Friday, October 4, 2013

Bone Mass Density Ultrasound

Just another day at work. I had a pretty busy four-day osteoporosis clinic where patients book a 45-minute consultation with me and listen to my spiel about bone health. I'd perform an ultrasound test on your wrist, and give you a measurement in "T-score", and screen you for osteoporosis. Then, we discuss your options for prevention.

Now, yes... the only true prevention to osteoporosis is still the tried, tested and true of consuming enough calcium and vitamin D, and doing weight-bearing exercises, but I work to tailor these consultations to fit the patient too. Not everyone is as willing to make changes for better results, and what each person would or could do varies. One may have physical limitations that prevent them from doing certain exercises, and others may have health conditions that makes choosing a certain type of calcium more beneficial. Some may be taking certain medications that need to be spaced out from calcium supplements. And so, I'll sit there and decipher your needs to bits.

For some general free tips : swimming and cycling are not considered weight-bearing exercises. Although still very good exercises to do to strengthen muscles and improve heart health, weight-bearing exercises are required to keep bones strong. Examples of weight-bearing exercises include walking, jogging, dancing and even daily routine exercises such as grocery bags.

For an adult, we require at least 1000-1200mg of calcium and 800-1000IU of vitamin D in a day. The best way to comsume calcium is through your diet. Examples : a glass of milk gives you about 300mg of calcium in a day. A cup of broccoli gives you about 100mg. An orange gives you 50mg. Most of us cannot consume enough calcium through diet, and that's why we need to supplement. When choosing a calcium supplement, always check the side of the bottle to see how much "elemental calcium" you're getting. This is the amount of calcium you would get out of the tablet. One of the most popular type of calcium is calcium carbonate, and generally yields about 500mg of calcium per tablet. This type of calcium requires acid to absorb, so best taken with food (to help trigger acid production). If you're on acid reducing medication, this may not be the best type of calcium for you. Calcium citrate has no acid requirement for absorption, so generally better for those who cannot remember to take with food or has stomach issues. If you're required to take a couple tablets per day, then best to space them apart. Your body can only absorb about 500mg calcium at a time.

And I could go on.

But that will be my spiel on my blog. Sharing knowledge to my readers.

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