Dealing With Osteoporosis In Women

By on August 2, 2013

Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease in which bones become weak and fragile. Osteoporosis affects all bones in your body.

But, breaks are most common in wrist, hip and spine or vertebrae. Osteoporosis in the spinal vertebrae may cause serious problems for women because a spine supports your body that helps to stand and sit up.

It can make it harder for you to do regular tasks such as walking, lifting objects, bending forward and climbing stairs.

Osteoporosis In WomenThere are many factors that can increase the risk of osteoporosis in women such as getting older, a family history of osteoporosis, menopause, small and thin bones, infrequent periods, not getting enough exercise, smoking, certain medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, type 1 diabetes, etc. Approximately 200 million women are suffering from osteoporosis worldwide.

Dealing With Osteoporosis In Women

Fortunately, preventative strategies are used in managing osteoporosis in women such as bone-healthy lifestyles like adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, exercise and smoking cessation and treatments like prescribed medications, drug therapy, hormone therapy, calcium and vitamin supplement, etc.

Bone-healthy lifestyles: Protecting your bones health is easier than you think. Diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors play major role in building and maintaining good bone health for women at each stage of life.

Calcium intake: A good calcium intake is essential throughout your life as it helps to build and keep strong bones. Women, who are above 50 should take 1,500 mg of calcium every day.

The main dietary sources of calcium are milk and other low-fat dairy products like cottage cheese and Yogurt. You can also get calcium from:

  • Fortified orange juices, bread, oatmeal and cereals
  • Dark leafy greens like kale, broccoli and collards
  • Beans and legumes
  • A variety of seafood like salmon and sardines with bones

Calcium supplements maybe suggested if a woman cannot get enough calcium in their diet. However, be careful not to take more than 2,000 mg of calcium a day as higher amounts may increase the risk of kidney problems.

Vitamin D intake: Your body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium. You can get vitamin D from egg yolks, oily fish like tuna, salmon and sardines, cereal and milk fortified with vitamin D and from supplements.

Sunlight also contributes to the body’s production of vitamin D. You need 10-15 minutes of sunlight to the hands, arms and face, two to three times a week to get enough vitamin D. Women age above 50 needs to consume at least 1000-2000 IU every day.

More than that is not recommended because it may harm your liver and also lower bone mass. If you do not get enough vitamin D through your diet, ask your doctor about the supplements. Many doctors may suggest the cod-liver oil supplements to help with osteoporosis in women.

Exercise: Another important thing to do to deal with Osteoporosis in women is to include physical activity in your daily routine. Exercise is essential for maintaining healthy bones. Do weight-bearing exercises like jogging, walking, gardening, playing tennis, climbing stairs and practicing yoga, which help to keep your bones healthy and strong.

Exercise for at least 30 minutes for three to four times a week as it helps to improve your bone mass in premenopausal women and also help to maintain bone density after menopause. But it is essential to talk with your doctor before starting any exercise as high-impact activities may lead to fractures in weakened bones.

Smoking and alcohol abuse: Smoking increases your chance of getting osteoporosis because smoking harms your bones and lowers the amount of estrogens which in turn causes quick bone loss.

If you have the habit of drinking, don’t drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day because it can make your body harder to consume the calcium intake which in turn leads to lower bone density.

Other Treatments for Osteoporosis in Women

Treatments for osteoporosis in women include:

Drug therapy: two different drugs such as teriparatide and denosumad help to increase bone mineral density.

Hormone therapy: hormones therapy replaces estrogen and also reduces the rate of bone loss. Hormone therapy mainly helps to treat menopausal symptoms and prevent osteoporosis.

If you are using hormone therapy only for osteoporosis prevention, be sure to talk with your doctor as he or she can suggest proper hormone therapy to prevent osteoporosis in women as well as men.

Medications: Your doctor may prescribe some medications to treat osteoporosis such as actonel, binosto, boniva, fosamax and reclast. These medications help to stop bone loss and increase bone strength. Injectable forteo also helps to increase bone formation.

Calcium and vitamin D supplements: if you do not get enough calcium and vitamin D from the food, your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements. Your doctor may suggest,

Calcium:

  • 1000 mg daily for men and women 19 to 70 years old
  • 1200 mg daily for men and women 71 years and older

Vitamin D:

  • 400-800 IU ( international units) for men and women 19 to 70 years old
  • 800-1000 IU for men and women 71 years and older

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