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Nutritional management of osteoporosis. To slow the advancement of osteoporosis, nurses must encourage their clients to increase their intake of calcium. For geriatric nurses, this may be a challenge



Nutritional management of osteoporosis. To slow the advancement of osteoporosis, nurses must encourage their clients to increase their intake of calcium. For geriatric nurses, this may be a challenge



Geriatric Nursing 13(6): 315-319



In conclusion, no current effective therapy is available for the restoration of bone mass once osteoporosis has developed. Primary prevention is the best way to fight this problem. However, goals for the management of osteoporosis are (1) to maintain skeletal mass and integrity, (2) to slow bone resorption, and (3) to treat the symptomatic problem and its sequelae. Having a well-balanced diet containing adequate amounts of calcium, use of calcium supplements when necessary, reducing risk factors in life-style, and use of estrogen are therapeutic measures to reduce bone loss. Clients are also encouraged to exercise by walking or swimming and remain as active as possible. It is important to avoid strain on the spine, as occurs in lifting or bending, to prevent compression fractures on the vertebrae. For treating the symptoms of osteoporosis and its sequelae, it is necessary to relieve pain (by the use of analgesics), provide comfortable light mechanical support for the spine, if needed, arrange assistance in activities of daily living, coordinate a rehabilitation program, and provide emotional support and reassurance to the patient and family. This may be an area largely neglected in practice. Gerontologic nurses may be the first to take the time to thoroughly discuss osteoporosis with their elderly clients and help them to develop a comprehensive program. If through their efforts some falls and fractures can be prevented, this is nursing at its best.

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PMID: 1299225


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