The American College of Physicians (ACP) just announced new guidelines for treating osteoporosis. This is the deterioration of bone tissue which can increase the risk of bone fractures. It can especially happen in the hips and spinal column. The guidelines indicate that as many as half of all Americans are at risk for fractures due to a lowered bone density.
New Guidelines, Various Changes
The new guidelines targeted at treating osteoporosis offer varied treatment options. These offer various alternatives for either men or women. Now, they recommended offering only bisphosphonates, a class of drugs that inhibits the resorption of calcium in men. The male use of other drugs, such as denosumab, does not appear to be as effective, therefore unwarranted.
This is the first times the guidances have changed since 2008. Now, these guidelines recommend a reduction in the frequency of bone density testings. Women with normal bone density gain no added benefits from these more frequent screenings. Studies showed that normal bone density in women did not progress to osteoporosis in 15 years.
The panel also advised against treating women with estrogen replacement therapy to help prevent osteoporosis. Most physicians feel the potential harm of this treatment outweighs the benefits. Estrogen does contribute to maintaining bone density and prevent fractures in women. However, its long term use has been attributed to such health risks as strokes and other blood clot formations.
All physicians who treat patients older than 50 advise a diet rich in high calcium foods. Dairy products, fish, and green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of this mineral. Some feel it’s more important to eat such foods when at a younger age as it could potentially help prevent the degeneration earlier on. Additional vitamin D absorption also helps aid the calcium intake, so this too is recommended.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AFFP) endorsed the new guidelines adding that women should be treated for 5 years with medication and then re-evaluated. A full list of recommendations was released in the journal Annals Of Internal Medicine.
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