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Osteoporosis and Technology

Some years ago, people were so debilitated by osteoporosis – the bone-thinning disease – that all they could do was lie on their beds in pain and await the inevitable.  Today, it looks like that is changing, thanks to amazing technological advances. 

A microchip is currently being tested on seven women with osteoporosis to help restore bone density.  Implanted in their abdomens, it has been working via a radio signal to deliver pacemakers using a prescription plan so that they can consume their drugs more easily.  Results from the study showed that all women had a bone density increase.  This is fantastic news for osteoporosis sufferers, although the device is still awaiting FDA approval, which is only anticipated after 2016.  For the future, there are even greater plans for the device, such as it being able to deliver daily doses for 365 days.

Low-Tech Solution

Of course, there are some in the medical field who argue that diet, supplements and exercise alone are adequate to control and fight osteoporosis.  For example, by regularly adding calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium and strontium to one’s diet, one can battle – or even prevent – the onset of osteoporosis.  In addition, weight-bearing (walking) and strength-training (weight-lifting) exercise is vital in this battle.  Most of this is quite well-known, but it is a less-well-known fact that strontium citrate supplements can dramatically help the development of bone density and prevention of osteoporosis.

Middle-Tech Solutions

Until now, osteoporosis patients have been using daily injection pens to help with their condition.  But this could be replaced once the microchip comes into general use and thus patients will be able to control their medication by pushing a remote-controlled button. 

It may not be readily available now, but in the near future it looks as if osteoporosis sufferers will be able to access a much more effective way of dealing with their disease.

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Fad Diets Increase Osteoporosis Risks

It’s not news that fad diets are bad for one’s health but what is news is that they can also increase one’s chances of being stricken with osteoporosis in later life.  What happens is, is that when there is such an omission of various vital food groups, the bones will thin.  And that is exactly what’s been going on, as, according to recent research (detailed in a recent Daily Mail article), “three in ten women are so desperate to lose weight that they are cutting out entire food groups.”

Poor Diets: Poor Health

A poll was taken of 4,500 British women.  In it, a staggering 30 percent admitted to taking certain types of food completely out of their diets in an attempt to slim down.  Cheese is rejected and 11 percent are rejecting the whole range of dairy products.  This of course is entirely problematic due to the fortification of calcium such products come with, especially since such individuals are also cutting out bread that is also a big source of calcium.

Osteoporosis Risks

If one doesn’t eat well and build up calcium before the age of 35, this increases the risk of osteoporosis later on in life – a condition that impacts three million Britons as well as the result of over 230,000 broken bones per year.  While obesity is of course a huge concern, according to consultant nutritionist Fiona Hunter, women should not “value short-term slimness over long-term health.”  Lose weight for sure, but don’t do so by cutting out all-important food groups.

Desperate Dieters

It seems that the biggest problem of these desperate dieters is that rather than looking at all the content in food labels, they are just focusing on calorie and fat elements and using that information to make their food choices.  But data such as protein, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, vitamins etc., is being ignored.  According to the Food Standard Agency, adults need to be getting 700mg of calcium per day via a balanced diet.

 

 

 

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Are Broken Bones Stronger After They Heal?

Perhaps you have heard this pseudo-fact, or ‘old wives tale’? the logic goes like this: Since we know that bones, just like muscles, grow and strengthen when worked out or put under pressure, therefore the more pressure the bone is under, the stronger it will become. This is a fact, but only up to a point. This explains why certain athletes, such as fencers and tennis players, develop greater bone mass in the arms and legs which they use more in their game; and it also explains why astronauts, under the influence of almost zero gravity, develop bone loss while in space.

However, there is no evidence that a healed broken bone is any stronger than it was before the break. The way a bone heals itself is a remarkable process. First something called a callus forms at the site of the fracture. Calcium is deposited there as an aid to the eventual rebuilding of the bone. The plaster cast which is usually put on the limb is there to protect the site so that it can heal unimpeded. And since there is actually no pressure placed on the limb during healing, the bone there actually becomes weaker, with the exception of the site where the callus is being formed, the place where calcium is being deposited.

The result of this amazing natural process is that there might be a short period during the healing process when the site of the fracture is actually stronger than the bone surrounding it. But later, when you begin to use your arm once again, the areas will reach equal strength. The place of the break is no more, or less, likely to break again. In tests done on healed fractures, the likelihood of another break was equally distributed, including along the place of the previous fracture.

I wouldn’t be too disappointed. After all, how many other things are even as strong as they were before  breaking? That’s the problem with those old wives tales. They just don’t appreciate what we do have.

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Maintaining Healthy Calcium Levels


As a student, it’s so easy to forget to eat properly.  But for optimum health, it’s so important.  What’s good to look at (even at a relatively young age) is your family history.  If you have a mother and grandmother for example who suffered from osteoporosis then you want to keep your calcium levels elevated.  Even if you have no symptoms of brittle bones or problem teeth, chances are, as you age, you will.  So in this case, you can enrich your diet with calcium in a relatively easy way.  Good sources of the mineral include: dairy produce, tahini, sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli.  No matter what your taste buds enjoy, there are dozens of recipes on the Internet these days that will tempt them somehow.  Taking a calcium supplement isn’t a bad idea either, but do not think it is in place of the calcium-enriched diet.  Take notes from a proper physician on what the best supplement would be. You can even do an early detection test for osteoporosis if it is in your family, but the best thing to do is take preventive measures, like adding it to your diet earlier rather than later.

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