What Even Is Osteoporosis in Opelika, AL?
Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects seniors and is caused when the bones in our body lose minerals faster than they can be replaced, causing them to become brittle. This increases the likelihood that a senior will suffer a potentially debilitating injury from an accidental fall. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), low bone mass and osteoporosis affect 52 million Americans and accounts for two million fractures and $19 billion in related expenses each year.
After the age of 50, women have a 50 percent chance of suffering an osteoporosis-related fracture, while men 50 and over have a 25 percent chance.
After the first occurrence, this risk increases dramatically, making osteoporosis treatment and prevention a high priority in senior care.
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How Do The Available Medications Work?
Most osteoporosis medications work by blocking the effect of bone-destroying cells that multiply as we age. One compound, called Denosumab, works by preventing the formation of these cells.
Denosumab was shown to be effective in preventing fractures in the two most at risk populations for osteoporosis, postmenopausal women and men in treatment for prostate cancer.
Other osteoporosis medications, from a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, behave in a similar way to the hormone estrogen. Meaning they preserve bone mass, inhibit bone breakdown, and may even increase bone density in the spine and hips. Examples of these medications include:
Always remember to talk to a doctor before starting any new medications, they will be able to help determine if they are safe for you or your loved one.
How Important Is Diet?
One of the easiest ways to help treat or prevent osteoporosis is by maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D but, it is important to keep in mind that the amount of calcium we need changes as we age.
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), seniors should get around 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. For those who have a hard time getting enough calcium on their own, a doctor may suggest you take a supplement however, the IOM recommends limiting total calcium intake to 2,500 milligrams a day.
Natural sources calcium include:
- cooked kale
- canned salmon with the bones
Vitamin D also plays a key role in bone health due to the way our bodies absorb calcium. Most people will get enough vitamin D through exposure to sunlight but, it can also be found in egg yolks and fish. If that isn’t enough your doctor may recommend a supplement.
Get Up And Get Moving!
Doctors will often suggest physical therapy or an exercise routine in addition to other osteoporosis treatments. This is because of the way exercise can help to strengthen bones and muscles, as well as improve posture and balance, at any age.
If you’d like to take your exercise routine to the next level, you can try adding weights to any resistance exercises you enjoy but, always be sure to consult your doctor before making changes to your routine.
How Safe Is Hormone Therapy?
Due to the availability of other treatment options, estrogen therapy is generally not the first choice for maintaining bone density. Potential serious side effects can include the increased risk of :
- blood clots
- breast and endometrial cancer
- heart disease
Prevent Falls From Occurring!
Additionally, you can help reduce the risk of injury by taking steps to make your home, or your loved one’s, safer. Things to check for can include:
- Non slip treads for bare-wood steps
- A raised toilet seat or one with armrests
- Clothing, dishes, food and other necessities stored within easy reach
Comfort Keepers® Personal Care
When you choose to work with Comfort Keepers®, you’re choosing the best possible in home senior care for your loved one. One of the ways we accomplish this is with our unique approach to care called Interactive Caregiving™ which means that your senior will be supported mentally, physically, and socially in order to provide them with happiness and independence in their own home.