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Vivian Answers Day #28: Calcitonin Nasal Spray Still Prescribed By Doctors, Persistent Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades, Natural Ways To Reduce Or Eliminate Wrinkles, And More!

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Question & Answer #1

Hi Vivian –

Would like to know your comments on calcitonin nasal spray that my doctor prescribed recently. He suggested this when I asked him about strontium supplementation. I do have a history of thyroid problem and have been told I must take calcium supplements for life so I include calcium/magnesium in my vitamin regimen. I am 84 – and except for nodal arthritis on some fingers and some stiffness in them do not have any other problem with arthritis. 

-Gigi

Dear Gigi,

First of all, I commend you for questioning your doctor’s recommendations and for doing your own research before making a decision to take a drug.

Calcitonin is a hormone found naturally in the bodies of birds, fish, and mammals. It does play a role in controlling blood calcium levels, but the nasal spray version is an entirely different story.

Sold under the names Miacalcin and Fortical, salmon calcitonin is synthetic, and recent research shows an alarming side effect of this mysterious drug – namely, increased cancer risk. But there are other side effects, too, such as nosebleeds, headache, joint pain, bladder infections, hives, difficulty breathing, and muscle pain (to name a few). In addition, the FDA declared earlier this year that, based on the research, calcitonin is ineffective. So not only is it risky – it doesn’t even work!

The bottom line is that calcitonin salmon is a synthetic hormone, and I never recommend hormone therapy. I do not think that humans need to alter their biological cycles to “trick” the body into producing “results.”

There are much safer and more effective ways to get the calcium your bones need. I know that the issue of calcium supplementation can seem overwhelming, but it’s really simple: plant-based, bioavailable calcium is the optimal choice.

Keep asking questions!

Question & Answer #2

I get pain in my back after I have been on my feet for awhile. It is my middle back right below my shoulder bones. (beneath my bra strap in the back) I think it is related to my poor posture and lack of good stomach muscles. What exercises will relieve this? I am doing some back exercises. 

-Ruth

Dear Ruth,

Back pain of any kind can be very frustrating! Most likely, the pain you’re describing is just what you suspect: the result of poor posture and weak abdominal muscles. In fact, strength in all core muscles is vital for strong bones and good posture. You see, muscles that are toned and supple help hold your skeleton properly. And of course, having strong, healthy bones and well-toned muscles is also crucial to good posture and freedom from back pain.

Appropriate bone-building exercises are a vital component of bone health. When I developed Densercise, the only exercise program specifically designed to build bone density, I made sure it also includes exercises to ensure a youthful posture.

Densercise is full of easy moves that target just the area you spoke of, as well as the other muscle groups that play a role to support good posture.

Wishing you a pain-free and happy life,

Question & Answer #3

Dear Vivian,

I enjoy carbonated beverages, but realize that cola and other such beverages are extremely harmful to my bones. Is sparkling apple juice (pure without sugar added) or sparkling water with lemon or lime bone depleting? They are great substitutes if they are not harmful. Thanks,

-John R. Hertzler, Jr.

Dear John,

Good for you for recognizing that sugary, acidic drinks and colas are terrible for your bones and overall health. Not only are they high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners, but they contain phosphoric acid as well. This is particularly detrimental to bones.

But the carbonation is not a problem, so your idea is excellent! It’s especially good for your bones to add lemon to the sparkling water, because lemon juice is not only alkalizing (as is all citrus), but it also helps sweep toxins out of your body.

Unfortunately, sodas can have an addictive quality. So sometimes a transition period is necessary to make the step to drinking the healthiest beverage of all: distilled water with a few drops of lemon juice. In the Save Our Bones Program, I actually recommend drinking sparkling water and lemon juice to ease the transition.

Enjoy your homemade bone-healthy beverages!

Question & Answer #4

Dear Vivian,

Last year I had stomach surgery and fortunately it went well. Because of it I lost a lot of weight and I notice lately that my face is very wrinkled. I don’t like to use creams full of chemicals and my husband won’t let me get a face lift. What can I do to have less wrinkles, Vivian?

-Greta

Dear Greta,

Rapid weight loss can cause excessive wrinkling and sagging of the skin, and I understand your concerns as you experience those changes. And of course, I also understand that you don’t want to use toxic “miracle” creams that promise the moon.

The good news is that there are natural solutions to reduce or even eliminate wrinkles, without painful injections or surgery. First and foremost, make sure you’re well hydrated. One of the symptoms of dehydration is dry skin, which is of course, more prone to wrinkles. Drinking plenty of water can help your skin’s elasticity.

And did you know that you can exercise your face muscles? There are easy facial exercises that can correct frown lines, droopy eyelids and even neck wrinkles.

The Easy Natural Facelift video and course books by Allison Heath give you a complete anti-aging program in just 4 weeks. It includes facial exercises, recipes to make your own natural face creams, exactly what to avoid in commercial cosmetics, and recipes with skin-healthy foods and herbs.

Click the link to read more about this 100% natural and effective wrinkle remover →

Here’s to your wrinkle-free future!

Question & Answer #5

I turn 70 in Sept. Already have curved and continuing curving spine as did my Paternal Grandmother, my Father and his two older Brothers (Uncles). Any way to stop it? Correct it? Straighten it? Hopefully! Also, continue to have spontaneous fractures in the spine and ribs. HELP! THX for Being YOU and showing/teaching us there truly are alternatives.

-Jan

Dear Jan,

You’re welcome, and thank you for your kind words!

The development of the spinal curve known as “Dowager’s Hump” (or “kyphosis”) is something many in the Save Our Bones community dread. But there’s good news: kyphosis is not inevitable, and it is correctible!

Kyphosis is not necessarily related to osteoporosis, nor does it always indicate fractures in the thoracic vertebrae. It can simply result from poor posture. As the spine curves more and more, your shoulders appear more rounded and your head gets pushed forward, resulting in pain and breathing problems.

To correct the hunched posture that aggravates or leads to kyphosis, the right kind of exercise is vital. Just any exercise won’t do – in fact, some workouts can actually make curves in the spine worse because the wrong muscles are being strengthened.

Doctor Natalie Cordova has developed a DVD called Posture Confidence, which takes you through 4 complete workouts that target posture, flatten your back, and relieve neck pain. From the Beginners’ Workout to get you started to the Advanced Workout, Dr. Cordova shows you how to develop the core muscles that keep you standing tall. There’s even a Sitting Workout, so you’ll never be caught in a position where you can’t exercise to improve your posture!

Hopefully your fractures are all healed by now. If so, I recommend you give Posture Confidence a try, so you’ll finally get rid of your spinal curvature.

Stand tall and proud!

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49 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. gustavo panesso July 23, 2013, 10:10 pm

    Hi! Vivian:
    what king of calcium should I be taking and where should I buy it?..Presently I’m taking Citrical with magnesium vitamin D, and zink together in one pill. Also I read that if your testosterone level is normal or higher levels your bone density is very high also. What is your take on this. Gustavo

    • Customer Support July 25, 2013, 12:01 pm

      Hi Gustavo,
      Please feel free to send us an e-mail at customer support. Simply click on the smiley face icon at the top of the page. :)

  2. Sylvia July 15, 2013, 9:29 am

    I’m puzzled about which foods are alkaline/acidic. I have your book w/you list, but see some foods on there that are listed as alkaline that are listed as acidic in other lists, e.g., spinach, yogurt, soy. Do you have additional information?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 15, 2013, 3:29 pm

      Sylvia, the pH level of individual foods is determined by burning them and testing the ashes for a pH reading. The bad news is that some labs give different results than others, thus the few discrepancies you see. However, the good news is that even if we don’t have the exact pH for a few foods, by following the Save Our Bones program we are way ahead of the rest of the population that eats a very acidic diet.

      I do hope this helps clear up any confusion for you!

  3. Jan July 11, 2013, 4:29 pm

    I’m unsure about the 20/80% acidifying/alkaline ratio. Does this mean if I eat a casserole containing cheese, noodles and chicken that I need to also eat 12 other foods that are non-acidic (alkaline) to balance that? Or if I eat a snack of blueberries, I then need to balance that with 4 alkaline foods? Thanks for clarifying.
    Jan

  4. Mary July 10, 2013, 10:33 pm

    Hi
    I have osteoporosis but I bought Vivian book so I have refuse to take all drugs ,had a bad scare lately so I would like to know how would crestor affect my bones as I have to take it even though I eat very healthily or is there something else I can use without too much damage that will keep cholesterol down pls
    Thanking you
    MJ

  5. Debbie Stevens July 8, 2013, 6:06 pm

    Appreciate you so much! Just wanted to ask you to look into carbonation. There is well documented information that has been around for a long time describing how it leaches minerals from your bones and acidifies your body. Carbonation is different from something natural like “Pellegrino” which is just mineral water with natural co2 added. Carbonation has phosphoric acid in it which is what damages bones.

  6. NADIA AZOUZ July 6, 2013, 10:36 pm

    I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR ALL YOUR ADVISE, I GOT YOUR BOOK AND IT IS LIFE SAVER I AM READING IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND FOLLOWING ALL THE EMAIL YOU ARE SENDING, I AM ALMOST 65 I HAVE SCOLIOSIS,OSTEPOROSIS,ARTHERITHIS,UNDER ACTIVE THYROID, THORASIC ANUYERISM,BARRET. I HOPE YOU FORGIVE ME IF THEY ARE SPELLED WRONG BUT THANKS GOD FOR EVERYTHING.
    MY ONLY CONCERN WHEN YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION IF YOU CAN BE MORE DETAILED
    LIKE IN MY CASE ALL THE PROBLEM I HAVE SPECIALY THE TYROID MEDICATION (SYNTROID) AND THE BARRETT MEDICATION (LANSOPROZOLE) BOTH LEACH CALCIUM
    FROM THE BODY AND YOUR ADVICE PLAN BASED BIOAVAILABLE CALCIUM !!! CAN YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC WHAT THE NAME OF THE CALCIUM I SHOULD TAKE .
    THANK YOU AGAIN AND I CAN USE ALL THE ADVICE YOU CAN OFFER.

  7. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel) July 6, 2013, 9:12 pm

    Hi! Marianne, Elizabeth J. And Rosy B.,

    The Posture Confidence DVD, May Not Be Helpful To Everyone. But Even If It Just Helps Half The People That Do The Program, Its Better That Not Helping At All!
    You Have To Have A Positive Mind Going In, Because If You Don’t, Nothing Will Work For You!

    ALL THE BEST TO THE THREE OF YOU,
    Leslie (A Part Of The SAVE OUR BONES Community)

    • Marianne July 8, 2013, 3:21 am

      Leslie – I have a VERY positive attitude! Having had a bad outcome from alendronic acid, and refused other drugs, and I do physio-recommended exercise and attend my gym 3 times a week. I was not carping – just truly puzzled as to why a programme was recommended for someone with exactly my own osteoporosis history, when the person who devised the programme advised against it.

  8. George Alama July 6, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Dear Vivian:
    Your last email featuring questions and answers is a tremendously good
    feature of being a member of your program.

    God bless you.
    George

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 9, 2013, 7:31 am

      Thank you for your kind words, George! We’re glad you’re part of the Save Our Bones community. :)

  9. Sandra Pecorino July 5, 2013, 6:07 pm

    Hi Vivian

    I am 64 years old and a couple of months ago my Dr. said my spine was in
    such bad shape that I needed to go on Forteo which is an injection a day
    for 2 years. I tried it for around 3 weeks but noticed with each injection
    the pain in my body got worse, so as of now I have stopped taking it.
    I have an appointment with endocrinologist next month to see where we go
    from here. But I can’t continue with the forteo, I am taking calcium and
    vit D and following your plan as best I can.

    Thank you

    Sandra Pecorino

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 9, 2013, 7:31 am

      I wish you the best as you move forward, Sandra!

  10. Eileen July 5, 2013, 4:48 pm

    Hi Vivian: Thank you so much for all the helpful information. I would like to ask if you could clarify how we can know without a dexascan that bones are improving (wrinkles and nails). At this time I’m unable to afford the 6 month supply of Algaecal and Strontium Boost, so I have made an extensive search in the area and found an algae calcium that costs less. I will combine with strontium as well. Maybe next year I’ll be able to afford the other.

    I know it takes time to see changes, but will the wrinkles in the forehead actually lessen? I am watching my nails. I’m trying to do the things you have outlined in your book. Thank you so much!! Eileen

  11. Marilyn P July 5, 2013, 1:40 pm

    Thank you, Vivian, for your expertise and continued support. I have a question concerning the organic raw kombucha drinks that are popular in the health world. They are naturally carbonized, and states on the bottle that they contain organic acids; glucuronic acid (10 mg), lactic acid (25 mg) and acetic acid (30 mg). Are these acids detrimental to bone health? This amount of acid is in a 16 oz. bottle and I only drink the entire bottle in about 4 days. I would appreciate very much your answer to this question as I find that the probiotics and additional nutrients in the drink very beneficial.

  12. Terry July 4, 2013, 4:46 pm

    I just finished reading Save Our Bones Program up to the Rebuild Your Bones chapter and have several questions regarding food choices:

    1. If I ferment my oats, does that make them alkalizing (as recommended by the Weston A Price Foundation that supports ‘back to basic’ foods)?
    2. Where are the organic sprouted grains/breads?
    3. Is raw cacao different than cocoa?
    4. Very light olive oil is almost impossible find. I tried to find light olive oil and could not – everything is now extra virgin.

    • jennie July 5, 2013, 10:56 am

      you can find light olive oil at Costco.

      • Terry July 6, 2013, 1:38 pm

        I’ll check the next time I’m there. Thanks!

    • Customer Support July 4, 2013, 5:07 pm

      Terry, please drop us a line at customer support – just click on the smiley face at the top of the page. We’ll be glad to help answer your questions.

  13. Jan July 3, 2013, 8:05 pm

    Vivian,

    My doctor told me that all carbonation was bad for my bones, but I just read that you consider carbonated water acceptable, especially with a squeeze of lemon. Is my doctor wrong? She does NOT recommend Fosamax and is pretty enlightened about alternative ways to keep bones strong. But I would love to drink sparkling water!

    Confused,
    Jan

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 8, 2013, 7:56 am

      I understand your confusion, Jan – in fact, researchers have gotten confused over this issue, too! The problem arises from the fact that studies show a connection between carbonated cola and low bone density. So many people, like your doctor, assumed this applied to all carbonated beverages. But carbonated drinks that are not cola were shown not to affect bone density. So carbonated water is not a problem.

  14. Muriel Kopol July 3, 2013, 7:12 pm

    I have read your recommendation that calcium from algae is the preferred calcium. I have the Save Our bones program. I have been taking Jarrow’s Bone-up, which says, Calcium (elemental) from mycrocrystalline hydroxyapatite. Is this a good calcium?

  15. Lavita Booth July 3, 2013, 5:32 pm

    waiting on your comment about raw-calcium caps with D3

  16. ita July 3, 2013, 4:16 pm

    thank you ,Ita.

  17. shula July 3, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Thanks,

    Shula

  18. Lili Garrett July 3, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Vivian, thank you for your helpful advice and suggestions. I wanted to share with you how I stopped drinking cola, which at one time I believed would be impossible for me to do (I loved cola and knew it was really detrimental to my entire system, not just my bones). My goal was to ultimately drink water (and enjoy it) when I was thirsty instead of automatically reaching for an ice-cold cola. First, I swtiched from a dark cola to a “white” one (I went from Pepsi to Sprite) for a couple of weeks and discovered what I really enjoyed was the carbonation and the sweetness (cola always gave me energy and I could drink it all day). Then I substituted Italian mineral water (which had a lot of carbonation). Initially, I missed the sweetness of the “white” cola and after a few weeks found the carbonation in the mineral water too overpowering. As fate would have it, I happened to read an article discussing the high salt content of mineral waters in general(though naturally occuring it’s still salt). The next day I switched to plain water, discovered it was actually pretty good and haven’t missed the cola or the mineral water since (the last time I drank any of these was in 2004). I find lemon juice a bit too strong so I use lime juice if I want to “flavor” the water.

    • DIANE July 5, 2013, 1:27 am

      I AM SO HAPPY. I JUST FOUND A SPARKLING WATER WITH NO SODIUM, NO ARTIFICAL FLAVOURING AND THE BRAND IS CALLED LA CROIX……… STRANGE NAME.
      I ONLY FOUND IT AT REXALL, UP HERE IN OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA. I HOPE THEY CONTINUE SELLING IT AFTER THIS SUMMER. MANY FOLKS DO NOT EVEN LOOK AT THE CONTENT WHEN PURCHASING CANNED DRINKS. THEY JUST PICK UP THE CASE OFF THE SHELF. THIS NEW PRODUCT IS ALMOST LIKE A NO NAME PRODUCT. NO ONE EVEN KNOWS ABOUT IT.
      IT WAS JUST LUCK FOR ME. LA CROIX, COMES IN PLAIN, LEMON OR LIME FLAVOUR. TODAY I WENT AND PURCHASED TWO MORE CASES WHICH HOPEFULLY WILL LAST ME A LONG LONG TIME.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 4, 2013, 5:04 pm

      Garrett, I am so glad you found a way to give up colas! :)

  19. Jean July 3, 2013, 10:48 am

    I’m still puzzled as to how to keep an alkaline balance; how to test? Because of frequent UTI’s, I drink cranberry juice every AM (haven’t had a UTI since starting this regimen nearly two years ago!). I understand this juice tends to acidify; would adding a few drops of lemon juice help?

  20. Evelyn Roanhorse July 3, 2013, 10:29 am

    Wishing for more information on the face lift program before ordering, maybe a little demo, or maybe comments from people who used this method successfully.

    • Cindy July 3, 2013, 5:37 pm

      Evelyn, I subscribe to Alison Heath and she sent me an email containing a way to download some free stuff about her facial exercises program, which I haven’t done yet as I’m not very good at knowing how to download that. If you send me an email I will forward it onto you and you can see if you can download it and if it gives you info to help. My address is
      cindy_lee123@yahoo.com.au

      Just remind me why you are writing as I won’t recognise your email address.
      Good luck

      • DIANE July 5, 2013, 1:29 am

        CAN I HAVE THAT INFORMATION ALSO ….ABOUT FACIAL EXERCISES YOU RECEIVED A DOWNLOAD FROM ALISON HEATH. MY ADDRESS IS DIMONETTE@SYMPATICO.CA THANKS

    • Kathryn July 3, 2013, 1:02 pm

      The face lift is a lot of work, everyday but it works if you really work at doing it conscientiously. I could not keep doing it. It is like a body work out, you have to keep it up.

  21. Joyce Hall July 3, 2013, 9:47 am

    Vivian Liked your answers. Do you have any input to share about MK7 or Vit. K2. I would like your input if possible. Thanks in advance.

  22. Beryl July 3, 2013, 9:26 am

    I am trying to reach a 6 or 7 alkaline body index on average. Right now it is about as acidic as you can get much of the time. Would it benifet me to get a machine that allows me to dial in my alkaline acid water level?

    • Linda July 3, 2013, 3:17 pm

      Watermelon turns my readings around! Try eating a big piece of watermelon! Hope it works for you as well .

  23. jooanne July 3, 2013, 9:11 am

    What do you think of an inversion table?

  24. Jeanne Messier July 3, 2013, 7:59 am

    Thank you for those answers, it helps a lot ! Do you have some information to give to me because when I had my last blood test, my PTH was too high and according to my doctor (endocrinologue)it is dangerous for my bone. The level of my calcium in the blood seems normal but this high PTH in my blood is a concern for my bone. The only thing he gave to me is a prescription for Fosamax which I don’t take of course…but what can I do to help…! I stop since a long time to drink cow milk and take lemon juice in water in the morning and follow your diet from SAVE OUR BONES PROGRAM…Thank you for your help. Your information that I read since a long time help me not to take these toxic drugs and protect me from their harmful side effects

  25. Evelyn July 3, 2013, 7:07 am

    Regarding question #2 – pain in back under right shoulder blade – In Asian medicine, that point on the back is related to the gallbladder. This person probably should consult with a naturopath concerning a liver/gallbladder flush. Also, certain foods that may not be suspected, such as an allergy to eggs, could also be the problem.

  26. Jo Seraphine July 3, 2013, 6:48 am

    In response to the calcitonin message … I thought it would be a great way to take medicine… I tried it two summers ago, and each day I used it, my bones ached more… and in a couple weeks, I was like a cripple. Stopped taking it before first month was out.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 3, 2013, 7:35 am

      Yes, unfortunately joint and muscle pain are listed side effects of calcitonin salmon. :( I don’t blame you for stopping it!

  27. Harold July 3, 2013, 5:47 am

    Thank you Vivian for a great website, with all the helpful advice, i suffer from osteoporosis, my doctor recently perscribed 5mg Endone tablets as i am having a lot of pain in my lower back and knees, but am not happy with what information is on the web about the side effects,would appreciate your comments. Thanks. Harold

  28. Marianne July 3, 2013, 3:57 am

    You recommend Posture Confidence for combatting the ‘dowager’s hump’, and, being in exactly Jan’s position, I contacted Dr Cordova as I was very keen to try her exercise programme. Unfortunately she advised against following her regime. She said, “GIven your history, it would be best for you to consult with your medical doctor of physical therapist for appropriate exercises.”

    • Rosy Baxter July 3, 2013, 5:50 am

      I wish I had read Marianne’s comment before ordering the Posture Confidence DVD! I wonder why this program was considered unwise for her?

      • Elizabeth Johnston July 4, 2013, 8:08 am

        What are the reasons everyone can use the posture DVD I just ordered mine I hope I don’t have to send it back

      • Marianne July 3, 2013, 10:28 am

        I wonder too, because my age and fracture history are exactly the same as Jan’s, as quoted above.

        • Marianne July 11, 2013, 11:50 am

          STILL WAITING FOR AN ANSWER…

          • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 11, 2013, 12:46 pm

            Marianne, this is why I always point out the importance of seeing a doctor before beginning any exercise program! Everyone is different, and only a doctor or physical therapist will be familiar with your individual case. I do not know your health history, and I do not know why Dr Cordova advised against your doing Posture Confidence. I wish you the best moving forward, and I hope you and your doctor or physical therapist can work out an exercise program that works for you!

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