Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Food Is My Medicine"

These wise words, spoken by a woman who runs a local organic food group, resonate with me on many levels. To that end, I'd like catch you up on my "foodie" evolution. (I know it's been a while. I have a lot to say!) 

What's up with me? Well, many things, but let's start with this. Like every good, newly post-menopausal woman should, I went for a DEXA scan to measure my bone density. (We're going back almost two years now). That scan was compared to a "baseline" scan done two years prior. Well, well well. I was shocked and dismayed to find that I had osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis. 

This news put me in a tailspin. Whaaaattt?? What to do now? My doctor said,"You're young to have this--I recommend medication." She was none too happy when I refused suggested meds and fled from her office. 

No, thank you!! 

Now, this is not the forum to discuss the risks/benefits of osteoporosis medication (or whether it is appropriate for those with osteopenia--a contentious topic). Whether to medicate or not for this condition is a personal decision.  

After looking into the various medication options out there, I knew they weren't for me. My plan of attack: research, research and more research. 

Ultimately, I formulated an approach that I was comfortable with.

My plan:

Revamp my diet to be more alkalizing--reduce consumption of sugar, animal protein and some dairy products (more about dairy another time). Many experts believe that osteoporosis is caused by chronic acidosis (the more acidic your blood is, the more calcium your body pulls from your bones to compensate). 

Natural, food-based supplements--calcium along with vitamins D & K, boron, silica, and other synergistic elements (bone health depends on much more than calcium and vitamin D). Given studies linking calcium supplements with increased stroke risk in women, I'd rather ingest calcium sourced from algae and sesame seeds rather than crushed rock...wouldn't you? I also opted to take strontium at bedtime, separated from calcium supplements (and calcium-containing foods) by at least 3 hours. (All this along with my usual multi and  EFAs.) 

Greens, greens, greens! Let's hear it for kale, collards and chard, lightly cooked--all great sources of calcium and other good stuff. 

Exercise--walking with a weighted vest (love that thing!) and interval/weight training. (Jillian Michaels I adore and fear you, all at the same time!)

I also opted for additional vitamin D and topical magnesium spray/lotion. 

Has the "natural" approach worked its magic on my poor, porous bones? You'll find out in my next post….

Caio for now,



Maryann - Interior Salvage said...

Hey Lisa,

So glad you're posting again. I'm finding that the busier I am the less I focus on my health. I look forward to your inspiration and natural health insights. It's great that you formulated an approach that's comfortable for you. I think it's important for everyone to be proactive and not just follow doctor's orders without doing research.

Chews Your Food! said...

Hey, thanks for your comment; I couldn't agree more!