https://www.healthcentral.com/condition/osteoporosis
Osteoporosis

Let's Talk About Osteoporosis

We've got the doctor-approved scoop on causes, symptoms, treatments, and a jillion other facts and tips that can make life with osteoporosis easier.

    Our Pro PanelOsteoporosis

    We tapped some of the best experts in the field for the most scientific and up-to-date information possible.

    Stephen Honig, M.D.

    Stephen Honig, M.D.Rheumatologist and Director

    Osteoporosis Center at NYU Langone
    New York, NY
    Kendall Moseley, M.D.

    Kendall Moseley, M.D.Medical Director

    Johns Hopkins Metabolic Bone & Osteoporosis Center
    Baltimore, MD
    Mary Jane Minkin, M.D.

    Mary Jane Minkin, M.D.Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Services

    Yale School of Medicine
    New Haven, CT
    Osteoporosis stats by the numbers; average age, number of people affected, annual cost.
    Nikki Cagle
    Common treatments for osteoporosis include antiresorptives, anabolic agents, weight-bearing exercise, and Mediterranean diet.
    Nikki Cagle
    Five ways to prevent osteoporosis include bone-healthy diet, weight-bearing exercise, quit smoking, get enough sleep, limit alcohol.
    Nikki Cagle

    Frequently Asked QuestionsOsteoporosis

    What causes osteoporosis?

    The term osteoporosis means quite simply porous bones. Your bones get so brittle, they break. As adults, we’re always losing bone mass and building new bone. Osteoporosis develops when you lose more bone than you’re creating. The underlying cause is very low bone density, and that can stem from a whole host of factors including your genetics, assigned gender and hormones, your diet, and your lifestyle choices.

    What is the relationship between diet and osteoporosis?

    The cliché “you are what you eat” applies here. Bone is mostly made of calcium, so getting adequate levels is essential. People who didn’t get enough as children—or suffered from an eating disorder such as anorexia—don’t reach their full bone mass potential, which makes them more at risk for osteoporosis later in life. To build healthy, strong bones at any age, you want to get calcium and vitamin D through foods (dairy products, fatty fishes, calcium-rich fruit and veggies) and also eat food rich in magnesium, vitamin K, and vitamin K. Avoid high-protein and high-sodium diets, as well as heavy drinking, soft drinks such as Colas, and excess caffeine, all of which can interfere with your calcium levels.

    How can I reverse osteoporosis?

    You may not be able to cure your osteoporosis, but you can stabilize your bone density levels, and even improve them a bit, preventing future fractures. If you’re prescribed drugs by your physician, take them. Beyond meds, make sure you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D, doing weight-bearing exercise, and limiting alcohol. And if you smoke, quit.

    What is the best and safest treatment for osteoporosis?

    When it comes to osteoporosis drugs, you’ve got a lot of options. The best one for you will be decided by your physician based on the condition of your bones. If you’re at high risk of fracture, you’ll likely be put on an oral drug (Fosamax or Boniva) that slows bone loss. If you’re at a very high risk of fracture, your doctor may jump to more aggressive injectable bone-building meds such as Forteo.

    Krista Bennett DeMaio

    Krista Bennett DeMaio

    @Kbdemaio

    Krista Bennett DeMaio is a health and beauty writer living in Huntington, NY with her husband and three daughters.