Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. Some people think of bones as hard and lifeless but your bones are actually living, growing tissue. Your bones are made up of three major components that make them both flexible and strong. They are collagen, a protein that gives bones a flexible framework, calcium-phosphate mineral complexes that make bones hard and strong, and living bone cells that remove and replace weakened sections of bone. Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” If you look at healthy bone under a microscope, you will see that parts of it look like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. This means your bones have lost density or mass. It also means that the structure of your bone tissues has become abnormal.
As your bones become less dense, they become weaker and as a result, they can break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, from a simple action such as a sneeze or bumping into furniture. Osteoporosis risks can be reduced with lifestyle changes, sometimes medication and treatment may involve both. Lifestyle change includes diet and exercise, and preventing falls. Exercise with its anabolic effect, may at the same time stop or reverse osteoporosis. Medication includes calcium, vitamin D, bisphosphonates and several others. Teriparatide (a recombinant parathyroid hormone) has been shown to be effective in treatment of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Some evidence also indicates strontium ranelate is effective in decreasing the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures in postmenopausal, osteoporotic women. Hormone replacement therapy, while effective for osteoporosis, is only recommended in women who also have menopausal symptoms. Raloxifene, while effective in decreasing vertebral fractures, does not affect the risk of nonvertebral fractures. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer but it increases the risk of blood clots and strokes. Denosumab is also effective for preventing osteoporotic fractures. In hypogonadal men, testosterone has been shown to improve bone quantity and quality, but no studies evaluated its effect on fracture risk or in men with a normal testosterone levels.
Treatment of Osteoporosis
Prolia is a specialized injectable treatment for women experiencing osteoporosis. Women who are candidates of Prolia use have post-menopausal osteoporosis and are at high risk for fracture. Prolia is proven to help protect bones by increasing bone density. This makes bones stronger and less resilient to a stress fracture or break. Through clinical trials, Prolia was proven to significantly reduce fractures of the spine, hip, and other bones. Prolia is given as a shot twotimes a year. Patients who receive Prolia treatment should take calcium andvitamin D as recommended by their doctor. Prolia can have adverse side effects so it is important to ask questions as to how it may affect your heath. (See Prolia for Post-menopausal Osteoporosis)
Reclast is a specialized injectable treatment for osteoporosis. Along with daily calcium and Vitamin D, it can help strengthen and protect bones. Reclast is an annual osteoporosis treatment and therefore the benefits last for an entire year.Your doctor may order a simple blood test to check blood calcium levels and kidney function. Reclast allows patients to eat and live their lives normally. It is recommended that patients maintain good hydration to help prevent kidney problems. A single Reclast IV infusion takes at least 15 minutes. (more info)