Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become fragile and are more likely to break. If left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. Broken or "fractured" bones are most likely to occur in the hip, spine, and/or wrist in individuals with osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is largely a preventable disease in most people. Four steps to prevent this disease that an individual can take are:
- A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
- Weight bearing exercises
- Healthy lifestyle (no smoking or excessive alcohol consumption)
- Bone density testing when appropriate
Risk factors for osteoporosis include age, female gender, family history of fractures, and race, especially Caucasian and Asian women. Other risk factors include bone structure and body weight. Women with small frames who are less than 127 pounds are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Early menopause (before age 45) and surgical menopause are also risk factors. Certain medications can lead to the development of osteoporosis such as prednisone. Modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis include smoking and alcohol consumption.
Our clinic is proud to offer bone density testing. Ask your physician if you should be screened for osteoporosis.