"I've got rhythm and osteoporosis"

January 2013 diagnosed with hypothyroidism and, at the same time, other conditions that I am sure are a result of the hypothyroidism – more on this below. During the last six months day-dreams have been a bit of saving grace and I feel compelled to share this one.

The other day, on my way to work, I found myself imagining how brilliant it would be if they had a Strictly Come Dancing for ordinary members of the public (comme moi!). My partner would be Artem Chigvinstev and we would dance a hot salsa to Earth, Wind and Fire. I imagine our first meeting - I walk into a dance studio with floor to ceiling mirrors, and, by way of preparing him for our future routines I, after a few pleasantries, utter “I’ve got rhythm and osteoporosis.”

In this day-dream scenario, rhythm would be a definite strength. (I teach music.) However, I feel it important to establish my limitations in case of any difficult lifts…throws (…on reflection ….they don’t “throw” as such do they)….shall we say “manoeuvres” that he may be planning. At this point I found myself musing on whether any of the celebrities have osteoporosis, hypothyroidism (where DO they get all that energy…?) or the like.

To matters more serious. I have read that: “thyroid hormones help with normal bone growth”. (Thank you Mary Shomon: Living Well With Hypothyroidism.) I started breaking bones back in 2007 and it was, thankfully, a bone density scan, which I asked for in Autumn last year, then the follow-up blood tests that finally revealed the extent to which “things were out of kilter”.

Over the last few years as my health has deteriorated, so my diet (already good) has improved. I have noticed how, in comparison to everyone around me, I have to really (I mean REALLY….) look after myself. Sleep (or lack of it) has also been an issue since 2007 (a vintage year). In fact, as I have stumbled around in an exhausted fug (as opposed to day-dreaming!), I wonder about the extent to which the sleep problems have resulted in my intimate acquaintance with the local fracture clinic.

Whilst determined to look ahead, I now, with the benefit of hindsight, think that I can start to see how these seemingly random health “events” fit into the bigger picture.

9 Replies

  • The mere title made me smile. (sorry).

    I can't help but wonder if you're on that good 'ole Vit D? (get a calcium test too).

    "dance a hot salsa to Earth, Wind and Fire" ... sounds good to me ......it IS gonna happen!

    I day dream a lot at the mo - been told by my second son i'm 'procrastinating' (he likes big words, I used to know them but now I google, as can't trust myself) - perhaps he should've been a lawyer, bless him.

    anyway, if you have rhythm that's more than enough for me. take care and dance. Jane :D x

  • Hi I expect you have had a vit D and corrected calcium test, but if not , be sure to. The main thing,with Osteoporosis, is not to fall!! Such good advice , I was told many years ago with severe osteoporosis and on high anti coagulation, it would kill me. One of the most stupid bits of advise ever give. I must start thinking!, "I will not fall today", my heart conditions cause bad falls, I am inclined to say, "You make me better, and I will not all!"One hospital I was in, I was always told to call a nurse, if I wanted to move in the bed. You can imagine ,how popular that would be!There are some very good drugs ( endo or rheumatologist ) if you can take them, contraindicated for me.

    Best wishes,


  • I doubt that the hypothyroid caused your osteoporosis but not being

    diagnosed and treated early enough might!!!

  • With your great sense of humour, you will endure, Ive not got much going for me right now....

    creaking in every joint, hot then cold, cant remember much....but a good sense of humour keeps me going.

    Keep smiling , but don't break a leg while you still have rhythm. X

  • :) Hi Mac, you're bearing up well anyway!!!

    I'm not expert, and there's others that will probably have better knowledge - but vitamin D deficiency seems to be another of those factors in hypothyroidism where deficiences/problems/whatever and the condition itself can be both cause and effect - and mutually reinforcing.

    If i remember correctly it's possible to have problems absorbing the stuff from foods caused by gut irritability - which can be caused by hypothyroidism. On the other hand vitamin D is also needed at the cellular level if key metabolic/energy processes involving thyroid hormone are to function correctly, and also may (?) play a role in determining the degree by which orally taken hormone is absorbed in the gut. thyroid.about.com/b/2010/09...

    The well known scenario directly involving vitamin D with bone density is over active parathyroid glands. Too much parathyroid hormone can lead lead to high blood calcium levels and osteoporosis caused by its causing the bones to lose calcium. In this case the body may drop the level of blood vitamin D to protect itself.

    This piece sets out the scenario on vit D, calcium and hyperparathyroidism, but does not for some reason see fit to mention the role of vitamin D in thyroid and metabolic processes: file:///Users/ianmaybury1/Documents/ian/personal/medical/thyroid/thyroid%20papers%20&%20info/web%20page%20vit%20D%20deficiency%20calcium%20relationships%20parathyroid%208-6-13.webarchive

    There's scenarios too where thyroid disease and/or the medical handling of hypothyroidism can impact bone density which are indirectly mentioned here: stopthethyroidmadness.com/a...

    One issue is that the interlinking of so many factors suggests that an holistic approach is optimal - but the tendency in medicine (presumably for cost, logistical and other reasons) is to focus on testing and treatment of one dimension at a time.

    Which risks problems and opportunities for healing being missed........


  • Sorry - wrong link on hyperparathyroidism above: parathyroid.com/low-vitamin...

  • We all need to keep smiling AND dance. Rhythm or no just dance - it's good for the soul. Blood tests --- problem here is & let's take vit D range 50 -250. result 54. Bottom end with NO suggestion or advice about supplementing. All the range tells us is how far or how close we are to the optimum level. Physicians should advise supplementing and have a short list of reliable retailers. They should also be able to let the patient know how much supplement is required --- this, of course, depends on how low in the range the patient is.

    A patient should be told that it is essential that the level of Vit D needs to be within the optimum range, for arguments sake let's say they would be somewhere around 230 onwards. Regular blood tests should be taken to check the levels and as time goes on the amount taken would be reduced. Patient should also be told whether they need calcium with the Vit D or just Vit D3. NONE of this, of course, happens.

  • Have just logged on am really grateful for the time and trouble that you have taken to respond. This is my first blog post and I am really touched by the response. Thank you!

    I am indeed on the "ole Vit D" in the form of 2 x Adcal-D3 (1500mg calcium carbonate and 400 I.U. colecalciferol) per day as prescribed by the rheumatologist that I saw about the osteoporosis. (I am also taking Alendronic Acid 70mg once a week for the osteoporosis.) What is really interesting about what you have said above is the way that you have linked the Vit D to thyroid function - and having had a quick look at the web links, I blush at my ignorance. (Don't worry, I'll get over it!!!)

    In short, because the rheumatologist prescribed the Vit D, I thought, oh that's for my bones (FULL STOP). Then of course the levothyroxine (which thankfully I seem to be getting on OK with) was for the thyroid and then the ferrous sulphate for the anaemia. Lots of lovely separate pigeon holes, which of course fits with my treatment experience - I see one person for this and another for that and they never stray onto each other's territory. It's a much more complex picture isn't it.

    My last Vit D result was 73. At the beginning of the year I was told it was "low" - couldn't tell you exactly what. (Please note, I am also learning to get a print-out when I see anyone for an appointment and not rely on descriptions like "fine", "low" and "better".) I also understand that the Vit D will help with my immune-system, as indeed will the ferrous sulphate. (My white blood cell count was 2.6 back in December, last test result in April was 4.6.)

    I am also aware that I need to try and keep the different meds "spaced out" (.....know the feeling well). So, not taking either the iron or the calcium too close to the levothyroxine and also keeping the iron and calcium apart.

    I know that this must seem like very basic stuff to many that use this website, but I am just thankful that I am at last - on some days - feeling up to ....well.... dancing! Still got a way to go, and the steep learning curve continues.

    Fear not, I try not to make the same mistake twice.....and am willing to put in the necessary background to bring myself up to speed. (Take note Artem!!!!!).

  • Hi MacG

    Your daydream made me smile. Long may you have such lovely daydreams and I hope you are well on the way to beginning to control your medical condition. You are so right about having to really look after ourselves.


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