How has your week been?
As you will know if you read my midweek post, my week didn’t start off too well, and it ended with an appointment to see the Bone density clinic to see just how rotten my bones have got!
So for menopausal women aside from fertility issues, another important thing to consider is the possible effect the lack of oestrogen in your body can have.
Oestrogen is essential for supporting bone strength for both men and women, in men their testosterone is created into oestrogen for this very purpose!!
Clever body eh?
So, it’s important to keep on top of this as with us menopausal women our lack of oestrogen can have a huge effect on bone density and the risk of fracture.
My first scan was a good 5 years ago now, things weren’t good then and I was diagnosed with osteopenia, a pre cursor to osteoporosis, at the time it wasn’t really explained to me much, only with a letter sent from the Hospital and a subsequent visit to the GP which i organised in order to get a bit more info (which i had to really tease out)
Eventually, a good diet and HRT was explained to be how I could slow down the effects as it was unlikely to ever get better, they also suggested i stay away from fizzy drinks and obviously try to up my calcium intake in general.
Its crazy being 27 and SO aware of my bone density!
I have been aware of my bones, I ache and get pains and have been careful with my diet and do load baring exercise which is supposed to help keep them strong.
Since then I haven’t had another scan. I have asked for a referral a few times. Each time not getting anywhere, and although I wasn’t best pleased I had other (IVF related) things to concern myself with and it all went to the back of the to do list if i am being honest!
After the end of our last cycle though I started to think about it again. Trying to take the positive from it all i thought that at least with being on so many hormones hopefully my bones would thank me for all these cycles!
So now to the present day..
At the beginning of the year I did something to my arm, I couldn’t move it much and it felt pretty bad, i am not usually one to obsess about things like that, however i really freaked myself out that this was it, by bones were crumbling and that even normal day-to-day activities were hurting them, and more than anything, it made me feel SO OLD!!!!
So i got the doctor’s appointment about my arm and decided this was a very good reason to get that referral and doubted they could refuse me! I was a woman on a mission!!
Finally I got the referral! (This is a classic case of really needing to hound the doctors to get what you know you need. In my experience they don’t do anything unless they are really bugged by it and you need to show you know your stuff!)
Anyway.. for people like myself it’s a scary prospect going for these scans. They are usually meant for 60+ years old and the waiting room reflects that!
All in all isn’t much fun!
So I thought I’d do a play by-play of what it was like for me, of course these places are all different but hopefully it gives you an idea of what to expect and maybe stops you dragging your heels?
The scan itself isn’t very scary.. they talk about X-ray and the automatic presumption is a huge noisy machine that looks like something from a space show on TV.
This one is pretty tame. You lie on a bed with your feet up on a box, with a giant wand that floats around above you.
In the grand scheme of things it really is nothing to fear.
After this we had to go back and wait for results it’s not ideal and if your anxiety levels are already elevated this doesn’t help much! But they are pretty quick.
(Not an actual picture of me in the scan!)
Next we went in to see the doctor and he was a very charming fellow…who made us feel at ease straight away, now i cant say that this will happen everywhere but its good to give you guys an idea.
So he went through my medical history, talking about how long ago i went through menopause, how long i have used any form of HRT for in total over the years, and my general health and fitness, pretty painless but the whole time he had the piece of paper with my scan results on right in front of me!!
Tell me already!!!
Finally he said that my bone were 3% lower than they should be for my age, i didn’t think that sounded too bad but it is in the range for osteoporosis, so there it is, expected but not ideal.
What was interesting though was that he went on to tell me that despite my bones not being great right now, he doesn’t see my risk of fracture as too high considering, so we went on to discuss ways that we need to try to protect them i the future for as long as possible.
I have been on HRT before, and the thought of going back on it makes me shiver, i used to get so ill, migraines, sick, fainting, the lot, not to mention the actual long-term risks i covered in my post about HRT that you can read more in to here,
He did mention that patches were a possibility and that they provide a more natural form of oestrogen which is what makes me so ill, i would love to hear your experiences on HRT !?!?!
It still makes me nervous, but i said i would be happy to go back to gynea and at least speak to them about it. In the mean time calcium intake could be upped.
He also ran load of tests, some of which were, iron, thyroid, vitamin D, celiac disease, and loads more! They took 7 vials of blood! For someone who really struggles with needles and blood taking that was pretty nerve-wracking but i did okay and didn’t have too much of a melt down!
Hubby said he thought it was the best i have ever been so that’s a plus!!
So that’s it, my morning getting my DEXA scan was done, and it really wasn’t too bad, i think it is one of those things that sounds ALOT worse that it actually is an it is so important if you have hormonal deficiencies! So PLEASE don’t put it off!!!
That’s all from me for now!
Until next time..