Can Osteoporosis Be Reversed?

Osteoporosis is a medical condition where bones become fragile and brittle from loss of bone tissue, typically resulting from a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D, and/or hormonal changes. Osteoporosis affects both men and women, but white and Asian women, especially older women who are experiencing post menopause are at a higher risk. Osteoporosis happens when new bone can’t replace the loss of old bone fast enough.

Can Osteoporosis Be Reversed?

No, there is no cure for osteoporosis. Realistically speaking, the goal is to help prevent future fractures from occurring or re-occurring. You can mitigate the consequences of osteoporosis with a variety of medications to help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

What Can Be Done to Mitigate Its Effects?

1.       Medical Treatments

Antiresorptive medicinessuch as bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed medications to treat osteoporosis. Can osteoporosis be reversed with medical treatments? No, but they can help stop or slow the natural process that dissolves bone tissue (apoptosis), which results in maintained or increased bone strength and density. Bisphosphonates include:

  • Fosamax (alendronate)
  • Actonel (risedronate)
  • Boniva (ibandronate)
  • Reclast (zoledronic acid)
  • Fortical and Miacalcin (calcitonin-salmon)
  • Evista (raloxifene)
  • Prolia (denosumab)
  • Forteo (teriparatide parathyroid hormone)

Among the drugs, Fortical and Miacalcin and Evista are approved for women post-menopause, Prolia and Forteo are approved for men at high risk of fracture, and the rest drugs are all approved for both men and women.

2.       Hormone Therapy

Can osteoporosis be reversed through hormone therapy? For many decades, menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) has been the mainstay for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis among menopausal women.

  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) isan agent that activates some estrogen receptors like those on bone tissues, but without affecting other tissues that have estrogen receptors.
  • Thyrocalcitonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the thyroid gland. It helps to regulate the calcium levels in your body and is involved in the process of bone building.
  • Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a naturally occurring hormone by a gland behind the thyroid that helps to regulate the calcium and phosphate levels in a person's body.

What Should You Notice in Your Daily Life?

Can osteoporosis be reversed? Although the answer is ‘NO’, there are still many things you can do to build strong bones and prevent a more severe osteoporosis, such as have a healthy diet, weight-bearing exercise, and a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.

1.     Stop Sodas

Sodas, especially cola, contain phosphorous in the form of phosphoric acid, and too much phosphorous may reduce the amount of calcium that the body can absorb. Certain soft drinks may also contain caffeine in high amounts that can cause bone loss. However, some carbonated mineral waters are beneficial to good bone health. For goodbonehealth, it is best to stop drinking sodas or highly caffeinated soft drinks.

2.     Stop Drinking Coffee

Every cup of coffee that you drink causes you to lose 150 mg of calcium through your urine, and chemically decaffeinated coffee is not any better, because it has chemicals that hinder the process of detoxification. Naturally decaffeinated teas might be a better substitute, but if you have to drink coffee, at least add some milk or cream to increase your calcium level for every cup you drink.

3.     Keep a Healthy Diet

Too much refined sugar and starches can elevate your insulin levels, and cause an increasing risk for osteoporosis. The glycemic index measures the effects of food on blood sugar levels (glucose). The resulting measurement is called the glycemic index of that food. People who have osteoporosis need to maintain a low glycemic index diet that includes, beans, vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and lean meats, because they break down more slowly releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream.

4.     Ease Your Stress

Stress induces some physiological changes leading to osteoporosis and raises cortisol levels. If cortisol levels remain high for long periods of time, it can lead to bone loss. Cortisol antagonizes the effects of insulin and leads to insulin resistance, eventually raising the blood sugar and causing calcium loss in the urine.Easing your stress can include activities such as tai chi, yoga, massage, and meditation, and may also include taking a vacation, getting more sleep, or getting help with relationships.

5.     Do Some Exercise

Can osteoporosis be reversed? Although ‘NO’ is the answer, exercise can help strengthen your bones. High-impact exercises, such as hiking, walking, weightlifting, and climbing stairs, help build bones to keep them strong. However, if you are at risk of breaking a bone, or have broken a bone due to osteoporosis, you may need to avoid high-impact exercises. Instead choose some low impact weight-bearing exercises such as elliptical training machines, low-impact aerobics, fast walking on a treadmill, or stair-step machines. Non-impact exercises may also help you to improve posture, balance, and how well you move during everyday activities.

6.     Add Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also essential for healthy bones because it promotes calcium absorption and helps your skeleton remodel. However, more than half of all adults may not be getting enough. Your body makes vitamin D on its own whenever sunlight touches your skin, but you can also get it through food and dietary supplements such as:

  • Cod liver oil, 1 Tbsp.
  • Egg with the yolk, 1 large
  • Canned tuna, 3 ounces
  • Salmon, 3 ounces
  • Yogurt fortified with vitamin D, 6 ounces
  • Fat-free vitamin-D fortified milk, 1 cup
  • Sun exposure, 15 minutes on half your body

7.     Get a Density Test

A study found that only 30 % of women in their mid-60s had undergone a bone scan, and wouldn't be aware if they were at risk for osteoporosis. However, if you're in your mid-50s or 60s and broke a bone during a fall, you should consider getting tested. If you don't have any risk factures, then you can delay getting a bone density test until 65. All women, regardless of whether they've broken a bone, should be tested at age 65.

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