Discussions that mention estradiol

Osteoporosis board


Hi folks! I have been on forteo for a little over a year now and while labs show bone turnover has increased alot, little improvement was shown on dexa. It wasn't the same dexa machine that I was previously tested on -so that might have confused things a little. Also, I know some say don't look for density changes so early it takes time.
I am post menopausal 55, and never did hrt. But, now I seem to be losing muscle mass , despite alot of exercise and weight lifting. I have read this could be related to low testosterone. Maybe it is something else - I don't know. I have an appt. soon to see a gyno about hormones to see if anything could help with the muscle loss. I am having other post meno changes that I don't like .Let's just say it has to do with one of the basic drives . Anyway. My thinking now is that loss of muscle mass is not a good thing because as muscle pulls on bone it makes the bone stronger. I have just done so much weightlifting over the past year that my lack of contour and bulge doesn't make sense to me. My main concern is not the lack of contour though but rather trying to get the effect of muscle to strengthen bone.
Also, as I didn't do hrt -too spooked with all the studies. I just wonder if now I should do something . I have read about very low dose estradiol and positive effects on bone density BUT I also read it slows turnover. If it slows turnover that would probably be contraindicated with the forteo now which is supposed to amp up the turnover.
Does anyone have any thoughts about testosterone-estradiol - or other hormones. I was so negative on all this stuff but I am now more open minded because I am on a mission to help my bones. Breast cancer has not hit my family -so that risk is probably not great, although breast cancer seems so prevalent now that I don't think anyone is safe.
I've been on bio-identical testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA for a couple of years now. I was on estradiol too but had to stop it after a few months-no specialist could figure out why I was getting dizzy spells along with blood pressure drops and then my primary care said it was probably the estrogen and sure enough......Anyway, none of the above has done anything for my BMD or anything else related to menopause either for that matter (including what you mentioned), with the exception of relieving hot flashes. I do have more muscle mass, but that could be because I've been working with a personal trainer for over a year now-testosterone may have helped, but I'm not sure.

You may be wondering how testosterone can alleviate hot flashes when it's estrogen that doctors keep recommending for that. Well, apparently testosterone breaks down (referred to as "cascading" according to the age-management clinic where I get them) into an estrogen by-product IF the body requires that particular hormone.

I don't want to have to use these substances the rest of my life, so I discussed this with my acupuncturist a couple of weeks ago and she suggested using them (they're topicals) every other day instead of daily. I did that, and don't feel any different. Thus, I'm thinking the time has come to wean myself off entirely. I've never used Forteo so am not sure how that would interact with bio-identical hormones.
Hi Osteoblast-I'm 51 and began menopause at 48 (naturally) so guess I'm a few years post. I had absolutely no adverse reactions to the testosterone or progesterone. Fortunately, everything I was using came separately, so was able to cut back on this & that until I found a combination that worked. For sure it was the estradiol that caused the dizziness and blood pressure drops. I'm only too happy to be off that!

And yes, I'm the one who spent a small fortune on HgH injections-only to experience a 6% lumbar BMD drop over the year I was doing it. It did wonderful things for my waistline ;) but not the bones. The age-management clinic doctors said they'd never had anyone lose BMD while on it; guess I'm a first.

Most would disagree with me, but the fact that nothing works on me to increase BMD has led me to believe that my losses may indeed be a natural thing for my body. Actually, I wish I'd never had the DEXAs in the first place :(. Sure my lumbar score (-3.4) looks awful on paper, but I'm strong, healthy, and look great for my age. I eat right, exercise lots (including bends, twists and stretches of all those supposedly "diseased" vertebrae) and have never broken anything despite some spectacular falls skiing. I'm 5'6 and a half and 125lb and have very small wrists and ankles-so I wouldn't expect my BMD to parallel that of a beefy 20-something :D.
Hi, this is my first post on these boards and this thread caught my attention! I am 35 years old and was diagnosed with osteoporosis in September 2006. I had a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo oopherectomy (removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes) for endometriosis in August 2005. Big mistake for me with huge problems since but that is another story. I am fairly thin (5'6" and 126 lbs but was only 102 lbs at time of first dexa scan) and have many risk factors for osteoporosis (history of smoking although I quit over a year ago, Grandma has severe osteoporosis with fractures, surgical menopause, treated with Lupron, previous fracture from a ballet career in my early twenties, history of anorexia, and the list goes on).

I wanted to mention that my first year post op, I took compounded bioidentical progesterone and Triest in various forms but had lots of trouble absorbing it and had many many menopausal symptoms. I lost a lot of muscle mass and also weight due to chronic nausea. I did try testosterone in cream form, troches, and synthetic testosterone in Estratest, but every single form gave me severe migraines and too many weird fluctuations.

I had my first dexa scan in August 2006 (after begging for one due to my history and problems) and my scores were as follows:
Spine (not sure which part) was -3.2
femoral neck (right hip) was -1.8.

I was shocked at my scores and this prompted me to quit smoking cold turkey (which I have maintained successfully). I also switched to a stronger form of hrt (estradiol) in the form of the Vivelle Dot patch at .075 mg (which has helped alleviate some symptoms but not others). I was already taking calcium (1500 mg) and vitamin D (800 IU). I can not tolerate magnesium in any form except through foods without getting sick with body aches for some reason. I have done some light weightlifting and exercising but not consistantly due to fibromyalgia brought on by my hysterectomy and also pelvic pain due to adhesions and scar tissue. I also gained weight (14 lbs) from quiting smoking and eating better and healthier. Other than those things I have not done much else to fight my osteoporosis. I have refused to take any of the bisphosphonates due to an extremely sensitive stomach and sensitivity to meds in general and the fear of side effects and osteonecrosis. I am young yet to resort to those.

One year later, this last September, I had another DEXA scan at the same office and my scores improved to the following:
spine -3.0
femoral neck (right hip) -1.4
femoral neck (left hip) -1.2
wrist -1

So my spine improved by .2 and my hip by .4 which to me is significant. I have also had my estradiol levels checked since being on the patch and they have been much higher (130 can't think of measurement offhand) compared to 22 when I was on the compouded Triest. So I do credit the estradiol hrt with helping to improve my scores as well as quiting smoking and gaining weight. Of coure, for me the benefits of taking hrt far outweigh the risks due to my age and surgery status. Anyway, just thought I would share a positive outcome as far as bone density improvement with hrt.

I continue to have some loss of muscle mass and my testosterone levels have tested extremely low (as they would without ovaries) so I am not sure if it is from that or from not being as active as I was before my hysterectomy. I do also find it frustrating that I have not been able to build muscle in my arms from lifting dumbells four times a week for 1/2 hour. If only I could find a testosterone I could tolerate.

I am also struggling with an ever increasing stoop in my upper back and I am fighting hard with exercise to stop it from progressing but of course my fibromyalgia pain makes it hard to do. This is very depressing because I used to have a strong, straight back in my dancing days. Oh the joys of early menopause!

I think having your hormone levels tested would provide valuable information. There is a good book called "Screaming to be Heard" by Dr. Elizabeth Vliet (hormone specialist) that discusses hormones and issues like breast cancer and bone loss. She also discusses that you need estradiol levels above 90 to really have any positive impact on bone density. It is worth reading.

Hope this helps!
Elaine444-Welcome to this board!
For a 35 year young person you have been through alot. I am glad to hear though that you are working towards achieving health. It is nothing short of fantastic that you have stopped smoking- this is so good.Congratulations!!!!!! I am sure it wasn't easy with everything pushing your anxiety and stress buttons over the past two years. It seems almost every health issue that I research, I find that smoking makes it worse. So, this is a huge step. And, also good to hear that you are able to put some meat on your bones. That is very important too.
And, now you are in a struggle/project to strengthen your bones. At least you have had improvement since your first dexa. That is good.I hope it continues to improve for you. It sounds like you think it was the estradiol since the bioidentical progesterone and various forms of testosterone didn't work for you because of side effect problems. What kind of doctor are you seeing for the hormones-gyno, endo , or your pcp?
So, you too are having trouble with muscle mass. And, on this you think it would be the testosterone that would help. But, you say you just can't find one that you can tolerate. That's tough. I happened to see a show recently on the local public broadcasting station- just this past weekend with Dr. Perricone. It was so weird because I came in during the middle of it and he was talking about loss of muscle mass- sarcopenia and I had just started a thread on it a few days before. Well, he mentioned a number of supplements but seemed to focus on glutamine for muscle building. So, this is something that I will be researching-I am going to try to find his book at the library.When I have had time to research this I will post , maybe it would be something to try.Have you heard about glutamine or any other supplements that might help?
Thank you for the book suggestion, I am going to see if the library has Dr. Vliet's book, if not I will check the bookstore. I want to go in prepared when I see the gyn.
About the stoop in your back, did the doctor do an x-ray to be sure that you have not had any fracture that would cause the stoop?? If there are no fractures, then perhaps some physical therapy to learn exercises to stregthen your back muscles to assist with your posture would be helpful. At your youthful age you should really nail this down now so you build up your muscles for the long haul. My doc prescribed phys ther. 1x a week for a year. It didn't take that much to learn quite a number of helpful exercises. And, the therapist said come back after 6 months or so for a follow up. I would think your insurance would cover this and it could be so helpful. With your experience in dance, perhaps you could really enjoy the movement (as sort of a mental therapy) and get the benefit of building strength.
That gets back to the muscle building issue and its importance. As I said I am going to seek out the book you mentioned . If you have any other thoughts on this , please share. And, of course comments from others would be great too. It seems like a most important project for us .

I went through menopause without hormones because I was spooked off of them with the Nurse's Study that came out showing the harm of hrt. But now with osteoporosis, if I can take a low dose of something that might help in some way it would be great.
Thank you for the suggestion of getting my hormone levels checked, it seems odd but over this past year with seeing docs about the osteo no one has suggested getting the hormones checked. Maybe they know what a 55 yr. old post meno woman's reading would look like and feel there isn't anything to be done?? I have an appt. with a gyno specifically to discuss the hormone situation and will of course get into the osteoporosis and loss of muscle mass. I just have to be sure that if any hormones are added that I don't diminish the effect of the forteo that I am taking.I know some on this board have used some hormone therapy and forteo together. DesertBloom, if you read this HI, I hope you could comment on what hormones you are on with the forteo if you would feel comfortable with that.
Again, welcome Elaine maybe we can find something to bulk up our muscles.
Hi Osteo and Welcome Elaine, glad you could join us. It's always great to have new contributors to this group. Elaine good luck with all your struggles and please do check on a possible fracture. I have to do this once a year or more because I do have the stooped posture, and I'm going to physical therapy for strengthening exercises 3 x's a week for 6 weeks now and will continue for another month or so, and hopefully this will fix my 3 ruptured cervical discs/posture-yikes... They're also giving me traction on my neck and thoracic spine for the posture prob, pain, and disc situation, because the discs are causing numbness in both arms and hands from the disc protruding into the spinal canal. I hope you find a solution to all your problems. Welcome Again... I've had many fractures and don't want "any" more surgeries if I can help it, so make sure you check this out, because "so" many compression fx's go undiagnosed-which just kills me thinking about it, when they can be fix if caught in time.

Osteo, sorry I haven't posted about your several questions but I've been having computer probs that limit my online time. I'll get back to you over the weekend with the answers you're interested in. I haven't forgot about you or anyone else, just trying to fix this blasted machine. But for now I'm on Activella (Hormone) 1.0/.5 mg of estradiol/norethindrone. I'll need to explain this further later because the story is quite complex. I also need to update you on the tai chi, but I'm worried my internet connection will go down at any second. Hope you get all of this.

Talk to you soon:)