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'Unbreakable' Part 1: Empowering Strong Bones with Proactive Strategies

Did you know osteoporosis is called the “silent disease” because there are typically no symptoms until a bone is broken?

Meet Brenda!

Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH, CEO of Healthy Dining

Brenda is my longtime friend. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. And she has a story to share with you!

Brenda’s career has been as a high school counselor, and her husband is an eighth-grade math teacher. Wow, those seem like stressful jobs to me, but Brenda and Rick are amazing mentors to their students. As you can imagine, Brenda and Rick look forward to their summer vacations! They love spending time in Kauai and traveling to Mexico each summer break. They are active and even skydive when they can – yes, jump out of a plane! That seems very stressful to me, too. Ha ha!

But this summer was different: With great excitement and the need for rest and relaxation (!!), Brenda booked their summer trips to Cozumel and Kauai. And yes, they planned on skydiving again this year. Just a few weeks before their Cozumel trip, Brenda’s foot had an odd, persisting pain. She was able to get to a doctor, and he told her it was most likely plantar fasciitis. Uggh ... the dreaded plantar fasciitis!

But it ended up much worse than that. Once they arrived in Cozumel, Brenda could hardly walk. In fact, by the time they left Cozumel a week later, she was confined to a wheelchair because she was in so much pain. When they returned home in the US, they went to the emergency room, and she was admitted to the hospital for testing.

Unfortunately, the tests showed that Brenda has a severe case of osteoporosis. The tests showed Brenda’s foot and sacrum bones were fractured … that’s why she was in so much pain on her vacation. Brenda didn’t have any idea that she was developing osteoporosis. That's why osteoporosis is called the “silent disease” ... because there are typically no symptoms until a bone is broken.

Here’s Brenda’s advice:

“It’s so important to be proactive with your doctor. Ask for a bone density test early in your adult years, and then keep asking to repeat the test regularly to track your progress in maintaining strong bone health. Your physician may not even mention bone health or osteoporosis to you, so you have to be proactive. Men too!"

Brenda’s right – although women have much higher rates of osteoporosis, men also must pay attention as they are at risk too.

Meet Kevin!

Kevin was just 31 years old when diagnosed with osteoporosis. Kevin explains his diagnosis “turned my world upside down. I had a young daughter, a son on the way, and my health was spiraling out of control.” After a lot of searching, Kevin found he had “a slew of digestive issues contributing to maldigestion and nutrient malabsorption. My body wasn’t able to properly break down and absorb the food I was eating.”

After much research, Kevin has transformed his health and now dedicates his career to helping people with osteoporosis transform theirs. Kevin is an integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the founder of BoneCoach, a comprehensive bone health program helping people to reverse bone loss and lead active lives. BoneCoach offers a free masterclass and also a highly informative podcast series. The podcasts dive into other related risks and diseases like thyroid, gut health, and Alzheimer’s.

Kevin’s bone health plan has three components: Identify, Nourish, and Build. Starting with Identify: In a podcast with Heather Sandison, ND, a leading brain health expert and Naturepath Doctor, Kevin emphasized:

"the number one thing to do is get a DEXA scan."

This test measures your bone density and will diagnose whether you have osteopenia (earlier stage) or osteoporosis. Kevin explains that osteoporosis means porous bone and is characterized by either insufficient bone formation, excessive bone loss, or a combination of the two. With osteoporosis, and even with gradual bone loss due to aging, both your bone density and your bone quality are reduced. And that is what increases your risk of fractures. Thus, be proactive!

'BE PROACTIVE' Strategy:

1. Get a DEXA scan appointment ASAP.

2. Read Add These Foods to Your Grocery List – then add at least 3-5 foods to your grocery list and upcoming meals.

3. Enjoy these Bone Health recipes:

In Part 2, we will dig deeper into bone health strategy. By starting with the first three Proactive Strategies above, you are well on your way to strong bones – an essential requirement for a healthy, active life!




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