We’ve all experienced varying levels of stress at some point in our lives. In fact, stress is a natural part of life. Contrary to popular belief, not all stress is bad. Short periods of stress can be beneficial because they can give us extra energy to accomplish more. However, as most health professionals will tell you, chronic stress can be problematic since it can actually change your body. 

In order to understand how stress changes your body, we must first understand what happens to the body when you experience stress. Stressful situations cause the adrenal glands above your kidneys to release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol essentially gives your body a boost of energy to address the stressful situation. Once the threat or stressful situation has passed, the body will return to normal and cortisol levels will stabilize. 

However, those who experience chronic stress will not recover and they will maintain high cortisol levels. High levels of cortisol tell the body to trigger the fight or flight response. This means that your alertness and heart rate will increase, while other functions not associated with the fight or flight response will be reduced. Specific functions affected by cortisol levels include: 

fight or flight response diagram

Unfortunately, high cortisol levels affect these functions in different ways and some may even temporarily cease. As a result, high levels of cortisol are associated with several health conditions such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, headaches, problems concentrating, digestive problems, trouble sleeping, and weight gain. 

Eventually your adrenal glands will wear out from producing an excessive amount of cortisol and will gradually start to produce less and less. As this happens, you will begin to experience fatigue. Chronic stress also interferes with the communication between your immune system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which can cause chronic fatigue, metabolic disorders like diabetes and obesity, depression, and immune disorders. 

Since stress is a normal part of everyday life, it is impossible to eliminate it entirely. However, you can learn how to manage your stress in order to prevent or minimize chronic stress and its effect on the body. The first step to managing stress is learning how to identify when you feel stressed so that you can take steps to decrease your stress. In some cases, this may mean making certain lifestyle changes to cut out or minimize stressors. In other cases, you may need to implement a variety of stress management strategies in order to deal with stress in a healthy way. 

When it comes to stress management strategies, it may be trial and error until you find something that works for you. However, once you find it, be sure to stick with it. Some examples of stress management strategies include: 

Did you know that the first researcher to link celiac disease to diet was born on September 13th, 1839? Later in 1888, Dr. Samuel Gee wrote a paper titled On the Coeliac Affection which was one of the first research papers describing celiac disease and how it can be managed through proper diet. As a result, September 13th is now known as Celiac Awareness Day. 

It is currently estimated by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, that around 1 in every 141 Americans has celiac disease. The disease is also hereditary, meaning that it can be passed from family memeber to family member. In fact, individuals who have a parent, child, or sibling with celiac disease have a 1 in 10 risk of developing the disease themselves. 

Celiac disease is a type of autoimmune disorder characterized by an immune response to gluten that produces toxins which destroy intestinal villi. Villi are small, thin protrusions that line the inside of the small intestine. They are necessary for the absorption of nutrients from food and damaged villi can result in an inability to absorb nutrients which can cause malnutrition and permanent intestinal damage. 

Depending on an individual’s age, there are different symptoms that can indicate the presence of celiac disease. In fact, children and adults can experience entirely different symptoms. Oftentimes, children affected by celiac disease will come across as being tired and irritable, will likely be smaller than their peers, and may start puberty late. Additionally, children can experience vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain and bloating, persistent diarrhea or constipation, or pale foul-smelling stools. 

Adults affected by celiac disease can experience some of the same digestive symptoms, however they are usually also affected by other symptoms such as: 

To diagnose celiac disease, your doctor will perform a blood test to check for high levels of  antiendomysium (EMA) and anti-tissue transgluatiminase (tTGA) antibodies that are commonly seen in people with celiac disease. Additional blood tests such as complete blood count (CBC), liver function, cholesterol, alkaline phosphatase level, and serum albumin may also be performed. 

In cases where the primary symptom is dermatitis herpetiformis, a skin biopsy may need to be performed. If blood tests or a skin biopsy is unable to make a diagnosis, then the final step may be to have an upper endoscopy. During an upper endoscopy, a small camera attached to a thin tube will be inserted into the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small intestines so your doctor can look for damaged villi. During an upper endoscopy, your doctor may also perform an intestinal biopsy. 

If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, you will need to completely eliminate gluten from your diet. In fact, this is currently the only way to successfully treat celiac disease. By removing gluten, your intestinal villi will heal and will be able to properly absorb nutrients again. In as little as a few days, you should notice your symptoms starting to improve. While it was once complicated to eat gluten free foods, many companies are now producing gluten free alternatives for people with celiac disease. 

Did you know that the U.S Department of Health and Human Services estimates that around 8.6 million sports injuries occur every year? Of these 8.6 million injuries, about 42% affected the lower extremities, 30% affected the upper extremities, and around 16% affected the head and neck. When it comes to sports injuries that affect the lower and upper extremities, sprains and strains are a commonly seen injury. However because their names are so similar, many people are unaware about the differences between these two types of injuries. So, what exactly is a sprain, what is a strain, and how do you know the difference?

woman sitting down with hurt foot

A sprain occurs when the ligaments are torn or overstretched. Ligaments are tissues that hold bone to bone together in a joint. The most common area for a sprain to occur is the ankle, especially when walking on an uneven surface or landing awkwardly from a jump. Other areas that can become sprained include: the knee when pivoted too far, the wrist when overextended during a fall, and the thumb when overextended during activities like skiing or racquet sports. 

A strain occurs when the muscles or tendons are torn or overstretched. Tendons are tissues that hold muscle and bone together. In some cases, strains are also called pulled muscles. The most common area for a strain to occur is in the lower back and in the hamstrings. However, strains can also occur in the Achilles tendon as a result of quick starts or jumping, in the hands as a result of gripping, or in the elbows as a result of throwing or racquet sports. 

Although both sprains and strains are caused by damage done to different tissues, they still have common symptoms. This is another reason why it is so difficult to differentiate the two. Symptoms of sprains include pain, swelling, bruising, limited joint mobility, and hearing or feeling a pop at the time of injury, while symptoms of strains include pain or tenderness, redness or bruising, limited mobility, muscle spasms, swelling, and muscle weakness. As you can see, these symptoms are highly similar. The main difference between the two in terms of symptoms are that sprains can be accompanied by a popping sound, and that strains are generally accompanied by muscle weakness or spasms. 

To diagnose a sprain or strain, your doctor will palpate the affected area to determine points of tenderness. They will also evaluate the area for any swelling or bruising. When it comes to determining whether a sprain or strain has occurred, your doctor will look for subtle differences. For example, sprains tend to produce bruising, whereas strains may be diagnosed by feeling for muscle defects. In some cases, additional diagnostic tests will be used to help make an accurate diagnosis. These tests can include x-rays or MRIs to rule out breaks or fractures, and ultrasounds to examine the underlying muscle tissue. 

RICE technique being performed on ankle

The treatment for mild sprains and strains is to follow the RICE technique: 

In some cases if a sprain or strain is severe, surgery may be required to repair the damage. This will likely be the case if the ligaments, tendons, or muscles have been torn.

Although Covid-19 is a respiratory virus, it has been found to affect people differently, especially those with preexisting health conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). If you or a loved one currently have lupus, you are likely wondering just how Covid-19 can affect individuals with lupus. In order to help you manage your health during this time, here is some information on the relationship between Covid-19 and lupus: 

Symptoms: Covid- 19 or Lupus?

butterfly rash on face labeled as lupus

First and foremost, you will want to be aware of the various symptoms associated with both Covid-19 and lupus. Distinct symptoms of Covid-19 include: cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, severe headache, loss of taste or smell, confusion, and pain or pressure in the chest. Distinct symptoms of lupus include: joint pain, malaise, skin issues (butterfly rash on face), coloration changes in the hands, and a loss of hair, appetite, or weight. While each condition has symptoms that are distinctive, they also have some symptoms that overlap, such as: 

Since there is some overlap of symptoms, the best way to determine whether you are affected by Covid-19 is to get tested. You should also call your doctor to schedule an telehealth appointment for further medical advice. 

How Does Covid-19 Affect Individuals with Lupus?

Due to the fact that lupus is a chronic autoimmune condition, the Lupus Foundation of America notes that those with the condition are at a higher risk of developing any type of infection, including Covid-19. As an autoimmune condition, lupus causes the body’s immune system to attack healthy cells. Unfortunately, this can have negative effects on the heart, kidneys, and nervous system, which makes it harder to fight off serious infections. Possible complications from Covid-19 are also compounded by additional medical conditions or immune-suppressing medications. 

How Can I Prevent Covid-19?

hand sanitizer and face masks

If you or a loved one is affected by lupus, the best way to deal with Covid-19 is to prevent it by reducing the risk of infection. While researchers are still looking into the best ways to prevent infection, current research notes that the best way to prevent Covid-19 is to limit the amount of time spent in close proximity to those outside your immediate household. Additionally, if people in your household are exposed to other people, you should also avoid long periods of close contact with them as well. 

In cases when you must leave your house, be sure to follow the guidelines set by medical professionals, including: wear a mask, keep 6ft of distance from others, avoid crowds, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after touching shared surfaces, and avoid touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes. 

Additionally, you will want to continue taking your lupus medication as directed by your doctor. Certain medications, such as hydroxychloroquine (Palquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen), are being used by some to treat Covid-19. Because of this, some people worry about their prescriptions being in increased demand. To combat this, many insurers are allowing early refills and many doctors are issuing 90-day supplies instead of the traditional 30-day supply. You can also discuss other options with your pharmacist or visit a different pharmacy. However, be sure to check your insurance plan to make sure other pharmacies are in your network. 

During the summertime, a common mantra we all hear is “make sure you stay hydrated and drink enough water”. While most of us will naturally drink when we get thirsty, health professionals often recommend drinking water even when we are not thirsty in order to stay hydrated. This may make you wonder why it is so important to stay hydrated. 

For starters, the human body is composed of about 60% water and it is recommended to drink around 64 oz or (8) 8 oz glasses of water a day. This amount of water, known as the 8×8 rule is believed to be sufficient for preventing dehydration, or the state of losing more water than you are taking it. Dehydration is especially prevalent in the summertime since water is lost when we sweat. In addition to preventing dehydration, staying hydrated is important for the following reasons: 

Prevents and Treats Headaches

A common symptom of dehydration is headache, so staying hydrated can prevent headaches from occurring. Not only that, but drinking plenty of water has also been found to relieve headaches in people who frequently experience them. In fact, a randomized study on the effects of water intake on headaches found that 47% of study participants reported headache improvement after drinking an additional 50.7 ounces of water daily. 

Affects Brain Function

In addition to literally making your head hurt, dehydration also affects the way your brain functions inside your head. Even losing as little as 1-3% of water weight can cause impairments in mood, concentration, memory, and brain performance. Additionally, it can also cause symptoms of anxiety and fatigue in some cases. Staying properly hydrated helps to reduce these symptoms and maintains normal brain performance. 

closeup of a woman sweating and drinking water after a workout

Makes Exercise Easier

People who exercise can lose about 6-10% of their water weight in sweat and the effects of dehydration can be seen when as little as 2% of water weight is lost. Trying to exercise while dehydrated makes exercise more difficult mentally and physically. Mentally, dehydration can decrease your motivation. Physically, dehydration increases fatigue and alters your body’s ability to control your temperature. Conversely, staying hydrated prevents these symptoms and improves your overall physical performance, which makes exercising easier and more enjoyable. 

Helps You Lose Weight

Yes, drinking more water can actually help you lose weight due to water’s ability to boost your metabolic rate. When your metabolism is increased, this increases the number of calories you burn per day, which can help you lose weight. It has been found that drinking water half an hour before a meal also helps you to consume fewer calories in order to lose weight. One study noted that dieters who drank water before meals lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t drink water before meals.

Prevents Hangovers

Alcoholic beverages can cause the body to become dehydrated due to the fact that alcohol is a diuretic which causes the body to lose water. As a result, symptoms such as headache, fatigue, dry mouth, and thirst can occur. When these symptoms are experienced collectively after drinking alcohol, this is known as a hangover. Drinking a glass of water between alcoholic beverages, as well as one glass before bed helps to replenish lost water and prevent hangovers. 

Relieves Constipation

People who have lower water consumption levels are more likely to have trouble passing a stool, as well as infrequent bowel movements. Oftentimes, drinking more water is recommended as a non-invasive treatment for constipation. Mineral water can also be beneficial for alleviating constipation symptoms since it contains magnesium and sodium, which improves bowel movement frequency. 

Amrendra Kumar, MD

Dr Kumar is a highly skilled physician dedicated to providing gentle and effective care to patients of all ages and medical conditions. He achieved his degree in a field that he is passionate about. He believes that excellent health begins with education and has made his mission to enlighten patients to ways they can take greater control over their health. Dr Kumar is committed to continuing education activities and remaining aware of the latest advancements in Medical Science to maintain current high standards of care.

diagram about how vitamin D is absorbed into the body

Did you know that as many as two thirds of otherwise healthy adults are vitamin D deficient? Vitamin D is responsible for helping your body to absorb calcium and calcium levels are directly related to your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is obtained through the skin from the sun and through the small intestine from your diet and supplements. Since vitamin D is derived from the sun, people who do not go outside regularly can have a higher risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. 

To stay healthy, children and adults should be getting at least 600 IU of vitamin D a day, while adults over the age of 71 should be getting at least 800 IU. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is an extremely common problem that many people may be affected by without even realizing it. There are certain risk factors for vitamin D deficiency including: being over the age of 65, having dark skin, being overweight, living away from the equator, constantly wearing sunscreen, and people who avoid eating fish or dairy products. 

To determine if you are vitamin D deficient, your doctor can perform a simple blood test to check your vitamin D levels. While only a blood test can confirm a vitamin D deficiency diagnosis, you may be vitamin D deficient if you are experiencing any of the following: 

Frequent Sickness

Vitamin D interacts with cells in your immune system and is partially responsible for keeping your immune system strong. Therefore, if you are regularly becoming sick with infections like colds or the flu, this can be an indication you aren’t getting enough vitamin D. In fact, getting sick frequently is one of the more common signs of a vitamin D deficiency. 

Slow Healing

Along with getting sick more, wounds that heal slowly are another sign that you may be lacking vitamin D. This is especially true when it comes to recovering from dental procedures, since they can affect the bones. Vitamin D has been found to affect different aspects of healing such as the formation of new skin, controlling inflammation, and fighting against infection. 

Bone Pain

Since vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, it is directly related to your bone health. When you are not getting enough vitamin D, this can affect your calcium levels as well. This ultimately affects your bones and can cause bone pain. Lower back pain has also been linked to vitamin D deficiency. 

Bone Loss

As mentioned above, vitamin D is essential for the body to absorb calcium. It is also responsible for bone metabolism, which is the process of keeping your bones healthy and strong. If the body is not getting enough vitamin D or calcium, then it will begin to leach calcium from the bones. This ultimately leads to bone loss and can increase the risk of fractures. 

woman falling asleep at her computer

Fatigue

Feeling tired all the time can be another indication of vitamin D deficiency, especially in women. However, fatigue can also be caused by various other factors, so a blood test will usually be needed to determine if a low level of vitamin D is the culprit. 

Depression

Along with fatigue, depression can also indicate a vitamin D deficiency. Oftentimes, these symptoms tend to go hand in hand and it may be hard to distinguish one from the other. Nevertheless, if you have noticed your mood has changed, you should visit your primary care physician to determine the cause. 

Hair Loss

Some studies have shown a relationship between hair loss and low levels of vitamin D. However, hair loss can also be caused by other factors such as stress, disease, or nutrient deficiency. If you start taking vitamin D supplements and your hair grows back, most likely your hair loss was due to a vitamin D deficiency. 

Amrendra Kumar, MD

Dr Kumar is a highly skilled physician dedicated to providing gentle and effective care to patients of all ages and medical conditions. He achieved his degree in a field that he is passionate about. He believes that excellent health begins with education and has made his mission to enlighten patients to ways they can take greater control over their health. Dr Kumar is committed to continuing education activities and remaining aware of the latest advancements in Medical Science to maintain current high standards of care.

With the passing of Memorial Day, summer is upon us and many people are out and about enjoying the summer sun. However, for the health of you and your family, there are a few things you should keep in mind. As you and your family are out enjoying the summer sun, here are some tips to help you stay healthy:

Don’t Forget Sunscreen

woman's back with a sun drawn in sunscreen

First and foremost if you plan on being outside, be sure to wear and reapply sunscreen as needed. You should apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go outside since it takes about that long to be absorbed into your skin. It is recommended that you use sunscreen that contains sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, although higher SPF levels provide additional protection. On average, you can expect to reapply sunscreen every two hours that you are out in the sun. It is especially important to wear sunscreen between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm, because this is when the sun is brightest and the UV rays are the strongest. Not only does sunscreen help to prevent painful sunburns, but it will also protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that are known to cause skin cancer. 

Stay Cool

Although it may be hard to stay cool during the summer, you want to take special care to not get overheated. There are different heat-related illnesses that can occur if your body gets too hot. Depending on the symptoms and their severity, heat-related illnesses can require immediate medical attention. To stay cool in the summer heat, exercise in the morning, evening, or in the shade whenever possible. You should also wear lightweight clothing that allows for the evaporation of sweat, as well as a hat to minimize additional sun exposure. 

Drink Plenty of Water

young girl drinking a glass of water

Along with staying cool, many heat-related illnesses can also be prevented by staying hydrated. The recommended amount of water is eight glasses a day, however you should aim to drink more than that if you are out in the summer sun. When you are out in the summer sun, it is important to drink water constantly before you get thirsty. This allows your body to produce the necessary amount of sweat to keep you cool without being dehydrated. When it comes to staying hydrated, water is the best thing to drink. Additionally, you should avoid or limit drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, since these can lead to dehydration. 

Wear Insect Repellent

Many insects are highly active during the summertime and feed on human blood. In fact, ticks are the most active between late June and early July, and mosquitoes are most active throughout summer. To protect you and your family from insect-borne illnesses, be sure to use insect repellent, especially if you are hiking, camping, or are planning to spend a lot of time outdoors. Not only will insect repellent keep bugs from spreading illnesses, but it will also keep them from biting. This means no more itchy bug bites. 

Amrendra Kumar, MD

Dr Kumar is a highly skilled physician dedicated to providing gentle and effective care to patients of all ages and medical conditions. He achieved his degree in a field that he is passionate about. He believes that excellent health begins with education and has made his mission to enlighten patients to ways they can take greater control over their health. Dr Kumar is committed to continuing education activities and remaining aware of the latest advancements in Medical Science to maintain current high standards of care.

Did you know that as many as 95 million Americans over the age of 20 have total cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dL, with 29 million of those adults having total cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dL? Although cholesterol is needed for proper body functions, problems can arise when cholesterol levels become too high. As a general rule, acceptable levels of total cholesterol fall below 170, borderline high cholesterol is about 170-199, and high cholesterol is any number above 200. 

There are two different types of cholesterol that make up your total blood cholesterol levels. These are known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is sometimes referred to as “bad cholesterol” because it transports cholesterol throughout the body and accumulates inside your blood vessels and arteries. HDL is generally considered “good cholesterol” because it moves excess cholesterol into the liver so that it can be removed from the body. 

In most cases of high cholesterol, people tend to have higher levels of LDL cholesterol, which is why high cholesterol can become dangerous. For this reason, the majority of high cholesterol medications are aimed at reducing LDL levels in the body. However, there are cases where a person’s HDL cholesterol is higher than their LDL cholesterol. These  high HDL levels can contribute to a higher total cholesterol number, but is not necessarily cause for concern. 

If your doctor has diagnosed you with high cholesterol, the best way to prevent additional health problems is to work on lowering your cholesterol. This usually involves some lifestyle changes. Here are a few things you can do daily to help lower your cholesterol: 

Exercise

Of course, exercising regularly is one of the daily habits that can help reduce your cholesterol. As little as 2.5 hours of brisk walking or 1 hour of jogging a week is enough to lower cholesterol levels. Assuming you exercise seven days a week, this means you only have to walk 20 minutes a day. 

Eat Right

 a pile of healthy food and a pile of not healthy food

Another key habit to lowering your cholesterol is to eat the right types of food. Foods like fish, nuts, and avocados, as well as oils such as canola, vegetable, olive, and sunflower all contain unsaturated fats, which do not raise cholesterol levels. Whole grains, beans, peas, fruits, and vegetables contain soluble fiber, which also helps to decrease cholesterol levels by preventing its absorption into the body. 

Avoid Certain Foods

Not only will eating right help to decrease your cholesterol levels, but avoiding or reducing certain foods can be beneficial as well. Red meat, pork, chicken, and dairy products all contain saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature and can contribute to higher cholesterol. Additionally, baked goods, frozen foods, snack foods, margarine, coffee creamer, refrigerated dough, and vegetable shortenings all contain trans fats, which are artificial fats that increase LDL levels while simultaneously decreasing HDL levels. 

Manage Stress

woman doing yoga in the sunlight

Chronic stress has been linked to higher LDL levels and lower HDL levels. Therefore, managing your stress levels can also help to improve your cholesterol levels. Exercise is an ideal way to manage stress, however meeting with friends, reading, yoga, or breathing exercises can also be helpful. 

Cook Differently

When cooking, try to use healthy oils in place of shortening, butter, or unhealthy oils, as well as fat-free broths. You can also flavor your food with herbs, spices, and lemon juice instead of artificial flavorings. Finally, baking, broiling, or steaming foods is much healthier than frying them. 

Medications or Supplements

As a final note, you may want to consider speaking with your doctor about using certain medications or supplements to help improve your cholesterol levels. Some supplements that have been found to lower cholesterol include fish oil, psyllium, and coenzyme Q10. However, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine which option is best for you. 

Amrendra Kumar, MD

Dr Kumar is a highly skilled physician dedicated to providing gentle and effective care to patients of all ages and medical conditions. He achieved his degree in a field that he is passionate about. He believes that excellent health begins with education and has made his mission to enlighten patients to ways they can take greater control over their health. Dr Kumar is committed to continuing education activities and remaining aware of the latest advancements in Medical Science to maintain current high standards of care.

May 27th is National Senior Health & Fitness Day where over 100,000 seniors will participate in fitness activities across the United States. The ultimate goal of this day is to keep seniors healthy and fit, as well as to encourage them to start an appropriate exercise routine. Exercise benefits people of all ages, however there may be differences in the types of exercises performed depending on age and mobility. 

The ideal exercise program is composed of cardio, strength training, and balance. Here are a few senior-friendly exercises within these categories: 

senior male hiking

Walking

It is recommended to walk 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly 5 miles. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go on a 5 mile walk everyday. Even things like walking through the grocery store or around your house count towards your daily step totals. Taking the stairs is another easy way to get in more steps, while also strengthening your muscles and practicing balance. In order to keep track of your steps, you can purchase a cheap pedometer or even use an app on your cell phone. 

Swimming

Another great exercise for seniors is swimming. Swimming helps to strengthen your muscles, heart, and lungs all while minimizing the amount of impact your bones and joints endure. For this reason, swimming is especially beneficial for people who have arthritis, osteoporosis, or old injuries that make other types of exercise difficult. 

Cycling

If swimming isn’t really your thing, but you are still looking for a low-impact exercise, then cycling may be perfect for you. Like swimming, cycling is a cardiovascular exercise that strengthens your muscles without straining your joints. 

Use a chair for core exercises

An easy way to strengthen your core muscles without exhausting yourself is to use a chair. Start by sitting at the edge of the chair with your feet on the floor, chest up, and shoulders back. Then, keep your hips in the same place, but move your upper body backwards so that your shoulders touch the back of the chair, then return to your starting position. This will help engage your core muscles without placing too much strain on your back or other structures. 

Safe Squats

Squatting exercises your leg muscles and can reduce the need for ambulatory devices like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. However, it is important that you squat safely by using the correct technique. To safely squat, push your hips back so that you are sticking out your bottom and then bend your knees. To keep your squat safe, don’t push yourself to go too far and keep your knees behind your toes. If you are unsure about how to safely squat, you may want to schedule an appointment for a professional to instruct you. 

A group of senior women doing resistance band workout

Using Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are elastic bands that have varying levels of resistance. They are used in coordination with specific exercises that help strengthen certain muscles. Resistance bands are also affordable and can be easily used in the comfort of your own home. 

As you can see, there are a variety of exercises available for seniors that are both effective and safe. With that being said, you may want to discuss these options with your doctor to determine which would work best for you. Additionally, working with a professional such as a personal trainer or physical therapist may also be beneficial to help you establish a workout routine that is beneficial to your needs. 

Amrendra Kumar, MD

Dr Kumar is a highly skilled physician dedicated to providing gentle and effective care to patients of all ages and medical conditions. He achieved his degree in a field that he is passionate about. He believes that excellent health begins with education and has made his mission to enlighten patients to ways they can take greater control over their health. Dr Kumar is committed to continuing education activities and remaining aware of the latest advancements in Medical Science to maintain current high standards of care.

During the month of May, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is celebrating National Osteoporosis Month. The name osteoporosis literally translates to “porous bones” and is a bone disease characterized by a dramatic reduction in bone density. Unfortunately, the more porous the bones are, the more fragile they become. This can ultimately lead to fractures from the simplest things, like coughing. 

Contrary to popular belief, osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging and keeping your bones healthy can help decrease the chances of it developing. Here are some things you can do throughout your lifetime to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life: 

Watch Your Diet

leafy green vegetables

Calcium, vitamin D, and protein are all important dietary elements to maintain your bone health and prevent osteoporosis. In most cases, eating a healthy and balanced diet is enough to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of these nutrients. However in some cases, you may need to supplement calcium or vitamin D. Your doctor can help you determine if you need to make dietary changes or take supplements. 

Some foods that encourage bone health include: 

Exercise

woman lifting weights

Another way to maintain bone health is to strengthen your bones through exercise, specifically weight-bearing and resistance exercises. Weight-bearing exercises are those that make you carry your own body weight and include walking, running, dancing, and hiking to name a few. Resistance exercises are those that use weights, elastic bands, or water to act as an opposing force to strengthen muscles and bones. To keep your bones healthy, it is recommended to do a combination of these exercises at least 3-4 days a week. 

Some exercises that are recommended for bone health include: 

Be Aware of the Risk Factors

There are certain risk factors that may increase your odds of developing osteoporosis. Therefore, it is important to be aware of these risk factors so that you can speak with your doctor about specific preventive measures. These include: 

Overall, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are two important aspects that you can control to minimize your risk. Additionally, being aware of your specific risk factors is another way to take preventative measures. While some risk factors can be controlled, others may be out of your control. However, you can speak with your doctor about preventative measures you can take to address your specific risk factors. 

Amrendra Kumar, MD

Dr Kumar is a highly skilled physician dedicated to providing gentle and effective care to patients of all ages and medical conditions. He achieved his degree in a field that he is passionate about. He believes that excellent health begins with education and has made his mission to enlighten patients to ways they can take greater control over their health. Dr Kumar is committed to continuing education activities and remaining aware of the latest advancements in Medical Science to maintain current high standards of care.

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