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About This Osteoporosis Treatment Site And The People NOT Hiding From You

It's always revealing to see if the people behind a site are brave enough to come forth and show themselves. It's your lucky day! The people in this case who are NOT hiding are:

Are they medical professionals? Well no, but Darlene has personal, hands-on experience with osteoporosis. In addition, the both of them are solid researchers and meticulous writers.

You can count 100% on the quality of what you find on this site.

Donald Coggan, Engineer

Donald Coggan, Engineer

Donald Coggan graduated in Electrical Engineering from McGill University. He is a registered professional engineer in Quebec and Ontario.

Since 1996, Coggan has been an Internet Business Consultant helping people and small businesses work effectively on the Web.

He is an SBI! Certified Webmaster and Consultant and has worked on nearly 200 Internet sites since becoming involved with the Internet.

In a previous career, Coggan worked in engineering management dealing with computerized automation systems mostly in the construction industry. He has authored over 100 books, technical papers and magazine articles.

Founder of Ability-Mission.org, a site that caters to people with disabilities, Coggan's goal in developing this osteodigest.com website is to offer people the most reliable and trustworthy information possible about the subject.

Darlene Varaleau, Attorney

Darlene Varaleau, Attorney

Darlene Varaleau graduated with degrees from both the Faculty of Law and the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto.

She joined the Rotman Alumni Board in 2000 and was an active member for six years. She is a lawyer and business person by profession.

Darlene has over 25 years of experience as an organization development and change leadership specialist:

  • Architect and project leader of the "Repair Our Air-Fleet Challenge" which has engaged over sixty enterprises in a business-to-business competition to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Completion of Project Management "best practices" research for the Management Board of the Ontario Government
  • Design and implementation of a communications and public involvement program for major oil development projects

After learning that she had lost 15% bone mass in two years and was diagnosed with osteopenia, Darlene created osteodigest.com to help others by thoroughly documenting her own experience.

In early 2015, she turned the site over to Coggan so she could focus on her activities off the web and at the same time, preserve the legacy of her extensive research.

This site is a record of her personal journey of self-treatment and the solid research she did to make it work for her and then to pay it forward to other sufferers of this debilitating bone disease.

Let's hear it directly from her, shall we?

A Word From The Founder

Welcome! This website focuses on natural treatment solutions for osteopenia and osteoporosis with affordable calcium and vitamin supplements, strontium, progesterone cream and exercise.

I created the site because I was diagnosed with osteopenia several years ago despite having no risk factors, except for one... HEREDITY. Osteoporosis is rampant within my family.

I have large bones, exercise regularly, have a good diet and am not on any medications that compromise bone health – except a thyroid medication. So I decided to not follow in my family's footsteps. Instead I went about finding a way to stop the bone loss.

Early Diagnosis Is Critically Important

At age 54 my bone density scan showed that I was in the normal range but I continued to take calcium and vitamin D supplements as a precaution.

Two years later I was shocked to learn that I had lost 15% bone mass and had osteopenia in one hip.

My doctor prescribed Evista which is a great short-term solution (especially for the spine) but wasn't appealing for the long-term because I prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals.

My Current Vitamin Program

I have now passed the danger zone of rapid bone loss (the first 5-7 years after menopause) and my DXA results were not bad.

As a result, I have decided to stop taking Evista for the next couple of years, concentrate on a great vitamin and mineral program and see what the next DXA has to say.

Experts believe that a 1% annual bone loss is normal after menopause, so a vitamin program is absolutely essential.

My family members tend to live long lives, so that could mean another 30-40% bone loss for me. And that's just not going to happen.

After a LOT of research, my daily program has stabilized as follows:

  • 2-3 tablets of Calcium/Magnesium (with meals)
  • 5,000 IU of vitamin D in a gel tab (during the winter months)
  • one vitamin K2 tablet and
  • two tablets of Doctor's Best Strontium Bone Maker before going to bed.

These were the highest quality supplements (with recommended levels of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K) that I could find... and at the best price.

I would have liked to take Puritan's Pride Bone Builder because its formula meets all the recommended guidelines and it is very inexpensive... but Health Canada prevents the import of calcium for reasons known only to them.

I am also using progesterone cream and have been amazed at the improvement in my sleep patterns.

My blood tests showed that my hormones are normal for my age but many naturopathic and bioidentical specialists argue that this is a poor benchmark since many women my age are not in optimal health.

Finally, I am taking a daily childrens aspirin because of new research showing a 20% reduction in deaths from cancer. Since I plan on living a healthy life until I am 100... I need all the help I can get.

Vitamin D... What A Surprise!

I increased my vitamin D3 to 5,000 IU a day in a gel tab after a blood test showed that I was deficient (70 nmol/L) despite taking 2,000 IU in a regular tablet and getting a LOT more sunshine than most Canadians.

The results of my blood test suggest that 5,000 IU is working perfectly. I had a score of 182 nmol/L (73ng/ml) in the middle of winter – so this is definitely a winning strategy both for my bones and to prevent the flu and colds.

My T-Score Results

In January 2010, my DXA bone density scan showed the following results:

  • L1-L3: .2
  • Neck: -1.7
  • Femur: -1.4

It seems that my spine improved and is still in the normal range while my right hip (femur) continued to decline but much more slowly. It lost 3% of bone density in two years compared to 15% in the previous two years.

In October, 2012, my bone density returned to the normal range everywhere but in my femur and neck:

  • L1-L3: .02
  • Neck: -2.08
  • Femur: -0.82

So the vitamins and minerals are working fabulously and my research suggests the last scan may have reported on the Wards triangle portion of the femur neck rather than the normal location. (I changed the location of where I had the DXA scan.)

If the hips have improved to a healthy density but the femur neck score loses density... then the new technician likely reported density of the Wards triangle.

I am a lawyer and business person by training... and not a medical expert. All visitors to this site are encouraged to work with their doctors both in monitoring their bone health and vitamin D levels and designing an osteoporosis treatment program that suits their particular situation.

The information on this website has been gathered from medical research sites and from various American, Canadian and International Osteoporosis Societies. Most of my sources are listed on the Links page.

I hope you enjoy the site. And good luck with your next bone density test!


I live in Ontario (Canada) and canoeing in our beautiful parks is my favorite summer activity. I need strong bones for all the portages!