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June 28, 2022
Osteoporosis Have You Feeling Down? Here's How to Cope, Stay Safe, & Get Support
Living with osteoporosis and feeling down about it? You’re not alone.
Millions of women around the world have osteoporosis or osteopenia (a less advanced version of the condition), and many of them have a hard time emotionally with the diagnosis.
Whether you’re altering your daily routine to avoid a fracture. Or you’re constantly worried about the loss of independence a broken bone will bring…it starts to take a toll.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Not only can you take care of yourself well with osteoporosis—you can thrive with it.
The Physical & Emotional Toll of Osteoporosis
We continually lose bone density as we age, which is what puts us at risk for osteoporosis (1).
Osteoporosis results in bones that are thin and more porous, making them more likely to break (2). This makes you more susceptible to unexpected bone fractures or even falls that could break your bones. Fractures and falls mean you could lose some of your mobility, and that the daily tasks you rely on most could be sidelined (think: household chores, gardening, carrying groceries from the car, your favorite form of exercise).
The stress of preventing fractures—and of the life changes that come along with any fractures you might experience—can take a toll on mental health.
10 Ways to Alleviate Osteoporosis, Mentally & Physcially
Fortunately, osteoporosis doesn’t get to have all the control in your life. There are plenty of things you can do to manage the condition and potentially even reverse some of your bone density loss while living a happy and healthy life. Here’s how to support yourself physically and emotionally…
1. Build Solid Relationships with Caregivers
Knowing your caregiver has your back plays a big role in mental health when living with a condition like osteoporosis (3). Make sure the care team you work with are people you trust and feel safe asking honest questions to. Build up your relationship with them over time, and don’t be afraid to tell them exactly what you need and how you’re feeling.
2. Cultivate a Positive Attitude
As Epictetus once wisely stated, “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”
Rather than focusing on the things that osteoporosis could potentially take away, focus on all the wonderful things that you can still do. Take stock of the joys in your life that have nothing to do with your condition, and that will be part of your life no matter what happens with your health.
Of course, simple mindset shifts don’t always do the trick, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed with processing your condition. Some people with osteoporosis struggle with anxiety as they try to avoid fractures (3). Others may be hit with the blues over the activities they’ve stopped doing in order to protect their bones.
If you can’t find your way out from under a dark cloud, work with a therapist to help sort through your emotions about your osteoporosis (4). Help is out there!
3. Join a Support Group
Support groups are a wonderful space to vent, share, and celebrate your triumphs, and have been shown to be beneficial for people living with all kinds of struggles (5). Support groups are also a great way to meet people who understand what you’re going through. Head here to find an Osteoporosis Support Group in your area.
4. Make Weight-Bearing Exercise a Regular Habit
While some exercises, like running or excessive bending, can be harmful to osteoporosis, there are others that can help. Weight-bearing exercises and resistance training can strengthen your bones and improve your balance to help prevent fractures or falls (6, 7). And of course, the mood boost that comes with exercise is a great added perk (8)!
5. Choose the Best Collagen for Bone Health
A large portion of your bones are made up of collagen, so it’s fitting that supplementing with collagen can be beneficial to bone health. Taking collagen daily can improve your bone density, which can help reduce the severity of your osteoporosis and curb your risk of fractures (9).
Joan, a NativePath customer who takes NativePath Collagen, experienced this herself firsthand when she was diagnosed with osteopenia and set out to prevent it from progressing to osteoporosis. “I have the best news,” she shared. “I have osteopenia and started to use your collagen. I got a new bone density scan and was sure by now I had osteoporosis…”
Instead, Joan received incredible news. “I got my scan results back and it said my hip got better, neck and spine a bit better!” At first, her healthcare providers assumed she was taking a prescription for bone density, when in reality, her results had all come from collagen. “It's all from my collagen smoothies! I do feel like I will be able to reverse this!”
Another one of our customers, C Pratt, shared a similar boost in bone health: “My bone density test showed an improvement of my spine.” In addition to improving her bones’ overall wellbeing, collagen made her bones feel better: “Joint pain has eased in my shoulders and hands.”
Improving your bone health is as simple as adding a scoop of collagen to your daily smoothie, coffee, or tea. You don’t have to accept bone loss with age as inevitable! Just choose the best collagen supplement for osteoporosis and you’ll be well on your way to preventing bone loss.
6. Eat a Bone-Healthy Diet
You’ve likely heard experts sing the praises of the Mediterranean diet before, and when it comes to bone health, it’s no exception. This healthy, plant-based diet may help reduce inflammation and improve your osteoporosis (3). This is a stark contrast to the average US diet, which may promote inflammation and actually make your osteoporosis worse!
Be sure to also load up on omega-3 fatty acids, which may help prevent bone breakdown (10). You can find omega-3s in delicious foods like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. A krill oil supplement is another excellent source of pure omega-3s.
7. Take a Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium makes up a large part of your bones, and as you get older, you may find that you’re not getting enough of it (11). Regularly taking magnesium can help reduce your risk of fracture and works great as a natural treatment for osteopenia and osteoporosis (12). Take magnesium daily to make sure you’re getting enough of the nutrient to give your bones the support they need. Supplementing with magnesium also offers additional perks like better sleep, an improved mood, and recovery from workouts!
8. Quit Smoking
Smoking can decrease your bone mass and increase your risk factor for worsening osteoporosis (13). If you smoke and are open to quitting, it could stand to make a major difference in your bone health. If you want to quit but aren’t sure where to start, reach out to your healthcare provider for guidance. There is support available to make the process easier.
9. Ask for Accommodations If You Need Them
If you find that osteoporosis is interfering with your work, volunteer shifts, or other activities, don’t be afraid to ask for accommodations. That could mean more comfortable seating, fewer periods of standing or vigorous activity, or whatever else you might need. This also extends to time you spend with family and friends: Let them know exactly what you need to best care for yourself. The people who care about you are happy to help, but they might not know what you need unless you tell them.
10. Get Plugged into an Uplifting Community
At NativePath, we take pride in the community that we’ve built. Nearly 50,000 people across the world have found their way to our Private Facebook Group—a place where inspiration, stories, and health tips are shared daily.
We may be biased, but we think it’s one of the best places to be on the internet. Head here to join in on the conversation. (We have support coaches available 7 days a week that can answer any question you may have about health, our supplements, and more.)
The Bottom Line
Osteoporosis or not, you are still you! This condition does not need to make you miserable. There are plenty of ways to manage your physical and mental health so that you can pave the way for a vibrant, thriving life.
Keep your bones strong with exercise, magnesium supplements, a nutritious diet, supplementing with the best collagen for bone health, and enjoying overall healthy habits. Tell us in the comments below: Which way are you going to get support for osteoporosis this week?
As a writer, editor, and wellness seeker, Claire has written for Self, Health, Prevention, CNN, Mic, Livestrong, and Greatist, just to name a few. When she's not writing, she specializes in traveling, getting lost in health-related research rabbit holes, and finding new ways to spoil her cat.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.