Today I want to tell you about my colleague Dr. Lani Simpson. She has a great story to tell. You see, Dr. Lani is a chiropractor who taught people about bone health for years. Then in 1994 at the age of 45 she was diagnosed with osteoporosis. And she was shocked.
She was shocked because she ate well… and was physically active…a long time roller skater… and never had a broken bone.
Dr. Lani became an expert on DXA scans – administering them, reading the results, and interpreting the numbers. She also became an expert on preventing, treating, and reversing osteoporosis.
And after 20 years of immersing herself in bone health, Dr. Lani has put down her skates and has written her own “No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide.”
It’s a must-read if you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia. It’s even essential if your doctor ever told you to get bone density testing using a DXA scan.
When the tests are done properly, DXA scans can give you important information about your bone density. But they are far from infallible. In fact, errors are common. The results can be so far off that you could get a wrong diagnosis, or the wrong treatment plan. You could even be prescribed unnecessary medication.
In the early 1990s, DXA technology was just making its way into doctors’ offices. It was at the same time pharmaceutical companies were starting to market osteoporosis drugs and raise awareness of this “new disease.” The drug companies were putting the machines in doctors’ offices to gin up demand for their new drugs.
But the tests have lots of problems. Many technicians aren’t properly trained. They don’t know how to position patients correctly in the machine. And no two DXA machines will give you the same reading. If you move to another facility – or even use a different machine in the same facility – you could get a bad diagnosis.
And your regular doctor is probably not an expert on reading the DXA test results. That’s why you may also want to consult a certified clinical densitometrist (CCD). That’s what Dr. Lani is. A CCD reviews how the test was performed and interprets your scan results. A CCD may also provide a written report with a diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
In her book, Dr. Lani shows you how to build bone quality and density. But don’t think there’s a magic bullet. It’s not about drugs or taking your calcium. In fact, she says building strong bones starts in your gut.
Your gut is where you break down food and absorb bone-building minerals and other nutrients. A weak gut will sabotage your efforts. So when it comes to bone health, Dr. Lani says what matters is digestion, digestion, digestion.
If yours isn’t working well it will let you know. You’ll have gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or heartburn. Those things are NOT signs of a strong digestive system.
Your digestion could be off for many different reasons. You might have food intolerances, or food sensitivities or allergies. You may have an imbalance in your good and bad gut bacteria.
Or you could have an acid imbalance in your gut. As we get older, we produce less acid in the stomach. It can give rise to acid reflux. But low acid also means you can’t break down food and nutrients as well. Over time it can lead to bone loss and fractures.
To start cleaning up your digestion, clean up your food choices. Dr. Lani advocates an alkaline diet to reduce inflammation. I’ve talked to you about alkaline diets before. She recommends getting most of your protein from plant sources like beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. She also recommends lean meats and fish with less red meat and dairy.
But Dr. Lani is also a realist. She knows that sometimes it can be difficult to get all of your nutritional needs from the food you eat. So her book has an extensive list of the supplements she recommends for bone health. And she gets very specific with exactly the form of each nutrient you need and how much to take every day.
I think Dr. Lani’s No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide is fabulous.
When it comes to choosing the right foods to optimize your bone health, what is the single biggest challenge, frustration or problem you’ve been struggling with?
Please let me know so I can write content that meets your needs.
Plus I have wonderful alkaline salad dressing waiting for you on the other side to thank you for your time 🙂.
From my bones to yours,
Irma Jennings, INHC
Holistic Bone Coach