Osteoporosis In Detail:
Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist, although any bone can be affected. Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans, or 55 percent of the people 50 years of age and older. In the U.S., 10 million individuals are estimated to already have the disease and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Of the 10 million Americans estimated to have osteoporosis, eight million are women and two million are men. Significant risk has been reported in people of all ethnic backgrounds. While osteoporosis is often thought of as an older person's disease, it can strike at any age.Eighty percent of those affected by osteoporosis are women. Twenty percent of those affected by osteoporosis are men.One in two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in her/his remaining lifetime. Osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, including:over 300,000 hip fractures, 700,000 vertebral fractures, 250,000 wrist fractures and 300,000 fractures at other sites. The estimated national direct care expenditures (including hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient services) for osteoporotic fractures is $18 billion per year in 2002 dollars, and costs are rising.Osteoporosis is often called a "silent disease" because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump or fall causes a fracture or a vertebra to collapse. Collapsed vertebrae may initially be felt or seen in the form of severe back pain, loss of height, or spinal deformities such as kyphosis or stooped posture.Risk Factors Certain people are more likely to develop osteoporosis than others. Factors that increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis and fractures are called "risk factors." These risk factors include: Personal history of fracture after age 50 -Current low bone mass -History of fracture in a relative -Being female -Being thin and/or having a small frame -Advanced age -A family history of osteoporosis -Estrogen deficiency as a result of menopause, especially early or surgically induced -Abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea) -Anorexia nervosa -Low lifetime calcium intake -Vitamin D deficiency Use of certain medications (corticosteroids, chemotherapy, anticonvulsants and others) -Presence of certain chronic medical conditions -Low testosterone levels in men -An inactive lifestyle -Current cigarette smoking -Excessive use of alcohol -Being Caucasian or Asian, although African Americans and Hispanic Americans are at significant risk as well Women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years following menopause, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis.Detection Specialized tests called bone mineral density (BMD) tests can measure bone density in various sites of the body. A BMD test can:-detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs -Predict chances of fracturing in the future -Determine rate of bone loss and/or monitor the effects of treatment if a DXA BMD test is conducted at intervals of one year or more Medicare reimburses for BMD testing every two years. An increase in BMD testing and osteoporosis treatment was associated with a decrease in hip fracture incidence.Bone density is an important determinant of fracture risk even in nursing home patients.There has been a five-fold increase in office visits for osteoporosis (from 1.3 to 6.3 million) in the past 10 years.Prevention By about age 20, the average woman has acquired 98 percent of her skeletal mass. Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis later. There are five steps, which together can optimize bone health and help prevent osteoporosis. They are:-A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D -Weight-bearing and resistance-training exercises -A healthy lifestyle with no smoking or excessive alcohol intake -Talking to one’s healthcare professional about bone health -Bone density testing and medication when appropriate A study of disease management in a rural healthcare population demonstrated that a preventive program was able to reduce hip fractures and save money. Medications Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, the following medications are approved by the FDA for postmenopausal women to prevent and/or treat osteoporosis:BisphosphonatesAlendronate and alendronate plus vitamin D (brand name Fosamax® and Fosamax® plus D) Ibandronate (brand name Boniva®) Risedronate and risedronate with calcium (brand name Actonel® and Actonel® with Calcium) Calcitonin (brand name Miacalcin®) Estrogen/Hormone TherapyEstrogens (brand names, such as Climara®, Estrace®, Estraderm®, Estratab®, Ogen®, Ortho-Est®, Premarin®, Vivelle® and others) Estrogens and Progestins (brand names, such as Activella™, FemHrt®, Premphase®, Prempro® and others) Parathyroid Hormone – Teriparatide (PTH (1-34) (brand name Fortéo®) Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs)Raloxifene (brand name Evista®) Alendronate is approved as a treatment for osteoporosis in men and is approved for treatment of glucocorticoid (steroid)-induced osteoporosis in men and women. Risedronate is approved for prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in men and women.Parathyroid hormone is approved for the treatment of osteoporosis in men who are at high risk of fracture.Treatments under investigation include sodium fluoride, vitamin D metabolites, and other bisphosphonates and selective estrogen receptor modulators.
NASA Sponsored Research
Osteoporosis Information 
Osteoporosis Links
Osteoporosis Information
Bone Boosters
       By Marge Peterson, Bone Boosters Coordinator                 
 Don’t be discouraged!  You can do  many things to help yourself stop bone loss.  Some are quite easy to do and you will actually enjoy doing them.  If you have recently been told you have osteoporosis, you might feel shocked or discouraged. THAT IS NORMAL.
 Get yourself a mantra or phrase you can repeat to reassure yourself. Any word or phrase which you find calming will do. Or, if you want to project a little attitude or spunk, try one of these: 1. Osteoporosis is not the boss of me!”  2.  “Osteoporosis, get off my back!” (That’s a little joke because the spine is often a main site of bone loss.) 3. “I’m smarter than Humpty Dumpty.”  Quietly repeat your phrase when you want to feel calmer and empowered.
 Your bottom-line goal is to hang on to the bone you’ve got right now. Remember that your Dexa Scan (which gave you your T-Score and probably scared the dickens out of you) measured your bone density against  individuals at peak bone mass.  If your peak bone mass in your 20s and 30s was low, you are starting at a lower T-Score now.  
 Your “icing on the cake” goal is to actually build new bone.  You do that by weight-bearing exercise which stresses your muscles and therefore your bones which get stronger.  You do it by getting enough Vitamin D and calcium.  You do it my nourishing your body and bones with a colorful banquet of nutrient-rich foods. 
 Think of your doctor as a partner.  She or he is the other half of your tag-team in wrestling with osteoporosis. If medication is what he or she suggests, ask how it works in your body. Ask, “Are there side effects?” Ask, “Will I be taking these pills the rest of my life?”  Do not be afraid of annoying your doctor! It is possible you will annoy him or her, but be pleasant and firm if you still do not understand your situation.  You are your own best advocate in this situation.
Go home from your doctor visit and LEARN what you can about osteoporosis. Read, read, read.  Go online.  Go to the bookstore.  Ask friends.  And join a support group. There are people there who will celebrate  your victories in battling bone loss and suggest  concrete things for you to try if you aren’t doing as well as you want to. In Las Cruces, you can phone 522-5106 . 
And…don’t fall down!  You don’t have to have osteoporosis to break a bone, but if you already have fragile bones, it might be much worse.
Bone Boosters of SNM is coordinated by Marge Peterson.  Marge is a former educator with a master’s degree in Exceptional Education.  She is the author of two non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles on subjects as diverse as health, crafts and antiques and has also published over 60 of her photographs.  She lives with her husband in Las Cruces, NM and has two grown children and four grandchildren.  She has battled osteoporosis for over three decades, winning some battles and losing some.  Today it gives her pleasure to paint pictures and try to encourage and educate those fight osteoporosis.
Assessing your personal fall injury risk
Courtesy of NMSU News Center
NMSU faculty member’s research may increase quality of life for older adults
Date: 2009-09-08
Writer: Margaret Kovar
Falling down is a reality that affects the lives of many older adults every day. Falls can be attributed to
numerous causes, including age and physical mobility, which is why a current New Mexico State
University faculty member developed and introduced a comprehensive fall-risk screening instrument,
 the first of its kind in the nation.
Robert Wood, head of the College of Education Department of Human Performance, Dance and
Recreation, created the Comprehensive Falls Risk Screening Instrument while teaching at
Louisiana State University. Jennifer Fabre, an assistant professor at the LSU Health Sciences Center
in Shreveport, La., is a co-author of the instrument.
The screening instrument not only identifies those at risk, but also why they are at risk. After a participant’s risks are identified, they can then be referred to the correct physician or intervention program. For example, if a person is most at risk of falling down because of a decrease in mobility, they can begin a physical activity program that addresses balance, strength, stability and the core.
“If we can prevent some falls, we can ease the burden on the person, their family and the health care system,” Wood said.
Understanding how to intervene is important. Some fall risks cannot be modified, such as age, while other causes, such as vision and physical mobility, can be modified. These causes, along with side effects from medication and diseases, all play a role in increasing the risk of a fall. Because of this, the program also helps identify other public health problems.
During the screening process, several different screening items are utilized, including physical activities, vision tests and a survey. A computer algorithm is then used to score the results and provide a report to the participant. Those administering the screening go over the report with the participant.
When assessing the screening instrument’s accuracy, Wood compared the program’s results to self-reported history of falls in more than 300 senior adults, and now has prospective data for about 200 senior adults.
Wood said physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of falls.
“A physically active lifestyle is critical for optimizing functioning and quality of life. There’s no single better way to maintain function and delay the effects of aging,” he said.
In the future, the possibility of training employees or volunteers at places such as community centers and hospitals to administer the screenings may be explored. Although the screening process is not marketed yet, Wood said he would like to develop the program more by adding an interactive Web site health care providers can use to submit data themselves and receive a report.
Wood also said he would like to start administering the screening process in Las Cruces. If interested or for more information about screenings, contact Wood at (575) 646-4065.
The screening program is currently being implemented at senior service organizations in Baton Rouge, La., Shreveport, La., Atlanta, Ga., and Bangor, Maine.
Older adults participate in a physical activity intervention program to help increase mobility and quality of life. A decrease in mobility is identified as a risk for falling by the Comprehensive Falls Risk Screening Instrument, created by Robert Wood, head of the New Mexico State University College of Education Department of Human Performance, Dance and Recreation. (Courtesy photo)
 Dr. Bob Wood was born and raised in upstate New York. He attended the State University of New York at Cortland where he received his Bachelors degree as a double major in Physical Education and Biology. From there he received his Graduate Education at Louisianan State University in Baton Rouge, having received his PhD in Kinesiology in 1996.
Bob has served as a faculty member in Higher Education since 1997. He was promoted to associate professor and received tenure at LSU in the department of Kinesiology in 2003. He was a faculty member in a department of Physical Therapy at Husson University in Bangor, ME from 2006-2009, and has recently joined the faculty at NMSU as Professor and Academic Head of the department of HPDR.
Dr. Wood's research interests relate primarily to aging, physical function, and disability. In addition, he has a particular interest in the aging of the autonomic nervous system and its relationship to functional decline in late life. His research has been supported by a number of federal agencies and private foundations including the National Institute on Aging and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bob Wood, Ph.D Professor and Academic Head Department of Human Performance Dance and Recreation
New Mexico State University
PO Box 30001, MSC 3M
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Phone: (575) 646-2441

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If you have two eggplants the same size, take the lighter one. Lower weight means fewer seeds in it.
Should I keep produce in the plastic bag?  Never! It doesn't breathe in there. Get produce out of the plastic right away.
Don’t  shake a melon when you are choosing it,  you're just bruising it. Press the end of the melon. It should have a little bit of give, not too
much. Look for skin texture. On a honeydew or Crenshaw melon, look for brown honey spots coming out of it. Veins and honey spots on the skin
 mean there's good texture inside. For a cantaloupe, pick one with no scars, tears, bruises or blemishes in the skin, and the netting should be 
well defined.
Grapefruits come in many colors.  White grapefruits are almost a thing of the past! Most people prefer the pink and red ones. Look at the texture
of the skin. A grapefruit that's too large with a thick skin is hollow inside.  Choose ones a little soft to the touch—they're sweeter.
Use Rome or Cortland apples for baking and Granny Smith for pies. They should be firm, even for baking. Watch the skin. A bruise means
there's a black spot inside.  To know how an apple is supposed to taste, go to a farm in the fall and get one right off the tree.
Foreign produce has gotten better and better. But consumers should know that a lot comes from South America, where laws regarding
pesticides are different from those in the U.S. Make sure you wash produce very well, no matter where it grew.
Different varieties of cucumbers  have different tastes.  Kirby cucumbers differ from the Persian and Israeli varieties, for example.  Kirby
 cucumbers are American grown. They are smaller than the big cukes and have less water, so they have more taste. The other small, tasty
 varieties are Persian and Israeli cucumbers. They're both thinner than the Kirbys and seedless.
Tomatoes varieties also vary in flavor.   "Best" is a matter of opinion. Holland cherry tomatoes have excellent flavor, though grape tomatoes
 are more popular. Different color tomatoes don't necessarily taste better, but they're good for presentation. If you want a really special-looking
 tomato, try little "teardrop" tomatoes. They're expensive and highly perishable, but gourmets love them.
All onions don’t make you cry.  Vidalia onions don't. They're also sweet and have no bitter aftertaste so a lot of cooks favor them. There's a lo
t of variety in onions: Spanish—also called Bermuda onions—are large, round and easier to cut. Pearl onions look nice in many dishes.
Leeks and scallions are in the onion family, too.
Osteoporosis in real life
(Marge Peterson)
      Sally Fields, amazon warrior and sworn enemy of whimpy bones. If you watch television  you probably know she swallows “one little pill a month to fight her bone loss”.  The ads (which promote a medication called Boniva) show Sally striding briskly along pumping hand weights, the essence of stream-lined fitness and supple shapeliness at age 50 something. Take one pill a month, grow those bones. Bones of cryptonite! Oh, Sally, were it all so simple!
        I say, “Good for Sally” and others of her attractive ilk who are bringing to our attention what the National Osteoporosis Foundation predicts will be an epidemic of bone disease in the next 20 years. No doubt it’s a shock to any Baby Boomer who is told she has bone loss. Recent research even links osteoporosis to depression.  One out of 2 women over 50 will have a fracture in her lifetime. But that leaves the question, “Now that you know you have bone loss, what you gonna do, Baby Boomer Baby?” 
      I remember my doctor pointing to my bone scan results on a colorful little series of bar graphs and scowling.  “You’re pretty young (I was 47) to have this low a bone density score.  More than one Standard Deviation.”   He talked about T-Scores and Z-Scores.   Now I know that my loss level was what we are currently calling Osteopenia--the earlier stages of bone loss.  Now I know that bone loss runs rampant  in my family.  Now I know that early menopause (mine was at age 38) and the lack of estrogen escalates bone loss. Now I know that my calcium bank was established when I was 30. After 14 years I know a lot of things I didn’t even begin to suspect before. But  I’m still learning.
     My tallest sister’s spine caved in on itself and settled into the dreaded Dowager’s hump. When I went to the air port to pick her up; I didn’t recognize her in her new “question mark” posture.  I check nervously in the mirror to see if I have a bump crawling slowly onto my own shoulders.  I squared my jaw and drink bluish-hued skim milk every morning. I’ve walked miles and miles.  I’ve been through 24 months of injections of a relatively new and expensive medication called Forteo.  That was a resounding and, because I had begun to give up on my bones, a thrilling success in building bone. But I’ve been down in the dumps over lots of failures and rotten test results too.  Milk-drinking, nutrition boosting and weigh bearing exercise (upper and lower body) sometimes have a very modest effect on bone scan results. 
    But I’m finding constantly that there is a ton of new stuff to learn from the Web, research publications, even newsstand magazines like Reader’s Digest.   My critical judgment in evaluating how new information and ideas might help me has sharpened and I don’t believe everything I hear and read.  There’s a lot anyone with the beginnings of bone loss and even with more established bone disease can do if she or he knows what that is. For me, it’s all about ups and downs.  And sometimes frustration because I’m healthy in other ways–good blood pressure and cholesterol numbers,  average weight.
      It’s my nemesis--bone loss--that aggravates and motivates  me.  That’s why I’m determined to be Sally Fields older,  harder working clone–the one who digs in her heels, learns what she can to stop her bones from weakening more and a future in a wheel chair. I didn’t choose it; it’s my necessary  journey.  Come along on that journey.  Are you waiting for an invitation?  Remember, I’ve been known to accost startled people in grocery stores and pass out information cards to invite them to Bone Booster classes.  They’re free and you’re welcome.
DYNAMIC FLAMINGO THERAPY or Unipedal Standing –  Invented by K. Sakamoto, Tokyo, Japan
  This is the possibly the cheapest, least intrusive, and lowest tech way of preventing hip fractures.  Bone density and bone strength is improved by stressing your bones. 
TO TRY IT YOURSELF:  stand on one foot for one minute 3 times a day. Hang on to something if you need to.
What it does:
 Improves balance and decreases spontaneous falls by 1/3.
 Strains the bone in theory strengthening it and decreasing the chance of     fracture if you do fall.
According to Dr. Sakamoto, unipedal standing increases the weight loat on the femoral head by a factor of 2.75 over standing on 2 legs.
According to Dr. Sakamoto, standing on 1 foot for one minute is equivalent to walking for 53 minutes.
Research published Nov 2008 in Clinical Calcium Magazine