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Parathyroid Hormones - Is It a Better Treatment For Osteoporosis?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rakesh G. Nair Nair 85% (18 ratings)
DNB (Orthopedics), Diploma in Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Mumbai  •  27 years experience
Parathyroid Hormones - Is It a Better Treatment For Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It occurs when the mesh-like structures present inside the bones becomes thin. This is a condition in which the bones become extremely fragile and have a tendency of breaking easily. The broken bones cause extreme pain. There are artificial medicines available in the markets for treating this condition. However, treatment of osteoporosis can be best done by the naturally produced Parathyroid hormone (PTH).

It is secreted by the parathyroid glands in our body. It is an 84-amino acid polypeptide. The most interesting thing about PTH treatment is that it actually builds new bones. Other medications for osteoporosis only reduce the rate of loss of bones. PTH helps in increasing the amount of calcium in body. It also prevents bone loss due to osteoporosis. It is often considered to be an anabolic agent. If an osteoporosis patient is given low doses of PTH, his or her bones get strengthened. It also helps in increasing the bone mass.

Why a doctor recommends PTH for osteoporosis? Is it better than other drugs?
Traditionally, bisphosphonates were used to treat osteoporosis. However, it has been observed in a number of cases that bisphosphonates only help in slowing down the loss of bone density. However, PTH increases bone mineral density. Therefore, it is a better option for the treatment of osteoporosis. It is usually given to patients who have extremely low bone mass. It has been found effective in cases where other medications failed to show results. Moreover, it also works for postmenopausal women.

Doctors believe that it can also be used for treating men with osteoporosis who are at high risk for fracture. It improves the microarchitecture of the bone and can do wonders in altering the bone size. Moreover, it has lesser side-effects on the health of the patient. It is known to cause dizziness and nausea and no major discomfort. It has also been noticed that patients who are being treated with PTH develop less back pain. These are also cost-effective for the long term treatment of osteoporosis.

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