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Osteoporosis prevention and treatment
Osteoporosis prevention and treatment

Osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases nowadays. It is characterized by abnormal decrease of bone density with aging leading to weak and fragile bones susceptible to fracture. Women in menopause are most likely to get osteoporosis due to the lower levels of the female hormone estrogen that plays an important role to maintain bone mass.

Fortunately, preventive treatments help in maintaining an increase in bone density. However, those who suffer from osteoporosis needs an immediate diagnosis for bone mass density and assessing the risk of fracture is essential to prevent more loss of bone mass and to increase bone density.

Factors that increases the risk of osteoporosis:
  1. Smoking
  2. Being female
  3. Skinniness and tiny structure.
  4. Aging
  5. Positive family history
  6. Rheumatism
  7. Low calcium intake
  8. Low physical activity level
  9. Lack of sun exposure
  10. Early menopause (before 45 years old)
  11. Some medications

Osteoporosis symptoms and signs:

Osteoporosis rarely causes any signs or symptoms and unfortunately bone fracture could be the first sign of having osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis symptoms:
  • Loss of height over time due to stooped posture
  • Bending shoulders
  • Back and leg pain

Therefore, it is necessary to conduct the Dexa scan which is done to test osteoporosis, especially in menopausal women in menopause and men over 70 years old.

Prevention of osteoporosis

  1. Diet
    Eating a variety of food rich in calcium and vitamin D plays a key role in building and keeping bones strong.

    a. Calcium
    It is recommended that women before reaching menopause and all men to take at least 1000 mg of calcium daily. Women during menopause are recommended to take 1200 mg of calcium daily; due to possible side effects daily calcium intake should not exceed 2000 mg daily.

    Calcium resources:
    Milk, diary product such as yoghurt and cheese, leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach and beans. Dried fig, whole sesame seed, some varieties of nuts such as almond. In addition to calcium-added food.

    There is an approximate assessment for calcium amount consumed daily, by multiplying the number of diary products portion by 300 mg. it is advised that women who could not obtain the sufficient amount of calcium in their diet to take calcium supplements. If calcium supplements exceed 500 mg daily, the intake should be divided in two doses (such as in the morning and evening).

    b. Vitamin D
    Experts recommend an intake of 800 IU of vitamin D daily for all men over 70 years old and women after menopause, as this dose is considered sufficient to reduce the loss of bone density and the frequent of fractures. Taking into consideration the sufficient calcium dose as mentioned above. However, 400 600 IU of vitamin D is sufficient for men younger than 70 years old and women before menopause. Therefore, vitamin D supplements is necessary if the vitamin D in the food intake is less than the required amount.

    Vitamin D recourses:
    Fish, eggs, food supplements such as cod liver oil, in addition to calcium added food.

    Protein intake is essential for those who suffer from fracture in one of their bones.

  2. Exercise
    Exercise can help in improving bone density in women before menopause and protecting bone density after menopause. As well as reducing the risk of hip fracture as muscles become stronger. Experts recommend exercising at least half an hour three times per week.

  3. Quit smoking
    Studies concluded that smoking increase loss of bone and density. Therefore, quiting smoking is essential to maintain healthy bones.

  4. Avoid falling down
    Falling down increase the risk of bone fracture, therefore precautions should be taken to reduce the risk of falling and having fractures.

Taking some medications for a long period of time or in high doses may lead to reduced bone density. The intake of these medications should be under medical supervision, such as:

  1. Cortisones (Ex. Prednisolone) )
  2. Anticoagulant drugs (Ex. Heparin)
  3. Vitamin A and certain synthetic retinoids

Treatment of osteoporosis
The national osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommend the use of osteoporosis medications for the treatment of Osteoporosis for women after menopause and men over 50 years old. Those who suffered from hip or spine fractures or those who suffer from osteoporosis (T-score > -2.5)

Osteoporosis medications could be used for those who suffer from reduced bone density but not reaching the margin of osteopenia.

Bisphosphonates are used for prevebting and treating osteoporosis as these reduce bone fractures.
These medications should be taken on an empty stomach with a large glass of water early in the morning and avoid lying down for half an hour at least after taking them as well as:
  • No food and drug intake for at least half hour when taking medications containing Alendronate and Risedronate
  • No food and drug intake for at least one hour when taking medications containing Ibandronate.

These instructions are necessary to reduce to the side effects of these medications which may include upset stomach and esophagus ulcer.

Osteoporosis may jeopardize your health; therefore it is necessary to take the needed precautions and medical measurements to maintain healthy bones.

Publish Date: 29/03/2012
Total Rates: ( 2 / 5 )
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