In osteoporosis, bone mass decreases steadily. Bones become brittle and lose stability – the risk of fractures increases. But coordinated therapy can help slow down bone loss.
According to the osteoporosis network, around seven million people in Germany live with osteoporosis. Especially the elderly who are affected. In women, bone atrophy is more common than in men. They usually fall ill after menopause, when estrogen levels drop. Female sex hormones are considered a natural bone protector. Every fourth woman over the age of 50 suffers from osteoporosis.
Can osteoporosis be cured?
Osteoporosis cannot be cured. Bone loss is part of the natural aging process. Already at the age of 35, bone mass decreases. Certain factors accelerate the degradation of bone substances and increase the development of bone disease. This includes:
- hormonal changes
- metabolic disorders
- certain drugs (cortisone)
- wrong diet (lack of calcium)
- lack of exercise
- Vitamin D deficiency
Two goals of osteoporosis treatment
With proper osteoporosis therapy, bone mass can be protected to some degree. The goal of this treatment is to slow bone loss and increase bone formation. In addition to a healthy lifestyle, medication and non-drug therapy play an important role. Which steps are most appropriate depends on several factors:
- Is osteoporosis an age disease?
- Is osteoporosis triggered by other underlying diseases?
- How far has osteoporosis progressed?
- How old is the patient?
- What is the metabolic behavior in bone?
- What is the general health of the patient?
According to the German Rheumatism League, osteoporosis is a consequence of other diseases (secondary osteoporosis) in about one in 20 patients, for example rheumatoid arthritis, hormonal imbalances, hyperthyroidism, ankylosing spondylitis or chronic gastrointestinal disease. But in many cases, osteoporosis is not preceded by other diseases (primary osteoporosis).
Treat Osteoporosis: This lifestyle protects bones
Exercise is an important pillar of osteoporosis treatment. If bones are pressed, this increases bone metabolism and bone substance form. In addition, exercise strengthens muscles and reduces the risk of falls. Patients should talk with their doctor about which exercises or movements are suitable for them and the stage of their illness. Benefits of Regular Exercise in Fresh Air: Solar radiation increases the production of vitamin D. The body needs sun hormones to take calcium from the small intestine and into the bones.
Osteoporosis can also be slowed by a healthy diet and rich in calcium. Good calcium suppliers include:
- mineral water
- Vegetables such as spinach and kale
- Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, Emmentaler, Camembert and Gouda
Basic therapy for osteoporosis: calcium and vitamin D.
If calcium intake through diet and the production of vitamin D through the sun is not enough, the doctor prescribes food supplements. Food supplements should generally only be consumed by patients after consulting a doctor. This will ensure the right dosage and reduce the risk of possible side effects and interactions.
What medicines help osteoporosis?
Besides lifestyle, drug therapy is another important pillar of osteoporosis treatment. Doctors distinguish two groups of drugs: antiresorptive drugs slow bone loss and anabolic steroids increase bone formation.
Antiresorptive drugs include:
- bisphosphonates: Bisphosphonates inhibit cells that damage bone. Increased bone mass and reduced risk of fractures.
- Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERMS): Raloxifene and bazedoxifene for women are modified estrogen derivatives that do not have their own estrogenic effects, but still have the effect of bone formation on the female hormone estrogen. Bone reduction is thus slowed down and regulates bone metabolism.
- calcitonin: Calcitonin inhibits cells that damage bone.
- denosumab: Denosumab slows bone removal.
Anabolic steroids and partial anabolic steroids include:
- Protelos: Strontium ranelate has a lifting effect and at the same time an inhibiting effect of degradation on bone substances.
- Teriparatide Pharathormone: Teriparatide has a strong structure.
Other drugs used in osteoporosis include:
- hormone replacement agents: After menopause, taking estrogen can balance hormonal deficiencies in women and prevent further bone loss. However, in addition to opportunities women must also inform themselves about the possible risks of hormone intake.
- painkillers: Painkillers help relieve discomfort that causes fractures.
About the effects and side effects of the drugs presented, the doctor clarified in the case of a prescription.
Three rules for bisphosphonates
According to the federal self-help association for osteoporosis, bisphosphonates are among the most commonly used agents for the treatment of diseases. Various preparations (alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate, zoledronate) are taken as tablets or given as injections or infusions. So that the active ingredients can be absorbed properly and as little as possible to burden the stomach and intestines, the association recommends obeying three rules when taking:
- Swallow tablets in the morning on an empty stomach.
- When drinking, drink at least one large glass of non-carbonated water.
- Don't eat or drink for an hour after drinking it and lie down for half an hour.
Non-drug therapy for osteoporosis
In addition to sports and physiotherapy, non-drug therapy for osteoporosis includes massage, acupuncture, cold or heat treatment, psychosocial care and fall training.
Vital Records: This information does not replace professional advice or treatment by a trained and recognized doctor. The contents of t-online.de cannot and should not be used to make an independent diagnosis or start treatment.