Top Five Osteoporosis Myths
Our bodies are constantly removing bone and rebuilding it. When this cycle is out of sync, with the body, the result can be more bone loss than bone building and repair, which results in osteopenia or osteoporosis depending on the amount of bone loss that has occurred and is measured by a DXA scan.
Osteoporosis Is UnavoidableBone loss from osteoporosis can be prevented and treated. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF): _although there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to prevent, slow or stop its progress. In some cases, you may even be able to improve bone density and reverse the disorder to some degree. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D as well as are essential to bone health. There are also medications available to reduce the risk of broken bones. These medicines either (1) slow or stop bone loss or (2) rebuild bone (NOF 2015). _
Osteoporosis Isn’t Serious
Some view broken bones as an inconvenient health issue that will heal, which it does; but some fractures can shorten your life, cause chronic pain, limited mobility and cause organ compression. Multiple spinal fractures can cause loss of height, compressed organs—which can inhibit lung function—and stomach protrusion since you no longer have enough space in your core for your organs, after you’ve lost height. Losing height also has an impact on your clothing not fitting properly; to making it difficult to find clothes that will fit your new frame.
Only Elder Women Get Osteoporosis
Children, teen agers, young adults, men and women—under 50 and over—can have bone loss. Some of these bone disorders in the younger population are: idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis, transient migratory osteoporosis, pregnancy and lactation induced osteoporosis and juvenile osteoporosis. If you suspect you have one of these or have had a low-trauma fracture, see your doctor so a DXA scan can be scheduled for you.
You Know If You Have Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You don’t feel pain until you have a fracture. You need to have your bone mineral density check with a DXA scan to know how far your bone loss has progressed. T-scores tell you if you are in the normal, osteopenia or osteoporosis range. You can’t feel your bones getting weaker either, so be sure to have them checked and consider appropriate treatment options.
Osteoporosis Isn’t Treatable
We have many options for treatment, from lifestyle changes, diet, and exercise to medications. Diets can include a sufficient amount of protein necessary for bone building and supplements like: calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K and phosphorous. Life style changes can be quitting smoking and avoiding eating disorders. Some of the medications used for treating bone loss are: Actonel®, Fosamax®, Boniva®, Reclast®, Forteo®, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), Prolia®, Protelos®—available in the European Union—and Calcitonin Salmon®, which is available in a nasal spray or injection, and can be used for fracture pain.
If you have osteopenia or osteoporosis check with your doctor to see what treatment options are available to you.
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Pam is a patient educator and digital health writer who has worked for Remedy Health Media on their osteoporosis web site since 2008. Pam is also a group leader and moderator with the National Osteoporosis Foundation Inspire online community since 2012, answering questions and guiding members who are newly diagnosed with bone loss.
Pam wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Osteoporosis.