How do I manage my osteoporosis on a daily basis?

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it's important to talk to your doctor about why you have it. Some women develop osteoporosis after menopause. Other people may develop it as a result of smoking, nutritional deficiencies, or other medications that they have been on. You can also talk to the doctor about whether you should be on calcium and vitamin D supplements or other prescription medications. Weightbearing exercise is also very important to build up the strength in the bones.

Managing osteoporosis on a daily basis can be as simple as making sure you take your medications, supplements, and get daily exercise. If you have a fracture, managing osteoporosis will mean nursing injured bones back to health. This can hurt and may involve pain medication. Some people cannot walk after having a hip fracture and need to adjust to life in wheelchair. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has many local groups and an online community to provide support to people with osteoporosis.

Audrey K. Chun, MD
Geriatric Medicine
The following are some suggestions to help you manage osteoporosis:
  • Get enough calcium -- dietary sources include milk and dairy products, fortified cereals and juices, leafy green vegetables and canned fish (eat the bones). A calcium/vitamin D supplement (vitamin D boosts calcium absorption) can help make up any dietary shortfall.
  • Do weight-bearing exercise -- examples include weight training and walking, and even something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • If you are taking a bisphosphonate, stay alert for the warning signs of atypical femur fractures, which include groin or thigh pain for a period of weeks or months before fractures occur.
  • Make sure you take the drug as instructed to minimize the risk of ulcers. You should also tell your doctors if you regularly take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) as these can raise the risk of ulcers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.