What is the treatment of Osteoporosis in women

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 18, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Several medications help prevent osteoporosis in women.
  • Bisphosphonates are medications that slow bone breakdown.
  • These drugs need to be taken first thing in the morning.
  • Exercise and calcium-rich foods are also recommended.

Osteoporosis causes bones to become abnormally thin, weakened, and easily broken. This condition can be treated and prevented with diet, exercise, and not smoking.

There are several medications that help prevent osteoporosis in women after menopause. Alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), or raloxifene (Evista) are the best medications for it.

Treatment for osteoporosis includes medications, lifestyle modifications, and exercise. Here is an outline of osteoporosis treatment.

Treatment in premenopausal women

The relationship between bone density and fracture risk in premenopausal women is not well defined. A premenopausal woman with low bone density may have little increased risk of fracture. Thus, bone density alone should not be used to diagnose osteoporosis in a premenopausal woman; further evaluation is generally recommended.

Bisphosphonates —
Bisphosphonates are medications that slow the breakdown and removal of bone (i.e. resorption). They are widely used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

These drugs need to be taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach with a full 8 oz glass of plain (not sparkling) water. The person must then wait:

  • At least half an hour (with alendronate [Fosamax] and risedronate [Actonel]) before eating or taking any other medications.
  • At least one hour (with ibandronate [Boniva]) before eating or taking any other medications.


Osteoporosis Exercise

It’s never too late to start a bone-healthy exercise program, even if you already have osteoporosis or are at high risk of developing osteoporosis.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the best exercises for building and maintaining bone density are:

  • Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, that makes you work against gravity while staying upright.
  • Muscle-strengthening exercise, such as weight lifting, that makes you work against gravity in a standing, sitting, or prone position.

Don't rely entirely on medication and exercise as the only treatment for your osteoporosis. Eat a healthy diet and make certain that you're getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Being underweight or losing a lot of weight unintentionally is associated with poorer bone health and a higher risk of fracture — even if you're taking a bisphosphonate.

To ensure that people are getting enough calcium to build and maintain strong bones, doctors recommend eating plenty of calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, salmon, tofu, and leafy green vegetables.

You should also quit smoking and limit alcohol intake because they speed up bone loss.

Image Source: Getty

Read more articles on Osteoporosis in Women.


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