Posted by: concerned | 2004/10/15

Mother diagnosed with Osteo for no apparent reason!

My mother,

About 50 odd years old now, was diagnosed with osteoparosis recently. Its in the region of about -2.5 something or other. Forget the value, what i want to know is 2 things. I know she is like .5 away from bone fractures level, now 0.5 is a little, but it depends on the scale. Is 0.5 alot, or a little. If normal is -2, and extreme is -2.5 that makes sense, but if normal is 0 and extreme is -2.5 then its a lot.
My second question is, how the hell did she get that? She doesnt drink or smoke. She excercises, swimming and some gym, she eats very healthly, and has even been on hrt for the last 5 odd years. This is supposed to even slow down the process after menopause.
Lastly, what can she do to imrpove her low bone density? Her age is probably against her, but also can a poor sitting posture make it worse. As she spends a reasonable amount of time in front of a pc with a bad posture.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHealthy Bones

Dear Concerned
Firstly- Fifty is not old!
Regarding the bone density measurement- This is measured in standard deviations above or below the normal. Your mother's density is 2.5 SD below the norm and that constitutes the diagnosis of osteoporosis. What this means is that her chances of fracturing a bone in future is +/- 10 times higher than those with a normal bone mass. This test is a predictor of fracture risk like cholesterol levels are a predictor of a heart attack. This does not mean that she will get this, but her chances to fracture are increased. Some people may have all the risk factors and not have osteoporosis and others may have no risk factors and still get osteoporosis.
A healthy lifestyle is very important- She needs at least 1000mg of calcium either in her diet or as a supplement.
No smoking and marginal drinking and the exercise needs to be weight bearing e.g. walking, running. She probably needs a more active medication to strengthen her bones and she needs to see a physician with a special interest in osteoporosis or have sufficient knowledge to treat this disease.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation can also be contacted on 0861102265 for more information.
Hope this helps.

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