According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects more than 10 million Americans. Another 44 million adults age 50 and older have low bone mass, which increases their chances of breaking a bone. So, the American College of Physicians recently put out new osteoporosis guidelines to raise awareness and clear up some of the confusion.
The word osteoporosis literally means “porous bone.” It develops when there is an imbalance between bone loss and the formation of new bone. Your bones will become weaker if you’re losing bone cells faster than your body can make new ones. Osteoporosis can cause bones to become so brittle that even a cough or a sneeze can cause a break. People with osteoporosis most often break bones in three places:
It can affect both men and women, but it is most likely to occur in women after menopause, because of the sudden decrease in estrogen.
Pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments for osteoporosis are designed to prevent fractures in three ways:
Despite the various types of treatments being made available, there is no cure. So, the American College of Physicians’ osteoporosis guidelines compare the benefits and risks of short-and long-term drug treatments for people with low bone density or osteoporosis. They include:
So, let’s look at the latest osteoporosis guidelines that you can use to help decrease your risk.
Among its osteoporosis guidelines, The American College of Physicians lists these risk factors for the disease:
The American College of Physicians osteoporosis guidelines include a recommendation to clinicians to offer pharmacologic treatment with one of the following drugs to reduce the risk for hip and vertebral fractures in women who have known osteoporosis:
These are classified as Bisphosphonate medications, which are are a group of medicines that slow down or prevent bone loss, strengthening bones.
Researchers say there is also high-quality evidence showing pharmacologic treatment is beneficial for postmenopausal women. It’s been shown to prevent further bone loss and reduce the risk for initial or subsequent fractures.
Nonpharmacological management of osteoporosis includes:
Researchers say calcium and vitamin D may be added as dietary supplements to osteoporosis treatment regimens, but the effectiveness of these regimens on preventing fractures is unclear. You should talk to your doctor about the proper dosage because a calcium level that gets too high can actually weaken your bones.
The osteoporosis guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommends against using certain hormone therapies for osteoporosis treatment in women. They include:
Researchers say there is moderate to quality evidence showing menopausal estrogen treatment did not reduce fracture risk in postmenopausal women with established osteoporosis.
The American College of Physicians’ osteoporosis guidelines are evidenced based. The studies were limited to those conducted in adults older than 18 years, healthy adults, those with low bone density or those with osteoporosis. Many of the guidelines apply to both men and women.
Another way to make sure your body is getting what it needs to build strong, healthy bones is through your diet. There are two essential minerals needed for normal bone formation—calcium and phosphate. Experts agree that the best way to get the nutrients you need is through food. Our guide “5 Steps to Healthy Eating” will help you read nutrition labels, break down the importance of water in your diet, and list the top 10 heart healthiest vegetables you can eat. Download it today!