Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Various drugs, vitamins, and minerals are used to prevent osteoporosis in
women. Except for calcium and vitamin D supplementation, drug therapy to prevent
osteoporosis in men is still investigational.
Dietary phytoestrogens found in
soy products and legumes are not potent enough to justify their use as a
treatment for osteoporosis, but they may be useful in delaying or preventing
osteoporosis as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a calcium-rich diet
Calcium and vitamin D are essential for reducing bone loss. In
order for other preventive medications to be effective, adequate calcium and
vitamin D blood levels are needed.
Estrogen replacement therapy in
postmenopausal women slows bone loss and is proven to prevent osteoporosis.
However, hormone therapy is associated with certain medical risks. The decision
about hormone therapy is a very individual decision in which the patient and
doctor must take into account the inherent risks and benefits of the treatment
along with each woman's own medical history. Other effective preventive and
treatment options for osteoporosis exist, and more are being developed to avoid
increasing hormone-related risks.
Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)
include the drug raloxifene (Evista). SERMs preserve bone density but are not
associated with estrogen-related risk factors such as uterine cancer.
Bisphosphonates are medications that slow bone loss by increasing bone formation
and decreasing bone turnover. Adequate calcium and vitamin D blood levels are
required for bisphosphonates to be effective. Bisphosphonates are used for
prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. The drugs alendronate (Fosamax),
ibandronate (Boniva), and risedronate (Actonel) are examples of bisphosphonates.
Bone Mineral Density TestsOsteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease in which bones become weak and are more likely to break. Bone mineral density tests check the strength and solidness ...learn more >>