nolaguy

Tragic accident / numerous broken bones, calcium deficiency?

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I work with a gentleman who had gastric bypass in 1995. I consider him a good friend and he answered a lot of questions I had prior to having this surgery. He suffered a tragic accident two days ago. He fell about 10-12 feet off a deer stand and shattered both legs and ankles. Doctors say it doesn't look good. He will need massive reconstructive surgery and he will need a LOT of therapy for him to walk again. He's lucky he isn't paralyzed.

I'm not sure what calcium supplement he has been taking. This has me wondering now about my own bone health. I can't imagine such catastrophic damage from a fall. I have fallen off the roof off a house and only ended up with a sprained ankle. But then again, I was only about 13 at the time. I'm wondering if a calcium deficiency played in part in his injuries??

And I also ask that you all pray for his recovery, thanks.

Edited by nolaguy

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Ouch... sorry to hear about this  :(

 

Calcium deficiency is possible but it could be unrelated to bypass even.  Hard for you (us) to ever know since we don't know which supplement and how good he was at taking them if it did have something to do with bypass deficiencies.  Blood work can show great calcium levels all your life but doesn't mean those type of levels are within your bones; need to get a bone density scan to find that out.  (in theory if you have high calcium in blood work it should be in your bones though;  low blood calcium causes bones to release calcium into the body, higher blood calcium causes bones to store the extra)

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I heard from him today. And like I kind of suspected, he had not been taking his calcium for quite some time now. He basically just started slacking and never did start taking his calcium properly. He hasnt taken any calcium at all for a few years now. I truly think that his injuries would have not been quite so severe if he had been taking his calcium citrate every day. This is a huge wake up call as to why you should properly take your calcium supplements every day.

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I heard from him today. And like I kind of suspected, he had not been taking his calcium for quite some time now. He basically just started slacking and never did start taking his calcium properly. He hasnt taken any calcium at all for a few years now. I truly think that his injuries would have not been quite so severe if he had been taking his calcium citrate every day. This is a huge wake up call as to why you should properly take your calcium supplements every day.

 

nolaguy - I've posted numerous times that the guys need to step up and get a DEXA (DXA) scan to determine bone density.

 

Osteoporosis isn't just a chick thing.  

 

Blood work will detect the calcium in our blood - not what's stored in our bones.     http://www.aea267.k12.ia.us/system/assets/uploads/files/1830/b_briefs_10_11.pdf

 

It's a painless and quick process.  Everyone should get one - men and women.  Typically, there aren't any symptoms and the first we know about it is after a fracture.

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Prayers to your friend. That is frightening indeed. I hope he recovers from his injuries. Can't even imagine.

Cinwa, thanks for posting the DEXA scan reminder. Valuable question to bring up to my follow up appointment a month from now.

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Yes, this is horrible. I pray for your friend's recovery and comfort.

The scary thing about calcium deficiency is that it does not show up immediately and there are not always obvious symptoms. Then one day something like this happens.

It is a wake up call for anyone who has slacked on their suppliments! They are quite simply part of our lives now. We may as well make them a daily habit.

Edited by Jay W

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You didn't say how old he is nolaguy, nor how much he weighs now.  Taking calcium is one thing.  But regular exercise and weight training can help with bone density too.

This is an article from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

 

http://nof.org/articles/238

 

Normally osteoporosis attacks the spine, the hips and the wrists. A hint is a hunched back and stooped shoulders. It could be the injury was just from the impact, after all, the force at impact is largely due to the mass of the falling object.

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Falling 12 feet, I doubt calcium had anything to do with his injuries. That's like falling out of a second floor window. Ouch!

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Calcium is always the easiest thing to forget.  I like the Bariatric advantage, but I run out and forget to reorder, plus they're pricier than the Citracal petites that I can find at Target or Walgreens.  Still, because you have to take them a few times a day and you can't take them with vitamins, they are usually the supplement that gets missed, if there is one.  Ditto for strength training.  I always remember my cardio, but I get a little lax with the weights sometimes.  Thanks for the cautionary tale/reminders. 

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You didn't say how old he is nolaguy, nor how much he weighs now.  Taking calcium is one thing.  But regular exercise and weight training can help with bone density too.

This is an article from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

 

http://nof.org/articles/238

 

Normally osteoporosis attacks the spine, the hips and the wrists. A hint is a hunched back and stooped shoulders. It could be the injury was just from the impact, after all, the force at impact is largely due to the mass of the falling object.

He is 54 years old and weighs about 220ish. He had gastric bypass in 95 and he said he was about 375lbs pre-op.

He hasn't taken any calcium at all in at least 4-5 years.

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While the malabsorption issue associated with Gastric Bypass could certainly have contributed to bone embrittlement (osteopenia), the root cause is the fall. A 55 year old 220 lb guy falling 12 feet out of a deer stand is probably going to break something.

Bones, my physician wife, tells me that the man having osteopenia is quite likely, and the severity of the break (shattering) is certainly an effect of osteopenia.

Taking calcium for Gastric Bypass patients is essential. Also progressive resistance training (weight training) is good for bone density as well.

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