Alendronic acid and Anastrozole

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I was diagnosed with breast cancer August 2017 which is also estrogen positive. This means I now have to take the hormone therapy drug Anastrozole which depletes bone density. Hence I was sent for a dexa  scan. It came back I was age related osteoporotic. I’m 65. I have to take the Anastrozole and no way will stop it as it is best for helping to stop recurrence of my breast cancerwhich I am free of at the moment

I took 2 doses of AA and then felt quite ill with thick head/pressure in head/light headed/awful palpitations/shaky etc. Also had awful acid for 2 days. I didn’t take 3rd dose and gradually felt better but took weeks to feel right. GP said it wasn’t side effects as would have happened sooner.!

We agreed I would wait until felt well and then try again. I restarted and took a dose Saturday gone and this afternoon (Monday) I have the shaky/head pressure symptoms  etc again but not the palpitations. I don’t want to feel ill like this but worried about fractures as the Anastrozole speeds the depletion of bone density by 2.5 times. 

At the moment my T scores are:

AP spine -2.8

Rt Hip -2.6

Rt. Femoral -2.3

Apparently I have 10% chance of femoral fracture in next 10 years so GP said but the Anastrozole would/could speed that up.

Has anyone had these side effects or are on Anastrozole? Does anyone know what I can do to lessen the effects of the Anastrozole on the bone density please. What I mean is does anyone know please what I can do to increase density and not have to take Alendronic Acid. I’m doing weight bearing expertise’s but that’s all I know. Oncologist and GP say certain foods won’t help and only exercise. Not sure I believe that.

Any help or ideas would be gratefully received. Sorry for long post.

Love Frances xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Frances, i’m 66 and have osteoporosis. AA didn’t suit me at all. It took a week to feel right after taking one tablet! I told the go I didn’t want to take it and she gave me calcium with vit d tablets.  It’s difficult isn’t it , weighing one thing against another, but I just didn’t want to feel as ill as the AA made me feel.my daughter in law has bone cancer and is due to start monthly injections of AA. They told her that it puts a film on the bones which means it is less likely that a tumour will set up there.

    best wishes

    deb

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    • Posted

      Thanks Deb, should have said I was put on adcal d3 straight away and fine with that. My GP did mention in the beginning I might be able to have the monthly injection but the thought of side effects for a month or more if it didn’t agree with me is scary. Like you I don’t want to feel that I’ll again.

      I would be happy not to take AA or anything similar if it wasn’t for what the Anastrozole can do to the bone density. 

      Will do my best with exercise and anything else I can find to reduce the loss that Anastrozole might have.

      Take care

      Frances xxx

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  • Posted

    I would be pretty happy to have those tscores actually.

    Maybe do the natural route seeing as how your tscores are not too bad.

    Vitamin K2 aims the calcium onto the bones. Check your vitamin D3 levels as that affects bone health when there is a deficiency. Same thing goes for magnesium.

    Some things to include in your diet include yoghurt, avocado, leafy greens, fruit and vegetables, bony broth, prunes and cucumbers.

    Weight bearing exercise like walking is also important. Building muscle that will support your bones is a good idea as well.

    Of course avoiding breast cancer is your priority.

    There is much you can do for sure.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kathleen. I was put on adcal D3 as soon as dexa scan came back. Ive also been taking magnesium as a supplement for over a year now so I am covered as best I can on that score. 

      I would be happy not to take AA if I could stop or slow down the decrease in bone density from Anastrozole naturally. Except for bony broth and avocado I eat all the other things regularly. I have just bought a mini stepper with resistance cords as I know weight bearing exercise is very good. I needed something that was portable and could be stored out of the way but something I could do watching TV or a dvd to take mind off that I was exercising. I live on my own so need all the motivation I can muster. 

      I am also looking at Vit K but only just learning there is K1 and K2.

      Love Frances xxx

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    • Posted

      Yes it is the K2 you need and in my humble opinion this is the most important thing you can do as it gets the calcium onto the bone where it is needed.

      I have resisted taking the drugs with worse tscores than yours.

      In about a year I will check my tscores again.

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  • Posted

    I haven’t heard of k1 or 2 so i’ll Look it up. I had read that taking gelatin was v good so i’ve been doing that. It’s certainly helped my nails and hair! Won’t kniw about my bones for another year!
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  • Posted

    Kathleen has covered the basics.  I agree that K2 is the most important supplement you can add to what you are already taking.  If you can get a weighted walking vest and wear it regularly that will give you some passive bone building exercise.  The best kind allows you to add as little as a couple of ounces at a time as you gradually build up the weight you are carrying.  If you enjoy being outside Nordic walking is fun, and you might find a group near you which you can go out with, which is motivating.  Tai chi classes are another thought.  

    One more point, apparently taking your calcium supplement with a little yoghurt is very good for encouraging calcium metabolism, one more arrow in our arsenal to defeat osteoporosis!

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    • Posted

      Well the oxtail was delicious but quite fatty. I had cut surplus fat off but was still quite fatty. I did try to mop the residue from the top of the slow cooker before serving. I go to weight watchers so want to be able to work in conjunction with that. I have made jellies which are nice. I have some chicken in the freezer. Should I break the bones, especially on the legs before cooking to help release the gelatine and marrow? Have also been looking into Vit.K2. Since telling me I now take a little yoghurt with my adcal 3. Thank you for the advice.

      Hope everyone is having a lazy Sunday.

      Hugs

      Frances xxx

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    • Posted

      Better ask Kathleen about how to deal with oxtail bones.  I'm a) a vegetarian and b) live in North America where delights such as oxtail are rare (although with British background I am not unaware of oxtail soup having had it frequently when a child).

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    • Posted

      I buy sachets of gelatin and make it into a pint. I then have a few spoonfuls each morning. It’s supposed to help with weight loss as well as giving the benefits of gelatin. It’s completely tasteless.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Deb

      I have some packets of gelatine and make it up with a fruit cordial. I have it as a snack or dessert with some Greek yoghurt.  I steer clear of jelly  that has sucrolose or aspartame in as it upsets me and the block jelly hits the roof as far as weight watchers are concerned as it’s full of sugar. 

      Love Frances x

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    • Posted

      I don’t break the bones. I also do an Irish stew with lamb bbq chops. I use chicken legs the most often though!

      the fat is easy to remove after it has been in the fridge overnight.

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much girls. All the information is really useful. Some I knew generally but not about Vit.K and definitely didn’t know about yoghurt with the calcium. 

    Happened to see and oxtail in Sainsbury’s so decided to buy it and put in slow cooker tomorrow. Was very expensive but thought I would do it once. I live in a village and will ask my little butcher if he has bones. Some places keep them for people to make soups or a nice marrow bone for a dog. 

    I am so very grateful for all your help and please share if you think of anything else. Anyone know if I can get all my Vit.K 2 naturally or will I need a supplement?

    love Frances xxx

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    • Posted

      If you have access to grassfed animal products (meat, dairy, eggs), that is animals who have never been grainfed, not even "finished" with grain, you will get Vitamin K2 from those products.  Animals make this vitamin but on a grain diet they don't make enough to satisfy our needs.  We also make a little in our own gut but not very efficiently, and fermented foods (like yoghurt but there are many others) contain some Vitamin K2.  In fact the source for the supplements is a Japanese fermented soy product called natto.  It is, apparently, an acquired taste, but it is very high in K2 and would only need to be eaten once a week or so.  Haven't encountered it myself but recently someone posted that they's bought some and managed to eat a helping.  They think they will be able to carry on!  Vitamin K1 is, of course, readily available in our leafy greens and some other foods, but it doesn't help the bones the same way K2 does.  

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    • Posted

      I use free range chicken legs which are cheap. I also use bbq lamb chops and make an Irish stew. Funnily, it is oxtail this week here which is a bit dearer than he others but not hugely so.
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