Your bone is continually remodeling as old bone cells are broken down and replaced. When new bone isn’t created quickly enough to compensate for dead and dying bone cells, osteoporosis can develop. Osteoporosis is a condition where bones gradually become weak and brittle so that even a minor fall or coughing can cause a fracture.
Most osteoporosis-related fractures occur in the wrist, hip, or spine.
Osteoporosis can affect men and women, but older women who are postmenopausal are at highest risk. This is because a reduction in estrogen levels at menopause is one of the biggest risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?
Typically, osteoporosis causes no symptoms during its early stages, but once the bones have become weakened, symptoms may include:
- Changes to your posture and a loss of height
- Back pain that can be caused by collapsed or fractured vertebrae
- A bone that fractures more easily than expected
When to Seek A Diagnosis?
It is worth talking to your physician or NYC general practitioner if you went through early menopause or were prescribed corticosteroids for several months at a time. Also, if one or both of your parents had hip fractures, your risk of osteoporosis may be higher. Your bone density can be measured using a scanner. Typically, only a few bones are measured and are usually your wrist, hip, and spine.
Osteoporosis Treatment in NYC
After assessing your risk, dr internist can recommend suitable treatments based on our findings. These are usually based on how likely you are to break a bone in the next ten years. If your risk is generally quite low, medication might not be appropriate. Instead, osteoporosis treatment will focus on modifying possible risk factors for falls and bone loss.
People who are at a higher risk of bone fractures might be prescribed bisphosphonates, but these can cause side effects, including abdominal pain and nausea. Our best NY doctors advise you to take the bisphosphonates correctly to reduce the risk of side effects.
You may also take this osteoporosis treatment in injection form; in which case you would only need a quarterly or yearly injection. This can be easier to remember than taking a weekly or monthly pill.
The best treatment for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women could be hormone -related therapy. Estrogen, when taken soon after menopause, can help to maintain bone density.
How to Treat Osteoporosis Using Lifestyle and Home Remedies
In addition to using medications, it can be useful to modify specific lifestyle factors.
One of the most important is not to smoke. This is because smoking increases the rate of bone loss and consequently, the risk of experiencing a fracture.
Excess alcohol can decrease bone formation, so make sure you don’t consume any more than two alcoholic drinks a day. Wearing low heeled shoes and checking they have non-slip soles will help reduce your risk of falls. Also, make sure area rugs cannot slip and that electrical cords are tucked safely away. It’s a good idea to make sure your home is well lit, and if needed, consider grab bars outside and inside your shower.
Weight-bearing exercises are good for your bones, as are activities that help promote good posture and balance.
Choose exercises like weightlifting, running, jumping, walking, and dancing to an intensity level appropriate for your fitness.
The Best Treatment for Osteoporosis Is Prevention
Ideally, if you have good nutrition and take regular exercise, you can ensure you have healthy bones for life. To prevent osteoporosis, consider the following suggestions.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein is essential for healthy bones, and although most people get plenty of protein, vegetarians and vegans can struggle. Older adults may also eat less protein and could benefit from supplementation.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
If you are underweight, your risk of bone loss and fractures increases. Excess weight also increases the risk of fractures in your wrists and arms. Maintaining a healthy body weight is good for bone health and general health.
Between age 18 and 50, you need 1000 mg of calcium daily. After women turn 50 and men turn 70, this amount increases to 1200 mg. Good sources of calcium include dark green leafy vegetables, fortified orange juice and cereals, low-fat dairy products and canned sardines or salmon. Soy products, such as tofu also contain calcium.
Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium and is frequently obtained through exposure to sunlight. However, during the winter months, you may require a supplement. People who are housebound or who regularly avoid the sun or use sunscreen might also benefit from vitamin D supplements.
Ideally, begin regularly exercising when you are young and continue to exercise throughout your life, but exercise can benefit your bone health whenever you start. Combine weight-bearing exercises with strength training and balance exercises. The best weight-bearing exercises include jogging, walking, stair climbing, and skiing. Balance exercises like Tai Chi can reduce the risk of falling as you age.
Osteoporosis Treatment Plan
Based on multiple tests our doctors can evaluate your risk and recommend suitable treatments for bone loss. If risk is low, osteoporosis treatment will focus on modifying risk factors for falls and bone loss. For people with high risk of developing osteoporosis we offer multiple treatment options including bisphosphonates, injections and hormone -related therapy.
Please make an appointment with one of our osteoporosis specialists in Midtown Manhattan or Upper East Side. Our primary care doctors and bone loss specialists forward to meeting you!