Osteoporosis Diagnosis and How to Deal With the Condition

Published: 10th October 2008
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The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) reports that osteoporosis is a condition in which bones in the body become very fragile and extremely prone to breaking or fracturing. The NOF also reports that if left untreated, "osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks." The most common bones that break within an osteoporosis victim include the wrists, hips or spine.

How Common is Osteoporosis?

Currently, approximately 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, which is more common among women, affecting nearly 8 million women and only two million men. The NOF estimates an additional 34 million more Americans are likely at risk for developing osteoporosis because of low bone mass. It is estimated that osteoporosis costs will skyrocket by 2025, and may reach $25.3 billion.

Risks of Osteoporosis

While it is difficult to determine who is at risk for osteoporosis because its "invisible" side effects, the following are risk factors among individuals more likely to develop the condition, as reported by the NOF:

* age (an increase in age increases disease likelihood)

* sex (females more likely at risk)

* family history

* thin or small bone frame

* race/ethnicity (Caucasions, Asians and Hispanics most at risk)

* history of broken bones

* inactive lifestyle (those who don't lift weights or exercise)

* smoking

* diet, including low calcium and vitamin D intake a well as high intake of protein, caffeine and sodium

* alcohol abuse

* consumption of medications such as steroid or anticonvulsant medicines

* history of certain illnesses such as gastronintestinal conditions, rheumatoid arthritis or anorexia nervosa

Treating Osteoporosis

Researchers continue to develop and research potential osteoporosis treatments, but there are several treatments currently available for victims of the condition. Treatments may also include the following, according to the Mayo Clinic:

* hormone treatments

* bisphosphonates, which are drugs similar to estrogen that preserve bone mass

* estrogen recepter modulators (SERMs) including Raloxifene, a drug that mimics estrogen's positive effects on bone mass

* calcitonin, which is a hormone produced by the thyroid to slow bone loss

* Teriparatide (forteo), which is given to high-risk women, however the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is, according to the Mayo Clinic, still studying long term side effects

* receiving treatments of a synthetic hormone Tamoxifen

* physical therapy treatments, as lifting weights and regular exercise promotes positive health and slows bone loss.

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), additional studies of new drug therapies as well as potential osteoporosis risks are continually being researched, with a lot of work being done by the American College of Physicians and National Institute of Arthritis and Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases including a recent study on bone mass and body fat.

Increased Chance of Osteoporosis

Individuals who have developed osteoporosis, which was derived from using a prescription pharmaceutical, such as the proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are encouraged to not only seek medical assistance for their condition, but to also contact an experienced pharmaceutical law firm.

Commonly used for treating ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn among other hydrochloric acid conditions, PPIs are a family of drugs that reduce gastric acid production within the body. They function by binding the stomach to prevent hydrochloric acid production, however, they have recently been linked to a reduction of calcium absorption leading to early onset osteoporosis, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

An individual with PPI-induced osteoporosis may have the potential for developing a PPI lawsuit to receive monetary compensation for the medical costs experienced from dealing with osteoporosis.

Developing a PPI class action lawsuit may lead to an award of monetary compensation for a victim of PPI-induced osteopororis. Additionally, most legal consultations are often free of charge, which offers an individual a chance to learn about a PPI lawsuit without losing anything, only gaining knowledge to further protect themselves of a loved one from the harm caused by their preventable condition.


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