Dr. Diemer: Unfortunately, yes, but it doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. If you weren't doing all these things, you'd likely be much worse and could have even suffered a fracture by now. A major contributing factor is simply genetics.
Dr Diemer: Calcium needs vary throughout your lifetime, but for post-menopausal women the recommendation is about 1,200 mg a day. It's preferable to take in most of your calcium through your diet rather than supplements, as it may be more beneficial. But with so many women watching their weight, dietary sources are unlikely to be enough.
Dr Diemer: Absolutely. We recommend 1,000 to 2,000 IUs a day, although it's amazing how many women still have low levels of vitamin D in their bodies even when taking the recommended amounts. Again, it's largely genetics. Ask your doctor for a blood test to determine if you have adequate levels of vitamin D in your system. He or she may recommend more.
Dr Diemer: They all work well to reduce the incidence of vertebral fractures. The oral biphosphonates such as Fosamax and Boniva have been proven to reduce the incidence of fractures by approximately 50 percent. They're all effective to slightly varying degrees. Often tolerability determines who goes on a biphosphate since some people experience heartburn with them. Plus, if you have a hard time remembering to take a weekly or monthly pill, you may want to try a medication such as Reclast, a once-yearly injection for osteoporosis. It may be a better option for those who have difficulty following a pill-taking schedule. It's the only yearly treatment approved to reduce the risk of fractures in the areas most often affected by osteoporosis, including the hip, spine and wrists. Talk to your doctor about the best approach for you.
Russ Melgar, fitness instructor, demonstrates some exercises that may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
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