After a recent DEXA scan I have found that I have osteopenia of the hips and some osteoporosis at L3 and L4. My doctor has put me on Alendronic acid tablets and 1200 mg calcium supplements(Adcal D3).
After the first six days I had constipation and consequent haemorrhoids. I took the alendronic acid and a day later that resulted in headaches, muscle tightness in the legs and arms and fatigue. It took all week for that to ease off. I also decided to check how much calcium I was getting in my diet and found that with the supplements it was exceeding 2200mg! I tried phoning the prescribing pharmacist but they didn’t phone back. I then decided to cut the calcium supplement and check that I was getting the 1200mg by diet (I was already taking a vitamin D3 and K2 supplement). My symptoms eased off.
I then took the alendronic acid the next week and lo and behold the muscle pains, headache and fatigue started again the next day. So another week of symptoms to put up with. Does anybody know how long these symptoms might last, as it’s very hard going?
Also, how much calcium does one need? There are conflicting recommendations: NHS 19-64 700mg, Royal Osteoporosis Society 1000mg, American sources 1200mg. And then there are the varying amounts that they say are too much. Some experts say supplements are harmful and you should get it from diet.Then there’s the calcium carbonate/ citrate/ seaweed argument.
So I’m wondering - can you attempt to get it all from diet and vitamin d3 and k2 alone and thus stop getting all those nasty symptoms? Dr Kate Rhéaume-bleue’s book The Calcium Paradox says that it’s the D3 and K2 that gets the calcium into the bones. Pumping calcium into the body without those vitamins risks deposit of the calcium in the soft tissue and consequently raises one’s chances of a heart attack. She doesn’t mention the effect of bisohosphonates though - might be too old a book (2012 I believe).
Has anybody in the community got any advice/ observations? Anybody medical out there any comments?
It’s such a minefield!