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Oct. 26th, 2008



Growth Hormone?

Anyone familiar with the use of growth hormone in osteopenia/osteoporosis? My endocrinologist has suggested this for my osteopenia and I'm a bit leery. I did a little research and found one reference suggesting it didn't work. There's just so little research on osteopenia in younger woman.

Jun. 4th, 2008



Does any one have any new info on Boniva and the horrors its causing with teeth. I was put on it earlier this year due to osteoporosis which they are attributing it to long term thyroid meds and high dose steroids. Interesting enough I'm also a stroke survivor I only have osteoporosis in my stroke affected hip and femur. Every where else is fine.
I talked to my dentist today and hes concerned not because I am having problems now, but more if I need more than the standard routine dental work (fillings etc.) He actually said I'm ok to stay on it for now and we will monitor things. He did say stay away from the IV options those are way worse. Only about 4% is affected he said. My concern is more that I'm always the odd ball out. Nothing that is standard ever happens to be. I'm always way out in left field. They have started treating me for most medical issues on a try to low success treatments example. I had to have a surgery last year well they discovered staf infection during the surgery. My incision site they closed the muscle layers but nothing past that. They put in sutures but left them loose to be closed later and started treating me with wet pack dressings. They pulled the sutures closed about 4 days later. Still have the nasty scar.

Back to the point. I've done some research but I want some opinions on the matter now that they've had time to confirm the dental issues.

Dec. 25th, 2007




I am new to this community.

I am 20 years old and living in San Francisco

I have bone issues due to my diagnosis of Lupus.
Lupus patients like me sometimes have a case of avascular necrosis.
I was on a walker and using a wheelchair for a year and half.
I had to wait for my operation and my health coverage was 'unbalanced'

Last year, I underwent hip replacement surgery. My recovery went well.
Life with the hip replacement is somewhat strange and when I
tell people I have an artificial hip, they say "You're too young."
Yeah I still can't believe it either but I'm happy I am able to walk.
God has given me a second chance.
From now on, I am never going to take walking for granted.

I just wanted to share my story.

Merry Christmas folks!

Oct. 24th, 2007



New here

I don't see a lot of posts here besides articles so I hope this is OK. Just starting out looking for information.

The short version is that I was diagnosed last April with osteopenia at the age of 30. My doctors at the time sort of shrugged it off because we figured it was related to my other medical conditions, but my current endocrinologist is looking for a cause and would like me on treatment. I've been on Vitamin D and calcium since April but have been reluctant to go on fosamax/actinel for a couple of reasons.

Other health issues include hypothyroid (I've been on replacement hormone since 1998 and stable until 2006 when my levels went up and then down. I'm stable now on a slightly higher dose of replacement hormone), Type 1 diabetes and cerebral palsy. I walk so I don't have any issues of bone fragility due to immobility or lack of weight bearing or similar. My mother has osteopenia and has been on actinel. She was much older than I am when she was diagnosed, though.

There's a question of if I have PCOS and if so, if it could be explaining the bone density problems. I have some symptoms but not others, and if it doesn't affect my bones I frankly don't care if I have it or not because the symptoms don't otherwise affect my life. I found some articles that suggested PCOS might actually be GOOD for bones.

My endo has ordered a gazillion tests. My alkaline phosphatase is low. We doublechecked. It's still low. This has something to do with the bone growth cells not being active enough. It still doesn't explain WHY they aren't active enough, however. Most of what I've read about low alkaline phosphatse doesn't seem to apply to me. It can happen with hypothyroid but mine has been well controlled. We're checking my parathyroid hormone level (it was normal in April) and phosphorus level and going from there.

I broke my toe last month by dropping a jar onto it from the top of my refridgerator. Thankfully I got the ER doctor to say anyone could break a toe under those circumstances because otherwise my endocrinologist was threatening to hook me up to a fosamax IV right then and there!

Sep. 10th, 2007

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Perceived milk intolerance may weaken girls' bones

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Young girls who believe they are lactose-intolerant take in less calcium and have thinner bones than their peers who don't think they had any trouble consuming dairy products, a new study shows.

But when these girls were tested to determine if they actually did have difficulty digesting lactose, many did not.

"It's a little concerning that you have young girls during this period of time when they actually obtain their peak bone mass...that they have already been influenced that they are intolerant to milk for whatever reason," said Dr. Carol J. Boushey of Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, the study's lead author.

Boushey and her team looked for ties between perceived milk intolerance, bone mineral content, and calcium consumption in a group of 10- to 13-year-old girls. They also tested them for lactose maldigestion, which occurs when activity of the lactose-digesting enzyme lactase is reduced, and can be identified with a breath test. People with the condition can usually drink or eat a single serving of dairy, for example 8 ounces of milk, without having intolerance symptoms, but may have indigestion if they consume larger amounts.

Of the 246 girls in the study, 47 said they were milk intolerant. Forty of these girls completed breath testing, which identified only 18 as true lactose mal digesters. Girls who thought they had milk intolerance consumed 212 milligrams fewer calcium daily than their peers who didn't have this perception, and also had a lower mineral content in their spine.

Altogether, 230 girls took the breath test, and 100 were found to be lactose mal digesters. But these individuals consumed no less calcium, and had equal bone mineral content, to their peers who had no trouble digesting milk.

The fact that girls who considered themselves lactose intolerant were consuming less calcium at such a young age could put them at risk of osteoporosis later on, Boushey noted. It's not clear, she added, where this perception is coming from, but she and her colleagues are investigating whether parents' perception of their own lactose intolerance has anything to do with how their children feel about dairy products.

"I don't think that this comes from the girls, they're way too young, it has to come from something around them," she said.

SOURCE: Pediatrics, September 2007.

Aug. 28th, 2007

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Strength training can deter muscle, bone loss

Connie Midey
The Arizona Republic

Loss of muscle mass and loss of bone density can deliver a dangerous one-two punch as you age.

The first condition, known as sarcopenia, makes it more likely you will fall. The second, known as osteoporosis (or osteopenia in its early stages), makes you more vulnerable to a broken bone if you should fall. The prefix "sarco-" is a reference to muscle; "osteo-" refers to bone.

But here's welcome news from Kevin Shepard, a certified personal trainer at DC Ranch Village Health Club in Scottsdale: The same remedy has the potential to improve the conditions simultaneously.

"If you lift weight to increase your muscle strength and reverse the loss of muscle tissue," he says, "the effort is enough to also increase your bone-mineral density. You get two benefits for one."

The consequences of muscle-wasting sarcopenia, including slow gait, balance difficulties and suppressed metabolic rate, may be greater than those of its better-known cousin osteoporosis, according to a report by the nonprofit, New York-based International Longevity Center-USA.

Report author Michael J. Hewitt, research director for exercise science at Canyon Ranch health resort in Tucson, cites a New Mexico study that found sarcopenia in 13 percent of men and 8 percent of women younger than 70. Prevalence was about 17.5 percent for both sexes by age 75 and possibly more than 50 percent in "the oldest old," Hewitt says.

But that doesn't mean you should wait until retirement to take action against sarcopenia. Muscle loss usually begins at about age 30, the same as for bone loss, Shepard says, and it eventually can make climbing stairs, opening bottles and even rising from a chair difficult to do.

"By age 40," he says, "many women will have lost about 12 percent of their muscle tissue, and they continue to lose about 1 percent a year. Men usually are about 20 percent heavier than women, due purely to muscle, so they start with an advantage."

In sarcopenia, the loss occurs in the so-called fast-twitch, or type 2, muscle fibers that fuel quick actions and heavy exertion, Shepard says. Slow-twitch, or type 1, muscle fibers fire more slowly, supporting everyday activities and aerobic exercise.

"When you lift a bag of groceries from the floor or take that bag up a couple of flights of stairs, you're using type 2 muscle fibers," he says.

Lifting weight activates and develops those fibers.

People who don't exercise regularly should check with their doctor and a trainer before beginning a strength-training regimen, but the work doesn't have to be performed on machines or with other special equipment to be effective, Shepard says.

Lifting a 20-pound bag of dog food, curling it with both arms into the torso and setting it back on the floor will work the biceps, low back and hips, he says. Taking the stairs, rather than the escalator, builds muscle in the hamstrings, low back and butt.

Don't be afraid to exert yourself, he says. To train safely, whatever strength-building tool you chose, begin with something that's slightly challenging but within your ability to control. Women shouldn't worry they'll look like muscle builders if they lift weight, nor do people of either sex need to spend hours working out to prevent or slow sarcopenia, he says.

Weight training for about 30 minutes twice a week can keep muscles - and bones - strong, while daily aerobic activities, such as walking, promote overall good health.

"With osteoporosis, there are drugs to treat it, there are programs to treat it," Shepard says. "No one has come up with a pill for sarcopenia, so it's up to people to get educated and do what's required."

Aug. 9th, 2007

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Vitamin D Deficiency

Headline: Vitamin D Deficiency: Common And Problematic Yet Preventable

Science Daily — In a review article to appear in the July 19th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Michael Holick, an internationally recognized expert in vitamin D, provides an overview of his pioneering work that expounds on the important role vitamin D plays in a wide variety of chronic health conditions, as well as suggesting strategies for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency.

Humans attain vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, diet and supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is common in children and adults. In utero and childhood, vitamin D deficiency may cause growth retardation, skeletal deformities and increase risk of hip fractures later in life. In adults, vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

According to Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Bone Healthcare Clinic at Boston Medical Center, it has been estimated that 1 billion people world-wide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient.

Without vitamin D only about 10-15 percent of dietary calcium and about 60 percent of phosphorus is absorbed by the body. This is directly related to bone mineral density which is responsible for osteoporosis and fractures, as well as muscle strength and falls in adults. In utero and childhood, calcium and vitamin D deficiency prevents the maximum deposition of calcium in the skeleton.

Studies have shown people living at higher latitudes (where the angle of the sun's rays are unable to sufficiently produce adequate amounts of vitamin D in the skin) are more likely to develop and die of Hodgkin's lymphoma, colon, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, breast and other cancers. According to Holick, both prospective and retrospective epidemiologic studies have also shown an association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk for Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Holick believes the current recommended Adequate Intakes for vitamin D need to be increased to 800 -- 1000 IU vitaminD3/d. "However, one can not obtain these amounts from most dietary sources unless one is eating oily fish frequently," says Holick. "Thus, sensible sun exposure (or UVB irradiation) and/or supplements are required to satisfy the body's vitamin D requirement," he adds.

Lastly Holick adds, "The goal of this paper is to make physicians aware of the medical problems associated with vitamin D deficiency. Physicians will then be able to impart this knowledge to their patients so they too will know how to recognize, treat and most importantly, maintain adequate levels of this important vitamin."

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Boston University.

Aug. 6th, 2007

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calcium supplements and kidney stones

From the Chicago Tribune:

Q. Will calcium or Fosamax cause gallstones or kidney stones? Will drinking enough water flush the stones out?

A. Calcium supplements and the drug Fosamax (generic name alendronate) usually are prescribed to prevent or treat osteoporosis, in which the loss of calcium and other minerals from the bones renders them porous, weak and brittle.

Given the mechanism behind this condition, it makes sense that consuming extra calcium through diet, pills or both can curb the progression of osteoporosis in patients who already have it and help prevent it among those who don't. Calcium has a tendency to form kidney stones, however, which increases as the daily intake rises. Read more...Collapse )

Feb. 24th, 2007

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fish haters can get strong bones, too

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Diets high in alpha-linolenic acid may promote strong bones, the results of a small study suggest, and contrary to what many people believe, you don't need to eat fish or take fish oil tablets to raise levels of this omega-3 fatty acid.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, or PUFA. Most guidelines recommend consuming diets high in PUFAs and low in saturated fats.

"Our findings suggest that by eating plant sources of alpha-linolenic acid, such as walnuts and flaxseed oil, you can strengthen bones," senior author Dr. Rebecca L. Corwin, from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, told Reuters Health. "This is good news for people who don't like fish."

The new findings, which appear in the Nutrition Journal, are based on a study of 23 subjects who consumed one of three diets, provided by the researchers, over 6-week periods. The diets included an average American diet, which was low in PUFAs; a diet high in alpha-linolenic acid; and a diet high in linoleic acid, a PUFA of the omega-6 group.

Compared with the average American diet, the alpha-linolenic diet, and to a lesser extent the linoleic diet, produced changes suggesting a reduction in bone breakdown, which would be expected to promote stronger bones. However, these diets did not seem to increase the formation of new bone.

"The take-home message is that eating plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids" seems to improve bone health, Corwin noted. "Although linoleic acid also had a beneficial effect, I would be reluctant to recommend increasing the intake, since some research has linked the omega-6 fatty acids with inflammatory effects."

SOURCE: Nutrition Journal, January 16, 2007.

Jan. 14th, 2007

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heartburn drugs may increase risk of fractures

From the Sacramento Bee:
Q: I am 55 and my mother has osteoporosis, so I know I am at increased risk for this. I take Prilosec for heartburn, and I just read that Prilosec can increase my risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Should I stop taking it?

answer....Collapse )

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