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Learn More About Keeping Your Bones Strong

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Learn More About Keeping Your Bones Strong

May Is National Osteoporosis Month

Bones are the foundation, the framework for the rest of your body. But what if that framework began to deteriorate, causing you pain, and making it impossible to safely do all the things you enjoy?

Forty-four million Americans aged fifty years and over have osteoporosis or mild bone loss. May is National Osteoporosis Month. If you think you may be at risk, now’s a good time to find out about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

What is osteoporosis?

Characterized by the loss of normal bone density, osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle, fragile, and weak. Bones affected by the condition are abnormally porous and sponge-like compared to healthy, dense, brick-like bone.

Bone gets its strength from the calcium, collagen, and protein from which it is composed. Low levels of calcium and other minerals cause bones to weaken, and increase the risk of fracturing.

Are you at risk?

It’s never too late – or too early – to take preventive steps to encourage and maintain strong, healthy bones for the rest of your life. First, find out if you’re at risk:

  • Age – Bones weaken as we age
  • Chronic inflammation – Osteoporosis is connected to inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ethnicity – Caucasians and Asians are at higher risk than African Americans
  • Excess alcohol and soda consumption
  • Frame size – Thin and/or small men and women are at higher risk
  • Heredity – Having a parent or sibling with the disease puts you at risk
  • Gender – Osteoporosis fractures are twice as common in women as in men
  • Insufficient exercise
  • Low calcium intake
  • Low estrogen levels put women at risk
  • Low testosterone levels put men at risk
  • Poor nutrition and poor general health
  • Some medications contribute to bone loss
  • Smoking
  • Thyroid problems
  • Vitamin D, magnesium, and/or sulfate deficiency

Diagnosing & preventing osteoporosis

With osteoporosis, prevention is the best possible bone medicine. A safe, non-invasive procedure, the DEXA scan is a screening device for determining the state of your bones. An accurate, quick, simple, and safe preventive measure, it can help protect you from a lifetime of brittle bone disease.

Osteoporosis treatment

There are numerous treatments available for osteoporosis including medications, vitamins, and annual injectables to help build stronger bones in order to delay or prevent onset.

If you’re concerned about risk factors, how a fall may result in a fracture, or the possible side effects of medication, an appointment for a consultation and DEXA scan – if warranted – will help put your mind (and your bones) at ease.

To schedule an appointment with any of our specialists, please call (630) 584-1400.