Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Today's Diagnosis, Osteopenia

I saw my rheumatologist yesterday to follow-up on my bone density tests and general well being. Overall, I feel a bit better. I like this doctor. Whenever you come in for a check-up, you fill out this form listing out what you want to discuss. She's very orderly. I'm orderly too. I like that she asks for a written list because I usually have one, and doctors don't care to see it. As we discuss things, she writes down what we discuss and then gives me a copy. That way when my husband asks how did it go, I can just refer to the list.

Anyway, back to my bone density tests. It turns out that I have osteopenia. Osteopenia occurs when your bone mineral density is lower than what it should be, but it is not low enough to be considered osteoporosis. My bone density is only slightly low, so my doctor thinks that if I take calcium supplements (which I have been) and Vitamin D supplements, it should help. She'll run blood tests in about eight weeks to see how that's working out.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but lupus patients seem to be at a higher risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia. There are several reasons. Lupus in general seems to cause it. Many people with lupus tend to excercise less frequently. Also, prolonged use of steroids increase the risk of bone loss.

We can do a few things to help slow down our bone density loss. We can talk to our doctors about the use of calcium and Vitamin D supplements. We should also discuss what allowable exercises we can do. We should do what we can to manage flares and keep down inflammation. All of these will help lessen bone mineral density loss.

Well that's it for yesterday's doctor's appointment. Today, I go to the gynecologist. Woohoo! Come back tomorrow as I describe every last detail of that appointment! Just kidding.

Have a lupie day.


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