My first year as a hospital nurse was spent on an orthopedic unit, caring for many an octogenarian who had fractured her hip. Even then, it was so obvious that a woman’s bones were more vulnerable than a man’s, and educating women about their calcium intake was always a nursing basic.
However, it turns out that that simple recommendation was sorely lacking. As we are now learning, the relationship between calcium and fracture risk may be a myth!
Truth is, most of us women don’t REALLY take our bone health seriously until we’re well into our fifties. I know I never gave it too much thought until my intuition gave me pause during a family ski trip.
I have never been a particularly strong or fearless skier, seeing a fall in the snow as simply part of the sport for me. But, somewhere around hitting “the big 5-0,” that little voice inside me was cautioning: “slow down… you’re not a kid anymore… ya know, you just might break something!”
I heeded that inner awareness and intuition, and played it safer on the slopes… and the stairs. You see, whenever I fail to follow my intuition, it’s usually a big mistake! Ended up, I was right on the money.
During a routine heel scan in the gynecologist’s office, I learned that my bones might be thinning. The following year, the score increased…not good! Eventually, my endocrinologist’s Dexa scan—the Dual Energy Xray Absorptiometry that illuminates your skeleton—identified where my bones were osteoporotic, a word I honestly wasn’t expecting to hear for another couple of decades!!
Jolted by reality, I became much more aware of my calcium balance, and how this bone-basic may not be enough in preserving bone.
In honor of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, I’ll be sharing some osteoporosis basics, risk factors, and suggestions for preserving and even rebuilding bone for years to come.
For more information on osteoporosis, visit www.drsinatra.com.