Signs And Symptoms Of Osteoporosis Detection And Screening

The usual signs of osteoporosis are repeated fractures, often due to minor accidents. Diagnosing osteoporosis is done with a bone mineral density DEXA scan.

Osteoporosis occurs when minerals are lost from the bones. This reduction in bone mineral density (BMD) weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. The condition is most common in post-menopausal women, 40% of whom are likely to suffer an osteoporotic bone fracture at some time after the age of 50 years.

Signs of Osteoporosis

Osteoporotic fractures can occur following a relatively minor fall or other accident. Any bone can be affected, but breakages are most common in the vertebrae of the spine, the forearm and wrist, and the hip. A particular type of wrist fracture known as a Colles fracture is common in people with osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis does not cause pain in itself; however, back pain can become a problem for people who have suffered a fractured vertebra, especially if osteoarthritis develops at the site of the injury. Repeated vertebral fractures can cause deformities of the spine (formerly called a dowagers hump or hunchback), while compression of osteoporotic vertebrae may lead to loss of height.

Diagnosing Osteoporosis – Bone Mineral Density and DEXA

Osteoporosis is generally diagnosed only after an osteoporotic fracture has already occurred. The diagnosis is usually considered when a patient in a high-risk group (e.g. a post-menopausal woman) sees her doctor with a fracture at one of the typical sites.

The doctor may request blood tests to check the levels of substances involved in bone remodelling, and an X-ray to look for evidence of other fractures. A definite diagnosis of osteoporosis needs a measure of BMD, however, and this is provided by an examination called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA or DXA).

In DEXA, the patient is exposed to two doses of X-rays of different energies. The amount of energy absorbed as the X-rays pass through the body differs between the two doses and between soft tissues and bone, and this information is analysed by a computer to calculate the BMD of the bones of interest. This is expressed as a value called a T score, with cut-off points for normal bone, osteoporosis and osteopenia (a BMD intermediate between normal and osteoporosis).

DEXA is widely employed to measure BMD in adults, being inexpensive, easy to use and tested in many studies. Patients are exposed to radiation during the scan, but the dose is low (less than the amount of radiation people receive every day from natural sources). Overall, DEXA is considered a safe technique and the best way to diagnose osteoporosis and monitor its treatment.

Osteoporosis Screening

Although osteoporosis is usually diagnosed after a fracture has occurred, DEXA can be used to screen people in high-risk groups who do not yet show any signs of the condition. In the UK, routine screening of post-menopausal women is currently not recommended, though the situation is under review. The US Preventive Services Task Force suggests that all women over the age of 65 years (or over 60 years if they have risk factors for osteoporosis) should have a DEXA test, though how often the scan should be repeated is unclear.

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What Is Family Dentistry?

What does a family dentist do?

A family dentist takes care of the dental health and oral hygiene of his patients. There are dentists who limit their practice to patients belonging to a certain age group. A pedodontist, for example, provides oral care and treatment only to young children. A family dentist provides dental services for a broad range of patients, from kids to patients over 60. He provides the services necessary to reduce plaque buildup, fill cavities, prevent tooth decay, and keep gums healthy.

Family dentistry is considered to be primarily a preventive field. It offers the first line of defense against dental problems.

A family dentist has extensive training in general dentistry. He has to pass the National Board Dental Examinations before he is conferred as Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery. After receiving his general dentistry education, a dentist may decide to specialize in a particular field by getting postgraduate training. He may also immediately begin his practice as a family or general dentist.

How often should you visit your family dentist?

You should make it a point to visit your family dentist at least twice a year. Your dentist can provide thorough dental checkups, provide prophylaxis to reduce plaque buildup, and to avert tooth decay, and suggest fluoride treatments to strengthen the teeth. These visits ensure that oral health issues are detected long before symptoms of more complicated dental problems arise.

A family dentist can also do a radiograph so he can easily detect cavities. If necessary, he can do dental fillings before the cavities grow bigger and more severe, requiring more complicated restorative procedures like dental crowns or implants, root canals, or extractions.

What are the advantages of going to a family dentist?

When you have a family with members of diverse ages, it is easier for the entire family to see the same dentist. This saves you the time, effort, and cost of having to make a lot of individual appointments with different dentists. You can bring your entire family to the same dentist in one visit. It is convenient, practical, and time-efficient.

How do you decide which family dentist to go to?

Find out about the prospective dentist’s professional experience and credentials. Does he offer excellent dental care? Is his office equipped with the latest equipment and technology? Ask for recommendations. Get feedback from other patients. Confirm reviews. There are many reliable ways to find a qualified family dentist whom you can trust.

It is important that you feel at ease with the family dentist you choose. You should be able to talk comfortably with him, raise your concerns, and discuss your dental problems constructively. It is essential to have a pleasant and productive professional relationship with your family dentist.

It is also helpful to find out if a particular family dentist offers in-house financing. Does his office provide flexible payment options? Some dental procedures and treatments are not covered by insurance. It is prudent to find out options that can help you pay for such services.

RF Skin Tightening for Cellulite Elimination: The Real Score

More and more individuals are resorting to radio frequency (RF) therapy to help tighten the skin and reduce cellulite visibility. This is often taken as part of body contouring and slimming therapies where RF waves are used to “mold” or “sculpt” certain areas of the body to its desired shape. While its use in the management of cellulite has been not without any controversy, it remains one of the most effective ways for “eliminating” cellulite. Or is it?

Cellulite is a multifactorial phenomenon. These are composed of fatty tissues that have been enmeshed in a dense network of fibers. Normally, the muscles of the body are wrapped in fatty connective tissue. These connective tissues are bathed, cleansed, and nourished by the different fluids of the body. Unfortunately, for some reasons, this movement of fluid is compromised leading to the accumulation of waste materials and toxins that clump together to form mass. This forms pockets that are pushed to the outer layers of the skin, forming the characteristic dimpling or bulging seen in cellulite.

Radio frequency therapy works by heating the fatty connective tissues so that these are stimulated to form more collagen. More importantly, the heating process help dilate the blood and lymph vessels found in the region to accomplish two things. First, the improved lymphatic drainage removes accumulated toxins and waste materials from the affected areas and facilitates their removal and elimination from the body. This leads to a reduction in the size of the “pockets” that are formed pushing outwards in the skin. Secondly, the enhanced blood circulation brings in the much needed nutrients and oxygen as well as other essential substances for the normal functioning of the different tissues at the site. Consequently, additional byproducts of metabolism are removed and filtered by the kidneys for excretion as urine.

There is a third function of RF which is directly related to its ability to tighten the skin. RF waves can help shrink the size of the fat cells that are compressing on the muscle tissues. This is achieved by burning the fat cells and have them mobilized to other parts of the body or are sent to the lymph for elimination. When fat cells are shrunk, the bulging or lumping appearance on the skin is greatly reduced, too. As an aid to the shrinking of the size of fat cells, the increased production of collagen also helps firm up the skin. This leads to an overall improvement in cellulite appearance.

If one thinks of RF skin tightening therapy as a permanent cure for cellulite, you might be disappointed learning that it isn’t. It’s effective in reducing cellulite but not forever eliminate it from your body without more proactive measures on your part.

When Food refuses to settle down

Acid reflux is a condition that is very common. But just because it is common does not mean that it is a comfortable condition. When digestion does not take place as it should the contents of your stomach will go back to the esophagus. These contents are highly acidic and are harmful.

Acid reflux is a fairly common condition that occurs when stomach acids and other stomach contents back up into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a muscular ring located in the digestive tract where the esophagus meets the stomach. The LES opens to allow food into the stomach when you swallow, and then closes to prevent stomach contents from rising up into the esophagus. When the LES is weak or damaged it may not close properly. This allows harmful stomach contents to back up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux symptoms.

Now whether the condition is harmless or not there are some instances that develop into something else serious like heartburns. People who suffer from heartburns usually have an awful time after meals. The condition ruins everything and can last for hours. When heartburns become constant it is now a disease.

Heartburn is a discomfort – happening in the esophagus and felt behind the breastbone area – that takes the form of a burning sensation; it generally gets worse when the person lies down or bends over. It can last for several hours and also tends to worsen after eating food.

The burning pain may move up toward the neck and throat; stomach fluid can reach the back of the throat in some cases, producing a bitter or sour taste.

If heartburn occurs regularly – two or more times a week – it is termed gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short. GERD can also have other symptoms, including:

  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Asthma and recurrent pneumonia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Throat problems – soreness, hoarseness, or laryngitis (voice box inflammation)
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain
  • Dental erosion
  • Bad breath

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If the condition is not worse and manageable you can talk to a doctor who will then prescribe the appropriate medication. Some of the medication is inclusive of antacids, medication to allow low acid production, block acid production and heal the esophagus.

Over-the-counter treatments that may help control heartburn include:

  • Antacids that neutralize stomach acid.Antacids, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, Gaviscon, Rolaids and Tums, may provide quick relief. But antacids alone won’t heal an inflamed esophagus damaged by stomach acid. Overuse of some antacids can cause side effects, such as diarrhea or constipation.
  • Medications to reduce acid production.Called H-2-receptor blockers, these medications include cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR) or ranitidine (Zantac). H-2-receptor blockers don’t act as quickly as antacids do, but they provide longer relief and may decrease acid production from the stomach for up to 12 hours. Stronger versions of these medications are available in prescription form.
  • Medications that block acid production and heal the esophagus.Proton pump inhibitors are stronger blockers of acid production than are H-2-receptor blockers and allow time for damaged esophageal tissue to heal. Over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors include lansoprazole (Prevacid 24 HR) and omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid OTC).

Contact your doctor if you need to take these medications for longer than two to three weeks or your symptoms are not relieved.

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