Bone Health

Most of us are avid TV watchers, so I'm sure we are all familiar
with the many ads drug companies generate to promote a healthier
lifestyle. Let's face it, as we get older, our bodies may need some
help. There are weight loss, smoking cessation, asthma, impotency,
and heartburn drugs. Today we will focus on bone mineralization.
Often we have seen actress Sally Field on the commercial explaining
how she takes her Boniva tablet once a month to maintain healthy
bones. Because there are so many bones in the feet, Podiatrists are
especially interested in maintaining patient's healthy bone. In this
article, we will go over bone mineral homeostasis - the process of
maintaining a constant healthy bone.

There are two major components that are important to bone
composition; calcium and phosphate. These must be maintained in
order for a person to have healthy bones. One could think of calcium
and phosphate as being cars, and the drivers of the cars would be
Vitamin D and parathyroid hormone (PTH). These are the main
regulators of making sure that bone mineralization stays regular.

PTH and Vitamin D regulate bone mineralization and affect the body
in different ways. PTH's main goal is to increase calcium and
decrease phosphate. PTH has three destinations; bone, kidney, and
intestine. In the bone, PTH is responsible for a process which we
call osteolysis. Osteolysis is where calcium is pulled from the
blood and put into the fluid around the bone, the extra cellular
fluid (ECF). In the kidney, PTH is going to stimulate the kidney to
increase absorption of calcium and magnesium and decrease the
phosphate reabsorption. The intestine is indirectly affected by
increased absorption of calcium and phosphate. Vitamin D on the
other hand has quite different functions. Vitamin D would be the
primary regulator of bone mineralization. You see, vitamin D is what
we would call the "front man", it doesn't do the actual work. The
liver and kidney make vitamin D into its active form called
calcitrol. Vitamin D likes to go the same places as PTH; bone,
kidney, and intestine. In the bone it's going to increase bone
formation by increasing calcium and phosphate resorption. Vitamin D
in the kidney is responsible for decreased calcium and phosphate
excretion. Increases in absorption of calcium and phosphate also
take place in the intestine.

Now that was a lot to take in -or out. Maybe you would be more
familiar with the term osteoporosis. This is the gradual loss of
bone mass to the point that the skeleton is compromised.
Osteoporosis mainly affects older women who have decreased calcium
intake. It would be interesting to note that the daily calcium
intake for women older than 65 years should be 1500mg. If you enjoy
dairy products, shellfish, green leafy vegetables, and tofu, then
you have daily added calcium intake. A popular pharmaceutical
calcium therapy is the popular drug Boniva. Boniva is a calcium
supplement that can be taken as a daily tablet, once a month tablet,
or an injectible which is taken every 3 months. The key to healthy
bones in the body and longevity is to ensure that calcium levels are
met. By allowing a healthy lifestyle, bone mineralization
homeostasis can be achieved and maintained.

Contact the Dr. Horsley's Foot
and Ankle Care center near you to schedule your testing today.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms addressed, we
strongly recommend that you seek the advice of your podiatrist
for proper diagnosis.