We adore them. We love to watch them. We are sometimes captivated by their every seemingly-perfect moves. Celebrities. We cannot seem to get enough of them and many of us, most notably women, often wonder how some of those starlets seem so perfect! But are they really?
Earlier this summer, award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she has osteopenia, the precursor to the bone disease osteoporosis. This came as a shock to many. How could someone so young possibly be suffering from a bone disease of this nature?
Paltrow indicated that she was first diagnosed with the early stages of osteopenia when she sustained a leg fracture. She fractured her tibial plateau quite severely a few years ago and underwent surgical intervention as a result. The surgeon had Paltrow undergo a bone scan, the results of which led to the discovery of osteopenia.
With osteopenia, one’s bone density falls between less than normal and that of osteoporosis. If someone has osteopenia, his or her chances of developing osteoporosis are much greater. However, osteopenia and osteoporosis are more common in post-menopausal and elderly women. So, how did a 37-year-old seemingly vibrant and healthy young woman sustain such a condition?
For pre-menopausal women who are diagnosed with lower bone mass, the causes can be the result of many factors: genetics, eating disorders, crazy diets, excessive exercise, or any condition that can affect the intake of calcium and its absorption.
We all have been told that calcium is good for bone health and that vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium. Those, paired with proper exercise, are great preventative measures when dealing with bone loss issues.
After Paltrow announced her condition, it was speculated that perhaps her lifestyle was a contributing factor. Paltrow noted in her online newsletter (www.goop.com) that her doctors tested her levels of vitamin D and indicated they were quite low, which is not good. She began to take a prescription-strength level of vitamin D and was also advised to spend a little bit of time in the sun, something she always thought was ill-advised.
In 1999, Paltrow began to follow a macrobiotic diet, which is void of dairy and meat products and rich in vegetables, grains, soups, and fish. Between 2003 and 2006, she temporarily refrained from that diet when having her two children. She admits to following a less intense version of the diet now, but does not partake in much dairy.
Paltrow has admitted to some more extreme diets in the past, and does like to fast and cleanse periodically, following the most powerful cleanse, the Master Cleanse. In this particular diet, one drinks a mix of maple syrup, lemon juice, water, and cayenne pepper. As Paltrow noted, “It’s not pretty, but it works.” Some critics of the macrobiotic diet fault it for eliminating an entire food group.
As with many Hollywood stars, Paltrow is an exercise fanatic, working out intensely six days a week.
It is important to advise young women to drink milk, exercise, avoid smoking and steer clear of those fad diets that are never really effective in the long-term anyway. It is important to maintain proper body weight, as well. These are strong words of advice for women in their late 20s and 30s. After all, it is never too early to focus on good bone health. Besides, do you really want to drink cayenne pepper mixed with maple syrup? Gross! Reach for a glass of milk instead!
(Information for this article was found at http://abcnews.go.com)