Have osteopenia

Hi, I was diagnosed with osteopenia following a scan, -1.3 in the hip and -1.6 in the spine. I took a calcium drink supplement for a month but because of the side effects, I decided to increase my calcium intake through my diet. I take in around 1300-1400 units of calcium each day in my diet. Would like to hear from anyone who has decided to do what I've done. I understand that sometimes people have to take supplements.

10 Replies

  • That's great news you don't have osteoporosis but are still at the osteopenie stage.

    I have osteoporosis and I do take calcium and D3 supplement but only one a day that equates to 500mg calcium in supplement form, the rest I get from my diet.

    People with osteoporosis and those on bone medicines have to be sure they have adequate amounts day to day and with bisphosphonates or other bone medicines its important to have enough just so the body has all its needs to help build new bone.

    Of course calcium and D3 alone are not enough to build bone but if there is a deficiency in those areas these two supplements can and do help.

    Its a combination of things that help build and maintain bone health, diet and exercise is just 2 areas of real importance.

    Hope you are able to remain in osteopenia stage.

    Best wishes Bkin

  • Hi Lea

    I am really interested to know how you manage to take in that much calcium through your diet. I find the recommended levels really high.


  • Hi. I'm taking it in mainly through skimmed milk. I take half a pint of skimmed milk first thing in the morning heated with a tiny amount of decaf coffee in it and that starts me off with approx 305mg calcium. Right now I'm having half a pint of cold milk with my dinner. I eat broccoli, yogurt (120mg cal), extra light laughing cow cheese triangles (102mg cal and only 0.2 sat fat), orange juice, baked beans, kiwi, rhubarb, eggs sparingly. I like salads and these foods contain calcium also certain fish and chicken. I'm settling into this and get at least 1200 of calcium but usually 1350 - 1500 calcium. I try to do as much exercise as I can but do a physically demanding job and I get tired. I understand why people take supplements and some take part supplements and make up the remainder in their diet. I had really bad side effects from supplements - constant diarrhoea with about 10 seconds notice and really bad wind. Now I don't have any of that. I was on supplements for 6 weeks.

  • I was diagnosed with osteopenia after breaking 4 bones within an 8 month period...with a t-score of -1.3 and -1.2. I have been laid up with a tibial plateau fracture, and a torn ligament which my orthopedic surgeon won't repair ligament until the fracture is healed, still not healed and its now November!!!! ( fractured in late July) I also have arthritis. I had a hysterectomy in 91' and took estrogen replacement for years and I also have been on thyroid medicine for 20+ years. My paternal grandmother had osteoporosis and my maternal aunt had it also. I have been doing a lot of research and those three (hysterectomy, thyroid meds and genetics) all play a part. I take a supplement that has calcium and vit D, but my doctor told me that is not enough. I guess my question is this...taking such a large amount of Calcium good for you long term? I have been hobbling around on crutches for what seems like months stirring up bursitis in my elbow, making it difficult to get around worse!!! I am a landscaper by trade and going nuts because I am unable to do what I am used to. I just turned 50 this last September and I am in no way ready mentally to be disabled, although my body is saying something completely different...

    feeling very frustrated :(

  • I have a slightly underactive thyroid, taking 50mcg of Thyroxine each day. I'm shocked that you are having so much trouble because your T score isn't that bad. I'm taking in 1350-1500 of calcium each day. I was on supplements for 6 weeks and had really bad side effects which I couldn't continue with. Side effects have disappeared now I've simply increased calcium in my diet. I would be concerned about long term effects of supplements but sometimes people have no choice.

  • I've been looking at research which appears to suggest that calcium supplements may have a long term effect on health. They went on to say that increased calcium taken in the diet did not appear to lead to an increased risk. I asked my GP if supplements lead to long term health risks and he avoided answering me. Would be interested in hearing about the research you've been looking at.

  • Now taking 1200 of calcium each day because of the danger of taking too much calcium. I see different opinions in research with regard to all of this. Agnes

  • I have just joined this site actually and posted. I have been started on Fosavance, yes I was slow to start to be honest. My rheumatologist also told me to take yogurt daily and walk. I do green juicing once a day and veggies and eat cheese and eggs. My hip is actually sore but I am told its tendonitis. I am told you cannot take Fosavance for more than two years. I opted for the tablet as I also have Ovarian Cancer and Prolia may be be suitable should I have a recurrence.

  • I was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta which basically have a collective of genetic disorders that affect our bones, but I'm lucky enough to be type 1. I personally don't take any sort of supplements for calcium but I do drink a fair amount of milk per day and eat cheeses, eggs, green, oranges most days. I also have the occasional tofu in miso soup . I have had a density drip almost 12 years ago which did help with breakages but isn't close to a cure. Should I consider taking supplements to help with my condition?

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