Osteoporosis and Overdosing Q & A With Medical Director, Susan Besser, M.D.

How can I stop myself from getting osteoporosis? My mother was severely affected. The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to do these preventative things.

First, be sure to get enough calcium. You need 1000 mg daily ( if you are under 50) and 1200 mg daily if you are over 50.  Dietary sources are best, such as dairy products and vegetables, but supplements work too.  If you use a supplement, use calcium citrate, its better absorbed than calcium carbonate. In addition to the calcium, you need Vitamin D. You should take 600 units of the vitamin daily. Next, you need to do regular (3-5 times a week) weight bearing exercise to keep your bones strong. Lastly, be sure to get yourself tested regularly with a Dexascan to be sure you aren’t developing osteoporosis.  If you already have it, there are prescription medications to treat the problem.

 I recently came across an acquaintance who had taken an overdose. I called an ambulance, but didn’ t know what else to do. What should you do if someone takes an overdose of medication?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do other than support the person.  Calling 911 is the best thing you can do! If the person is unconscious, you need to make sure he or she is continuing to breathe and has a pulse. I would strongly suggest getting CPR training so you can be prepared for any medical emergency. In an overdose situation, if the person is conscious, support him.  Try to keep him conscious but protect him from further injury if he loses consciousness.  Don’t try to walk him around or give him coffee to stay awake, those tricks only work in the movies.  Don’t try to make him throw up to get rid of the poison, that doesn’t work either and you run the risk of him choking on his own vomit.  Bottom line, the best way to help someone is to support him or her in whatever way you can.



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