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Osteoporosis - what to do?

kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,489 Senior Member
edited December 2018 in Parent Cafe
Tomorrow is my 59th birhday. Instead of a celebration, I am having a pity party. I had a bone density scan this week, and I got the results yesterday. The osteopenia in my hips is now osteoporosis, and I have osteopenia in my spine. My PCP, who is not one to jump to unnecessary meds, suggested a course of fosamax.

My mom had osteoporosis, and she was on fosamax. She broke several bones, and the breaks were bad because they were shear breaks due to the way fosamax builds bone. She ended up with dementia that a doctor at Mayo Clinic suspected was due to constant pain that she was trying to escape in her mind. I am so much like my mom, physically, and this has me scared.

I am in good shape and although I weigh a few pounds more than I did when I entered my menopause years more than 11 years ago, I am not overweight. I have been good about eathing a healthy, balanced diet. I work out 5 days a week with body weight and resistance weights. I confess that I have not been good about taking calcium supplements in recent years. I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, so I have been taking thyroid replacement for 42 years.

Going forward, I have vowed to take calcium, as religiously as I take thryroid. I will add a daily walk to my regimen & increase my weight training. I am considering a visit to a nutritionist to put together a plan to eat for optimal bone health.

My questions now: Is it possible to reverse the osteoporosis without fosamax? Is it possible to keep it from progressing further without fosamax? Or am I wrong to be so worried about the effects of fosamax? What about Miacalcin, which I discovered Googling today?

This is a community with a lot of knowledge and experience. I am interested in what you know and what you think as I navigate this issue that has me feeling a lot older today than I felt yesterday.

Replies to: Osteoporosis - what to do?

  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 13,140 Senior Member
    I’m on Prolia. I’ve had excellent results.

    I really disliked having to take the pill once a month. With Prolia, it’s a shot every six months.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,489 Senior Member
    What are the side effects, if any? Is there a time limit on how long you can keep taking it?
  • makemesmartmakemesmart Registered User Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    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.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 39,309 Super Moderator
    @MomofWildChild might have some thoughts for you.
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 22,686 Senior Member
    Look up our old thread. I can’t right now, but it has great information. I think it’s called bone density. Stay away from Fosomax.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,489 Senior Member
    I thought there was an old thread, but I had trouble finding it. I used osteoporosis to search - I will try it using bone density. Thanks!
  • chercheurchercheur Registered User Posts: 1,251 Senior Member
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 13,140 Senior Member
    edited December 2018

    I haven’t had any side effects at all - so I honestly couldn’t tell you.

    No time limit. I’ve been on it for a few years.

    It is expensive ($1k) and not every insurance carrier covered it when I started but mine did. I do pay $90 co-pay, so a bit more expensive than the Fosomax for me which for me was a $10/month co-pay.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,489 Senior Member
    Found the old thread - I was searching wrong (needed to include the subcategory under Parents Forum). Yup - lots of info to go through. Thanks again, MOWC.
  • AboutTheSameAboutTheSame Registered User Posts: 3,103 Senior Member
    5000 iu daily of D3 here per doctor. Not an answer for OP but agree with #3 in the event that other pre- cases are reading.
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 18,577 Senior Member
    I reversed my osteoporosis with significant weight bearing exercises, but I was also taking first Fosomax and then estrogen. After a point the weight bearing becomes more bone-density-maintenance than bone-density-building, so while I still lift very heavy things, I alsoget Prolia every six months. I see an endocrinologist for this issue; she also handles my Hashimoto's throiditis. She tests my blood calcium before she approves the next Prolia injection, so I guess too-high blood calcium is a side effect. But I've had abolutely no side effects from the Prolia at all. And you can be on it for years.

    Osteoporosis is my major health concern. It runs in my family and, as anyone on CC who has met me can vouch, I'm very petite.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,536 Senior Member
    I also refuse to take Fosamax. There is a message board for osteo and that paired with many non-recommendations by real life people...I just couldn't do it.

    I am currently just taking my calcium and vit D religiously. Have increased on my own some foods that promote good bone health (I love kale!) and get nearly daily weight bearing cardio in the form of running or walking. I do a LITTLE strength training (lifting weight over your head) but could be better on this.

    I'll have another bone density soon and will see what the docs offer me then. I wouldn't be opposed to a nutritionists recommendation as well.

    I'm 59 and have been diagnosed probably 4 or 5 years now. I feel no different. Which is to say, I currently feel just fine with no outward symptoms.

    I REALLY wish there were better meds available.
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 18,577 Senior Member
    That's the problem with osteoporosis: There are no symptoms, until you start to shrink significantly or you break something.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,098 Senior Member
    I took Fosamax for several years. I had a lot of....jaw pain. All of my docs claimed there was no relation to the Fosamax and my jaw pain...but remarkably the jaw pain went away after I stopped the Fosamax. Then my docs agreed...no more.

    That was about six years ago. I’m very religious about my physicals...I haven’t lost even a teeny fraction of height.

    I know I won’t KNOW if I have a big problem until I DO start to shrink...but...I am never taking Fosamax again. Ever. My docs have never recommended an alternate.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,536 Senior Member
    I remember my family doc asking me several questions and looking at my nails etc. to identify any outward indications. I had none of them. Not saying that is yet to come. It's scary. But so are the many, many stories - for my comfort level, too many pointing out lasting negative effects of Fosamax specifically.
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