T Nation

Bone Density - Osteoporosis. Likelihood of Recovery

Started a separate thread from my T replacement thread. In summary though I have been on T gel replacement for 2/3 months.

Had a DEXA scan in the UK. Although the femur bone density came out OK the lumbar vertebra came out with a t-level of -2.9 which means 2.9 standard deviations below the average. This puts me into the osteoporosis category.

I am 46 and have always been active - running and martial arts.

Vit D was low but is OK now (probably mid range) and I’m still taking more to improve further.

Has anyone had similar experience and managed to increase their bone density by use of T replacement and increases Vit D levels. If so what is the timescale for improvement? Weeks, Months, Years?

I have not seen the doctor yet but the DEXA scan operator showed me the graphs and the results. All a bit shocking. Looked like I had a lower bone density of a very very old man.

I guess I better avoid getting kicked or thrown on the floor until after I see a doctor. All advice or telling of own experiences will be interesting and much appreciated.

If you were not on TRT and had that result, the biggest intervention would be TRT. What you can do is look at mineral needs and nutrients.

Bone building and maintenance starts with a collagen matrix which then becomes mineralized. There are a number of nutrients that are important. A catabolic state decreases the collagen matrix. Corticosteroids can lead to a very catabolic state, even to the point that tendons break. With a good level of testosterone, the collagen matrix will be restored. Requirements for estrogens are also satisfied. The drugs that are used to increase bone density work on the mineralization aspect and ignore the collagen aspect. The result is bone that looks better to x-rays, but the bone can be brittle and defective.

A product available in the USA has these ingredients which might be a useful guide.
Serving Size 5 capsules

Servings Per Container 30
Amount Per Serving

Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) 1000 IU

Vitamin K2 (as menaquinone-7) 200 mcg

Calcium (as DimaCal® dicalcium malate, TRAACS® calcium glycinate chelate, calcium fructoborate) 1200 mg

Magnesium (as magnesium citrate) 100 mg

Zinc (as TRAACS® zinc glycinate chelate) 2 mg

Manganese (as manganese amino acid chelate) 1 mg

Silicon [from horsetail (Equisetum arvense) extract (herb)] 5 mg

Boron (calcium fructoborate as patented Fruitex B® OsteoBoron®) 3 mg

Copper is also needed, many would get this from copper plumbing.

Read this: http://www.lef.org/protocols/metabolic_health/osteoporosis_01.htm?source=search&key=bone

Brilliant. Thanks KSman, Another informative and useful reply. Read the links and the collagen connection to strong bones. This is particular interest to me as collagen is made partly from lysine. My supplements did not contain lysine and I had little diet. When I started supplementing recently my skin dryness disappeared within a few days and I will probably continue its use to help with collagen formation in bone.

I also recently started using Nettle Root hoping to increase my T/E ratio, Now I am not sure if that is a good thing. In the first link in KSman’s post it looks like reducing SHBG would be a good thing for preventing bone loss. However I am concerned that reducing Estrogen would be a bad thing as it would contribute to bone loss. Any ideas?

Target of E2=22 will be fine. Note that many young growing males have lower levels of E2 and they are building strong bones.

Before TRT at age=57, my skin was thin, frail and inelastic. When I pinched up skin on the back of my hand, it took a while to recover. Now 63.5 and skin is thicker and elastic. Pinched skin recovers in less than one second. You can observer how your skin has changed as a guide to changes in collagen, as these changes in the skin are all about the collagen.

The amino acids in collagen are found in animal meat, makes sense.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=fightdz&dbid=6

Add a strontium supplement as well.

Thanks Tunapancake. Yes just read a load of stuff with research on benefits of Strontium. I must admit though as it is an unnatural element which builds bone in place of calcium I have some more reading to do before I make a decision on that one.

No problem. If you’re in England you probably need ATLEAST 5,000 IU vit d as well.

Less than 2 weeks since getting the bone scan I now have a cracked a rib. This was from getting punched during some ‘light’ sparring. There was quite a bit of a weight difference but I don’t think that should have happened. Such a bummer as I was hoping to carry on as normal with life but take the supplements etc to help the bone density. Good news is it should heal as fast as someone without osteoporosis. I need to get this healed up asap as I can’t do weighted squats, ride a bike or run at the moment.

Anyone got any thoughts on whether applying the T Gel to that part of my body be beneficial or make no difference?

Applying Androgel to a specific part of the body isn’t going to increase healing in that particular area, and the reason that it’s suggested that androgel %1.62 be applied only to the shoulder area as opposed to the abdomen, which was the case with the androgel %1.00 is because there was increased aromitization (T->estradiol) when applied to the abdomen (near the lower ribs).

I wish what you were asking was true, because I tweaked my shoulder a couple of months back and had been using androgel on it daily and it still isn’t %100.

Thanks Kaynon. I week later and the rib is healing enough to be able to ride a stationary bike. Roll on 2013 - I’ll be glad to see the back of 2012 which, apart from the olympics has been a shite year.