Health Tips for Seniors

Archive for December, 2006

Calcium and Its Eminence in Women’s Health and Nutrition

Intake of proper food in right quantities coupled with sufficient vitamin supplements are the two major contributing factors that influence women’s heath and nutrition needs. Today, if you look at the major diseases or conditions that afflict women, especially older women, osteoporosis is one that afflicts almost 50 percent of women.

Osteoporosis is a condition where in the bones will lose its density and make the individual more prone to fractures. Osteoporosis is very common amongst women who are above 50 years of age.

The main cause or reason that triggers onset of osteoporosis in women is menopause. During the post menopausal stage, there will be a reduction in estrogen hormone that in turn robs the bones of their density thus making women more fragile and susceptible to fractures.

Hence, strengthening of the bone structure in elderly women has become a standard in women’s health and nutrition program and this could be achieved through intake of calcium supplements orally.

Contributing Factors of Calcium in Women’s Health

Calcium is one of the most important minerals in women’s health and nutrition, as it is directly involved in building the bone’s density. Your body system can absorb calcium into the body system from various calcium sources such as calcium carbonate and calcium citrate.

In order to maintain a good health, any efforts for better women’s health and nutrition should be started when women are young. A proper dosage of calcium with a balanced nutritional diet can help young women develop stronger bones that support them all through their life.

Calcium Dosage

A properly planned and sufficient calcium dosage can go a long way in improving the women’s health. The dosage of calcium is decided based on various factors and this will vary depending upon the individual and age.

For instance, women in the age group of 11 to 24 years will be requiring a daily dosage of 1200 to 1500 milligrams and those who are above the age of 25 but below 50 years should be given with a daily dosage of 1000 milligrams.

Women who have crossed the age of 50 years and not dependent on any hormonal treatments should be given with a dosage of 1500 milligrams a day. Further, the calcium dosage will have to be increased in case of pregnant or nursing women and the dosage will be in the range of 1200 to 1500 milligrams a day.

Calcium Rich Food Sources

When it comes to supply of calcium through food sources, then there are various options for receiving the required quantities of calcium from your regular diet. There is one school of thought that advocates intake of calcium only through food sources for efficiency.

Calcium is rich in all dairy products, but the attached negative rider is that many women may develop intolerance towards the lactose present in dairy products.

Therefore, women who are not willing to take dairy products can try other foods that are rich in calcium such as broccoli, shellfish, sardines, and almost all types of greens. Today, markets are even flooded with calcium-fortified orange juice that contains around 320 milligrams of calcium per glass.

Dietary Calcium Supplements

Calcium supplements have become an order of the day but at the same time it should be taken with certain precautions. An increased dose of calcium supplement may result in formation of kidney stones and may cause digestive tract malfunction. In few cases, the calcium supplement was known to cause adverse reactions if taken with other medications taken by women for their other health related issues.

Hence, while taking calcium supplements, it is better you consult your doctor and follow your doctor’s advice.

Types of Abdominal pain

Pain of the Abdominal Wall (Shingles). As in the chest, shingles pain may suddenly appear in the abdominal wall. The typical burning pain is often thought to be appendicitis or other internal disease. The appearance of the rash along the painfully involved nerve route makes identity of the pain obvious.

Lower Abdominal Pain. Abdominal pain below the umbilicus, in later life, will generally be due to the colon, appendix, ovary, uterus, bladder and hernia. Pain and discomfort due to

Lower abdomen

Fig. 99. The lower abdomen is below the umbilicus down to the groin. Difficulties here include hernia, appendicitis, colon disease and troubles with the urinary tract.

the menstrual cycle, of course, are no longer present after the change of life.

Pain of the Colon and Intestinal Tract. Pain from the large and small intestine is identified by the cramp, a pain felt every few minutes-the typical pain of intestinal origin. Often called gas pains, it ranges from slight discomfort to severe anguish, with a measure of relief in between cramps. These pains are felt below the umbilicus and above the groin and will be readily identified as pain of the intestine when the characteristic cramping is remembered.

Appendicitis produces discomfort more than real pain when it begins. It is felt about the umbilicus and is nearly always accompanied by nausea and vomiting. After a short time (8-12 hours), the pain moves into the right side, fairly low in the abdomen and eventually, a soreness of the right lower abdomen predominates. If the abdomen is pushed inward, even lightly, considerable pain will be felt directly over the inflamed appendix. In younger years, appendicitis is not so difficult to identify, but in later years, when it is not so common, the pain of appendicitis is harder to identify.

Pain of the Female Organs. Pain in diseases of the main portion of the uterus is felt in the lower abdomen, down the inner surface of the legs and, at times, in the lower back. It is quite variable. The ovary, at fifty years of age, may be the site of severe pain but variability of the pain (in the female only), is very great and can be interpreted only by the physician.

Urinary Bladder Pain. Bladder pain is felt when the bladder is over-stretched with urine. This pain begins as a distressful fulness and proceeds to extreme pain when the bladder cannot be emptied. Tapping over the bladder region (low in the abdomen) is very painful, and welcome relief is obtained when the bladder finally is emptied. Another bladder pain is experienced when the inside wall is irritated and inflamed (cystitis). As the bladder in this condition empties itself, the irritated walls touch each other to cause a brief knife-like pain.

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