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Osteoarthritis vs Osteoporosis Part 2


Osteoporosis sounds like osteoarthritis. Osteoporosis is greek for “porous bone”. Osteoporosis is weakening of the bones; this makes the bones in the body more susceptible to fracture(s).



Bone tissue is simultaneously being built and reabsorbed which is completely normal. The bones get larger while we are growing. Once growth has stopped, the bone tissue becomes more and more dense with calcium and collagen. The process is in the positive that is more building than resorption for about the first thirty years of life. Then things begin to go the other way. We begin to slowly lose bone mass for the rest of our lives. What a bummer!

While this is normal, there are lots of things we can do to slow down the loss. The easiest way to slow down bone mass is to stay active. Bone like muscle, needs to be used. “If you don’t use it, you lose it!!” Dietary supplement of calcium can be consumed especially for those who cannot or do not drink milk products. The supplementation of calcium is recommended to be 1000mg for women under 50 years of age and 1,200mg after 50 years of age. For men, the recommendation is 1000mg before 70 years of age and 1,200mg after 70 years of age. It is best to take intermittently with meals at doses 500mg or less. If supplements are taken too much, kidney stones are a potential complication. Vitamin D supplements are available and it is recommended to take 400-800IU if under 50, and 800-100IU if over 50.

Certain things like alcohol, steroid use, Dilantin, weight loss surgery and even diabetes are associated with osteoporosis. Discuss with your family doctor for advice on your medical condition. Osteoporosis can be detected with a simple bone density scan. If detected, effective medications can build up bone by stopping its resorption. If not, bones begin to break with very minimal trauma. Simply bending down or even coughing can result in a fractured spine. Fractures are painful, cause deformity and can lead to surgical treatment. All broken hips, most broken wrists and many spine fractures will need surgery of some sort. It is best to prevent the fracture to avoid seeing me. I treat osteoporosis with surgery.

For more info go to www.nof.org (national osteoporosis foundation).


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