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Get Treatment For Osteoporosis

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Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Osteoporosis Treatment?

With over 50 years of experience in providing quality healthcare to the community of Los Angeles, our hospital will offer you the most effective treatment if you struggle with osteoporosis. Our team of medical professionals specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and can thereby design a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs. If you suffer from osteoporosis, we strongly encourage you to come to Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, where you will receive the treatment you need in a warm and compassionate environment.

As a disease that weakens the bones to the point where they become easy to break, osteoporosis mostly affects bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. It is also known as a silent disease since the majority of people who struggle with it do not know they have it until they experience a fracture.

However, before a fracture occurs, your bones had been slowly losing strength for many years. While osteoporosis can occur in people of any age, it mostly develops in the elderly. Around the age of 30, bone mass stops increasing, which requires you to ensure that your bones remain strong by taking certain dietary supplements and engaging in regular physical activity.

In the United States, over 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis at the moment. Furthermore, other 43 million have a low bone mass, which increases their chances of developing osteoporosis in the future. It is worthy of note that women are 4 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men because of the decrease in estrogen after menopause.

The treatment you will receive for osteoporosis will highly depend on the severity of your disease, your age, your general health, and your preferences. Some of the main purposes of osteoporosis treatment are to decrease your pain, prevent fractures and minimize further bone loss. The following are some of the ways you can treat osteoporosis, that are also methods of preventing it:

  • maintaining a healthy body weight
  • walking frequently and engaging in weight-bearing exercises
  • limiting caffeine and alcohol intake
  • quitting smoking
  • keeping adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D through supplements and a healthy diet
  • installing railings or aiding devices in the bathroom to prevent falls
  • asking your doctor about medicines that might be of help

For women with osteoporosis at menopause, the following medications have proven to be very effective in maintaining bone health, whether they are prone to developing osteoporosis or they are already struggling with it:

  • estrogen replacement therapy: this treatment reduces bone loss, increases bone density, and lowers the risk of hip and spinal fractures, but you must talk with your doctor first before you try it, as the risks of estrogen replacement therapy sometimes outweigh the benefits
  • bisphosphonates: these drugs reduce bone loss, increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures and include alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate, and zoledronic acid
  • selective estrogen receptor modulators: these medications help prevent bone loss
  • parathyroid hormone: this medication is a form of parathyroid hormone that helps form bone tissue
  • monoclonal antibody: this drug is given by a shot under the skin and is approved for women with osteoporosis who are at high risk of suffering fractures, while also being used for women who are being treated with cancer medicines that can weaken bones
  • calcitonin: this hormone helps hinder bone loss and is available as a shot or nasal spray to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis in women

Furthermore, a rehab program for osteoporosis can be essential for people who struggle with this disease. It may help achieve great bone health and quality of life. The primary focus of rehab is to decrease pain, help prevent fractures and minimize further bone loss. This program includes the following:

  • exercise programs to enhance physical fitness
  • methods to manage your pain
  • nutritional counseling to improve vitamin D and calcium levels and to limit alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • practical types of equipment for home safety
  • fall prevention training

There are multiple specialists involved in a rehab program for osteoporosis. Some of them are dietitians, internists, occupational therapists, orthopedists, orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, recreational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, social workers, and vocational therapists.

There are 2 types of osteoporosis, namely:

  • primary: as the most common type of osteoporosis, this includes postmenopausal osteoporosis (type I) and senile osteoporosis (type II)
  • secondary: this is characterized as having a definable etiologic mechanism, meaning that it entails bone loss that results from specific, well-defined clinical disorders

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Some people who suffer from osteoporosis may experience no symptoms. However, the most common symptoms in people with this disease are the following:

  • receding gums
  • weaker grip strength
  • loss of height
  • weak and brittle fingernails
  • fracture as a result of a fall
  • back or neck pain
  • stooped posture
  • a compression fracture

Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

The diagnostic process of osteoporosis will begin with your doctor asking you about the symptoms you are experiencing. If they suspect osteoporosis, which may be the case if you are a woman at menopause who has recently suffered a fracture, they will order some of the following tests to establish a correct and accurate diagnosis:

  • bone density test: this test is used to measure the mass of bones and their volume to determine the risk of developing osteoporosis
  • blood tests: the purpose of blood tests is to measure the calcium and potassium levels in your blood, as a low concentration of calcium and potassium may indicate osteoporosis
  • FRAX score: this is a rate given to evaluate the risk of a fracture within 10 years and uses the results of a bone density test, as well as other factors
  • X-rays: this test uses energy beams to make images of tissues, bones, and organs on film, which will help your doctor see your bones

There are numerous risk factors for osteoporosis, such as the following:

  • steroids: treatment with steroids for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can affect the formation of bone by lowering the amount of calcium absorbed from the gut and by increasing calcium loss through the kidneys
  • lack of estrogen in your body: this is particularly relevant for women who are at menopause or for those who had their ovaries removed, as loss of estrogen will quickly be followed by bone loss
  • lack of weight-bearing exercise: regular exercise promotes bone development and, consequently, lack of exercise means that your risk of developing osteoporosis will be higher as a result of losing calcium from the bones
  • poor diet: if you have a diet poor in calcium or vitamin D or if you are very underweight, you are at higher risk of coming to struggle with osteoporosis
  • smoking: heavy tobacco smoking takes a toll on the health of your bones, as smoke is directly toxic to the bones
  • heavy drinking: excessive alcohol intake reduces the capacity of the body to make bone and it also increases the risk of breaking a bone as a result of a fall
  • family history: if one of your close family members struggles with osteoporosis, your chances of developing it when you are elderly are significantly increased

While you must always follow the instructions of your doctor and take your prescribed treatment for osteoporosis, you may want to try some of the following alternative therapies, which have proven to be quite effective in alleviating the symptoms of osteoporosis:

  • acupuncture: as a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture entails a specialist inserting thin needles through various strategic parts of your body and is believed to stimulate certain organs and body functions and promote healing
  • tai chi: it involves a series of flowing body postures and reputable medical studies found that tai chi might boost the immune system and improve the overall well-being of older adults
  • melatonin: melatonin is a hormone that is made by the pineal gland in your body and has been praised for years as a natural sleep aid, as well as for its anti-inflammatory properties and researchers found that melatonin promotes healthy bone cell growth
  • red clover: red clover is believed to contain elements similar to estrogen and, since natural estrogen can help protect bone, certain alternative care practitioners recommend the use of red clover to treat osteoporosis
  • soy: soy is another food that contains estrogen, which promotes the health of your bones
  • black cohosh: this herb has been used in Native American medicine for years and it also contains phytoestrogens, a substance that is similar to estrogen, that may help prevent bone loss

Although there is no known way to prevent osteoporosis, particularly if you have a genetic predisposition to developing it, you can lower your chances or come to struggle with a milder form if you avoid certain risk factors, such as:

  • lack of weight-bearing exercise
  • poor diet
  • tobacco smoking
  • heavy drinking

By making sure you engage in regular weight-bearing exercise, you include sources of vitamin D and calcium in your diet, you quit smoking and you avoid excessive alcohol consumption, you may lower your chances of developing osteoporosis.

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