Posts Tagged ‘blood test for osteoporosis’

Should you be taking probiotic supplements?

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Should you be taking probiotic supplements?

Probiotic supplements are becoming more and more popular among consumers, as many of them claim they promote digestive balance, help one to lose weight, and boost the immune system. Those claims all sound great, however, there is not enough evidence to support them. The Food and Drug   Administration often referred to as the FDA loosely regulates the companies creating these probiotic supplements so they can imply all the claims mentioned previously without any consequences. For example, the probiotic companies can’t say that these supplements will treat diabetes Diabetes and Eye Health, but they can rephrase and say something like “promotes healthy blood sugar levels”. online blood testsThis can be very confusing for a consumer, and one might buy and take these supplements thinking it will lower their blood sugar levels when there is no real evidence to back up the statement. The most common misconception about probiotics supplements is that they colonize in your gut and become part of your microbiome, but there is not enough research to prove this is true. Most research indicates that probiotics just pass by, which may have some benefits for your microbiome. Many doctors do prescribe probiotics as different strains have been found to help with different things, such as Clostridium difficile, which is an infection that causes inflammation of the color and diarrhea. If you are thinking about taking probiotic supplements, speak to your physician first to see if this an option for you, and if so, the right probiotic strain you should take.


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Osteoporosis in Men

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Women take the headlines when addressing age related bone loss, but men are subject to the threat of bone loss as well. It is estimated that 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture during their lifetime. There are two main types of the disease:

  1. Primary osteoporosis which is due to age
  2. Secondary osteoporosis which is caused by medical conditions, certain drug usage and other lifestyle factors.

Routine laboratory testing may reveal the underlying cause of osteoporosis in men whose bone loss was thought to have no known cause.  Based upon a study in the October 2012 Osteoporosis International Journal, both men and women are diagnosed using bone mineral density (BMD) testing by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (Dexa scan). Dexa scan measures bone density in hips and spines. In addition, blood tests are conducted to assist with the diagnosis of osteoporosis. It is recommended that the following blood test be performed:

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Testosterone
  3. Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
  4. Follical Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  5. Thyroid Panel
  6. Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  7. Creatinine
  8. Calcium
  9. Phosphorus

The study of osteoporosis in men found that the overwhelming majority of subjects’ osteoporosis was caused by low testosterone levels, vitamin D deficiency, the body’s inability to absorb calcium, mildly underactive thyroid, or overactive thyroid.

Osteoporosis blood testing

Osteoporosis can be effectively treated if it is detected before significant bone loss has occurred. Unfortunately, since men are not routinely tested or questioned about bone health, diagnosis often doesn’t take place until after a fracture occurs or a man complains of back pain. Men should be sure to discuss with their doctors all their medications as some medications are known to cause bone loss, such as glucocorticoids – typically prescribed to transplant patients or those with autoimmune diseases.

Again, men are susceptible to osteoporosis and should be vigilant about their bone health.

Take Control of Your Health!

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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Vitamin D and Calcium for Bone Health

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Most of our bone mass is acquired during childhood and adolescence and is completely done forming by the age of 18.   It is very important to have adequate calcium during the the young years of high growth in order to have a better outlook for bone health in the future.  If there is insufficient calcium deposited in bones during childhood, the bones may become weak later in life and could increase the probability of osteoporosis.  As we know, fragile bones can easily fracture or break especially in vulnerable areas such as the hip, spine and wrist.

Bone Health

How Much Calcium is Enough?

According to the American Dietetic Association, women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day for healthy bones.  After age 50, a woman’s calcium needs increase to 1,200 milligrams a day.  Converting milligrams needed to serving sizes is the best way to help identify the calcium-rich foods that are required.

Women need at least three servings a day of these calcium rich foods and a serving of calcium is equivalent to:

  • 1 cup low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 1 cup low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • 1 ounce low-fat or fat-free cheese
  • 1.5 cups cooked soybeans
  • 1 cup calcium fortified orange juice
  • 3 oz canned sardines with bones

Other types of food that have high calcium content include:

  • spinach
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • almonds
  • white beans
  • kale

How Does Vitamin D Help with Calcium Absorption?

Aging bodies have a harder time absorbing calcium and it is important to add vitamin D to your diet which helps calcium absorption.  Vitamin D is difficult to get from dietary sources so it’s a good idea to get a Vitamin D blood test to see if the body has sufficient vitamin D to help with calcium absorption.  There are vitamin D supplements that can help with the daily recommended amount of vitamin D: 400-800 IU for younger women.  Older women, above 50, need increased amounts and it is recommended to have 800-1000 IU per day.

Many women undergo a bone density test in their 40s.  This will establish a baseline of the bone density and the test can be repeated, as necessary, to assess bone density throughout the later years.  Besides calcium and vitamin D there are other ways to keep the bones strong:

  1. conducting weight bearing exercises
  2. participating in strength training exercises
  3. avoiding smoking and minimizing drinking alcohol

Take Control of Your Health!

Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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