Osteoporosis and salt

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,100
edited 22. Jun 2016, 17:51 in Living with Arthritis archive
This might be of interest to those with osteoporosis or osteopenia.

I've recently had my second DXA scan. At my first I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and offered alendronic acid but I really didn't think my oesophagus was up to it. So all I've taken is the calcium and Vit D supplements, twice a day and carried on with the more or less daily exercises I was already doing – quads with weights, arm and neck exercises (some with weights - not on my neck :lol: ) while on the exercise 'horse' and, when all is going well, step-ups.

The result of the latest scan is that my bone density has improved so much I am no longer regarded as having osteoporosis. The doc asked what I was doing and told me to carry on doing it. I scratched my one brain cell, not really believing that things could improve so much with no medication. Had I done anything else at all?

SALT. I remembered I'd cut it out completely (insofar as one can, given that it's in virtually all processed food, but I don't eat much of that). I don't cook with it or put it on food. I steam veggies and they don't seem to lose their flavour as much that way.

I thought, at first, I'd never manage a chip without salt but, on the few occasions I have them, they taste just as good. One loses ones craving for it. The only downside is I can no longer eat the really nice olives I used to love as all I can taste is salt :mrgreen:

Anyway, salt (or lack of it) is the only difference I can tell. It seems to have worked for me so maybe it will for you, too.


  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Great news Sticky, you must be very pleased. My late parents stopped using normal salt and moved to low salt as it was better for their blood pressure, this must have been in the 80's when they were in their 70's. In her mid-late 80's my Mother had several falls but never broke any bones and my sister and I always felt this was a good sign for us. I wonder if after your post there is a link.
    I stopped using salt when I was 18 and went to uni simply because I forgot to buy any and got used to it. I used to love salted snacks and nuts but can no longer eat those, so now my only salt hit comes when I eat chips, not often, or in salted caramel, again an occasional treat. Hope it works for me too.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's good news indeed Sticky, and I imagine reassuring also? I would think that it's likely to be all the things you do which have helped - exercise is very important for bone health(and not just the weightbearing that is all most folks will be told about if they're told anything), and without adequate VitD the body doesn't make best use of calcium whether from diet or supplements. Avoiding salt in the diet often results in more thought being given to food overall which is of benefit in ensuring balance.
    There is still a great lack of data about OP,such as bone density versus bone strength and the role of diet and exercise. Cases such as yours do tend to put the medics on the back foot because their received wisdom is that without the drugs your condition will deteriorate.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,100
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The doc (who works with my rheumatologist) was definitely surprised, interested and pleased. Me too :D I honestly thought we could only hold things back without the meds not recover bone density.

    To be fair, they can't scan my hips (THRs) so do an arm instead. She said the arm results were unreliable because of my RA but, nevertheless, the spine itself was much improved. I'll take that :D
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sticky,
    I saw your message at the end of my other thread so came looking for this one :lol:

    Good for you.......I don't eat a lot of salt anyway. Got to admit I do on chips but that is about it and that is the Lo Salt

    I don't do the same amount of exercises you do although I do try.

    I do take the calcium and Vitamin D twice a day because that's important. I had a fight to get a test to check my Vit D....she said "that's not a normal test" I persevered until she gave it to me and then discovered that my Vit D was very Low so immediately put me on tablets.

    I must try to exercise more :oops:

  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    she said "that's not a normal test"
    to which the obvious retort should be - 'well it blooming well should be when you're dealing with an OP diagnosis'! Quite apart from anything else the information for the firstline OP treatment drugs makes it quite clear that calcium and VitD intake/levels must be adequate and the only way to check that with VitD is a blood test.
    Like you I had to push for the test and was very glad I had because I was only just above deficiency level. The objections I faced were on the grounds of cost, and I believe that's not uncommon.

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