Category Archives: Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis – latest news

Are NHS only ones not worried?

Cases of Osteoporosis seem on the increase, yet the NHS seem  unconcerned with the rise in problems this causes.

Listening to Dr. Stone, a GP with many cases in his ‘patch’, he gave out shocking statistics:  1/3rd of all Trauma beds are used for those with osteoporosis fractures;  Women have a 1 in 2 risk of getting the disease;  Men are ‘lucky’ – their risk is 1 in 5.

Exercise has been proven to help ward off consequences, and a group has asked Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to set up exercise classes for those with this disease.  But this hospital seems totally uncorned about doing anything to help, even to the point of brushing off patients’ suggestions that the hospital offer preventative exercise classes (as they do in Europe).  Hospital just says WHEN patients present with a fracture, due to Osteoporosis, they can deal with this on the wards (at a cost of at least £12,000 per patient).  They have budget for dealing with fractures;  NOT for preventing them.

Recently an elderly patient (over 80) was refused an urgent operation at Chelsea and Westminster when she fractures a hip, so the family called a private ambulance to take her off for an urgent operation.

Bone loss is NOT an inevitable part of the ageing process.

Help is at hand;  the French company Yoplait are committed to helping you and your bones.  It is possible to prevent, or mitigate the problems of Osteoporosis (not for everyone perhaps, but exercise certainly helped me reduce bone loss) and I am now taking Vitamin D supplements on prescription.  The French company, Yoplait, have launched a fortified yoghourt on the British market, aimed at this problem.

They wanted to find an easy and tasty way to do this. And came up with Calin +.  This is a new yoghourt product (lots of good milk) which has  100% of the Vitamin D Recommended Daily Allowance, along with being rich in calcium – all in one pot! And it tastes great!

Recommended daily allowance (RDA) = 5 µg  and the yoghourts comes in a range of 3 popular flavours: Strawberry, Cherry and Vanilla Flavour

Background Info

  • Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones
  • “Vitamin D contributes to normal absorption/ utilisation of calcium
  • “Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones
  • “Protein contributes to the maintenance of normal bones

And it’s made by a French company;  Here they seem to take prevention more seriously than perhaps we do.

Latest from top US Research

If you have been diagnosed with osteopenia or low bone mass,  the top-rated US resarch centre, Johns Hopkins, has just issued a report What You Should Know About Osteopenia can help you reverse osteopenia and prevent osteoporosis.

The report provides the latest thinking of the causes and treatments for osteopenia or low bone mass, and explores in depth the current debate over who should be treated for low bone density and when. You’ll learn about healthy bone development … the process of bone turnover … how to maintain healthy bones … the most effective nondrug measures to prevent or reduce bone loss … and answers important questions that get to the heart of fracture risk.
For more information,

NHS suggests taking drug instead of exercising

A woman on a treadmill (Original caption: &quo...

Every hospital gym has a treadmill - one of best exercises for osteoporosis.




NHS says take drugs

rather than change life-style


Strong people will weep.  Yet another drug is being lauded for NHS patients, without working out if there could be a safer and more sensible alternative that doesn’t rely on drugs.

Recent Media is full of benefits of Servier’s drug Protelos to  slow the progress of osteoarthritis (OA), the wear-and-tear disease that destroys joints. It is already given to some patients with Osteoporosis.

And the cost?  £1 per patient per day or £365 per patient per year.  Unless you get side effects (but dealing with these hasn’t been factored into the equation).

As usual the NHS have leapt at this.  Their thinking seems to be it’s better to stuff us full of drugs, rather than spend time talking about changing our life styles.



W~ell, I upset the cosy NHS apple cart on its rounds.  Instead of dutifully taking the granules of Protelus (Strontium ranelate) for Osteroporosis, which incidentally contains elements that can spontaneously combust (so my scientist nephew tells me),  after these sachets made me incredibly sick, I looked for alternatives.

I went to Austria and Italy where they prescribe exercise classes to help cope with Osteoporosis.  Threw out the pills and packets, and came back to London with a sheet of exercises.  My insurance company paid for a year’s classes at SixPhysio,  and at the end my DXA scan showed 21 % less bone loss;  I am now Osteopeanic instead of Osteoporotic.

Went to see local NHS hospital – but they don’t have any plans to offer simple exercise classes.  However, they assured me that “WHEN you get a fracture, the hospital can deal with this”.  Cost?  Around £12,000 per patient.

So that’s fine then.  The NHS would love me to keep on taking the drugs, with what end result I dread to think.  But GP isn’t happy that I have thrown out the sachets and am sliding in to exercise classes.

£4 million for innovative solutions to tackle healthcare problems

And the latest from LaLa land might be just what we want:  the government has announced £4 million of funding for businesses “to develop cutting-edge ideas to address some of the biggest health problems of our time”.

With money to splash around, (as long as it isn’t to do with healthcare?), The Department of Health (DH) has opened two new competitions, with up to £2 million of funding each to develop technological and innovative solutions that can:

1. Change people’s behaviour in order to reduce the impact of obesity and alcohol related diseases.

2• Improve the number of patients taking their medication as prescribed.

But suggest classes that hospital Physiotherapy Departments could easily start up, to help patients with hip and other problems, Osteoporosis, etc (probably 8.4 million of us) and offer patients an inexpensive way to use hospital gyms under supervision, and the DH’s Press Office is thrown.  The idea for classes are innovative, make full use of equipment that is often lying idle, would cost far less than £7 a week for a class – but this isn’t ‘innovative’ enough.

Some fluffy bunny from the DH’s Press Office says she will “get back to you”, but I am not holding my breath.

What is happening

So it’s left to the private providers to step in and offer suitable classes.  Not the sort of multi-billion private provider that LaLa’s minions wants to deal with, but a sensible, down-to-earth Yoga and Pilates team who specialises in running classes for local people, offering an inexpensive way of healthy living.

Noni Beasley is an energetic trainer who zips around Kensington and Chelsea on her bike, and is setting up Yoga and Pilates classes at the new Earl’s Court Health and Wellbeing Centre.   She and her partner, Mymuna, are full of enthusiasm and already have an enthusiastic following in the area.  But they could do so much more if LaLa would realise that supporting grass-roots initiatives such as these are far more use and much more cost-effective.

But then Noni’s classes will cost a few pounds per person – well below the cost of Protelus.

Noni Beasley   07757 180303

Earl’s Court Health and Wellbeing Centre, 2b, Hogarth Road, London SW5 OPT.  (Opposite Underground Station)

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Another step forward in Osteoporosis 'battle'

But it could be two years


for benefit to kick in



Mrs Claire L Severgnini, Chief Executive of the National Osteoporosis Society, is delighted with the news, just announced, to include osteoporosis in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) of the UK wide GP contract for 2012/13.

As she says, “this decision has the potential to transform the care that GPs provide for older patients who are at risk of broken bones”.

Now it is up to you to point this out to your GP

Don’t expect your GP (unless you are very lucky) to have taken notice, unless they have an interest.  I had sent the announcement over to my local surgery, only for the GP to dismiss it, “I don’t have time to read emails, or keep up with all the latest information”.

So start asking

  • for assessments
  • exercise classes
  • better control over suitable medicines, etc.

whenever you see your GP.

After all, exercise classes for those with osteoporosis are held north of the Border – see


This is something the National Osteoporosis Society has been campaigning for us over  many years, and those of you who answered the NOS’s campaign for “25 words” will know that when the petition was handed in to Downing Street, this went a long way to getting the QOFs.

Now, the NOS has  created a strong voice which is being heard at the highest levels of Government, driving up standards and improving services.

Information about what the QOF decision means for patients, carers and professionals is available online from


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New website for people with Osteoporosis

Breaking Point


This website follows the successful launch of

‘Osteoporosis in the UK at Breaking Point’


A resource that called upon healthcare professionals, policy-makers and politicians to take action to ensure patients receive appropriate diagnosis and management of their osteoporosis.

What the website offers

Breaking  aims to deliver a valuable resource for those interested in osteoporosis. The website is endorsed by the patient and professional groups involved with the development of the 2010 report (International Longevity Centre-UK, British Menopause Society, The Patients Association, Women’s Health Concern).

The website content was based on the report, developed by the members of the Breaking Point editorial board. The content will be regularly updated with relevant news articles, expert opinion and latest developments in the field of osteoporosis.

However, as usual, these reports rely heavily on organisations who have been funded to ‘produce the goods’, but often don’t deliver. 

e.g. The site has a ‘click through’ to Royal College of Pysicians;  you go through to category of Best Practice.  Then click on Fracture Liaison Service, expecting to come up with centres that offer this service.

Apparently there are over 100 pages in this report.  You can’t key in venues – you have to scroll through the whole 100 plus pages to supposedly come across a list.  I didn’t have enough finger power.

But all power to the Webmaster and team – theirs is a good attempt at doing something to help those with Osteoporosis.

Because as we find only too often – the help that should be there for us – isn’t.  As the report mentions (but doesn’t emphasise enough) Scotland is far better at providing services.



Patients should be treated holistically on NHS

Milk and cereal grains are often fortified wit...

Cereal is often fortified Wikipedia

Truth comes out

at meeting on Vitamin D


Getting to meetings at Portcullis House (that mega-monstrosity built to provide offices for our MPs) are always a strain.

First of all you have to queue for half an hour to get in to see these expense account fillers.  Then you file into a room for which the sponsors are charged a fortune, only to find it littered with empty plastic cups and water bottles – apparently each office cost £1 million per MP, but no water, let alone a cup of tea is provided.

But after all the frustration of long queues, my last visit turned up gold.

Invited by Yasmin Qureshi, MP, to a meeting to talk about 

Vitamin D;  Sunlight, Diet. Supplements – who gets enough

speakers treated us to a fascinating event, ranging over how important is this Vitamin, yet NICE guidance is most unclear, to the fact that 15% of the UK population are Vitamin D deficient, and “older people should be offered Vitamin D supplements – but aren’t”.

Sat Up

In the middle of his speech, Ash Soni, (Pharmacist member of that elusive body:  the NHS Future Forum – where he is currently leading the work stream on the NHS’s Role in the Public Health) told us “cancer patients should be treated holistically”.

He went on to say cancer patients’ treatment can be “criminal”.  He decried the way Oncologists will treat the cancer, but pay little attention to side effects of drugs they use.  One consequence is that these side effects can impinge drastically on conditions such as diabetes – yet patients are not told that this may happen.  When it does, cancer centres, unlike France and other countries, have no way of dealing with consequences, and patients are left to suffer on their own.

How much Vitamin D do we need?

Sponsored by PAGB (The Proprietary Association of Great Britain), the meeting informed us how much we need this vitamin – and how many patients who have been placed on Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) such as Aromasin, Arimidex, etc., are neglected.

Thinking back to the way I was casually told I ‘might’ get Osteoporosis when put on AIs, and sent off for an annual DEXA scan,  I can’t remember anyone measuring my Vitamin D levels; or even suggesting it would be a good idea to take this, in order to prevent the 89,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures a year – many of which are a result of this disease which can be a side effect of  AIs.

Producing a Vitamin D Overview, Mrs. Claire Severgnini, of the National Osteoporosis Society, gave us frightening figures.  Apparently just dealing with hip fractures – one of the consequences of osteoporosis – costs the NHS £6 million a day.   Yet a Cochrane Review in 2010 found a 28% reduction in the incidence of falls (prime cause of hip fractures) where Vitamin D supplement was used.

At £25 per patient per year for Vitamin D supplements for anyone over 65 in the UK , the cost would be £295 million.  Preventing a possible 11,558 hip fractures a year would pay for this.  Yet the NHS seems incapable of working out the monetary accounts , let alone the cost in human misery.

Yet when I try to talk to my local NHS hospital about steps to avoid falls – they pat me on the head and tell me I shouldn’t worry – they are well able to deal with fractures!!!  Doesn’t matter about the patient – just so long as the NHS doesn’t have to practice preventative medicine, long regarded as a bore by clinicians who are trained as surgeons etc.

Honesty from a GP – backed up by a Nurse

We were then introduced to Dr. Gill Jenkins, a GP from the West Country – and the sort of the-patient-comes-first’ type to whom we all warmed.  Admitting that the infamous QOF system, by which GPs get their remuneration, didn’t cover Vitamin D requirements, she said “vocational training doesn’t specially include nutrition”, which would bring this out.

Do doctors prescribe Vitamin D?  One admitted “only when asked”.  Well, the message was simple.  Demand your GP tests you.

Lynn Young from the Royal College of Nursing was another person with lots of TLC;  she spoke about the importance of Vitamin D;  this time the worrying signs that “Over the past few years we have been seeing cases of rickets re-emerging amongst children, which is a direct result of vitamin D deficiency”.   So doctors and nurses have an uphill struggle to make us more Vitamin D aware.

What to do?

There is no exact definition of the amount of Vitamin D each of us needs.  Different people will need different amounts of Vitamin D;  one of factors is how much sunlight we get per year;  another is if we eat enough of the right foods.

Good to eat:  Oily fish, eggs, liver.  In Scandinavia where they don’t get enough sunlight in winter, they have problems.  Yet in Iceland, with the same amount of sunlight and dark winters, there is no problem because their diet relies heavily on fish.

If you want to know more about Health Supplements, check out the Health Supplements Information Service.

  1. Have a chat with your local Pharmacist
  2. Check out Health Supplements on
  3. If you have a CNS, ask for an appointment to go through options – especially if you are put on AIs, or reach age 60 during treatment.
  4. See Your GP to ensure you are getting enough Vitamin D, otherwise prescribe these
  5. Contact the PAGB for information:
  6. Ask PAGB for their notes on Vitamin D (set out in clear, understandable language, and giving info about levels contained in certain foods.
  7. Contact National Osteoporosis Society:     Helpline 0845 450 0230
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Where to find classes for Osteoporosis

Glasgow Science Centre

Image by bruce89 via Flickr

Glasgow Leads

                                                                                                      with Physiotherapy Services

Anyone lucky enough to live in Glasgow has a range of exercise classes from which to choose.

When will other areas follow?

Research shows that regular suitable exercise for Osteoporosis can help protect you from breaking bones in two ways:

  1. strengthening your bones (along with the medication prescribed by your doctor and a calcium-rich diet) and
  2. reducing your chances of falling.

You are at greatest risk of breaking a bone if you fall.  Exercise can improve your balance, co-ordination, strength and flexibility and therefore lower your risk of falling.

Regular, suitable exercise can also improve your posture, mood, general health, and help lessen pain from different causes, including arthritis.  Also, the fitter you are, the easier it is for you to carry out all your daily activities such as housework and shopping.

Glasgow’s Physiotherapy Service for Osteoporosis

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has a Physiotherapy Service especially for people with osteoporosis or osteopenia.

The service offers full assessment by a physiotherapist, which includes examination of your posture, flexibility, muscle strength,                                                                                                              walking, balance,

A view over Glasgow from Queen's Park in the c...

fitness and pain.

This provides a starting point to find out your particular problems, and make a plan with you for your treatment, including instruction and information on suitable and safe exercise for you to help your condition, and advice on posture and back care.

Assessment can take place at one of several Physiotherapy departments (see below).

12-week Exercise & Education Programme for Osteoporosis

Following your assessment the physiotherapist may suggest you attend local exercise classes, run by a Physiotherapist.  At these classes, as well as exercising, you will be given information on osteoporosis, posture and back care.  There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.  During the 12 weeks there may also be a visit from an Osteoporosis Specialist Nurse and a member of the National Osteoporosis Society Support Group.

Physiotherapy-led 12-week Exercise & Education classes – available at the following:

  • Westburn Church Hall, Greenock       Tuesday 2.30pm
  • Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley            Thursday 9.45am
  • Glasgow Royal Infirmary                Friday 1.45pm
  • Gartnavel General Hospital                Tuesday 12pm
  • Southern General Hospital                Tuesday 10am
  • Mansionhouse Unit, Langside                 Friday 9.30a
  • Stobhill Hospital                        Thursday 2pm
  • Clarkston Clinic, Clarkston                Monday 2.30pm
  • Clarkston Hall, Clarkston                 Friday 2.30pm


Contact:   Craig Ross, Osteoporosis Physiotherapist on 0141 427 8311, or write to:

Physiotherapy Service for Osteoporosis
Clutha House
120 Cornwall Street South
Glasgow G41 1AF

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Bisphosphonates and other Osteoporosis news

:Original raster version: :Image:Food and Drug...

Image via Wikipedia

Latest news


In the States, the FDA (Food and Drug advisory committee) wants the agency to limit the duration of bisphosphonate therapy for treatment of osteoporosis.

But the committee could not agree on what that time limit should be.  However, their findings are below.

While in Britain, there are very, very small signs that the ‘new’ NHS                                                                                                                  might be looking for ways  to increase revenue from hospitals, and osteoporosis patients could benefit.

Exercise for Osteoporosis

With the NHS desperately looking for ideas to increase funding, now is the time to hit hospitals with ideas to provide exercise classes for those with osteopororis.  Even – what a revolutionary idea! – help prevent patients getting the disease.

Called to a discussion with a Foundation Hospital, it was evident that they were finally receptive to ideas to increase revenue.  Talking over requirements for exercise classes, their eyes lit up when I cited another hospital where patients were willing to pay £7 or £8 for other classes, provided they could come in every week.  There had been talk about this being a ‘club’ whose members only met to gossip – but when it was pointed out that this ‘club’ were happy to pay the fees ad infinitum as long as they could feel they were getting exercise, ideas changed.

This also meant that once patients had received a referral letter, they then went on to pay for classes so there would be no need to stop after six weeks for usual referrals.  Once set up, the classes could continue without much administration.

What is needed

Hospital gym with suitable exercise equipment :  with

  • treadmill
  • wobble boards
  • bouncer
  • anything encouraging weight-bearing exercises

A physio to supervice, set the class in motion, give out exercises that progress from 5 – 10 different stations, then give call when it is time to move to next station.  Once first induction class was over, generally patients followed a pattern themselves, and only needed ‘keeping an eye on’.

Once set up, regular patients knew exactly what they need to do, and were content to move around the room when given ‘time up’ signal.

How to find members

Initial administration costs would come with finding patients willing to take classes.  In this area these came via LINk, OAPs clubs, GP referral, Cancer support centres, word of mouth, etc.  Signs are that more classes are going to have to be organised.


If the gym is fully utilised, these classes can easily take place after normal closing time – say 4 pm to 8 pm.

There were plenty of Physios happy to supervise if they received overtime payment.

What Patients can do

Set up a discussion with the hospital Chief Executive;  and/or PALS.  Get Governors involved, or if there is one – the hospital Patients’ Association.  Ask your GP to lobby.

Find out from Physios if they would be prepared to supervise classes – and possibly work overtime in the evening.

Get a list of possible class members.

Then present this to the hospital – and Good Luck!


Earlier this year, the FDA in America required that all bisphosphonates used to prevent or treat osteoporosis warn on their labels that optimal duration of use hasn’t been determined, and that all patients on bisphosphonate therapy should have their need for continued therapy re-evaluated periodically.

This issue has become a hot potato for the FDA, as reports have emerged linking long-time bisphosphonate therapy with increased risk of atypical fractures.

The Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee has discussed whether emerging reports of adverse events should spur the FDA to change the label to indicate that the drug should not be used long term.

Committee members voted 17-6 to endorse a label change — but then backed away from setting a hard deadline, citing a lack of data to pinpoint an ideal therapeutic time limit.

Placebo-controlled trials typically provide data for only five years of therapy, but there is no strong clinical evidence that bisphosphonates work better after they’re used for a long period of time, nor is there firm evidence that long-term use causes harm, the panel said.

Bisphosphonates are prescribed to some five million patients annually to stave off or treat osteoporosis and are highly effective at reducing the risk of osteoporotic fractures. In the States, brand-names Actonel, Atelvia, Boniva, and Reclast, have been shown to reduce the risk of breaking a hip by 40% to 50% and fracturing a vertebra by between 40% and 70% by inhibiting bone resorption to prevent loss of bone mass.

Latest information

In 2010, the FDA required makers of bisphosphonate drugs to add a warning to their labels about a small increased risk of atypical femur fractures after an American Society for Bone and Mineral Research task force concluded that the risk, although it is small, is real.

The panel heard from women who were taking bisphosphonates to prevent osteoporosis when suddenly and painfully, they broke their femurs. One woman was on a subway train that screeched to a halt, and as her weight was thrust onto one leg, her femur snapped and she collapsed. Other women had similar stories — a teacher reaching something in front of her students, a grandmother taking a large step to walk toward her grandchild, a woman walking down a front stoop to pick up the morning newspaper — and in each case the women collapsed to the ground as their femurs snapped.

The panel was also concerned with the drug’s link to deterioration of the jawbone. In 2005, the FDA added a warning on bisphosphonates about osteonecrosis of the jaw, a rare disease in which the bone in the jaw dies. In data presented Friday, an FDA reviewer said the risk for osteonecrosis of the jaw appears more prevalent after four years or more of use.

There are also some data suggesting a link to long-term use of bisphosphonates and esophageal cancer, although solid evidence is lacking, the panel said. In 2009, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine used data from FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System to identify and describe 23 patients taking alendronate who were diagnosed with esophageal cancer.


Taken together, there’s no clear answer on the long-term safety of bisphosphonate therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, the panel said and called for more studies to hone in on the long-term risks and benefits of the drug.

“There’s no doubt that these are very efficacious drugs that reduce fractures and mortality, and there are many women who should be on these drugs that aren’t on them,” said Sonia Hernandez Diaz, MD, associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. “But what we’re talking about today is using these drugs for more than three years, and I’m not convinced at all that there are any good data that, even for subgroups of patients, they should be continued [past three years].”

The panel was also asked to discuss the idea of a “drug holiday” or taking a break for bisphosphonate treatment in order to minimize risks, but agreed there wasn’t enough evidence to warrant recommending a drug holiday as a treatment plan.

More information:

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New Book on Osteopeania

If you’re concerned about bone loss,

you have probably heard about osteopeania.


Particularly if your drugs include AIs (aromatase inhibitors).

When I was put on these drugs, my Oncologist arranged for me to have Bone Density or DEXA scans – and sure enough, one day told me I had Osteoporosis.

And that was that – apart from some woolly advice to “take exercise”.

But, luckily with help from European hospitals and rehab. centres, I was given the right exercise, and now have reduced down to Osteopeania:  known as Osteopeania in Britain, Osteopenia in North America.

Still sounds serious—but is it?

Yes – but better than Osteoporosis, and something we all need to know about, because if we do we can INSIST on being prescribed suitable exercise – easily provided at any major NHS hospital, if they have the will.

And Johns Hopkins has come up with a book to help us find out more.

The Johns Hopkins Metabolic Bone Center at the noted American research centre has just published a book giving the background on this disease.

And provides expert advice to help you prevent bone loss.

What You Should Know About Osteopenia

Osteopenia refers to bone density values that are low, but still above the bone density value that is deemed to be osteoporosis — the bone-thinning disease that each year results in 1.5 million fractures.

You may have heard that osteopenia is “pre-osteoporosis” — a precursor to osteoporosis. So if you’re among the estimated 34 million Americans — many of them women in early middle age — with bone density defined as osteopenia, it’s understandable that you’re wondering what steps you should take to restore and maintain bone health.

Should you be tested for osteopenia? And if so, what should that testing entail? How good an indicator is a bone density score for your risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering a serious fracture? Should everyone with low bone density be treated to ward off osteoporosis? If not, who needs treatment and who can skip it?

These are just a few of the issues about bone loss — and specifically about osteopenia — that are addressed by the researchers at Johns Hopkins.

One of those involved is Deborah Sellmeyer, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an internationally recognized expert on osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases.

Dr. Sellmeyer is ideally positioned to help you understand and manage your condition and to avoid further bone loss. Medical Director of The Johns Hopkins Metabolic Bone Center, Dr. Sellmeyer is currently conducting research on the role of nutrition and environmental factors in bone health.

The information in What You Should Know About Osteopenia is so crucial that this special report is available immediately as a PDF download. Just click the order button below and in a few moments your report will be delivered to your email address. It’s that simple!
The book tells:

  • Are you at risk of a fracture because of low bone density?
    If so, what can you do to reduce your risk as much as possible?
  • You’ll learn about healthy bone development … the process of bone turnover … the factors that increase your chances of developing osteoporosis … the most effective non-drug measures to prevent or reduce bone loss … and much more.

It explains:

* The process of bone remodeling as old bone is broken down and new bone is formed.
* Risk factors for loss of bone density.
* The role of family history in determining susceptibility to osteoporosis.
* Key medical causes of bone loss.
* How proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec may contribute to fracture risk.

And answers important questions about assessing your bone health:

* What’s the best technique for measuring bone density?
* How does dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) work?
* Why is DXA so valuable in diagnosing osteoporosis?
* What’s the relationship between menopause and bone loss?
* Should men undergo BMD testing?
* How are BMD scores quantified?
* Why is it important to have your bone scans done at the same place and one the same machine?
* What’s the relationship between a person’s T-score and risk of fractures?
* What is the new web-based tool known as FRAX—and how is it helpful?

Bone Loss Is NOT an Inevitable Part of the Aging Process

In What You Should Know About Osteopenia, Dr. Sellmeyer explains why osteopenia is not a disease — why it’s important to focus on fracture risk — and how to build bone strength with exercise, including weight-bearing aerobic exercise, resistance training, and balance exercises. And she provides nutritional strategies for maintaining strong bones, including the very latest recommendations for your daily intake of calcium and vitamin D — the two most essential nutrients for bone health.

Any decision about whether to take prescription medication for bone loss is an individual decision you should make with your doctor. But you’ll learn about the medications available for osteoporosis, including a new drug, denosumab (Prolia), that has been shown to reduce spine and hip fractures in postmenopausal women with a high risk for fracture. And Dr. Sellmeyer explains the latest thinking on hormone therapy, or HT, for preventing bone loss.

Johns Hopkins was recently ranked #1 of America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.  Since its founding in 1889, The Johns Hopkins Hospital has led the way transferring the discoveries made in the laboratory to the administration of effective patient care.

Purchase price $24.95.

More info:

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Vitamin D and osteoporosis

Vitamin D deficiency a common health issue

Experts in the States say that getting enough vitamin D is key to bone health,

yet vitamin D deficiency remains a common health issue.

According to the Endocrine Society, very few foods naturally contain or are fortified with vitamin D, and sunlight is one of the best sources of the nutrient.

People who don’t get enough vitamin D are at risk for calcium, phosphorus and bone metabolism abnormalities, which can lead to a number of diseases, including osteoporosis.

“Vitamin D deficiency is very common in all age groups, and it is important that physicians and health-care providers have the best evidence-based recommendations for evaluating, treating and preventing vitamin D deficiency in patients at highest risk,” Dr. Michael F. Holick, of Boston University School of Medicine, said recently.

Holick chairs a task force that authored the society’s new clinical practice guidelines published in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The Endocrine Society issued the guidelines in response to the possible health risks associated with vitamin D deficiency. Among the group’s recommendations:

  • People who are considered at high risk should be routinely screened for vitamin D deficiency.
  • To maximize bone health and muscle function, people considered at high risk for a deficiency should adhere to the following guidelines for dietary intake of vitamin D:
  • Children older than 1 year and adults from 19 to 70 years old, including pregnant and lactating women, should consume at least 600 IU daily.
    People older than 70 years should get a minimum of 800 IU a day.

The task force stressed that in order to raise the blood level of vitamin D consistently above 30 nanograms per milliliter, a significantly higher intake of vitamin D may be required. The group also noted that vitamin D screening is not necessary for people who are not considered at risk for the deficiency.

And, it said there is no evidence supporting use of vitamin D supplements for benefits other than bone health.

If you want more information and live in the States:

12th Annual Santa Fe Bone Symposium
August 5 – 6, 2011
Sponsor: Osteoporosis Foundation of New Mexico
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States of America
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What Does "Osteopenia" Really Mean?

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Perhaps you’ve been told — or you’ve read — that osteopenia presents a serious risk factor for the development of osteoporosis. Or perhaps you’ve had a bone density test and your doctor has told you that the results mean you have osteopenia.

So information that has just come through from The Johns Hopkins University (or Johns Hopkins or JHU) –                 a private research university –  is very appropriate.

But first, why am I so excited about Johns Hopkins?

Hopkins was a benefactor to the University named after him,  founded Baltimore, USA, in 1876.  The University pioneered the concept of the modern research university, and has been ranked among the world’s top such universities throughout its history.

Rated by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) as #1 among U.S. academic institutions,  thirty-three Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with Johns Hopkins, and the university’s research is among the most cited in the world.

So it is all the sadder when a doctor sneers “I suppose you got this off the Internet”, and I reply  “this information came from Johns Hopkins” – and they haven’t a clue what I am talking about.  This  dismisses the incredible  research carried out at JHU, for our benefit.

So what does “Osteopenia” really mean?

Perhaps you’ve been told — or you’ve read — that osteopenia presents a serious risk factor for the development of osteoporosis?  Or perhaps you’ve had a bone density test and your doctor has told you that the results mean you have osteopenia. If so, you probably have questions.

Here are some basics on osteopenia from JHU’s  Special Report on What You Should Know About Osteopenia.

Osteopenia is a word coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) that doesn’t mean anything in particular other than a specific category of T-scores, corresponding to a bone density value between 1 and 2.5 standard deviations below the average value at peak bone mass.

WHO originally set up T-scores as an epidemiologic tool to measure rates of low bone density across countries. T-scores were never intended to be used to label individual patients with some kind of diagnosis.

Another important caveat is that the data being reviewed at the time by WHO experts was all collected from postmenopausal Caucasian women. The WHO researchers looked at this data set, looked at the relationship between T-scores and fractures and said, “Well, what cut point should we use to define osteoporosis?” They picked -2.5 because about a third of postmenopausal women will have a T-score below -2.5 and the lifetime risk of fracture for a 50-year-old Caucasian woman is around 39 percent.

Their thinking went this way: “If we pick -2.5, this gives us a prevalence of osteoporosis that is approximately equal to the lifetime risk of fracture for a woman at the time of menopause.” This seemed like a rational cut point to examine rates of osteoporosis across countries. Then the researchers decided to devise a middle category of bone density to avoid having simply “normal” and “osteoporosis” categories. So, they decided to make a middle category of T-scores between -1 and -2.5 and labeled this category “osteopenia.”

Many osteoporosis experts would like to see the term osteopenia just fade away because it is confusing to both patients and health care professionals. All it means is that a person’s T-score is between -1.0 and -2.5. We’d like to see “osteopenia” replaced with a term like “low bone density.” That’s because we want people to focus on their 10-year risk of fracture and not worry about their specific bone-density category as defined by T-score.

Interested in Learning More About Osteopenia?

JHU says bone loss is NOT an inevitable part of the aging process. If you have been diagnosed with osteopenia or low bone mass, they have published a report What You Should Know About Osteopenia which can help  reverse osteopenia and prevent osteoporosis.

The report provides the latest thinking on the causes and treatments of osteopenia or low bone mass and explores in depth the current debate over when and who should be treated for low bone density. You’ll learn about healthy bone development … the process of bone turnover … how to maintain healthy bones … the most effective non-drug measures to prevent or reduce bone loss … and JHU answers important questions that get to the heart of fracture risk.

Can this really help?

Well, European doctors think yes.  If you are put on aromatase inhibitors, your will be offered a DXA Scan for an annual ‘bone density check’.  I found out that I had Osteoporosis during one check, but wasn’t told anything I could do to reverse this.  But I was ‘lucky enough to have suffered injury through negligence of a restaurant, and for a year had physiotherapy and exercise.  Then went off to Italy and Austria, and we included in their exercise programme for Osteoporosis.

Result was, last time I had a DXA scan, both the technician and my Professor were delighted that I have started to reverse this;   my Professor says by 21%.

I go to mylocal hospital to ask if I can be included in their weekly exercise programme, but am told “we don’t do anything for Osteoporosis”.  They will happily treat me when I get a fracture (cost to NHS minimum £12,000), but won’t allocate around £5 – £8 pp to give locals weekly exercise to prevent fractures.

For more information, or to order.

Johns Hopkins Publications

Cost $24.95

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