Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MSc
Our bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. Osteoporosis, meaning “porous bone,” arises when bone is broken down faster than it can be rebuilt. One in four women has osteoporosis and one in eight men. Bone fracture is a dangerous result of osteoporosis. Many people who have hip fractures as a result of osteoporosis never get out of long-term care facilities. And hip fractures result in death in up to 20 percent of cases.
Women everywhere are talking about menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Is it safe or isn't it? Well, that depends on whom you ask, what studies you read and what media reports you're exposed to.
Earlier this year, women—and even doctors—became more confused about HRT when the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) issued a press release saying HRT is safe and effective if women start taking it early in menopause and for less than five years.
Inflammation, viruses and overactive immune function are now seriously being investigated as instigators of Alzheimer's disease. Ten percent of seniors over the age of 65 have Alzheimer's and 50 percent of those of over the age of 85 are afflicted. With the enormous group of Baby Boomers hitting the age at highest risk, the number affected with Alzheimer's is expected to increase to 5.5 million in the next several years and 14 million by 2050. Scientists are furiously looking for causes to the "ticking time bomb" in our brains. New research shows that an overactive immune system plays a powerful role in causing central nervous system inflammation and destruction of neurons (neurons transmit and receive signals in the brain).
You can’t open a newspaper or magazine without seeing advertisements for hair loss solutions for men, but very few options are offered to women who are losing their hair. Over two-thirds of women suffer hair loss, and hair loss can be quite extreme—from thinning to bald patches. Thankfully, few women go totally bald like men do, but there is nothing more distressing than watching your lovely locks fall out in abundance. Topical solutions for women rarely reverse hair loss. And the drugs that are available have been predominantly researched in men and do not address the underlying reasons for hair loss in women.
Thyroid hormone medications are the second top-selling category of drugs in the U.S. today. Over 23 percent of Americans are currently being treated for low thyroid (hypothyroid). And it is estimated that an additional 30 percent have yet to be diagnosed.
The thyroid gland, located at the front of your throat, receives and sends hormonal messages that travel through your bloodstream and affect the rate that food is metabolized for energy. The thyroid determines how quickly your heart beats, and your ability to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Those persons with low thyroid may also notice that hair is thinning, including the eyebrows; your skin will wrinkle excessively and be dry; your sex drive will be gone; and you may experience menstrual problems or severe menopause symptoms.
Reports from those using Celadrin have sparked interest in the area of skin healing. Celadrin has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a common skin condition characterized by the rapid production of skin cells, leading to a congestion of cells on the skin’s surface. The normal life cycle of skin cells is 28 days, but cells produced by psoriasis mature up to a thousand times faster than those of healthy skin. Raised patches of red with white flakes or scales appear on the torso, elbows, knees, legs, back, arms and scalp.
Inflammation is thought to play a role in dozens of health conditions from allergy, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, arthritis and asthma to gingivitis, autoimmune disorders like lupus, and more. Inflammation is the immune system’s first reaction against infection. When you get a thorn in your finger, the thorn cuts through the skin, damaging tissue and allowing invaders (often bacteria) into the area. The immune system responds by releasing histamine and sending out immune messengers alerting the body there is a problem. The area often becomes red, hot, painful and swollen, which indicates protective and healing processes are underway.
Lily Tomlin got it right when she declared, “For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” The award-winning actress and comedienne was no doubt talking about the effects of stress. And stress is no friend when it comes to warding off the signs of aging.
Magnesium deficiency is very common because it has been removed from our grains and water supply. A deficiency in this mineral is the leading cause of many health concerns, including:
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat/heart palpitations
- Muscle pain or cramping
- Restless legs
- Twitching eyelids
- Sleep disturbances
- Headaches/or migraines
- Premenstrual syndrome
Women are three times more likely to feel fatigued than men.
One in four North American women has low iron or iron deficiency anemia, characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, peeling fingernails, hair loss, poor concentration, heart palpitations, pale skin and dark under-eye circles. So important is iron to health that even a mild deficiency can affect your ability to perform everyday mental and physical tasks. And you do not have to be diagnosed as anemic to feel the effects of low iron. In a 2003 British Medical Journal clinical trial involving non-anemic women, iron supplementation dramatically improved unexplained fatigue.
If there is one thing that is the bane of a good figure and vibrant health, it is belly fat. I am talking about that stubborn extra roll around the middle that does not seem to disappear, no matter how swift your metabolism, how much you exercise or how many sit ups you do. For some people, belly weight means the dreaded “muffin top” that escapes over the top of your jeans. For others, abdominal weight gain results in a clear round, apple shape. The fat in those love handles also contribute to increased blood triglyceride levels, inflammation and insulin resistance. Carrying extra weight around the middle puts you at higher risk of heart disease, cancers and diabetes.
All pet owners know how terrible it feels when one of our beloved animals is sick or in pain. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis in domestic animals is a common condition. Over 20 percent of dogs over the age of one are suffering from this painful, debilitating condition. The causes of arthritis in pets are very similar to those in humans: poor nutrition, repetitive wear and tear on the joints and hereditary conditions associated with joint destruction. The family pet has also become the latest victim of inactivity and obesity. Overweight animals suffer greater bouts of osteoarthritis.
An ancient adage from Chinese medicine states, “A doctor would rather treat 10 men than one woman.” In a way, this validates what women have always known—that they are indeed intricate creatures. At the heart of a woman’s complexity are her hormones, their ebb and flow influencing all aspects of physical, emotional and mental wellness. Sexy hormones are sex hormones including, but not limited too, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA and progesterone. When a woman’s hormones are in balance, she feels fabulous, her skin glows, she has energy and vitality.
The American College of Pathology states that four out of five women who die of cervical cancer had not had a PAP smear in the previous five years. According to U.S. statistics, the highest incidence of cervical cancer and the highest death rates occur in women over the age of 55, a group that often stops having annual PAP tests. PAP smears save lives by discovering abnormal cells, called cervical dysplasia, early enough to prevent loss of life from cervical cancer. All adult women from the age of 18 should have an annual PAP test to ensure that their cervix is healthy. But what can be done when the test comes back abnormal?
Mary works full time while raising three young children and has been suffering with insomnia and night sweats even though she is far from menopause; Joanne, a busy stockbroker, has such heavy periods that she is locked in her house for seven days every month; and Melinda, newly married with an exciting job, is losing her hair, gaining weight around the middle, and feeling exhausted. All three women are suffering from estrogen dominance, a common condition in women.