Osteporosis…err…I mean, Osteoporosis is not only one of the most challenging diseases to live with – it’s also one of the most difficult to spell!
The most common ways people unsuccessfully attempt to research ‘the silent killer': osteoporsis; osteoporisis; osteporosis; ostioporosis; ostoporosis; osteoparosis; osteoporis; osteroporosis, etc…
Fortunately, the treatment for osteoporosis more straightforward than spelling.
What makes osteoporosis “the silent killer.”
Remember in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” when the proud father kept insisting the Greeks invented pretty much everything – including Windex? Well he was right- to a degree.
The Greeks have given us a lot, including the word osteoporsis…err…osteoporosis: οστούν/ostoun meaning “bone” and πόρος/poros meaning “pore”.
It is the condition where the inside of your bone unfortunately resembles Swiss (not feta) cheese, making you susceptible to fractures from innocent little bumps and falls that wouldn’t have previously bothered you.
Usually people don’t know they have osteoporosis- until they have a fracture from a small fall or bump- which prompts the doctor to test their bones. These osteo type fractures are often of the hip, which immediately curtails activity and renders one bedridden for months. This instant life of inactivity sadly begins a snowball effect of maladies such as deep venous thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism, and pneumonia.
The 6-month mortality rate following hip fracture, and the ensuing complications, is around 13.5%, easily earning this disease the macabre title of “the silent killer.”
But countering weak bones is not so hard to do- as long as you don’t wait too long. You can think of it the same way as you do retirement savings: we’ve all been told saving regular, small amounts starting at a young age is much easier and effective than trying in a panic to sock away big lump sums at a later age.
So begin making regular bone density ‘deposits’ often, with a calcium rich diet (including lots of greens, avoiding processed, refined foods) regular weight bearing exercise, and ample vitamin D to ensure that there is as much bone density available once you start to make your “withdrawals.”
We gain and lose bone all through our life, just like hair. But after middle age, we naturally lose more than we make. That’s right – we typically lose about 1% per year after middle age. But if you’ve made your regular “deposits” and your bone density balance is nice and high, your 1% “withdrawals” will not put you into an osteoporosis deficit for a long time.
If you’re reading this and you’re over 40 and haven’t been making your regular skeletal contributions, don’t worry!
It is still possible to increase your bone density with the dietary and exercise suggestions mentioned above- along with plant based multi mineral calcium supplements.
Studies have shown that traditional single element calcium supplements (that typically are made from limestone and marble) succeed in slowing down your bone loss.
But the latest science tells us that supplements derived from certain ocean algaes -that are rich in not only calcium, but many other crucial trace minerals- are able to actually increase bone density in people over 40 years of age!
Considering that the antidote to osteoporosis is quite straightforward, one can’t help wonder how it still has such a foothold in the lives of so many Americans.
Maybe it’s the word itself: a quick search on the internet revealed that it’s one of the most misspelled words out there. How can you learn 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis if you can’t find it?
I guess if we weren’t attempting to write in Greek, it wouldn’t be so hard!
Some say ancient Greek and Latin are ‘dead’ languages. True or not, dangling skeletons this Halloween should remind us that ‘osteoporosis’, courtesy of ancient Greece, is unfortunately alive and well. Whether you scare it away or not is up to you!