The changes are subtle at first. So subtle you may not even know anything's happening until it's too late. But now there's a solution that prevents Dowager's Hump — and cuts your risk of a serious fracture in HALF!
I recently got a frantic call from one of my patients, Marcella. She was in her yoga class when the teacher put her hand on Marcella's back to adjust her posture.
To Marcella's horror, the teacher told her: "You know, you've got the start of a Dowager's hump..." Well, when Marcella heard that, she called me nearly in hysterics.
She wanted to know if she was going to end up hunched over, her clothes riding up in the back, peeking out at the world from under her eyebrows. Marcella was worried she was already starting to "shrink" like her mother and grandmother.
Marcella had many of the common risk factors for bone loss — including genetics. In fact, Marcella told me that when the women in her family would get together they would complain about how much they had "shrunk."
Marcella's grandmother, Margaret, suffered from bone loss which triggered micro cracks in her spine, causing it to slowly collapse. By the time Margaret turned 70, she had already shrunk to just 4 feet 10 inches!
And her bone loss didn't stop there. As she continued to age, Margaret's bones became even more fragile. Eventually her hip crumbled out from underneath her one night as she got up to go to the bathroom. She died in the hospital a short while later and Marcella was devastated.
And her grandmother isn't the only one in her family with bone loss. More than ten years ago, Marcella's mother, Joyce, went to her gynecologist for her annual checkup. And her doctor suggested she get a bone density test to establish a baseline.
Joyce's doctor was shocked when her numbers came back. They showed that Joyce's bones had already started to deteriorate! Today at age 73, Joyce has already lost about a half an inch in height due to bone loss.
Marcella never noticed any signs of bone loss before she called me. She exercised regularly. She ate healthy. She did yoga to strengthen her muscles. So when her yoga instructor pointed out the small but noticeable "hump" between her shoulder blades, Marcella was shocked.
Suddenly, all she could think about was the long line of "shrinking women" in her family. She told me, "Dr. Zand, I've been an idiot. I've never paid real attention to bone loss before. I didn't think it could happen to me..."