Weddings Are Blue Zones

September 30, 2014 @ 8:11 am
posted by Dr Ginther

The Blue Zones emphasize the importance of family.  Few events are more family centered than a wedding.  Our son was married this past weekend in California.  All aspects of our Iowa family were represented, as well as my sister from Ohio.  We enjopyed our time together.

More important, we got to know the bride’s family better.  Despite differences in geography and distant ethnic backgrounds, we all hold similar values of family, faith, and purpose (pillars of the Blue Zones). 

We all knew that the bride would fit in well a year ago, when she helped, then not yet 3 year old, RJ get over the fact that attention was centered on his 6 week old sister, Gwen. 

The cycle of life moves on and we are enjoying it.  You should take time to enjoy your point in the cycle of a Blue Zones life.

Jay Ginther, MD

Goodbye to “Totally Natural” Vitamin D

September 14, 2014 @ 8:18 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

I was out at high noon (about 1:12 CDT) today, and may have made some Vitamin D in my exposed skin.  We had beautifully clear skies with cool, dry air and lots of sunshine.  I did not use sun-block for the few minutes of skin cancer risk.  Unfortunately, it was also only a few minutes of Vitamin D opportunity. 

Ultraviolet light is attenuated and eventually blocked by the atmosphere.  The lower the sun is on the horizon, the less UV light gets through.  In Waterloo, IA we are entering the 7 months of the year when the sun is too low on the horizon.  We do not get enough UV to produce any Vitamin D.

Less than half of Iowans, who do not take substantial Vitamin D3 supplements, have sufficient Vitamin D levels in September.  By early April, that is less than 15%.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology received bad news about Breast Cancer Patients this week.  A study of women with breast cancer, being treated with Aromatase Inhibitors (AI), was presented at the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium.  AI is a great treatment for breast cancer, however…

AI is known to decrease bone strength and to increase Fracture Risk.  How many of these patients  were evaluated for their bone health?  Only 54%.  How many got a repeat evaluation to check to be sure that their bone health was not deteriorating?  Only 46%.

Of those tested, 43% had a DXA T-score in the “osteopenia” range.  In this situation, FRAX is needed to calculate Fracture Risk.  41% of this group met guidelines for treatment with medication to prevent bone loss and Fractures.  Of those who should have been treated, only 23% were.

Aunt Henrietta – A Triumph

September 6, 2014 @ 8:48 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Aunt Henrietta’s 90th birthday party was a triumph.  Over 100 friends, neighbors, and relatives attended.  She planned and arranged it all herself.  This was not the feeble 89 year old of last fall.  This was the comeback kid.

6 years ago Henrietta had fallen and broken both wrists and a shoulder in 3 separate incidents.  That was before she took Forteo, followed by Prolia.  Last year she was sick enough to be falling several times a day.  But she did not break anything!  Had she broken she would probably not have celebrated her 90th.

Aunt Henrietta waited until age 83 to start taking enough Calcium (Adora Premium Chocolates), enough Vitamin D, and almost enough Protein. Then she waited until she had fractured both wrists and a shoulder before starting osteoporosis medication.

I am not happy that she still falls ocassionally in her 3 level house, but I know that now she doesn’t break anything.

Aunt Henrietta is a triumph.

You don’t have to wait as long as she did to check up on your bone health.  Get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.

Take Control of your future now.

Jay Ginther, MD