Treatment For Osteoporosis
Many options exist for treating and managing osteoporosis. It can even be reversed in some instances. If you have been diagnosed by your personal physician, (s)he will recommend the approach that is right for you.
For many seniors, a nutritious diet can be helpful. Place special emphasis on calcium and include other bone-building nutrients in your diet. You need Vitamin K, Vitamin D, trace minerals, and magnesium. So do your best to add these to your diet.
Exercise can increase your bone mineral density and strengthen your bones. Resistance exercises, weight-bearing exercise, and aerobics are your best options.
You may have heard of natural or alternative treatments for osteoporosis. However, you should not consider herbs and supplements appropriate treatments before consulting your doctor. Some natural products may help but talk to your doctor first.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is a controversial treatment for osteoporosis. As seniors lose bone density after their normal hormone levels begin to decline, some doctors recommend hormone replacement therapy. Estrogen can be replaced in women, and testosterone can be replaced in men.
While bone density can be maintained with HRT, there are disadvantages with this method. Women who use estrogen therapy have a higher risk of breast and endometrial cancer. The risk of heart disease and blood clots can also increase. Make sure to discuss these potential issues with your doctor if (s)he has recommended hormone replacement therapy for your osteoporosis.
Bisphosphonates are the most common type of medication prescribed for seniors with a high risk of bone fractures. They can be especially useful for this patients whose osteoporosis has already contributed to broken bones. The medications are available in both oral and intravenous forms. Both options have potential side effects. Oral medication can produce heartburn, abdominal pain, and nausea. The intravenous medications may produce lingering muscle aches, headaches, and fever.
Bisphosphonates should be limited to five years or less in most instances. When they are used on a long-term basis, serious complications may result While some of these risks are rare, they should be avoided altogether. Another reason to limit the use of medications is that the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research has stated low-risk seniors do not need long-term medications. This organization recommends oral medications be stopped after five years, and intravenous medications be stopped after three years. Patients in higher risk categories can use oral medication for ten years, or intravenous medication for six years.
Some seniors cannot tolerate the side effects of bisphosphonates, and may want to avoid the health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. There are additional options for treating osteoporosis. You may wish to consider one of these other options, and discuss it with your doctor.
Denosumab and Teriparatide
Denosumab can improve bone density. It provides the most benefits to postmenopausal women. This drug is administered twice annually by injection. Teriparatide is also beneficial for aging women. It stimulates bone growth while also reducing the risk of fractures. The daily injections are usually given for two years. After treatment, the bone growth is preserved with another medication.
Just like other medical conditions, there is no one treatment that is right for everyone. Everyone should discuss options with their doctors, and make an informed decision. If you disagree with your doctor’s recommendation, you should request a second opinion. Treatment should be effective, yet not cause unnecessary side effects.