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Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment

Osteoporosis affects over four million women over the age of 50 — at least 10% of women in that age group. While discussions of broken hips and encouragement to consume more calcium may be ubiquitous to post-menopausal women though, osteoporosis is an important topic for every age group.

Women's long-term bone health depends on exercise and not just cardio. Your bones require strengthening the same way your muscles do, and you accomplish this with the same types of activities.

Osteoporosis Prevention

If your idea of osteoporosis prevention is to take a daily calcium supplement, you need to reevaluate your approach. Calcium is important to bone health, but unless consumed in sufficient amounts and paired with vitamin D and exercise, it won't have the maximum potential effect.

Ideally, you want your diet to include at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day. While dairy is a great source of that calcium, you'll also find plenty in fish like sardines and salmon, as well as in soy and leafy greens. You can also find calcium-fortified products like orange juice in the grocery store. Consume these sources in whatever variation you prefer, as long as you get at least 1,000 milligrams daily, an amount which should increase when you reach menopause.

As for vitamin D, it serves an interesting function here. Vitamin D actually promotes calcium absorption.

That's why it's so vitally important to consume both of these nutrients on a daily basis. For many, sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D. If the weather or your climate don't really allow for time in the sun though, milk, orange juice and fish are all good dietary choices. You can also get a reasonable amount of vitamin D from eggs.

The third component of osteoporosis prevention isn't as easy as taking a supplement. Women's long-term bone health depends on exercise — and not just cardio. Your bones require strengthening the same way your muscles do, and you accomplish this with the same types of activities.

While exercises like walking or jogging are generally enough to keep the bones in your legs and hips strong, you'll also need to take the bones in your upper body into account. That means that strength training should be a regular part of your routine. You don't have to become a body builder, but regular work with 5-10 pound weights will help keep your bones in fighting form.

There's also some evidence that both drinking alcohol and smoking can make a woman's bones more brittle as she ages. Avoid cigarettes and, if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Osteoporosis Treatments

Because osteoporosis is such an issue for post-menopausal women, and because the breakdown of the bones is a normal part of aging for all humans, the medical and scientific communities have developed a large number of treatments for this condition.

For women suffering osteoporosis as one of many menopause symptoms, doctors will often recommend hormone replacement therapy. However, this approach has a number of risks and potential side effects. For this reason, traditional hormone replacement is not generally considered when treating osteoporosis alone.

Other options for osteoporosis treatment, however, are more targeted, and many have been on the market and used safely and effectively for years. Among the types of osteoporosis medications:

Synthetic hormones — Unlike hormone replacement therapy, there are synthetic hormones targeted specifically toward women suffering from osteoporosis. Some synthesize parathyroid, which is the hormone responsible for allowing vitamin D to do its job more effectively.

Other approaches involve synthesized hormones similar to estrogen, but not of the same type used in traditional hormone replacement therapy, and some utilize synthesized calcitonin, which is a bone-strengthening hormone.

Inhibiting drugs — Perhaps the most common type of osteoporosis treatments, inhibiting drugs work by stopping the processes that cause bone breakdown. These are generally taken as oral supplements, although one newer method involves a once a year injection.

Biologics — Osteoporosis is only the latest in conditions to be treated with biologics, or medications which utilize the immune system. In osteoporosis patients, biologics involve the use of a synthetic antibody which prevents bone breakdown.

The Importance of Bone Health

Aging carries plenty of concerns, and brittle bones may seem like just another one of those inevitabilities. While it's true that osteoporosis is related to a natural process, it doesn't mean that prevention and treatment can't protect your bones and slow degeneration.

If you are already post-menopausal, ask your Gainesville well woman care provider about available supplements and medications, and whether your age and risk factors indicate a bone scan. For women of all ages, make sure to consume plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Proper dietary choices paired with strength-based exercises can help minimize your bone degeneration and help you prevent osteoporosis.

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‹ All About Women OB/GYN Knowledge Center
6440 W Newberry Road, Suite 111
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 331-3332
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4447 NW American Lane, Suite 102
Lake City, FL 32055
(386) 754-1744

Gainesville and Lake City OB/GYN Care

OB/GYN doctors at All About Women, Obstetrics & Gynecology offer personalized, technologically advanced obstetrics and gynecology services from Board Certified OB/GYB physicians. Besides expert women's healthcare, permanent birth control and prenatal care, OB/GYN doctors also offers advanced hysterectomy surgery in and around the Gainesville area.

Women's Health Care in Alachua & Columbia Counties

With offices in Gainesville and Lake City, Florida, All About Women, M.D. provides expert OB/GYN services covering the entire range of women's healthcare needs. Our OB/GYN physicians and nurse midwives provide expert care during pregnancy as well as state of the art in-office treatments for gynecologic disorders including Novasure endometrial ablation to treat/stop heavy menstrual bleeding.

Personalized & Expert Prenatal Care

Gainesville obstetricians at All About Women, M.D. help ensure pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible by offering the best prenatal care available. And for those having difficulty getting pregnant, AAW obstetricians and gynecologists offer couples the best infertility help and treatment available.

Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery: daVinci Surgical System

Clinic founder Dr. Anthony Agrios, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist also specializes in the daVinci Robotic surgery system, a minimally invasive option commonly used for a hysterectomy and other procedures. Instead of creating several small incisions like traditional surgical methods, OB/GYN surgeons simply open one incision with the daVinci system to complete the procedure. Not only do patients experience less pain and blood loss, they recover and get back to normal much faster.

Pregnancy & Prenatal Care: Creative Pregnancy Announcement : Fruits for Pregnant Women

OB/GYN Tips: Choosing an OB/GYN : Robotic Hysterectomy

Infertility & Reproduction Health: Infertility Treatment : Permanent Birth Control

Women's Health: Preventive Care : Well Women Care : Mammogram Screenings : Abnormal Periods

Gainesville Maternity Care


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All About Women
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