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Osteoporosis - what to do?

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Replies to: Osteoporosis - what to do?

  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18973 replies336 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    No side effects that I've noted. Sore at the injection site for a day, but that's nothing. To find possible side effects, one can look here, I suppose, if one is of that ilk: https://www.rxlist.com/prolia-side-effects-drug-center.htm

    I'm taking this stuff before I shrink terribly or get a dowager's hump. Why wait?
    edited December 2018
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  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild 23868 replies207 threads Senior Member
    Prolia has a pretty high incidence of muscle aches and muscle weakness. I had one shot and said no more. I did 2 years of Forteo with no real side effects, but it is an expensive daily injection. I got some drug company money from Vanderbilt for mine.

    I had 3 very bad falls in October- November on very hard surfaces and didn’t break anything. My doctor was impressed and gave me a year to wait out the next great drug that is still in the FDA approval process. My doc is a real expert and also very practical. She said you really can’t tell how strong your bones are from the density test. You would have to drill in and take a sample.
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 16064 replies99 threads Senior Member
    @thumper, there is a really bad jaw condition associated with Fosamax. I think you were wise to stop taking it given your pain.

    I have not lost any height, but the scan showed loss of density since my scan 3 years ago. I think the fact that I have not lost height is a good sign.

    I am going to schedule a visit with my PCP or her PA, who is really good. I want to put together a plan for this. I am not ready to jump into meds without very careful consideration. I have not gone to an endocrinologist for my Hashimoto’s for many years, since it has been so very long that I have had it & it seems under control. However, maybe I should consider scheduling an appointment with one now that I am apparently an old lady. I don’t feel like one, though, which is why this has thrown me for a loop.
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 16064 replies99 threads Senior Member
    @MomofWildChild, I had a really bad fall when I went luging last winter. I didn’t break anything, and I really thought that meant I had strong bones. I banged my hip really hard. I like the way your doctor thinks.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83312 replies741 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    What about your vitamin D level? I don’t think vitamin D3 could reverse osteoporosis but it is important to have adequate amount daily for healthy bones, more important than calcium supplements I believe.

    Vitamin D is necessary to help your body use calcium in your diet, among other things.

    The usual source of vitamin D is sun exposure on your skin (it take much less than the amount that would cause sunburn). Food sources are fairly limited, like some fatty fish, egg yolks, liver, and vitamin-D-fortified foods.
    edited December 2018
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    I took Fosamax without any problems for a little more than 5 years, and then my doctor stopped it because of the recommendation that you only take it for 5 years.

    Recently -- about 3 years later -- she put me back on Fosamax. Again, I have no complaints.

    If the likelihood of major adverse events from Fosamax exceeded the likelihood of benefits, I doubt the stuff would still be on the market. I'm not saying that some people don't have problems -- obviously, they do. But the odds must be in the patient's favor.
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  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild 23868 replies207 threads Senior Member
    The Fosamax class of drugs is bad, in my opinion. I personally know 2 people who have had the jaw problem and one was so severe the woman could only drink nutrition through a straw for months. I had a very close friend and top marathon runner older than me (now deceased) who stepped off a curb while on Fosamax and had the femur fracture that is another risk of the drug. It was quite serious. My doc will put people on the bisphosphonates with careful monitoring, but she totally understood my refusal to go back on them (I took them briefly before I understood how the risks were swept under the table by the drug companies).

    As many of you know, I am a distance runner and, theoretically, do everything possible for my bones. None of it has helped significantly. There is a huge genetic component to osteoporosis and body build also has a lot to do with it. I do take a lot of calcium and vitamin D, but my numbers get a little worse every two years when I test. I think the longer you can avoid taking stuff, the better off you are. It was my orthopedist who wanted me to do the Forteo because I had a small stress fracture from running (not necessarily related to bone density at all) and he felt with my athletics, I was at risk for some breaks.
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  • beermebeerme 840 replies38 threads Member
    Don't forget there are foods that leach calcium from your body.
    Looking to boost calcium into your diet is great but don't forget you are losing calcium by eating these foods indiscriminately...consult your nutritionist for advice...
    https://www.everydayhealth.com/osteoporosis-pictures/bad-for-your-bones-foods.aspx#10
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  • thumper1thumper1 78270 replies3526 threads Senior Member
    The jaw issue was huge. I could barely chew mashed potatoes. Biting down was impossible, and chewing something like a piece of meat...impossible. My doctor and dentist both thought I was nuts...but I flatly refused to continue taking the Fosamax. It didn’t take long for all of this to go back to normal.

    When I then pointed out to these docs that my jaw pain was gone...they THEN agreed it was a problem. Sheesh.

    @MomofWildChild I think I’ll wait too.

    My PCP didn’t even order bone density testing this year because she knows I won’t take the drugs.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 4104 replies15 threads Senior Member
    MOWC wrote: "...I had a very close friend and top marathon runner older than me (now deceased) who stepped off a curb while on Fosamax and had the femur fracture that is another risk of the drug...."

    Ditto. This happened to a woman in our hiking club.
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  • anomanderanomander 1876 replies4 threads Senior Member
    If you’re taking both vitamin D and calcium supplements, you should add vitamin K as well. There’s various papers on the NIH website you can look up to verify, but K increases bone mineral density in combination with D + Ca, above D + Ca by themselves.
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  • gouf78gouf78 7868 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Look up RxList.com. Good solid info there on the drugs plus some articles comparing them. Many of these drugs these days arent prescribed until youve actually had a break of Some kind. Some insurance companies wont allow injectables until the pills are prescribed. Forteo is only supposed to be used for two years in a lifetime.
    I cant type on a Phone. Ill be back later.
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  • kelsmomkelsmom 16064 replies99 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    My mom actually died as a result of a femur fracture; she was on Fosamax. The fracture healed, but she got a bedsore during recovery that became infected ... and lots more stuff followed that was not good. As a result, I am completely freaked out about the idea of drugs unless I really need them. (Yes, I realize my situation is not the same, but it's hard to keep my mom's situation out of my decision.) I am going to schedule a visit with my PCP after the new year to talk.

    In the meantime, I started on supplements that I plan to take religiously (including K, which I agree seems to be important). I am also committing myself to making sure I eat as much of the "right" foods as possible, while avoiding the "wrong" foods/drink as much as possible. I will increase my weights & walk more. And I won't luge anymore ...

    I told my D to take her bone health very, very seriously NOW. My mom told me to do that & I didn't listen.
    edited December 2018
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  • abasketabasket 21294 replies914 threads Senior Member
    @kelsmom you should tell your doc about your mom. No wonder you are apprehensive - I would be too (and am!).

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  • collage1collage1 2052 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I'm sorry to those who are suffering from bone loss. Does anyone happen to know what dosage of vitamin K is recommended to go with calcium and vitamin D supplements?
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  • Mom22039Mom22039 638 replies53 threads Member
    edited December 2018
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60908-4/fulltext

    This paper is the reason I am on Boniva. My last dexa (a year ago) showed that my bone density on Boniva had increased. I’m not great at taking calcium, but I eat a fair amount of dairy. I take 2000 units of D3 twice a day. That seems to keep my D at good levels.

    Before going on Boniva, my docs required a very thorough dental exam (to the tune of $500) to make sure there were no existing issues with my jaw or teeth.

    I’m on an anti estrogen so that can cause bone loss — and certainly muscle aches. Boniva did not add any new discomforts to my day.
    edited December 2018
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83312 replies741 threads Senior Member
    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321586.php lists the recommended intake of vitamin K and some foods that contain vitamin K.
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  • gouf78gouf78 7868 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Short story. No bone created by these drugs will ever be as strong as what you were born with especially with the bio phosphates. They were introduced with a lot of heraldry and then the side effects showed up later making patients have to convince their docs of their experiences. Hard to fight the money machine once it’s on a roll.
    Short story two: The newer injections may or may not be better. Definitely expensive so insurance may not want to go there. They DO have a limit on how long you can use them at any rate. And yes they’ve got some big side effects including jaw and muscle.
    Three:
    Low bone density is only a test. This is only a test. Which is why some recommend that you actually break a bone first before putting you on a drug unless you have several risk factors over than just low bone density. Don’t blindly sign up for these drugs without knowing all the risks.
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