Diet and nutrition
If you have Paget's disease it’s important to eat a good diet with enough calcium and vitamin D.
The best sources of calcium are:
- dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt – low-fat ones are best
- milks made from soya, rice or oats with added calcium
- fish that are eaten with the bones (such as sardines).
We recommend that you have a daily calcium intake of 1,000 milligrams (mg), possibly with added vitamin D if you’re over 60. Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contain more calcium than full-fat milk. If you don’t eat many dairy products or calcium-enriched foods, then you may need a calcium supplement. You should talk to your doctor or a dietitian about this.
Your body needs Vitamin D to absorb and process calcium, and there’s some evidence that arthritis progresses more quickly in people who don’t have enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin because it’s produced by the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. A slight lack of vitamin D is quite common in winter. You can also get Vitamin D from your diet (especially from oily fish) or from supplements such as fish liver oil. However, it’s important not to take too much fish liver oil.
If you’re over 60, dark-skinned or don’t expose your skin to the sun very often and are worried about a lack of vitamin D, you should talk to your doctor about whether a vitamin D supplement would be right for you.
Read more about diet and arthritis.
There’s no scientific evidence that suggests any form of complementary medicine helps to ease the symptoms of Paget’s disease. Generally speaking, though, complementary and alternative therapies are relatively well tolerated if you want to try them, but you should always discuss their use with your doctor before starting treatment. There are some risks associated with specific therapies.
In many cases, the risks associated with complementary and alternative therapies are more to do with the therapist than the therapy. This is why it’s important to go to a legally registered therapist, or one who has a set ethical code and is fully insured.
If you decide to try therapies or supplements, you should be critical of what they’re doing for you, and base your decision to continue on whether you notice any improvement.
Read more about complementary and alternative medicine for arthritis.