Osteoporosis Prevention Steps

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​​largest_Sidewalk_LowRes.jpgOsteoporosis, a situation involving low bone mass and fragile bones, is a concern for many senior citizens as well as for those taking care of elderly patients. There are many steps that those caring for elderly individuals can take to help ward off osteoporosis. The following are just a few to consider.

​Get Scanned

A DXA or DEXA scan is a test that takes a look at how much calcium and other important minerals are in the bones. It’s good to have one of these scans taken so that a doctor can evaluate current bone health and determine if osteoporosis already exists or seems likely to develop. Having scans on a regular basis also helps a doctor know if there has been deterioration since the last scan or if any adjustments to treatment are necessary.

Consider Other Tests

Some treatments for other ailments, especially those involving corticosteroids, can weaken bones. If taking care of elderly loved ones, discuss with the doctor whether a calcium and vitamin D test is necessary, especially if any of their medications can deplete these valuable nutrients.

Make a Plan

After the scan and other tests, it’s a good idea to talk with the doctor to see if there are changes that need to be made in order to protect fragile bones or to prevent fragility from developing. For example, it may be recommended that the patient’s diet be altered to include more calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products. A vitamin D supplement might also be necessary. Working with the doctor and/or a nutritionist to develop a diet that works for the patient, while also taking into consideration other individual dietary needs, is important.

Exercising is also crucial to maintain bone health. Working with a doctor or other professional to develop an exercise plan that provides appropriate exercise without creating risks can help to ensure bone health.

Smoking is well known to be deleterious to bone health. Although it can be challenging, quitting smoking is highly recommended – and not just for bone health reasons.

While talking with the doctor, make sure to mention any people in the patient’s family that developed osteoporosis before they were 50 years of age. This can increase the likelihood of osteoporosis in a descendant.

Being on top of this situation when taking care of elderly loved ones can help insure their health and greater mobility – and that’s a positive factor for both patient and caregiver.

Related Article
Men Need to Look Out for Osteoporosis Too​ - newportnews.myhomecareblog.com


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