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The Bones of Osteoporosis after Weight Loss Surgery

By Tina Shelton, MSN RN CBN


Bariatric surgery has assisted you in making many positive changes. Negative changes may occur if a patient is not following the recommendations of their bariatric program. An example of this is osteoporosis due to failure to comply with vitamin and mineral guidelines.

But you already knew that didn’t you? But did you know that osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones that causes bones to become porous and fragile? Did you know that because osteoporosis is silent many people are unaware that they are experiencing bone loss and by the time that they become aware of the disease it may be in its later stages and have caused serious damage?

FACTS: Did you know…

-        Fractures are the most common result of osteoporosis

-        Osteoporosis is not a ‘woman only’ disease but affects men too

-        In the early stages of bone loss, you usually experience no pain or other symptoms

-        In the United States, nearly 10 million people are diagnosed with osteoporosis

There are steps that you can take to prevent osteoporosis:

-        Eat a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D

-        Include supplemental calcium and vitamin D, discuss amounts and type with your healthcare provider

-        Engage in weight-bearing exercise

-        Adopt a healthy lifestyle

-        If prescribed -take medication to improve bone density

Another important step to help preserve bone density is to maintain your follow up visits with your bariatric program where they can also address your bone health. Your program is here to support you and there are no bones about it!