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Osteoporosis

AMBULATORY CARE:

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).


Common symptoms include the following:

You may not have any signs or symptoms. You may break a bone after a muscle strain, bump, or fall. A break usually occurs in the hip, spine, or wrist. A collapsed vertebra (bone in your spine) may cause severe back pain or loss of height from bent posture.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe pain.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have increasing pain after a fall.
  • You have pain when you do your daily activities.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for osteoporosis

may include medicines to prevent bone loss, build new bone, and increase estrogen. These medicines help prevent fractures and may be given as a pill or injection. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on these medicines.

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 regularly. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Weight bearing exercise for 30 minutes, 3 times a week can help build and strengthen bone.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
  • Go to physical therapy as directed. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and muscle strength.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Osteoporosis (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

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