Tuesday, August 21, 2012

STRONTIUM, REVERSING OSTEOPENIA/OSTEOPOROSIS

I was a child in the 1950’s and still remember hearing talk about the danger of
strontium 90 to humans.  Due to all the above ground nuclear testing, it was a radio active element, found in human bone and could lead to cancer. This is not the strontium I am referring to which  is one of the elements found in human bones and connective tissue ( approximately 320 – 400 mg.) and has been found to aid in the antiresorptive activity (prevent calcium from being leached from the bones) and the formation of new bone cells.  Strontium has been used safely for over a hundred years as a medicinal substance and was first listed in Squire’s Companion to the British Pharmacopoeia in 1884. From there, it was used in the United States and Europe.  While I have heard and read conflicting views on the use of strontium, I prefer putting my bones in its care rather than using the bisphosphonate drugs such as Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva.  Recent long term studies show side effects of these drugs which include; esophageal irritation and or/ ulceration and perforation, bone aching, destruction of the jaw bone with pain, tooth loss and caving-in of the gums, and unusual fractures such as bones breaking or snapping much more easily and even without trauma.
It is very important to accumulate sufficient bone mass from childhood through early adulthood. Around the age of thirty, bone is at its strongest and after that, starts to decline. There are many factors that can lead to osteopenia and eventually osteoporosis which can affect men as well as women. Thyroid problems, a poor diet (especially consuming too much soda, sugar, caffeine, alcohol), being too acidic vs having the body chemistry alkaline, medications, poor digestion or absorption issues, small/fine boned women, being postmenopausal and race/ethnicity are  some of the reasons leading to bone loss. It is a good idea to try to rule out and/or treat any medical condition when possible. But if nothing very obvious seems to be the main factor, starting a natural treatment plan may at least be a step in the right direction. This leads me to my story and how strontium helped my bones.
Because I had been postmenopausal for about 6 years, which can lead to an increased risk for osteoporosis, my Ob/Gyn ordered a dexascan for me about 12 years ago in 2000. This is a test to measure bone density.  My lumbar spine “T” value indicated borderline osteopenia  but my left hip “T” value indicated osteopenia. Taking  more calcium and  weight bearing exercise were recommended. Osteopenia  was new to me and I started trying to find out why I was experiencing it and what might correct or halt it. First I found that not just calcium, but calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals were all important and worked together.  It amazes me to this day, that so many women I talk to don’t know this and take only calcium. The ratio of calcium to magnesium should be 2:1.  Vitamin D, boron, copper, manganese and zinc are some other minerals to be included and all of these are found in the supplement I have been taking for years, TwinLab Tri-Boron Plus capsules. A discussion of calcium supplementation, forms and quality, is another topic, as is getting calcium from your diet. The dairy products most people use are actually acid forming which may cause leaching from the bones. Along with the supplementation, I included walking and yoga. My second dexascan done in 2004 indicated both sets of “T” values were a little worse. My GP gave me a script for Fosamax, which I didn’t fill, while the Ob/Gyn told me to start taking vitamin D. This was time for more research and I found out taking vitamin D was very important, especially the D3 form. I also discovered from reading the affects of being too acidic and started to test my ph levels by mouth, which at that time, turned out to be pretty acidic. Changes to my diet included more alkaline producing foods and less acid forming foods. I was really hopeful my next dexascan would show improvements.  When I had it done in 2006, there were some improvements. My spine now showed to be within normal limits but my left hip osteopenia slightly increased.  Again, my GP wanted me to start Fosamax and again, I opted not to. By this time, I had been hearing about the awful side effects of this drug. What to do? I started adding vitamin K to my regiment and be more vigilant with my diet.
2008 was the dexascan that brought me to strontium as the numbers were not good. My spine was no longer within normal limits and my left hip again was worse, indicating osteopenia in both areas. I was really frustrated by now and had heard Dr.Ronald Hoffman talk about strontium on his WOR radio show. The results sounded amazing and I went on line checking out more information. I should add that I had been listening to Dr. Hoffman for about 10 years at this point and really came to trust and highly regard his information.  He is located in NY city and a traditional MD who uses alternative treatments whenever possible before prescribing medications. Even though I liked what he had to say, I procrastinated about starting the strontium until 3 months before I was due for my next dexascan in January 2011. But 3 months of strontium made quite a difference on my test results!  The lumbar spine area improved 2%, bringing me back into normal limits and my left hip improved 7%, greatly lowering the degree of osteopenia. I was very pleased and decided that I would continue to take strontium on a regular basis along with calcium and the other minerals and vitamins. But instead of taking it every day, I’ve been taking it for 3 days, stop for 3 days and continue this way. It is important not to take it at the same time you are taking calcium as it is very closely related to calcium and will not be utilized effectively by your body. Take strontium 4 hours away from calcium and other minerals, before bed and on an empty stomach. The brand I use is Life Extension Strontium and 3 capsules taken together equal 750mg of strontium citrate, the preferred form and recommended dose. I am looking forward to my next dexascan which will be done in January 2013 and will post my results. I also recommend always asking for copies of your test results. You can then read and compare your numbers at home instead of trying to take it all in during a quick phone call from your doctor. I hope this information has been helpful and would be happy to hear what you’ve tried, if it did or didn’t work and any questions you may have.


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I am not a doctor and do not claim to be one. These are just my experiences and conclusions.
© 2012







2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so excited to know there is something to try for my osteopenia other than a prescription drug. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with strontium.

Anonymous said...

I am so excited to know there is something to try for my osteopenia other than a prescription drug. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with strontium.