This month's newsletter is a bit different. Instead of being chock full to 'tid-bits' or research, it offers two 'general principles' and an opportunity to share with those who are newly diagnosed and may need some encouragement. (Next month will go back to the usual format. I promise.)
When someone is diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, they often worry...they feel tense... Some are scared or at least that is what some readers tell me. Some have said they had an image of their bones turning into Swiss cheese - with big holes where bone should have been! Not an encouraging mental image.
One of the things I try to do in this newsletter and on the web site is to offer hope and assurance that both Osteopenia and Osteoporosis can be reversed - that there are things you can do to prevent fractures and restore your bone density. If you have been reading this newsletter for awhile, you recognize my approach.
Why spend so much time trying to build confidence in your ability to reverse bone loss? Two reasons. Research shows two things. First, stress and worry is not good for your bones AND second, in matters of health we tend to get what we 'deep down' expect.
Point 1. Stress and worry trigger the production of excess cortisol and excess cortisol inhibits osteoblast [bone building cells.} Getting stressed out over your dexa scan results, is of NO help [and may be of some harm] to your bones. I sometimes wonder if my own continued loss of bone in my first year after diagnosis was related to my stressing out over the condition.
There are lots of studies that show that having a sense that there is something we can do, that there is some way we can influence events in our lives is a great stress reducer. Showing someone who has been newly diagnosed that there ARE things THEY can do....and offering reminders that WE can make changes that will enable us to avoid falls and help our bodies to build new, strong bones is really important.
But the second point noted above: that we tend to get the health results that we expect is something that is showing up in more and more research. To put it crassly, if you think you are going to die, you are likely to do so. If you think your health condition can NOT improve, it is not likely to improve. If you think something will work to improve your health....if you really believe in it, it is likely to work [even if 'science says' that what you are doing or taking has no real benefit in itself]. I could spend hours citing research about this. (It is an anomaly that more medical researchers are devoting time to.) Study after study shows that a patients belief [or even the belief of the health care provider] DOES influence outcomes. (Technically this is called the 'placebo effect' if the belief is positive and 'nacebo effect' if the belief is negative.)
So why am I spending so much time talking about these topics today? Well, I want to ask you if you would be willing to help some the newly diagnosed who visit the osteopenia3.com web site.
On the site there is section that used to be called 'testimonials" but is now called SUCCESS STORIES. I just added a 'gizmo' to the page which allows you to tell your own success story and what you did to attain it.
Many of you have had success. You have had improved dexa scans...or your dexa scan has shown that you have stopped 'getting worse'. Are willing to share your story so those newly diagnosed will be encouraged that things do work? ... that it makes sense to have confidence and hope for improvement?
If so, just go to the web site and click on the Success Stories button on the navigation bar. There are a few stories there already. But at the end of the page is the INVITATION to tell YOUR story.
You can write your own headline! And your story will be on its own web page. I ask that you sign at least your first name and last initial but if you would like to give your full name, please feel free to do so. Then you can tell your friends you have a web publication and give them the url.
AND you will have done a good turn by helping others to understand and expect that they can improve their own bone density AND help them understand that there are many paths people take for stronger bones.
A final note this month....
PLEASE take time this month to care for yourself. There are so many things going on that can lead to stress. Be mindful to reduce yours. AND ask yourself what do you deep down expect for your health....and if you find it is not the best outcome, then do some active daydreaming [imagining] of great outcomes. Repeat those images of great outcomes every day...or even better every night before you nod off to sleep so your mind can integrate them while you are sleeping.
Reducing stress and expecting the best health are two no cost ways to improve your health.
Be well, be happy.
Until next month.