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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Hooray for Alendronate

Three years ago Melissa insisted that her doctor run a bone density scan because there is a history in her family of severe osteoporosis.  Normally the first bone scan is run on women at age 50.  Melissa was only 45, but felt an early scan to have a good baseline was wise.  What they found was that Melissa already had Osteopenia.  Osteopenia is the early stage - where the bone cell walls have gotten thin, but have not yet begun to break.  The picture below shows the different stages of deterioration.

Once you get to the osteoporosis stage, you can no longer build back the cell wall thickness where the cells are no longer there to build back (i.e. you can thicken existing cells, but you never build new cells).  At this stage you are in danger of easily fracturing your bones because so much of the cell structure within the bone is gone.  So you really want to catch this problem early and build the thickness of the cell walls back up while the cell structure is still intact - albeit thinner than it should be.  So three years ago the doctor put Melissa on a drug called Alendronate - which is supposed to encourage bone structure growth.  And low and behold, an updated bone density scan last month found that her bone density has returned to normal!  Whoo hoo!

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