Strong bones are no accident
MORE THAN 1 million people in the U.S.
suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS),
a disorder that affects more Americans than
multiple sclerosis, lupus and several forms
of cancer, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
By Joseph Hanna
OSTEOPOROSIS CAN HAPPEN at any age,
and its characteristics warrant the moniker the
“silent thief”: It slowly saps bones of their
strength until they break. Currently, 10 million
people in the United States have osteoporosis,
and 18 million more are at risk of developing
the disease. Another 34 million Americans are
at risk of osteopenia, or low bone mass, which
can lead to fractures and other complications.
Osteoporosis affects a quarter of women and
an eighth of men 50 or older, but prevention
needs to begin much sooner since both genders begin to lose bone in their mid-30s.
constitutes the building blocks of new bone,
and vitamin D helps retain this calcium.
Can I get too much calcium
and vitamin D?
Unexplained severe fatigue lasting at
least six months is the primary symptom of
CFS. The condition is not improved by bed
rest and can worsen after physical or mental
exertion. The level of fatigue is so extreme
that it has a dramatic impact on a person’s
energy and stamina.
In addition to devastating fatigue, CFS
includes at least four of eight other characteristic symptoms, also lasting at least six
months, as part of the diagnosis criteria:
What should I know about
risk factors for osteoporosis?
Yes. Too much calcium has been linked
to several side effects, including heart problems. Take only the recommended amount of
both, and use supplements when the right
total daily intake can’t be achieved with diet
alone. For adults age 19 to 50, the typical daily
recommendation is 1000 mg of calcium and
400 to 1000 IU of vitamin D; for those older
than 50, the daily recommendation is 1200
mg of calcium and 800 to 2000 IU of vitamin
D to prevent osteoporosis.
What if I already have
• Unrefreshing sleep.
• A general feeling of discomfort or illness following exertion, lasting for more
than a day.
• Short-term memory (concentration)
Sadly, for most people the first
symptom that alerts them that
they might have osteoporosis
is a broken bone or fracture,
so the best cure is indeed
prevention. Risk factors
include being 65 or older;
smoking; consistent alcohol consumption of more
than two drinks per day;
low calcium intake; some
medications, such as corticosteroids; some medical conditions, such as low body weight (less
than 132 pounds); low testosterone levels in
men; early menopause (before age 45); celiac
disease; and rheumatoid arthritis. The World
Health Organization has an online tool that
can calculate your risk of suffering a fracture
in the next 10 years at shef.ac.uk/FRAX.
The daily recommended
1200 mg of calcium and
800 to 2000 IU of vitamin
D will not stop the bone
loss at this stage, but will
help to rebuild your bones
in conjunction with prescription medications that
have halted the deterioration.
One or a combination of medications may be prescribed over a number of years to restore your bones.
• Muscle pain.
• Joint pain without swelling or redness.
• Headaches of a new type, pattern
• Tender lymph nodes in the neck
• Frequent sore throat.
The CDC reports that many CFS sufferers experience several other symptoms,
including irritable bowel, chills and night
sweats, fainting, dizziness, balance problems, difficulty maintaining an upright position, visual disturbances, brain fog and
allergies or sensitivities to foods, odors,
chemicals, medications or noise.
How can I get more information?
How can I improve my bone health?
Costco pharmacies frequently hold free
osteoporosis screenings, and the pharmacist
can answer your questions and give you
advice about necessary next steps. Check
your local Costco pharmacy for clinic times
and dates, or visit the Costco Pharmacy website on Costco.com (click “Health & Wellness
Clinics”) for screenings near you. C
There’s no cure for CFS, and the symptoms can vary widely over time. Each
patient is affected differently. Treatment
plans need to be tailored for the individual,
addressing the most disruptive or disabling
Since some of the risk factors listed are
within your control, make lifestyle changes
that eliminate smoking; reduce sodium, caffeine and alcohol; and increase physical activity, fruits, vegetables and dietary calcium and
vitamin D. Weight-bearing exercises stimulate the building of new bone, while calcium
Joseph Hanna, B.Sc. Phm., CDE, CGP, is a
Costco Pharmacy professional services manager.
Patients benefit when their treatment
plan is developed to give them access to a
team of doctors and other health care providers, such as rehabilitation specialists,
mental health professionals and physical or
Health tip: Calcium supplements and lead
Returning to normal activities is not an
immediate priority, the CDC advises, as the
physical and mental exertion required to
accomplish that may aggravate the disease.
For additional information, visit
LEAD IS A naturally occurring metal that
can make its way through soil and water
into the foods we eat. For this reason, in the
process of extracting calcium carbonate to
make calcium supplements from oyster
shells, some lead is present. In order to be
compliant with federal standards, however,
natural health products must not contain
any more lead than an established safe
threshold. Most reputable calcium products
(look for a natural product number on the
label), and especially refined calcium products, contain either undetectable amounts
of lead or amounts deemed to be safe. In
fact, these products often contain less lead
than is found in green vegetables, and the
calcium in the supplement typically prevents the digestive tract from absorbing
much of those trace amounts of lead in the
MARCH 2016 ;e Costco Connection 71
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