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Bone Health
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Parathyroidectomy follow up appointment

Hello. Those of you who know of me will know that I recently had a parathyroidectomy because, having been diagnosed with osteoporosis I checked on my blood calcium level which was a tiny bit raised and then my parathyroid hormone levels - also a bit raised and researched and found out that osteoporosis can be caused by raised parathyroid hormone levels.

Well, I have just been to see the consultant and he tells me all my levels were back to normal within a very short time after the operation.

This should mean that my bone density will, hopefully, start to improve also.

There are lots of advantages to having this operation,but this was, of course, my main reason, since I do not wish to take bisphosphonates.

I know there are no guarantees but he suggests I have a repeat DEXA scan done in three years and hopes the bones should be improved - at least to the same degree as if I was taking the medication ( without the side effects).

As I say, no guarantees but, on balance, I believe it's worth a try.

Anyway, I did say to some of you that I would let you know how I got on, so...

My main question now is what to do about whether or not to take any calcium and/ or Vit.D supplements....

He suggested I do, for the next few years, but, having again read up on them, there seems to be very little advantage and still some risks that I don't think I'm prepared to take.

I would be very grateful for anyone's views.

I am 60, by the way, in good health, with a good diet ( not perfect, but very good) and I live in the UK. I walk a lot and still work full time.

Many thanks for reading,

Fran 😉

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In the UK it's now recommended that everyone take a Vit D supplement in the winter months. It's very difficult to get adequate amounts from diet alone, and the sun is only high enough in the sky to give us Vit D from April to September, or even fewer months than that, depending on where you live.

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I too would say continue with the Vitamin D tablets prescribed by your GP. Do you know what your Vitamin D levels are, both in the spring/summer and autumn/winter? My levels stay the same as I am tested twice a year. I do take a Vitamin D capsule prescribed by my GP but I read somewhere that GPs may soon stop this. In some areas GPs have already refused to prescribe it for some time.

I do eat lots of sardines (with bones) as I love them! :) Good source of Vitamin D.

Regarding calcium, if you have enough in your daily diet there is no need to take calcium supplements. On discussion with my GP we agreed there was no need for me to take extra as my daily diet includes enough.

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Thank you.

I will eat sardines quite happily, unlike the prunes I am forcing myself to try! 😉

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I take boron supplement because I cannot tolerate (or my insides cannot, to put it politely!) the prunes although I do like them.

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Ha! I really don't need that effect .... I already struggle if I eat wheat. I'll see how it goes .

Sardines for lunch tomorrow! ☺️

Thanks so much for your reply.

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Thank you for the link, Heron. I eat all the nuts mentioned daily and sometimes sultanas. Red apples, oranges and onions daily too. :)

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After removal of my parathyroid adenoma the consultant advised a calcium/vit D supplement which my GP prescribes. I also take the whole lot of vit K, magnesium, boron, prunes etc (and a vit D spray as i have coeliac disease so don't absorb some things well through my gut). I also walk my dogs daily. After 2 years my Dexa scan showed big improvements in my hip amd spine, so of course I'm still taking it all!

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Hi Joanne.

Fantastic news about your Dexa scan- well done you!

I do lots of walking and stair climbing and wear quite a heavy backpack to work. I have a healthy diet and am trying to include all the things like prunes ( yuk) and sardines ( eating them as I type) and I’m hoping to see an improvement but my Dexa scan is will be in three years from now.

I’m so glad your parathyroidectomy went well . Until I researched it I had no idea!!

Keep in touch. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Fran 😉

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Hi Fran57, were you diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism, or were your levels such for both calcium and parathyroid hormone that they suggested removing it? What are the consequences of having it removed? I have osteoporosis and am still working through possible causes. My parathyroid seems OK, but Vit D was low so I am hoping this is the smoking gun.

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Hi. When they told me I had osteoporosis I didn't want to take the medication, my blood test showed a very small raised calcium, so I asked for my parathyroid levels to be checked. That was also a bit raised, so the surgeon I saw checked my bloods again and agreed that I had hyperparathyroidism . I had never had an operation but if there is a chance that removing the affected parathyroid has improved my bone health then I and the surgeon thought it a good move. He said that if it is the hyperparathyroidism that's causing the osteoporosis then the medication would have no effect whatsoever anyway.

The bones should improve to the same extent ( over the next 3 years roughly) as they would by taking the medication.

There are other reasons for curing the hyperparathyroidism - much less likely to get kidney stones, arrhythmia and much less likely tohave a fracture....worth looking at the video of Dr. Michael Yeh at UCLA about the after effects of parathyroid surgery!

Good luck. Keep in touch. Are you in the UK?

Fran 😉

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