Are Osteoporosis Medications Dangerous?

The Truth About Osteoporosis Medications & Natural Alternatives

Osteoporosis is called a “silent disease” because many women (and many men) don’t realize they have it until it’s too late and they break a bone. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 44 million have low bone density, putting them at risk for life altering fractures and even death.

Every year, there are an estimated 2 million fractures due to osteoporosis in the United States. This means that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. In addition to causing pain and disability, osteoporosis related broken bones can also increase the risk of premature death. For example, hip fractures are associated with a 20% increased risk of death within the first year after the fracture, and a 2- to 3 times increase of risk of death in the subsequent years.

Obviously, these statistics highlight the importance of preventing and treating osteoporosis to reduce the risk of fractures and associated complications and death. And osteoporosis medications are commonly used to prevent fractures and maintain bone density. However, there have been some very valid concerns about the safety of these osteoporosis medications and their side effects.

In this article, integrative medicine specialist Dr. Nishath Hakim at Prosperity Health in Royal Oak explores the risks and side effects of the most common osteoporosis drugs – and offers a natural alternative that can strengthen bones without harsh drugs for many patients.

Bisphosphonates Osteoporosis Medications (Fosamax, Boniva)

Bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed drugs for osteoporosis. They work by slowing down the breakdown of bone tissue, which helps to maintain bone density. Some common bisphosphonates include alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), and ibandronate (Boniva).

However, bisphosphonates have been associated with some potential side effects – some of them quite serious.

Bisphosphonates can commonly cause gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, nausea, and abdominal pain. However, much more seriously, Bisphosphonates have been associated with a rare but serious condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw, which is a painful condition that can cause the jaw bone to break down.

Long-term use of bisphosphonates has also been associated with a rare type of fracture in the thigh bone, called atypical femoral fractures.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators Osteoporosis Medications (Evista)

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are a type of osteoporosis medication that mimics the effects of estrogen on bone tissue. Estrogen is a hormone that helps to maintain bone density in women. The most common SERMs is raloxifene (Evista).

Because SERMS such as Evista “imitate” estrogen, they can cause hot flashes and other uncomfortable menopausal symptoms.

However, SERMs have also been associated with some potential serious side effects. SERMs can increase the risk of blood clots, which can be serious or even life-threatening. Some studies have also suggested that SERMs may increase the risk of endometrial cancer, a type of cancer that affects the lining of the uterus.

Calcitonin Osteoporosis Medications (Fortical, Miacalcin)

Calcitonin is a hormone that helps to regulate calcium levels in the body. It is sometimes used to treat osteoporosis, although its effectiveness is debated. Some common calcitonin medications include Miacalcin and Fortical.

Calcitonin has been associated with some potential mild side effects, including nasal irritation because it is administered through a nasal spray. More seriously, some studies have suggested that long-term use of calcitonin may increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer.

Teriparatide Osteoporosis Medications (Forteo)

Teriparatide (Forteo) is a medication that is similar to a naturally occurring hormone in the body called parathyroid hormone. It works by stimulating bone formation, which helps to maintain bone density.

Teriparatide has been associated with nausea, dizziness, and other gastrointestinal issues. But, of more concern, some animal studies have suggested that teriparatide may increase the risk of bone cancer, although more research is needed to confirm this.

BHRT the Natural Alternative to Osteoporosis Medications

At Prosperity Health in Royal Oak, Dr, Nishath Hakim offers Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) which can prevent and reverse osteoporosis naturally in the right candidates, without the dangerous side effects of harsh osteoporosis medications.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is an alternative treatment for osteoporosis that replaces missing hormones with bioidentical hormones that are identical in structure to the hormones produced by the human body. BHRT is derived from natural sources, such as plants, and are believed to be safer and more effective than traditional hormone replacement therapy.

Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone play a vital role in bone health. But as women age and go through menopause, their hormone levels decrease, which can lead to a loss of bone density. Bioidentical HRT has been proven in clinical studies to prevent and even reverse osteoporosis by increasing bone density and reducing the risk of fractures

Bioidentical estrogen, in particular, has been shown to improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. It does this by increasing the production of osteoblasts, the cells responsible for building new bone tissue, and reducing the production of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for breaking down bone tissue.

Bioidentical progesterone has also been shown to have similar bone-protective effects. Progesterone stimulates the production of new bone tissue and enhances the mineralization of bone, making it stronger and less prone to fractures.

Bioidentical testosterone has also been shown to be beneficial for bone health, particularly in men. Testosterone is essential for the development and maintenance of bone tissue, and as men age and their testosterone levels decrease, they become more susceptible to osteoporosis.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) has fewer side effects than traditional hormone replacement therapy. Unlike synthetic osteoporosis medications, bioidentical hormones (BHRT) are identical in structure to the hormones produced by the human body, which makes them more easily metabolized and less likely to cause adverse reactions. In addition, bioidentical hormones are customized to the individual’s needs, which means that the dose can be adjusted to achieve optimal results.

Natural Osteoporosis Treatment & Prevention | Royal Oak

While osteoporosis medications can be effective in preventing fractures and maintaining bone density, they are not without potential risks and serious (even life-threatening) side effects. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) naturally treats the underlying cause of bone loss – preventing and reversing osteoporosis – without the dangerous side effects of synthetic medications.

Don’t be one of the millions of Americans who suffer a life-altering bone fracture. Schedule an appointment at Prosperity Health in Royal Oak to discuss the potential benefits of BHRT and other natural osteoporosis prevention methods. Dr. Hakim can help you make an informed decision about the best treatments to keep your bones healthy now and for the rest of your life.

Osteoporosis Prevention Doctor | Royal Oak: 248.997.4242