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Crohn's Disease Forum » Extra Intestinal Manifestations » Arthritis » Bone density tests and meds for bone loss


12-21-2011, 11:17 PM   #1
nogutsnoglory
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Bone density tests and meds for bone loss

How often do you guys get a bone density test? Are there any blood tests or tests that don't involve radiation?

What do you take for bone loss and pain?
12-22-2011, 06:31 AM   #2
Lisa
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I've had a bone density scan done a couple of times - last was maybe 4-5 years ago now?.....it was the DEXA scan.....

Sorry I can't help with the bone loss or pain, as I don't have either....hopefully someone else will pipe up!
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12-22-2011, 08:10 AM   #3
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I had a DEXA scan too. I dont know how much radiation is involved w/that. I was dx osteopenia. I think it is simply pre-osteoporosis. I take Miacalcin. It comes in a nasal spay. I have some documented cracks in my upper spine and a fair amount of pain (could be worse) I take 10 hydrocodone 3 or 4 times a day. The Miacalcin is supposed tp help w/pain by growing bone. I have been on it for 6 months now and I think it is working. I seem to have a little less back pain. I hope this helps
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12-22-2011, 09:01 AM   #4
nogutsnoglory
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I had a DEXA scan too. I dont know how much radiation is involved w/that. I was dx osteopenia. I think it is simply pre-osteoporosis. I take Miacalcin. It comes in a nasal spay. I have some documented cracks in my upper spine and a fair amount of pain (could be worse) I take 10 hydrocodone 3 or 4 times a day. The Miacalcin is supposed tp help w/pain by growing bone. I have been on it for 6 months now and I think it is working. I seem to have a little less back pain. I hope this helps
I was also dx with osteopenia and they wanted me on more meds but I refused. I started taking a calcium, D and magnesium combo.
12-22-2011, 10:39 AM   #5
HeatherMN
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I am a radiology tech, and can help with the radiation question. As far as I know, a DEXA scan is the gold standard for bone density measurements, I found some information about it and copied it below for you. I've never heard of it being diagnosed with any other method.

Basically, when it comes to radiation, what you need to do is weigh the risks of the procedure vs. the benefits you will get from it. A DEXA scan will give you an accurate measurement of your bone density, and will allow doctors to help you with appropriate treatments if needed. Without it, there's no way to tell and you could be losing time in which you could have had treatments. You get radiation every day from your surroundings, cosmic radiation from the sun and outer space, radon gas from the ground, etc. So medical radiation is really only a small percentage of any radiation you receive in your lifetime--you get more radiation from flying than you do from an xray. DEXA uses a very low dose of radiation, less than regular xrays, and way less than a CT for example. There has also never been a proven link between radiation and cancer.

What are the benefits vs. risks?

Benefits
•DXA bone densitometry is a simple, quick and noninvasive procedure.
•No anesthesia is required.
•The amount of radiation used is extremely small—less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray, and less than a day's exposure to natural radiation.
•DXA bone density testing is the most accurate method available for the diagnosis of osteoporosis and is also considered an accurate estimator of fracture risk.
•DXA equipment is widely available making DXA bone densitometry testing convenient for patients and physicians alike.
•No radiation remains in a patient's body after an x-ray examination.
•X-rays usually have no side effects in the diagnostic range.

Risks
•There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk.
•Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. See the Safety page (www.RadiologyInfo.org/en/safety/) for more information about pregnancy and x-rays.
•The effective radiation dose for this procedure varies. See the Safety page (www.RadiologyInfo.org/en/safety/) for more information about radiation dose.
•No complications are expected with the DXA procedure.

A Word About Minimizing Radiation Exposure
Special care is taken during x-ray examinations to use the lowest radiation dose possible while producing the best images for evaluation. National and international radiology protection councils continually review and update the technique standards used by radiology professionals.

State-of-the-art x-ray systems have tightly controlled x-ray beams with significant filtration and dose control methods to minimize stray or scatter radiation. This ensures that those parts of a patient's body not being imaged receive minimal radiation exposure.

From http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=dexa
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12-22-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
nogutsnoglory
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I am a radiology tech, and can help with the radiation question. As far as I know, a DEXA scan is the gold standard for bone density measurements, I found some information about it and copied it below for you. I've never heard of it being diagnosed with any other method.

Basically, when it comes to radiation, what you need to do is weigh the risks of the procedure vs. the benefits you will get from it. A DEXA scan will give you an accurate measurement of your bone density, and will allow doctors to help you with appropriate treatments if needed. Without it, there's no way to tell and you could be losing time in which you could have had treatments. You get radiation every day from your surroundings, cosmic radiation from the sun and outer space, radon gas from the ground, etc. So medical radiation is really only a small percentage of any radiation you receive in your lifetime--you get more radiation from flying than you do from an xray. DEXA uses a very low dose of radiation, less than regular xrays, and way less than a CT for example. There has also never been a proven link between radiation and cancer.

What are the benefits vs. risks?

Benefits
•DXA bone densitometry is a simple, quick and noninvasive procedure.
•No anesthesia is required.
•The amount of radiation used is extremely small—less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest x-ray, and less than a day's exposure to natural radiation.
•DXA bone density testing is the most accurate method available for the diagnosis of osteoporosis and is also considered an accurate estimator of fracture risk.
•DXA equipment is widely available making DXA bone densitometry testing convenient for patients and physicians alike.
•No radiation remains in a patient's body after an x-ray examination.
•X-rays usually have no side effects in the diagnostic range.

Risks
•There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk.
•Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. See the Safety page (www.RadiologyInfo.org/en/safety/) for more information about pregnancy and x-rays.
•The effective radiation dose for this procedure varies. See the Safety page (www.RadiologyInfo.org/en/safety/) for more information about radiation dose.
•No complications are expected with the DXA procedure.

A Word About Minimizing Radiation Exposure
Special care is taken during x-ray examinations to use the lowest radiation dose possible while producing the best images for evaluation. National and international radiology protection councils continually review and update the technique standards used by radiology professionals.

State-of-the-art x-ray systems have tightly controlled x-ray beams with significant filtration and dose control methods to minimize stray or scatter radiation. This ensures that those parts of a patient's body not being imaged receive minimal radiation exposure.

From http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=dexa
I know we are constantly exposed but with CD we have x-rays, CT scans and more so the more we can avoid the better. My doctor does test for bone loss through a blood test but I think the scan is the most accurate measure.
12-22-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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A someone who was a 21/22yr old male who got a density scan and was diagnosed with osteopenia in my spine, I got put on a drug called actonel i take once a week on an empty stomach first thing, keep up right, drink lots of water and wait 30 minutes before eating.

I was advised to take plenty of calcium and do weight bearing exercise. As such a young fella to be diagnosed with this, i have not been given another scan (about two years ago).

I suppose i should probably ask because i'd imagine its fairly uncommon in young men generally.

If you start a bisphosphonate like actonel you have to be sure to tell your dentist.

I can't help you with anything else unfortunately!
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12-22-2011, 06:38 PM   #8
Gooser
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I had a DEXA scan done in 2006 which showed osteopenia in my hips. I’ve not been prescribed anything for it but was told to increase my Calcium and Vitamin D. They had me repeat the test again this year which showed that my bones are about the same as five years ago.
12-22-2011, 11:51 PM   #9
Mountaingem
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I get a DEXA scan once every two years and have an IV infusion of Aradia every six months; my bones have pinholes in them from practically continuous pred use for 10 years and both hips have fractured because of thin bones.
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12-23-2011, 01:57 AM   #10
archie
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Try to get plenty of weight bearing exercise on a regular basis and get plenty of calcium in your diet (if possible) or some calcium meds from the doc, osteopenia can be improved so get it checked every couple of years.
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12-26-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
Miss Underestimated
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I refused the actonel, and take the Miacalcin (calcitonin salmon). It's an interesting hormone. It was the preferred treatment for osteoporosis until the newer actonel type drugs came out, and it has few (in my case, no) side effects. I have osteoporosis.
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