Osteopenia MS (Multiple sclerosis)

There is an  Osteoporosis and Osteopenia MS connection for both men and women. The loss of bone mineral density often appears earlier with this disease. A report in the journal Multiple Sclerosis suggests screening for the condition after age 40 - not waiting for menopause as most women would do.

(Note: This article abbreviates the term 'those with Osteopenia and multiple sclerosis' to just Osteopenia MS. This  is only done to assist search engines trying to 'read' this page.)

Awareness and early testing and treatment is important because , as you know. bone loss can lead to fractures. A fracture when you have MS can be more difficult to cope with than a fracture in someone who is otherwise in good health.  

Second, fracture risk is high among those with  MS because of  compromised gait and balance that comes with MS.. You may be  at greater risk of falling....and falling can lead to fractures when bone density is compromised.

NOTE: You do not have to have Osteoporosis to have a fracture. Persons with Osteopenia often have fractures too.

Fractures in those with Osteopenia MS are serious:

  1. The resultant fracture immobility increases deconditioning.
  2. Finally, persons with fractures from Osteopenia MS often
  3. The usual treatment of fracture pain with narcotics can create problems for those with multiple sclerosis. Narcotics can bring about not only constipation but bowel obstruction in those with the condition.
  4. recover function more slowly and some never regain pre-fracture mobility. A fracture can bring a person with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia from moderate mobility to needing a wheelchair.

Prevention & treatment: Osteopenia MS

An article in the Journal of Osteoporosis states:"There are currently no recommendations how to best prevent and treat osteoporosis in patients with MS. .......(but the)  devastating effect of immobilization on the skeleton in patients with MS underscores the importance of adequate mechanical stimuli for maintaining the bone structure and its mechanical competence."  Bone Health in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis by Vit Zikan

Pharmaceutical Treatments: Osteopenia MS

  • Because many persons with multiple sclerosis have difficulty swallowing, some drug treatments for bone loss are not useful. Bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax, Boniva) or risedronate (actonel) in pill form pose real difficulties to those who have trouble swallowing.
  •  But in recent years some have become available by injection:  Denosumab (Prolia) ,Zometa,  Ibandronate (Boniva), Zoledronic acid (Reclast) and if you are going to use a bisphosphonate, an injectable one might be a better choice.
  • Some advocate Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), sometimes called Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT)for those with Osteopenia and MS. But since the publication of results of the Framingham study there are those who see this course of treatment as having too many problems..
  • There is the Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators such as Raloxifene. Raloxifene's band name is Evista and this drug is a possibility for Osteopenia MS.
  • Finally there is Protelos the brand name for strontium ranelate, which has been approved for use in the European Union. It has been shown to be an effective medication that does not have the same problems as the bisphosphonates BUT it has other issues you need to understand

Natural treatments that increase bone density:

Some advocate the use of natural and complimentary treatments for those who have Multiple Scelerosis. Allen C. Bowling et. al, published a paper in 2000 that noted the usefulness of supplementation with Calcium and Vit. D.

Special calcium. There have been no specific studies about increasing bone density in persons with MS with the special calcium preparation AAACA.  But the many scientific studies for AAACA showing its effectiveness should lead to its consideration by anyone using Calcium, Vitamin D supplementation.

NOTE: AAACA is sold under the brand name Advacal and Advacal comes in both a plain AAACA form as well as one with the necessary Vit. D, Magnesium etc.

Also, although there appear to be are no specific studies of the use of natural strontium by those with  MS. But natural strontium has been shown to be effective for increasing bone density. Summaries of research studies at the Mayo Clinic and elsewhere can be found on the Strontium page of this site.

In addition you can read a whole host of Natural treatments at Natural treaments to reverse bone loss.