Treating Osteoporosis

Does getting a diagnosis of osteoporosis mean you need to wrap yourself in bubble wrap? Or live your life in fear of the fateful fall that may break your bones?

Absolutely not.

Being diagnosed with osteoporosis means that your bones have become thinner and are easier to break. Fortunately, this is a treatable condition. You and your doctor will need to discuss how to stop the loss of bone mass, rebuild your bones and prevent broken bones in the future.

How is Osteoporosis diagnosed?

All women over the age of 65 should talk to their doctor about being tested for osteoporosis, since it is a silent disease that may not display early symptoms.

Your doctor can order a bone mineral density (BMD) test. A BMD test is similar to an x-ray, painless and non-invasive. The test looks at how dense or strong your bones are and then compares the results to those of the average healthy adult.

You most likely won’t have the bones of a 20-year-old when you’re 75, but your test results can let you know:

  • if your bone density is normal
  • if your bone density is low, putting you at risk for osteoporosis
  • if you already have osteoporosis

Common treatments for Osteoporosis

There are numerous ways to prevent osteoporosis effectively and reduce excessive bone loss. Here are some common treatments that can help:

  1. Proper nutrition

    Your bones are living, growing parts of your body. What you eat will largely determine how strong your bones are. A well-balanced diet will help make sure that you are getting the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need for happy, healthy bones.

    The National Institute of Health recommends adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Most people over the age of 50 may benefit from 1,000 mg of calcium and 800 units of vitamin D (Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 2010) per day.

  2. Exercise

    When you exercise, you are not only building muscle but strengthening your bones, since physical activity can help you grow new bone tissue. The most recommended types of activities for people with osteoporosis are:

    • Strength exercises using free weights or resistance bands
    • Aerobic and other weight-bearing exercises
    • Flexibility exercises
    • Balance and stability exercises
  3. Safety precautions

    Remember that if you have osteoporosis that your bones are weak, so treat them with respect. When you are starting a new exercise program or other activity, talk to your doctor or a physical therapist trained in osteoporosis treatment. Look for exercises and activities that do not have any sudden or jarring movements.

    The National Institute on Aging recommends avoiding activities that put strain on your spine, such as twisting or bending forward at the waist, including sit-ups, toe touches or swinging a golf club.

  4. Medications

    Your doctor may talk with you about prescribing medication that will slow down the rate of bone loss or help rebuild bone material. Some of the common types, such as estrogen, focus on regulating or balancing your hormone levels.

Health Recommendations for living with Osteoporosis

Put away your bubble wrap and prepare to start or continue to enjoy an active lifestyle even if you’ve already been diagnosed with osteoporosis. However, with activity comes the risk of falls.

Falls can result in a broken hip, wrist or spine and can have deadly consequences. The Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis states that:

  • One out of five people with a hip fracture will die within a year after their injury
  • One out of three independent adults who fracture a hip will spend at least a year in a nursing home

Ironically, staying at home and not moving can actually increase your chance of falling. The National Institute of Aging states that a fear of falling can lead to:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Loss of balance
  • Poor coordination

Regular exercise can keep your muscles and bones stronger and more flexible, helping prevent you from falling. If you feel nervous about being active on your own, the fall detection technology on the Lively Mobile Plus medical alert device can be one way to ease your mind while you are staying active. The technology senses the sudden movements that lead to a fall and will activate an urgent response agent who can assess your situation and get you the help you need.

A diagnosis of osteoporosis is a reminder to stay active and focus on improving the health of your bones.

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43 thoughts on “Treating Osteoporosis

  1. ann lane
    June 20, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    I have osteoposyerosious for two years.my doctor took me off colosteroil5 maths ago.hormones.should I get on it?an how long should I take it?age 69i don’t exercise.i take two vitamins d which is 1,200 mg.a day.

  2. Ruth
    July 12, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    tums daily are pure calcium. Check with your doctor first for appropriate amount to ingest.

  3. Jeanne
    August 13, 2019 at 3:07 am

    I’m too afraid of the side effects of meds like prolia etc. like jaw issues and stomach issues. if anyone has reactions and side effects from treatments it’s me. What else can I do to help my bone loss and prevent fractures? My dr ssudvkm too far gone for calcium etc. ?? I’m 68. Thanks.

  4. Susan
    August 13, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Jeanne, I take the generic of Evista. I would not take injections or infusions. I also get my calcium in food as much as possible. I do take Citracal supplement as well. It’s in the morning and then try to get rest in my food.

  5. Sandy
    August 16, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    I was just informed I have osteoporosis, and Dr. Suggested Prolia. 1 shot every 6 months.
    Please give commentd
    Thank you

    1. Anonymous
      October 21, 2019 at 1:32 am

      If you start a Prolia, do not stop it. I stopped it because I got pancreatitis from it, but six months later I started getting fractures of the spine. Now I am back on it .

  6. Laura Ferradino
    August 16, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    I have osteopenia. My Dr recommend that I change up my supplements. He said to take the Jarrows Formula “Bone Up”. He told me that he has seen the bones heal after taking that for a year, so I’m taking it! Find it on Amazon. I take 6 capsules a day.

  7. Anonymous
    August 17, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Taking supplements for calcium and minerals , cod liver oil and weight bearing exercises and slow cadence exercise

  8. L.C.
    August 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    “rest IN YOUR FOOD”–how”s that working out for you! lol

  9. Diane Levy
    August 18, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I take Prolia and do not have any side effects.
    I also make sure that I get enough calcium in the foods that I eat and I take a protein drink every day where I get 50% of my daily intake of calcium. I also to take a multivitamin which gives me the recommended dosage of vitamin D per day .

  10. Nancy Line
    August 21, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Does anyone take Algae Cal? Is it as great as advertised ?

    1. Grace G
      October 4, 2019 at 9:25 pm

      I have for about 10 months. Having a decade scan Monday.

    2. S
      October 20, 2019 at 3:46 am

      Yep. Taking Algae Cal. Still walking around with osteoarthritis.

    3. Judy Bruning
      October 22, 2019 at 8:56 pm

      I have been taking Algaeecal since June. Don’t know how it’s working yet.

  11. Anonymous
    August 21, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    I’m a 68 woman. Had osteoporosis for 20 years. Dont take any bone drugs. They actually make your bones worse. I’m a small frame. Can’t take Calcium, makes Kidney stones. I do take Vitamin D. I walk 4 days a week for 45 years. Lift weights 2 days a week. Eat good. Still my bone density test gets worse. Sometimes you do everything right. Just do the best you can. I feeling wonderful!

    1. Joyce Pejakovich
      October 16, 2019 at 12:51 am

      I had a problem with stones because of too much calcium. The doctor said that I was to drink an 8 oz. bottle of coconut water. I buy Goya it is a 17.6 oz can for $.89 this will make two days. I haven’t had to go to the hospital with stones for over a year.

  12. Jenny Dill
    August 22, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    I found out I had osteoporosis about 4 years ago. My doctor wanted me to take meds for it but I didn’t want to so he said I could try walking every day or at least 5 days of the week and do some weights for my arms. So I eventually started doing that and my next bone density test showed that I no longer had osteoporosis but I do have osteopenia. He, as well as I was very pleased with the results. I take a multi vitamin with extra vitamin D every day and am still walking every day weather permitting and doing the weights with my arms every other day. I try to eat a healthy diet including milk products. I never have liked milk as far as a beverage but I eat yogurt or drink Keifer daily as well as other milk products. I’m 66 years old and hope I can continue walking because I don’t want to take the meds. I have bad reactions to just about all prescription meds anymore it seems.

  13. Patricia Ray
    August 23, 2019 at 4:39 am

    What is your opinion of Risedronate SOD 150 mg.tablets a month?

  14. Susan
    August 24, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Sounds just like me. I am 69.

  15. Debi
    August 25, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Anonymous Aug 21: Try calcium citrate. It doesn’t load up in your kidneys like other forms of calcium. And, eat your green and leafies and good Greek yogurt.

  16. Pat
    August 25, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    I took fosamax. Didn’t do a thing for my bone density and I have had jaw bone loss resulting in serious maloclusion, breathing & speech problems, not to mention changed appearance. I am small frame, short stature. Always physically active. Wish I had never touched that drug.

  17. Susan Gensler
    August 27, 2019 at 9:01 am

    What treatment has the least side effects? My Dr. has proscribed Reclast or Prolia. Both have a list of side effects. Is there anything with less side effects that is effective?

  18. Jeannine
    August 27, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Anonymous, I agree with you. I’m 65 and have had osteoporosis all my life and have broken all the major bones in my body, without falling. Fractured both femur bones all the way through while taking Boniva and Fosamax. I walk and use weights and exercise 5 times a week, but my body does not process calcium, even taken with vitamin D and magnesium. But I do the best I can!

  19. S. Aba
    August 27, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Just had bone density test and came out with a diagnosis of osteoporosis. For several years been doing my stretching holding on the bathroom sink to support my half push ups and bending exercises from waist. I can reach my toes, dance, Zumba and low impact aerobics. Why are these light and simple exercises now BAD for me?
    BTW, I’M 79 THIS NOVEMBER.

  20. Penny Johnson
    August 27, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    I fell and broke my leg, both shin bones above the ankle and both ankle bones . I have a plate on outside of left ankle and a pin on right side . Every doctor told me to take all the “ new “ shots and pills to strengthen bones . My mom was on Fosamax , no thanks . They dodn’t Even tell women to stay upright for half an hour after taking back then and it caused cancer of esophagus. Had bone density test which show osteoporosis. I read all the side effects of shots and pills . No thanks. I don’t care if it is one in a million, that could be me with bones broken or jaw bone dying. My doctor said “well, now we tell people not to take those drugs for more than 5 years”, because they found some DO BREAK BONES. So this month , August , 2029 Prolia has ad on Facebook or tv that says , one side effect CAN BE broken thigh bone”. The ONLY reason they would have that out there is because of lawsuits making them advertise it as part of a settlement. ( Both of my brothers are Attorneys). It also says “ this info for inside USA only, which means they are selling it around the world and don’t have to let others know “UP FRONT ” of a bad side effect.
    Then because my calcium was blood tested and 24 hour urine done , I was told I have too MUCH calcium in my blood . Calcium controls the muscles and nerves in our bodies. Bone strengthening is it’s THIRD job. So I am diagnosed with Hyperparathyroidism disease, which means I probably have a benign tumor on one or more of the 4 parathyroid glands on the backside of my thyroid. They have nothing to do with thyroid levels, they control calcium with a hormone they make.
    So now I am supposed to get my throat slit open where it indents , have the glands on BACK of thyroid cut open for biopsy, each little piece removed( the glands are the size of grains of rice ) and tested for the amount of hormone it is making . Too much , due to a tumor and that gland is removed. We need that hormone , so if they remove the gland , your hormone may drop TOO LOW and then you go HYPOThyroid , too little , and you have to take that hormone the rest of your life.

    So I am getting my calcium level tested one more time to make sure it is too high as THAT determines if you need surgery or not. I didn’t NEED extra calcium , which would have been very bad if I had just agreed to take Fosamax or Prolia , or any of these drugs when the 3 doctors told me to.
    If I have to have a horizontal cut in my neck, I will ask them to also cut up to under my chin and do a vertical tuck job to get rid of my saggy neck at the same time! 😂😂😂 I know they won’t but it would be a good time since no way would I voluntarily cut my neck.
    Anyway, the moral of my story is to get second opinions, use Dr. Google even if doctors don’t want us to , but look for information coming from Big Universities or hospitals like Mayo Clinic.
    Good luck to us all , and now YOU have heard of parathyroid glands, something none of us ever heard of before and most general surgeons know very little about.

    1. Lois Davis
      October 13, 2019 at 11:46 am

      Penny . Hi my name is Lois, I just read your message and it sounds just like me. I never had my parathyroid hormone checked but a new doctor , surgeon I am seeing for a paraesophageal hernia ordered it and it was 2 points away from being 3 times the normal HIGH limit . He suggested I see my endocrinologist who treats me for my Harshiomoto’s Thyroiditis, she checked it and it was down some but still well over 2 and a half times the normal HIGH limit. I also had the 24 hour urine for calcium and urea which were both abnormal and this Friday am scheduled for a Nuclear Med Scan of the Parathyroid Gland. I had a traumatic accident almost 5 years ago and sustained a bimalleous fracture , both inner and outer ankle on the right plus my tibula and fibula and have multiple pins, plates and screws on the right leg. I have been on Fosamax for years and my most recent Dexa Scan showed worsening of my osteoporosis with more extensive bone loss in my hips and legs. Did they suggest surgery for you ? I am facing an extensive surgical procedure as a result of my paraesophageal hernia and not looking forward to possibly of another

  21. Linda Middlekauff
    August 29, 2019 at 1:08 am

    I had a mid femur break also after being on Fosamax for too many years. There’s a class action suit in NJ but none in MD. I have no clue as to what to take now. I’m going to a new rheumatologist soon. Jean, did you fall and break your femurs? I tripped on a hotel rug.

  22. Gail Jones
    August 30, 2019 at 2:06 am

    I am 83 and was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis. I previously had osteopenia and my bone density did actually increase during the time I took Fosamax. I started “reading” too many scary reports and stopped the Fosamax. Then bone density numbers started going down again after I stopped the Fosamax. My history: when I was in my 40s to age 65 I took Premarin and had very strong bones, good height. But all the scary stories about HRT concerned me and I phased off of Premarin. Too bad. I never found anything better than hormones for strong bones and healthy skin and hair. Now I have a fractured toe and am losing height. Just started on Prolia and hope I see good results. Do they give Premarin to women anymore? I have always followed a super healthy diet, and milk has always been my beverage of choice. But I know I will continue to lose height. If anyone has a really good lifestyle regimen for older seniors, I’m all ears.

  23. Anonymous
    August 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    What are experiences after taking Prolia infusion?

  24. Angie Hicks
    August 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Only 53 and just diagnosed with severe osteoporosis and I have decided not to start Prolia-spoke to Master herbalist and just started new diet and new supplements- go to Nature’s Sunshine if interested

  25. Carol
    August 30, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    I too would like to know if Alga Cal works as well as advertised. I am so afraid of taking anything else.

  26. Carol
    August 30, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Does the Alga Cal work as well as advertised? I too am afraid of taking the drugs.

  27. Linda
    August 31, 2019 at 5:37 am

    I have osteoporosis in my lower vertebrates and my left hip.
    I just started taking Bone Up by Jarrow as mentioned above. I bought it from Amazon. Really hoping it will help my bones. I dont want to take Prolia . My doctor recommended reclast or Prolia. Proloa is proported to cost 5,000 dollars a shot and I dont have drug coverage. The side effects seem scary. I have scaring alopecia and have inflammation on my scalp, so didnt want to try it. I want to see how my next bone scan is and do more studying. I walk 3 o 4 miles 4 times week. I am doing physical therapy for my back and also for arm I wrenched. I do Paul Lamb’s tai chi for seniors and stretching exercises every day.

  28. Diane
    September 9, 2019 at 11:39 am

    My local heath food store recommended Bone Up rather than anything else as they had positive feedback from their customers.

    Walking. Tai – chi are known exercises to restore maintain bone health. Also jumping has been recommended after a researcher discovered that while monitoring rats for another research project One of the unexpected outcome they found was the rats bone density increased. There recommendation. Jump 8 x a day everyday.

  29. Michele
    September 11, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    QUIT INGESTING DAIRY PRODUCTS!!!
    50 g of prunes/day
    Watch “What the Health” on Netflix.

  30. Sue
    September 12, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    I took fosamax and actenol and it ruined my jaw. I refuse to take any meds. I’m 70 with severe osteoporosis. I get my calcium from foods as I have had 7 kidney stones. I take Vit D 3. Dr just told me to start magnesium. 400 mg a day. I walk when weather permits. I ordered Algae Cal but have not started taking it yet. I have had no fractures or broken bones. I do have lower back pain but x rays showed it’s arthritis. I take the stairs several times a day, work with weights. I’m not going to let this beat me. Please google magnesium and see how important it is in rebuilding bones. Here’s to your good health. Stay strong

  31. Adrienne Hall
    September 16, 2019 at 3:52 am

    My doctor after having a bone density test wanted me to take Fosamax. I didn’t want it n put it off for a year. I had osteopenia in lower spine n left hip. Started in 2016 – now three years in. Another new doctor hates the drug n wants to take me off. After a year or so, I started having lung problems. I’m thinking of going on Alga Cal, a natural Med.

  32. Pauline Harmon
    September 19, 2019 at 2:08 am

    This is for Carol who asked about AlgaCal (It would not let me post a reply). An emphatic yes, it works!! I take AlgaCal and also that company’s Strontium. I was diagnosed with some osteoporosis and some osteopenia. My numbers have improved considerably since I have been taking them. Their calcium is plant based. Because it is made from natural things – not drugs- there are none of the bad side effects.I would strongly recommend them! They are not cheap, but they are worth every penny! I am now eighty and I do all my own yardwork, walk my dog twice a day and go ballroom dancing once a week!

  33. Denise
    September 24, 2019 at 2:12 am

    Algie Cal, lots of people asked, does it work?
    Thx

  34. Ashley
    September 24, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    I like that you said that one thing to consider when you are aging is to make sure that you receive proper osteoporosis treatment in order to protect your bones. I have been thinking about taking my grandma to the doctor for pain in her joints but I haven’t been sure how to describe it to the doctor. I will be sure to talk to her doctor about potential osteoporosis treatments to help her feel more comfortable.http://tymloshcp.com/

  35. James Barker
    September 28, 2019 at 1:39 am

    I’m 43 years old with it and have to have a total left hip replacement because of it hope after that nothing else goes wrong, I’m to Young for all this but I guess it happens.

  36. Susan mendoza
    September 29, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and I’m going to a rumetologist for treatment u am so afraid of the pills an shots!

  37. Lydia Ybanez Liston
    October 12, 2019 at 5:10 am

    I was diagnosed with osteopenia 15 years ago. Until now am taking Evista 60 mg. I am taking some food supplements , eat plenty of veggies, fruits. I do my exercise in yardwork, which my plants are my veggies. I always cook moringa leaves and make tea out of it. Every 2 years I have bone density test and is not progressing. I do Zumba at least 2 times a week and have body massage once a month. Thank you Lord I can still help my grandkids at my 76 years on earth.

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