Sue was a member of my Bones Tribe membership for several years. A true New Yorker who served as a tour guide and museum docent – always ready to research what needs to be discovered. In addition to Sue’s activity in my Bones Tribe, we worked privately.
Read more about Sue’s Three Very Important Lessons.
Sue’s desire to learn all she could about Food for Healthy Bones, brought me to NYC where I conducted a health food store tour. This health food store was Whole Foods. The tour was extensive as we covered each isle. Her questions were focused.
We looked at almond milk. Sue asked: “How could almond milk be so high in calcium?” Sixteen almonds have 40 grams of Ca. As we dove into the ingredient label we see that it is fortified with? calcium carbonate. This source of calcium is difficult to digest and is NOT the best form of calcium. Sue was determined to learn all she could about feeding her bones. I taught her the nuances of food labels and how to make better food choices for her bones. She was an actively engaged client.
February, 2019. With her 2018 blood work and DXA, Sue saw Dr. Jessica Starr at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Her previous DXA from 2018 and her blood work indicated the beginning of osteoporosis in the right hip.
At first, Dr. Starr suggested Sue start taking medication since her bone turnover suggested she was losing bone. Dr. Starr decided to wait until Sue took her first DXA at HSS scheduled for June 20, 2019.
March 2019. Blood tests taken in March 2019 indicated an elevated PTH, CA and Ionized Ca and concern was raised for possible parathyroid disease.
June 2019. Sue made an appointment with Dr. Shonni Silverberg, a parathyroid specialist at Columbia Presbyterian in NYC. Prior to her appointment, I shared insights I received regarding parathyroid disease from a lecture given by Dr. Deva Boone, previously from the Norman Parathyroid Center in Florida.
I suggested Sue exchange emails with Dr. Boone who was very responsive to Sue’s questions about the relationship between PTH, Calcium Serum and Ionized Calcium as components of hyperparathyroidism. Sue was then prepared with more information after having connected with Dr. Boone in moving forward.
December 2019: Sue was told her blood tests were still slightly above normal. Dr. Silverberg wanted to see the results from Sue’s 2019 DXA. More blood tests were ordered.
Sue’s DXA on June 20, 2019 indicated that the right hip was in the Osteopenia category (not Osteoporosis as the 2018 DXA had indicated.)The spine was also Osteopenic. The DXA and TBS from HSS and a separate screening of the forearm indicated a lowered fracture risk. Not all DXA facilities offer the TBS score which measures bone quality.
When Sue saw Dr. Starr the same day, she was less insistent about bone medication.
This is exactly what it takes…..watching the resistance and moving back into focus, commitment and determination
June 2020: Dr. Silverberg followed Sue’s numbers until June, 2020 when she felt that the PTH, Serum Ca and Ionized Ca were still slightly elevated. After three sets of blood tests over a year’s time, Dr. Silverberg was ready to diagnose hyperparathyroidism.
Dr. Silverberg scheduled an MRI and it was confirmed that one of the four parathyroid glands was overactive. Dr. Silverberg recommended Dr. James Lee, a parathyroid surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian to perform the surgery.
September 30, 2020 Sue had parathyroid surgery. During the procedure, Dr. Lee checked the condition of the other three parathyroid glands, all of which were normal.
BOTH of Sue’s DXA SCANS in 2019 and 2020 showed Osteopenia. She now takes a combination of dietary calcium from foods and Citracal to maintain her calcium and Vitamin D3 levels.
I was thrilled to hear of Sue’s progress, determination and outcome.
It takes a bone coach who listens deeply and makes helpful suggestions for a successful outcome.
If you’d like group support, please join my monthly Bones Tribe membership.
Details can be found HERE
If you’d like private support, please email Irma at
We’ll discuss how I can best support your bone journey.
From my bones to yours,
Irma Jennings, INHC
Your Holistic Bone Coach