Asian-American Women and Osteoporosis
How Can Osteoporosis Be Prevented?
Building strong bones, especially before the age of 20, can be
the best defense against developing osteoporosis, and a healthy lifestyle can
be critically important for keeping bones strong. To help prevent
- Eat a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
- Exercise regularly, with an emphasis on weight-bearing activities such as
walking, jogging, dancing, and lifting weights.
- Don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake.
Talk to your doctor if you have a family history of
osteoporosis or other risk factors that may put you at increased risk for the
disease. Your doctor may suggest that you have your bone density measured
through a safe and painless test that can determine your risk for fractures
(broken bones), and measure your response to osteoporosis treatment. The most
widely recognized bone mineral density test is called a dual-energy x-ray
absorptiometry or DXA test. It is painless: a bit like having an x ray, but
with much less exposure to radiation. It can measure bone density at your hip
What Treatments Are Available?
Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are
treatments available to help stop further bone loss and reduce the risk of
- Alendronate (Fosamax1), risedronate (Actonel), and ibandronate
(Boniva) are bisphosphonates approved for preventing and treating
postmenopausal osteoporosis. Alendronate is also approved for treating
osteoporosis in men and for use by men and women with glucocorticoid-induced
osteoporosis. In addition, risedronate is approved for preventing and treating
glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in both women and men. Alendronate plus
vitamin D (Fosamax Plus D) is available for treating osteoporosis in
postmenopausal women and in men. Risedronate with calcium (Actonel with
Calcium) is available for preventing and treating osteoporosis in
- Calcitonin (Miacalcin) is another treatment used by women for
- Raloxifene (Evista), a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator, is approved
for preventing and treating postmenopausal osteoporosis.
- Teriparatide (Forteo) is an injectable form of human parathyroid hormone
(PTH). It is approved for postmenopausal women and men with osteoporosis who
are at high risk for having a fracture.
- Estrogen therapy (also called hormone therapy when estrogen and another
hormone, progestin, are combined) is approved for preventing postmenopausal
osteoporosis. It should only be considered for women at significant risk of
osteoporosis after nonestrogen medications have been carefully considered.