Archive for October, 2013
Friday is the Go Red For Women in Waterloo, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Heart Disease is now recognized as a major health issue for women, as well as men. Prevention of heart attacks and strokes gets a lot of attention. Breast cancer is also well recognized. These are worthy causes, but…..
Fractures from Osteoporosis are twice as common in women as heart attacks. Fractures are more common than heart attacks, breast cancers and strokes combined. More women die from complications after hip fracture than die from heart attacks. This is also a big deal, but Osteoporosis gets no respect.
Aunt Henrietta looked like half a raccoon with her entire left eye blackened. She dismissed her looks as not a problem saying, “I fall all the time, but I don’t break anything.” This is a change on both counts. Five years ago, falls were infrequent. Even so, she broke one wrist, then the other wrist, then her shoulder.
Two wrists, one shoulder, and half a dozen vertebral fragility fractures indicated Very Severe Osteoporosis. That was before she took the Anabolic, Forteo, for 2 years. She was the ideal patient for serious measures to stop her fractures. And it has worked!!
The trees are alive with the colors of autumn. Different colors of maples lead the pack. Ash, beech, birch, poplar (aspen), locust, sumac, hickory, horse chestnut, redbud, and others chime in with differing nuances of texture as well as color.
Savor the world around you. Enter the Blue Zone of leaf-peeping, pumpkins, apples and cider. The Upper Mississippi Valley, where I live, is beautiful. Where I grew up, New England-NY-NJ-PA, is even more spectacular every fall. There is no part of the world without natural beauty. You must take the time to enjoy it.
A patient recently insisted on Vitamin D2 instead of D3. She told me that she always uses plant sources because they are “more natural”. Indeed Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) is more natural if you are a cabbage or other plant. But all humans naturally make and use Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol). Why not D2? Did God make a mistake designing humans to make and use D3?
Activated Vitamin D3 is a hormone used by our bodies in well over a hundred different functions including absorption of calcium from food, nerve functioning, and our immune system. Vitamin D2 is similar enough to D3 that we can also use it. However, we need much higher doses, and the waste products of D2 build up in our bodies.