HRT and Osteoporosis

junelynnFebruary 1, 2002

Hey ladies, I have a question or two.

I went thru menopause at 43 (same as my Mother, which the Dr. said was NOT a correlation, but I keep reading differently...). I'm now 51. I was on HRT to reduce symptoms and wore the patch the last few years. (Oral HRT can up your triglicerides..., found that out about 5 years after taking them orally).

So last year, I weaned myself off of the patch (Combipatch).

I have not had any surgeries of any kind and I've never had children. Had a few mild flashes in the last year from the weaning, but now none at all.

My OB/GYN nurse practictioner is all upset because of

osteoporosis. I had a DEXASCAN and I'm ABOVE NORMAL in Bone Mass in my hip/femur, wrist (radia/unna) and NORMAL in my Lumbar spine.

I feel so torn. I understand HRT helps prevent bone loss, but one should not be on it for an extended period of time. My 7 yrs. on HRT is plenty by my book. I do a lot of bone strengthening work (exercise, HARD gardening (lifting, lugging, hauling-those bags of weeds get heavy), turning compost piles, laying brick and patio block int he garden, house repairs, etc.). I am medium boned. No history of osteoporosis in the family.

So, the nurse practictioner told me I should take FOSAMEX.

I just can't see it. I'm already taking PREVACID for GERD and fosamex is very hard on the stomach. (It seems the drug companies REALLY have the OB/GYN's convinced this is all goodness...take a pill, have side effect, we have a pill for that side effect...and on and on...).

What natural hormones are out there that prevent bone loss?

If I found a natural ESTROGEN supplement, I would assume I would have to supplement it w. natural PROGESTERONE, right? Since I have a viable uterus..

I do take supplemental calcium, eat products with calcium, etc. and am not a high risk of osteoporosis, but from what the Dr's and nurses's inetivable!

Thanks for your time...June

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June you sound just like me. I also weaned myself off of HRT after a few years. I do have slight bone loss and my doctor also put me on Fosamax. I just started and have been okay with it, but donÂt really want to take it because I understand it can hurt your throat and stomach. So far so good. I do take 1200 mg of calcium at day too and do weight bearing exercise. I am not sure what else I can do and am not sure if I want to stay on Fosamax. I am doing a lot of research on it and then I will decide if I want to get of of it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 10:51AM
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Since your bone mass is "above normal" why on earth would anyone suggest that you take anything for it? I think I would just say "thanks but no thanks" to the nurse practitioner and start looking for a better healthcare provider. Fosamax is contraindicated in anyone with esophageal problems *even when* there is an indication for use. In your case there is no indication for use at all. You have normal bone mass. Would you take iron when you aren't anemic?

Since "natural estrogen" is no safer than any other kind and since you have no bone problems anyway, why not just leave well enough alone. Exercise and a good diet are all that you need. Bone loss is normal with aging in both men and women. It isn't a disease. It may even be protective in some way we don't yet understand.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 1:13PM
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Junelynne, I tend to agree with Leigh here. Why take something when you are perfectly healthy now? I started having signs of perimenopause at 39, and when I started having extremely heavy periods for weeks on end, I went on the pill. I'm 44 now. I recently went off the pill (so far so good, no periods, no cramps, no sore boobs, for two months!) aim is to go through menopause without a single medication or supplement, unless there is a clear medical reason to do so. My husband is a doctor (radiologist, so he's fairly clueless about primary care) and was a little leery initially. Doctors are just conditioned to prescribe (or take themselves) "something" to "cure" a problem, or perceived problem.

I am sure many doctors prescribe meds and procedures because its easy money. Also because many patients will go away feeling uncared for and dissatisfied if all the doctor tells them to do is let nature take its course, or lose weight, exercise & eat right. But many docs are simply inculcated in medical school. I see this with Mick, and his coworkers. (Funny, I am in much better health than him, and I barely ever even take a vitamin--he takes tons, and medicates himself for every little thing.)

Anyway...I am also active and eat very well. My mother likewise. She went through meno at 44. She is now 68, does yoga and walk/runs five miles every day. She steadfastly refuses to take anything, and is healthy as a horse. She smoked for over 20 years, and I recently quit.

If women are getting osteoporosis more than 50 years ago, its probably because so many people in this country are fat, eat junk, and don't get off their butts to exercise. And because advertising scares them, they take a pill.

My .02.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 9:35AM
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I went to my gyn the other day and all these women were walking out with prescriptions. But when I went in to discuss it he said eat soy products, exercise, take calcium and etc. Since he does prescribe it he was really preaching that we have a choice - if you don't want it - you don't have to take it.

The "normal" bone scan means as compared to your age group remember - doesn't mean no loss. So strength training (weights and squats thrusts etc) and calcium remain imp't.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2002 at 10:50AM
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"The "normal" bone scan means as compared to your age group remember - doesn't mean no loss."

No. DEXA scans are normed to *the peak bone mass* of the average woman of your race. Therefore "above normal" means higher than the normal peak bone mass of women of your race. Whether you've lost any bone or not doesn't matter. You have more than most women started out with so you have nothing to worry about with respect to your bones.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2002 at 11:49AM
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