Osteoporosis

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Treatment

The best treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. While preventive measures cannot eliminate every case of osteoporosis, regular weight-bearing exercise (such as walking and resistance training), eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D (and supplements as needed), quitting smoking, and moderating alcohol consumption can all help reduce the risk. The sooner these lifestyle measures are adopted, the more that they can help. Maximizing bone mass in the young and minimizing bone loss during aging can help prevent or minimize osteoporosis.

For those at increased risk of osteoporosis, those who have decreased bone mass, and those who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis (and who may have already experienced a bone fracture), there are a variety of treatments available, including antiresorptive medications and bone forming (anabolic) medications. They are used to help inhibit bone resorption, increase bone formation, maintain bone mass, and reduce the number of fractures.

People with osteoporosis should work with their doctor to determine which treatments are right for them as well as adopt lifestyle changes that will help them conserve bone mass and take measures to prevent falling, a common cause of osteoporosis-related fractures. Those who take medications that can cause bone density loss, such as prednisone or other glucocorticoids, and some anticonvulsant drugs should talk to their doctor about their alternatives. It is important that they do this prior to stopping any medications.

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