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Just Diagnosed With Osteoporosis? You Have Options

Receiving an osteoporosis diagnosis can feel like a seismic shift in your life. Suddenly, you’re concerned about your bones’ ability to support you — something you’ve taken for granted until now. 

The upside to learning you have osteoporosis is that it gives you a chance to do something about it — you have several choices and strategies. In this comprehensive guide, our experts at The Endocrine Center explore the various paths to managing your condition and strengthening your bone health.

It’s time to shift focus from the shock of diagnosis to navigating your treatment options.

You have osteoporosis — now what?

When you have osteoporosis, your body’s infrastructure becomes alarmingly fragile. Fortunately, you can make big strides in your bone health management by changing your diet.

The calcium connection

Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health, and when your body doesn’t get enough of it, it leaches calcium from your bones, weakening them over time. 

The recommended dietary allowance for calcium varies by age and gender: Adults age 19-50 and men age 51-70 need 1,000 milligrams per day; women over 50 and men over 70 need 1,200 milligrams daily.

Calcium is abundant in many foods:

The magnesium modifier

Calcium isn’t the only mineral bone health depends on. Magnesium, often called “the forgotten electrolyte,” partners with calcium to ensure your bones mineralize properly. Foods rich in magnesium include:

Adding these foods to your daily diet is an easy way to up your bone health quotient.

Vitamin D: The sunshine supplement

Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without it, your bones won’t get the benefits of your new calcium-rich diet. Get vitamin D from: 

While supplements can help, they shouldn’t replace food sources of these vital nutrients.

Medication options for osteoporosis

In some cases, dietary adjustments and over-the-counter supplements may not provide the levels of bone support you need to manage osteoporosis. Several prescription medications can slow the progression of bone density loss.


Bisphosphonates work by inhibiting the cells that break down bone tissue. They’re the most commonly prescribed osteoporosis medications, and they include:

You take these medications orally or through an intravenous infusion. While they’re effective, bisphosphonates have a few side effects, including gastrointestinal issues and, rarely, atypical fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw. 

RANK ligand inhibitors

This class of drugs targets the RANK ligand, a signaling protein that helps remodel bone by targeting the cells that break down bone.

Prolia® (denosumab) is the primary RANK ligand inhibitor used for the treatment of osteoporosis, particularly in postmenopausal women with a high fracture risk. You receive an injection every six months. It can be a good option for those who can’t tolerate other osteoporosis medications, but it comes with an increased risk of infections and skin reactions.

Hormone-related therapy

Estrogen therapy (with or without progestin) increases bone density but has been linked to an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer.

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a natural hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the bones and blood. Teriparatide (Forteo®) is a parathyroid hormone that stimulates new bone formation, but its use is limited to two years due to a potential risk of osteosarcoma.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved raloxifene (Evista®) for preventing and treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. This drug contains selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) that can increase bone density, slow or stop bone loss, and reduce your risk of vertebral fractures by about 30%.

Bone-building drugs

For men and women with a high risk of osteoporotic fracture who have had a fracture while on or after stopping bisphosphonate therapy, your doctor may recommend romosozumab (Evenity®) or abaloparatide (Tymlos®).

While these options can be life-changing for many, weighing the benefits against the potential side effects is always essential. The Endocrine Center team can guide you through these decisions.


Calcitonin is a hormone produced in the human body that helps regulate calcium in the bones and blood. Synthetic calcitonin inhibits osteoclasts and could help you mitigate bone loss and lower your risk of fractures.

We can help you manage osteoporosis

Osteoporosis treatments aren’t one-size-fits-all. We tailor your treatment plan to your needs, lifestyle, and goals. Make an informed decision by getting the facts. Request an appointment online or call The Endocrine Center — we have three locations in Houston, Texas.

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