Includes Expert Content
Alone with My Osteoporosis - I don't fit anywhere!!!
avatar
BillHoover posted:
I am a 64 year old MALE diagnosed with "Severe Osteoporosis" with a history of seventeen broken bones that include a smashed femur and a pelvic/femur head break and crush. The breaks, all since 1996 have ended me up with more metal in me than is used on most cars now.

I have no where to go with my thoughts. Women are the predominate sufferers of Osteoporosis. Everything is written for the female. Can I use this information or must I try to dig out anything there might be for a male sufferer? Even the drug they gave me was developed for women. I also take Calcium in the form of Gummy Bears that are sold in the Woman's Health section of my grocery store. There are no chewable tablets in the men's health section.

How can I handle this very emotional situation? My PCP is no help. All I get when i pose these questions is, "Don't worry about it, I'll take care of you."--------->That does not help me!!!

My Osteoporosis is a bi-product of my general body breakdown and a number of diagnosed diseases that are part of the process caused by dioxins in my body from defoliants I came in contact with while in the military. It took over 20 years for all except my diabetes to manifest themselves in me. Up until 1996 I was a healthy male with only diabetes as a problem. (that started in 1982).

I'd really like to know what may be different with my male osteoporosis as opposed to what females have. What information can I get from all the articles that are directed to the female sufferer that will benefit me?

Thank You all.

Bill
Reply
FirstPrevious12NextLast
 
avatar
bonebabe responded:
Go to the National Osteoporosis Foundation website (www.nof.org ) they have a section there for men.

We have a good many men come through our Osteoporosis Center. We stress to them,and to others, that after age 75, a man's risk for osteoporosis is the same as a woman's. I understand that you're only 64, but you're not alone. Women get more publicity about osteoporosis because of the estrogen factor. It's the biggest influence on women's bones.

The treatment and general care of a man with osteoporosis is relatively the same as for women. The only medications that would be strictly for the female population would be the hormone based ones - HRT and/or Evista.

I don't know where you're getting your calcium supplements or why there's a separation of the sexes in the calcium aisle. Everybody needs calcium. Tums are chewable and Citracal makes a chewable lemon flavored supplement.

There may be an osteoporosis support group in your area. Look at the NOF website to see if one is listed. If not, you may want to start one just for men. Believe me, they are out there. I bet the more open you are about it to others men and women, the more men you'll find with low bone density. You can also be an advocate for men to be tested. Every man 75 and over needs to be tested no matter what. Men with a history of corticosteroid or antiseizure use need a DXA, as do men with a history of even one nonviolent fracture.

Empower yourself to use this to help other men who may be feeling as you do, but did not have the courage to write.
 
avatar
BillHoover replied to bonebabe's response:
Hello BoneBabe,

Thank you for the information. I will look at NOF.com this evening.

I believe that I can be an advocate after I get some learning under my belt. I did it with all the other patients in the Rehab Hospital the whole 3 months I was there with this last shattered femur. Many had lost their will to exercise. With my bright Hawaiian shirts on each day I worked hard and encouraged others. I can only hope that I was able to give some a psychological boost to keep working.

So, you are my advocate and I am heading off to do the research you suggest.

Thanks for your help.

My Regards,

Bill
 
avatar
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Bill -

Thank you for posting your story and bringing awareness to this seldom talked about diagnosis.

I wanted to pass along a few links that you may also find helpful -

Osteoporosis in Men
Women's' Diseases Men Get, Too
Male Osteoporosis, Bone Mass Matters

Elizabeth
 
avatar
NATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS FOUNDATION
Susan Randall, RN, FNP-BC, MSN responded:
Dear Bill - You are not alone! According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), up to one in four men will break a bone due to osteoporosis. We recently developed a 14-page electronic "brochure" called The Man's Guide to Osteoporosis . We hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if there's anything else we can do to help.
 
avatar
BillHoover replied to Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thanks Elizabeth,

I tried hard to get information but, apparently didn't choose the right search words.

I will go to these sites in the morning.

Thanks,

Bill
 
avatar
BillHoover replied to Susan Randall, RN, FNP-BC, MSN's response:
Ms Randall,

My thanks I will go find this document in the morning.

I was stumbling around at your web site and have a request in to see if there is a group in my area that will accept men. I really need to study a lot. Education means a lot to me so that I can better deal with my problems.

Thank you for the info.

My Regards,
Bill
 
avatar
CAMAPRN responded:
Hey Bill,

A simple thought: Low Testosterone (serum tests: Total Testosterone and Free Testosterone) may indicate that you suffer from low levels of this male hormone that has demonstrated efficacy of rebuilding bone loss over time, as well as assisting in reduction of body fat and perhaps restoring muscles that have wasted due to low circulating levels of testosterone over an extended period of time.

There have been multiple articles on Web MD on low testosterone, and I would suggest you review them. I would also suggest that if you have suffered male-pattern baldness, this may be an indication that your testosterone is being converted to DHT, which is what binds to hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT that causes hair loss in the first place. The medication Propecia works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT, allowing the hair follicles to return to a growth stage and restoring hair loss.

So it would be better to fix the problem at the source (low testosterone) instead of patching the end result (osteoporosis) with medications that retain existing bone (preventing bone resorption) as opposed to correctly building new bone as the body was intended to do. It also seems that the medications designed to retain old bone, instead of constantly remaking it stronger, lead to abnormal fracture locations, as well as destruction of the jaw bone if one has extensive dental work done. It is sad that the half-life of the Osteoporosis medications is given in years, which means if you start taking them, and choose to stop, it will be years before the medication ceases activity in your body.

The body rebuilds the bones stronger at the locations where muscle attachments stress the bone, as the body can detect when the bone is not strong enough at that location. This is why if you take a calcium supplement with vitamin D, but do no weight bearing exercises, you end up urinating out the supplement instead of strengthening your bones. This is why 'couch potato people' lose bone mineral density, as they engage in no weight bearing exercises, and their body is not stimulated to strengthen the skeletal system, as it appears strong enough for it's current activity level of sitting still.

In summation, you should visit an endocrinologist regarding both your osteoporosis and for a review of your testosterone levels. Total testosterone levels for the average man is somewhere in the 400s. For a man needing supplementation, levels below 350 need to be correlated with symptoms for treatment, and levels below 200 definitively require treatment. If the total testosterone level is normal, the free testosterone level should be evaluated to see if it is low, as the free testosterone is the useable portion. Total testosterone deficiency indicates lack of production. Free testosterone is what is available to receptor sites in the body to perform critical activities such as strengthening bones. If both are normal, then you might want to evaluate how much of your testosterone that is free is being converted to DHT, which does not help strengthen bones.
 
avatar
Jeuls8 replied to BillHoover's response:
Bill, NOF does have men as participants and lots of good info for everyone. If you are near a VA hospital you should be able to get DEXA and other help, prescriptions even if from outside I believe. Here in Kansas City all but one doctor have been great. I noticed in the infos there that Agent Orange has been approved for disability, my brother is on disability after many years of trying, needing it. Best wishes for you and so sorry you are having such tough health challenges. BJ
 
avatar
BillHoover replied to CAMAPRN's response:
This was really interesting to read. I have my wife reading a copy right now. Thank you for providing this to me. I see Doc monday and will be ready for her with more information.

Thanks for a great article for my file.

My Regards,

Bill
 
avatar
BillHoover replied to Jeuls8's response:
BJ,
Thank you I am back working with the VA also now. Had my first scan this week with them. They are investigation through my records to pin everything down. I am at 100% for all the other problems and now VA is going to help me with info and treatment for my osteoporosis. It is presently not on the list.

Thanks

Bill
 
avatar
BillHoover replied to CAMAPRN's response:
Hello Camaprn,

Thank you for this in depth response. I like what you have to say. I can tell you that I am 3 years into testosterone hormone therapy. At present I am running between 450 and 600 depending on the time period between implants. When I was first tested my level was at 35. hen it was redone to insure there was no error it was 65.

Te belief is that the dioxins in my body helped destroy the hormone. Therefore the implants at what is now about 6 month intervals.

My exercise regimen is a half hour walk 3 days a week and 20 minutes of weight bearing exercises and free weight sets on two days a week. Living in Las Vegas allows me to do all my exercises in the sun. I also take calcium supplements.

Your great response to me is in my file now so I can refer to it as I do all the information I am receiving. Both my wife and i read the file. it is helping both of us.

Thank You.
 
avatar
BillHoover responded:

The information that I have been provided by all of you here has led to much more as I follow the trail snippets and articles. My reading material is growing with up to date information. Both my Wife and I are learning a lot.

I appreciate your help. With my osteoporosis, depression, and all the other hurdles of life.

I hope that each of you feels some satisfaction for helping push me up the hill and get me going in the right direction.

My regards to all of you.
Bill
 
avatar
momsygirl replied to BillHoover's response:
hi Bill,was depressed too,after learning i have osteoporosis..but its not the end of the world..YOU are not alone-i felt the same way too..i cried for a week..
glad you found WebMd..i learned a lot here..
you might want to check out these links:
https://www.inspire.com/groups/national-osteoporosis-foundation/sign-in/ ..
godBless you..have a nice weekend..
 
avatar
CAMAPRN replied to BillHoover's response:
One other thought.

When heavy metals and other poisons are in the system (ie mercury), it appears that chlorella (green algae??) and spirulina (some kind of green grass, I am not sure) appear to become scavengers in the body to remove toxins. I have not read anything on such being useful for dioxins, but they might, and it probably wouldn't hurt you to try taking them.

The last article I read, or maybe saw on TV was a family commercial production of spirulina (in China) and perhaps this supplement benefitting those exposed to radiation fallout in Chernobyl. It also appears that there are many manufacturers who supply the chlorella but it is not in a useable form. Apparently it has to be 'broken wall' or 'broken cell'. I do not know as much as I would like to know about this supplement, but I do know my dog that was disabled (hind limb paralysis) was fed supplements (including digestive enzymes for pets, and chlorella and spirulina to bind circulating toxins). The Michigan State U veterinarian clinic pretty much told me she would never walk again, and she chases rabbits for fun once again. When I see setbacks in her progress, and her legs start looking unstable, I add both her supplements back, and she seems like a young dog again. She was 4 years old when she became disabled.

I don't think your doctor would object to the supplement. I use Mercola brand of vitamins, as it was the vet on this site that suggested the chlorella for the dog. Who would have thought the free advice would work as well as it did for my dog. MSU and my local vet were trying to talk me into putting her down.

It was a pretty rapid change for the dog. It did not take months, but weeks. I still remember her trying to muster the energy to drag her back end around in a sitting position, cause she couldn't stand up. At this time my dog has intermittent 'expensive urine' from the cost of supplements. Should have probably video recorded her recovery. It would have been interesting regarding the significant change.