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Natural Approach To Increasing Bone Density/help With Reading Results


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#1 BelleVie

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 02:51 AM

Hi everyone. Hope I'm posting this in the correct forum.

 

I had a DXA scan done last week and got the results today, and the doctor told me I have extremely low bone density in my lower back. From what I understand, if your T score is -2.5 or more, that puts you in the category for a diagnosis of osteoporosis, is that right? Mine was -2.6, with a Z score of -2.0. It says:

 

Spine AP BMD (L1-L4): .925 g/cm (squared) (79% of Age Matched normal), Z score (-2.0) 

 

The doctor told me to start a calcium supplement and add more protein to my diet, but then I did more research and it seems that a lot of newer research on osteoporosis and bone density suggests that calcium supplementation doesn't do much to fix low bone density, and that things like K-2 supplementation and vitamin D supplementation are more important. 

 

The doctor did not try to put me on a prescription medication, which makes me think that it's not too severe, if she thinks supplementation can help, but I'm confused about what exactly I should do. 

 

I'm just wondering what my fellow forum folk think about this, and if any of you have had any success with a more holistic approach to treating bone density issues?

 

Also, how long before I should get another scan to see if what I'm doing is working? Should have asked the doc, but it slipped my mind!  

 

Also, what kind of weight bearing exercise would be good to help this? I've always been extremely active, so it's so surprising to me that I have such low density. Is adding more walking into my routine enough, or should I be doing more? 

 

Thank you. :) 


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#2 BelleVie

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 03:21 AM

Also, just wondering if there any dancers out there who would know if it's okay to dance on pointe? I dance, and I'm wondering if I should stop dancing pointe because of the added stress on my feet. I definitely don't want to fracture anything! 


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#3 1desperateladysaved

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 04:12 AM

My calcium levels are good.  I have been asked NOT to take calcium by my functional medicine nurse.  She said that it tends to make digestion worse.  I don't use dairy products, but I may be able to in the future.  I have been taking magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K in multi-vitamin.   I eat meat, veggies, nuts, and fruit.  I also use coconut and olive oil.  I don't eat foods that are for entertainment.  If you give your body all of the nutrients to heal, I believe your bones will heal too.  I believe that spiritual life is important for bone density too.

 

For exercise I do daily squats, push ups, and sit-ups. This is functional exercise and I would like to learn more about this type of exercise.  I also do exercises for my back recommended by my chiropractor.  I walk up and down stairs several times a day and walk many hours making meals.  In the summer, I do gardening.  I like to jump on my mini-tramp to music when I can find my music disk.

 

Twenty five years ago, my dentist became upset about my teeth.  He called my doctor.  On my next visit the doctor told me that she believed that my bone mass was 5 % of normal.  I had been a milk lover while young and into gymnastics and ice skating, so this news didn't make sense at age 25.  She told me to take Tums for Calcium, so I tried. This gave me tummy cramps and nausea, so I did not keep it up.

 

I believe you can redo bone density tests.  I remember reading that someone noted their progress, so I hope people will tell about their experience.

 

D


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#4 IrishHeart

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:29 AM

Belle Vie,

 

My doctor and I felt that taking 1200 calcium, with 600 magnesium and 2000 ius D were the best approach for me at the beginning as we both did not want me on medications. My bone density scan of 2011 was borderline osteporosis in the hips and lumbar spine

and this year, it had improved a lot (yaay!) :)

 

so I am on the right track.

Part of this improvement was also because I could finally exercise and use weights. (double yaay!) 

 

He told me I could back off the calcium supps once I had a substantial increase in bone density. He suggested 6 months or so of supplementing, but now that I eat more of a paleo-type diet, I get tons of greens, so my calcium intake is pretty good.

 

 

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the best exercises for building and maintaining bone density are:

  • Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, that makes you work against gravity while staying upright.
  • Muscle-strengthening exercise, such as weight lifting, that makes you work against gravity in a standing, sitting, or prone position.

Nonimpact activities such as balance, functional, and posture exercises also may benefit people with osteoporosis. Although these exercises don't build or maintain bone density, they may increase muscle strength and decrease the risk of falls and fractures.

If your doctor determines that it's not safe for you to perform high-impact weight-bearing exercises, he or she may recommend low-impact weight-bearing exercises that are less likely to cause fractures and also build and maintain bone density. These include:

  • elliptical training machines
  • low-impact aerobics
  • stair-step machines
  • walking (either outside or on a treadmill machine)
  • Programs that maintain muscular strength can slow the loss of bone mineral density associated with osteoporosis, and may help prevent fall-related fractures. Examples of muscle-strengthening exercises include functional movements such as standing and rising on your toes, lifting your own body weight, and the use of equipment such as:
  • Experts recommend performing strength-training exercises two to three days per week.

    Nonimpact Activities for Osteoporosis

    Certain nonimpact activities can improve your coordination, flexibility, and muscle strength and reduce your risk of falls and fractures while increasing your mobility and overall quality of life.

    Balance exercises such as Tai Chi can strengthen your leg muscles, and help you stay steadier on your feet. Posture exercises can improve your carriage, reduce the "sloping" shoulders associated with osteoporosis, and decrease your risk of fractures, especially in the spine. Functional exercises can improve your ability to perform everyday activities such as getting in and out of bed and chairs, and climbing stairs.

    Balance, posture, and functional exercises can be performed daily.

     
     
     

    Although exercise can benefit almost everyone with osteoporosis, it's important to remember that it's only one component of an overall treatment program. Other essential lifestyle recommendations include a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, maintaining a normal body weight, and avoiding tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption"

Hope this helps!

 

PS Dance all you want, but not on pointe, IMHO. risk of fracture and all. Give it some time, hon.

I dance all the time--loud music, like a mad woman, energetic stuff --and I do not care who sees me. LOL

Dance lessons for 15 years as a kid and I still "got it" 


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"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it makes the difference." Virginia Satir

"The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience." Leo Tolstoy

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else" Booker T. Washington

“If idiots could fly, the sky would be like an airport.”― Laura Davenport 

"Do or do not. There is no try. "-  Yoda.

"LTES"  Gem 2014

 

Misdiagnosed for 25+ years; Finally Diagnosed with Celiac  11/01/10.  Double DQ2 genes. This thing tried to kill me. I view Celiac as a fire breathing dragon --and I have run my sword right through his throat.
I. Win. bliss-smiley-emoticon.gif


#5 cyclinglady

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:29 AM

Sorry, am trying to get out of the house early this morning (teach a class).  That said, I fractured a vertebrae in June 2013 doing NOTHING!  It was just a few months after my diagnosis.  My bone scan showed osteoporosis in my back and osteopenia in my hips, etc.  I am schedule for another scan in about two years.  It does take that long to show improvement (if any), especially in women my age.  

 

I have been taking Vit. D, calicum and magnesium daily.  I have just started hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help me build bone (just one year out of menopause).  I think this is my best shot for building bone.  

 

I don't want to take any drugs for osteoporosis.  My research indicates that it build bone well, but in the bone-building cycle, the drug does not encourage the body to clear away the dead bone and then re-build on a good foundation.  Too many women have been experiencing spontaneous fractures (e.g. thigh bone) just walking around.  Drugs have side effects and I'm always the one to have the worst reactions!  

 

After my fracture, I walked.  Walked. Walked.  I was devastated after my fracture as I am a cyclist, runner and swimmer!  I really miss my road bike!  

 

So, bought a comfort bike and am riding just around 30 miles.  No century rides until I can get back on my road bike (a hunched over position is too much pressure on my T-9 vertebrae).  Started running again in October -- carefully, watching every crack.  But emotionally feeling much better!

 

The risk of fracture is high, so I have compromised but cutting back on exercise.  I swim a lot to keep in shape too though that's not great for my bones. I use light weights at home.  Thinking about going to the gym (which I hate) after the holidays. 

 

I would dance, but not on pointe.  Wait.  Be patient.  And I know that is so hard to do!

 

Got to go!


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Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005
Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014
Anemia -- Resolved
Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013
Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013
Allergies and Food Intolerances
Diabetes -- January 2014




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#6 ynot

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:14 AM

Hi everyone. Hope I'm posting this in the correct forum.

 

I had a DXA scan done last week and got the results today, and the doctor told me I have extremely low bone density in my lower back. From what I understand, if your T score is -2.5 or more, that puts you in the category for a diagnosis of osteoporosis, is that right? Mine was -2.6, with a Z score of -2.0. It says:

 

Spine AP BMD (L1-L4): .925 g/cm (squared) (79% of Age Matched normal), Z score (-2.0) 

 

The doctor told me to start a calcium supplement and add more protein to my diet, but then I did more research and it seems that a lot of newer research on osteoporosis and bone density suggests that calcium supplementation doesn't do much to fix low bone density, and that things like K-2 supplementation and vitamin D supplementation are more important. 

 

The doctor did not try to put me on a prescription medication, which makes me think that it's not too severe, if she thinks supplementation can help, but I'm confused about what exactly I should do. 

 

I'm just wondering what my fellow forum folk think about this, and if any of you have had any success with a more holistic approach to treating bone density issues?

 

Also, how long before I should get another scan to see if what I'm doing is working? Should have asked the doc, but it slipped my mind!  

 

Also, what kind of weight bearing exercise would be good to help this? I've always been extremely active, so it's so surprising to me that I have such low density. Is adding more walking into my routine enough, or should I be doing more? 

 

Thank you. :)

 

I think you are right to consider K2 supplementation. If you haven't already found it, the Weston Price foundation has some good articles on K2 ( the x-factor ). I cannot personally attest to its ability to help with bone density, but out of all the vitamins I take, K2 is one of the few that I can say with confidence has a positive and real effect. Since taking it my teeth always seem clean. No more gunk building up and no more film waking up in the morning. I take both butter oil ( mk-4) and a mk-7 supplement. Definitly worth a shot in my opinion. Don't forget Vitamin A ( not betacarotene ) and Vitamin D. All three are suppose to work synergistically. 


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#7 kareng

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:53 AM

The thing with calcium is - the levels can be fine in your blood - that doesn't mean you are getting enough.  Out bodies take the calcium out of the bones to maintain a good level in the blood. That is why they say to add calcium to help with bone density.


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Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare.  They are consumed in 12 minutes.  Half-times take 12 minutes.  This is not a coincidence.  - Emma Bombeck
 
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#8 IrishHeart

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:45 AM

The thing with calcium is - the levels can be fine in your blood - that doesn't mean you are getting enough.  Out bodies take the calcium out of the bones to maintain a good level in the blood. That is why they say to add calcium to help with bone density.

 

This is exactly what my GYN and GI guy said...and they used the term "calcium leeching" in terms of long undiagnosed celiac. 


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"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it makes the difference." Virginia Satir

"The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience." Leo Tolstoy

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else" Booker T. Washington

“If idiots could fly, the sky would be like an airport.”― Laura Davenport 

"Do or do not. There is no try. "-  Yoda.

"LTES"  Gem 2014

 

Misdiagnosed for 25+ years; Finally Diagnosed with Celiac  11/01/10.  Double DQ2 genes. This thing tried to kill me. I view Celiac as a fire breathing dragon --and I have run my sword right through his throat.
I. Win. bliss-smiley-emoticon.gif


#9 BelleVie

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 05:36 PM

Oh thank you all so much for responding. I'm glad to know other people have avoided the pharmaceutical route as well. 

 

Desperateladysaved, I like what you said about not eating foods for entertainment. That's a good way of thinking of it. I don't do that too often, though I have really been enjoying this Ghiradelli hot chocolate that my mom mailed to me a few weeks ago! 

 

As far as exercise goes, I go to dance class two nights per week right now. I think in a couple of months I'll try and increase to three or four. The elliptical seems like a good idea as well. 

 

Cyclinglady, I actually thought of you after first talking to my doctor! It's lucky that I caught it, because otherwise I fear that something similar to what happened to you might have happened if my density got any lower. I still can't believe how crazy it is that you had that fracture! But I'm so glad to hear things are looking up for you and you're able to exercise again in the way that you enjoy. 

 

Yeah, the calcium leeching thing is absolutely true. I had bloodwork done back in October that showed perfectly normal calcium levels. Yikes. I just wonder how many other people are in a similar boat, with doctors telling them everything is fine when it's not. :(

 

Thanks to all of you for your continuing, amazing support. You silly yaks are great. 


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#10 1desperateladysaved

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:27 PM

Many perhaps have not heard of a new kind of blood test for nutrient levels.  It became covered by my medical insurance this year and also Medicare will now cover it . It had not been recognized the year before.   I heard this from the functional medicine nurse.  This test recognizes that the blood serum can steal the nutrients from cells, so cells can be quite depleted while serum appears well.  It tests the white blood cells to discover what the nutrient levels within body cells are.  The test is called Spectra Cell. 

 

I have not asked if white cells are getting nutrients whether bone cells will too.  I don't care to have my bone cells tested, except maybe my fingernails.

 

D


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#11 kareng

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:30 PM

Many perhaps have not heard of a new kind of blood test for nutrient levels.  It became covered by my medical insurance this year and also Medicare will now cover it . It had not been recognized the year before.   I heard this from the functional medicine nurse.  This test recognizes that the blood serum can steal the nutrients from cells, so cells can be quite depleted while serum appears well.  It tests the white blood cells to discover what the nutrient levels within body cells are.  The test is called Spectra Cell. 
 
I have not asked if white cells are getting nutrients whether bone cells will too.  I don't care to have my bone cells tested, except maybe my fingernails.
 
D



Fingernails aren't made of bone, FYI.
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Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare.  They are consumed in 12 minutes.  Half-times take 12 minutes.  This is not a coincidence.  - Emma Bombeck
 
dancing-turkey.gif
 
 
 
 

 


#12 1desperateladysaved

 
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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:44 PM

You're right. That makes me doubly sure I wouldn't want to test my bone cells.  Just to be clear though, nobody offered me a test to do that. 


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#13 BelleVie

 
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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:54 AM

Funnily enough, leaving the grocery store this evening I slipped on a patch of ice and fell hard right on my bum. Sigh. After all that care not to fall down. Thankfully, I think I'll just have a pretty bruise.  :rolleyes:


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#14 IrishHeart

 
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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:53 AM

Funnily enough, leaving the grocery store this evening I slipped on a patch of ice and fell hard right on my bum. Sigh. After all that care not to fall down. Thankfully, I think I'll just have a pretty bruise.  :rolleyes:

 

My bum is where I have the most padding at this moment. But I have fallen hard on my tailbone before. It hurt like hell.

 

Sat on a bag of frozen peas for hours... Hope you are okay!


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"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it makes the difference." Virginia Satir

"The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience." Leo Tolstoy

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else" Booker T. Washington

“If idiots could fly, the sky would be like an airport.”― Laura Davenport 

"Do or do not. There is no try. "-  Yoda.

"LTES"  Gem 2014

 

Misdiagnosed for 25+ years; Finally Diagnosed with Celiac  11/01/10.  Double DQ2 genes. This thing tried to kill me. I view Celiac as a fire breathing dragon --and I have run my sword right through his throat.
I. Win. bliss-smiley-emoticon.gif


#15 kareng

 
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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:06 AM

Many perhaps have not heard of a new kind of blood test for nutrient levels.  It became covered by my medical insurance this year and also Medicare will now cover it . It had not been recognized the year before.   I heard this from the functional medicine nurse.  This test recognizes that the blood serum can steal the nutrients from cells, so cells can be quite depleted while serum appears well.  It tests the white blood cells to discover what the nutrient levels within body cells are.  The test is called Spectra Cell. 
 
I have not asked if white cells are getting nutrients whether bone cells will too.  I don't care to have my bone cells tested, except maybe my fingernails.
 
D



A bone density test doesn't take bone cells....it's an X-ray. Very simple and painless. Here is an explanation.

http://www.mayoclini...ty-test/MY00304
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Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare.  They are consumed in 12 minutes.  Half-times take 12 minutes.  This is not a coincidence.  - Emma Bombeck
 
dancing-turkey.gif
 
 
 
 

 





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