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Old 08-01-2011, 07:09 AM   #1
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Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

I started Strontium September 2009. Here are the results of my dexa from July 2009:

spine -2.4,-2.6, -2.4, -1.9
hip -2.2

I just had a bone density test last week and the results are:

spine -1.6,-1.8, -1.8, -1.3
hip -1.6

Even though there is some improvement, I'm disappointed it didn't show more as I walk at least 30 minutes everyday as well as use weights in my strength training sessions.

Plus, my doctor didn't even acknowledge there was improvement, she continues to make it sound like I'm not doing enough (not sure she had even heard of Strontium...she's been pushing the bisphosphonates since I was diagnosed). I also know that some kind of adjustment needs to be made for Strontium results but I can't find any information on it and the tech nor the doctor knew anything about it....so I know the results aren't even as good as these show. I asked the tech as well as the doctor and they don't know anything about it.

I feel kind of bad there wasn't more improvement after two years on Strontium, and realize it will only be worse next time. Does anyone remember the "formula" for getting the true results? Also, can anyone give me a pep talk or some kind of encouragement?? Obviously, the medical professionals won't oblige.

 
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

Hi kt, sorry to hear you're disappointed with your results. I know you were hoping for better scores, but a gain is a gain. Your scores are still in the osteopenia range and that is much better than being in the osteo range. Don't beat yourself up over this and give yourself time to get back into the swing of "doing the right things". Don't give up on SC yet, its the safest option available now. I've read that the overestimate can be anywhere from 10-50% and until the machines can be calibrated for SC users it won't be an accurate score. Did they give you the % of gains in each place?

Feel better and take pride in the fact that you are doing all you can do to improve your scores. I had a DEXA last week and will post my scores later in the week when i get them. take care...phyllis
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:43 AM   #3
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

Quote:
Originally Posted by phylwill1152 View Post
Hi kt, sorry to hear you're disappointed with your results. I know you were hoping for better scores, but a gain is a gain. Your scores are still in the osteopenia range and that is much better than being in the osteo range. Don't beat yourself up over this and give yourself time to get back into the swing of "doing the right things". Don't give up on SC yet, its the safest option available now. I've read that the overestimate can be anywhere from 10-50% and until the machines can be calibrated for SC users it won't be an accurate score. Did they give you the % of gains in each place?

Feel better and take pride in the fact that you are doing all you can do to improve your scores. I had a DEXA last week and will post my scores later in the week when i get them. take care...phyllis
Hi Phyllis, Thanks for your reply. Yes % of gains was included. They are:

L1 10.7% gain
L2 9.7% gain
L3 8.8% gain
L4 7.5% gain
L1-L4 9.1% gain

Hip
Neck 4.5% gain
Total 9.6% gain

The report states there is still osteoperosis in the Hip. And, of course, that's the term the dr. focused on. The neck of the hip is the only one showing osteoperosis now, that's better than last dexa!

I think I was kind of pleased with the dexa results, until I read her comments. And, then, I remembered that the results wouldn't be in reality as good as they show.

By being 10-50% worse than what it really shows does that cut the gains by about 50% then? And, in two years, I'm bound to think they'll be even 50% worse by then...? I seem to lose more than I gain considering it had been 2 years on Strontium save for about 2 months.... I appreciate your response.

Last edited by ktnap; 08-01-2011 at 11:45 AM.

 
Old 08-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

HI Kt, wow, those are good %'s even if you cut them in half. I don't know if 50% is the overestimate and personally i feel that its probably closer to 20% or less. But with that said even if it is 50% you still have good gains in all places except the femoral head. What was that score? Doctors always focus on the worse case scenario and she was wrong to point that out without saying how good the other scores were. You're much closer to normal scores now than you were 2 years ago and another couple of years of SC will improve them even more. How can they get worse when they are getting better after 2 years? Put those negative thoughts aside and keep up all the good things you are already doing. Bottom line is that a gain is a gain and that is something to be celebrated. Also remember that even though the numbers didn't please you the reduction in fractures is the reason we all strive for better bones. Don't let your doctors comment upset you, i think they do that to put the fear in a person so they will do what they want to. Did she suggest one of the drugs for that one area ?

There are a lot of good hip strengthening exercises, check some out and see if you can add them to your weight training. Jumping up and down or plain old jumping jacks are good too. Have a good evening. take care...phyllis
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

Thanks Phyllis, I feel better just having someone acknowledge the gains (I don't have anyone in my life to encourage me). Thanks! How do I tell what the femoral score is?

Here's exactly what the report says:

Neck 7/26/11 Age 53.2 Osteoperosis -2.5 BMD 0.692 g/cm2 4.5% change
Neck 7/16/09 Age 51,2 Osteoperosis -2.7 BMD 0.662 g/cm2 -8.9% Significant Change
Neck 3/29/07 Age 48.9 Osteoperosis -2.2 BMD 0.727 g/cm2

Total 7/26/11 Age 53.2 Osteopenia -2.0 BMD 0.755 g/cm2 9.6% Significant Change
Total 7/16/11 Age 51.2 Osteoperosis -2.5 BMD 0.689 g/cm2 -12.2% Significant Change
Total 3/29/07 Age 48.9 Osteopenia -2.2 BMD 0.785 g/cm2

I don't know that Strontium will continue to improve because it seems I was so rapidly declining. I searched hip strengthening exercises and it appears that three of them I look up I already do. Do you have any specific exercises in mind?

Thanks, again, for the pep talk

 
Old 08-02-2011, 10:03 AM   #6
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

HI kt, glad to hear i helped you feel better. Everyone needs a cheerleader once in a while. Who knows, i may be feeling just like you did when i see my scores. I think the neck score is the femoral score since that its the narrow top part of the femur just under the ball part. It was better in 07 than in 09 a bit worse, but now its better again on the dividng line. I don't understand how your dr. could be so concerned about that one number when you are on an upswing with every other part, which are all in the osteopenia range.

Why not give the SC another 2 years and then see whats happening. I don't understand why you say you're rapidly declining when all your scores are better than last time. In my book, that says that the exercise, SC and supplements are doing their job, maybe not a quickly as you'd like, but still doing their thing.

Have a good day and enjoy your daily walk. I already went at 6AM with my walking buddy and granddaughter who is visiting for a few days. take care...phyllis
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

According to WHO, total T-score is determined by total bone, not individual parts.

Ex: neck -2.5
troch -2.3
overall T-score 2.4 = osteopenia

Looks like improvement to me, and even if not, no loss is still an improvement.

 
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

I donít know why my doctor sees the term osteoporosis and canít see past that. I think sheís concerned because I donít weigh even 100 pounds usually. But, Iím consistent at least. I donít loseÖand when I gain, it all just seems to go to my belly. I canít seem to gain weight via muscle. Iím an ectomorph, Iím not sure that is so unusual.

I get really frustrated with all the conflicting data. I hear one day how important it is to take calcium and Iím thinking, ďThatís great! I love skim milk, no problem!Ē Then I hear that too much calcium is bad so I quit taking supplements. Then I find out that milk raises the acidity level which is bad (which I donít really know what that means!) So I start taking supplements again, missing my milk a LOT all the while. And, I hear that coffee is bad. And, I love coffee too. And, not that I drink a whole lot of pop, but I do like to have one in the heat of the day during the summer. I just get to the point I give up trying to follow any of it. Iíve been drinking coffee, lots of coffee, for the past two years right along with my Strontium. Now Iím thinking of curtailing it again but I donít really want to. So, maybe Iím just feeling guilt and thinking the results are a lot worse than they are. Also, ďtheyĒ (who are they??) were saying 30 minutes of cardio a day is optimal, now itís 60 minutes. Next year, theyíll make it two hours! Who has the time? Plus, frankly, I have things Iíd rather be doing!

When is your next dexa? I want to keep an eye on the boards for your results! How many years have you been on Strontium now?

 
Old 08-02-2011, 11:36 AM   #9
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

Quote:
Originally Posted by dexatech View Post
According to WHO, total T-score is determined by total bone, not individual parts.

Ex: neck -2.5
troch -2.3
overall T-score 2.4 = osteopenia

Looks like improvement to me, and even if not, no loss is still an improvement.
It looked that way to me, too! Then I read the doctor's comment that I still had osteoperosis. I had to wonder if my scores would have been better if I had gone the bisphosphonates route like she wanted me to do. She might just be smarting that I had improvement at all going my route instead of hers!

 
Old 08-02-2011, 11:58 AM   #10
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

HI kt, By George I think she's got it!!! Dexatech knows what he's talking about and always speaks the truth. Let's do coffee sometime . take care...phyllis
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:33 AM   #11
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

Quote:
Originally Posted by dexatech View Post
According to WHO, total T-score is determined by total bone, not individual parts.

Ex: neck -2.5
troch -2.3
overall T-score 2.4 = osteopenia

Looks like improvement to me, and even if not, no loss is still an improvement.
Hi dexatech, I was looking at this closer....I'm not sure what troch is and where you got the figure...? Where did the 2.4 T-score come from? Thanks for any help...

 
Old 08-03-2011, 09:08 AM   #12
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

ktnap,

Sorry to confuse you, but this always seems hard to explain.

Let's look at your numbers: spine -2.4,-2.6, -2.4, -1.9
hip -2.2

Although you have a -2.6 in L2, this is NOT osteoporosis because when all the vertebrae are averaged, you will be above -2.5 which would be osteopenia. Your hip is -2.2 which is osteopenia. You have osteopenia, not osteoporosis.

Lets say you hip was -2.7, you would then have osteoporosis regardless of your L-spine reading.

Your diagnosis is based on the your lowest T-score on either "bone". Bone in this case meaning hip or L-spine, not indivual bones in your L-spine, and there are no individual bones in you hip. It is all one bone.

To further confuse you, the DEXA report DOES NOT average the separate vertebrae in your L-spine because they are different sizes. The same with the hip. The neck is a very small area compared with the trochanter. It is the overall area, not averaged area, that is used.

Your DEXA diagnosis is based on TOTAL SPINE or TOTAL HIP. Although patients like to break these down into their seperate components, it does not make sense. Any drugs used to treat osteo CANNOT target specific bones or parts of bones. If you can remember the previous sentence, things might begin to make more sense to you.

If you get a copy of your DEXA report and do a little looking on the internet, things will become much clearer to you. Also, remember that everyone, including me, has their own views on this subject. Learn as much as you can and see what YOUR thoughts are.

Happy to reply to any questions you may have.

 
Old 08-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #13
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

You're right, that is confusing! What's weird is, I did get a copy of my report and it states I have osteoperosis in the "neck" of the hip, but "total" is at osteopenia.

Then, to their credit, it does state I now am only at osteopenia in the spine.

"Troch" isn't mentioned at all on any of these pages, I'm wondering where you got that term?

All of it is very confusing and I imagine different facilities give their reports in different ways.

 
Old 08-04-2011, 09:31 AM   #14
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

Hi,

Once again I think that we all pay to much attention to the scores. In Europe they do not
have as many drugs for so called osteoporosis. I to was taken in by scores and the Doc
recommend taking Foreto, after three months on Foreto my gut told me this was not the
way to go.

Started weight bearing exercises, taking strontium, vit. D 4,000 per day and walking.
When my scores went up the Doctor stated it was from the Foreto till I told him I was
not taking the drug......he's response was I was just lucky. I no longer do bone scans.

Just remember how much money all the Drug companies make in this country.

It is worth being a advacate for yourself.

 
Old 08-04-2011, 06:51 PM   #15
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Re: Strontium user ... disappointed with dexa

KATC, very good points!

 
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