21 and have osteoporosis

I have osteoporosis and I am really scared. I have severe osteoporosis of the spine and hip. I am doing dentistry and was wondering if the leaning over would affect my spine?I am extremely worried about breaking something. Please help

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Bri21, I am sure you'll receive many competent responses. I'll just mention a couple of things: you are so young that you can rebuild bones. You should know exactly what has caused your osteoporosis (anorexia?) and start fighting back.

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Hello. I don't have anorexia anymore. I did fight back. The doctor told me I would break a bone within a year:( Yes anorexia caused it:(
Thank you for the reply

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Below here is something another member posted yesterday, would be a place to start. You need to be sure you are getting enough calcium, D3, other minerals as suggested by your doc, weight bearing exercise, adequate fruits and vegetables as well as good quality protein in your diet. I would get a nutritional consult, see a endocrinologist given your age and severity of disease. You should learn about avoiding lifting and other stressful actions. Managing stress as well will be important. Dentistry with all the adjustments you can make in the patient chairs should be ok. You will have some learning to do, and will need to develop a consistent management program.

Sean Croxton interviews Dr. John Neustadt on Blog talk radio. (look up this fellow and Osteo-K) although expensive, it appears to have as good or better outcomes than some of the prescription drugs without the side-effects.


Dr. John Neustadt stops by UW Radio to share his knowledge of osteoporosis and bone health. Learn about the dangers of prolonged use of prescription bone drugs like Fosomax, uncover the myths about bone health supplements, and start to take the necessary steps to health and strong bones! Dr. Neustadt is the co-creator of Osteo-K, a calcium supplement shown to increase bone mineral density and decrease fracture risk.

Listen to the Show!

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I'm so sorry that your doctor has resorted to scaring the Beejebus out of you. I don't know why they do that, but they do. First of all, do you know exactly what your T-scores are? Doctors sometimes like to say "severe osteoporosis" when in reality you only have osteopenia. Ann23 is correct. You are still actively building bone until you're 30. You have a lot of time to do some repair -- and you don't necessarily need the medications to do it.

Secondly, did he do tests to determine secondary causes or are you sure it's the anorexia? Here's a list for all of them:

If it's the anorexia (and not celiac disease or low vitamin D or parathyroid or or or), then with exercise, a healthy diet and necessary supplements (calcium, magnesium, k2, D3, vitamin C and a good multi and perhaps some lactoferrin) there's a good chance you can get back most of what you lost. Doctors like to say you can't regain the bone back, but doctors are wrong. I don't know why they tell people you can't gain it back without the meds, when so many people have done just that. My osteoporosis was more than likely caused by 15 years of bulimia. After 10 months on my non-medicated program of daily yoga, supplements, and an alkaline diet, I regained 7% of my bone mass in my right hips and 3.6% in my spine. It can be done.

I'm now going to attach a mess of links here for you. Take a deep breath and try to stay calm. Have you had any fractures yet at all? And if you can share your T-scores (I almost typed "T-scares" -- I suppose that's appropriate too), that will help.

FYI your score has to be greater than -2.5 in order to be osteoporosis. My spine overall was at -2.6 (with some vertebra at -3.4 and -3.2) and my hips were at -3.0. My spine is now -2.4, my hips at -2.6, so I'm moving in the right direction.

First of all information on lactoferrin: http://tinyurl.com/63r67j2


D3 and how it prevents fracture:

Exercise and it's effects on osteoporosis:

Strontium Citrate, an over the counter supplement that shows promise in improving bone density:

Success stories from women who have turned their bone loss around without the drugs:
http://www.inspire.com/groups/national-osteoporosis-foundation/discussion/s uccess-stories-w-o-drugs/
http://www.inspire.com/groups/national-osteoporosis-foundation/discussion/s uccess-stories-w-o-drugs-part-2/

Good luck!

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Wow thank you everyone! Yea the doctor did scare me:( Yea I know they were more than -2.5 but not sure of the exact scores. Well they put it down to anorexia because I was not eating enough and my period had stopped and so i was not getting the oestrogen to help my bones. Although now I am healthy again.... I am hoping my bone density has improved.. but yes the doctor said osteoporosis can't be improved:( That made me very sad. I was told I can't go ice skating or lift heavy things or do rowing. That is why I was wondering if its ok bending my back over when having patients in dentistry. I do notice my back hurts a bit after.. but maybe that is just because I am aware of having osteoporosis. Yes the doctor did not put me on medication.. just to have a healthy diet. I am getting a dexa scan again in june.. I hope my bone density has improved. Oh I stress a lot.. too much nancynurse.
Lilrayosun ur information was helpful. Thanks for taking the time to reply

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Collect hard copies of all of your dexas and keep them in a folder. You can bend some; just don't do the touch your toes routine and avoid sharp twists and turns of your body. Are you a dental hygienist or what?

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Thank u. Ok I will do that. No im training to be a Dentist. Hard work!

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My back used to really bother me when I did my gardening - lots of bending, stooping and lifting there. After I started doing the yoga, my back never gives me problems anymore. Add some simple exercises for the spinal extensors to your daily routine. Learn how to do a hip hinge, that will help.

One of the best exercises for the extensors is a really simple thing where you lay on the floor on your stomach and lift your head and chest off the floor, hold it for a few seconds, then lower back down. You can stack your hands on top of each other and rest your forehead on the back of your hands while you're lifting, pressing your forehead into your hands so that you don't "crane" upwards with your neck -- let your back do the work. Or if you're stronger, you can lay with your arms extended overhead and lift your arms as you lift your chest.

Video here:
http://thebonearchitect.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/im-back-with-more-about-ba cks/

In the Sinaki study, they added little bitty weighted backpacks that rested right around the shoulder blades. I haven't figured out how to do that with a regular backpack. But you might be able to use resistance bands, running them across your back and pinning them under your palms (as if you were going to do a push up), and then lifting your back. You'd have to be sure your back was doing the work and not your arms, though...

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Twenty-one is so very early to develop osteoporosis. Please make sure the diagnosis is correct. If it is, you will not be able to stand and lean for very long.

I'd get a second opinion, if I were you. I do have "severe" osteoporosis; however, I am 60, and I never had serious bone problems before. Osteoporosis is just about a person's worst enemy. I hope you do not have it. Please find an endocrinologist.

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Thank you everyone for being so helpful:)
Oh really. Yes I definitely have osteoporosis not osteopenia:( I had a dexa scan you see. Will I really not be able to stand for long? What do u mean?

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Hi Bri, sorry to hear about your bone loss! I want to congratulate you on taking charge of your eating disorder and conquering it! That was an incredible achievement, and don't let your doctor scare you or tell you that your bmd can't be improved, because it can.

Whatever you decide to do, exercise, supplements and a great diet, know that you aren't alone. Unfortunately there are quite a few young adults with bone loss, it isn't common, but it's also not that rare. You have time to turn this around and just think of the great career you have a head of you for inspiration. There are younger people than you that have juvenile osteoporosis (usually caused by a secondary disorder) those with idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis (which has no known cause because all secondary disorders have been ruled out) who've posted here, and are now your age, so look to them for support and ideas, I'm sure they can help. You can find most of them by putting IJO, or juvenile osteoporosis in the "find it" box on the above right of the page.

If you can, see if the doctor will order a physical therapy evaluation so you can have someone educated in bone loss help you with an individualized exercise program. I'm not sure how your insurance works in the UK, but I would think your doctor would like to help you on this so you're doing the correct exercises for you and your t-scores.

Find a friend who can help you with this that may be able to go to the doc with you and physical therapy for support. Keep in mind all the incredible things you ARE capable of doing and go from there. When you feel down, or like things are spinning out of control find that friend and talk to them. Journaling along with all the other ideas you've been given can help as well to bolster your confidence, which I'm sure you have along with your wonderful intelligence.

Right now you may feel like any move is dangerous, but with some guidance you'll find out there's a lot you can do physically. Your doctor can't possibly know if you'll have a fracture in one year unless he can see into the future, which I doubt ;) This is where a physical therapist can help in explaining what's risky and what isn't in movement and exercise.

Take it one step at a time and know we're all rooting for you!!! Let us know how you do and discuss your concerns about bending etc., with a physical therapist when you can get in to see one.

Best of luck to you!

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Bri, you're in good hands here! Have you gotten any feedback on your current diet? Do you follow acid/alkaline guidelines? Eating an alkaline diet can be a great benefit for your bones. Read Susan Brown's stuff at BetterBones.com. She just blogged about being too thin and its affect on bones -- http://www.betterbones.com/blog/default.aspx She also has lots of great nutritional advice. LilRayoSun, who posted above, has a wonderful blog on how she's rebuilding her bones -- http://thebonearchitect.wordpress.com. It can be done!

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I had two bouts of anorexia (believe it or not, in my 30's and 40's). But, I wasn't diagnosed with OP until my first DEXA scan at age 68. So, it's possible that I've had OP for a very long time before it was found. I didn't break any bones during that time and I was a pretty active younger woman. So, I think for your DR. to predict a fracture within a year is very irresponsible.
What caused him to do a DEXA in the first place? Were you having some symptoms?
The fear and stress is very bad for any medical condition. That said, I have yet to find a way that works to control it for me. I do know that you will settle down a little after awhile. It's the initial shock and worry that your life has been irrevocalbly changed that sends a lot of us into overdrive.
It is specially difficult for someone as young as you are. But, as others have said, our bodies are normally in a bone building stage until we are 30. So, if you can find a regimen that will activate that process you should be able to regain some bone density.
Important to rule out secondary causes in one as young as you are. Hyperparathyroidism (a PTH blood test), and Celiac disease. Another blood panel test. I don't think it is right for the Dr. to assume it was your anorexia that caused this. It sure wouldn't help, but those other conditions can be treated and help you regain bone mass. If not treated, then they will continue to cause a problem even if you try diet, supplements, exercise, or drugs. So try to make them rule out other possiblitlies.
You have a future and a future in a great profession. I bet you'll be getting better scores next time. Once a complete assessment is done and you implement a strategy that works for you.

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Please make sure you don't have celiac disease. It affects at least 1 out of 120. Dr. Fasano thinks it may affect as many as 4% of the population.
I don't know if you are aware of celiac, but it can cause anorexia, canker sores, headaches, hair falling out, muscle cramps, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, burping, gas, and many more symptoms. If you have celiac, your small intestine is not absorbing many minerals and many vitamins. Some of them are; iron, zinc, copper, magnesium as well as B12, folic acid, and B6. Many of these nutrients are crucial to maintaining bones.
Another thing to consider is hyperparathyroidism but I understand this is more likely to happen to an older person.

I would suggest they really need to rule out whether or not you have celiac. The tests must be done correctly. They must include total Iga

A good site is www.delphiforums.com/celiac

I hope you get some answers.

Nancy MI

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Hi Bri21,
I was thinking of you today when I was doing the dishes - this may sound odd but it has to do with your question:
"...wondering if its ok bending my back over when having patients in dentistry. I do notice my back hurts a bit after.."
The thing is that I have learned (somewhere) that if I open the cupbords under the sink and put one foot up/in there while I am doing the dishes, my back feels much better. I also change foot from left to right no and again. Maybe you could try something like that when you are bending over your patients? And try to bend from the hip as much as you can. Kind regards Lela

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