You’ve heard of Osteoporosis before right? Yeah, no big deal. It’s just when your bones become sponge-like and less dense. Nothing to worry about, you say? Wrong. Bone fractures, particularly in the spine or hip, are the most serious complication of osteoporosis. Hip fractures often result from a fall and can result in disability and even death in older patients. Scary, right?
What are the measures you can do in treating osteoporosis then? Although there is actually no cure for this condition, there are steps you can take to prevent, slow or stop its progress. In some cases, you may even be able to improve bone density and reverse the disorder to some degree. Here we give you some tips.
Osteoporosis treatment may involve regular intake of a particular medication along with lifestyle changes. For medications, bisphosphonates are the most common medications prescribed for osteoporosis treatment. These include:
- Alendronate (Fosamax)
- Risedronate (Actonel)
- Ibandronate (Boniva)
- Zoledronic acid (Reclast)
Hormones, such as estrogen, and some hormone-like medications approved for preventing and treating osteoporosis, such as raloxifene (Evista), also play a role in osteoporosis treatment.
Osteoporosis medications slow bone breakdown. Healthy bones continuously break down and rebuild. As you age, for women especially after menopause, bones break down faster. Because bone rebuilding cannot keep pace, bones deteriorate and become weaker. Although really effective, remember that these medications should be prescribed by your doctor and should be taken in the correct dose.
In terms of lifestyle changes, here are the measures you can take:
- Do more weight-bearing physical activity and exercises that improve balance and posture which can strengthen bones and reduce the chance of a fracture. The more active and fit you are as you age, the less likely you are to fall and break a bone.
- Eat a healthy diet and make certain that you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Being underweight or losing a lot of weight unintentionally is associated with poor bone health and a higher risk of fracture — even if you’re taking medications.
- Quit smoking because smoking cigarettes speeds up bone loss.
- Limit alcohol intake. If you do still choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
Truly, these measures in treating osteoporosis can be done with ease. Why don’t you start now and protect your bones?