THE THREAT OF OSTEOPOROSIS IN REGARDS TO RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS



WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS

The definition of osteoporosis is a decrease of the density of bone mass. Osteoporosis is a silent condition affecting the skeletal structure where low bone strength increases a persons risk of future fracture.

Osteoporosis is not a type of arthritis, rather it is a problem of the bone and it’s ability to support the weight of the body.

There is no pain or symptoms related to osteoporosis until a person suffers from a fracture.

There are two types of Osteoporosis, Type l occurs in post menopausal women, caused by estrogen deficiency. Type ll challenges both men and women (women about 2 times more frequently) and is considered to be caused by aging and calcium deficiency. .

People with Rheumatoid Arthritis are at a greater risk of developing Osteoporosis and need to have an assessment of their bone health if they are over the age of 50 (either sex) post menopausal, on or considering steroidal medications or suffered multiple fractures. This assessment is done via a bone density test. .

The most useful test is a bone densiomentry, or DEXA (dual-energy absorptiometry) scan. This is a simple, painless test that measures the central bone density of your lumbar spine and hip. .

The results of the DEXA scan tell your healthcare provider the quantity of your bone and how that quantity compares to 30-year-old healthy bone. It also compares your bone density to your age-related peers. .

The reason that a doctor orders bone density scans is because bone quantity is a major predictor of bone strength. It is your bone strength that determines your future risk of fracture. .

The goal of osteoporosis treatment is to prevent future fractures. .

WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS?

The Key steps to prevent complications from Osteoporosis are: adequate nutrition, exercise, no smoking and not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

NUTRITION

Paying attention to the Acid/Alkaline Balance in your diet can be beneficial because as your body attempts to balance pH, an over acid state takes from the bones to balance the bodies pH.

Adequate calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. The goal is is between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium as a total intake, which includes what’s in your diet on top of a supplement if a supplement is necessary.

Many people are vitamin D-deficient, from the very young to the very old. At least 50 percent of people who are actually on treatment for osteoporosis are not getting adequate vitamin D.

One of the ways to estimate if your intake of vitamin D is enough is by doing a blood test for vitamin D. This test is called the 25-hydroxy vitamin D level (25OHD) test.

It is very hard to overdose on Vitamin D. Calcium overdose is possible, but difficult because you would have to take very high levels. Over supplementation of calcium has shown a risk factor of developing kidney stones.

The goal to helping prevent Osteoporosis is not to over supplement with calcium, but to bring the daily intake up to the 1,200 – 1,500 milligrams per day.

EXERCISE

When we consider exercise to prevent Osteoporosis we often think of weight bearing exercises, which are excellent, but may be a challenge to a person suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Not to worry, although weight bearing exercises are considered the best, all is not lost as there are other low impact exercises that can and do help.

Any type of exercise that keeps you strong, moving and provides good balance is something that will be helpful for your bone management.

Exercise that keeps you strong, moving and provides good balance is something that will be helpful for your bone management.

HOW TO MANAGE RA IN LIGHT OF THE CONCERNS OF OSTEOPOROSIS IN THE FUTURE

Take control of your condition by understanding the current state of your RA. Monitor your treatment plan and always consider, is your current treatment plan working for you? How will your current treatment plan effect the next 20 or more years of your life.

Determine how you, with your health care provider are going to monitor side effects of the treatment and prevent future damage to your skeletal structure.





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This information is not designed as or intended to be used as medical diagnosis or advice. Patients should consult their physicians about diagnosis and treatment





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