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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 September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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