Well, I’ve just been diagnosed. Need to make my follow up appointment, but was wondering if you have it, if you would share your meds, experience, suggestions…basically anything!
I haven’t been diagnosed but really need to have become density scan. I have taken a huge amount of steroids in the last three years.
I am borderline between osteopenia and osteoporosis, in fact was just over the line into osteoporosis. For the 2 years following that diagnosis, I really amped up my calcium intake and also religiously take supplements now. I am also on a monthly Actonel pill. Well, my 2-year bone density scan indicated that I have brought myself back over the line into osteopenia, at least for my hips, and while my spine stayed the same my doctor thought it was great news since most people lose bone density there so not losing any in 2 years was considered progress! So, my advice is, research your foods and make substitutions that are higher in calcium wherever you can, add a slice of cheese or shake of parmesan cheese, and make sure your coffee has milk in it!
We have had a couple of good threads on this topic in the last couple of years. You’ll surely find some good info if you search those.
I have it. I have refused official meds so far. I’ve been really turned off because so many of the options have side effects. (I am not a medicine denier, but the choices for osteo really stink!)
I do take Vitamin D and Calcium daily. I already eat pretty well but recommended to eat lots of greens that have calcium (kale is a favorite of mine). I already do a lot of weight bearing exercise (easily 20+ miles a week) but that is recommended. Also strength training with some exercise with weights above your head. My doc also thought fish oil might help so I have been taking that though not daily - they are horsepills!
I have no symptoms otherwise but bone density does not lie! Each year I hope to hear about a new promising med and each year I am disappointed.
Here is one of the threads though there are many:
I’ve had osteporosis for 14 years, including 5 on a cancer med that eliminates all estrogen and worsens bones. I am unable to tolerate any of the meds. No fragility fractures yet, knock on wood. I think my lowest bone density score is -3.9 in the femur neck.
Keith McCormick wrote a book about a “Whole Body Approach” and along with mainstream endos I paid him a visit. Of course I take D and calcium but also K3 and a few other things.
There are a lot of things I cannot or won’t do. Like opening windows!
I was borderline for a few years and then my last scan (2 years ago) put me over. The specialist asked me if I wanted to take anything and I said no. She was actually fine with that. I do take vitamin D every day. I have been doing a lot of yoga and taking the vitamin D and hoping my next scan will show I am stable or better.
I was diagnosed 2 years ago, at age 65. I opted against medication (in favor of exercise) but am taking various supplements and made some dietary changes. I have never had a fracture of any kind, so that was a factor for me in favor of foregoing meds for awhile. I’m due for a follow-up bone scan next month – so that may or may not impact plans for the future.
My biggest frustration is simply that I had set up a regular exercise regimen at the gym in year #1, but that all fell by the wayside when the gyms shut down due to Covid. I’ll be able to go back to the gym later this month, after I get my second vaccination – but it means that I won’t really be able to assess how effective the exercise was or could have been in relation to any changes in bone density.
I am also just over the line. How much calcium do you take? My belly really swells with milk, so stopped drinking it and eating yogurt. I might start start yogurt at night.
I really don’t want to take meds. It would be really interesting to find out more about what I need to do with exercising and how much calcium, which supplements. Of course I’ll be meeting the doctor, but so many of them just want to put you on a med.
I too resist meds, tho many years ago I took fosomax. I hadn’t done enough research.
In terms of vitamin D, I take the strong pill once a month. Much easier. If I don’t eat a yogurt, then I have the calcium chews.
Like others, I haven’t returned to the gym. I walk a lot but am lazy about using weights. Just writing this is inspiring me to be more proactive
Amen to @BunsenBurner post.
@conmama of course listen to your doc but if you’re just over the line into osteo, if your willing eager to make some lifestyle changes in stress of jumping to meds your doc might give you a chance between now and your next scan to make progress without meds.
Probably the main things on the table would be:
Increase Of calcium in diet
Increase weight bearing exercise
Calcium is present in lots of foods especially greens that are NOT dairy. I mean, eat some ice cream but also have a spinach or kale salad with it.
You’ll see things like beans, sardines, greens, tofu, etc mentioned here
I take 500mg of Calcium twice a day.
The recommendation is for any weight bearing exercise. However, there are a few yoga poses to be avoided (such as forward fold). I discussed this with my yoga instructor when I was diagnosed and he has taught me safe variations.
If milk bothers your stomach have you tried Lactaid? That is what I depend upon.
I have had low bone mass since my 20s. We discovered this when I broke ribs coughing! I have had the best luck with Lactaid and yogurt (the active cultures help with digestion of that for me) in terms of absorption to help my bone mass. Calcium in other foods seem to have lower absorption rates for me even with vitamin d and magnesium supplements.
But the biggest impact on my bone mass has always been estrogen. It was suppressed due to progesterone-only birth control when I broke those ribs. When I was pregnant and my estrogen was lower my bone mass dropped. Then it would come right back up.
My doctor is an expert on the osteoporosis drugs - sits on a panel for approval, etc - and he wouldn’t let me go on any of them at a young age. The first drug we will try when I go through menopause will just be estrogen replacement through bioidentical hormones. The cancer connection seems to have been questioned in research, I think - and all my docs think extending estrogen is the most natural thing to do for my bone mass.
Hope this helps!
@smiles2122 sounds like you have a good doc.
Bone quality is as important as bone density. The experts I know use bone density scores with that perspective. Unfortunately, Fosamax et al decrease bone quality, at least after a few years. That is why 5 years is recommended.
Few docs know that once you use a biphosphanate (not sure if this is true of Prolia as well), the big guns Forteo and Tymlos don’t work as well. That makes sense. Forteo and Tymlos encourage bone growth rather than just inhibiting bone resporption. You would want a base of good quality bone for those meds.
Estrogen certainly raises cancer risk. My cancer was estrogen-fed as are the majority of breast cancers. Meds like Evista (similar to tamoxifen actually) can help with osteoporosis from a hormonal angle without raising risk of cancer.
The problem with meds is that there are time limits and then what do you do? You can suffer through two years of Tymlos or Forteo if your case is severe, and then follow with Reclast or Prolia but for how long?
For a long time women who didn’t want meds used strontium supplements, which make bone density appear denser on the scan. However many felt it strengthened the architecture of the bones. It has since been shown to increase blood clot/cardiovascular risk.
On a positive note Tai Chi is very helpful. It is weight bearing and also enhances balance. We are much safer if we don’t fall.
I was diagnosed this year. I take Allendondate (spelling?) once a week. I haven’t had another scan to see if it is helping. My right hip is painful but has improved in last ew months. I probably need to start weight bearing exercise. I suck at exercise
I have been trying to eat properly, and I take supplements. I have been doing a half hour of weight bearing exercise and walking an hour every day, for about a year & a half (with some breaks when my FIL was ill recently). I am curious to see if things have leveled off when I have my bone scan tomorrow.
I don’t plan to take anything regardless, at this point, because I am not comfortable with any of the available meds (maybe the future will hold better options). I broke a molar a couple years ago due to nighttime grinding (and I do wear a bite guard). If I had been on Fosamax, I don’t know what would have happened … dental surgery is limited when you are taking this medication. Add that to the litany of issues my mom had while on it, and it’s a no-go for me. I realize that a lack of estrogen is problematic, but given that my somewhat regular (and very painful) headaches stopped as soon as I went through menopause, I don’t want to add estrogen back.
Being female can be tough!
P.S. @kiddie, I have also learned to stop doing certain moves. I used to love leaning forward and putting my palms on the floor … the stretch felt so good. I still haven’t found anything to stretch that area quite as well, unfortunately.
I think what is important is to become aware of questions to ask and to advocate for yourself or take time to go home and weigh options offered.
It is true that some docs just want to prescribe fosomax for example because “other 60 year old
Women do just fine on it”.
It is a real same that there are not some better alternatives with less risk. @conmama if you read some of the previous threads you will read of MomofWildChild’s journey and some alternate methods she has tried as well.