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Bone Health
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Adcal and blood test monitoring

Hi

I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in September 2018 following a Dexa scan. The main issue is my right hip but other areas classed as osteopenia. I completed steroid treatment for PMR but due to this and menopause my bone density has been affected.

I took Alendronic Acid for a year and stopped it in June 2018. I have declined advice from my GP to restart it and currently trying to improve my bone health with natural methods. I have been prescribed Adcal twice a day but wasn’t given it during the 18 months of steroid treatment. My question is do you need blood calcium monitored on a regular basis. My blood test on completion of steroid treatment showed normal calcium levels but slightly low Vitamin D. I have bought extra Vitamin D in addition to the Adcal. I asked my GP about Vitamin K but was told I didn’t need it. I was also told in the health shop not to take it without GP approval. My pharmacist has said that calcium and Vitamin D levels are not monitored if no symptoms. In my opinion it would be a bit late by then.

I have looked at such a lot of information for Osteoporosis my brain is scrambled. Trying to exercise more, especially weight bearing exercises but difficult when you are not retired and trying to fit everything in.

Advice, experiences and tips would be appreciated

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Hi and welcome. If you use the ‘search’ at the top of the page and put in k2 it will lead you to My Osteoporosis Journey by HeronNS which is very informative.

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Thank you AnnieW55. The information has been very helpful.

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I personally think it’s important to monitor your vit D level. Do you know what yours was? I aim for around 150 nmol/L. In the past I’ve taken either 2000 IU or 5000I IU of D3, depending on my blood level at the time.

I send my finger prick, blood sample off twice a year, using the testing service, that an NHS hospital at Birmingham run. I have to arrange and pay for it myself as my GP won’t. Before you resort to this, try to get your GP to arrange twice yearly vit D testing.

Look at your diet and try to estimate your Ca intake.

If you include dairy, you may already be getting enough.

I always include 150g of St Helens Farm Goat yogurt, which has 360 mg of Ca per 150g portion. I get it from Sainsbury’s. I’m sure other natural, live culture yogurts are also good.

I aim for around 1200 mg of Ca a day, I only take a supplement if I’m falling short of my target.

Protein is important for bone health, see

blogs.creighton.edu/heaney/...

Best wishes

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Thanks for your reply. My Vitamin D level was 43 and my GP said it was only slightly lower than the normal expected level. I feel that I get enough calcium but now aware that it might not always go to your bones. I don’t currently take a K2 supplement but have been prescribed Adcal. I am just a bit worried about any build up of calcium that may cause problems. My blood test for calcium level in November was normal.

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I forgot to mention Magnesium, this is also very important and helps with Vit D, therefore Ca absorption. See the book ‘Vitamin K2 and the Ca Paradox’ by Kate Rheaume Bleue. She explains how Mg, D3, vit A retinol and K2, all work together to aid the absorption and utilisation of Ca.

I take 2 x 150 mg tablets of easy absorb ( chelated) Mg bisglycinate a day, from High Street Holland & Barrett. These don’t upset my guts and do not act as a laxative, how the cheaper Mg oxide does.

I usually stock up on them when they have a ‘ buy one, get one half price’ offer on.

I’ve found they stop me getting cramp in my feet/ lower legs, while in bed at night. Which in my case is a good reason to take them.

Best wishes

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I take a multi vitamin for women aged 50+ and it contains some magnesium. Hopefully I get a good intake from my diet also.

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Sorry for not replying to your last comment sooner.

I haven’t had my Ca level checked since it was normal in about 2011.

How much Ca does your Adcal contain? I was originally prescribed Calichew D3 and when I started monitoring my Ca intake by weighing my food, I found I was getting above 2000 mg a day in total.

I eventually saw a consultant who agreed this was far too much, so advised me to stop the calichew, rely on my diet for Ca and buy a D3 supplement myself.

I find the subject of Ca metabolism confusing. The impression I have, is that the blood Ca level is kept under strict control by organs like the kidneys and parathyroid gland, to remain at ‘normal’ level. It therefore doesn’t necessary reflect dietary Ca fluctuations, nor would necessary indicate if you were likely to be depositing Ca.

On the other hand, should our parathyroid gland be diseased and stop working properly, the Ca blood level will then go up and stay elevated. as Ca is leached from the bones. This is why parathyroid disease is one cause of OP.

Hopefully someone else may shed light on this topic. Otherwise ask your GP for a Ca screen and see what they say.

Best wishes

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My Adcal tablets contain 600 mg calcium and I should take 1 twice a day. I have cut it down to 1 at the moment. I have not checked my total dietary calcium intake but have calcium daily with cereal, yogurt and other foods. I am due to have my Vitamin D checked in May so will ask for calcium level to be checked also.

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As far as exercise goes, The Canadian osteoporosis website have good videos showing a range of exercises. I do a vigorous walk on a treadmill 3 times a week and have bought weights as recommended for use at home. I work full time. I walk for 25 mins daily at lunch time for both exercise and vitamin D. I do yoga adapted for Osteoporosis. I don't know if it will all help or not but it makes feel better. I take the recommended medications too. Good luck

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Thank you. I must get motivated to increase my exercise. I use to do quite a lot but have not been consistent the past few months. I have weights at home and a cross trainer but have not used it much. I do go to a pilates and Zumba class. I find I am more motivated if exercising with other people. I have just ordered a pilates for Osteoporosis DVD.

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Good, I think the video sounds like a good idea. The main thing is not to curve your back forwards (or round your back forward) so you will need to adapt pilates.

Zumba is excellent so long as you take it at your own pace and don't let the class push you. I do Zumba but I don't jump as the floor is concrete, not a sprung floor. Dancing is as good as jogging apparently. It's good for balance too. I got a book by Margaret Martin, Exercise for Better Bones recommended by someone here that gives simple exercises you can do at home and do a few every day. Little and often is just as good as lots, if the right kind, is my thinking as I'm time limited too.

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