Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to weaken, making them more prone to break. The good news is that many treatment options are available for those suffering from this condition.
This blog post will discuss the different treatment methods available.
Who Gets Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects nearly 10 million people in the United States. Furthermore, another 44 million people have low bone density and an increased risk of having osteoporosis. While it can occur at any age, it typically affects people over the age of 50 and is more prevalent in women than in men.
While age, race, gender, and family history play a role, there are several other factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis, such as:
- Low intake of calcium and vitamin D
- Anorexia nervosa
- Low levels of sex hormones
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Steroids and certain medications
How is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
If you are a female over the age of 65 or at high risk for developing osteoporosis, your healthcare provider will order a bone density test. This test shows the amount of minerals in a segment of bone. The test is pain-free and relatively fast.
Osteoporosis is referred to as a “silent” disease because most people don’t realize they have the condition until they break a bone. Other symptoms may include:
- Height loss
- Stooped posture
- Back pain
Prevention of Osteoporosis
Although many people consider osteoporosis an inevitable part of aging, there are actually several lifestyle choices that you can take to help prevent the disease. Regular exercise, for example, has been shown to improve bone density, while a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can also help to keep bones healthy.
Treatment Options Are Available
Although there is no cure, treatments are available to help slow the progression of the disease and reduce the risk of fractures.
One standard treatment is weight-bearing exercise, which helps to stimulate new bone growth. Other treatments included calcium and vitamin D supplements and hormone replacement therapy.
Another option is medication, which can help to slow the rate of bone loss and even increase bone density. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a bisphosphonate that will slow down bone loss.
However, medications are not without side effects. The most common side effect of osteoporosis treatment is gastrointestinal upset, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Other common side effects include headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
Living with Osteoporosis
If you are an older adult female or fall in one of the categories with an increased risk of osteoporosis, you will want to schedule a physical exam as soon as possible. The condition is treatable, and an early diagnosis is the best indicator of a favorable prognosis.
Our Advanced Rheumatology of Houston staff will work with you on a treatment plan that meets your individual needs. We are committed to helping you manage your osteoporosis. Contact us to schedule an appointment by calling (281) 766-7886.