Archive for the ‘Osteoporosis’ 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

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

True in the 1960’s – even more true today.  We expect to live into our 80’ and 90’s.  We expect to enjoy those extra years.  We can, with a little planning and action NOW.

If YOU don’t take care of your body, where ARE you going to live?  That is the real question.  Women start to rapidly lose bone at Menopause.  This is totally natural and used to be unavoidable.  Without action on your part, you could develop Clinical Osteoporosis and Fractures and wind up in a nursing home.  You can avoid these complications of natural aging.

Cedar Valley Bone Health Institute of Iowa offers a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.  DXA, VFA, specific blood tests not usually done in annual check-ups, full history, an examination and full consultation usually take 30 minutes focused on bone health alone.  We can Prevent Osteoporosis if we start early enough.  Prevention is far better than treatment, and ideally should start decades before menopause.

You must be prepared to Take Control of those issues you can control:  Calcium, Vitamin D, Protein, Vitamins & Minerals, and Exercises for Balance, Strengthening and Posture.  Everyone should do these Natural measures for best results, whether taking Osteoporosis Medications or not.  For younger persons and for some individuals over 50, they are enough all by themselves.

More next time about how YOU can Take Control of your future.

Jay Ginther, MD