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nightengalesknd in osteo_health

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.

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I am not directly familiar with its use as a low bone mass therapy. I am squeamish about adding any hormonal therapies (artificial or otherwise) to my already normal-production body. It might be a good solution for post-menopausal women, however.

A quick search of journals told me that it has been used in children to stimulate cartilage cells. Further reading suggests that GH can divide and therefore increase the number of osteoblasts, the cells that build bone.

Side effects are an increased risk of diabetes and colon cancer, among others.

This is all from just a quick search, but I suggest talking more to your endo and weighing the options carefully. You don't have to go on any treatment that you are not comfortable with!

I'm also a young woman with osteopenia. The lack of research on low bone mass for pre-menopausal women is disappointing. I have been more meticulous with my diet (making sure I get enough Vitamin D, which in itself is a hormone, calcium, iron, protein, etc.--really, wasn't much of a change except for cutting what little caffeine I already consumed out) and I do lots of weights! I'm also on Actonel which slows down osteoclasts.
I've been on vitamin D and calcium and a multivitamin.

I already have diabetes (type 1) so I guess I don't have to worry about that as a side effect. . . I also have hypothyroid (on replacement hormone for that) and cerebral palsy which limits my ability to do more weight-bearing activity than walking around all day.

I am leery of actonel as there are also few studies in pre-menapausal women. I found one in teenagers with anorexia - not me - and then one in female atheletes with amenorhea - also not me.

What little I found on HGH suggests it should work, stimulating the osteoclasts, but there weren't any studies it increased bone density on DEXA or clinically preventing fractures.

Decisions, decisions. I trust my endo, but I also would like some actual medical evidence besides her experience.

October 2008

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