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Osteoporosis - not just a woman's concern.

We asked Dr. Felicia Cosman at Helen Hayes Hospital in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 about osteoporosis, a condition that makes bones weak and susceptible to fracture. It can be triggered by lack of weight-bearing exercise along with nutritional deficiencies, and it is known to affect women after menopause due to changes in hormone levels. Risk is especially high for women who are small-boned, sedentary, extremely thin, and who smoke, drink excessively, or have osteoporosis in the family.

Dr. Cosman is investigating osteoporosis in women and men with MS in a Society-funded research project.

"Anyone with MS may be at risk for osteoporosis," Dr. Cosman said. "Both men and women often have mobility and fatigue problems that make doing weight-bearing exercise unlikely or impossible. Those who are heat-sensitive stay out of the sun, which could mean a lack of Vitamin D vitamin D

Any of a group of fat-soluble alcohols important in calcium metabolism in animals to form strong bones and teeth and prevent rickets and osteoporosis. It is formed by ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) of sterols (see steroid) present in the skin.
, and steroid drugs, routinely prescribed to shorten attacks, impact on the vitamin-hormone-mineral balances that keep bones healthy.

"Osteoporosis in MS is a secondary problem. So are falls. If we could cure MS we wouldn't worry, but for now, broken bones are a problem no person with MS needs!

Prevent it, detect it, treat it

"Adequate calcium is the key to prevention. Both men and women with MS should get 1200 rags of calcium every day. There's an easy way to estimate intake. Count each helping of a dairy food as 300 and add 200 for trace calcium from other sources, like green vegetables. So if you drink a glass of nonfat non·fat
Lacking fat solids or having the fat content removed.
 milk at every meal, you're only 100 rags short at the end of day, and a supplement will bring you home. Increasing foods rich in calcium is also a good way to improve diet generally.

"For women after menopause, HRT HRT
hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Also called estrogen replacement therapy, this controversial treatment is used to relieve the discomforts of menopause.
 (hormone replacement therapy Hormone Replacement Therapy Definition

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the use of synthetic or natural female hormones to make up for the decline or lack of natural hormones produced in a woman's body.
) is an effective prevention. There is no reason to rule it out for women with MS, unless the woman has had phlebitis phlebitis (fləbī`tĭs), inflammation of a vein. Phlebitis is almost always accompanied by a blood clot, or thrombus, in the affected vein, a condition known as thrombophlebitis (see thrombosis).  or blood clot blood clot
A semisolid, gelatinous mass of coagulated blood that consists of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a fibrin network.
 problems. It might even turn out that estrogen helps control the underlying MS. The new "designer" estrogen eliminates some of the unpleasant side effects--and retains some of the positive effect on bone mass.

"Osteoporosis has no symptoms, unless you count a fracture. Any person who has broken a bone in adulthood and every woman with MS at menopause should have a bone scan Bone scan
An x-ray study in which patients are given an intravenous injection of a small amount of a radioactive material that travels in the blood. When it reaches the bones, it can be detected by x ray to make a picture of their internal structure.
. This is a painless, noninvasive exam that will enable your physician to measure bone mass, prescribe treatment if needed, and see how that treatment progresses.

"Today, treatment with HRT, for women, or a powerful new non-hormonal drug, alendronate alendronate /alen·dro·nate/ (ah-len´dro-nat) a bisphosphonate calcium-regulating agent used in the form of the sodium salt to inhibit the resorption of bone in the treatment of osteitis deformans, osteoporosis, and hypercalcemia related  (Fosamax), for either sex will likely help prevent further deterioration of the skeleton and reduce the likelihood of future fractures."

RELATED ARTICLE: Resources for Women with MS


having a range of physical powers as specified: less abled, differently abled 
! Newsletter. Information for "Active, Beautiful, Loving, Exquisite, and Disabled" women. Write: Abled! Publications, 12211 Fondren, Suite 703, Houston, TX 77035; or call: 713-726-1132.

Enabling Romance, by Ken Knoll and Erica Levy Klein. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine woodbine, name for several vines, among them honeysuckle and Virginia creeper.

Any of many species of vines belonging to various flowering-plant families, especially the Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia, family Vitaceae) of
 House, Inc., 1995. 211pp. $15.95. Write: 6510 Bells Mill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817; or call: 800-843-7323.

Mother-to-Be: A Guide to Pregnancy and Birth for Women with Disabilities, by Judith Rogers and Molleen Matsumura. New York: Demos Publications, 1998. 420pp. $29.95 (plus $4 shipping and handling). Write: Demos/Vermande, 386 Park Avenue South, Suite 201, New York, NY 10016; or call: 800-532-8663.

Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century, by Boston Women's Health Women's Health Definition

Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues.
 Collective. New York: Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster

U.S. publishing company. It was founded in 1924 by Richard L. Simon (1899–1960) and M. Lincoln Schuster (1897–1970), whose initial project, the original crossword-puzzle book, was a best-seller.
, 1998. 784pp. $24 (plus applicable sales tax). Write: Simon & Schuster, attention: Order Department, 200 Old Tappan Road, Old Tappan NJ 07675.

Reproductive Issues for Persons with Physical Disabilities, by Florence P. Haseltine, Sandra S. Cole, and David B. Gray, Eds. Baltimore:

Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1993. 400pp. $34.95 (plus 15% shipping and handling when ordering by credit card). Write: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company, P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624; or call: 800-638-3775.

"Safer Sex for People with Disabilities and Other Creative People"; "Services for Men and Women with Disabilities." Write: Planned Parenthood: Shasta-Diablo Disability Program, 2185 Paceco Street, Concord, CA 94520; or call: 510-676-0505.

A Woman's Guide to Coping with Disability, 2nd Edition. Lexington, Mass: Resources for Rehabilitation, 1997. 256pp. $42.95 (plus $5 shipping and handling). Write: Resources for Rehabilitation, 33 Bedford Street, Suite 19A, Lexington, MA 02173; or call: 781-862-6455.

Women with Physical Disabilities: Achieving and Maintaining Health and Well-Being, by Danuta M. Krotoski, Margaret A. Nosek, and Margaret A. Turk, Eds. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1996. 482pp. $42.95 (plus 15% shipping and handling when ordering by credit card). Write: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company, PO. Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624; or call: 800-638-3775.


Cal-WILD: An international list serve where women with disabilities can share experiences, information, and ideas. To subscribe, e-mail owner-calwild@; in the subject heading, type: "subscribe"; in the message, include your e-mail address, verify that you are a woman, and describe your relationship to the disability community.

PeopleNet DisAbility DateNet home page: For adults with disabilities who want to participate in discussions about love, sexuality, and relationships; dating service allows you to place personal ads on-line and off-line. URL URL
 in full Uniform Resource Locator

Address of a resource on the Internet. The resource can be any type of file stored on a server, such as a Web page, a text file, a graphics file, or an application program.
: mauro; or write: P.O. Box 897, Levittown, NY 11756.


Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD): An organization dedicated to expanding the life choices of women with disabilities. Baylor College of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine is a private medical school located in Houston, Texas, USA on the grounds of the Texas Medical Center. It has been consistently rated the top medical school in Texas and among the best in the United States. , Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 3440 Richmond Avenue, Suite B, Houston, TX. 77046; Phone: 713-960-0505; URL:

Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research: Nonprofit advocacy agency promoting the health of women through research. 1828 L Street, NW Suite 625, Washington, DC 20036; URL:

Through the Looking Glass: Resources for adults or parents with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. 2198 6th Street, Suite 100, Berkeley, CA 94710-2204; Phone: 800-644-2666; URL:
COPYRIGHT 1998 National Multiple Sclerosis Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Ask an Expert
Author:Cosman, Felicia
Publication:Inside MS
Date:Jun 22, 1998
Previous Article:Should I have a baby?
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