N.A.S.S Dingwall Branch Information Page

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis refers to the natural demineralisation (loss of calcium) and loss of bone mass over time. This leads to a progressive weakening of the bones.

This condition is more common in females, particularly during the post-menopausal years.


RISK FACTORS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS

  1. Small, thin-framed white or Asian females reaching menopause.
  2. Sedentary lifestyle.
  3. Chronically ingesting inadequate amounts of calcium.

POSSIBLE RISK FACTORS

  1. Smoking
  2. Family history of hip fracture.
  3. Excessive alcohol use.
  4. High protein diet (increases urine calcium loss).

There are no common symptoms of osteoporosis. Early detection is difficult and often diagnosed at the time of bone fracture. Special x-ray tests are being studied to determine their effectiveness in diagnosing osteoporosis. CT scanning of the bones has also been a modality used to assess the extent of bony demineralisation and bone density.

TREATMENT MEASURES

  1. Exercise is important to help maintain skeletal strength.
  2. Dietary calcium supplements. Calcium carbonate (Rolaids) tablets contain 40% calcium and are considered the least expensive supplemental form of calcium.
  3. Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption from the intestine.
  4. Oestrogen supplementation in the postmenopausal female remains the single best way to stop or slow postmenopausal bone loss.
  5. Hormone therapy with calcitonin has been used in some cases (expensive and injectable).
  6. Sodium fluoride treatments may encourage "new" bone growth, but this is currently is not an accepted form of treatment.

Osteoporosis Treatment with Herbs