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What Causes Osteoporosis?

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Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones, increasing the risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. Literally meaning "porous bone," osteoporosis results in an increased loss of bone mass and strength.

The disease often progresses without any symptoms or pain. Many times, osteoporosis is not discovered until weakened bones cause painful fractures usually in the back or hips. Unfortunately, once you have a broken bone due to osteoporosisyou are at high risk of having another. And these fractures can be debilitating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent osteoporosis from ever occurring. And treatments can slow the rate of bone loss if you already have osteoporosis.

Though we do not know the exact cause of osteoporosiswe do know how the disease develops. Your bones are made of living, growing tissue. An outer shell of cortical or dense bone encases trabecular bone, a sponge-like bone. When a bone is weakened by osteoporosis, the "holes" in the "sponge" grow larger and more numerous, weakening the internal structure of the bone, actonel mayo clinic. Until about age 30, a person normally builds more bone than he or she loses. During the aging process, bone breakdown begins to outpace bone buildup, resulting in a gradual loss of bone mass.

Once this loss of bone reaches a certain point, a person has osteoporosis. There is a direct relationship between the lack of estrogen du ring perimenopause and menopau se and the development of osteoporosis. Early menopause before age 45 and any prolonged periods in which hormone levels are low and menstrual periods are absent or infrequent can cause loss of bone mass. Osteoporosis is often called a "silent disease" because initially bone loss occurs without symptoms.

People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes a fracture or a vertebra to collapse. Collapsed vertebrae may initially be felt or seen in the form of severe back painloss of height, or spinal deformities such as stooped posture. A painless and accurate test can provide information about bone health and osteoporosis before problems begin. Bone mineral density BMD tests, or bone measurements, are X-rays that use very small amounts of radiation to determine bone strength.

A bone mineral density test is indicated for:. Hormone therapy [estrogen] is believed to be useful in preventing or alleviating the increased rate of bone loss that leads to actonel mayo clinic. If you are using hormone therapy only for osteoporosis prevention, be sure to talk to your doctor so you can weigh the benefits of hormone therapy against your personal risk and consider other medications for your bones. If needed, your doctor can prescribe different treatme nts to help prevent osteoporosis, actonel mayo clinic.

If you are lactose intolerant or have difficulty digesting milk, actonel mayo clinic, you may not be getting enough calcium in your diet. Although most dairy products may be intolerable, some yogurt and hard cheeses might be digestible. You can also eat lactose-containing food by actonel mayo clinic treating it with commercial preparations of lactase which can be added as drops or taken as pills. There are also lactose-free dairy products you can buy.

You can also eat lactose-free foods high in calcium, such as leafy green vegetables, salmon with bonesand broccoli. There are many foods that are fortified actonel mayo clinic calcium too, such a some orange juices and breads.

Weight-bearing exercises are activities that make your muscles work against gravity. Walking, hiking, stair-climbing, or jogging are all weight-bearing exercises that help build strong bones. Thirty minutes of regular exercise at least 3 to 4 days a week or every other day along with a healthy diet may increase peak bone mass in younger people.

Older women and men who engage in regular exercise may experience decreased bone loss or even increased bone mass. If you have osteoporosis, it is important to protect yourself against accidental falls, which may result in fractures. Take the following precautions to make your home safe:. How Is Osteoporosis Related to Menopause? What Are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?

Continued Who Gets Osteoporosis? Important risk factors for osteoporosis include: After maximum bone density and strength is reached generally actonel mayo clinic age 30bone mass begins to naturally decline with age.

Women over the age of 50 have the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. In fact, women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. Research has shown that Caucasian and Asian women are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Additionally, actonel mayo clinic, hip fractures are twice as likely to occur in Caucasian women as in African-American women. However, women of color who fracture their hips have a higher mortality.

Bone structure and body weight. Petite and thin women have a greater risk of developing actonel mayo clinic in part because they have less bone to lose than women with more body weight and larger frames. Similarly, small-boned, thin men are at greater risk than men with larger frames and more body weight. Heredity is one of the most important risk factors for osteoporosis. If your parents or grandparents have had any signs of osteoporosissuch as a fractured hip after a minor fall, actonel mayo clinic, you may be at greater risk of developing the disease.

The use of some medications, such as the long term use of steroids like prednisone can also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Some diseases including cancer and stroke may increase your risk for osteoporosis.

A bone mineral density test is indicated for: Women age 65 and older, actonel mayo clinic. Women with numerous actonel mayo clinic factors. Menopausal women who have had fractures.

How Is Osteoporosis Treated? Treatments for established osteoporosis meaning, you already have osteoporosis include: Weight-bearing exercises which make your muscles work against gravity.

Alternatives can allergies cause acne hormone therapy include: This group of medications includes the drugs alendronate Binosto, Fosamaxrisedronate Actonel, Atelviaibandronate Boniva and zoledronic acid Reclast, Zometa. All can help prevent spine fractures. This drug is a selective estrogen receptor modulator SERM that has many estrogen-like properties.

It is approved for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and can prevent bone loss at the spinehip, and other areas of the body. It may increase the risk of blood clots like estrogen. They help rebuild bone and increases bone mineral density. They are given by injection and are used as a treatment for osteoporosis. It is used to treat women at high risk of fracture ascorbic acid cancer other osteoporosis drugs have not worked, actonel mayo clinic.

How Can I Prevent Actonel mayo clinic There are multiple ways you can help protect yourself against osteoporosis, including: Establish a regular exercise program.

Exercise makes bones and muscles stronger and helps prevent bone loss, actonel mayo clinic. It also helps you stay active and mobile.

Weight-bearing exercises, done at least three to four times a week, are best for preventing osteoporosis. Walking, joggingactonel mayo clinic, playing tennis, and dancing are all good weight-bearing exercises. In addition, strength and balance exercises may help you avoid falls, decreasing your chance of breaking a bone.

Eat foods high in calcium. Getting enough calcium throughout your life helps to build and keep strong bones.

For those at high risk of developing osteoporosis, such as postmenopausal women and men, the RDA increases up to 1, mg each day. Excellent abilify homeopathic sleep aid of calcium are milk and dairy products low-fat versions are recommendedcanned fish with bones like salmon and sardines, dark green leafy vegetables, actonel mayo clinic, such as kale, collards and broccoli, calcium-fortified orange juice, and breads made with calcium-fortified flour.

If you think you need to take a supplement to get enough calcium, check with your doctor first. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are actonel mayo clinic forms of calcium supplements. Younger adults may be able to tolerate up to mg a day but check with your doctor.

Too much can increase the chance of developing kidney stones. Your body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium, actonel mayo clinic. You can also get vitamin D from eggs, fatty fish like salmon, cereal and milk fortified with vitamin D, as well as from supplements. People aged 51 to 70 should have IU daily. More than 4, IU of vitamin Actonel mayo clinic each day is not recommended.

Talk actonel mayo clinic your doctor to see how much is right for you because it may harm actonel mayo clinic kidneys and even lower bone mass.

Most of the bisphosphonates that are taken by mouth as well as raloxifene Evista can be given to help prevent osteoporosis in people who are at high risk for fractures. Estrogen, a hormone produced by the ovaries, helps protect against bone loss. It is used as treatment for the prevention of osteoporosis. To learn more, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of estrogen therapy.

Actonel mayo clinic the high risk medications. Steroids, some breast cancer treatments such as aromatase inhibitorsdrugs used to treat seizures anticonvulsantsblood thinners anticoagulantsand thyroid medications can increase the rate of bone loss. If you are taking any of these drugs, speak with your doctor about how to reduce your risk of bone loss through diet, lifestyle changes and, possibly, additional medication.

 

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