Moving Away from Fear Unfortunately the most common reaction to a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia is panic, fear and a rush to take a pill. This is partly due to the strong insistence by most physicians in wanting their patients to start medications "right away." This rush to medication is accompanied by phrases such as "your spine is so bad it will break in half" or "you have the bones of an 90 year old" which make it difficult to say no.
Lifestyle is King It is important to know that osteoporosis or osteopenia are heavily influenced by your lifestyle habits. Your exercise program, the foods you choose to eat, the supplements that you take and your stress levels all impact the health of your bones. Instead of rushing to medication, after you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, (you can take medication any time along the way) I recommend considering three important steps before doing anything else:
1. Start a Personal Health Journal Documenting and organizing your current health and fitness habits is a valuable tool not only for you but any other health or fitness professional that reviews your case. It will first help you take stock of your current lifestyle habits and then track various lifestyle changes along the way.
Journaling is an excellent way to begin stopping and reversing your bone health problems. Your bones respond favorable to safe and effective exercises, improved eating habits, better sleep patterns and stress reduction activities. Osteoporosis medications (if you decide to take them) work best with lifestyle changes so changing your lifestyle first makes more sense.
2. Determine Your Risk for Fracture After a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia, the most important fact to know is what is my risk of sustaining a fracture.Reducing your risk of fractures is going to be your sole mission and much more important than increasing bone density. So one of the most important pieces of information to focus on is not your bone density scores but your FRAX percentages.
The FRAX Index calculates your risk of hip fracture. Bone density or BMD are the numbers your doctor gave you after your DEXA scan. BMD is only ONE risk factor of 12 that are important in determining your fracture risk. Go to http://www.shef.ac.uk/FRAX/ for more information. 3. Create a Professional Bone Health Improvement Plan So many times I see bone health programs that consist of an odd collection of what people have read on the web or seen on television. These programs are usually missing key components and have not been reviewed by a knowledgeable professional or customized to meet individual needs. Having good bone health program goes beyond just improving bone density. Your bones respond to many different changes in your life. The foods you eat, the water you drink, your sleep patterns and exercise activities can all benefit your bone health.
I hope these 3 steps help take some of the mystery and fear out of your osteoporosis or osteopenia diagnosis.View Thread
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