Joan Rivers speaks out about osteoporosis
Published: February 02, 2010
American comedienne and actress Joan Rivers found out she had osteoporosis in 2002. The now 76-year-old known for her sense of humour and wit told The Daily Mail: “How did I find out? Well, my neck snapped and my legs went. No, but really, a lot of Jewish doctors owe me for their education. I always kept up to date with my medical checks and they suggested I have a bone scan.“
Since then Rivers has made a concerted effort to try to minimise the effects of the debilitating disease, which affects millions of people worldwide, through exercise, supplements and a healthy diet. Priority Publication interviewed the star, who is now an ambassador for The National Osteoporosis Foundation. Speaking about her daily regime now, she said: “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“, Health Diaries reported.
Rivers’ regime apparently saw a reversal of her symptoms. She urged everyone at risk to get a bone density test from their doctor and exercise more, but most importantly, she wanted men and women to know that “not only can osteoporosis be slowed down or stopped, it can be reversed“.
In a pledge to make more people aware of the condition, the TV personality appeared in The Really Naked Celebrity Exhibition, put on by the UK National Osteoporosis Society. Photos of celebrities known to have the ailment were taken by acclaimed artist and photographer Nick Veasey.
In the photographs, stars such as Rivers and British comedian Bruce Forsyth are shown with X-ray images over one part of their body. Their creator told The Daily Mail: “Beauty is more than skin-deep. Essentially, what we all share is the need to care for our bones inside. By revealing the bones of these well-known people I’m trying to raise awareness of osteoporosis.“
An estimated 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis in the US, according to the National Institute for Arthritis, Muskuloskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), with many more having low bone mass, putting them at risk of breaking bones and developing the condition. Around 80% of sufferers are older and women, although the ailment, the name of which translates as ’porous bones’, can strike at any age.