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OsteoporosisOsteoporosis Treatment

Let's Talk About Osteoporosis Treatment

When bones are weak, staving off further damage and preventing a fracture are both important. Read up on the moves, meds and other treatments proven to help.

    Our Pro PanelOsteoporosis Treatment

    We went to some of the nation's top osteoporosis experts to bring you the most scientific and up-to-date information possible.

    Saika Sharmeen, M.D.

    Saika Sharmeen, M.D.Rheumatologist and Assistant Professor

    Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University
    Stony Brook, NY
    Eliana Cardozo, D.O.

    Eliana Cardozo, D.O.Physiatrist and Assistant Professor

    Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital
    New York, NY
    Stephen Liu, M.D.

    Stephen Liu, M.D.Clinical Assistant Professor

    UCLA School of Medicine
    Los Angeles, CA

    Frequently Asked QuestionsOsteoporosis Treatment

    Are there any natural remedies for osteoporosis?

    Beyond lifestyle upgrades like following a nourishing diet that includes calcium and vitamin D, and doing weight-bearing exercises most days, there are natural remedies that hold promise for osteoporosis. Small studies have suggested acupuncture may increase bone growth in people with the condition. Tai Chi has been noted to reduce falling in elderly folks. Research has also suggested soy isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens, may slow bone loss, but not enough to replace conventional osteoporosis medications.

    Can osteoporosis be reversed?

    It’s unlikely that you’ll see a complete osteoporosis reversal or cure, but with medication and lifestyle changes, you may be able to improve your bone density and T-score, getting your bones out of the danger zone for breakage. Doctors say the goal of treating osteoporosis is stability and preventing fractures.

    Which type of a doctor should I see for osteoporosis?

    Unlike many other conditions, there’s no one specialist for osteoporosis. Your internist and gynecologist may suggest a routine bone density screening. Osteoporosis can also be diagnosed and treated by endocrinologists because of its hormonal connection, rheumatologists (who treat conditions affecting joints and bones), physiatrists (who treat joints, muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments, and tendons), and orthopedists (who treat fractures).

    Will I need to take my osteoporosis medication forever?

    That’s a no. Current osteoporosis guidelines are to treat with bisphosphonates for up to three years, and if your bone density improves, then take a break—what’s known as a drug holiday. Bisphosphonates linger in your bones after you stop taking it, so you’re still getting protection. More high-risk fracture patients should remain on them for up to ten years. The anabolic agents can only be given for a year or two, depending on the drug, due to the potential side effects of long-term use.

    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.