KnovaSolutions Member Center Login KnovaSolutions Member Center Login
Calcium and Vitamin D — September 2018

Calcium and Vitamin D — September 2018


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Essential Nutrients that Work Hand-in-Hand

No matter our age, our bodies need calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as other important functions. However, without enough vitamin D, calcium can’t be absorbed by the body. What happens then? The body draws from calcium stored in the bones, which weakens them and can lead to osteoporosis, a condition where bones become fragile, brittle and prone to breaks. Maintaining calcium and vitamin D levels in a healthy range over your lifetime can help prevent the risks of weak bones, teeth and other potential issues.

Calcium: An Essential Mineral

Calcium is the most plentiful, and one of the most important minerals for the body. Most calcium is found in the bones and teeth but nerve cells, tissues and blood also contain it. The functions calcium play may surprise you! Besides building strong bones and teeth, calcium helps with clotting blood so our wounds heal, carrying messages from the brain to other parts of the body, moving muscles, releasing hormones, and maintaining a normal heartbeat.

The amount of calcium your body needs depends upon your age and gender (see chart). You can get it by eating a variety of foods that are rich in calcium, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens, almonds, beans, and fish with edible soft bones like canned sardines and salmon. Check product labels since calcium is added to some soy and rice beverages, fruit juices, breakfast cereals and tofu. See the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s guide to calcium-rich foods.

How Much Do I Need?

The amount of calcium and vitamin D you need daily depends on your age and gender. For example, adults aged 19-50 need 1,000 mg of calcium, as do men 51-70 years. Women aged 51-70 and all adults 71 years and older need 1,200 mg.

It is recommended that adults aged 19-70 get 600 IU of vitamin D daily. Adults 71 years and older need 800 IU.

For recommendations for other ages, see here for calcium and here for vitamin D.

Getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight help to prevent bone loss. Weight-bearing exercise like walking, tennis, dancing and hiking help bones retain their size and strength (density), and perhaps gain density.

Even with eating a healthy diet, many Americans find it difficult to get enough calcium, especially children, adolescent girls and adults age 50 and older. But others have the same challenge, for example, vegans who don’t eat animal products, people with bowel or digestive diseases that decrease the ability to absorb calcium, those who don’t like dairy products or avoid them because they can’t digest the sugar called lactose, as well as those who consume large amounts of protein or sodium, which causes the body to lose extra calcium.

When looking at calcium supplements, look for elemental calcium on the label. Elemental calcium is the actual amount of calcium in a supplement that your body absorbs. In addition to elemental calcium, calcium tablets are made with other ingredients like carbonate and citrate. During digestion, the carbonate or citrate dissolve and the elemental calcium is then absorbed into the blood.

Calcium carbonate contains the highest amount of elemental calcium (40%). Calcium citrate contains less elemental calcium (20%), which means more must be taken to get the same amount of elemental calcium that might be found in calcium carbonate tablets. Calcium carbonate needs stomach acid to be absorbed, so it should be taken with a meal (the stomach naturally makes acid to digest food). Calcium citrate does not need as much stomach acid to be absorbed. Calcium citrate is better for people 65 years and older because the body makes less stomach acid as we age.

While not enough calcium can cause health problems, so can too much. Hypercalcemia, too much calcium in the body, can cause constipation, but also kidney stones and other serious concerns.

Calcium’s Buddy: Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth, muscles and nerves. It is a nutrient that is needed to help the body absorb calcium, and it also supports the immune system that fights off illness.

The body gets vitamin D in three ways: through the skin, from food and from supplements. The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun, and as little as 10 minutes of sun exposure each day is thought to be enough to prevent low vitamin D levels. Wearing sunscreen to reduce the risk of skin cancer reduces the body’s ability to make vitamin D.

Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, but fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are among the best sources. Egg yolks, beef liver, mushrooms and cheese provide small amounts. Most of the milk supply is vitamin D-fortified; juices, yogurt, soy beverages and cereals also may have vitamin D added to them.

Vitamin D supplements contain D2 (ergocalciferol) or D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin Dsupplements are made from plants, and vitamin D3 supplements are made from lanolin, or fat, from sheep’s wool. Vitamin D3 is believed to stay in the body longer and keep amounts of the vitamin at a consistent level. See box for recommended daily doses.

Having low levels of vitamin D can lead to loss of bone density, broken bones (fractures), muscle weakness, and the bone-thinning condition, osteoporosis. Those most at risk for being deficient are overweight people (body fat prevents vitamin D absorption into the blood), and dark-skinned people and older adults (their skin doesn’t make as much of the vitamin when exposed to the sun). Plus, those with digestive conditions like Crohn’s disease and celiac disease don’t process the fat we eat (dietary fat) properly and vitamin D needs dietary fat to be absorbed.

Taking more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day without a provider’s careful watch can be harmful; it can cause nausea, constipation, weakness, confusion, heart rhythm problems and kidney damage.

Supplement Tips

Hormones in our body carefully regulate the level of calcium in our blood to keep a steady supply. Calcium supplements are better absorbed when taken in small doses (500 mg or less) throughout the day. Remember that calcium carbonate needs to be taken with food.

Calcium and vitamin D supplements can interact with some prescription and over-the-counter medications. For example, calcium can reduce the absorption of some medicines, and some medicines reduce or increase the amount of calcium excreted. Be sure to discuss your medications and supplements fully with your doctor.

Before deciding how much calcium or vitamin D to take, consider all your sources. How much of each do you get from food (naturally occurring or added)? Multi-vitamin and other supplements? Remember to check serving sizes of elemental calcium (not calcium carbonate or calcium citrate) to determine how many tablets to take to get the intended amount.

Vitamin D requires fat to be absorbed effectively, therefore, take it with food. This does not mean a double cheeseburger is in order, but rather a cup of low-fat yogurt, salad tossed with olive oil or chicken dinner will do.

Let Us Help

Understanding all the issues associated with getting enough calcium and vitamin D isn’t as simple as drinking milk. Let us help you figure out what is the best for you. Call us with your questions and concerns. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, CST. Call 800/355-0885.

Click here to view/download the full newsletter. We encourage you to leave a comment or question below and a KnovaSolutions nurse or pharmacist will reply.

The information contained in this newsletter is for general, educational purposes. It should not be considered a replacement for consultation with your healthcare provider.  If you have concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider.


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Common Medical Conditions — August 2018

Common Medical Conditions — August 2018


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Can They Be Prevented or Reversed?

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. One in two adults has a chronic disease and one in four has two or more, according to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

When it comes to our health, there are things we can’t control and those that we can try to influence. We can’t change our genetic makeup, gender, race or age—some of the factors that can make us more likely to develop a chronic medical condition. However, many health conditions are caused by lifestyle factors that we do have some ability to manage—our diet, exercise, stress management, weight and smoking habits.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Ah, Summertime! — July 2018

Ah, Summertime! — July 2018


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

How to Enjoy It While Staying Safe

Picnics, roasting marshmallows, swimming, camping, fishing—you name it—these are the treasures of summer. With longer days and schools closed, summer often means vacation time. But even if your summer doesn’t include a vacation, you’ve likely shed some layers and are spending more time outdoors. Being outside is a great way to reboot and revive the mind. To make the most of this more relaxed season, remember to take a few precautions to keep you and your family safe.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Working Smart — June 2018

Working Smart — June 2018


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Finding Your Way to Workplace Wellness

Fulltime workers spend, on average, more than one-third of their day, five days per week at their place of work. We rely heavily on the fruits of our labor: skills, confidence, camaraderie, and most importantly, an income. Since our work life is so important to our livelihood, it makes sense to work smart. Workplace health and wellness includes activities and policies designed to promote the well-being of employees, support health behavior in the workplace, and decrease the risks of injuries. Employees can experience greater job satisfaction by making some key adjustments in the workplace.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
The Path to Emotional Wellness — May 2018

The Path to Emotional Wellness — May 2018


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

How to Improve Your Resiliency

Your mental health and wellness affects practically every aspect of your life—how you think, feel and act at home and work, with family, friends, colleagues and the general public. People who are emotionally healthy tend to go about their day with a sense of purpose. They engage in enjoyable activities and balance them with their work and family life. They have fulfilling relationships and have a positive outlook.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Why It’s Important to Have a PCP — April 2018

Why It’s Important to Have a PCP — April 2018


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

And What to Do When Your PCP Isn’t Available

Your primary care provider (PCP) is that professional you see every year or so for preventive screening or more often if you are managing ongoing health concerns. S/he’s also the one you call when you get sick or develop concerning new symptoms. But, what if your PCP isn’t available? Your options depend upon the circumstances.

Wait, Back Up!

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Is Personalized Medicine for You? — January 2018

Is Personalized Medicine for You? — January 2018


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Evolving Field of Medicine Offers Promise

Healthcare providers have always sought to individualize care for their patients. But now, advances in medical research allow providers to study a person’s genes, offering another tool to guide decisions about preventing, diagnosing and treating disease. Personalized medicine, also called precision or individualized medicine, is an evolving field where providers use genetic testing to understand how a person’s disease risks are unique. Used alongside information about family history, symptoms and environmental factors, genetic testing can help providers prevent illness and/or determine which treatments will work best.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
How Walking Can Extend Life — December 2017

How Walking Can Extend Life — December 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Even Minimal Walking Offers Health Benefits

You don’t have to run or bike intensively to get the health advantages of regular exercise. A new study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) showed that 120 minutes or less of moderate-intensity walking each week can add longevity to your life. 120 minutes? That’s less than 18 minutes a day!

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Confusing Cancer Terminology — November 2017

Confusing Cancer Terminology — November 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Making Sense During Difficult Times

Almost 13 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer every year. People may experience unexplained pain, weight loss, fatigue and other symptoms followed by screening tests, imaging, and maybe biopsies before getting the dreaded diagnosis. Learning that you or a loved one has cancer is overwhelming and stressful.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
It’s Not Just Flu Shot Season — October 2017

It’s Not Just Flu Shot Season — October 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Time to Review Your Vaccination Status

Vaccines are among the most cost-effective prevention services around. They do more than protect you from getting preventable diseases; they also reduce the spread of disease. If you’ve been vaccinated for an infectious disease (measles, chickenpox, hepatitis, influenza, etc.), you greatly reduce the risk of getting that disease and the chance of spreading it to others who are not immune.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Suffer From Low Back Pain? — September 2017

Suffer From Low Back Pain? — September 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

A Look at Alternative/Complementary Therapies

The U.S. spends $90 billion a year on back pain! That’s more than the combined cost of care for high blood pressure, pregnancy AND depression. Back pain is one of the top reasons people see their doctor and the leading reason people miss work. Lost time and productivity is estimated to cost another $10-20 billion.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Deprescribing: A Growing Trend — August 2017

Deprescribing: A Growing Trend — August 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

What Was Good Then May Not Be Now

It is becoming more and more common for people to take five or more medications. The more medications a person takes, the greater their risk for negative health outcomes, such as reduced quality of life, increased side effects, drug interactions, physical or mental impairment, falls, addiction, hospitalization or even, death. The use of some medications, especially as people age or become sicker, can do more harm than good. There is also greater risk of taking them incorrectly—the more medications, the more confusion.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Preventing Surprise Medical Bills — July 2017

Preventing Surprise Medical Bills — July 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

What to Do If You Get One

An unexpected medical bill can be a very unpleasant surprise. It is a bill for a medical service that you did not expect to receive because you thought your insurance would cover it. Surprise bills are becoming more common as our healthcare system becomes more complex and insurance companies reduce the number of providers in their network or exclude coverage for out-of-network services.

The best way to avoid surprise medical bills is to prevent them. It’s not always possible, but there are ways to minimize the risk.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
The Opioid Epidemic — May 2017

The Opioid Epidemic — May 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Taking Ownership and Being Part of the Solution

You’ve heard the news reports about the dangers of opioid medications such as codeine, morphine, methadone, fentanyl, hydrocodone and oxycodone. While opioids can be an appropriate and effective treatment for pain, the U.S. has the highest rates of opioid use in the world. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 80% of the world’s prescribed opioids are used in the U.S. Great risk comes with such widespread use. From 2010 to 2015, more than 500,000 people died from opioid overdoses.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Shared Healthcare Decision-Making — April 2017

Shared Healthcare Decision-Making — April 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

How to Improve Outcomes and Decrease Costs

Numerous studies performed in the last 10 years suggest that patients who actively participate in making healthcare decisions with their doctors report greater satisfaction with their care, better outcomes and lower costs. For example, a study reported in Health Affairs of 33,163 patients at a large healthcare facility in Minnesota showed that better informed patients cost less to treat. In the first year of the study, knowledgeable patients had 8% lower treatment costs, and, in the first half of the following year, 21% lower costs, than less involved patients.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
How Short Are Your Doctor Visits? — March 2017

How Short Are Your Doctor Visits? — March 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Getting the Most Out of Your Appointments

Depending upon which source you read, the average length of time a doctor spends with each patient ranges from 5 minutes to 23 minutes. That’s not a lot of time to discuss your health history, medications, symptoms and concerns — much less talk about complicated information or a new serious condition. So how can you get what you need — and deserve —during each doctor visit? All arrows point first to having a primary care provider (PCP) with whom you develop a trusting relationship.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Medication Errors at Home  — February 2017

Medication Errors at Home — February 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

How to Reduce Risk and Prevent Mistakes

Prescription and over-the-counter medications provide major health improvements for people, but they also pose potential risks. Adverse drug events — harm as a result of exposure to a medication — are associated with hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits and hospitalizations each year.

Home medication errors happen all too often. In a study at the New York University School of Medicine-Bellevue Hospital, it was found that one out of five parents who measured liquid medication for their children gave them twice the directed dose. Also, nearly all the parents measured the dose incorrectly to some degree.

Confusing ear drops and eye drops, chewing non-chewable pills, and splitting pills not designed to be split are other types of errors that happen at home.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
Wasteful Medical Spending — January 2017

Wasteful Medical Spending — January 2017


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Is There Anything You Can Do?

It is widely documented that the U.S. spends more on healthcare per person than any other country, yet much research shows that Americans are not healthier as a result. Wasteful spending accounts for 30 percent of the $3.2 trillion spent on healthcare each year. That’s $960 billion of waste per year! While this may seem like a challenge too large, there are ways to do your part to reduce wasteful spending.

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

All in a Night’s Sleep — December 2016


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Recognizing and Treating Insomnia

Does it take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep? Do you wake more than 3 times a night? Do you get less than 6 hours of sleep? If you answered yes to these questions, you may suffer from insomnia.

Having trouble sleeping can happen to anyone but it is more common among women, middle-aged or older adults, shift workers, and those with medical conditions.

Insomnia can be acute or chronic. Lasting up to a month, acute insomnia is usually related to a stressful situation, such as an upcoming presentation or the start of a new job. Once the presentation has been given and the new job becomes more familiar, the insomnia often resolves. Chronic insomnia, occurring more than 3 nights a week for at least 3 months, can be caused by:

Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Prediabetes Diagnosis is a ‘Gift’ — November 2016


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Taking Measures to Reduce Risk for Diabetes

More than 29 million Americans live with diabetes — a serious condition in which blood glucose (sugar in the blood) builds to dangerously high levels. What’s more, another 86 million live with prediabetes, that is, have strong risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. The Center for Disease Control states that 90% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it!

“A diagnosis of prediabetes is a gift and a wake-up call,” says Marilyn Novosel, MPH, RN, CDE, the Certified Diabetes Educator for KnovaSolutions. “Learning that you have risk factors for developing diabetes is an opportunity to do something about it sooner rather than later.” She adds that making lifestyle changes can slow the progress, reduce the possibility of long-term complications, and for some, return blood sugar levels to normal.
Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Flu Season Starts Now — October 2016


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Who Should Have Flu and Pneumonia Shots?

Getting the flu can leave you feeling lousy and unable to attend school or work for as long as 2 weeks, and longer if complications develop. Further, having the flu can put you at higher risk for developing pneumonia and other serious conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), getting the flu shot is “the first and best way to protect yourself and your family.”

The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from the flu. In 2010, the CDC recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot every year unless they have a severe, life-threatening allergy to the flu vaccine or its ingredients. People who should talk with their provider before getting the flu shot include those:
Continue Reading


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Copyright © 2018 HCMS Group LLC.

All rights reserved.