Up until this past year, I didn’t really believe in supplements. I thought I ate a well rounded healthy diet. Why would I need to add supplements?
But then I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in March. The stress fracture came as a shock. I was training for a marathon but my training had not even really ramped up yet. I had been doing a gradual base building since November.
My doctors suggested I get further testing to check my Vitamin D and bone density. Living in New Hampshire, I thought my Vitamin D would be low. It seems like everyone is low! But my bone density? There’s no way it would be low. I do high impact exercise (hello running!), I walk, I strength train, I eat plenty of foods that are high in calcium.
Imagine my shock when my Vitamin D levels came back normal but my bone density was low. I was given the diagnosis of Osteopenia.
I’m only 39 years old. I do everything that’s supposed to build strong bones. My mom has it but she was diagnosed when she was at least 20+ years older.
My PCP was just as confused at the results and sent me to an Endocrinologist to maybe figure it out.
In the mean-time, she told me to start taking Vitamin D and Calcium supplements.
I’ve always taken a multivitamin but I was totally new to taking other supplements.
According to a survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 76 percent of U.S. adults take dietary supplements each year. That’s a lot! Try as we may, it’s challenging to get all the essential nutrients we need from diet alone. Dietary supplements help fill nutrition gaps and promote overall health and wellness. Dietary supplements play an important role in good health, but they are meant as supplements to, not substitutes for, other healthy habits.
When I finally saw the endocrinologist, she scratched her head too. And then ordered more tests. At first it seemed like I wasn’t absorbing calcium so the tests were repeated. On the second round, things came back fine. The plan right now is to redo my blood work in a few months to see what my parathyroid hormone level is. Even though my levels are fine now, this could be a precursor to low readings in the future.
By the way, getting into an endocrinologist is ridiculously difficult. It took 4 months to be seen initially and then another 3 for a follow up. Healthcare is crazy. And this is coming from someone who works in it!
So now my week is supplemented with taking daily doses of Vitamin D and calcium to build my bone health in addition to continuing on with my usual exercise routine.
Thankfully, my levels aren’t too dramatic to cause major concern. I need to keep doing what I’m doing with exercise and supplements. I’m glad I found this out now before it becomes a major problem. Health is a precious thing. Take care of yourself!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.