Recovery from osteoporosis is possible, but at the moment, there is no complete cure. Treatment for patients suffering from osteoporosis usually involves taking some form of medication and making lifestyle changes to alter the bone regeneration process. The goal of treatment is to both slow the resorption of old bone and speed up the formation of new bone.
The most commonly used prescription drugs are bisphosphonates—alendronate, ibandronate, risedronate, and zoledronic acid—which slow the resorption of old bone. These drugs do have side effects, however; patients can experience acid reflux, nausea, and stomach pain. In rare cases, patients taking high doses of bisphosphonates can experience a condition called jaw osteonecrosis, which causes the jaw to weaken and die.
Lifestyle changes include establishing a regular, weight-bearing exercise routine (to stimulate bone growth), and increasing calcium and vitamin D intake—which is crucial to reducing the risk of fracture and falls, and improving calcium absorption.
Smoking cessation (smoking encourages rapid bone loss) and lowering alcohol consumption may also be necessary lifestyle adjustments for osteoporosis treatment.
Hormone (a.k.a. estrogen replacement) therapy is a treatment option for menopausal and postmenopausal women, but may not be recommended by your doctor, as estrogen can also increase the risk of certain types of cancer.