Use of Prednisone and Improvements in Bone Density

Posted by Teri @tsc, Aug 24, 2021

I'm wondering if anyone who takes prednisone for chronic disease has had any success in improving or maintaining bone density by taking a prescribed drug, supplements, exercise, diet, the use of whole body vibration therapy, etc. If so, please say what has worked for you. Thank you!

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Prednisone usually has disastrous effects on your bones and teeth. Check out the following link to Mayo.. https://www.mayoclinic.org/steroids/art-20045692 . A friend of mine had a Liver transplant and through a series of errors he kept taking Prednisone for years.. The result was not only an very unhealthy weight gain, but his teeth and bones had severe problems.. He ended up with a full set of dentures.. and became very weak in getting up from a chair or reclined position..

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@tsc to add to my comment before .. when he finally was taken off prednisone very slowly, he lost 50+ pounds.. and was less irritable..

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@tsc. Ive been taking prednisone for almost 4 years for an autoimmune disease. I started on really high doses and now I’m in the process of tapering. Currently on 8 mg. No one put 2+2 together so I wasn’t started on a bone “replacement” drug until it was too late. I’ve been taking Fosamax for about 3 years but nothing has improved. I am now working with my doctor to replace the prednisone with CellCept (Mycophenolate Mofetil). It works the same as prednisone without the horrible side effects. We shall see!
Are you taking prednisone? Can i ask what you’re taking it for and how much?

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Hi becsbuddy, Thank you for your reply.

I just started prednisone in mid-May for Giant Cell Arteritis at 40 mg a day. The rheumatologist told me to taper down by 5 mg every two weeks unless my symptoms came back. I'm now down to 10 mg for a month and scheduled to taper down to 7.5 mg next taper.. The rheumatologist ordered a bone scan when I went on prednisone and it came back positive for osteoporosis – so I started on alendronate. I was determined not to get osteop because of a strong family history, by exercising for years, but it wasn't enough. Also, I've been reading that the groundwork for strong bones starts early in life, and I made a lot of mistakes in my younger years. Funny thing is, before COVID started I went to Judo a couple of times a week, taking all kinds of falls when working out with the kids, no injurieds or fractures.

Do you take any supplements or exercise much to try and increase bone density?

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@ken82

@tsc to add to my comment before .. when he finally was taken off prednisone very slowly, he lost 50+ pounds.. and was less irritable..

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Thank you, @ken82. My doctor told me that many people are on prednisone way too long, and I was put on a tapering schedule that started two weeks after I started taking it. My bone scan was done right when I started the prednisone so I don't think it had time to impact my bone density. I have an autoimmune disorder so will probably be on it, on as low a dose as necessary, for a few years. My teeth are good so far!

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@tsc

Hi becsbuddy, Thank you for your reply.

I just started prednisone in mid-May for Giant Cell Arteritis at 40 mg a day. The rheumatologist told me to taper down by 5 mg every two weeks unless my symptoms came back. I'm now down to 10 mg for a month and scheduled to taper down to 7.5 mg next taper.. The rheumatologist ordered a bone scan when I went on prednisone and it came back positive for osteoporosis – so I started on alendronate. I was determined not to get osteop because of a strong family history, by exercising for years, but it wasn't enough. Also, I've been reading that the groundwork for strong bones starts early in life, and I made a lot of mistakes in my younger years. Funny thing is, before COVID started I went to Judo a couple of times a week, taking all kinds of falls when working out with the kids, no injurieds or fractures.

Do you take any supplements or exercise much to try and increase bone density?

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@tsc. I take lots of calcium and Vit D3. I was a big walker before i got this autoimmune disease. Still try to walk everyday, but its much harder and i can’t go further than 1 mile. I’m also hoping to start some resistance training after i see the endocrinologist next week. Have you ever done Pilates?

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@becsbuddy

@tsc. I take lots of calcium and Vit D3. I was a big walker before i got this autoimmune disease. Still try to walk everyday, but its much harder and i can’t go further than 1 mile. I’m also hoping to start some resistance training after i see the endocrinologist next week. Have you ever done Pilates?

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@becsbuddy, I'm sorry that you can only manage a mile walk. Resistance training is good. I think I mentioned before to check out Carol Michaels on Youtube for some appropriate workouts. I did Pilates for 25 years+. Pain from the PMR made it impossible to do mat work, but now on Prednisone, I'm free of most pain. When I started researching appropriate exercises for Osteoporosis I was shocked to learn that many Pilates exercises – involving forward flexion of the spine (C curve) are dangerous for osteoporosis as they can cause silent compression fractures. The same is true for yoga. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has information about safe Pilates and Yoga. Also, Dr. Weill has a good article on osteoporosis and Pilates if you want to Google it. Best, tsc

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@tsc

@becsbuddy, I'm sorry that you can only manage a mile walk. Resistance training is good. I think I mentioned before to check out Carol Michaels on Youtube for some appropriate workouts. I did Pilates for 25 years+. Pain from the PMR made it impossible to do mat work, but now on Prednisone, I'm free of most pain. When I started researching appropriate exercises for Osteoporosis I was shocked to learn that many Pilates exercises – involving forward flexion of the spine (C curve) are dangerous for osteoporosis as they can cause silent compression fractures. The same is true for yoga. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has information about safe Pilates and Yoga. Also, Dr. Weill has a good article on osteoporosis and Pilates if you want to Google it. Best, tsc

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@tsc. I remember now! It just went out of my mind! I’ll check YouTube when I get home tomorrow. Thanks

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@becsbuddy

@tsc. Ive been taking prednisone for almost 4 years for an autoimmune disease. I started on really high doses and now I’m in the process of tapering. Currently on 8 mg. No one put 2+2 together so I wasn’t started on a bone “replacement” drug until it was too late. I’ve been taking Fosamax for about 3 years but nothing has improved. I am now working with my doctor to replace the prednisone with CellCept (Mycophenolate Mofetil). It works the same as prednisone without the horrible side effects. We shall see!
Are you taking prednisone? Can i ask what you’re taking it for and how much?

Jump to this post

@becsbuddy I was on prednisone from when I had my transplant in September 2016 until a few months ago. I sort of begged them to take me off of it and they reduced it and then took me off of it, adding in extra tests to make sure the effect was not bad.

I am really sort of upset though that when put on it I wasn't warned about the effects on bones so that I could have been proactive. I'm not sure if that's because Mass General makes it clear that they handle anything to do with the transplant and all else should be handled by your PCP or appropriate specialist so they figured my PCP would say something or what, but I plan to bring it up in the fall when I have an appointment.

Bottom line though is that my PCP dropped the ball completely so I ended up with advanced osteoporosis. I have changed PCPs now despite having a great rapport with my old one. I liked him a lot but I need to more than like him, I need to trust that he will pay better attention to what I need medically. The jury is still out on my new PCP, I've only seen her two times, once for the initial visit, and one other time.
JK

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@contentandwell

@becsbuddy I was on prednisone from when I had my transplant in September 2016 until a few months ago. I sort of begged them to take me off of it and they reduced it and then took me off of it, adding in extra tests to make sure the effect was not bad.

I am really sort of upset though that when put on it I wasn't warned about the effects on bones so that I could have been proactive. I'm not sure if that's because Mass General makes it clear that they handle anything to do with the transplant and all else should be handled by your PCP or appropriate specialist so they figured my PCP would say something or what, but I plan to bring it up in the fall when I have an appointment.

Bottom line though is that my PCP dropped the ball completely so I ended up with advanced osteoporosis. I have changed PCPs now despite having a great rapport with my old one. I liked him a lot but I need to more than like him, I need to trust that he will pay better attention to what I need medically. The jury is still out on my new PCP, I've only seen her two times, once for the initial visit, and one other time.
JK

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Wow. And it is a good idea to question any Dr.
I became a cripple after my Prostate was removed in 2018. I gave up completely on my pcp. Made the rounds of surgeons and pain drs. Even went to MD Anderson for bone scale.
I found, on my own, the spine implant things. I am working with three different pain specialist. They all have somewhat different solutions.
I finally, after a couple of years got a prescription for tramadal. I take sparingly. But it does help.

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@tsc

@becsbuddy, I'm sorry that you can only manage a mile walk. Resistance training is good. I think I mentioned before to check out Carol Michaels on Youtube for some appropriate workouts. I did Pilates for 25 years+. Pain from the PMR made it impossible to do mat work, but now on Prednisone, I'm free of most pain. When I started researching appropriate exercises for Osteoporosis I was shocked to learn that many Pilates exercises – involving forward flexion of the spine (C curve) are dangerous for osteoporosis as they can cause silent compression fractures. The same is true for yoga. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has information about safe Pilates and Yoga. Also, Dr. Weill has a good article on osteoporosis and Pilates if you want to Google it. Best, tsc

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Tai Chi is safe and very helpful.

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Tramadol is a safe drug, take what you need to relieve pain. It is not an opioid. When it first came out they didn't know what to call it — it's really in a class of its own. I took it for years for arthritis pain, and was easily able to stop taking it when I didn't need it. Don't fear addiction.

If you're taking calcium and magnesium and boron (you need all, together) you need to check that it's actually dissolving in your stomach, or it's just passing thru and no use. Put a tablet into a little glass of vinegar. Stir it from time to time. Does it dissolve completely?

In Japan, they treat osteoporosis with K2, in addition to the minerals.

I'm a nurse, retired now, but I had Hep C for years and learned to educate myself as thoroly as possible when I get any diagnosis. Don't assume someone else will do it for you, please.

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