Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by progressive loss of bone density, thinning of bone tissue and increased vulnerability to fractures. Osteoporosis may result from disease, dietary (vitamin C and D) or hormonal deficiency (estrogen and testosterone or advanced age.
Early stages: No symptoms
Late in the disease: bone pain, fractures with or without trauma, loss of height, stooped posture or kyphosis "dowager's hump"
- Bone mineral density testing (specifically a densitometry or DEXA scan).
- Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) -in rare cases.
- Spine or hip x-ray may show fracture or collapse of the spinal bones.
The goals of osteoporosis treatment are to control pain from the disease, slow down or stop bone loss, prevent bone fractures.
Biphosphonates- prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
Calcitonin- slows the rate of bone loss and relieves bone pain
Estrogens or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) - rarely used to prevent osteoporosis
Teriparatide (Forteo) - postmenopausal women who have severe osteoporosis
Raloxifene (Evista) - prevention and treatment of osteoporosis
- Regular exercise and vitamin and mineral supplements can reduce and even reverse loss of bone density.
- Get at least 1,200 milligrams per day of calcium and 800 - 1,000 international units of vitamin D3.
- Quit smoking, if you smoke. Also limit alcohol intake.
- Bone mineral density measurements taken every 1 - 2 years.
- Women taking estrogen should have routine mammograms, pelvic exams, and Pap smears.
- Vertebroplasty - small fractures in your spinal column due to osteoporosis.