Calcium is important throughout people’s life. Most women get only about half of the calcium they need everyday so taking a calcium supplement is often advisable. An adequate calcium intake is essential in the prevention of osteoporosis. The best form of calcium for preventing bone loss is calcium carbonate. If you choose to use supplements it’s important that you understand that the body can only absorb up to 750 mg of calcium at one time, so you will need to divide your dose if the amount of calcium supplement you take exceeds that amount. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seafood.
Younger women who experience the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be pleasantly surprised to find their symptoms are reduced by employing these osteoporosis preventing techniques. Studies show that calcium supplementation may reduce or prevent up to 50% of all PMS symptoms, and exercise is often effective for reducing PMS symptoms.
Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium-milk that is fortified with Vitamin D is one of the best sources. Sunlight also is an excellent source of Vitamin D-being in the sun for just 15 minutes a day helps the body produce and activate Vitamin D.
Nowadays people can treat almost everything and osteoporosis is not an exception. Major drug therapies now exist for treating osteoporosis. Unfortunately, studies continue to report that doctors fail to evaluate and adequately treat both men and women for this condition, even after a fracture.
In a 2002 study of Caucasian women over age 60, fewer than 2% were evaluated for osteoporosis or spinal fracture by their doctors. Among those who were diagnosed, only 36% received appropriate medication. Two studies in 2003 further reported that among adults who had sustained fractures, less than 5% of men and fewer than half of women were evaluated and treated according to recommended guidelines. In one of the studies, only 24% of women were given treatments for osteoporosis after a fracture. In both studies, the older a woman was the less likely she was to have adequate evaluation or treatment.
There are two types of drugs used to treat osteoporosis:
- Anabolic or bone-forming drugs that rebuild bones. The primary anabolic drug is low-dose parathyroid hormone (PTH), which is administered as injections. Fluoride is another bone-building drug, but it has limitations and is not commonly used.
- Antiresorptive drugs include bisphosphonates, hormone replacement therapy, SERMs, and calcitonin. These drugs block resorption and so slow the rate of bone remodeling, but they cannot rebuild bone as anabolic.
Both types of drugs are effective in preventing bone loss and fractures, although they vary in their effectiveness and safety.
Summarizing all the above said, If you feel that you are at risk for osteoporosis, talk with you doctor. He may order a bone density scan which is a simple and painless tool that measures bone density. Women who do not take estrogen after menopause have other options for preventing osteoporosis including drugs such as calcitonin which slows bone loss. In any case your physician can help you determine what is best for you.