What is effective Osteoporosis Management

Dr. Kam Shojania, MD FRCPC, Rheumatologist, discusses osteoporosis management.

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Dr. Kam Shojania, MD FRCPC, Rheumatologist, discusses osteoporosis management.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Kam Shojania, MD, FRCPC

Duration: 3 minutes, 40 seconds

Osteoporosis is diagnosed if you have a certain number of risk factors.

Those include being female, elderly, smoking, low calcium in a diet throughout your life, eating disorders, certain medications such as cortical steroids or prednisone and other medical conditions.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, there are things you can do to manage it. The big things that you can do are lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, and sometimes medications are required. With regards to diet, calcium and Vitamin D are the mainstay of dietary requirements in osteoporosis.

Almost all of us need to supplement our calcium; for women we need to supplement a little more especially if we've had babies. So, calcium requirements are about 1000 to 1200 milligrams of calcium a day in addition to our dietary calcium.

Even those of us that live in latitudes that have enough sunshine need to avoid sunshine for other reasons such as skin cancers. So Vitamin D is obtainable in food such as milk and milk products, but we can also supplement Vitamin D, and the usual form is Vitamin D2 or D3. There are different ways to take it, and that's something you should talk to your pharmacist or physician about.

I think some people think that they're too old or perhaps too unwell or in too much pain, but that's a fallacy. Really everyone can exercise. Now, for osteoporosis the main type of exercise is weight-bearing exercise. You need to have impact with your feet in the ground or your arms to remind your bones that they need to stay strong.

It's interesting that astronauts for example even if they exercise they're weightless and they still get osteoporosis. So we need to have weight-bearing exercise something as simple as walking, running, treadmill, step-classes. There's lots of exercises that are tailored to different people in different abilities. So exercise would be weight-bearing exercises number one, and number two exercises to prevent falls. Now those would include balancing and strengthening.

As we get older, we get osteoporosis we also become weaker, and we also are more prone to falls. So if we can strengthen our bones on one hand, and on the other hand prevent falls through strengthening and balance classes, then I think we're putting ourselves in a good place to prevent fractures. Well, if you think you have osteoporosis or if you have questions about osteoporosis, you should speak to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Presenter: Dr. Kam Shojania, Rheumatologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Rheumatologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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