The multiple answers of a complicated question: “are osteoporosis drugs safe?”
David Brownstein, MD, an advocate of dietary, supplements, and exercise solutions to many disease states. He has now weighed in on osteoporosis drugs. Dr. Brownstein states that these drugs are widely used to stimulate bone mass growth, and accomplish their objective. At least seemingly so with the testing methods we have today. He highlights the fact that though these drugs may make an individual appear improved in bone density testing, the fracture risk over the lifetime is not significantly reduced.
Dr. Brownstein has a unique explanation of how these drugs are working in the body: “Osteoporosis drugs (Not just bisphosphonate drugs, but all in the entire osteoporosis category) poison an enzyme in the osteoclasts, causing them to die.”
If physicians better understood the mechanisms of these drugs, they would not be prescribed at the rate they are being prescribed.
Because of the stunting of osteoclast function, bone begins to have different densities throughout a single bone, providing for more complicated fracturing. So not only is the risk of fracture not reduced, but when the fracture occurs the fracture is more complicated and more difficult to deal with. Many “spiral fractures” are seen in the femur, and most often require surgical procedures including wire-mesh, plates, and screws to reassemble the bone for healing can begin. And after a spiral fracture, many patients can re-fracture within these bones, as they do not seem to heal properly.
Q: Are osteoporosis drugs safe?
A: They are the safest option when dietary and exercise options have already been exercised.
While the preferred method of treating low bone mass density should always primarily be dietary changes and exercise, there should be a process of qualification for all options. If an individual is first including in their diet the most important building blocks for bone density, such as; calcium, potassium, magnesium, Then exercise should be the next step. Exercises that are performed slowly, and in a controlled manner, but also with the heaviest weights possible, are best. If a patient wants to pursue an optimal diet, as well as exercise for increasing bone health the physician must be informed. Though many physicians would rather begin with prescribing osteoporosis drugs, most would not argue with a healthier diet, and more focused exercise as the first two steps of treatment.