I was looking through my photos for a good one for a public service announcement....
I thought this one might do. HaHa!!
Ugh! Yes, I'm of age.
When the results came back, she said that I had some thinning....not Osteoporosis, but just a little thinning. Yet, she wanted to start me on Fosamax. She wrote out the prescription and I took it to the pharmacy to be filled. I had already done some research on the drug, so I knew what the side effects were. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like this was not what I should do. The side effect that worried me the most was the chance of a femur fracture. So, I called the pharmacy and cancelled the prescription.
One year passed and it was time for my next doctor's appt. She asked how I was doing on the Fosamax and I sheepishly told her that I had not been taking it...that the side effects worried me. I was afraid that she would be a little angry, but she wasn't. She said that if the side effect was a worry for me, then let's take a different approach. She sent me to an endocrinologist to check Vitamin D levels and anything else he felt necessary to get answers.
The endocrinologist talked to me about the different medicines he prescribes for Osteoporosis and how each worked. I told him I was against taking medication and asked if there wasn't something else I could do. He was willing to help me and I was thankful for that. He wanted to get a blood test to see where my Vitamin D level was and we would go from there. So, I had blood drawn and sure enough, I was extremely low in Vitamin D. He gave me a prescription for a mega-dose of the vitamin. After I had finished the prescribed amount, he retested and I was in the normal range. I was supposed to take over the counter Vitamin D and he would recheck in three months. I tried my best to remember to take the vitamin, but I would forget to take it, all the time. Never the less, three months passed and I had to retest. And, once again I was very low. So he repeated the mega-dose. At the end of that prescribed dose, I retested and I was again back in the normal range. So he urged me to try to remember to take an over the counter Vitamin D. I had already told him that I had began eating vegetarian and I was exercising a lot. He told me to add weights and he would give me one year to try this and then we would retest.
June of this year was the one year mark. I went back to my endocrinologist for a re-check. He made mention something about my tan. I told him that I got it from my bike training and when I told him how I was training, he was very impressed. He said, "I wouldn't doubt that your bones have improved, if you're exercising that much." I sure was glad to hear that and I was very hopeful that it was true. So, he ordered another blood test and another bone density scan. The blood test came back and I was in the low end of the normal range, but in the normal range none-the-less. I had been trying really hard to remember to take my vitamins this year. I wasn't perfect, but better than before. Then I had the bone density scan done and got the results back last week. His note on the bottom of the results.....'Spine and hip/femur scans shows improvement! Good!'
I was ecstatic! I knew in my heart that I could improve my health with diet and exercise and I had just proved it. So, I will continue to take Vitamin D and Calcium and I will continue to eat healthy and to exercise. I can only get better. I am really passionate about finding the root of problems, not just treating symptoms. I hope my little success story inspires someone out there to take their health in their hands and be proactive about their diet and exercise.
YOU CAN DO IT!
P.S. If you would like to read a post I wrote on the subject, click here.