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the epidemic of falls, obesity, and addiction: are they related?


Fall Prevention

“Falls among older adults have reached epidemic proportions. From 2000 to 2012, Ohioans aged 65 and older experienced a 167 percent increase in the number of fatal falls and 136 percent increase in the fall death rate. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths for Ohioans age 65 and older. Falls are not a normal part of aging.”From the Ohio Department of Health (Falls Among Older Adults)

“A report found that in 2014 alone, slippery floors and rugs sent nearly 1.6 million people to the emergency room, while toilet accidents sent an additional 112,412 people. Bathrooms are a relatively dangerous place, especially with a growing elderly population. Elderly people are also the most prone to falls, which can lead to an accidental death — from a slippery bathroom to the corner of a carpet.”  From Samantha Olson’s June 14 piece in Medical Daily called Opioid Epidemic And Falls Fueling Higher Rates Of Accidental Death

“Begin your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your doctor. Be prepared to answer questions such as what medications are you taking? Make a list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, or bring them with you to the appointment. Your doctor can review your medications for side effects and interactions that may increase your risk of falling. To help with fall prevention, your doctor may consider weaning you off certain medications — such as sedatives and some types of antidepressants.”  From Mayo Clinic’s “Fall Prevention” page Statistics are intriguing.  The latest figures from the government’s Centers for Disease Control (Increases in Medically Attended Nonfatal Injury Episodes Among Females in the United States) reveal that, “From 2005–2014, the rate of medically attended nonfatal injury episodes among females increased 16%….   Falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injury among females.  The rate of injury episodes from falls was approximately four times higher than the rates for causes such as being struck by or hitting against an object or person; injuries resulting from land, water, or air transportation; and overexertion.

In other words, falls are a big deal.  Apparently a much bigger than even CAR CRASHES.  And in the decade being discussed above, serious injury-causing falls increased by a whopping 1/3 in the 45 to 65 age range.  What’s doubly interesting about this statistic to me is that it has occurred in an era of greatly increased safety measures.  In other words, there are far more hand rails, anti-slip surfaces, and other things to help keep people from falling than there used to be, but people are falling more — lots more.  The culprit?  Although the author’s study didn’t speculate on the answer to this question, I think the chief reasons are fairly easy to deduce.

Firstly, a quick peek at Google reveals that both DIABETES and HYPOGLYCEMIA (which are more related to each other than most people realize) frequently cause people dizziness and issues with their equilibrium.   This point is greatly magnified considering that OVER 50% OF OUR POPULATION is dealing with blood sugar regulation issues.  Secondly (and related to the first point), although obesity has increased across the board, it is increasing much faster in women.  For instance, we RECENTLY LEARNED that over 40% of the female American population is obese, with almost that many considered merely ‘overweight’.   Any number of studies show that carrying extra weight is a significant risk factor for falling.  And thirdly (also related to the first two) is the fact that Americans — both men and women — are more sedentary than any point in our nation’s history.  The number one way to stimulate both the brain (HERE) and the body (HERE) is physical activity.  Which brings us to our fourth point, which is a Lulu.

As Americans (particularly American women — women are more prone than men to most diseases) take more medications, will become an increasingly serious issue.  The reasons why should not surprise you.  In January of 2015, Scientific American published an article called Dizziness Can Be a Fatal Side Effect of Many Medications, where they stated, “Lightheadedness and disorientation are among the most common side effects of prescription drugs“.  The December 2013 issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy (Vertigo / Dizziness as a Drug’s Adverse Reaction) concluded that, “Our results show that, among the side-effects of different classes of drugs such as anti-convulsants, anti-hypertensives, antibiotics, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-inflammatory, also vertigo or dizziness are included. Spontaneous reports of vertigo or dizziness, as side-effect of certain drugs, received at our Pharmacovigilance Center, represented the 5% of all reports in 2012. Considering the high incidence of such an ADR for several drugs’ classes, it can be speculated that under-reporting also affect vertigo and dizziness.”  Did I hear them mention “UNDERREPORTING“?  There are at least 100 studies showing that ADR’s are underreported by at least 90%.

Drugwatch dot com’s article, Prescription Drug Side Effects, stated that, “Each year, about 4.5 million Americans visit their doctor’s office or the emergency room because of adverse prescription drug side effects.  Diziness: While dizziness may not seem like a serious side effect, it can have grave consequences.  For the elderly, especially those who are already battling other medical problems, a broken hip can take a deadly toll. Because dizziness is a common side effect of most prescription drugs, patients should be acutely aware of any vertigo-like feelings.”  The bottom line is that with the QUANTUM AMOUNT OF DRUGS that today’s average American is taking, we should not be surprised that side effects, including issues with balance and equilibrium, are skyrocketing.

I guess my biggest question at this point is why.  Why, in this day and age of internet information, do we continue to eat the foods and take the drugs that we know good and well are killing us?  Firstly, many people don’t realize that they or their families are fat and unhealthy.  As delusional as this sounds, it’s true (HERE, HERE, and HERE).  Secondly, they have become addicts.  I am not talking here about people with “cravings”.  I am talking about the sort of full-blown addictions that people will kill for.  Think processed carbs and sugar aren’t as addictive as hard drugs?  If you simply browse the titles of THESE POSTS, you’ll quickly see that drug-like addictions to junk food, highly processed carbs, sugar and, soda are not only real, they are more common than many (particularly those in the “food” industry) care to admit.

If you are interested in breaking your addictions and getting yourself in the sort of physical shape where you can actually expect to enjoy your retirement, my site has the information to hep you get it done.  This is important because as I have shown you today, your ill health is affecting you in ways science is barely beginning to comprehend.  For more information on solving your chronic health issues, including weight problems and chronic pain, HERE is the place to go.  And for those who think it can’t be done quickly, HERE is the proof that it can.


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