ANOTHER TEST THAT PREYS ON FEAR
Back in 1994, some very enterprising entrepreneurs found a new way to make a buck. They invented the DEXA SCAN. DEXA, which stands for Dual Energy X-Ray Absorpiometry, is designed to look into a person's bones and predict the risk of future fractures. And the marketing moguls came out full force on this, assuring everyone, especially women approaching, in, or past, menopause, that they were destined for a fatal hip fracture if they failed to undergo the test.
And then, embracing the best of both worlds, when the test indicated a thinning of bones, as it does with all of us as we age, the patient absolutely needed to be placed on one of the expensive and dangerous bisphosphonate drugs in a heroic effort to avoid the fracture that was certainly lurking in the patient's future. The marketing people even came up with a new disease to help enhance the profit picture. Osteopenia was invented as a forerunner to Osteoporosis and became the byword of the bisphosphonate manufacturers and vendors.
Today, thousands of women have availed themselves of the DEXA Scan and have been suitably frightened into taking the poisonous drugs that are supposed to protect them against fractures.
INDICATORS SEEM QUESTIONABLE
Well, just how accurate are the DEXA Scans in predicting fractures? Some people simply break bones very easily as they age. Others are sturdier and more resistant to fractures. And age, much more than DEXA Scans predicts these fractures. In a study conducted in Finland, it was found that annual fracture rates increase about one per 10,000 women in their early fifties up to about one in 100 women in their late eighties. So while DEXA scores decline (worsen) with age, fracture rates increase much faster than can be explained by the DEXA scores. A number on a test score is a very poor way of rating an illness.
This is simply a way of marketing with fear. The same forces that invented osteopenia also define an entirely natural process, menopause, as an illness! Any physician who follows the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) guidelines and treats all patients with that organization's defined low DEXA score will find that he's failing to address the more than 95% of women who will have a fracture even though they score well on the test. So based on this, you may as well take a look at the birth date on your driver's license to predict your risk of a fracture.
Shamefully, a therapy available worldwide with the exception of the U.S. has appeared which is astonishingly successful in treating osteoporosis without the very dangerous and negative side effects the routinely prescribed bisphosphonate drugs have for Americans. It's a simple, cheap, readily available mineral that was discovered by the Mayo Clinic in 1955, to be effective in the treatment of osteoporosis. As quickly as it was discovered, the Mayo Clinic discarded it.
Fortunately, our community of alternative physicians have not been sleeping. They know about it too, and have been quietly offering it to their patients for the past twenty years. This mineral, one of the most abundant elements on earth, is strontium. This is not to be confused with Strontium 90, the radioactive isotope! This element has been found to work as a "dual-acting bone agent." Not only does it reduce the rate of bone turnover, but it also helps build new bone of high quality. Studies conducted with more than 5,000 women over three years has revealed improvements in bone density of 8-14% And the beautiful thing about it is, you can get the stuff in your local health food store for about $150.00 a year!
In Europe and other countries, a patented product, developed in France, has recently made its appearance. Strontium Ranelate, marketed under the name Protelos, has recently appeared. This is not available in the U.S. However, strontium carbonate is readily available here. This is every bit as effective as the patented product. Since it's a naturally compounded substance and there is no potential for patentability, the pharmaceutical giants have no interest in it as they continue unabashedly promoting their faulty and destructive products.
WHY BOTHER WITH A DEXA SCAN?
When all is said and done, the DEXA scan is hardly ever a necessary expense and always an undesirable exposure to radiation. We all lose bone mass as we age. Thinning bones are a consequence of living longer and we can reduce this bone loss, and rebuild our bones in a way that is so simple, it is almost too good to be true And in a rare instance, the old axiom "when it's too good to be true, it probably is," has encountered an exception.
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