A recent study
noted the obvious:
Women who strut in at least 3-inch heels have a 40% increased risk of falling. (Realllly??)
Although this study presents the super obvious, it made me think of my collection of high heels and how I have abandoned them since my lupus adventure. I recall the day (after bone density scans
) that I was told that I had signs of osteoporosis
(a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture). That was the day Dr. Lupus added Vitamin D and Fosamax (bisphosphonate
) to my regimen and advised me to stay close to the ground.
The Lupus-Osteoporosis Link
Individuals with lupus are at increased risk for osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture) for many reasons. To begin with, the glucocorticoid medications often prescribed to treat SLE can trigger significant bone loss. In addition, pain and fatigue caused by the disease can result in inactivity, further increasing osteoporosis risk. Studies also show that bone loss in lupus may occur as a direct result of the disease. Of concern is the fact that 90 percent of the individuals affected with lupus are women, a group already at increased osteoporosis risk.
Remember those milk ads? “Got Milk?”: The gorgeous person with the milk-stache making some statement about how drinking milk keeps bones strong and muscles lean. Some of the ads made the mention of osteoporosis. Milk provided the vitamins to make bones stronger, and thereby, help prevent osteoporosis. I remember flipping through my fashion magazine and seeing these ads. Osteoporosis? In my younger days, I remembered associating osteoporosis with older women– women with canes.
As I look back, I can only shake my head and mutter: WHAT A WRONG ASSUMPTION! The truth is that osteoporosis (or lupus, diabetes, breast cancer, and etc) does not have a stereotype. I am a 30-year-old woman who has the lupus-osteoporosis link, uses a cane, and has to worry about falls and fractures. I use to strut in my stilettos on the weekends (sometimes during the weekday). Yes- there were occasional falls (possibly induced with a little alcohol combined with my natural state of clumsiness). Now, I strut in my flats all day and night. By the end of the night, my bones whisper “thank you”.
To my fellow lupus divas who love the look of stilettos but can’t dare to wear them, allow me to present some tips that help me let go of my prior stiletto obsession:
1. Flats are cute!
Flats are chicy and feel fabulous to wear either for casual or any other form of dressy style. That is right! Flats (including boots) can be worn with dresses, dress pants, leggings and jeans. You only have to know how to wear them correctly with the correct outfits. Here is a great link with the how-tos: http://howtobecomeastylist.com/2011/03/wear-flats-dress/
2. Replace stilettos with boots as the new obsession
(perfect with the cooler season). I have become obsessed with boots and wear them all the time (one exception: never to redo the Britney Spears-Ugg boots phase: the Cheeto bag in one hand, Starbucks in another, cig in mouth, with jean shorts-UGGGHH!). Just like flats, boots have the versatility to be worn with jeans, leggings, dresses, and skirts (not jean shorts!).
3. Wear your comfy flats (or boots) out with your stiletto-wearing friends, park far from the bar and somehow make everyone walk several blocks. Here is the fun: When they start to bitch and moan out of pain, you call out to them “First one to the bar wins!” and start skipping.
4. Wear your comfy flats (or boots) and watch for those that stumble in stilettos. It makes for great entertainment.
Lastly: A reminder to my fellow divas: Don’t forget about that Vitamin D and watch your step!