Calcium and Vitamin D for bone density

Posted by ellerbracke @ellerbracke, Oct 1, 2019

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.

@contentandwell

@hopeful33250 That article gets very technical. Medical jargon eludes me.
I saw my PCP today and he mentioned giving me an Rx for vitamin D, but then did not! I think other than that though I will wait until I see an osteoporosis specialist, and run everything by my transplant team. I will check with the transplant team on the high dose of vitamin D also, I run everything by them.
JK

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You need to run everything you do by your transplant team. Let me know when you find an osteoporosis specialist. I was sent to an endocrinologist who tried to put me on Prolia. When I told her I would not be taking Prolia, she walked out of the room and had nothing more to say to me. Every doctor has something to say, and they are not always accurate. I'm still looking for what the right answers are. The one thing I am comfortable saying is that if you can get your nutrients from food – do that! But according to researchers, almost all of us need to supplement our vitamin D3 – so ask your team about it. You do not need a prescription for vitamin D3, unless you have MS or an absorption problem and need to take the mega dose (which it seems you could still do with OTC vitamins – but maybe it's different). I started taking it when a friend, who is a scientist and a doctor, showed up at my doorstep with a bottle of D3 in a bag. I am lacking an immune system, and vitamin D3 has prevented many colds. You might want to tell your transplant team that. I have to get IVIG (IV Immunoglobulin) every three weeks so I have an immune system. The vitamin D3 gives me an additional immune-system boost. I'm thinking you could use a boost. Ask your doc.

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@contentandwell

@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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I really think you should take vitamin D3. It helps with balance – a lot! I have three medical journal articles about this very issue. Also, ask your PT for some exercises for balance and recovery – so if you start to fall you can right yourself. My PT did this for me. I can't tell you how much vitamin D3 to take – but get a blood test first to see where you are at. I like my D level to be up around 80 or 90. I started at 3. It took a long time of big doses (4,000 IU up to 10,000 IU) to build it up. I never get a cold or the flu (knock on wood). My balance is really wonderful considering how sickly I am. Ask your transplant team about it. You can get vitamin K2 from eating arugula and kale – K2 tells your body where to send the calcium. If you don't take K2, some doctors say the calcium can wind up in your arteries. I take a K2 supplement because I'm not always ready to eat kale (although I hide it in my veggie burgers).

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@contentandwell

@hopeful33250 That article gets very technical. Medical jargon eludes me.
I saw my PCP today and he mentioned giving me an Rx for vitamin D, but then did not! I think other than that though I will wait until I see an osteoporosis specialist, and run everything by my transplant team. I will check with the transplant team on the high dose of vitamin D also, I run everything by them.
JK

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Hi @contentandwell
I find it interesting that he would want to prescribe a Vit. D Rx without checking your Vit. D. level first.
Did he order blood work to check on the D level?

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@hopeful33250

Hi @contentandwell
I find it interesting that he would want to prescribe a Vit. D Rx without checking your Vit. D. level first.
Did he order blood work to check on the D level?

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@contentandwell I'm surprised also . I would ask him for a D level check in blood work How does he know how low you are or how much you need?

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@hopeful33250

Hi @contentandwell
I find it interesting that he would want to prescribe a Vit. D Rx without checking your Vit. D. level first.
Did he order blood work to check on the D level?

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@hopeful33250 I sent him a message on the portal about that but his office takes forever to respond to portal messages, very poor. As I mentioned, he said he wanted to prescribe vitamin D but he left it there!

Teresa, on a prior post you mentioned pain from osteoporosis. I don’t think I have that pain, do most people? My legs do hurt at times but I attribute that to exercise and activity. Maybe it’s osteoporosis pain?
JK

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@contentandwell

@hopeful33250 I sent him a message on the portal about that but his office takes forever to respond to portal messages, very poor. As I mentioned, he said he wanted to prescribe vitamin D but he left it there!

Teresa, on a prior post you mentioned pain from osteoporosis. I don’t think I have that pain, do most people? My legs do hurt at times but I attribute that to exercise and activity. Maybe it’s osteoporosis pain?
JK

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Bone pain seems to be common with bone loss, @contentandwell. When I lay down at night the shins in my legs and often the bones in my arms really ache, it's not a muscle ache but a bone pain. Is that what you experience as well? Have you had your parathyroid hormone level checked recently? As long as you are bothering your doctor, why not ask about that as well. An abnormal parathyroid level can cause bone loss, too.

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@lioness

@contentandwell I'm surprised also . I would ask him for a D level check in blood work How does he know how low you are or how much you need?

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@lioness He just called me! Yes, he wants me to get it tested, and then to get a high level of vitamin D probably after he sees the results. He is also having me get my magnesium tested.
JK

Liked by lioness

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@hopeful33250

Bone pain seems to be common with bone loss, @contentandwell. When I lay down at night the shins in my legs and often the bones in my arms really ache, it's not a muscle ache but a bone pain. Is that what you experience as well? Have you had your parathyroid hormone level checked recently? As long as you are bothering your doctor, why not ask about that as well. An abnormal parathyroid level can cause bone loss, too.

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I'm glad you said this. I have horrible bone pain and I just thought it was nothing. My doctors have been preoccupied with all my other problems. I really need a GOOD endocrinologist. I have a neurologist-endocrinologist who only sees me regarding my pituitary tumor. I'm going to ask for a referral to a regular endocrinologist. This doctor that abandoned me because I would not take Prolia isn't going to work out for me. Lately when I sit down, I have a horrible pain in my lower back – actually my left buttocks – it feels like I'm sitting on a big chunk of broken glass. With a -5.7 DEXA scan, I think I need to be very careful. I've already had a fractured wrist. You have inspired me.

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Regarding folks concerned with bone health and calcium and vitamin d and all of that..
After trying to treat pain in muscles and hands and feet and shoulders with vitamins and etc. I finally was diagnosed with osteoporosis with my bone scan results at the highest on the scale of bone loss. I now take daily injuctions of tymlos, a treatment to "rebuild " none mass. 2 year treatment, once a day, 80 units. Am in my third month on it. Dr gave me whole new perspective on calcium and other stuff I was taking. I am 75, 114 pounds and have never broken a bone, even when I have fallen on ice and UP a stair. Scoliosis also. Was really shocked my bone density was so bad!

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That was supposed to read INJECTIONS to rebuild bone mass.

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@parrotqueen

I really think you should take vitamin D3. It helps with balance – a lot! I have three medical journal articles about this very issue. Also, ask your PT for some exercises for balance and recovery – so if you start to fall you can right yourself. My PT did this for me. I can't tell you how much vitamin D3 to take – but get a blood test first to see where you are at. I like my D level to be up around 80 or 90. I started at 3. It took a long time of big doses (4,000 IU up to 10,000 IU) to build it up. I never get a cold or the flu (knock on wood). My balance is really wonderful considering how sickly I am. Ask your transplant team about it. You can get vitamin K2 from eating arugula and kale – K2 tells your body where to send the calcium. If you don't take K2, some doctors say the calcium can wind up in your arteries. I take a K2 supplement because I'm not always ready to eat kale (although I hide it in my veggie burgers).

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Vit D normal range is 30. You might want to check with your physician. I believe you reading of 80-90 would be in the toxic range. Which might delete calcium from you bones.

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@contentandwell

@lioness He just called me! Yes, he wants me to get it tested, and then to get a high level of vitamin D probably after he sees the results. He is also having me get my magnesium tested.
JK

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@contentandwell Glad to hear this . Then you will have the correct dosage .

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@hopeful33250

Bone pain seems to be common with bone loss, @contentandwell. When I lay down at night the shins in my legs and often the bones in my arms really ache, it's not a muscle ache but a bone pain. Is that what you experience as well? Have you had your parathyroid hormone level checked recently? As long as you are bothering your doctor, why not ask about that as well. An abnormal parathyroid level can cause bone loss, too.

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@hopeful33250 I also hurt when I'm on my left side the bones hurt there and back so I'm left on my right side

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@georgette12

Regarding folks concerned with bone health and calcium and vitamin d and all of that..
After trying to treat pain in muscles and hands and feet and shoulders with vitamins and etc. I finally was diagnosed with osteoporosis with my bone scan results at the highest on the scale of bone loss. I now take daily injuctions of tymlos, a treatment to "rebuild " none mass. 2 year treatment, once a day, 80 units. Am in my third month on it. Dr gave me whole new perspective on calcium and other stuff I was taking. I am 75, 114 pounds and have never broken a bone, even when I have fallen on ice and UP a stair. Scoliosis also. Was really shocked my bone density was so bad!

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@georgette12, Thanks for posting. I am also on Tymlos about month 4. Have you had any side effects? Why did you choose Tymlos? I am 77 and was shocked that my bone density was a health problem.

Then I remembered, my mother, fell and broke her hip at about 83. She never walked or smiled again. Let's make a pact that we will do what is necessary to live the best quality of life we can.

You mention that your treatment is for 2 years. Mine is 18 months. Then what? Did your Dr tell you what you would be given to maintain the bone density that the Tymlos created? Be safe and protected. Chris

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@artscaping

@georgette12, Thanks for posting. I am also on Tymlos about month 4. Have you had any side effects? Why did you choose Tymlos? I am 77 and was shocked that my bone density was a health problem.

Then I remembered, my mother, fell and broke her hip at about 83. She never walked or smiled again. Let's make a pact that we will do what is necessary to live the best quality of life we can.

You mention that your treatment is for 2 years. Mine is 18 months. Then what? Did your Dr tell you what you would be given to maintain the bone density that the Tymlos created? Be safe and protected. Chris

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I'm 68 and I've had five hip replacements. I live a happy life. But then, I am not 83. Hip replacements are serious – but really! I had my fifth done last year and I was in the garden at the end of the first week. Granted I wasn't digging holes – but I was watering my yard and smiling. I'll be gardening till the cows come home this weekend. I guess I'm just saying, if you break your hip, it doesn't have to be the end of life as you know it. But let's try to stay healthy. My DEXA scan came back at -5.7 (severe osteoporosis is -2.5). I am trying to heal by eating right and taking supplements and walking a lot. Good luck to all of us!

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