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Bone Health
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Has anyone with severe osteoporosis managed to reduce their tscores by avoiding the meds and using supplements and quality diet and exercise

By severe osteoporosis I mean worse than -3.3. Vitamins and supplements include vitamin K2, vitamin D3 and magnesium. Foods include avocados, bony broth, leafy greens, lots of fruit and vegetables, yoghurt, grass fed meat and dairy and avoiding sugar and empty calories. Some exercise but not necessarily a lot but walking and maybe some light weights. Avoiding stress and worry where possible also considered.

Hopeful someone has achieved improvement when their tscores were considered severe!

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Hi MW23

I read your post with interest... I have severe osteoporosis and I was wondering what my chances were of improving my bone density. I haven't manged to make any significant difference to mine yet.

Have you been eating prunes? I read that they can help improve bone density.

Laura

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Yes,, prunes are good. How long have you been trying to improve your osteoporosis? What is your worst tscore? Mine is lower back at -4.3.

Halting it is good too when scores are bad, at least not getting worse is something.

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I'm trying to improve from 3.5 lower back. I am doing a lot of exercise and slowly built up to gym work, 2mins on off jogging on treadmill for 10 mins a day, 10 mins rapid walking

Zumba once a week, rope skipping every week day. Yoga twice a week and a 50mins light gym programme including weights. If it doesn't improve my scores at least I'm going to enjoy my freedom to exercise while I can. I work full time so I do 20 mins lunch time, the rest after 6 pm. It's hard work. I'm also looking after nutrition and just started Alendronate again after getting bad reaction first time a few weeks ago. I suppose it will be a few years before I can tell you if it's worked.

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Wow, you are doing well, far more than I am. Motivation is hard for me so I do short walks and go to the pool sometimes. I used to go to the pool a lot but my husband does not like it so much.

I have small weights and know a lot of exercises from shoulder surgery recovery and knee injury like squats and step ups which can be done in the pool and out of it.

Everyone has other health issues that impact this too so it is very individual.

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One thing that I found when I was treated in Europe is that REGULAR exercise such as walking, physio an hydrotherapy is part of their health system. By getting ALL my 14 consultants (it helps having lots of side effects!) to prescribe physio and hydro, I managed to get a weekly session which was extremely helpful. Having had lots of fractured bones they didn't like me exercising unsupervised. Then I moved to Oxfordshire, where the post code lottery system is alive and kicking, and my first NHS appointment is three months after I registered with GP - and that is only an assessment. I did see a Consultant privately, and he gave me a very stern lecture that I must have physio as I was losing muscle mass. So I have also made an appointment with a private clinic as I fear I have a lot of catching up. Osteoporosis is so badly treated on NHS.

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Hello. I think my lowest is -3.8 but I can’t remember if that’s hips or back. I do loads of walking and try to eat healthily. I’m scarred to do some exercises as I have been warned to be really careful about damaging myself. It’s so Confusing I’m not sure what is safe and what isn’t????? My main issue is that my osteoporosis was caused by an eating disorder triggered by depression. I am underweight, and that’s no good for bones. 😕 my t scores have got progressively worse over the last 20 years but I’m still fairly young. So confused!

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I agree that exercise advice is confusing. It's hard to know where to get good advice but for me I started slowly with walking and swimming then broke an ankle (not while exercising). So then I did arm and shoulder strengthening in the gym while in a cast. Then I added walking on a treadmill at a slow pace and a gym programme that included gentle abduction and adduction, leg presses, arm curls and I printed off the advice from various osteoporosis organisation websites to take to my local gym and ask them to design a program for me. Then I copied some of the exercises on those websites at home too. As I've got stronger I've felt braver to try new things. I do Yoga twice a week but some of the advice about yoga is confusing. I just use my common sense and don't do anything to the extreme. I've taken a yoga mat to work and do back stretches before work and in between other tasks. I've been granted a space to exercise at work which is great!! I'm in my 50's and my general health, heart and lungs are good, I've read that exercise can help to encourage your body to build bone so I'm going to do what I can. I wish there was better help and advice for exercise though.

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Thank you. I’m glad I’m not the only one in a confused muddle!

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Ps. Good luck... all sounds sensible!

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What I have learned about exercise is that bending from the waist or twisting are not advised. Any exercise is better than none. Fifteen minutes of walking is even beneficial. Weight bearing is important so you might like to add some weight starting with a vest with a small amount of weight added. Building muscle helps to support the bones as well.

Hope you are getting better. This journey is very individual!

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Thank you. Yes my Pilates instructor said prob not a good idea to do sit ups too. It’s annoying for me as I’m not yet 40 so I should be able to do lots. I walk everywhere so I do get plenty of weight bearing walking, and I usually have a rucksack as I’m normally off to work or shopping, so I suppose that must help!

I must apologise.... I seem to have hijacked your post, and I don’t think you got a reply to your question yet.

L

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That is fine Lulet99. Anyone can jump in!

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Hi I also have an eating disorder and have been advised to put on weight, which is a challenge! My BMI is about 18.5 but think is up now to 19.00. so I'm not severely underweight. I was prescribed aa and a dietician and my GP have told me I can't really increase bone density with diet or exercise much now as I'm 53 yes. I am not currently taking the aa alendromic acid as I read that it prevents further bone loss but also stops you building new bone so I'm confused. Think I'll ask my GP to refer me to an NHS consultant but they don't want to do this as it costs money I think! I wonder if there are other meds I can take? My GP said there aren't! Any thoughts anyone? I exercise regularly and eat plenty of calcium rich foods. My lowest t score is just above the cut off for osteoporosis do I have osteopenia and would really like to understand why the professionals are telling me I can't build bone density now but on this website many people with osteoporosis have said they have done this with exercise and diet....confused! Many thanks. Leah

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I think the main supplement is vitamin K2 as it aims the calcium onto the bones. Some people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis have been found to be magnesium depleted. Grass fed meat and dairy is supposed to be best as well. Bone broth is another recommendation. Fruit and vegetables are also beneficial.

Yes, some people have been able to improve their bone density. I am wondering if people with severe osteoporosis have as much chance as people with osteopenia.

I am due for a dexascan in June and hopeful of at least not having gotten worse in the last two years.

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Good luck... let us know!

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Hi Leah

You can’t naturally build much bone after the menopause, in fact bone density reaches its peak in early to mid 30s. I’m not sure if aa builds bone, but if it prevents bone loss that is surely a bonus.

If you get an NHS referral that shouldn’t cost YOU any money.

You have a good point, I’ve been told I can’t build much bone now, but as you said other people said they have?

I’m going to a meeting this week where there should be some experts... I’ll ask if I can... watch this space!

L

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It might depend on why you lost bone in the first place maybe? If you address underlying reasons then your body might rebuild even after menopause? I'm doing both taking the meds and doing lots of exercise. Exercise might help retain quality of existing bone perhaps? I think I improved a lot with changing nutrition and exercise and supplements even before I knew I had osteoporosis since none of the docs could diagnose my problem despite frequent great pain. I just had to help myself and didn't know I was probably calcium deficient due to loss of thyroid.

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That is such a good point to make. Finding the causes of osteoporosis should be what is being addressed not just prescribing drugs that are counterproductive.

People could look at what their other health issues are and what they have been lacking.

That is what I am trying to do. There would be things we don’t know to look for so research into the causes of osteoporosis would be much appreciated.

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I broke my ankle 10 years ago when I was 52 and discovered I had a dexa score of -2.5 in the lower spine. This was after a fall on black ice, not a fragility fall. I refused drugs to the dismay of my daughters, both chemists! I had already been doing Pilates for a number of years which is good for working small muscles in the back and strengthening your core which supports the back. I’ve always been pretty active and love to dance...ceile, barn, old time, jive. All very good for bone building and balance. Plus I walk regularly and try to include hills. I sometimes do aqua aerobics. Now in my 60’s I too have tried to build a weights programme with the help of a PT, bringing in info etc. I felt I was pushed too hard, did some exercises that are contradicted and was uncomfortable with some and had a few injuries. I have now bought Exercise for Better Bones by Margaret Martin and downloaded her exercise plan which covers all the basics safely: Posture, flexibility (stretching), balance, weights and cardio. It also gives good advice on what not to do all very much on the lines recommended on NOS and osteoporosis.ca. Her exercise plan can be done at home a few times weekly or in short sessions done 6 days per week. It’s the best I can find. I found the book “Your Bones” by Lara Pizzorno very good on all aspects of bone building especially supplements. Not everyone is the same, some can have fractures when in the osteopenia range. However I do believe suitable exercise is important to build the muscles that support our frame and improve the quality of our bones is the way to go and is now what is being recommended along with good nutrition and some supplements. I’m afraid swimming is not the best exercise for this nor cycling. Ten years later I have had no fractures and I’ve fallen on my hip a few times recently! I don’t go for dexa scans as I know drugs will be pushed on me but in saying that if a time comes when I need them I will take them. I hope this is of some help.

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Thanks Jessie. It all helps. I have had osteoporosis for three years. I always say I wished I never had the first Dexa scan. Many women I know never have and live happily not knowing. I am having one next month just to see if I have made any inroads into my score or not made it worse. I have a new GP because my very good one moved interstate.

I will refuse any drugs as my research persuades me that they are not safe and even have the opposite effect once taking them you can either not safely get off them or have them in your system for up to ten years. Having said that I respect others choices to take them. Everyone has the right to decide.

-2.5 was not bad anyway and anyone could break a bone landing on hard ice. Do you take vitamin K2?

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One good thing about having a DEXA scan is that if you do have a fracture at some point you can tell the medical team that you have osteoporosis and should get better care and better pain relief. I had 7 years not being diagnosed during which time I had bouts of great pain which I now believe were undiagnosed fractures as not all fractures are visible on x-rays. Some of the fractures were diagnosed and treated with a cast but I was not sent for a DEXA scan despite requesting it. The intermittent pain after falls was incredible and nobody believed how bad it was and I didn't get the right help or pain relief which I found very terrifying. Also, I can now do something about working toward rebuilding bone or at least muscle. If I'd not been diagnosed, the general muscular skeletal pain and undiagnosed pain would have prevented me from embarking on the full exercise programme I now do.

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I must look for that book!

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Yes, I've only recently started on vit K thanks to reading "Your Bones". I had about 3 weeks of sleeping badly until I copped on the Mk7 doesn't agree with me so I'm now on Mk4, 3 daily doses of 15mg. Expensive to buy and difficult to get in large doses. I bought a weight vest from Iron Wear available from Sports-thieme in the UK and especially made to suit ladies but not suitable for someone overly heavy as they already carry enough weight. Susan Brown, the American doctor and creator of the website " Better Bones" gets The Ironwear company to make the one she sells. If you are an American you might be interested in joining The Inspire blog similar to Healthunlocked. I have learned so much from it. Its only now that I'm in my early 60's that I feel the need to up my game and take supplementation, nutrition and exercise serious

.I'm sure a dexa scan would now show me well below -2.5! Hope the quality of my inner bone is now helping protecting me. If I'd taken the drugs 10 years ago I'd have been left on them for that period. A lady I know did that and now regrets it as breaking bones plus recently was told to get off them as affecting her kidneys. The doctor told her 10 years ago she would break bones right, left and centre without drugs. At least now in America they recommend you only take them for 3_years, 5 years here I think. But sure then they change drugs but it seems to be more successful.

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