Osteoporosis: What It Is And How It’s Treated Throughout Indianapolis, IN
Osteoporosis is a disease, commonly affecting seniors, that is caused when our bones lose minerals faster than they are able to be replaced. This makes them fragile and more likely to fracture or seriously break after an accident, like a fall. In fact, 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!
Most seniors won’t even know they’re suffering until the first fracture despite the fact that after the age of 50, women have a 50 percent chance of suffering an osteoporosis-related fracture and men 50 and over have a 25 percent chance.
After the first fracture, this risk increases dramatically, making both the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis a high priority for senior care.
Give us a call at (317) 788-0777 to learn more!
How Medicine Can Help
Most osteoporosis medications work the same way, by blocking the effect of bone-destroying cells that increase as we get older. One of these compounds, called Denosumab, can help to prevent the formation of these cells in the first place.
In fact, 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 called bisphosphonates, work in a way that is similar to the hormone estrogen, meaning that they inhibit bone breakdown, preserve bone mass, and may even increase bone density in the hips and spine. Examples of these medications include:
Always be sure to talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and side effects of any new medications, they can help determine if it will be safe and effective for you or your loved one.
Is Hormone Therapy A Good Option?
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
How Your Diet Affects Your Bone Health!
One of the simplest ways that you and your loved one can protect your bone health is by consistently eating a diet rich in both calcium and vitamin D, however, it is important to note that the amount of calcium you will need changes as you age.
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), seniors should get around 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day with a max of 2,500 milligrams a day.
Natural sources calcium include:
- Calcium fortified foods
If you or your loved one are unable to get enough calcium through your diet, your doctor may suggest taking a calcium supplement.
Vitamin D also plays a crucial part in the health of your bones, due to the way our body absorbs calcium. For most people the amount they receive from exposure to sunlight will be enough but, for those who are unable to be in the sun as often, doctors may recommend adding vitamin D fortified foods, such as some cereals or orange juice, or an additional supplement to their diet.
Exercise And Physical Therapy Can Increase Bone Strength
Often, doctors will recommend exercise or physical therapy in addition to other osteoporosis treatments. This is because exercise can help to improve muscle and bone strength, posture, and balance, meaning the likelihood of suffering from a fall is decreased.
Exercise strengthens bones at any age!
One trick you can try to achieve the best results is, combining resistance exercises like walking with weights. (However, always be sure to ask your doctor before starting a new routine.)
Reduce Fall Risks
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:
- Loose, wooden floorboards or carpeting
- Boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords in walkways
- Furniture in high traffic areas
Comfort Keepers® Cares!
When you choose to work with a Comfort Keepers® caregiver, you’re choosing the best possible in home senior care. Each of our caregivers is trained in our unique approach to home care called Interactive Caregiving™, meaning they will care for your loved one’s mental, physical, and social health in order to support their ability to live happily and independently in their own home.
If you’d like to learn more about what makes Comfort Keepers® senior care exceptional, our caregivers, or would like to schedule your free in home consultation please call us at (317) 788-0777.