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Treating Your Bones Right

Treating Your Bones Right

When you're diagnosed with osteoporosis, you have some treatment decisions to make. Find out about medications, exercises, and lifestyle changes that may help prevent a bone break.

If you've been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you don't have to be passive or feel powerless over the condition. In fact, you'll be better off if you take an active role in your treatment—from making healthy lifestyle changes to taking medication as prescribed. Here are three important steps to follow when treating weak bones and trying to prevent fractures:

Step 1: Examine Your Lifestyle
The same factors that help prevent osteoporosis—eating a healthful diet, exercising regularly and reducing your risk of falls—can also help you prevent further bone loss if you have osteoporosis. Take a moment to assess your lifestyle. Are you getting the nutrition you need? Are you active? Have you made your home a safe place, where you're unlikely to slip, trip, or fall?

Smoking cigarettes and drinking too much alcohol also can deplete bones. 

Step 2: Treat Underlying Conditions
Certain conditions—including gastrointestinal problems, thyroid disorders and rheumatoid arthritis—can affect bone mass and contribute to osteoporosis. So if your doctor has discovered an underlying condition, follow the treatment path closely. Managing any underlying causes will help your bones, too.

Step 3: Follow Your Medication Plan Closely
If your doctor decides you need medication, follow your prescribed treatment plan closely. Several different classes of prescription medication are available to protect your bones. Some of them are designed to increase bone mineral density by slowing down the process of bone breakdown, and others are designed to help build bone.

Track Your Progress
As your bones get stronger, you'll reap the benefits of a lower risk of painful bone fractures or breaks. Keep track of your treatment, condition management and lifestyle changes, and share your progress with your doctor. You can record all of your important medical information in this printable health journal.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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