Is the osteoporosis epidemic a myth?
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Posted 10/12/2012 12:08:57 Post #10631
 

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Hi all. In the summer, I broke my ankle walking in the Pyrenees. My doctor - following NICE guidelines - referred me for a DEXA scan which revealed osteoporosis in the spine, and osteopenia in the hips. My doctor prescribed calcium and vit D supplements, and Alendronic Acid.

Like so many of you, this diagnosis gave me a terrible shock and I had sleepless nights worrying about it. In some ways I'm grateful, as it's caused me to start taking my health more seriously. I've changed my diet (following Marilyn Glenville's advice - high alkaline), am taking good quality supplements, and have started taking more exercise. (A simple 10 minute yoga routine, and a 30 minute walk every day.) I feel much more healthy than I did before.

However, I am skeptical about the medication I was prescribed, and have now become skeptical about the diagnosis itself.

Alendronic Acid hasn't been around all that long, and there is already evidence that it may increase the risk of femur fracture after 5 years, not to mention the other alarming side effects we know about. What sense can there be in an otherwise healthy 51 year old woman - who may have 40+ years to live - embarking on this treatment?

I've now been reading 'The Myth of Osteoporosis' by Gillian Sanson and this is confirming my doubts about the validity of the diagnosis I've been given. DEXA scans are not uniform in their diagnoses. They come up with different results. Quite alarmingly different sometimes. And low BMD in itself is not a predictor of fracture risk anyway. There are people with low BMD who never fracture and people with high BMD who do.

According to one definition, I am classed as having 'severe osteoporosis' because I have the combination of a fracture, and BMD in the osteoporosis range. This simply doesn't make sense. The other day I tripped over falling smack onto the palms of my hands. I didn't break anything. How can that be consistent with a condition of severe osteoporosis?

For those of you with similar experiences to mine, I urge you to do your own research - get fit and healthy if you can - but think very carefully about the medication your doctor has prescribed - and the diagnosis you've been given. There is an awful lot of money to be made by the pharmaceutical companies out of this culture of fear.


Midnight
Posted 10/12/2012 12:57:09 Post #10632
 

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Hi Midnight,

I read Gillian Sanson's book soon after my diagnosis six years ago now. I fully agree with what she said - although I don't think the title of her book is very good as osteoporosis is not a myth but getting diagnosed with it just based on a DEXA scan certainly can be. I totally reject it when people say their doctors have told them that they have the bones of a 70 year old when they are 40 or 50 as there is so much more to bone fragility than simply a DEXA report. Fragility depends on muscle strength and co-ordination as well as the actual integrity of the bones.

I too have got a lot healthier since diagnosis and I'm mighty glad that I have a history of hiatus hernia as that meant I was prescribed Strontium Ranelate straight away rather than having to take one of those bisphosphonate medications. I don't think the Strontium will do me harm and I'm pretty sure it will do my bones a lot of good even if I'm not about to fracture any and have never done so, but if Strontium were not an option I would not be on any osteoporosis medication at all and would simply have stuck to supplements and life style changes. As it is I'm doing the supplements and lifestyle changes as well which have enhanced my health all round


Osteoporosis - Strontium Ranelate, Dekristol vitamin D3 20,000 IU/week, weight lifting, walking and vibration platform exercise, alkaline loaded diet, vitamin K2 MK-7 200mcg/day. Diabetes - Repaglinide, low carb diet and exercise. Congenital heart defect - Omacor and CoQ10. Small airways disease/asthma - Qvar 100. Probable coeliac.
Posted 10/12/2012 13:45:04 Post #10633
 

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Yes - thanks for that Anne.





Midnight
Posted 10/12/2012 18:59:19 Post #10634
 

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like you i am hugely sceptical about the use of bisphosonates - as the more i read about them the less evidence there is that bisphosonates encourage 'new' bone.

it also saddens me that some people think 'taking the medication' will 'make them better'. it seems, from what i have read, that lifestyle changes (exercise and alkali diet) will possible be more beneficial than 'carrying on as before' and taking a pill sometimes.

i do get saddened at the way OP is portrayed as an 'old person's degenerative disease'. from the posters on this and the INSPIRE site most people seem to be in their 50/60 and appear 'healthy'.

so it seems that our sedentary lifestyle combined with highly processed foods may well be a contributor to OP?

i found the chapter in marilyn glenville's book on 'causes' of OP really informative.

but i do think the NHS is almost scared of saying 'it's your body, and if you want to stay healthy YOU need to help yourself'.

sarahw


Tscore Lumbar spine -3.3, Femoral neck -2.6, Hip -2.2
Alkali diet (+ no caffeine/sugar/salt/rhubarb/spinach) and exercise and supplements of Vit D (2,000IUs daily), Vit K2 as MK7, vit K2 Menatetrenone, Cod liver oil.
Posted 10/12/2012 21:23:04 Post #10635
 

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How much I wonder is the NHS in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry? Or does that sound too conspiratorial.....


Midnight
Posted 11/12/2012 11:31:45 Post #10640
 

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I'm sure we're all under the influence of the big pharmas. But to be fair to the NHS, a GP does normally ask you about your lifestyle when you turn up with a problem. They will (in my experience) all advise you if necessary to improve your diet, take more exercise, stop smoking and limit your alcohol intake. Is there any evidence that osteoporosis is on the rise? Wasn't there always "dowager's hump"?? And they didn't use to investigate if you broke a bone after reaching 55 or so... and wouldn't have known whether or not you had OP.
Posted 11/12/2012 11:47:17 Post #10641
 

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Yes - although the high alkaline diet is something seemingly unknown within the health service. They do recommend weight bearing exercise, but on diet - they advise a pint of milk, and a lump of cheddar to get my calcium quota!

Midnight
Posted 11/12/2012 19:56:54 Post #10645
 

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cow's milk causes acid ash in the stomach,

goat's milk is alkalising - there is a fantastic selection of goat's cheese available in oxford, where i live.

so my diet is 'cow free'! well, i do eat beef sometimes.

sarahw


Tscore Lumbar spine -3.3, Femoral neck -2.6, Hip -2.2
Alkali diet (+ no caffeine/sugar/salt/rhubarb/spinach) and exercise and supplements of Vit D (2,000IUs daily), Vit K2 as MK7, vit K2 Menatetrenone, Cod liver oil.
Posted 11/12/2012 20:47:49 Post #10649
Anonymous 
Oh yes - must remember to get into goats milk and products
Thanks
Posted 11/12/2012 23:04:22 Post #10653
Anonymous 
I'm also enjoying goat products, albeit a bit too much on the cheese side and have piled the pounds on! Now being told to cut down on cheese as cholestorol has gone up!! We really can't win sometimes. :-)
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