Osteoporosis treatments supplement healthy living
(NC) Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones, weakening them, and making them more likely to break. Osteoporosis is often called the “silent thief” because bone loss can occur without you even knowing it or feeling anything. This bone loss does not occur overnight but over the course of several years. Sometimes the first sign anything is wrong is a broken bone. These breaks can have serious side effects, including loss of mobility and independence, as well as shortened life spans.
Women over the age of 55 are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, and so are advised to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices to build bone strength. These include daily weight-bearing exercise, such as brisk walking or dancing, and consuming at least 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day. Calcium can be found in milk products as well as kale, sesame seeds, tofu, and almonds. Fish, eggs, orange juice, and sunshine are excellent sources of Vitamin D.
However, sometimes this is not enough to ward off the bone-weakening effects of osteoporosis. “For some women with osteoporosis, particularly those at higher risk of breaking a bone, prescription medication is needed to build bones and keep them strong,” said Dr. David Kendler, director of the Prohealth Clinical Research Centre and the Osteoporosis Program at Providence Health Care in Vancouver. In order for medications to be effective, they must be taken as prescribed.
In a recent survey of women over the age of 55, 80 per cent knew it was important to take the medication as prescribed by their doctor. Nearly all of the respondents – 90 per cent – said that they always took their medication at the recommended time and dose, and only 17 per cent thought it was okay to occasionally miss a dose because their bones would still be protected from breaking. Despite this, studies show that half of people taking oral bisphosphonate treatment are estimated to discontinue within a year, putting their bones at risk of breaking.
“Other treatment options with different dosing options, such as a twice-yearly injection, are available for women aged over 55 who are at high risk of breaking a bone,” said Dr. Kendler. “Treatments taken less frequently may be a better option for some patients.”
Your doctor can help you decide what treatment option is right for you. More information about osteoporosis is available online at www.healthandbone.ca.
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Sources:Osteoporosis Canada. “Facts and Figures.” Accessed on July 11,2013 at http://www.osteoporosis.ca/osteoporosis-and-you/osteoporosis-facts-and-statistics/
Osteoporosis Canada. “Facts and Figures.” Accessed on July 11,2013 at http://www.osteoporosis.ca/osteoporosis-and-you/osteoporosis-facts-and-statistics/
Cadarette, S. M. and Burden, A. M. “The burden of osteoporosis in Canada.” CPJ, Vol. 144, May/June 2011.
Hagen, Shelly. “Osteoporosis: Nutrition and lifestyle.” CPJ, Vol. 144, May/June 2011.
Hagen, Shelly. “Osteoporosis: Nutrition and lifestyle.” CPJ, Vol. 144, May/June 2011
Blouin J, Dragomir A., Ste-Marie L-G et. Al. Discontinuation of Antiresorptive Therapies: A Comparison between 1998-2001 and 2002-2004 among Osteoporotic Women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 92(3):887-894.
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