Telluride Women Gives, Talk & Update
The Telluride Medical Center Foundation’s Telluride Women Gives is about building a culture of engagement and generosity through a giving circle that is determined to give back to its donors in the form of networking and lectures that impart vital information about hot topics in health and wellness. Donations large and small are welcome. Go here to join.
That feeling in your bones?
It may not be a good thing.
Especially not if you are a post-menopausal women on the wrong side of 50 percent.
Dr. Gayle Frazzetta, MD, FAAFP, CCD, is a family medicine doctor who practices in Montrose and specializes in women’s health, sports medicine, and osteoporosis.
Dr. Frazzetta is also a close professional colleague of Dr. Sharon Grundy, Telluride Medical Center’s beloved and highly respected medical director of primary care.
In support of Telluride Women Give, Dr. Grundy invited Dr. Frazzetta to be guest speaker at a recent gathering. The topic of the evening: “What Women Wonder: Osteoporosis and Nutrition.”
Osteoporosis is a disease that results in bones becoming more and more fragile as they lose density, usually due to aging, menopause, and other factors such as a lack of calcium and vitamin D in the diet. If you have osteoporosis, even the most mundane events – sneezing or bumping into an object – can cause a bone to break. And the outcome, direct or indirect, can be catastrophic.
According to Frazzetta, osteoporosis hits 50 percent of post-menopausal women. (Lots of men too.)
Researchers are still trying to find out the exact role vitamin D plays in bone loss. Since we need vitamin D to help absorb calcium, doctors and scientists generally agree enough calcium and vitamin D throughout our lives is essential.
To that end, scientists are investigating new compounds, vitamin D analogs, as potential osteoporosis treatments. These drugs are, essentially, supercharged versions of vitamin D supplements or molecules that have been altered based on vitamin D’s structure, engineered to minimize bone loss and maximize bone formation.
Over the past 20 years, the focus on vitamin D has intensified, highlighting its potential benefits including, but not exclusively, bone health. According to Frazzetta, low levels of D are linked to a wide range of ailments including arthritis, cancer, depression, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease, adding that in general we need to supplement vitamin D. And because it is fat soluble, vitamin D is best absorbed with a meal.
Vitamin D and osteoporosis became points of departure for a wide-ranging discussion about menopause, nutrition, and women’s health in general.
How strong a factor is genetics for osteoporosis?
“Very. On that particular risk scale, genetics weigh in at 80 percent. Which means people with a family history of bone loss should be extra careful about nutrition, especially adequate calcium and vitamin D intake. In addition, it is important to discuss appropriate screening with your doctor because osteoporosis, though relative to heart disease and cancer is unsung, correlates with a very high rate of mortality.”
Do dark leafy greens help?
“Yes, but only if you can extract the calcium. Eat your greens with acidic foods for better absorption.”
And cheese? Doesn’t cheese contain lots of calcium?
“Just enjoy your cheeses in moderation. There are way better sources of calcium, including kefir, yogurt, etc.”
How important is exercise?
“Very important – but not as reported over the years, because regular workouts increase bone density. The evidence is just not there. But staying fit in general enhances strength and balances and therefore reduces the fall rate and fracture risk.”
Are “natural” remedies better than man-made?
“Ain’t necessarily so: lab-created can be better and more effective, especially if ‘natural’ comes packaged with heavy metals.”
What are the best supplements or treatments for dealing with osteoporosis?
Regular doses of Dr. Frazzetta ( and/or Dr. Grundy) are highly recommended.
More about Telluride Women Give:
Kate Wadley, executive director of the Telluride Medical Center Foundation, has long understood that when women collaborate and commit, they create change.
“This group is for women who want to invest and collaborate to create specific programs that make a difference in the lives of women, children and their families,” said Wadley.
Telluride Women Give members are kept abreast of health care issues affecting women and their families and solutions to improve their health and well-being of those they love.
“These women will assert that the greatest benefit is to the giver, as they themselves are provided opportunities to learn, share, and grow as philanthropists and community leaders,” said Wadley. “Using the power of collective philanthropy, the members’ annual contributions are pooled and the entire membership joins in deciding which program, project or new equipment at the Telluride Medical Center will be funded. Our efforts will drive innovative and often life-saving services and technology to make a difference now, for those we know and love,” she added,
“It’s empowering to know there is so much momentum behind this movement to elevate the generosity of women into something even bigger than the individual parts.”
According to Wadley, women and men give for different reasons.
“Women are motivated to create change, have a connection, collaborate, and to have a little fun.”
Wadley believes the Telluride community will realize great benefit from the Telluride Medical Center Foundation’s giving circle in the form of grant dollars and informed, engaged donors, and volunteers.
Ultimately, Wadley said, “The goal of Telluride Women Give is to build a culture of engagement and generosity and be the philanthropic choice for Telluride Women.”
Since 2015, Telluride Women Give has raised about $105,000.
“To date, we spent $40,430 on equipment like the handtevy, a colonoscopy machine, a manipulation table. We also awarded a $10,000 grant to the Telluride Medical Center for a much-needed Behavioral Health program,” added Wadley. “ Telluride Women Give really makes a difference and we are so grateful to this group of generous ladies. But please remember membership levels are just that – levels. And we want you to be involved. This year Telluride Women Give has already raised $10,225. Please renew your membership or become a member.”