WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS? It is the most common bone disease and is characterized by compromised, that is DECREASED, bone strength leading to an increased risk of fracture. This disease does not cause any symptoms, and because of this, people do not know they have it until they unexpectedly fracture a bone or
are diagnosed by a bone density scan, or DEXA.
The bone density test is indicated to measure how “solid” your bones are—it can alert you to problems with your bones before you have a fracture. The “Z-score” represents numbers that compare your bones with others your age. The “T-score” compares the condition of your bones with those of an average young person with healthy bones—those of a 25-30 year-old. * The lower your bone density score, the greater the risk you have of fracture.
HOW IS OSTEOPOROSIS TREATED?
1. We recommend adequate amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D3 in the foods you eat and/or the supplements you take every day. When you don’t take in enough calcium from your diet, supplements may become essential or the calcium will be taken from your bones. Vitamin D is necessary because it promotes the absorption of the calcium in your gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations in the blood to enable normal mineralization of the bone.
*Unless you are instructed not to take either of these supplements or you are being treated by another provider, the recommended dosing for Calcium with Vitamin D3 is one 600mg tablet, two times a day. Add a daily multivitamin with minerals. In addition, include a separate Vitamin D3 tablet, 2,000 IU daily. Taken this way, you’ll receive 1,200 mg of Calcium and >2000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 each day.
2. If being treated with medications specifically for osteoporosis/osteopenia, take them as prescribed.
3. EXERCISE! This will help to prevent falls and fall-related fractures by strengthening your bones and muscles which improve your balance, coordination, and flexibility. The best exercises are weight-bearing activities and any movement that makes you work against gravity.
4. Finally, find out everything you can about this disease process. It will help you “turn it around!” Go to nof.org or your local library to find out more. Questions?