Need to grumble

I have taken part in a bone clinic offered by our local hospital. Last week's two hour session was an introduction to what osteoporosis is, how bones form and rebuild, etc., actually quite interesting, although I kind of knew it all it was interestingly presented and provided a context for what was to come. Second part that week was a good session with a physiotherapist with all the usual advice about caring for the spine in the way we move, etc. Yesterday's session was another fish altogether. The dietitian came across as a shill for the dairy industry, which was most unfortunate. I asked her about leafy green vegetables and she told me the calcium in them was not very bioavailable (true of spinach or beet greens, perhaps, but not true of other leafies, like kale, collards, broccoli). Then I asked her about Vitamin K2 but after fluffing about K1 and my attempting to correct her course she said I should refer that question to the rheumatologist, who was our final authority.

The rheumatologist was only there to talk about the medications. I asked her about vitamin K2 and she said there had been four studies none of which had shown that K2 had any effect on bone density. There were two things wrong with that answer. First, it's not hard to find information about Japanese studies which show that Vitamin K2 does in fact help improve bone density. Secondly, there are other good things K2 does, like protect the body from calcium getting deposited in the wrong places. The final thing which really distresses me. I went to this workshop mainly because I'd been told that I'd be given my complete bone report. Well, all we got was the t-score for the femoral neck, a figure I had already with some difficulty managed to find out more than six months ago. When I asked about finding out the other measurements the rheumatologist told me that I didn't need to know them. In other words, today I have no idea what the condition of my spine was last September when the scan was done. I was really insulted by this patronizing attitude, and I don't know what to do to get more information about MY bones.

18 Replies

  • Heron, I'm so sorry. In the UK I find mainstream medicine is equally patronising and ignorant. They have no idea about vital vitamins, nor nutrition, just drink lots of milk etc! Oh yes, and take Fosamax! You would think that they would be spurred on to help and understand someone who wants to help themselves.

    In his book, Keith McCormick makes a point of how important is to have a qualified medical professional 'on your side' - it's just finding one. The only person I know of in the UK is Dr Myhill and she's so busy she's not taking on new patients. I'm considering making the investment in my bones and consulting with either Keith McCormick, Dr Lani Simpson or Susan Brown of Better Bones.

    My doctor's been prescribing estrogen in order to help my bones, however I've recently learned that it also needs the help of progesterone and testosterone in order to successfully remodel bones - I believe... So I've now seen a gynaecologist, privately, who has prescribed bio-identical hormones: estriol, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA - watch this space! He too, has recently had a bone scan and along with diet and supplements, is using testosterone to help improve his bones.

    Mainstream medicine, when it comes to many things, has its' head in the sand. The ones I have met appear to be not all all open to finding proper solutions for their patients.

    Did you see Dr Lani on pbs? I only saw one episode, but I picked up a useful bone stimulating tip. Stand on your toes, and drip your heel, sharply enough to feel the sensation in your spine. It's an easy movement which warns your bones that they need to get to work, pronto!

    Keep the faith Heron!

  • Thanks for your reply. Yes I did see the Lani Simpson show, although I have to confess because of the time it was on I fell asleep before the really key part. I'm in Atlantic zone, and show was Eastern, so an hour later and I find I tend to nod off late evening anyway, missing key moments in crime dramas, or the point of documentaries, which is very annoying!

    I know it makes sense for patients to have as much knowledge as they can about their conditions. Talking with my friends it seems that most of them get a lot more information than I do, so I'll just have to push my gp after the next scan in October. I think my former doctor, who retired about 2 1/2 years ago, would have happily answered my questions. He liked to show off his education, and he knew my husband and I appreciated his intelligence and he respected ours. I think perhaps most patients are a lot more accepting of what they are told and if a doctor isn't used to the questioner it takes a bit of doing to bring them around.

    I've heard the bio-identical hormone treatment is much safer than the original, so good luck with that program. Please do post about your experience as time goes on.

  • Hi, at the risk of sounding ignorant what does "drip your heel" mean. I'm open to any help to get my bones working. Many thanks, Maria

  • Hi Maria, it's all down to 'careless' fingers on my part! I meant to type ' drop, not drip! If you google 'heel drop for osteoporosis' you'll find lots of mentions. Just a small exercise, which I find I can do when I'm on the 'phone etc. I too am open to anything which might help develop healthy new bone. Good luck Maria!

  • Thank you!

  • Hi Heron - reading your experience at the hospital bone clinic came as absolutely no surprise.

    I feel for you & at the same time feel aggrieved on your behalf - how insulting to treat another human soul as less than knowledge who is wanting to soak up as much information like a thirsty sponge. As you say knowledge is power - why shouldn't we have a vested interest in bettering our health? Some medical folk are merely protecting their patch, their position, snuggling up closely to the drug companies.

    I have been meaning to send you some more health links - I receive up- to-date research information almost daily via email & hope you plus others might find these helpful also.

    ~The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine~ ~Mindbodygreen~

    ~Vitamin D Council~ ~The Art of Healing~ (some articles interesting but not all.

    Please keep up your interest with natural alternatives - my quality of life enhanced by natural alternatives simply for the sensitivities on my gut of longstanding as previously mentioned.

    I will post an update some stage soon on my lengthy progress as haven't touched base with an update for many months now.

    Blessings :)

  • Thank you for your reply. I have now got the relevant paragraph from our Freedom of Information Act so will simply quote that to them when they try to brush me off again. It's the patronizing tone of the whole exchange which irks me.

  • No problem at all. Be assured I have experienced similar & recently was referred to a Professor privately to sort intermittent baffling breathing woes coinciding with tapering. Aside from this he did not believe that Vit C nor magnesium have been proven of any use - I was not forearmed so did not have references at my finger tips. I politely disagreed & was able to quote Dr T. Levy ( Cardiologist, USA) who has written many books & with whom I have attended lectures when he Has been in NZ on research into Vit c. I will not be returning to this gentleman for further advice either.

    What country are you in and will google your Freedom of Information Act to see what & where this covers you?



    How is your breathing now?

  • So sorry Heron for some unknown reason have just picked this post up now. Breathing good if I do my huffing/breathing exercises via a physio who specializes in former cardiac clients as I have a wired sternum from an ASD closure 1988 which has physiologically changed (slightly) my chest dynamics as expected. Using small amt of asthma preventative inhaler containing a steroid - this has helped and OK presently. Hope this settles in time so that I don't need long term. We shall see. :)

  • Thank you. I get a newsletter from the Vitamin D council, but they weren't able to help me figure out the why of my apparent high reading.

  • Were these the folk in USA I put u onto? All those other websites I listed have great helpful tips.

    What apparent high reading do u have?

  • The only Vit D test I had, at my request, has a result of 169, and according to dr 200 is level we worry. She told me to halve my Vit D supplements, but I've eliminated all except what I can't help consuming in calcium supplement. It's summer now. The reading was taken at end of winter and I had not been taking an untoward amount - all supplements and diet probably around 4000 IU per day. I suspect an old diagnosis of sarcoidosis so will raise this with dr when I next see her, end of August. I didn't really need this complication.

  • Ah ha was going to suggest something like that as we have similar here "Human Rights".

    Breathing stable however no definitive one cause fits all - underlying touch of asthma possibly surfaced whilst tapering. Terrible side effects from asthma steroid preventative inhaler. Can tolerate Ventolin through a spacer.

    Down 8mg hydrocort, (equivalent 2.5mg pred) - fingers crossed that breathing remains stable as body adjusts . Will remain at this level until August all going to plan.

    Will post more indepth soon with a main update.

  • Hope you continue to improve. Not an easy journey, is it?

    The access to information route comes with a fee, which I find appalling when applied to a person's medical reports. It's only $35.00 but smacks of a make money scheme by the government.

  • Just re-reading my old post & have made mistake with my hydrocort dose - that should not read 8mg but 12.5mg hydrocort = 2.5mg pred . SORRY brain still cotton wool some days ;)

  • Hi Heron - No its not an easy journey - I am more than a full time job just looking after myself, let alone my husband.

    Yes the $35 fee does reek of money gathering, user pays everything these days.

    Whilst think of it forgot to mention I get daily emails (not personal ones) from Dr Josh Axe & Dr Mercola (USA) with helpful handy recipes plus some research info with useful tips. There will be more & as I remember will let you know.


  • I wouldn't mind a small fee to cover the cost of the paper and toner, and perhaps a couple more dollars for the time it took to bring up the record in a computer and send it to a printer (or better still, my email).

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