What Lara Learnt After Being Diagnosed with Osteopenia
Lara Pizzorno is the author of “Your Bones: How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis and Have Strong Bones for Life – Naturally” and a member of the American Medical Writers Association with 29 years of experience specializing in bone health.
In this 3 part video series, Lara reveals her personal story (video 1), what she learnt from being diagnosed (video 2) and her latest DXA scan results (video 3) . Watch the video below (or read the transcript provided) and see you in the comments below. 🙂
Hello, my name is Lara Pizzorno, I’m the author of “Your Bones” and I’m here to share some information with you that I hope will help you to have healthier bones. In this series of video clips I’m responding to questions that people asked about why I became involved with this and why I wrote “Your Bones” and I’m very passionate about ending osteoporosis.
So what’s my personal story? How did I beat it?
As I mentioned in this earlier videos in this series, osteoporosis runs in my family.
My maternal grandmother died in hospital within weeks of breaking her hip. My mother’s sister, my dear aunt broke her hip and spent the last several years of her life first in a wheelchair and then bedridden and then she died. My mother survived months hospitalized recovering from a very bad car accident. But then she was knocked down by a overly friendly dog while going to her mailbox. She broke her hip. She fought valiantly to regain her life but lost the battle. Within a little over a year she was bedridden and she died less than a year later. It’s almost 14 years ago now that I lost her and I still miss her every day. So sorry.
So I have long known that I’m in high risk for osteoporosis.
And despite my family history and being only 5″3′ and small boned I’ve figured that I would do much better.
I exercised, I ate right, I took some vitamins and I had married one of the world’s leading experts on health and wellness, Dr. Joseph Pizzorno.
And all of it, the whole foods diet, weight bearing exercise and in this day in age vitamin and mineral supplements is necessary for all of us.
But for me it wasn’t enough.
Even though I thought I was doing everything right, I was diagnosed with rapidly progressing osteopenia in my very early 40’s.
This was well before menopause, so it’s not supposed to be happening then.
Joe and I were at a medical conference, where back then a brand new piece of office equipment was being demonstrated. It was small enough that doctors could have one in their office and use it to check patient’s bone density in their ankle. Much to my and my husband’s chagrin that despite living this supposedly ideal lifestyle, my ankle check revealed that in my early 40’s I was osteopenic already.
If I had not been married to a brilliant, cutting edge naturopathic physician I would have developed full blown osteoporosis within a few years well before menopause. I would have been put on a bisphosphonate. So in addition by now I surely could have developed osteoporosis of the jaw, esophageal cancer and irregular heartbeat which is called atrial fibrillation or I could have broken both femurs and both hips.
Three years is now considered the longest time that anyone should be on one of the bisphosphonate drugs.
Well I’m now 66, so I would have been taking them for 26 years already; actually I’d probably be dead. Fortunately for me Joe knew about very recently developed genetic tests that were just becoming available to clinicians. And one of the test panels evaluated a number genetic risks for osteoporosis. We ran the osteoporosis panel on me and we discovered my need for what back then was considered a really outrageous amount of vitamin D.
I need 10,000 IU of vitamin D every day just to get my levels up to normal range. An amount that is still unusually high but it’s less exotic now since we know that most people need at least 2000 IU daily. Back then the nutrition authorities said that it wasn’t safe to take more than 400 IU of vitamin D per day.
Some of our doctor friends told me I was soon going to turn into a calcimized version of Lot’s wife except instead of turning into a pillar of salt, I’d become a pillar of calcium. Well boy were they wrong.
Once I got the vitamin D I needed, my body’s key missing ingredient was this vitamin D and my bones started to rebuild.
A few years later I was asked to write a medical journal article about vitamin K.
The research on vitamin K2 was just beginning to come out then and I began learning about how important vitamin K2 is for our bones and I began supplementing with K2.
A few years after vitamin K2 came into my bones’ life, shortly after the first edition of “Your Bones” was published I came across the first research studies that had been published by AlgaeCal showing what I knew were truly exceptional results on bone health.
After reading these papers I was so excited that I contacted AlgaeCal. It turned out that Dean Neuls, AlgaeCal CEO and co-founder was going to be in my hometown, Seattle where the company was running DEXAs on hundreds of women, who were participants in their latest human research study.
Dean and I met and I was so impressed that I decided to try AlgaeCal for myself. And I began using it in July of 2011.
Ten months later I had my next DEXA run and I was amazed and delighted, I had changed nothing else in what I was doing but I had improved significantly in all areas.
My T-score went from -0.4 in 2011 to just -0.2 in 2012. My hip/femur bone mineral density went from a T-score of -1.7 in 2011 to just -1.5 in 2012.
This was a 3.2% improvement in bone mineral density in 10 months.
My spine went from a T-score of -1.9 in 2011 to -1.5 in 2012, a 6% improvement in bone mineral density, again in just that 10 months.
I was still a bit osteopenic but very clearly I was rapidly rebuilding my bones. Since then I hadn’t run a DEXA until this past week. Why? Well my car was hit, someone ran a red light and destroyed my car and I spent almost three years getting my life back.
In our next video, (video 3) I’ll share my latest DEXA results with you but I’ll tell you they’re really terrific. Thanks for tuning in.
To go back and watch video 1, you can do so here:
Video 1: Lara Shares Her Personal Story