Watch Out for These Osteoporosis Symptoms
Watch Out for These Osteoporosis Symptoms

Osteoporosis makes your bones fragile and brittle by reducing the quality of your bones. Read on to know more about the different osteoporosis symptoms.

Osteoporosis is a disorder that causes your bones to become so weak and brittle that sometimes, even activities like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Some of the most common fractures associated with osteoporosis happen in your hip, wrist, and spine. About 200 million women all over the world suffer from this debilitating disorder, and it is more common in white and Asian women.

As the bones are living tissue, the old bones in your body are constantly being broken down to create new bones and this rebuilding process is termed as ‘remodeling’. However, when the remodeling pace does not keep up with the pace of the breaking down of the bones, the bones become weak, brittle, and fragile, leading to osteoporosis. It is clear how this disorder develops over a period of time, however, what is not clear is what exactly causes osteoporosis. There are, however, certain risk factors that are associated with the development of this disorder. These are your race, body frame size, age, family history, sex, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and eating disorders.

Osteoporosis is typically diagnosed by a bone density test, which involves the use of X-rays to scan the body. The treatment methods that are generally used for osteoporosis mainly depend upon your risk of a fracture. If your risk is low, the treatment plan will mainly involve lifestyle changes and modifications that can reduce the risk factors related to osteoporosis. If you are at a higher risk of breaking a bone, the doctor will prescribe you medications like Actonel, Binosto, Boniva, and Fosamax.

Osteoporosis is mainly regarded as a silent disease because there are no telltale signs and symptoms in its early stages. Only in its advanced stages will you experience osteoporosis symptoms such as pain, loss of height, and fracture. Here are the different osteoporosis symptoms explained in detail.

  • Stooped Posture

The compression fractures that occur in your vertebrae may result in a slight curving of your upper back. A stooped back is scientifically termed as ‘kyphosis’ or commonly referred to as ‘dowager’s hump’. This is one of the osteoporosis symptoms that can lead to neck and back pain, and can even lead to severe problems like difficulty in breathing because of the added pressure on your airways.

  • Fracture

One of the most common osteoporosis symptoms is a fracture that is caused due to brittle and fragile bones. Some of the most common osteoporosis fractures occur in your wrist, hip, and spine. These fractures can either occur because of a fall or can also occur during routine every day movements that you would generally undertake while stepping out of home. There are some osteoporosis fractures that are triggered by even mild activities such as sneezing and coughing.

  • Neck or Back Pain

Osteoporosis is a disorder that can also cause compression fractures of your spine. These fractures tend to be very painful because the vertebrae that collapse may compress the spinal nerves that radiate outwards. The osteoporosis symptoms of neck or back pain vary from one person to another; some people report feeling a minor tenderness, while others experience pain that is excruciating.

  • Loss of Height

Loss of height is one of the most noticeable osteoporosis symptoms. The compression fractures in the spine cause the vertebrae to collapse. When these vertebrae collapse, it may result in a loss of height. Patients suffering from osteoporosis experience a gradual loss of height, as this disorder progresses.

If you experience any of the osteoporosis symptoms mentioned above, it is important that you consult your doctor immediately. Most often than not, these osteoporosis symptoms only cause pain and discomfort. However, when you experience severe and debilitating pain, especially in your neck, hip, back, or wrist, visit your doctor as soon as possible. This pain could be a sign of a fractured bone that may need proper treatment.

Even though there are no symptoms in the early stages, understanding osteoporosis symptoms will help you identify it when you finally start experiencing them. All of the osteoporosis symptoms are caused due to weakened bones. So if you are at a higher risk of developing this disorder, start working on strengthening your bones by making certain dietary modifications as well as lifestyle changes. After all, who would want to experience these osteoporosis symptoms, if there is a chance that you can prevent it?

The Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

The food we consume every day mostly consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. However, there are other essential organic and inorganic constituents, which are equally important for our health. Vitamins are one such organic component of food. Although we only need to include minute quantities of these in our everyday diet, they play a significant role in maintaining an individual’s growth and metabolism. Any person’s healthy appearance comes not only from energy-yielding proteins, carbohydrates, and fats but also from other components like vitamins, minerals, and water.

Sources of vitamins

  • Vitamins are a protective food that is essential to ensure that the human body functions normally.
  • Vitamins are crucial since they cannot be synthesized in the human body.
    Therefore, whenever there is disequilibrium in its quantity, one needs to take supplements to ensure a balanced intake.
  • Since plants can synthesize vitamins, animal foods like meat, fish, eggs, liver, and milk can be a good way to replenish a vitamin imbalance. When humans eat animals that feed on plants, vitamins are transferred to the human body.
  • Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, cannot be found in foods of plant origin. Animal-based foods are an abundant source of this vitamin.
    Vitamin B12 that is synthesized by the intestinal bacteria in humans is not enough to meet the daily requirements. In such cases, vitamin B12 supplements are a lifesaver.

Kinds of vitamins

  • Vitamins are of two types, fat-soluble and water-soluble.
  • The B complex groups of vitamins like thiamine, niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, cobalamin, riboflavin, and biotin are water-soluble.
  • Hydroxycobalamin, chlorocobalamin, cyan cobalamin, and nitro cobalamin are few active forms of vitamin B12.

Functions of vitamin B12

  • All vitamins which are a part of vitamin B-Complex act as coenzymes and vitamin B12 is no exception. Vitamin B12 acts as coenzymes in different chemical reactions in the body, in the form of cobamide, which is involved in the formation of DNA.
  • Lack of vitamin B12 disrupts the functioning of folic acid.
  • Vitamin B12 or cobalamin was formerly known as anti-pernicious anemia factor or Castle’s extrinsic factor.
  • This vitamin is called cobalamin because it is a compound of cobalt. If an individual has a deficiency of cobalt, they need to take adequate vitamin B12 supplements to fulfill this deficiency.
  • Vitamin B12 indirectly assists in protein synthesis and cell division required to form and renew blood cells in humans. Thus, this vitamin aids in the overgrowth of the individual.

Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency is known to produce different kinds of disorders.

  • The pernicious, megaloblastic or macrocytic anemia is characterized by the rapid reduction of the patient’s red blood cell count. As a direct consequence of this, the hemoglobin content of the blood falls rapidly. Moreover, large, abnormal, immature, erythrocytes also known as megaloblasts or macrocytes can be detected in the blood reports. These erythrocytes contain a lower amount of hemoglobin than normal. If this disease is diagnosed in the early stages, then one can take vitamin B12 supplements to save the situation. However, in severe cases, vitamin B12 is injected intravenously or intramuscularly. It is can also be given through the mouth or the nose, depending on the condition of the patient and their ability to absorb vitamin B12. After the patient gets the injection or consumes these vitamin B12 supplements, a considerable rise in the red blood cell count is noticeable.
  • Deficiency of vitamin B12 can result in different disorders of the nervous system. Demyelination or degeneration of nerve fibers, loss of sensation in different zones of the body, and even paralysis can set in due to a vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • A neural disorder associated with pernicious anemia is a direct indication of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Moreover, if there is a dearth of Castle’s intrinsic factor in the gastric juice, then it will be difficult for a patient to absorb this vitamin, leading to a deficiency.

Applications of vitamin B12 supplements

  • Cyanide poisoning can be treated with the injection of hydroxocobalamin, a form of vitamin B12.
  • Age-related muscular degeneration can be effectively treated with vitamin B12 supplements as well as B-Complex vitamins.
  • If a person is facing nerve impairment due to shingles, they can take vitamin B12 as it reduces the pain effectively and rapidly as compared to other injections. In this condition, a doctor may recommend an intradermal or subcutaneous injection of methylcobalamin six times a week for a month. These injections are more effective than oral medications. Moreover, there is empirical evidence regarding the autonomous effects of cobalamins in treating the pain caused by shingles.
  • Cobalamins are also found to reduce the requirement of painkillers. The intake of vitamin B12 supplements can reduce pain more effectively than any pain relieving medication.
10 Common Skin Problems and Their Treatments
10 Common Skin Problems and Their Treatments

Our skin is nothing but a protective shell for our body, and it protects us from numerous toxic things like harmful chemicals, UV rays, and various cuts and scrapes. As a result of these factors, the skin often changes its texture and color, and at times rashes may also appear. Usually, skin inflammation causes these rashes, and there are numerous reasons behind this inflammation. You can see different patterns of skin rashes in conditions like granuloma annulare, eczema, pityriasis rosea, lichen planus, acne, razor burns, and so on. The article below highlights the different types of skin rashes and their treatments.

Acne is perhaps the most common problem that people face. Numerous factors lead to irritating red bumps on your skin. Heavy sweating, stress, humidity or consuming steroids can lead to skin rashes. Even if you maintain perfect personal hygiene, you may get acne because of washing your face too often. If you are facing this problem in your daily life, you should consult a general physician or a dermatologist to identify the underlying issue and cure it. You can also find numerous home remedies to deal with acne.

Razor burn
Men usually face this problem along with redness, blisters, and rashes due to shaving. To prevent this problem, you should be careful while shaving your face. You should wash your face with warm water and use sharp and clean blades. Nowadays, you can find different shaving gels and other lubricants which can help prevent these rashes. Moreover, you can also use aloe vera-based soothing lotions to soothe the skin and treat any skin rashes.

UV radiation could affect our skin and lead to rashes. Melanin protects our skin from UV radiation. You can take adequate precautions like using hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen, but the lack of vitamin E can result in painful sunburns. You can get vitamin E supplements and apply it to the affected area.

Rosacea is one of the most common skin diseases in the country, and nearly 14 million Americans suffer from this condition. Its primary sign is that the patient’s face turns red, and without an accurate diagnosis, this disease can worsen. Though it is not life-threatening, one should consult a doctor for prescription drugs to treat this issue. If you have rosacea, you should not touch or rub the affected area, and avoid using products with alcohol.

Eczema is a severe disease that can make your life miserable because of the constant itchiness which is its primary symptom. We recommend that you visit the doctor as soon as possible to get the right medicines and ointment needed to cure this disease. Nowadays, you can get various treatments like hypnotherapy, massage, topical steroid creams (corticosteroids), phototherapy, acupuncture and acupressure, antihistamines, and vitamin D supplements to treat this condition’s symptoms like skin rashes.

Athlete’s foot
People who work out regularly have a higher risk of developing athlete’s foot disease. In general, the infection starts between the spaces of the toes, so you should get proper treatment to fix these skin rashes. Various anti-fungal creams and powders can be used to cure this fungal infection.

Dark circles
Dark circles are a common skin problem faced by both men and women. Inadequate sleep and poor diet can lead to dark circles underneath the eyes. It is recommended to change your diet, drink more water, and consume nutrient-rich foods to cure it.

Hidradenitis suppurativa
Hidradenitis suppurativa is an uncommon skin disease where one can see clusters of abscesses and under-the-skin boils in different parts of the body like the groin, inner thighs, buttock, and underarms. The disease is quite rare, and often it is misdiagnosed. If you feel that you have this condition, you should consult your physician. Carbon dioxide laser surgery and biologic therapies can cure this skin condition.

Psoriasis is another chronic skin disorder that results in inflammation and scaling. Genetics and an abnormality in the immune system are the primary causes of this disease. Unfortunately, there is no method to prevent psoriasis. However, you can try different tropical treatments and medications to cure this condition.

Groin rashes
Groin rashes are red and itchy rashes generally seen in the groin area. This skin condition is quite severe. The same fungus that causes the athlete’s foot disease is responsible for groin rashes. Several medications and ointments are available to deal with skin rashes, and you can choose from them after consulting your doctor.

These are some common skin problems that people face. You can get rid of these problems easily if you know the simple methods to treat them. We hope that this article has provided you with some valuable information on how to deal with these common skin problems.

Things You Should Know about Bone Density Tests
Things You Should Know about Bone Density Tests

As we age, our health gets worse and the list of medical tests we need to determine our current condition of health grows longer and longer. At times we tend to skip our tests because of our busy frame of mind, or because we think that we do not need them. When it comes to a bone density test, one should get the test done every few years. A bone density test is vital in determining the strength of our bones. The test is also called a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DEXA scan. It helps us determine if we are suffering from any bone loss that can lead to disabilities and fractures in the future, giving us an overview of our overall bone health. Bone density and bone health tests should not be skipped as they can help us determine the condition of our bones. Most men under the age of 70 and women under the age of 65 do not require the test, but this does not mean we should skip it altogether. Here is all one needs to know about the bone density test and why one should get it done today.

What is a Bone density Test?
A bone density test enables doctors to diagnose brittle bones and help us seek appropriate treatment measures. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become so weak that they are at the point of breaking. A bone density test is used to determine the risk of the above-mentioned disease and fractures. It also enables doctors to put a treatment plan in place for the underlying condition.

How is a Bone Density Test Performed?
A bone density test is a painless and simple procedure. A patient is made to lie on a padded table with an X-ray generator positioned right underneath the patient, and an imaging device just above. The device passes over the hip and spine in a slow and steady manner and generates images on an attached computer monitor. While the test may seem complicated, it is usually completed within 10 to 30 minutes and is quite easy to perform. It is necessary to get a bone density test done every few years to stay on the safe side irrespective of how good or bad one’s bone health is.

When Should One Start Taking a Bone Density Test?
While it is not necessary for men aged below 70 and women aged below 65 to take the test, it is a precaution one must take to ensure that one does not suffer from a condition related to bone density damage in the near future. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, a bone density test is recommended for men aged above 70 and women aged above 65, or if one ends up with a fracture after the age of 50. One may also consider taking the test if one is at a risk of osteoporosis or if one has suffered from a diminution of height ranging up to 4 cm after the onset of menopause (when it comes to women). Whatever be the case, getting a bone density test is recommended irrespective of age as one’s health comes first and one never knows when conditions may turn wayward.

How Often Should One Get a Bone Density Test Done?
While there is no strict limit to getting a bone density test performed, one should get tested at least once every 2 to 3 years. If one has started a new treatment plan for osteoporosis, one should get a bone density test done within a year of starting the course of treatment. In fact, it should be done as frequently as possible to determine the extent of damage to the bones.

How to Keep One’s Bones Healthy?
One can certainly try to ensure that bone health is at its optimum best. Smoking and drinking should be avoided as these negatively impact one’s health. One should try to get as much vitamin D and calcium in the diet as possible and maintain a healthy weight. One should also exercise on a daily basis.

Most men under the age of 70 and women under the age of 65 do not require the test at all. Most people under the above-mentioned age group do not suffer from bone loss or mild bone loss. While their risk of breaking a bone is low, this does not mean that they should not take a bone density test every few years. Exercising regularly and getting plenty of vitamin D and calcium decrease the chances of bone damage. While testing the condition of bones every once in a while is a necessity, one should follow a healthy lifestyle to ensure that there is no bone loss and the bones are in a healthy condition too.

Colitis – Symptoms and Treatment Methods
Colitis – Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Usually, an inflammation of the colon (also referred to as the large intestine) is known as colitis. It is a disease that has varied symptoms in different people. Colitis can be of different types such as:

  • Microscopic colitis
  • Ischemic colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease colitis (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
  • Chemical colitis
  • Pseudomembranous colitis
  • Infectious colitis such as food poisoning, and infections caused by bacteria or parasites

Depending on the type of colitis you have, your symptoms can vary. To pick the right treatment for colitis, it is crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. Here is a list of some colitis symptoms that will help you understand when you should consult a healthcare professional.

Symptoms of colitis
According to various medical study reports, most of the times, colitis is associated with diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Pain caused by inflammation
The muscle layers undergo intermittent spasms due to colon inflammation. This intermittent spasm causes cramp-like or colicky pain, which comes and goes.

Usually, the affected person feels this pain in the lower abdomen. However, you might feel this pain at any point along the course of the colon.

Due to the colitis, the body is unable to reabsorb water properly because any ingested food or drinks move through the colon rapidly as the muscles cannot contract in their regular pattern. All of this leads to watery diarrhea.

If the colon lining breaks down and becomes inflamed, the affected person might experience bleeding. In the case of ulcerative colitis, small ulcers form and cause bleeding.

Pain caused by diarrhea
Often, the pain caused by colitis that involves the distal colon (sigmoid colon and rectum) increases gradually preceding a bowel movement. The pain might subside after the diarrheal bowel movement, but it can return with the next diarrheal episode. Also, the affected person may get the urgent feeling of wanting to go to the loo.

As mentioned earlier, depending on the cause of colitis, the symptoms may include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Dehydration: Other symptoms associated with dehydration include lightheadedness, decreased output of urine, and weakness.

Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis may lead an individual to exhibit symptoms that are not related to the colon. These symptoms include:

  • Iritis (eye inflammation)
  • Joint swelling
  • Pyoderma gangrenosum (skin inflammation)
  • Aphthous ulcer (canker sores)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention to get the right treatment for colitis.

Treatment methods for colitis
The treatment methods for colitis mostly depend on the causes. In some cases, a little more than symptomatic care is required, which includes various medications to manage the pain and clear fluids to help in resting the bowel. However, some patients need IV fluids along with other interventions to deal with the illness.

Ischemic colitis: Initially, the treatments for this type of colitis is supportive. To prevent dehydration and to rest the bowel, the use of intravenous fluids is suggested by doctors. In the worst cases, surgery may be required to get rid of the necrotic parts of the bowel along with other portions that have no blood supply.
Infections: With time and the help of the IV fluids, one can deal with viral infections. Bacterial infections such as salmonella will go away without any antibiotic therapy. However, for the treatment of colitis caused by bacterial infections such as Clostridium difficile, the use of antibiotics is required.
Abdominal pain and diarrhea: Along with a clear fluid diet, some medications are required to treat colitis. However, getting a doctor’s guidance before taking medications is advisable.
IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease): Initially, anti-inflammatory medications are used to deal with colitis caused by IBD. However, if these medications are not making a difference, one can take medicines to suppress the immune system. In the worst case scenario, surgery might be useful.

Role of a healthy diet in treating colitis
Consuming a healthy diet plays a significant role in the treatment of colitis as it eases the flares and reduces the symptoms. Here is a list of foods that you should try avoiding when you have colitis.

  • Fried or greasy foods
  • Fiber-rich foods like nuts, corn, seeds, and popcorn
  • If you are lactose intolerant, it is better to avoid milk or dairy products that contain lactose. Lactose-free forms of products like ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. are also available these days. It is better to eat these types of foods.

Even though several treatment options for colitis are available, it is always better to prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. To do so, you need to keep a close eye on health conditions like blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol level, etc. Also, it is advisable to quit smoking as it can lead to several complications.