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What is OSTEOPOROSIS?
- Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time.
- It occurs when:
- The body fails to form enough new bone,
- Too much old bone is reabsorbed by the body, or both.
- Calcium and phosphate are two minerals that are essential for normal bone formation. Bone production will be affected if the intake or absorption of calcium is not enough.
- Along with the aging process, calcium and phosphate may be reabsorbed back into the body from the bones, which makes the bone tissue weaker. This can result in brittle, fragile bones that are more prone to fractures, even without injury.
- The leading causes of osteoporosis are a drop in estrogen in women after menopause and a drop in testosterone in men.
Signs and Symptoms
- There are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
- Symptoms occurring late in the disease include:
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Fractures with little or no trauma
- Loss of height (as much as 6 inches) over time
- Low back pain due to fractures of the spinal bones
- Neck pain due to fractures of the spinal bones
- Stooped posture, also called a “dowager’s hump”
Test & Screening
- Bone mineral density testing (specifically a densitometry or DEXA scan) measures how much bone you have to predict the risk for bone fractures.
- Calcium is essential for building and maintaining healthy bone. Vitamin D helps in absorption of calcium.
Other tips for prevention:
- Avoid drinking excess alcohol.
- Avoid excessive coffee intake. (2 to 5 cups of coffee produce small increase in calcium excretion, this effect can be offset by increased calcium intake).
- No smoking (Smoking cessation increase BMD, whereas continued smoking decreases BMD and increases fracture risk).
- Regular exercise (Weight-bearing aerobic such as walking, jogging, dancing and strengthening exercises may prevent bone lost and decrease falls and fractures).
- Calcium should be ingested in adequate amounts to prevent bone destruction. Higher calcium intake has been shown to prevent or reduce bone loss in adults. The combinations of calcium and vitamin D decreased nonvertebal, vertebral and hip fractures.
- Calcium carbonate is the salt of choice because it contains the highest concentration of elemental calcium (40%). It should be ingested with meals to enhance absorption from increased acid secretion. Because the fraction of calcium absorbed decreased with increasing dose, maximum single doses of 600 mg or less of elemental calcium are recommended.
- Constipation is the most common adverse reaction; it can be treated with increased water intake, dietary fiber (given separately from calcium), and exercise. Calcium carbonate can create gas, sometimes causing flatulence or upset stomach.
- High-calcium foods include cheese, ice cream, leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and collard greens, low-fat milk, salmon, tofu, yogurt etc.
- Vitamin D deficiency results from insufficient intake, decreased sun exposure, decreased skin production, decreased liver and renal metabolism and winter residence in northern climates.
- Supplemental vitamin D has been shown to increase BMD, and it may reduce fractures.
- Many experts feel that adult intake should be 800 – 1000 units daily.
- Bisphosphonates, alendronate, ibandronate and risedronate (used to both prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women)
- Calcitonin (slows the rate of bone loss and relieves bone pain).
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (Estrogens or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is rarely used anymore to prevent osteoporosis and are not approved to treat a woman who has already been diagnosed with the condition).
- Strontium ranelate (treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis to reduce the risk of vertebral & hip fractures).
- Raloxifene (used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis).
* Consult a pharmacist at Lovy Pharmacy when choosing a supplement for your condition.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”10vh”][/vc_column][/vc_row]