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Apr 24, 2010

Osteoporosis 'snuck up' on me, and at the time I didn't consider myself 'older'.
The list below is interesting, though I've left a lot out that I consider oversimplified. Also, the article neglects to mention that at least one drug given to treat osteoporosis has caused serious problems e.g. multiple teeth abscesses, broken jaws.

Adapted from 10 Warning Signs Your Bones Are Thinning | Care2 Healthy & Green Living 
i.e. you’ve had more than one fracture...or you’ve had a fracture that seemed unusually severe for the circumstances.

Kim found out she had osteopenia, or mild osteoporosis, when she fractured her ankle simply by stepping the wrong way off a curb. Your bones need to be strong enough to sustain some impact, and if they aren’t, you’ll want to know more about what’s behind that.
Get a bone density test, also called a DXA scan or densitometry, which is a specialized type of X-ray that measures the amount of calcium and other key bone-hardening minerals within each bone segment. 
People with small, delicate frames are likely to develop osteoporosis at a younger age. This doesn’t mean that heavy or big-boned people don’t get osteoporosis; just that people who are thin or small-boned don’t have as far to go before they’re at risk for fracture. 
20-25 years old: we reach peak bone mass and stop building bone;
30-40 years old: we start losing bone.
The rate of bone loss depends on our genetics and on how vigilant we are about diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol. 
If you’re under age 40, eat a diet high in calcium-rich foods; get plenty of high-impact exercise e.g. running, jumping.
If you’re 40 or older, add a calcium-magnesium-vitamin D supplement, and do strength-training exercise in addition to impact exercise. Strength training has been shown to prevent bone loss.
Corticosteroids (e.g. Prednisone), Thyroid hormone, and SSRI antidepressants -- are associated with bone loss.

Taking cortisone drugs over a long period of time interferes with hormone levels in a way that leaches calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients from your bones. People who have AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES e.g. Crohn’s disease, Lupus, or Rheumatoid Arthritis have Osteoporosis at a much higher rate than the average person because of the corticosteroids used to treat these conditions.
Experts don’t know exactly how smoking sabotages bones, but it’s clear from numerous studies that it if you’ve been a smoker throughout your life, chances are high that you’ve compromised your bones.
Alcohol is a bone-weakener; it leaches calcium, magnesium, and other minerals from your bones. The more you drink, the more likely it is that it’s happening. Women are more vulnerable to this type of bone loss than men.
Most American adults are severely D-deficient, putting them at risk for weak bones and for several types of cancer. MILK (dairy, soy or rice) that has been fortified with vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium should be taken daily.
Artificially low body weight lowers hormone levels, causing skipped periods. Anything that lowers estrogen levels interferes with bone building.
Low levels of estrogen are typically responsible for missed periods or a cycle that starts and stops, and low estrogen contributes directly to bone loss. Low estrogen can be caused by an eating disorder, overexercising, or polycystic ovary disease PCOS 
e.g. a close relative who had osteoporosis before the age of 50 or before menopause.

Family history is a major indicator that your bones are weakening. If you come from a family where the older adults have a history of fractures, poor posture, or loss of height, chances are your family members had osteoporosis, whether or not it was ever diagnosed. And if they had it, it’s likely you do too. Compile a family health history. If you had relatives who suffered from osteoporosis, tell your doctor.
Just one of these risk factors makes it more likely your bones are thinning. If all three are true for you, there’s a good chance your bones are at risk for fracture. But African-American women also have reason to be concerned. A recent study showed that low bone mass is much more common than once believed in all ethnic groups, including African-Americans.
--If you’re 60, 70, or beyond, pay even more attention. Bone-thinning risk increases with age; osteoporosis experts estimate that after the age of 75, 90% of women will suffer a fracture. 

Feb 24, 2010

Posted in Care2's GreenLiving by Dr. Frank Lipman Feb 24, 2010

Check out
Dr Lipman writes:
  Although I believe whey protein, which comes from dairy is a great source of protein, I do not believe dairy is healthy in general. We have all been brainwashed to think that dairy products strengthen bones and stave off osteoporosis. But this is not the case. Walter Willett, M.D.,...and his [Harvard] colleagues analyzed dietary information gathered from nearly 80,000 women, ages 30 to 55, over a 12-year period. They found no evidence that women who consumed one to three servings daily of milk or other calcium-rich foods–like cheese or yogurt–reduced their risk of hip fractures, the standard measure for osteoporosis.
  The findings became even more dramatic when the Harvard researchers examined women who consumed three or more servings of dairy a day and found that none had any added protection against bone fractures. The data shows that Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures. And interestingly, countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.

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Posted: Feb 24, 2010 11:59pm
Jan 1, 2009

News item C2NN by Annelies

BOSTON, Dec. 31, 2008 (Reuters)
Merck's popular osteoporosis drug Fosamax and other similar drugs may carry a risk for esophageal cancer, a FDA official said on Wednesday.
  Diane Wysowski of the FDA's division of drug risk said researchers should check into potential links between so called bisphosphonate drugs and cancer.
  In a letter in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, Wysowski said since the initial marketing of Fosamax, known generically as alendronate, in 1995, the FDA has received 23 reports in which patients developed esophageal tumors. Typically, two years lapsed between the start of the drug and the development of esophageal cancer. Eight patients died, she reported.
  In Europe and Japan, 21 cases involving Fosamax have been logged, with another six instances where Procter & Gamble's Actonel or risedronate and Didronel or etidronate, and Roche's Boniva (ibandronate) may have been involved. Six of those people died.
  Esophagitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the tube carrying food to the stomach, is already know to be a side effect of the drugs, which is why patients are instructed to remain upright for at least a half hour after taking them. In addition, Wysowski said, doctors should avoid prescribing the drugs to people with Barrett's esophagus, which is a change in the lining that leads to the stomach. It is often found in people with acid reflux disease and itself increases the risk of cancer.

  (These drugs... Fosamax etc) aim to treat bone-weakening osteoporosis by increasing bone mass. An estimated 10 million Americans, mostly women, have osteoporosis.


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Jenny Dooley
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