Monthly Archives

June 2023

How to Stay Healthy as Summer Temps Rise

By Health & Wellness

As summer bears down, triple-digit temperatures in some parts of the country are no longer an anomaly — they’re normal.

Southern states are grappling with a relentless heat wave, with temperatures topping triple digits. These high temps have arrived much earlier in the season than normal, and millions of people are living under heat alerts.

But even in areas that don’t often see 100 degrees or above, weather is getting hotter and stickier. As temperatures rise, people need to be more careful than ever to stay cool and avoid overheating and illness, particularly as they get older, medical experts say.

“As you age you don’t notice the heat anymore,” says Charles Maddow, M.D., the director of emergency geriatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston. Older bodies are not as hydrated and don’t sweat as much, making it more difficult for them to cool down, he explains.

Heat is the number 1 weather-related killer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says that on average, about 618 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. The National Weather Service recently forecasted heat indexes near Houston and San Antonio as high as 120 degrees.

To learn how to watch out for heatstroke and heat exhaustion, from AARP, CLICK HERE.

Osteoporosis, the Silent Disease

By Health & Wellness

Osteoporosis weakens bones to the point that they can break easily. It is called a “silent disease” because people who develop it may not notice any changes until a bone breaks — usually a bone in the hip, spine, or wrist.

Bones are made of living tissue. To keep them strong, a healthy human body breaks down old bone and replaces it with new bone. Osteoporosis develops when more bone is broken down than replaced.

The inside of a bone looks something like a honeycomb. When someone has osteoporosis, the bone, which forms the “walls” of the honeycomb, get smaller, and the spaces between the bone grow larger. The outer shell of the bone also gets thinner. All of this makes a bone weaker.

In serious cases of osteoporosis, a simple motion such as a cough or minor bump can result in a broken bone, also called a fracture. People with osteoporosis also have a harder time recovering from broken bones, which can sometimes cause pain that does not go away. Broken hip and spine bones are especially serious, as these injuries can cause older adults to lose their mobility and independence.

To learn more about how osteoporosis is diagnosed, who’s at risk and how it’s treated, from the National Institute on Aging, CLICK HERE.