Happy New Year! I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas filled with love, happiness and MOUNTAINS of food!!
Annoyingly I wasn’t well for all of December, winter truly isn’t my season anymore. I used to really enjoy it, getting all snuggled up cosy and going out seeing all the festivities but I cant do it anymore. There’s too much risk of catching colds, flus and viruses. Each time I get sick (why I get sick), it scars my lungs a bit more which means they get damaged so I basically hibernate instead.
I miss out on a lot of things, family meals because someone is ALWAYS sick with a cold and just general Christmassy things going on. It does get me down but I’d rather be here in the long run!
I had a bit of bad news in December as well, I had a DEXA scan at the start of the month and I got the results back – they weren’t good.
A DEXA scan is a type of x ray which measures how strong your bones are basically. If your bones aren’t strong you are classed as having low bone density and therefore having Osteopenia. If your bones are VERY low in density you are classed as having Osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones and making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years (I had Osteopenia first in my left hip for a number of years) and is usually diagnosed in people over 50.
Why do I have Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis can sometimes be linked to Cystic Fibrosis which is the lung disease I suffer from. I developed Osteopenia/Osteoporosis because I have to take a medication every day called Prednisolone which is a steroid.
A side effect of taking steroids for a long time (years) is that it thins your bones (Osteopenia/porosis) and thats why I have developed it sadly.
I also have very low vitamin D levels which bones NEED to stay strong and healthy so that didn’t help either.
I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t realise the severity of being on steroids long term before this past month and I’m angry with my medical team at my hospital for not monitoring how long I have been on them. I’m 100% certain that if I asked any one of them how many tablets of prednisolone I’m on NOBODY would know, never mind how long I’ve been on them…
I’m not bashing the NHS here, just the way my team works.
What is going to happen now?
So now I have my results. I have Osteoporosis in my hip and I now have Osteopenia in my spine. I’m terrified, I’ve got to be honest with you, but I’ve done a fair bit of reading over the holidays and discovered that exercise can actually INCREASE bone density.
I plan to do yoga everyday and go to the gym everyday too. I’ve read up on the type of exercise I need to do and it needs to be weight-bearing which are exercises like: jogging, running, skipping, tennis, hiking, stair climbing and aerobics.
Another thing I came across was a study where people jumped on the spot 20 times a day, everyday for 6 months (I think) and the results at the end of the study were positive; 70% of participants increased their bone density!
I have a hospital appointment in a week’s time where I’ll probably be given medication to strengthen my bones but I’m definitely ready to do all I can to prevent any further loss of bone density.
Have you got Osteopenia/Osteoporosis? I would really love to chat to see what has helped you, if anything? Even though I’m trying to remain positive I’m quite worried about the whole thing…
Until next time…