36, osteopenia, scared. Don't want to take Fosomax
My mother who is 66 was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis about three years ago. Recently I had a bone density test and was diagnosed with osteopenia. For many years I worked out and took vitamins, but have fallen "off the wagon" the last couple of months. I have also smoked since I was 18 years old.
I am confused because the doctor who did the scan said that about 80% of the women in my age group have the same readings I do (sorry, I don't have the report with me, wish I did) but I do know that my hip readings were worse than my spine readings.
My GP is recommending once a week Fosomax. I have been reading this board and am scared to death of starting a drug protocol at this age, especially given the fact that there is certainly room for improvement in my health habits (i.e. change in diet, calcium supplementation, quitting smoking). I am looking for any advice or suggestions anyone can give me. The dr. who did my test recommended eating yogurt, cheese, sardines and spinach. He said I still have time to rebuild my bones. My dr. scared me though. What to do????
Tilly, I don't blame you for not wanting to go on these drugs at your age. Here's my suggestion:
-weight bearing exercise is very important!
-get a good calcium/magnesium supplement (I take a very absorbable liquid calcium)
-You will also need vitamin D and vitamin K for absorption. Many calcium supplements have the Vit. D already in it.
It would be helpful to know your Dexa scan readings, especially since your doc said 80% of women your age have the same reading! With this statement, I'm wondering if you are borderline. Why don't you ask your doc for a copy of the test. We are entitled to have copies of all of our medical tests and I always ask for them.
If you are having trouble actually aborbing calcium, as many of us do on this board, then eating those things will not be that beneficial in turns of turning the numbers around (in my opinion). But eating lots of broccoli and spinach certainly wouldn't hurt combining this with exercise and supplementation.
Wishing you the best and keep us posted.
[This message has been edited by peregrine (edited 07-23-2003).]
Thanks for your reply. I wish I had my readings with me too. Actually I am going back to see my gp on Friday and I will discuss this with him. I am just so scared about the prospect of osteoporosis at such a young age (even though I've only been diagnosed with osteopenia). It can only get worse, right???? I HATE the idea of being dependent on a medication, especially one that seems to have such horrific side effects.
I really don't mean to be rude, so please don't take it that way: I've never understood people who say they are afraid of taking a prescription drug, yet they smoke? Smoking is one risk factor for osteoporosis, and for many, many other diseases far scarier...it can certainly bring a lot worse health to you than Fosomax could.
I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 38 and have been taking Fosomax for about one year now. I thankfully have had no side effects at all. I only was tested because my mom (age 70) suffered a terrible multiple break in her arm and was subsequently diagnosed so I talked my dr in writing me a script for test. I personally feel grateful that I was given a chance for early diagnosis so that I can take this helpful drug plus incorporate healthier habits into my life (eating more calcium rich foods, taking appropriate supplements, weight bearing exercise, etc.)
I didn't like the thought of having to take a drug but I am very happy that it is there for me and am sure if my Mom had the chance to go back in time, she'd be happy to take Fosomax before it got so bad for her.
Maybe you could just try it out to see if the side effects bother you...
i totally agree with pentek128 ..how any health conscious person could smoke is beyond me...but i also have a question for pentek..at 38 i am wondering if she is post menopausal..because as i have stated before..fosamx is not fda approved for women who are not at least 1 yr post menopausal..this means that the safety and effectiveness has not been established..only actonel is fda approved for pre menopausal women..
You are all certainly right about the smoking!! All I can say is that this certainly was a wake up call for me. I suppose I was still feeling youthful immortality. In any case part of the reason I do not want to take the Fosomax is that the side effects seem unbearable to me. Obviously, the side effects of smoking have NOT seemed unbearable to me in the past.
I received my scores from the dr. and I am going to start another post asking for help in understanding them. The dr. who did the reading indicated that I should make lifestyle changes; my gp recommended Fosomax. Which is interesting considering she is a holistic dr. HOWEVER she did not want to write the script and asked me to see her partner in practice, where I am going today. Thanks for all the feedback and no, I'm not offended by the smoking comments.
Hi...I'm not postmenopausal. I had consulted with a NYC specialist after my DX and he told me that actually he sees the best Fosomax results in premenopausal women because the body's natural bone building capacity is still in place somewhat. He said the studies talk about postmenopausal women because those are the ones who compromise the huge majority of osteo cases.
Tilly, I'm glad you didn't take my smoking remarks personally.
As far as the comments on this board, remember there are a lot of repeat posters here who are anti-Fosomax. I try to listen to many people and talked to other ladies about it and I'd say the postive reactions run about 80%. Not the best odds, but they were good enough for me.
When you are making your decision, try to remember that you may not have bad side effects. I didn't nor did many other ladies. If you do have them, you could stop. Just think of yourself 30-40 years down the road...you want to look back and know you tried everything you possibly could to stop yourself from a crippling disease.
Whatever you decide, GOOD LUCK, and please keep us updated!
I'll be going for my scan in the end of the year and I'll post my new results too!
[This message has been edited by pentex (edited 08-06-2003).]
i guess what i was trying to say when i wrote how fosamax was not fda approved for pre menopausal women ..is that because of this the long term effectiveness or safety has not been extablished since only post menopausal women were in the clinical trials...knowing that i personally would be leary of making myself what i would consider to be a guinea pig...i would want to know more about its impact on premenopausal women than just one drs experience with it...
It's not only one dr...I have become basically obsessed with osteporosis and read everything I get my hands on regarding the subject...I've read of many, many cases of younger women...even teens with hereditary bone problems who have been helped with Fosomax.
Hello, Im a 25 y/o male. I was born with a rare degenerative bone disease, my last bone density showed osteoperosis, so my doctor started me on 35mg per week Actonel. Ive now been on actonel for 2 months. At first, the side effects were severe joint pains. I was unable to move without having pain everywhere. Lately that has diminshed quite a bit(although could be the morphine helping). I have also noticed a steady decline in appetite, I used to be a pig, but now, more than 1 serving of anything turns me away. Other than that, I really havent gotten any other side effects.
Besides the Actonel, Im also taking Bextra, Avinza (24 hour time release morphine), my Albuterol inhaler as needed for asthma, Colchicine, Accolate 2x a day for asthma, and decadron for asthma as needed.
Originally posted by tilly2: I am just so scared about the prospect of osteoporosis at such a young age (even though I've only been diagnosed with osteopenia). It can only get worse, right????
I hope that's not true (the "only get worse" part)... I just turned 19 and have severe osteoporosis. I'm on Fosamax once/weekly. I have osteo due to anorexia. If I were in your position I would make the changes I could WITHOUT Fosamax first, and then get another DEXA scan in 6 months to see if you have improved, stayed the same, or gotten worse with your density. So first make the changes like diet, weight-bearing exercise, enough calcium (more than what is "enough" for "normal" people - ask your doc how much you need), and also make sure you get enough vitamin D and fat, which are needed to absorb all that calcium. I have not had side effects on Fosamax, however, and was really "at risk" for them due to the fact that I vomit very often and it can apparently hurt your esophagus. So do not be afraid until you *need* to be - you can always stop taking it if it gives you side effects, right?? But, I'd wait until it's really necessary. ALSO, of course, you need to quit smoking! Yikes, since age 18?!
[This message has been edited by emotion sickness (edited 08-22-2003).]
as i have mentioned b4..fosamax has not been fda approved for anyone but post menopausal women...actonel which is also used to stop bone loss has been fda approved for women who have not gone thru menopause..if it were me i would feel safer at 19 on the actonel..why not talk to your dr about this
I also consider myself "young" at 46 and was recently diagnosed with osteopenia (T score -2.1 in spine) and my Dr. has prescribed fosomax. I haven't started it yet, reading all I can about the pros and cons. My problem is this - I am not sure if I am pre- or post-menopausal!! Neither is my doctor. I have been missing periods possibly due to a prolactinoma over the last couple of years and have no other menopause type symptoms. Is fosomax really a big no-no for pre-menopause? Thanks for any info!
Originally posted by bjg: as i have mentioned b4..fosamax has not been fda approved for anyone but post menopausal women...actonel which is also used to stop bone loss has been fda approved for women who have not gone thru menopause..if it were me i would feel safer at 19 on the actonel..why not talk to your dr about this