Want to Avoid Meds? Quit Smoking!
My patient desperately wants to avoid taking medication for her worsening osteoporosis. She considers medications to be unnatural. She has already maintained her 25-hydroxy Vitamin D level above 40 ng/mL and her total Calcium intake at 1500 mg daily for the past year. Her lab tests show no problems to correct.
Still her Bone Mineral Density (BMD) has fallen further. Her Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA) has slightly worsened. There is nothing left for her to do other than add medication……….except for one drastic action. She will Stop Smoking! That should work even better than adding a medication! And she will Take Control Naturally!
Smoking is bad for your bones. Smoking interferes with bone formation and bone turnover. Both are needed for maintaining your bone health and for fracture healing. Orthopedic surgeons have known for decades that a smoker is 10 times more likely to heal a fracture slowly or not at all.
Smoking is the biggest changeable Fracture Risk. Steroid inhalers that many former smokers need are almost as bad. This patient cut her FRAX calculation for Hip Fracture Risk by 50%. Stopping smoking is effective within weeks. Even just cutting down helps a little.
My patient is delighted to Take Control Naturally. No drugs. And now, not even the 400 chemicals found in cigarette smoke.
Jay Ginther, MD