Recently a patient finished her half hour visit by saying, “so there is nothing you can do for me”. We had discussed Low Bone Mineral Density (BMD) on her DXA; Vertebral Compression Fractures on her VFA; correcting her Diet – Low in Calcium, Vitamin D3 and Protein; Cutting Down her Smoking; back extension Exercises; and possibly Medications that could reverse her Clinical Osteoporosis. None of these interested her.
She was not interested in what she could do to prevent future fractures. She wanted me to “delete” her current Fragility Fracture and the problems she was having from it. She did not believe that she has clinical osteoporosis. She did not believe she is at risk for future fractures. She certainly did not believe that she should be expected to take any action to help herself.
She was right. There was nothing that I could do for her. There is plenty I could have done with her to improve her bone health.
Health care works best as a cooperative venture involving actions by both healthcare providers and patients. The most important thing that I do for patients is to advise them how they can help themselves. Improving nutrition and lifestyle easily beats medication alone. At times optimal nutrition and lifestyle can even make medications unnecessary.
Take Control of Your Health. Work with your healthcare professional.
Jay Ginther, MD