Welcome to our April 2012 updates. You will find a notice about Boniva; some helpful news about your family history and Osteopenia or Osteoporosis; more early onset of bone loss and a short reflection.

If you take Boniva

If you take Boniva and you live in the USA, know that the FDA has recently approved a generic form of this drug. (I do not know about the EU or elsewhere). If you take Boniva, it might be worth talking to your health care provider. Sometimes a health care provider has some reason why he or she thinks that you should stick with the non-generic form but if that is not the case, generic drugs are much less expensive and that may count - especially if you pay for your own medications.

Genetics and bone loss

In the last few months a number of people have written to express real concern because they saw the later stages of Osteoporosis in their mother or father - hunched back, broken hips, arms etc. Now they have been diagnosed and they are down right worried. "If it is in the genes, I may be doomed." .

So let me take a minute to remind all of us that for those of us with a genetic disposition,. it is important to remember that it has been shown that our genes contribute only 25% to Osteoporosis. The Swedish twin study demonstrated this years ago. (The study is on the web site). .

If bone loss, osteoporosis, kyphosis (back hump)or broken hips run in families, it is usually because family memembers develop and keep the same habits in regard to nutrition and weight bearing exercise etc. .

Develop better habits and you do not have to wind up like your mother or father with broken bones, back humps etc. BUT you really need to build new habits of eating, drinking and daily activity. .

This does not have to be costly - like taking out a gym membership...though for some people gyms work fine. But there are dozens of ways to build more weight bearing things into your day. Here are few suggestions: . Walk downstairs...get off the elevator early and walk the rest of the way. Concerned about safety in unused stairwell? Get a friend or two to join you. Start by walking down 1 flight, after a few weeks add a 2nd etc. Remember that walking up stairs is good cardio exercise; walking down is good for your bones. (The slight shock as your foot hits the lower step) .

If you take cloth bags to the grocery store, why use a cart? I started with carrying 2 bags and packing as I went along (Yes, I had to stop to shop more than once a week.) But now I am up to 5-6 bags at a time and I manage to get most of my shopping done at once....and amazingly, I find I can carry more at one time now than when I started. .

Every time you have to wait - any time, any place at all - spend the time going up on your toes and dropping back on your heels. Start by going up only a half inch....and slowly increase the height. The 'shock' stimulates your osteoblasts. .

Take up dancing again - if you have no partner, remember that lots of national dances do not need partners. Or if you doing it without an audience, there is always the proverbial broom for a partner. (NOTE: Dancing has also been shown to be effective for preserving cognitive function as we age.) .

Walk the dog. Make a firm promise NEVER to just open the door and let the dog out. Walk, jog, run with your dog. Good for your health AND you will find your bond with your dog growing ever stronger. .

OK...You get the idea. If bone loss runs in your family, you NEED to develop new patterns of living - especially of eating and physical activity. If you continue the patterns of your parents, you are likely to wind up like them as far as your bone health is concerned.

Stop using all those labor saving devices! The human body needs labor. Try it, you'll grow to like it AND you will find other aspects of your health - blood pressure, sugar levels, weight, MOOD, creativity, alertness and ability to 'roll with the punches' improving. Honest - start TODAY. Keep a diary or make a blog if that is your thing....

Osteporosis and age

It seems to me that readers of this newsletter are getting younger and younger (at least from emails). It used to be that osteopenia and osteoporosis were health problems for the old (and people with certain medical conditions). Now I get emails from people in their late teens, early twenties and thirties. .

Some have dealt with an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia) but for others the real cause is repeated dieting. Every Spring they go on a diet. And by next January they have put the weight back on. But remember that the research shows that 10% of weight lost through dieting is bone....and usually when weight is put back on it is NOT BONE that is added.

If only, if only those pre-bathing suit slimming activities were geared towards lifting weights. Not only does muscle reduce fat, but muscle burns more calories than fat. (That is why those with good muscle tone and little extra fat can eat so much more than someone whose body composition is the reverse. The well muscled person keeps a figure - even though they may eat as much as their fatter, non- muscled counter parts.. And yes, adding physical activity is also likely to reduce your stress (another cause of bone loss.)

So much is up to daily habits. True, prescription drugs can help...so can supplements but life style changes can make such a difference.

Special thanks

Finally I want to take a moment to say thank you to so many of you. I got a notice from the company that owns the email service I use that I was 'over my quota'. When I checked my folders I found that I had hundreds of emails saved from April 2011.

As I began to reread them, I found that they were ALL good wishes, promised of prayers, good thoughts etc. because I had said I would be off line for a bit for surgery. I did not reply to most of these when they arrived. I also did not reply to those folks who offered to receive and resend some supplements I had asked about. Negligent on my part but....

Here it is a year later - after a cancer surgery and two heart surgeries I am still alive ....and feeling stronger each month. (And yes, I now have enough information about natural treatments for both conditions to set up other web sites (except there are some very good ones for non-chemo and non-radiation treatments of cancer and I am not abut to tackle the very complicated issues of cardio health/conditions.)

But I want to thank you. I was touched and strengthened by your posts....and I feel that your good thoughts and many prayers (as well as the Budwig protocol and a few other things I did) is why the surgeon could be AMAZED that despite being at 'level 2' when diagnosed, they found NO cancer when they operated ...and so far all my check ups have been clear. Gratitude? Yes - this old lady is grateful.

Be well. Be happy. Oh, and if you want to know about the Budwig Protocol, PLEASE do a web search. It would take too long to explain in an email. (There are several helpful web sites (Suggestion: read more than one) and if you want more, her books are on Amazon etc.)

Thanks. Until next month...