What are osteoporosis and osteopenia?

You may have heard the terms osteoporosis and osteopenia and wondered what they are? Or you may have heard the names and were unaware that this is a silent dis-ease and people only usually discover it when they fracture as I did.

What is osteoporosis?

In simple terms, your bones leach important minerals, become porous, weakened and unhealthy. These unhealthy bones which are supporting your entire being are being weakened because they are unable to feed themselves with the nutrients they need. They have become unbalanced. This is the result of a multitude of factors as you will discover.

During the early years of your life, you are building your bone matrix and then it has been suggested that after about 30-35 this matrix starts to naturally decline. Because we can’t see our bones we do not know if this is happening to us.

The medical industry classifies osteoporosis[i] into two types primary and secondary, although your doctor may just clump them together.

What they mean by this is that primary is the form that mostly affects menopausal women and is linked to oestrogen deficiency or if it’s a man then testosterone. Plus, it’s called this because there is a rapid loss of the spongy inner part of the bone called the trabecular bone. Another form of primary osteoporosis is thought to be because of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, again mostly in older women.

It is thought that the oestrogen form causes wrist and vertebrae fractures and the vitamin and mineral one causes hip fractures.

Then there is secondary osteoporosis which is where lots of other conditions such as Hyperparathyroidism and Hyperthyroidism which are lumped together. But also bone marrow conditions such as Thalassemia, Multiple myelomas, Leukaemia and Metastatic bone disease. It is also thought that those that have been through cancer treatment are also susceptible. Then there are many other conditions which can lead to it with or without taking drugs which have been prescribed to ‘cure’ you.

Osteoporosis infographic

When you read things like this it can freak you out and give you a false sense of knowing – meaning you draw false conclusions. Let me explain. In 2016 I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid, I’m post menopause, I have had gut absorption problems practically all my life which I now know has led to vitamin and mineral deficiency. My spine fractured, but was this because of all of this or was it from the many falls I had from 2015 onwards? Is it because of stress, unresolved emotional issues or poor gut health? Was it also exacerbated by the fact that I drank water with 999ppm of calcium in for over a year or that I was dehydrated and carried an inflamed body around most of my life?

There are many factors which influence our bones and these are discussed throughout my book. To my mind, it is all very well seeking an answer, but there are clues everywhere and each one contributes to this imbalance. Everything you do and eat leaves these clues and it is my belief that there is not one singular cause, rather that there is a series of progressive issues which bring your bones to this place.

What I also believe is if the bone matrix naturally declines because of ‘life’ to my mind we can rebuild it.

Ok, we can’t make our wrinkles go away but similarly, we can improve the texture and elasticity of the skin. Likewise, when you start to exercise again muscle strength returns.

But first, let’s look at the ways this has been described.

  • Porous bone
  • Scurvy of the bone
  • Weak and spongy bones
  • Dry bones
  • Low bone density (low bone mass)

The bottom line is that our body is telling us that vital vitamins and minerals are missing and we must go back to nutritional basics. Not only that but our environment has been compromised and must find a way to restore harmony and balance.

There is a lot of technical data to explain this. Most research that I have looked at call it a disease and a disorder. I dislike this as immediately it puts you in a flight or fright state (stress). What I prefer instead is to separate the words dis-ease and dis-order and therefore we have a body out of ease and one that is out of balance. However, it is important to understand what happens in your body even at a basic level. We are going to keep this simple. I am keeping it simple because if you want and need to dig deeper there are some fantastic books written by doctors (which I am not) who can explain all of this in greater depth. I want to inspire you to undertake your research and find your solutions.

What is osteopenia?

Osteopenia is one of your early warning signs. It’s a diagnosis that says your bones are becoming porous and your body is not in balance. This is a time to study osteoporosis and put your healing plan into place so that you create a well-balanced healthy body. Ignorance is no excuse.

You may have fractured and have osteopenia in which case it will now be classed as osteoporosis and once again, do your research and heal your bones so that you prevent any more happening.

Dr Susan BrownYou can’t predict fractures by bone density.’

Sadly, doctors will prescribe the same drugs for osteopenia and they do for osteoporosis. That to my mind is dangerous.

Not everyone with low bone density will develop either osteopenia or osteoporosis. It may be an indicator of something else. However, it is an indicator that something is amiss and needs addressing.

Get yourself tested and change your diet and lifestyle today. Think strong, healthy bones.

[i] https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/osteoporosis/what-osteoporosis

These unhealthy bones which are supporting your entire being are being destabilised because they are unable to feed themselves with the nutrients they need. With osteoporosis, they have become unbalanced. This is the result of a multitude of factors as you will discover.

I see osteoporosis as the net result of a life and body out of balance.

This is my opinion and is clearly not scientifically backed up and proven. Personally, I don’t think it needs to be, it is obvious and will become clear to you as you find your root cause and find your way back to great health or to be as healthy as is reasonably possible.

During the early years of your life you are building your bone matrix and then it has been suggested that after about 30-35 this matrix starts to naturally decline. Because we can’t see our bones we do not know if this is happening to us or how rapid that decline is.

The medical industry classifies osteoporosis[i] into two types primary and secondary, although your doctor may just clump them together.

What they mean by this is that primary osteoporosis is the form that mostly affects menopausal women and is linked to oestrogen deficiency or if it’s a man then testosterone. Plus, it’s called this because there is a rapid loss of the spongy inner part of the bone called the trabecular bone. Another form of primary osteoporosis is thought to be because of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, again mostly in older women.

It is thought that the oestrogen form of osteoporosis causes wrist and vertebrae fractures and the vitamin and mineral one causes hip fractures.

Then there is secondary osteoporosis for which there are lots of other conditions such as Hyperparathyroidism and Hyperthyroidism which are lumped together. But also bone marrow conditions such as Thalassemia, Multiple myeloma, Leukaemia and Metastatic bone disease. It is also thought that those that have been through cancer treatment are also susceptible. Then there are many other conditions which can lead to it with or without taking drugs which have been prescribed to ‘cure’ you.

When you read things like this it can freak you out and give you a false sense of knowing what your root cause is. Let me explain. In 2016 I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid (which you know), I’m post menopause, I have had gut absorption problems practically all my life which I now know has led to vitamin and mineral deficiency. As a redhead, I hated the sun and stayed out of it.

My spine fractured, but was this because of all of this or was it from the many falls I had from 2015 onwards? Was it because of stress, unresolved emotional issues or poor gut health? Was it because I had shingles? Was it also exacerbated by the fact that I drank water with 999ppm of calcium in for over a year or that I was dehydrated and carried an inflamed body around most of my life? I will reveal my root cause when we reach that chapter, it will amaze you.

There are many factors which influence our bones and these are discussed throughout this book. To my mind it is all very well seeking a single answer, but there are clues everywhere and each one contributes to this imbalance we call osteoporosis. Everything you do and eat leaves these clues and it is my belief that there is not one singular cause, rather that there is a series of progressive issues which bring your bones to this place. Plus, there may be one big trigger.

What I also believe is if the bone matrix naturally declines because of ‘life’ to my mind we can reverse it. Ok we can’t make our wrinkles go away (ok we can with surgery) but similary we can improve the texture and elasticity of the skin. Likewise, when you start to exercise again muscle and bone strength returns.

But first let’s look at the ways this has been described.

1.     Porous bone

2.     Scurvy of the bone

3.     Weak and spongy bones

4.     Dry bones

5.     Low bone density (low bone mass)

The bottom line is that our body is telling us that vital vitamins and minerals are missing and we must go back to nutritional and well-being basics. Our environment has been compromised and must find a way to restore harmony and balance.

There is a lot of technical data to explain this and it is no wonder that people feel overwhelmed and scared. Most research that I have looked at call it a disease and a disorder. I dislike this as immediately it puts you in a flight or fright state (stress). What I prefer instead is to separate the words dis-ease and dis-order and therefore we have a body out of ease and one that is out of balance.

However, it is important to understand what happens in your body even at a basic level. We are going to keep this simple. I am keeping it simple because if you want and need to dig deeper there are some fantastic books written by doctors (which I am not) who can explain all of this in greater depth – these are listed throughout the book and in the back in the resources section.

I want to inspire you to undertake your research, discover your root cause and find your solutions. We will talk about how to research later.

What is osteopenia?

Osteopenia is one of your early warning signs, it’s another label. It’s a diagnosis that says your bones are becoming porous and your body is not as in balance as it could be. This is a time to study your life, your body and your bones. And a time to put your healing plan into place so that you create a well-balanced healthy body. Ignorance is no excuse.

You may have fractured and have osteopenia in which case it will now be classed as osteoporosis and once again, do your research and heal your bones so that you prevent any more happening.

Sadly, doctors will prescribe the same drugs for osteopenia, and they do for osteoporosis. That to my mind is dangerous.

Not everyone with low bone density will develop either osteopenia or osteoporosis or fracture. It may be an indicator of something else. However, it is an indicator that something is amiss and needs addressing.

The bottom line is osteopenia is a warning and you have time to do something, osteoporosis also means the same and can be much more serious. You can heal both naturally depending on you and your circumstances


[i] https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/osteoporosis/what-osteoporosis

How does a timeline help me to find themes for healing osteoporosis?

Timelines are a brilliant way of uncovering life and health stories. Then being able to see them from a new perspective. Creating a timeline helps you find themes for healing, change, and transformation.

Stuffed away in the time capsule of your mind are millions of memories.  They are locked away in folders with little tags on that say been there done that, no longer interesting.  It is only when you pull out the folders and scatter the papers on the floor can you see connections.  Scribbled on the sepia tinted parchments of time are your stories. As you put these into categories and re-file them away in different order, a new map of your life and clues for your healing will emerge.

Timelines provide a visual roadmap, which gives you the big picture in the form of a map.  Clarity will come because the human mind sees things in patterns.  When you see patterns, you make connections.  When you connect the map of your life to what is going on now a new pathway will emerge.

No matter where you are, discovery through timelines is a vital part of discovering connections and patterns about your life and enabling you to see where the stories are and how they connect. Discovery is about going deeper and resurfacing more about your life.  Regardless of what you have thought or are currently thinking, you will see things that didn’t previously occur to you.

If you want to get to your root cause, you must start by looking backwards and then joining the dots.

Timelines Help You To See Things In A New Perspective And Give You Clues To Healing Your Osteoporosis

 Start brainstorming

  • Get a large sheet of paper ( a roll of packing paper is perfect), and a set of coloured pens/pencils and put your date of birth at one end and today’s date at another.
  • Next, divide the paper up into decades (across the top – horizontally).
  • Along the side you can put in themes if you want to – this will naturally depend on you – e.g. relationships,  health, spirituality, mental health.
  • Start brainstorming, just do it randomly as a thought comes to mind put it down.
  • When you have brainstormed, reflect and start connecting things.
  • Look for connections, themes and AHA moments.

Once you can see the connections, you will be able to see where your healing themes are. For example, things that happened in childhood may have created a lack of self-worth as an adult, which is turn has meant that you have always chosen partners who are abusive, which has resulted in a lot of stress (not good for the bones). Health issues could be as a direct result of emotional pain from actions or inactions.

Whatever you uncover, please record it in your journal and consider how you can use this to knowledge and understanding to bring about change and to have as a starting point for pinpointing your root cause.

Even put down the colour of your hair and if you go in the sun. I used to have red hair and a big sun aversion. Vitamin D3 (vital for bones) is made through exposure to the sun.

This exercise has been extracted from Writing to Heal, which is available on Amazon.

How to drink water consciously and keep your bones hydrated

When thinking about osteoporosis, your bones and your health, water plays an essential role. It is vital that you drink water consciously and stay hydrated – for the rest of your life. Osteoporotic bones have been described in many ways, one of them is dry bones.

Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, in his book The bodies many cries for water talks about the role that dehydration plays in promoting dis-ease in the body. His message is that water is essential to good health.

Our bodies need water to bring in the good stuff and to flush the nasties out. When stressed and toxic the body doesn’t hydrate properly, things start to go wrong, and the cells which are the building blocks of a human essentially start to malfunction. You may already be suffering the side effects of not drinking water properly and are dehydrated but are not aware.

Many people tell me that they are drinking enough water or that they have enough fluid, but the truth is that they are not and their bodies tell the story.

I had thought that I was hydrated because I drank lots of water, but when I got my diagnosis and looked honestly at how much I was drinking and how I was drinking it, I got a big surprise. What followed was that as I reestablished a good water habit, I felt worse and very thirsty. I could not seem to quench my thirst. It took four months before I felt that I got it under control. For some people, it can take a lot longer.

The good news is that lots of us (like I was) are drinking at least 2-3 litres of water a day. The bad news is that we might be not drinking it in the right way. And it is very easy to get out of the habit.

Meet Clarissa Cell and Walter Water

Meet Clarissa Cell. She’s a rather demanding woman. Clarissa loves to be hydrated as it gives her energy to do the things that she enjoys. One of her best friends is Walter Water. He transports her friends, among them Harry Hydrogen and Ollie Oxygen over to supply her with energy and nutrients. Walter also helps her to keep her shape, maintain hydration and her temperature balanced. Then when the waste needs taking away Walter is on hand to support that task too.

When Clarissa gets dehydrated, that is, she is starved for example of Ollie oxygen, she gets a bit naffed off and demonstrates some pretty toxic behaviour. Try holding your breath for a few minutes if you can, how ill does that make you feel? Now think about how poor Clarissa feels when she is being throttled.

Clarissa’s external environment needs to be alkaline and Walter also knows how to support Clarissa so that this balance is maintained.

One of Clarissa best leadership functions is to form tight friendships with her other cellmates. Together they make up the tissues and organs of the body. When they collaborate to form these unions, Walter is never far away and being the great guy that he is; he can be found in various quantities hanging around with Clarissa’s communities making sure they are functioning well.

Because Clarissa is a bit of a dominatrix, she likes to keep Walter manacled and bound to her communities. Her reasoning is that when her communities are wet, juicy and full of energy, her human is happy.

Her most demanding community member is Bertie Brain. When Bertie is dehydrated, he screams like a baby, demanding to be fed. Unfortunately, Bertie’s cries get mistaken for hunger and Clarissa’s human often reaches for food and overloads her system. All that Bertie wants is Walter water and Gaby glucose, and he’d be a contented brain.

When Clarissa is on her best form and keeping Walter bound to her communities, she demands that other free water is found to keep the wheels of the rest of her human turning.

It’s no wonder that Walter is such a special guy, he makes up about 60% to 70% of the average human body. She being the healthy girl that she is she rather likes her human to have a more muscular body so that it can provide more support to her skeleton. Simply because it means there is more of Walter around, whereas a fat body contains less water and that does not make Walter or Clarissa happy.

Water, in a nutshell:-

  • All of our cells need water
  • Water acts as a solvent, a transport system, a temperature regulator and a waste disposal system
  • Our body is made up of approx. 60% – 70% water of which large volumes of it are bound in our organs
  • The brain, for example, is approx. 75% water, blood 82%, intestines 75% and kidneys 83%
  • Water is balanced in the body to ensure homoeostasis (Homeostasis is the ability to maintain a constant internal environment in response to environmental changes)
  • Water is lost via sweat, breathing, urine and stools
  • We need to drink water to ensure that we replace water lost through normal body functions and to maintain hydration
  • Water needs to be drunk in the right way so that it does not interfere with digestion while keeping us hydrated
  • Water helps our bodies to function properly
  • Water helps us to heal osteoporosis and other dis-eases

The human sponge and the dried river bed

The cells of the body are like sponges, which have to be wet to hold water. When a sponge is dry, the water falls off it. Another way to look at how water acts on dehydrated parts is to consider a dry river bed. Where I live, it is very dry, and there’s not a lot of rainfall. When it does rain, it comes down in a torrent. Because the river beds aka ramblas are hard and dry, the water cannot be absorbed and it sits on top of the hard crust. Had the river bed been hydrated when the rains came then the water would be absorbed.

It’s, therefore, important to not just pour water in and hope that it will hydrate your cells. You have to take your time and introduce your new drinking regime so that the water does not flow straight out of you. What you notice is that when you are dehydrated and start drinking water, you will need to wee more often. As you become hydrated this need to rush to the toilet will diminish.

 

Clarissa’s rules for drinking water in the right way

  • Start slowly and build up
  • Get 2 containers of 500ml and use these as your water bottles
  • At bedtime take one to bed
  • When you wake up, drink your first 500ml. This will help to flush your body and kick-start your day. Don’t gulp it, drink it steadily as you come aware and awake
  • Drink your next one 20-30 minutes before breakfast; this will hydrate your digestive system (1 litre)
  • Fill your bottles again
  • Wait at least 45-60 minutes after eating breakfast before drinking again. Between breakfast and lunch drink one bottle of water, ensuring it is drunk at least 30 minutes before lunch (1.5 litres)
  • Fill your empty bottle again
  • Wait at least 60 minutes after eating lunch before drinking again. Between lunch and dinner drink one bottle of water, ensuring it is drunk at least 30 minutes before dinner (2 litres)
  • Fill your empty bottle again
  • Between dinner and bedtime drink one bottle – stop drinking 30 minutes before bed (2.5 litres)
  • Fill one bottle and take one to bed for the morning

Some people suggest that you must not drink 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after. Try 30 minutes and see how your digestion reacts.

If you need digestive enzymes because you have gut issues, cider vinegar before meals is one solution. Again, try it (1 teaspoon in 2 oz of water) before each meal and see what happens. Another solution is to eat a green salad (bitter greens). This is something the Spanish do on a regular basis. If this doesn’t work for you, try a digestive enzyme. Remember these are short-term remedies and not to be relied on.

Often there are other issues (root causes) which need addressing.

The most important thing is that you get yourself hydrated.

Tips

  • No more than 3 litres a day unless it’s hot and/or you are exercising – there are others that tell you to drink more and you may need to
  • Never drink cold water – room temperature is better
  • Always have a bottle of water with you
  • Don’t drink with meals – if you do small sips, please
  • Drink your water evenly through the day, don’t gulp it all down
  • Reduce dehydrating drinks – sodas, alcohol, tea, coffee and hot chocolate
  • Have warm water and lemon/cider vinegar in the morning (alkalizes the body – remember Clarissa likes an alkalizing external environment)
  • Have linseed tea as your daily tea. (Linseed tea is great because it is a bit gloopy – be careful how you make it otherwise it’s too gloopy– which soothes and relaxes the colon which allows it to absorb more water)
  • Be mindful when you drink and enjoy it
  • Find water that you like the taste of, I have a reverse osmosis filter
  • Don’t drink out of plastic bottles and never leave a plastic bottle of water in a hot environment and drink the contents later
  • Get a water filter and put your water in environmentally friendly containers
  • If you feel thirsty – drink – slowly

Exercising

  • 15-30 minutes before exercising drink one bottle of water
  • During exercise sip water – wash it around your mouth and swallow
  • After exercise drink one bottle of water

When it’s hot

  • Ensure that you drink more in hot weather while following the rules above.

Calculating how much water to drink daily

  • Take your weight in pounds
  • Half it
  • Drink that in ounces per day

E.g.

  • My weight 62 kilos = 136.687 pounds
  • 136.687 / 2 = 68 ounces of water
  • 68 ounces of water = 2 litres

Use online calculators to do the hard work of converting it all for you.

How to tell if you are dehydrated

Before you read any further, consider if you have noticed any of the following:-

  • Scant urine, or urine that is darker than usual (it is more yellow and gold when you are dehydrated)
  • Dry mouth and thirst
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Headaches or lightheaded feelings
  • Impaired thinking, confusion, forgetful and foggy
  • Constipation
  • When you pinch the back of your hand it takes time to go back
  • Wrinkled ends of fingers (although  this could be for example signs of vitamin D deficiency)

Focus on your mouth, how does it feel? Take a drink of water, hold it in your mouth and tell me how that feels. When you swallow it, notice how the water flows around your body, how does your body feel? Chances are your body is crying out for more water. When ou drink it imagine it hydrating your bones.

How to tell if you are hydrated

Getting hydrated takes time. What I notice is that:-

  • My lips and hands are not as dry. I.e. I do not need to use so much lip salve and hand cream
  • I am no longer thirsty and the only time I am thirsty is if I have eaten or drunk something drying
  • I do not have very much hunger and eat smaller amounts of better quality foods (this could mean weight loss for you)
  • My skin looks clearer
  • Better digestion and colon health
  • I feel less tired, have more energy and my mood is more positive
  • My urine is clearer and I need to wee less often

Note: If you have long-standing illnesses/dis-ease check with your doctor before filling yourself up with water. Just because water is essential it doesn’t mean you can overload. Please proceed with caution. If in doubt check with your doctor at all times.

Resources

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/PublishingImages/urine_chart.jpg
http://www.h4hinitiative.com/h4h-academy/hydration-lab/water-and-hydration-physiological-basis-adults/water-body

5 reasons to start a journal when osteoporosis comes calling

One of the first things I did when I heard I had osteoporosis and two fractures was to get myself a brand new journal (which luckily I had as a gift) and dedicate it to my journey. I had a sense that I would need to remember everything so that when I started writing my book, I could reflect back honestly. Plus I know from many years of journaling that writing is healing and I needed to make sense of my life.

Do you journal? Have you tried to get into the habit of putting your pen on an open page and just writing? What if you’ve tried and it just won’t come? Do you give up? Please don’t. Find your way of journaling, it may be morning or night; it could be inspired by an Oracle card, it may be a mind map or a beautiful unconscious download.

I write every day, but there are times when I look at my many journals and think – get lost. The truth is that when I pick up my journal and just start, I am always amazed by what comes out.

The last few months have been hard for me. When you look at x-rays, and you are asked do you want the bad news or the bad news, you wonder how bad the bad news is…

I have journaled for what feels like forever.

I write, walk and reflect daily, I have spent many hours pouring my heart out in my journal, learning about who I am and finding clarity for all kinds of things.

When osteoporosis came calling I looked deeply into my soul’s story for answers.

What I knew was that I would be writing and writing and writing stuff. Some of it would make sense, some of it would be notes to follow up later, and some would be me venting about how unfair life is. However, I knew I would get answers, I’d see ‘stuff’ that I needed to know about. Staring out would be aha’s and my divine inner wisdom which would guide me home.

When the bad news was delivered, I cried. When the first doctor I dealt with offered me drugs and didn’t listen to me, I cried. Beneath the tears was a sea of calm that I needed to reach because I knew I could and would find a way to learn, reframe and discover my way forward.

This is what journaling gives me and how it has supported me in this osteoporosis journey.

When you think about it, your bones are the foundation of your, they are your support system and now more then ever you need to feel supported – that’s what writing gives you.

One – Clarity about life

When you write in a journal you become more aware of what is going on around you and in you.  When you reflect on your writing become a witness, and you see things more clearly.  I find that when I am confused, overwhelmed and fearful about something, it’s best to write down what I am thinking, ask some questions and leave it for a day.  I usually find the answers come to me the following day or while I am walking the dogs.

Two – Journaling reduces stress

Once you have journaled and the words are on the paper, they are no longer tumbling in your mind and subsequently, you no longer worry (or worry less) about them.  Writing is cathartic and getting it all out that helps to let things go.

Three – There is no expression like self-expression

When you are having difficult times with life and others, it can be helpful to write down what the issues are.  For example when you want to discuss your osteoporosis with the doctor or family. Hold the conversation, looking at all perspectives, firstly on paper.  Then write what you would like in an assertive and affirmative way.  Two things happen.  One you have already had the conversation so it’s easier the 2nd time around and two because you have had time to reflect you can consider your language and think about what you want from the conversation. Next practice in the mirror – pulling faces helps. This works both in conversations with yourself and others. Finally, visualise the conversation going your way.

This is interesting, I did all of this with my first doctor, and she still gave me drugs, and I wondered how my pre-work could have gone so wrong. But in fact, I’d rehearsed what I wanted, and that’s what I went after – so it worked after all. I got my supportive doctor elsewhere.

Four – Get to know yourself better

When you write in a journal you will begin to see repeated patterns of behaviour or conversations that appear to be on an endless loop and are never resolved.  As you read and reflect these become more obvious and allow you to make more conscious choices. You’ll undoubtedly start to see if you are on the right healing path.

Osteoporosis is for me an imbalance in my body and my life and it is a call to finally heal all of me. I call this rebirth getting to the bones of who I am.

Five – Expressing yourself in a journal increases creativity

When you write you will start to notice that your awareness increases – the same as when you read. The way in which you write and think develops before you know it, your inner voice awakens as does your heart and soul connection.  As you journal solutions form. Life, problems, answers of all kinds become more apparent. Not only that the way in which you solve problems evolves.

Writing will help you to find a way from your mind to your heart. Allow that path to unfold.

What about these?

Writing in a journal is the starting point for your memoirs or personal story

As I said I have a journal for my osteoporosis story to record what I do and how I am feeling. We all need inspiration for our personal stories and a reference point for when we come to write the book about our healing journey.

A journal is the best ‘low cost’ self-help tool available

For the investment of a journal and a pen, you have a trusted confidante who will not criticise you, tell you what to do, call you names, think that your ideas are crazy or any number of things.  Your journal is a reliable friend for you to share your innermost thoughts, ideas and emotions.

PS. If you don’t already own a journal, go and buy several. Start writing today. You never know where this writing adventure may take you. I hope it will take you into the realms of writing a book or a blog to share your experiences so that you can inspire others to know that there is a way through this thing called life.

Come and join our Healing Osteoporosis Naturally group and help us to spread the natural healing message.

Healthy, natural, gluten-free banana bread

This healthy, natural gluten-free banana bread is easy to make and can be amended to suit your diet. So if you are vegan, swap the eggs for soaked chia, linseeds or psyllium husks.

Today when I made this banana bread, I used almond and coconut flour.

Ingredients list

  • 300g/2 cups rice flour (or combination of flours – try your own mix) or use almond or coconut flour for grain free
  • 1 tbsp raw honey/maple syrup / sweet freedom (can replace with Stevia or Xylitol for Candida free) or you can soak a handful of dates and blend them
  • 1 packet baking powder (gluten-free)
  • 125g olive oil / coconut oil / butter
  • 2 – 3 eggs*
  • 2 – 3 large ripe bananas – mashed (use Sweet potato for candida free)

*options

1 egg = 1 tablespoon of flax meal or chia + 3 tablespoons water
1 egg = 3 tablespoons nut butter
1 egg = 1 teaspoon psyllium seed husk + 1/4 cup water (let it stand for 5 minutes; use = binding and moisture)

Other optional ingredients

I will often add other yummy ingredients such as papaya, raw chocolate and raw grated beetroot, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Directions for gluten-free free banana bread

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 (my gas oven mark 3)
  2. Place flours and baking powder in a bowl and mix well
  3. Rub in butter or oil, until it is like fine breadcrumbs
  4. Add honey/maple/sweet freedom syrup
  5. Mix in beaten eggs (or substitute – see above)
  6. Add in mashed banana little by little until you get dropping consistency
  7. Put into a greased bread tin
  8. Cook for approx. 40 minutes or until your knife comes out clean

Using a food processor

  1. Add all of the wet ingredients to the food processor and blend for a few minutes
  2. Add all of the dry ingredients and blend until well mixed

Other options for your gluten free banana bread

  • Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • Raw chocolate
  • Raw chocolate and beetroot
  • Lemon and poppy seeds
  • Chopped up dates (do not use if you want to be candida free)
  • Goji berries (do not use if you don’t eat nightshades)
  • Nuts (obviously do not use if you have a nut allergy). Remember to soak first to remove the phytates

Basically, add in other stuff that you fancy and can tolerate.

Dale Darley – my osteoporosis story

How did you discover that you had osteoporosis?

I was leaning over the bed reaching for some clothes when I heard three loud cracks and felt a searing pain. My first reaction was to look up at the ceiling and ask ‘what the f*** do you want with me now?’ After two years of terrible rib pain, this was not welcome.

Next, I called the osteopath I was using at the time, she treated me later that day. We made a second appointment just in case the pain did not go away. The pain did not go, it got worse. The following week I saw her again. A few hours after the treatment I was in agony. The following day I was driven to the doctors who was shocked at the state of my spine and he immediately ordered x-rays.

The x-rays revealed two compression fractures and porous bone. I was scared. At 57 I had thought that because of years of weight training and a good diet that this would not happen to me. In 2016, I turned around an overactive thyroid naturally in six weeks. What I thought could have caused this?

Because of the distance of the doctor, I found a local doctor to see me. He referred me to a rheumatologist and, I was sent for a bone density test. They only scanned my lumbar, which confused me as the fractures were in the thoracic region. They said ‘that’s all we do.’ I’ve since learned that this is standard practice.

Next, I went back to the rheumatologist who prescribed Boniva (a drug), calcium and vitamin D.

How did you feel?

Scared, confused and overwhelmed. I felt alone and swimming in a sea of evil demons. It didn’t make sense to me. Plus, the rheumatologist didn’t read all the documents I had painstakingly written out and translated into Spanish. I felt unheard and unsupported and worse yet, I felt like I was just a number in their drug sausage machine and this made me angry. This anger lit a fire of determination that I would be heard and I would heal naturally.

What were some of the first things that you did?

I cried a lot. The release from the tears was cleansing. Then I got myself a new journal and I wrote and wrote. Next, I joined a few forums, but I soon left many of them as they made me so sad. The one I stayed in has been fantastic. Next, I researched by watching videos and reading books. Because of my naturopath nutrition training, I consulted books and other nutritionists and settled on a way forward for now. Better to take some action, rather than wallow in misery. 

I also, again because of my naturopathic nutrition training went back to a client consultation form I’d designed and filled it in. When I was looking for case studies people would not complete it, yet for me it has proved invaluable. How can you know your root cause if you do not look at your history?

What were (or are) the challenges you faced with osteoporosis?

Fear was my biggest enemy. That and pain. Pain is debilitating; it robs you of a normal life. I choose to not take painkillers instead I chose an anti-inflammatory diet and getting better hydrated (at a cellular level).

My biggest challenge has been living alone and having to keep asking people for help. I am a strong woman and asking for help has been tough. Now I do it. As we speak, there are two massive bags of dog food in the car and I am waiting for a friend to bring them in.

There are so many adjustments to how I live that I still have to make, but challenges aside, I could not have done this without my friends. Also, yesterday my electricity went off and my reverse osmosis water system was off and the only water I and was in a large bottle that I couldn’t lift. Although it was funny trying to pour water into the dog’s bowls.

What other health challenges do you face?

Tiredness. Absolute and utter exhaustion. I know that I am healing and I know that I have to take it easy, but this wracking tiredness has been hard to deal with.

Thinking back why do you think you got osteoporosis?

I have a saying that life causes osteoporosis. I was born into a family who has had osteoporosis, although my gene reports show that it is not gene related. My life has been very stressful.

I was sexually abused as a child. From my teens to my thirties I partied hard and although I weight trained and ate well, it wasn’t well enough. Twice I have been diagnosed with an overactive thyroid (now under control) and once with pernicious anaemia. When I hurt my ribs, I purchased a water filter and for a little over a year I drank this water that I later discovered contained 999ppm of calcium. This I believe contributed to my problem.

I’m a redhead (or was) and stayed out of the sun. Vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption.

In addition, I have had many gut issues and intolerant to gluten and other things.

Postmenopausal, although my estradiol was great in 2016, it is currently low, because of the high prolactin.

Also when I hurt my ribs I had shingles which I ignored as I was focused on the pain. I didn’t associate shingles with pain or anything else. However, following the second round of blood tests, it was discovered that I had high prolactin, low DHEA and low estradiol. Shingles raises prolactin which has a knock on effect to other hormones and robs the bones of essential minerals.

Describe working with your doctor/specialist?

My family doctor is fabulous when I had an overactive thyroid he supported my desire for a natural approach. When I couldn’t see him, I saw a local rheumatologist. She was a nice lady but didn’t listen to me. All she did was prescribe drugs and say, next patient. This was scary.

When I could drive again and could get to my family doctor, he was brilliant. He read my notes, listened to me and is supporting me. You just have to find the right doctor.

Following that second round of blood tests, I was sent to an endocrinologist who was also uninterested in me. He tested my eyes with a pen and decided that I could live as I was feeling for another 3-4 months and then he would talk to me again. I am very unimpressed with the two left-brained, reductionist specialists, who don’t seem interested in root cause or listening to their patients.

He was a blessing in disguise when he in passing said herpes in response to my question about the rib injury. This after some reflection made me realise that shingles (left untreated) was a factor.

Have you ever taken prescription drugs for osteoporosis – what was your experience?

No. My mum has and it has been awful. I am not against them as a last resort or in special cases. I just prefer to let the body heal naturally.

What does a natural approach mean to you?

It means that I am in control of my healing and my body will not be destroyed by these unnatural drugs. It means that I get to enjoy a wide variety of foods that feed my soul. It also means taking supplements which I was never very good at, but I reckon if the soil is depleted and I cannot cram that much food in, I must so that I can rebalance my body.

The body can heal if given the right ingredients and you believe it can.

Describe your diet, supplements and exercise routine

This is what I do

On Waking

  • 1 glass water and soaked linseeds
  • Cup Yerba Mate tea
  • Lysine, 1 x magnesium glycinate and colostrum

Breakfast

  • 1 glass water (20 mins before)
  • Smoothie (normally) – Avocado, banana, almond milk (homemade), ginger (fresh), superfoods (rose hip, maca, baobob, Boswellia – I rotate these and try others such as Camu Camu), soaked chia seeds, collagen, MSM, lecithin, cissi quadrangulis
  • Eggs & avocado and/or something green on gluten-free bread
  • Pea protein (and gram flour) pancakes with chocolate sauce (coconut oil, maple syrup, raw chocolate)
  • Vitamin D3, Omega 3, boron, b-complex, vitamin E
  • 1 hour later linseed tea

Lunch

  • 1 glass water (20 mins before)
  • Salad with loads of different things with goats/sheeps cheese or tinned salmon/sardines, with olive oil and black pepper
  • Soup with loads of stuff, often with lentils or chickpeas
  • Gluten-free sandwich (when feeling lazy or I have to go out)
  • 1 hour later linseed tea

Dinner

  • 1 glass water (20 mins before)
  • K2 and Evening Primrose oil.
  • Soups, curries, stirfry – loads of veg, fish, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, beans
  • Fish and steamed veg – sometimes with cheese sauce (goats cheese, gram flour & water)
  • Nut roast with veg
  • Burgers – made from a variety of things – black beans, quinoa, lentils
  • Dessert – Leftover smoothie and fruit. Something made with raw chocolate, fruit and avocado (mousse), just fruit (I tend to eat fruit like papaya first as it is a digestive enzyme)
  • 1 hour later linseed tea

Snacks

  • Fruit
  • Homemade gluten-free banana bread, homemade olive oil chocolate cake
  • When lazy – gluten-free snacks…
  • Lots of water and linseed tea through the day

After dinner

  • Probiotic (hours after food)

Bedtime

Water with 3 x magnesium glycinate. I rub magnesium oil on my body.

I am dairy, gluten, meat, sugar, alcohol, nightshade, tea/coffee free. There are lots of things I don’t like e.g. prunes (ug). I make healthy gluten cake as I love a slice of cake every day.

It took some time to work this out for me. I had to try different things and swap things around, and I am guessing that I will change things again.

Exercise

At the time of writing this, I am back walking three times a day again and challenging myself to 10000 steps a day.  Next, I’ll go back to the gym and do weights. I hope to be able to go back to yoga.

What advice do you have for other people with osteoporosis?

1.     Change your diet

This is often the hardest thing to do. Review what you eat and how you feel for a week and then look at how you can reduce the rubbish with a view to removing it. Be gentle with yourself, make changes that feel right for you and try not to get obsessed.  You will be faced with lists of good and bad food. Remember that one man’s ‘meat’ is another man’s poison. You may be gluten, dairy, grain, meat, nightshade, alcohol and sugar-free. Your diet should always support you.

2.     Hydrate yourself properly

Being adequately hydrated is a crucial factor in all healing. Start to drink water properly. This will help you to absorb food better and eliminate waste. Not only that, you will feel more alive as your body moves out of a dehydrated state and into one where water is flowing in abundance from the smallest cell to the whole of your being. When you drink, imagine sending the water into your bones to nourish them. Being properly hydrated will also help with pain relief.

3.     Sort out your gut health

The gut is key to better health. Get this right, and lots of things will fall into place. After years of abuse it will take time, so be patient with yourself. When your gut health is back on track, you will have more mental clarity, and your food will be better absorbed which will show up in all body systems.

4. Find your root cause

Start looking after yourself while you find your root cause. Stay open-minded and curious. Treat the root cause not the resulting symptoms.

What books have influenced and supported you the most?

The Whole-Body Approach to Osteoporosis: How to Improve Bone Strength and Reduce Your Fracture Risk

Dr, Lani’s No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide

Exercise for Better Bones: The Complete Guide to Safe and Effective Exercises for Osteoporosis

The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide – Second Edition: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on pH Levels

Conscious Eating: Second Edition

What do you do for fun?

I love being in Mother Nature and walking with my three beautiful rescue dogs. I also love watching bands (dancing is currently too hard), Netflix box sets and being with friends.

Where can we find out more about you?

Website: https://www.daledarley.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaleDarleyWordAlchemist/

Facebokk group: Healing osteoporosis naturally

Twitter: – https://twitter.com/daledarley1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daledarley/

 

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