Several patients have called us in panic because their friends told them that HyperParathyroidism means Surgery.  We reassured them that Surgery is almost never needed in HyperParathyroidism.  But we do need to treat it to preserve or restore Bone Health.

Our clinic sees a new case of HyperParathyroidism almost daily.  Only one or two a year actually need surgery.  How do we cure all the others?  Calcium and Vitamin D3 are the key, as long as you take enough.

Most of what we see is Secondary HyperParathyroidism.  That is the Parathyroid glands doing their job.  Their job is to keep sufficient Calcium in the blood.  They steal it from the bones if not enough is absorbed in diet and supplements.  Too low a Vitamin D level prevents Calcium absorption.

Sometimes secondary hyperparathyroidism goes on for so long that the glands “reset their thermostat too high”.  This is Tertiary HyperParathyroidism and is successfully treated with Calcium, Vitamin D3, Protein, and Multiple Vitamins & Minerals over many months.

Primary Hyperparathyroidism is that rare case where a parathyroid gland goes out of control.  It becomes a tumor (not a cancer) putting out too much PTH hormone and steals calcium from bone until it is removed.

Read more about HyperParathyroidism in blogs from last year by clicking on the links.

HyperParathyroidism?  Take Control Naturally with proper nutrition.

Jay Ginther, MD

Spring – The Most Dangerous Season

March 22, 2015 @ 9:12 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Spring is here.  The birds are singing.  Soon flowers will be blooming.  All the world is coming to life.  And more hips will be breaking.

32% of all hip fractures (nearly 1/3) occur in Spring!  Nearly 1/3 of hip fractures over 70 are in men.  And nearly 1/3 of those men die within months from medical complications initiated by their hip fractures.  Dangerous!

What can we do to avoid those fractures?  Decrease Fracture Risk!  How?  Do the following:

It is March;  this is Iowa;  almost 90% of persons not on major doses of Vitamin D3 are low.  (By late September that falls to less than 60% that are low.)  Remember that if you have a low Vitamin D level, you cannot absorb enough of the Calcium you consume in food and/or supplements.  Take extra Vitamin D3.

Remember that while Calcium Citrate is always absorbable, Calcium Carbonate often is not.  Remember that you need enough Magnesium to absorb Calcium.  A Senior Multiple Vitamins & Minerals has enough Magnesium for those of us over age 50, and lots of other good stuff too.

Protein is a big deal, especially over age 60, when our protein needs actually increase.  80% of bone and 90% of muscle are protein.  Regular exercises, including Balance Exercises, are necessary to Prevent Falls.

If you do not already know the quality (as well as density) of your bones, get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.  Identify your opportunities for improvement.

Take Control Naturally with proper nutrition and exercises.

Jay Ginther, MD

Blue Zones Spring Break

March 15, 2015 @ 7:53 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

RJ and Gwen are spending Spring Break with Grammy and Papa.  Grandchildren are Blue Zones for us.  Also a challenge: can we tire them out as quickly as they tire us out?

Three days into Spring Break, they have hit many highlights.  They have enjoyed the Phelps Youth Pavillion at the Arts Center and the Imaginarium (Children’s Science Center) at the Grout Museum.  RJ saw a very good “Illusionist” at the Waterloo Rec Center.  Papa could not figure out the stunts either.

RJ and Gwen both drink milk at every meal.  They want to grow strong bones.

Today they and Grammy watched Papa sing in the church choir.  After “second breakfast”, we all set up RJ’s Thomas the Train set he had brought from home.  Gwen helped by repeatedly setting off the noismaker in the crossing guard.

This afternoon RJ attended a Waterloo Blackhawks hockey game with his Uncle Alex.  He liked being close to the ice.

It is barely dark outside and they have crashed.  We are about to too.  Nearly a week of Blue Zones left.

Jay Ginther, MD

Stronger, More Agile, More Confident

March 11, 2015 @ 9:57 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Ann spends a week in Florida each winter with several friends and was stronger, more agile and more confident this year than last.  She stepped in and out of the hot-tub easily instead of slowly and awkwardly.  She zoomed up and down stairs.  She had to slow down when walking with her friends.  What has happened?

A year ago she followed a fragility fracture with below average and decreasing BMD on DXA, and a newly crumbling vertebral fracture on VFA.  She has Clinical Osteoporosis.  That got her attention.  She was determined to play on the floor with her active preschool grandchildren.  You cannot do that if you are crumbling.  She was ready to do whatever it took to get back in the game.

She added Adora Chocolates (500mg calcium in each) to her usual diet.  She added Protein shakes (chocolate) and increased intake of chicken, fish, and beef to meet the new protein guidelines.  She remembered to take extra Vitamin D3 and her Multiple Vitamins & Minerals almost every day.

She got serious about her “10,000 steps” every day and went up and down stairs frequently instead of saving up things for a single trip.  She did not actually join an exercise class as promised.

She started the anabolic, Forteo, to build her bone density and strength.  A daily little shot is a nuisance, especially keeping it cold while travelling, but she wanted results.

This year repeat DXA showed increased BMD.  VFA confirmed no further crumbling.  She zoomed through airports and left her friends in the dust in Florida.  These results have made her even more determined.

She has Taken Control of her Future Life.  You can too.

Jay Ginther, MD