Knowledge is Power - Osteoporosis

Saturday, August 06, 2022

The information shared is not medical advice.  Please check with your doctor about what's best for you. 
Some of the links in this post generate a small commission. 

If leukemia isn't enough to deal with, I just got diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in my left hip.  For years, I've been putting off a bone density test because I didn't want to expose myself to additional radiation.  But now I'm kicking myself for being so stupid.

Osteoporosis is more prevalent in women than men.  14% of women ages 50-59 and 22% of women ages 60-69 have it (the percentages go up with age). It's diagnosed by a very easy simple bone density test.  Basically you lie on a table for a minute or two. That's it! It shows the condition of your bones and flags both osteopenia and osteoporosis. There are medications to strengthen bones, but leukemia can make it challenging since the meds affect bone marrow.  Plus I'm getting very close to starting cancer treatment, which makes things even more complicated.

I really want to spread awareness about being PROACTIVE by getting preventative tests and doing things NOW that can strengthen bones.  Get ahead of health issues before they get ahead of you.  Osteoporosis can potentially be serious should a fall occur. A broken hip can mean a long recovery and time spent in rehab. I definitely don't want to go down that road!

I've been doing a lot of research to see if osteoporosis can be reversed. Most of the data states that it can't be, however there are things that we can do to prevent it, or in my case, precent it from getting worse.  

Weights:  If you don't use weights in your exercise routine, you need to start.  However, arm and leg weights are not going to do the trick to strengthen hips.  I love to walk, so my doctor recommend wearing a weighted vest whenever I go out for a stroll. The location of the weight helps to strengthen the hip bones. Surprisingly, I find it very comfortable to wear and I even feel like it forces me to stand straighter.  
This is the one that I wear. It's under $25.  

Stomp and jump:  You may look a bit silly, but stomping your feet (hard!) in place and doing jumping jacks are great ways to strengthen hip bones.  Plain old walking or biking won't do it.  By the way, climbing stairs is fabulous too! 
Vitamin D:  I've been taking Vitamin D for a long time, but a nutritionist recommended a combination of D, K and A. She likes this one because it has exactly the right proportions of each to be effective for bone health.  Shop it here

Food:  Did you know that sugar, salt, soft drinks, hydrogenated oils, and alcohol can weaken bones? I had no idea! I've changed my diet in a big way (I was a junk-food junkie) and although I'm lactose intolerant, I'm trying to eat more dairy such as lactose free cottage cheese, milk (A2 --easier to digest than regular cow's milk) as well as lots of dark green vegetables and pumpkin seeds (high in calcium!). 

Take charge of your health. You only have one body so treat it well!

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xx Susan

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