How Much Do You Know About Osteoporosis? There is a Lot to Know!

In the past , osteoporosis received relatively little attention among medical professionals because there was so little that could be done to treat this condition. It has always been known how serious osteoporosis is (hip fractures, need for nursing home care etc.) but there was not much that could be done to change the progression of the disease process.

Over recent years there have been substantial advancements in the treatment of osteoporosis. There are now medications that have been proven to be effective at actually increasing bone mass. Furthermore, there has been substantial progress in the evaluation and monitoring of the condition.

In the past, women’s health care providers could only give their patients the following recommendations to manage/prevent osteoporosis:

– take Vitamin D and calcium supplements

– get sun exposure and exercise

– take hormonal supplements, if appropriate, based on their medical history

Now , with the development of bone-building medications and the advanced technology to monitor bone density, the management of osteoporosis is approached very differently as the focus is no longer on prevention, but instead, on treatment.

Like so many other medical illnesses, there are no signs or symptoms of this disease until it is manifested by clinical problems resulting from its long term effects (spontaneous fractures etc.) . As a result , compliance with treatment programs for osteoporosis are poor, as there is no perceived benefit to the patient until it is too late to make a significant difference in their prognosis.

Be proactive when it comes to learning about osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about bone health. If you have a family history of osteoporosis it is even more important that you address this topic at an early age.

Years ago, it didn’t seem to matter whether this problem was addressed as there was so little that could be done. I hope I am helping women (and men) realize that this is definitely not the case today.

I simply want to raise awareness about osteoporosis. There are extensive resources available on the management of osteoporosis. Check out the many government-sponsored health organizations for more information. Hip fractures, in particular, account for so much morbidity and need for nursing home care it is astounding.

Here is the World Health Organization (WHO) fracture risk tool:

Leave a Reply