Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis–Maintaining good health

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OA or osteoarthritis is also called degenerative disease of the joints affect the joints of over 27 million Americans This chronic condition of the joints is found to commonly affects the joints in the knees but can affect any joint in the body like the lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.

The joints are covered by cartilage a firm rubbery material which provides a cushion between the bones and allows for a smooth surface to facilitate easy joint movement.

Cause

Genes:

It has been found that can be genetic, persons born with certain traits can make them more likely to develop OA. One such possibility is a rare defect in the body’s ability to produce collagen, the protein that makes up cartilage. Without sufficient collagen can cause osteoarthritis to occur as early as age 20.

How the bones fit together so that cartilage wears away faster than usual is another inherited defect that can cause the early onset of OA.

The gene called FAAH, previously linked to increased pain sensitivity, is found to be higher in people with knee OA than in people who don’t have the disease.

Weight:

Being overweight is also another cause of OA the extra weight  puts additional pressure on hips and knees. And carrying around  extra pounds for a long time can cause the cartilage that cushions joints to break down faster.

Research has shown there is a definite  link between being overweight and having an increased risk of osteoarthritis

Injury and overuse:

Repetitive movements or injuries to joints can have an adverse effect on the joints Athletes sometimes repeatedly damage joints, tendons, and ligaments, which can speed cartilage breakdown.

There are certain careers that can cause the cartilage to wear and tear away faster these would include any profession that requires standing for long periods of time, repetitive bending, heavy lifting or other movements.

Also, imbalance or weakness of the muscles supporting a joint can also lead to altered movement and eventual cartilage breakdown in joints.

.As the OA disease becomes worse over time, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs.

Bits of bone or cartilage may chip off and float around in the joint.causing an inflammatory process whereby and proteins and enzymes develop that further damage the cartilage.

The final stage of OA, the cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone leading to joint damage and more pain.

There is no known cure for osteoarthritis but there are some things we can do to minimize the pain improve joint movement.

 Physical Activity

Even though the thought of physical activity may be the last thing on our minds due to the pain when our joints are moving yet it is one of the most beneficial ways to manage OA. As the saying goes use it or lose it, that makes it more important to get moving.

Studies show that simple activities like walking around the neighborhood or on a treadmill or even taking a fun, easy exercise class can reduce pain and help maintain a healthy weight.

Strengthening exercises build muscles around OA-affected joints, easing the burden on those joints and reducing pain.

Range-of-motion exercise is moving your joints in a different direction and this helps to maintain and improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. Aerobic exercise like cycling helps to improve stamina and energy levels and also help to reduce excess weight. It is best to talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that everyone, including those with arthritis, get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Weight Management

Being obese adds additional stress to weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, feet, and back. Losing weight can significantly help people with OA reduce pain and limit the further joint damage. for losing weight is to Eating fewer calories and increase physical activity is the basic way of losing weight.

Stretching

Slow, gentle stretching of joints may improve flexibility, lessen stiffness and reduce pain.

Pain and Anti-inflammatory Medications

There are different kinds of medications that can help in the relieving of pain in OA patients some can be bought over the counter and there are others that have to be prescribed and or administered by your doctor. They include:

  • Analgesics. called tramadol. They are available over-the-counter or by prescription.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib they are the most commonly used drugs for inflammation and pain. They are available over-the-counter or by prescription.
  • Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids is steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex of vertebrates, or man-made.
  • Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medicines. They are taken by mouth or injected directly into a joint at a doctor’s office.
  • Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in joint fluid and acts as a shock absorber and lubricant. It is also made by bacteria in a lab.
  • However, in people with OA, the acid appears to break down and an injection of synthetic hyaluronic acid is given to the patient. The injections are done in a doctor’s office.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

There are also many ways and  things that Physical and occupational therapists can educate you on, like  the different method you can use to manage your pain including:

  • Ways to properly use joints
  • Heat and cold therapies
  • The range of motion and flexibility exercises
  • Assistive devices

Assistive Devices

Fortunately, there are many devices that can help with our function and mobility. These include items, such as scooters, canes, walkers, splints, shoe orthotics or helpful tools, such as jar openers, long-handled shoe horns or steering wheel grips. Many of these devices can be found at pharmacies and medical supply stores. But some items, such as custom knee braces and shoe wedges are prescribed by a doctor and are typically fitted by a physical or occupational therapist.

Natural and Alternative Therapies

Many people with OA use natural or alternative therapies to address symptoms and improve their overall well-being. These include nutritional supplements, acupuncture or acupressure, massage, relaxation techniques, and hydrotherapy, among others.

Surgery

Joint surgery can repair or replace severely damaged joints, especially hips or knees. A doctor will refer an eligible patient to an orthopedic surgeon to perform the procedure. I think this should be the last option after trying everything else but as usual, your doctor is the best person to advise you.

Positive Attitude

And remember to think and stay positive, many studies have shown that a positive outlook can boost the immune system and increase a person’s ability to handle pain.

Conclusion

In conclusion being diagnosed with osteoarthritis is not the end of the world , yes its painful and yes it can sometimes limit your mobility but we (I say we because I also have been diagnosed with OA) and I can say as a fact-light exercises and stretches is the best medicine for OA there are also natural supplements that I have taken which has helped me that is  Tumeric Curcumin but remember before adding any form of supplement to your diet it is best to consult your Doctor.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post it is greatly appreciated and should you have a question or comment please leave it in the space provided at the bottom of this page and I will get back you ASAP

NOTE:  This post includes affiliate links, which, if clicked on and a product purchased, I get a small commission (with no increase in cost to you).

I have left a link to an easy exercise video from Silver Sneakers hope you

enjoy.

Lateral Step with Band

This fantastic exercise improves hip mobility, which keeps them healthy, strong, and pain-free!#SilverSneakersEOD

Posted by SilverSneakers on Monday, November 19, 2018

 

 

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Aging with Diabetes—Maintaining Good Health

Diabetes disease can affect anyone from any walk of life. However, there are certain groups that are much more susceptible to getting the disease than others.

We are looking at some of the factors that can cause you to be of a  higher risk of developing diabetes. It is a known fact that having extra weight on your body can be the precipitating factor to getting diabetes. Some medical experts believe that having a body that is obese is an indicator of diabetes.

Having a lot of extra weight around the midsection (stomach or waist) is even more of an indication that someone is at risk for the disease. A sedentary lifestyle can also be another problematic issue that can lead to one becoming a diabetic. Aging can be another predisposing factor, starting from age 45 although people over 65 are at an increased risk. If type 2 diabetes runs in your family, there is a strong possibility that diabetic problems could be an issue in your future if you don’t lead a healthy lifestyle.

Also if you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, that could put you at future risk for developing type 2 diabetes. There are also certain ethnic groups that are at a higher risk of developing diabetes  They include people of African descents, Native Americans, Asian and Latinos.

Having high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure can also predispose you to be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. As with most major medical condition, you can do a lot to prevent it by leading a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet and regular exercise.

 Some symptoms that come with the diabetes disease

They include Excessive: thirst One of the first symptoms of diabetes is often excessive thirst that seems unable to quench.

Hunger: You are still hungry all the time even after you have eaten.

Frequent urination: Frequent urination is often noticed because you must wake up repeatedly during the night.

Fatigue: Tiredness and fatigue, possibly severe enough to make you fall asleep unexpectedly after meals, is one of the most common symptoms of diabetes.

Sudden weight loss Rapid and/or sudden weight loss (any dramatic change in weight is a sign to visit a doctor) Get tested if you are concerned.

If diabetes is diagnosed when those symptoms first start appearing, other more serious symptoms of advanced diabetes can often be prevented or have their onset significantly delayed through diet, exercise, and proper blood sugar management.

Other  less recognizable symptoms of diabetes Often the ‘minor’ diabetes symptoms are:

Blurry vision: Blurred vision may occur because diabetes can lead to macular degeneration and eventual blindness.

Numbness: Numbness and/or tingling in the hands and feet may occur due to peripheral neuropathy, one of the diabetes symptoms, causes nerve damage in the extremities) Slow-healing wounds is another telltale  sign

Recurrent yeast infections: Recurrent or hard-to-treat yeast infections in women are another sign of impaired immune function. Dry skin: Dry or itchy skin may result from peripheral neuropathy which affects circulation and proper sweat gland function. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of a regular basis, or you recognize these symptoms in a child or relative, they may be signs of untreated diabetes.

 What happens during aging

As we age, we become aware of the visible signs of aging like our gray hairs and wrinkles, but as we age there are changes throughout the entire body. Our l metabolic rate for example — the amount of energy the body expends at rest — declines with age. It is estimated, our basal metabolism drops by 2% per decade starting as young as age 20. Some researchers believe that this decline is due almost solely to the loss of muscle mass that comes with age.

The body’s ability to process oxygen also declines with age. By some estimates, a person’s ability to process oxygen declines by 60-70% by age 65 (although the decline appears to be less in older people who exercise regularly). Poor lung function, heart function, and blood circulation is among the leading factors that are caused by aging

Aging also causes the body to gradually become less adept at taking up and using glucose from the bloodstream, this condition is known as glucose intolerance, which is the first stage of pre-diabetes and if not checked will become type 2 diabetes.

When a person is very obese the body fat interferes with the muscle ability to use insulin this condition is known as insulin intolerance the body tissues become less and less sensitive to insulin.

The aging process also causes the  mineral content of bones to decline this  process weakens the bones making them more brittle

This condition may also be related to poor nutrition, deficient calcium absorption, inactivity, and, in women, hormonal changes after menopause.

Osteoporosis is caused by brittle or abnormally porous bones and is often the cause of fractures, which can be devastating for older people.

Aging is also of the cause of the cartilage around joints tends to break down and wear away over time, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joints.

It is a noted fact, that about half of people age 65 or older have x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis in at least one joint.

In the United States, where people tend to eat too much of the wrong foods and exercise too little, blood pressure tends to rise with age. Poor diet, inactivity, weight gain, and a slower metabolic rate all set the stage for circulatory problems and cardiovascular disease.

Meanwhile, the visual ability also diminishes. There is difficulty seeing things up close and adjusting to changes in the level of light.

The hearing may become affected as well, the ability to hear sounds in the upper frequencies or to hear distinct sounds when there is a lot of background noise may diminish.

The sense of taste may be affected as well. and certain cognitive abilities, such as spatial ability, reasoning, complex problem solving, and working memory, all tend to decline somewhat with age.

Aging causes the body cells, tissues, and blood vessels become stiff and dysfunctional but with diabetes, the process is accelerated and contribute to diabetes complications, including cardiovascular disease, eye nerve, and kidney disease.

How aging may affect diabetes control

Aging can make diabetes more difficult to control. Not only is the insulin resistance increases and glucose tolerance decreases but the attention and being able to focus on the daily task of keeping healthy like managing our blood sugar and blood pressure levels planning healthy meals as well.

Because many elderly people take multiple drugs, some of which may directly cause hypoglycemia, and some of which may interact with diabetes drugs to cause hypoglycemia.

And with the declining in age a lot of other medical problems may be present such as liver and kidney function and a lack of appetite all this is likely to impede the function of any diabetic medication as well as there may be other medication that is being taken that will work against the diabetic medication

It is therefore important to be under a doctor’s supervision and to constantly monitored by a doctor, The doctor must be made aware of all medication whether it is prescribed or over the counter as one medication can work against another.

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Counteracting the effects of aging — and diabetes

While there is no magic to keep us young, there are a number of steps you can take to counteract some of the debilitating effects of aging — and diabetes. Here are some of those steps:

Pay attention to your numbers

One important measure for ensuring health in later years is controlling blood glucose levels,  and blood pressure this will help in slowing down the effects of aging.

Stay physically active

It is important as we age we remain active as much as possible. Inactivity will cause a decrease in muscle mass, slower metabolism and decrease flexibility

Aerobic exercise, can be very beneficial if done for at least 30 minutes per day and these include running, cycling, swimming, and walking, these have shown to help lower blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Further, over time it increases stamina, aids in weight loss, and helps decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease these can be done in moderation.

Strength training also has numerous benefits as well. It not only helps in reducing a person’s cardiovascular risk by lowering blood pressure, aiding in weight control, and improving cholesterol levels. But by building muscle mass, strength training may also stave off the decline in energy expenditure that led to Type 2 diabetes in the first place.

Even more than aerobic exercise, strength training can increase bone density and help stave off osteoporosis. bone density decreases with age, and one in four women in the United States eventually develops osteoporosis.

Strength training is one means of slowing the disease of osteoporosis. Resistance training may not be able to reverse arthritis, but the stronger the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around a joint are, the less stress, friction, and pain there will be

Exercise can give people a sense of well-being, and it may help alleviate the depression that sometimes accompanies aging and diabetes.

Seeing improvements in the strength of arms and legs and also making everyday activities easier, whether it’s carrying groceries, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of the bathtub improve their sense of well being.

Eat Healthily

Eating a healthy diet is beneficial to everyone but as a diabetic, it is best to eat foods carbohydrates from fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and low-fat or nonfat milk. Choose healthy carbohydrates, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and low-fat milk, fish, skinless chicken and turkey fish, and eggs as part of your diabetes meal plan.

Get A good night rest

Another key to maintaining your vitality throughout life is getting a good night’s sleep. Inadequate sleep not only can lead to feeling listless and unfocused, but it can directly affect your physical health. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance, which can make diabetes more difficult to control and may even raise the risk of heart disease.

Mind your medicines

Take all your medications prescribed by your physician and it is best to make your doctor know if the medication is causing you some negative effect, and get regular checkups

Stay physically and mentally active

stay physically active join a gym or ride a bike or walk in the park or a treadmill dancing is a very good exercise and be mentally active join a reading club start a blog  do puzzles or find a hobby just find something to keep your mind active

Conclusion

Aging is inevitable there is no fountain of youth — there is nothing you can do to turn back the clock. However, you do have some control over how you will spend your twilight years. By doing everything you can to take care of your body and mind, you can help stave off some of the debilitating illnesses associated with age and live a full, meaningful, and energetic and independent life.

Thank you for stopping by and  reading my post  I really do appreciate it hope you found it helpful and informative, and should you have a comment or question please leave it in the place provided at the bottom of this post and I will respond

I have also left a link for some easy from silver sneakers I hope you enjoy them.

Yoga for Beginners: Lunge

You never want to lose the strength to climb stairs. The lunge can help with that!

Posted by SilverSneakers on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NOTE:  This post includes affiliate links, which, if clicked on and a product purchased, I get a small commission (with no increase in cost to you).

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