Throughout life, old bone is removed and new bone is added to your skeleton. During childhood and adolescence, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. As a result, bones become heavier, larger, and denser. Peak bone mass is reached around age 30. From that point, more bone is lost than replaced. If not treated, bone loss may lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is more likely to occur if full bone mass was not achieved during your bone-building years.
Bone density also plays a role in bone health. Bone density is determined by the amount of
minerals within the bone framework. These include calcium,
phosphorus, and others. As the mineral content of a bone (especially calcium) decreases, the bone weakens. Getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and regular exercise can keep bones strong throughout life.
For older men, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that your doctor check for risk factors for osteoporosis. The ACP also recommends that you have this test if you are at an increased risk and are a candidate for drug therapy. Ask your doctor about what is right for you.
Single-energy x-ray absorptiometry—measures bone density in the arm or heel
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. Calcium citrate has the best absorption and is well-tolerated. Other vitamins and minerals may be recommended, including vitamin D,
vitamin K. A study showed that Japanese postmenopausal women who took vitamin K supplements had a reduced rate of fractures. Talk to your doctor before taking herbs or supplements.
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent bone loss, increase bone density, and reduce your risk of spine and hip fractures:
(such as Evista)
[such as Fosamax],
[such as Actonel],
[such as Boniva],
[such as Reclast])
Recombinant parathyroid hormone
(such as Teriparatide)
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
(including estrogen replacement therapy [ERT]) can cut your risk of osteoporosis in half. However, research shows a strong association between longer-term HRT and/or ERT
a significantly increased risk of invasive
heart attacks, and blood clots. Be sure to discuss all of the health risks and benefits of hormone therapy with your doctor to find out if it is right for you.
HRT therapy may include:
Estrogen alone (ERT)
Estrogen and progestin—frequently preferred for women with an intact uterus because ERT slightly increases the risk of
Reduce bone loss
Increase bone density
Reduce the risk of hip and spinal fractures in postmenopausal women
Falls can increase the chance of fracture in someone with osteoporosis. Here are ways to prevent falls:
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1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
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2009;180:32-39. Epub 2008 Dec 10.
12/29/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Hippisley-Cox J, Coupland C. Predicting risk of osteoporotic fracture in men and women in England and Wales: prospective derivation and validation of QFractureScores.
6/4/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
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http://www.fda.gov.... Published June 1, 2010. Accessed June 4, 2010.
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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.