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If You Think Eating Dairy Products Can Prevent Osteoarthritis, You Need To Read This

If You Think Eating Dairy Products Can Prevent Osteoarthritis, You Need To Read This

If you’re young, you probably think osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the elderly. If you are middle-aged you might think that it is something inevitable that affects most people as they get older. You may think that drinking milk and eating dairy products can prevent developing osteoarthritis later in life.

Common misconceptions about Osteoarthritis

Actually, most of us are wrong when it comes to preconceptions about this condition. Firstly, we have to act preventatively earlier in life so as not to suffer from it later in life. Secondly, not all elderly people suffer from it, as there are lifestyle choices that can help prevent osteoarthritis. Finally, in order to prevent the condition, there is more to it than just taking enough calcium rich food.

Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis characterized by bony sclerosis and joint space narrowing. More commonly affecting women, osteoarthritis causes symptoms such as pain, swelling and stiffness in the bones. The risk of developing the condition increases with age. Some factors causing the condition include genetic predisposition, excess body mass, joint injury, knee pain, structural malalignment, muscle weakness, estrogen deficiency.

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Why calcium alone isn’t enough

Most common advice for the prevention and treatment of the condition is sufficient calcium intake through dairy products. Although calcium does help in preserving the bone structure, the overemphasis on calcium is more of an advertising strategy than the ultimate solution to any health condition affecting bones. Calcium alone isn’t enough, since additional minerals and vitamins are required in order for balanced calcium supply. One such mineral is magnesium.

A 2009 study[1] shows that magnesium intake has significant influence on greater bone mineral density in both men and women. Another study[2] gives more important role to magnesium than calcium when it comes to preserving the bone density. The complementary relationship between calcium and magnesium stems from the fact that in order for calcium to be absorbed, vitamin D has to be in active form, which again requires magnesium.[3] Therefore, magnesium intake is essential in the proper calcium metabolism and maintaining the bone structure.

Another way magnesium helps to prevent osteoarthritis, kidney stones and heart attack is by stimulating the production of calcitonin,[4]a hormone that maintains the structure of bones. Calcitonin helps in preserving bone structure by separating calcium from blood and soft tissue and bringing it back to the bone.

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This is what happens when calcium is taken alone

Taking calcium rich food or supplementation alone can actually bring more harm than good. Without enough magnesium to aid the process, our bodies absorb less than half of the calcium we consume. Taking too much calcium supplements can lead to a process of calcification in the artery walls, kidneys and muscles. The calcification happens when calcium accumulates in soft tissues and calcifies (hardens).

When and how to take preventative measures

Taking preventative measures against osteoarthritis means starting as early as 20s to 40s. This is especially important for female population as they are more susceptible to the condition. If we want to preserve proper bone density and structure and avoid the risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life, certain modifications in our diet plan must be made.

As opposed to the traditional suggested calcium to magnesium ratio 2:1 that leads to increased calcium intake, which causes high calcification and various health problems, our diet needs to be rich in magnesium for the proper calcium absorption. In addition to the magnesium rich diet, strength training exercises are a great way to preserve bone density.

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What to eat

Whole grains, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and seeds.

What to avoid

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Refined sugar, white flour, fats, coffee, and alcohol.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

Reference

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19968914?dopt=Abstract
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2352244
[3] http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/2787312
[4] http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/7669510

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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