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Osteoporosis Message Board

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I was diagnosed 9 years ago with osteopenia--I volunteered for a study because the test was free--fully expecting my bones to be great. Last week I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. (-3.0 in the spine, hips were osteopenic).
I received the latest bone density report from my doctor at Kaiser which quoted an organization--ISCD, International Society for Clinical Densitometry-- as saying, " the absence of secondary causes or significant risk factors, a low Z- and/or T-score does not constitute osteoporosis or carry increased risk of fracture."

I believe I fit in this category (they ran all sort of tests to rule out secondary causes), yet they are prescribing Fosamax! When I asked them about it, they disagreed with the statement on the report from ISCD! The doctor said I may take that chance if I wish (to not take Fosamax), but "you ARE at risk for a fracture if you fall."

How does one know whom to believe and make an informed decision? If they do not go by that statement, why is it included in their report?

Some background--I am a 53 year old perimenopausal woman, not a frail little old lady! The only significant risk factors I have are being female and Caucasian. I have never smoked, nor been on steroids, nor been anorexic. I am not fine-boned or underweight. I don't drink a lot of alcohol. (Until about 4 years ago, probably 1-2 a month; now maybe 3-4 / week.) I drink 3-4 glasses of lowfat milk most days and have all my life. I also eat other dairy products. I take multivitamins and calcium, though not real consistently. I didn't have caffeine regularly until 10 years ago. Now I have 1-2 cups of coffee a day. I was active in high school sports. I have done aerobics--running, but now mostly walking--for about 25 years. For the last 10 years, I have done 2-3 miles (30-45 minutes) most days of the week. I added strength-training about 7 years ago and do about 20 minutes 2 times a week.

Kaiser was only going to do my hip until I insisted they do my spine as well. I was on Fosamax for about a year 3 years ago and then they told me to stop--that the new studies showed it didn't help premenopausal women. I have been having hot flashes and irregular cycles for 6 years.

One last thing--there has been no family history of osteoporosis, though my mother and maternal grandmother both died in their early 40's, so that is an unknown there, I guess. And since I have been diagnosed, two of my older sisters have been found to have osteopenia. Maybe that is a "significant risk factor"? Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you.


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