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Answers tagged osteoporosis: Page 1 of 1

Jamie from Alberta asks: I am under 50 and having trouble getting a DEXA scan.  I have secondary osteoporosis.

While osteoporosis is most common as we get older (>50 years old), it can occur for numerous reasons at a younger age.  One tool used to identify osteoporosis is a DEXA scan.  However, interpretation of the results is difficult for healthcare provider for those under 50.  That is why it can sometimes be a challenge to arrange a DEXA scan if you are younger.  An osteoporosis specialist can often arrange a DEXA scan for younger patients more successfully, as they can explain its value and how it will be interpreted.  In Alberta, there is not one particular specialty that focuses on osteoporosis.  Rather, there are osteoporosis specialists who are rheumatologists, endocrinologists and internal medicine specialists.


Susan from BC asks: What is the best natural supplement to take for bone protection while on prednisone?

Among the many potential complications of prednisone use, osteoporosis is one of them.  The risk particularly increases if you require more than 3 months of prednisone.  In this case, calcium and Vitamin D intake are very important.  Recommendations from Calcium intake range from 1000 – 1500 mg per day, and includes calcium from both diet and supplement.  Dietary calcium is likely more ideal.  Current Vitamin D guidelines suggest intake of 800 – 2000 units daily.  Dietary Vitamin D is usually not sufficient and should be supplemented.  For individuals on prednisone, often your physician may speak to you about the addition of a medication in a class called bisphosphonates, which also will help protect the bone.


Elizabeth from Edmonton asks: I was prescribed Fosamax (alendronate) last year. Is this a medication that I take for the rest of my days? It was prescribed to help my thinning bones. Is there a better drug on the market in 2015?

Alendronate is in a class of medications called bisphosphonates, which are most commonly used in the management of osteoporosis.  There are other options on the market in this same class, but that is not to say one is better than the other.  Usually, when one starts treatment for osteoporosis, it is for a longer period of time, at least a few years.  However, the optimal period of  time to remain on treatment remains unclear.  There are other medications for osteoporosis available too, but none that are clearly better.  Speak with your rheumatologist or family doctor to find out if another option is right for you.

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