‘Vivian Answers Day’ #3
Question & Answer #1
I am a 77 year old female. Have been on Fosamax for 5+ years and have shown no improvement in bone density (I’m now at -3.5).
Doctor has recommended Reclast but I’m reluctant to substitute one drug for another.
Saw your Save Our Bones Program and am interested in starting it. Are there cases in which even that won’t work? Still want to try it.
Before I dive into your specific question, consider a very important “detail” your doctor has failed to mention: like Fosamax,(which you’ve already taken without any positive results), Reclast is a bisphosphonate drug, except that it is given intravenously. So why would Reclast help you?
Now back to your question. There could be cases when the program may not help increase bone density. That’s because there’s a lot involved in each individual metabolic bone process, such as if someone has taken osteoporosis drugs in the past, digestive issues, drugs that cause accelerated bone loss, etc.
Let’s not forget that bisphosphonates interfere with normal bone metabolism, and that there’s a lot more to bone health than just density.
However, the bigger question is if you are letting your bones recover. And the answer is that when you follow the Save Our Bones Program, you are. That’s because I designed it to work WITH your body to allow your bones to regain their natural tensile strength.
Be ‘natural’ and happy!
Question & Answer #2
I am 53 and was diagnosed with osteoporosis 14 years ago. Two years ago it was completely reversed, I was taking Actonel and took myself off after seeing your website.I have just had a bone scan and my hip has improved but my spine has gone considerably down, but not as low as in 2005. My doctor blames this on low Vitamin D as my reading was 37L and normal range is between 75-300. She has put me on 10 drops a day Vit D. This really suprises me as i live in sunny Australia and get lots of natural sun. What is your thought on this. Thank You.
Vitamin D can certainly play an important role, but most likely is not the only answer. I am always amazed at how mainstream medicine has a tendency to isolate body processes both to claim an improvement (as in the case of synthetic drugs that ‘cure’ ailments) or to blame for the worsening of a condition.
For example, it is possible that the Actonel you took is affecting the bone remodeling in your spine, thus slowing down your normal remodeling process. As you know, bisphosphonate drugs attach themselves to bone and are slow-released for quite some time. But don’t expect your doctor to tell you this.
The good news is that at one point (as it seems to have already happened in your hip bones), new bone will cover up the old bone with the drug attached to it, and the drug will be then rendered inactive, thus allowing for normal remodeling to take place.
Now back to the Save Our Bones Foundation Supplement vitamin D and sunny Australia. Perhaps your levels of Vitamin D are lower than expected because you only expose your face and arms to the sun. If that’s the case, try sunbathing the abdomen and legs as well for approximately 20 minutes without any sunscreen on.
And there should be no harm in taking the Vitamin D3 drops as your doctor suggested, but since you did not give me the dosage contained in 10 drops, I can’t give you my opinion on her recommendation.
From sunny Florida,
Question & Answer #3
Why don’t health care providers recommend strontium? My physician keeps saying I should take more calcium.
It could be because in the USA it is not an approved drug, as is the case in Europe with Protelos (strontium ranelate).
Strontium is a trace element very similar to calcium. In fact, it is so similar, that it competes with calcium protein carrier in the blood. The human skeleton is mostly made of calcium, which constitutes 1.5 to 2 percent of the body weight of an adult. On the other hand our bodies only contain 320 to 400 mg of strontium.
Strontium acts as a bone thickener. In the Save Our Bones Program I mention a study suggesting that it does not affect the quality of the bone mineral, but rather the quantity. In other words, the outer cortical bone becomes thicker. And what can happen to thick bones? You guessed it! They tend to fracture more easily than thinner bones with greater tensile strength.
And last but not least, strontium is denser than calcium, thus altering the DEXA scan results.
In good health,
Question & Answer #4
After 15 years starting with Miacalcin and on to Fosamax, Forteo shots, Boniva, Actonel, Evista, Boniva infusions, and two Reclast infusions (with HORRID SIDE AFFECTS that took most of the year to clear), I now have an abscessed tooth that needs to come out. Lab test indicates 140 when 150 is needed for removal with less chance of osteonecrosis. Have followed this DEAD JAW info for several years. NOW, what do I do??? What are the stats? What is the best source to search?
I am so sorry that you are having this undeserved problem! My recommendation to you is to find a competent dentist in your area. Chances are you’ve already consulted with a good dentist, and that is the right thing to do in my opinion.
Wishing you all the best,
Question & Answer #5
My Internist, my GYN, and a PA have all recommended Reclast for me. I am confused with the “information” on this drug. It seems you either love it or hate it!! I am 61 and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. I have another DEXA-scan scheduled in 2 wks to see what the difference is after stopping Fosamax over a year ago. I appreciate any and all information on Reclast as I will be asked for a decision in a couple of weeks and for insurance purposes need to decided before the end of the year if this drug is a viable option for me.
As I answered Mabel on Vivian Answers Day #1:
“Reclast (zoldedronic acid), also known as Aclasta outside of the US, is an intravenous bisphosphonate. So the same applies to Reclast (including their nasty side effects) as to any other bisphosphonate drug, except that the IV provides a 6 month dose. In fact, the large IV dose can cause severe flu-like symptoms right after it’s administered, including aches and pains. So if you don’t react well to the drug, you are basically stuck with it.”
In the Save Our Bones Program there’s a lot more detailed information on Reclast and other osteoporosis drugs.
Question & Answer #6
Hi Vivian, I have rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. 2 days ago I was diagnosed with arrythmia (a very high heartbeat 210 instead of 60. Do you know if arrhythmia has any effect on these arthritis’s or even the reverse. I’ve read your book and am eating more healthy. I also have access to Better Balance website. I’m still on arava and methotextrate but 3 months ago all the rheumatoid factors were down to normal. I’m taking Natural Joint and Ultimate Bone Support. I’m also going to get another bone density scan in a couple of months. Is there anything else I should be doing. I’ve lent your book to someone so I can’t refer to it any more. Thanks!
It’s great news that you are following the Save Our Bones Program, so you can manage your bone health naturally. Let’s not forget that bisphosphonate drugs have been linked to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, which is a form of arrhythmia.
Arrhythmia basically denotes altered electrical activity in the heart. It can be caused by variety of factors ranging from hormonal imbalances (thyroid hormone abnormalities, excessive stress), high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and others. RA has not been found to have an effect on this, however.
As in the case of bisphosphonates, over-the-counter and prescription drugs can trigger arrhythmia, so my advice to you is to carefully review the drugs you are currently taking to make sure that they are not the culprit. For example Arava (Leflunomide) can trigger a fast or pounding heartbeat.
Question & Answer #7
I’ve recently read that taking Prilosec for acid reflux increases your loss of bone density. What’s one to do if they suffer from acid reflux?
Prilosec is a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI), which reduces the amount of hydrochloric acid (HCl) produced in the stomach. HCl is necessary for digestion and to absorb many important nutrients, including calcium, so having less acid in the stomach can cause problems (and not only with bone health!).
Many in the Save Our Bones community have sent me emails celebrating that by following the program they have gotten rid of acid reflux. I used to also suffer from it, but since I’ve been on the program, acid reflux is a thing of the past for me. I hope it will be for you too, Ruth!
With my best (alkalizing) wishes,
Question & Answer #8
Vivian – my doctors are pushing Prolia! Am 72; 5’5″;weigh 105; blood pressure 120/75; don’t exercise much but am trying your regime; have been on Fosomax 2-1/2 years; reclast last year; and am being pressured by everyone to follow my Doctors advice. Broke both wrists; pins in rt hip; and recently a bone in my back from stretching. Obvious the biophosonates don’t work! (Was told took them too late in life). What about strontium renelate? Is Prolia another name for Alendronate? Am always “stiff”, hve balance issues – am taking 2000 VitD + 1000 Calcium + numerous vitamins per your suggestions. Have read a lot about Prolia including the successful results for fractures. The other effects are troubling – jaw, immune system degradation;loss of calcium; dizziness, etc. I need your help?
You might have missed my blog post about Prolia (densumab), where I expose this new osteoporosis drug in detail. Prolia basically achieves the same result as bisphosphonates, but through a different (and potentially more dangerous) biochemical pathwyay. In a nutshell, Prolia is a twice-yearly injection that can have a negative effect on the immune system and many other undesirable side effects and long-term consequences
These are the main side effects listed by Amgen, Prolia’s maker:
* Low calcium levels
* Serious skin, lower abdomen, bladder, or ear infections
* Dermatitis, rash, or eczema
* Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis) caused by an infection
* Severe jaw bone problems such as osteonecrosis of the jaw.
My advice to you is that before you make a decision (and please, don’t fall prey to ‘pressure’, as you write!), you must formulate your own “bone health philosophy”. In other words, now is the time where you have to decide which road to take for your bone health: the road of prescription drugs (that as you write, has not worked) or a drug-free path.
The Save Our Bones Program holds you by the hand each step of the way, should you decide to take the natural path. And remember, at the end of the day, you have the freedom to make a choice, YOUR choice. Indeed, the decision is 100% up to you!
Question & Answer #9
I have M.S. and one of the therapies that helps me stay upright is an iv of 1gm of SOLUMEDROL every 28 days. This has caused my bones to start to deteriorate. Is there any thing over and above your recommendations that I should consider? Thanks.
As you surely know, Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) is a steroid. Unfortunately, steroids can impact bone health because they reduce calcium absorption, increase calcium excretion, and may suppress osteoblastic activity (osteoblasts are bone-building cells).
There are two types of bone tissue: cortical and trabecular. Cortical bone forms the outer shell of bone while trabecular bone refers to the inside of the bone. Steroids cause bone loss primarily in areas rich in trabecular bones, such as the spine.
So to answer your question (finally!), since you are already following the Save Our Bones Program, I recommend you consult with a physical therapist about exercises you could safely do to strengthen the spine.
All the best,
Question & Answer #10
Hi. I am very confused now. Should I take calcium or not?
Calcium is an important mineral to support bone health and hundreds of other biological processes in the body. For that reason it is listed as a Foundation Supplement in the Save Our Bones Program. The best is to eat calcium-rich foods, such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and sesame seeds, to name a few. And I recommend you take organic calcium supplements as well.
You can read about calcium in great detail in my blog post titled Calcium and Heart Attack Alert.
To your health!