I am a 51-year-old woman who has just entered menopause. Two weeks ago I had my first bone density test (DEXA) and VFA (vertebral fracture assessment). I just got a card in the mail yesterday from my doctor that I have osteopenia.
I have done everything right: exercise, diet, calcium supplements with D, etc. I don't have any health problems that could have caused this. My vitamin D level tested normal last year. Two questions:
1. Does anyone have any idea what could cause this to happen in spite of my best attempts?
2. What is your advice on treatments for this condition? I am not crazy about the idea of prescription medications, but I guess I'll do it if I HAVE to.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Last edited by pianolady; 03-19-2011 at 08:35 AM.
Did it not give your scores? I would ask for them and not just the diagnosis. I am .1 over the line for osteopenia. But guess what? I'm 5'2" white female with very small bones. I've jogged regularly for 25 years and work out with weights. I believe that this has ALWAYS been my score if I'd had the test done at age 30. It hasn't changed over the years - am 65 and have had it done 3 times and it always comes out the same score. I ignore it now and probably won't ever have another one.
No, I didn't get the scores yet. They want me to come in for an appointment to discuss the results.
That's interesting about you. I assume that you are not taking any meds for it then. Or that you have not changed your lifestyle in any way since your diagnosis. I guess it would be nice if they did do baseline bone scans earlier so that they know what your normal bone density is. If you are correct that you just have a lower bone density than most people, it would make an osteopenia diagnosis useless. Hmmmm.....food for thought!
My point exactly! Also, I was on BCP for many years and am on HRT now (for about 8 years). And you are correct, I refused the drugs for osteopenia. Too many bad side effects and I don't think I have a "problem" anyway. Do have a good chat with your doctor and arm yourself with info before you go. Mine finally threw up her hands and said "whatever!" At least she conceded that I am in charge!
About the HRT, isn't that something that they tell us will help with the bone density issues? Part of the problem is that when we go through menopause and our estrogen levels decrease, that's part of what causes the bone loss, isn't that right? So maybe that's part of the explanation of why your bone density has remained the same.
I am thinking about presenting to the doctor the option of not taking any drugs for now and seeing in a few years if there has been any change. It may depend on what my numbers are.
My one fear is about my VFA (vertebral fracture assessment). My understanding is that the VFA is not a standard test with the DEXA, but my doctor ordered one. I had told her about a curve in my spine the chiropractor had noticed last year, and she was skeptical at first. Then when she looked at it, she commented that it was fairly pronounced. If I have any fractures, it may be a completely different story!