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Osteoporosis Explanation And Overview

Jan 16, 2008
Osteoporosis is a very common disease, yet there are many questions surrounding it. This is a debilitating disease affecting the bones of mostly adult patients. There is currently no medical cure for osteoporosis, yet diet and lifestyle choices can help prevent the onset of the condition.

As one of the most common types of arthritis, osteoporosis occurs when there is too much calcium lost from the bones. When the bones lose excessive calcium, the degree of bone density is also affected. Osteoporosis can cause bones to become fragile and brittle, substantially increasing the risk of bone fractures. Women are significantly more likely to suffer from the degree of calcium loss that is required to decrease bone density and result in osteoporosis.

Like many medical conditions that affect the common population, prevention is the key to keeping osteoporosis at bay. If you are like the many adults at risk of developing osteoporosis, consider consuming a diet high in calcium. Most health and dietary professionals recommend that your diet includes 1500 mg of calcium each day. Certain high-calcium foods, including milk, dairy-based foods, salmon, sardines and other fish, are great choices for providing a natural calcium boost.

Ask your doctor how you can supplement your diet with added calcium. Many dieticians and doctors also suggest taking an additional vitamin D supplement, as it will aid in the absorption of this extra calcium. Natural sunlight is a fantastic source, and you can absorb Vitamin D by simply spending more time in the sun.

If over-the-counter supplements are required, you may be able to achieve the required levels of Vitamin D and calcium with just one multivitamin. Speak with your doctor to make sure that you are getting all of the nutrients you need to prevent osteoporosis. He or she will be able to assess your condition and suggest the appropriate level of required supplements.

If you are a woman already diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor may suggest an estrogen treatment as a viable option. This type of therapy can help increase bone mass and density in your spine and hips. Estrogen therapy may also decrease a woman's risk of developing osteoporosis. Other possible benefits of estrogen replacement therapy include a reduction in the risk of heart attack and heart failure. It's important, however, to be aware of certain side effects. Studies have shown that there may be a link between estrogen therapy and breast cancer.

Adults who drink or smoke should limit these activities as much as possible in their efforts to prevent osteoporosis. Research shows that smoking lowers natural estrogen levels, leaving the bones at greater risk for losing mass. There is also a direct link between moderate to heavy alcohol and an increased loss of bone density.

To prevent osteoporosis, it's important to get enough exercise on a regular basis. Use weight bearing exercise to improve your muscular strength and build essential bone mass. Another great exercise choice is walking, as it helps to prevent osteoporosis and boosts your overall good health.

Individuals suffering from osteoporosis have other treatment options to consider. Prescription drug medications are available to help restore bone density and slow the progress of the condition, and new drug therapies are currently in development. It's important to have a professional health assessment and understand all of your treatment options, before deciding on the method of therapy that's best for you.

Speak with your doctor if you think you may be at risk of developing osteoporosis, or believe that you have the condition. Learn about the steps that you can take to prevent the onset of osteoporosis, and get more facts about treatment options. The fact is, you can live more comfortably with osteoporosis.
About the Author
Varian Sperks is a freelancer for numerous web magazines, on healthy body and health diet fitness guide subjects.
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