Saturday, 23 January 2016

Worth A Check

Image:  bone density results. Text: Life with chronic illness: my whole body's been texted, examined, scanned, sampled, measured and studied.  My doctors know my body better than I do.I went for a bone density test recently.

Normally, that's something you start to do a couple of years after menopause.  I'm only starting on that particular delight now.

I went because I've been on steroids for almost a decade.

My results are, OK, and I wasn't worried they would be, because I've been careful.

I've known for quite a while that prednisone depletes vitamin D from the body.  (My rheumatologist knew that as well, which is why he told me to take vitamin D supplements, and checks my levels along with my blood test from time to time.)

I also know that the natural way we get vitamin D is through exposure to ultraviolet light, such as sunlight.  Sunlight's never agreed with me, so I've been quite dutiful about taking the vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D and calcium are necessary for strong bones , to prevent osteoporosis. So as well as taking the supplements, I'm careful to eat lactose-free dairy products so I have sufficient calcium.

Despite the care, my gerontologist (who I see because my brain acts old, not because I'm actually old) suggested it would be a good idea to do the test, so we can see where things are now, and have a baseline to see if things change over time.

It was no big deal, but just another thing to add to the pile of scans, xrays, etc, and a good reminder as to why I need to be careful of taking vitamin D and eating calcium. After all, with gravity and inanimate objects constantly attacking me and making me fall over,  I really don't want bones that would break easily.

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