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Osteoporosis - how do you get checked for this? What life style changes can I make?

(7 Posts)
maggiso Sat 14-Feb-15 16:33:50

I recently broke my wrist (presumed scaphoid fracture) after tripping - and falling on my hands- so not far to fall (only 1 broke). I also broke a toe a few months earlier. I don't have good balance any more. I asked my GP a few years ago (after being on high dose of oral corticosteroids for some months, and then lots of short courses) if I should have a scan but he said no, as I had not broken any bones yet, and was on the young side for osteoporosis. I could not tolerate Fosamax whilst on the corticosteroids. I am awaiting an MRI for longstanding back pain (taken years to get this far). I am reluctant to go to my GP if it is not necessary.
I wonder if I should ask again, now I am over 50 and have broken a bone? I have some risk factors, such as being petite, using inhaled corticosteroids for 3 decades, not being well enough to exercise much (although before illness hit 6 years ago I was fit and very active), but I eat cheese and leafy veg and drink milk, and take vitamin D (somewhat erratically).
I have heard strontium supplements can be helpful but cannot find any in my local (small) health food shop. Has anyone any recommendations? I had several years (following the illness that require steroids) when I struggled to walk more than a few meters, but now can do much more- just not anything energetic like aerobics. I do pilates and sometimes yoga, and occasionally join an over 50s fitness group where I am very much the youngest - but the least aerobically fit!! They are nice to me!!

mousmous Sat 14-Feb-15 16:38:03

yes, go back. if treated early the damage can bd slowed.
you might want to do weights at the gym (carefully instructed) as this can help make bones stronger.
if you have dental problem you need them sorted before starting treatment.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 14-Feb-15 16:40:13

My rheumy sent me for a dexa scan purely because of the steroids I have without my asking. No history of broken bones.

maggiso Sat 14-Feb-15 17:30:18

Thank you, both of you. I will see the GP. I can add light weights to my pilates class. I used to weight train (used to climb- so needed extra power) so should be able to gently start with very light weights (we have some at home) now my wrist is stronger. I could not tolerate alendronate (stomach troubles) in the past so probably still can't, but its time I saw the dentist anyway.

retractablepencils Sat 14-Feb-15 18:50:02

my mum broke her wrist when she was in her 50s. she subsequently had bone density scan which showed osteoporosis. she was put on her for a number of years, then another couple of different medications. she had to up her calcium intake. in her diet, take vit d (religiously). weight bearing exercise is also recommended. good news is she has reversed increased her bone density following these measures. she is also petite.
definitely go & ask for a bone scan

retractablepencils Sat 14-Feb-15 18:51:07

that should read 'put on hrt for a number of year's

pinkfrocks Sat 14-Feb-15 20:24:06

Your treatment has been a disgrace.
You have had 2 fractures. You ought to have been referred to a fracture assessment clinic for a full DEXA scan. You have risk factors- petite and steroid treatment.

You MUST go back and insist on a referral to an expert- rheumatologist. You must also get a scan even if you have to pay for it at your local private hospital- and your GP may have to refer you.

1:3 women over 50 has osteoporosis. You are not too young.
I suspect- and I hope not- that you have vertebral fractures causing you that pain.

Please take this seriously and call the national osteoporosis society helpline for advice and look at their website.

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