One in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 experience osteoporosis-related fractures each year in the US. Osteoporosis has no symptoms, so getting check-ups is extremely important. If your bones break easily, or if you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Jeffrey Ogden at Orem Internal Medicine in Orem, Utah.
Osteoporosis is a gradual structural weakening of your bones. It often leads to unexpected fractures or fractures with only minor injury like a fall. Most commonly this affects the hips, wrists, and spine.
Your body is continually remodeling and rebuilding the supportive components of your bones. After menopause in women, with decreased testosterone levels in men, or with steroid medication use, the body’s ability to remodel and rebuild is reduced. This leads to loss of total bone mass over time.
Osteopenia is bone that is weakening. Osteoporosis is bone that has weakened to the point that a fall, bending over, or even just coughing may cause fractures.
Dr. Ogden will first take a history and then do a physical examination. In the diagnoses of osteoporosis he takes into account your:
The diagnosis of Osteopenia or Osteoporosis requires a bone density test called a DEXA scan, which involves using a low-level X-ray machine to measure the mineral content in your bones while you lay on a soft, cushioned surface.
He also tests your hormone levels, because thyroid and other hormone issues contribute to osteoporosis.
For everyone interested in maintaining healthy bone, adequate calcium, Vitamin D, and protein intake are important. Frequent and regular weight-bearing activities (where the weight of your body is carried by your legs and spine) such as brisk walking is critical. There is good indication that some types of weight-lifting activities may also be beneficial.
Specific exercises designed to improve stability and prevent falls are definitely a good course of action.
There are many medications to treat osteoporosis. For those who are in the osteopenia range, medications are not usually recommended. If you are truly osteoporotic then the best intervention is a medication that will be decided upon with you based on your particular history and severity. This might be hormone replacement, a calcium building hormone, one of the mineral building medications, or even one of the new immunologic medications.
Regular exercise and proper nutrition are essential for keeping your bones healthy. You should also:
If you are over the age of 50, have a family history of osteoporosis, or have had an unexplained broken bone, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Jeffrey Ogden at Orem Internal Medicine in Orem, Utah.