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Living with Osteoporosis Is This You? You’ve probably led an active life as a younger woman, hiking taking on challenges. Maybe you’ve led a pretty laid back life but now have a desire to Maybe it all started with a backache, or an unexplained fracture of a bone or maybe your friends and family members started commenting on changes in your posture. Regardless of how the suspicions started, the fact is you acted on them and now you’ve been hit with the news no active and healthy woman wants to hear Osteoporosis. What You Probably Already Know So by now you know that Osteoporosis is essentially the loss of bone density triggered by calcium deficiency and you know that it is something that often accompanies menopause. But how does anyone live with Osteoporosis? Are you thinking of dropping arms because ‘the cart has already gone through the gate?’ can you tell yet that this article is leading you towards a more positive alternative? Looking to the Source for the Cure Since you know the root cause of Osteoporosis, the ideal way to conquer it or tame it is to work from that point. This means increasing your calcium intake. Foods such as milk, fish and cheese are great sources of calcium so, along with the supplementation, including more of them in your diet will help. Vitamin D has also been proven to help with the condition so increasing your intake of this vitamin may also help. An Active Life … For Bone Health Like many other conditions, Osteoporosis is managed through exercise. Weight manipulation routines designed to strengthen the bones are best. Exercise is a great way to build healthy bones whether you have Osteoporosis or not. In fact, it is a great preventative measure as exercise in your younger years help to ensure healthier bones for your later years. Even though exercise for bone health is best done prior to the onset of Osteoporosis, there are still benefits to be derived from staring a routine after diagnosis. The two main ones are the bone strengthening effects and the improvement of balance which prevents slips and falls, the mortal enemies of the Osteoporosis patient. Osteoporosis support organizations such as Osteoporosis Canada support the use of exercise to treat the condition. Do not start a routine however, without first consulting your doctor. Where the Professionals Come In Depending on the specifics of your case, your doctor can prescribe medications to prevent the further thinning of your bone matter. There are different medications that tackle the disease based on its cause or on what your body really needs. One such medication is Strontium, and another is called Forteo. Each has its own limitations and benefits and the one that may work for one patient may not work for another because each person’s situation is different. If your Osteoporosis, for instance, is associated with menopause, then hormone regulating drugs can be used to reduce the effects of the disease. The popular drugs among health care experts for this type of treatment are SERMs or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators, but only your doctor can, after evaluating your case, determine if this is treatment option that suits your situation. The right lifestyle changes coupled with medical advice and supervision make living with Osteoporosis way easier than it has been in the past. Keep those painful Osteoporosis fractures at bay. Talk to your doctor about managing your Osteoporosis today.
Dr Helen Webberley
MBChB MRCGP MFSRHI am an NHS GP and I also run an online medical service offering advice, prescriptions, tests and referrals.