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I’ve come across some scary research that states a high rate of bone loss among bariatric surgery patients. It said that the bone loss is prominent around 3-5+ years post surgery.
This concerns me. I thought Calcium supplementation and weight bearing exercises should help avoid and issues.
Has anyone come across this? Or if you are 3-5+ years out have you experienced it?

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I have osteoporosis, but it runs rampant in my family (I'm 60 years old - so getting to be that age, too...). I didn't have a baseline scan done before I had surgery, so I have no idea how much of it was the surgery and how much was genetics & age. I suspect it might have been some of both.

And yes - adequate Calcium supplementation and weight-bearing exercises should help...

you do lose some bone weight with any major weight loss because you don't need the same amount of bone to hold up 150 lbs as you do 300 lbs....so some loss is normal, expected, and not problematic. But yes...you want to try to avoid osteoporosis. I honestly don't know how common it is, although I know it's happened to some people. But as with mine, it may have something to do with age & genetics, too - you really don't know for sure unless you had a scan prior to surgery.

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P.S. even if my osteoporosis was due to the surgery (and again, I really have no idea), I still would have had the surgery. I was under a lot more health risk weighing over 300 lbs than I am now. And besides, they do have bone-building drugs. But again, Calcium supplements and weight-bearing exercise are a good idea and may help you avoid it.

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1 minute ago, catwoman7 said:

I didn't have a baseline scan done before I had surgery, so I have no idea how much of it was the surgery and how much was genetics & age. I suspect it might have been some of both.

@SeattleGirl72: Yeah, I was going to suggest getting a baseline scan now so you have something to compare for later. I had my baseline done 3 months after surgery, but haven't had another one done since (I'm almost 2 years post op). Not really sure when I'm supposed to get another one (guess I'm going to ask my PCP next time I see him...)

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@catwoman7 & @ms.sss, maybe a stupid question, but where/how did you get a scan? I am just 2 months out from surgery, so I'm wondering if I should get a baseline scan now. I don't even know what kind of doctor would do or order this kind of scan.

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Here (in Ontario) we can get diagnostic tests performed and covered by provincial health insurance if your PCP orders one. Mine ordered one...his suggestion, not mine. But even if he didn’t, I probably would have asked him to anyway.

So first step, I think would be to go see your PCP and discuss.

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27 minutes ago, BigSue said:

@catwoman7 & @ms.sss, maybe a stupid question, but where/how did you get a scan? I am just 2 months out from surgery, so I'm wondering if I should get a baseline scan now. I don't even know what kind of doctor would do or order this kind of scan.

your primary care physician can order it.

in my case, my insurance doesn't cover them unless you're 60+ years old - but maybe they would have if I'd have explained it was for a baseline due to an upcoming bariatric surgery. However, I found out through doing one of those scans they often do at sports labs (at universities) and commercial places - I went there to see what my fat percentage was when I was trying to decide whether to go into maintenance or lose another 10-20 lbs. You can get those at any age since you pay for it (although I think I was able to charge it to my flexible spending account, now that I think of it...). I was 58 years old at the time, but there's no age requirement. The scan gave me that info (fat percentage), but it also gave me my bone density. The technician couldn't tell me I had osteoporosis because they're not supposed to diagnose things, but she did say my bone density looked a "bit below average" and I that I might want to mention it to my PCP. Well, I sent the scan over to my PCP, and she saw right away that I had osteoporosis and got me into treatment (at that point, my insurance would have covered a scan even though I was under 60, because I'd be diagnosed with it. I've since had a couple of other scans that my PCP ordered).

your insurance may not have that age requirement, though. Or even if they do, if you're doing it to get a baseline for bariatric surgery, they might cover it regardless. Just talk to your PCP.

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1 hour ago, ms.sss said:

Here (in Ontario) we can get diagnostic tests performed and covered by provincial health insurance if your PCP orders one. Mine ordered one...his suggestion, not mine. But even if he didn’t, I probably would have asked him to anyway.

So first step, I think would be to go see your PCP and discuss.

1 hour ago, catwoman7 said:

your primary care physician can order it.

in my case, my insurance doesn't cover them unless you're 60+ years old - but maybe they would have if I'd have explained it was for a baseline due to an upcoming bariatric surgery. However, I found out through doing one of those scans they often do at sports labs (at universities) and commercial places - I went there to see what my fat percentage was when I was trying to decide whether to go into maintenance or lose another 10-20 lbs. You can get those at any age since you pay for it (although I think I was able to charge it to my flexible spending account, now that I think of it...). I was 58 years old at the time, but there's no age requirement. The scan gave me that info (fat percentage), but it also gave me my bone density. The technician couldn't tell me I had osteoporosis because they're not supposed to diagnose things, but she did say my bone density looked a "bit below average" and I that I might want to mention it to my PCP. Well, I sent the scan over to my PCP, and she saw right away that I had osteoporosis and got me into treatment (at that point, my insurance would have covered a scan even though I was under 60, because I'd be diagnosed with it. I've since had a couple of other scans that my PCP ordered).

 your insurance may not have that age requirement, though. Or even if they do, if you're doing it to get a baseline for bariatric surgery, they might cover it regardless. Just talk to your PCP.

Thanks for the info... If my insurance has an age requirement, I probably won't be old enough, but I can check. Thanks to the surgery, I've met my out-of-pocket maximum this year, so until the end of 2020, anything my insurance covers won't cost me anything.

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