Posts Tagged ‘Bone Health’

Smoking is a major risk factor for fractures.  Smoking suppresses the osteoblasts (the cells that make new bone).  The osteoclasts (cells that eat away bone) then can easily outdo the osteoblasts, and you lose bone mass.  Lower bone mass = more fractures.

Stopping smoking altogether is the best for your bone health.  That is really tough to do.  E-cigarettes have not proven less harmful to bone.  Nicotine patches help only if they eventually lead to less nicotine intake than with smoking.

The damage smoking does to your bones (and lungs, and heart) is dose related.  Therefore, cutting way down is almost as good as quitting, and often much easier to do.

Especially if you are trying to heal a fracture, stopping smoking, even for a few weeks, is really important.  1 ppd smokers are 5 to 10 times as likely to not heal a fracture.  The same is true for infection rate after surgery.

Steroid Inhalers also suppress osteoblasts and bone formation.  Unfortunately many cannot get off their steroid inhalers, even after they quit smoking.  Major bummer.

Take Control Naturally of your bone health.  Stop Smoking.  Or at least cut way back.

Jay Ginther, MD

 

 

The purpose of good bone health is to prevent fractures.  Most fractures happen as a result of a fall.  If you do not fall, you decrease your fracture risk.  How do you prevent falls?

Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles.  Strong muscles are part of the solution.  But you also need good balance.  Good balance requires exercises to strengthen the muscles required for balance.

Balance exercises have been used for centuries to keep people limber and free from falling, and thereby, free from fractures.  They are often taught in group sessions, but can be performed alone on any flat surface.

Tai Chi and Yoga are the best known ancient balance exercises.  Daily, or at least 3 times weekly, sessions of 20-30 minutes will gradually improve your balance and prevent falls.

Less interesting, but easier to do anywhere, is simply walking on your toes for several minutes.  More challenging is walking on your heels, like a penguin.  If you can do that for 2 minutes straight, you have great muscles, strong ankles, and are unlikely to stumble, even on uneven ground.

Take Control Naturally by working on your Balance.  Remember that proper nutrition is necessary for strong muscles and bones.

Jay Ginther, MD

Use them or lose them.  Bones grow – or shrink – to meet their daily needs.  You must be on your feet standing and walking every day if you want to be able to stand and walk.  You must climb stairs most days if you want to be able to some days.

People forced to stay in bed, due to disease or injury, for days or weeks, have lost muscle and bone.  Space Station Astronauts still have lower bone mass ten years after returning to earth. 

Bones respond to constant weight-bearing and to impact.  Therefore, walking on a firm surface strengthens your legs and spine more than bicycling, stair-stepper, or treadmill.  Jogging and running apply more impact.

But remember, that a sudden increase in impact – intensity or duration – can produce stress fractures.  Gradually increase the speed or duration of any exercise over weeks and months.  Stretch before and after exercises for the sake of muscles, joints and bones.

Daily exercise is important, but alternating days of heavy and light exercise is even more important.

Take Control Naturally of your Bone Health.  Light exercise daily.  Longer or faster exercise 2 or 3 times weekly.

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