Bone Health and Osteoporosis
You can stop age-related thinning of your bones. You may be suffering from a silent bone problem that could rob you of an active lifestyle. Called osteoporosis, this debilitating disease makes bones thinner and weaker, which can result in fractures that occur easily with just ordinary activities such as bending and lifting. An estimated 1.5 million fractures occur from this disease every year, and many could have been prevented if treated early. It can occur in women and in men.
It is estimated that up to 50% of women and 40% of men will be affected by osteoporosis as they age into their golden years. If treated before the problem develops, we can reduce these numbers and help give you better golden years with a more active life. Modern advancements in medicine have given you many treatment options available to help. Some not only prevent further bone loss but also help you rebuild your bone mass.
Osteoporosis Prevention/treatment options
- Exercise, weight bearing – increases bone mass and muscle tone
- Balanced diet with adequate protein – helps form healthy bone
- Hormone therapy -Prevents osteoporosis and can build bone
- Bisphosphonates – can help preserve bone
- Calcium, Vitamin D, Boron, Silica, etc. – help build bone
At TrueMD, we can help you prevent osteoporosis before it takes a toll on your bones. Dr. Robert True has provided medical assistance and treatments for this in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas for over 30 years. Located in Colleyville, he has been an advocate for improved health of his patient, including prevention and treatment of bone loss problems, specifically osteoporosis treatment. There are many options available to you for these problems. If you have concerns regarding your bone health, call and make an appointment to see him at 817-399-8783.
FAQs For Osteoporosis
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease in which your bones become thin and can break easily. If not managed properly, osteoporosis can lead to fractures that can limit your ability to move, walk, and stay active. These fractures can thus cause severe disabilities and decrease your quality of life.
Most of the time, osteoporosis occurs late in life when a people age.
How Does Osteoporosis occur?
Bone is continually remodeling itself. At any one time, there are cells that dissolve bone and other cells that follow them which lay down new healthy bone. This results in new healthy bone formation every year. It has been estimated that we have a new skeleton rebuilt in our bodies every 2 years.
The cells that break down bone and those that build up bone are stimulated by various factors. If the cells that breakdown bone are stimulated, yet those that build up bone are not stimulated, the result is too much breakdown of bone. This excessive breakdown of bone tissue without adequate build up of it results in thinning of the bone structure and thus osteoporosis.
How Does Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Happen?
After menopause, a decrease in estrogen occurs because the ovaries stop producing it. Estrogen helps prevent bond dissolution. Testosterone helps build bone. Without them, bone break down can occur leading to osteoporosis. Bone loss occurs faster than bone formation without adequate hormones present. The result is decreased bone density and strength, which can lead to an increased risk for fracturing, or breaking, of bones. Make sure you maintain adequate hormones throughout your lifetime if you can.
Does everyone Get Osteoporosis as they get older?
Not everyone gets osteoporosis. Genetic factors play a significant role. However, for those who develop this disease, the effects of declining estrogen can be swift. For instance, some women can lose as much as 20% of their bone mass in the first 3 to 5 years after menopause.
How can I Prevent This Disease from Happening in Me?
There is good news for you. You can keep your bones strong and help protect yourself against osteoporosis through many options. These include exercising, especially weight bearing exercises. These stimulate bone formation through natural effects within the bone structure.
Good nutrition with high protein intake can also help improve bone formation. This includes adequate calcium intake and vitamin D intake. Ingesting 800mg to 1200 mg of calcium per day, in divided doses morning and night can help, but are not adequate by themselves.
Hormones are probably the best treatment of and prevention for osteoporosis. For optimal results, both estradiol and testosterone should be used. Our hormone pellet therapy is available to anyone and we have seen significant increase in bone mass using this therapy.
The amount of vitamin D recommended is variable, but more studies are showing marked beneficial effects of high dose vitamin D not only on increasing calcium absorption, but also on helping to prevent many cancers. Thus, the newer recommendations are to take 4,000 to 5,000 units of Vitamin D daily.
Other supplements that may help include vitamin K (which preferentially deposits calcium into the bones), boron and silicon (which stimulate bone growth)
How do I find out if I have Osteoporosis?
A bone scan can determine if you have osteoporosis. The best bone scan for this is called a Dexascan. A CT scan can also determine this. Once the results are obtained, an analysis called a FRAX may be used to determine your risks of getting a fracture if you have osteoporosis. This is available on the web at www.shel.ac.uk/FRAX.
What Medications can I take to Help Prevent and Treat Osteoporosis?
Maintaining appropriate estrogen levels in your body also helps stimulate bone growth and helps prevent the formation of osteoporosis. There has been a plethora of studies that have confirmed this property of hormones. Thus, if possible and indicated, all women should consider doing hormone therapy of one type or another. There are many options, and these are discussed in our hormone therapy section.
Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that help build up bone mass. They not only can help prevent the development of osteoporosis but can help reverse it to a limited extent if this disease develops. There are many drugs in this class of bisphosphonates. Some of the names include Alendronate (Fosamax) and Risendronate (Actonel). The problem with these is stomach upset most of the times.
These are oral medications which must be taken weekly or daily. Ibandronate (Boniva) is one that can be taken once a month. Ibandronate can also be given intravenously every 3-4 months. Another intravenous one is zoledronic acid (Zomeg). Unfortunately, they are quite expensive.
Hormones of estradiol and testosterone cans not only stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss, but they also provide a plethora of other health benefits for your body and can improve your quality of life as you get older. Thus, we at TrueMD tend to recommend this to our patients for these many benefits with few side effects.
Where can I get Treatment for Osteoporosis?
Dr. True can prescribe these medications and counsel you regarding osteoporosis. In addition, he offers the new intravenous therapy for this problem for those patients who have excessive stomach upset problems from taking the oral medications. If you would like further information regarding osteoporosis, your risks and the benefits of treatments, make an appointment with him at 817-399-8783.