Welcome to our Member Interviews!
Our first interview will be with Phyllis, one of our community contributors here at OsteoporosisConnection.com. Phyllis has graciously agreed to answer my questions about her experiences dealing with osteoporosis. So without further adieu, let's all welcome Phyllis.
Phyllis, when did you find out you had osteoporosis?
I found out I had osteoporosis in 2005. I attended a local health fair and had the heel test. When it came back showing bone loss, I took the results to our family Dr. when I saw him a couple of weeks later. He then ordered a DEXA.
Did you have any secondary medical disorder that causes osteoporosis, like Celiac, thyroid, or mineral metabolism problems?
I have Graves Disease (hyperthyroidism) and believe that my bone loss came from being hyper before being diagnosed and treated. I feel the Graves is the cause since there is no family history of osteoporosis and I have none of the other risk factors.
What options did your doctor offer for treatment?
His suggestion was to take Actonel.
What initial treatment did you decide on and why?
I did take Actonel for a couple of months only because at that time I was uneducated to other options.
Did you experience any side effects, from your initial treatment, and did those effects - if any - change the course of your treatment towards another medication or supplement?
After taking Actonel for a couple of months, I started to notice small changes, very dry gritty eyes and a feeling of something stuck in my throat that I couldn't get rid of. The only thing I could think of that was causing those things was the Actonel. I stopped taking Actonel and both of these symptoms went away.
Tells us what treatment you decided to take and how you are doing on it?
While I was taking the Actonel I continued to look for other options and found the one for me in Strontium Citrate. I've been taking it for over three years now and have never had any side effects. In the three years I've taken it the DEXA showed a 14% gain in bone density. Since DEXA machines can't read strontium the results are over estimated, but even if it's only half right I've still had a significant improvement. I went from the high end of osteopenia in my hips to almost normal and my spine has gone from osteoporosis to osteopenia.
How long have you taken your treatment and what lead you to this?
I've been taking strontium for over three years now. What initially lead me to start taking it was that it is a natural supplement, without the nasty side effects of the current osteoporosis drugs. I also liked that it has shown to not only build density but to also reduce fractures.
Does your treatment have any precautions that need to be followed; like diet, supplement combining, and medication restrictions?
The main thing to remember when taking strontium is not to take it close to calcium supplements or high calcium foods or the two will compete for absorption and that is not something you want to do. It is also recommended that it be taken on an empty stomach for best absorption. I am not aware of any other supplements or meds that interfere with it.