Get help with deficiencies leading to poor bone health

Bone is a living tissue which needs nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and protein. Maintaining good bone health is pivotal to getting adequate amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D.


Calcium is an essential building block for bone. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults receive 1000-1200 mg of calcium daily from all sources. Unfortunately, 85 percent of the female population fail to get the recommended intake of calcium. 

Important sources of calcium are foods (especially dairy, a few greens and nuts) and calcium-fortified foods (some cereals, breads, and fruit juices). Dairy products are the richest dietary sources of calcium. One serving of dairy has approximately 300 mg of calcium.

While food is the best source of calcium, supplements can be used if the diet doesn’t contain adequate calcium. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are the most common supplements. All calcium supplements need to be taken with food to maximize absorption in the intestine.

Vitamin D 

 Vitamin D is essential to our bodies. While sunlight produces vitamin D in the skin, production is limited to certain months of the year. Foods rich in Vitamin D include fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel and salmon. Dairy, cheese and egg yolks are also good sources. Vitamin D supplements are also helpful to increase your intake.  

 Vitamin D helps our intestine to absorb calcium from the foods we eat, which increase the amount of calcium in our bodies.  This helps strengthen our bones and our muscles. Vitamin D is also thought to strengthen the immune system.

A vitamin D deficiency can cause bone disorders in both children and adults. New studies show it may also be connected to diabetes, hypertension and autoimmune conditions, such as multiple sclerosis. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include bone pain, fractures, muscle weakness and fatigue, but many people do not have symptoms.

How much vitamin D you need depends on your age. The Institute of Medicine recommends that  adults get 600 to 800 international units (IUs) each day. A better measure of vitamin D need is to have a measurement of the blood level of vitamin D taken.  If you have been told you have a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor may encourage you to take a vitamin D supplement. 


Why choose Nebraska Medicine

While adequate levels of Vitamin D and calcium are important, additional medication prescribed by a doctor may be necessary as well for those suffering with bone health issues like Osteoporosis.

Our orthopaedic and endocrine doctors provide comprehensive yet very specialized bone care treatments. While many people have to work at getting enough calcium, we also are experts at treating patients who have too much calcium in their blood, a condition known as hypercalcemia, which affects more than 200,000 people a year and can cause a variety of different symptoms, from pain in the bones to dehydration.

Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because poor bone health doesn't reveal itself until a fracture occurs. This is why our primary care doctors work closely with our endocrinology and orthopaedics specialists to build a treatment plan that prevents additional fractures. Our endocrine specialists will help you get the right treatment to maintain strong bones after menopause, prevent further bone loss and in some cases even strengthen weakened bones.

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