Osteoporosis: a Silent Disease - Actions you can take now to prevent bone loss!

 
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Osteoporosis is a silent disease that many people don’t realize they have until they unfortunately break a bone. It is a disease that thins and weakens the bones. Your bones become fragile and break easily, especially the bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. The most common causes are from hormonal changes or deficiency in vitamin D and/or calcium. In the United States, millions of people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.

Risk factors include:

  • Getting older

  • Being a white or asian woman

  • If you are small and/or thin

  • Have a family history of osteoporosis

  • If you are taking certain medications.

  • Don’t forget! Men can suffer from osteoporosis, as well!

Tips to prevent developing osteoporosis:

  • Stop smoking, if you do

  • Drink only 1 alcoholic drink or less, a day

  • Talk with a nutritionist to develop a healthy bone diet, and work with a fitness specialist to develop a bone strengthening workout.

First symptoms include: Brittle finger nails, receding gums, and weakened grip strength.

If you believe that you are at risk for developing osteoporosis, we recommend you work with the HAWA team, or your personal doctor to find ways to decrease your risk. If you are experiencing pain in your hip, spine or wrist, you may have already fractured a bone and should consider having it evaluated.

Typically, osteoporosis is diagnosed in less than 15 minutes using a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA machine. This looks at your bones to see how they compare to other people your age and gender. A doctor can interpret the results, and let you know if your bone density is normal, low, or below normal. If your results are lower than normal, your doctor can then recommend a course of treatment that is right for you.

The bottom line is, our bones are the scaffolding our bodies are built on. Start today, to protect your bone health!

Medline Plus- https://medlineplus.gov/osteoporosis.html

HealthLine https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoporosis-symptoms#causes-and-risks