Archive for the ‘Evaluation and Screening’ Category
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
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
I have let the regular posts to the blog lapse for quite some time, while working on other issues.
I have been reviewing my first-time Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA) patients. My latest research project included 1259 patients over 3 1/2 years. I analyzed the patients by FRAX, height loss, age, and fragility fractures as well. Nothing duplicated the findings by VFA.
I found that DXA alone missed many patients who have Clinical Osteoporosis if VFA (lateral spine) is taken into account. I have presented this at ISCD and ASBMR. Putting it into proper format to submit for publication took much more time than I anticipated.
This project is finished until I start the next sub-analysis.
I hope to get back to adding to the blog regularly.
Jay Ginther, MD
Determining the correct 25-hydroxy Vitamin D level is still a work in progress. In the 8 years I have been attending meetings, we have made considerable progress. NOF 2007 was the first time any society proposed an intake above 400 IU daily and a 25-hydroxy Vit D level of more than 20 ng/ml.
At the 2015 U. Wisconsin “Bare Bones Symposium” the latest recommendations were discussed. I have summarized them here.
Take Vitamin D3. D3 is Cholecalciferol (what we make in sunshine). Vitamin D2 is Ergocalciferol (what plants make and use). D3 works much better in people than D2 becuse it is the right stuff. It lasts 5 times longer and the assay is more accurate.
Test for 25-hydroxy Vitamin D level and aim for between 40 and 80 ng/ml. At 40 ng/ml over 98% of people can absorb and utilize Calcium fully. You want to have some margin of safety since lab test results vary by at least 20%. If you are seriously deficient, we give 50,000 IU of D3 every M, W, F based on your level and size, to correct the level quickly.
If you do not want to test your level, and you are the “average person” of 154# or 70 kg, you should take 3800 IU daily. This should achieve the 40 ng/ml level – eventually. If you are very deficient, this could take a year or more. If you are larger than the old average, or you have digestive issues, you will need more.
Finally, some cancer researchers believe that 70 ng/ml is better for preventing and treating cancers. If they are right, you should go for the higher level. If they are wrong, you have done no harm by going for the higher level.
Take Control of your Bone Health. Take enough D3.
Jay Ginther, MD