Osteoporosis is a difficult illness to overcome. Not only can it be painful, but it can also significantly affect how you live your life. The possibility of getting a greater injury due to bone weakness can leave you in a state of constant fear, as well. It’s only natural to want to do our best to prevent osteoporosis. Luckily, there are some things we can do, such as getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
But even if you already have osteoporosis, don’t fret: there are still ways to treat osteoporosis. If you’re suffering from this dreadful illness and you want to know the most common treatment available for you, read on.
Some types of hormones directly affect the bones and thus are used to combat osteoporosis.
For example, estrogen hormones have the side effect of maintaining bone density, especially if taken just after the onset of menopause. However, Estrogen also increases the risk of various illnesses, such as breast cancer, endometrial cancer, heart disease, and blood clots. Another example is Raloxifene (Evista).
In men, loss of bone density has also been linked to testosterone decline due to aging. Thus, keeping testosterone levels up with hormone-related therapy might also help improve osteoporosis conditions, although it’s best done in conjunction with other osteoporosis treatments.
Bisphosphonates are drugs that prevent your bones from degenerating even further by interrupting the natural cycle that “remodels” your bones. Because of this effect, it’s one of the most prescribed medications for people with compromised bone strength and increased risk of injury, such as osteoporosis patients.
Some examples of bisphosphonate medication include Alendronate and Ibandronate.
These medications can be taken orally (pill) or intravenously, anywhere from once a month to once a week. However, keep in mind that it has its fair share of side effects, including heartburn, nausea, and pain in the muscles and joints.
Monoclonal antibody medication (Denosumab)
Denosumab is a form of artificial antibody that inhibits the creation of bone-breaking cells. Because these cells (called osteoclasts) aren’t being created, Denosumab effectively inhibits the breaking down of bones in your body — just like bisphosphonates.
This medicine is taken by injection about every half a year. Common side effects include:
- Allergic reactions, and
- Pain in the joints and muscles
If traditional osteoporosis treatments are not working well for you or your body can’t treat it, your doctor can still recommend other bone-building medications. These meds include Abaloparatide (Tymlos), Teriparatide (Forteo), and Romosozumab (Evenity). They stimulate the growth of new bone over months or years.
Osteoporosis is a difficult illness to battle — but thankfully, modern medical science has come a long way. Nowadays, it’s easy to get safe and proven treatments for osteoporosis from your doctor to help you manage your illness and prevent further bone degeneration.