Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Osteoporosis

X-ray showing a the proximal portion of a frac...
Image via Wikipedia

What It Is

Osteoporosis, derived from the Latin for porous bones, is a progressive condition that diminishes the mass (mineral content) of bones and weakens their structure, making them highly susceptible to fracture. Half of postmenopausal women, and up to one in eight older men, will suffer a fracture as a result of osteoporosis. No single measure is sufficient to prevent the disorder, but a combination of supplements and lifestyle changes can be effective in limiting damage.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become weaker and more likely to break. And what’s worse, you may not even feel it happening.

How do your bones get weaker? Your bones are living tissue. They constantly renew themselves with cells that build bone and cells that take away bone. With osteoporosis, your bones lose density, making them weaker and more likely to fracture.

……...

To get an inside look at the effects of osteoporosis, the pictures  below is to explain the difference between healthy bones and osteoporotic (or weak) bones.

Because your bones are living tissue,they are constantly renewing themselves.However when the cells are taken away bone work faster than the cells that built bone, that can cause bone loss. And over the time,it can lead to osteoporosis.

…………………>normal_cells_image.Between healthy bones and osteoporotic bone, there is osteopenic bone (low bone mass). This occurs which bone mass is just below normal, but not quiet osteoporotic. And that means your bones are weakening and loosing mass- a condition that may eventually lead to                           osteoporosis.>.cell_image2- Osteopenia.When the normal bone is viewed under microscope, parts of it  look like a honeycomb. But if you have osteroporosis, the space inside the honeycomb become longer. That means you are loosing bone density.and you get osteoporosis->cell_image3-Osteoporosis

What Causes It

The decline in estrogen after menopause is directly related to the dramatic rise of osteoporosis in older women. This hormone assists the body in absorbing calcium and keeps the bones strong. (Older men experience osteoporosis as well; but because they have denser bones, bone loss is generally less severe.) Lack of regular weight-bearing exercise is another risk factor, as is a diet low in calcium and other nutrients necessary for optimal bone production. Your risk of osteoporosis is also higher if you’re small boned (white and Asian women tend to be small boned), underweight, or postmenopausal; if you have a family history of osteoporosis; or if you’ve taken steroids or anticonvulsants for long periods.

Symptoms

The first sign can be dramatic: a severe backache or a fracture (often of the spine, hip, or wrist.
Other classic symptoms include a gradual loss of height accompanied by the initially subtle development of a stooped posture (dowager’s hump).
Dental X rays may detect early osteoporosis by revealing bone loss in the jaw.

To get better knowledge about Osteoporosis and to learn how we can try to escape from it, we may visit these sites:

Aerobics for Your Bones
Arming Yourself Against Osteoporosis

Better Late than Never
Breaking the Bad News
Can Birth Control Pills Weaken Your Bones?

Exercise Today Keeps Osteoporosis Away
Extra A Not Acceptable

Maintain Strong Bones with Exercise

Treatment options- Latest Advances Trustworthy, Current Report
Natural Calcium Suppliment

Supplement Recommendations

Calcium
Vitamin D
Magnesium
Boron
Vitamin C
Zinc/Copper
Manganese

Click to learn more about Osteoporosis

BBC NEWS on Osteoporosis

You may click to see->
New treatment for osteoporosis :

Risedronate Reduces Hip Fracture Risk in Elderly Osteoporotic Women

Once a year osteoporosis jab reduces fractures and saves lives

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements
Categories
Herbs & Plants

Black Cohosh: An Effective Natural Remedy for Menopausal Symtpoms

[amazon_link asins=’B00CQ7PXXE,B000GG874Y,B01348A8XS,B00016WXJY,B01N9XMZ1A,B0009ET9VI,B004IMIFLM,B004GLCX4A,B00F1J75GC’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5c9699a3-874b-11e7-825d-61e23fbccdaf’]

Black cohosh, Black bugbane or Black snakeroot; syn. Actaea racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa is a member of the family Ranunculaceae, native to eastern North America from the extreme south of Ontario south to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas.

CLICK & SEE

It is a glabrous herbaceous perennial plant, growing 0.75-2.5 m tall. The basal leaves are up to 1 m long and broad, tripinnately compound, the leaflets with a coarsely toothed margin. The flowers are produced in late spring and early summer on a tall stem in racemes up to 50 cm long; they have no petals or sepals, only a tight cluster of 55-110 white stamens 5-10 mm long surrounding the white stigma. The flowers have a distinctly sweet smell. The fruit is a dry follicle 5-10 mm long containing several seeds.

Although Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is similarly named, it is actually a plant in a separate genus.

click to see the pictures.>.…(1).……..(2)……..(3)..…...(4)……..(5)..……
Uses:
Black cohosh has been included in herbal compounds or dietary supplements marketed to women as remedies for the symptoms of premenstrual tension, menopause and other gynecological problems. However, a recent study published in Annals of Medicine (December 19, 2006)casts serious doubt on its efficacy. The researchers actually found black cohosh slightly less effective than a placebo and concluded that the herb “shows little potential as an important therapy for relief of vasomotor symptoms.” However, that study used a product that contained 5 mgs of the active component a day whereas the current daily recommended dose of the long-used standard Remifemin contains 2 mgs. The American Botanical Council discusses that study.

It was thought that black cohosh contained estrogen-like chemicals, but recent research suggests that it works by binding to serotonin receptors. Native Americans used black cohosh to treat gynecological disorders and other disorders as well, including sore throats, kidney problems, and even depression.

Black cohosh has been used as an abortifacient.

History and Claims
This herbal goes by many names. These include: Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga Racemosa, Squaw Root, Rattle Snake Root and Black Snake Root. It does NOT go by the name Snake Root, this is an unrelated herbal–Aristolochia Serpentaria. If a woman chooses to use it, she will most likely buy it under its brand name of Remifemin. This comes in drops or tablets.

Black Cohosh has been used by Native Americans, Europeans, and Chinese for centuries.

Native Americans used it for a wide variety of female problems. They used it to restore normal menstrual function, to return a woman to her pre-pregnancy state after birth, and for menopause. It has been described as “hormone-like” and a mild euphoric by some. It has scientific evidence to support its effect on improving blood pressure. In addition, it has many claims that were not investigated for the purposes of this article. These claims include: its use as an astringent, an anti-diarrheal, a water pill, and a cough suppressant/expectorant. It is also believed to improve heart rate, increase sweating, and be an antidote to rattlesnake poison.

Garden use:
Cimicifuga racemosa grows in dependably moist, fairly heavy soil. It bears tall tapering racemes of white midsummer flowers on wiry black-purple stems, whose mildly unpleasant, medicinal smell at close range gives it the common name ‘Bugbane’. The drying seed heads stay handsome in the garden for many weeks. Its burgundy, deeply cut leaves add interest to American gardens, wherever summer heat and drought do not make it die back, which make it a popular garden perennial.
Chemistry and Pharmacology of Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga Racemosa or Reminfemin):
It is classified as a phytoestrogen. It is from the plant family N.O. Ranunculaceae. The active components of the natural form include: acetin, cimicifugioside, acetylacteal, 27-deoxyactin, cimigenol, deoxyacetylateal. The processed forms also include isoterulic and salicylic acid (the main ingredient is aspirin).

It is not known exactly how it works. But studies on animals and women have shown that its various components act on the hormonal system in at various levels. Some do bind to estrogen receptors in the body. It causes LH, but not FSH suppression. (Estrogens cause both to be suppresed, when they both rise they are signs of menopause) . Some studies have found it to cause an increase in vaginal epithelium that is superior to estrogen replacment.

The Scientific Evidence For Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga Racemosa or Reminfemin) For Menopausal Symptom Relief:
Most of the studies done used the Remifemin version of the herb. Many of the studies were done by the manufacturer of Remifemin.

Studies compared Black Cohosh to Estrogen Replacement (for physical and psychological symptoms) and valium (for psychological only), and to women not taking anything. In more than one study, black cohosh has been found to improve a myriad of physical and mood symptoms in the menopausal women who took it. Women who took it did as well as those who took estrogen or valium, and better than those who took nothing.

Black Cohosh was not found to cause any of the side effects commonly associated with hormone replacement. While it is reported that nausea and vomiting can be due to overdose, no evidence of discontinuation due to side effects was found. Over 93% of women in one study reported no side effects.

Black Cohosh is not associated with increased breast cancer rates, nor dysfunctional uterine bleeding. It is not habit-forming. It does not interact with other medications. It is considered non-toxic.
Side effects:
Black cohosh should not be used during pregnancy or lactation. There is a case report of neurological complications in a postterm baby after labor induction with a mixture of black cohosh and blue cohosh (Caullophylum thalictroides) during a home birth. Other cases of adverse outcomes experienced by neonates born to women who reportedly used blue cohosh to induce labor have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Black cohosh produces endometrial stimulation. Since black cohosh increases blood flow to the pelvic area, its use is not recommended during menses as it may increase or prolong bleeding. Because of the possible estrogenic action, it should be used with caution after six months. Additionally, black cohosh contains tannin, which inhibits iron absorption. This, considered with possible effects of enhancing menstrual bleeding, gives good cause to monitor iron stores when taking black cohosh.

No studies have been published on long-term safety in humans. However concerns arise that, in humans, because of its estrogen-like effects, long-term use may promote metastasis of estrogen-sensitive cancer tissue via stimulation of cells in the endometrium or breast. Black cohosh increased metastasis of cancer to the lungs (but did not cause an increased incidence of breast cancer) in an experiment done on mice (which was never published and the lung tumors were never biopsied, just observed.)

The liver damage reported in a few individuals using black cohosh has been severe, but large numbers of women have taken the herb for years without reporting adverse health effects. See the NIH link above for thorough discussion of the liver issue. While studies of black cohosh have not proven that the herb causes liver damage, Australia has added a warning to the label of all products containing black cohosh, stating that it may cause harm to the liver of some individuals and should not be used without medical supervision.

Aside from pregnancy complications, increased menstrual bleeding, anemia, and rare but serious hepatic dysfunction, reported direct side-effects also include dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, and occasional gastric discomfort. Additional possible side effects include headaches, seizures, vomiting, sweating, constipation, low blood pressure, slow heartbeats, weight gain, and loss of bone mass (leading to osteoporosis).

Using Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga Racemosa or Reminfemin) For Menopausal Symptom Relief:
As mentioned Remifemin is the processed and packaged version and the one most studied. It comes in liquid (take 40 drops, two times a day) or tablets (take 2 tablets twice a day). Other regimens include: the fluid extract U.S.P — 15 to 30 drops, the fluid extract B.P. — 5 to 30 drops, tincture U.S.P. — 1 drachm, tincture B.P. — 15 to 60 drops, Cimicifugin — 1 to 6 grains, and powdered extract, U.S.P. — 4 grains.

Results have been found in as little as four weeks of use, but six to eight was more common. Twelve weeks is the point were a woman might discontinue the herb if it hasn’t worked by that time. While there is no documentation of adverse effects with long-term use, this practice has not been closely studied. Therefore, some have suggested a 6 month limit on its usage.

Help taken from :www.estronaut.com and en.wikipedia.org

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Healthy Tips

Menopause

[amazon_link asins=’B075MK25DQ,0553386727,B010FX50GA,0062447289,0446614955,B0053X8WDQ,B00860XNOQ,0848746759,B0039UT7DE’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’863e1c53-db55-11e7-935a-6df99deeb177′]

Menopause or climacteric was considered the end   for many women. Their reproductive years were over Numerous pregnancies, hard work and a poor diet took their toll, and only a few women lived into their sixties or seventies.

click & see

This, however, is no longer true. Life expectancy of women in India has increased. This has spawned a whole new generation of  who spend almost half their life after menopause.

Regular menstruation and reproduction is controlled by the pituitary gland and involves periodic release of eggs from the ovaries. It is mediated by pituitary and ovarian hormones released in the correct proportions.

During menopause, the levels of the pituitary hormones, LH (luteinising hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) rise while the levels of the ovarian hormones, oestrogen and progesterone fall. Eggs are no longer released and the woman ceases to menstruate or be fertile.

Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation for a year. It usually occurs between the ages of 41 and 55 years. Menopause often occurs when the woman is already finding life difficult as her children have grown up and left the house and her husband is busy with his career.

Some women sail blissfully through menopause without missing a beat, whereas in others the altered hormone levels makes them symptomatic. Extraneous social factors often aggravate the symptoms.

Typically they complain of   hot flushes.  This is a sensation of heat and burning which starts in the chest, progresses upwards and lasts a few minutes. It is followed by drenching sweats or chills. The flushes may occur several times a day or just a few times a month. They cause sleep disturbances, irritability, mood swings, headaches and memory loss. The result is the stereotyped unreasonable, ill-tempered postmenopausal woman.

click & see

The hormonal changes slow down the metabolism and weight may slowly creep upwards. The skin may also become thin and dry producing itching. Libido may be altered. Vaginal dryness may make sex painful and unpleasant.

Some of the symptoms of menopause may be mimicked by other medical conditions such as thyroid or pituitary malfunctions, or simply weight gain that seems to be a common feature during middle age.

Absence of menstruation may be due to pregnancy. Approaching menopause is heralded by changing menstrual patterns in an older woman.

During the time of menopause :

* Have a complete gynaecological evaluation including a pap smear for cervical cancer.

* Have a baseline mammogram. If it is normal, repeat it every three years. In the interim, perform breast self examinations once a month

* Rule out other medical problems like hypertension, diabetes and lipid abnormalities.

Once menopause has set in:

* Keep yourself busy. Develop new interests, have a hobby, learn something new.

* Weight should be maintained within normal limits. BMI (Body Mass Index — weight in kg divided by height in metre squared) should be as close to 25 as possible. The waist should be 34 inches or less.

* Prevent osteoporosis by doing 45 minutes of aerobic exercises like jogging or fast walking every day. Calcium supplements are also needed as diet is often deficient. A bone density test can be done to determine if alendrolate or raloxifene is needed in addition to calcium.

* Keep the muscles strong by doing muscle strengthening exercises using a “baby” dumbbell weighing ½ to 1 kg. Strong muscles help to maintain balance and prevent falls and injuries.

* Maintain flexibility with regular stretches and yoga.

*To tackle hot flushes, dress in cotton and other natural fabrics. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol as it aggravates hot flushes.

* Creams containing oestrogen (Premarin Evalon) are safe and can be applied locally in the vagina to overcome dryness, itching and pain during intercourse. They should not be used if there is undiagnosed post menopausal vaginal bleeding.

HRT (hormone replacement therapy) was very popular and widely prescribed. It was assumed that by tackling the deficiency of oestrogen with tablets, all the symptoms and ill effects of menopause would disappear. HRT does help in women who have severe hot flushes. But it should not be continued for more than six months because after that, the risks and side effects may out weigh the benefits.

The symptoms of menopause are apparently less among Japanese and Chinese women. Although this may be cultural, it has been attributed to the consumption of soya, which contains the plant oestrogens called phytoestrogens. Soya is now one of the natural products recommended to control the symptoms of menopause. Soya products can be consumed as chunks, nuggets, flakes, flour, tofu or milk.

Natural supplements with extracts of black cohosh, ginseng and other herbal products are also believed to be beneficial. But they should be taken only after consulting a physician.

Menopause is inevitable but it can be tackled.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

Categories
News on Health & Science

Obesity Is Found to Make Ovarian Cancer Deadlier

 

[amazon_link asins=’B01FL1IA0O,B073WKCL8P,0897936434,B014K2VNE0,B01BJ4WZ9O,B01C94RMCI,B072VRWX6W,B072283ZWY,B01F9A34K8′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’68e2fdab-6d5a-11e7-9250-9fb39c521034′]Obesity makes ovarian cancer more deadly, a new study reports. Obese women with advanced ovarian cancer have a shorter time to recurrence and a shorter overall survival time than women of ideal weight — and not because obese people often have other medical problems. Obesity itself, the researchers suggest, is the problem……...CLICK & SEE

Ovarian cancer is fairly common. ”About one in 60 American women will develop ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Andrew J. Li, the senior author of the study, a faculty physician at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Each year, about 20,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 15,000 women die of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

It is well known that obesity is associated with various malignancies, including kidney, throat, breast and colon cancers. Findings about obesity and ovarian cancer have been somewhat less clear, the researchers say, but evidence from previous studies suggests that obesity predicts a worse outcome for ovarian cancer patients as well.

The scientists wanted to know whether excess fat, apart from any other health problems it might cause, had direct effects on tumor growth. They reviewed the medical records of 216 patients at Cedars-Sinai who had surgery for epithelial ovarian cancer. The data included information on height, weight, age and any other diseases. The cause of death was presumed to be cancer related if the patient had advanced recurrent disease at the time of death.

Half the patients had ideal weight, with a body mass index from 18.5 to 24.9, and 8 percent had a B.M.I. of less than 18.5, considered underweight. Twenty-six percent were overweight, with indexes exceeding 25, and 16 percent were obese, with indexes higher than 30.

The overweight and obese differed little from normal and underweight people in age or in health status, except that they had more hypertension and diabetes.

But among patients with Stage III or Stage IV disease, the most advanced stages, those with B.M.I.’s greater than 25 survived disease free for an average of 17 months, compared with 25 months for people with indexes lower than 25.

For each increase of one unit in the index, the researchers found a 4 percent increase in the risk of recurrence and a 5 percent increase in the risk of death.

This ”dose response” effect strongly suggests that obesity alone is responsible for the decreased survival time, Dr. Li said.

The researchers acknowledge that their study, published yesterday in the journal Cancer, has certain weaknesses.

They found that a slightly lower dose of chemotherapy relative to body surface was given to obese patients, and it is possible that this underdosing may have had a role.

In addition, fluid in the body cavity, a symptom of the disease, may have artificially increased the B.M.I. of some patients. And it is possible that other diseases like hypertension and diabetes, more prevalent among the obese, could have decreased survival among those patients.

The study was also limited by its retrospective method and small sample population.

The researchers said they believed that it was unlikely that those factors could have accounted for the decreased overall survival time of obese women. More likely, they said, is that the presence of fat tissue encourages tumor growth or increases resistance to treatment.

”There may be some factor secreted by adipose tissue that makes tumors less sensitive to chemotherapy,” Dr. Li said, referring to fat tissue. ”We have some ideas, and we’re working on looking at those factors now.”

Dr. Li said obesity did not increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer, but did affect the chance of survival when a person developed it.

”Reducing obesity and maintaining an ideal body weight,” he said, ”is important for many reasons. This is just one more health problem in which obesity plays a role.”

Source:The New York Times