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OSTEOPENIA
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An_223987 posted:
I AM 55 YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN TOLD I HAVE OSTEOPENIA. MY T SCORES FOR L1/L4 WERE -1.2 AND FOR THE FEMORAL NECK WERE -.1
MY DOCTOR RECOMMENDED 15OOMG OF CALCIUM AND 1000IU OF VITAMIN D DAILY.
I HAVE BEEN ON THE MEDICATION PREVACID (30 MG) FOR 10 YEARS.
AS A RESULT OF THIS DIAGNOSIS , I HAVE STOPPED THE PREVACID AND USED PEPCID AND TUMS. I HAD PURCHASED CALTRATE BEFORE STOPPING THE PREVACID BUT NEVER TOOK IT RELIGIOUSLY. NOW I HAVE READ THAT CITRACAL WOULD BE BETTER ABSORBED ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WITH ACID REFLUX.
MY PROBLEM IS WHEN I TAKE CITRACAL I GET VERY BAD HEARTBURN, AND NEED TO TAKE TUMS!
IS THERE A GOOD WAY TO GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF VIT D AND CALCIUMEACH DAY? I RECENTLY REALIZED THAT TO ACCOMPLISH THE 1500 MG OF CALCIUM AND THE 1000IUS OF VITAMIN D I WOULD NEED TO TAKE A MINIMUM OF 6 CITRACL PILLS AND THEN I STILL FALL SHORT OF THE VIT D OR 3 OF THE CALTRATE AND THEN I WOULD BE A LITTLE OVER THE PRESCRIBED DOSAGE?
ARE VITAMIN D GEL PILLS EASIER TO DIGEST? WOULD I BE BETTER OFF TAKING THAT AND JUST TUMS??
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bonebabe responded:
Tums are fine as a calcium choice. There are several choices there, so pick one that works for you. Your body can absorb about 500-600 mg at a time and you need 1200 mg a day.

The Vit D can be taken in a single dose. I personally take the gel pills in a 1000 IU single dose. It can be taken at any time of day, with or without food.
 
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SSTULKIDS responded:
I guess if I can take tums during the course of the day I may be able to avoid needing pepcid and prevacid all together. Could I possibly reverse the t score numbers with time if I start a regimen of vitamin D and calcium? Do you think if I experience heartburn because I am not taking the prevacid that I could be causing damage ? The tums do relieve the heartburn too? I was wondering your opinion on that? Also is it possible to take too much vitamin D or calcium? Is there a problem taking vitamin D at the same time or very close to the same time as taking the tums?
 
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bonebabe replied to SSTULKIDS's response:
Your scores aren't bad at all. Your hip is normal (barely) and your spine is in the osteopenic range (barely) - so I'd think you could boost those numbers with calcium and Vit D. What is going to impact that more than the calcium and D is your menopausal status and the use or nonuse of hormones. If you've recently been through menopause and are not on hormones, your numbers are going to drop regardless of the calcium/D. If you're on hormones your numbers may increase. If you've been through menopause for some years and not on hormones, you may be pretty stable right now.

The thing is, as you age, your risk increases, especially if you're not on hormones. So even doing the calcium/D won't affect that much. You still need the calcium/D but it won't greatly improve scores on its own.

You'll just have to see if the Tums alone will alleviate your heartburn. They might.

As for getting too much calcium, it's very difficult to do because your body can only absorb abut 500-600 mg at a time and you'd have to really really be diligent about taking it throughout the day to get too much. Vitamin D can be taken at any time with anything. Unless you're on 50,000 IU booster doses and exceed that on your own, chances are you won't be overdosing on Vit D. In fact, the 1000 IU recommendation is in the process of being raised to 2000 IU as I write this.

Hope this answers your questions.
 
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NATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS FOUNDATION
Susan Allison, RNC, BSN, MPA responded:
If Prevacid was the drug prescribed for your reflux/heartburn and it was helping your symptoms, you shouldn't stop unless advised by your doctor. Since calcium citrate (as in Citracal) doesn't require acid in the stomach for absorption, this is your supplement of choice. Tums are made from calcium carbonate as is Caltrate; they may not be totally absorbed while on an acid reducing medication.

The current standard recommendation for daily calcium intake is 1200 mg every day. Remember that this number includes calcium from food. Most people who eat a well-balanced diet, get about 300 mg of calcium without even trying! If you include dairy products or calcium fortified foods in your daily diet, you can reduce or even eliminate the amount needed from supplements. To help estimate your daily calcium intake, contact NOF and request a calcium calculator handout.

Note: You shouldn't take your Prevacid and calcium supplements together. Check with your doctor about the appropriate timing of the medication in relationship to your calcium citrate.

Vitamin D3 comes in several strengths over-the-counter, so you should easily be able to find the amount you need.
 
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SSTULKIDS replied to bonebabe's response:
I have not completely gone through menopause and I do no take hormones. Actually the prevacid has been the only thing I have consistently taken, so if I understand what you are explaining correctly; I can expect my scores to continue to drop regardless of taking the calcium and vitaminD because I am not on hormones and have not completed menopause?
 
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SSTULKIDS replied to Susan Allison, RNC, BSN, MPA's response:
I stopped taking the prevacid last week in order to take the tums to both relieve my heartburn and to increase my calcium intake to 1500mg per day. i started taking the citracl but found it was giving me heartburn also while off the prevacid. If I use pepcidinstead of prevacid I find it doesn't last the whole day. So lately I started taking tums and and breaking up the caltrate tablets in stead of taking the citracl? If I take 3 caltrate tablets a day I find I am gettign 1200 ius of vitamin D and 1800 mg of calcium , since each pill is 400 ius and 600mg respectively. I do find I have to take the tums though to control the heartburn. But I had read that taking prevacid and even pepcid all contributes to thinning bones so I am afraid to stay on it as I have been taking prevacid for 10 years? Do you think if I continue doing this type of therapy will improve my scores? I have not completely gone through menopause although I am getting very close! But I donot take any hormone medication.
 
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bonebabe replied to SSTULKIDS's response:
Yes, that is correct. The estrogen protects the bones and as you go through menopause and stop producing estrogen, your bone density will decrease. You can lose up to 20% of your bone mass in the 5 years going into and through menopause. Once you have been a year without a period, you have gone through menopause. Women who go on hormone therapy will sustain their bone mass, while those who don't should have a DXA to determine their bone density. If it is low, they may elect (with their doctor's recommendation) to go on some type of osteoporosis medication to maintain bone strength.

The calcium and Vit D are important to your overall health as well as to your bone health. However, they alone will not replace bone mass once it is lost.
 
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SSTULKIDS replied to bonebabe's response:
Do you think it is a mistake to take the prevacid to control the heartburn if the dosage is reduced to 15 mg and then take citracal? The problem with using the citracl is I need to tske 6 pills each day to achieve the 1500mg of calcium but I still fall short of the extra vitaminD. A serving size is 2 and that is to get 250 ius, so 6 pills is only 750 ius, not the recommended 1000?
 
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bonebabe replied to SSTULKIDS's response:
You shouldn't have to take that many Citracal pills. The recommended dosage is 1200 mg = 4 pills. And that is a supplement. You should get some in your diet. Try tracking your dietary calcium consumption for a few days and see where you are. An 8 oz glass of calcium added OJ is 350 mg. Easy. A cup of yogurt (depending on brand and size) is about the same. That's more than half. Lots of breads (like Earth Grains) have calcium added - about 100 mg each slice and most of the cereals have calcium. Read your lables and track. I bet you'll be surprised.

As for the Vit D - get you a bottle of them. Take one anytime during the day. The recommendation is 1000 IU.
 
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Greeneyes777 replied to bonebabe's response:
There is a natural 'supplement' called Urticalcin. You place 2 tabs under your tongue at least 15 minutes before your meals and let it dissolve. This will help your body absorb calcium, magnesium and vit.D(which I personally take after meals). Try taking a liquid cal/mag, vit D supplement as liquids are better absorbable. Try to find a supplement that does not have fructose or other additives or you will be 'defeating the purpose'.
I use "New Roots" coral calcuim as it is as 'plain' as I could find. Remember, however much calcium you take, you need half the equivalent in magnesium.
 
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LeCherie1946 responded:
I don't like to take pills or special 'stuff', so when I saw a tv ad for Viactiv Calcium Plus D, I checked it out on the internet. It's a 'candy-like' product, so I figured I could enjoy that and take it as they suggest.
Bad news - I could only get it thru drugstore.com
Good news - I have a PayPal account with includes 'Pay Me Later' now.
So I ordered a 90-day supply with milk chocolate flavoring, and a second 90-day supply with caramel flavoring - got a discount for using PayPal - transferred the payment to PayPal after my SS check came in.
I'm enjoying this and get 100% of the RDA of Calcium and 250% of the RDA of Vit D, plus 100% of the RDA of Vit K by enjoying two chews per day.

I go for my annual bone scan in two weeks and am most anxious to see how I'm doing.
 
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bonebabe replied to LeCherie1946's response:
Why do you believe you can only get it through drugstore.com? WalMart sells it as well as their own Spring Valley brand. Rite Aid, Eckerds and Target also sell it.

We keep a box here in our osteoporosis center to show to patients. It is easy to take, tastes good and has Vit K and Vit D.

Be aware that your bone density test will not reflect any recent calcium consumption you have. Bone is very slow to respond to treatment. That's why every two years for a test. Also, if your score was fairly low (less than -2) calcium and Vit D alone won't significantly improve that. Your body needs calcium and D, but at a certain point you may need more. That doesn't mean that you discontinue the calcium and D if you go on a medication. The meds all need calcium to do their job.

p.s. I like the orange flavor Viactive :)
 
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Bobbieharleyrider2 replied to bonebabe's response:
Am wondering since you say you keep some Viactive in office for patients to try - would you happened to have some Free Samples for newbie's to try before purchasing? I have seen them at Walmart also.
 
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healthynosh responded:
DON'T USE TUMS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH!!! Please, this is so important! Calcium of any type should not be taken without food! It then collects in your organs, even your heart! Don't believe me? Dr. Oz even mentioned it on his show. My bro-in-law who is a Dr. confirmed that this is in the medical journals. Calcium citrate is the most bio-available form of calcium. Take your calcium in 3 divided doses per day (because your system can absorb only 300 mg at a time), with meals only.
If you have tummy troubles, try the cabbage juice cure. Juice 2 cups worth of green cabbage in the morning, and drink 1/2 cup of it 4 times per day for 10 days. This was also on Dr. Oz as a cure verified by medical studies. Taking calcium on an empty stomach could have been what caused your tummy troubles in the first place! It's like milk; it neutralizes acid at first but then causes a rebound effect, causing your stomach to release even more acid.
So, take calcium citrate with your vitamin D3 at meals only (you can buy these separately at a health food store to get dosages right), and do the cabbage juice cure for your stomach. That's my best advice. I've done a lot of investigation into this because I lost a kidney due to a kidney stone...from taking Tums for my ulcer. Believe me, it's not a road you want to go down.


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