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Help needed for elderly aunt - osteoporosis

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by maryb, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    I've spoken to my elderly great aunt today (88yrs old), last relative from my mothers side I have. She has heart problems and has been diagnosed with advanced osteoporosis - had been prescribed Fossamax - alarm bells rang immediately for me. Wily lady however has not taken this - is not convinced after looking at the side effects. I asked her hubby to look on the internet (bless him he's 92 and game for it) - I'm not really up to researching it but thought I'd ask on here as well.
    Anyone recommend a supplement they've used - I ask also for myself as I have been diagnosed with osteopoenia.
    I've read about the benefits aof strontium and vit K? Be very grateful for any input though.
  2. Rand56

    Rand56 Senior Member

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    hi maryb

    My mom also has advanced osteoporosis and she "use to" take the drug Fosamax until I finally demanded her doc to take her off of it. She had more aches and pains taking it and I talked to some of her other friends who took it and they had the same side effects. I hardly ever hear her complain of aches and pains now that she has been off of it for awhile. She is 87 years old. It also gets to be a quality of life issue at that age and why suffer thru some extra aches and pains not knowing if the damn drug is going to be that beneficial and outweigh the negatives.

    Rand
  3. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Rand56
    I think she is in a lot of pain in her spine so maybe she does need to take something?
  4. Rand56

    Rand56 Senior Member

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    Has she had her hormones tested lately? I believe there is "some" evidence that taking DHEA can be of some benefit. I would suspect at her age for her DHEAS to be on the low side. You can search pubmed for some studies on DHEA and osteoporosis. If she tested low and even if taking DHEA didn't help to a "great" degree, other health parameters could possibly be helped by taking it if she is low.

    Here's an article from LEF on DHEA and osteoporosis....

    http://www.lef.org/prod_hp/dheaosteo.htm

    Rand

    PS. DHEA also has anti-inflammatory properties but whether or not it could help her degree of spine pain I have no idea.
  5. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Thanks but don't think she is in a position to have that testing - very limited given her age and not having anyone to take her around. Testing in the UK is not straighforward:(
  6. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    Fosamax just slows down bone loss and may help build the bone back up. I don't know of any supplements that have any great benefit for advanced osteoporosis. The risk of advanced osteoporosis in the elderly is mainly related to falls with the increased chance of bone breakage which leads to all sorts of complications. If she doesn't want to take Fosamax which is understandable re: looking at the side-effect profile, her age, and actually efficacy of the the drug, I would suggest that you look into minimizing any chances of falls -- eg remove rugs, shoes with rubber soles, safety in the bathroom, be vigilant of any meds that cause dizziness and drowsiness, good lighting in the home etc etc. This is likely not helpful :eek:
  7. allyb

    allyb Senior Member

  8. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    I have osteopoenia. I am hugely at risk for Osteoporosis and have been for years due to another diagnosis I have. I have had the osteopenia diagnosis for over 12 years -- my numbers haven't moved either way. I have been taking calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D since I got the diagnosis. My doctor pushed fosamax or some similar medication on me (can't remember). I declined to take it due to the side-effect profile. I said I would consider it as a last resort. I also was 40 when I got the diagnosis, and didn't much relish the thought of having to take such a medication for years on end. I have managed to stop my bone loss, so I am still not considering it.

    allyb - thanks for the link to the algaecal -- it looks interesting.
    allyb likes this.
  9. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    allyb
    thanks for that I'll have a look later on and let you know what I think - it would be so good to get her something. just got a lift - have to go get some carrots - I eat them twice a day normally ( I'm still as blind as a bat!!) Its obviously an addiction as I get withdrawal symptoms if don't have them in the fridge. sad sad sad....
    allyb likes this.
  10. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    If it's any help at all I've been on Didronel from my GP for two years now - it consists of the drug etidronate (for 2 weeks) followed by Calcium tabs. Unfortunately I've no idea if it helps at all as no retest is offered. Just might be worth looking into.
  11. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I take strontium plus the other recommended supplements. There are some good studies on strontium and there is a drug based on it (an artificial form I believe) that is widely used in Europe.

    Sushi
  12. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Calcium, vit. D, and human growth hormone - with weight bearing exercise if possible - is probably the best therapy. Personally, I would avoid Fosamax.
  13. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    allyb
    Thanks - I looked at the Algeacal plus - its very expensive so I think thats out for her, she is quite sensitive too, like me!!I don't usually go near algae - just don't fancy it probably after reading too much about it.
    Strontium boost looks quite good so that with some other minerals should help her.
    Kina
    Sushi
    jeffrez
    Enid
    thanks for your contributions - think strontium is the way to go - think the weight bearing is something a lot of people ignore. I try to lift something everyday - put weight onto my bones - difficult when you have back problems though.
    allyb likes this.
  14. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    maryb

    Thank you so much for your comments re: strontium. I have kind of ignored research into ostopenia for the last 5 years or so, just because I found that calcium etc was keeping the symptoms at bay. As I get older, I am sure that it will progress into Osteoporosis so I better keep working on this to minimize bone loss. I guess because I feel all my other symptoms, I tend to ignore something that is invisible to me right now.
  15. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Kina
    you're right Kina its so easy to ignore because we're not faced with the problem every day. I really need to get another scan to see how mine are doing.
    I am going to start taking the strontium too, maybe trying to help someone else will also help us in the long run.
    I'm not too sure about the calcium - there is research that shows we need more of the other minerals than calcium?
    Interesting what KdM says about vit D and the immune system - its a minefield isn't it?
  16. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    maryb

    After taking strontium for a while your bone scan will not "fit" the normal parameters because strontium will skew the results. Somewhere online I have read how to adjust the reading of a bone scan for those who are taking strontium. It might be in Susan Brown's Better Bones Blog? http://www.betterbones.com/default.aspx

    Sushi

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