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  • 34 year old female with Osteopenia

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    Old 04-22-2007, 05:08 PM   #1
    Justlucky
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    34 year old female with Osteopenia

    So I was diagnosed with Osteopenia a few months ago. My score was -2.0 so almost at Osteoporosis: I haven't been able to get to the Endo doctor yet but my lumber was the lowest at 84%. I ride mountain bikes and road bikes as well as work out with weights and some cardio.

    Is this bad for me at 34? I also have never had children and want to at least have 1 just that I've heard now that Osteoporosis can force women into early menapause. I have no periods as it is so am I doomed? I am not married yet so the child bearing years are still in front of me.

    Also, any suggestions since I'm having to do this at an early age? Is it reversable?

     
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    Old 04-22-2007, 06:44 PM   #2
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Dear Justlucky,

    I am asking some of the same questions you are. I am 22, with osteoporosis of the spine (-2.6) and (-2.5). I am TERRIFIED. This group is a great source of information, though, so you have made a great step. Try to browse through previous postings on topics like calcium and vitamin D supplements and exercise- perhaps this will help give you an idea of some of the things that you can work on right now. (It sounds like you already exercise quite well, though, which is great!)

    If you are not menstruating normally, I would STRONGLY recommend talking to an OBGYN and/or evaluating your body weight: from personal experience, the lack of periods can have a significant role in bone loss. (How long has this been going on?)

    Last edited by cmorg011; 04-22-2007 at 06:49 PM.

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 03:44 AM   #3
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    I recommend reading The Myth of Osteoporosis by Gillian Samson as well. It might help to allay your fears.

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 04:32 AM   #4
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I also have high cholesterol. Have had that since I was a kid, heritary. REALLY high. I've been on med's since I could walk. Funny thing is I'm 130lbs at the highest and athletic. It's like I'm living in an old person's body or something. I'm 5'2 too.

    Another issue is my Vit D. was 16.2 in March. Extremly low. That is the part that scares me...

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 09:26 AM   #5
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Just Lucky- what did the dr. advise regarding your vitamin D?

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Actually I haven't seen a doctor yet. I had all the lab work and bone test done back on 2/13 and I haven't had insurance since. My new insurance is effective on 5/12 so I have an appt on 5/14 to see him as a new patient. I have just been taking the chewable Vit D and Calcium suppliments and working out since Feb.

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 11:14 AM   #7
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Hi Cmorg and Justlucky: Welcome!!! Sorry to hear about your early onset of osteo. I hope you both find a solution to treatment the is right for you, whatever that might be.

    I went through early non-surgical meno (24), and I now have severe osteo. When this started for me, there were't many options for treatment, except exercise and supplements, which I have done all my life anyway, so at least you have more options and time to reverse it.

    It's important to check for the secondary causes of osteo, especially at your ages, to eliminate any other possible causes, besides the primary ones. Since you're seeing Endo's, that a good first step, because they will check you for these different causes. If they aren't checking your mineral, thyroid, parathyroid, hormone, levels remind them to do so, and also check for things like other bone diseases, celiac, and absorption probs.

    Osteoporosis and osteopenia is definitely reverseable, and many younger people are getting this for various reasons, so it's not all that unusual.

    Your options are:
    Exercise, supplements, bisphosphonates (fosamax, actenol etc.) strontium, serms, forteo (possibly), and miacalcin.

    Info on Osteoporosis and Osteopenia-long but worth it!!

    [url]http://courses.washington.***/bonephys/ophome.html[/url]

    Good Luck and keep us posted, and don't hesitate to ask questions.

    Last edited by DesertBloom; 04-23-2007 at 11:23 AM.

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 01:15 PM   #8
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Dear DesertBloom,

    Thank you for your welcome and words. I am very sorry to hear of your own condition right now, but it seems that your experience is helping you to aid those around you (us)- thank you.

    I had blood-work done around the same time that I got my DEXA in January- was told I had low vitamin D, too (she said to up my supplement to 800 i.u.s, but I am now taking more like 1200, along with ~1200 supplemental calcium)- would a "the works" blood testing likely have included a glance @ my PTH and/or TSH levels?

    I have e-mailed my doctor about these, but no reply so far. I am really scared if the cause of my osteo ends up being something more than my years of malnourishment and amenhorrea (sp.?)... I have gotten an endo to screen for celiac disease (haven't gone back for a "follow-up," but assume that she would have phoned me if something was wrong)...

    What else could have exterpated things?- Are there any signs I would recognize?

    Justlucky- will you have access to an OBGYN once your health insurance kicks-in again?- I hear you on the "young chic on old bones" concept.

    Last edited by cmorg011; 04-23-2007 at 01:18 PM.

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 03:28 PM   #9
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Hi cmorg: You're welcome If you were going to have your PTH, TSH, etc checked, they would have to be specifically ordered. I've had metabolic panels done, and I don't think any of those specific thyroid and parathyroid are included. A metabolic panel will give you a basic thyroid count, but not the rest.

    Chances are the amenorhea/eating probs are at the root of the osteo, but whenever you are young with a low t-score the Drs usually like to rule out things like I mentioned above, or other bone disorders like osteomalacia, which comes from a prolonged low d level, or in climates with very little sun.

    Parathyroid glands regulate calcium, and phosphorous, and I wouldn't have known about my slightly elevated calcium or thyroid probs if I hadn't seen an Endo, and had various blood tests and scans. There are symptoms of thyroid probs, but to me they seem very innocuous, so I wouldn't have noticed anything in particular unless I had it checked, or unless it was severe. Your Endo will know what to run, but just in case ask for all thyroid, parathyroid and mineral tests.

    If you get a chance to read the link from the Univ of WA, it's really good, and explains many aspects of osteoporosis and ...penia. It'll take some time to get through the whole link because there are so many embedded links, but it covers just about everything, in simple language.

    In my case early meno and family history were probably the sole cause, but I didn't find out about it until I had 6 unexplained fractures. I took calcium, vits and minerals from a very young age and also exercised (very active in sports) but it still happened. I really don't worry about it that much at this point, I just try to stay on top of the research and do whatever is best for me. I love to read and learn so this has given me an opportunity to increase that, so I look at it as a positive in many ways, as weird as that may sound. I decided years ago to not worry about things I can't change, so I just do whatever I can to get better and improve my bmd, and overall health. Since you can improve your bmd I work on that, but I don't worry about yesterday, tomorrow, or how things happen, unless finding out how something occured will prevent problems later on, like checking for other causes of osteo than the usual, because they can be treated.

    Well, that's my sermon for today

    Good luck!!!

     
    Old 04-23-2007, 10:02 PM   #10
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    DesertBloom-Thank you for sharing your personal situation and the attitude that you have developed for dealing with your challenges. I read somewhere recently that some wise person said that how you fared in life was 90% attitude, 10% what happens to you. You seem to have learned this lesson.

    You are very helpful to me and others as well on this board.

     
    Old 04-24-2007, 05:25 AM   #11
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Yes, I will have access to my OBGYN once my ins kicks in May 12th. I actually have an endo appt set up for May 14th, following with my primary care physician, then 2 days later my annual with my OBGYN in which is who found the Osteopenia in the first place. Um, did I mention I have high cholesterol and kidney stones too? I'm falling apart at 34. We'll I started falling apart at age 27!

    Interesting about the eating disorders stuff. In my younger years I was a gymnist. We'll from age 5 to high school. I trained with Kathy Johnson etc. The pressure of it, I did have bulemina (I could control it, but I have to say it was there from time to time over the years). Not anymore but it might have something to do with things. Also family history. All parents and grandparents have Osteoporosis.

     
    Old 04-24-2007, 09:40 AM   #12
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    JustLucky-You had mentioned that you felt like you were "falling apart". I too ,and I believe many others ,have shared this same feeling. Also the "I am a basket case" is another one that comes up when facing a medical diagnosis that frightens us .

    When I felt that the medical care I was getting was very cold-just the hard facts were delivered to me without any human feeling it was tough sledding. Now that I have found a primary care physician and endo who treat me as a whole person it is very different. I think that the worst aspects of the medical establishment intensify the "falling apart" and "basket case" messages .

    Perhaps your medical care providers are very good and they are not feeding your "falling apart" idea. Or maybe they are not so good and feeding the idea with their attitudes. In any event, I came to the conclusion that we have to try to find doctors that support us in what we are going through with a respectful and caring attitude. Otherwise, the "falling apart" message can be very dangerous to our health.

    Of course, we don't want to be in denial about a serious condition but there are also things that are right with us.

    I had posted a message to you earlier with a question about what your dr. advised regarding your very low vitamin d. My d was found to be very low despite supplementation at 800 for some time and more recently at 2000. I tested positive to one test out of four on a celiac blood panel and am scheduled for an endoscopy to further check out a celiac diagnosis. Poor absorption can lead to vitamin deficiencies even where there is supplementation;and poor absorption of esp. calcium and d can cause or contribute to osteoporosis.

     
    Old 04-26-2007, 04:18 PM   #13
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Justlucky,
    I just read an article somewhere that if you OVER exercise, it lowers your
    estrogen and you don't ovulate and then you don't get periods. Also it's
    the estrogen before menopause that keeps bones healthy (the way I
    understand it). If you are doing so much exercise that it stops your periods
    and ovulation, then it seems that your estrogen level would be low and this
    would affect your bones. I have heard this yrs ago that women who are
    runners, have less or no periods. Ask your gyne doc about this.
    Jodianne

     
    Old 04-30-2007, 10:04 PM   #14
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    JustLucky...just wanted to say be sure to get your calcium levels checked to rule out a parathyroid problem which could cause early bone loss and kidney stones. Dr. Norman's site parathyroid.com has a huge section on osteoporosis. good luck.

     
    Old 05-01-2007, 05:55 PM   #15
    Justlucky
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    Re: 34 year old female with Osteopenia

    Sorry I haven't been on line in a bit. Crazy busy at work.

    When they did the Blook work that showed my Vit D was 16.2 (normal is 32-100) they did do my calcium and it was 9.8 which is in the middle of normal.

    My Carbon Dioxide was low.. Not sure what that is all about.

    I have always exercised alot since I was a kid. I was a gymnist till high school, I danced from early through high school competitive and have always done weights and cardio since my teens. I picked up mountain biking and road biking 4 years ago. I wouldn't call myself "Over fitnessed" but I have always done something.

    Not sure if this is anything but I've had a ton of surgeries and I wonder if getting put under anesthesia does anything to your hormones, estrogen, all that good stuff. Just a thought.

    I'm acutally looking forward to my Endocronologist appt on the 14th. I'll keep in touch and let you know what happens.

     
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