Osteoporosis: a simplified explanation
What is it?
Osteoporosis is a weakening of bones which can lead to an increased risk of fracture
Who is at risk?
You are at risk if you: are menopausal, have a family history, have broken a bone, are of slim build, if you endurance train, do not eat properly, smoke, are a heavy drinker, are underweight, are inactive.
Signs to look out for
Osteoporosis itself has no symptoms but a fall is more likely to result in a fracture.
As it progresses you will lose height, and develop a hunch as your thoracic spine curves.
What can you do about it?
Undertake specific exercise to strengthen muscle and improve bone strength
Practice falls prevention, train in balance
Make your diet healthy with moderate alcohol intake
Do not smoke.
Current guidelines for test results for the T score:
Normal: -1 to 1
Starting to weaken (normal for age): -1 to -2.5
Osteoporosis: below -2.5
EXERCISE CORRECTLY Have you been to a physio recently? Or have you seen an Osteopath? Do you have exercises to do at home? Are you doing them correctly and gaining maximum benefit?
Most people do not exercise correctly and so not get the full benefit I recently received some training from an experienced osteopath. He suggested that many people given exercises by physios or osteopaths, don’t do them correctly. They don’t exercise often enough or for long enough, and they use poor technique. This results in a longer period of pain, more visits to specialists and often no answer at the end of it. The most effective way to exercise a specific muscle is with supervision by a professional who understands your condition and the exercise required to improve it. Anne at the Studio is one of these professionals. This is where one to one sessions are ideal, allowing you the time with this specialist to talk through and practise the exercises you need to do on a daily or weekly basis.
Arthritis Exercise can be hugely beneficial for arthritic joints provided it is carefully monitored. Mobility and strength work must be within your normal range of movement.
Back Pain90% of back pain is described as ‘non specific’ as there is no specific cause and no medical treatment can be offered other than pain relief. Exercise can help manage and considerably reduce levels of pain.
Knee Pain Knee pain has a variety of causes including injury and degeneration. Exercise can strengthen the joint to give better stability for excellent long term results.
SUGAR – Why you should avoid it
This week sugar and the negative effect it has on our bodies has featured in several news articles so here are the facts that you need to bear in mind when reviewing your sugar intake:
Firstly, in really simple terms: Sugar can play havoc with your weight, hormones, energy, and give you tooth decay. Eating sugar offers you ’empty’ calories – i.e. no benefit and lots of potential for harm. Therefore you should be looking to reduce your sugar intake.
When you shop, look at the labels of everything you buy. Sugar can be found in a surprising array of foods. Be especially careful when buying breakfast cereal and processed food such as ready prepared meals, including soups or cooking sauces since these often contain unexpectedly high levels of sugar.
Run through the list of negative effects below to remind yourself of why you should be avoiding sugar:
1. Consuming sugar makes your blood sugar levels rise quickly. The pancreas is stimulated, it produces insulin to stabilise the blood sugar levels. Insulin is known to promote the storage of fat so more sugar = more insulin = more fat stored.
2. The high level of insulin production not only encourages the body to store fat, but is the main risk factor in diabetes.
3. H igh blood sugar levels damage artery walls, making it easier for cholesterol and fat to build up. This causes heart disease and high blood pressure.
4. A raised insulin level affects the immune system lowering resistance to disease.
5. Sugar puts stress on the kidneys and can interfere with absorption of some essential minerals. This can contribute to osteoporosis.
6. Sugar can cause free radical formation in the blood, this causes damage to each cell in your body. It speeds up the ageing process which you’ll see as wrinkles. Some studies have suggested that it also speeds the deterioration of brain cells and contributes to dementia.
7. Sugar can increase fermentation during the digestion process causing bloating.
8. Since insulin is a hormone it is an intrinsic part of the body’s hormonal balance. Abnormal variations in that balance are known to cause fatigue, depression, weight gain, fluid retention, and so on.
For all these reasons cut down on sugar and enjoy better health