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Female Osteoporosis

I'm a 59 y/o postmenopausal female that was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis with a T score of -3.2. Was sent to an endocrine doc and did several blood tests as well. The doc wanted to start me on hormone therapy and injections based on my bone density test. I was prescribed the estrogen Duavee 20 mg daily and Prolia 60 mg shots every 6 months. Has anyone had experience with Duavee or Prolia? My doc did not go over the side effects of these but when I looked up Duavee it looked like hormone meds had severe side effects, one being particularly important to women, the increased risk of uteurus cancer. 

I guess I read that some take progestins with it to help decrease the risks of uterus cancer, but on the warning it says not to mix any additional estrogens or progestins together. Are these meds worth the benefits over the cons? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

14 Replies

  • brit01

    I thought that Prolia was not supposed to be the first port of call to treat osteoporosis.

    You are stuck with it for six months and if it does not agree with you there is no way out, you have to wait out the six months. That happened to my sister.

    I would not have it. There are some other things you can try first. Was your vitamin level checked? Are you taking magnesium? Some people diagnosed with osteoporosis were found to be lacking in magnesium. Your calcium level can also be checked via blood tests.

    Another natural thing you can do is take vitamin K2. This aims the calcium onto the bones.

    Diet can also help to support bones by including some things such as fruit and vegetables, bone broth, yoghurt, etc. Avocados and skin of cucumbers are two that have been highlighted. If you research online you can see the list of foods especially supportive of your bones, Bones are living so it makes sense they can be helped and supported

    Weight bearing exercise is also essential.

    I am in Australia and Prolia is only offered to certain people not everyone. There is another group called biphosphonatws that are offered before Prolia but I have refused those too.

    I advise you to do some research and arm yourself with information so you are in charge of your own decision as to which way to move forward.

    Do not decide until you are sure.

    All the best.

    • kathleen65757

      I assume they saw the -3.2 and though it was so severe that the doc suggested Prolia off the bat. I've been on calcium and Vitamin D most of my life. Both came back normal couple months ago, but then again I did have about 17 different blood work done to check what was causing the osteo. I've never had my magnesium checked nor do I take anything for it so that may be something great to consider as well as the Vitamin K2. I'm holding off on both of the meds although the Duavee seems to have less risks than the Prolia.


    • brit01

      This level is severe but not as bad as I was when I was first diagnosed. I was -3.5 and -3.4 with 2 spinal fractures and a broken toe, none due to falling.i suppose we question where we go from there when we have already been taking supplements.

    • alison28608

      What kind of supplements and meds have you taken? I've only taken calcium and VItamin D and centrum in regards to anything affecting my bones. I really believe I did a lot to take care of myself but I guess it just wasn't enough. It was my first bone density so I probably had osteo long before I was actually diagnosed with it at a late age.

    • brit01

      I was prescribed calcium and vitD3 which I have taken since I was 47 ( first spinal fracture ) I started taking Risedronate at 60 after my second spinal fracture and my diagnosis. I was on HRT for about 8 years starting at 53. I find it frustrating when I am told to change my diet or exercise because I have always done the good diet and exercise regime. I started on Vit K after reading several medical sites and there seems to be some indication that it is benificial. However, I have problems when I take magnesium as a supplement, but in food my body tolerates it ok. If you can improve your diet and up your exercise fine, but for some of us, there is no way we can do more. Some people are already crippled with badly healed bones or joint problems and can barely walk. I consider myself lucky that after 2 spinal fractures I can still do 100,000 steps a week. My scores have improved greatly, possibly due to the prescription meds, but for me I felt I was doing everything I could naturally. I hope after 3 years, my score will be in to the low bone mass and I can stop taking the meds and maintain that level. My last Dexa scan showed hip at -2.4 and spine at -2.9 so I feel I am on my way. I hope you too, can see progress over the next few years.

    • brit01

      My worst tscore is -4.3 and that is lower back. Other parts of the back are a bit less. The hips are not as bad. Funnily, I don’t have arthritis in the hips but I do have it everywhere else including th back. I have never wondered before if there is a connection. Interesting!

      I have not broken any bones in recent years. I broke an arm as a child but that is all. Probably a few broken toes but they were bashed hard on something when rushing around and that was as a young adult.

      The broken bones in other people is a bit of a puzzle. I think there needs to be more research into that. 

      I have rushed around and fallen hard but no broken bones. My back is a bit of a worry as there is a lot going on there and it affects my quality of life. I now am unable to sit on a hard, straight chair and am limited with exercise.

      I suspect the bulging discs are causing more problems for me than the osteoporosis. 

      Old age is not for the faint of heart.

  • brit01

    I am a huge supporter of hrt for osteoporosis. After just 12 months it increased my bmd by 16%.  I think the scares from hrt do not apply to the current gener

  • brit01

    Whatever your decision regarding medication, please do everything you can to improve your bone density through natural means.  Take any supplements you are prescribed, but add Vitamin K2 (not K1) and also make sure you've got an optimum diet which will give you most of the micronutrients you need. There has been research showing that even yoghurt can help with calcium absorption, as does eating foods, like prunes but there are others, containing boron.  The biggest risk for fracture  is not bone density but falling, so do what you can to maintain and improve your sense of balance.  Tai chi has been shown to improve both balance and bone density!  Other things you can do are weightbearing exercise, can be as simple as a good walk every day, wearing a weighted walking vest, or gym workouts if you are so inclined.  Nordic walking improves upper body strength.  And as Kathleen can tell you even water exercises can help as they strengthen muscles which in turn pull more on the bones thus gradually improving bone density.  Anything which challenges the bones will encourage them to strengthen themselves.  If you google combination of micronutrients osteoporosis you will find a research article which showed that nutrition can improve bone density so it can be done.  And there are those of us who have gone this route and proven this is true, including myself, although admittedly I was never past the osteopenia stage (-2 to -1.6 in one year with no medication).

    • Anhaga

      I certainly don’t consider the multi million dollar, profit making, factory produced supplements to be natural. But, I too take them because, all my life, I exercised and ate all the correct things and it did not prevent me from getting osteoporosis and neither did HRT. I have very strong muscles. My husband who is tall and lean is very envious. I remember one of our members said she ate her body weight in greens every day and I really understood. It is very frustrating when one has done everything to prevent this condition but still get it. I get through these posts by reminding myself that I have improved my density greatly in 2 years. As to why, I cannot be certain. Increased exercise to the point I do more in a day than my neice and all her friends do. Take supplements. Take prescribed meds. Who knows, but something must be working. I have always had great central core strengh and none of my fractures were due to falling. But, as I have said many times, we are all different and none of us know what the future holds.

    • alison28608

      I was also very strong when young, active and exercised a lot. As I grew older I started developing spinal problems, bone spurs etc and now osteoporosis. Probably because a lack of nutrition although I've been taking care of myself through supplements. 

      When you mention that none of your fractures were due to falling does that mean you developed fractures naturally through overworking yourself?


    • brit01

      No they were all a bit of a surprise. Toe, dropped the plug from the vacuum cleaner on it and split it length wise. 2 ops to repair it. First spinal fracture was sitting on the stair and someone said something that made me laugh I leaned back and broke T7. Then a few years later, lifted something heavy on my hip and heard a loud crack. L4. I still do a lot of exercise but it was extremely difficuilt as each fracture was undiagnosed as my lifestyle made me the least likely candidate to develope this condition.I am 63 in a couple of weeks but first fracture was in my 30s

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