Going for a routine checkup at the doctor, I was hoping to have an uneventful visit, especially coming from my recent MS diagnosis. Hearing a diagnosis of osteoporosis was the last thing I needed, but that was exactly what happened. At the time, it seemed like the least of my problems, but it has slowly changed the way I live and approach life.
Initially, osteoporosis was not my biggest concern. My MS diagnosis was the main focus, and it was dramatically altering my life. I stopped working and gave up tennis. While I didn’t realize it at the time, my decrease in activity was also impacting my osteoporosis. During my first three visits after my diagnosis, I consistently lost bone mass. I wanted to avoid medications as much as possible because I have had bad reactions in the past and have friends that also had bad side effects taking medications.
I decided to take things into my own hands and did some research into osteoporosis. After talking with my doctor, we decided that vitamin D supplements and AlgaeCal would be the best way to manage my osteoporosis. I had been taking calcium supplements but my doctor told me that I had too much calcium in my heart and so I stopped taking it. I am happy to say that these are the only “medications” I use to manage my osteoporosis.
However, fitness is another big part of my care. I might not be the most motivated person in the world, but I still manage to do bone builders, yoga, and walk with my husband to stay active. I also changed my diet to include more dairy and have found protein shakes to be a great way to get lots of good nutrients early in the morning. I am not the biggest fan of cooking, but I try to make healthy meals at home with more lean meats like poultry and fish. Of course, I also treat myself with some chocolate or dinner out every once in a while!
All these changes have definitely paid off. My most recent bone mineral density test showed that my osteoporosis had been stable since my last visit. That was two years ago, and my next test is due soon. I am hoping that I’ll see some improvement in my next scan as I’ve made a lot of little changes in my life that will hopefully add up!
If I had to give some advice to someone just diagnosed with osteoporosis, I would tell them that every case of osteoporosis is different depending on the individual impacted, so one treatment plan does not fit all. While dealing with osteoporosis, the biggest advice one can give is do your own research. You can improve your osteoporosis post-diagnosis as the battle is not lost. If caught early and with proper treatment, osteoporosis can turn back into osteopenia. Not all medications are for everyone, nor are every yoga or bone builder classes. Find what works for you, stay positive, and produce the desired results.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.