Tag Archives: Alendronic acid

Warning! Don’t Take Another Drug Until You Read How You’re Being Conned…

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thinner, more porous and break more easily. Osteopenia is different from osteoporosis — it is a slight thinning of bones that occurs naturally as women get older and typically doesn’t result in disabling bone breaks.


Osteopenia is a condition that only recently started to be thought of as a problem that required treatment. Until the early 1990’s, only a handful of people had even heard of the word. But osteopenia has transformed from a rarely heard word into a problem that millions of women swallow pills to treat.

The term “osteopenia” was never originally meant to be considered as a disease — it was a research category used mostly because some thought it might be useful for public health researchers who like clear categories for their studies.

But in 1995, a man named Jeremy Allen was approached by the drug company Merck. The pharmaceutical giant had just released a new osteoporosis drug called Fosamax. Since osteoporosis is a serious problem that affects millions of women, the potential market for Fosamax was enormous. But the drug wasn’t selling well.

Allen persuaded Merck to establish a nonprofit called the Bone Measurement Institute. On its board were six of the most respected osteoporosis researchers in the country.

But the institute itself had a rather slim staff: Allen was the only employee.

In 1997 the institute and several other interested organizations successfully lobbied to pass the Bone Mass Measurement Act, a piece of legislation that changed Medicare reimbursement rules to cover bone scans. More and more women got bone density tests (at Merck’s urging), and the very existence of the word “osteopenia” on a medical report had a profound effect.

Millions of women were worried by the diagnosis. And when clinicians saw the word ‘osteopenia’ on a report, they assumed it was a disease. Merck did not disabuse them of the notion.

There are no long-term studies that look at what happens to women with osteopenia who start Fosamax in their 50’s and continue treatment long-term in the hopes of preventing old-age fractures. And none are planned.

Resources:
WHO FRAX
NPR December 21, 2009
NPR 2009 (Sample Radiology Report)

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Fibrocystic Breasts

Most doctors no longer call the pain and lumpiness of fibrocystic breasts a disease because this condition affects virtually half of all women under age 50. Selected supplements and a shift in diet may help diminish the symptoms of this disorder.

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Symptoms
Breast lumps or nodules that may be tender or not painful at all.
An increase in the size of lumps or in breast discomfort a week or so before a menstrual period.

When to Call Your Doctor
If a new lump develops, especially if you have not always had lumpy breasts.
If a lump grows larger, hardens, or does not diminish after your menstrual period ends.
If you have any discharge from either nipple.
If your breast pain is severe.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
What It Is
Such premenstrual changes have long been labeled fibrocystic breast disease. But this condition is not a disease, and it doesn’t increase your risk of breast cancer (though having lumpy breasts may make identifying a cancerous growth more difficult if one develops). Normal lumps can usually be distinguished from cancerous ones because they move freely in the breast, changing with the menstrual cycle.

What Causes It
Fibrocystic changes in the breast are linked to the rise and fall of hormones associated with the menstrual cycle. Women who produce a particularly high level of estrogen in conjunction with a low level of progesterone after ovulation may suffer more. This combination can cause the body to produce too much prolactin, a hormone that triggers milk production in new mothers but increases breast tenderness in women who are not breast-feeding. Many experts think caffeine stimulates the growth of lumps or fluid-filled breast cysts (and some women showed improvement when they eliminate caffeine), but other researchers maintain there’s no firm evidence of any connection between caffeine and breast tenderness.

How Supplements Can Help
All the supplements listed can be used together and as needed; you should see improvement in a month or two. Many women report relief from breast pain after taking vitamin E. Just how it works is unknown, but some experts believe this vitamin blocks the changes in breast tissue possibly caused by caffeine.

What Else You Can Do
Eliminate caffeine and see if that helps. Besides coffee and tea, caffeine is found in chocolate, colas, and some over-the-counter medications. Be patient: Six months may pass before you notice any improvement.
Wear a bra with good support when your breasts are tender.

Supplement Recommendations
Vitamin E
Chasteberry
Essential Fatty Acids
Magnesium
Vitamin B6

Vitamin E
Dosage: 400 IU twice a day.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.

Chasteberry
Dosage: 225 mg standardized extract each morning.
Comments: Also called vitex. Should contain 0.5% agnuside.

Essential Fatty Acids
Dosage: 1,000 mg evening primrose oil 3 times a day; 1 tbsp. (14 grams) flaxseed oil a day.
Comments: Or use 1,000 mg borage oil once a day for primrose oil.

Magnesium
Dosage: 600 mg a day.
Comments: Take with food; reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Vitamin B6
Dosage: 100 mg twice a day for 1 week.
Comments: Take this amount only the week before menstruation; this dose can cause nerve damage if taken daily over the long term.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs(Reader’s Digest)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.