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Osteoporosis Treatment Drugs and Lifestyle Modifications

Osteoporosis Treatment Drugs and Lifestyle Modifications

Osteoporosis, which translates to “porous bones,” points to less bone mass and strength. People with osteoporosis might not have any signs and symptoms initially; diagnosis often happens when they experience sudden and unexpected painful fractures. What are the different osteoporosis treatment options available for patients? Find out here.

Besides treating fractures whenever they happen, osteoporosis treatment involves lifestyle modifications, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and drugs.

In many cases, the doctor doesn’t recommend medicines unless the risk of fractures in the next 10 years is high.

Lifestyle Changes

The following steps help prevent bone fractures:

Avoid or Stop Smoking

Cigarettes increase the rate of bone loss, which then increases the risk of fractures.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Drinking too much alcohol interferes with bone formation. Moreover, being intoxicated heightens the possibility of accidents that might result in fractures.

Follow an Expert-Approved Exercise Routine

Intense physical activity and poorly performed exercises might lead to fractures. Still, working out is a crucial aspect of osteoporosis treatment because it helps promote and preserve bone strength.

A physiotherapist will be able to help put together a program tailored to your needs. Generally, the program includes:

  • Gentle workouts for posture and balance
  • Modified strength training
  • Weight-bearing exercises, like brisk walking

osteoporosis treatment

Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Having a healthy, balanced diet ensures that you’re getting adequate calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals required for bone health.

However, if you have osteoporosis, your vitamin and mineral requirements (particularly vitamin D and calcium) may be higher. For this reason, they might talk to you about supplements.

Prevent Falls and Other Accidents

Finally, lifestyle changes also include steps to prevent falls and other accidents that might result in fractures. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Wearing prescription eyeglasses to see better
  • Arranging furniture or installing fixtures at home to reduce the risk of accidents. This step includes making sure the rooms are well lit, there are no loose rugs or wayward cables, and installing handrails where appropriate.
  • Wearing well-fitting, sturdy flat shoes.
  • Wearing a hip protector, which spreads the impact of a fall and reduces the possibility of hip fractures.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Like mentioned, if your diet cannot provide you with adequate vitamins and minerals for bones, the doctor may recommend supplements.

Please do not take supplements without your doctor’s approval. They might be sold over the counter, but they also come in various formulations and brands. To choose the best supplement for you, talk to your doctor.

Medicine

Finally, when the doctor deems them necessary, they will recommend osteoporosis treatment drugs, which may include:

  • Bisphosphonates – medicine that promotes bone density.
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) – drugs that mimic estrogen, a hormone that helps reduce bone loss.
  • Testosterone therapy – testosterone replacement therapy may be beneficial to men with testosterone deficiency. It can help improve bone density.
  • Denosumab – are injection drugs that slow down bone breakdown. Patients usually receive this twice yearly.
  • Parathyroid hormone therapy – PTH therapy can stimulate bone formation and promote bone density and strength. The doctor may recommend this to people with severe osteoporosis when other treatment modalities are ineffective or unsuitable.
  • Bone-building drugs – osteoporosis treatment drugs, such as Teriparatide and Romosozumab, may also be recommended by doctors for severe osteoporosis.

Note that these medicines come with different side effects. Some of them are also not meant for long-term use because of reduced effectiveness.

Key Takeaways

Managing osteoporosis focuses on promoting bone health, preventing bone breakdown, and preventing falls and accidents.

Thus, osteoporosis treatment involves lifestyle modifications, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and medications. Note that doctors do not usually prescribe medicines unless the risk of experiencing fractures in the next 10 years is high.

If you suspect osteoporosis or consider yourself at a higher risk of having it, the best course of action is to consult your doctor.

Learn more about Osteoporosis here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Oct 19
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza