What your bones want to tell you
If your bones could talk, they would first say they
are living things that respond to diet and exercise by becoming
Until age 20 and up to age 30, bone mass accumulates
and grows, peaking in the third decade of life. After that, your bones
would say it's up to you to keep them strong. If you don't, bone mass
will decrease, year by year, for the rest of your life.
No matter what your age, regular weight-bearing
exercises can not only prevent the loss but can make bones stronger.
They include walking and exercising with hand weights.
Calcium and vitamin D are important factors in bone
strength. Adults generally should aim for at least 1,000 milligrams of
calcium a day. Add 1,000 International Units of vitamin D from food or
supplements. You can't absorb calcium without vitamin D.
Your spine would have a lot to say, especially when
it's hurting. It would tell you that its natural curve is a figure 8. As
far as the upper back is concerned, your posture is important. If you
stand round-shouldered and let your stomach sag, the upper back pays a
When the lower back is tight and hurting, other parts
of the body might be responsible. The American Physical Therapy
Association says almost all of the leg's thigh muscles are attached to
the pelvis, which is interlocked with the spine. If thigh muscles don't
keep the pelvis stabilized, the spine is prone to shifting. Lower back
muscles become overworked and cause pain.
Stretching and strengthening thigh and hip flexor
muscles can help to keep the spine in shape and pain free.
Food allergy sufferers rearrange their lives
Eight foods cause 90 percent of all food allergic
reactions. They are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy
People often blame wheat for their intestinal
trouble, but if you suspect pasta, bread, and crackers are making you
sick, you might have gluten intolerance.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, gas, bloating and
diarrhea. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is
in grain-based products such as cereal, bread and beer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, simple gluten
intolerance is not actually a food allergy, but it can cause
Serious gluten intolerance is called celiac disease.
In this case, gluten triggers the body's immune system. For that reason,
it's considered an autoimmune disease. It is often genetic, which means
it runs in families, and it has serious implications.
Peanut and shellfish allergies
Allergies to some foods, such as peanuts, can be very
dangerous, ranging from a minor irritation to a life-threatening
reaction called anaphylaxis.
Food allergies cause 30,000 cases of anaphylaxis a
year, requiring 2,000 hospitalizations and causing 150 deaths.
Shellfish allergies can also cause anaphylaxis. They
may be to only certain kinds of shellfish or to all shellfish. The
category includes marine animals with shells, such as clams, lobster and
shrimp, as well as octopus and squid.
Dining out can be a challenge that begins with
careful questioning of restaurant staff about dinner ingredients.
Going to a buffet or sit-down dinner party can be a
problem for the same reason. Some people bring their own food, which may
offend the hostess. Some decline such invitations or attend without
eating. Food allergies can be socially isolating.
When traveling, people with food allergies often solve the dining
problem by staying in a place where they can cook their own meals.
Take your medicine...carefully
To get well or stay well, patients should have prescriptions filled
and take them according to the directions. But the Community Pharmacists
Association says often that doesn't happen.
49 percent forget to take it
39 percent forgot they took it and took it again
31 percent did not fill a prescription
29 percent stopped taking the medication before the supply ran out
18 percent took someone else's prescription
11 percent received a prescription but substituted an over-the-counter drug
8 percent didn't understand how to take the medication
6 percent took more than .
If everyone took their medicine as prescribed, more people would get
well and their conditions wouldn't turn into something worse.