If you or a loved one is suffering from osteoporosis, not all is lost, and every day doesn’t have to be miserable. As science continues to grow and advance, treatments such as osteoporosis infusion can help mitigate some of the aches and pains associated with the ailment.
The infusion uses medications that can be given to someone annually. These medications are meant to help make the bones stronger and less brittle, are given to the patient intravenously, and will be given to them for at least 15 minutes at a constant rate.
But what is osteoporosis? Why does it require treatment?
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to become brittle and weak. It can occur in people of all ages but typically is seen in its later and more debilitating stages in elderly people.
No matter the age, osteoporosis typically occurs in people who have a low calcium intake. Whether that comes from a lifelong lack of calcium or an abrupt change in diet, the cause of osteoporosis is directly related to a lack of enough calcium.
The reason for this, is that a lack of calcium or a low calcium intake leads to diminished bone density. This means that bones are more brittle and easier to break. With low calcium, people likely deal with early bone loss and an increase in the chance of ending up with fractures.
However, even with the umbrella term of “osteoporosis,” it can be broken down into smaller categories of Primary Osteoporosis and Secondary Osteoporosis.
Primary Osteoporosis Versus Secondary Osteoporosis
As with many ailments, osteoporosis has mutated to have different symptoms and to present in different ways.
The two categories of osteoporosis are called primary osteoporosis and secondary osteoporosis.
As one might gather from its title (“primary” versus “secondary,”) primary osteoporosis is the more common version of the disease. It’s broken even further into two different types:
- Postmenopausal osteoporosis (Type I)
- Senile osteoporosis (Type II)
Type 1 primary osteoporosis occurs in women after menopause. Type II refers to primary osteoporosis that occurs in men later in their lives.
The cause of primary osteoporosis has been linked back to a lack of optimal bone mass as a child. This is why milk companies and nutritionists are constantly telling people to drink milk and include calcium-rich foods in their children’s diets.
Although osteoporosis happens in very severe cases of low calcium, it never hurts to be careful when it comes to calcium intake.
Whereas primary osteoporosis is caused by a lack of necessary calcium in the diet from childhood, secondary osteoporosis develops because of certain medications and underlying diseases.
Secondary osteoporosis can crop up on account of certain diseases and treatments that affect bone density which can cause bone loss.
In other terms, secondary osteoporosis can be described as a latent possibility that’s brought into existence when combined with certain underlying diseases or when coupled with specific medications.
Additionally, secondary osteoporosis can also show up in pre- and post-menopausal women and also in men.
Now that you know what the two types of osteoporosis are, you’re probably wondering if there are other causes outside of “calcium deficiency.”
Causes for Osteoporosis
- Age = as mentioned, osteoporosis tends to be seen in older people, although it might crop up in children
- Genetics = unfortunately, if you lost the genetic lottery, you might be predisposed to lower calcium in your bones
- Nutrition = If you don’t eat the right foods, you might end up with a calcium deficiency that’s severe enough to lead to osteoporosis. However, don’t take this to mean that you should only eat calcium-heavy foods. That can lead to different issues.
- Exercise = as with all things health-related, not taking care of or focusing on exercise can lead to later-in-life health problems like osteoporosis.
- Lifestyle = how you lead and run your life can cause eventual osteoporosis if you’re not careful
- Medications = as mentioned above, certain medications might cause secondary osteoporosis if combined with underlying conditions
Now that you know what might cause osteoporosis, you might be wondering how you can tell if you have it. Although the symptoms tend to be quite obvious - if your bones start hurting, you might want to get it checked - there are specific indicators you can seek out if you want to discover whether or not you might have osteoporosis.
Signs And Symptoms of Osteoporosis
When it comes to osteoporosis, there are specific things to look out for outside of general bone pain and brittleness.
Those signs and symptoms are:
- Bone fractures
- Kyphosis-collapsing of vertebrae
- Decreased calcitonin
- Decreased estrogen
- Increased parathyroid hormone
If it turns out that you or a loved one has osteoporosis, that’s all right. Living with osteoporosis can be painful, but it isn’t impossible.
There are many care plans and goals that people with osteoporosis can keep in mind to keep up their spirits.
Care Plans and Goals for People with Osteoporosis
If you’re trying to figure out how to deal with osteoporosis, there are specific treatments to keep in mind. Living with osteoporosis doesn’t have to be miserable.
One of the best ways to keep your spirits up while living with osteoporosis is by learning more. Speak with a medical professional about a treatment regimen.
If you have a treatment plan that works for you, you may start to see an improvement in your osteoporosis. Although there isn’t a cure for it, you may find increased strength in your bones and even possible bone regrowth!
Other positives you might gain from a proper treatment plan are:
- Relief of pain
- Improved bowel elimination
- Absence of additional fractures
As for treatment plans, the most effective ones tend to target multiple elements. Rather than only focusing on one part of your life to try and treat osteoporosis, multi-pronged treatments will likely provide you or your loved one with the most relief.
Areas that might be targeted to help with osteoporosis are:
Your treatment may also include the addition of the following factors under the purview of a medical professional.
- Screenings for osteoporosis
- IV treatment/osteoporosis infusion
The last one on this list - IV treatments - are annual injections one can do. They tend to help reduce pain for people who have osteoporosis.
IV Treatment for Osteoporosis
When it comes to treatments for osteoporosis, specific types of medications tend to be used to combat bone brittleness and pain.
Medical IV for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is treated with bisphosphonates, which are medications that are specifically designed to slow down bone loss and improve bone mass. As of the writing of this article, two infusion bisphosphonates that have been approved by the FDA to treat osteoporosis are BONIVA and Reclast.
If you go for IV treatments for your osteoporosis, you will likely receive one of these two medications.
Many seek out IV treatments when they have osteoporosis for several reasons.
Benefits Of IV for Osteoporosis
There are many reasons why people might choose to try IV treatments when it comes to handling their osteoporosis. Reasons might include, but are not limited to:
- Infusion acts as excellent alternatives for patients who have failed to receive relief from oral medications
- IV treatment is great for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills
- IV treatment won't cause an upset stomach
- Infusion is a treatment that happens yearly (sometimes quarterly, depending on the medication) instead of forcing a patient to deal with taking weekly pills
As with many medications, there are potential side effects one should consider before chasing down this treatment.
Side Effects of IV For Osteoporosis
When it comes to IV treatments, there are some symptoms the patient may have to contend with to treat their osteoporosis.
Some of the more common symptoms are:
There are other - more uncommon - side effects that might potentially occur as well. These are:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Infection at the injection site
However, all of these can be treated with additional doctor’s visits - some can even be treated with over-the-counter medications!