HIV Treatment
Alexander McMeeking, MD
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New York, NY 10016
Phone212.929.2629 Fax212.929.4971
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Alexander McMeeking MD FACP

The most comprehensive HIV care and treatment for better living.

HIV and Bone Loss

As people grow older, so does the risk for osteoporosis. The threat increases for older people who have HIV, and for them, treatment is important for preventing osteoporosis. However, HIV treatment for older adults is difficult. It's time to learn more about HIV and bone loss, as well as treating Vitamin D deficiency before it gets worse.

Preventing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones. Weakened bones can break easily, most likely one cause is because of decrease in bone mass and an increase in bone loss. Once they do break, the disease becomes a source for chronic pain. For people with this condition, the bones in the hip, spine, and wrist are the most common parts of the body to be affected.

Osteoporosis can be due to a number of factors, including medications for other diseases, malnutrition, tobacco smoking, medical disorders, and most important, Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D prevents the parathyroid hormone (PTH) from increasing. This hormone speeds up bone reabsorption, which can lead to bone loss.

Treating Vitamin D deficiency is very important. It is one of the manageable ways of preventing osteoporosis. Patients with this disorder are usually given daily or weekly doses of Vitamin D intravenously, depending on how dire their condition. These doses are meant to replace the loss of Vitamin D in their body and return levels back to normal.

HIV Treatment for Older Adults

HIV and bone loss is common among older adults. Osteoporosis is already a risk factor for adults 50 years of age and older. For those with HIV, the risk factor increases. Research has shown that bone loss occurs faster in people with the viral disease.

This increased rate of bone loss could be due to HIV medicines that patients receive. Steroids and other painkiller also increase the risk of bone loss. This makes HIV treatment for older adults difficult, which is why it is best for adults to try and prevent osteoporosis.

The best way to prevent the disease is to keep a healthy diet. Eating foods that are rich in calcium and Vitamin D is a start. Food like dairy products, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, oranges and tofu are great sources of calcium. For Vitamin D, eating fish, mushroom, and drinking milk can also help the health of your bones.

It's very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. To do so requires people to cut back on bad habits like drinking and smoking. Staying active with exercise also strengthen your bones and decreases the rate of bone loss.

If you are an adult with HIV, consider seeing a physician about your health. The risk of osteoporosis increases with age, so consult an HIV treatment specialist to see how they can help you.