Medication or not?: Hi all I have just received... - Bone Health

Bone Health
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Medication or not?

Hi all

I have just received the results of my DEXA scan taken after a fracture of my wrist 4 months ago and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis . I fell on ice and cracked it, I think anyone would have had a fracture under such circumstances, I went such a crash! My scores are -2.9 for spine and -2.5 for hip and I have been prescribed Alendronic Acid. My GP tested my slightly high calcium in my blood and found borderline hyperparathyroidism (too much parathyroid hormone in the blood resulting in weakening of bones through loss of calcium) but the endocrinologist I was referred to isn’t concerned and is happy for me to take calcium supplement. I also have a hiatus hernia and suffer from chronic gastritis so of course I am concerned about the effect of AA on that. My query is should I start down the route of medication at this stage or be better to try alternatives? I walk 2-3 miles daily and swim weekly. Overall I have an reasonably active lifestyle. I am 69. Thank you.

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There are people on here who have been diagnosed with parathyroid issues and it was only when this was treated that their bone thinning reversed. Apparently no medication or supplements will be effective without such treatment. Can you get a second opinion? I hope that some of those who have posted about this issue will see your query. I wonder if you could repost your question but put parathyroid as the first word, and then you may get more responses. If I can find any of the threads which mention it I'll post link for you. Sorry I can't help more directly. Apparently this is not an uncommon problem.

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Thank you for your reply HeronS. My hyperparathyroidism is such that out doesn’t warrant surgery to remove the gland. My endocrinologist is in no doubt of this, he didn't think I should even have been referred to him. However, to make certain he is asking for a DEXA scan of my wrist and a kidney ultrasound to ensure there is no build up of calcium there. I just feel that my osteoporosis is such that I have been asked to jump in at the deep end with meds far too soon. It seems it is a NHS knee jerk reaction to prescribe these immediately.

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Here's an interesting article about hyperparathyroidism: endocrineweb.com/conditions...

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The search function on HealthUnlocked actually worked for me (first time ever!) and I found this post which includes a number of links. I haven't read the links but it looks like there's a lot of info in the post.

healthunlocked.com/american...

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Thank you. Perhaps I would have been better off with full blown hyperparathyroidism which required surgery. As it is mine hardly exists and is not the cause of my osteoporosis. What I really want to know is if my DEXA scores warrant taking AA or if there is a better alternative.

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Here's a link to a thread which includes a reply by Aristotle. If you read his DXA scan results you will see that at least one of his first readings was well into the osteoporosis range, and the second scan showed considerable improvement. He did take AA a few times, I think, but soon dropped it and relied completely on diet, supplements and exercise. I also did (no meds, though), but I was never in the OP range.

healthunlocked.com/pmrgcauk...

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Thank you - that is really useful info.

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Hi. First of all I am not a doctor, simply someone who has been fascinated by nutrition and health for decades and have a mission to learn as much as I can.

Common sense tells me that our glands release substances in response to what we put into our body. Many blood tests if taken at different times show different results.

Calcium and Phosphorus need to be in the correct ratio in the body. If we consume too much phosphorus, our body borrows calcium out of our teeth and bones to keep the balance in our blood. The body does "pay back" this calcium when it can afford to. If we consistently consume too much phosphorous over a long time, this is one (of many) cause of weakened bones. Topping up calcium with supplements is not addressing the issue at it's source. The calcium from supplements isn't the same as food, it doesn't reliably go back into our bones.

Phosphoric acid is added to many processed foods as a preservative. Fizzy drinks are high in this substance which is why I no longer drink them. Certainly check out foods high in phosphorus and judge for yourself if your diet may be too high in this substance. A good way to reduce it is to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Also google foods high in this substance and perhaps reduce portion sizes if you eat a lot of them and perhaps increase portions of vegetables etc.

Google and You Tube are very useful. Certainly I'd say research causes of Osteoporosis and what can help. Stop the things you are doing to contribute to it and start new habits which help.

No one can tell you whether or not to take medication. It's a personal choice. I would say research research research. Royal Osteoporosis Society has a helpline. Ask to speak to a nurse, they are very helpful and have fact sheets which they send to you.

I'm unsure if you're aware that the Dexa T score is a comparison of your bone density to a 30 year old? When I learned this, it took away much of my anxiety. I'm 65 and wouldn't expect my bones to be as strong or dense now as 25 years ago. However, anything we can do to improve health naturally has to be a good thing?

Hope the above makes sense and at least gives you some "food for thought"

Wish you the best

Dido xx

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Thank you for your detailed reply Dido. I had not considered the implication of phosphorus in the diet but I will certainly look more closely in future at the ingredients in what I am eating. Perhaps too we should be given more advice by GPs with regard to the medication they prescribe frequently such as Omeprazole which I have been on for years now and have only recently become aware of its possible impact on bone density.

Yes, I will contact the ROS with regard to advice. I agree that we should not expect our bone density to be comparable with a 30 year old!

Thank you again.

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No...do not let the doctors talk you into any bone meds....research them...especially Prolia...the research will give you nightmares!

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Thank you Susie, i agree. Looks like some of them do more harm than good in the long term.

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I broke my wrist last year and was diagnosed with osteoporosis and potential primary hyperparathyroidism. My PTH level was 9. I saw an endocrinologist early this year who said to check levels in a year. I was not happy with this as I don't want things to get worse and I don't want to take op meds as they won't work if my osteoporosis is caused because of hyperparathyroidism.

Nice guidelines updated last week point to osteoporosis with raised PTH a reason to be referred for further checks and scans. nice.org.uk/guidance/NG132.

I have paid to see a consultant who specialises in this condition and like Heron says there is no medication that will reverse this the only option is surgery. I am booked in for a scan in June in order to try and identify the parathyroid gland which is not working correctly. My calcium levels were only slightly raised.

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There’s a remarkable similarity in our conditions here rows. I will be most interested to learn of your progress. Thank you for your reply.

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Good luck!

I was in almost the same position. I had the operation a year ago.

Fran 😉

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Thanks Fran57, I just hope something shows on the scan.

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Hello. I fell and fractured my pelvis in 2017 (my first broken bone ever and I am 61).

I was told to take Alendronic Acid because they discovered I had osteoporosis ( massive shock).

I did lots of research and discovered I had hyperparathyroidism and had a small operation to remove the affected gland. The immediate effect on my calcium and parathyroid levels was quite astonishing.

The consultant told me that the medication would not have done anything for my osteoporosis, because of the hyperparathyroidism. I now have to wait another year or so to get a repeat DEXA scan to see how things have improved... apparently it takes that long for the improvement to be at its best. I'm not expecting miracles but I hope to see some improvements.

I'm not qualified in any way, but it has become clear to me that medication is not the way forward for me!

I also walk a lot and eat (90% of the time) healthily.

Good luck with your decision. Let me know if you need any further information.

Fran 😉

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