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The Myth of Osteoporosis: What Every Woman Should Know about Creating Bone Health [Paperback]

Gillian Sanson , Gill Sanson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 2003
"Gill Sanson's book is a well-researched breath of fresh air that will help women everywhere better trust the wisdom of their bodies." -- Christiane Northrup, M.D.

The Myth of Osteoporosis is a research-based work that provides clear insight into the myths of osteoporosis. These myths motivate both patient and physician into a lifetime of unnecessary testing and drug therapy — therapy that can in fact be life-threatening. Gillian Sanson's well-documented explanation of these myths can spare women great anxiety. She takes the fear out of aging and restores women's sense of control over their bodies. She gives women good reasons for challenging the common way that osteoporosis is handled in the United States and in many other industrialized nations.


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First Sentence
BMD of -1 SD to -2.5 SDs. Males and females in the family are similarly afflicted, although none of us has fractured a bone since we were children - with the exception of my mother, who had a wrist fracture in her 60s. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Glad Women are finally Getting It! July 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book confirms what I have thought all along. The Drug Companies are pushing all of these "supposed" illnesses on Women who are vulnerable and a bit confused about entering into the second half of life (menopause.) I am so tired of Drs. pushing drugs on an otherwise healthy women to prevent a "disease" they may or may not get. Another great book to read: Dr. Susan Love's - Menopause and Hormone Book: Making Informed Choices.
Please Women, let's Wake Up, Research and take charge of our lives instead of being lead by those who look at us as dollar signs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars recommended April 6 2011
Format:Paperback
Eye opening and enlightening. Anyone who is told they have low bone density and fears osteoporosis would benefit from reading this book. It's started me on a whole new path to health.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
376 of 381 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one book on osteoporosis, make it this one! March 30 2006
By Kate McMurry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are thinking about reading this book, you probably recently got a diagnosis of "osteopenia" or "osteoporosis" via a DEXA scan, and your doctor is urging you to take drugs to "heal" your "disease." If so, this well-written, well-researched and well-annotated book can be invaluable to you in making an informed decision about a medical choice that could affect your health--and your pocketbook--the rest of your life. Some of the most important insights this book offers in that direction are the following:

First, since there is no consistent, world-wide standard for determining what is "normal" bone density for either females or males, it is a crapshoot as to what standard any given maker of a DEXA machine will employ to measure your bones against--and therefore a crapshoot as to what diagnosis you might get, whether "normal" or "diseased." Second, there seems to be no consideration in the prevailing standard of care for creating and interpreting DEXA results of these crucial concepts about bone health: (a) Loss of bone density is a normal aspect of growing older and for the vast majority of people, it will never either cause or contribute to bone disease. (b) Virtually any adult over the age of 30 randomly selected to have a DEXA scan would find herself diagnosed as either imminently "diseased" (osteopenia) or currently "diseased" (osteoporosis). This is because few people over 30 have the bones of someone in their 20's, and certainly not the bones of elite athletes in their 20's--a comparison group too often held as the "norm" by DEXA machine manufacturers. (c) The definition of true osteoporosis is a disease of poor quality bones in which the internal, inter-linked trabecular structure of the bone has eroded to such an extent that the bones are subject to fracture from low-force impact. A case of true osteoporosis is sometimes extreme enough to reveal itself on a regular high-radiation x-ray, but, unfortunately, it will never show up via a low-radiation DEXA scan. This is because the DEXA is incapable of identifying anything other than raw bone mass AKA "bone mineral density" or BMD. It cannot inform the physician about the micro-architecture of bone, its crystal size and shape, the degree of brittleness, the state of the connectivity of the trabecular network, the vitality of the bone cells, the ability to repair micro-cracks, or the structure of the bone proteins--there is currently no medical test that can do that. (d) As the book emphasizes again and again: BMD is only one of multiple symptoms of the disease of osteoporosis--not the disease itself.

If the author's assertion about BMD is true, you might well wonder why the World Health Organization (WHO) in the not-so-distant past altered its official definition of osteoporosis to a low BMD score on a DEXA test. The author wondered, too, and her research uncovered that this change came about due to successful lobbying of WHO by Big Pharma. She also discovered that Big Pharma moved on from that strategic victory to an equally successful lobbying effort to get doctors in the prosperous West to consistently engage in two inter-connected, DEXA-related actions: (1) urge their patients at increasingly younger ages to get an initial "precautionary" DEXA exam, from which the vast majority of them will inevitably receive "abnormal" readings for the reasons cited above, (2) encourage these newly bone-disease-labeled patients to embark on a lifetime regimen of expensive "bone-building" drugs in order to become and stay "cured" of their "disease."

On reading all this, I could not resist doing the math (which the author did not go so far as to include in her fascinating book): As long-lived as people are these days in the prosperous West, the kind of money Big Pharma could potentially make over time off 30-50 years of drug usage per DEXA-scammed patient could run as much as $50-75,000--or even more, if one factors in inflation and the price gouging Big Pharma is notorious for. If one multiples that figure by potentially tens of millions of patients, the profits could amount to not just billions, but trillions of dollars over time. This is what is known in the world of multi-national-corporate wheeler-dealing as a proverbial "cash cow."

The conclusion is as inevitable as the rigged results of the DEXA machines: if you don't want to be milked by Big Pharma's osteoporosis machine, this book will help you in multiple ways. Chief among them are numerous tips on inexpensive, medically documented ways to protect your bones under your own steam and a list of the major predictive factors of fractures in the elderly (the only authentic reason for alarm at a true diagnosis of osteoporosis). This comprehensive list will show you that BMD is only one among many crucial risk factors for osteoporosis, and reassure you that all of them--including BMD--can be controlled without expensive drugs with serious side effects.

Update November 11, 2010: Lawsuits are coming in thick and fast for oral bisphosphonates such as Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Reclast and Atelvia and their generic alternatives because women on these drugs are experiencing "jawbone death," where the bone in the jaw is destroyed, as well as unusual and unexpected breaks in the thigh bone. The FDA is now forcing Big Pharma to post a warning on these drugs stating that "the optimal period for using the drugs is unknown." In addition, doctors are beginning to rethink urging women over 50 to stay on these dangerous drugs the rest of their lives.
250 of 253 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indispensable Guide March 1 2005
By A reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The title of this book is misleading, because Ms. Sanson does not claim that osteoporosis itself is a myth. Her subject is the variety of myths surrounding the disease of osteoporosis. In Ms. Sanson's view, due to insufficient, inaccurate and contradictory information about osteoporosis, we are filled with fear of inevitable decline and encouraged to make bad choices with respect to prevention. This thorough and well-researched book is easy to read, concise, and convincing. Ms. Sanson cites top-notch scientific sources from around the world that lay to rest the common fallacy that low bone density per se is an accurate predictor of future fractures. She also tackles, with statistics, not theories, the myth that dairy intake prevents osteoporosis, and that the current pharmaceutical options on the market are all you need to prevent fractures and bone loss. But Ms. Sanson does not simply tear down the myths of osteoporosis; she also provides clear and easy-to-follow lifestyle actions that one can take to protect ones bones for the long term. I have recommended this book to every woman I know over the age of 40, and now I am recommending it to you, the Amazon reader.
211 of 214 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but do more research! Oct. 30 2005
By J. Marren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Sanson's book is a wake up call to all of us who get low BMD scores and are encouraged by doctors to reach for drugs. This is a well-researched, clearly written book highlighting the questions and controversies surrounding the treatment of osteoporosis. She views the tactics of the pharma industry and medical profession as alarmist, and wonders how all of a sudden this "new disease" has become rampant based on technology that didn't exist a decade or two ago. Her own family has serious issues with low bone mass density, but has had success preventing fractures without drugs.

But--when you read the book, be aware of her bias! She relies heavily on the findings of a Dr. Susan Ott, who happens to have an easily accessible website. I looked at it (just type Susan Ott into your search engine) and what I found was the best resource I've ever seen on osteoporosis. Ott's work is much more balanced. There ARE links between low BMD and fractures--Sanson makes it sound like there aren't. Drugs do help, although the side effects are bad. Calcium helps too, but is not the "silver bullet" some say it is. Ott's website has a terrific "calculator" you can use to assess your personal risk of fracture--try it! She also includes an excellent tutorial on how to read those dexa reports. Analyze your report and figure it out before you see your doctor--for sure you'll be more informed about what it says than he or she will be--most docs glance at the total score and prescribe based on that alone.

I found Sanson's discussion of differences in BMD and osteoporosis among countries particularly interesting. Sanson draws the conclusion that animal protein may be a negative factor; interestingly Ott isn't so sure. She notes that in Asian cultures, for example, it is common to suck on chicken bones, even if otherwise the diet consists of fish and vegetables.

As usual, the picture is murky. Sanson argues that the ACTUAL risk of fracture is small, and Ott would agree, especially before the age of 70. And there's no question that there are NO studies beyond a 10 year term or so that track BMD, the efficacy of the drugs and the side effects. But after a lot of research, I've found that everyone agrees heredity, diet and other lifestyle changes are critically important (what else is new?). If you get a bad test result my advice is NOT "consult your doctor"--read up on it first. Sanson's book is a good resource--but not the only one.
124 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Gillian Sanson Sept. 6 2004
By Lynn Pauly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and given a prescription for fosamax or actonel or any other type of medication, please read this book first.

Your instincts are right. You don't need it. It won't help, and most likely it will cause harm over time.

Menopausal women bring in millions of dollars to the pharmaceutical companies around the world. We are easy prey, because we are being told that aging is a disease and we believe it.

This book is worth every penny. You will be glad you read it.
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Nov. 17 2007
By Ruth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently had a DEXA bone
scan and was diagnosed with
osteoporosis (or low bone
density). My doctor was
very "dramatic" when she tried
to explain the big DANGER
that I was headed toward. She
said, "You'll break a hip and
end up in a nursing home and you
will die. That's your prognosis
if you don't do something about
this NOW." She hit her wrist
very forcefully and said, "You
cannot do this, because if you
do, your wrist will break and
it will not heal." Luckily, I
act from information and not
panic, and this sounded very
one-sided to me. She strongly
recommended that I take
injections every
day for one year to build
up bone mass. I am only 48
years old and am very healthy,
other than this
low bone density condition. (My
life style has been to eat well
and exercise since I was very
young. I have never smoked and
drank very little. I am
at my proper weight, which has
never fluctuated more than 10
pounds, and many
people think that I am ten years
younger.) This
book was God-sent! After reading
it, I got blood tested for Vitamin D deficiency.
I learned that I had no Vitamin D
in my system, which most Americans
are in the same boat! (I am rarely out in the sun
for long periods of time, other than
driving.) Therefore I was not
absorbing the calcium from my proper
nutrition. I got on
1,000 mg. of Vitamin D per day, in addition
to my usual multi-vitamin supplements, and
added a small portion of healthy fat
(butter on toast, or a small slice
of avocado with the tiny Vitamin D pill since it
is fat soluable; in other words your
body will not absorb Vitamin D unless
one eats a little fat along with it...My diet
does not include much fat, so I make sure to
eat a small portion of fat with the Vitamin D.) Within
hours I felt like someone had 'plugged
me into the wall!' I had so much energy,
and two weeks later I still feel unusually
healthier and with more energy than I ever
remember. I have to remind myself to go
to bed by my usual time, which is 10:30 or 11,
because I am so energized! Because of this
book and others that I have read to
research the BIG SCARE OF OSTEOPOROSIS
by the medical "experts" I was able
to zero in on my own particular body
without drugs that cause other dangerous
side effects, like bone cancer. The FDA
has approved this drug for bone building
with the highest level warning on the box.
The new bones are not strong,but fragile AND this
drug caused cancer in laboratory rats.

The MYTH about Osteoporosis helped me to
become familiar with many well-researched
facts regarding bone mass and the DEXA machines,
Bottom line is that NO machine can predict whether
or not one will fall and break
a hip due to bone density! The book is jam
packed with information. These
machines are all set by their various
manufacturers and the data that
they use to compare the individual
being scanned to other person's bone mass
does not make sense! EVERY WOMAN SHOULD
READ THIS INFORMATIVE BOOK!!!
TO PREVENT
BEING SCARED AND/OR BULLIED BY DOCTORS!
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