Maintaining Bone Health And Treating Osteoporosis
Good bone health is integral to a mobile, active and healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many people do not think about it until they experience pain or injury, well after the onset of the early stages of osteoporosis. In fact, you may have heard osteoporosis referred to as the “silent disease”, due to its lack of symptoms before progression.
Bone health is correlated with bone density, a reduction in bone density is called osteoporosis. The average individual maximizes their bone density around the age of 30, after which they begin to lose more bone mass than they gain. This rate of bone density loss depends on a variety of factors.
In general, poor bone health impacts more women than men. It has been estimated that 50% of women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, while just 1-in-4 men within this age range will do the same. Regardless of gender, poor bone health is a pervasive health issue that can be prevented and addressed.
Starting at an early age, good bones can be preserved with a healthy diet that includes plenty of vegetables, protein, calcium-rich foods, Vitamin D (which aids in calcium absorption) and vitamin K. You can also support your bone health by maintaining a healthy, consistent weight, as well as incorporating weight-bearing exercises and strength training into your exercise routine.
Conversely, a poor diet and lack of exercise can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of broken bones, height loss and back pain due to spine compression or fractures.
Evaluating Your Health
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise habits, be on the lookout for clues that your bone health is declining and osteoporosis is taking hold. If you have back pain, height loss of at least an inch and a half, or have experienced one or more fractures not caused by a major trauma (also known as low-impact fractures) you could be at risk and it’s time to see a specialist.
An OCC expert can use a bone scan called DXA to diagnose osteoporosis and recommend treatment to prevent further damage. Bi-annual DXA scans are highly recommended for women over 65 and men over 70 or anyone with risk factors.
It’s important to be diagnosed and treated for osteoporosis to minimize the risk of future fractures. People who break a bone due to osteoporosis are 86% more likely to have another fracture within the next year. Treatment through medication may help prevent these future fractures.
Several OCC physicians specialize in bone health and preventing or managing osteoporosis and we have a full-service Bone Health Clinic at our Southlands, Aurora location. Our physicians provide specialized osteoporosis management programs which provide each patient with a diagnostic evaluation, treatment and prevention recommendations to maximize bone health and keep people independent and active.