walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Fosamax might be causing bone problems

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/health/15well.html

I don't consume milk products because I'm allergic to them. I'm also lactose intolerant, which took a while to discover because if you don't consume milk products, you have to be a bit of a label reader and run into some oddball products to find out you have an issue. And now, off on a tangent.

One of the things that really set me off with Kleiman/Patel the other day was the discussion of supermarkets, shopping the perimeter vs. the center, etc., and Kleiman (who, I should say, is _white_) said re: milk that everyone drinks it. She said this to Patel (who, I should say, is subcontinental Indian at least by heritage). Alert, awake, informed people who have (a) had their morning stimulant and (b) don't drink the coffee being pushed by the US medical establishment, know that outside descendants of Europeans and a very small number of other scattered groups, most adults don't and _can't_ drink milk without serious problems. Now, Kleiman may have been including yogurt in the milk department and Patel may have been open-minded and tolerant and assumed that. But I get really peeved when people say everyone-eats/drinks-x in generally, and milk products because of my own particular issues (yeah, and my ancestry is Dutch/Fries with a smattering of other Germans and Europeans tossed in. Go figure).

Returning to the topic at hand. As a child, my pediatrician and mother concluded that I _had_ to consume milk products and therefore they should be repeatedly reintroduced and I should be fed them up to whatever threshhold I could "tolerate". Let's just say I grew up expecting to be on allergy medication and miss several weeks of school (and, eventually, work) for the rest of my life and probably die of respiratory related illness (not caused by smoking) at a fairly young age. When I was old enough to stop consuming milk products, I was able to entirely get off the allergy medication, and my colds are now on the level of most other people around me (i.e. don't _all_ turn into bronchitis requiring antibiotics), often milder. Until I quit having any contact with my mother, she harassed me constantly to take calcium supplements and other vitamins (I think I mentioned she's crazy), which generally had the effect of upsetting my digestion. Once I quit taking those, I felt a whole lot better and went about my life much happier, reading articles about why supplementing single nutrients was a bad idea and how this whole calcium thing was blown way out of proportion and in fact partly an artifact of consuming too much protein. I also learned, along the way, that it's short, petite, light white women who get osteoporosis primarily -- I'm not short, petite or light. And I learned about the importance of vitamin D from the sun or fish blah blah blah. Whatever. (She was obsessed with sunscreen, too, did I mention?)

In any event, I've been following the Story of Fosamax for several years now. Think of me lying in wait, like a hunting cat, or perhaps as a heckler just waiting to laugh my sorry ass off at the misfortunes of those short, petite, white women (or, in any event, women) more compliant than me who dutifully took their Fosamax as their doctors dutifully told them to do so. That Well article is spoor. I am closing in for the kill.

See, the theory is that you need dense bones or you will get osteoporosis. This isn't really actually particularly true. What you need are well-structured bones. When you look at bones of elderly women for structure, rather than just measuring for density, you see a really wide variety. And there's a pattern associated with osteoporosis. You can have birdlike bones with structures NOT associated with osteoporosis -- and dense bones with osteoporotic structure. But they've been measuring the wrong thing, which is hard to stop anyway, and then someone found a drug target.

Fosamax basically stops bone restructuring under the assumption that once you enter a certain risk group (age, race, size, weight), the restructuring is Net Bad (that is, dismantling bone, rather than building bone). I figure that's just stupid. I mean, that _cannot_ be right, at least, not as long as you are asymptomatic. And sure enough, it is looking like it's not right. Fosamax is starting to be associated with a (formerly) rare kind of bone break. Oh, and they _thought_ you were going to have to be on it for life (gleeful manufacturer) but now they're thinking five years and no further benefit (what precisely does _that_ mean?).

Anyway. I'll just sit here with my soy milk decaf mocha and chortle in anticipation. Altho I may start leaning on N. to get off the Fosamax. Soon.
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