Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for August 03, 2007


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Here’s another great article on health… Here’s a guy who drinks milk at every meal and yet he has osteoporosis. It really annoys me when I hear about calcium and osteoporosis. There are so many other different factors involved. I’ve love to know about this guy’s diet.

It makes me wonder if osteoporosis is concidered a woman’s disease because they actually look for it. How many older men have lower back pain and never see a doctor?

The interesting thing about this article is his only symptom was “lower back pain” which is something I’ve had for a while now and it doesn’t seem to go away. I’ve always figured it was related to a deficiency but it still exists. Knowing what I know now about my levels of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin K and possibly boron, is it possible that I have osteoporosis? I sure have deficiencies in the bone building minerals but good luck trying to find a doctor to test a 36 yr old for osteoporosis!

Bone disease threatens men

Athlete Bill Munro was astounded, and lucky, to find out osteoporosis had turned his bones into `Swiss cheese’

Jul 31, 2007 04:30 AM
Simona Siad
Living Reporter

A crippling “women’s disease” is stalking unwitting men.

Bill Munro was one of them. A decade ago, at the age of 50, the avid marathon runner became worried when he felt pain in his lower back. His concern was prompted by his next-door neighbour, a former Olympic rower, whose back pain was a symptom of leukemia.

Munro immediately went to a clinic, to get himself checked out. And what the doctor told him surprised him.

“They did X-rays, and they realized my bones were really like Swiss cheese” says Munro, who lives in Toronto. I had osteoporosis.”

“It shocked me a little bit because males typically don’t have osteoporosis.”

Nicknamed the “silent thief” because there are rarely symptoms, osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist.

For years osteoporosis was assumed to be no threat to men because of their larger bone structure and stable hormones, unaffected by menopause.

“Most men are really surprised when they get osteoporosis” says Dr. Robert Josse, director of the osteoporosis clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital and a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.

“They say, `I thought that was a women’s condition. I didn’t realize that I could have thin bones’ he says, adding that until recently, virtually all research has been focused on women.

According to Osteoporosis Canada, at least one in eight Canadian men over age 50 has osteoporosis. An estimated 1.4 million Canadians, both men and women, are believed to have the disease.

“You don’t feel any different, but your bones are gradually becoming more thin and weak. Usually the first indicator can be when you have a fracture – when you break a bone – and that’s when you follow up” says Kelly Mills, director of communications and education at Osteoporosis Canada

If osteoporosis exists and is not treated, the sufferer may continue to break bones, causing pain, disfigurement, loss of height, loss of mobility and loss of independence.

“With osteoporosis there are no symptoms, there’s no pain necessarily … so you don’t know, and you can have a catastrophe just picking up something heavy” says Munro.

“And you can be seriously, seriously debilitated” he adds.

Hip fractures, for men, are the most serious osteoporosis-related injuries, Mills notes.

Osteoporosis Canada reports that 10,038 hip fractures were treated in Ontario in 2000. By the year 2041, the number is expected to triple if there are no interventions. The cost of caring for a hip fracture patient for one year in Ontario was recently estimated to be $26,527.

Seventy per cent of hip fractures are osteoporosis-related. Hip fractures result in death in up to 20 per cent of cases, and permanent disability in 50 per cent of those who survive.

Munro, meanwhile, describes himself as one of those guys who did everything “right” He ran three to four times a week, he lifted weights.

“It surprised me because I always drank milk in every meal. I was exercising, doing strength training” he says.

His doctors, after discovering he suffered from osteoporosis, told Munro to lift no more than 20 to 30 pounds at a time to avoid the risk of fracture, that he must take a variety of vitamins and supplements to fortify his bones, and to switch his rigorous athletic endeavours to something more low-impact.

“My wife and I really had to think, `Would we keep the big house? Would we keep doing all the gardening?” he says.

So they sold their house, moved into a condo and began a new way of life.

“I live normally but I’m very careful. I don’t ski any more. I don’t lift the motor off the boat. I am very aware that if I crack something, I may not get back to normal” says Munro.

Men who have osteoporosis tend to lose height as a result of spinal compression fractures.

“Your pants start to drag on the ground” says Munro, whose mother and two sisters also have osteoporosis. “I’ve shrunk about an inch and a half.”

And, despite its negative effects on his body, Munro says he’s glad at least to be aware he has osteoporosis.

“It’s really important that you talk to your physician” says Mills, who encourages men turning 50 to discuss the risk factors with their doctors.

“There are some people who are more at risk than others. So you can find out if you have it before you break a bone” she says.

Munro, 60, says he takes plenty of vitamins and a new drug called Forteo, a bone-building hormone. He now competes in triathlons – he trains with lighter, shorter runs – and has his sights on a race at the end of the summer.

But Munro takes osteoporosis seriously and recalls another man’s painful experience.

“I met one fellow who was, at the time, about 60 years old and had just retired. About a month after his retirement, he bent over to pick something up” he says.

“From that day he has never stood straight again, because of the fracture. Bones can be so brittle and fragile, just lifting something too heavy can crack the vertebra” he says.

“It completely changed his life” Munro says of osteoporosis. “And he never knew he had it.”

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August 2, 2007 - Posted by | Health | , ,

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