Prevent and Treat Osteoporosis Now!
If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, or are at high risk of it, you will need to be treated to prevent fractures. Although calcium and Vitamin D intake, exercise and lifestyle modifications are essential steps for osteoporosis patients, they are not able to stop the excessive bone loss process. Your doctor may recommend a treatment plan that includes medication.
Bisphosphonates are non-hormonal drugs that inhibit bone resorption and bring about an increase in bone mass. They are commonly used to treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and in men. They come in a once-weekly tablet for convenience and compliance, and have been found to help prevent osteoporotic bone fractures of the hip and spine.
In order to avoid oesophagitis (inflammation of oesphagus), you are advised to remain upright for about half an hour after taking the medicine.
Bisphosphonates include alendronate sodium, etidronate and risedronate sodium. Etidronate is available in once daily dosing which needs to be taken cyclically at 2 weeks apart. Risedronate sodium is available in daily and once weekly formulation. Alendronate sodium is available in daily and weekly formulation. A dual-therapy of alendronate and colecalciferol (vitamin D) is also available as a once-weekly tablet.
Calcitonin is a hormone that inhibits bone loss – the removal of bone calcium into the blood – and helps to retain the levels of these materials in the bone. It is available in nasal spray and injectable forms.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
HRT provides supplementary female hormones, including oestrogen, that were naturally produced by the ovaries before menopause. Nonetheless, the long-term use of combined HRT has been linked to various health risks. Women whose sole indication for using HRT is to prevent osteoporosis should be aware that there are currently many non-HRT alternatives (like bisphosphonates and SERMs) which may be effective both in preventing as well as treating osteoporosis.
FURTHER CARE AND SUPPORT
If you are a recently diagnosed osteoporosis patient, you and your family may feel greatly concerned by the discovery. Give yourself some time to sort out your feelings and make suitable adjustments. While the immediate goal is to be safe from fractures, the good news for the long term is that osteoporosis is treatable and preventable with a combination of medication, adequate vitamin intake, exercise and lifestyle modifications. Learn more about preventive and treatment options, and adhere to the doctor’s advice to ensure optimal results.
Other Sources of Information
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