I have read a few things lately that have caused me some serious concerns about the future of osteoporosis treatment. A while back I wrote on new guidelines regarding osteoporosis treatment. My main concern was the importance on drug therapy which shouldn’t be a big surprise because the author of that guideline advises for and gets funding from pharmaceutical companies. Guideline’s though, are just that a suggestion on how to treat and are not necessarily something written in stone. From what I have read since those guidelines have been published has me concerned about treatment options for people with osteoporosis.
This week I read commentary on this article published online in June 2017. The study investigates the ability of a singe bone density scan and fracture assessment to predict the chance of a fracture in a postmenopausal osteoporotic woman over a 25 year time frame. What this article purports to do is show that a measurement of bone density at one point in the body combined with WHO FRAX assessment can predict the chance of a fracture for your next 25 years. The general idea is that we can do a bone density scan at around age 65 and use that to predict the chance of suffering a fracture over your next 25 years. While this sounds great my concern is what will be done with that data.
The commentary I read involves an interview with one of the authors of this study. Of the many things he mentioned this quote has me most concerned, “knowing a woman’s single BMD measurement can help you stratify patients in terms of how worried you are about their fracture risk. And if a woman has a BMD of –1 at the age of 65, you certainly don’t have to worry about her for another 5 years,” Don’t have to worry about them for another 5 years, what does that mean. It certainly means they don’t qualify for the drugs, yet, but does it mean you recommend other preventative measure. Or maybe, as the guidelines suggest, since exercise therapy is ineffective, the “don’t have to worry” quote really means tell the patient they are fine for the next 5 years. No preventative measures necessary until you need our drugs. When your physician tells you that you are fine for the next five years, what does that mean to you? Would you take any action to prevent a deterioration? Would you not change a thing about your lifestyle until your physician was worried about your bone health?
I am very concerned about the future of healthcare. Osteoporosis treatment is one of many areas but it is one of the top concerning problems to me because you have the power to change your bone density without drug therapy. From what I see, allopathic medicine, is all in on drug therapy as the only way to treat osteoporosis. I hate sounding like a conspiracy theorist but when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry they have lost my trust. They have a history of manipulating research to sell their products. In my opinion it is the pharmaceutical industry that is stacking the deck to place the patient in the position to require their drugs to treat osteoporosis. In reality starting and staying in an effective strength training program is all that is neccessary to both reduce your risk of osteoporosis if you don’t’ have it or to treat it.
If you are looking for non-drug treatments of osteoporosis or are looking to ensure you are never at risk of developing osteoporosis give us a call. I would be happy to help you in any way I can. 630-232-6616 ask for Dr. Bryce.