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Osteoporosis
Old 05-03-2015, 03:28 PM   #1
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Osteoporosis

My doctor has told me that I have osteoporosis. I took fosamax for about four years but that didn't really do anything for me. I haven't taken anything for a couple of years except to continue with a calcium and vitamin d supplement. Now my doctor has recommended that I try Prolia Does anyone have any experience with that? I really hate to take any medication and the potential side effects sound scary.


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Old 05-03-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
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Has your physician advised you to participate in low stress physical exercise? Often that is helpful in building bone mass. I too have osteoporosis and take Fosamax generic.
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Old 05-03-2015, 05:02 PM   #3
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Are you menopausal, and if so, do you take hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?

I was just diagnosed with osteopenia via DXA scan - increased risk of pelvic/spinal fracture over the next 10 years, and worse bone density than average for my age.

I had a (less-accurate) finger scan done only 6 years ago that showed better-than-average density for my age. I have exercised vigorously - including weight lifting several days per week - since my mid-30s; same for taking calcium and Vitamin D. I also eat foods containing calcium every day, and am often outdoors. In short, there are no further "lifestyle" changes I can make.

The only intervening difference in my "lifestyle" is menopause, and my Dr. refuses to prescribe HRT for bone density (funny, they'll give you HRT for something as trivial as hot flashes which I never experienced, but to reduce the chance of breaking your back or hip? Naah).

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Old 05-03-2015, 05:57 PM   #4
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Recent experience re risks from Osteoporosis. DW diagnosed in mid-50's and took Fosamax for 10 years. Her NP took her off in mid-60's saying 10 year was limit. Did bone density test for benchline but prescribed nothing to replace the Fosamax


Fast forward to last Oct (DW is now 66.5), she slips in shower, and gets a compression fracture to her L-12, destroying 50% which is apparently the "breaking point" for surgery. Her neuro-surgeon being conservative and recognizing she was not having any severe pain and was in good shape, opted for a 90 day fiberglass brace which she wore until Jan. (first 30 days had to have on, even to make nightly bathroom trip).
Couple of lessons--make sure you have safety stips on shower/tub floor and grab bars in place. For calcium supplements to work effectively, best if they are herbal based and combined with sufficient magnesium. DW next medical process is to see an endocrinologist--which has taken 5 months to get an appointment. Apparently, this is the specialist of choice for the next level of drug treatment.
Take care and be watchful of falling risks
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:59 PM   #5
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I have not taken hormone replacement therapy even though menopausal. I have always had a slender build and was rather thin in my teens and early twenties. I do yoga a couple of times a week and that helps with balance...fall prevention. I exercise and am in good shape for a 60 year old. I guess I am just nervous about starting on a drug with potential side effects. I have an appointment this week and will discuss further.


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Old 05-03-2015, 07:38 PM   #6
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Progesterone is supposed to protect bones too.

The book "What your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause" talks about the protective effects.

Apparently low progesterone leaves someone vulnerable to bone loss. Progesterone levels drop before the onset of menopause.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:46 PM   #7
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I don't want to get too much into details, but DW and I are advocates for Prolia.

Started with the injections in 2011, after several serious falls and injuries. Since then, despite a number of potentially serious falls and similar mishaps, no
problems with breaks or further injuries.

DEXA (DXA) tests for the first two years show marked improvement in bone density mass, so further tests extended to 2 year cycles. As far as we can see, no side effects.

We'll never know if the fact that there have been no problems over the past 3 years is due to the Prolia, or just luck, but we won't test to find out.

Total cost of the injections has been covered by our medicare and supplement. Haven't checked lately, but remember the initial costs were quoted @ $1300 per injection.

Not to say that accidents won't happen, but we have seen enough of people our age, breaking bones or being disabled by hip injuries... to want to err on the side of safety. Right or wrong, even if it came to full cost of treatment, we would pay.

And so, one vote "FOR".
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:06 AM   #8
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Imoldernu...thanks for the positive report. I'll report back when I have more info from my doc. Yes, it is very expensive and my insurance is not the greatest, but medical expenses are one area where I don't skimp if they are needed expenses.


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Old 05-04-2015, 08:35 AM   #9
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I just checked and my BCBS does not pay for Prolia.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #10
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Weight bearing exercise is supposed to be good for strengthening the bones. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:38 AM   #11
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Weight bearing exercise is supposed to be good for strengthening the bones. Good luck to you.
It is. However, if you are low on certain hormones, your bone density won't increase.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:24 PM   #12
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My right hip bone neck has mild osteopenia. I do a lot of weight bearing exercises and have been taking calcium, magnesium and D. No improvement, but it does not seem to be getting worse. Kind of weird that it only shows up in that single spot.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
...
I was just diagnosed with osteopenia via DXA scan - increased risk of pelvic/spinal fracture over the next 10 years, and worse bone density than average for my age.

...

The only intervening difference in my "lifestyle" is menopause, and my Dr. refuses to prescribe HRT for bone density (funny, they'll give you HRT for something as trivial as hot flashes which I never experienced, but to reduce the chance of breaking your back or hip? Naah).

Amethyst
I think I'd start experiencing a lot of hot flashes.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:30 PM   #14
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My right hip bone neck has mild osteopenia. I do a lot of weight bearing exercises and have been taking calcium, magnesium and D. No improvement, but it does not seem to be getting worse. Kind of weird that it only shows up in that single spot.
Maybe it is matter of relatively poor blood supply?
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:30 AM   #15
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Maybe it is matter of relatively poor blood supply?
Don't know, although I have had frequent bouts of sciatic nerve pain near that same location. Makes me worried that I may need a bionic part in the future.
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:15 AM   #16
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I've had three Prolia injections so far - once every six months, and it's the first treatment that has improved my very low bone density.
No side effects whatever (that I am aware of) and it's a very easy treatment.

Fortunately, my BCBS health insurance covers almost all of this very expensive treatment.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:11 PM   #17
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Met with my doctor and Prolia was recommended His has contacted my health insurance for approval. Waiting for the results of a blood test for calcium levels before I actually take the shot.


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Old 05-07-2015, 02:34 PM   #18
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I'd be really interested to know what blood calcium levels are important and how that relates to Prolia.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:06 PM   #19
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reading some the info I was given "Prolia may lower the calcium levels in you blood. If you have low blood calcium before you start Prolia, it may get worse during treatment. Your low blood calcium must be treated before you receive Prolia." So it makes sense that a blood test for calcium and vitamin d was done before starting. No reason to think I have low levels...guess just routine caution by my doctor.


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Old 05-07-2015, 08:48 PM   #20
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reading some the info I was given "Prolia may lower the calcium levels in you blood. If you have low blood calcium before you start Prolia, it may get worse during treatment. Your low blood calcium must be treated before you receive Prolia." So it makes sense that a blood test for calcium and vitamin d was done before starting. No reason to think I have low levels...guess just routine caution by my doctor.


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Thanks - I was just curious.

I know my blood calcium levels are on the high range of normal, and I always wondered if that was good or bad.
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