Warning: include(../_includes/include_header.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/shobgyn/public_html/resources/osteoporosis.php on line 26

Warning: include(): Failed opening '../_includes/include_header.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/shobgyn/public_html/resources/osteoporosis.php on line 26

Warning: include(../_includes/include_nav.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/shobgyn/public_html/resources/osteoporosis.php on line 29

Warning: include(): Failed opening '../_includes/include_nav.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/shobgyn/public_html/resources/osteoporosis.php on line 29

Warning: include(../_includes/include_resources.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/shobgyn/public_html/resources/osteoporosis.php on line 39

Warning: include(): Failed opening '../_includes/include_resources.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/shobgyn/public_html/resources/osteoporosis.php on line 39
 

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is the weakening of the structure of a bone.

Bones, just like blood and skin, are living tissue. Bones are constantly regenerating new bone and replacing old bone.  osteoporosis, the loss of bone mass density, is a condition where cells that break down old bone work faster than cells that rebuild bone.

Bones are similar in structure to a ladder.  Bones have a strong outside shell that is connected inside with many “struts”, just as a ladder has rungs.  When a person has osteoporosis, the rungs of the ladder weaken and even disappear; leaving the vertical sides of the bone vulnerable to attack and breaks.  With osteoporosis, a bone simply fractures. It may occur because of a fall or a person may fall because the bone has snapped as a result of osteoporosis.

How common is osteoporosis?

Although osteoporosis is underreported, it is estimated that more than 4% of women over 50, 20% of women over 60, 34% of women over 70 and 52% of women over 80 have osteoporosis.  Women can lose 20% of their bone mass in the first 5 to 7 years after menopause. White women in northern climates have significantly higher incidence of osteoporosis than other ethnic and geographic groups.

Besides postmenopausal factors, other reasons for evaluating bone density loss are family history, history of smoking cigarettes, history of anorexia, and a history of extended steroid treatment for disease and poor nutrition due to factors such as bulimia and anorexia.


Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

People most at risk for osteoporosis:

  • Postmenopausal women
  • Men over 70
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Frequent use alcohol or cigarettes
  • Thin or small frame
  • Broken bone after menopause
  • Use of certain medications such as steroids over a prolonged period
  • Caucasian or Asian ancestry
  • History of anorexia
  • Loss of Height

How do you know if you have osteoporosis?

A DXA scan bone density test measures how much bone density has been lost.

Until recently, there was no way to diagnose osteoporosis.  It was only diagnosed after a broken bone.  With the availability of DXA scans, women are now being diagnosed and treated before significant bone deterioration occurs.

A DXA scan is a simple, noninvasive test requiring about fifteen minutes.  South Hills OBGYN has a DXA machine in our office. The test provides a three-page analysis of the various bones in your body, paying particular attention to the spine and pelvis area.  It is possible to schedule a bone density scan at the same time as your annual visit if the appointments can be coordinated.


How much does a DXA scan cost?

Most insurance plans pay for a DXA scan for postmenopausal women every two years.  Some insurance plans require a co-pay.

How do you interpret a bone density or DXA scan?

  • The test gives a T-score. 
  • A reading of -1.0 or higher means normal bone mass.
  • A reading of -1.0 to -2.5 means  low bone mass and risk for osteoporosis.
  • A reading of -2.5 or lower means osteoporosis.

What happens after I get my results?

One of the physicians at South Hills OBGYN Associates will review your test and recommend medication when necessary.

Not only will the physician review the test results, but also other factors, such as height, and other risk factors not evaluated by the DXA scan.  Within a few day after your DXA scan, you should receive a telephone call from the doctor or nurse regarding the results of your test.

Besides prescribing medication to stop bone deterioration, lifestyle habits can be altered to prevent osteoporosis and enhance the development of maximum bone mass. Our nurse will be happy to speak with you regarding what you can do in addition to having a DXA scan and taking medication if necessary. Further information is available at the end of this article.


Why would I want to treat osteoporosis if I have it?

People who are at risk for osteoporosis have a greater risk of breaking a hip. 

If you are Caucasian or Asian, you are at double the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture than from the risk of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke combined.
Many things can prevent you from aging gracefully and independently. A broken bone, or worse, a broken hip can severely alter independence as you age. Recovery from a broken hip not only requires the healing of an already weak bone, but reconditioning of the atrophy of muscles which protect subsequent falls.  It is very difficult to recover from a broken hip. Lifestyle changes such as increased intake of calcium, and better nutrition and exercise can prolong a healthy, active life.


What can I do if I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis?

First, take the medications prescribed.

Second, consider things you can change in your lifestyle:

  • Take Vitamin D or Vitamin D3 along with a multiple vitamin.
  • Increase physical activity to twenty minutes a day.
    Exercise to improve balance.
  • Smoking can be terminated or reduced with new available programs.
  • Impaired visual function can be treated by an ophthalmologist.
  • Long acting sedatives can be replaces with other treatments.
  • Calcium intake can be improved.
  • High caffeine intake can be reduced.

Poor health, weight loss and low body weight may be improved with improved nutrition.
A history of falls can be altered by changes in clothing such as choosing flat shoes with rubber soles.
New, padded undergarments can be worn to protect against injury from falling.
Remove throw rugs from your living space.

Little or no sunlight exposure should be increased to two- ten minute sessions outdoors with no sun screen.

Have a physical exam to screen for other illnesses that impair movement, such as Parkinsons.


What can I do if I have not reached menopause and have not been diagnosed with osteoporosis?

There are things you want to do to maximize your skeletal mass, prevent or slow-down rates of bone loss and prevent falls. You can do this by consideration of the following:

First, consider your risk factors:

Unmodifiable Risk factors:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Height (tall as a young adult)
  • Late menarche
  • Impaired mental status
  • Longer hip axis

If you meet two or more of the above criteria before menopause, you should discuss having a pre-menopausal DXA scan and medication if necessary.

Second, consider things you can change in your lifestyle to prevent osteoporosis:

Modifiable Risk factors:

  • Eat healthy food with appropriate number of calories – 1500 – 2200 per day
  • Little or no sunlight exposure should be increased to two-ten minute sessions outdoors per day with no sun screen.
  • Take Vitamin D or Vitamin D3 along with a multiple vitamin.
  • Calcium intake can be improved.          
  • Physical activity can be increased.
  • Exercise to improve balance and strength.
  • Smoking can be terminated or reduced with new available programs.
  • Reduce caffeine intake.

Improved nutrition can improve low body weight.

 


Warning: include(../_includes/include_footer.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/shobgyn/public_html/resources/osteoporosis.php on line 146

Warning: include(): Failed opening '../_includes/include_footer.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/shobgyn/public_html/resources/osteoporosis.php on line 146