Osteoporosis Breaking News

Posted on

Jan 24, 2015


Texas - Dallas, Collin, SE Denton & Rockwall Counties

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Osteoporosis Breaking News

Osteoporosis is a bone condition that makes bones thinner and more fragile secondary to loss of bone density. There are 40 million people affected by osteoporosis, women more often then men. Half of all postmenopausal women will have an osteoporosis related fracture during their lifetime. Fractures occur most frequently in the spine, hip and wrist. Taking measures to avoid falls is important in the prevention of fractures for those already diagnosed with the disease.

Risk factors are numerous, some modifiable and others unchangeable. Non-modifiable risk factors include race (Caucasian and Asian), age, previous low-energy fracture, small bone structure and a family history of osteoporosis. More important are the modifiable risk fractures including tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol intake, inactivity, reduced calcium and vitamin D intake and reduced sex hormones. Taking medications such as prednisone, heparin and excessive thyroid replacement can also affect bone density negatively.

Diagnosis is made by measuring bone mineral density with DXA scanner. There are no symptoms of osteoporosis other than fracture. A score on the DXA below -2.5 is diagnostic for osteoporosis. A score between -1.0 & -2.5 is indicative of osteopenia which represents mild bone loss.

Treatment involves lifestyle changes including getting 1200 mg of calcium daily thru diet and supplementation. Getting adequate vitamin D approximately 800iu thru diet, sunlight and supplementation. Weight bearing exercise daily. Quit smoking and drink alcohol in moderation only. Additionally, establish a fall prevention program including night lights, wear sensible shoes, de-clutter space in your home, and use assistive devices like canes and walkers as needed. Also review medications that cause sedation or lightheadedness with their physician.

There are numerous medical treatments for osteoporosis. Most drugs like Fosamax block resorption of bone. Drugs like Evista effect the hormone estrogen and can reduce spine fractures. Forteo is the only drug I am aware of that increases bone formation. The newest treatment is a form of immune therapy called Xgeva.

There are several options you can discuss with your physician; ultimately combination therapy may be the most effective. Don't let osteoporosis get snappy with you; knowledge and prevention are your allies.

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