Sunday, May 5, 2013

Osteoporosis - Bone Disease That Silently Robs Your Bones

When you look in the mirror, it doesn't come into view. Just imagine, you could be
twenty, thirty, forty or older and it could afflict you. People who look at you don't
see it. When it does finally surface on the outside for any human eye to see, the
harm may be irreversible. The scary part is the external warning of osteoporosis is
silent while inside the body is clamoring for help.
Many women rate turning fifty as a positively high experience. I once looked
forward to the celebration. The inner peace that comes with this proclaimed turning
point is chafed only by my recent diagnosis of osteopenia. Osteopenia is the
beginning phase of osteoporosis. Any age is too young for this disease.
My hope of naturally preventing further bone density loss and even reversibility is to
not take drugs for the rest of my life. I prefer to walk around straight and stand
short at 5 foot 2 inches. Unbelievably my new gynecologist reported my height at
one inch less than just a short thirty years ago. My fear is that only a life sentence to
some prescription drug will be the answer. Most of my anger is, "I wish I knew then
what I know now." The rest of the anger is of closed and under-educated minds in a
medical society that takes the Hippocratic oath.
For almost 2 years I asked my gynecologist to prescribe a bone density test for me.
He tried to appease me by dismissing my concerns of what I was reading. "You're
too young; you needn't worry about this." But, the risk factors in health magazine
articles were consistent. Finally he respected my request.
Can you imagine knowing more about the reading of a medical test of this nature
than your doctor? It was inconceivable, but true. The results revealed I was in the
beginning stages of the precursor to osteoporosis; something called osteopenia.
The test results read similar to what I found in the book The Osteoporosis Cure by
Harris McIlwain, MD and Debra Fulghum Bruce. My doctor immediately wrote up a
prescription for me. It was for a drug with known possible side effects including
breast cancer. He was not interested in hearing about my plan for first trying one
year of an alternative program to include more exercise, added soy products and
increased calcium supplements. The potential, natural approach to prevent and
reverse bone density loss lies in a number of year-round daily routines.
Walking is healthy for both the body and the mind. The outside pleasurable venture
is a time to soak in sunshine and nature with cooperative weather. The treadmill is a
more repetitive, boring journey to a healthy body but it is tolerable. Weight lifting
eventually pays off with a lean looking body besides helping the skeleton. Weight
bearing exercise, including a suggestion from what one woman with severe osteo
told me: when in a standing position, as often as possible, put all your weight on
just one foot. Every step or skip or jump you take tells your bones to bring in some
calcium from somewhere in your body. For the longest time the added benefit of
keeping my bones strong was not high on my intention of the activities. Some
things change. For one there are no options now. I hate not having options. Daily
exercise, including weight lifting is a necessity.
Remember when your mom said, "Drink all your milk?" Profound and simple
wisdom. Calcium, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals that activate the
absorption of the calcium, is part of my daily diet. Calcium on its own is not
enough. It needs at a minimum, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium and zinc. Those
chocolate chews Viactiv(TM) ease the pill popping dilemma. All this and more, is
essential for the building of our bone structure until we are 30. After 30 or so it
seems our body finds difficulty in building and even weakens in maintaining
calcium. I wish this information and even more was rampant 20 years ago. If you
know you can choose life with or without a straight jacket, what would you choose?
More than what you probably want to know about all these vitamins and minerals is
found in Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis by Alan R. Gaby, MD.
If drugs didn't have a part in the creation, why would they need to have anything to
do with sustaining? I've always held physicians in high esteem for their technical
expertise. Sometimes their bedside manner is an added bonus in the relationship.
But, what good is having a doctor near your bedside if they can only sing you to
sleep by singing loudly and off key in your ears? When you ask questions of your
long trusted doctor and he or she says, "Gee I've never heard of that," the
discomfort is frightening. Yes, I would rather have more of the questions, yet I'm
wanting the doctor to have more of the answers. The thing they tend to do best is
rush to hand you a pre-written prescription for some drug. I fired my gynecologist
of almost 20 years. I found an internal medicine doctor, who also does the
gynecological tests, on recommendation. She is more current in her information,
education and cautiousness to prescribe drugs.
I correspond with several women diagnosed with osteoporosis who took the natural
way to bone rebuilding. For all 6 or so of them, a year later none, not one, reported
that it worked. A drug prescription is now their life sentence. Yet, there is a recent
study of women adding 50 high jumps a day into their exercise. The results
increased bone density in all ages of women. One year later, on reading about the
study again, it turns out you need to wear a weighted vest to achieve better results.
I've discovered osteoporosis is the story for millions of women, yet you don't have
to honor the gathering with your presence. What makes me the angriest is its highly
probable I could have prevented or at least minimized all this. You can prevent and
reverse your skeletal life structure from collapsing when you begin to take charge of
your own health and when you begin early in adulthood, age 30 or so. Fear and
anger don't have to make an unexpected visit. If it's not too late for you, bone-up
on the facts! (pun intended) While there's still time, you may want to make some
easy changes.
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