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June 03, 1994 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-06-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Center Helps
Fragile Bones

he home of the Hadassah bone density test
Medical Organization's is essential. To-
Jerusalem Osteoporosis day the main-
Center is a house almost stay of
one century old. A fig tree in one diagnosing
corner of its well-tended flower changes in
garden is as old and sturdy as the bone-mineral
houseitself. Although gnarled, it density is the
is strong, with large, healthy double beam
densitometer,
green leaves.
Though aged, the tree, like the known as
body, can be strong and healthy, DEXA (Dual
but knotted and beautiful. Energy X-ray
Through careful maintenance the Absorp tiome-
Dr.
body need not suffer from osteo- try),"
porosis, an affliction of the aging Foldes says.
Once os-
process in which softening of the
bones takes place due to an teoporosis
inadequate concentration of cal- has devel-

410p
cium and phosphorous in the op e d •
there are
body.
Dr. Mordecai Popovtzer, di- several medications
rector of Hadassah's Jerusalem available. These include Vitamin
Osteoporosis Center, explains D metabolites, calcitonin, ana-
that once osteoporosis is present, bolic steroids and a new class of
the flight of calcium from bones drugs called diphosphonates. But
leads to fractures in the verte- two major factors are known to
brae, ribs, wrists and hips. • aid in prevention of osteoporosis:
"A mere slap at a mosquito or diet and exercise.
"Many people are not aware
an over-vigorous hug can cause
fractures," he says. "As people get that their dietary calcium intake
older the absorption of calcium is far below the recommended di-
by their bodies tends to be re- etary allowance," Dr. Popovtzer
duced. When the amount of cal- says. "The daily allowance of
cium in their diet is not enough, 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams is
the calcium is withdrawn from equivalent to about a quart of
milk or two cups of milk, one cup
their bones to compensate.
"The process occurs particu- of yogurt and one cup of cottage
larly among women after meno- cheese daily."
As for exercise, Dr. Foldes
pause, when female hormones
are absent. Osteoporosis can also says, "Everybody at any age
occur among men, although few- should be physically active, and,
as people grow older, they should
er men are afflicted," he says.
not reduce their physical activi-
ty. Exercising two or three times
a week has a positive effect on
bone formation."
The Hadassah Center has two
exercise classes a week run by
the Physiotherapy Services of the
The Hadassah Jerusalem Os- Hadassah Medical Center at the
teoporosis Center treats about Kiryat Yoval Community Health
2,500 patients each year. A large Center.
Yehudit Marcus, head of
number of patients are women
around the menopause period Hadassah's Physiotherapy Ser-
who are sent by their gynecolo- vices, says, "The exercises cho-
gists for bone density and bio- sen to prevent osteoporosis are
chemical tests in order to decide weight-bearing. The principle is
whether they should start hor- to improve the ability of the bones
mone replacement therapy and joints to sustain stress. Ex-
ercising also helps to improve the
(HRT).
"When a woman approaches agility and balance of those who
menopause, HRT becomes a ma- participate."
A class of 10 participants is ly-
, jor issue," says Dr. Joseph Foldes,
Hadassah's chief physician. HRT ing on mattresses in a brightly
protects the bone and decreases lit hall in the Hadassah Com-
the future risk of osteoporosis, munity Health Center. They lie
and may also have beneficial ef- on their backs and lift their hips
fects on the cardiovascular sys- from the floor. In pairs, on their
tem, but there is still some knees, they exercise by pushing
concern that HRT may increase their partner's hands alternate-
the risk of cancer, especially ly. The average age is 50, but
some of them are as young as 3
breast cancer.
"Our policy is to identify the and 4. All agree that the classes
women who may benefit most have helped to ease the aches
from HRT. For this purpose, the and pains.

T

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