Osteopenia and Running
I am not a great athlete, just someone who is consistently active... And has been so most of my life. A few years ago I discovered I have osteopenia... After suddenly going through a period of dealing with fractures, stress fractures and stress reactions. I also discovered I had really low vitamin D despite taking 1000ius per day. Being male and in my 40s my doctors were surprised. I've always had a pretty clean diet with no sodas, very low sugar, and lots of vegetables. Also being tall and light doesn't help. However, since my teens I've been dealing with acid reflux and have been on and off acid reducing prescription drugs. A side effect of the drugs is lower bone mineral density. Once I discovered I had osteopenia I dropped the drugs and got more aggressive on changing my diet. As of late I am also off gluten and it has made a huge difference to my acid reflux.
On the positive side, I am also back to running without fractures. All of 2014 was focused on building the bone mineral density with short and consistent running... And boosting the calcium, magnesium, vitamins K and D. By the end of 2014 I started feeling more robust and started longer runs. My vitamin D tests were all good as well.
This year I signed up for more races hoping to actually complete them without DNS due to fractures.
On February 8 I did my first 16km trail race with about 1600 feet of climbing. I was happy to complete the race without injury. On March 21 I have another 30km semi-trail race. If all goes well I plan to tackle a 50km trail race later this summer.
I am also really thrilled that I just completed a great training block this week in the French alps with a gorgeous run yesterday under a beautiful blue sky... Without injury.
I only share this with you all to encourage anyone else dealing with osteopenia that one can overcome the condition and if anyone else is also dealing with the same issue I'd love to hear from you. One day I may be able to do an ultra... But I need to convince myself my bones will put up with me. :-)