“I don’t want to become a crippled old lady, bent double, who can only shuffle along. There would be no point for me,’ she says, talking for the first time about her condition. If I cannot be active, I would rather die. I could not cope without full mobility. My life would be over.” -Ursula Andress (The Daily Mail 2008)
Before writing a blog on Osteoporosis I used the Word Press Reader to search for blogs on the subject. I was extremely disappointed in what I found. One woman had a blog that suggested eating egg shells was a remedy for Osteoporosis, and another woman posted the same blog text with the same photo even. I don’t know if that is just some kind of reblogging feature. Another writer wrote something on pills are bad in general and she wanted to not take any medication for Osteoporosis. This is why they are all wrong.
My personal experience with Osteoporosis
I had heard about Osteoporosis as a teenager and I was concerned about it. I was told to take calcium. I did not think about it beyond that. I attended a free seminar at a department store in downtown San Francisco. I wanted to know which type of calcium supplement is the best one. However, the woman who’s name and credentials I have no memory of (this was about 1983) said she could not suggest one. The only thing that really stuck in my mind was the debate over antacids and calcium. Tums was marketing itself as an antacid, so I said to myself, how can antacids block calcium if they are themselves calcium? But it turned out other antacids they sold at the time (like Rolaids) were not made of calcium and they could block it. As I grew older, I learned more and more. I found out unless you are doing some kind of weight bearing exercise the calcium will not go into your bones, but what kind of exercise? This is a matter of huge debate.
Swimming was said not to help your bones. Running was said to help. But old ladies with osteoporosis (in particular my mother) are not able to run. There are now too many different types and choices of calcium and too many exercise theories. Doctors (when asked) just tell the ladies to walk if they are able. However, most of the old ladies are given walkers. A walker means as the old lady walks, she will not fall down, but on the other hand she will never stand up straight again. If you don’t stand up straight, then osteoporosis will set in. But walking is not enough.
I went to another free seminar on osteoporosis three years ago and it was run by a trainer who said that just being an old lady who walks and cleans her house is not enough. When asked why, she pointed out that most old ladies do these things and they still get osteoporosis. I read an article about Anita Ekberg who died from a broken hip so surely, she had osteoporosis.
Searching for Anita Ekberg’s osteoporosis, I found instead Ursula Andress’s Osteoporosis Story in the Daily Mail. Osteoporosis is like joining the Manson Family. Nobody wants to think that they would do it. Its not like one day you join the Manson Family and the next day you are stabbing innocent strangers to death. Just like Ursula Andress most people think this would never happen to them and besides, they stay active, but being active is not the same as stopping osteoporosis.
What to do about osteoporosis risk
My advice to anyone worried about this is to study and read as much as you can about osteoporosis . Consult and hire an osteoporosis trainer and/or physical therapist and have them design and exercises program tailored to your individual needs. I think the best calcium supplement to take is Calcium citrate. I don’t promote any particular brands on Macy Makes Magic. Take Fosamax or a similar bone building drug as directed by your doctor.
When you read about osteoporosis do not read or consider any miracle cures or “one easy trick” blogs as these are all scams. Some of them are just false with no basis in reality, such as the blog about eating egg shells. It is possible to do that, but who would want to do that? There is no one trick food or scheme that can prevent osteoporosis. Diary products will not help you very much. I know for a fact my mother ate mostly dairy products for calcium and she had a terrible case. Later she took calcium pills, and it did not help her without the exercise. It may not have helped her at all. Do not just kick back, take calcium and do no exercise, because it will likely make no difference. The calcium will not go back into your bones without exercise. Bones rebuild themselves in a special way which would be too complicated to address in this blog.
The recommended amount of calcium is now up to 1200mg a day. If you added up all the calcium you get from food each day, it won’t be enough unless you are drinking a quart of milk every day. The truth is you don’t need diary products at all unless you want them and forget about calcium from vegetables. There is not enough calcium in non-dairy foods and salmon is a ridiculous suggestion. If you eat enough salmon to get enough calcium there is mercury and other toxics found in sea foods. You could end up in worse shape from consuming large amounts of fish.
Men need to worry also. I have friend who retired from the post office and he got osteoporosis from anti-seizure medication. People who hunch over a desk all day or even play the piano can get osteoporosis in their spines. Re adjust your computer and keyboard so you can type, and play reclined instead of hunching your back over. I hope this is helpful to someone.
If you have a bad case of osteoporosis it’s already too late. Once your bones have become very weak and your spine is already bend into the shape of a hump, you will not be able to train to stop it, because any exercise you do could likely cause a bone fracture. So don’t let it get to that point. Be proactive.