Helping at the health fair

November 11, 2009 —

daley @ SHFThis past Saturday I was a part of the free senior health fair at DMU. There were nineteen DMU student groups helping put on this health fair. The health fair was open to anyone above the age of 50 and offered numerous stations that they could visit to assess their health. With supervision from clinicians, DMU students provided free blood glucose and blood pressure screening, osteopathic manual treatments, bone density scans and general health information about strokes, heart disease, cancer, nutrition and exercise. I even saw a station for chair massages…. (oh if I was only over 50 I could have hit that up!)  There were also Drake University pharmacy students who reviewed medications for those interested.

Our Physician Assistant Club was in charge of the bone density screening and the spirometry (lung function) exams. I had the neat opportunity to work in the bone density station and learned a ton about osteopenia/osteoporosis in the elderly. My specific job was to review the bone density screening results with the patient.

Unfortunately, I saw some patients with low bone density numbers and it was my first taste of sharing unpleasant news with patients. But all in all most people were doing really well and it was fun to counsel patients on prevention. I thought you all may be interested on those prevention tips, so here ya go:

1.    Make sure you are eating foods with calcium or taking a supplement.
2.    There is evidence that calcium needs to be taken with vitamin D to help it absorb.
3.    Stay active: weight-bearing exercises are the best .

Also a little hint on seeing if your calcium supplements are adequate is to take the tablet and put it in a glass of room temperature water. If the tablet starts to dissolve within 30 minutes then you are golden. However, if the tablet is still whole and hasn’t dissolved by 30 minutes then trying a new tablet would be to your benefit. If it hasn’t dissolved by 30 minutes it indicates it won’t absorb well in your stomach and you aren’t getting the best results from your ca supplement.

So that’s my two cents….but remember I am only a med student.

(See more photos of the fair on DMU’s Facebook page!)

Daley Dodd was born and raised in the little ol’ town of Newton, IA. Growing up involved sports, dance, clubs and anything under the sun that could keep the family busy. This busy bee life flowed over into her college years at Northwest Missouri State University. She was a member of the Northwest Dance team, taught dance at a local studio, a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority and involved in Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC). After college Daley journeyed on over to Europe and had the time of her life. While there she worked for CCC and got to experience new cultures, foods and people. After a year abroad her cravings for American food got the best of her and she came home. After living in Nebraska a year she decided to jump back on the school ship and came to DMU. She has loved her experience here so far and can’t wait for everything to come.


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    Love reading your posts.Thanks for posting those prevention tips.One surely learns a lot from such experiences.Look forward to more such posts from you.