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Letter from a Reader:
Linda Eskin, California

I'm 38, and currently do not have osteoporosis (as far as I know). I am generally healthy and active (gardening, riding, walking). My friends and I know very little about what we can do now to avoid getting osteoporosis in the future. None of my doctors (general practitioner and gynecologist) has ever offered me any information on the subject, or discussed it with me.

I'd like to get a "baseline" bone density test, to be sure I don't have any problems, and to give me a point of comparison in the future, but my doctor doesn't think it's necessary. I'll get one anyway, and pay on my own, since insurance won't cover it. When I asked specifically last month how I could work toward avoiding problems I was told merely "Take calcium". I even had to prompt the doctor to find out how much to take! Doctors don't seem to be interested in discussing it until there is a problem, and then it's too late.

I am very motivated about this. I got my first horse at age 35, and hope to be riding well into old age. I know entirely too many women who have had to give up riding and sell their beloved animals when they discovered they had osteoporosis, and could no longer risk being around them. I hope never to get to that point.

Based on the reading I've done on the internet I have joined a health club to work on bone-density-building exercises with weights. I take calcium now. I don't drink much, don't smoke, eat lots of green veggies and milk products. My mother went through menopause in her mid-50s. I shouldn't be at very high risk, but there is some history of osteoporosis in my family. I'm interested in anything else I can do to stay healthy.

Please keep getting the word out – not just about treatments, but about prevention. Women need to know about it much earlier than when they hit menopause, and they aren't currently receiving the information they need to take useful action. I hope your site and organization will continue to work toward getting the information out.

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