HELP YOUR CHILDREN GROW AND LEARN

A healthy, nutritious diet helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent weight-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Children need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. They need to eat three meals daily and have healthy snacks in between. The more active your child is, the more calories he or she needs. Here are some ways to encourage your child to follow a nutritious diet:

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SODIUM AND YOUR HEALTH

Sodium is an essential mineral for life. It is regulated in the body by the kidneys. It helps control the body’s fluid balance, affects muscle function and helps send nerve impulses. An Australian study showed the brain responds to sodium in the same way it responds to substances such as cocaine and heroin, which may explain why we tend to overindulge in high-sodium foods.

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HEALTHY EATING TIPS

A balanced healthy diet should contain a variety of nutritious foods and sufficient vitamins and minerals. Such a diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk of many diet-related problems, such type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It’s recommended men have around 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 calories a day. Studies indicate eating a typical Western diet filled with packaged meals, takeout foods, processed meats and sugary snacks may lead to stress, high rates of depression....

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Be bone smart and learn more about joint replacement at these organizations’ Web sites: 


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org)

American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (www.aahks.org)

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues. Joints are places in the body where bones come together. They are crucial to good health because they hold the skeleton together and support movement. Among the bone diseases humans face, bone-on-bone pain in the shoulders, knees, hips, fingers, toes or ankles makes for a very limiting journey.


The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis. OA, commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, occurs when the natural cushioning between joints – the cartilage – wears away. When this happens, the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits cartilage provides. OA is a painful, degenerative disease that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back or small joints of the hands. It usually develops in joints that are injured by repeated overuse from performing a particular task, playing a favorite sport or carrying around excess body weight. Eventually the injury or repeated impact thins or wears away the cartilage. As a result, the bones rub together, causing a grating sensation. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs develop and the joint swells.


Often the first symptom of OA is pain that worsens following exercise or immobility. Treatment usually includes a range of analgesics, topical creams or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; appropriate

BONE-ON-BONE ARTHRITIS MAKES YOU SAY: OUCH!

exercises or physical therapy; joint splinting; or joint replacement surgery for seriously damaged larger joints, such as the knee or hip.


Joint replacement surgery is performed by an orthopedic surgeon. It involves the removal of a damaged joint and the surgical replacement of arthritic or diseased bone or joint surfaces with implants that restore proper, pain-free function. All joint replacements have potential complications but patients have good reason to expect a successful outcome to their surgeries at centers specializing in joint replacement surgery. If you want to learn more about joint replacement surgery, BoneSmart (www.bonesmart.org) is dedicated to raising patient awareness about hip and knee joint replacement options.


Many other joints can be replaced surgically, including ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists, thumbs, great toes and fingers. Some joints have both bearing surfaces replaced; others, such as the thumb or toe, might only have one surface replaced. Some implants require the use of cement, but some are specially coated to bond with the bone. Silastic finger joints may only be placed into the bone with the express intention that they will not be affixed. The flexible movement of the implant allows the fingers to move with greater freedom.

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller