Bone Health

Osteoporosis. Computer artwork of a human female skeleton degenerating due to osteoporosis. At left is a normal skeleton. The degeneration, seen from left to right over time, is the loss of height and the backwards curvature (kyphosis) of the spine.

This topic is not something I paid too much attention to over the years. I just assumed that because I was eating healthy I was looking after my bone health. Did I get a big surprise.

Not being able to walk and put too much weight load on my bones over the past 12 years with Multiple Sclerosis has caused my bones to leach calcium and I’m now faced with a higher risk of fracture than most women my age.

It was strongly suggested by an Osteo specialist that I start taking Fosomax, a pharmaceutical drug that strengthens bones. I did my research and decided that the side effects related to that drug and most other pharmaceutical bone health drugs is beyond what I am willing to endure. Now there is no saying that I would get the side effects by taking one of them, but I am not willing to find out.

I am working with a Naturopathic Doctor that deals with hormones and other health and bone related conditions. I decided that was the route I wanted to go.

I know what foods to increase in my diet…

  • wild salmon with the bones,
  • organic leafy greens
  • Almonds and almond butter, higher than any other nut
  • Seeds as chia, sesame, celery and poppy seeds
  • Cow milk (organic), one of the best and cheapest sources, (goat milk too)
  • Whey protein powder
  • Organic plain yogurt without sugar is the best source
  • organic cheese in moderation, Parmesan is the highest calcium and this is the cheese I tend to use the most.
  • eggs (moderate calcium)
  • Molasses (I use it in my homemade Pumpernickel bread)
  • cruciferous vegetables like kale, cooked collard greens, and broccoli are high in calcium
  • Kelp, a sea vegetable, rich in calcium
  • okra
  • Rhubarb
  • sardines…a little fish I can’t acquire a taste for…my dog loves them
  • organic soybeans (tofu or tempeh), edamame
  • Dried figs are the best “dried” fruit for calcium
  • white beans such as navy, great northern, cannelloni and lima beans
  • Lentils
  • Kefir (a yogurt like drink which can replace milk on cereal or in a smoothie….1 cup gives you 50% of your RDI of calcium
  • Amaranth grain
  • Orange juice…fortified
  • Rainbow trout….definitely better than red meat.

It is best to spread your calcium intake out through your day. Don’t consume it all at breakfast as your body cannot absorb it all at once.

You can see by the long list that it is easy to meet your RDI of daily calcium without supplementation. I am taking a supplement which is relatively low in the grand scheme but it also contains D3 and K2, both necessary to help with absorption of the calcium. I am also taking a “strontium” supplement and Basentabs used to help my body operate in a more alkaline state than an acidic state.

The foods to avoid that leach calcium from your bones are:

  • High salt foods…I love salt (Himalayan) so am replacing it with kelp
  • Alcohol, which we quit consuming 11 years ago
  • Sugar…which I try to avoid. I use stevia in many things.
  • Coffee. I have one a day now. I may quit coffee all together soon. I was off coffee for a good 15 years until just the last 18 months…I gradually got back to enjoying coffee. So I know I can eliminate it all together again.

I am working with a physiotherapist doing weight bearing exercises and good, careful stretching. I am getting my complete hormone panel done through my Naturopathic doctor.

I am genetically susceptible to Osteoporosis. Having Multiple Sclerosis makes the situation worse. I hope I can stop the progression with diet and supplementation and exercise. I really don’t want to take the pharmaceutical for it.

I know there is “high risk” in my case, for fractures, very difficult to rebound from when I can’t walk on my own. I use a walker at home, and use a scooter outside of home. But….heh….there is risk in everything we do in this life. I will do my best and hope for the best.

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