As one of the most common diseases today, osteoporosis affects nearly 10% of adults. It is caused by an array of factors, all of which contribute to weak and brittle bones. While individuals who possess this bone disease are at a greater risk for acquiring bone fractures and breaks, living with osteoporosis does not have to be limiting. Not only are there a variety of medicinal treatments available today, there are also many great lifestyle adjustments that can enhance individuals’ lives with osteoporosis. Provided below is a detailed overview of common risk factors for osteoporosis, how osteoporosis can be prevented, and some of the best treatment options for osteoporosis that are available today.
Common Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
1. Age: As an individual ages, so too does his or her risk for developing osteoporosis.
2. Body Type: Smaller, thinner individuals have a greater risk for developing osteoporosis than do larger, heavier individuals.
3. Race: African American and Hispanic individuals possess a lower risk for developing osteoporosis than Caucasian and Asian individuals.
4. Exercise: Individuals who do not engage in regular physical activity will have a higher risk for developing osteoporosis than do active individuals.
5. Diet: Individuals who consume diets that are rich in processed, nutrient-deficient foods possess a greater risk for developing osteoporosis than do individuals who consume balanced diets that are abundant in fruits and vegetables.
6. Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk for developing osteoporosis.
7. Smoking: Smoking cigarettes not only damages the heart and lungs, it also damages the bones and contributes to the development of osteoporosis.
8. Family History: Osteoporosis tends to be genetic. Individuals who possess family members with the disease have a greater chance of developing osteoporosis in the future.
How Osteoporosis Can Be Prevented
Fortunately, there are some great lifestyle adjustments that individuals can incorporate into their prevention plan for osteoporosis. These include the following: maintaining a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, vitamin D, and calcium; exercising regularly; and avoiding an excessive use of alcohol and cigarettes.
Treatment Options for Osteoporosis
Developing osteoporosis does not have to be debilitating. Luckily, there are many great treatment options for this bone disease. These options are described below.
1. Natural Treatment: The natural treatment option is usually used to treat individuals who possess mild osteoporosis. This plan includes increased exercise, increased intake of vitamin D and calcium, limited alcohol consumption, and/or smoking cessation.
2. Anti-resorptive Medications Treatment: Antiresorptive medications include a variety of bisphosphonates, estrogen agonists/antagonists, and antiresorptive medicines. These are used to slow down the bone breakdown processes in individuals who possess moderate to severe osteoporosis.
3. Anabolic Drugs Treatment: Anabolic drugs, such as Teriparatide, are used in severe osteoporosis treatment plans. These drugs work by increasing bone formation processes. Interestingly, Teriparatide is the only drug that is approved by the FDA for rebuilding bone.
All in all, the weak and brittle bones that mark osteoporosis diagnoses do not have to diminish a person’s quality of life. It is ultimately through a thorough knowledge of osteoporosis, its risk factors, and its many treatment options that individuals can maintain awareness, prevention, and successful management of this common bone disease.