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  • Does osteopenia require drug treatment??

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    Old 12-18-2002, 12:36 AM   #1
    Jonathan92280
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    Post Does osteopenia require drug treatment??

    Hi everybody,
    My mom is a 56 year-old postmenopausal woman who went through the change of life at 49 due to chemotherapy treatments for early stage breast cancer in 1995. After her 7-year remission mark in September, her oncologist recommended she have her 1st DEXA scan to show where her bone health stood. The results showed hip and spinal osteopenia, with values of -2.39 and -2.2 respectively, but a 0% fracture risk. Her gynecologist insisted she start on Fosamax immediately to prevent osteoporosis. I (and mom) have some problems with this idea of "prevention" with drugs, especially since the gyn. did not say diddly about extra calcium and a weight-bearing exercise program. Also, despite the heavy marketing of this and other bisphosphonates, I have actually looked into the medical literature and have found that Fosamax does not provide any fracture benefit whatsoever in women with either normal bone density or osteopenia, despite the fact that the numbers on the DEXA scan may go up. This suggests to me that the drug is a bad choice for prevention, and there is growing concern that the drug may cause overmineralization of bone in women without fractures, eventually diminishing the quality and sturdiness of the healthy bone you already have.

    As a longterm skeptic of the purported youth-enhancing and health promoting benefits of estrogen in HRT, which were disproven in July, I now will rely only on the clinical trials and Fosamax is no exception! And Fosamax-peddlers have a big profit to make by raking in as many candidates for their drug as possible, despite the fact that osteopenia is actually not a disease and supposedly requires no drug treatment at all. I am also quite sick of the notion that diet and exercise are mere alternatives to pills, as though pills are better. I thought diet and exercise were part of the optimal way of life and that pills were secondary choices when the other 2 failed (although they can't really "fail" in my mind). Has anyone here successfully treated their osteopenia and improved their numbers simply by modifying their lifestyle?

     
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    Old 12-18-2002, 05:43 AM   #2
    bjg
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    i agree totally..i am not comfortable taking meds..however there are times when calcium and daily exercise are not enough..i am thin, white with a family history of fractures...which im sure was due to osteoperosis..although it was never diagnosed in my mother or grandmother....i am 18 months post menopausal and for the last 3+ yrs my bone density has been lessening..i felt i had not alternative ..i had to try something to stop the loss and maybe hopefully regrow some bone...i am on evista..it gives me disturbing dreams..not a known side effect..but i have proven they are from the evista..when i stopped it for a month the dreams stopped also..as for you having osteopenia and no increased risk of fracture..im not sure how they works..pls explain..to me a bone that is less dense would be more prone to fracture,no? if it were true that losing bone density didnt increase fracture risk..why would there be any down side to have either osteopenia or osteoperosis?

     
    Old 12-21-2002, 02:40 PM   #3
    liam.hancock
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    Your mom does need treatment to stop osteopenia turning into osteoporosis my dad was checked 2 years after receiving chemotherapy,my dad is only in his 40's.See your specialist as osteopenia could have been caused by chemo in the first place.
    Liam.

     
    Old 01-04-2003, 01:29 PM   #4
    pentek128
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    I don't understand the "0% fracture risk". From all I've learned since being diagnosed with osteoporosis, any bone with ospeopenia or osteoporosis is by definition at a higher risk of fracture. Could you explain cause I'd love to know what other factors besides the reduced bone mass lead to fractures...I'm still learning about this and this sounds interesting.

    In any case, I taking meds too, but I did accept Fosomax and do hope it will give me some type of improvement. I think we should all be cautious about but not to the exclusionary point.

     
    Old 01-04-2003, 02:23 PM   #5
    liam.hancock
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    Hi Pentek128,where do you get 0% fracture risk from,if you have low bone density you are at risk of fractures 100%.
    Liam.

     
    Old 01-04-2003, 10:42 PM   #6
    Bitsy
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    Lam
    Did your Dad have chemo? If so, Zometa is the drug given to repair bones from chemo inducedcancer patients. It will also be aproved for osteoporosis end of the year/ may go on this soon. There are questions as to the side effects, but what I've read, tey are less tahan the others. There is a chance of syncope (fainting), but it was announced on the news, no side effects. Will ask my Dr Mon& let you all know'Bev

     
    Old 01-04-2003, 10:53 PM   #7
    Bitsy
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    Jonathan,Theses drugs, ALL, hve to excerise/weight bearing& calcium w/ D. If the Dr desn't know the basics,I feel he doesn't know enough. time to chenge Drs. Who is she seing? what kind of Dr? Some of these drugs are for post menopause only & calc. salmon may help her, esp in the sipe. I hear it's not too good for the hips. My Dr said walk 5 hrs a week & even stand as much as possible, but tak calcium& Vit D 2 -3 a day. It does cause constipation, but freelax helps w/ that& no cramping. If she has liver or kidney disease, she better ask th DR 1st/ Thee is ned drug coming out called Zometa ,FDA approved for breast ca,bone*prostae that was ruined by chemo& rebuilds the bone. I will ask Dr Mon. more about it& lt you all know

     
    Old 01-07-2003, 04:21 AM   #8
    liam.hancock
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    Hi Bitsy,yes my dad did have chemo and 3 months ago had a infusion of Zoledronate and he thinks that is the same thing also has to take daily vitamin supplements.
    Liam.

     
    Old 01-07-2003, 09:26 PM   #9
    Bitsy
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    Hi
    Yes, Zometa is for the breakdown from chemo& solid tumors & soon to be FDA approved or Osteo patients. Basically it is the same thing.How did it affct him? Any problems?
    I wish you& your Dad the best& will pray for you, as I will all of us.
    Bev

     
    Old 01-08-2003, 07:40 AM   #10
    liam.hancock
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    Hi Bev,my dad was told there isn't any side effects except for flu like symptoms for a few days after in fusion,no problems at all after that.
    Liam.

     
    Old 02-09-2003, 07:31 PM   #11
    Bitsy
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    Liam
    How is your Dad did& did he have the Zometa? Any side affects? God Bless

     
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