Osteoporosis By the Numbers
Osteoporosis is an all too common disease that affects more than 54 million Americans, with hundreds of millions of people affected worldwide. This bone disease is so common in fact that 50% of women and 25% of men over 50 are likely to have the disease. So it makes sense that some of them will be celebrities with Osteoporosis
When you have osteoporosis, your bones become brittle, porous, and can lose overall mass. The disease is caused by a mix of aging, heredity, and poor diet, all of which can be exacerbated by smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain medications including steroids.
Osteoporosis is an extremely serious disease where broken bones become a much more common occurrence. Even in more mild cases, falls can result in a break or fracture. A seemingly simple break can have major complications down the road for people with Osteoporosis. In the worst cases, something small like a sneeze can result in a broken bone.
If you are one of the millions of men or women that suffer from Osteoporosis, just know that you aren’t alone. A number of famous women share the struggle with you, and the most vocal of them are using their fame as a platform to raise awareness about the disease.
Celebrities With Osteoporosis
Actress Sally Field, best known for roles like The Flying Nun, Sybil, and Brothers and Sisters, is a walking example of a proactive, educated woman with Osteoporosis. Due to a family history of the disease, the actress began taking preventative steps as early as her 40’s, with regular bone density screenings, calcium supplements, increased time spent in the sun, and plenty of exercise.
Since being diagnosed in her early 60’s, Fields has been candid about her experience with the disease. She has made it a point to share her tips for living with an active Osteoporosis diagnosis.
Before her death in 2014, famous Comedian Joan Rivers was open and vocal about her condition. Joan Rivers, who rose to national fame on the Tonight Show, was also a fashion critic and frequent E! Hollywood contributor. Diagnosed late in life at age 68, Rivers refused to let her affliction affect her career. She approached treatment in much the same way that she always approached her comedy routine, head-on! You know Joan wouldn’t let a disease tell her how to run her life. Through a positive outlook, regular consultation with her doctor, and a regimen of dietary supplements, she was able to halt her disease process and live a normal life until her untimely passing.
The former host of The Today Show and Who Wants to be a Millionaire was diagnosed with low bone mass at age 64. Vieira refused to take the diagnosis lying down! Of course she adjusted her diet and exercise regimen to better take care of her health. But did you know she started the “Be Beautiful to the Bone-Know Yourself to a T” campaign which focused on educating women about bone mineral tests? This campaign helps people with osteoporosis understand the next steps. These tests are also sometimes called T tests or BMT tests. More on scans and tests here: What is a DEXA scan and Who Should Get One?
Osteoporosis doesn’t just strike people 50 and older. Gwyneth Paltrow, actress, entrepreneur, and star of hit movies like Shakespeare in Love, Iron Man, and Avengers Endgame, has become the new face of the Osteoporosis movement. At 45, the actress was diagnosed with Osteopenia, or low bone mineral density, which is a precursor to a full Osteoporosis diagnosis. Learn about the difference between osteoporosis and osteopenia. Since the diagnosis, Paltrow has altered not only her diet but also her activity level in an attempt to stop the disease’s progression. She has also been candid about her condition and the dietary and lifestyle factors that may have contributed to it.
Blythe Danner, who is also Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother, has had a long and storied career in film, television, and on Broadway. Her best known work includes the popular comedy Meet the Parents and its two sequels, as well as The Prince of Tides, and guest spots on Will and Grace.
Danner was initially diagnosed with the disease after she broke her foot in 2009. Since then, she has been outspoken about the disease, educating people with osteoporosis on lifestyle changes and treatment options, including appearing as a spokeswoman for Osteoporosis medication.
In Good Company
Osteoporosis is a common disease. It is prevalent and widespread, especially in women over age 50. It is also a silent disease without any outward or apparent symptoms. If you are one of the people with Osteoporosis you may not know it until you’ve actually broken a bone. Even celebrities with Osteoporosis need to watch for signs and educate themselves on the steps they need to take to improve their prognosis.
Although Osteoporosis can have serious long-term effects on your health, that doesn’t mean it is something to be ashamed of. If there is one thing to be learned from these women it is to fully educate yourself on the disease and its risk factors! You can be proactive with your health care, and consult your doctor – the earlier the better. And we are here to help! OSTEGO.