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Osteoporosis: The Silent Disease

Facts About osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease causing weak and fragile bones affecting over 10 million people in the United States. Bone health has become an issue in this country with another 18 million people at risk of developing osteoporosis and 34 million at risk of osteopenia, which is 1 step below osteoporosis.  Because bone loss is a slow and painless there are usually no symptoms to indicate someone is developing osteoporosis. Oftentimes people aren’t diagnosed until they have a fracture, and by that point its too late.

Osteoporosis causes an increased frequency of fractures. The most common being fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Each year 1.5 million fractures are attributed to the disease with total estimated costs over $17 billion in acute and long term care expenses. It also creates a diminished quality of life for someone suffering from the disease, especially post fracture.

Although osteoporosis can affect anyone, over 80% of those suffering from it are females. Asian women, especially 70+, are at this highest risk of osteoporosis and related fractures.

What Are The Risk Factors

The following risk factors increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Having one of the risk factors or even a few does not mean that you will 100% get the disease, it just increases your odds. There are 2 different types of risk factors, fixed and modifiable.

Fixed Risks – The risks cannot be changed, but people still need to be aware of them to take the proper steps to reduce bone mineral loss and include the following:

  • Age – The older you are –the greater the risk
  • Gender – Women are more at risk
  • Family History
  • Previous Fractures
  • Ethnicity – Asian and Caucasians are at higher risk
  • Menopause
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Modifiable Risks – These risk factors are ones that you have control over and can change to reduce your risk.

  • Alcohol – Eliminate or Reduce Intake
  • Smoking – You shouldn’t be smoking anyway! Don’t you see the commercial of the lady talking through her throat tube? Come on!
  • Low Body Mass Index – Being underweight increases risk
  • Poor Nutrition – Not getting enough minerals in your diet
  • Vitamin D Deficiency – Over 50% of women diagnosed had low D levels
  • Eating Disorders
  • Insufficient Exercise – Weight bearing exercise increases bone density
  • Not Eating Enough Protein – Protein is 50% of your bone.
  • Low Calcium Intake – Calcium is most important mineral for bone health. If you don’t get enough from your diet consider supplementation.

calcium_vitamin_D_intake

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

While it is not entirely preventable, you can take steps to greatly reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis.

  • First ,check with your doctor and ask for a Bone Mineral Density Test of BMD to determine your current state of bone health.
  • Eat enough calcium. Get 1,200mg per day at least. Eat a lot of greens: collard greens, turnip greens, Chinese cabbage, kale, okra, dandelion greens, and broccoli. Spinach, although it has calcium, it contains oxalates which rob the mineral from your body so it is not advisable on a osteoporosis diet.
  • Exercising, especially resistance training (NOT CARDIO) will help increase your bone density.
  • Get enough Vitamin D. The main way we create Vitamin D is from sunlight exposure. When the rays hit our skin our bodies naturally create this vitamin. But most of us don’t get outside enough and when we do we lather on toxic sunscreen that blocks the production of vitamin D. Eat a high vitamin D diet with foods such as wild salmon, grass fed beef, egg yolks, dairy, and organ meat.
  • Don’t Drink or Smoke. If you are at high risk or have osteoporosis cut these out immediately.
  • Cut the Coffee. You lose about 6mg of calcium for every 100mg of caffeine. If you get adequate calcium in your diet a cup of coffee won’t kill you, but if you drink 3+ cups daily you are putting yourself at risk.
  • Ditch Sugar. Sugar is bad for you on all fronts, but it actually depletes your body of phosphorus, which is an important mineral for calcium absorption.

Final Thought

Osteoporosis is a silent disease that affects millions of people without knowing until it’s already too late. It is a gradual disease, however, if you start to see loses in your Bone Mineral Density from yearly testing you can take steps to halt or slow its progress. Weak and frail bones are scary ; breaking a hip is often the start of the slippery slope of losing your independence. So go back over the risk factors above and start preventing  this disease by avoiding the modifiable factors and getting enough exercise, calcium, and vitamin D.

If you need further assistance then connect with me on Facebook. I will be more than happy to assist you.

Magical Magnesium

Magnesium

If there is one mineral we have all been hearing a lot more these days, it’s Magnesium and there’s a reason for that. Magnesium is good for body builders. It plays a role in more than 300 biochemical reactions in human body, most of them relate with muscle developing and protein synthesis.

Americans don’t consume enough magnesium. The thing to worry is, you can’t find magnesium in modern diet. Modern Technologies in agriculture has literally made magnesium and others nutrients invisible from our food.

In this article, we will find out the magic of magnesium & how it benefits human body.

Parathyroid Hormone, Vitamin D…And Atherosclerosis?

Magnesium is closely associated with insulin sensitivity and because of this; it is popular as mineral of glucose control. Deficiency of magnesium can make you suffer with type-2 diabetes. Some Studies have shown that, in cases of rats, magnesium fount to be preventing diabetes.

Magnesium seems to affect blood glucose and insulin directly, as high blood glucose and insulin levels reduce magnesium status whereas low magnesium status will not control blood glucose effectively which in turn will also lowers magnesium status.

In some cases, where trails were taken on healthy volunteers, it is found that volunteers who were on a low-magnesium diet for only four weeks have 25% decrease in their insulin sensitivity. It means deficiency of magnesium can lead to insulin resistance.

Magnesium supplementation in some cases has resulted in increasing insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects.

Let’s have a look at a few of these studies and find out the hidden qualities of magnesium.

• “A study in which 16-week trial with type-2 diabetics concluded that magnesium supplementation improved body’s fasting glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and HbA1c levels. HbA1c levels were improved by 22%, which is an incredible number. That would take a diabetic with an HbA1c level of 8% (not good) down to 6.2% (very good) in only four months.”

• “A study on magnesium supplementation in insulin resistant but non-diabetic volunteers who had low blood levels of magnesium showed incredible results after only 16 weeks. Participants reduced their insulin resistance by 43% and fasting insulin by 32%, suggesting that their magnesium deficiency may have been one of the main reasons why they were insulin resistant in the first place.”

Magnesium supplementation can help in decreasing total cholesterol, triglycerides & LDL. But it can improve subject’s blood lipid and can increase HDL as well.

What about Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease?

Some recent studies have shown that deficiency of magnesium boosts LDL levels in human body. It also increases inflammation, endothelial dysfunction & oxidative stress, which is not good for human body at all.

Magnesium supplementation does exactly opposite to Deficiency of magnesium do.

Enough Already! Where Do I Get Me Some Magnesium?

The best natural sources of magnesium are fish, potatoes, nuts, seeds, banana, beans, leafy greens, whole grains, oats, and some fruits and vegetables.

      Source                                                                 Quantity

Dark leafy greens                                         (Spinach has 157 mg in 1 cup cooked)

Parsnips:                                                        45 mg per 1 cup

Squash                                                            43 mg/1 cup cooked summer squash

Potatoes                                                          57 mg per 1 baked potato

Tomatoes                                                        58 mg per 1 cup canned

Banana                                                            40 mg per 1 cup

Unrefined Whole Grains

Barley:                                                             158 mg per 1 cup uncooked

Bulgur:                                                             230 mg per 1 cup uncooked

Oats                                                                   63 mg per 1 cup cooked

Beans & Legumes

Black beans                                                      120 mg per 1 cup boiled

Chickpeas                                                         80 mg per 1 cup boiled

Lentils                                                               70 mg per 1 cup boiled

Peanuts                                                             50 mg per 1 ounce

Nuts & Seeds

Pumpkin seeds                                                  98 mg per 1 cup

Almonds:                                                            80 mg per 1 ounce

Cashews                                                              75 mg per 1 ounce

Animal Protein

Halibut                                                               90 mg per 3 oz cooked

Quantity & Quality of magnesium in a food is completely depends on soil quality. If you are looking for foods with enough magnesium then foods from organic or sustainable farm can end your search.

Now you know everything about magnesium & its qualities, it’s the time to start getting more of it!

Conclusion

Magnesium is necessary for proper bone metabolism, insulin sensitivity, vitamin D metabolism, parathyroid function, glucose tolerance and blood lipid levels. It helps in preventing atherosclerosis. It also takes you out of stress.

Consuming foods having magnesium along with proper supplementation will provide you with more health benefits.