All About Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis?

  • Osteoporosis, or “porous bones”, is a condition that causes bones to gradually thin and weaken, resulting in increase risk of fractures.
  • Common bone sites include the spine, hip, and wrist.
  • Bone begins to lose calcium faster than they can replace it.
  • Less bone remodeling takes place and the bones begin to thin

Vitamin D

  • The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium.
  • Without enough vitamin D, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”).This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet.
  • In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone.


  • Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot.
  • Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis.
  • Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates.
  • National nutrition surveys have shown that most people are not getting the calcium they need to grow and maintain healthy bones.

Diagnostic Testing

  • Painless and accurate medical tests can provide you with information about your bone health before problems begin. Bone mineral density tests (BMD tests), also known as dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, are X-rays that use very small amounts of radiation to determine the bone density most often of the spine, hip, wrist.
  • These tests help detect the presence of osteoporosis, determine how quickly you are losing bone mass and predict your risk of fracture. They also are used to follow the course of the disease and monitor the effects of various treatments.
  • Your physician can order these tests.

Prevent/Delay Osteoporosis

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D
    • Supplementation should be prescribed- ask your doctor about increase recommended doses
    • Best dietary sources of calcium:
      • Dairy products (i.e. milk, cheese, yogurt, cream soups and pudding)
      • Green vegetables (i.e. broccoli, spinach and greens)
      • Seafood
      • Dried peas
      • Beans
    • Best sources of Vitamin D:
      • Exposure to sun
      • Eggs
      • Fish
      • Fortified milk
      • Exercise regularly
        • 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise (walking or jogging) 3-4x a week
        • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
          • Both smoking and excessive alcohol intake reduce bone mass
          • Prevent falls so you can stay active
          • Pharmacological treatment in patients if BMD (Bone Mineral Density) is below -1.5