Let’s bone up on osteoporosis
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), approximately half of all women and a quarter of all men over the age of 50 will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. Fractures can often be caused by thinning and weakening of the bone, a condition known as Osteoporosis. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to slow the progression of the disease and prevent fractures.
Osteoporosis weakens bones to the point where they can break easily. It is called a “silent disease” because bone loss occurs without any symptoms. Many people don’t realize they have the disease until they break a bone. The hips, spine, and wrists are particularly prone to fractures.
Evaluating bone health
Fortunately, osteoporosis is a preventable and treatable disease. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or prevent fractures. The most common test for osteoporosis is a bone density screening called a Dexa Scan to measure bone density. The test is non-invasive, completely painless, and takes just a few minutes to complete.
Risk factors for developing osteoporosis include family history of osteoporosis and/or fracture, frequent falling, vitamin D deficiency, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, malabsorption, and taking certain medications like prednisone.
There are medications that can slow down bone loss or help to rebuild bones. Your primary care physician can discuss treatment options.
SOURCES: National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF), NIH