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What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease in which there is low bone mass, and loss of bone tissue, which can result to weak and fragile bones. It is a very common disease seen more so in elderly women, but there has been an increase in osteoporosis in earlier ages. It is extremely important to build strong bones by the age of 25 as there is a peak in bone density.
Signs of Osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis is a disease that starts of silent, but over time escalates. If you notice:
- Your bones are thinning(many fractures)
- Your losing height
- Stooped posture-slumped shoulders, hunch back
- Muscle and Joint pain
Symptoms of Osteoporosis:
- Back Pain-chronic back pain in the upper, middle or lower part of the back
- Stopped posture-inability to stand straight
- Fractures of bones-Fracture of bones very frequent.
- Sharp Pains
- Loss Of Height
Treatment For Osteoporosis
The treatment for Osteoporosis is to reduce bone loss or increase bone density and strength. Osteoporosis can be managed, not cured, by medications, lifestyle changes, vitamin D, and calcium supplements.
- Calcium Supplements: Calcium is needed to build strong and healthy bones. If an individual does not intake enough calcium, they could develop Osteoporosis over time, as their bones weaken without it.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is important to maintain strength and bone density. Lack of vitamin D ca weaken bones, and increase the risk of fractures in individuals.
- Medications: Medications that prevent bone loss and bone breakdown, are the most effective medications for individuals with osteoporosis. Medications such as; Bisphosphates(examples: Alendronate, Risedronate, Ibandronate, and Zoledronate) decrease the risk of fractures. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) are also another way to help individuals with osteoporosis. It is used to help build strong bones(Drugs such as; Raloxifene, Calcitonin, and Teriparatide).
- Hormone Replacement Therapy: Hormone Replace Therapy is used in postmenopausal women to prevent bone loss, prevent bone fractures and increase bone density.
Which Medications Should I Choose?
When a patient with osteoporosis decides on the best medication to help, it is extremely important to determine what to use, depending on the severity of the disease. If an individual is only looking to prevent or treat osteoporosis, bisphosphonates like alendronate, ibadronate, or risedronate, would be the most effective option. In a postmenopausal women who is suffering from menopause symptoms such as; vaginal dryness or hot flashes, Hormone Replacement Therapy would be the best option. It has been shown to be effective in preventing bone loss, increasing bone density and preventing bone fractures