Medical Questions » Bones Questions » Question No. 149
Question:I have read how to prevent osteoporosis, but what can you do once you have got it? I have arthritis and thyroid disease, and swim every day. 1 am 60 years old.
Answer:Osteoporosis is thinning of the bones due to calcium being drained out of the bones into the bloodstream. The drop in hormone levels after the female menopause is the main cause. An uncontrolled overactive thyroid may aggravate osteoporosis, but most older women with thyroid disease have an underactive gland. Provided your thyroid activity is being carefully controlled by a doctor, it should not cause-concern. Exercise is an excellent way to treat osteoporosis, as the mild stresses placed on the bones encourage them to become stronger. Your swimming is excellent, and should be continued. Prevention after the menopause can be achieved by using hormone replacement therapy, in which the missing female hormones are taken on a cyclical basis as tablets. The most effective medical treatment is the long-term use of a group of medications known as biphosphonates which include Didrocal, Fosamax and Rocaltrol. These can reverse existing osteoporosis and significantly strengthen bones. Discuss the possibility of using these with your GP.
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