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Old 02-19-2004, 01:55 PM   #1
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Mom22greatkids HB User
Osteopenia-how long does it take to progress?

I'm asking this for my mom......She's almost 71 years old. She has been told she has the very beginnings of Osteopenia. She was prescribed Fosamax and is experiencing terrible shoulder and neck pain. I know the side effects are supposed to wear off but she has been on it for quite some time now with no improvement. She wants to go off of it because of this and because she is scared of the long term effects of the medicine (and because she has to pay full price for it for herself and my Dad-expensive). She is in really good shape for her age and she walks a lot outside when the weather is nice. She just recently started lifting light weights. Does Osteopenia always progress to Osteoporosis? If she goes off the Fosamax what is the best supplement to take that will absorb the most calcium?

 
Old 02-20-2004, 03:35 AM   #2
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peregrine HB User
Re: Osteopenia-how long does it take to progress?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom22greatkids
I'm asking this for my mom......She's almost 71 years old. She has been told she has the very beginnings of Osteopenia. She was prescribed Fosamax and is experiencing terrible shoulder and neck pain. I know the side effects are supposed to wear off but she has been on it for quite some time now with no improvement. She wants to go off of it because of this and because she is scared of the long term effects of the medicine (and because she has to pay full price for it for herself and my Dad-expensive). She is in really good shape for her age and she walks a lot outside when the weather is nice. She just recently started lifting light weights. Does Osteopenia always progress to Osteoporosis? If she goes off the Fosamax what is the best supplement to take that will absorb the most calcium?
71 years old and just beginning to get osteopenia is not such a bad thing! I wish I were in her shoes. Of course, everyone must decide the best course for themselves, but if it were me, I would go off the Fosamax, take liquid calcium/magnesium/vitamin D (I like Innovative Natural which is very absorbable) and Vitamin K and continue walking regularly and lifting weights. Obviously she is doing something right already. Why not just adjust a bit (as I suggested above) and be free of the toxic and expensive medicine? I have been doing this with good results so I know that it is possible.

Peregrine

 
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Old 02-20-2004, 05:40 AM   #3
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Mom22greatkids HB User
Re: Osteopenia-how long does it take to progress?

Thank you for replying. Can you tell me how much of the liquid calcium she would need to take? And should it be spread out throughout the day? I have read that your body can only absorb so much calcium at a time. And how much Vit. K?

 
Old 02-20-2004, 06:17 AM   #4
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peregrine HB User
Re: Osteopenia-how long does it take to progress?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom22greatkids
Thank you for replying. Can you tell me how much of the liquid calcium she would need to take? And should it be spread out throughout the day? I have read that your body can only absorb so much calcium at a time. And how much Vit. K?
You are correct about only being able to absorb so much calcium at a time. Of the Innovative Natural, I take 2 TBL., l in the AM and l PM. It includes Magnesium and Vit. D. I would then take 1 Vit. K a day. It is pretty standard at 100 mcg or 10 mg so I would just find the cheapest brand (usually about $6.00). I hope this helps.

All the best!

Peregrine

PS: If that brand of calcium is what you want you will find it at a HFS or on-line.

 
Old 02-20-2004, 07:22 AM   #5
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Re: Osteopenia-how long does it take to progress?

Thank you so much for your help! I will let her know. She also said she gets terrible leg cramps and restless leg syndrome. I think she is making the right decision by going off it and trying alternatives. Thanks again, you are very helpful on this board.

 
Old 02-20-2004, 08:58 PM   #6
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Re: Osteopenia-how long does it take to progress?

your mom's bones are doing great if she is just entering ostopenia at 71 - she either has great genes, or has been doings lots of good things for herself for a while.

I am going to assume that your mom had a full body dxa scan to be diagnosied and she was -1.5 to -2 in the test....

She should do the calcium and vit d and walk and lift weights....that would be great. I do not think she is at great risk to stop the Fosamax at this time, but she should have a follow up scan in a year or so...unfortunatly, medicare will only pay for one every 21 months.

Another option might be that she break her pills and half and take a half dose each week - that would make it more affordable and might relieve the pains she is complaining of. If you were going to continue taking a drug, I would ask the doc to switch her from Fosamax to Actonel. There are times when one causes pains that the other will not. I actually hear more about the pain relief they often provide. We took a patient off her Actonel becasue the patient was having some major surgury in the next few weeks and it was not important that she be on it for a few weeks. The proceeder was delayed and after about three weeks, she started having lots of bone and joint pain appearing.

I would agree with stopping the drug if your mom was younger, but the truth is that a 51 year old penic patient will fracture at a much lower rate than a 71 year old penic patient. It might just be the extra protection she needs.

Good luck to your mom.

 
Old 02-20-2004, 10:04 PM   #7
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snowmelts HB User
Re: Osteopenia-how long does it take to progress?

Mom22greatkids, I hope you inherited your Mother's bones! I'm sorry the med is causeing her pain but very happy to hear of a 71 yr old with so little bone loss. My own mother is 76 and has had the "hump" of the bent spine for probably 15 years already.

I've taken Fosamax 70mg only 6 times so far myself and it WAS painful, especially in the muscles under my shoulder blades the first couple times.. But it DOES get better and I'm getting much, much less pain now. I intend to take it faithfully, I don't want a back like my mother's.

A bit off topic.. but, daphnesmom, I'd like to welcome you to this board.

 
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