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Not sure where to put this - osteopenia Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

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Unread 06-01-2010, 02:13 PM
Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

I know a lot of us have questions regarding the bone health issues and ERT. So, I just wanted to put this out there somwhere...and thought this would be the best place.

Two years ago, shortly after my hysterectomy, I was given a DEXA scan and diagnosed with osteopenia in my spine. This was done so close to the surgery that there was no way this was influenced by that. However, I've heard many times how ERT is imperative to bone health.

So, while I did try to get off ERT from time to time, the length was no more than 10 days usually before I was back on it again. I take my supplments religously, I don't smoke, rarely drink, had gone decaf and no soft drinks.

I just had the DEXA scan done last week and not only has the osteopenia in my spine not gotten better, I now have it in my hip as well.

I have done everything that I should have done, except one thing...the exercising.

Granted I'm just one person, one test so to speak. But from where I'm looking ERT isn't helping.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 06:17 PM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

Imagine how much worse this could be without oestrogen?
Oestrogen is required to synthesise new bone. Google it to find Oestrogen's function in preventing bone loss because it is important information you need to know.
Unread 06-01-2010, 06:50 PM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

I have a similar situation. 2 years ago at 43 I had a PIXI scan done...bone quality was within normal range. Went back for my follow up this year and the Tech asked me if I'd been taking my calcium...I knew this wasn't a good sign....she sent me right down the hall to schedule a DEXA. Results showed Osteopenia in both hip and spine.

Like you, I don't smoke, don't drink, don't drink sodas...I exercise (walking w/weights around ankles), do yoga...take 1,200 mgs of calcium per day (split into 2 dosages), 1,600 IUs of Vit D, eat yogurt, etc. Was really shocked. Dr seemed to be, too, but said no bone density drugs yet...wanted me to bump my Vit D up to 2,000 IUs. Went to my PCP to get my Vit D level tested....still waiting on those results -- she indicated that if it came back low, she would start me on 50,000 Vit D per week until levels got into the normal range. I am a redhead with very fair skin and am vigilant about the sunscreen so I know I'm not getting any D that way.

I have been on the .75 Vivelle Dot this whole 2 years....what would my bones have looked like if not? I don't have any bone pain but my shoulders, knees and hips pop like crazy and have since I've been on a statin, which I started one year ago. I asked the Dr if that could be affecting any of this, the answer was "no".

So now I have to start the weight training....high weight, low reps, twice per week. Dr said that keeping my weight in check hasn't helped my bones -- that she rarely sees larger folks with bone density issues. Seems that no matter what you do, there is always some drawback! I do, however, feel that my ERT has been a positive thing and may have helped prevent further bone loss.
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Unread 06-02-2010, 06:27 AM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

not sure what to say on that, except how depressing.

I have to wonder about the ERT as well. I wonder if the new stuff isn't as good as the premarin in this area. I'm sure there are probably new studies by now, but most of the studies i've read used conjugated estrogens, usually premarin. I've often felt the premarin has some good stuff in it the bios do not becuase I typically feel better on it even tho' i keep going back to trying the bios.

My mom is 83, has been on premarin since about 60, does nothing spectacularly odd for bone health. she takes one over-the-counter calcium/vit d a day. Walks most days. Doesn't avoid the sun entirely even tho she is a red head also. Drinks an occasional glass of milk. Drinks an occasional soft drink. Drinks caffeinated coffee every day. And she smoked and drink when she was younger. She has just been diagnosed with very mild ostepenia since turning 80. She hadn't even had a bone scan before then.

I'm only 53 and I already have it worse....and I do more to prevent it (except the excersise...which I've now started).

So, bottom line is I can't help but wonder if it's the premarin making the difference.
Unread 06-03-2010, 02:36 PM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

Got my lab results today and my Vit D level was 45. This is considered "normal" but is apparently a bit lower than a lot of experts feel is optimal. I know that I will start the weight lifting but now I'm not sure what to do I just increase my intake 400 IUs to get to the 2,000 IUs per day or do I increase it more than that? More calls to the Doctor.....

Sounds like your Mom is really lucky. I also wonder how much what is in our food today that was not there 50 years ago might be impacting us. There are no bone issues in my family except for me!
Unread 06-03-2010, 03:02 PM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

same bone issues except me (so far). Not even arthritis...and I come from a very large family.
Unread 06-07-2010, 04:17 PM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

I was diagnosed with osteopenia in 2008 and still had it when they did the DEXA scan in 2009. I am only 24 years old and never drank nor smoked. Take calcium and Vitamin D everyday. I'm worried that my hysterectomy will make the osteopenia worse. I'm on HRT, but don't know if it will make a difference.
Unread 06-07-2010, 08:43 PM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

I've just been dealing with the Vitamin D issue myself. I began having bone pain and mentioned that when I took calcium I felt terrible. They checked my Vit D and it was 19. I had a horrible time getting the level up. I tried to do it with the sun for 3 months with no luck. The level only went up by a couple of points. I finally went on 2000IU Vit D3 and it still barely moved. I was bumped up to 4000 IU then 5000 IU. It actually took a fair amount of time to get my level up to 54. My bone pain is finally getting better and I'm just starting to be able to take calcium. My DEXA scans looked good until 2 years ago when things started to change.

I just recently finished a book called "The Vitamin D Solution" by Michael F Holick, Ph.D., M.D. It made sense to me after reading the book why I've had so much trouble. Estrogen helps our bodies to use the calcium as does the proper level of vitamin D. He didn't stress magnesium as I've heard other Drs recommend. He also mentioned the fact that if you are having absorption problems due to any intestinal issues, supplemental D may not absorb well. Probably why my level seemed resistant to change. Dr Holick seemed to offer hope that there could be improvement in bone density over time. I'd highly recommend this book. It gave me more insight as to what had been happening with me.
Unread 06-08-2010, 06:50 AM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

That is interesting.

So, do you take HRT?
Unread 06-08-2010, 07:49 AM
Re: Not sure where to put this - osteopenia

Ironic - I just ordered that book 3 days ago!!!

I (like many) never had my Vit D tested until just recently. Because of that, I don't know what it was before I bumped my calcium intake up 2 years ago when I went into menopause (I was 43). With the calcium comes the Vit D so I have been getting 1,600 IUs for the past 2 years. Is that what's resulted in a level of 45 or was it in that range to begin with -- I'll never know -- so that means I don't know what amount it would take to bump me up a bit.

I don't feel that I have bone pain but I do have very loud bone popping - ankles, shoulders, hips - and I have muscle pain in my hands and feet, it feels like the tendons between and above the toes/fingers. I don't know if this is related. 2 years ago, I didn't have any of this.

I have noticed that if I take calcium carbonate as my 2nd dose of calcium in the evening, it causes stomach distress and constipation. I seem to handle the calcium carbonate in my morning Centrum just fine but the evening is different -- so back to the calcium citrate for that I suppose -- was just trying to pare it down to one calcium pill at night instead of 3! BTW, I do take an extra 250 mg of magnesium in the morning and my calcium citrate (GNC brand) has mag in it also. I have found that if I don't get enough magnesium, with all the extra calcium it gives me leg cramps and even heart palpitations. The extra magnesium takes care of that.

You mentioned that the book talked about absorption and intestinal issues -- I was even tested for celiac at the same time as the Vit D tests to be sure that wasn't the issue -- it came back negative. I have to wonder if I don't process D as well due to statin-induced low cholesterol. I know you have to have some of that to synthesize D. Fix one thing, break another! I don't know which way to go at this point! I am on the Vivelle Dot .075.

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