Osteoporosis is a skeletal condition characterized by the deterioration of bone tissue and low bone mass, which leads to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures and other injuries. It was originally thought to have only affected women – or more specifically, older women – but studies have shown that 20% of those affected by osteoporosis are men.
Studies are showing an increase of reported cases in younger women who may be going through menopause or have POI (Primary Ovarian Insufficiency). This can be attributed to the loss of estrogen during and after either condition, which, in turn, leads to bone decay. When estrogen levels drop, fewer cells are produced, and bone is lost but not replaced. Early onset of menopause is often confused with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, or POI, due to the two both contributing to decreased levels of estrogen. While this is true, it’s worth noting that you can still get irregular periods and pregnant with POI, while you cannot get either with early onset menopause.
Seeking New Methods Of Treatment
To help counteract some of negative effects of these conditions, many doctors are prescribing Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT). This can help manage POI and early onset menopause, and can help prevent further damage from osteoporosis if it has been caused by these conditions. However, to restore the bones’ integrity, doctors are starting to recommend anabolic treatment. Before the use of anabolic treatment, the treatment for osteoporosis did not go far beyond HRT, and vitamin and calcium supplementation. While these are still effective treatments that are used alongside new antiresorptive agents (including raloxifene, calcitonin, and bisphosphonates), their actions are unfortunately limited to preventing further deterioration of the skeletal microarchitecture. The newest treatment to combat bone deterioration and reverse its effects is called anabolic therapy.
The primary form of anabolic therapy employs a parathyroid hormone containing 34 amino acids, known as PTH(1-34) or teriparatide. PTH(1-34) helps to restore the bone microarchitecture by increasing the cortical thickness and interconnectivity. In other words, these agents stimulate the formation of a new bone. PTH(1-84) is generally used synergistically with PTH(1-84) or Preotact. Studies have shown PTH(1-34) to increase bone density by 7% to 10% after 18 months of treatment, thereby helping promote healing of old fractures and reducing the risk of new vertebral fractures. However, the efficacy of PTH 1-84 against new fractures has not been documented, and as such, has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.
While in many cases it may be hereditary, doctors recommend a healthy lifestyle to decrease the chance or delay the development of osteoporosis. Fruits such as apples and prunes help increase bone density – prunes contain boron and copper, which are trace minerals in bones. Estrogen deficiency, meanwhile, can be reversed by adding coconut oil into your diet, and the addition of coconut oil will also increase your body’s retention of calcium and magnesium. As for calcium itself, the obvious choice (milk) can be supplemented with almond milk for those who may be lactose intolerant, which also contains magnesium, manganese and potassium to aid in bone development.