osteoporosis is a disease that thins and weakens the bones to the point that they become fragile and break easily. in other words bones with lower density are at higher riskfor fractures. typically there are no symptoms in theearly stages of bone loss. frequently the first symptom of osteoporosis is a fractured bone. othersymptoms may include but are not limited to back pain,
abnormal curvature of the upper back andloss of height. the risk factors for osteoporosis are having a thin, small-boned body, family history of osteoporosis,early menopause before age 45, a diet low in calcium andvitamin d, cigarette smoking, excessive alcoholconsumption, long-term use of medications that maycause bone loss and being asian or caucasian. osteoporosis is usually diagnosedby your doctor
using a combination of medical history,physical examination and measuring your bone density by means of a dexa scan which is a safe, painless x-ray technique. disability is a consequence of hipfractures. 20 percent of these patients required long-term nursing home care and about 60percent failed to return to pre-fracturelevel of function. chronic back pain, loss of height, and impaired lung function are common consequences of vertebral fractures.
all of these together add up to reduced quality of life and loss of independence, which for most of us is considered the most significant. because lost bone cannot be replaced, to treat osteoporosis, we focus on prevention of further bone loss and fractures. the treatment consists of regular exercise, adequate intake of calcium and vitamin d, smoking cessation, and the use of medications. if you want to know if you are
at risk for osteoporosis, you can contact your primary care physician, gynecologist, orthopedist or rheumatologist for evaluations. by taking your medical history, physical examination and if indicated, a dexa scan, your doctor can make a decision on the treatment you made need.