Osteoporosis is one of the most common types of arthritis. This condition results in excess loss of calcium in the bones. Women are much more likely to experience loss of calcium and decreased bone density. If you think you have osteoporosis or may be at risk for developing the condition, please discuss with a doctor treatment options or preventive measures that you should be taking to prevent onset of osteoporosis.
Like many conditions, prevention is the key to keeping osteoporosis away. If you know that you are at risk for osteoporosis, you wish to think about consuming a high calcium diet. Most health professionals recommend a diet that includes 1500 mg of calcium each day.
Sometimes Vitamin D may be necessary in order to absorb your calcium. Foods that are rich in calcium include milk and dairy products, and fish such as salmon and sardines. Speak with your doctor about supplementing your diet with calcium and possible vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be absorbed naturally simply by spending more time in the sun.
You may be able to take just one multivitamin to fulfill your calcium and vitamin D needs. Again, you will need to speak with your doctor to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need to prevent osteoporosis, and to discuss whether you will need to supplement your diet with calcium and vitamin D.
If you are a smoker or drinker, your doctor may also advise you to limit these activities as much as possible. Research has shown that smoking can lower estrogen levels, leaving your bones more at risk for losing bone mass. Moderate to heavy alcohol use has also been linked to loss of bone density. Another important preventive step is to ensure you are getting some form of regular physical exercise. Weight bearing exercises and sports have been shown to improve muscle strength and can help build bone mass. Walking is another good overall choice.
For many women who have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, one viable treatment option is estrogen treatment. Estrogen replacement therapy can reduce women’s risk for developing osteoporosis. This form of therapy can help increase bone mass and density in the spine and hips. However, some women have experienced side effects from the use of estrogen replacement therapy. Also, some studies have made a connection between estrogen replacement therapy and an increased risk of breast cancer. However, estrogen has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart failure and attacks.
There are other treatment options for individuals suffering from osteoporosis. New drug therapies are in developmental stages. Currently available options include prescription drug medications used to help restore bone density and slow the progress of the condition, such as Teriparatide, a form of parathyroid hormone, and Calcitonin. Talk with your doctor about the current options in order to make an informed choice about which medication fits your life and specific health circumstances the best.