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Mickide

Osteopenia

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I had a bone density scan on Monday and my doctor calls today saying it shows Osteopenia (?). I know this isn't uncommon in Celiacs. Aurg.. I am so frustrated all I can do is laugh! Like are you kidding me, here I am 33yrs old, I have lost 35lbs this year, have lost another 8 since I was diagnosed a few weeks ago(there is nothing left to lose), have the issues that come along with Celiacs, diagnosed with a heart condition 2 months ago and now Osteopenia!! What the heck, where do I start?? I am eatting healthier than I ever have. I am gluten-free/DF, now reading about other foods that can inhibit the absorbtion of calcium. I really just don't know where to start. I want to do this naturally, the Dr mentioned Fosomax, which I am not really interested in besides the fact I am breastfeeding my daughter. My Dr did say to take extra calcium and vit D and exercise 40 mins/day 6 days a week. Any ideas on naturally helping this out? Thanks for just letting me vent.

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Good for you for not wanting to be goaded into taking Fosimax! Doctor's and their pills! I also have been told I have osteopenia but will not take bone pills for numerous reasons. I am older than you though, 48, so it should be easier for you to re-build your bones because you still have your hormones.

First off, once you remain gluten-free for awhile, you should start to absorb again. So, make sure you stay gluten-free and do not cheat so this can happen. Next, along with calcium, it's very important for you to take vitamin D3. Make sure it's D3 and not just labeled vitamin D. Research has shown that you can pretty much not overdose on the stuff so I am taking 2000 units per day. I have been told by my doctor it could probably be pushed all the way up to 5000 per day but to start lower. I recently had blood work done to see what my levels where and I could still use some more so that's what I take. As you are breastfeeding, make sure you check with your doctor before taking this amount....I'm sure it will be OK but I'm playing it safe here.

Also very important for calcium absorption is magnesium. I take a supplement for that too and, offhand, cannot remember the dose so could check that for you. All 3 taken together will give maximum effect.

Exercise is great but I am having trouble at the moment finding the time. I am thin anyway but my work schedule makes 6 days a week too difficult. I have to improve on that.

You are young still so you should not have to take Fosimax or anything along those lines. Having just had a baby, your hormone levels should be great and estrogen/progesterone will help build bones. I use bio-identical hormones at the moment and hope they help!

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I am a 56 year-old male celiac with osteopenia. I'm on calcium and Fosamax and Vitamin D. I certainly can understand your reluctance to take Fosamax if you are breast feeding. I think for you the key would be weight resistance type exercise and Vitamin D supplementation. Celiacs tend not to absorb fat-soluble nutrients well, one of which is Vitaman D which as you probably know, is a key in calcium metabolism and strong bones. I recently started taking a 1000 IU vitamin D tab daily, in addition to what I'm getting from other sources such as milk, multivit, calcium tabs, etc. I think if you keep it under 2000 IU daily its safe. There is a lot of thought among nutritionists these days that most people don't get nearly enough Vitamin D since we work indoors and that the RDA is much too low. As far as calcium supplementation, there is a lot of controversy surrounding its effectivness but one key is to pair it with acidic foods and beverages as it is absorbed better in a low pH environment. A diet too high in calcium can actually inhibit calcium absorbption because calcium is a base mineral (the oppostie of acid) and tends to raise gut pH.

Steve

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If it makes you feel any better I also was told I have osteopenia and I'm 29. My doctor told me to take calcium 600 mg + Vitamin D 3x's a day and do excercise such as pilates. I was so excited to hear that I needed to take calcium 3x's a day, when the recommended dose for senior citizens is 2x's a day. (No, no sarcasm here. LOL)! Did I mention I'm 29!!!! Oh and if I remember correctly I was 28 when I found out I had osteopenia.

I'll be honest, I took 2 reformer pilates classes and it really hurt my back, so I haven't gone back. I had severe scoliosis and wore a back brace for 4+ years. The instructor kept insisting I wasn't on my center so I would shift where he told me to, but I felt centered and I think I was but it just didn't look it from above because I still have a bit of an S curve. I think this is what hurt my back and I'm just not sure if pilates is for me. I'm thinking of giving it another try.

Does anyone know when I should go back for a follow up scan to see if there has been any improvement?

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\\have been told that drinking carbonated beverages (soda pop) depletes calcium stores in your body due to the phosphate in it. So you could cut that out.

Some cities actually have osteoporosis exercise classes. My mom goes to one in London, Ont.

I agree with Steve who said that weight resistance training is important.

To Gemini, I will say to you what my husband says to me which is to ask you why you don't respect yourself enough to make time to do what you should to help your body heal. I have never been able to come up with a reply to that one. Being thin doesn't necessarily mean your bones are ok, apparently they need strong muscles to support them. Maybe you could seek out some sort of a trainer/therapist to get you going. I know that sometimes I feel too busy too, we all do, but do try. Ok, now I've talked myself into doing some weights (small weights). I find I can even accomplish something in as little as 10 minutes. Remember, any amount is better than nothing. You can do it!

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To Gemini, I will say to you what my husband says to me which is to ask you why you don't respect yourself enough to make time to do what you should to help your body heal. I have never been able to come up with a reply to that one. Being thin doesn't necessarily mean your bones are ok, apparently they need strong muscles to support them. Maybe you could seek out some sort of a trainer/therapist to get you going. I know that sometimes I feel too busy too, we all do, but do try. Ok, now I've talked myself into doing some weights (small weights). I find I can even accomplish something in as little as 10 minutes. Remember, any amount is better than nothing. You can do it!

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