Last year I inaugurated my first annual Natural Bone Health Crystal Ball Reading, and I’m happy to say that some of my predictions came true in 2010. But this year when I sat down to write my predictions, I realized they were really more like wishes.
If all of my wishes could come true in 2011, the number of people diagnosed with osteoporosis and those suffering from debilitating fractures would certainly plummet. Even if two or three of my hopes for Better Bones in the new year could come to life, we’d all be much better off.
So, here we go. I’m sending them off into the universe with a few taps from my magic wand, in hopes that we’ll all see stronger bones and happier, healthier people in 2011. So send my bone health wish list around and share it with friends and family. Our Bone Health Revolution is only beginning.
My 2011 wish list
1. Women all over this country will gain increasing confidence in their bone health.
Not so easily frightened by a low bone density reading, women will ask two vital questions before taking bone drugs: (1) Am I really at high risk of fracture? and (2) What can I do to naturally increase the strength of my skeleton?
2. People in their 30s will begin osteoporosis prevention programs.
Can word trickle down to younger generations that bone loss begins much earlier than expected (in the 20’s and early 30’s), so that wise people can take note and take action?
3. This proverb will be scientifically validated: A merry heart is like a medicine, but a broken spirit dryeth the bones.
Scientists will document with hard data that happiness and a general feeling of well-being are two of the most important factors influencing bone health.
4. Multi-nutrient therapy will become the rule rather than the exception.
Physicians and the general public at large will become aware of the role many nutrients (not just calcium and vitamin D) play in bone health. Those looking to build bone strength naturally and even those given bone drugs will be told to supplement with the full 20 bone-building nutrients.
5. The 2010 RDA’s for Vitamin D will be found woefully deficient and readjusted upwards.
What if the new pertinent studies on vitamin D hadn’t been ignored and had been included in the current RDA calculation? Let’s hope for a congressional investigation and a change for the better because vitamin D is crucial on every level.
6. The link between osteoporosis and heart health will become clarified.
Noting that those with osteoporosis are at a higher risk for heart disease, researchers will stumble onto the fact that low levels of vitamin K link these two disorders. The news will spread that vitamin K not only strengthens bone, but also helps protect those with osteoporosis from arterial calcification.
7. Testing for the causes of osteoporosis will become commonplace.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was considered good medicine to test for the causes of bone loss before prescribing osteoporosis medications? Canadian health officials now make this recommendation. Here’s hoping that the U.S. follows suit!
8. Exercise will be shown to be more effective than bone drug therapy.
I’m hoping for a comprehensive review of all existing research on exercise and bone health. This analysis would reveal the long-overlooked power of exercise to naturally strengthen bone as well — or better — than any drug therapy without any negative side effects.
9. Bones are discovered to be “endocrine organs.”
The news will spread that our bones secrete powerful chemical messengers known as hormones, making them endocrine organs. These bone hormones will be found to play important roles in many parts of the body and, as such, natural bone health will take on even greater importance.
10. The use of bone drugs will be restricted to only those at high risk of fracture.
Realizing all the side effects of bone drugs, U.S. physicians will stop prescribing osteoporosis drugs for individuals at low or moderate risk of fracture and point to theU.S. Surgeon General’s recommendations of starting with nutrition and lifestyle modifications first.
I hope you find joy and good fortune in 2011 — and that all of your wishes come true.