One half of women and one fourth of men over age 50 will have osteoporosis, which can result in fractures that are life threatening. Throughout childhood into early adulthood, the bones absorb nutrients and minerals gaining strength. But beginning in our 30’s and 40’s, bone density begins to decline with age. What we do as far as exercise, supplements, and a balanced diet can make a difference with dem bones and enable us to hold the line on bone density.
Women suffer more from bone density loss than men because of menopause where estrogen levels are decreased. Technically, my sweet mother-in-law, Mollie Brant, died from the complications of osteoporosis. Her doctor warned her of what might come and also prescribed mediations that might help, but she did not like the way those medications made her feel, and she stopped taking them. Please hear me loud and clear, osteoporosis cannot be ignored. We must take action to avoid getting in this situation. Yes, as we age and as some of us develop osteoporosis, our bones can actually break without an accident or easily break with a minimal fall. (Actually, Mollie did well and was healthy up until her minimal fall at age 86.)
Cancer patients must be especially careful. Chemotherapy in most patients causes bone density to decline. Radiation can cause a loss of bone density. For women with estrogen-fed cancers, medications that block estrogen production provide significant protection from recurrence, but also greatly lessen bone density in most women.
Ask me. A cancer patient. I’ve survived the treatments and many of the side effects—but not all of them. Chemotherapy significantly decreased my bone density and with the estrogen-blocking pill for five years on top of that, my body has taken a hit on dem bones. Doctors can give you medication and shots to counteract what these chemicals have done. But I am an advocate of also using exercise and diet to rebuild the body from the inside out. You can combine the medications with exercise and diet, or try one or the other, but you must do something.
In the next few weeks, we’ll examine the exercises and activities that help keep dem bones strong. We’ll also look at the balanced diet that builds bones, and the things to avoid that weakens dem bones. One thing is for sure, whether you are just aging or whether you’re fighting cancer, dem bones are something to consider. After all, they hold us up!
How many of you are getting occasional Dexa Scans? How many of you are finding that you are losing more bone density than you feel comfortable with. Stay tuned as we cover this topic in depth.
For Your Health,