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Osteoporosis Treatment

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by increasing bone loss, which can lead to fractures, height loss and a hump-backed appearance. Losing height and changes in the spine can mean you have already broken several bones in the spine. People with osteoporosis most often break a bone in the hip, spine or wrist. Sometimes bones break simply by lifting a child, bumping into furniture or sneezing. People not always experience pain when fracturing a bone.

One in two women, and one in five men, over the age of 65 will suffer at least one bone fracture due to osteoporosis. Risk factors for developing osteoporosis include, age (woman older than 65 or man older than 70), race (white or Asian), slender build, a close relative with osteoporosis, not enough calcium and vitamin D, sedentary lifestyle as well as smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Medications that are commonly used to treat asthma or rheumatological conditions (steroids), depression, seizures, and prostate or breast cancer can cause osteoporosis. A bone mineral density test (also called DXA scan) uses a special machine to measure bone density and helps to diagnose osteoporosis. The test is safe and painless and usually takes about 15 minutes. The drugs most commonly used to treat osteoporosis are called bisphosphonates and come in different formulations, e.g. oral or intravenous and can be taken weekly, monthly or annually.

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