Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Beat Osteoporosis it without drugs

Osteoporosis is a very real threat, especially for women. Have you ever really looked at the side effects of the drugs, offered by the pharmaceutical companies, to solve this problem? It is a wonder that anyone survives taking the cure.

There is a sane way to deal with Osteoporosis that has no harmful side effects. You have to do only two things.

1. stop causing it

2. rebuild your bones naturally

First understand that Osteoporosis is not caused by a lack of some toxic drug. It is caused by lifestyle choices. To stop causing it you need to change your lifestyle choices that cause it.

An acid forming diet is the primary cause. When you eat animal products, grains (especially wheat) or products with refined sugar, or other toxic chemicals in them, the end ash after digestion is acid. If there is not enough base minerals in that meal to neutralize the acid your body has to rob the bones and/or teeth of calcium to neutralize the acid.

Your body does this to prevent the acid from killing you.

So to stop causing osteoporosis you need to limit things that have to be cooked or that are processed with heat before you eat them. Many people drink milk for the calcium. The problem is that all milk in the US has been pasteurized. After pasteurization the calcium in milk is no longer useful for building strong bones. It forms acid upon digestion and actually contributes to osteoporosis. Raw milk is better if you can get it. However we were not designed to drink milk past the age of 3 years, and cow’s milk was designed for a growing calf

Another lifestyle factor is a sedentary life. Our bodies were designed for activity. If your bones are not subjected to stress they will not be as strong as if you led an active lifestyle.

To build strong bones and eliminate osteoporosis from being a possible risk to your health, you need to change.

It is necessary that you get active. At the very minimum you should be walking every day. I am talking more than from your refrigerator to the couch, or to your office chair, from your car. It is recommended that we walk at least about 3 miles, or one half hour each day. I am not talking about thirty feet at a time. I am talking 30 minutes of steady walking.

The next thing is to eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables. Raw fruits and vegetable contain the best calcium for building strong bones, and teeth. The interesting thing is that most of our natural foods taste better raw so why would you want to cook them.

Most people have trouble eating all raw so we recommend 75 – 85% raw and the rest cooked vegetables. If you still can’t take this much raw start where you can and try to get over 50% raw as soon as possible.

I eat fruit for breakfast and either fruit or a salad for lunch. Limit dairy, and if you must eat some meat products try to keep the quantity small and eat it with a large salad. Let the meat be only a flavoring for the salad, not the main course.

In countries where meat is used as a condiment for flavoring only osteoporosis is nearly unheard-of.

Charles Snyder is a Health Minister and teacher of Natural Hygiene. He can be contacted through this web link, http://www.hopeanswers.com/contact.html You can find many articles on health at his arthritis site. http://www.arthritis-back-knee-pain-free-health-restored.com

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Osteoporosis, Bone Disease That Silently Robs Your Bones


Osteoporosis, Bone Disease That Silently Robs Your Bones
By Patricia Weber

When you look in the mirror, it doesn’t come into view. Just imagine, you could be twenty, thirty, forty or older and it could afflict you. People who look at you don’t see it. When it does finally surface on the outside for any human eye to see, the harm may be irreversible. The scary part is the external warning of osteoporosis is silent while inside the body is clamoring for help.

Many women rate turning fifty as a positively high experience. I once looked forward to the celebration. The inner peace that comes with this proclaimed turning point is chafed only by my recent diagnosis of osteopenia. Osteopenia is the beginning phase of osteoporosis. Any age is too young for this disease.

My hope of naturally preventing further bone density loss and even reversibility is to not take drugs for the rest of my life. I prefer to walk around straight and stand short at 5 foot 2 inches. Unbelievably my new gynecologist reported my height at one inch less than just a short thirty years ago. My fear is that only a life sentence to some prescription drug will be the answer. Most of my anger is, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” The rest of the anger is of closed and under-educated minds in a medical society that takes the Hippocratic oath.

For almost 2 years I asked my gynecologist to prescribe a bone density test for me. He tried to appease me by dismissing my concerns of what I was reading. “You're too young; you needn't worry about this.” But, the risk factors in health magazine articles were consistent. Finally he respected my request.

Can you imagine knowing more about the reading of a medical test of this nature than your doctor? It was inconceivable, but true. The results revealed I was in the beginning stages of the precursor to osteoporosis; something called osteopenia. The test results read similar to what I found in the book The Osteoporosis Cure by Harris McIlwain, MD and Debra Fulghum Bruce. My doctor immediately wrote up a prescription for me. It was for a drug with known possible side effects including breast cancer. He was not interested in hearing about my plan for first trying one year of an alternative program to include more exercise, added soy products and increased calcium supplements. The potential, natural approach to prevent and reverse bone density loss lies in a number of year-round daily routines.

Walking is healthy for both the body and the mind. The outside pleasurable venture is a time to soak in sunshine and nature with cooperative weather. The treadmill is a more repetitive, boring journey to a healthy body but it is tolerable. Weight lifting eventually pays off with a lean looking body besides helping the skeleton. Weight bearing exercise, including a suggestion from what one woman with severe osteo told me: when in a standing position, as often as possible, put all your weight on just one foot. Every step or skip or jump you take tells your bones to bring in some calcium from somewhere in your body. For the longest time the added benefit of keeping my bones strong was not high on my intention of the activities. Some things change. For one there are no options now. I hate not having options. Daily exercise, including weight lifting is a necessity.

Remember when your mom said, “Drink all your milk?” Profound and simple wisdom. Calcium, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals that activate the absorption of the calcium, is part of my daily diet. Calcium on its own is not enough. It needs at a minimum, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium and zinc. Those chocolate chews Viactiv™ ease the pill popping dilemma. All this and more, is essential for the building of our bone structure until we are 30. After 30 or so it seems our body finds difficulty in building and even weakens in maintaining calcium. I wish this information and even more was rampant 20 years ago. If you know you can choose life with or without a straight jacket, what would you choose? More than what you probably want to know about all these vitamins and minerals is found in Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis by Alan R. Gaby, MD.

If drugs didn’t have a part in the creation, why would they need to have anything to do with sustaining? I’ve always held physicians in high esteem for their technical expertise. Sometimes their bedside manner is an added bonus in the relationship. But, what good is having a doctor near your bedside if they can only sing you to sleep by singing loudly and off key in your ears? When you ask questions of your long trusted doctor and he or she says, “Gee I’ve never heard of that,” the discomfort is frightening. Yes, I would rather have more of the questions, yet I’m wanting the doctor to have more of the answers. The thing they tend to do best is rush to hand you a pre-written prescription for some drug. I fired my gynecologist of almost 20 years. I found an internal medicine doctor, who also does the gynecological tests, on recommendation. She is more current in her information, education and cautiousness to prescribe drugs.

I correspond with several women diagnosed with osteoporosis who took the natural way to bone rebuilding. For all 6 or so of them, a year later none, not one, reported that it worked. A drug prescription is now their life sentence. Yet, there is a recent study of women adding 50 high jumps a day into their exercise. The results increased bone density in all ages of women. One year later, on reading about the study again, it turns out you need to wear a weighted vest to achieve better results.

I’ve discovered osteoporosis is the story for millions of women, yet you don’t have to honor the gathering with your presence. What makes me the angriest is its highly probable I could have prevented or at least minimized all this. You can prevent and reverse your skeletal life structure from collapsing when you begin to take charge of your own health and when you begin early in adulthood, age 30 or so. Fear and anger don’t have to make an unexpected visit. If it’s not too late for you, bone-up on the facts! (pun intended) While there’s still time, you may want to make some easy changes.

Copyright© Patricia Weber, http://www.prostrategies.com.

Pat Weber is a coach, certified telelcass leader, and corporate trainer. With her incisive, effective communication skills, her services can help you to accelerate professional and personal results you want, by helping you increase your choices and build your self-confidence. With personal coaching, a teleclass, an online email course or on-site workshop, get what you want, more easily and more often. Visit her website at http://www.prostrategies.com. Contact her for a free coaching session.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


Treat Osteoporosis Naturally


Treat Osteoporosis Naturally
By Beverly Marshall

Osteoporosis is a condition that faces every baby boomer; man or woman. Women are more prone to getting this after menopause, but men can also have “porous bones.” Women have much thinner bones and will lose calcium more quickly. Calcium is what makes up the content of the bones and when that is decreased your bones will become more fragile, brittle and break easily. Any type of sudden movement such as a sneeze can become a problem for someone with severe osteoporosis. Often times the patient isn’t aware they have this bone problem until the break has already occurred. Small compression fractures can occur in the spine and this creates the bent over appearance or widow’s hump. All of this happens silently and until you experience a bad break or have a lot of back pain; you may not know this is going on. So many of us are at risk of this debilitating disease; it really is becoming a public health concern. Some of the risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:

• Age. Osteoporosis will likely occur as you grow older and your bones lose density

• Race. Caucasian women are among the highest risks categories, but African American women are at risk as well.

• Lifestyle Habits. A heavy drinker or smoker is at a much higher risk.

• Lack of exercise. If you are a couch potato or don’t do much weight bearing exercise you are at a higher risk.

• Diet. If your diet is low in calcium and protein you might increase your risks.

• Type of figure. If you have small bones you are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

• Anorexia or bulimia. These two are thought to increase the rate of bone loss.

• Early menopause. It is thought that early menopause naturally or surgically leads to high risks of osteoporosis.

If you don’t want to take prescription drugs for problems as you age; alternative medicine might be the answer for you. Most complementary treatments focus on building strong bones because bone can actually be replaced even after loss has occurred. It is suggested you eat a healthy diet that is low in fat and high in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and high in calcium is called for. That sounds like it is pretty much good for everybody, right? Some of the foods that are especially good are sardines, salmon, almonds, and dark leafy green vegetables. Supplements you can take are calcium, Vitamin D and magnesium. Don’t forget about working out with weights and a regular exercise program. If you want to take herbal supplements; oat straw, alfalfa, licorice, marsh mallow and yellow dock, dong quai, and Asian ginseng are thought to slow down bone loss. There has been a lot of controversy lately about taking HRT so why not try a natural hormone replacement such as plant estrogens from soybeans or natural progesterone from wild yam?

When is it too early to start a treatment to prevent osteoporosis? The answer is it is never too early to start a prevention program. It is said there is really no cure for osteoporosis, but if you begin in your twenties to follow some of the things stated above, you can help prevent this debilitating disease from taking over your senior years. Don’t be afraid to talk to your physician about alternative treatments to osteoporosis or other diseases. Alternative treatments allow you to start making some of the decisions for your body and you can take control of the aging process naturally.

Beverly Marshall is a successful freelance writer, certified Aromatherapist and Feng Shui consultant. Her many articles offer guidance, suggestions and common sense ideas to change your life. If you are interested in products and information regarding alternative medicine, vitamins, osteoporosis, menopause, essential oils, insomnia, anti aging, dry skin and more; her many articles can be found at http://www.alternative-medicine-4u.com/osteoporosis.htm

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


New Treatments That Offer Increased Hope For Osteoporosis Patients


New Treatments That Offer Increased Hope For Osteoporosis Patients
by: Janet Vasquez

For a time, hormone replacement therapy (the administration of estrogen either alone or in combination with other hormones) served as the preferred treatment for post-menopausal women hoping to reduce the progression of osteoporosis, a debilitating and inevitable bone-thinning disorder. Yet the latest findings from the prematurely halted Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study on hormone replacement therapy alarmed many women. The study concluded that an estrogen and progestin combination used by thousands increased the risk of breast cancer, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes when taken over a long period of time.

Osteoporosis is drastically accelerated during menopause and is the third leading cause of death of women over 70. By age 55, the average woman has already lost 30% of her bone mass. Eventually, bone loss can progress to the point where bones become so thin that they are susceptible to fracture from even the slightest trauma. According the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one out of every two women over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime. Caucasian and Asian women are more likely to develop osteoporosis. However, African American and Hispanic women are at significant risk for developing the disease. Additionally, small-boned and thin women (under 127 pounds) are at greater risk for osteoporosis.

Many women are now searching for a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy to alleviate the effects of osteoporosis. Current treatments on the market such as bisphosphonates and SERMs (estrogen-related therapies) have safety issues and focus primarily on slowing bone loss. Another existing treatment option is calcitonin, a naturally occurring hormone involved in calcium regulation and bone metabolism. In women who are more than 5 years beyond menopause calcitonin slows bone loss, increases spinal bone density and, according to recent studies, reduces the risk of spinal fractures. In recent trials, calcitonin demonstrated a 62% reduction in the incidence of new vertebral fractures for a subgroup of women over 75, one of the most significant reductions demonstrated by any current osteoporosis therapy. In addition, calcitonin is the only osteoporosis therapy that can reduce the significant bone pain often associated with osteoporosis. Because calcitonin is a peptide, it cannot be taken orally because it would be digested before it could exert its therapeutic effect. Currently calcitonin is available as an injection or nasal spray. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) is currently reviewing FORTICAL‚, a unique nasal calcitonin product developed by Unigene Laboratories, and Unigene is also developing an oral form of the product.

A new therapeutic option is parathyroid hormone (PTH), which can rebuild bone mass that has been lost due to osteoporosis. PTH has proven to increase the volume and strength of honeycomb-shaped bone mass located within the bone. This inner mesh contains blood vessels and bone marrow and begins to diminish after menopause. PTH helps reduce the incidence of fractures by restoring some of the lost bone architecture. Currently, PTH therapy is available only via daily injections. Unigene Laboratories and GlaxoSmithKline are jointly developing a PTH treatment that can be administered orally.

“Calcitonin has a proven, 25-year record of safe human use with virtually no side effects, and can be taken simultaneously with other medications,” said Dr. Warren Levy, president and CEO of Unigene. “After the WHI study, safety has become an even more important consideration because once a therapy is initiated, it should ideally be taken for life.”

For more information on osteoporosis and treatment options, please log on to www.unigene.com.

About The Author

Janet Vasquez is a freelance health writer and also a publicist with a New York firm in New York.



Natural Progesterone and Osteoporosis Treatment Success


Natural Progesterone and Osteoporosis Treatment Success
By David Buster

Using natural progesterone and osteoporosis was successfully treated? Is it possible? After all, natural progesterone is safe to use with virtually no side effects when used correctly. It is one of the two primary hormones produced in a healthy woman during the menstrual cycle, the other hormone being estrogen. In perhaps the only study of natural progesterone and osteoporosis treatment of its kind, the success obtained by a leading Harvard-trained physician for reversing osteoporosis in women is explained.

What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a progressive disease where the bones become more porous and weaker over time. Untreated, osteoporosis will weaken, disable and kill both women and men. Almost half of the women in the United States will fracture a hip, forearm or spine sometime in their lifetime. 20% of women who fracture their hip will die within one year. And it is not just a disease of the elderly. Osteoporosis regularly begins its destructive process for women in their 30's. Becoming slightly shorter in height is the most noticable of the osteoporosis symptoms. Osteoporosis causes postural changes, and it makes one more likely to have a bone fracture as one ages.

There are two kinds of bone cells that one should understand. Osteoclasts are the cells that travel through bone tissue, finding bone tissue that needs replacing, removing old bone by dissolving it and leaving small cavities or pores where there once was bone. Osteoblasts are the cells that form new bone cells in the cavities left by the dissolving tissue. This continous process of bone resorption and new bone formation is how bones are kept strong in the healthy body. Bone strength is the result of the balance of these two processes. Osteoporosis happens when more bone tissue is being dissolved than is being rebuilt.

When are the bones the strongest in women? Bone strength is greatest at around age 30 for women. Bone loss typically begins in women 5-20 years before menopause. Osteoporosis occurs regularly in both women and men. Even though a man begins to lose bone mass considerably later in life than a woman, bone loss happens in men. Women often begin losing bone mass as early as in their 30's, whereas bone loss begins in the 50's for a man. By the time men reach their 70's, their bone weakness equals that of women.

Harvard-trained Dr. John R. Lee is the author of the best-selling womens health book What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Menopause. Dr. Lee studied 100 of his women patients that were in various stages of osteoporosis. The women in his study ranged in ages from 38 to 83 with 62.5 being the average age. By adding supplementation with natural progesterone to an existing natural osteoporosis treatment program, Dr. Lee found that bone density was increased every year by 3-5% until it stabilized at the bone density levels expected for a 35-year old woman! All 100 women using the natural progesterone and osteoporosis treatment reversed their bone loss and grew new bone cells. These results are astounding!

Dr. Lee also observed that the women who had experienced the most bone loss were the ones that increased bone density the fastest when using this natural progesterone and osteoporosis reversal treatment! Dr. Lee makes it very clear that natural progesterone and osteoporosis treatment must include the osteoporosis treatment elements of proper diet, nutrients and exercise. And for women approaching the age of menopause (late 40's to early 50's) and older, he felt that natural progesterone supplementation would greatly benefit women that had already experienced considerable bone loss, and that natural progesterone would rebuild new bone cells.

Anyone can easily make lifestyle changes that will include weight-bearing exercise, proper diet, nutritional supplements and natural progesterone and osteoporosis treatment. Stopping bone loss, rebuilding and strengthening your bones is entirely possible, according to Dr. Lee. If you or someone you know is at risk for osteoporosis, learn more and benefit from the successes of Dr. Lee and other physicians in safely and effectively treating osteoporosis, a debilitating disease.

David Buster is VP of InfoSearch Publishing and is one of the webmasters of http://www.safemenopausesolutions.com - a website of physician-recommended natural treatments for health problems. Visit the website and learn more about natural ways for improving your health.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/





Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which bone mineral density is reduced and bone microarchitecture is disrupted. Osteoporotic bones are susceptible to fracture. It is defined according to the bone mineral density (BMD) as measured by DEXA: a BMD of 2.5 standard deviations below the peak bone mass (20-year-old person standard) is considered osteoporosis. While treatment modalities are becoming available, prevention is still the most important way to reduce fracture. Due to its hormonal component, more women suffer from osteoporosis than men.

1 Signs and symptoms
1.1 Clinical picture
1.2 Risk factors
2 Diagnosis
3 Etiology
4 Pathogenesis
5 Epidemiology
6 Natural history
7 Treatment
8 Prognosis
9 External Links

Signs and symptoms

Clinical picture
Osteoporotic fractures are those that occur under slight amount of stresses that would not normally lead to fractures in nonosteoporotic people. Typical fractures occur in the vertebral column, hip and wrist. Collapse of vertebrae leads to chronic pain and characteristic bent statue, while the fractures of the long bones acutely impair mobility and may require surgery. Hip fracture, in particular, carries a poor prognosis.

While osteoporosis may occur in men, the problem is overwhelmingly one of postmenopausal women.

Risk factors
Risk factors for osteoporotic fracture can be split between modifiable and non-modifiable:

Nonmodifiable: history of fracture as an adult, family history of fracture, female sex, advanced age, European ancestry, and dementia
Potentially modifiable: tobacco smoking, intake of soft drinks (containing phosphoric acid), low body weight <58 kg (127 lb), estrogen deficiency, early menopause (<45 years) or bilateral oophorectomy, prolonged premenstrual amenorrhea (>1 year), low calcium intake, alcoholism, impaired eyesight despite adequate correction, recurrent falls, inadequate physical activity (i.e. too less but also far too excessive), poor health/frailty.

Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is considered the diagnostic standard for osteoporosis when bone mineral density (BMD) is over 2.5 standard deviations under the peak bone mass (bone mass of a healthy 30-year-old, or T-score).

In order to differentiate between the possible causes of osteoporosis, blood tests and X-rays are usually done to rule out cancer with metastasis to the bone, multiple myeloma, Cushing's disease and other causes mentioned above.

Estrogen deficiency following menopause causes a rapid reduction in BMD. This, plus the increased risk of falling associated with aging, leads to fractures of the wrist, spine and hip. Other hormone deficiency states can lead to osteoporosis, such as testosterone deficiency. Glucocorticoid or thyroxine excess states also lead to osteoporosis. Lastly, calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency from malnutrition increases the risk of osteoporosis.

List of disorders associated with osteoporosis:

Hypogonadal states - Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, anorexia nervosa, hypothalamic amenorrhea, hyperprolactinemia.
Endocrine disorders - Cushing's syndrome, hyperparathyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, acromegaly, adrenal insufficiency
Nutritional and gastrointestinal disorders - malnutrition, parenteral nutrition, malabsorption syndromes, gastrectomy, severe liver disease (especially biliary cirrhosis), pernicious anemia.
Rheumatologic disorders - rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis
Hematologic disorders/malignancy - multiple myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia, mastocytosis, hemophilia, thalassemia.
Inherited disorders - osteogenesis imperfecta, Marfan syndrome, hemochromatosis, hypophosphatasia, glycogen storage diseases, homocystinuria, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, porphyria, Menkes' syndrome, epidermolysis bullosa.
Iatrogenic osteoporosis, caused by the therapeutic use of glucocorticoids.
Other disorders - immobilization, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pregnancy and lactation, scoliosis, multiple sclerosis, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis

The underlying mechanism in all cases of osteoporosis is an imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation. Either bone resorption is excessive, or bone formation is diminished. Bone matrix is manufactured by the osteoblast cells, whereas bone resorption is accomplished by osteoclast cells. Trabecular bone is the sponge-like bone in the center of long bones and vertabrae. Cortical bone is the hard outer shell of bones. Because osteoblasts and osteoclasts inhabit the surface of bones, trabecular bone is more active, more subject to bone turnover, to remodeling. Long before any overt fractures occur, the small spicules of trabecular bone break and are reformed in the process known as remodeling. Bone will grow and change shape in response to physical stress. The bony prominences and attachments in runners are different in shape and size than those in weightlifters. It is an accumulation of fractures in trabecular bone that are incompletely repaired that leads to the manifestation of osteoporosis. The common osteoporotic fracture sited, the wrist, the hip and the spine, have a relatively high trabecular bone to cortical bone ratio. These areas rely on trabecular bone for strength.

Low peak bone mass is important in the development of osteoporosis. Bone mass peaks in both men and women between the ages of 25 and 35, thereafter diminishing. Achieving a higher peak bone mass through exercise and proper nutrition during adolescence is important for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Bone remodeling is heavily influenced by nutritional and hormonal factors. Calcium and vitamin D are nutrients required for normal bone growth. Parathyroid hormone regulates the mineral composition of bone, with higher levels causing resorption of calcium and bone. Glucocorticoid hormones cause osteoclast activity to increase, causing bone resorption. Calcitonin, estrogen and testosterone increase osteoblast activity, causing bone growth. The loss of estrogen following menopause causes a phase of rapid bone loss. Similarly, testosterone levels in men diminish with advancing age and are related to male osteoporosis.

Physical activity causes bone remodeling. People who remain physically active throughout life have a lower risk of osteoporosis. Conversely, people who are bedridden are at a significantly increased risk. Physical activity has its greatest impact during adolescence, affecting peak bone mass most. In adults, physical activity helps maintain bone mass, and can increase it by 1 or 2%. However, excessive exercise can lead to constant damages to the bones which can cause exhaustion of the structures as described above. There are numerous examples of marathon runners who developed severe osteoporosis later in life.

Lastly, osteoporosis on its own would not be a significant disease, were it not for the falls which precipitate fractures. Age-related sarcopenia, or loss of muscle mass, loss of balance and dementia contribute greatly to the increased fracture risk in patients with osteoporosis. Physical fitness in later life is associated more with a decreased risk of falling than with an increased bone mineral density.

It is estimated that 10 million Americans have established osteoporosis and another 34 million have osteopenia, or low bone mass, which leads to osteoporosis. It is responsible for 1.5 million fractures annually, mostly involving the lumbar vertebrae, hip, and wrist. About 50% of women and 25% of men are expected to have osteoporosis in their lifetime. The estimated US(?) national direct expenditures (hospitals and nursing homes) for osteoporotic and associated fractures was $17 billion in 2001.

Natural history
Today, most cases of osteoporosis are diagnosed before symptoms develop. This is due to widespread screening for osteoporosis using the DEXA scan. With treatment, bone mineral density increases, and fracture risk decreases.

In the absence of treatment, overt osteoporosis is heralded by a fracture. Some fractures, like vertebral compression fractures or sacral insufficiency fractures, may not be apparent at first, appearing to patient and physician as a very bad back ache or completely without symptoms. Hip fractures and wrist fractures are more obvious.

Hip fractures are responsible for the most serious consequences of osteoporosis. In the United States, osteoporosis causes a predisposition to more than 250,000 hip fractures yearly. It is estimated that a 50-year-old white woman has a 17.5% lifetime risk of fracture of the proximal femur. The incidence of hip fractures increases each decade from the sixth through the ninth for both women and men for all populations. The highest incidence is found among those men and women ages 80 or older.

An estimated 700,000 women have a first vertebral fracture each year. The lifetime risk of a clinically detected symptomatic vertebral fracture is about 15% in a 50-year-old white woman.

Distal radius fractures, usually of the [[Colles fracture|Colles]' type, are the third most common type of osteoporotic fractures. In the United States, the total annual number of Colles' fractures is about 250,000. The lifetime risk of sustaining a Colles' fracture is about 16% for white women. By the time women reach age 70, about 20% have had at least one wrist fracture.

Patients at risk for osteoporosis (e.g. steroid use) are generally treated with vitamin D and calcium supplements. In renal disease, a different form of Vitamin D (D3) is used, as the kidney cannot adequately synthesise D3 from precursors.

In osteoporosis (or a very high risk), bisphosphonate drugs are prescribed. The most often prescribed bisphosphonate is presently sodium alendronate (Fosamax®) 10 mg a day or 70 mg once a week. Other commonly used treatments include risedronate (Actonel®), another bisphosphonate, and raloxifene (Evista®), a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM).

Recently, teriparatide (Forsteo®, recombinant parathyroid hormone) has been shown to be effective in osteoporosis, either alone or together with alendronate. Oral Strontium ranelate has also become available; this agent may also increase bone, rather than simply halting its breakdown. Both teriparatide and strontium are registered only for treatment if bisphosphonates have failed or are contraindicated.

Changes to lifestyle factors and diet are also recommended; the "at-risk" patient should include up to 1000mg of calcium in their diet (1500mg for a post-menopausal woman), which is roughly 3 servings of foodstuffs high in calcium daily. However, the benefit of supplementation of calcium alone remains to a degree controversial, since several nations with high calcium intakes through milk-products (e.g. the USA, Sweden) have some of the highest rates of osteoporosis worldwide. A few studies even suggested an adverse affect of calcium excess on bone density and blamed the milk-industry for misleading customers. Some nutrionalists assert that excess consumption of dairy products causes acification, which leaches calcium from the system, and argue that vegetables and nuts are a better source of calcium and that in fact milk products should be avoided. In any case, thirty minutes of weight-bearing exercise such as walking or jogging, three times a week, has been shown to increase bone mineral density, and reduce the risk of falls by strengthening the major muscle groups in the legs and back.

Increasing vitamin D intake has been shown to reduce fractures up to twenty-five percent in older people, according to recent studies. The current RDA is 600-700 IU, but it may have to be raised to 700-800 IU based on new information. Information on this research is available at Daily News Central.

Patients with osteoporosis are at a high risk for additional fractures (the best predictor of fracture is a previous fracture). Treatment can improve fracture risk considerably.

Fractures can lead to decreased mobility and an additional risk of deep venous thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism. Vertebral fractures can lead to severe chronic pain of neurogenic origin, which can be hard to control.

Although osteoporosis patients have an increased mortality rate due to the complications of fracture, most patients die with the disease rather than of it.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.