View Full Version : Bones, Lupus and Men.
12-08-2008, 06:37 PM
I was told today that I have abnormal bone density. They did a test because I was put on Prednisone and wanted to get a benchmark on where I started before treatment. Though not sever, still enough to send up a red flag because it was a reading before the steriods and came up abnormal.
Now lupus is usually a womens disease, oddly somehow I have it.
I was under the impression that bone loss was another female favored disorder.
Yet I seem to have both... Does lupus weaken bones?
I now have calcium and Vit D scripts to take..
bone problems is not something I think of when i think of lupus...
Not that I knew much about it before it became apparent.
12-09-2008, 10:23 AM
More and more men are being affected with Lupus. It is often said that men with lupus will be more seriously affected than women. Recent studies have shown that men with lupus have an increased frequency of seizures, immune-mediated anaemia (low haemoglobin), & lupus anticoagulant (which can lead to blood clots). On the other hand men seem to have a lower frequency of Sjogren's Syndrome, which causes dry eyes & dry mouth. Although men are more likely to have these more serious manifestations, they show up the same in both sexes, i.e. if looking at a man & a woman who have seizures, the man won't necessarily have them worse than the woman.
Hormones are thought to play a big part in lupus, especially the female hormone oestrogen. Both males & females produce the hormones oestrogen & androgen, but in different quantities. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. Fractures from osteoporosis can result in significant pain and disability. Osteoporosis is a major health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans, 68 percent of whom are women. The other 32 percent are men.
An increase in bone loss and fracture in individuals with SLE is common. In fact, individuals with lupus may be nearly five times more likely to experience a fracture from osteoporosis.
Individuals with lupus are at increased risk for osteoporosis for many reasons. Studies also show that bone loss in lupus may occur as a direct result of the disease. Also, the glucocorticoid medications often prescribed to treat SLE can trigger significant bone loss. In addition, pain and fatigue caused by the disease can result in inactivity, further increasing osteoporosis risk.
So, just as more and more men are suffering from Lupus, those men also are at risk for the same bone loss density, as a result of the disease, are women with Lupus. Sorry, I know you probably did not want to hear this. :(
Peace and Blessings
Saysusie is correct, as men, we are at risk for osteoporosis with Lupus, just like the ladies are. Despite all my Lupus related problems, bone density is something, by genetics, or fluke, that I don't have to worry about yet. I have extremely dense bones. Be it from genes, or the fact that I've been drinking a gallon of milk every couple of days since I was a kid, my bones are still healthy. Some people say the thickest bones are in my skull, but we won't go there! I first learned of this "dense bone structure " thing when I was in the Army. I was in good shape and looked fine but I always came up 10 to 15 pounds heavier than I should have for my height. My body fat content was very low, and I always met the physical standards despite the odd extra weight. I had bad shin splints in basic training, and had a bone scan because they thought I might have a stress fracture in the shins. Bingo, unusually heavy, and dense bone structure. It's funny, If I go swimming, I sink like a rock straight to the bottom if stop treading water. Oh well.
The bone density problems can be treated, but needs to be monitored, even for me, especially as I get older. I hope our answers help you.
12-10-2008, 03:32 PM
Rob, we all love you, even if the bones in your head are amazingly thick :wink:
Dave, I've known men who did not have lupus who had osteoporosis. True, it is more often something women suffer from, but some men are just... unlucky. As Saysusie and Rob said, our condition may play a role. Also, steroids over time can have a bone-thinning effect in some individuals.
12-10-2008, 07:15 PM
thanks for the great quote. I wrote it down and will use it somewhere in my life.