Why has doctor called me back for routine appointment after DEXA scan

Posted , 7 users are following.


I am 53 years of age and had a DEXA bone scan on my spine and hips a few weeks ago.

Being the anxious type, I told myself all would be well, and I would probably get a letter saying all was well after the results came out, I was told to wait six weeks.

I got a smear and mammogram and got a letter to say all was normal, but this morning i got a text from my GP to ask if I could arrange a routine appointment to discuss it.

Why couldn't they just send me a letter to say all was well, why do I need to go in to see them?

I have a poor diet and housebound, and take benzodiazepines which can cause osteoporosis so I am worried now.

Does the request for a routine appointment mean something is wrong, or could it just mean that the doctor wants to tell me in person all is well.

It seems a waste of nhs time to call in a patient to tell them the results of a test is normal, this is why I am worried.

Could it be that my GP just wants to reassure me that all is normal?


0 likes, 18 replies

18 Replies

  • Posted

    Pr he wants to discuss treatment with you for osteoporosis which after 50 is increasingly common especially as you say yourself your diet is rubbish, all precautions so you don't fall and break your hip like me at 63, if I'd had dexa scan in my 50s I could have done something to help lessen the risk, don't worry be grateful you are getting monitoring

  • Posted

    I agree with your first reply. If you have either osteopenia or osteoporosis, your GP probably wants to discuss treatment options with you.

    Assuming you haven't broken any bones yet, you are luck to even get a DEXA scan. I was constantly refused a scan until I had fallen and broken both wrists in the same fall, in 2010.

    At least the service has improved slightly, since then. If I had been diagnosed sooner and started treatment, I probably wouldn't have gone on to break bones.

    Try not to worry about it, but look at it as a wakeup call. You know your diet is poor, so now you can do something positive about it and make improvements.By doing this you will lessen your risk of breaking bones.

    I get most of my daily Calcium requirements from diet, by including dairy, especially yogurt. The brand I buy ( St. Helen's farm goat yogurt from Sainsburys) has 360mg of Ca per 150g portion. Also tinned Wild Alaskan Red Salmon is an excellent source of both Ca, essential protein and healthy fat, if you include the bones and juice.

    Read all you can on the subject of OP. Consider joining the UK based, Royal OP Society who can give you lots of helpful advice about diet and OP treatment.

    When you see your GP, make sure you get blood taken for a vit D level, if not already done.

    Good Luck for your appointment and let us know how you get on.

  • Posted

    Hi @AlexandriaGizmo and lynne73895

    Thanks, poor diet is why they referred me for bone scan.

    I have not broken any bones.

    I have dalayed gastric emptying and have to take a medication at night on an empty stomach, the progesterone part of hrt, so I eat early in the day to ensure stomach empty.

    I was hoping to get a letter saying my scan results were normal, just like the letters I got earlier this year after my mammogram and my cervical smear.

    My question was, is the fact that my doctor has called me in, an indication that I have bone loss, or could it be that the doctor just wants to warn me that I could get it.

    • Posted

      It could be either. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at 33. It's disuse osteoporosis and have since fractured my ribs twice and had a small fracture in my left ankle. About a month ago, I fractured my coccyx (I'm 37 now). I have been in hospital or bed bound at home for most of the last 7 years, since the injuries I had when I was 30. I was put on Sical (active vitamin D) and told I need a bone biopsy. I have not had this yet as I had an anaphylaxis to the pre-op anti-biotics, then I ended up in hospital for 2 years for other reasons. I was told by my endocrinologist, I need infusions for the osteoporosis, but the infusions cause birth defects, even if the infusions are stopped. As I haven't had children yet, I need to have eggs taken prior to this treatment. This was a lot to take in at the time (2016). None of the above has been done yet as I have been too unwell. I had a blood test last week for vitamin D and it's dropped to 17. Significantly deficient. So now I'm on 5000mcgs of Ostelin a day. My iron level is <8 and I'm anemic. I have a good diet so it doesn't make sense. My left leg has blown up with fluid so having a CT. My drs thinks it's the vitamin issues but this makes absolutely no sense. Why just one leg? (Sorry, I'm worried as my fluid has gone from my gigantic hip, down to my knee and up to back - ribs). I've had it for two weeks now 😢

      I would imagine your dr will do vitamin blood tests and discuss treatments with you if you have osteoporosis. There are plenty of treatments available and as you're past menopause, you will have no restrictions. Being low in vitamin D and calcium are main factors in osteoporosis so I would imagine your dr will put you on a supplement. As I am at huge risk of falls due to my disabilities, I use a wheelchair when out as I am very unbalanced. I use a wheelchair for my disabilities too as my hips and left ankle can't take my weight.

      I need another dexa scan but I've been too sick. If you have osteoporosis, it's manageable but avoid falls as best you can (can't help accidents), and do exactly what your drs says. Weight bearing exercise such as walking helps bone turn over (your bones are constantly remodelling - I make bone but lose it too fast), so exercise is a really important part of managing it. Osteoporosis can't be reversed but it can be managed.

      Hope this helps.

      Melissa x

    • Posted

      Hi Christine

      The only way you will know why your GP wants to see you, is by talking to him. otherwise you are just guessing and making yourself more worried.

      If you don't already have an appointment to see him, phone up and make one.

      Best wishes

    • Posted

      Hi Melissa, sorry to hear that you were diagnosed with osteoporosis at 33, and gone through so much suffering.

      Sorry you have been bedbound and had complications regarding birth.

      Hope the reason your left leg has blown up with fluid is not going to cause you more suffering, sorry I'm not good with words.

      I'm also sorry to hear you are worried by this and appreciate your long reply given your problems.

      You are so young to have this.

      I don't get a lot of excercise and and am on a drug that is known to cause osteoporosis, so I am really worried. Especially as fractures are the first symptom.

      I hope this does not sound too trite but I wish you a better future than the suffering you have gone through.

    • Posted

      oh, thank you kindly. Because of the complications of the osteoporosis treatment, (birth defects), I can't have children yet. I have severe sciatic nerve damage (2 big surgeries), 3 hip surgeries, 3 ankle surgeries, 4 surgeries for spinal cord stimulator, now need all nerves cut on the left of my spinal cord to stop my left sciatic nerve from working. It's a big surgery so I'm nervous. I'll lose almost all of my leg function but it will (hopefully) stop the left leg dystonia I've had for the past 6 years. It got really severe in 2017 and traveled to my brain in mid 2018. Actually, I had a severe bout of brain dystonia last night last ing 2 hrs 45 mins. Exhausted now.

  • Posted

    Hi Christine,

    A few more thoughts.......not sure why your diet is so bad. Can you change that and start eating healthy food??

    Also, a few thoughts about supplements:

    *Calcium cannot be absorbed readily if you are low on Vitamin D.

    *Vitamin D is more easily absorbed by using a sub-lingual product. ( I use the D3 product from Biotics Research). Be sure to take about 1-2 spoonfuls of almond butter to help with the D3 absorption of this product.

    *Pills or capsules of D3 supplements that go through the GI tract are not as easily absorbed by our bodies.

    If you continue to be low on D after taking an emulsion supplement, have your hair sample analyzed for lead levels (and all heavy metals). High levels of lead block the absorption of D3. If you live in a place where sunshine is adequate, you can get D from sunlight. I have fair skin and avoid the sun since I am as risk for skin cancer. We live in Arizona.

    I take the D3 emulsion but do not take any calcium supplements as I get enough from my diet. Besides too much calcium can cause deposits on the brain and is suspected to cause dementia. If you must take a supplement, the liquid type is more easily absorbed than a pill.

    "According to a new study, calcium supplements may be associated with an increased risk of dementia in older women who have had a stroke or other signs of cerebrovascular disease. The research is published in the August 17, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology." You can google it to read the findings.

    If you do weight bearing exercise (even walking each day), that will help prevent a further decline in your bone density.

    Meanwhile, don't stress over this. You can reverse the damage to your bones if you focus on doing all the right things. It is your body and your health. With some lifestyle changes, your body will start to heal.



    • Posted

      Hi JoAnn

      Anxiety related problems have caused me to lose weight and I am addicted to valium so have to be careful what I eat and what supplements I take as they can react with it.

      Many people tapering off benzodiazepines have trouble with vitamin D, which is why I am so anxious about this doctor's visit.

      I've been drinking a lot more low fat milk these last few days as that is supposed to have calcium. I got a blood test done earlier this year and the result was that my calcium levels were ok.

      Thank you for advising me about sublingual Vit D

      I'm in the UK and I don't know if the NHS do hair samples.

      It's worrying that too much calcium can cause dementia.

      Thank you for your message.

    • Posted

      Hi Christine,

      So sorry to hear about the Valium addiction. Maybe some psych therapy could help with anxiety problems to get you off the Valium. Too many RX meds cause more problems due to side effects.

      It seems like you have a great deal on your plate right now. Just tackling one major problem at a time might be a good strategy. Maybe a list of my life goals always helps me to focus on the important stuff. Clearly getting healthy and staying healthy would be at the top of the list for most people. Figure out a game plan to get there and you will be able to do it.

      Getting stressed over this doctor visit is not helping your anxiety level. Whatever the doctor tells you, just process the information and go home to do your research so that you can make informed decisions that are best for you. If I had listened to every doctor in the past, I would probably be dead by now!!! Basically, I take notes on their thoughts and diagnosis so that I have can figure out what is best for me. Ask for a copy of the doctor's medical notes or if they are available through an online patient portal, you can read them yourself.

      If you low on D and Calcium, those can be easily treated by changing your diet and taking a few supplements. However, if the Valium is blocking the D absorption, then you should try to get off the Valium as soon as possible. Whatever is stressing you out in your life, needs to get fixed. If it is family dynamics, try to solve the problem with therapy. Zig Ziglar had a great quote, “If you can dream it, then you can achieve it.” Just make up your mind that you will do the things required to achieve good health.

      Blessings to you.



  • Posted

    Addressing the comment that calcium supplements may lead to cardiovascular problems. These can be mitigated or completely avoided by adding Vitamin K2 (not K1) to your supplements. Note that those on warfarin should be cautious. Vitamin K2 directs calcium into the bones. Also Vitamin D3 status needs to be good, as well as adequate magnesium for good bone health.

    Please do not agree to take any bone medications until you yourself have thoroughly researched them and decided what, if any, is best for you. Depending on your DXA scan result you may simply need better nutrition, supplements and appropriate exercise. But, unfortunately, this is not what doctors' first idea usually is. Because bones both build and deteriorate slowly there should be no rush for you to make up your mind about medication.

    • Posted

      Hi Anhaga

      I heard on another site that vitamin K can mitigate cardiovascular problems.

      Please could you elaborate when you say that unfortunately doctors first idea is not normally recommendation of better nutrition, supplements and excercise.


    • Posted

      I completely agree with your comment about medications. If her DEXA scan is JUST osteoporosis/osteopenia with no fractures, no rush to start pills or infusions.

      I'm in a different a situation as I am pre-menopause osteoporosis, bed bound and have been malnurited on and off for the last 7 years due to my disabilities. (I've lost a lot of weight again and again, down to 32kgs back up, down to 33kgs etc). This was caused by 10/10 pain 24/7 for 18 months. Then 10/10 for another 2 years. Then 10/10 from 2017 to 2019 Marchish. I've only recently been a better weight. This pain level for so long is extremely abnormal for a persons body so my body could not cope and started using it's fat, then muscle stores.

      As I can't weight bear to help my bones get better, infusions etc are probably going to happen if my next DEXA scan shows its getting worse plus, I've had more fractures.

      Just wanted to explain why infusions were suggested to me given my age etc.


    • Posted

      If your doctor has recommended diet, a few supplements and exercise and not recommended drugs first I would like to meet this person!

      Not sure what you mean by elaborate on my comment?

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