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Eat Right, Live Right for Better Bones

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

February 7, 2023 – Broken bones hurt.  Ask anyone who’s had one, but did you know what you’re eating now may be setting you up for brittle and easily broken bones later in life?  Called a ‘silent disease’ Osteoporosis weakens bones and makes them prone to shattering and those affected may not know until it happens.   And for women, the risk is typically higher than in men.

It is the most common bone disease and the International Osteoporosis Foundation says worldwide, it is estimated to affect 200 million women – approximately one-tenth of women aged 60, one-fifth of women aged 70, two-fifths of women aged 80 and two-thirds of women aged 90.

The US Office of Women’s Health says women are more likely to get osteoporosis because:

  • Women usually have smaller, thinner, less dense bones than men.

  • Women often live longer than men. Bone loss happens naturally as we age.

  • Women also lose more bone mass after menopause with very low levels of the hormone estrogen. Higher estrogen levels before menopause help protect bone density.

Not only does the disease affect women badly particularly but treatment is often unavailable and not sought at all by women.  The IOF says “A survey, conducted in 11 countries, showed denial of personal risk by postmenopausal women, lack of dialogue about osteoporosis with their doctor, and restricted access to diagnosis and treatment before the first fracture result in under-diagnosis and undertreatment of the disease”

But the disease can result in fractures and breaks that cause extreme and lasting pain and mobility issues that limit the quality of life for those affected and even death.  Despite the fact that the disease mainly affects older women, avoiding osteoporosis is only something that women can do when they are younger.

Fueled by excess salt in our diets the disease thrives on unhealthy foods that attack bone health.  The  US National Institute on Aging says in order to combat it women should:

  • Eat foods that support bone health. Get enough calcium, vitamin D, and protein each day. …

  • Get active. Choose weight-bearing exercises, such as strength training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing. …

  • Don’t smoke. …

  • Limit alcohol consumption.

While there are treatment options the best treatment is prevention.

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Health

Dengue in Argentina, repellent shortage 

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Dengue#Argentina#RepellentShortage, April 8th, 2024 – Following announcements that the region is about to face the worst dengue season on record, Argentina is currently experiencing a shortage of mosquito repellents since March 2024, as it battles a surge in dengue cases recording over 163 thousand so far in 2024, alongside deaths in all age groups according to the Ministry of health. Reports inform that supermarkets across the country have on display “no repellent” signs and places that have repellents, especially online, are selling them at high prices. The lack of repellents is due to an issue of supply and demand according to Minister of Health, Mario Russo, reportedly speaking to Radio Continental.

 

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Caribbean News

Yellow Fever Outbreak in Region and Beyond, Travellers Warned

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#YellowFever#Caribbean, April 10, 2024 – Reports say there is an outbreak of Yellow fever in the Caribbean according to the Department of Health and official government advice website, Travel Health Pro, and travelers are being warned to be vigilant. The authorities say the outbreak is also in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.

Guyana and Peru so far have seen two cases. Brazil reports the disease in monkeys, an indication that it is spreading across the ccounty. Colombia has seen 3 cases.

In South America, between January 1 and March 18 2024, there have been seven confirmed cases, four fatal.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and can cause potentially fatal hemorrhagic illness. Fortunately, it can be prevented with vaccination and so the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising people ages nine months and older, traveling to the affected areas, to get vaccinated.

 

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Health

Children and Teens Vaping, Royal TCI Police say “IT IS NOT SAFE!”

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Dana Malcolm 
Staff Writer 

Vape use is rising in the Turks and Caicos Islands with even primary school students now partaking according to an exclusive policing interview with the Magnetic Media News Team on March 25th.

”Over the past few months, there has indeed been a noticeable increase in vaping activity within our local communities including youth as young as eight years old. This statement is supported by data collected from various sources within our health department and externally,” said Sgt. Huntley Forbes of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) Community Policing Unit.

Vaping is the use of an electronic battery operated device to inhale tobacco. Often the devices are reusable with users able to switch out flavored inserts.

Forbes was speaking to Magnetic Media following the March 24 launch of an anti-vaping video, featuring top students, athletes and other young people alongside Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Former Premier, and representatives of the Community Policing Unit with the major message “DON’T VAPE!”.

The campaign was a partnership between the Bethany Baptist Youth Group and the Community Policing Department.

Forbes told the team that thanks to data from healthcare providers, and emergency room visits vaping related issues such as respiratory problems and nicotine addiction were available and showing the increase prompting immediate action.

“This rise is concerning due to the potential health risks associated with vaping, especially among younger demographics,” the Sergeant explained.

Vaping was billed as a ‘safe’ option to smoking in the past but health experts now agree that while it might be slightly less dangerous, it is not a safe alternative and should never be promoted as such.

The American Heart Association says most of these e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, some contain a higher dosage than cigarettes, which is not only highly addictive but is known to harm the developing brains of teens, kids and fetuses in women who vape. In addition, vapes can contain cancer causing chemicals.

Forbes says the team is planning a multi-faceted approach to the increase.

“We will collaborate with local health departments, community organizations, schools, and other stakeholders to gather and share information about vaping-related health concerns. By working together, we can develop comprehensive strategies to address these emerging issues.”

He also detailed the plans that will be enacted with immediacy:

Education and awareness campaigns: Community Policing will conduct educational campaigns to raise awareness about the health risks associated with vaping, particularly among younger demographics.

Support for cessation programs: Community Policing will support efforts to provide resources and support for individuals who want to quit vaping. This may include connecting individuals with the Substance Abuse department Forbes explained.

Educational materials: The RTCIPF will develop and distribute educational materials, such as brochures, posters, billboards to inform the public about the dangers of vaping.

Training for officers is the final facet of the response and Forbes says Police officers will receive training on recognizing vaping-related issues, interacting with individuals who vape, and enforcing relevant regulations.

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