Keep drinking the milk, girls (and guys ?)

December 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 5 Comments
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According to a study from the Mayo Clinic, women younger than 50 with rheumatoid arthritis are very significantly more at risk of sustaining osteoporotic fractures (for which you presumably have to have osteoporosis first) than women of a similar age who don’t have RA.

The article is somewhat confusing, as it also states ‘Young men with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are also at an increased risk, but not until they are over age 50 years.’ Um … is it me? You can find the article here and make up your own minds.

I think what the researchers are saying, and what the article is trying to say but not very clearly, is that anyone with RA is more likely to have osteoporosis than those without this dratted disease, which is common knowledge amongst most rheumatoid arthritis patients, I suspect, but if you’re under 50 you’re much more likely to get it than those who don’t have RA. Cheerful thought for the day!

Oh well, forewarned is forearmed; don’t let your calcium levels go down! (Not actually sure what you do to stop ‘em, except drink milk, and of course most doctors won’t be testing for it unless you’re over 50 … or 60 …) Perhaps that’s why more ‘young’ women actually sustain osteoporotic fractures – because it’s not until they have a fracture and wonder why that anyone realises they have osteoporosis? Cheerful thought number two!!

Off for a pint … of milk!

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5 Comments »

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  1. It’s also worth noting that your body also needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium so make sure you get out in what little sunlight we have at this time of year!

    There are some surprising alternative sources of calcium other than milk, so for anyone who is not so keen on cow juice how about almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, broccoli, spinach, watercress, dried apricots, dried figs, mackerel, pilchards, salmon, sardines, pulses and sesame seeds?!

    Er, right, I’ll get off my nutritional soap box now… ;o)

  2. Righto – I’ll follow up my pint of milk with a pint of sardines then. Not such a bad idea, since they’re a good source of all those oils we arthriticy types should be having! (Well a pint might be a bad idea, but you know what I mean.)

    Actually sardines and pilchards are the same thing!!

  3. In my case, upon avoiding dairy (and gluten) and doing some other things, my RA symptoms dissipated to the point whereby I no longer need the smorgasboard of chemicals that I was being prescribed. Among many alternatives such as almond milk, I feel no lack staying away from dairy. If I had to pick between pain and no dairy, I opt for the latter.

  4. Fantastic – glad to hear it. Almond milk is a new one on me – sounds pleasanter than soya milk, which IMO Is vile!

  5. I love almond milk–it tastes, to me, like moo juice except it’s not creamy–but I don’t particularly like to DRINK either. Just a nice splash on the ol’ cereal will do for me. Getting enough calcium is vital for all of us, though, and Vit. D, too. I was diagnosed with osteopenia a little over two years ago, My rheumatologist increased the dosage of the calcium supplement he’d put me on originally, along with adding Vit. D to the mix. I took both as ordered. But this year, when I had my bone scan, it showed that I now have osteoporosis. So now I’m taking Fosamax, too, along with the calcium and Vit. D supplements.

    I’m 55. I guess my point here is to back you up, Polly. Ladies, make sure you’re getting plenty of calcium. Weight-bearing exercise like walking and gentle workouts with weights help to strengthen and build bone, too. So far, having osteoporosis on top of RA and bursitis hasn’t caused me any particular problem, but I’m aware now that I’m an excellent candidate for a broken wrist or hip. Bummer.


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