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Dexa bone scan

(84 Posts)
Shinamae Tue 19-Mar-24 10:04:58

My Doctor has just text me the results of the scan, and he says I do not have osteoporosis, but I do have osteopenia.
I eat a moderate amount of cheese and drink quite a bit of milk, but he has suggested I might need a calcium and vitamin D tablet. Well I have been taking vitamin D for years
Also, the guy that did my scan did say that the results might not be so good.if I had a hysterectomy before I was 45 now I can’t remember so I’m gonna ring my surgery and see if they can tell me when I did have it
I have been doing weights for about eight months now so I am a bit disappointed at this result, but I suppose I should be grateful that it’s not osteoporosis 🤷‍♀️
I was 71 in February

Calendargirl Tue 19-Mar-24 10:46:27

I was diagnosed with osteoporosis about 10 years ago. Have had three bone scans, I think.

Was originally prescribed alendronic acid tablets to take once a week, and vitamin D and calcium daily.

Took the alendronic for several years until told to stop after a scan, apparently not meant to be on it for too long. Think I was forgotten about! Still take the vitamin d and calcium.

I think I eat a good diet, plenty of milk, cheese, yogurt. I walk a lot. And do aquacise. ( I know it should be more about hardening your bones though).

Am due another scan this year, I think.

I don’t think about it really, just try and be sensible and avoid falling over and breaking bones if possible, which, touch wood…

Am similar age to OP.

SueDonim Tue 19-Mar-24 11:22:24

I was diagnosed with osteopenia after a double leg fracture, although that wasn’t an osteoporotic break. I had a one in ten chance of another fracture in the next ten years so I decided to accept alendronic acid tablets along with calcium and VitD as I knew my diet wouldn’t supply enough calcium.

On a follow up scan some years later I was back in normal territory and stopped the tablets, which as Calendargirl says should only be taken for a certain length of time.

Luckygirl3 Tue 19-Mar-24 13:17:42

I have been treated for osteoporosis for many years. Take vit D and calcium daily and have a denosumab injection every 6 months. I am happy with this .... do not want more fractures. I don't think it is a big deal really. It is what it is, and I am very glad there are preventive treatments available free.

M0nica Tue 19-Mar-24 14:56:20

I was diagnosed with osteoporosis purely by chance. I am part of the the UK Biobank reearch base and had a DEXA scan done as part of one of their projects.

They found evidence of two fractured vetibrae, quite high in my back, which after racking my brains I associated with a very bad fall I had about 12 years ago when I slipped while walking down a damp grass slope. I landed on my back with a thump that winded me, but apart from that I have never broken a bone - and I trip and fall several times a year because I have dyspraxia.

I am on Alendronic acid, I was aready taking a vitamin D supplement. I am mildly lactic intolerant so do not drink milk or eat things like yoghourt, but I have no problem with har cheese and have always eaten a lot.

The diagnosis has made little change to my life. I have had at least one fall since diagnosis, once again, nothing broken.

BlueBelle Tue 19-Mar-24 15:06:14

I was diagnosed by chance after the doctor noticed I d lost height I have an annual infusion (as I m not suitable for the tablets) with a year off every fourth year my bone strength has increased by 9% which doesn’t sound very much
I have had a few falls both before and after the start of the infusions but never broken anything 🤞🏼
I ve never had a hysterectomy but did have a fairly early (almost non existent) menopause don’t know if that counts

Thoro Tue 19-Mar-24 15:37:31

I was diagnosed with osteopenia a couple of years ago after breaking my wrist in a fall.
I did have a hysterectomy at 42 but ovaries were left in so had menopause at a normal time.
I'm taking calcium and vitamin D tablets

Whiff Tue 19-Mar-24 15:40:19

Shinamae I had a total hysterectomy when I was 38 will be 66 next month. My mom had osteoporosis from when she was 50 never had a hysterectomy and lived until she was 90 when cancer and dementia killed her.
So don't know why he said that about having a hysterectomy. Makes no difference if you had one or not to whether you get osteoporosis.

When I had my first mammogram at 50 the radiologist told me to take a combined vitamin D and calcium tablet everyday. Infact I take a combined vitamin D and K calcium tablet everyday . Even though I have fallen all my life since a child through a rare hereditary neurological condition never broke a bone.

Would hate anyone to think having a hysterectomy means you get osteoporosis. It doesn't . Whether you get it or not is like getting cancer just one of those things.

M0nica Tue 19-Mar-24 18:14:19

Yes, I agree Whiff. No history of osteoporosis in my family, always been a very active person, on my feet and doing a lot of walking, eaten plenty of cheese, my weight has hovered around 9 1/2 stone, so not very light in weight. no hysterectomy and trouble free menopause at the usual age.

Having read that calcium is not as well absorbed in tablet form as in dairy form. I have started buying Babybels, not the most exciting or tasty of cheeses, but each one contains 20% of the recommended daily amount of calcium, so I have a couple with my breakfast and if I snack during the day, that is what I eat, and I try to monitor my calcium input and if I think it is low on any day, I will eat another babybel.

Whiff Tue 19-Mar-24 18:30:07

MOnica you have to take a combined vitamin D and calcium as I can't remember if it's the vitamin D that you need to absorb the calcium or calcium to absorb vitamin D. But it has to be a combined tablet. If your body has to much calcium you wee it out.

Iam64 Tue 19-Mar-24 18:38:31

I’m due an update dexa scan after a fall 6 weeks ago when I fractured my shoulder. I’d tripped over my Labrador’s lead and face planted on the wooden kitchen floor.
I’ve had RA from mid 20’s and an osteopina diagnosis after dexa scan about 12 years ago. I’ve taken `Adcal since then. I feel my bone density can’t be too bad as I have a fracture, didn’t need surgery and didn’t break anything else despite a crashing fall.
Shunemae, weights a good idea. Keep moving. Do weight baring excercise even if only walking

M0nica Tue 19-Mar-24 20:19:11

Whiff I have been taking a Vitamin D supplement for some years. Better too much calcium and weeing out than too little

Marydoll Tue 19-Mar-24 20:27:23

I have had osteoporosis for more tahn thirty years and have Alendronic Acid infusions, because I cannot tolerate it i tablet form. I also take Adcal.

It is monitored by an endocrinologist. No-one should be self medicating with Vit D, without a clinician's advice. It can be dangerous. It needs a blood test to determine levels, which I have once a year, because my body has difficulty retaining it.

There's no quick fix to flush vitamin D out of your system, but staying hydrated and staying away from more vitamin D and calcium can help lower your levels, symptoms of overdose are confusion, vomiting and dizziness,

Luckygirl3 Tue 19-Mar-24 21:22:16

Hysterectomy (with or without removal of ovaries) is known to increase the risk of osteoporosis - lots of scientific evidence.

annodomini Tue 19-Mar-24 22:23:10

Before the hiatus caused by the Covid lockdown, I was booked for a regular dexa scan which was cancelled and, as I was planning to move from the area, the appointment was never re-arranged. I also had infusions of zolendronic acid, as I can't take the alendronic tablets. Now my new GP has arranged for me to have a dexa scan next month. I'm hoping that the osteopenia previously diagnosed has not deteriorated into osteoporosis.

M0nica Wed 20-Mar-24 08:07:04

The specialist I saw asked me if I was taking a vitamin D supplement and was approving when I said I did and told me to continue doing so. She had the result of bloodtests and there was no suggestion that I was consuming too much.

Vitamin D supplementation is frequently advised by medical backed sources and the supplements are readily available in supermarkets and chemists. Anything taken in excess can be dangerous, but those buying OTC vitamin D and staying within the recommended dose will not be in danger. If that was possible vitamin D would only be available on prescription.

Marydoll Wed 20-Mar-24 08:39:49

That is true Monica, but my consultant advised me that there is absolutely no need to take Vitamin D, unless you have a deficiency. That can only be determined by a blood test.
My Vit D levels often don't register on the scale, they are so low.

Luckygirl3 Wed 20-Mar-24 09:20:27

As I understand it, Vit D plays a role in calcium absorption.

Whiff Wed 20-Mar-24 09:30:05

Luckygirl I had the lot removed including my cervix. I have been told it doesn't increase my risk of having osteoporosis even though my mom had it. And I have strong bones. After my hysterectomy was on HRT for 16 years but taken off it because at the time they said it would increase my risk of breast cancer. I have friends who have breast cancer never had hysterectomy or HRT . Like everything in life it's just one of those things what you get.

If you smoke or a heavy drinker than that can put you more at risk of cancer . But people who never smoke or drink get lung and liver cancer.

When I was younger a study said the more sexual partners you have increases your risk of cervical cancer and yet women who never had sex still got it.

What our bodies do we have no control over things just happen for no reason.

All these different studies say one thing one year and the opposite the next . Life is what it is and worrying about the what ifs is pointless . Only 2 certainties in life we are born we die. So everyone just needs to live life to the full as none of us knows how long we have got to live.

dogsmother Wed 20-Mar-24 09:47:28

Well I have osteoporosis despite having an active life style also had a job that kept me on my feet. I take raloxifene and vitd with calcium.
Trying to do appropriate exercises but certainly don’t keep them up daily. I do feel resentful but know it’s due to early hysterectomy and hypothyroidism in part.

MissAdventure Wed 20-Mar-24 10:42:06

Yes, I have it too, with discs slipping out and nerve issues around them.

My poor mum was totally disfigured and disabled by it by the time she died.
She had been and tried still to be, incredibly active.

Hetty58 Wed 20-Mar-24 11:53:31

I have strong bones on a vegan diet. I do have tests every year anyway but plant-based calcium sources are often absorbed better than dairy-based. I do eat a lot of cabbage, kale and broccoli, tofu and almonds - so, along with beans, my calcium intake is good. Soya milk is fortified with vitamin D as well. I'm not so good at avoiding caffeine, though (love coffee) but don't have alcohol, cola, wheat bran, salt (and not much spinach or rhubarb) so try to avoid things that deplete intake.

growstuff Wed 20-Mar-24 12:02:14


I have strong bones on a vegan diet. I do have tests every year anyway but plant-based calcium sources are often absorbed better than dairy-based. I do eat a lot of cabbage, kale and broccoli, tofu and almonds - so, along with beans, my calcium intake is good. Soya milk is fortified with vitamin D as well. I'm not so good at avoiding caffeine, though (love coffee) but don't have alcohol, cola, wheat bran, salt (and not much spinach or rhubarb) so try to avoid things that deplete intake.

It's the opposite. Calcium from animal sources are absorbed at a higher rate than plant-based calcium.

MissAdventure Wed 20-Mar-24 12:05:08

I've been advised to eat meat by well, every medic I've encountered in the last couple of years.
I do eat it occasionally, but not enough, apparently.

growstuff Wed 20-Mar-24 12:05:09

Peak bone mass is achieved by late teens and declines with age. That's why it's so important that children have adequate calcium - and why we all had to drink milk at school.