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  • Most DON'T Need Fosamax!

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    Old 11-03-2002, 06:34 PM   #1
    workitout
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    Post Most DON'T Need Fosamax!

    I am a 51 year-old man in relatively good health and in very youthful condition (171 lbs, 5'11"). A year ago I discovered that I had osteoporosis. Why? I had smoked cigarettes most of my life, exercised rather little and I was born in Upstate New York in a radioactive plume in 1951, the year of the highest atmospheric radiation from bomb testing in history. Strontium 90 got into milk and replaced calcium in bones. Plus I'm West Euro and my parents in retrospect suffered from it (both are dead).

    I tried Fosamax for three weeks. At the same time, I took my two-year-old, twice-a-week gym practice and vowed to undergo 21 minutes daily of serious UNINTERRUPTED aerobic training (elliptical glider or at least running in circles in my living room with weights on my arms). I also do modest weight training a couple of times a week (I like being thin). I also increased my calcium intake, added Vitamin D (or cod liver oil) to my daily diet, and reduced salt, meat& fish consumption because they help strip your bones of calcium. I do still eat them, however, merely less. I also drink fresh green vegetable concoctions (kale, parsley, celery, bok choi) almost every day (note that chard can also shed your calcium, so avoid that).

    After 12 months, my spinal bone density was UP by 3.4%, with my hips up 2%. This is from FRESH CALCIUM, not from Fosamax-style prevention of calcium shedding, which I decided is a healthy process. My cholesterol levels also fell by 35% and my eye pressure (which was threatening to put me on galucoma medication) fell by 20%. I am convinced that two or three more years of this will render spinal results that will not even be in danger of osteoporosis.

    I am posting this because I hated Fosamax - it gave me diarrhea and a very weird, BLEAK depression for two days every week (I was on the once weekly regimen). Then I came to this site and found a lot of evidence that other people were miserable with Fosamax. I got my doctor's permission to drop it - he trusted me to follow through on the exercise as he knows me fairly well - and a year's result has proven to him and to me that ANYONE WHO CAN GET AROUND AND CAN EXERCISE MUST DO THIS INSTEAD OF FALLING INTO A LIFELONG TRAP WITH MEDS.

    It is incredibly rewarding to choose exercise and nutrition. And I look better than I have looked for at least 10 years.

    I'm posting this not to boast as one stranger to others, but to thank the board for educating me 13 months ago and to encourage those who are tempted to take matters into their own hands. Last week I flew over my handlebars when a child ran in front of my bicycle and I landed on the balls of my hands and came down WITHOUT A SCRATCH or even a sore muscle. I was in shock, though, and my gears & brakes needed work. The kid was untouched, too, as I flew OVER him.

    If you can, take control! It pays....

     
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    Old 11-04-2002, 05:03 AM   #2
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    i am 55 ..i am caucasian female thin with a small frame..i do not smoke or drink alcohol..i have taken a multivitamin for many years..several years ago i began taking oscal..i have excerised 30 min at least 5 days a week on the treadmill for the last 6 yrs...yet my bone density continues to lessen...i do not like taking medications but after trying fosamax and actonel for a short time and having urinary problems from both..i am now on evista..it is too early to tell if it is doing me any good..i wont know that til my next scan in may...you are very fortunate that you have been able to control your bone loss without meds..if only your approach would work for us all...but i just dont believe that it will................

     
    Old 11-04-2002, 09:59 AM   #3
    workitout
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    I'm sorry, but a mulitvitamin is NOT enough! I take two 500 CalMags daily, PLUS I drink a breakfast drink of calcium fortified OJ blended with a fresh banana & apple AND I generally juice the vegetables I discuss, probably five times a week (it's great with pizza) so that I am not jjst exercising, but keeping my body on a virtual calcium IV. I'm sure that there are problems that could arise from this (stones?) but those are minor minor minor compared with being left frightened to move.

    One thing that helped a lot was that my doctor stressed from the start that the 21 minutes of sustained aerobicsx was the key to everything. So I do some weights 2 or 3 times a week, which is fine, but the glider and the running in circles (I have lousy knees and had two scopes which no longer hurt at all thanks to the daily exercise).

    My condition is/was very bad, I might add. My spine reading is still way down in the bad zone. Next year I hope to be borderline and then leap out of the danger zone altogether. It helps that I view the exercise as taking my medicine and that Fosamax was so horrible that I would always rather blow oxygen through my system than sit around sick & depressed.

    So I would suggest you need a LOT more calcium, after meals, and you must be certain to get the Vitamin D you need (sun, pills, or cod liver oil, which I started using per that old Doc Mercola, whom I discovered a month ago). We are destined to have this problem, but accepting it and getting on the drug industrial complex IV unit are CHOICES.

    Good luck, madame.

     
    Old 11-04-2002, 11:08 AM   #4
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    Thanks for your inspiring story. I too am trying to improve my osteoporosis situation without medication and it is great to hear that someone is successful doing that. Being male is a plus factor, though, as we women (especially post-menopausal women) have the disadvantage of losing a lot of bone mass when our hormones begin to shut down. Since receiving my bad news in September I have begun a program involving at least 35 mins of aerobic exercise 5 days a week, serious weight and strength training per Miriam Nelson's book "Strong Women, Strong Bones" 3 days a week, exposure to the sun (which I had been avoiding for years), increased vegetable intake plus seaweed several times a week for the trace minerals, intake of Calcium at least 1500 mg (I take a Calcium/Magnesium/Boron supplement twice a day) in addition to good dietary intake of calcium, also a multivitamin, C and E. I am looking for anything else I can do to remedy the situation. In March I am going to have a DEXA scan (previous was CT) and HOPE desperately that I will have some improvement. At that time I will make my decision about whether to take DRUGS. I am very concerned about the lack of long term studies on Fosamax and Evista and also about the unnatural things they do to bone. Please keep us posted on anthing else you add to your healthy bones program.
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    Old 11-04-2002, 12:42 PM   #5
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    as i stated..i do not just take a multi vitamin..i take oscal with d ..twice daily..i also eat breakfast cereals that are high in calcium and drink cranberry juice with clacium...a little over a year ago i had a problem with urinary frequency and blood in my urine.. i went for lots of tests .no cause was found and fortunately the problem went away on its own.. my own opinion is that it was caused by taking calcium and not drinking enough water..i have continued the calcium and now drink lots of water daily..but i am afraid now to go over the 1200 to 1500 mg of calcium that my dr has recommended ...i think it is great to put our own personal stories on this board..our successes as well as our failures...keeping in my that our way is not the only way..that there is no one size fits all magic bullet.no one wishes more than i do that i could be successful without having to take a daily medication....

     
    Old 11-04-2002, 12:52 PM   #6
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    Marcia -

    It sounds like you are a dream non-med patient for osteo. It's only been a month for you and all I can say is that I got into this and I benefitted SO MUCH from all of the exercise. I recall saying last September when I was starting that I hoped that getting this condition would turn out to have been LUCKY for me in that it would make me live a far richer & stronger life. After 6 months of looking and feeling so much better, I only feared that it would turn out to have made little difference to my bones. When I got scanned 6 weeks ago, my doctor was delighted, said I had built at least as much new calcium as Fosamax at best would have saved of my old calcium. But he sadly told me that he could never persuade his other patients to do what I was doing. They just don't want to exercise.

    Note that I didn't mention not drinking in my regimen. I do drink some every day. I play hard. I'm no purist. But I know for sure that I will NEVER touch tobacco again. And I now work out hard, too. And drink those fruit & veg drinks and eat that calcium and Vit D (I was a pale punk type with a history of basal skin cancer so I went way overboard on sun avoidance in my 40s).

    I wish you the best of luck in your commitment and urge you to look at the biggest picture as you progress. Your heart & lungs will be awesome after a year of that regimen! Think of all the meds you will never have to take and pay for and worry about!

    And if your results (surprisingly) aren't what you wish for after a year, consider taking a med AND continuing the program because it's so good for you anyway. I understand that women are said to be far more vulnerable. I suspect that the numbers for men are far worse than society realizes. As you know, women are profoundly more organized and conscious of their health than men are. I was merely lucky that my older sister found that she had it, realized our parents had had it, and urged me to get a scan just before my 50th birthday. She's following the med route only, and won't listen to me, though she does walk more these days.

    Best....

     
    Old 11-04-2002, 01:05 PM   #7
    workitout
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    Dear Big -

    I get it. No, I wouldn't eat more than 1,500 calcium daily. I don't know how much my daily veg drinks help and I only recently started correcting for Vitamin D with pills or cod liver oil (per Mercola).

    Are you certain you are achieving the heart rate you need with your treadmill? I estimate you'd need to hit 120 beats per minute nonstop for 21 minutes. I aim for 130-140 as I am bigger.

    And you might wish to try working with weights, ALSO. I gained a lot in my back (the worst area) and some in my hip but my osteopoenic wrists actually LOST .1% - I have very thin wrists and I spent the year doing lat pulldowns, rowing, chest, etc. narcissistic stuff, but very few free weights, which would stress my wrists. Now I do some loose weights twice a week for those skinny wrists and I'll know in a year whether that makes the difference. They certainly took flying over the handlebars very well.

    Of course it's different strokes for different folks. I might add that I take an immense array of vitamins, very specific ones, three times a day. Just added biotin, manganese & lecithin to the list that includes selenium, glucosamine/chondroitin, cal/mag,coQ10, choline/inositol, B complex, E, zinc, and niacin. Call me a freak, but it's working.

    I know I probably seem too enthusiastic, but bear in mind that I never posted here until I was certain of the results. And this board definitely helped me choose the path I took, so it's payback.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 11-08-2002, 07:45 AM   #8
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    Workitout.... could you share with us your recipe for the veggie drink? I have a VitaMix and could use some new ideas. I also share your natural approach to wellness. Since I do have severe osteopenia, I fell prey to the scare tactics of my doctor and took Foxamax for several months; however, just quit because the back of my throat feels "scrachy" and I'm so paranoid about all those side-effects, anyway.

     
    Old 11-10-2002, 09:58 PM   #9
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    I'm trying to do the same by making my own high calcium smoothies with tofu, yogurt, fat free whenever possible. I get the instant breakfast with the high calcium fortified where you just add milk and make my own variation, mango, banana oj and anything high in calcium. I drink one everyday after a 40 minute walk on the treadmil. Last year my bone density still went down but I upped the smoothies and veggy drinks as well as the cal chews and excersise. I'm hoping it is better this time.

     
    Old 11-16-2002, 11:22 AM   #10
    workitout
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    Dear rosarobin -

    The board keeps clearing when I'm about to submit a very long msg so I'll be brief.

    Over time I have evolved this regimen. Breakfast is fiber yeast with calcium-fortified OJ and a banana and apple blended together, plus very good toast (from The Baker). Much later I juice celery stalks, bunches of kale, parsley, bok choi, a carrot, and a tablespoon of cod liver oil. I got some of this from Dr. Mercola (mercola.com). I used to use beets and Swiss chard, but beets are kinda junky sugary stuff and beets and chard turn out to SHED CALCIUM. Mercola hates carrots but I like them and need them to help keep my juicer working amid all those leafy shrubs. I have recently started buying organic produce, which is easy for me in NYC.

    I also eat a lot of vitamins and do 21 minutes of continuous aerobics most days, plus more serious light weights on other days. I use fortified rice milk in my coffee. I eat some food with the veg drink as it emits too much energy not to steady it with some solids. I avoid drinking alcohol until I've eaten said food or the veg drink gets me drunk in seconds. Not to seem perfect, I frequent eat whole wheat pizza with my veg drink, knowing I've hit my marks and am late to a party!

    Good luck to you!

     
    Old 06-22-2003, 01:08 PM   #11
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    The last post on this interesting thread was November 2002.

    I wonder how everyone is doing now? And if there is any new advice? Successes?

    I made a decision not to take drugs at all. I have Crohn's, an unstable 5th Vertebrea and osteoporosis, in my lumbar area. I take no drugs whatsoever, even for my Crohn's, mild, not typical, in remission for almost
    4 years now. But I do take 2 digestive enzymes just before my dinner, and acidophilus on an as-needed basis. And I watch what I eat, and drink. Have had a healthy diet for decades, eat organic fruits and vegetables, no antibiotics in milk, nor meats. Nothing much from ordinary supermarkets, even mayonnaise is
    home-made, and soups.

    I am still researching. At present, I'm taking about
    666 to 1,000 Calcium in 2 or 3 lots during the day, and
    anything from 800-1,200 as liquid calcium and magnesium, etc. just before bed, the best time I have heard.

    I am also taking Vitamin K, but only 10 mgs. Thinking though of upping to 40 mg/daily.

    And a Multi-vit but want to change the make, not sure what to yet.

    I'm taking Melatonin at night, and think I need to take more. Researching all that.

    I do 30 mins on a reclining bike every day, but have heard bikes not so effective and am looking into (slowly!) the treadmill and some upper body weight baring exercises - can't twist and must watch out for the unstable back.) Bought the sneakers!!! Getting there...

    Mostly, I want to know about reversals without drugs,
    or at least maintaining and not getting worse.

    Any hope would be very inspirational to all of us.
    Thank you.
    O

     
    Old 07-03-2003, 07:41 AM   #12
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    bump
    This post had hundreds of views last November, and over 100 now, so it is a hopeful post more may like to see.

     
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