Question of the Week: Is Osteoporosis a Manufactured Disease?

Pam Flores @phflores Health Guide
  •   Since the early 1990's there have been many theories floating around that the drug companies and DXA scan manufacturer's created osteoporosis to fit into the drug treatments that became available, and approved by the FDA, in 1995. 


    So to better understand this implication, let's look at the first mention of osteoporosis in a dictionary or medical journal.  Osteoporosis was coined in French in the early 1820's.  If this is the first print mention of this disease then how could it have been created in the 1990's? 

     

    Personally I know that I have generations of relatives, going back to the 1800's, or possibly even further, that had this disorder.  It's true that back then it was referred to, by some, as a widow's hump which usually signaled compression fractures in the spine that went untreated.  My relatives and others may have thought that this was a normal age-related bone loss condition and had no idea what you would use for treatment, since there wasn't much discussion of this by main stream doctors.  Never the less, this disorder did exist, we just didn't have the knowledge we do now for treating, diagnosing or prevention.  I do not believe that these drugs were approved to fill an unwarranted niche, like some would have you believe, just to make money.  There are plenty of problems with these and all drugs, but we know this now from what we've learned through long-term use, and hind-sight is always 20-20.  So we should take what we've learned and apply it individually, since we don't all experience the same problems with side effects or treatment benefits and failures.

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    The DXA scan was invented in 1960, but was rarely used because there was no treatment for osteoporosis; which was many years before Fosamax was approved by the FDA for the treatment of osteoporosis in 1995.  Also, the National Osteoporosis Foundation started in 1984, before the first osteoporosis drug hit the market.  This tells me that studies were on-going long before the advent of osteoporosis drugs.


    It would be easy to claim that this disease was not prevalent until the bone drugs made it to the market, but that does not mean that this disorder did not exist long before we knew how to treat it.


    Options for treating compression fractures (widow's hump) are a relatively new type of surgery, with vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, but with new medical advances and more knowledge of a disorder we find new ways to treat it.  Unfortunately we didn't have the medical education to treat our mother's, grandmother's and great-grandmother's, but isn't this the case with most medical problems?  After years of study we've learned how to treat cancer, heart disease, diabetes and so on, just like osteoporosis.


    Question:

     

    1. What to do think about this?  Do you believe osteoporosis has been around for many centuries, or was it some evil scheme perpetrated on us by the drug companies, just to make money?  All opinions are welcome and we'd love to hear your take on this!




     

Published On: May 05, 2010