If You Are On Depo-Provera…Protect Your Bones


New research shows that being on the birth control, Depo-Provera causes bone loss in most women especially if they’ve been on it for over two years. The longer you are on it the more bone you can lose. Read on to discover the hazards of bone loss and what you can do to prevent it.

Bone Loss Hazards

Bone loss, also called osteopenia or osteoporosis, if it’s severe, can wreak havoc on your health. Structural deterioration can occur causing the breakdown of the spine which can produce curvature changes or compression fractures. A complete or partial break in the bone (fracture) can also be the result of bone loss.

Lessen the Risk

Bone loss prevention consists of resistance and weight-bearing exercise in addition to appropriate supplementation of the organic protein calcium matrix that bone consists of called microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC). It’s much more complete for bone health than just calcium. Calcium carbonate is the most difficult for the body to absorb, so avoid this form which is found in Tums, Rolaids, and Caltrate. I recommend Bone Builder Forte from Metagenics. You can purchase it through our online store or off the shelf in our clinic. Not only does it contain this highly absorbable nutrient but also phosphorus, bone growth factors, vitamin D, collagen, minerals, and other bone proteins necessary for optimal bone health. It comes in delicious chocolate chewables or capsules if you prefer.

Include D and K

Vitamin D and K are important because vitamin D ensures adequate levels of calcium in the blood and vitamin K2 makes sure the calcium is directed to the bones and doesn’t stay in the soft tissues like the blood vessels which can lead to plaques. Look for D3 and not D2 which is synthetic. Your blood level of vitamin D should be between 60 and 80 for optimal health benefits. That means taking 5000 or more a day may be what you need to approach those healthy levels but make sure you consult a functional medicine doctor to monitor your level so you don’t overshoot.

Other medications that cause bone loss:

  • Extended use of steroids (cortisone and prednisone are examples) used for inflammatory processes, arthritis, asthma, pain, and autoimmune diseases.
  • Aromatase inhibitors used to treat breast cancer.
  • Antacids containing aluminum and other medications used to treat heartburn, reflux, and GERD like proton pump inhibitors.
  • Methotrexate used to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

The good news is that for many women that stopped using Depo-Provera, their bone density improved.

Here’s to your healthy bones.

Dr. Stacey


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