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All about osteoporosis maintaining bone health types of osteoporosis causes of osteoporosis osteoporosis risk factors risk factors for primary osteoporosis risk factors for secondary osteoporosis consequences of osteoporosis symptoms of osteoporosis diagnosis of osteoporosis osteoporosis treatments osteoporosis medications treatment for osteoporosis in men treatment for osteoporosis in women osteoporosis lifestyle therapy osteoporosis exercises osteoporosis diet prevention of osteoporosis osteoporosis and calcium osteoporosis and magnesium osteoporosis and vitamin D

What lifestyle changes can help osteoporosis?

Supplements of calcium plus vitamin D may help maintain bone density and reduce the risk for a first fracture in both men and women. One study reported that calcium slowed bone loss in portions of the hips where fracture is most serious. Even people already taking medication to prevent osteoporosis should take calcium (and vitamin D) daily. The benefits do not last when people stop taking these supplements. Calcium supplements exist in different compounds, such as calcium

carbonate, calcium citrate (Citracal), calcium gluconate, and calcium lactate. The best source of calcium in the diet is from milk fortified with vitamin D. Four glasses of milk provide about 1,200 mg of calcium. Skim milk and non-fat dairy products are the best choices and provide the same calcium as dairy products with fat. Adolescents should drink about three 8-ounce glasses of low-fat milk daily.

Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D is manufactured in the skin using energy from the ultraviolet rays in sunlight. It can also be obtained from dietary supplements. As a person ages, vitamin D levels decline. They also fall during winters months and when people have inadequate sunlight. Pollution may also contribute to less sunlight and declining vitamin D levels.

Exercise is very important for slowing the progression of osteoporosis. Some of the recommended exercises include weight-bearing exercise, riding stationary bicycles, using rowing machines, walking, and jogging. If you are not used to exercising, build up your exercise routine gradually - increasing frequency before intensity. Talk to your GP before you start if you have a health problem that affects your heart or breathing.

Alcohol consumption should also be kept within safe limits. High levels of alcohol intake (over 50 units per week in men or 35 units in women) are associated with osteoporosis, as well as the other serious health risks that accompany alcoholism. It is possible that lower levels of alcohol consumption than this could still damage bone, and be associated with problems such as raised blood pressure or diabetes.

Stopping smoking should be a priority for anyone interested in enjoying a longer life and keeping away from orthopaedic wards. Smoking one pack of cigarettes per day throughout adult life can itself lead to loss of 5% to 10% of bone mass. Smoking cigarettes decreases estrogen levels and can lead to bone loss in women before menopause. Smoking cigarettes can also lead to earlier menopause and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Smoking cigarettes can also negate the protective effect of estrogen replacement therapy on bone in postmenopausal women. Therefore, nobody should smoke, regardless of the current condition of his or her bones.

Data on the effect of regular consumption of alcohol and caffeine on osteoporosis is not as clear as with exercise and cigarettes. More than two drinks of alcohol a day may increase bone loss. More than 2 cups of coffee daily can also cause bone loss. These effects do not seem to be as powerful as other factors. Nevertheless, moderation of both alcohol and caffeine is prudent.

Limiting sodium and avoiding junk food. Reducing salt may be useful. High sodium intake interferes with calcium retention; the higher the level of sodium the more calcium the body needs to meet its daily requirements. Fast foods and commercial snacks, which are high in sodium, have been linked with weak bones. In one study, women who tended to eat health foods (fruits, vegetables, milk, and cereal) had higher bone density, while those who tended to eat mainly "junk" food (soda, pizza, salty snacks) had the very lowest bone mass.

More information on osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis? - Osteoporosis is a thinning and weakening of the bones, usually associated with the aging process. Osteoporosis is a disease, often with no detectable symptoms.
Building and maintaining skeletal health - Factors involved in building and maintaining skeletal health are adequate nutrition and body weight, exposure to sex hormones at puberty, and physical activity.
What types of osteoporosis are there? - Osteoporosis can be classified in various ways based on diagnostic categories, etiology. Osteoporosis can be classified as either primary osteoporosis or secondary osteoporosis.
What causes osteoporosis? - Osteoporosis is related to the loss of bone mass that occurs as part of the natural process of aging. Osteoporosis results when there is excess bone loss without adequate replacement.
What are the risk factors for osteoporosis? - Many disorders are associated with increased risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is far more prevalent in women after menopause due to the loss of the hormone estrogen.
What're the risk factors for primary osteoporosis? - Risk factors for primary osteoporosis include age, gender, race, figure type, lifestyle, diet, and lack of sunlight.
What're the risk factors for secondary osteoporosis? - Risk factors for secondary osteoporosis include genetic disorders, hypogonadal states, endocrine disorders,hematologic disorders, nutritional deficiencies, drugs.
What are the consequences of osteoporosis? - Consequences due to osteoporosis are increased risk of fracture with minor trauma, frequency of traumatic events from lifting and bending impact.
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis? - Patients with uncomplicated osteoporosis may be asymptomatic or may have pain in the bones or muscles, particularly of the back. Osteoporosis becomes apparent in dramatic fashion.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of osteoporosis is usually made by your doctor using a combination of a complete medical history and physical examination.
What're the treatments for osteoporosis? - Treatment for osteoporosis includes eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, getting regular exercise, and taking medication to reduce bone loss and increase bone thickness.
What osteoporosis medications (drugs) are available? - Medications (drugs) to cure osteoporosis include bisphosphanates (Fosamax), calcitonin (Miacalcin), raloxifene, estrogen, and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
How to treat osteoporosis in men? - Alendronate and teriparatide have been approved to treat osteoporosis in men. Calcitonin may work in men, treatment with testosterone appears to increase bone density.
How to treat osteoporosis in women? - The non-hormonal bisphosphonate drugs, alendronate and risedronate prevent and treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. Raloxifene is approved for preventing and treating osteoporosis.
What lifestyle changes can help osteoporosis? - Alcohol consumption should also be kept within safe limits. Supplements of calcium plus vitamin D may help maintain bone density. Limiting sodium and avoiding junk food.
What osteoporosis exercises are suggested? - Exercise is very important for slowing the progression of osteoporosis. Taking regular exercise is the single most important action improve the strength of their bones.
What osteoporosis diet is suggested? - A good calcium intake is essential throughout life for healthy bones. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium from the intestines. Reducing salt may be useful for osteoporosis patients.
What can be done to prevent osteoporosis? - For prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, patients should be encouraged to stop smoking, limit alcohol consumption and perform weight-bearing exercise.
Osteoporosis and calcium - Calcium could alter the physical-chemical properties of the bone mineral. The daily recommended dietary calcium intake varies by age, sex, and menopausal status.
Osteoporosis and magnesium - Magnesium supplementation is as important as calcium supplementation in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis and vitamin D - Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones to prevent osteoporosis.
Bone, joint, & muscle disorders

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005