DR. NATHAN'S HEALTH BLOG

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a brief overview.

Let’s talk about a process that we should think about when we’re young so we can try to prevent unfortunate events as we age.  First, here are a few important definitions.  Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone mass leading to fragility of the bones and increased fracture risk. Osteopenia is its less severe sidekick and sarcopenia is loss of muscle mass.  Fragility fractures refer to hip fractures, wrist fractures and compression fractures of the spine that may occur spontaneously, and occur more frequently in those who have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is responsible for 1.5 million new fractures a year, 0.5 million hospitalizations per year, 800,000 ER visits per year and 180,000 nursing home visits per year. Bones are not static – they are constantly forming and remolding. In childhood and in our teens we have more bone forming activity, in our 20s, 30s and 40s this activity between bone formation and

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That Little Black Dress

Weight loss is often driven by the desire to fit into “that little black dress”, a pair of designer jeans or to look sleek and toned in in your new athletic ware. Many may have aspirations that range from having a BMI of 17 (average BMI of a runway model), or looking like a young wide receiver on the cover of a glitzy sports magazine. These unfortunately often are unrealistic and unattainable targets leading to disappointments and have no positive outcomes. Others who are more “practical” (me included) think of getting to their “ideal body weight”, i.e. what they weighed when they got married (ha-ha, most of us weighed the least then), or the lowest we have been in our adult lives. This too often is difficult to achieve by most and we stop trying after preliminary trials and lack of immediate results. There is a multibillion dollar industry supporting

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Nutrition Blog 1: Challenges and controversies in Nutritional Science

This series of blogs, based on the strong research done by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, will serve to provide recently discovered information on Nutrition and to dispel common myths on its relationship to Cardiologic health. For decades, it has been known that a well-rounded, heart-healthy diet is vital for the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, or ASCVD, which includes coronary death, nonfatal myocardial infection, as well as fatal or non-fatal stroke. What is the reason for the confusion? There are several challenges to setting a scientific evidence base when it comes to nutrition, mostly due to the inter-weaving functions and effects of nutrients, the correlation of healthy behaviors such as exercise and activity and good dietary habits. To compound this, there is a lot of hype in the media and books about miracle diets and there is a lot of data without accompanying facts. Evidence about

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Food Banking: How to Prevent Food Waste

“You waste life when you waste good food” – Katherine Anne Porter Not a soul would go to bed hungry, if we do not waste the food we grow. The food and agriculture organisation (FAO) states that one-third of food produced for human consumption worldwide is annually lost or wasted. That accounts to 1.3 billion tonnes of food that can be used to alleviate hunger. The reasons for food loss or waste may be due to ● failure to harvest ● post-harvest loss ● Overproduction ● processing ● marketing and ● other business decisions. The wasted food produces methane gas, a greenhouse gas,when it rots in landfills. This gas has 20 times heat trapping capacity as carbon dioxide and harms our air, water and earth. Environmentalists are also keen on fighting food waste that contributes to the climate change – a serious problem potentially threatening the existence of mankind. So,

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Outdoors and positive health effects

Although this post is about exercising and associated health impacts, let me begin by stating that being outdoors is good for your mental wellbeing. Even a small amount of outdoor time goes a long way to improve focus, creativity and also self-esteem! Perhaps, this is what prompted the great Naturalist John Muir to state “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks”. A simple act of walking or a leisurely stroll for an hour burns close to 350 calories and moderate hiking burns up to 600 calories. Furthermore, hiking near water especially helps with mental health1. When you are outdoors, you generally feel good, and this feeling continues to stay with you for the next few hours, maybe even the rest of the day2. When we feel better about ourselves, we tend to make better decisions with our lifestyles, interpersonal relationships and also our food intake.

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Cardiopulmonary Fitness

#fitnessworks Though cardiopulmonary fitness is associated with better cardiac and overall well being, the association between cardiovascular fitness and decrease in cancer risk in particular has not been given the same attention. Here is a large study that provides some strong evidence. The study showed that having higher levels of cardiovascular fitness in middle age, decreases the risk of cancer and also improves the outcome after the age of 65. Cardiovascular exercises are aerobic exercises, like walking, biking, running and rowing. Any exercise that involves a group of large muscles is aerobic as it conditions the heart and the lungs. http://ow.ly/KUdQh

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Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

As we are in the peak days of winter and have lesser and lesser natural light, it’s important to talk about SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. There are two types of SAD namely fall onset SAD and spring onset SAD. The fall version usually affects an individual in late fall or early winter and the spring version affects in early spring although it is less common. You need to know that SAD affects more than half a million Americans annually. Fall onset SAD is characterized by increased need to sleep, increased appetite with carb craving, weight gain, irritability, interpersonal difficulties and feeling of heaviness in arms and legs. These changes affects other aspects of your life, and therefore should be recognized and addressed. No studies have proven the cause of this condition, but there is evidence to suggest the role of serotonin (a neurotransmitter). The incidence of fall onset SAD

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