Our bone density is at its highest in our early 20’s. As soon as we are born, our bones are developing and growing. Unfortunately, once our bones stop growing, our cells begin to deteriorate. There is a process in which bone is replaced as it decays, but osteoporosis causes that process to slow down.
Those with osteoporosis suffer from porous or brittle bones. The lack of bone density increases the risk of bone fractures. Women who have gone through menopause are more likely to develop this disease. Osteoporosis can be a side effect of some medications. However, there are numerous risk factors for osteoporosis, such as:
- Alcohol abuse
- Eating disorders
- Low levels of vitamin D/calcium
- Advancing age
- Small bone structure
- Previous fracture or break after 50
Do You Have Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is typically found when a patient has fractured a bone because there are no apparent symptoms. Treatment of the fracture will result in the discovery of osteoporosis. Fractures in the spine, hip, and wrist are the most common areas. The only minor symptom a person with osteoporosis would have is noticeable height loss. Fortunately, there is an easier way of finding out if a patient has osteoporosis.
Rheumatologists can perform a diagnosis with a quick test called a bone mineral density (BMD) test. The test is painless and will determine the bone density of a patient. A DEXA scan, a high-precision X-ray, is how the bone density is determined. After that, the score given by the scan will determine if the patient has osteoporosis or low bone density.
Is Osteoporosis Treatable?
Osteoporosis is not a treatable condition. However, there are ways of improving the state of your bone density. Firstly, patients should ensure they are intaking enough calcium. If you are unable to reach recommended levels of calcium a day (1000 mg), then supplements are a good alternative.
Secondly, patients should get sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so you must intake this vitamin daily. Thirdly, get plenty of exercise. Exercise is essential for any healthy lifestyle, but it is vital when living with osteoporosis. The doctor will also prescribe medications that will help slow down the process of the condition.
Call Our Clinic Today
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is located in The Woodlands and wants to help those suffering from rheumatologic illnesses. Dr. Brionez will help diagnose, treat, and manage your condition. Give our clinic a call today at (281) 766-7886.