Michelle - Interview 02

Age at interview: 63
Age at diagnosis: 45

Brief outline: In 1981 Michele was diagnosed with severe endometriosis. In 1995 and following a health assessment she was told that she was at risk of osteoporosis and was initially put on etidronate. Two years later her medication was changed to risedronate (Actonel). She also has coeliac disease.

Background: Michelle is a medical doctor; married. Her mother and maternal grandmother both had osteoporosis. She has always been physically active practicing several sports and jogging three times a week.

Audio & video

In 1981 Michelle was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and over the years had had several surgical interventions and was on drug therapy for about fifteen years. In 1995 and following a health assessment she was told that she was at risk of osteoporosis and was initially put on etidronate. A bone density scan revealed that her bone density was lower than it should have been for her age at that time. Two years later the second DXA scan suggested that she was not responding well to her medication and it was changed to risedronate (Actonel). Michelle was on Actonel for ten years but decided to stop taking medication. She said that recent evidence suggests that Actonel is probably most effective in the first ten years of taking it.  
Michelle has been physically active all her life and until 2007 she used to jog three times a week for about two hours each time. Between 2004 and 2006 she had two fractures while jogging' the first at the top of her arm when she had a little fragment off her humorous and the second was a wrist fracture. These fractures made her reconsider the amount of running she was doing and decided to do power walking instead. Michelle recently had hip replacement surgery but this was the result of an old sport injury and not osteoporosis.
Michelle indicated that advice about diet, vitamin supplements, calcium, exercise, and so forth keeps changing as new research findings is published. She thinks that patients are not provided with the medical advice they need to make informed choices. Also she said that GP’s should do patient education rather than just having a reactive approach during the consultation. She also has coeliac disease.


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