1415174 tn?1453243103

Is it unusual to have osteoporosis at age 55?

I just went got into menopause. My FSH is at the high end, no periods for over a year etc. I had a bone density done and my spine and hips have low end osteoporosis. I was wondering how many of you out there at my age or near my age have it too? I had osteopenia of the spine 4 years ago and now it is osteoporosis. The hip has gotten worse on one side by 3% and the other side by 6 %.I can't take estrogen due to having previous blood clots and I have 1000mg of calcium a day and vitamin D is at 60. That is very normal. My doctor is going to increase the vitamin D to 80, towards the higher end of the range. I can't take fosamax either because I took it before and it gave me bad muscle thigh pain. There was a period of about 8 years where I was sitting way too much due to back pain. So I am trying to start walking more. The last three years I have been lifting weights with a trainer 3-4 times a week. I am also vegan for the last 3 years. Any suggestions?
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I had osteoporosis by the time I was 44. 5'7" at the time and lean.  I asked to be checked because I broke 6 ribs.
Fosamax heled me a lot, but I can no longer take it because I was on it for 15 yrs!
You need to carry extra weight, but it doesn't have to be your own body weight.  Walk with a backpack with water in it.  Maybe the camel kind, so you can drink as you walk.  The water will be inside you instead of on your back, but the weight won't be gone until lots of sweat and pee.
The bones can recover some (back to osteopenia at least) with the calcium, vit D, and weighted exercise.  An activity tracker helps me. They can remind you to not sit, or give you points for moving and take them away for excess sedentary time.  I also have a vibration platform, but no particular way to see benefit of that independently of other changes.
FYI, I have always had very small bones for my height, and have family history of  calcium not getting onto the bones very effectively.
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20691887 tn?1504691993
Just had a bone scan and my bones are great for a 51 year old and I am slightly overweight and in menopause, but my mother and grandmother have/had great bones. The extra weight is like weight bearing for those bones.  I do strength training mixed with aerobic exercise.  I say get out and walk more (brisk) and avoid excessively sitting.  Too much sitting is terrible for someone with back issues.  Yes, I know all about that.  You want to sit when you have pain, but that actually only makes the situation worse.  Has to be a balance between sitting and moving.  What's your weight lifting regimen like? Free weights or Nautilus equipment?  Again, increase your walking.  As far as your medications you definitely should follow the advise of your physician.  And no, you aren't too young to have osteoporosis.  My sister-law-in has it and she is underweight and doesn't do much sport or activity.  Weight lifting and nothing else isn't going to do much.  You're vegan too, which means your calcium intake isn't the best.  I don't really believe in extreme ways of eating unless your physician recommends that.  Vegan is too extreme for an older woman in my opinion, but that's for you to discuss with your physician.
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ZonnyC, I do free weights 3 times a week. 85 lb deadlifts, bench press, rows, lat pull downs, squats, etc for 1 hour. Then walk on the tread mill for 20 minutes. Now I am adding 1 hour walks on my off days. I am trying to build up stamina. I also cook at night and clean the house. But I sit to do computer and am thinking of standing for that too. As for being vegan, it is a healthier diet. my husband's and my cholesterol were 200 and now 130 and his blood pressure was 140/90 and now 120/70. I get plenty of calcium with Almond milk and beans, etc. 1000 mg/day or more. Milk (dairy) is supplemented with calcium too it doesn't come that way naturally.  I also take vitamin D supplements. My vitamin D value is 60 and doc said to raise it to 80 which is on the high end. They say though that having more weight is better for bones because you have to carry that weight. So If I can build muscle and be heavier I would be happy. I am trying. Before I had a lot of bad back pain. So I sat too much now it is better so I can get up more and do more. So I hope to turn this around not get worse. So you think exercise is a big part of building bone mass?
thank you,
It's too bad you can't take that  Fosamax.  With all that weight lifting you definitely should have strong muscles around your bones.  

Still can't agree on the Vegan diet.  Just increasing your activity and some dietary adjustments will lower total cholesterol and blood pressure, but if Vegan is your thing, then do that.  Just think you have a harder time meeting daily minerals/vitamins. I do believe in eating whole foods/mostly plant-source and very little animal source anything.  My Vegan friends always seem to be deficient with this and that vitamin and/or mineral....anemic and such.  Then they have to take a boatload of tablets because their diet is lacking in various vitamins and minerals.  

What's your muscle mass and lean body mass percentages?  

Don't forget heredity too plays a part.  By keeping your muscles strong helps those bones out a lot.  Like I stated, my mother, her mother and my father's mother don't/ didn't have a problem with their bones and none of them are/were overweight.  

If anything, get that walking in because it's Cardio and you need that.  20 mins should be more like 30-45 mins most days of the week.  Of course you should further discuss this with your physician BEFORE increasing activity.
I do hope you don't smoke or drink alcohol.  Neither is good for your bones.  My sister-in-law does both and she is underweight and now she is dealing with some serious health issues and one of them is Osteoporosis. Plus she doesn't eat hardly anything.
Thanks for the advice. I have no problem with anemia or anything. It is a whole plant based diet. But, I watch the calcium and Vitamin D intake. We do cheat once a week with meat. LOL

I have 19% muscle mass or sometimes 20%.
My family didn't have osteoporosis. But I don't know my dad's side.  I'll increase the walking to 40 minutes on workout days and 1 hour on non workout days.

I don't smoke or drink.

I appreciate your help. I am debating trying lower dose fosamax. There are some articles that say you can take 70mg once a month instead of weekly. I may try that.


Go for the lower dose and see what happens.  I am so sensitive to medications and I usually go with lower doses and it works for me.  Your muscle mass is on the lower end.  I am surprised it isn't higher, but being you don't eat meat you don't have too much to give those muscles eating solely plant-based foods.  Some do protein drinks/supplements, but that's not for me.  Mine is between 28-29%.  

Nothing wrong with sneaking a piece of animal protein=meat once a week.  :))
I think I meant 19% body fat. I do drink two protein drinks a day. 95 grams of protein a day. I am 127 lbs.
973741 tn?1342342773
Do you know that I had the bone scan done in my early 30's and was told I had the start of osteoporosis?  But I was VERY skinny, work out queen then and they said that was common if you fit in to that category.  Are you very thin?  Just asking.  But in general, as we lose estrogen during menopause, osteoporosis is more likely to develop.  Here's a fact sheet on it.  https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/osteoporosis_ff.asp  Just one more pain in the butt thing to think about as we get older.  Grrr.
Helpful - 0
ps:  forgot to update that I then had kids at discovered how much I LOVE food.  ha ha,  I gained weight and my bone scan no longer showed osteoporosis .  
Thanks, I am thin but I don't t
think that thin. 5'7" weight 126 lbs. I have about 19% body fat due to weight lifting.
You would think the weight lifting would help.
I did read that heavier women have less problems. My 80 year old nieghbor only has osteopenia. She has taken estrogen replacement for years though but is over weight. But my friend who is thin and older than me (60's) has osteopenia not osteoporosis. So I didn't know what to do. I don't want to get fat to gain bone. But I can walk more and stop sitting so much. But I don't know if that will replace the bone I lost?
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