sharp rise in blood Glucose levels.

Trehalose is a safe alternative to sugar/sucrose and is

  • Is sweet to taste
  • Is free of chemicals
  • Doesn’t trigger a sharp rise in blood glucose levels
  • Supplies an abundant amount of slow release energy

Best of all because it looks and tastes just like Sucrose (table sugar) it is exceptionally easy to make the transition from one to another. There are many other potential health benefits but that is another story.

Bone and Calcium Metabolism: Prevention of Osteoporosis

Bone metabolism in the human body is a very dynamic process.  There is a constant lying down of bone by cells called osteoblasts and resorbtion of bone by cells called osteoclasts.  Initially the osteoblasts work much harder and faster that the osteoclasts and bone is laid down to facilitate growth.

Each person has a genetically determined peak bone mass which is attained in their twenties.  By age 17 ninety percent of the bone mass has been obtained.  The consequence of bone loss is the development of very weak and fragile bones, a medical condition known as osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis is associated with compression fracture of the bones of the spine called vertebra(ae) and fracture of the hip.  While these fractures from osteoporosis may be painful and cause shortening of stature, even difficulty breathing, the major consequence is complications and even death from surgical repair of the hip fracture.

Calcium and Vitamin D Play a Critical Role

Adequate calcium, exercise and vitamin D are required to attain and maintain bone mass. This is important in the prevention of osteoporosis.  Current data indicates that the majority of children do not receive adequate amounts of calcium or vitamin D.
Recommended amount of calcium vary for individuals.

Below is a table of adequate intakes as outlined by the National Academy of Science.

Recommended Calcium Intakes

Ages    Amount mg/day
Birth–6 months    210
6 months–1 year    270
1–3    500
4–8    800
9–13    1300
14–18    1300
19–30    1000
31–50    1000
51–70    1200
70 or older    1200
Pregnant & Lactating    1000
14–18    1300
19–50    1000

Role of Vitamin D

Vitamin D also plays an important role in healthy bone development. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium (this is why milk is fortified with vitamin D).  In the past many people depended on the sun’s effect on the skin to make vitamin D.  Since more emphasis has been place on sunscreen, there is less sun effect and a greater need for vitamin D supplement.  The exact amount of vitamin D required is being debated, but the consensus is that Americans are generally deficient in vitamin D and require greater amounts than originally thought.  800 international units to 1000 international units is the current recommendation for adults.

Certain medical conditions may limit the amount of calcium that may be ingested.  As always, consulting your physician is suggested regarding your personal specific calcium needs.


Exercise is Necessary to Maintain Bone Health

Weight bearing exercise (walking, running, etc.) is an excellent stimulus for bone growth.  Current recommendations are:

Adults: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity [on] most, preferably all, days of the week

Children: Engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity [on] most, preferably all, days of the week

Bone Mineral Density

The evaluation of bone strength, the about of calcium in the bone, is measured by a dual density densitometer.  The purpose of this is to measure the exact bone mineral density of the spinal vertebrae, usually the four lumbar (lower back) vertebrae, and the femur, the large thigh bone that connects to the pelvis in the hip socket.  

The bone mineral density (BMD) is usually expressed as a “T” score which is a comparison of the patients BMD to a young person.  A “T” score that is – 1 or higher is considered normal.  A “T” score of – 2.5 or lower is considered osteoporosis.  A “T” score between – 1 and – 2.5 is called osteopenia – a softening of the bone.
Bone mineral density testing should be recommended to all postmenopausal women aged 65 years or older.  Bone mineral density testing may be recommended to postmenopausal women younger than 65 years who have 1 or more risk factors for osteoporosis (See Below). Bone mineral density testing should be performed on all postmenopausal women with fractures to confirm the diagnosis of osteoporosis and determine disease severity.

Risk Factors for Osteoporotic Fracture in Postmenopausal Women

•    History of prior fracture
•    Family history of osteoporosis
•    Caucasian race
•    Dementia
•    Poor nutrition
•    Smoking
•    Low weight and body mass index
•    Estrogen deficiency*
o       Early menopause (age younger than 45 years) or bilateral oophorectomy
o       Prolonged premenopausal amenorrhea (>1 year)
•    Long-term low calcium intake
•    Alcoholism
•    Impaired eyesight despite adequate correction
•    History of falls
•    Inadequate physical activity

Fat Kids: The Role of Parents and Pediatricians

Despite widespread publicity about the obesity epidemic in children-everywhere you look you see fat kids-parents increasingly are willfully suffering from fat blindness: turning a blind eye as their children pack on the pounds. A study done a couple years ago found that more than three quarters of parents of pre-school-age obese sons and nearly 70% of parents of obese daughters described their children as “about the right weight.” Perhaps this is hard to believe for many of you, but I can vouch for those high percentages because I deal with the result of those once “pre-school-age obese sons and daughters” who grew into the obese adolescents, tweens, teens and young adults who are now my clients.

Often-too often-parents, especially those (and most of them are) who are obese, don’t want to acknowledge their son’s or daughter’s weight issue because to help their child means change… and change means a lot of work for them. In addition to suffering with ‘elective’ fat blindness about their children, they also see themselves as ‘normal’ weight because too often their friends and family are also obese, so being fat is ‘normal.’

For many of these obese parents, I’m usually the first one to hit them upside the head with the truth they’ve been intentionally denying when it comes to their child’s weight. Here’s an almost verbatim description of how a conversation starts with the obese parent of an obese kid when I meet them for the first time, keeping in mind that I’ve first spent some private time with the kid; then I excuse him or her and meet with the parent for some private time before convening them both for the consultation:

Me: Mrs. Smith, your son is obese, and he has 70 pounds to lose.

Mrs. Smith: 70 pounds? His pediatrician said he’d be happy if my son lost 15-20 pounds.

Me: I’m sure the pediatrician would be happy: 15-20 pounds off is better than on, but your pediatrician is not giving it to you straight. The totality of what your son needs to lose in order to be at a healthy weight and to have the best chance of keeping it off forever is to lose 70 pounds… and that’s now, today. Keep putting if off, and that 70 will grow to 80, 90 and beyond. Again, your son is OBESE, Mrs. Smith. Did the pediatrician ever use the word ‘obese’ to describe your son?

Mrs. Smith: No.

Me: To your knowledge, did the pediatrician ever talk to your son privately, as I just did, about how he feels about being fat and about having breasts?

Mrs. Smith: No.

Me: Did the pediatrician ever talk to you privately about his concern for your son’s weight and the fact that your son has breasts and the emotional, psychological toll that takes on a boy?

Mrs. Smith: No.

Me: When your son was ‘only’ 20 pounds overweight, did your pediatrician suggest you do something about it?

Mrs. Smith: No.

Me: How ’bout when your son was 40 pounds overweight? Did he recommend you do something about your son’s weight then?

Mrs. Smith: Nothing specific, other than to eat less and be more active.

Me: Did you ever consider getting a new pediatrician, Mrs. Smith, or was it easier for you and your husband to stick with the diagnosis you weren’t getting so you wouldn’t have to acknowledge, discuss or work to change it?

Mrs. Smith: Silence

Me: You do, realize, Mrs. Smith, that you and your husband are responsible for your son’s obesity, right?

This is usually where one of two things happen:

1 – The parent (one or both) starts to become very emotional… tears of relief. They have seen their child getting fatter and fatter but felt completely helpless and didn’t know how to deal with the issue. The simple acknowledgment of this fact is a release for them, like attending their first 12 Step program and publicly acknowledging for the first time they are a drug addict or alcoholic.

2 – The parent (one or both) becomes very defensive, putting blame for their child’s weight on anything and everyone else but themselves: School doesn’t offer enough gym class; the pediatrician never brought it up; they can’t be responsible for what their kids eat when they’re not at home; and on and on. And, of course, there is the occasional “F U” to me, and “… who do you think you are?” I love that question; I really do: It gives me the opportunity to respond with, “I’m the person who is telling you what you should have been told long ago when your kid first starting gaining weight, when he first grew into the obesity weight class, what your neighbors and parents at school are thinking when they see your kid playing in the cul-de-sac or in the schoolyard and they ‘tsk tsk’ to each other and whisper among themselves, “What a shame… why don’t they DO something about their son’s weight?”

Parents are 100% responsible for the environment in which they raise their children, and especially so when it comes to instilling and encouraging good eating (and exercise) habits that can last a lifetime. However, if there’s one other very important person in a child’s life, it’s the pediatrician. This is the person who sees kids annually for school-required physicals, in addition to the usual sick visits, scraped knees and the like. This is the one person who has a huge responsibility, in my opinion, to play a role in whether or not a child stands a good chance to be slim and healthy.

I know that pediatricians are very busy. I don’t expect them to sit down with every parent of every patient for an in-depth conversation on the biology and science of fat cells, how they grow, what they look like, how they affect the metabolism, why they need to get slim to stay slim and that ‘just’ 20 pounds isn’t enough when their child is 70 pounds overweight, etc.; I do that with every parent… but, by that time their kid is already obese. Pediatricians need to play a role in preventing obesity to the extent they can, by being candid with a parent as soon as they see a child’s weight is not synced with their height. A pediatrician should engage a parent with honesty, candor and concern and immediately strike down a parent’s common ‘wishful thinking’ that their now slightly-overweight child will ‘grow out of it’ as they age and get taller. They won’t. Without change, they’ll get taller… and fatter.

… and you know what else pediatricians need to do? They need to follow whatever advice they give.

… and you know why I think many of them don’t bring up a child’s weight issues to a parent until it’s so out of control and they can no longer get away with not speaking up about it? Because very often they are conscious of their own fat bodies: How on earth, they might ask themselves, can they bring up a very sensitive issue to perhaps a very defensive parent, when all that parent has to do is look at the pediatrician and see that whatever guidance he or she may give to the parent they themselves don’t follow? Isn’t that like going to a dentist with 10 teeth in his mouth who might attempt a conversation with a parent about the importance of good oral health? I’d laugh in that guy’s face.

Pediatricians: Uphold that part of the Hippocratic Oath* that states, “I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.” Preventing fires is easier than putting them out. If you see something, say something: Talk to parents as soon as their kids are overweight as well as at every yearly physical. Document those conversations in your patients’ medical charts to record the fact that you’ve done your part. I would also suggest, as I did with my own daughter when she was 12, that when a kid is a little older, perhaps as they are approaching puberty or just after, speak with them privately: Let them know you are their physician, that as they continue to age and their bodies change, if they have any questions, concerns or fears, you are there to listen and to keep your conversations confidential. In other words, encourage a relationship that that young person can rely on to share how they are feeling about themselves, and if and when they confide in you about their over-weight-{C}-how they feel, how it affects them, whether anyone at school or elsewhere bothers them about it, etc. (and believe me, these are the things that too often overweight and obese kids do NOT want to initially bring to the attention of their obese parents because they do not feel they will get the guidance or support they need to make changes){C}-let that be the catalyst to approach the parent(s). Your training and professionalism will guide you in how to open that dialogue with a parent without betraying the confidence of your patient. Needless to say, if you’re very overweight or obese yourself, lose weight: You’ll not only be better able to meet the challenge of a parent conversation head-on with the advantage of personal experience, but you’ll be more inclined to initiate it.

Parents: Express your love to your children in ways that don’t condemn them to a lifetime obesity battle and chronic disease. How they learn to eat now will affect their health for years to come. Stop putting junk food in your house. Stop putting soda and candy in your kids hands to make them momentarily happy or to quiet them down. Stop giving your already-overweight kids ‘treats’: (a) Your kids aren’t pets that you reward with a treat for returning the ball or frisbee. (b) If it makes them fat, it’s not a treat, it’s a problem. Stop planting them in front of televisions, computer or other electronic devices to get them out of your hair. Stop, and reverse, your own obesity.

I’m not into the PC bullshit approach to dealing with parents about their kids’ obesity… or their own. Perhaps this is why so many pediatricians refer to me: I say what they won’t or can’t. Parents need to stop being ignorant, arrogant or just plain stupid. If they don’t, they need to at least START acknowledging what they ARE doing: killing their kids… S L O W L Y.

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*Part of the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.

Treatment for Shingles Outbreak on the Face

Shingles is an infection caused by varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Early signs and symptoms of shingles include pain, numbness, burning and tingling on the affected area followed by a rash. Usually, only one side of the body or face is affected. While the infection is not life-threatening, shingles on the face is considered serious because it can affect your vision or hearing. Blisters close to the eye must be given immediate medical attention.

People who have experienced chicken pox may continue to harbor the virus for years as it lies dormant in the spinal cord and brain tissue. If the virus becomes reactivated for any reason, it results in an outbreak of shingles. The most common early signs of shingles on the face include headache, facial drooping, and weakness on one side of the face. The shingles rash that follows may go around one eye or on one side of the neck and face. Shingles on the face can lead to encephalitis or inflammation of the brain, as well as temporary or permanent blindness, hearing problems, or partial paralysis of the face.

Treatment of Shingles on the Face

If you suspect that you have shingles, you must see your doctor immediately. This is critical especially if the pain and rash are near your eyes. The infection can cause permanent eye damage. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms. He may also obtain tissue scrapings of the rash for laboratory testing. Getting immediate treatment will lower the risk of developing complications.

For facial shingles, your doctor will prescribe antiviral drugs such as famciclovir, acyclovir or valacyclovir. Antiviral drugs will help reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms. A corticosteroid such as prednisone may be prescribed to reduce inflammation of the rash. You may be given pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen for mild pain. If the pain is more severe, the doctor may prescribe pain relievers such as opioids.

Complications sometimes happen. One out of five shingles sufferers develop postherpetic neuralgia or PHN, wherein damaged nerve fibers send exaggerated pain messages to the brain. The skin in the affected area becomes overly sensitive to the slightest touch. PHN is usually treated with pain medications, anticonvulsant drugs, and antidepressants.

Home Treatment for Facial Shingles

Apply a cold compress to the face and affected areas to relieve the shingles pain. You can also use Burow’s solution, available at pharmacies, to relieve itching and pain of shingles on the face. Chill the Burow’s solution in the refrigerator before using. Antihistamine medications including diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can also relieve itching. Calamine lotion or an oatmeal paste on the facial area will also provide relief from itch.

How to Tell If You Have Poison Ivy

In the summertime, especially, there are a lot of rashes out there. You can get rashes from contact with just about any plant, depending on what you’re allergic to and there are things like poison ivy and poison oak that can lead to similar symptoms.

So how can you tell if you have poison ivy? First, think about what you’ve come in contact with. If you have come in contact with a three-leaved plant that grows about one to two feet off the ground, then it probably is an attack of poison ivy that you’ve got. As soon as you’ve treated your skin and washed your clothes, put it on your to do list to remove that patch of plants from your backyard.

The rash can be in a localized area although some people get the rash over their entire body. Common areas of poison ivy are the legs, where they brush up against the plant, and the arms, if you are reaching down and touching the plant. The rash is red and raised and can have blisters of fluid in the bumps. Often the rash is irregular in nature and there are often linear lines of bumps because you’ve scratched the area and there is a line of bumps from your fingernails.

The rash from poison ivy can start in a small area but, with scratching, you move the oil-based toxin around on your skin and the rash will spread. It can also spread if you continue to wear the same clothing that you were wearing when you first came in contact with the plant. The toxin can be on your clothing and can spread the oily substance to other areas of the skin. Be sure to wash any clothing you were wearing when you were exposed to the plant.

Poison ivy rash can be on any body area, although it is usually on the extremities, as mentioned. If you get a total body rash, your body has set up a systemic response to the toxin and you will get the lesions everywhere.

Rashes that are similar to poison ivy symptoms include fungal infections. The difference between fungal infections like ring worm and the plant-based rash is that the rash from a plant is raised and has blisters, whereas the rash you get from a fungal infection is usually flat, dry and more confluent than rashes from a plant.

Another rash that can mimic poison ivy is eczema. Eczema is a flat and dry rash that involves several body areas at once. It has scales on it usually, which is not the case in poison ivy. The same is true of psoriasis, which is scaly and red and usually occurs on the elbows and knees. Psoriasis and eczema do not have blisters.

Is the blister fluid in poison ivy contagious? In other words, can you give the rash to someone if they come in contact with the blister fluid? The toxin is oil based and the blister fluid is water-based. You can have spread of the toxin and poison ivy when you break the blisters but it is from the oil-based toxin on the surface of the skin that is causing the spread and not the blister fluid.

Fighting Dry Penis Skin During the Winter

Keeping the skin healthy during winter weather can be a challenge all over the body, and some men find themselves with dry male penis skin during the cold season – not an attractive feature for a man to display, especially when introducing his manhood to a new partner. Every guy wants his member to look its most impressive, no matter what the season. Making dry penis skin care a component of his regular penis health routine is advisable, especially during the frigid winter months when a man really enjoys getting his penis warmed up.

Winter factors

Why does the skin tend to get dry during winter? Largely because the air itself is dryer and saps some of the moisture out of the skin. Frigid winds also exacerbate this situation. Exposed skin is clearly more at risk here, but some winter winds break right through fabric and affect the “protected” areas as well.

Tips regarding dry penis skin

There are several things a man needs to do to prevent or treat dry penis skin. Some of these are specific to the penis itself while others are more general and help protect skin all over the body.

Some tips that a man should follow during the winter include:

– Don’t go commando. Many men enjoy an “unfurnished basement,” meaning that they tend to forego wearing underwear. The free swinging movement can be a relief, but in winter especially it can create skin issues. The penis is left more vulnerable to cold and winds without an extra layer of protection; in addition, rubbing up against rougher fabrics like denim or wool can cause more irritation to the skin, adding discomfort to dryness.

– Drink up – if it’s water. Staying properly hydrated is key for good skin health, including the skin of the penis. The body needs plenty of water for many reasons, including skin health; 6-8 glasses is recommended for most adults. A man knows he has consumed sufficient water if his urine is consistently a pale yellow. Plain water is the best fluid option; some juices are fine, especially non-cloudy ones, but alcoholic and caffeinated beverages can have a dehydrating effect and so should be avoided.

– Watch the sugars. Sugary foods and drinks tend to have a negative effect on skin health, so consume these in moderation. Excess sugar also can accumulate in the urine and stray drops drying near the head of the penis can irritate the skin.

– Avoid hot showers. When the winter is raging outside, a long, hot shower feels great. Unfortunately, hot water depletes the skin of the oils it needs to keep moist. A warm shower is fine, but when the heat factor goes up, so does the dry penis skin factor.

– Use lubricant. Sex, whether partner-based or solo, is generally more enjoyable when there is sufficient lubrication. Often a couple finds their natural lubrication is sufficient; however, if it is not, the friction resulting from an especially enjoyable sexual interlude can compound member skin issues. Adding a few drops can be a fine preventive measure to keep the manhood healthy.

– Moisturize. Practice daily health maintenance. It’s very important that a man keeps a consistent eye on his penis health, whether it’s winter or summer. Dry penis skin and other problems can be avoided or aided by using a first class penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). With skin issues, using a crème that includes Shea butter (a natural emollient favored by many experts) and vitamin E (an excellent hydrating agent) helps to create a moisture seal that locks in moisture, addressing cracked or dry penis skin. It’s also beneficial to select a crème with vitamin B5, which promotes healthy penis cell metabolism and, therefore, healthy manhood cells.