Osteonecrosis of the jaw

What is osteonecrosis of the jaw? Osteonecrosis (ONJ) is a rigorous disease of the bone that affects the upper and lower jaws.

Although the condition is uncommon, bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw is a known concern in people being treated for osteoporosis; especially those who have had recent dental work.

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Secondary Osteoporosis

There are four main types of osteoporosis: primary; secondary; Osteogenesis imperfecta; and Juvenile.

Primary osteoporosis is the most common form and is largely a consequence of the bone recycling mechanisms becoming less efficient as one ages or goes though the menopause. Osteogenesis imperfecta is also known as brittle bone disease and is genetic in nature. Juvenile osteoporosis affects younger people, and little is known about the manner of causation of the condition.

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Calcium and Osteoporosis

As calcium is such an important component of the bone it comes as no surprise that there is a link between calcium and osteoporosis.

Over 99% of the body’s calcium is contained in the skeleton, and the nutrient is required for both the building  and the maintenance of bone tissue. Aside from its skeletal role calcium is involved in many other important bodily processes, such as blood clotting, contraction of muscles, nerve cell signalling, and heart function.

Bone mass loss typically begins from the age of 30 and leads to a lack of bone strength. This is because bones become less dense, and the quality of the bone composition itself decreases.

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Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is often referred to as the ‘silent disease’. This is because the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis are not usually obvious until a person has suffered a fall that has led to a bone breakage.

The condition can also be identified at an earlier stage through the use of bone mineral density (BMD) tests that are often part of an annual medical once a person has reached a certain age (the age that a person should have routine BMD tests varies between different countries, and is also dependent on a person’s risk factors).

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Weight Bearing Exercises for Osteoporosis

One of the best ways of preventing and dealing with thinning bones is to carry out weight bearing exercises for osteoporosis. There are many gains to be had from performing physical activity including: an increase in bone and muscle strength; better posture and balance; increased range of motion; decrease in pain; and a better sense of well-being.

Exercises to Prevent Osteoporosis

If you are suffering from osteopenia or osteoporosis you are at an increased risk of getting a fracture through performing exercises incorrectly or by losing your balance when performing them. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you do two things before you start your program.

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Osteoporosis Diet

What Foods Should be Included as Part of an Osteoporosis Prevention Diet?

Many nutrients are known to play an active role in the bone remodelling cycle. It stands to reason that by incorporating foods rich in these nutrients into your diet, that you will be taking a significant step towards preventing osteoporosis.

There are numerous reasons why it is better to get nutrients through ones diet as opposed to taking expensive supplements; perhaps one of the most important ones is that people do not usually forget to eat, but they often forget to take supplements.
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Vitamin K Bone Health and Supplementation

I was not planning to make any more posts on this site until I had finished all of the key informational pages such as the ones on calcium and osteoporosis medications. However, during my research into the Vitamin K and Osteoporosis key page, I hit on something that I found quite disturbing. I would normally give a little overview of a subject before diving into it (I will give some more information further down this post) but I will get straight to the point:

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Traditional Chinese Medicines

Chinese Traditional Medicines and Osteoporosis

There has recently been a research paper (doi 10.1155/2012/752837) published by Shih, Yang and Chen from the Department for Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Department of public health in Taiwan that looks into the implications of the use of traditional Chinese medications for the treatments of osteoporosis.

Traditional Chinese herbal medicines

Drawer full of traditional Chinese herbal medicines. Photograph by Spotreporting.

As many of the western traditional osteoporosis drugs have known side effects, the use of traditional Asian methods and medicines for use as alternative treatments for osteoporosis is of great interest.  Traditional Chinese medicine itself covers a large array of topics. Continue reading