I have a couple of comments here. First, I couldn't find the site "reversemyosteopenia." Second - Osteopenia is another name for low bone mass and is not a disease itself. It also is such a broad range of density measurement that saying you have "osteopenia" can mean your bone health is in any number of conditions.
Osteopenia is defined as having a T-score between -1.1 and -2.4. Certainly a T-score in the upper range could probably be reversed with diet/exercise. A score in the lower range, say -2.0 and lower, cannot.
The T-score is not the only factor in bone health. The T-score is only one of many risk factors for fracture, and it would irresponsible to lump all people with "osteopenia" into a group that could be helped without medications.
You have to look at a person's overall health and other red flags. For example: are they on bone depleting medications like prednisone, arimidex, actos or anti seizure meds? have they already had a fracture? did one of their parents break a hip or have osteoporosis? do they smoke or drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day? what was their FRAX score? what was the result of their balance test? (can they stand on one foot > 5 seconds) have they lost height? All these things figure into their risk for fracture.
Osteoporosis kills people. Half of the people who have a hip fracture will die within a year of having that fracture. There are medications available that can and do reduce that risk of fracture. People who have compression fractures endure years of pain from a curved spine. Their clothes don't fit, they often can't dress or do other personal things without help, they can't lift their groceries, they can't hug their loved ones or do many of the activities they once enjoyed.
For those people who can make dietary changes and increase their weight-bearing exercise (movement while standing) only and that results in improved scores and balance, that is absolutely wonderful. They should be proud.
But...for the millions who are not that fortunate, we are fortunate to have available medications that have been proven to reduce fracture risk. That can save lives.
Because bone is so slow to respond to change for someone to forego medications to try the natural approach, they could be losing more bone than they can possibly regain, thus increasing their chances of fracturing.
As for Gwyneth Paltro - she's under 50 and not post-menopausal. Her situation is not relevant. She still has estrogen protecting her bones and no kind of clinical diagnosis is given to premenopausal women unless they have osteoporosis as secondary to another illness. She is very thin, very fair and has a family history of osteoporosis. She could be in big trouble once she hits menopause if she's not careful.
I wish you great success if you are able to reverse or stabilize your low bone density, but please don't encourage people who might not be as healthy or lucky as you to give up their meds.
The fact is that more people showing "only osteopenia" fracture than do people diagnosed with osteoporosis.View Thread
Take the meds. Your risk of fracture far far outweighs any of the rare side effects of a bisphosphonate. You could take Reclast, the annual IV to avoid the gastro side effects that are more common. Take it. You won't get a second chance to rethink your decision once you start to fracture or get bent over.View Thread
For an osteoporosis specialist, look for a rheumatologist or an endocronologist. In the meantime, get the NOF booklet "Boning Up on Osteoporosos" from the National Osteoporosis Foundation's website. www.nof.org . Currently I believe it's only a dollar. Great book. We use it as a teaching tool for our osteo rehab classes.View Thread
Absolutely. I think that because, historically, women of childbearing age were still in the under age 35 bone building years, not much was thought of them losing bone. But now women are having children later and we know that the peak age to maximize building your bone mass is 21, instead of the 35 a generation ago. Your point is well taken and I hope will be addressed in the not so distant future.
We also know that women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the 5 years going into and through menopause - when they're not even aware of it! Scary.View Thread
Sounds to me like you need to talk to another doctor.
No, I'm not a physician or nurse. And don't want to be
I've worked in an internationally accredited osteoporosis center for 15 years. I facilitate an osteoporosis support group, do community education programs, perform the Sahara ultrasound screening at health fairs as well as conduct pediatric tours and do school talks in the community. I attend annual NOF meetings, some ISCD meetings as time and budget allow and interact with the 4000 or so patients who come to our center each year. I've also traveled with our mobile unit to participate in studies on osteoporosis for UNC at Chapel Hill and appeared in two PBS documentaries featuring out program.
Exercise is critical to bone mass in that the pulling of the muscles on bone stimulate bone growth. Do not give up your exercise.
I'm inclined to agree with you that your estrogen is playing a big part. I'm also thinking that you didn't have much bone mass to start with and are, therefore, your loss is showing up faster and more dramatically.
Reclast is a good drug - as is Fosamax. Just because one didn't work doesn't mean another won't. While they're the same type drug, it's like changing antibiotics and antidepressants if one doesn't work. You keep trying until you get a good fit.
Also many of our patients take hormones in addition to another osteo drug. If your risk of breast cancer isn't great, I'd think your risk of fracture would trump that.
Can you not talk to your OB/GYN instead of this endo? Sounds like he's a My Way or the Highway type person.
Also, if you haven't checked out the National Osteoporosis Foundation website, do so. www.nof.org . It's chock full of all kinds of information and has a good FAQ section.View Thread
You're tiny, you're of Asian heritage, you're female and are unsure of your estrogen status. All pretty high risk factors for osteoporosis.
It may very well be that your bones are thin now because you never built them to their peak potential bone mass during your bone building years. They may have always been thin and only now that you've been tested, you know this.
Also, if you're in the perimenopause stage now and you're producing less estrogen, it will show up in your bone density. That could account for the low numbers.
Too, being premenopausal, you should be looking at Z-scores, not T-scores. They typically are a little higher than the T-scores. Once you pass through menopause, you'll be concerned with the T-scores.
Are you on the birth control pill? The estrogen in them would also be of benefit to your bones. Why is your doctor opposed to testing your estrogen levels? Do you still have regular normal periods?
In your situation, I would certainly be taking an osteoporosis medication, especially if you're not planning on getting pregnant. The benefits far outweigh any risks to you. The Reclast is especially effective on the hip area, which may be why your doctor suggested it.
I'd also take a calcium supplement that you chew instead of swallow to get the maximum absorption possible. Take with meals twice a day. Also 2000 IU of Vit D. Has your doctor checked your Vit D levels? If not, ask that that be done.
Very good information. I'm glad to see you pointing out as I frequently do, that it's not just about the T-score. The goal of testing is to reduce your risk of fracture. There are many variables in this.
As for the FRAX, we use it as a guideline in our osteoporosis center. I think we should point out before people go to that website and enter the numbers that it is formulated for people with osteopenia only who are not currently on any osteo meds. If they were on hormone therapy or Evista they need to have been off for more than one year. If they were on any of the other osteo drugs, they need to have been off for greater than 2 years.
We also advise our patients to take home the information they receive and preach to their children and grandchildren the importance of building bone mass during their youth because if you don't have much to start with and begin to lose what you do have, it doesn't take long for you to be in big trouble.View Thread