Bone Health
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T-scores slightly worse

As promised, here's an update following my DEXA scan last week - the results have come back amazingly quickly! Unfortunately my T-scores have worsened slightly - spine now -3.6 (was -3.2) and hip -2.5 (was -2.3), despite good diet, vitamin supplementation and lots of walking. I saw my GP today about something else and was very relieved that when he told me the scores he didn't push for me to go back on medication! So my strategy now is to increase my supplements (introducing red sage and taurine), get a weighted vest and increase weight-bearing exercise levels further (when my poorly ankles will allow!), especially to start using weights and resistance bands. I'm nothing if not determined!!! I'm giving myself 2 years and then hopefully another DEXA scan, at which point if I've kept all this up and there's still further deterioration I'll reluctantly re-consider medication - hopefully by then there will be a new one available that encourages new bone to build without horrible side effects. Ever the optimist!

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Good! Try hard. How old are you? I’m nearly 50 and nearly in menopause and already osteopenia 😬

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I'm 61, diagnosed nearly 4 years ago. Had my menopause at 48, which is in the normal range but as I had a 10 year premenopause I wonder if that contributed, plus low Vit D levels.

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Oh dear Met00, so sorry to read your scores, but onwards and upwards! I’m 62, with scores just slightly worse, with menopause at 57, so my OP cancer treatment related, and maybe genetic. Why red sage and taurine?

I’ve been working out at the gym since diagnosis a year ago, and Physio told me I will definitely build bone. Like you, would prefer no meds, haven’t tried them yet. I do dead lifts with kettle bells at the gym, but will need to research if it’s enough reps etc.

Good luck with your new regime.

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Taurine and red sage are both supposed to build bone without nasty side effects. Researchers have been trying to create a medication with a specific extract from red sage, but, presumably because it's more concentrated, they haven't yet been able to avoid worrying side effects (which don't occur if you take the natural powdered herb).

Will you eventually have another DEXA scan to see if you've been able to build bone?

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Hi Met00

Yes, offered Dexa after 2 years, which is one year away. Don’t feel too optimistic after reading negative posts here, but just don’t feel ready yet to try meds. Will check out the red sage - sounds good.

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Hi. Have you had your Calcium and parathyroid hormone levels checked?

Fran 😉

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Yes, that was all ok. Mind you, I know blood calcium levels are unreliable, so measure all my dietary calcium. Thinking of adding calcium supplements to all my others!

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I only ask because when I was told early this year I had osteoporosis, following a pelvic fracture, and was very shocked, I was offered medication, which I'm not taking, and I did loads of research .

When I noticed my calcium was just a tiny bit raised (2.62, instead of 2.6) I asked for my parathyroid hormone levels to be checked. Again these were just slightly raised, but I found out that it can cause osteoporosis and no amount of medication would make a difference if that's what caused it!

I have just had the affected gland removed and await the next DEXA scan which I think may be a couple of years away, to see if it has made a difference.

Definitely worth checking - hyperparathyroidism is one of the most under- diagnosed conditions ever!

Good luck,

Fran x

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Hi Fran,

I have broached this subject with my OP consultant and he replied my calcium levels are fine and not necessary for me to have my parathyroid hormone levels checked .My Calcium results were 2.38 mmol/L and Corrected Calcium (whatever that means) 2.34 mmol/L. Both being in the range given as OK which is between 2.1-2.55.

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They adjust the calcium to take account of the amount of protein in the blood - but I've no idea why that makes a difference!

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Can you have hyperparathyroidism without raised calcium levels? My calcium readings have always been slightly below the middle of the normal range.

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Hi. I don’t think so; I think it is usually the raised calcium levels that lead to the parathyroid hormone level check. Possibly worth reading up on it though.

Fran 😉

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Met00 According to the Hyperparathyroid website you can have normal calcium levels but high parathyroid hormone levels and this is still hyperparathyroidism and should be treated.

'About 2-5% of parathyroid patients will have normal calcium levels and high PTH levels (like patient number 10 in the table above). These patient are some of the hardest to diagnose, but two things are very common in this group 1) high ionized calcium levels and 2) kidney stones. Thus, if you had a recent bout of kidney stones and your calcium is "normal", make sure you check ionized calcium levels and PTH levels. Checking the urine for the amount of calcium in the urine is also a good test for this group... (a test that is not very helpful or necessary for most patients)'

parathyroid.com/diagnosis.htm

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It's Salvia Miltiorrhiza (red sage) there are different kinds of red sage so you need to check the botanical name. There isn't any research to evidence what dosage works for osteoporosis as far as I know.

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Ok Thanks. Will check it out.

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I am taking an old lady Tap beginning class. It is PROVEN to improve bones. and is great fun. barring that there is also a heel dropping thing that is supposed to help. I'm sure you have seen all the sites. Good luck to you. I'm inspired by your determination. I'm with you not wanting to take the meds though my bones too are getting worse. I get another DEXA in Nov. after a year of prednisone and we shall see. I'm at -2.6 last Nov. I LOVE my weight vest. and mostly wear it around the house doing chores etc. pricey but hopefully worth it!

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Brilliant! good for you, :-) Something like this?

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ha!!! I'm not that good yet!!! LOVE THIS! thanks. It is such fun!

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Hey yogabonnie, thank you for posting in the first instance about it. Looks fun. They are good aren't they? Probably been practising for a LONG time. ;) I had not heard of it before ;)

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Thank you Met for posting your scan results. Gah! I am so sorry that they have not improved for you or stayed the same. Onwards and upwards, as they say! :)

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Met00: I am a 70-year-old woman and I, too, have osteoporosis. I couldn't take the meds. that would help, so I begged my doctor to put me on HRT. He reluctantly did, and I've never felt better in my life. HRT will help build my bones slowly, but that's not the only reason I wanted to go on them. I have had hot flashes and night sweats for YEARS and YEARS, and been depressed, etc., too. Anyway, the big study they did about the HRT was skewed, but still, I'm a little nervous taking them, but all drugs have side effects, and after suffering for so many, many years, I'm willing to go for it. Good luck to you and I hope you you do well.

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Hello Sweet Susie. HRT is another option to consider if I eventually succumb to meds. I'll bear it in mind, thanks for sharing.

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I can't remember. Have you posted before about what supplements you are taking and the exercise you do?

healthunlocked.com/pmrgcauk...

Also, although I don't have a list handy, there are some foods which are bad for bones as they inhibit us from absorbing calcium.

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I don't think I've listed everything. I take 2400 iu of D3 for about 8 months of the year, 800 plus sunshine May to August. K2-MK7 100 mcg. Calcium from diet, topped up with calcium supplement, usually calcium citrate. Zinc 15 mg. High strength B complex. Omega 3 fish oil 1000 mg. Some of these not specifically for bones. Just added taurine 500 mg and red sage 250 mg, will probably increase latter to 500 mg. Can't tolerate magnesium so put Epsom salts in bath. Exercise has been regular brisk walking ( but currently have ankle problems so very limited), going to get going with some weight training and buying a weighted vest. I try to eat healthily, and have been eating ,6 prunes a day, but having some digestive problems so might have to restrict my diet and rely more on supplements - just cut out milk etc to see if that helps, so will have to take more calcium. I'd be interested to know what foods inhibit calcium absorption.

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It seems that high sugar does, and maybe salty snack type foods. Personally I've discovered I'm sodium deficient, having consumed only minimal amounts of salt most of my life. But I think I remember reading that things like soda pop are particularly bad. The bones websites talk about inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods , so that's probably a place to start. But is sounds like you've been very careful with your diet so I doubt that this is a factor for you.

I did read a few times lately that yoghurt helps with calcium absorption. And I think the amount of leafy greens I now eat is helpful - kale, broccoli - the ones with available calcium; spinach and beets not so much.

Did you read the post by Nanaedake on Calcium Dysregulation and Osteoporosis?

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Yes, I did read it and am becoming increasingly interested in herbal supplements rather than pharmaceutical medications. However, you still have to be careful about side effects, and in particular bear in mind that herbal products won't have undergone the intense testing and trials that pharmaceutical medications are put through.

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I don't actually use any "herbal" products and I wouldn't think of trying the product mentioned, but I thought it interesting.

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Met00 If you have trouble with magnesium you might find that magnesium malate is ok - it doesn't affect the stomach but is good for bones apparently. I really like magnesium malate, it seems to help with bone ache.

Choices for magnesium

naturalnews.com/046401_magn...

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I take magnesium glycinate and this appears to suit me well but you may have tried them all.

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Met00 foods with Phytic acid and Oxalic acid prevent proper calcium absorption so should be separated and eaten at different times. You can find lists on the Internet.

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Thanks Nanaedake, I'll look into that.

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