Alert! Oral Bisphosphonates Increase Risk Of Macular Degeneration
Today is World Osteoporosis Day, an awareness campaign organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) since 1997. This year’s campaign slogan is: “Love Your Bones – Protect Your Future,” intended to encourage people to adopt a healthful lifestyle and discuss the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases with their doctor.
The problem with this “early intervention” approach is that an osteoporosis or osteopenia diagnosis quickly turns into a prescription for an osteoporosis drug, usually a bisphosphonate such as alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), risedronate (Actonel), pamidronate (Aredia), or zoldedronic acid (Reclast).
As if the known dangerous side effects of these drugs were not enough, researchers are now sounding yet another alarm about these harmful drugs. Based on a just-published study on the effects of bisphosphonates on the macula, we can now add macular degeneration to the long list of awful side effects.
Here at the Save Institute, we celebrate World Osteoporosis Day in a very different way! We encourage, inspire, and inform rather than focus on doom and gloom.
Brand-New Report: Millions With Osteoporosis Go Undiagnosed And “Untreated”
In anticipation of World Osteoporosis Day, the IOF has issued a report showing that fracture sufferers experience a lack of “protection” against future fractures.1 They point the finger at gaps in care, which prevent a timely diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis all around the world.
There’s no question that fractures, particularly hip fractures, can be debilitating, and preventing them makes a whole lot of sense. But here’s what this report fails to recognize: falls, not fragile bones, are the real culprit behind fractures. If the IOF researchers had done their research properly, they would be aware of this information, which was published in the highly-respected BMJ in 2015.
They also would have seen the ample evidence pointing to over-diagnosis as a far greater problem than under-diagnosis. The first step in the over-diagnosis direction was to label osteoporosis a disease (it isn’t). Then over the years, the parameters for an osteoporosis diagnosis have been widened, and as of the early 1990s, they include a completely fabricated “condition” called osteopenia.
In fact, the criteria for both an osteopenia and osteoporosis diagnosis were decided quite arbitrarily at a 1992 conference sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the IOF.
This is what happens when “awareness” runs amok, and suddenly, Mainstream Medicine sees “fragile bones” – and the potential for them – at every turn. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries of this approach are not the people, but profit-driven Big Pharma instead.
The Not-So-Subtle Motivation Behind The Report
While it may sound philanthropic and caring to raise osteoporosis awareness, World Osteoporosis Day is used by the Establishment to promote osteoporosis drugs. This is the real meaning behind phrases such as “talk to your doctor about early detection” and the like.
However, early (and anytime) intervention in the form of adopting a bone-healthy lifestyle, especially if your current lifestyle includes behaviors that put you at risk for low bone density, is a great idea.
This type of drug-free intervention is simple, effective, and allows you to avoid osteoporosis drugs and their dangerous side effects. As a matter of fact, research has just uncovered yet another disturbing and debilitating side effect of bisphosphonates, the most commonly prescribed type of osteoporosis drug.
Bisphosphonates Increase Risk Of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Vision problems such as blurring and even blindness are well-known side effects of bisphosphonates. To gain a deeper understanding of how these drugs affect the eyes, a team of Canadian researchers conducted a study using three angles: disproportionality analysis, case-control study, and self-controlled case series. After analyzing reports of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and bisphosphonate use, they concluded that:
“Continuous users of oral bisphosphonates are at a higher risk of developing wet AMD.”2
Wet AMD is so called because of the leakage of the abnormal, sub-retinal blood vessels as they grow toward the macula (the macula is an oval area in the center of the retina). In dry AMD, which is more common, progression is slower as the retina forms small, yellowish deposits under the macula. These deposits, called drusen, do not leak blood or any other fluid.
Wet AMD may be less common, but it is more serious: it accounts for around 90% of all vision loss related to AMD.
While the exact mechanism of action is unknown, bisphosphonates clearly have the ability to affect the eyes. This is crucial information to empower you to make informed decisions about your treatment of choice for your bone health.
At The Save Institute, We Celebrate Knowledge
At the Save Institute, World Osteoporosis Day is all about informing and inspiring you. If you’ve tried to talk to your doctor about drug-free methods of stopping bone loss, chances are you were not offered much guidance. While most doctors are competent, well-meaning professionals, many of them don’t take the time to have conversations with their patients and they often don’t bring themselves up to date on the latest research.
In sharp contrast, at the Save Institute we stay on top of the latest osteoporosis research, so we can bring it all to you. Armed with the truth, you’re empowered to confidently make your own decisions about your health care.
And at the Save Institute we celebrate more than just knowledge: we also celebrate all Savers. Savers are intelligent, well-read truth-seekers whose thirst for knowledge inspires me to continue seeking, learning, and sharing. You take the time to search for answers, and you’re not afraid to embark on a journey on the “road less traveled.”
The Osteoporosis Reversal Program is geared toward instilling confidence. By exposing myths and sharing little-known, scientifically-backed truths about bone health, the Program empowers you by providing everything you need to take charge of your own decisions about your osteoporosis treatment.
With the Program, you’ll learn the truth about vital bone-health topics, including clinical nutrition principles to build strong bones, the role of exercise to prevent and reverse bone loss, and much more. And no less important is that, armed with that knowledge, you’ll learn to trust yourself.
The bottom line is, your body was designed for health, and your bones are meant to be strong. Science has proven that with with proper nutrition and stimulation in the form of exercise, your bones will rejuvenate and flourish, and bone loss can be reversed. Your body is capable of amazing things!
The Osteoporosis Reversal Program provides everything you need to celebrate World Osteoporosis Day – indeed, every day – secure in the knowledge that you’re making the right decisions for your bones.
Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss
Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
Till next time,
1 “Millions of osteoporosis patients remain undiagnosed and untreated: Study.” Daily News and Analysis. October 10, 2016. Web. October 17, 2016. http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-millions-of-osteoporosis-patients-remain-undiagnosed-and-untreated-study-2262867
2 Mammo, Z., et al. “Oral Bisphosphonates and Risk of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration.” Am J Opthalmol. 62. 7. (2016): 168. Web. October 17, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27163238/#fft