The National Osteoporosis Foundation presented “Interdisciplinary Symposium on Osteoporosis 13” last Thursday through Sunday. Over 400 attendees braved flooded streets and major delays at O’Hare. It was well worth it.
Lectures focussed on bringing new knowledge into clinical practice. The emphasis was on what we can do for individual patients. That is how we practice – helping one individual person achieve better bone health at a time.
This year the theme was teamwork. A coordinated program involving doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapists, dietitians, all working in a single coordinated effort works the best.
We learned more about what can be done to improve bone health without medications. We studied the very limited data about “natural” substances and how they may work. We reviewed the data from clinical trials of pharmaceutical medications involving tens of thousands of human patient years. We learned more about how each pharmaceutical medication works compared to other meds and compared to the natural disease process.
We debated the “ideal levels” of calcium and vitamin D3. People are all different. Even the same person has different needs at different ages.
I will be discussing the topics covered at the symposium over the next weeks. The really good news is that each year we know more and can do more to prevent osteoporosis, to decrease fracture risk. And we can do more to treat osteoporosis too.
Jay Ginther, MD