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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">Hi everybody~</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">I was recently diagnosed with osteopenia, just on this side of osteoporosis (lumbar spine) and am very very confused about what to do about it. <img alt="confused.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/confused.gif"></span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">After my sacral stress-fracture my doc thought it would be a good idea (that, and my advancing age :roll_eyes<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> to have a bone density test and the news wasn't so great.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">Are any of you dealing with this? If so, what are you doing to combat this problem?</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">I've done quite a bit of research and it's not exactly cut & dried what the best route is.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">Thanks!!</span></span>
 

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runrgrl46 - Sorry to hear of your news. I don't know of anyone dealing with this; just wanted you to know we'll be with you thru this. Surely someone on this board has experience to share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">Thanks!</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">I'll keep checking in; maybe somebody will pop up with something <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"></span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">Evidently there's much more to it than just taking calcium and I'm leery of just jumping into the whole drug routine if there are other alternatives.</span></span>
 

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Just a caution, taking tons of calcium can lead to kidney stones, if you're prone to them! How did you find out about your bone density? Did you do a bone density test? Just curious -- I'm 50 now and the dr. says she wants me to schedule one of them.<br><br>
Susan
 

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Hi Rungirl, sorry to hear of your diagnosis. In my running club back when I was living in utah, an older married couple members both had osteo and were active cycilist who turned to trail running. Thier bone density scans after a few years of running showed an increase in bone mass. Hope that you find something that will help. Larry
 

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Sorry to hear that, Laura. It's surprising because I thought that people who are in good condition, getting exercise, good nutrition, etc. (in other words, runners!) should be less prone to this. I don't have any specific advice, but hope that someone with experience can chime in.
 

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I don't know much about supplements and all, but I do know that weight-bearing exercise is most important in both the preventing and maintenance of osteopenia and osteoporosis. So inasmuch that running is weight-bearing, it would be good if you did some body-weight based strength training, such as with yoga. Specifically the styles of yoga where you hold the poses longer, rather than quickly flowing from one pose to the next, like they do in power yoga and other vinyasa styles.<br><br>
My mom is 69 and has osteoporosis, which made her lose close to 2 inches in her height. She's always been a diligent exerciser, walking and doing her "light weights" according to the TV exercise shows she watches. In the past couple months, she has upped the amount of yoga she does, still with the TV shows (though with a daughter who's a yoga teacher, she still insists on only doing the classes they offer on TV, go figure!). As of her last bone scan a couple weeks ago, they told her that the degeneration rate had been reduced quite a bit, which is so great! And she had not changed any of her medications or other treatment, so it had to be weight-bearing exercise.<br><br>
Good luck to you, and keep us posted. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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here's a couple of good links:<br><br><a href="http://www.rad.washington.edu/mskbook/osteopenia.html" target="_blank">http://www.rad.washington.edu/mskbook/osteopenia.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/tc/osteopenia-overview" target="_blank">http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/tc...penia-overview</a><br><br>
there may be lots of reasons for low bone mineral density or osteopenia. if this was diagnosed by a spine xray, then it is likely real. It takes a lot of bone loss before you see it on a regular xray. Any stress fracture should get an appropriate workup for electrolytes/thyroid abnormalities/etc. (SF's are usually diagnosed with MRI/nuclear scans)<br><br>
it is highly unusual for an active woman to have osteopenia-get thee to an endocrinologist and get a bone density test and appropriate blood tests. it may be much more complicated than just taking calcium supplements<br>
(and I won't go into calcium supplements and stones...that can be another day...)<br><br>
good luck
 

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Disclaimer, I am only posting what I have heard and I am definitely no expert so please don't slam me.<br><br>
Isn't a highly active woman who may have stopped menstruating do to too low body fat more at risk though? Same as an anorexic. Not that runrgirl has that problem....just that's what I thought.<br><br>
I always thought of weight bearing as lifting or pushing weights...or pushups, planks, chinups, bearing ones own weight as the resistance.
 

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Running is sort of a weight bearing activity. My bone density was far less than it was after I started running. After my multiple stress fractures, it was comforting to see the increase in the density. Mine were caused by muscle imbalances/previous trauma-leg fracture (titanium rod in my leg and such...). Resistance training/strength training also helps muscles and bones get stronger. The pounding of running affects the long bones and the spine to stimulate bone growth in response to stress. When there are hormonal changes or imbalances or electrolyte abnormalities, there can be poor bone mineralization.<br><br>
check the links out.<br><br>
---stepping off soapbox now, although I'm board certified in internal medicine, my heart lies in cardiology---
 

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I'm not a doctor nor did I stay at that motel/hotel.... but<br>
runrgrl46 don't despair. I have osteoporosis in my lumbar spine and osteopenia in my hips. This is most likely caused from my general dislike for milk (allergic as an infant), menopause (at age 41) and 29 years of smoking. When first diagnosed, four years ago, my physician at that time wanted me to take those bone density medications but I didn't want to start taking those. I told him that I'll do weight bearing exercise along with a running program. He pretty much poo-pooed that. <img alt="roll_eyes.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/roll_eyes.gif"> My having my own mind, I started taking approximately 1200 mgs of calcium citrate w/D along with running and my current doctor didn't think that the degree of my osteoporosis warranted taking those potent meds. I had another bone density test after two years, and there was marked improvement.<br><br>
Consult your doctor on the amount of calcium that you should take, continue your running, add weight bearing exercise. And of course monitor. Your follow-up scans will be the best determinate of your next course of action.<br><br>
FWIW - I found this odd - my sister has normal bone density and has broken a bone in her foot and forearm (twice each). I haven't yet, even though I've taken a couple nasty spills (yes, while running). My doctor said that there is a brittleness factor.<br><br>
Hope this helps - good luck.
 

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Your educated knowledge is always welcome here Dale. And I did read the links after I posted. The first one was a little too techinically written for me, although not so much so that I didn't understand it.<br><br>
The second had this which negates the saying "you can never be too thin"<br>
and then also some things which we have no control over, family history and ethnicity.<br><ul><li>Eating disorders or metabolism problems that do not allow the body to take in and use enough vitamins and minerals</li>
<li>Chemotherapy, or medications such as steroids used to treat a number of conditions, including asthma</li>
<li>Exposure to radiation</li>
</ul>
Having a family history of osteoporosis, being thin, being white or Asian, getting limited physical activity, smoking, regularly drinking cola drinks, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol also increase the risk of osteopenia and, eventually, osteoporosis.<br><br>
PS, "my heart lies in cardiology" you trying to be punny there? <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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My (limited) understanding is that people have a genetic predisposition to osteopenia and osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis as well. So I guess even with the running, some might need to do more? My mom never ran, but always walked, as while that's weight-bearing, it still wasn't enough because of her predisposition to bone density degeneration.<br><br>
If I'm not understanding all this correctly, please let me know. So far, I've been doing all the "right" things and my height has been holding steady at the same 5'2.5" it's been since I was 11. When you grow up with a parent that has a myriad of health issues that are known to be passed from mother to daughter, you tend to try to do the best you can with that "impending" information.
 

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....yeah, I got diagnosed with this about two years ago..........the Other Name for it used to be ''Aging''......<br><br>
......two lower discs, and one in my neck were thinning,,,,,,,,I was getting Back Problems at the time and it scared the Hell out of me,,,,<br><br>
.......my doc decided to add Calcium with Vit D 1200mg daily.........my crazy brother said to take Magnesium 400mg to boost the uptake,,,,,,so I've done that since then,,,<br><br>
......it actually isn't a Big Deal, and is normal with the Aging Process,,,,,,,my back problems quit when I started doing Dr Bookspan's Neutral Spine Alignment Techniques,,,(which I BORED everybody to death with (but will re-post for you if you want)<br>
and my neck never hurt to begin with....<br><br>
.......so, be aware of it, but it isn't necessarily that bad,,,,,,,<br><br>
....I'll check this post after work, if you have questions.......<br><br>
.........Hang in There.........
 

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<span style="color:#000000;">What about seeing a rheumatologist for any underlying causes? I also seem to remember that I had patients in bone density studies that involved vitamin d shots for better calcium absorption.</span>
 

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Just throwing my two cents into the osteo-bucket...<br><br>
If it was your primary care physician who diagnosed your osteopenia, I would second Dale's recommendation to get an appointment with an endocrinologist. Thyroid disease can present in a myriad of ways so ruling that and other endocrine pathology out would be a good thing to do before trying to treat the symptoms. I wonder if taking calcium supplements without knowing if there is a calcium deficiency is wise... is there a way to measure that? And, if the problem is with calcium absorption and not intake, taking oral supplements doesn't seem to make sense.<br><br>
This is not my specialty either. I just like to think about things outloud.<br><br>
Keep us posted. You are one of my running heroes, I want you to be healthy!
 

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I'm curious enough to risk being bored. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> If you don't want to post the whole thing, feel free to pm. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
<span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#800080;">Because of the stress fracture, which was diagnosed with an mri, and the strange location (sacral) my doctor wanted me to have a bone density test (dexi scan). I had everything done the right way <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">>></span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#800080;">In my research on the subject it kind of looks like I might fit into the "female athlete triad" or something like that; distance runner, low bodyfat, low body weight, absense of periods (I've always been weird in this area.......among others, too, of course:roll_eyes<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> . It's actually more common in younger female athletes, but just not diagnosed all that much so we don't hear about it. Not too many young females are getting bone densisty tests.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#800080;">There's just a lot of mumbo-jumbo out there about how much calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, etc., and the ratio of each one; it's hard to know what's right?!</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#800080;">I want to remain highly competitive, thus light weight, but certainly don't want to compromise my health, so it would be good to know the right thing to do. Probably should talk to my doc again, but thought I'd check with some real people to see what others have experienced.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#800080;">I was quite surprised to learn my T-score, that's for sure! I've been taking calcium for years, though from what I've learned, not the right kind! Plus weight bearing exercise; it doesn't get much more weight bearing than running, does it?</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#800080;">Thanks everybody for your input! You're great!</span></span>
 

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<br>
...OM//.......sending you a PM now..........lemme know if you get it.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
<span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#FF0000;">Hey Tom~ You're welcome to post the links right here if you'd like! I'm curious as well. <img alt="blush.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/blush.gif"></span></span>
 
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