NHS Bone Scan - how often?

Hello All,

I have just had a bone scan and been diagnosed with spinal osteoporosis. My last scan was 2 years ago when my spine was t=2.4 osteopenia. I haven't seen my scan result this time yet.

I looked at all the NHS treatment options and decided they are not for me at this point. My plan is to go more or less with the advice in this article , using strontium citrate:

drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Osteopo...

My question is - should I ask GP for another scan in another 2 years? What can I expect if I do? What is the NHS normal frequency for these scans?

Thanks,

June

17 Replies

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  • I don't know about frequency of scans, I had a bone scan in 2014 after breast cancer, the results show I'm at intermediate risk if fractures but I don't need to do anything except have another scan in 3-5 yrs, so based on that, with your diagnosis I would have thought yearly???? Sorry if this isn't much help

  • Hi Jennymary and many thanks for your reply. So if you are at intermediate risk of fractures but don't need to take any action yet I am thinking you mean you have osteopenia? Do you know what your t-scores were? Are you post menopausal?

    I had osteopenia 2 years ago. My spine has deteriorated to osteoporosis in that time. I am post menopausal, age 66, so in the category where bone loss happens. I think, based on your reply, that I shouldn't wait more than 2 years to have another scan to see if the action I am going to take is working.

    June

  • Thanks for the link. Interesting advice. How do you intend to source strontium citrate? And how will you know the right dose to take? My GP told me that a GP is only allowed to request a DEXA scan every 5 years for individuals below 70 years of age.

    Parveen

  • Hi Parveen,

    Well, I guess I'll find out what the GP can do when I ask. Good to be warned though that I might be refused for 2 years.

    I got Strontium Bone Maker by Doctor's Best, from Amazon. I'll go by Dr Myhills recommendation of 300mg x 2 daily which happens to be about 2 caps per day.

    June

  • As long as you are aware that strontium and calcium should not be taken at the same time of day. The body prefers calcium so it won't absorb the strontium fully. Strontium can give a greater density but I don't think anyone knows if the bones are actually stronger. Biggest risk for fractures for everyone, osteoporotic or not, is falling, so exercise and maintaining good sense of balance are the best things to do, as well as diet with all the right bone-building things, including and often neglected, Vitamin K2. That's K2, hard to get in modern diet.

  • Hi June, just dug out the letter, re scan results, no mention of t scores or osteopenia, just says my DXA scan shows I'm at intermediate risk of sustaining a fracture and no specific treatment needed at the moment, I had my scan in April 2014 so I'll be contacting my GP in the new year to arrange another scan as they suggest, I'm 53, no period since September 2013 currently on Tamaxofen due to breast cancer and I seem to have been through the menopause with no hot flushes etc

  • Jennymary - thanks for taking the trouble to dig out your letter. So I'm understanding from that that you didn't get a copy of your actual results that came out of the scan, just the GP's summary in the letter. I'm not surprised. I had to ask my GP to make a copy of the results that she received last time and I'll do the same again this time. You could get a copy of yours too if you asked. I think it is better to know your t-score as that gives a much clearer picture of how near you are to osteoporosis. (A minus number higher than 2.5) As you are just post menopausal, this is a great time to get up to speed on it before the real bone loss starts with the the lack of oestrogen. I wish somebody has told me that 10 years ago.

    June

  • Hi June, last time I didn't even know about asking for t scores etc, still reeling from a quick cancer journey and in the April was having problems going back to work but next time I will ask about t scores etc

  • Good luck with that. I asked my GP for an explanation but she didn't understand the report that the hospital sent. The nurse who did my scan told me that unfortunately that's a common state of affairs. I got a copy of the report and figured it out by looking up information off the internet.

    June

  • My GP told me that the NHS at (least in my area) won't do bone scans more frequently than every two years for osteoporosis. Whether that's true or not I don't know!

  • Hi Skodadet - That sounds about right to me. I'd be happy with a scan in 2 years. I wouldn't be happy to wait 5 years for another one. So - on to the GP and I'll stand my ground for one in 2 years.

    Many thanks for this info,

    June

  • Yep, 2 years for me too.

  • I am just after reading the article by Dr Myhill and it is very informative and backs other research I've recently read. After slipping on ice 9 years ago and breaking an ankle badly I discovered I had osteoporosis with a t score of -2.5. I refused medication. Now, compared with 9 years ago, there is a mine of information online regarding research into correct exercise and diet. Since I turned 60 last year I am very conscious that I need to step up preventive measures. Dr Myhills article is timely. For one, I will start taking strontium. Luckily I have had no more bone breakages.

  • Hi Jessie,

    That's very encouraging that you haven't had any more breakages. I think Dr Myhill's advice is sound. I am also experimenting with pregnenolone and DHEA.

    The best thing I've done so far is get a Bellicon trampoline:

    stuff.co.nz/life-style/well...

    June

  • Just after coming back to this thread. In the past 9 years I kept physically active - hill walking, dancing weekly including barn and Irish dancing with lots of hopping, a little gym and rebounder plus weekly pilates. I dropped the gym and rebounder but from all I've read recently it's effective in bone building so I'll go back to short daily sessions. It should also be good for the heart too. I have found programmes online, backed by scientific research, for building density so I'm hoping to go to a personal trainer and work on advice. I live in a rural area and don't know of anyone trained in osteoporosis management but luckily know a lady trained in posture who is very particular about form and interested in helping. I'm struggling to change my diet as I've a very sweet tooth!!

  • Taming the sweet tooth should be very helpful! Eat your leafy greens for calcium (especially kale, broccoli and collards) and make sure your diet or supplements contain Vitamin K2 (not easy to get in modern diet, not same as K1). That plus the usual suspects, calcium, D3, magnesium and a few others should help with the bone maintenance. Your exercises sound great!

  • Thanks for the reply Heron. I used to take Solgar's Bone Health but you need 4 tablets per day and took a Solgar's Multi Vitamin /mineral supplement, 3 daily. All very worthy but found having to take all those tablets off putting, expensive and felt with a fairly good diet I was probably overlapping or overdoing it, despite the health shop's owner, who is also a qualified chemist, recommending them. I've started to take Source of Life Garden Bone Support. It's sourced from algae and has a certified organic gold standard whole food calcium, magnesium, Vit D3 (from mushrooms) and K2. I also try to take 5 dried prunes a day. I gather that vitamins from whole foods is more effective which is why I went for this supplement. I'm tempted to take half the recommended dose of Doctor's Best Bone Maker for a month or two occasionally as I do think a little might be beneficial in strengthening the outer bone conical ( hope that's the right word!). I'm wary of taking the full dose long term.