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! 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