Osteoporosis – Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Posted By: admin | Posted on: 12 December, 2016 10:20 am

Osteoporosis is a disease in which there is greater chance of broken bones due to decreased bone strength

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What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease in which there is greater chance of broken bones due to decreased bone strength. It is very common among the elderly. It occurs in 55% of those aged 50 and above. The bones that usually break are the back bones, forearm and hip bones. In osteoporosis, there are no defining symptoms that occur before the bone breaks. The extreme weakening of the bones may result in a break due to minor stress or even spontaneously. This results in chronic pain and inability to carry out many previously normal activities. In women, the chances of developing an osteoporosis-related hip fracture is equal to the combined risk of developing breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. By age 90, one-third of all women and 17% of men have had a hip fracture. Osteoporosis treatment involves medications and lifestyle changes. However, more important is early diagnosis of osteoporosis.

How can Osteoporosis be diagnosed?

An X-Ray can be used to diagnosis of osteoporosis
Diagnosis Of Osteoporosis Through X-Ray Result

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In Osteoporosis, the bones appear lighter and thinner than normal bones. An X-ray can be use to diagnose osteoporosis. However, a drawback is that by the time the X-rays detect it, 30% or more of the bone density is lost. The bone’s mineral density can also be measured as another way of diagnosis.

Treatment of Osteoporosis

More than medications, lifestyle modification is crucial in osteoporosis treatment. This includes encouraging the patient to walk a lot and perform endurance exercises. Osteoporosis treatment also involves aerobics, weight bearing and resistance exercises to maintain or increase bone mineral density in post-menopausal women. Nutritionally sound diets are recommended. Additionally, fall prevention is extremely important. Hip protectors have been use with success especially among the elderly living in care homes.

Pyramid approach in Osteoporosis treatment

A particular approach to Osteoporosis treatment is the Pyramid approach. This approach to osteoporosis therapy consists of three levels or tiers.

  • The base or foundation comprises of lifestyle changes (nutrition, physical activity, fall prevention). This foundation is essential for all osteoporotic patients.
  • The second tier of the Pyramid approach for osteoporosis treatment addresses the drugs and diseases associated with osteoporosis and bone loss. This is required for a selected group of patients.
  • The third tier is pharmacological therapy for osteoporosis treatment.

Medication in Osteoporosis treatment and therapy

Special Types of Medicines are used for osteoporosis
Medicines For Osteoporosis

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When it comes to medication as a part of Osteoporosis treatment, there is a special group of medications like calcitonin, alendronates and calcium supplements for bone pains. Bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribe medications for osteoporosis treatment. They have drawbacks like heartburn.

These include:

  • Alendronate
  • Risedronate
  • Ibandronate
  • Zoledronic acid

Hormones like estrogen, and some hormone-like medications approve for Osteoporosis therapy, are also sometimes use in Osteoporosis treatment. However, fewer women use estrogen replacement therapy now as it may cause increased risk of heart attacks and some types of cancer.

People who have reduced kidney function cannot take a bisphosphonate. Denosumab medication may be use in osteoporosis treatment instead to reduce the risk for osteoporotic fracture in both men and women.

Teriparatide medicate is use for men and postmenopausal women with very low bone density, who have had fractures or also whose osteoporosis is cause by medicate steroids.

What does medication do to aid Osteoporosis treatment?

In Osteoporosis treatment, Teriparatide is the only medication that has the potential to rebuild the bone and actually reverse Osteoporosis to some extent.

Other Osteoporosis medications slow bone breakdown in Osteoporosis therapy. The breaking down and rebuilding of healthy bones takes place. With the process of aging, bones break down faster. This especially happens after menopause for women. The pace of rebuilding cannot match up to that of bone breaking. As a result, bones deteriorate and weaken.

Osteoporosis medications put a brake on the process. The drugs used during Osteoporosis treatment maintain bone density and decrease the chances of bones breaking as a result of osteoporosis.

Prevention of Osteoporosis

Prevention of osteoporosis : Exercise, eat calcium rich food, avoid alcohol and smoking
Prevention of Osteoporosis

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A commonly said phrase is ‘prevention is better than cure’. The prevention of osteoporosis includes a proper balanced, nutritious diet during childhood and avoiding medications and supplements (such as anticonvulsants). The individual should always walk and exercise as much as possible without over-exerting. Alcohol consumption and smoking have been link to Osteoporosis. Changing one’s lifestyle to eliminate these behaviors can help prevent Osteoporosis. Diets should include an appropriate calcium intake. However, unnecessary supplements can be avoid. Reducing the consumption of carbonated beverages can also prevent osteoporosis.

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