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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Osteoporosis is a long-term medical condition that causes your bones to become weak, brittle, and more likely to fracture. Osteoporosis occurs when your body absorbs more bone than it makes. It is also caused by a lack of calcium and estrogen (female hormone).
- Medicines may be given to prevent bone loss, build new bone, and increase estrogen. These medicines may be given as a pill or injection. Ask your healthcare provider for more information.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Prevent bone loss:
- Eat healthy foods that are high in calcium. This helps keep your bones strong. Good sources of calcium are milk, cheese, broccoli, tofu, almonds, and canned salmon and sardines.
- Increase your vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is in fish oils, some vegetables, and fortified milk, cereal, and bread. Vitamin D is also formed in the skin when it is exposed to the sun. Ask your healthcare provider how much sunlight is safe for you.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Do not have alcohol or caffeine. They decrease bone mineral density, which can weaken your bones.
- Exercise. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can help build and strengthen bone.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can increase your risk for osteoporosis.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have pain when you do your daily activities.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have severe pain in your chest or back, bones, muscles, or joints.
- You have increasing pain after a fall.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.