Five years ago I was shocked to find out I had osteoporosis. I thought I eat a healthy diet, exercise, so why do I have this? I’d hoped I could escape the diagnosis that my mother and my sister shared.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a silent disease that causes your bones to become fragile and porous. While it happens to both men and women, a higher percentage of women have it. You don’t know it’s lurking in your bones in the early stages. But in progressed stages, you are more likely to break bones in falls or even have a vertebra break without incident.
It’s advised that postmenopausal women have a DEXA Scan, also called a bone density scan. This is a noninvasive low-dose x-ray. You lie on an open table while an x-ray arm passes over your body measuring your bone density. There are no injections and no tunnels. All that’s required is lying still for a short time. Because bone density varies in the body, a couple of places are scanned including the spine and hip. It’s a good idea to get a DEXA scan as a baseline to monitor your bones.
A radiologist compares your score with the bone density of a young healthy 30-year-old adult of the same gender and ethnicity. The difference between the two is called a T Score. The score is also compared to a healthy adult the same age and this difference is called a Z score.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines osteopenia (a precursor to osteoporosis) as a T score of 10% to 25% below the average. Osteopenia is a wakeup call to do all you can for your bones.
Osteoporosis is diagnosed when your score is more than 25% below the average healthy adult’s bone density. Now you are at increased risk for fractures. In the US 50% of women diagnosed with osteoporosis will break a bone while 25% of men will.
How Can We Help Our Bones Naturally?
My mother’s and sister’s doctors put them on Fosamax, a drug regularly prescribed for osteoporosis. Unfortunately, it can have severe side effects. After five years of taking it, my sister read alarming reports that it can cause jaw-bone death and leg bones to shatter. Her doctor looked at the evidence and agreed she should stop taking it.
If you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, what can you do instead of taking drugs?
Oh, oh here it is again – that word we don’t want to hear – EXERCISE! And for bones, specifically weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, dancing, hiking, jogging, jumping rope, tennis, and climbing stairs.
Eating a bone-healthy diet with plenty of calcium, vitamins D and K2, magnesium, plus trace minerals your bones crave also helps. This includes plenty of dark leafy greens, such as broccoli, bok choy, and kale. Canned sardines and salmon with the bones in, is another good source of calcium. Dried figs and apricots along with fresh oranges, Brazil nuts, and almonds all have bone benefits.
And of course, stop smoking and decrease your sugar intake to lower inflammation which accelerates bone loss.
A friend, also battling osteoporosis, told me about a product with no side effects. It improved her bone density so much she is now in the normal range. After some research, I purchased a six-month supply taking it regularly because I didn’t want to do the prescribed drugs. What sold me on the product was the money-back guarantee that if bone density doesn’t increase within six months of taking it, the company will refund your money.
I have been on it for several years now and my bone density is in the normal range. My sister followed suit as did several friends and we have all had the same result: normal bone density. Scientific studies show that taking other forms of calcium supplements from shells and rock, just doesn’t work, whereas the calcium from the ocean sourced algae in AlgaeCal is readily absorbed by the body. It’s combined with magnesium, vitamins D3 and K2, and trace minerals.
The best bet to build bone is to use their bone builder pack of AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium. You take two AlgaeCal capsules twice a day. The strontium must be taken on an empty stomach two hours before and after eating. I usually take mine two hours after dinner and just before bed.
Their website, www.algaecal.com, is packed with information about osteopenia and osteoporosis. There are diet and recipe ideas, exercises tailored for bones, reviews by real people, and scientific studies.
I get nothing from writing about this product except the satisfaction of knowing this information can help others rebuild their precious bones.
By Susan Tereba
The Boomer Corner is a column dedicated to people over 60 living in Bali. Its mandate is to cover topics, practicalities, activities, issues, concerns and events related to senior life in Bali. We welcome suggestions from readers.
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