Hi everyone

I had my bone scan a few weeks ago. I’m meant to have them every two years, but this time what with ‘you know what’ it was three years since my last scan.  Do you have regular bone scans? I have had these scans for years and have kept the records for them since 2003 so I’ve been tracking my steady progress towards osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Yes, it’s no surprise to me that my scores continue to move towards the inevitable loss of bone as I have really small bones. If you ever thought being called ‘big boned’ was a negative, and not a compliment, just don’t think that way, instead praise the heavens for your good fortune. I inherited from my really quite small mother her bones on my father’s taller frame. So I have dainty hands, small thin feet, thin arms (more about those in a minute) and thin legs.

I mean I like my legs and love wearing skinny jeans and last week I found some skinny jeans in my local charity shop.

They were new and still had their price tag so quite a bargain at £4. Also the spare tyre that I got during our lockdowns has gone.

Anyway, while I’ve been happy to have slim legs I am not quite so happy with the way these thin limbs are shaping up in my older age! However, after reading the doom-laden letter from the consultant I looked closer at the test results and actually parts were not as bad as I thought they might be. My hip score is no different to how it was 3 years ago, and surely that is a good thing, and my spine has only slightly increased its score, it’s the forearm that is an utter disgrace – in the consultant’s words I have severe osteoporosis of the forearm.  And of course, they want me to take that med, alendronate (fosamax).

Now, do not follow what I am doing – because what I’m sharing with you is considered to be so very wrong. The thing is I thought about it, and I visited my GP and told her that the med was really not for me and she said it’s your body and ‘you can decide’.  Although she spoke of all the reasons why I should take alendronate, she accepted what I said to her, and for my part I promised that I would reconsider in two years time after my next scan.

Ok so what in the meantime am I doing about these pesky forearms. Because I am not going to sit around and bemoan my fate. As we all know bone is made when you weight bear, so obviously all the walking I do and all the exercises I do during Pilates and my 1-2-1 with my PT has paid off, even on my spine where the deterioration has slowed. And over the past six months I have paid particular attention to these hips of mine with that instability I had, yes, that’s right, had, as that instability has gone, and all due to the daily exercises I’ve done to build up the muscle around my hip.

Well, now is the time to turn my attention to upper body weights.  And so far I have been doing the weightlifting every other day. Also note that during Pilates classes I do planks and press-ups on the floor and at home I do standing press-ups with hand claps as you move away from the wall. Furthermore, at my 1-2-1 with my Personal Trainer we will now be concentrating on strength and resistance, and yesterday I was  doing a lot of weights using a bar. Maybe I’ll take some pix of these one day to show you that 75-yr-olds really can take the strain!  Actually of course you don’t strain, as you engage every muscle in your body to protect your back as you do your deadlifts and biceps curl-ups plus all the other weights that I am putting in my armoury to prevent any further deterioration and build up that protective muscle. Indeed why I’m sharing this is to encourage everyone to i) be aware of your bones and ii) take control and be pro-active as one ages. And of course, please listen to your medical practitioner.

So, to sum up, I shall be working those forearms in as many ways as possible to i) build up muscle and ii) get those osteoblasts working (those are the cells that build the bone). Actually the many ways might also include gardening and hammering nails into planks of wood, the former I do once a month at my son’s abode, not so sure how I can do the latter though!  But there’s plenty of work needed in my son’s garden as it needs a lot of attention.

And then there’s the food one can eat.  Sardines, with the bones in, of course, actually I love those, and other oily fish including mackerel, salmon, herring, pilchards and sprats. I could eat that kind of fish every day but Mr F is not all that keen and once a week is enough for him. Then there’s milk, cheese, green vegetables and any vegetable really with a little meat each week, but not too much. And then course, foods to avoid are sugary foods and not too much coffee and as for cola and other soda drinks the word is ‘avoid’ which I do now, but I do admit to being almost addicted to coca-cola for about ten-years. Awful really, I don’t know why I was like that, but thank goodness I have stopped, as cola strips the minerals from your bones.

So there you are.  I would be very interested in those of you who take alendronate and find it does you the world of good, that might make me change my mind. I’d also be interested in any of you who have not got on with this med. Finally, I leave you with another message.  Do listen to your medical practitioner if they suggest a med and don’t do as I do!  And for any sensible advice on health and ageing always look at the Age-Well Project blog – they really know what they’re talking about. Btw I’m pleased to tell you that Susan Saunders is speaking at the Lewes Speakers Festival in January 2022 and I’ve already booked my early-bird seat to hear what she has to say.

You all take care now – of every part of your body 😊

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

 

 

 

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39 thoughts on “Those bones – how are yours?

  • 17th November 2021 at 9:18 am
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    On my way now to have my first cataract removed. I often think it’s lucky I’m retired as I seem to spend so much time in doctors’ waiting rooms :). Good luck with the weights.

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    • 17th November 2021 at 4:35 pm
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      Good luck with the cataract which you must have had removed by now. I believe it’s a fairly easy op and it’s great to see more clearly. Will be interested to know how you get on as I’m cooking one in the right eye!

      Take care, post-op 😊

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      • 24th November 2021 at 4:31 pm
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        The cataract op was great in at 1.30 out by 16 hours. It took less than an hour and afterwards I was given a hot chocolate and a brioche. Stopped wearing my glasses 3 days later. Left eye next Wednesday. I delayed going in because of Covid but would recommend.

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  • 17th November 2021 at 10:33 am
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    Hello Penny, you’re looking good in those jeans! As I’m sure I’ve told you before I have severe osteoporosis diagnosed before I was 50 so I’m an unusual case. After about 12 years on bisphosphonates I was told I’d taken them too long and given a 3 year ‘break’ (how ironic is that!). I asked to have a scan after 18 months and the deterioration was so bad I started on Prolia injections which I have twice a year. No problems as far as I’m aware ; my scan is next week so we’ll see how things are. I always have to ask for a scan but no problem with getting it. Not sure what your objections to alendronate are ; I assume you’ve investigated it. There are potential side effects of course and for you these may outweigh the benefits. What is your fracture risk ? Mine has been low & I’ve had falls without breaking anything. I also have an underactive thyroid & fibromyalgia which made exercise seem impossible when I should have been pushing myself to do more. Two years ago I got my PT and have a session with her weekly, on Skype during lockdowns. I usually do 2 sessions on my own as well as walking. On our last cruise I was struggling with the stairs much more than on the previous trip so I need to do more uphill exercise. I keep saying that I’ll start swimming again now we have a new leisure centre but no action on that so far!

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    • 18th November 2021 at 8:46 am
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      Same here – I always ask for my scan. The thing is I have read up on alendronate and know all about its side-effects which seem ghastly, especially the dental area, which is an area that for me needs a lot of attention these days. I’ve also read and still got the book, Too Many Pills by James Le Fanu who points out that yes, a medical pharmaceutical intervention like alendronate is necessary for severe osteoporosis particularly after fracture, but overall, the stats show at best a marginal benefit for the majority and the key thing is what reduces the actual incidence of fracture. As I don’t have severe osteoporosis in my hip and spine I am going down the route of non-pharmaceutical intervention concentrating on bone-building exercise and particularly weights. I shall also endeavour to eat well. It’s an individual decision Lynda and anyone with severe osteoporosis, as you do, absolutely, belt and braces is the route to go down. Meanwhile I aim to get on with physical therapies and do my utmost to stay upright whilst walking about!

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  • 17th November 2021 at 11:34 am
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    Gee whiz, Penny, you look great in those jeans! Bravo! I’m thinking that Mr. F steps out smartly when he has you by his side! Thank you for sharing what we can (and should try) to achieve with our bone health. As an Asian woman with a smallish bone frame, I have tried to monitor my bone health. I am thankful to not be lactose-intolerant as a large portion of Asians are, which greatly inhibits calcium intake.
    Yes, I was on Fosamax for a few (3?) years. It was touted as a marvelous aid to those who faced osteoporosis (raise my hand) in their later years. Then incidents arose of longtime Fosamax users having breaking bones even on their thickest bones. I discussed this with my MD who said I could go off Fosamax but then I must do weight-bearing exercises and take calcium religiously to offset the onset of osteopenia and osteoporosis. I was entering my 50’s. My MIL had suffered very serious osteoporosis and was quite arthritic. When she fell and broke her hip, the doctor said her hip bone looked like a dense spider web, it was so eaten away.
    I am now 72 and I still struggle to maintain a routine of exercise and calcium intake!! I am better when I have classmates and accountability. One of the most fun things I did for about seven years (until our move and the pandemic) was a jazzercise class with weights and mats for floor work. Fun music, hand weights, and body movement kept me in balance. Women from their 40’s to 80’s were in that large class. So fun! Having a strong core can keep one from losing balance and falling. Now I try to get online to join in the class but it’s not the same. I also get a 2-3 mile walk in, here and there.
    Sigh…you are right, Penny. Your spirit that comes through your writing inspires me to get at it, again, on a more regular basis. Thank you for the reminder…
    Charlene H

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    • 18th November 2021 at 8:55 am
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      How interesting you say you took Fosamax for a time. Yes, that side-effect is a thing, that the med can actually increase your risk of fracture – eek, no thank you!

      If your medical practitioner said take calcium and do weight-bearing exercises then that is the way forward for you Charlene! I know it is easier said than done, and I know how difficult it is to take exercise on ones own. Actually what you could do is look for a Personal Trainer that you trust. I have done so well with mine. But it takes time to find one, it took about 4 years to find mine. Search the ‘net for nearby PTs. Furthermore look for the ones that specialise in medical issues and isn’t a young thing keen on pushing people, note my PT is 64. I thought I couldn’t afford a PT but I’d rather go without other things than give up the trust I have in my PT plus there’s the expertise that she has. So look for that Charlene, in the meantime, take care of yourself as I know you care for your husband, but you are also worth the effort too!

      😊

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  • 17th November 2021 at 12:17 pm
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    I totally agree that one should consider the advice of a medical profession, and equally is always worth researching the side effects of any drugs suggested. One drug suggested for osteoporosis means you have to sit upright for 30 minutes after taking it to prevent damage to your oesophagus… Charlene has mentioned the problems with long term usage of Fosamax.

    Bone scans are also dependent on the correct positioning and interpretation of the operator – if there is more than one standard deviation between lumbar and hip (e.g hip -3.3, lumbar -2) there may well be an error, which is called discordance.

    Of course it must be up to the individual how they choose to proceed, but diet, supplements and where possible weight bearing exercise might be a good way to go, with no unpleasant side effects. Calcium citrate, Vitamin D3, K2 are said to help. I have found pilates twice a week has been really helpful in strengthening my core and muscles generally.

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    • 19th November 2021 at 9:21 am
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      I too have found Pilates an absolute marvel with regard to building up the core and muscle generally and hope to do that kind of exercise for the rest of my life! And yes, Calcium and Vit D3 are essentials. I also take zinc and magnesium.

      I really am resolved to do this type of exercise plus weights regularly and I agree with you that one ought to research and understand the meds that are prescribed, rather than just accepting everything in a kind of parent/child way.

      Thank you for your interesting comment, Katherine

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  • 17th November 2021 at 12:44 pm
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    Hi Penny

    Wish I could get regular bone density scans too. Maybe I should ask? I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at 62 after fracturing a wrist (I’m 75 now) and took Alendronate acid for six years with no problems, and also calcium/Vitamin D. My bone density scan at 68 showed an improvement so now osteopenia that my doctor thought could be down to a combination of taking the Alendronate acid plus regular Pilates that I had started doing shortly before the wrist fracture and walking much more. I stopped taking the Alendronate acid but continued with calcium/vitamin D for another three years until my new young GP said the advice now was not to take too much calcium supplements. I am small boned and a vegetarian so have to make sure I have a good diet. I was able to have implants two years ago, something that can be difficult if you take Alendronate acid for too long as it affects teeth. Osteoporosis is so common that we all have to take care. I wish I had done more exercise when younger and am pleased that my 48 year old daughter is very active with running and Pilates.

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    • 19th November 2021 at 9:29 am
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      I always have to ask for a bone scan but somewhere in my notes (and in the current letter) it does say to have a bone scan every two years. But gosh, at your age (same as mine) and having had a fracture there is no doubt that you should have a regular bone scan. Ask for one and continue to ask until they say yes. You will of course, have to wait, think it was nearly 6 months before I got mine.

      Yes, I perhaps should try alendronate and will if things continue to deteriorate after two years. I take Accrete, but actually not twice a day as ordained by the GP but once a day. Have decided to up my sardine take to a tin all to myself twice a week! Over the past year we also eat far more very green leafy veg.

      Thank you so much for your interesting comment 😊

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  • 17th November 2021 at 2:13 pm
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    It’s good to read about how you are dealing with the osteoporosis/osteopenia issue and I hope you manage to halt the bone loss. I’m at that stage too and have been prescribed Accrete, which I’ve chosen not to take for now and instead have upped the milky drinks, sardines, etc, etc having done the healthy diet calculation on an osteoporosis society website. I had a heart attack 5 years ago, totally out of the blue and told I was atypical. However, it is what it is and I did a really healthy turnaround with diet and cardio exercise which includes weights and balance. My osteopenia diagnosis came after having tripped last December while carrying a heavy plant pot and had two little fractures to the tiny bones in my right wrist. This along with having arthritis and two new knees, I was sent for a bone scan. The osteopenia is mainly in my left forearm. I took HRT for over 10 years and was really surprised by the diagnosis I I’d understood HRT protects bones. I’m also interested in reading what other experiences of drugs for bone health. I religiously take Vitamin D3 all year round alongside my heart meds and Co-Q10.

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    • 19th November 2021 at 9:37 am
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      Have decided to up my intake of sardines to twice a week and have discover a lovely Norwegian brand, King Oscar, stocked in Sainsbury’s. I’ve taken Accrete for years and as I know there is some advice not to take too much calcium I take it once a day rather than the prescribed twice a day. Gosh sorry to hear about the heart attack. The things that stack up as one ages (I’m 75) as I also take a beta blocker for my heart arrhythmia.

      Think exercise: walking+++, Pilates and weights plus a good diet is the way forward for me, but I shall trial alendronate if after two years I am still deteriorating.

      Thanks so much for your interesting comment, Jane

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  • 17th November 2021 at 3:17 pm
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    Interesting what you say about exercise – my doctor said nothing would repair bones, just stabilise the deterioration.
    I took alendronate on and off for around 15 years following a scan which showed osteopenia, and, guess what, when I had an endoscopy this year for continued digestive upsets and gastric reflux (it was a locum who suggested this) I discovered I had a gastric ulcer, quite visible on the screen! I asked ‘How on earth did I get that’ and the clinician replied without stopping to draw breath, ‘alendronate’…..and his follow-up endoscopy report suggested that, after a pause, I had half-yearly denusomab injections. I requested a dexascan, and eventually upon my asking, the result was telephoned through and my doctor, or should I say, the doctor, since it is always a different one, said that I needed no further treatment. I am in my late 70s, fairly active, but prey to the thought that further treatment may be on a ‘what does it cost the practice’ basis, since I was told that the only tablets which agreed with me (Pantoprazole) were not supposed to be prescribed because they were expensive. I rest my case!

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    • 19th November 2021 at 11:20 am
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      Oh that’s awful re: the ulcer and one of the main reasons why I don’t want to take alendronate – I have a very sensitive gut. And now you don’t need any further treatment – that’s excellent.

      Re: whether exercise makes bone – it does if it is weight bearing which is why I think my hip scores have stabilised and my forearm is so bad. Will concentrate on weights and do the best I can with physical exercise, but I have promised myself I’ll trial alendronate if my scores are not Ok in 2 years time.

      Thanks so much for your interesting comment 😊

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  • 17th November 2021 at 5:18 pm
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    What a very interesting letter this week ,Penny. Thankyou. I am very interested in your exercise routine , does it take a lot of time and do you go to classes for Pilates? I am 82 and quite active generally but am nervous of “weightlifting “ and too much straining! I have had five children and consequently have a few bladder problems. The last specialist I saw said I had a very fragile pelvic floor !! So I am nervous of too much exercise , I don’t want to bust anything! Keep us all posted with your nice lively letters, best wishes Judy S .

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    • 17th November 2021 at 5:36 pm
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      Hi Judy, I’m replying immediately as I can reassure you that my excellent Personal Trainer Sarah Gibbings is very aware of the ageing body, she is also very knowledgeable about medical conditions and likes to know each of her client’s individual issues. My weight lifting is all about my capacity and I can handle heavier weights now but I started using very small weights. She’s also my Pilates teacher and this is done via Zoom although she is beginning to have a few people in her studio.

      When Sarah has a new person who’s either never done Pilates or is over a certain age, she likes to have some 1-2-1s to see if you can cope with a Pilates class. Btw, as we start each Zoomed class we do some pelvic floor exercises pulling the muscle up – it’s really improved my pelvic floor! She always tailors the class and the 1-2-1s according to our needs and I have every confidence in her.

      Do have a look at her website and what she has to say.
      http://www.wellbeingexercise.co.uk/about_us.html

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  • 17th November 2021 at 8:48 pm
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    Those jeans were a great find! I find jeans can be tricky to buy even in retail stores with multiple sizes and styles available so whenever I get lucky and find a pair that fit me in an opshop I’m super happy! 🙂

    It’s a shame that it was not all good news with your bone scan – I hadn’t even heard of a bone scan before! But it’s good you have a plan in place for how to improve things, good luck with it! 🙂

    Hope that your week is going well 🙂 It’s another rainy spring day here!

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    • 19th November 2021 at 11:25 am
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      I know! I’ve been trying to buy skinny jeans online and each time I’ve had to send them back because the sizing was so crazy, either way to skinny (Mango) or enormous (M&S) so to find one that fitted in a charity shop was fantastic!

      Thanks re: the bones. Once you get to your 60s and you are slim it’s worth asking for a bone scan just so you’re aware of the situation. You might find you ‘re fine or you might not, but it’s always good to know, I think.

      Thanks Mica 😊

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  • 17th November 2021 at 10:54 pm
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    You are rocking those jeans! As to bones. I am quite petite and very small boned. years ago i had one of two bone scans which indeed showed deterioration. I had done some research on fosamax the drug available at the time and thought there were just too many unknowns and side effects. I said I did not want to take it. I am skeptical of a lot of medications having worked as a psychologist in a mental health clinic for years and saw what the “miracle” meds did to the patients bodies over time, and often with little benefit. just my opinion. all my life I had been very flexible. when i reached menopause i was placed on HRT as many women are. I worked well but then was told to come off as was the practice. soon after not only did i lose all upper body flexibility it became painful to put on coats and jackets, put anything on over my head. put deodorant on my underarms. the orthopedist i saw suggested it might be the lack of estrogen. well, I have been on hrt for years now, a combo of estrogen and progesterone. I am 80. controversal I know. after i went back on the HRT i had a second bone scan and it did show improvement. So this is my treatment of choice, which my obgyn agrees seems to work for me. i try to stay active, i walk, including volunteer dog walking, some yoga. i sometimes go to class but do it on my own as i have a certificate to teach. also some small weights a couple of times a week. I should be more organized about it. I am largely vegetarian but do eat some fish, probably ought to eat it more often. I take vitamin B12 and Vitamin D as supplements. What i do is surely not for everyone, but this is my choice. On other news. called to make a much needed haircut appointment with my hairdresser of 40 years only to get the message that the salon is closed! a referral to one across the street with 2 stylists i do not know, not mine. what to do. this should be my worst problem right? anyway, stay well Penny. Darby
    BTW, I do not take Premarin which is made from mare’s urine, i use a plant based form.

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    • 19th November 2021 at 11:36 am
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      Yes, the book, Too Many Pills, by James Le Fanu has a section on osteoporosis and his view is that those particular meds, of which alendronate (Fosamax) is one, on a population basis have a marginal benefit for the individual – he shows the reader the stats to back this up. The key factor is not to fall! So it’s diet and exercise for me, plus of course, Calcium and Vit D. I will reconsider in two years time, but those side effects are ghastly – why should we risk them?

      Sadly the NHS as good as it is, (albeit it is creaking under the strain what with this government and Covid) does not have sufficient funds to think outside the box, literally, of medicines. What every older person needs is a Personal Trainer, I wonder how much it would save the NHS some costs if we all had one. I see so many older people round-shouldered and stooping and I long to say, stand up, get that core going!!! Of course, one can’t! But, you know, I do wonder what the cost-benefit would be to have a more preventative stance?

      I’m going to up my sardine intake! Thanks as ever for your very interesting comment. You stay well too 😊

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  • 18th November 2021 at 12:46 am
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    Having been diagnosed as severely osteoporotic in 2010 I was prescribed alendronic Acid, and told to come back in 5 years for another DEXA scan. So I did some research….there are two main cells responsbible for bones, Osteoclasts carry away the old dead bone, while Osteoblasts build new bone. The action of bisphosonates is to slow the resorbtion of old bone by osteoclasts – it does nothing to help build new bone. So why take a med that does not help build new bone? I do take Strontium Ranelate as that helps the osteoblasts build new bone. Nutrition – your stomach is a heaving mass of acid and if you eat foods that create ‘acid ash’ your stomach will become so acidic your body will use calcium to neutralise the acidity. So I altered my diet to mainly eat non acid ash forming foods. One of the worst foods for forming Acid Ash is hard cow cheese – you are told to eat it as it contains calcium. But no one in the NHS seems to be aware that this cheddar cheese creates so much acid ash there is no benefit in eating it? I replaced all sugar with fruit which I use in cake making, cut out all caffiene for 5 years, I now have one cup of coffee each day. Exercise is vital, not just walking but weight lifting. I did weights VERY slowly, 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down twice a week for 30 mins. Vitamen D – if your Vit D levels are low it does not matter how much calcium you ingest your body cannot utilise it. I found the reason for my osteoporosis was the meds for epilepsy depressing my Vit D levels – so I took a loading dose of 30,000IUs of Vit D and 2000IUs daily. I am tested every 6 months. http://www.imperialendo.com/for-doctors/vitamin-d-guidelines The best book for this info is Dr marilyn Glenville Osteoporosis how to Prevent Treat and Reverse it, Dr Michael Hollick The Vitamen D solution, ben Hahns slow Weights. I no longer have osteoporosis. All the info I learned I ran through my GP and osteo consultant – and they were supportive of the regime I follow. I did go to Marilyn Glenville’s clinic to get advice on nutrition. I had an on line consultation with Dr Hollick in the USA. Bone loss is normal as you age – it is the rate of bone loss that is the problem, accelerated bone loss can be caused soley by lifestyle – like eating the wrong foods, not doing exercise and certain meds. I cannot come off my meds, so found a way round it with high dose Vit D.

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    • 19th November 2021 at 11:45 am
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      You know I think your recommendation to do the weights slowly is so right, as I always do my weights slowly with my PT but think I am faster when I do them on my own. I shall do what you say and take the 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down.

      Thanks so much Sarah for your very interesting comment – yes, bone loss is normal, it’s the rate that matters.

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  • 18th November 2021 at 3:59 am
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    Hello Penny, as always a very interesting and informative post. I will admit to never having a bone density scan and one has never been suggested but will check with my GP next time I visit. I take a combined Vitamin D and calcium supplement as my Vit D levels are always on the low side.
    Hope the increased weights exercises help with those pesky forearms. Glad to hear that the exercises have helped with the hips.
    Knowledge certainly is key to ageing the best possible way. xxx

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    • 19th November 2021 at 11:41 am
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      I agree, to have the knowledge of my Dexa scan scores has warned me of my situation and I’m taking steps to rectify my thinning bones. The thing is, it is literally something that is more prevalent in people with thin, small bones, especially people who are underweight, also some medications predispose to osteoporosis as well. I think Jill that you are probably OK, although it’s always worth checking.

      Onwards and upwards with the weights and I’m upping my intake of sardines!

      Thanks Jill 😊

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  • 19th November 2021 at 12:55 pm
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    The Royal Osteoporosis Society is a very good charity campaigning for better treatment/prevention of osteoporosis and providing up-to-date information on the latest treatments and research. The charity also publishes a quarterly magazine for supporters: https://theros.org.uk/

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    • 20th November 2021 at 8:50 am
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      You are so right – I will look at their website. Thank you so much for this 😊

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  • 19th November 2021 at 1:27 pm
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    For those people who would prefer to pursue natural options, there is a very helpful Facebook page – Osteoporosis UK – Friendly support and natural options. They are a very knowledgeable bunch on there. There is also information on there about Osteoscan UK – this company has a mobile scanner, carried out by a bone surgeon who interprets the results. They use a technology called REMS, as distinct from a DEXA scanner in hospitals. I had one done recently to double check against my DEXA scan. It showed that my DEXA scan was correct in measuring my lumbar spine but was way out with my femoral neck, which is what doctors used to estimate fracture risk. The DEXA has said -3.3. The REMS scan said 2.6, significantly less osteoporosis that the DEXA scan had flagged up. The bone surgeon said it was likely to be incorrect positioning on the DEXA scan.
    By the way, I have absolutely no connection with Osteoscan UK, I’m simply someone who benefited from an extra check!

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    • 20th November 2021 at 8:53 am
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      Thanks so much for this – sounds exactly what I’m looking for – will connect with the Facebook page. Thanks 😊

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  • 19th November 2021 at 1:28 pm
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    Apologies – I should have said that my femoral neck score was -2.6.

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    • 20th November 2021 at 8:54 am
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      Yes, that would have been amazing!!!

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  • 20th November 2021 at 10:56 am
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    I have been very interested to read the contributions regarding our bones. All drugs have potential side-effects, including HRT, which I was advised against 20 years ago as the bone loss protection was not considered a sufficient benefit to outweigh the risks. Strontium Ranelate was actually withdrawn by the UK due to safety concerns, although this decision has now been changed. Looking up the potential side-effects with it was illuminating. The other problem is that advice changes over time as research brings forward new knowledge so what I was told nearly 20 years ago is no doubt out of date. A consultant I saw for my Fibromyalgia (which was largely unrecognised at the time) told me that he cautions his students that half of what he tells them is wrong but that no-one knows which half ! I thought that was remarkably honest of him. I read a recent paper comparing Dexa scanning with REMS which concluded that the latter is very accurate. The assumption was that Dexa is the gold standard for comparison. I was lucky to have an internationally acclaimed Professor as my consultant so I accepted his advice; he’s on the board of the RNOS. I agree completely that diet and exercise are very important and yes, PT’s on the NHS would be wonderful & save squillions on drugs and disability benefits while enhancing people’s well being. I’m just a bit concerned that we may be in baby and bathwater territory as although drugs should not be used unnecessarily, as they often are, there is a limit to how much research the lay person can do. We need to be well informed and take responsibility for those important determinants of health that are under our control. Often this is all that is needed but sometimes we also need to trust medical science & its practitioners. I’m not suggesting that you don’t do this , as with your heart problem, but it seems a bit of a theme in wider society that ‘experts’ are distrusted almost automatically, hence the anti-vax campaign. We may well find problems further down the line but that will not be evidence of bad faith or bad science but new knowledge & understanding.

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  • 21st November 2021 at 1:10 pm
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    I’ve never had a bone scan but probably should, as my over 60s health check showed I’ve lost 1.5 inches in height. I take Solgar Ultimate Bone Support and lift weights. You’re truly an inspiration Penny with your preventative and remedial measures.

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    • 24th November 2021 at 8:40 am
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      Ahh thanks Gail – actually with the loss of height it’s probably a good idea to ask for a bone citing your height loss. You will have to wait as I did (6 months) but there’s no urgency. However, knowing what’s occurring is always a good thing, so keep asking if they say no.

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      • 24th November 2021 at 11:04 am
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        What a shame that your health check did not lead automatically to a scan for osteoporosis. Losing height is an important indicator of bone loss so an opportunity to pick up on this was missed.
        What is the point of these checks if the findings are not acted upon, I wonder?

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  • 23rd November 2021 at 3:18 pm
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    I do seem lucky to have pretty rubbery bones so far, some interesting gymnastics like trying a backflip out of the bath smacking my head on the loo, the seat has never been the same since, and landing like an ungainly sack of potatoes on the floor produced a bumper harvest of bruising but no breaks. I won’t bore you with other escapades.

    However, I may be able to solve your dilemma on finding a source for hammering nails into wood. I was a it this morning. Take an upholstery class! And unlike an exercise class there is even more to show at the end of term than a fine physique.

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    • 24th November 2021 at 8:43 am
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      You did make me laugh Paulette! And actually early this year I fell headfirst down the stairs and only got a nose bleed and a black eye as I landed on my head! Probably just as well as if I’d put my hands out I’d probably fractured a wrist or something! I’m super careful with stairs now btw!

      And yes, the hammering… what a good idea!

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  • 24th November 2021 at 7:38 pm
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    I missed this post, Penny, and only saw it today. It’s very strange as I was talking with a woman on my group walk today and she has recently had her bone density scan done. From what she was saying I was under the impression that as she had had chemo in the past she has regular bone scans done. I didn’t realise one could have them done as a matter of routinne medical care…I shall be chasing that up just as I chased up my pneumonia jab which I’m having next week. Good luck with your new regime for your forearm.
    xxx

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    • 26th November 2021 at 8:23 am
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      Yes, you can but when I spoke to a GP about earlier this year he was reluctant to give me one until he read my notes and saw that it said ‘every two years’ and it was year past that, so then he got me into the system, but I waited six months for it. I mean there was no real urgency as I never act on their suggestion that I take that med. But I like know where things are going and do my utmost to not take it!!! Don’t listen to me Veronica as so many women are on it with no side effects at all. Also I do think the small boned are the ones who are susceptible – I inherited my mother’s bird like bones on a bigger frame! Not good! But onwards with the weights and strength regime 😊

      xxx

      Reply

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