5 Osteoporosis Myths You Need To Know About

Osteoporosis affects 2.3 million Canadians and is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue over time. It is known as the “silent thief” because it occurs over decades with no associated symptoms.[1] By the time a fracture occurs, the disease is advanced and the best option is medication to prevent future fracture risk. Unfortunately, while many of my patients fear medication and prefer natural options, the reality is supplements are not as effective as medication to reduce fracture risk.

Osteoporosis reduces quality of life, contributes to reduced or loss of mobility and lack of independence, and in some cases death. 22% of women and 33% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year. [1]

You have decades to prevent this, are you doing it right?

Who should be screened?

  • Women 65 years and over, and men 70 years and older should be screened for osteoporosis
  • Younger post-menopausal women, women in the menopausal transition, and men aged 50-69 years with clinical risk factors
  • Adults who have a fracture at age 50 years and older
  • Adults with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or organ transplant, or taking a medication (glucocorticoids, aromatase inhibitors, androgen deprivation therapy) that is associated with low bone mass or bone loss. [2]

Many people are falling through the cracks and are not getting timely screening. That is one way I help patients. Diving deep into your history and asking the right questions can help to identify those who are higher risk and need advocacy for appropriate, sometimes early, screening and an effective prevention plan. Many patients are misinformed about the best prevention plan and too many women don’t realize that menopause is their biggest risk for osteoporosis.

Let's crack open some common myths about osteoporosis (pun intended).

Myth #1: Walking is the best exercise for bone health and reducing fractures.

If you are sedentary and currently don’t get much exercise, than brisk walking can definitely help to build bones. But if you are currently active than you need to ensure you are getting in strength training at least 2 times a week. 3 times a week is best. And the best outcomes are achieved with supervised fitness sessions. This is important to make sure you are lifting weights properly to avoid injury and that you are using the right weight to build muscle. Preventing fractures also means preventing falls in the first place. Balance exercises should also be included in your osteoporosis prevention plan on a daily basis.

Myth #2: Supplements can reverse osteoporosis.

Some supplements can help prevent osteoporosis if you are deficient, such as adequate calcium and vitamin D. However, once osteoporosis sets in, the best treatment to reduce fractures according to the best available evidence is medications. The best prevention plan includes a comprehensive approach that includes quitting smoking, limited alcohol, adequate protein, calcium, and vitamin D, the right type of exercise, and identifying risks for falls such as vision and gait problems, low blood pressure, sedating medications, and loose rugs in the home and other tripping hazards.

Myth #3: You don’t have to worry about osteoporosis until menopause.

The biggest risk for women is menopause. Women will lose 10-12% of their bone during the menopausal transition. However, bone loss occurs throughout adulthood at a rate of 1-2% per year.

Myth #4: Only women get osteoporosis.

While women may be at a higher risk for osteoporosis, it still impacts men and many are not screened appropriately.

Myth #5: If you have osteoporosis you can’t build bone.

If you have an evidenced based intervention plan, you can build bone but you need to start now. Bone changes occur very slowly over time but small improvements in bone density can significantly reduce fracture risk.

Here’s a simple, validated tool to assess your risk for osteoporosis using your weight and age, without a bone mineral density test.

https://qxmd.com/calculate/calculator_708/osteoporosis-self-assessment-tool-for-women

Click here to get an estimate of your daily calcium intake.

I want you to live the life you want to. Reach out to find out how we can work together.

 

[1] Osteoporosis Canada. https://osteoporosis.ca/what-is-osteoporosis/

[2] LeBoff MS, Greenspan SL, Insogna KL, et al. The clinician's guide to prevention and treatment of osteoporosis [published correction appears in Osteoporos Int. 2022 Jul 28. Osteoporos Int. 2022;33(10):2049-2102.

[3] Kanis, J., Cooper, C., Rizzoli, R. et al. European guidance for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Osteoporos Int 30, 3–44 (2019).

 

Disclaimer: The information presented on this site does not constitute medical advice and does not replace the advice from your doctor. Always consult a qualified health care professional when changing or beginning a new health plan.

Click the link below to learn 5 critical ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack in just 5 days. And it's FREE! or book your FREE Discovery Call Now.

5 Non-Negotiables To Sleep Better Than A Baby

Have you said “bye bye” to sleeping through the night?

Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?

Do not fear, I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) for you!

The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing.

Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we're just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.

Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. And don't forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.

Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? (Gasp!)

OMG – What aspect of health does sleep not affect???

Knowing this, it's easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:

  1. To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
  2. To improve our brain's ability to learn and remember things, technically known as“synaptic plasticity”.
  3. To conserve some energy so we're not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.

Do you know how much sleep adults need? It's less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it's recommended that all adults get 7 - 9 hours a night. For real!

Try not to skimp!

(Don't worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below.)

Tips for better sleep

  1. The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you're more likely to achieve it. This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off. Seven. Days. A. Week. I know weekends can easily throw this off but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.
  2. Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber). Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavoured snack). Make sure you're getting some protein every time you eat.
  3. During the day get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body it's daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
  4. Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm, or earlier for some people who are more sensitive and slower metabolizers of caffeine. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it's the “added” sugar we're minimizing. Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be come evening. And remember chocolate, green tea, and soda all contain caffeine as well. (I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you below!).
  5. Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8 - 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an (actual, not “e”) book or having a bath.

So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?

Caffeine-free chai latte for your afternoon “coffee break”

Serves 1-2

1 bag of rooibos chai tea (rooibos is naturally caffeine-free)

2 cups of boiling water

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon almond butter (creamy is preferred)

2 dates (optional)

Cover the teabag and dates (if using) with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for a few minutes.

Discard the tea bag & place tea, soaked dates, tahini & almond butter into a blender.

Blend until creamy.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: You can try this with other nut or seed butters to see which flavour combination you like the best. Cashew butter anyone?

Click the link below to learn 5 critical ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack in just 5 days. And it's FREE! or book your FREE Discovery Call Now.

 

Disclaimer: The information presented on this site does not constitute medical advice and does not replace the advice from your doctor. Always consult a qualified health care professional when changing or beginning a new health plan.