Interview with Joan Rivers on Osteoporosis

An interview with Joan Rivers on her diagnosis with osteoporosis and what she is doing to fight it.

Joan RiversPriority Publications has provided this interview with Joan Rivers to the media. Rivers speaks about her diagnosis of osteoporosis and how she's taking measures to counteract it. I wish she'd specified which dietary supplements she's taking, but it's great that she is apparently trying to go a natural route.

Comedienne Joan Rivers Gets Serious About Osteoporosis

These days, when comedienne Joan Rivers utters her trademark phrase, “Can we talk?” she is more likely to follow it up with a discussion of osteoporosis than a set of one-liners. Osteoporosis is no laughing matter to Rivers, who was diagnosed with the brittle bone disease in 2002. Fighting back against her weakened bones hasn’t been easy, but Rivers has seen success: The comic says she’s been able to reverse the progress of her bone loss through exercise, diet and supplements. And now, as an ambassador for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Rivers is using her legendary gift of gab to share her story and raise awareness about the disease.

Priority Publications: Osteoporosis is known as a silent disease, because people often don’t show outward symptoms. How did you find out you had it?

Joan Rivers: I go for checkups every now and again and I never thought of getting a bone density test. But I went in for a complete workup and they discovered it. The doctor called me up and painted a picture that was so upsetting. He said, “You’re going to fall down and you’ll fall down because your bone breaks, not because you trip.” I was so upset, so right away I went to an osteoporosis specialist.

PP: How serious was your bone loss when you had that first bone density test?

JR: I don’t know specifically, but it was starting to take off. I was 64 at the time and it shocked and surprised me because I’m a very healthy person and I had no idea that was happening. But, you know, one woman in two and one man in four are at risk.

PP: What’s a typical day’s regimen for you now?

JR: Well, I’m a New Yorker, so I walk everywhere. And if there is a choice between stairs and the elevator, I’ll take the stairs. Weight bearing exercises – I go to the gym three times a week. And I take dietary supplements. You know, when I went back six months [after my initial diagnosis] the doctor saw a reversal of the symptoms. This is one of the things I want to get out: Not only can osteoporosis be slowed down or stopped, it can be reversed. Now, how many other diseases can be reversed?

PP: What is your advice to women – and men – who may be at risk?

JR: First of all, get a bone density test. It doesn’t hurt so you can be as big of a sissy as you want to be. And, second of all, get yourself moving! I have a back stairs and a front stairs in my home and very often I will go down one and then walk up the other just to go to another room.

PP: Have you found it hard to keep your sense of humor while facing this threat to your health?

JR: Oh no, not at all. I do jokes about it now, like: “My bones click so much that dolphins try to pick up on me.”

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