If you have osteoporosis -- or are at high risk -- odds are you're not getting the care you need. A Stanford study determined that more than half of all people with osteoporosis remain undiagnosed. What's more, even high-risk patients -- such as those who have already had a hip fracture - often don'
One in two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in her/his remaining lifetime. Yes, osteoporosis ("porous bones") affects men, too. Yet the advanced effects of bone loss -- a humped upper back or easily shattered limbs -- does not have to be in the future
Health-conscious women who wouldn't dream of skipping their Pap test or mammogram appointments can be woefully ignorant about another type of vital health check -- the bone density test. This quick and painless evaluation, often done for the first time after menopause , can help predict whether you'
Will a vitamin D test tell me if I need more vitamin D? That depends on whom you ask. As part of your regular blood test, your doctor can order a test for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD). The problem is not with the test. The problem is how to interpret the results. An expert committee convened by the
Can I get too much vitamin D? Too much of any good thing is a bad thing. Too much vitamin D can cause an abnormally high blood calcium level, which could result in nausea, constipation, confusion, abnormal heart rhythm, and even kidney stones. It's nearly impossible to get too much vitamin D from su
Why do I need vitamin D? Your body must have vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children (rickets) and fragile, misshapen bones in adults (osteomalacia). You also need vitamin D for other important body functions. Vitamin D deficiency h
No matter which osteoporosis drug your doctor chooses for you, it's helpful to know as much as possible about how the disease has affected you. One way to tell is to ask about your "markers." What a difference a decade makes. In 1995, Fosamax, the first medication in a class of drugs called bisphosp
For many people, hearing "You have osteoporosis" is startling. Some hear it in the hospital after breaking a hip. Others get the news after getting a bone density test. Osteoporosis is most common in women after menopause, people with osteoporosis in their family, and people with a small frame. But
Heavy drinking is a health risk for many reasons, including the effects on bones. Research shows that chronic heavy alcohol use, especially during adolescence and young adult years, can dramatically affect bone health and increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life. What do doctors advise? Drink
How much vitamin D do I need? In November 2010, the Institute of Medicine's expert committee set a new "dietary reference intake" for vitamin D. Assuming that a person gets virtually no vitamin D from sunshine -- and that this person gets adequate amounts of calcium -- the IOM committee recommends g