Real Talk

Angelica Panganiban’s Bone Disease Reminds Us to Check With Our Doctors

What celebrity mom Angelica Panganiban thought was just part of pregnancy was actually something exclusive to the journey.

Pregnancy offers a lot of joys and pains but what celebrity mom Angelica Panganiban didn’t realize to be disease, thought to be part of it was something else entirely. “6 months into my pregnancy, mayroon akong nararadamang sakit sa hips,” she recalls during her vlog. “Hindi ko actually ma-pinpoint noon kung sa hips, sa leg, sa likod or sa puwitan. Yun yung mga struggles ko noon.”

Her conversations with friends and her doctor allayed her fears, assuring her that the pain was most likely from pregnancy. But as far as the vlog goes, she perhaps realizes, with the benefit of hindsight, that the adrenaline from motherhood allowed her to power through the pain.

“So nung nanganak ako, wala rin talaga akong time na pansinin kung ano ba talaga yung mga masakit sa katawan ko,” she adds.

Things Can Make Us Prone To Self-Diagnosing

Motherhood, being a full-time job, can make us put other things on the backburner: such as consulting a medical professional when things start to bother us. Since some of us probably grew up with moms who feared hospitals more than being sick itself along with the pandemic nearly causing the healthcare system to implode, many of us resort to self-diagnosing and looking for remedies to get us through the day. But there are days when enough is enough as Angelica decided to look for a medical consult when she couldn’t enjoy her vacation in Palawan.

“Akala ko pinched nerve lang,” she admits during the video. “So, bumalik ako mag-yoga, takbo until mayroon akong nararamdaman sa left hip ko. Kung may naiipit, usually more stretching lang ang kailangan.”

She continues, “It happened during March, noong kasama ng mga friends namin sa Palawan. Doon, mahirap din maglakad. Hindi na ako maki-pagswimming.”

Because it started to take away the things she loved doing (e.g. swimming, yoga, and carrying Bean, etc.), it was then she took Gregg’s advice and went to see a bone specialist to figure out what was wrong. The bone specialist then diagnosed Angelica Panganiban with a life-affecting disease: avascular necrosis.

Angelica Panganiban's Bone Disease Reminds Us to Check With Our Doctors
Source: Angelica Panganiban Youtube Vlog

What is Avascular Necrosis?

Angelica Panganiban’s bone disease — Avascular Necrosis, also known as osteonecrosis or “bone death,” happens when the bone temporarily or permanently loses its blood supply. All cells — including bones — need the blood to transport nutrients and oxygen and without it, eventually start to die. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it may occur near the joint since that’s where most of the stress is: from constant or sudden but extreme movements.

Unlike osteoporosis, however, Avascular Necrosis (AVN) is progressive. Osteoporosis can be managed over time with lifestyle changes such as by increasing the amount of Calcium and Vitamin D in diets (Pravina, Sayaji, and Avinash, 2013). But Avascular Necrosis, depending on how bad it is, can even require bone grafts or osteotomy — the process of reshaping the bone so that more blood flows into it (Balakrishnan, Schemitsch, Pearce, and McKee, 2003; Klontzas, Stathis, Spanakis, Zibis, Marias, Karantanas, 2022). However, this assumes that the osteoporosis is transient — best to see a bone specialist to find out if it’s permanent or not!

Some studies also revealed that Avascular Necrosis (AVN) can also be a post-bone operation complication. However, the 10 cases that experienced this revealed that the patients were much older at 52-91 years old, concluding that age did increase the risk especially if the patient drank a lot of alcohol or used steroids during treatment (Mattan, Dimant, Mosheiff, Peyser, Mendelson, Liebergall, 2002).

Women and moms, especially in their menopausal years, are more prone to bone damage. The changing hormones, the sudden change in required nutrition, and all the years wherein cortisol and adrenaline powered moms through motherhood to make sure their families felt their love eventually weakened the bones which often makes them more prone to osteoporosis and other bone diseases (Arif, Sheikh, Rajput, Ahmed, Khalfe, and Kumar, 2004; Banks, Reeves, Beral, Balkwill, Liu, Roddam, et. al, 2009).

Always Support A New Mom When You Can And However You Can

As a new mom, Angelica Panganiban most likely has her hands full and couldn’t think about the disease. She’s not only managing her career but also Bean’s needs, making sure that she can address them promptly and properly. However, that’s also what makes it hard for us moms to communicate and tell our partners what we need. Sometimes, we wish and pray that they can figure it out on site. And for our partners, it’s okay to help out. It doesn’t matter how; whether it’s convincing us to go to the doctor (even if we’re extremely resistant) like how Gregg brought Angelica to see a bone specialist, or just helping out in the chores with your own system, it will do a lot.

And as for us moms, this is why we really emphasize on self-care which also means seeing a doctor. Call it an investment; nobody wants to deal with the stresses of disease in the midst of trying to enjoy motherhood with their new baby.

References

Balakrishnan, A., Schemitsch, E. H., Pearce, D., & McKee, M. D. (2003). Distinguishing transient osteoporosis of the hip from avascular necrosis. Canadian journal of surgery46(3), 187.

Banks, E., Reeves, G. K., Beral, V., Balkwill, A., Liu, B., Roddam, A., & Million Women Study Collaborators. (2009). Hip fracture incidence in relation to age, menopausal status, and age at menopause: prospective analysis. PLoS medicine6(11), e1000181.

Dr. Qurratullain Arif, Dr Asif Sheikh, Dr. Hira Islam Rajput, Mr. Noman Ahmed, Dr. Shazia Abdul Hamid Khalfe, Dr. Vinod Kumar. (2004). Bone health and osteoporosis: a report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: US Department of health and human Services, office of the surgeon General87.

Klontzas, M. E., Stathis, I., Spanakis, K., Zibis, A. H., Marias, K., & Karantanas, A. H. (2022). Deep Learning for the Differential Diagnosis between Transient Osteoporosis and Avascular Necrosis of the Hip. Diagnostics12(8), 1870.

Pravina, P., Sayaji, D., & Avinash, M. (2013). Calcium and its role in human body. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences4(2), 659-668.

Yoav Mattan, M. D., Alice Dimant, M. D., Rami Mosheiff, M. D., Amos Peyser, M. D., Steven Mendelson, M. D., & Liebergall, M. (2002). Avascular necrosis and related complications following healed osteoporotic intertrochanteric fractures.

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