Archive for the ‘Bone Health’ Category

Spring! Sunshine! Vitamin D?

March 20, 2017 @ 7:27 am
posted by Dr Ginther

Spring!  The Sun is back for more than 12 hours daily!  The sun crossed the equator at 0529 CDT.  Vitamin D?  Not so fast.  This is Iowa and we are still too far north.

Your skin can make Vitamin D when exposed to strong enough sunlight.  Strong enough sunlight happens when the sun is high enough in the sky that its UV rays are not blocked by the atmosphere.  This happens at mid-day all year round in the tropics.

Iowa needs to wait another couple of weeks for our first moments of Vitamin D from the sun.  Mid-day is around 1:10 to 1:25 pm CDT, depending on location.  Southern Iowa will get enough sunlight several days before northern Iowa.  Late June we will have 4-5 hours of opportunity.

Unfortunately, Vitamin D, Sunburn and Skin Cancer are often a package deal.  You can encourage them all, or block them all with Sun-block.

Your safest move is to protect yourself from sunburn and skin cancer, and take your vitamin D3 tablets or gel-caps.  A 25-hydroxy Vitamin D blood test will show if you have achieved the ideal range of 40-80 ng/ml.

You need to take control, but this is one area where naturally can have a significant downside.

Jay Ginther, MD

Choose your parents well.  Their genetics mix to form your genetics.  Your genetics play a large role in determining your potential strengths and weaknesses.  However, what you do with your potential is up to you.

We all wish we could be something we are not, and never can be.  That is completely natural, but not helpful.  You have to play the hand you were dealt.  You have to take control of your future, and you can.

If your parents had great bones, you probably will too – as long as you take care of them with Calcium, Vitamin D, Protein, Exercises, Balance, and Avoid Smoking.

If your parents crumbled into kyphosis (humpback) or broke a hip, due to osteoporosis, you better get working on what you can control as early as possible.  You will probably need medications eventually, but starting on natural treatments early enough can delay that need for years.

If you Take Control Naturally of what you can control early enough, you can achieve many years of fracture free life.  That’s as good as it gets.

Jay Ginther, MD

Smoking is a major risk factor for fractures.  Smoking suppresses the osteoblasts (the cells that make new bone).  The osteoclasts (cells that eat away bone) then can easily outdo the osteoblasts, and you lose bone mass.  Lower bone mass = more fractures.

Stopping smoking altogether is the best for your bone health.  That is really tough to do.  E-cigarettes have not proven less harmful to bone.  Nicotine patches help only if they eventually lead to less nicotine intake than with smoking.

The damage smoking does to your bones (and lungs, and heart) is dose related.  Therefore, cutting way down is almost as good as quitting, and often much easier to do.

Especially if you are trying to heal a fracture, stopping smoking, even for a few weeks, is really important.  1 ppd smokers are 5 to 10 times as likely to not heal a fracture.  The same is true for infection rate after surgery.

Steroid Inhalers also suppress osteoblasts and bone formation.  Unfortunately many cannot get off their steroid inhalers, even after they quit smoking.  Major bummer.

Take Control Naturally of your bone health.  Stop Smoking.  Or at least cut way back.

Jay Ginther, MD

 

 

The purpose of good bone health is to prevent fractures.  Most fractures happen as a result of a fall.  If you do not fall, you decrease your fracture risk.  How do you prevent falls?

Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles.  Strong muscles are part of the solution.  But you also need good balance.  Good balance requires exercises to strengthen the muscles required for balance.

Balance exercises have been used for centuries to keep people limber and free from falling, and thereby, free from fractures.  They are often taught in group sessions, but can be performed alone on any flat surface.

Tai Chi and Yoga are the best known ancient balance exercises.  Daily, or at least 3 times weekly, sessions of 20-30 minutes will gradually improve your balance and prevent falls.

Less interesting, but easier to do anywhere, is simply walking on your toes for several minutes.  More challenging is walking on your heels, like a penguin.  If you can do that for 2 minutes straight, you have great muscles, strong ankles, and are unlikely to stumble, even on uneven ground.

Take Control Naturally by working on your Balance.  Remember that proper nutrition is necessary for strong muscles and bones.

Jay Ginther, MD