Are You In Control Of Your Bone Health?

I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 14 months ago, and my endocrinologist prescribed a bisphosphonate to treat it.

I asked her if she thought lack of estrogen was the reason for my declining bone density, but she didn’t have the foggiest idea. All she knew what that I had osteoporosis, and she didn’t seem to give a whit about the cause. But, after having interviewed some of the smartest doctors in the field of women’s health, I learned that loss of estrogen can absolutely precipitate bone loss. No wonder 61 percent of women over 60 years old take a bisphosphonate drug.

Before joining the 61 percent of bisphosphonate-taking women, I decided to meet with Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine, and one of the country’s leading experts on women’s health and wellness.  Since bisphosphonates stop bone loss, but don’t build bone, I wanted to know if estrogen could actually increase my bone density, and whether Dr. Minkin thought I actually was  a candidate for taking it. 

Dr. Minkin’s answer to both questions was ‘yes,’ so I filled her prescription for a low-dose estrogen patch, instead of taking the bisphosphonate. Besides its inability to build bone, this class of drugs carries other risks which didn’t appeal to me.  I’m scheduled to have another bone density test in a few weeks, and I’ll report back on the results since I’ve been on the estrogen patch for about one year.

In the meantime, FabOverFifty would love to know about YOUR BONE HEALTH and would appreciate if you took a few minutes to answer the questions below.  

1. How old are you?

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2. Have you been through menopause (it’s been at least one year since your last period)?

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3. Have you had a bone density test within the last two years?

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4. If you answered ‘yes’ to question #3, what is the state of your bone health?

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5. If you have osteoporosis, are you taking a bisphosphonate?

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6. If you answered ‘no’ to question #5, why aren’t you taking a bisphosphonate?

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7. Do you do weight-bearing exercises at least three times a week?

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8. If you have osteoporosis, do you take calcium and Vitamin D supplements?

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9. If you answered ‘no’ to question #8, why don’t you take calcium and Vitamin D supplements for your osteoporosis?

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10. Do you think it’s safe to take calcium supplements?

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11. Overall, do you think you’re in control of your bone health?

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  • Cathy McIvor

    Thanks to whomever wrote this article! I, too, am a woman who would NEVER take a bisphosphonate drug. I am very anxious to hear the results of your upcoming bone scan. Thanks to Dr. Minkin for speaking the truth!