Home » Archive by category "Uncategorized" (Page 2)

Are You at Risk for Osteoporosis?

woman with osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes loss of bone mass and destruction of bone tissues. This leads to weakening of the bones and makes them more likely to break. The bones most often affected are hips, spine, and wrists.

Osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans over the age of 50. Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. For some, the first sign of osteoporosis is a sudden fracture caused by a fall, minor bump, or simply from getting up or bending over.

Estrogen deficiency is one of the main causes of bone loss in women during and after menopause. Women may lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the 5-7 years following menopause.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Although the exact medical cause for osteoporosis is unknown, a number of factors contribute to osteoporosis:

  • Aging
  • Body weight: Obesity is associated with a higher bone mass; therefore, people who weigh less and have less muscle are more at risk for developing osteoporosis.
  • Race: White and Asian women are most at risk
  • Lifestyle factors, including physical inactivity, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, poor diet, and calcium and vitamin D deficiencies
  • Medications
  • Family history of bone disease

How is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of osteoporosis starts with completing a personal and family medical history and physical examination, followed by X-rays, bone density testing and blood tests. From this information, a physician can often evaluate a patient’s risk of future fractures and develop a treatment plan on how to reduce any additional bone loss.

Did you use all of your sunscreen last year?

woman summer sunscreen

If you applied it properly, you should have used it all. Most people don’t use enough sunscreen. When sunscreens are used appropriately most containers would be used within a year.

Adults should use approximately two tablespoons per application and should repeat applications based on activity and time in the sun.

Some sunscreens even have expiration dates on the containers. To ensure you are receiving the protection you need from your sunscreen, you should discard it if:

  • you’ve had it for more than three years
  • there has been an obvious color change
  • the expiration date has passed

Using a new sunscreen each year is your best protection against skin cancer.

It is important to balance your sun exposure and your need for vitamin D.

A thick layer of sunscreen on the skin, especially sunscreen made with ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide actually blocks both UVA and UVB rays. This may significantly decrease vitamin D production.

However, people who use a moderate amount of chemical sunscreen, which absorbs into the skin, were shown to have only a mild potential for the decrease in vitamin D production. Older people may have a more difficult time manufacturing vitamin D.

If you use a mineral-based sun block or you are over the age of 50, you may want to add a vitamin D supplement to your diet. You should visit your healthcare provider for a quick blood test to determine your vitamin D levels.

Tips to remember when using sunscreen.

If you are using a sunscreen that absorbs into your skin, remember that you should apply it 30 minutes before you are exposed to the sun. This allows for maximum absorption, which provides maximum protection.

Shade, cars, and house windows all permit UV rays to reach you. So, it is always a good idea to use sunscreen if you are going to be exposed to sunlight in these environments as well. Especially, if you are driving for long periods of time during the day.

The UV rays of the sun can also penetrate some types of fabrics. For protection head to toe, slather on sunscreen before you get dressed in the morning.

Use the right sunscreen for your activity. If you will be sweating or swimming, the best sunscreen for you to use might be a waterproof variety. Even a waterproof sunscreen will need to be reapplied in 60 to 90 minutes.

Don’t forget to protect your eyes and your lips. You may also want to use a sunscreen that has been specifically formulated for facial skin, which is a bit more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body.

The best sunscreen for kids is a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 formulated for children or for people who have sensitive skin.

Be cautious. Tanning oils and tanning lotions are not sunscreens. These products usually contain no sunscreen ingredients and are actually used to speed the tanning process and create a darker-colored tan.

Be vigilant about your skin.

All the sunscreen in the world will not help, if you don’t routinely check your skin for changes. According to the National Institutes of Health, most adults have 10 to 40 moles. It’s important to be familiar with their size and location.

People who have a larger number of moles, who routinely use tanning salons or who go out in the sun without protection, should be very attentive about the changes in their skin. Changes in color, size or texture, of a mole are reasons for concern.

If you detect any of the changes below, you should contact your healthcare provider for a skin cancer assessment as soon as possible.

Together, you and your healthcare provider can review the ABCDs of skin cancer.

  • A—An asymmetrical or abnormally shaped mole needs further testing
  • B—A mole with a hazy, fuzzy or irregular looking border is cause for concern.
  • C—A mole of a different color or a mole with different colors may require a biopsy for skin cancer.
  • D—Moles that grow in diameter especially moles as large or larger than a pencil eraser, may be a sign of skin cancer and require more treatment.

If you detect any of these changes to your skin or your existing moles, visit your healthcare provider for a skin cancer screening. If you don’t have a doctor, you can find one at www.ministryhealth.org/findadoctor.

Don’t wait. Skin cancer treatment has a very high rate of success when skin care is treated in its earliest stages.

Caloric Content of Alcoholic Drinks

cookout summer drinks

Summer is a glorious time of relaxation and enjoyment with friends. Whether you’re enjoying drinks at a cookout or at a game, this guide will help you make smart nutritional decisions about what you drink.

Caloric Content of Alcoholic Drinks Caloric Content of Alcoholic Drinks

Resource: http://drinks.newcaloriecounter.com/

Summer Backyard Safety Tips

backyard fun

Your backyard can be a sanctuary in the summer months, especially when you know simple safety tips for around the yard. Here’s how to stay safe outdoors and enjoy a hazard-free summer.

Swimming Pools

It seems like the only way to beat the heat during the summer is to take a dip in a pool. Whether you own one or not, here are some easy guidelines for safe swimming:

  • Build proper fencing around pools.
  • Never leave young children unattended around swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • Enroll children in swimming lessons at a young age.
  • Keep children no more than an arm’s length away when swimming.

Lawn & Garden

Correcting unsafe habits in the yard is easier than weeding your garden. Stay on the safe track with this advice:

  • Wear sturdy shoes when doing yard work; never wear sandals.
  • Clear your work area of debris that can get thrown or caught in lawnmower blades and other equipment.
  • Supervise children during yard work; never let kids put dirt, seeds or plant bulbs in their mouths.
  • Make sure children are away from power equipment and sharp tools.

Play Equipment

Summer is always more fun without casts and crutches. Here are some recommendations for an injury-free summer on the swings:

  • Pad the surface below play equipment with sand, shredded tires or wood chips.
  • Never use wet or damp equipment.
  • Avoid wearing items with hoods and drawstrings that can get caught.
  • Check to see if equipment is cool enough to sit on or touch.

Mosquitoes & Ticks

Just like people, bugs like to spend time outside when the weather warms up. Avoid spending your entire summer scratching bug bites by following this advice:

  • Use bug repellent with DEET on skin and clothing.
  • Eliminate mosquito breeding spots by dumping out standing water.
  • Stay inside when mosquitoes are most active at twilight.
  • Check your body for ticks after being in dense brush, woods or fields.

Sun & Heat Exposure

Summer heat and rays from the sun can cause serious heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat camps and heat exhaustion. Know the symptoms of these illnesses and stick to these suggestions:

  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
  • Drink plenty of fluids such as water and sports drinks and avoid drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine.
  • Dress in light colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothing on hot days.
  • Take plenty of breaks when exercising outside; choose cooler times of the day to be outdoors.

How Healthy Are the Men In Your Life

men health

June is Men’s Health Month, and we’re celebrating by arming the ladies with tips to use to help encouraging the men in their lives to find a primary care physician (PCP) and to access medical care when needed.

It’s true that many minor illnesses can be safely treated at home (none by rubbing dirt in them, by the way!). But everyone needs a doctor’s care at times.

When to Treat at Home & When to See the Doctor

Share these tips with the men you love to help them decide when to self-treat and when to seek medical care:

Treat at Home

Many minor illnesses can be safely treated at home: a cold, uncomplicated diarrhea, mild stomachaches and headaches, and minor skin rashes and skin fungal infections. You can treat these by getting extra rest and taking appropriate over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

These are cases in which you can usually treat yourself:

  • You don’t have a chronic illness or other condition for which you are taking medications
  • You’re not very sick
  • Your symptoms are mild and familiar and haven’t been going on for very long
  • You ask your pharmacist for advice on which OTC medications to take

See a Doctor

You do need a doctor’s care at times, even for everyday health problems.

Times when you should see or speak with a doctor:

  • You have a chronic illness or other condition
  • A cold, the flu or a stomachache that’s getting worse even though you’re resting and taking OTC medicine
  • Unusual symptoms that are painful or worrisome
  • A sinus infection, a bad sore throat with a fever, or other symptoms you think may require antibiotics
  • Diarrhea or constipation for longer than a week, bloody diarrhea, or diarrhea with mucus
  • Joint pain that’s chronic and affects your normal activities, or joint pain along with redness or swelling of the joint
  • Back pain that’s chronic or accompanied by pain that travels down your leg or arm
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness and depression lasting for at least two weeks
  • An injury you can’t treat yourself but that’s not an emergency

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should always call 9-1-1 or get to the nearest hospital emergency room.

If you decide to see your health care provider, make the most of your visit by giving your doctor a list of your symptoms, including when they began, how they’ve changed and if anything you eat or do makes them worse. This will help your doctor diagnose and treat you appropriately.

Choose a Primary Care Doctor

And if the man or men in your life don’t have a primary care doctor, we can help! Choosing a primary care doctor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Check out these 7 reasons why having a primary care doctor could just save your life.

You can also quickly and easily search for physicians online at Ministry and Affinity.

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.