Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the blood, tissues, and urine. Accumulating uric acid crystallizes and takes on a needle-like shape, jabbing into the joints (usually the big toe, but also other joints, including those of the mid-foot, ankle, knees, … Read More
Bones & Joints
Bones and joints become vulnerable to wear and tear as we age. Treatments range from pain relievers and physical therapy to joint replacement.
More than 52 million adults, many of them over 65, live with arthritis. About half of them are limited in their activities. Arthritis is a degenerative condition in which the joints—the cushioning surfaces between bones—wear away. Typical arthritis symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion.
Arthritis comes in many forms, including degenerative osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease), and psoriatic arthritis. In psoriatic arthritis, not only do the joints swell up, but red, scaly patches called plaques also form on the skin. Gout is another type of arthritis that’s caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid forms into crystals that congregate in the joints—most often in the big toe—causing pain and swelling. A number of medications are available to treat arthritis pain and inflammation.
With time, bones become weaker, more brittle, and could fracture. The early stage of bone loss is called osteopenia, and it affects about half of Americans over age 50. Doctors can determine the amount of bone loss with a bone mineral density (BMD) test. Results are expressed as a T-score, which is based on a comparison with the bones of a healthy 30-year old. People with normal bone density have a T-score that is within 1 standard deviation (SD) of a 30-year old’s score. A score 1 to 2.5 SD below a young adult’s (-1 to -2.5 SD) is considered low bone mass, or osteopenia. Osteoporosis is diagnosed in anyone with a score of -2.5 SD or lower. People with osteoporosis need to take medicines such as bisphosphonates to strengthen their bones and prevent fractures.
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According to the World Health Organization, osteoporosis poses a greater disease threat than that of hypertension (high blood pressure) and breast cancer. Yet, the factors behind what causes osteoporosis rarely get the attention they deserve.
Nonetheless, deterioration of the bones and increased risk of fractures is a huge health threat in the Western … Read More
Many women and men diagnosed with osteoporosis are immediately prescribed prescription drugs which, they discover sooner or later, can have difficult-to-tolerate side effects as well as frightening long-term risks. Can osteoporosis be reversed? This realization leads many individuals with osteoporosis to ask, “Can osteoporosis be reversed without drugs?” Unfortunately, there … Read More
What is spinal stenosis? It’s a condition in which the spinal canal narrows due to:
A herniated disc that encroaches on the spinal canal from the front
Thickened ligaments that encroach on the canal from both sides.
A narrowed spinal canal impedes the blood supply to the nerves, causing pain. Bending forward increases … Read More
Over the years, several studies have shown that the incidence of osteoporosis in Europe is lower in the Mediterranean region. It is hypothesized that the traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables… … Read More
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a potentially debilitating form of arthritis that affects more than 1.3 million Americans and 1 percent of the population worldwide. The condition is considered an autoimmune disease because instead of protecting the body by making it immune to outside forces, it attacks healthy tissue for unknown … Read More
Calcium is an essential component of a person’s body chemistry. Almost all of it is in our bones and teeth, providing both with strength. The rest is present throughout tissues, organs, and cells. Almost every cell in our body uses calcium in some way. But collections of these tiny crystals—calcium … Read More
You already know that eating lots of refined sugar can cause weight gain. But, did you know that sugar consumption also impacts the health of your bones? The answer to the question, “Why is Sugar Bad for You?” may surprise you! … Read More
Despite its name, pseudogout is real. It’s not gout, but there’s good reason it’s called “false gout.” Like gout, pseudogout is inflammatory arthritis caused by an excess of crystals in the joint fluid. And, like gout, it hurts, leaving your joint swollen and red. While gout is often triggered by … Read More