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Risk for Osteoporosis, Osteoporosis Treatment

osteoporosis cartoon

Osteoporosis means bone thinning beyond what is age expected. It is caused by withdrawal of supportive sex hormones in menopause. Some females are more sensitive to this than others.

Osteoporosis Diagnosis

Osteoporosis is diagnosed through a Bone Mineral Density test. BMD is measured by xray of your lower back lumbar spine and R hip, and comparison of these densities to that of a hypothetical 25 year old female. Bone density runs on a scale from normal, to osteopenic to osteoporotic.

Osteoporosis Symptoms

  • Height loss caused by osteoporosis bone collapse.
  • Spine curvature as osteoporotic bones crush into wedges under body weight.
  • Bone pain from brittle bones.
  • Broken bones from trivial falls. Persons with osteoporosis break bones with simple falls. Hip and wrist fractures are common.

Risk for Osteoporosis

Major risk factors for developing osteoporosis are:

  • Malabsorption disorders like celiac disease
  • Early menopause before age 45
  • Family history of osteoporotic fractures especially of the hip in mother
  • Corticosteroid medication use > 3 months
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hypogonadism

Minor risk factors for developing osteoporosis:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Anticonvulsant medication
  • Low dietary calcium intake
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Heavy caffeine intake
  • Progesterone only birth control injections
  • Weight < 125 lbs
  • Weight loss > 10% of weight from that at age 25

Osteoporosis Treatment

Osteoporosis is treated by:

  • Weight Bearing exercise. Treatment with weight bearing exercises like walking, swimming, weight training etc activates bones to uptake calcium and increase your bone density.
  • Calcium Supplements provide the raw material that your bones need to harden and stay dense. You need a total Calcium from diet and supplement of 1500 mg per day.
  • Vitamin D Supplements stimulates bones to uptake and deposit Calcium. You need 800-1000 IU per day to support healthy bones.
  • Bisphosphonate Osteoporosis Treatment. These bone building medications force thin bones to thicken by impeding the action of bone dissolving cells called osteoclasts. The bone building cells continue at their usual rate of work but because their is less breakdown their is a slow net gain of bone density.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy for Osteoporosis. Low doses of estrogen hormone replacement prods bones to reach for the bone density of youth.
  • Avoid alcohol. Excessive drinking is associated with poor nutritional intake and is toxic to bone forming cells.
  • Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking is another risk factor for poor bone health.

Doctor Secrets! "You can get Vitamin D from sunshine but this risks sunburns and skin cancer. Oral supplements are safer".

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    Last Updated:
    April 22 2016
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