Dale Darley – my osteoporosis story

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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