Vaping Harms Bone Health

Don’t think that vaping is harmless or safer than cigarette smoking.  When vaping, you are still inhaling toxic chemicals that adversely affect your body.  It is well known that cigarettes harm your bones, as well as many other systems of the body.  A study done by the American Journal of Medicine in 2021 showed how people who vape have an increased likelihood of fragility fractures, or fractures that occur from a fall less than standing height.  These types of fractures are most often heard associated with osteoporosis.  Further research is ongoing, but there is no denying that you introduce unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals into your body when you vape, and that is something to consider when thinking about the health you would like years from now.
Vaping Hurts Your Bone Health More Than You Think (msn.com)

 

To Brace or Not to Brace? The Orthopedic Question of the Day

The two joints that are most often braced are the ankle and the knee.  When you get an injury, you might want to have information in your head now about whether or not you need a brace, and we are here to help.  Braces range from the simple, like a sleeve, to the complex, with hinges and hardware that are adjustable.  They provide temporary support and stability meant to decrease pain and give you confidence in that joint.

Here are some key points that you might not know.  Knee injuries differ from ankle injuries in that the pain is frequently related to muscle control, so a brace won’t necessarily help.  Consider how a brace limits how your muscles would normally engage in activity.  Braces allow your muscles to weaken while they are immobilized, so you might wear a brace for strenuous activity, but not for everyday activities in order to keep the surrounding muscles from getting too weak.  Another consideration is whether your injury might have done permanent damage that requires surgery.  If you are having swelling that won’t decrease, pain that is persistent, you heard a pop at the time of injury, &/or you have lost full range of motion, you should seek an orthopedic surgeon’s assessment.

After your injury, you might try a brace for support and pain relief, but listen to your body and if the pain persists, something doesn’t feel right, or you have questions, call Paragon Orthopedic Center for a consultation.  541-472-0603

To brace or not to brace: What’s best? – Mayo Clinic Health System

Having a Little Fun

While Paragon Orthopedic Center encourages healthy habits, we also recognize that it’s okay to indulge in moderation every now and then.  Today, if you’re a fan of the chocolate chip cookie, you will be pleased to know that it is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.  Yes, August 4th is the day to reflect on its accidental history and learn a few facts about this delicious treat. The chocolate chip cookie’s invention dates back to 1938 and remains one the most popular cookies.  How do the chocolate chips keep their shape and why don’t chocolate chips melt all over the place?  Because they have less cocoa butter than chocolate bars.  Visit your favorite bakery and they might be giving them out for free in honor of the day!  This article from Newsbytes will give you more information and even a recipe, if you’d like to make your own at home.
National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day: History, facts, recipe, and more | NewsBytes (newsbytesapp.com)

Too Many Medications?

The need for more medications increases with age as our bodies become less efficient, healthy, and/or capable.  You might have multiple doctors who might not be in sync with your various prescriptions.  Here’s the problem with that:  1-as we age, we can be more sensitive to side effects and the more medications you’re on, the more chances of increased side effects, 2-it is easier for a doctor to prescribe something new than to take all of your meds into account, and 3-the expense of all those prescriptions can take a chunk out of your monthly budget.  Have you considered asking about cutting back on them?  Ask your clinician to deprescribe to possibly reduce a dose or eliminate medications that are not needed.  It is good to have your healthcare provider take a good look at everything you are taking to make sure they are: 1-helpful, 2-still necessary at the current dosage, and 3-not combining to cause side effects that affect your daily living.  Paragon Orthopedic Center encourages you to be an active participant in your health; be educated about what you are taking and why.  One more thought is to consider non-drug therapies.  Instead of taking something to help you sleep, cut back on caffeine.  Instead of taking pain medications, try acupuncture or neurofeedback.  Before making any changes, always discuss your medications and desires with your healthcare professional.  National Public Radio has an article that goes into this subject in more depth:
Too Many Medications? It Might Be Time To Ask Your Doctor About Deprescribing : Shots – Health News : NPR

Game-Changing High Tech Resuscitation Tool Could Save Your Life

A device is out there that can do emergency chest compressions by itself, with consistent precision, and able to work without tiring.  It saves the caregiver from back pain and doesn’t even require a firm surface.  It is called the LUCAS compression system.  With this high-tech machine, CPR providers no longer have to switch due to fatigue and no more losing track of correct rhythm.  The results are improved perfusion of essential organs, better neurological outcomes, and saved lives.  The high-quality, consistent CPR it provides during transport or testing allows caregivers to focus on other emergency issues at the same time and buys precious time to make decisions.  A few of these expensive machines have come into use in our area, so if you see one in Southern Oregon, you will know how much of an asset it is and how reliably it provides CPR.   Paragon Orthopedic Center is always looking to keep Southern Oregon educated on the latest and the greatest in healthcare information.  Check out this article to see what this amazing machine looks like and how it has proven to be a life-saving tool.
LUCAS – Chest Compression System (lucas-cpr.com)

Manage Your Weight Using…Fruits and Vegetables!

In 2010, the obesity rate in Oregon was 26.3%.  In 2021, eleven years later, it increased to 29.3%.  That is almost one in every three adults.  If you are someone who is having trouble keeping your weight at a healthy level, you might be interested in knowing you can use fruits and vegetables to help you feel full, provide the fiber for a healthier digestive system, and create a feeling of well-being you might not even know existed.  Weight loss by boosting your diet with fruits and vegetables could mean you stop being dependent on some of your medications, saving you money, reducing medication side effects, and allowing your body’s systems to work in unison as they are designed to do.
Losing weight means you have to consume less calories than what your body uses.  You can do this by replacing low calorie fruits and vegetables in your diet.  The higher water content and fiber found in them will leave you feeling full, and they are naturally low in fat.  Below is an article from the CDC that has recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in your meals, as well as snack ideas.  The key is SUBSTITUTION, not starvation.  You are substituting the lower calorie fruits and vegetables for higher calorie options.  As an example, replace one cup of the pasta in your dinner with chopped broccoli, onions, and peppers.  You are reducing the calories by using vegetables instead of pasta.
A few more tips are:
1-Keep fruits and vegetables handy, like apple slices and pepper spears, so they are easy to grab when snacking and cooking.  Wash them and cut them as soon as you get home from the grocery store.
2-Read nutrition labels.  Many fruit products are only made with apple juice, which has little nutritional value.  Make sure whole fruits are used, or better yet, eat fresh fruit that has more nutrition and fiber.  Berries are grab and go!
3-BE PERSISTENT.  Fruits and vegetables are not an instant fix to weight issues, but you will feel better with improved nutrition.  Your gut will thank you.
It takes a little thought and effort, but you will be amazed how much better you feel.  Dr. Bents and Dr. Van Horne have heard patients say their joints don’t ache as much when weight is shed, and your improved nutritional state will motivate you to continue incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables for years to come.  Make the change today Southern Oregon!
How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC

Getting the Most Vitamin D from Sunshine

Since vitamin D is essential for absorption of the calcium your bones require and sunshine is the most ideal source of it, you need to know about the relationship between sun exposure and vitamin D.  Our typical hot summer days in Southern Oregon have finally arrived, and so has plentiful sunshine, so how much do you need?
Some factors that affect how much vitamin D you get from the sun:
-how close you live to the equator
-time of day
-amount of skin exposed
-skin color
With all these variables, how much is enough?  Here is a rule of thumb: the amount of vitamin D you need daily without increasing the risk of skin cancer is about half the time it takes your skin to burn.  This could be 15-20 minutes for a lighter-skinned person, or a couple of hours for a darker-skinned person.  It is important to note that sunscreen does limit the body’s ability to make vitamin D, and you cannot get any vitamin D from light through a window because windows block the UVB rays required for tissues to create vitamin D.  Short periods of sun exposure would be the ideal way to get the vitamin D your body needs without risking skin cancer.   Paragon Orthopedic Center would like to remind you to pay attention to the factors that might put you at higher risk for skin cancer as you consider sun exposure.  Vitamin D is best obtained by sunlight, but there are supplements and food sources that help your body absorb calcium too if sun exposure is too risky.
How to get the most vitamin D from the sun: Tips and other sources (medicalnewstoday.com)

 

Are Gummy Vitamins Equal to Pills? Not in Every Aspect

Gummy vitamins were originally created for children, but have made their way into the adult vitamin section in recent years.  They are basically gummy candies with vitamins added.  Sometimes they are made with sugar, which means that you are adding empty calories to your diet and can lead to tooth decay, and sometimes they are made with sugar substitutes, which run the risk of digestive problems in some people.  The sweetness can be appealing to children who might take more than the stated dose and can lead to toxicity.  When vitamins are put into a gummy, they are less stable than vitamins that are in pill form.  This means the potency goes down over time, so to counter this, the makers overload the vitamin’s content.  The FDA does not oversee vitamins, so you do not know if the amounts of the vitamin stated on the label are accurate.  When a gummy is fresh, it likely has more vitamin content than what is stated, and an old gummy would have less because of lost potency.  There have been a few studies to compare absorption within the body of pills versus gummy vitamins.  In two university-controlled studies measuring vitamin C in one and vitamin D in another, they found the bioavailability of the gummy vitamin to be the same as the pill vitamin.  As we explored in a previous blog, vitamins in any form have not been proven to show benefits in healthy individuals.  Foods provide much more of the vitamins and minerals we need, so you would gain more benefits by focusing on your diet rather than paying for pills that do very little to help your health.  Paragon Orthopedic Center encourages you to talk to your doctor about your diet and any need for supplements.  Feed your body the good nutrition it craves for good health!

Are Gummy Vitamins Effective | Gummy Vitamins vs Pills (universityhealthnews.com)