It all began with a fractured wrist – that’s when I decided to tackle osteoporosis head on
In 2016, I fell and broke my wrist.
I told my dad about it. He seemed concerned, but I couldn’t understand why. Then he reminded me that my mum had had osteoporosis very badly, and that it can be hereditary. I was worried, so I made an appointment with my GP and asked him to send me for tests. Initially, he was reluctant, but after I explained my family history, he agreed to refer me. I had a bone-mineral density (Dexa) scan at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
I received a letter a few weeks later asking me to go and see my GP to discuss my test results. I got an appointment with a doctor I don’t really know. It was bad news. She told me that I had osteopenia, and that I’d need to take medication, as well as high doses of calcium and vitamin D, if I was to stop it getting worse and turning into osteoporosis.
I asked what osteopenia was – it’s basically halfway between having normal bones and osteoporosis. But the GP told me that the reduction in bone density my test results showed was enough to be classified as osteoporosis.
I started taking the medication – it had this horrible chalky taste. But the whole thing just didn’t feel right, so I made an appointment to see a private orthopaedic surgeon. I took the medication along with me, as well as a printout of my bone-mineral density scan.
When he saw the medication, the surgeon gasped. The drugs I’d been prescribed were far too strong – they were meant for someone with advanced osteoporosis, not for osteopenia. At my early stage, there were far better ways of getting minerals and vitamins into my bones: taking supplements and doing load-bearing exercise, for starters. And that’s what I’ve done since that day.
Last year, on World Menopause Day, I had another Dexa scan. It showed a great improvement in my bone density. There’s a moral there. Don’t get discouraged. Osteoporosis is scary, but there’s loads you can do to tackle it.
Check out our tips for dealing with osteoporosis HERE
For more information, visit the Royal Osteoporosis Society’s website at theros.org.uk