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The Top 3 Traits To Look For In An Osteoporosis Doctor

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We get a lot of e-mails from the Save Our Bones community asking if there are any particular doctors we recommend. Many of you are searching for a doctor who will listen to your concerns, won’t push osteoporosis drugs, and who will be supportive of a nutritional, drug-free approach to managing osteoporosis.

Unfortunately, such doctors are hard to find. One of the most tremendous flaws in American medical schools is the lack of nutrition education, so a physician who will discuss diet-based treatment options is a rarity.

Because the Save Our Bones community has a worldwide membership, it’s just not possible to provide every community member with information on doctors in their area.

But what I can do is to give you valuable suggestions and information to help guide you in choosing a physician. So let’s get started!

Knowing What to Look For

Let me warn you: based on the current medical school curriculum, no doctor is going to be perfect.

But as you look for a physician who will be supportive of your bone health choices, it’s important you know what to look for. A good osteoporosis doctor will have some key characteristics. Here are the three most important ones:

1. Caring and Compassionate

Learning to have a personable “bedside manner” and deal compassionately with patients is part of what is sometimes called “the hidden curriculum” in medical schools. It is not, however, an official part of medical education. Rather, it’s something a student can learn from watching an experienced doctor who is caring and compassionate.

A doctor with these traits will listen to your concerns, take time to answer your questions, and not make you feel like you’re “just a number.”

Here are some questions to keep in mind when you evaluate your doctor: Does he make eye contact with you? Does she take your concerns seriously? Do you feel heard and respected?

2. Open-Minded and Inquisitive

Some doctors may not be very open to ideas that he or she did not think of first. As one doctor puts it, “Lots of doctors have big egos.”1 Many of them like to be in control and calling the shots.

An open-minded doctor will not have a condescending attitude about your thoughts, and he or she will be interested in what you’ve got to say about your health. If you’ve really found a good one, he or she will ask you for more information about what you’ve discovered.

Also – and this is very important – an open-minded doctor will not be afraid to admit what he or she doesn’t know.

3. Willing to Learn about Nutrition or Applies Nutritional Principles to Bone Health if He/She is Already Knowledgeable

Here’s the shocking truth: the average doctor just doesn’t know about nutrition. A good osteoporosis doctor will be willing to admit this and will therefore be open to learning about it.

If you are fortunate enough to find a doctor who actually does have an understanding of nutritional approaches to osteoporosis, he or she should not be afraid to implement them.

Why Is It That Doctors Know Practically Nothing About Nutrition?

Given the importance of diet in maintaining and promoting bone health (and overall health as well), it’s shocking how little America’s medical students are taught about nutrition. This trend of ignoring nutrition in medical school shows no sign of stopping. In fact, the sad reality is that it appears to be worsening.

According to a national survey, nutrition education in U.S. medical schools is woefully inadequate and becoming more so. Here are some rather startling (and disappointing) facts:

  • Only ¼ of U.S. medical schools require a course dedicated to nutrition.
  • In medical schools where nutrition instruction is required, students received less than 20 hours of nutrition instruction.
  • The National Academy of the Sciences (NAS) requires a minimum of 25 hours’ instruction (which is still incredibly insufficient) in nutrition. Yet only a little over ¼ of the schools surveyed met even this minimum requirement.
  • When compared to data from 2004, the 2010 study shows a notable decline in nutrition education. For example, in 2004 an average of 38% of U.S. medical schools met the 25-hour requirement set by the NAS; between 2008 and 2009, only 27% met the requirement.

According to the survey, “There is little dispute that a patient’s dietary habits can influence chronic disease risk and treatment outcomes. … However, more than half of graduating medical students still rate their nutrition knowledge as ‘inadequate,’ and physicians report that they have not received adequate training to counsel their patients on appropriate nutrition.”2

No wonder doctors give so little (and such poor) advice on nutrition! They simply aren’t educated about it, and most of them are not interested enough to learn on their own.

The Save Our Bones Program is a Sharp Contrast…

…to the medical model. In fact, the Save Our Bones Program revolves around nutrition. Building your bones through diet and exercise is absolutely central to the Program, because there’s no doubt that good nutrition is the central core to build strong bones. The Program includes dozens of scientific references that confirm this approach.

In addition, the Save Our Bones Program addresses the doctor issue in detail. A free report called Doctor Dialogues: How to Talk to Your Doctor about Your Bone Health Alternatives is included as a bonus with your purchase of the Program. It explains why doctors act like they do, and shows you how to have an effective dialogue with your doctor about nutrition-based, drug-free options for your bone health.

Doctor Dialogues is respectful of the medical profession. I understand that medical school and residency are grueling, and doctors have a lot on their shoulders. The purpose of the Dialogues is not to demonize doctors; it’s simply an insightful tool to help you choose the right doctor, and have the best communication with him or her as possible.

If you don’t have it yet, please take a few minutes to learn more about the Save Our Bones Program and the free bonus report, Doctor Dialogues.

Till next time,

References

1 “Talking to Doctors.” PsychEducation.org http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/doctalk.htm
2 Adams, Kelly M., et al. “Nutrition Education ion the U.S. Medical Schools: Latest Update of a National Survey.” Academic Medicine. September 2010. Vol. 85, Issue 9. Pp. 1537-1542. Web. http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2010/09000/Nutrition_Education_in_U_S__Medical_Schools_.30.aspx

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36 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Elsie October 1, 2013, 3:26 am

    The new design is hard to read, I prefer the old design. Thanks any way, but reading is hard a 75 year old.

  2. Linda Skipper September 23, 2013, 5:10 pm

    I have a complex case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Celiac disease. I can’t get through the day without a fair amount of my thyroid medication, a compounded T3, along with Tirosint (T4) medications. My doctor is afraid the T3 could be causing bone loss so has taken it away (even though there are no studies supporting this theory). He insists on me having another bone density scan. I personally am against these scans because of unnecessary x-rays. Besides, I’m not going to take the damaging drugs that you warn us against anyway. What is the point of these scans anyway? By the way, he just happens to have his own in the office. What is your take on this? He has a bad attitude toward me now.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 23, 2013, 8:26 pm

      Linda, Mainstream medicine focuses so much on density because it needs numbers (i.e. fixed parameters) to prescribe drugs, so most doctors follow the same protocol. While density is an indicator of bone metabolism, the main focus of bone health is simply to prevent fractures, and as I explain in the Program, less dense but healthy and renewed bones have better tensile strength than thicker, denser, older bones.

      Remember, it’s your choice – you don’t have to submit to any medical procedure, test, or drug if you are mot comfortable doing so! Do you have the Save Our Bones Program? If so, I encourage you to read Doctor Dialogues, the free report included with the book. It can help you in speaking with your doctor about your choices. :)

  3. Liz September 13, 2013, 5:10 pm

    Two years ago I changed doctors because the one I was seeing was so unconcerned when he told me I had osteoporosis. He immediately started writing a prescription and I told him I would rather try something other than the drugs. He told me I could take it or leave it, he walked out. I have just had a Dexa scan with a new doctor. She called me to tell me I had the problem. I already new that and what I wanted to know was if there was any change since my last scan. She flipped thru her papers and said I don’t believe so. I told her I was on a very good diet with lot of calcium rich foods and she told me in these exact words……the food you eat will not help improve osteoporosis. She recommended Prolia. Of course I have your book and I know about that drug. What is it with these doctors? I think it is all about money. They are encouraged to sell these drugs. I just turned 70 and have never taken any drugs to any great extent. I take a small dose blood pressure med. and trying to get off that. I am a very healthy person and I feel I can beat this monster. Your book has given me so much confidence that I can do it. Guess I will continue seeing this doctor if for nothing else but lab work. Thank you.

    • Dee September 17, 2013, 3:22 pm

      Always ASK for a copy of your lab work and any reports. You have a right to a copy. I have mine from my first scan til now. Then just compare to see progress or lack of. Labs often set wider ranges on blood tests numbers than natural health people are happy with. So if you have your own numbers you can see if you have a trend toward or chronic condition that even tho not “out of range” itis borderline for many years. That is an important consideration. It is very encouraging to see how our diligence on diet pays off in so many ways. Wishing you courage to ASK! health.

  4. jackie September 12, 2013, 6:46 am

    Thank you Vivien for all your effort to help us become knowledgeable about treating our bones naturally. I would like to make a suggestion to you to ask all of us to recommend the names of doctors who we recommend who we think are compassionate and concerned and willing to help us treat our bones naturally. Then you could create a database for us where we could look up such recommended doctors in each state. I think this would be a great help to all of us, your fans.

    I am 72, 5’3, 105 lbs and had a dexa scan 4 years ago. The scan showed osteoporosis but as I am already taking a pain drug for neuropathy (small amount), I did not want to take anymore synthetic drug. Besides, I felt fine and still feel fine in the bone department. I walk nearly every day up and down hills. And I also surf once or twice a week (been surfing since I was a teenager). And I also do some yoga and palates. I feel fairly fit for my age and I am very careful of my diet, hoping that the alkaline and anti-inflammation diet plans work for me. I do take it very seriously and I haven’t had even a cold in the past 2 years. I am also advising several friends who have chronic sinus and ulcer problems to apply some of the nutritional concepts I use on myself. But you can lead a horse to water but can’t make them drink.

    Thank you again for all your advice, Jackie

  5. Terry September 10, 2013, 10:02 am

    Have read all the post today….very interesting information. I really do hope and pray that my numbers are really good at my next Dexa because I’m pretty sure my Doctor will be looking into your program for his mother who cannot take any of the “drugs”. The doctors are trained to determine what is wrong and then give out the appropriate popular drug. At my last visit, although he said he was going to put me on shots at my next visit, he said as he went out the door “I don’t blame you for wanting to find another way”. He’s open to it whether he realizes it or not. Like I said, praying for great numbers and following SOB program faithfully!! My best always,

  6. Sue Hinson September 9, 2013, 10:29 pm

    Hi
    Just wanted to share with you that I stopped taking Fosmax. Only took it
    for 3 months. My doctors are pushing Fosamax and its kind but I will not
    take them. For 10 years now I go in for testing and wanted to share that all
    the nurses and X-ray people have told me they wouldn’t take Fosamax.
    Doctors should listen to their nurses. Thanks for all the email. Sue

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 10, 2013, 8:04 am

      Interesting, Sue! It’s amazing how nurses and medical staff who work alongside doctors often develop a different perspective.

  7. Joan September 9, 2013, 8:32 pm

    Hi Vivian I have been having a problem with doctors for years 2 years ago when I got my bone denst. results they told I had to go on fosmax for my back and I said NO they said you have to so I did. Now 2 years later after taking foxmas I had another bone dent. guess what my back got a litte better, but my left hip has lost bone mass. I know it was from taking the fosmax. But I cant tell ny doctor how I feel, I am afraid he will go nuts on me. Now he teliing me I have to take Prolia a 2x a year shot. I did alot of research on it that have a lot of bad side effects. I know when I go to him next and I tell I dont want the prolia and I already stop taking the fosmax which I have not told hom yet. Is there anymore out there who has taken this Prolia shots who can help me. I am afraid to take it. I already have a gum problem and my dentist will not be able to treat me if anything happens if I am on any of these med. Vivian I purhased your book and just started reading it very interesting.
    Thanks Joan

    • Dee September 17, 2013, 3:32 pm

      Please take a strong friend with you to next visit! Their job will be to interven if the dr pressures you to take something you don’t want. Everyone needs an advocate these days. Try to understand that you are hiring the doctor just like any other service. Gone are the days of only one dr available. You have choices. He is BULLYING you and you are vulnerable because of your illness. It is your body. That you have only one of. So stand your ground. Health depends on it. Best wishes.

  8. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel) September 9, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Hi! Vivian,

    I’ve Been Looking And Asking Around About Osteoporosis Doctors, And It’s Good To Now Know What To Look For When Looking For One. Thank You VERY MUCH For Your Very Informative Articles.

    LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 10, 2013, 8:04 am

      You are most welcome, Leslie! :)

  9. Sandy September 9, 2013, 6:02 pm

    To Joy who had it entered into her chart that “She’s stubborn”: Be watchful. When I refused to take Forteo and other osteoporosis drugs per my physician’s advice he told me that he was entering into my medical record that I was “non-compliant” and that label could affect my insurance coverage for osteoporosis related problems in the future. “Stubborn” can be interchangeable with “non-compliant”. I am not sure if his threat regarding my insurance coverage is true but I did not appreciate it. I have since changed physicians and am going to one that is supportive my following the Save Our Bones program.

  10. Mary September 9, 2013, 5:33 pm

    I have a wonderful doctor in Marion, Ohio. He is a medical doctor, but has reached out to ask my husband and me how we have such good numbers on the medical charts. He lost his (obese)wife a few years ago and has since made a change in his own lifestyle. I credit the Lord, my own feelings and definitely Vivian and saveourbones.com.

    We invited this doctor to simply have a cup of water with a teaspoon of dehydrated barley grass mixed (I get mine at hacres.com) in it on a daily basis. I also suggested having 2-5 tsp. of coconut oil daily. It is not greasy and by doing my own test I feel it is allowing the barley to strengthen my bones.

    I do have a GYN who has highly encouraged me to take Fosamax. I won’t do it. It’s not natural. I love this site. I look forward to the information I gain here. I listen, read and soak up what you can tell me. The comments here never go to rest. I share them with family.

    Today I shared natural health information with my retired Marine brother and our mom.

    Thank you, Vivian, and all those who contribute to this site. “I” just might be your biggest fan!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 9, 2013, 5:48 pm

      Mary, it is heartwarming how you are spreading the word about natural health information, and that you’re including Save Our Bones!

  11. Louise September 9, 2013, 5:22 pm

    Hi Vivian,
    I have been taking TrueOsteo for 7 months and was getting rash around my neck and itching on my body. At first I thought the rash was caused by my allergy to fish which I was eating twice a week. I took antihistamines and have stopped eating all seafood, and gradually stopped my multivitamin and TrueOsteo.
    Vivian, Is there another Calcium I can take for my bones besides TrueOsteo?

    • Customer Support September 9, 2013, 5:49 pm

      Louise, please send an e-mail to support@saveourbones.com or click on the smiley face icon above, and we’ll be glad to discuss calcium options with you.

  12. Rowena September 9, 2013, 4:46 pm

    I found your comment on doctors having big egos amusing. There is a saying which sums up many doctors, I don’t know if it is universal but I am in the UK. I used it about the doctor who prescribed a drug for my then 18 months old grandson (now nearly 19 years). The pharmacist queried it and asked were the side effects understood. It turned out it was a drug for asthmatics and grandson had and has never shown the slightest trace of being asthmatic so was not given the drug. When the doctor was asked about it he had the family ejected from the practice list so that they had to find a new doctor.
    The saying is: ‘What is the difference between God and a doctor? God doesn’t think he’s a doctor’
    Very appropriate where quite a number of the medical profession are concerned!

  13. Sonia Alvarez September 9, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Hello, my mother tongue is Spanish, so please forgive my mistakes in writting. MD do not know, in general, nothing about nutricion. The worst part is that they do not accept the contribution to the health made by the so call alternative medicine. In the country where I live I have observed on TV, a program of a “profesional nutricionist” to give advise absolutely alopata. Alopata is the traditional medicine, opossed to the alternative, natural or vegetarian medicine. I know a MD (alopata)that one day realized that the practice he has been taught at the medical school, did not cure nothing. He turns to the alternative medicine with great results. I would like to reach older in good shape, that is why I am so interested in all the issues related to the alternative medicine. Hope that many of the interesting articles were also published in Spanish. By the way the computer translations are not the best, because the computer is able to translate words and no concepts.

  14. carolyn September 9, 2013, 11:13 am

    Has anyone heard of Dr Garland? ASK DR.GARLAND.COM CHECK IT OUT! YOU

  15. Lucia Smith September 9, 2013, 10:44 am

    When I recently spoke with my doctor about my decision to become more alkaline, she was encouraging but said that it isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. I find that some days I do well and others I do not. One thing I am doing is more exercise, weight resistance, balancing activities and core strengthening focusing on posture and back, shoulder extension.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 9, 2013, 10:56 am

      You’re doing great, Lucia. Even if you eat a balanced, alkalizing diet several days a week, you’re still way ahead of most of the population who eats a very acidic diet all the time. :)

  16. Annette September 9, 2013, 10:43 am

    I have purchased your book but there isn’t much info on people who don’t have a thyroid gland. I have osteoporosis but I don’t take anything for it. My endocrinologist suggest I take the shots 2 times a year. I will not take them. I have tried to follow your suggestions in the book but I don’t know if they pertain to me . I do take thyroid meds everyday.

  17. Carolyn September 9, 2013, 10:41 am

    I am still on a search for the support I need from a doctor. I recently found an endocrinologist that actually gave me options. I had been pushed by a gynocologist to use the osteo drugs. One pill about 4 years ago made me very sick. I now have a 7 month reprieve with advise to walk daily, eat high calcium diet (I do not drink milk) and then get a dexa scan again. I have faithfully followed the SaveOurBones program and at least the bone loss seems to have stopped, although not much improvement. The doc said I was taking too much calcium, and that I didn’t need any fancy one. Well, I still am convinced that I need the combination, and I take the raw calcium. I have added extra magnesium, and I will use the exercise suggested by this program. I suffer with vertigo, so some of the exercises do not work for me.

  18. Joy Taylor September 9, 2013, 9:29 am

    Several years ago, my doctor put me on Boniva. I took this drug for about 4-5 months. When I learned what this (and other osteoporosis medications) actually do to the bones, I refused to go further. This meant that every time I saw him, I had a confrontation. After half a year of fights, I discovered that he had closed the discussion by writing in my medical chart , “She’s stubborn”. I told him then that that was one diagnosis that he made that was 100% correct, and he could take pride in it.”
    In the meantime, when I told my dentist about my ongoing battle with the doctor, he was shocked and amused. I was then treated to a long dissertation on the effects of these drugs, and why dentists won’t treat patients who use them.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 9, 2013, 10:55 am

      Joy, I think you are the first community member I’ve ever heard of who received an official diagnosis of “stubborn”! :)

  19. Jean September 9, 2013, 8:51 am

    We’ve been hearing a lot about green coffee extract as a way to lose weight. How does that factor in to this lowering blood pressure idea? I’d really like to know.

  20. irene September 9, 2013, 8:51 am

    Vivian, I live in Palm Harbor , Fl and I am looking for a new
    endocrinologist. My primary is o.k. but she is like a clearing house
    for the doctors that work in the hospital in Safety Harbor. Not a great
    way to do medicine but many of the referrals are o.k. I am not going back to the endocrinologist I was using and I will tell the primary why .

    My gyn changed his mind said I should be on some osteo drug . IF I do not
    he reluctantly recommends that I go hormone therapy , although not recommended by him, is a consideration if watched. I know you do not like this too. He readily admits this a problem. I want to find someone who
    knows what they are doing? I am not too far from the USF and maybe there
    is someone there you might recommend

  21. Connie September 9, 2013, 8:20 am

    I told my doc about the Save Our Bones program. He was skeptical. He said that the kidneys regulate the acidity of the blood, no matter what you eat. When I asked him how they do that, he had no answer. That was the end of the discussion. Perhaps there is more missing from their education than the nutrition part. When I asked him what sources he uses to research a problem, he said he Googles it, just like the rest of us. I have taught my neurologist and my spine surgeon that Cymbalta and Diclofenac can lead to bone loss. They had no idea, and were glad to hear it.

    • Dee September 17, 2013, 7:59 pm

      Just a sidenote..The calcium content of our blood determines blood alkalinity and is strictly regulated by the ParaThyroidHormone(PTH). Blood PH is cruical. If blood calcium runs low, PTH is released to remove some calcium from “the bone vault” to alkalinize the blood. When the calcium in the blood is high enough, then the parathyroids shut down and stop making PTH. And yes, excess calcium in the blood will be removed by the kidneys, even to the point of kidney stones but that is another issue. Our bodies need the calcium we eat to replace calcium in our bones. Calcium intake matters! http://www.parathyroid.com/parathyroid.htm

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 9, 2013, 10:54 am

      Connie, your doctor should check this site! In a recent post, I wrote the following about kidneys and their regulation of acid in the body:

      “Your kidneys are vital in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance because they are responsible for filtering out the excess acid from your system. They also reabsorb alkalizing bicarbonate from the urine. A constant load of acid, such as occurs with the typical American diet, means that these vital organs have to work very hard to remove it.”

      You can read the rest of the post here: http://saveourbones.com/for-strong-bones-keep-your-kidneys-healthy-and-your-blood-pressure-under-control/

  22. June Glover September 9, 2013, 5:48 am

    I live in the UK and, as far as I know, medical schools omit any training in nutrition. This is true of the NHS in general
    If I am asked about diet and i say I am on the low acid diet they look at me as if I’m on another planet and change the subject very quickly!.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 9, 2013, 10:49 am

      It would be interesting to read a study on nutrition education among medical students in the UK, June!

  23. Barb Weikel September 9, 2013, 5:27 am

    I think everyone should see the documentary Forks Over Knives that speaks of nutrition (I got it off of Netflix). I am not sure when it was made but it backs up a lot of what is in the Save Our Bones Program.

  24. Yaelah September 9, 2013, 3:51 am

    As MDs – even the compassionate ones – have nothing to offer you but all kinds of chemicals that do not cure but add to the problem, it is well advised to stay away from them all together and seek true natural health solutions that really cure

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