Approximately 54 million people in the United States suffer from osteoporosis and low bone mass — a risk factor for the full-blown osteoporotic condition. Osteoporosis mostly affects women and can lead to serious complications, such as frailty and broken bones. At The Women’s Center, the expert team of OB/GYNs can evaluate you for osteoporosis and offer prevention and treatment. If you’re a woman, especially older than 50, call one of our eight convenient locations in Orlando, St. Cloud, Altamonte Springs, Oviedo, Ocoee, and Celebration, Florida, or book an appointment online for an osteoporosis screening.
The term osteoporosis means “porous bone.” You’re diagnosed with the condition when you lose too much bone and/or make too little bone. Bones that are osteoporotic are weak and frail. They can break with a minor fall, often putting you in the hospital. Broken osteoporotic bones are slow to heal, potentially leading to long-term dysfunction.
Osteoporosis doesn’t have outward symptoms. Often, women don’t know they have the condition until they suffer a broken bone — from a strain or, in serious cases, a sneeze or minor bump.
As women move through menopause and produce less estrogen, the bones become more vulnerable to osteoporosis. Your bone density peaks around age 30 and then you steadily lose bone mass. Weight-bearing exercise, such as hiking, strength training, and dancing, helps keep bones strong, however.
If you have a family history of osteoporosis or a thin frame, smoke and drink alcohol, or have diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, you’re at a greater risk of the disease.
The team at The Women’s Center can check your bone strength through a bone mineral density test that is painless and done via a special type of X-ray. The test lets your doctor know if you’re at risk of breaking a bone or if treatments you’re undergoing for osteoporosis are helping to make your bones stronger.
Improving your diet to include plenty of calcium and vitamin D, which support healthy bones, can help protect you from osteoporosis. Your doctor at The Women’s Center can also help you devise an exercise plan that supports bone strength. In many cases, they also prescribe medications that help build bone and reduce the rate at which bones break down.
Your doctor may also discuss hormone therapy to help prevent or decrease the increased rate of bone loss that accompanies menopause.
Call The Women’s Center office nearest you or book an appointment online today to learn how you can prevent osteoporosis or slow its progression.