Archive for the ‘Bone Health’ Category
“I want to treat my bone health entirely naturally – without any “artificial” medications.” That might be possible if you are among the less than half of all women not destined to suffer one or more fragility fractures without medication. Your odds are certainly better if you take all the measures outlined over the past weeks.
Years ago Osteoporosis was rarely a problem. 100 years ago most people died before age 65. 200 years ago most people died before age 40. We live too long to avoid the natural decline in bone health. (I would rather live long and deal with medications).
When I was in medical school (45 years ago) we lived entirely naturally in terms of bone health. Most woman, and some men, became stooped forward with “humpback” kyphosis until they fell, broke a hip and either died or were shipped to a nursing home forever. There was nothing we could do to prevent that.
Now we know a bunch of natural things we can do to postpone that scenario, but we cannot prevent it entirely in many people without adding medication. Adding medication may be “cheating”, but I would rather stay active and enjoy life.
Take Control Naturally as long as you can, but evaluate your bone health periodically and add osteoporosis medication when your fracture risk rises.
Jay Ginther, MD
So how do you find out what aspects of your bone health are pretty good already, what will be easy to fix, and what will take some real work? Start with a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.
DXA is about 1/3 of the story and should include both hips and spine. When you are as old as I am, the spine probably is too arthritic to be really accurate, but helps complete the picture. If you have had a total hip replacement, you should use the non-dominant forearm.
VFA will pick up many persons at increased fracture risk who are missed by DXA alone. You should ask for VFA, especially if you or a parent have kyphosis (humpback) or have lost height.
The FRAX calculation picks up different individuals at high fracture risk.
Blood tests should include CBC, CMP, TSH, PTH, and 25-hydroxy Vitamin D as a start. Further testing may be needed.
A medical history and examination focused on bone issues is a critical part of the full consultation. We allot a minimum of 30 minutes for discussion. Often a follow-up visit is needed to be sure both we and our patients are clear on the whole picture.
DXA alone misses over half of the individuals who need to improve their bone health. Get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.
Jay Ginther, MD
Start Now!! If you want to live long and live fracture free, there is not a moment to lose. Ideally you started in early childhood, but the past is past. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Don’t waste it.
Without sufficient Calcium, Vitamin D, Protein, Exercise, Balance, Avoiding Smoking, your bones cannot be the best they can be. Why settle for less than the best. It’s your body and you have to live in it.
Too often we see patients when all we can do is try to salvage “mush for bones”. They ask what they can do to make good bones. The truthful answer is that we can make their bones somewhat better. To make good, or even great, bones they have to do that in their children or grandchildren.
Start now to Take Control Naturally of those things you can control. They are the necessary basics. Even if you do take osteoporosis medications, none of them will work as well as possible without the basics. If you cannot do all, at least do most.
It’s your body and you have to live in it.
Jay Ginther, MD
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