Symposium will provide chance to bone up on osteoporosis

Day by Day

Symposium will provide chance to bone up on osteoporosis

By LIZ THOMPSON
August 13, 2018

This Week Community News

As we age, our bodies don’t let us pretend we are teens or young adults anymore. We have more odd aches and pains, and for some of us, just setting out for a walk takes planning, if it can be done at all.

Many of us take our vitamins, eat as healthfully as possible and stay active. After retirement, we have more time for hobbies and special interests that keep us socially involved and physically on the move.

Aches and pains we didn’t have years ago, and the fact we seem to be getting shorter, can be warnings we should not ignore. Osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle, is a condition that can worsen as we age.

“Your bones are in a constant state of renewal – new bone is made and old bone is broken down,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and your bone mass increases. As people age, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created.”

“A fracture (broken bone) as a child is not uncommon,” says Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carmen Quatman. “Playing hard and taking some risks can sometimes lead to a colorful cast and a few weeks of ‘slowing down’ to recover.

“As an older adult, however, a fracture can result from a low-energy event, take longer to recover from and could be an important sign to recognize for further evaluation on your overall bone health.

“Osteoporosis is often unnoticed and untreated in people over the age of 65 until after a fracture, and even then, many patients are not aware that wrist, shoulder, ankle and hip fractures could be warning signs of osteoporosis.”

By 25, our bone mass and strength is at it optimum level. From there, our bodies begin a slow trend down in size and strength.

“Even though you may not be at your peak bone health, there are still things to do to preserve the bone you have,” Quatman said. “Screening labs such as calcium, Vitamin D levels, and DEXA (bone-density screenings) can be performed to help determine fracture risk and provide data to the patient to encourage bone-health initiatives. Prevention and early intervention of osteoporosis can lead to a significant impact on fracture risks in older adults.”

Preventing the loss of bone is something that begins in our youth. How active we are, our diet, medications we use and lifestyle choices we make throughout our life can affect our bone mass when we are older.

Quatman is working on a study involving falls prevention by studying records from the Upper Arlington Fire Division on the runs it makes that involve accidental falls.

Some medical conditions, such as celiac disease, kidney or liver disease, cancer, lupus, multiple myeloma and rheumatoid arthritis, may cause a higher risk for osteoporosis.

It is more likely in women, especially postmenopausal women and those who are Caucasian or of Asian descent.

There are some things we cannot change, but making healthful lifestyle choices and being aware of prevention and risk factors serve to set us on a path to better health.

Each year, the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging offers a senior symposium for those who want to learn more about topics of interest.

This fifth symposium takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 19 at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, 2300 Lytham Road. (Ohio)

The topic is osteoporosis and bone health. Quatman will speak, along with endocrinologist Dr. Laura Ryan with the Center for Women’s Health at the Ohio State.

Topics include non-pharmacologic treatments, such as healthful diet and weight-bearing exercise, and management of the disease.

There is no cost, but registration is required. Call 614-583-5326 to register no later than Sept. 14.

Education is never a waste of time – especially when it improves our lives.

 

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Memory woes a sign of aging, or of dementia

Day by day
Memory woes a sign of aging, or of dementia
by Liz Thompson
Wednesday August 20, 2014
Thisweeknews.com

Where did I put my glasses? Why did I come into the kitchen?

Memory loss of any degree is worrisome. It can be a precursor to serious problems. I say my brain is a closet packed full of life’s “stuff” and I have to sort through to find what I want. I’m not alone.

Linda, 62, of Westerville recently retired from a fast-paced job and is learning to relax.

“I’ve decided it’s OK to forget the small things and just remember the most important, like picking up that grandchild or going to a doctor appointment. Forgive yourself for not remembering and enjoy what time we have left in this world,” Linda said.

Don, 71, of Columbus said, “Although I have had dementia in my family, I really don’t obsess about it. It’s one of those things over which we have little control.

“I was talking with a friend about the Hitchcock film North by Northwest,” Don said. “While we both agreed it was a classic, neither of us could remember the star who we were later told was Cary Grant. The friend who I was talking with is 66.”

“Bob,” 75, of Columbus, helps Habitat for Humanity build houses.

“I ride my bicycle whenever I can,” said Bob, who asked that his real name not be used.

When he’s not physically active, he is writing about his life. Both he and Don use calendars to track their activities but when busy, they sometimes forget things.

Bob has seen fellow scientists, family and friends struggle with dementia. Some made good choices when they recognized the onset of symptoms, while others chose to ignore them and eventually had to rely solely on others.

“My fear is that as I get older and need to have other people do things for me, I’ll accept some bogus, money-up-front offer. My question is how I will recognize that the time has come for me to turn such decisions over to one of my children,” Bob said.

According to the American Psychological Association, some memory loss is normal with aging, and some types of memory improve or stay the same. They urge people to watch for signs because physical conditions can affect the memory. These include anxiety, dehydration, depression, infections, medication, poor nutrition, psychological stress, substance abuse and thyroid problems.

Barb, 63, of Powell is proof. Multiple sclerosis affects her memory to the point where, at times, she may not know the names of family members. Yet she challenges herself physically by doing long fundraising bike rides.

Mari Dannhauer, program director for the Alzheimer’s Association, said dementia is a cornucopia of symptoms, not a diagnosis.

“If you get a diagnosis of dementia, ask what type it is. Ask lots of questions,” Dannhauer said. “Dementia causes short-term memory loss and confusion. Sometimes it is reversible and sometimes it is not. Alzheimer’s is the most common irreversible form of dementia.”

She urges people to see their doctor when they notice recurring problems and when others start to notice.

Amy Schossler, director of the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging, said the upcoming Memory and Brain Health Symposium was developed in direct response to a survey at an event sponsored by the Upper Arlington Civic Association.

“The survey asked many questions about the subjects seniors want to know more about. Overwhelmingly, two-thirds of all responses indicated that memory and brain health are a top priority,” Schossler said.

The symposium features Dr. Douglas Scharre, a cognitive neurologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; Dr. Marla Bruns, a cognitive neurologist with Ohio Health; and Dr. Akhlaq Farooqui, a retired neurochemist.

Topics include brain health, diagnosis and treatment of dementia, and research associated with the disease. Scharre will discuss the Self-Administered Geocognitive Examination (SAGE) and have copies available for people to take; staff will be available to review and discuss the results.

The Memory and Brain Health Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, 2300 Lytham Road.

Registration is required by calling 614-583-5326. Seating is limited to 150 people. Free lunch and a senior expo of community organizations and businesses are included.

The majority of us will learn to live with minor memory issues and even learn to laugh about it — especially since we have company.

Now where are my keys?