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Posts Tagged ‘Bone density’

Overview of calcium regulation (See Wikipedia:...

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Recently I’ve been running into more and more stories about vitamin D deficiency-in the U.S.! One friend of mine was feeling so low energy and lethargic that he though he was depressed. Then he got a physical exam and found out he was Vitamin D deficient–even though he eats very healthy and loves the sun. A few weeks of taking Vitamin D supplements later, and he was functioning better than ever.  He said finding out he was Vitamin D deficient may explain why he gets so low energy and depressed in the less sunny winter months. (According to Dr. Carrie Bearden from everydayhealth.com, low levels of vitamin D can also cause symptoms of depression, fatigue and sleep disturbance!)

But did you know Vitamin D deficiency can also cause trouble with your bones density?

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, your body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium. Kids need vitamin D to build strong bones. Adults need Vitamin D to keep bones strong and healthy. Thus when people do not get enough vitamin D, they can lose bone density along with other effects. Studies show that people with low levels of vitamin D have lower bone density or bone mass. They are also more likely to break bones when they are older. There are three ways to get vitamin D:

  • Sunlight
  • Food
  • Supplements and medications

There is a test to determine if you have a deficiency in Vitamin D. It’s called 25-hydroxyvitamin D and is used to determine if bone weakness, bone malformation, or abnormal metabolism of calcium (reflected by abnormal calcium, phosphorus, PTH) is occurring as a result of a deficiency or excess of vitamin D.

Discuss with your healthcare provider whether you should have your 25-hydroxyvitamin D tested,( which is also written as 25(OH)D). This test should not be confused with a test for 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation has a great info about Vitamin D and bone loss here.

This article from the Guardian talks about how Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise.

Science Daily has this to say about Vitamin D deficiency.

And even the Huffington Post weighs in on Vitamin D loss with this article, Why you are not getting enough vitamin D. apparently Vitamin D is an important cancer inhibitor, immune system booster and mood lifter!  This is a fantastic article and really covers in detail why Vitamin D is so essential, how to get your levels tested, how to supplement (The only active form of vitamin D is vitamin D3 –cholecalciferol–according to Dr Mark Hymen, author of the article).

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Are the medications you are taking contributing to premature bone loss? And if so, what can you do about it? This past week I attended a class on Functional Strength Training for the Aging Spine taught by Shari Kalstein, a physical therapist and personal trainer. )Shari created a class, Fortify Your Frame for older adults and now teaches it to seniors in her practice in Florida The class I attended was modified for personal trainers and physical therapists to teach older adults how to safely exercise.). Her class was a very useful and informative class. She presented a LOT of material about bone density, the aging spine and exercises to help people strengthen their backs and cores as they age. Since we all age at one point, it was useful info for people of all ages.

Long Bone. Image from Wikipedia

A few of the points Shari made were that:

1. Many people are vitamin D deficient, even in sunny Florida and don’t even know it.

2. Men can have osteoporosis and are not regularly tested until at least age 70, long after preventative measures could have been taken. Important facts for men about bone loss here.

3. Many medications as well as soda pop consumption lead to bone density loss.

I was surprised to see so many common medications listed as contributors to bone loss. I thought I’d share them with you as well as the link to the Osteoporosis Association website here.

Medications That Can Contribute to Bone Loss

Below is a list of medicines that may cause bone loss.

  • Aluminum-containing antacids
  • Antiseizure medicines (only some) such as Dilantin® or Phenobarbital
  • Aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex®, Aromasin® and Femara®
  • Cancer chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Cyclosporine A and FK506 (Tacrolimus)
  • Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) such as Lupron® and Zoladex®
  • Heparin
  • Lithium
  • Medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception (Depo-Provera®)
  • Methotrexate
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium®, Prevacid® and Prilosec®
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Lexapro®, Prozac® and Zoloft®
  • Steroids (glucocorticoids) such as cortisone and prednisone
  • Tamoxifen® (premenopausal use)
  • Thiazolidinediones such as Actos® and Avandia®
  • Thyroid hormones in excess

Preventing/Counteracting Bone Loss

• Make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D. If you are not sure, get blood work from your doctor and make sure he/she specifically checks your calcium and vitamin D levels. Even if you are ingesting food high in calcium, you may not be properly absorbing it. Supplementation may be required.

• You need regular weight-bearing exercise to keep your bones healthy and strong. Walking is a great weight-bearing exercise you can do well into old age. And not on a treadmill–outdoors is best.

• Eat fruits and vegetables.

• Reduce your alcohol intake

• Quit Smoking

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