Calcium and Vitamin D for bone density

Posted by ellerbracke @ellerbracke, Tue, Oct 1 7:10pm

A recent bone density test came back in the low average range for my age. My OBGYN recommended calcium and vitamin D. I checked with a family member who is a pharmacist, and she says that the benefits of calcium supplements are not clear cut. Regarding vitamin D, I’m in the sunbelt, and spend at least 2 hours per day outdoors during 8 to 9 months a year (early morning, or evening, sun screen between 10 AM and 5 PM if applicable for pool, beach, for example). I’m sure many people on this forum have done their own research regarding the benefits of calcium pills, and I would love to hear what the current consensus is. I exercise regularly, so my bones get a workout from the muscles pulling on them, if that makes a difference. I think the data I was given is that statistically I have an 8% chance of a hip fracture in the next decade, based on the test results.

Hi. I have my vit d and calcium levels checked and if it is low then I take a supplement. Right now my calcium is fine but my vit d is low.

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@ellerbracke @candrgonzalez What test shows Vitamin D level? I have a battery of tests every month because I am post-transplant and I just went through them. I do see calcium there, in the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. Mine is 9.1 mg/dL and the range is 8.6 – 10.4 mg/dL so I am within that but I do not see Vitamin D anywhere. According to the DEXA I had a few weeks ago I have somewhat severe osteoporosis so this is a very concerning thing for me. I have an appointment with an osteoporosis specialist (an endocrinologist) but it's not until January so until then I want to be as proactive as I can be.
Thanks.
JK

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@contentandwell

@ellerbracke @candrgonzalez What test shows Vitamin D level? I have a battery of tests every month because I am post-transplant and I just went through them. I do see calcium there, in the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. Mine is 9.1 mg/dL and the range is 8.6 – 10.4 mg/dL so I am within that but I do not see Vitamin D anywhere. According to the DEXA I had a few weeks ago I have somewhat severe osteoporosis so this is a very concerning thing for me. I have an appointment with an osteoporosis specialist (an endocrinologist) but it's not until January so until then I want to be as proactive as I can be.
Thanks.
JK

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Hi. Mine says 25- Hydroxy Vitamin D.

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Hello, I take calcium and Vitamin D, even though I get a lot of sunshine in Oklahoma. I have osteoporosis and took Forteo for one year. It did not work. The doctor switched to a Prolia, and will have my dexa scan in a month to find out if it worked. They did a lot of blood work to determine why the Forteo did not work, but found no answers. The Prolia is making my leg bones and jaw bones hurt. My GP (not the doctor who treats my osteoporosis) wondered if my early complete hysterectomy (I haven’t taken estrace in 15 years) and high dosage of thyroid I must take daily, effect the absorption of calcium? Do any of y’all know?

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Hi, @ellerbracke I was told by a physical therapist once that the best way to build bone was doing weight-bearing exercises — walking, etc. Is your exercise weight-bearing or more in the pool, etc.? Have you talked with your doctor or PT about that?

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@mamie

Hi, @ellerbracke I was told by a physical therapist once that the best way to build bone was doing weight-bearing exercises — walking, etc. Is your exercise weight-bearing or more in the pool, etc.? Have you talked with your doctor or PT about that?

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@mamie @ellerbrack Weight-bearing exercise is one of the best things you can do. If you do not have osteoporosis yet then high-impact exercise is excellent but once you have it you should not do that, your bones are fragile. I am hoping the doctor I will be seeing in January will give me a referral for osteoporosis PT before I see him so I can get started on the best exercises for it. I am also reading a book, "Strong Women Strong Bones" by Miriam Nelson. It has a lot of good information in it.
I am recovering from a fractured femur (due to what I just discovered was from having osteoporosis) but before that, I did a lot of pool exercises, about three days a week, with gym exercises on three other days. I think I will cut back on the pool exercises in favor of some other things. They say even yoga is good for osteoporosis, which is surprising to me. I think maybe that's actually good for balance which is important if you have osteoporosis because obviously you do not want to fall.
I belong to a health club and think I may do some Zumba, I think that might be good. I used to go to the classes and they do a lot of jumping which I should not do but they do always have you customize the routine to what is best for you. I have read that the treadmill is good and I think the elliptical, which I prefer, is good too. I get better cardio with the elliptical.
JK

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@mamie, @ contentandwell
I do not do any formal weight-bearing exercises, other than a super brisk 2 mile walk every morning, some bridges/squats/stretches daily, some planks when I remember. Currently I get most of my informal exercise from dragging garden hoses around, re-decorating the house, e.g. replacing double curtain rods, switching around bookcases between rooms, which of course must be emptied of contents, dragged/carried from place to place, Had to move outdoor furniture and stuff for house painters who just finished their job. Up next digging up a bunch of Hostas that need to be moved to a different location…………….. all in all, I think my muscles and bones get some moderate work out. Once it gets cooler – yesterday’s record high was 97 degrees – back to weekly tennis, I hope.

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@ellerbracke To hot for me here in Calif it was a cool 76 crazy weather we are having in the whole country. Then they say there is no climate change yea right .

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@ellerbracke

@mamie, @ contentandwell
I do not do any formal weight-bearing exercises, other than a super brisk 2 mile walk every morning, some bridges/squats/stretches daily, some planks when I remember. Currently I get most of my informal exercise from dragging garden hoses around, re-decorating the house, e.g. replacing double curtain rods, switching around bookcases between rooms, which of course must be emptied of contents, dragged/carried from place to place, Had to move outdoor furniture and stuff for house painters who just finished their job. Up next digging up a bunch of Hostas that need to be moved to a different location…………….. all in all, I think my muscles and bones get some moderate work out. Once it gets cooler – yesterday’s record high was 97 degrees – back to weekly tennis, I hope.

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@ellerbracke You may not do "formal" weight-bearing exercises but you sure do a lot of exercises in just doing what you do. You sound like a "superwoman" to me!
I am so glad the days are cooler here now but I am not looking forward to winter and snow. I am really fearful of icey sidewalks now that I know I have osteoporosis.
JK

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@lioness

@ellerbracke To hot for me here in Calif it was a cool 76 crazy weather we are having in the whole country. Then they say there is no climate change yea right .

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Absolutely. This recent heat wave here was unbelievable. Yesterday’s high was 20!!!!! degrees above average. Our September temperatures were hotter than it was in July. And no measurable rain in 6+ weeks.

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@contentandwell

@mamie @ellerbrack Weight-bearing exercise is one of the best things you can do. If you do not have osteoporosis yet then high-impact exercise is excellent but once you have it you should not do that, your bones are fragile. I am hoping the doctor I will be seeing in January will give me a referral for osteoporosis PT before I see him so I can get started on the best exercises for it. I am also reading a book, "Strong Women Strong Bones" by Miriam Nelson. It has a lot of good information in it.
I am recovering from a fractured femur (due to what I just discovered was from having osteoporosis) but before that, I did a lot of pool exercises, about three days a week, with gym exercises on three other days. I think I will cut back on the pool exercises in favor of some other things. They say even yoga is good for osteoporosis, which is surprising to me. I think maybe that's actually good for balance which is important if you have osteoporosis because obviously you do not want to fall.
I belong to a health club and think I may do some Zumba, I think that might be good. I used to go to the classes and they do a lot of jumping which I should not do but they do always have you customize the routine to what is best for you. I have read that the treadmill is good and I think the elliptical, which I prefer, is good too. I get better cardio with the elliptical.
JK

Jump to this post

Be careful of the Zumba unless it is aimed at the “older” practitioners. Regular Zumba can be extremely hard or knees and ankles, as well as spine twisting and risk of tripping yourself up. I’m doing a class now that is more “line dancing” in its approach. The steps and sequence are reviewed before actually doing the dance, and there are not so many confusing step changes. You still get a good, sweaty workout with gentle impact on your bones. But this approach is just so much safer.

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@jmanj

Be careful of the Zumba unless it is aimed at the “older” practitioners. Regular Zumba can be extremely hard or knees and ankles, as well as spine twisting and risk of tripping yourself up. I’m doing a class now that is more “line dancing” in its approach. The steps and sequence are reviewed before actually doing the dance, and there are not so many confusing step changes. You still get a good, sweaty workout with gentle impact on your bones. But this approach is just so much safer.

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@jmanj Thanks for the advice. The Zumba at my health club has many older people in it, particularly the morning class, and they always tell everyone to modify as necessary to accommodate their own limitations. They do that pretty much with with all classes except those rated for very experienced participants. I think I will try it when this leg has healed enough to allow me to. It’s still frequently very painful, always at least somewhat painful.
I am sure that the pool exercises and pool jogging are not as effective for bone strengthening but I think when I resume my membership I will start with them, just to do something active. I may try the elliptical and do upper body exercises at the gym too.
JK

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@contentandwell

@ellerbracke @candrgonzalez What test shows Vitamin D level? I have a battery of tests every month because I am post-transplant and I just went through them. I do see calcium there, in the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. Mine is 9.1 mg/dL and the range is 8.6 – 10.4 mg/dL so I am within that but I do not see Vitamin D anywhere. According to the DEXA I had a few weeks ago I have somewhat severe osteoporosis so this is a very concerning thing for me. I have an appointment with an osteoporosis specialist (an endocrinologist) but it's not until January so until then I want to be as proactive as I can be.
Thanks.
JK

Jump to this post

@contentandwell
JK, if you are experiencing bone loss, it is important to have your Vit. D levels checked. You might call your doctor's office and have them put in an order for a 25- Hydroxy Vitamin D level.

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@contentandwell Yes even though I live in SOCAL my D was low so Dr put me on 5000 units and now with the thinning of bones staying on it and taking more calcium

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@hopeful33250

@contentandwell
JK, if you are experiencing bone loss, it is important to have your Vit. D levels checked. You might call your doctor's office and have them put in an order for a 25- Hydroxy Vitamin D level.

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@hopeful33250 Thanks, Teresa. I have a PCP appointment on Monday so I may ask for that, but I am now taking calcium with vitamin D so now it’s probably fine.
JK

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