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Walking is especially good because it is safe for all ages. Eat the recommended amount of calcium. Maintain a healthy level of vitamin D through dairy products vitamin D pills or sunshine exposure. Don't diet excessively or try to be "fashionably" thin. Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day.

Symptoms Anatomy Osteoporosis affects all of the bones. Initial symptoms Most of the time there are no warning signs for osteoporosis. Symptoms The symptoms of osteoporosis are height loss and bone fractures that occur with minimal trauma. Secondary effects Patients with "kyphosis" which is the curvature of the back seen after several fractures of the vertebra can develop heartburn.

Conditions with similar symptoms Fractures with minmal trauma can also be caused by: Trauma Pathologic fracture from neoplasm Osteomalacia Paget's disease Infections (such as tuberculosis) Fibrous dysplasia Peripheral neuropathy "March" fractures from repetitive stress Diagnosis and evaluation Diagnosis A person who has bone fractures with only minor trauma such as a simple fall probably has osteoporosis. Diagnostic tests Bone density tests can estimate the risk of a fracture but can not tell if an individual person will or will not break a bone.

Effects The bone density test is easy can be done in about 15 minutes and is painless. Health care team Osteoporosis is a common disease. Finding a doctor Because there is no specialty for osteoporosis, it is not easy to know which physicians in any community have the most knowledge and experience with osteoporosis - especially in complicated cases. Management and treatment Treatment The first step in treating osteoporosis is to start all the lifestyle factors discussed previously.

Health care team Osteoporosis is treated by a team of health care providers including physicians, nurses and physical therapists. Pain and fatigue The pain from osteoporosis is treated with the same medications as other kinds of pain. Diet The diet has been discussed in the prevention section. Exercise and therapy Physical therapy can help to increase the muscle and bone strength. Medications The medications used to treat osteoporosis depend on the cause of the osteoporosis. If there is no specific cause, then the following treatments have been approved by the US FDA: estrogen bisphosphonates (alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate) calcitonin raloxifene teriparatide denosumab Some patients do not want to take any medications and would prefer to just follow dietary and exercise recommendations.

Surgery The role of surgery after a spine fracture is uncertain. At present research is being done to answer the questions about risk and long-term effects. Splints or braces In serious cases of kyphosis (forward curvature of the spine caused by vertbral fractures from osteoporosis) braces can stabilize the spine and provide protection. Alternative remedies Hip pads can prevent fractures in frail persons with osteoporosis. Long-term management Osteoporosis is a chronic condition and frequently treatment involves prescription medications.

Unproven remedies Some patients think that if some calcium is good for the bones then more calcium must be better. Coping Strategies for coping Kyphosis is disfiguring and one stategy for coping is to wear fashions that will minimize the curvature of the back. Work Some patients with serious osteoporosis will have restrictions placed on lifting, especially picking objects up from the floor.

Resources For more information about osteoporosis, read the web page by Dr. Research Condition research The disease osteoporosis was ignored by medical researchers for many years. Pharmaceutical research Currently, pharmaceutical companies are conducting clinical trials with medicines that have looked promising in preliminary studies. Non-surgical research There are also trials for a unique form of exercise which involves small frequent vibrations. Surgical research Studies of the effects of surgical treatment for osteoporosis involve testing the safety of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.

Cellular genetics or tissue research New genes for osteoporosis are discovered every year. Conclusion Summary of osteoporosis Osteoporosis is a common problem that can respond to treatment and prevention. Exercise, healthy diet, and adequate calcium and vitamin D are important steps that everybody can take to improve their bone strength.

Osteoporosis affects men too. Preventing new fractures is the basic goal of osteoporosis treatment. The bone density findings provide valuable clues but the real reason for treatment is to prevent fractures. Estrogen deficiency is the most common cause of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone-thinning disease in which the skeleton becomes so fragile that even the slightest trauma can cause a bone to fracture. It progresses gradually and painlessly, so that people are often unaware they have osteoporosis until they suffer a painful fracture. The disease affects 28 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. After menopause, almost all women are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis, and there are other factors that may increase the risk further such as low body weight, certain medical conditions and medications, family history, and smoking and alcohol use.

Osteoporosis develops less often in men because they have larger skeletons, bone loss starts later and progresses more slowly, and there is no period of rapid hormonal change and accompanying rapid bone loss. Many people think that it is an inevitable part of aging, but you can dramatically reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis by building and maintaining strong bones. Bone loss occurs without symptoms and it begins as early as in your 30s.

Whatever your age, now is the time to begin preventing osteoporosis by eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercising regularly, not smoking, and limiting your intake of alcohol. Doing weight-bearing exercise (exercise that forces you to work against gravity) such as walking, tennis, golf or hiking is essential in building and maintaining strong bones. Experts say most women do not drink enough milk or eat enough dairy products to get the recommended amount of calcium.

Teenage girls need between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day, and adult women ages 20-50 need about 1000 milligrams a day. Anyone who suspects they may be at risk of developing osteoporosis should discuss any concerns with a physician. A bone mass measurement can measure bone density in various parts of the body, and medical treatments are available that may help slow progression of the disease. For more information on osteoporosis, click here. How common is osteoporosis.

Who is at risk for osteoporosis.