Palmetto Endocrinology May 2024 Newsletter

Skeleton in a forest

May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month

Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones weak. People with osteoporosis can break their bones too easily.  Osteoporosis is responsible for an estimated 2 million broken bones per year, yet nearly 80% of older Americans who suffer bone breaks are not tested or treated for osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis cannot feel their bones getting weaker, and many people do not know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone.

While men and women of all races can develop osteoporosis, post-menopausal white and Asian women are at the highest risk.  Men with low testosterone levels are at risk as testosterone helps keep bones strong. Smokers and heavy drinkers (more than two drinks a day on most days) are also at higher risk of developing osteoporosis. There are many medical conditions that can also lead to osteoporosis.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force currently recommends screening for osteoporosis in all women 65 years and older and postmenopausal women younger than 65 years at increased risk using a clinical risk assessment tool. Screening should also be done If you have a medical condition that increases your risk of developing osteoporosis.  The “gold standard” of screening is a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA or DXA) scan. The testing procedure typically measures the bone density of the bones of the spine, lower arm, and hip.  If there is evidence of osteoporosis, there are various medications that can be used to maintain and even rebuild bone density.

To support healthy bones, eat foods with a lot of calcium, such as milk, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables. Eat foods with a lot of vitamin D, such as milk that has vitamin D added, and fish from the ocean. With the advice of your provider, take calcium and vitamin D pills (if you do not get enough from the food that you eat). Be active for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week. Avoid smoking and limit the amount of alcohol you drink to 1 to 2 drinks a day at most.


Ingredient of the Month: Tofu

Tofu is a food product made from compressed soybeans. It is high in calcium and magnesium, which helps your body build and maintain strong bones. Tofu is also a complete protein, making it a great alternative to animal meat. Tofu can be found in a variety of textures, from silken to extra firm, making it a versatile ingredient for both savory and sweet dishes.  Try this tasty, marinated tofu recipe that is sure to make you a lover of this nutritious food!

Ingredients: 14.5 ounce block extra-firm tofu, 4 TBSP low sodium soy sauce (tamari if gluten free), 3 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar, 1 TBSP pure maple syrup, 1 TSP toasted sesame oil, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1 TBSP fresh grated ginger OR ½ TSP dried ginger

Instructions: Quick press the tofu (DO NOT skip this step): Cut the tofu into cubes. Place them evenly on a flat surface such as a cutting board lined with paper towels or a clean towel. Cover with a layer of paper towels, set a baking sheet on top and then something heavy, like a large book or cast-iron skillet. Press like this for 15 minutes while you make the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.  Place the pressed tofu pieces in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the tofu. Let it marinate for at least 1 hour, covered, in the refrigerator. If you want to leave it overnight, it will be even more flavorful. Cook the marinated tofu in the air fryer at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you do not have an air fryer, you can bake the tofu on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, flip and bake for 20 minutes more.  Serve with rice or cauliflower rice and stir-fried vegetables such as baby bok choy, mushrooms and carrots. Store leftover tofu in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It's also good cold, as a high protein snack or in sandwiches and salads.



Activity of the Month: Weight bearing exercise supports healthy bones. This month, focus on weight bearing exercise most days of the week. Examples of weight bearing exercises are walking, dancing, jump rope, yoga, climbing stairs, jogging, basketball, or tennis.

Dawn Wolak, MSN, APRN, ANP-C Dawn Wolak, MSN, APRN, ANP-C Dawn Wolak joins our team as Dr. Mathews' Nurse Practitioner. She attended Clemson University where she attained her bachelor's degree in Nursing. She went on to attend the Medical University of South Carolina where she underwent rigorous medical training to obtain her master’s degree in Nursing and become certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. Afterwards, she underwent additional training with Dr. Mathews to become an expert in endocrine disorders. She works closely with the Palmetto Endocrine team to provide consistent, informed care for our patients at all times.

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