At the age of 86, I have only stayed overnight in a hospital once, to give birth to my daughter.  So I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve always considered myself a very healthy person. Working as a model meant that being physically fit was part of my job. I exercised daily, kept my weight in a healthy range for me, and made sure to get regular medical checkups, but in my 40s I received a surprising diagnosis: I had osteoporosis.


While many people think that osteoporosis only affects older people, it can actually occur earlier. In fact, I was diagnosed 38 years ago. At the time I was going through menopause, but I hardly noticed any symptoms – I was young and healthy, or at least I thought so. Osteoporosis is often referred to as a “silent disease” because bone loss can occur without symptoms.1 In the U.S., one in two women over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime.2


Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both.1 As a result, bones become weak and more likely to break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even a strong sneeze.1 According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease placing them at increased risk for breaking a bone.3  


There are many factors that put someone at greater risk for osteoporosis, including being postmenopausal, being 65 years of age or older, having a parent who had a hip fracture, cigarette smoking, Vitamin D deficiency, excessive alcohol intake (defined as more than 3 drinks/day) and low calcium intake.4,5 In addition to being postmenopausal, my life as a model revolved around avoiding food, and like many young women, I was at times obsessed with keeping my weight down. Unfortunately, low body weight can lead to vitamin deficiencies that cause bone health issues.


There is no cure for osteoporosis, but it can be treated with diet, exercise and medication, when appropriate.2 After talking with my doctor and getting a DXA (bone) scan, I made some major lifestyle changes. For the last nearly 40 years I have been committed to successfully managing my condition in order to prevent the disease from negatively impacting my life. At this point, it has become second nature. That has meant eating a well-balanced diet, taking vitamin D and calcium supplements recommended by my doctor and doing low weight-bearing exercise. Unfortunately, diet and exercise were not enough on their own to improve my bone density, and I required medication as well. Throughout the years I have been prescribed a few different medications, but the one that has been most effective has been Prolia® (denosumab).


Prolia® is a prescription medicine used to treat osteoporosis in women after menopause who are at high risk for fracture or cannot use another osteoporosis medicine or other osteoporosis medicines did not work well.


Do not take Prolia® if you: have low blood calcium; or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, as Prolia® may harm your unborn baby; or are allergic to denosumab or any ingredients in Prolia®.

For me Prolia® has been a real game-changer because it has not only managed to control my bone density loss, it has actually improved my bone density. People may react to medications differently and should discuss their options and medical history with their doctor in order to make the best decision for themselves. Looking back on my osteoporosis journey I’m really glad I discussed my concerns with my doctor as getting diagnosed and on a plan early may be why I have been so lucky and haven’t broken any bones.

October 20th is World Osteoporosis Day and the perfect moment to take the time to educate yourself and talk to your doctor about a bone health plan, including possible treatments that could be available to you. Here are some helpful resources:

–       Prolia

–       National Osteoporosis Foundation

–       American Bone Health

–       World Osteoporosis Day

You can also join me on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 10:00 am PT / 12:00 pm CT / 1:00 pm ET for a panel discussion with Amgen, who is sponsoring this post and giving me the opportunity to talk more about my osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment experience. Click here for more information.

*This post is part of a paid collaboration between myself and Amgen. The content reflects my own personal opinions.


• The medication, Prolia®, also known as denosumab, was discovered and developed by Amgen. Prolia® was approved 10 years ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture.6 

• Prolia® is given as one shot every six months by a healthcare professional, taken along with calcium and vitamin D.6 

• Prolia® is proven to reduce the risk of fractures and help strengthen bones in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.6 

For more information go to



Prolia® is a prescription medicine used to treat osteoporosis in women after menopause who are at high risk for fracture or cannot use another osteoporosis medicine or other osteoporosis medicines did not work well.

Important Safety Information  

Do not take Prolia® if you: have low blood calcium; or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, as Prolia® may harm your unborn baby; or are allergic to denosumab or any ingredients in Prolia®

What is the most important information I should know about Prolia®?  

If you receive Prolia®, you should not receive XGEVA®. Prolia® contains the same medicine as XGEVA® (denosumab). 

Prolia® can cause serious side effects:  

Serious allergic reactions have happened in people who take Prolia®.  Call your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including low blood pressure (hypotension); trouble breathing; throat tightness; swelling of your face, lips, or tongue; rash; itching; or hives.

Low blood calcium (hypocalcemia). Prolia®may lower the calcium levels in your blood. If you have low blood calcium, it may get worse during treatment. Your low blood calcium must be treated before you receive Prolia®.  

Take calcium and vitamin D as your doctor tells you to help prevent low blood calcium. 

Severe jaw bone problems (osteonecrosis) may occur. Your doctor should examine your mouth before you start Prolia®and may tell you to see your dentist. It is important for you to practice good mouth care during treatment with Prolia®

Unusual thigh bone fractures. Some people have developed unusual fractures in their thigh bone. Symptoms of a fracture include new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh.

Increased risk of broken bones, including broken bones in the spine, after stopping, skipping, or delaying Prolia®. Talk with your doctor before starting Prolia® treatment. After your treatment with Prolia® is stopped, or if you skip or delay taking a dose, your risk for breaking bones, including bones in your spine, is increased. Your risk for having more than 1 broken bone in your spine is increased if you have already had a broken bone in your spine. Do not stop, skip, or delay taking Prolia® without first talking with your doctor. If your Prolia® treatment is stopped, talk to your doctor about other medicine that you can take.

Serious infections in your skin, lower stomach area (abdomen), bladder, or ear may happen. Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis) due to an infection may also happen more often in people who take Prolia®. You may need to go to the hospital for treatment. 

Prolia®is a medicine that may affect the ability of your body to fight infections. People who have weakened immune systems or take medicines that affect the immune system may have an increased risk of developing serious infections. 

Skin problems such as inflammation of your skin (dermatitis), rash, and eczema have been reported. 

Bone, joint, or muscle pain. Some people who take Prolia® develop severe bone, joint, or muscle pain.

Before taking Prolia®, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:  

• Take the medicine XGEVA® (denosumab) 

• Have low blood calcium 

• Cannot take daily calcium and vitamin D 

• Had parathyroid or thyroid surgery (glands located in your neck) 

• Have been told you have trouble absorbing minerals in your stomach or intestines (malabsorption syndrome) 

• Have kidney problems or are on kidney dialysis

• Are taking medications that can lower your blood calcium levels  

• Plan to have dental surgery or teeth removed 

• Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant

Females who are able to become pregnant:

• Your healthcare provider should do a pregnancy test before you start treatment with Prolia®.

• You should use an effective method of birth control (contraception) during treatment with Prolia® and for at least 5 months after your last dose of Prolia®.

• Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Prolia®.  

• Are breastfeeding or plan to breast-feed.

What are the possible side effects of Prolia®?  

It is not known if the use of Prolia®over a long period of time may cause slow healing of broken bones. The most common side effects of Prolia® are back pain, pain in your arms and legs, high cholesterol, muscle pain, and bladder infection. 

These are not all the possible side effects of Prolia®. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see accompanying Prolia® full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.


• National Osteoporosis Foundation. What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? osteoporosis. Accessed September 28, 2020.

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2004.

• National Osteoporosis Foundation. Fast Facts. Accessed September 28, 2020.

• Camacho PM, Petak SM, Binkley N, et al. American Association Of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College Of Endocrinology Clinical Practice Guidelines For The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis-2020 Update. Endocr Pract. 2020;26(Suppl 1):1-46.

• Cosman F, de Beur SJ, LeBoff MS, et al. Clinician’s Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis [published correction appears in Osteoporos Int. 2015 Jul;26(7):2045-7]. Osteoporos Int. 2014;25(10):2359-2381.

• Amgen. Prolia® (denosumab) prescribing information, Amgen.

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