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Treatment of Osteoporosis (cont.)

Lifestyle Changes and Osteoporosis

Quit Smoking

Smoking is bad for the bones as well as for the heart and lungs. Women who smoke have lower estrogen levels compared with women who do not smoke. Lower estrogen levels result in decreased bone mass. Smokers may also absorb less calcium from their diets, and calcium is necessary for strong bones. Finally, women who smoke and choose hormone replacement therapy after menopause may require higher doses of hormones and have more complications.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Regular consumption of 2-3 ounces of alcohol a day may be damaging to bones, even in young women and men. Heavy drinkers are more likely to have bone loss and fractures. This is related to both poor nutrition and increased risk of falling. However, some evidence indicates that moderate alcohol intake may have beneficial effects on bone mass.

Psychological and Practical Support

No cure exists for osteoporosis, but effective treatment plans are available. Support networks are important to successful treatment. Information on preventing falls and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is widely available (see For More Information). Physical rehabilitation after fractures can be a long process, and psychological and practical support is important. Patient support groups can lessen feelings of isolation and depression. Support groups can also provide practical advice, including strategies to prevent falls and increase mobility.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Osteoporosis: Treatment & Medication »

Osteoporosis is typically asymptomatic until a fracture occurs.

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