Protecting yourself against osteoporosis
Bone is living tissue that’s constantly being broken down and rebuilt. When the creation of the new bone doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone, osteoporosis, a chronic bone disease, can occur. There are often no early symptoms, but later symptoms include back pain, poor posture, loss of height, and easily fractured bones. While osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases, particularly in women over 50, it can be avoided with early, preventative care.
Who is at risk?
After our mid-20s, the balance between “bone-building” and “bone dissolving” may start to shift, causing bone loss to speed up over time. Women, people above 50, people who are petite, anyone with a family history of easily broken bones, and Caucasian or Asian women all have a higher risk for developing osteoporosis. For most women, bone loss increases after menopause, and many women can lose 20 percent or more of their bone density as a result.
Are you at risk?
A number of factors can increase the likelihood that you’ll develop osteoporosis, including:
- Gender: Osteoporosis is more common in women
- Age: As you get older, your risk for osteoporosis increases
- Body size: Small, thin women are at greater risk for osteoporosis
- Ethnicity: White and Asian women have the highest risk for osteoporosis
- Family history: If a biological family member has osteoporosis or breaks a bone, it’s more likely that you will, too
As a preventative measure, it’s recommended that your primary care physician regularly check the strength and quality of your bones by analyzing your bone mineral density (or “BMD”).
At Hudson Wellness, we take a comprehensive approach to bone health. We’ll listen carefully as you describe any symptoms, information that your primary care doctor may have provided about your bone density, and your overall lifestyle.
If it’s determined you may be at risk for osteoporosis, we can perform a DEXA scan for bone density, which is painless, noninvasive, and takes only 10-20 minutes. We’ll meet with you when the results are ready, and walk you through the information.
Using bone density scanning (also known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or “DEXA”), doctors are able to diagnose osteoporosis, predict fracture risk, and monitor response to therapy. DEXA of the spine, hip, and forearm is the most accurate method for the diagnosis of osteoporosis, and is the best method for monitoring changes in BMD over time.
Changes in lifestyle often have an impact, and we can lead you through the process so that making these improvements is an achievable goal.
We’ll work together with you to come up with a treatment plan that’s sustainable and individually tailored to your situation, and our goal will be to make you stronger and less likely to experience negative implications related to poor bone density.