Post written by guest blogger, Kevin Wells of seniordiabetic.com
Are you trying to lose weight? Shedding a few pounds can be a huge life improvement for older people. Weight loss means less pressure on joints, a wider range of movement, and fewer limits on your abilities. Moreover, weight loss decreases the risk and severity of dangerous health issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
However, many of us aren’t sure where to start when it comes to weight loss. There are so many companies out there ready to sell you their secret magic trick for shedding your excess fat. In truth, many of these companies either offer unsustainable fad diets, dangerous weight loss aids, or just guide you through a simple weight loss equation you could probably manage on your own. Instead of shelling out cash in pursuit of unrealistic claims, take a proactive, healthy approach to your own weight loss. Here are a few realistic, safe, and budget-friendly ways seniors can shed the weight.
Most people can’t lose weight without addressing their diet, but that doesn’t mean it should be your only avenue of attack. Most people, regardless of size, don’t get enough exercise. Regular moderate activity is vital for people of all ages, but it’s even more important for seniors. Beyond the direct health benefits of exercise, seniors who work out are also at lower risk for slip-and-fall accidents and other serious injuries.
If you’re new to exercise, begin with something simple, like regular walks around the neighborhood. Start small and gradually increase your distance. Make sure you have good shoes – poor arch support while exercising can wind up causing injuries, setting you back. If you don’t already have a good pair of sneakers, use a deals site such as Rakuten to find discounts online. This way you can get the right gear without draining your wallet.
Understand the Physics
All effective diets boil down to one simple concept: To lose weight, you must use more energy than you consume. You can do this by cutting back on calories, increasing exercise, or both. No matter how you do it, if you burn more than you eat, you will lose weight.
However, when you don’t decrease your caloric intake too much. You want to avoid this for several reasons. For starters, you run the risk of malnutrition. Everyone, especially seniors, needs a base level of calories to keep your body running right. Go below that, and you can wind up seriously sick. Additionally, intense deficits tend to lead to yo-yo dieting: losing weight but gaining it all back. This is because the deficit is unsustainable and doesn’t teach you how to maintain once you hit your goal. Talk to your doctor to figure out a conservative, manageable calorie deficit and workout plan you can use to pursue gradual weight loss.
Avoid Fad Diets
There are all kinds of diet plans that say cutting one specific thing will cause the pounds to fall right off. Whether it’s carbs, fats, processed sugars, or even cooked foods, the idea of cutting out a whole food group is unsustainable. You may even have a friend or family member who’s had a lot of success on these plans. However, they may not be right for seniors, for whom a balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients is absolutely vital.
Unless your doctor tells you that you must eliminate one of these categories from your intake, avoid these kinds of fad diets. Yes, they will probably cause you to lose weight in the short term. However, since they don’t teach you how to maintain a healthy lifestyle indefinitely, you’re likely to gain the weight back once you stop following the plan. If one of these elimination diets really appeals to you, proceed with caution. Have a long conversation with your doctor or nutritionist before starting to make sure you’re still hitting all your nutrient goals.
Maintain Oral Health
Research shows that untreated periodontal disease, which is an inflammatory disease process, can negatively affect blood sugar. As most diabetic patients know, uncontrolled diabetes can negatively slow wound healing, which includes oral lesions and periodontal disease. Our advice is for all individuals with diabetes to see their dentist and dental hygienist regularly, even those with dentures.
Healthy, sustainable weight loss is a great way for seniors to improve their health and quality of life. Always speak with a doctor before making any exercise and diet changes, and be sure to take care of yourself while striving to reach your goals.
Photo Credit: Pexels
The Holidays are here. Sweets abound. We know you want to give your kids, grand kids, nieces, and nephews everything they deserve. They don't, however, deserve cavities.
We can't stop kids from eating sweets. but we can encourage them to:
Tips on having handy healthy snacks available may include:
Health teeth. Health body. Healthy Holiday Season.
You can also click here to read a Centers for Disease Control article about children's oral health.
This is the first post on various disease processes and their effects on oral health. Not to be redundant, but oral health and general health are inextricably linked. Regular preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene is vitally important for those undergoing cancer treatment, hospitalized as they recovery from injury or surgery, or are otherwise unable to visit their dental hygienist or dentist.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer. It is most often caused by asbestos exposure. When being treated for the disease, patients may undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy. This article will discuss the process the human body must endure during the radiation process. The impact on a patient's oral health will also be discussed.
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is most often caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. Breathing asbestos fibers causes the mineral to lodge in the lung tissue. This is especially likely to happen if a person is exposed to the mineral frequently over a lengthy period. Once the fibers are in the lungs, they can get into the mesothelium, a membrane inside a patient's chest. The disease can also originate in the area around the patient's heart. The cancerous cells may spread to other areas of the body.
The purpose of radiation therapy is to kill cancerous cells and also to shrink tumors. The radiation can be administered either inside the patient's body or outside. During the internal radiation process, the healthcare professional will take a radioactive substance and insert it into the patient's body. In most cases, the substance is inserted using a catheter, needle or wire. During the external radiation process, the healthcare worker will use a machine to send the treatment into the body.
Radiation can be effective in treating cancerous cells. However, the downside is that radiation can also damage a patient's healthy cells. Some of the most common side effects caused by radiation therapy are fatigue and hair loss. Some patients report problems with sexual intercourse and also infertility. Skin rashes and blurry vision are common, too. Other side effects are headaches, urinary tract problems, swollen body parts, nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
Oral Health and Radiation
About 1/3 of cancer patients report oral health concerns due to their cancer treatment plan. Receiving radiation treatments to the head or the neck can make a person even more susceptible to dental problems. Radiation treatment can cause the patient's mouth to become dry, which increases the risk of getting cavities. Swelling may occur in the gums, which makes it hard for those with dentures to wear their false teeth. Sores may also appear in the mouth, which creates difficulty swallowing and chewing.
Dental experts recommend that a patient take certain precautionary measures before, during and after radiation treatment. For instance, the patient should brush the teeth 2-3 times per day using a soft-bristled brush. Using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste is most often recommended. The patient should consult with a physician or dental professional before deciding to floss, as flossing could irritate gums, especially if they are already swollen or if other dental problems exist. GUM Soft-Picks,
the Quip electric toothbrush, and Peroxyl Oral Rinse are but a few of the products that can gently help patients with sensitive teeth and gums maintain good oral health.
Avoiding spicy foods can reduce gum irritation, and avoiding sugary products can help prevent dental plaque and tooth decay.
It is also recommended that the patient rinse the mouth several times per day using water and baking soda. To do this, mix one teaspoon of baking soda together with a quart of water. This solution is supposed to reduce gum soreness. It is also important that the patient not use tobacco products. Tobacco can irritate gums and additional oral sores.
As stated previously, radiation therapy can be used to fight malignant cells. While this invasive therapy can shrink tumors and combat them, it can produce some unwanted side effects. Follow your doctor's guidelines to help minimize your chances of experiencing heavy side effects. Make sure that you have regular visits with your dentist or dental hygienist to treat your oral health problems, too.
With dental need at an all time high in California and access to dental care decreasing, local programs are using the Tobacco Tax funds to find ways to increase access to preventive dental and dental hygiene care in their communities. Dental hygienists (RDH) and dental hygienists in alternative practice (RDHAP) are in high demand. Qualified dental hygiene practitioners are encouraged to call Susan and see how we can be of service.
The following was composed by Susan McLearan, RDH, RDHAP, MS, for placement in the Journal of the California Dental Hygienists' Association. She allowed me to post is also in my blog, hoping to reach dental hygienists.
CDHA sent e-mails to the 52 counties/jurisdictions that are eligible for Proposition 56 (Tobacco Tax) funding for a Local Oral Health Program funded through the Office of Oral Health. Twenty two responses were received describing the projects in various stages of development and giving some ideas as to what their needs might be. The respondent reported that the most have hygienists on their advisory boards and several are already using hygienists in their programs.
Rural areas are most in need of help. There is a particular need for hygienist Medi-Cal Dental providers to work part time. Some would want hygienists to contract with the county, others would have hygienists contract directly with schools.
The following jurisdictions have been identified as wanting hygienists to consider their programs.
Alpine Mariposa Orange
Berkeley Placer San Diego
Calaveras San Bernardino Solano
Humboldt San Luis Obispo Trinity
Lassen Santa Barbara Tulare
Although the type of services, length of the need, and meas of payment will vary, it might be worthwhile to make inquiries in the area near you. For example, Placer County reports that they pay RDHs and RDHAPs quite well on an hourly basis. They are not required to do "the paperwork". They project director feels that what they offer might be good for someone who works in an office 4 days a week but want to make some extra money now and then. They will have quite a few days this Fall for screenings and fluoride varnish applications for preschools and kindergartners.
If you wish to learn more about potential opportunities and need a contact person, please e-mail Susan McLearan at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have become a reluctant blogger. :-/ There is such need for the services of advanced dental hygiene clinicians, it is hard to 'pick a lane' or topic to write about services we can perform. However, today I found this article "Why Little Teeth Matter, written in Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, a journal for dental hygiene professionals, I thought was relevant and understandable, even if you are not a dental hygienist.
To make a long story short, if you have little ones, ask your dentist if he or she will be your baby's Dental Home. A Dental Home is just what it sounds like, a place where you can take your small child for dental care, if needed. When would that be?
Sometimes your dentist does not want to be your baby's dental home. That is understandable. Some dental offices are not 'child friendly'. They may refer you to a pediatric dentist. Ask your pediatrician if he or she can be a dental home until your child can be seen by the dentist. Some pediatricians and their staff members are trained to provide visual oral health screenings, provide oral hygiene instruction, and place fluoride varnish to prevent tooth decay.
In the early stages of life, children need dental disease prevention. I started this post with the title "Caries prevention starts by protecting the first tooth". As soon as your baby's first tooth comes in, you should begin caring for it, keeping it clean, strengthening it with fluoride, and learning how to keep it and all next 19 primary (baby) teeth that come in healthy and cavity free. Yes. it can be done. Cavities are not inevitable. Our goal, as oral health providers, is to help your child never get a cavity.
Call an RDHAP. He or she may be able to come to your home to provide this education and preventive care. An RDHAP is a dental hygienist licensed to work outside the traditional dental practice, caring for the oral health of patients unable to get dental hygiene care in the traditional office setting. Look on our "I Need an RDHAP" map for an RDHAP near you.