Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Diagnosed with osteoporosis of the spine and osteopenia of the hip at 48 (six years before menopause), I took Fosamax for almost 10 years. When the news about possible link between the drug and osteonecrosis of the jaw, I switched to Miacalcin (calcitonin salmon). I've had some increase in BMD, but my December 2011 spine T-score was 3.0.

In August I (stupidly) said "yes" when my husband asked me to help move a heavy table and suffered a vertebral fracture at T7 and some "crumbling" at the endplate of T8. Underwent kyphoplasty. Left with extreme burning, pulling sensation in muscles to left of spine below the fracture site.

Finally agreed to the Forteo my endocrinologist had suggested yers ago. But very reluctant to start. Don't want to run risk of complications that merit a black box warning. Also am petrified of additional fractures. Yelled at husband for running over curb with car and then not avoiding a pothole. Want to encase me in bubble wrap. Feel too young at an active 66 to be going through this.


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19 replies. Join the discussion

Hi Crystaljoy,
I too developed osteopoenia when I was in my 30's and began taking Fosomax when it first came out. I don't know anyone else who has taken it as long as I have. During the 15 years I took it, my bone loss was stabilized, usually about -.1. Then it was suggested my by doctor that I take a "drug holiday" which I did. Last week I took had by bone density tested and my numbers all dropped. So my doctor put me back on it. I guess we both had to prove it to ourselves. I always tolerated it well, and tomorrow I begin. Hopefully it will do the good things its supposed to do and none of the bad things it could:) I don't think you should worry. It sounds like you are a serious candidate for some med, but not sure about Forteo. I am going back on Fosomax (alendronate) because I had used to before successfully. I believe I may have just heard some warning about Forteo, so please check on it. If it is the one where you get 2 shots a year, my doctor wouldn't give it to me. Talk to your doctor about which one you should use. Good luck!

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Hi CrystalJoy,

Please check into improving your bones naturally. And, welcome to this Inspired Site. There are numerous helpful discussions and many folks with good ideas and many success stories.

To start, you may want to consider taking Vitamin K2 (especially Mk4), Vitamin D3 (not D2), Magnesium (not oxide), Mag. citrate and Mag. glycinate are much better, Lactoferrin, Biosil, and get the nutrients which Dr. Susan Brown recommends in "Nutrition & bone health
20 key bone-building nutrients — an overview"

For the success stories, the discussion author is lilypads. ref. till-more-sucess-stories/

For info. on vitamin K2, please see Tango's posts, e.g. ces/

If you search inspired in the "Find it" box, you will see many discussions on Vit. K2, Magnesium, Lactoferrin, etc. And, you can also Google them and get back into Inspired.

Best wishes for better bones,

> Sylvia < < < < < <

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Have you tried Yoga for Osteoporosis? There is a doctor by the name of Lauren Fishman who is doing a study on the effects of yoga-pose-bone-building exercises. You do not have to take a full yoga class, just perform a certain number of specific yoga poses for 15-20 seconds on a daily basis. Instructional video, with modifications, are provided. Search his name and see if something like that might help. If nothing else, it might help you feel better!

Also, consult with your doctor what type of weight bearing exercise you can do that can help improve your bone density.

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I took forteo for 2 years. I had no significant side effects. The dexa scan at the end revealed my lumbar spine to have improved from -2.5 to -1.7. My hip density did not improve from what it has been for 7 years, -2.9. Was the Forteo responsible for the improved lumbar spine? Or was it the Tai Chi I have been doing for 3 years? Forteo does help some, and the black box side effects are phenomenally rare. Maybe it's a good choice for you.

After years of medicines that did not clearly improve my bones, I've now opted to abandon that approach and with my doctor's blessing have chosen to take Strontium Citrate. Others have taken it with good results, and in a different formulation it's used in Europe.

Others on the site know more about SC and other natural approaches. I'd encourage you to take the time to read everything you can about all the options.

Wishing you the best!

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Most of us on this site who have reversed osteoporosis and osteopenia have used strontium citrate, in addition to the other vitamins and minerals needed for strong bones. You can learn about the needed nutrients by reading "Your Bones," by Lara Pizzorno.

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I just ordered this book and discovered that the authors name is spelled Loren (male) Fishman:)

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Thanks to all who understood my concerns and addressed them with valuable suggestions. I have decided to not take Forteo and have ordered "Your Bones" and the SC.

I will do a careful comparison of the supplements I now take toh those that are recommended. I will increase my weight-bearing exercise to the degree that it doesn't adversely affect my scoliosis. Also, I start PT next week.

I'm sure if I had a repeat bone density test today, my numbers would look terrific thanks to the bone cememt injected during kyphoplasty!!!

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I am having my second kyphoplasty done on friday.. Did you have a bad result after your kyphoplasty? My first one went really well but then I fractured again after 10 days. I got all the strontium citrate & other vits and minerals but then after 3 fractures my doctors talked me into taking fosamax and I was scared I guess because I don't know how successful strontium has been and I didnt want to play Russian roulette right now as I fractured in my sleep and am really scared. I guess I will reluctantly take the fosamax for a year and see what happens...

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The book I recommend is by LARA PIZZORNO. If there is another book by the same title by someone else, I know nothing about it. Lara Pizzorno is a medical writer who spent a great deal of time answering questions on this site here: ew-book-just-out-a-lot-of-good-info/?page=8

Here: art-2-your-bones-by-lara-pizzorno-and-dr-jonathan-v-wright/

And here: trontium-scare-tactics-addressed-by-lara-pizzorno/

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Kyphoplasty often provides immediate relief if the pain comes from the fracture itself. But the interventional radiologist should inform you that up to 50% of people will sustain a second fracture within a month. Whether it's from the strengthened bone exerting pressure on the adjacent vertebra or the fact that other vertebra are also fragile, no one seems to know.

I'm convinced that osteoporosis is Mother Nature's cruel trick on her sisters. (I know men develop it too.) We may look fine on the outside and manage to stand as erect as possible while we're crumbling on the inside and suffering pain.

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It's not really Mother Nature's trick. Much of our current osteoporosis epidemic is a result of the removal of Vitamin K2 from our diets over the last 70-80 years or so by agribusiness, and the removal of Vitamin D as a result of using sunscreens and staying indoors. If we lived the way our ancestors did, we might have had shorter lives in some cases, but in many cases, we might have been old and strong and healthy.

Good to read: "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston A. Price, available free online here:

"Nourishing Traditions," By Sally Fallon

"Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox," by Kate Rheume-Bleue, ND

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Lilypads, if it's just the last 70-80 years, what about the older history of humpbacked grannies/women (and maybe men), not uncommon, I think, but well enough established that I remember my mother (who died in '04 at age 86) telling us about them when we were kids. One website talks about bad posture and scoliosis, but I'm not convinced. I haven't taken the time to do a thorough search, but I daresay that limited diets, long skirts, sleeves and bonnets could have just as easily put women at risk.


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Smilinglady, you're right about those clothes. But back farther than the Victorian era, people were naked in the sun. In the late 1920s, early 1930s, Weston A Price visited people all over the world eating their traditional diets, and found extradordinary health and no tooth decay despite big differences in what they ate. It's worth clicking on the link to his book (above) just to look at his wonderful pictures. He documented what they ate and tested it chemically. Then he treated his dental patients with butter oil (K2) and cod liver oil (D3) and cured tooth decay without fillings. All the info about this is available online.

He did his research right at the moment that many cultures were abandoning their traditional foods to eat "the foods of modern commerce"--white flour and sugar. In many cases he photographed healthy parents whose first child had good teeth and bones and whose subsequent children had narrow crowded jaws with crooked teeth, pinched noses and breathing problems.

I have a picture of myself at my great grandmother's 90th birthday party. I was 4 years old. I'm surrounded by 11 ninety-year-olds, most of them big, strong German farm women. They had all known each other all their lives, in this small upstate New York town, and I'm sure some of them were still doing a full day's work on the farm. Not all of them are equally robust. My great grandma made a pie every day and had diabetes. She was not as sturdy as some of the others. And they did like to protect their skin from the sun.

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My Dad died at 91, very sharp mentally, but completely collapsed due to Osteoporosis. He spend most of his life outdoors as an outdoorsman and gardener, well into his 80' and getting plenty of sunshine. Sometimes the genes are stacked against us. I have the benefit of modern science and great sites like this to fight it, but still I am in an uphill battle most of the time. So I keep fighting:)

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To Sylvia 6789 (or anyone else that might know), I just read your comment where you mentioned Biosil. Can you share with me what you may know good or bad about Biosil. I have been taking it since March of 2012, 6 drops of liquid 2 times per day. I buy it at The Vitamin Shoppe and wonder if it is helping me.

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I know what you mean about being scared of breaking bones! After a hysterectomy at age 39 and years of Nexium for stomach issues and Depo Provera shots for endometriosis, I now have Osteoporosis. I didn't think much of the broken bone issue until recently when I broke one foot and 3 months later, broke the other foot. The way I hit the foot was nothing I have not done before, but this time it just snapped. It worries me about how easy it might be to break another bone. I am terrified of falling when it starts to get icy. I found some grips that you fasten over the bottom of your shoes to grip the ice so I won't fall. I carry rock salt or similar in my car at all times. During this time I have tried the bisophosphates with no luck due to stomach issues. I have been taking Miacalcin nasal spare and estrogen.

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Hi powerwalker,

Since I haven't been able to sign-on much lately, I didn't realize that you had a question for me.

Let me try to answer now ...

I've read many positive comments on Biosil. But, like most supplements, it doesn't work for everyone. Bottom line: I don't know if it's working for me. My BMD basically did not change from my first to my second DEXA (2 years apart, still Osteopenia). My hair and nails are very good. However, I take several supplements, e.g. Mk4, etc. In addition, I use various nourishing shampoos and conditioners, containing Biotin, SeaKelp, Argan oil, etc.) As for Biosil, I take it approximately 3 times per week, 5 drops each time. I should do it daily, but I am just not that disciplined.

Back to your Q ... Pls see comment below (ref, ardiovascular-problems-and-calcium-supplements/?ref=as&asat=7877474)

• Reply 2535442
• October 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm


I take Biosil. I started taking it because my nails had ridges and were splitting. (a sign your bones aren’t doing well) I love this product. I hope it does on the inside what it does on the outside. For me it is well worth it. My nails are stronger and the ridges have been reduced. My hair is so shiny now. Below is what I know about Biosil from my readings.

Biosil is a bioavailable form of silicon or orthosilicic acid [Si(OH)4]. Biosil is orthosilicic acid, stabilized by choline chloride.
Silicon is associated with collagen formation, the fibrous protein matrix which provides support for body structures such as cartilage and bones. This is why optimal bone health depends upon silicon as well as calcium. Inadequate silicon intake has been associated with weak, brittle nails and weakened capillaries and arteries. This is due to a deficiency in the essential protein matrix. Silicon plays a very important role in bone calcification, especially in the growth of new bone. The cells that make bone (osteoblasts) begin constructing a connective tissue matrix. When this is done, the osteoblasts switch their function and begin to fill in this matrix with minerals. This process requires silicon. Silicon makes the inner lining of arterial tissue less permeable. Since arterial damage is usually the first step in plaque formation that can eventually clog an artery and lead to surgical consequences, researchers are beginning to think that silicon deficiency may predispose someone for certain types of heart disease.

Since it increases collagen it is beneficial to skin, hair and nails. A friend of mine used it after chemotherapy and it did wonders for her hair.


In that NOF discussion, I also pointed out a few studies. For example,

" . . . The mean age of the women in the study below was 60.7 years and 85% were post-menopausal.
“Choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid supplementation as an adjunct to Calcium/Vitamin D3 stimulates markers of bone formation in osteopenic females: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial”, by Tim Spector et al, Published: June 2008.

Unfortunately, the sample size is rather small. " . . . This study involved “136 women out of 184 randomized (T-score spine < -1.5). These women received, daily, 1000 mg Ca and 20 μg cholecalciferol (Vit D3) and three different ch-OSA doses (3, 6 and 12 mg Si) or placebo. Bone formation markers in serum and urinary resorption markers were measured ..." []

An additional article which has supportive info on BioSil is In the TotalHealth special report, May 28, 2010, on “BioSil”, pls click onto the “BioSil and the Collagen Connection”, by Dallas Cloustre and Kevin M. Connelly. Although this article seems like an advertisement, the authors have excellent credentials and the writing is easy to follow. ( . . ."

The conclusion from Tim D Spector et al is:

"Accumulated evidence over the last 30 years has suggested a role for Si in bone and connective tissue health. The study presented here suggests that the combined treatment of ch-OSA (Si) with Ca/Vit D3 is safe and has a potentially beneficial effect on bone turnover, especially on bone collagen, and possibly also on femoral BMD compared to Ca/Vit D3 alone. Studies in a larger number of subjects are needed to investigate further the effect of ch-OSA on BMD and its impact on fracture incidence. . . ."

Hope this helps,

> Sylvia < < < < <

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With you having such a severe history of osteoporosis in your family you may do well to re-think the idea of the Forteo rather than dismissing it so quickly, especially since you have already had fractures.

I've had several fractures, albeit not of my spine, but now my bones seem to be crumbling right before my eyes. I had an x-ray at Mayo Clinic of my hands and the complete decay of the bones and the bone spacing was appauling to me. Thankfully, my T-scores have increased on the Forteo (I've been on it about a year now), so I don't know where I would be if I hadn't started it when I did. I know I had a dose of Reclast before and my numbers took a huge nose dive after that. Now they are back in line with where they were before I took the Reclast. I just had a total knee done on August 6th for the third time and now I have to have my left thumb and index finger restructured where it joins in at the wrist to pull it back up towards my fingers as it has collapsed onto the wrist bone and is grinding it away. I am having that two-and-a-half hour surgery on December 10 in Rochester. Once that surgery has healed (the surgeon said approximately six to eight weeks), then he will work on my right middle finger to try and straighten it. It is bent at a 35 degree angle. He is going to try and put in a new joint in there. If that isn't successful, then he will have to fuse the joint straight.

At any rate, what my point is, don't let your joints come to where mine are at is my suggestion. The bottom line is the choice is ultimately up to you and your body is made up differently than mine also. I am going to be 54 years old in a little over a week and I feel like I am going to be 94 on most days. My biological aunt ended up in a nursing home for the last 20 years of her life due to osteoporosis. I am trying to prevent that outcome for myself. You can still do the healthy things along with Forteo. There is nothing saying you cannot do both. The choice is yours.



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How long was your drug holiday? Have you found evidence that restarting a different drug will work when Fosamax stays in the bones for seevral years? Thanks! buche

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