Archive for the ‘Osteoporosis’ Category
Dallas, Plano, TX (http://obgynplano.com) – There is a reason why the popular “Got Milk?” advertising campaign hits home for so many people. The models in the ads look healthy, vibrant and strong. If these ads are insinuating that a glass of milk each day makes you strong and healthy, and helps keep weak bones at bay, then pour me a double.
While a lack of calcium (read information regarding calcium intake recommendations) is one cause of weak bones that can lead to osteoporosis, there are many others that lead to this common, debilitating disease. Osteoporosis is a skeletal condition that causes bones to become weaker, less dense and more brittle. It is often referred to as the “bone thinning” disease and affects 25 million people each year with approximately 80% of these being women.
Though symptoms may not appear until later on in adulthood, the bone thinning process actually begins in women around age 30 as this is when estrogen starts to decrease naturally within the body. By age 65, 80% of women will have some form of bone density loss. The disease alone is responsible for hundreds of thousands of fractures seen in area emergency rooms across the U.S. and accounts for billions of dollars in medical care. Even more alarming, in older adults, a hip fracture due to osteoporosis has very limited recovery prognosis and many will require constant care in helping with daily activities. In addition, many die of the complications during the recovery process. This is the whole rationale for treating osteopenia and osteoporosis: prevent fracture.
So what do you need to know about osteoporosis? The physicians at the Women’s Specialists of Plano provide bone density test screening daily to local Dallas area women and were helpful in addressing this very question.
Those at Risk
There are many risk factors as to why a woman might develop osteoporosis including a family history of brittle bones, fair complexion, poor nutrition, smoking, low weight, alcoholism, a long-term low calcium intake and an estrogen deficiency. In addition, there are many medical conditions associated with this disease such as multiple sclerosis, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, eating disorders, pulmonary disease and many, many others. Certain long-term prescription drug use also affects bone loss. Research has concluded that Caucasian women are at most risk over Hispanic, Asian African American and Indian. For the most part, anyone could be at risk for developing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Prevention: What can You do?
At a young age, even in the teen years, women can begin a life of healthy choices that will help delay bone loss for a long time. Most women will not even think about getting a bone density test until long after their teen years. Until then, one should avoid cigarettes and alcohol and focus on a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy diet rich in protein, vegetables, calcium and vitamin D (both will help strengthen bones.) Exercise and strength training is also very important. Women should educate themselves on the foods that help to prevent this disease as well as the medications that can lead to brittle bones. Unfortunately, there are some risk factors that cannot be changed including age, menopause, gender, family history and other medical problems.
Living with Osteoporosis
Women should discuss bone loss and osteoporosis during their next visit for their well woman care. Bone density tests and a dual density bone densitometer can (often) determine how much bone loss has occurred. This is important to know so that an appropriate plan for the treatment for osteoporosis can be provided. The key to managing osteoporosis is to prevent more bone loss from occurring through healthy eating, exercise, and overall healthy lifestyle habits. Preventing injuries and falls becomes crucial for those living with this disease; this can be done by closely monitoring how you walk and where you step, wearing a brace when needed, and being aware of your surroundings at home where falls might occur. When osteoporosis becomes painful, causes fractures, etc., physical therapy, pain relievers and electrical nerve stimulation can be recommended treatment for osteoporosis to offer comfort. In addition, new drugs on the market today can offer exceptional treatment solutions for many women. Bisphosphonates, forteo, reclast and prolia are examples of the drugs that are being prescribed to thousands of women.
Although osteoporosis is something that every woman is at risk for developing, the lifestyle changes mentioned in this article are proactive modifications that can be made in order to onset the delay of symptoms. Please discuss your concerns with your doctor today and create a plan to keep your bones healthy and strong.
See other articles from obgynplano on the subject of osteoporosis.
Bone and Calcium Metabolism: Prevention of Osteoporosis
Author: Dr Murray Fox
Bone metabolism in the human body is a very dynamic process. There is a constant lying down of bone by cells called oste
oblasts and resorbtion of bone by cells called osteoclasts. Initially the osteoblasts work much harder and faster that the osteoclasts and bone is laid down to facilitate growth.
Each person has a genetically determined peak bone mass which is attained in their twenties. By age 17 ninety percent of the bone mass has been obtained. The consequence of bone loss is the development of very weak and fragile bones, a medical condition known as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is associated with compression fracture of the bones of the spine called vertebra(ae) and fracture of the hip. While these fractures from osteoporosis may be painful and cause shortening of
stature, even difficulty breathing, the major consequence is complications and even death from surgical repair of the hip fracture.
Calcium and Vitamin D Play a Critical Role
Adequate calcium, exercise and vitamin D are required to attain and maintain bone mass. This is important in the prevention of osteoporosis. Current data indicates that the majority of children do not receive adequate amounts of calcium or vitamin D.
Recommended amount of calcium vary for individuals.
Below is a table of adequate intakes as outlined by the National Academy of Science.
Recommended Calcium Intakes
Ages Amount mg/day
Birth–6 months 210
6 months–1 year 270
70 or older 1200
Pregnant & Lactating 1000
Role of Vitamin D
Vitamin D also plays an important role in healthy bone development. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium (this is why milk is fortified with vitamin D). In the past many people depended on the sun’s effect on the skin to make vitamin D. Since more emphasis has been place on sunscreen, there is less sun effect and a greater need for vitamin D supplement. The exact amount of vitamin D required is being debated, but the consensus is that Americans are generally deficient in vitamin D and require greater amounts than originally thought. 800 international units to 1000 international units is the current recommendation for adults.
Certain medical conditions may limit the amount of calcium that may be ingested. As always, consulting your physician is suggested regarding your personal specific calcium needs.
Exercise is Necessary to Maintain Bone Health
Weight bearing exercise (walking, running, etc.) is an excellent stimulus for bone growth. Current recommendations are:
Adults: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity [on] most, preferably all, days of the week
Children: Engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity [on] most, preferably all, days of the week
Bone Mineral Density
The evaluation of bone strength, the about of calcium in the bone, is measured by a dual density densitometer. The purpose of this is to measure the exact bone mineral density of the spinal vertebrae, usually the four lumbar (lower back) vertebrae, and the femur, the large thigh bone that connects to the pelvis in the hip socket.
The bone mineral density (BMD) is usually expressed as a “T” score which is a comparison of the patients BMD to a young person. A “T” score that is – 1 or higher is considered normal. A “T” score of – 2.5 or lower is considered osteoporosis. A “T” score between – 1 and – 2.5 is called osteopenia – a softening of the bone.
Bone mineral density testing should be recommended to all postmenopausal women aged 65 years or older. Bone mineral density testing may be recommended to postmenopausal women younger than 65 years who have 1 or more risk factors for osteoporosis (See Below). Bone mineral density testing should be performed on all postmenopausal women with fractures to confirm the diagnosis of osteoporosis and determine disease severity.
Risk Factors for Osteoporotic Fracture in Postmenopausal Women
• History of prior fracture
• Family history of osteoporosis
• Caucasian race
• Poor nutrition
• Low weight and body mass index
• Estrogen deficiency*
o Early menopause (age younger than 45 years) or bilateral oophorectomy
o Prolonged premenopausal amenorrhea (>1 year)
• Long-term low calcium intake
• Impaired eyesight despite adequate correction
• History of falls
• Inadequate physical activity
About the Author:
Dr. Murray Fox is a board certified gynecologist with Women’s Specialist of Plano. Dr. Fox has over 30 years of practice and expertise in his field. His special areas of interest include preventative medicine, pelvic floor abnormalities, adolescent gynecology, and robotic surgery. http://www.obgynplano.com/womens-doctors-physicians/dr-murray-fox-md/
Article Source: ArticlesBase.com – Bone and Calcium Metabolism: Prevention of Osteoporosis