An appointment with a rheumatologist

Bone density scan results and recommendations from my doctors

I previously wrote about getting a bone density scan and receiving the results from my gastroenterologist and family doctor. My bone density is low (due to taking steroids like Prednisone and Entocort, and also just as a side effect from inflammation from Crohn’s disease), so my doctors recommended I start taking calcium and vitamin D and some tablets called Alendronate. I started taking the vitamins, but not the tablets (because I can’t swallow pills). My family doctor got me an appointment with a doctor (a rheumatologist) who specializes in osteoporosis and other conditions like that. My family doctor thought I should see a specialist before taking the Alendronate tablets.

An appointment with a specialist

At my appointment, I filled out a questionnaire about my family and personal medical history, pretty standard things. Then I had my blood pressure taken and my height and weight measured. The doctor came in and said that I look quite young, and most of his patients are much older. He had me cross my arms, stand up straight, and touch my toes, none of which were a problem for me. He asked if I had broken any bones, and I told him I have not. He says my bone density is indeed low, but I may gain some of it back naturally.

Vitamins and medicine

He said I should stop taking the calcium because my diet is already providing me with lots of calcium (I have about two servings of milk a day, and one serving of cheese). He also said that too much calcium can cause kidney stones, and with Crohn’s disease, I am already predisposed to that. I’m glad to stop taking the calcium, because the chewable calcium I have been taking are chalky and gross.

He said I should increase my vitamin D intake to 2000 IU a day. I don’t have a problem with that, because the kid’s vitamins I take are yummy (Jamieson strawberry flavour, in case you’re wondering).

He doesn’t want to put me on any other medications specifically for my bones, because those mediciations could have long term side effects, and since I’m so young, we don’t want that.

The future

Since I am not breaking any bones, he is not too concerned. He scheduled another appointment with me for two years from now.

He also had me get an x-ray, which was very quick and easy. I had to lie on my back and then on my side for a couple of minutes — no going into any small spaces or holding your breath for five minutes, or anything like that. I’m also going to get bloodwork later this week. He’ll contact me if there is anything wrong with the tests, but he expects that there won’t be.

Quite a good appointment! It’s not often I’m told to stop taking yucky medications and not take any new ones! :)