Monday, September 30, 2013

Our family has grown

Good news
We attended a wedding recently; our daughter married a great guy.  We now get to be grandparents to two granddaughters.  We traveled to Texas to be a part of this happy, festive occasion.  A true Texas wedding, the colors were silver,  royal blue (sound familiar to any Dallas Cowboy fans?) with a touch of watermelon pink for an accent.  And yes, the bride wore cowboy boots under her long wedding gown.   I’m happy to report that it was a beautiful wedding and we all enjoyed our time together.  (To protect our family's privacy, I won't post anyone's pictures but my own.)  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

2Million2Many campaign

One more post about osteoporosis before we move on.  The American Nurse Practitioner Foundation (ANPF) has launched the 2Million2Many campaign to increase awareness of osteoporosis and its risks to our health.  Here’s some statistics:  “Over 2 million bone breaks occur annually that are no accident; but instead, signs of osteoporosis.  Of the nearly 300,000 people who break a hip, 25% end up in a nursing home, 50% never regain previous function and 25% die within the first year after breaking their hip.”   The 2Million2Many campaign stresses the current NOF recommendations:  take calcium and vitamin D daily, add exercise (especially weight-bearing and muscle strengthening) to your life, don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol, and talk with your doctor/primary care provider about bone density testing and medication if/when it is needed.  This news article can be found at

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Medications to treat osteoporosis

Can osteoporosis be treated?  Yes, two types of medications have been developed for treatment of osteoporosis.  One type of drug called antiresorptive slows down the normal bone breakdown.  This class of drugs includes bisphosphonates, calcitonin, denosumab (Prolia), and estrogen agonists/antagonists. 
The second category of osteoporosis medication is called anabolic drugs.  Teriparatide is currently the one FDA-approved drug for accelerating bone building.  Which osteoporosis drug should you be considering, if any?  Talk with your doctor about your bone health.  You may need a bone density study if you haven't had one recently.  Then your doctor will determine if you need treatment and which medication is appropriate for you.  More information can be found at and

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A second type of exercise for healthy bones

The second type of exercises we should be doing involves stretching and keeping our balance to prevent falls.  Stretching our muscles makes our muscles stronger and more flexible helps keep us upright and prevent falls.  Another problem which contributes to people falling is balance problems.  If a person loses his balance and can’t recover, down he will go like Humpty Dumpty.  The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends Tai Chi as being good exercise for balance.  For more information about recommended exercises, check out the NOF website at

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Exercise for healthy bones

Exercise.  Ouch, now my toes are being tromped on.  Exercise, who me?  Do I have to? Yes unless I want to be a stooped, round-shouldered little old woman. 
Weight bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises will help my bones stay healthy and help prevent me from falling and suffering a painful fracture.  Weight bearing uses weight to add resistance.  We can use weights, resistance bands, exercise machines, even our own body weight.  A friend and co-worker recently shared that since she began running (exercise), that her bone density studies have improved into a normal level and her doctor took her off the osteoporosis medication she was taking.  Can exercise be a significant treatment for osteoporosis?  It is for my friend.  My friend who is running has begun what is called high-impact weight-bearing exercises.  Other examples include dancing, hiking, jogging, tennis, jumping rope, and climbing stairs.  Low-impact weight-bearing exercises (more my speed) include fast walking, elliptical machines, low-impact aerobics and stair-stepper machines.  Muscle-strengthening exercises include lifting weights, using exercise bands or weight machines, and even lifting your own body weight.