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Osteoporosis is a disease marked by decreasing bone mass and density, making bones weak and brittle. If left unchecked, it can lead to
fracture. Any bone can be affected. Fractures of special concern are of the
Osteoporosis is caused by an imbalance between bone loss and bone formation (known as bone remodeling). After age 30, bone loss occurs more quickly. Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence bone remodeling.
Osteoporosis is more likely to occur if full bone mass was not achieved during your bone-building years. It is more common in women than in men. Other factors that may increase your chance of osteoporosis include:
The treatment and management of osteoporosis involves lifestyle changes and medications. Although osteoporosis is highly preventable, it cannot be cured. Treatment focuses on reducing the incidence of fractures and slowing bone loss.
Decrease your intake of
alcohol. Eat a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is in:
Green leafy vegetables
Canned fish with bones
Do not smoke.
If you smoke,
talk with your doctor about ways you can successfully
Exercise improves bone health. It also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance. Do weight-bearing and strength-training exercises for maximum benefit. Balance training may
prevent falls and fractures.
People who cannot eat enough calcium from food might want to take calcium supplements.
Vitamin D and other supplements may also be recommended.
Talk with your doctor before
taking herbs or supplements.
Falls can increase the chance of fracture in someone with osteoporosis. Here are ways to prevent falls:
Floors—Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its accustomed place.
Bathrooms—Install grab bars and non-skid tape in the tub or shower.
Lighting—Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well lit. Install a night light in your bathroom. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night.
Kitchen—Install non-skid rubber mats near sink and stove. Clean spills immediately.
Stairs—Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure.
Other precautions—Wear sturdy, rubber-soled shoes. Keep your intake of alcoholic beverages to a minimum. Ask your doctor whether any of your medications might cause you to fall.
Certain medications can help prevent bone loss, increase bone density, and reduce your risk of fractures. These may include:
Medications with estrogenic effects
Other medications, such as parathyroid hormone or bone resorption inhibitors
Making a diagnosis. National Osteoporosis Foundation website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed August 27, 2014.
Osteoporosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated June 10, 2014. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Osteoporosis causes and risk factors. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated March 17, 2014. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Sambrook P, Cooper C. Osteoporosis.
10/6/2006 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Cockayne S, Adamson J, Lanham-New S, et al. Vitamin K and the prevention of fractures: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1256-1261.
5/16/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Qaseem A, Snow V, Shekelle P, Hopkins R Jr, Forciea MA, Owens DK; Clinical Efficacy Assessment Subcommittee of the American College of Physicians. Screening for osteoporosis in men: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:680-684.
1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Loke YK, Singh S, Furberg CD. Long-term use of thiazolidinediones and fractures in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. CMAJ. 2009;180:32-39. Epub 2008 Dec 10.
12/29/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Hippisley-Cox J, Coupland C. Predicting risk of osteoporotic fracture in men and women in England and Wales: prospective derivation and validation of QFractureScores. BMJ. 2009;339:b4229.
6/4/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) FDA approves new injectable osteoporosis treatment for postmenopausal women. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm214150.htm. Updated April 23, 2013. Accessed August 27, 2014.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.