Osteoporosis in Grand Forks, ND
Osteoporosis is a disease that commonly affects seniors, that is caused when our bones begin to lose minerals faster than they can be replaced. This causes bones to become brittle, making them prone to fractures or serious breaks. Many seniors don’t even know they’re suffering from osteoporosis until the first fracture occurs and by that time their risk of another goes up dramatically.
In fact, 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.
On top of all this, 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! This incredibly high physical and financial cost, the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis has become a high priority in senior care.
Diet Plays A Major Role In Prevention!
Maintaining a healthy diet rich in both calcium and vitamin D is one of the simplest ways that both you and your loved one can prevent osteoporosis but, remember that the amount of calcium your body needs will change 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.
While there are plenty of natural ways to get calcium through diet, if your loved one has allergies or food sensitivities that make is hard to get enough calcium, their doctor may recommend adding a calcium supplement to their diet.
Natural sources calcium include:
- Dairy products
- Soy products
Vitamin D is also a crucial part of maintaining bone health due to the way calcium is absorbed into the body. For most people, the amount of vitamin D obtained through exposure to sunlight will be enough but, a doctor may suggest adding fortified foods, such a some cereals or egg yolks, to your diet, or an additional supplement.
What About Medication?
Most osteoporosis drugs work by inhibiting the effects of bone destroying cells that increase as we age. One of these drugs, a compound called Denosumab, helps prevent the formation of these cells.
Denosumab was shown to be effective in preventing fractures for two of the populations most at risk of developing osteoporosis, men in treatment for prostate cancer and postmenopausal women.
Other osteoporosis drugs belong to a group of drugs called bisphosphonates that behave much like the female hormone estrogen. This means that they preserve bone mass, inhibit bone breakdown, and may even increase bone density in the spine and hips. Examples of these medications include:
Always be sure to discuss any potential benefits and side effects with your doctor or your loved one’s doctor, they will be able to determine if they will be safe and effective treatment.
Physicians will often recommend exercise or physical therapy in addition to other osteoporosis treatments. Exercise can help improve your bone and muscle strength, your balance and your posture, making you less likely to suffer from a fall.
Exercise helps to improve bones at any age!
You can try combining resistance exercises like walking with weights in order to achieve the best results but, remember to contact your doctor before starting a new routine.
Hormone Therapy: Yes Or No?
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
Avoid Falling Accidents
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:
- Hand rails for both sides of stairways
- Non slip treads for bare-wood steps
- Slippery surfaces
Comfort Keepers® Is Here To Help!
At Comfort Keepers®, we’re committed to providing the best possible in home senior care for your loved one. Each of our caregivers is trained in our unique approach to home care called Interactive Caregiving™, meaning they will provide support for your loved one’s physical, mental, and social health in order to help them live happily and independently in their own home.
If you’d like to learn more about our full list of senior care services or would like to schedule your free in home consultation please, contact us online anytime or call us at (701) 738-0006.