Our Amgen Medical Liaison met with us this week. Her job is to supply information which has been published or presented at major meetings. She meets only with practitioners (MD, NP in our case) and cannot market any medications.
This is good. For the first time in 5 years, I missed ASBMR (American Society for Bone & Mineral Research). She was able to show us several studies presented at that meeting that were most helpful.
NP Katie and I, like most practitioners, always approach scientific papers with a critical eye. The studies answered several questions. They also raised further questions. Perhaps those answers will come next year.
Legislators pass rules and regs to keep medical practitioners away from information supplied by persons employed by Pharma. They fail to understand the value of critcally evaluating new scientific data. Detailed information about each available medication is needed if we are to find the best osteoporosis medication for each patient each time.
No single osteoporosis medication is right for everyone all the time. Every osteoporosis medication is the best choice for someone at some time. There are times when no medication is the best choice.
The more information Katie and I have about medications, the smarter we are when helping to choose what is best for each individual. No one can go to all meetings or read all published studies. A Pharma Medical Liaison helps gather relevant information.
YOU too can gather information before and after you visit your doc. Use the left column to find blogs about topics that interest you. You can Take Control.
Jay Ginther, MD
On Veterans Day we should thank those who have served our country.
Serving in the military is always a sacrifice. Military service, especially combat, forever changes a person. Some changes are positive. Too often there is damage – physical or psychological.
Our veterans have given part of themselves for our country. Sometimes a large part, or even all. So have their families. We owe our veterans and their families our thanks, whether or not we agree with the particular military actions that our politicians required of them.
We are obligated to meet their needs in a timely manner. The housecleaning at the Veterans Administration is long overdue. These are fellow human beings, injured by what we asked them to do.
Thank you for your service. We promise to do better in showing our thanks.
Jay Ginther, MD
We can get ALL of our Calcium from foods. We need 1200-1500 mg daily, especially if we have not been getting that much for years. Most of us have not been getting enough Calcium – or our Vitamin D levels have been too low to absorb all we cansume.
Your body can absorb only 500-600 mg of Calcium at each meal. Therefore you must spread out your calcium over 3 meals a day. Do NOT exceed 2,000 mg Calcium daily. Too much Calcium can be bad for kidneys or heart.
Chart of common foods high in Calcium in mg (adapted from the USDA website):
Getting the right amount of Calcium every day can be confusing. The total of 1200 mg (1500 mg to correct long term deficiency) daily sounds easy. You can only absorb 500 mg (maybe 600 mg) in a single meal. Therefore, split your Calcium into 3 doses.
Calcium is best when it is in food. Calcium Supplements with meals are good too. Many of us need “Calcium CITRATE” rather than plain “Calcium” for easier absorption and fewer side effects.
Try to get a total of 400-500 mg Calcium in each meal. Count Calcium in Foods and Calcium in Supplements. If you have the same foods every day, it is easy to set up your supplements. But the same diet every day is boring! I like variety.