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Green Day for Mental Health Week
Tue 8 May 18 - Sandy Vella
November is Osteoporosis Month
Wed 8 Nov 17 - Sandy Vella
November is Osteoporosis Month and On November 7 we show our support by wearing purple! The Owen Sound Family Health Team is #PurpleProud!

What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is known as “the silent thief.” It is a disease that slowly, quietly weakens bones which can lead to an increased risk of fracture (broken bone).

What causes Osteoporosis?
No single cause for osteoporosis has been identified. However, certain factors – called risk factors – do seem to play a role in the development of the disease. Women and men over 50 should be assessed to identify those at high risk.
Risk factors for low bone mineral density, future fractures and falls include:
  • if either parent has had a hip fracture,
  • having had a prior fracture with minimal trauma (fall from standing height or less),
  • long-term (more than 3 months) use of glucocorticoid therapy such as prednisone,
  • rheumatoid arthritis,
  • current smoker,
  • history of falls in the past 12 months,
  • vertebral fracture apparent on x-ray,
  • high alcohol intake (3 or more drinks per day) and
  • weight loss greater than 10% since age 25.

Is there testing for Osteoporosis?
A Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test and the technology that they use is known as bone densitometry. These tests are safe, painless and accurately measure the density of your bones. A BMD test can tell you whether or not you have osteoporosis and how likely you are to develop it in the future, and can help you to make decisions that may prevent fractures or further bone loss.
Who should get a BMD test?
  • All women and men 65 years or older
  • Postmenopausal women and men 50 – 64 with risk factors for fracture including:
    • Fragility fracture after age 40
    • Vertebral fracture or low bone mass identified on x-ray
    • Parental hip fracture
    • High alcohol intake
    • Current smoking
    • Low body weight, i.e. less than 132 lbs or 60 kg
    • Weight loss since age 25 greater than 10%
    • High risk medication use: prolonged glucocorticoid use, aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer, androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Other disorders that may contribute to bone loss
    • Younger men or women (under 50) with a disease or condition associated with low bone mass or bone loss:
    • Fragility fractures
    • High-risk medication use (steroid use, aromatase inhibitors, androgen deprivation therapy)
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Other chronic inflammatory conditions
    • Cushing’s disease
    • Malabsorption syndrome
    • Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism
    • Primary hyperparathyroidism
    • Hypogonadism; Early menopause (< 45)
    • Other disorders associated with rapid bone loss/fractures
Is Osteoporosis only a Women's Disease?
Although osteoporosis is more common in women, at least one in eight men over 50 also has the disease. In fact, in Canada 20-30% of osteoporotic fractures occur in men. As with the decline of estrogen levels in women, lower testosterone levels in men can lead to an increase in bone loss. The decline is more gradual in men and is not universal.
Women are especially at risk because of the important role that estrogen plays in keeping their bones healthy. At menopause, there is a gradual decline in ovarian function and a consequent loss of estrogen production. As estrogen levels decline, loss of bone tissue begins. Rapid bone loss at a rate of two to five percent a year can occur for the first five to 10 years after menopause.

How can I prevent osteoporosis?
Peak bone mass is achieved at an early age (16-20 in young women and 20-25 in young men), so building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis later in life. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, as well as exercise can help in building and maintaining your bones throughout your lifetime.

Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and Vitamin D are essential nutrients for proper bone health. Vitamin D helps to increase the absorption of calcium, ultimately building stronger bones. It also improves the function of muscles, improving your balance and decreasing the likelihood of falls, which can lead to fractures. Among Canadians 40 years of age or older, less than half reported taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Experts recommend that all Canadian adults take a vitamin D supplement (specifically, vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol) year-round. This is the most common type of vitamin D found in supplements in Canada.
Bone is a living tissue, that is constantly renewing and repairing itself from everyday wear and tear. Calcium is essential to helping the remodeling process stay balanced. However, like many nutrients, calcium is absorbed less effectively as we age. Studies of older adults show that adequate calcium intake can slow bone loss and reduce the risk of fracture. If it is not possible for you to get enough calcium through diet alone, a supplement may be helpful. It’s important to speak to your doctor about calcium supplements, as they can have some side effects.
4 to 8  1000 mg  600 IU
9 to 18 1300 mg  600 IU
19 to 50  1000 mg  400 – 1000 IU
50+  1200 mg  800 – 2000 IU

Exercise is an important step towards protecting your bones, as it helps protect your spine, slows the rate of bone loss, and builds muscle strength, which can prevent falls. A regular, multi-component exercise program consisting of Strength Training, Balance Exercises, Posture Awareness, and Aerobic Physical Activity can help in the reduction of falls and fractures. See www.osteoporosis.ca/bone-health-osteoporosis/exercises-for-healthy-bones/  for more detailed information.
If you are new to exercise, talk to your doctor before starting any type of program. Consider consulting with a physical therapist or certified kinesiologist, if needed, about specific exercises you should do and others you may need to avoid.

Know Your Risk
Osteoporosis Canada has launched a “Know Your Risk Tool” which helps you to identify your personal risk factors which you can then take and share with your doctor.
To access this simple quiz please go to www.osteoporosis.ca/risk.

The above information as well as much more can be found at www.osteoporosis.ca
Programs at the Owen Sound Family Health Team that can help………

Boosting Balance:
An interactive 3 hour workshop for Adults 55+ designed to learn strategies & exercise to promote strength, balance, flexibility, & maintaining health and wellness to prevent falls

Healthy Bones:
A 5 week program for adults at risk of/or diagnosed with osteoporosis. Learn about bone health, exercise, nutrition, medication, and how to live a healthy life with Osteoporosis. Workshops held quarterly.

To sign up please visit www.osfht.ca or call 519-470-3030 x 125

Breast Cancer Awareness
Mon 2 Oct 17 - Sandy Vella
Breast Cancer Awareness
What is Beast Cancer - Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that forms in the cells of the breast. Although mostly found in women, men can get breast cancer too. There are a number of symptoms associated with breast cancer, but the first noticeable symptom is often a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. A lump in the breast does not necessarily mean you have cancer - most breast lumps are not cancerous. However, it is always best to have them checked by your Physician or Nurse Practitioner. Treatment for breast cancer may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy or bone-directed therapy.

About 1 in 8 women in the Canada will develop breast cancer. The exact cause of breast cancer is not known but most likely involves many factors, including genetic, environmental, nutritional and hormonal.
Breast cancer elicits so many fears, including those relating to surgery, death, loss of body image and loss of sexuality. Managing these fears can be facilitated by information and knowledge.

The following is a listing of risk factors.

Age & Gender The most prominent risk factors for breast cancer are age and gender. Men can develop breast cancer, but women are 200 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men. Breast cancer is four hundred times more common in women who are 50 years old as compared to those who are 20 years old. Seventy-five percent of women who develop breast cancer have no risk factors other than age.

Family History A family history of breast cancer will increase the risk of developing breast cancer in a woman by three to five times.

Menstruation & Menopause Women who started their menstrual periods before age 12, those who delayed menopause until after age 55, and those who had their first pregnancy after age 30 have a mildly increased risk of developing breast cancer (less than two times the normal risk).

Dietary Factors Dietary factors such as high-fat diets and alcohol consumption have been implicated as increased risk factors for breast cancer in some studies. More recent studies have disproven high-fat diets as increasing the risk for breast cancer.

How can we help prevent Breast Cancer?

Check your diet - Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for breast cancer, especially for women after menopause, when your ovaries stop producing estrogen. Most of a woman's estrogen comes from fat tissue. (Elevated estrogen levels may also raise the risk of breast cancer.) Research also indicates that women who gain weight as an adult are at a higher risk for breast cancer than women who have been overweight since childhood. Regardless, if you are overweight, talk to your doctor, Nurse Practitioner or a registered dietitian about dietary changes that can help you shed pounds and achieve a healthy body weight.

Exercise daily - Physical activity is not only essential for overall health, it also can reduce the risk of breast cancer. As little as 1.25 to 2.5 hours of brisk walking per week can reduce a woman's risk of breast cancer by 18 percent, while walking 10 hours per week can reduce the risk even more. You also can run, bike, swim, hike and play sports to mix up your fitness routine and stay motivated. Aim for 45 to 60 minutes of exercise or moderate physical activity at least five days per week. At the very least, abide by a regimen of 30 minutes of daily physical activity.

Limit your alcohol use - Alcohol consumption is clearly linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer (as well as other types of cancer), and the risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Compared with non-drinkers, women who consume one alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in breast cancer risk, while women who have two to five drinks daily have about one-and-a-half times the risk of nondrinkers. If you are going to drink, limit your intake to one drink per day.

Breastfeed your baby - Research suggests that women who breastfeed their babies may have a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer, especially if they continue breastfeeding for up to two years. Though breastfeeding for this long is uncommon in Canada, breastfeeding for even a few months is recommended. Experts believe that breastfeeding reduces a woman's risk of breast cancer because it also reduces the total number of menstrual cycles a woman experiences, exposing her to lower levels of hormones related to breast cancer risk.

Know your family history – A family history of Breast Cancer can be the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer.

Stay away from secondhand smoke - Though research has not shown smokers to be an increased risk for breast cancer, studies have suggested that high concentrations of secondhand smoke can cause breast cancer in rodents. Further, a 2005 report from the California Environmental Protection Agency concludes that there is a causal association between secondhand smoke and breast cancer in younger, primarily premenopausal women. Since smoking and secondhand smoke are related to other types of cancer and medical conditions, kicking the habit will prove beneficial in reducing your risk of breast cancer as well as improving your overall health.

Clinical and self-breast exams - In addition to monthly breast self-exams, experts recommend that women see their healthcare providers to get clinical breast exams every three years if they're under 40 and every year if they're 40 or older. Healthcare providers can detect changes that women miss when doing breast self-exams. They can also provide women with information on breast cancer prevention, taking family history and lifestyle into account. Early detection is crucial in preventing breast cancer from spreading and becoming more challenging to treat successfully.

Get a mammogram - Breast self-exams are an effective way for you to become familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can be aware of any changes that may indicate breast cancer. Mammograms, however, are the gold standard for detecting breast cancer and are recommended for women starting at age 40, or sooner if a healthcare provider needs to rule out breast cancer due to changes in the breast. Though a mammogram can't prevent breast cancer, it can detect the disease in its earliest stages and prevent it from spreading and becoming a life-threatening condition.
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