Osteoporosis: My Mom's Story

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP

My mom's name is Pat and she is a New Yorker..all the way through. I guess you can call me a "transplanted" New Yorker now living in South Carolina :)

You are about to read my mom's story on osteoporosis.

Hope this true story inspires you to not settle on "canned" treatments, but to take the initiative to discover why you are sick in the first place.

The following is a short summary on some facts about Osteoporosis. I have consciously decided to omit all the details on osteoporosis and give you what I think you want and that is...

What steps to take to reverse osteoporosis.

Am I right?? or would you have rather me fill the page with a lot of details that mean nothing in the way of reversing this terrible disease. Now if you want a lot of details, then please, go to one of the drug-owned sites such as WebMD and I promise you will get your fair share of information but I just about guarantee you will NOT get anything in the way of alternative medical solutions.

So please read on and enjoy this special report


National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin disease (NIAMS), 1999
10 million Americans are affected with osteoporosis.
18 million people are at risk for developing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis' cost to health care is $15-20 billion a year.
80% of the population with Osteoporosis are women.
1 in 2 women and 1 in 8 men 50 yrs. and over will have osteoporosis related fractures.
Osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually.

Here is my mom's story

My mom's osteoporosis story goes back approximately three years ago when she had her first bone density test at the age of 67. The results to say the least were very alarming, a T-score of -4.3, meaning she had severe osteoporosis in her hips and spine..

What is a T-score?

BMD (Bone Mineral Density Measurement) is commonly reported in terms of T-score, which is equivalent to the number of standard deviations below a reference population of young healthy adults. The T-score has also been used to define osteoporosis. For example, based on the increasing risk of fracture with decreasing bone mass, the WHO report defined diagnostic categories based on BMD measurements as follows:

Normal: T-score above -1.
Osteopenia: T-score between -1 and -2.5
Osteoporosis: T-score at or below -2.5

I remember my mom's phone call quite well, she was nervous and wanted to know what to do. She was told by her physician that she should begin taking hormone replacement therapy, Evista, 1500 mgs of calcium (Tums was actually recommended) and Vitamin D.

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon like some many people do today and assume that taking calcium, Evista or Fosamax and HRT are the ONLY things to do, my mom knew that just maybe her doctor didn't have all the facts. So she "drilled me" and wanted to know what were her options..

You see my mom's friend had been diagnosed with osteoporosis one year earlier and was following her doctor's recommendations to the "T". Yes, taking her calcium, Fosamax and vitamin D and guess what she woke up one Saturday morning and as soon as her feet hit the ground... CRACK!!! she broke her hip in two places. This was a big shock to my mom. She really began wondering why this happened and just maybe something was overlooked.

Of course, when my mom found out she had osteoporosis, she was facing a personal dilemma. Should she opt to go the traditional route and take HRT, Evista, Calcium or take the road less traveled and find out if there was some other reasons for the osteoporosis?

So again, I say.. my mom..hit me with a thousand questions.. what about this??.. what about that?? What if this and that..? You get the point.. Please understand she was by no means doubting or questioning my credibility.. she was like so many people.. wondering if just maybe there might be a better approach.. but because she was my mom.. she was not afraid to speak what was in in her heart..

My mom and I have talked and continue to talk every Saturday at 9AM.. (It is our special time) and she has my take on everything from heart disease, fibromyalgia to cancer and how most people are simply NOT being offered all their options.. She would see how emotional I would get and how FRUSTRATED I was to see so many of my patients who simply were sick and tired of being sick and tired.. This conversion had been going on for years.. So of course when told about the osteoporosis she wanted her son's opinion and she really was "all" ears..

These are the EXACT steps I took to help my mom:

a) I first recommended that we order a Bone Resorption test. Click here for a complete explanation of this important test. If you have not had this test done and you are suffering with osteoporosis than I will have to say "shame on your doctor".. This is a MUST test.. Remember, as important as a Bone Density test is.. it CAN NOT provide the kind of immediate information that a Bone Resorption test will offer.

Please understand.. both a Bone Density and the Bone Resorption are important.. whereby the Bone Density will provide a "long-range" measuring stick, the Bone Resorption can be done periodically to measure how successful a specific treatment is. By time there is a change in the Bone Density it might be too late.. That is the beauty in having your physician order a periodic Bone Resorption test..

b) I realized that the prescribing of calcium for EVERY person just did not make any sense.. when calcium is NOT the only important mineral found in bone.. What about magnesium, manganese, boron..etc?

Why in the world would any "learned" physician ignore the other essential minerals such as magnesium, boron, manganese in favor of calcium..?? Is it possible that just maybe a person suffering with osteoporosis may need the benefits of manganese and magnesium and NOT calcium?

Think about.

These were the questions I asked myself about my mom, so I decided to order the "gold" standard of mineral tests. This is a blood test that measures the RBC levels of one's essential minerals.
c) I ordered a female hormone test checking my mom's level of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Remember, the "blind" usage of HRT without proper testing is ludicrous.. I probably wouldn't have made that comment a few years ago.. However, with all the news on the dangers of estrogen, I will be bold and say.. YOU MUST BE TESTED.... to know exactly your levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone BEFORE you begin taking any form of HRT.. PERIOD!! This was my approach with my mom..

Here are the results of her tests and what I recommended

a) My mom's bone resorption test came back positive revealing an accelerated loss of bone.

b) Her mineral test revealed a significant deficiency of magnesium and manganese and guess what her calcium levels were well within normal levels..

c) Her female hormone tests revealed low levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Based on this information, this is the exact program I recommended for my mom:

a) Increased her intake of spring or filtered water (NO DISTILLED). For all advocates of distilled water please click here

b) Prescribed pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is a precursor to the production pathways of progesterone and estrogen and has been well documented to improve progesterone and estrogen levels without the harmful side effects associated with estrogen.

c) I prescribed magnesium and manganese. NO EXTRA CALCIUM was recommended

d) Light weight bearing exercise.

e) My mom's diet consisted of 4-5 small meals per day consisting of the following:

2-3 ounces of a lean protein: chicken, turkey, fish, eggs (No dairy), 1-2 serving of vegetables and a 1/2 cup of an approved starch: sweet potato, brown rice, non-yeast bread..

That is it!!

Results: Periodic Bone Resorption tests revealed decrease loss of the bone.. Her bone density revealed a score of -1.2, a 72% improvement. This was a total surprise to the physician who was interpreting her results.. Matter of fact, my mom was given a short lecture prior to being tested about the virtues of Fosamax and calcium and was told that she should have been taking these all along..

To see the look on the doctors face when she reviewed her results was .. well I wish we had a camera....it was worth a million dollars.. The doctor was asking me what did I do.. how I did it etc..................

Dr. Grisanti's Closing Comments:

My mom's story is not an isolated case.. I have a number of cases documenting the benefits of a specifically designed treatment based on sound testing.. Please remember this and remember it well.. The approach I take is "Patient-Specific" and NOT "Disease-Specific".. meaning.. what may work for one patient may not work for another... With that in mind.. many of you have requested what I did to help my mom and I assume are interested in taking the same path..Now hear me loud and clear.. DO NOT ATTEMPT to follow the same program as my mom.. Unless you are tested and your physician can "pinpoint" EXACTLY what your body needs, then, it NOT advisable to assume that my mom's program will work for you. Now don't despair, I would demand that your physician test you and don't be shy about it.. Take this report with all the references and let your physician review it.. If he or she will take the time to review the literature, they can only come to one conclusion and that is, just maybe this approach may work (and it does)...

The following references are just a sampling of the abundant medical citations documenting all that I have written.. I will like to say in conclusion, that no physician can deny the existence of these findings and most certainly no physician in his right mind would discard what is considered the essence of clinical practice, and that is medical peer-reviewed research. Any physician who would take the time to review the many citations that follow, would have to walk away with a "renewed" perspective on health and disease.. and this would be found right in his/her backyard.


Prior JC. Progesterone as a bone-trophic hormone. Endocr Rev. May1990;11(2):386-98.

Barengolts EI, Kouznetsova T, et al. Effects of progesterone on serum levels of IGF-1 and on femur IGF-1 mRNA in ovariectomized rats. J Bone Miner Res. Oct1996;11(10):1406-12.

Elin RJ. Magnesium: The 5th but Forgotten Electrolyte. Am J Clin Path. 1994;102:616-22. Cohen L, Kitzes R. Infrared Spectroscopy and Magnesium Content of Bone Mineral in Osteoporotic Women. Isr J Med Sci. 1981;17:1123-25.

Abraham GE, et al. The Importance of Magnesium in the Management of Primary Postmenopausal Osteoporosis. J Nutr Med. 1991;2:165-78.

Morgan KJ, et al. Magnesium and Calcium Dietary Intakes of the US Population. J Am Coll Nutr. 1985;4(2):196-206.

Leach Jr RM. Role of manganese in mucopolysaccharide metabolism. Fed Proc. 1971;30(3):991-4. Raloff J. Reasons for Boning Up on Manganese. Science News. 1986;130(9/27):199.

Gaby A. Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing; 1994:33.

Volpe SL, et al. The relationship between boron and magnesium status and bone mineral density in the human: a review. Magnes Res. 1993;6(3):291-6.

Nielsen FH. Effect of Dietary Boron on Mineral, Estrogen, and Testosterone Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women. ASEB J. 1987;1(5):394-97.

Kidd PM. An Integrative Lifestyle: Nutritional Strategy for Lowering Osteoporosis Risk. Townsend Letter For Doctors. May1992;400-05.

** Always consult with a physician or healthcare practitioner with significant integrative or functional medicine training before starting any of the above recommendations.

You can find a qualified and certified functional medicine practitioner by going to: www.FunctionalMedicineDoctors.com

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com for more information on our training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University's Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required


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