Friday, October 28, 2011

Living With Osteoporosis at 24

Careless and carefree. That's what I am, filled with life's ambitions and dreams that I seldom care about my health until October 22, 2011. Our 
company held its Annual Family Day, I took advantage of the  free Bone density scan, [its more like an ultrasound with the gooey transparent jelly but its swiped on the side of  your wrist] I never really cared what the result would be because I'm a low-fat milk drinker, I have a very good posture and I'm confident enough that I didnt give a damn. 

The technician gave me the printed results and said "Ma'am, you need to go to your primary doctor so you can have your prescription for Osteoporosis. At that moment, horror engulfed me. Speechless, I just nodded at the technician. It was so surreal, It never crossed my mind that I would have this disease at an early age. I rarely smoke and I often drink alcohol, where did I go wrong? 

Prevention is better than cure. Right now, all I have is cure. 

Heres the ever reliable WebMD for more Osteoporosis Overview.

That's my bone on the right. Nasty.
Photo from WebMD

What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis means "porous bones", is a serious condition that can  result in tremendous pain with fractures. You might not even realize you have Osteoporosis until you have a fracture or an obvious change in your posture. Infact, you could have significant bone loss without even knowing it.
Does everyone get Osteoporosis?
Bone loss is a natural part of aging, but not everyone will lose enough bone density to develop Osteoporosis. However, the older you are, the greater your chance of having Osteoporosis. Women who are thin and have a small frame are more likely to develop Osteoporosis. Heredity plays a role, and so does ethnicity.
Testing: What your T-Score Means
Testing compares your cone mineral density (BMD) with that of a healthy 30 year old, since that's when bone amss is at its peak. The results come
as a T-score in these ranges:
a. -1.0 and higher is norml bone density
b. Between -1.0 and -2.5 shows low bone density (osteopenia) but not Osteoporosis
c. -2.3 or below indicates osteoporosis. As your bone density decreases, your T-score gets lower.
Thats my T-Score right there.
Photo from Sony Cybershot DSC-W520

-2.8. Fail
Photo from Sony Cybershot DSC-W520

That check mark slapped me in face
Photo from Sony Cybershot DSC-W520

Treatment: Bone-Boosting Drugs
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, you may be prescribed a biophosphonate: Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax, or Reclast. They can reduce  bone loss and fracture risk and may actually help build some bone density. Those taken by mouth can cause gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers in the esophagus, acid reflux, and nausea. Injectable bisphosphonates, given one to four times a year, can cause brief flu-like symptoms. Bisphosphonates may increase risk of jaw bone death.
Treatment: Hormones
Calcitonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that slows bone loss. Two synthetic versions, Miacalcin and Fortical, are used against osteoporosis. Given as a nasal spray or injection, they can slow bone thinning in postmenopausal women and reduce risk of spine fractures. Side effects include a runny nose, headache, back pain, or nosebleed. The injection may cause flushing, nausea, allergic reactions, or skin rashes. Forteo, a synthetic parathyroid hormone, requires daily injections and actually builds new bone. Leg cramps and dizziness have been reported with Forteo use.
Treatment: Estrogen Agents
Hormone replacement therapy, once used widely for menopause symptoms, is an option for osteoporosis, but it's used less than other medications because of concerns about the risk of cancer, blood clots, heart disease, and stroke. Evista is not a hormone but can provide similar bone-strengthening effects to estrogen without the cancer risks. Risks include blood clots and increased hot flashes.
Treatment: A Biologic Alternative
Prolia is a lab-produced antibody that slows the breakdown of bone. Given as an injection twice a year, it is for postmenopausal women at high risk for fractures who can't tolerate other osteoporosis drugs or who haven't been helped by other drugs. Side effects include back pain, muscle pain, bone pain, a higher risk of infections, and lower calcium levels.

My BFF's for life
Photo from Sony Cybershot DSC-W520

Which Foods Have the Most Calcium?
Drinking a glass of vitamin D-fortified milk is one of the best ways to get your calcium. Other dairy products vary in their calcium content. Yogurt and cheese are better choices than ice cream or frozen yogurt. Fish, such as sardines and salmon, are good sources. Fortified foods, such as cereals and orange juice, can also provide a lot of calcium.
Living With Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis doesn't have to interfere with your life. In fact, being
inactive or immobile will worsen your bone health. So get out and walk,
and enjoy leisure activities.

This is  my happy battle.


Disclaimer: All data provided on this site  [] are for informational purposes only. This is a PERSONAL BLOG, all opinions expessed on this page are solely mine---not from anyone else, unless otherwise noted.


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