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osteoporosis anyone? osteoporosis anyone?

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Unread 03-04-2002, 06:53 AM
osteoporosis anyone?

I recently had a dexa scan. The doctor's office just called to say I am showing signs of osteopenia. So now it's time to start the calcium supplements as well as phosomax. I'm sure some of you are on this path as well. What calcium supplement do you take? How is the phosomax tolerated? Any advice would be appreciated. oxoxoxoxoxkarenann
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Unread 03-04-2002, 12:59 PM
osteoporosis anyone?

Hello my dear friend....
I do believe you, me, and Vicki are triplets!!!!
We both have osteopenia as well. I will tell you my regime, and I am sure Vicki will be along to fill you in on hers.

I had my scan last Jan, but the oncologist didn't give me the results until April...I didn't hear anything so I thought it was fine. My gyn, said that my spine is worse than my hips. Did they say which was worse for you?

Last May I started on 1500 mg. of calcium supplements daily, plus the D ( Caltrate is what I am taking, but its quite expensive, and when I run out I am going with another cheaper brand of calcium, and take the D separate).

Plus I am on an estrogen gel, as with my strain of ovarian, I am able to take it.

And then in October I started on the Actonel. Its like Fosamax, but my gyn finds her patients have less stomach problems with this than the fosamax. I wanted the once a week fosamax, but she wanted me to try this, so I am taking the daily pill. The worst part is I have to take it first thing in the morning, and then have to wait 30 min. to have my coffee. Plus you can't lay down after taking it either for at least 30 minutes. I am not having any problems with any side effects at all with it so far.

So...thats my routine. The calcium pills are really big, and thats a pain, but I am used to them now. I am also taking Magnesium, Vit. E, B6 and Selenium and C as well. I'll tell you one thing....I may have had cancer, but I bet you I am healthier now than I ever was, with all these vitamins I am taking. Be sure to ask the doctor about the Magnesium, as Calcium tends to be constipating, and I found that out the hard way. The first month I was taking it, I got the bright idea to really increase my milk intake as well. Well...in a 4 day period I drank almost 4 litres (quarts) of milk...in addition to the daily supplements. Gee...I sure won't do that again. I thought..oh well....the more the better right?!! Not that much though I guess.

So girl...keep us posted on what your regime is, and we can all compare notes on how its going! Its really weird that we all ended up with this osteopenia so soon after our surgery. Wonder if it has something to do with the chemo??? Interesting isn't it?
M. xoxo
Unread 03-04-2002, 05:47 PM
osteoporosis anyone?

Hi Maria I thought I remembered you having posted about osteoporosis. My dexa scan was done on my hips only. I guess I knew this news was coming. I too will need 1500mg of calcium per day. Thanks for the caution about constipation. The fosomax will be the weekly dose. I will pick it up tomorrow. I am a poor pill taker, swallowing them gags me. So the calcium is a big one, huh? Oh boy. Maybe I can break it in half. Now I guess I seriously need to start some sort of exercise regime. And hopefully lose some weight also.
Thanks for the advice. It was so nice to come in from work and see your informative response. oxoxooxkarenann
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Unread 03-04-2002, 06:22 PM
osteoporosis anyone?

Karen, I forgot to tell you my gyn also wants me doing 20 min. at least of walking a day. I hate to walk, but I am doing about 30 min. 4 times a week on a manual treadmill I have here.

If the fosamax are like the Actonel, its a tiny pill . Very easy to take but you have to make sure you drink a full glass of water with it. You are lucky to have the once a week dose. I may ask her if I can switch when I see her in June.

Check with the pharmacist about the calcium Karen. Perhaps it comes in smaller pills, but the Caltrate ones are big. The ones I have are 600 mg each so I have to take 2 1/2 of them daily to get the 1500 mg. I am paying $17.00 Canadian for 80 pills, which is a months supply. But she told me last time I could buy the calcium and D separate as it may be cheaper. The reason she had me on Caltrate was because she wrote me an Rx for it, but because its available over the counter my health plan won't cover it as a perscription. So I just assumed that was the one she wanted me on and kept buying that brand.
I hear ya on the weight....I am heavier than I have ever been in my life, and not eating anything different. I know its that I need to move more. So I am trying!!
M. xoxo
Unread 03-04-2002, 08:41 PM
osteoporosis anyone?

Yeppers, here I am!

It kind of makes you go hmmm, now don't it? I wonder what might be the culprit here, chemo like Maria said or something else??? Strange for sure!

So, yep, all of the above on what Maria said. Mega calcium, good multi vitamin along with the Fosomax. I must say, I'm not a very good girl, I was first given the Actonel like Maria's taking. I asked to be switched to the once weekly since I wasn't doing very well on staying away from my morning coffee.

I started the weekly about a month ago and so far its been pretty tolerable. I do have problems with my tummy already and the Fosomax does seem to aggravate it. The Dr told me that it would be okay to take something like Pepcid to help and so far its done very well. The heartburn I've noticed does seem to go away after just a couple of days.

I'm still working on the exercise portion of my orders , I recently went to a Rheumatologist who wants me to not only start up 'ng again (oh darn) but swimming. Low impact exercises that will not only help the bones but hopefully help with my insomnia and lack of energy to boot.

Let me know how you do with the Fosomax, you may want to check into something like the Pepcid just in case it causes you the heartburn also.

I was wondering, are they planning on any further testing to see if any other areas are effected? Like Maria's, mine was primarily in the spine but also my hips showed some signs. There was another area, but darned if I can remember where.

Anyway, I hope you do well on the Fosomax and will look forward to hearing how it works for you.


Unread 03-05-2002, 06:13 AM
osteoporosis anyone?

Thanks for the info Vicki. I will pick up my fosomax and calcium this morning. I will definitely let you know how it goes. Too bad that you, Maria and I don't live in the same neighborhood. We could encourage each other on with the walking and other exercise. As well as share tales about our insomnia. Maybe we should have had dexa scans pre surgery. They only scanned my hips, so I have no idea about my back. I do think that all of my bones have stiffened up since ovca and chemo. When I just sit in my car for awhile it seems to take my bones and joints a few minutes to get moving. I realize I am fortunate to be complaining of something so minor. oxoxoxokarenann
Unread 03-05-2002, 03:52 PM

Hi All,
I just started taking Fosamax today, once a week. I too have just had Bone Density, pretty bad!! I thought I was doing all the right things, I walk 4 miles a day (Thanks to my active lil doggie)
take calcium and all that, but the bones are losing!! My doc ordered a para thyroid and Vit D blood test to see if they were off and that could be causing the bone loss, he called today they were normal, so I think thats good. It's been about 5 years since my hyst, and I haven't been on hrt, but when he checked my estrogen level it was at 77 which is high for someone with no ovaries! So my bone loss is a mystery. Thanks for the advice on using Pepcid, I suffer from colitis and indigestion so I hope the Fosamax doesn't make that act up. Thanks for being here!! Hugs and prayers to all

Unread 03-05-2002, 07:30 PM
osteoporosis anyone?

Hi Leemarie!

I'm not sure I fully understand the technical parts of it, maybe our resident info guru can explain it better, hint, hint Trish

Anyway, from what I've read and been told, calcium supplements can require something else to help them be absorbed properly. I may confusing two different things but I believe its magnesium and vitamin D (???) that help your body absorb the calcium.

The fosomax and the actonel help bind the calcium to your bones to help repair any loss and prevent further loss. I hope I'm remembering this correctly.

So, maybe something like that has been missing from your supplements Leemarie??? Hopefully you'll tolerate the fosomax well, it sure is nice only taking it once a week.


That sure would be nice wouldn't it? Well at least we can help each other this way eh?

{{hugs}} all,

Unread 05-30-2002, 07:15 AM

Hi Ladies
I'm a new Fosamax user - may I join the conversation?

I had breast cancer - no HRT - 9 years ago. Had a bone density 5 years ago and all was well. Had one three weeks ago and - oops! Now I can't remember the exact wording - but something like "higher than average risk of osteoporosis". I am going to call the nurse next week and ask a little more about it.

The Dr. put me on Fosamax - once weekly kind - but I have been out of town the past two weekends and didn't want to start it just in case I had some reaction. So this weekend I will start. Can't decide for Sat or Sun!

I have already had stomach problems - had surgery for GERD (reflux disease) and take Prilosec now. So hopefully since I already take the Rx I won't have any stomach problems. I also take thyroid meds and can't eat for one hour after taking that pill. Nurse said I can't take the Fosamax and thyroid together - so will be up for 2 hours before I can eat. At least I can have coffee after 1 hour when I take thyroid pill.

I am a little confused on the calcium. Are you all taking 1500 MG TOTAL (including what is in milk, OJ, food, etc), or are you taking 1500 mg in supplements PLUS what you get from food/drink? I thought the nurse said 1500 extra, but my DH said that seemed like too much. Especially since the calcium constipates me! Does the magnesium help that?

Appreciate any answers either through this thread or email me [email protected]
Unread 05-30-2002, 07:38 AM
I'm Thinking This is Not Uncommon

I had a bone scan at a screening recently and am "borderline" but about 20 months ago had very good bones. I recall a couple times seeing that chemo can do something that will weaken bones later on--don't quote me on that. Another thing to ask the doctor. Am concerned re: Fosamax as I hear it's very hard on stomach/esophagus and my esophagus is shot. Do take a Tums...
I feel sometimes like an old lady and 58 isn't THAT old!
(Now those of you going "my gosh, she's 58? That's OLD" cut it out! 70 is OLD)

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