What Is The Treatment For Osteoporosis, And Can It Be Prevented?


Osteoporosis is a condition that is characterized by a decrease in the density of bone, reducing its strength, and resulting in fragile bones. It literally leads to the abnormality of porous bone that is compressible, like a sponge. This disorder of the skeleton weakens the bone and results in frequent fractures in the bones, whereas osteopenia by definition is a condition of a bone that is slightly less dense than the normal bone but not to the degree of bone in osteoporosis.

Normal bone is made of protein, collagen, and calcium all of which give bone its strength. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can break with relatively minor injuries that normally do not result in a bone fracture. The fracture can be either in the form of cracking or subside. The spine, hip, ribs, and wrist are common areas of fracture from osteoporosis although the osteoporosis-related fracture can occur in any skeletal bone.

Treatment And Prevention?

The goal of treatment is the prevention of fracture of the bone by reducing the loss or by increasing the density of bone and strength. Although early detection and timely treatment of osteoporosis can decrease the risk of future fractures whereas none of the available treatments for osteoporosis are complete cures. It is hard to rebuild bone that has been weakened by osteoporosis so, the prevention of osteoporosis is important as the treatment of osteoporosis. The following are the osteoporosis treatment and preventive measures for the perfect health of the bone. They are:

  • Lifestyle changes include quitting cigarette smoking, curtailing excessive alcohol intake, exercise regularly, and consuming a balanced diet with adequate calcium as well as a vitamin.
  • Medications that stop bone loss and increase bone strength, that include alendronate, risedronate, raloxifene, ibandronate, calcitonin, zoledronate, and denosumab.
  • Medication that increases the formation of bone that includes teriparatide.

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1) Exercise, quitting cigarettes, and curtailing alcohol

Exercise has a variety of beneficial health effects however exercise does not bring about a substantial increase in the density of bone. The benefit of exercise for osteoporosis has mostly do with decreasing the risk of falls because balance is improved and muscle strength is also increased. Research has not yet identified what type of exercise is best for osteoporosis, Until research has answered these questions, most doctors recommend weight-bearing exercise such as walking daily for optimal health.

A word of caution about exercise

It is important to avoid exercise which results in damaging the already weakened bones. Extreme levels of exercise may not be healthy for the bones. Marathon running in women leads to weight loss and loss of menstrual period which can actually promote osteoporosis.

Smoking one pack of cigarettes per day throughout adult life leads to loss of 5-10 % of bone mass as it decreases the estrogen levels and can lead to bone loss in women before menopause. It can also lead to earlier menopause. In postmenopausal women, smoking is linked with the risk of osteoporosis.

Data on the effect of regular consumption of alcohol and caffeine on osteoporosis is not as identified as with exercise and smoking cigarettes. In fact, research regarding alcohol and caffeine as a risk factor for osteoporosis that shows widely varying results and is controversial. Certainly, their effect is not as great as other factors nevertheless, moderation of both alcohol and caffeine is prudent.

2) Calcium supplements

Building strong and healthy bones requires an adequate dietary intake of calcium beginning in childhood and adolescence for both genders. Most importantly, a high calcium intake alone is not adequate in treating osteoporosis and should not be viewed as an alternative to more potent prescription medication for osteoporosis. In the first several afters menopause, rapid bone loss may occur even if calcium supplements are taken.

The following calcium intake has been recommended by the national institutes of the health consensus conference on osteoporosis for all people:

  • 800 mg/day for children below the age of 10 yers
  • 1200mg/day for teenagers and young adults
  • 1500 mg/day for postmenopausal women not taking estrogen
  • 1200 mg-1500 mg/day for pregnant women
  • the total daily intake of calcium should not exceed more than 2000 mg.

The calcium supplements contain different amounts of elemental calcium. The calcium carbonate supplements are the best which is taken in small doses with meals since the intestine may not be able to absorb more than 500 mg of calcium all at once.

Calcium supplements are safe and well-tolerated. Side effects are indigestion as well as constipation. Many natural calcium carbonate preparations, such as oyster shells may contain a high level of lead and should be avoided.

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Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by anup