There’s More to the Story, I Have Osteoporosis
There’s more to the story from my last newsletter that I want to let you know about.
Quick recap: Two of my doctors (gynecologist and internist) gave me a prescription for a Bone Density test. My gynecologist called me first with the results: “Good news!” Compared to my results from 5 years ago, there was a 4-5% increase in my BMD (Bone Mineral Density). I was elated! I wrote about it in my last newsletter because it felt like a Big Win!
And good timing, too, because I am offering a 5-week In-Person series, Yoga for STRONG Bones, in January.
So wanting to be accurate when writing about my ‘new achievement’ and the percentage of my BMD increase, I looked up the full report of my test online and read this:
IMPRESSION: According to the WHO classification, the patient has osteoporosis.
It was easy enough for me to just keep riding on the wave that the strength training I had been assiduously doing for the past 2+ years paid off and made a measurable difference. My bone density increase was proof of that. But that wasn’t the whole story.
A few days later, I spoke with my internist about the results of my test and she made it very clear: I have osteoporosis. Unlike my gynecologist, she did not mention anything about the increased percentages of BMD. Instead, she scared me good – “We have to watch this” and “You’ve had falls.” (Was my sprained ankle from last December now making me a falling risk?)
The doctor went on to tell me that there’s medication for this but (thankfully) I’m not at that point yet. Perhaps supplements with calcium are in my near future. She also wants me to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist (since it is a lack of certain hormones that accelerate bone loss).
I listened. Then I mentioned my increased BMD.
“Yes – and this still puts you in the category of having osteoporosis,” she said.
“But if I worked harder with my strength training, would it be possible to have further improvement that would take me from osteoporosis to osteopenia (a less severe condition)?” I asked.
“Your hip vs spine have different readings. So it’s a bit more complicated.” she responded.
Ugh! My heart was sinking and I was thinking, “Are the gains I made still even worthy?”
YES! My gains are still worthy! ANY in BMD as we age is a HUGE deal! The results are still a good indicator that both my hip, spine and total bone density increased. And if I continue on my current trajectory, I could very well move out of the osteoporosis range.
While I will monitor my numbers and listen to my doctor’s advice, I’m also focusing on my behavior because that is what I have control over. My current focus in training will be to increase my impact – do more things I enjoy like walking, jumping, and tap dancing- and add more load (heavier weights…oof!)
I’ve been consistent, making strides with my strength and adding much needed bone density.
And so can you!