QUESTION & ANSWER
What causes osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis, which means porous bone, occurs when your bones become weak and fragile. This bone-thinning leads to fractures, especially in the hip, spine, or wrist.
Although many people associate osteoporosis with older women, it occurs in both men and women of all ages, causing more than two million fractures a year.
Even though researchers haven’t determined the cause of osteoporosis, they have identified risk factors that make you more susceptible to osteoporosis, including:
Being age 50 or older
A family history of osteoporosis
Excessive cortisone or thyroid hormones
Estrogen, the female sex hormone, plays a vital role in bone health, mass, and strength. Because menopause causes a decrease in estrogen, osteoporosis becomes more likely in women after age 50.
How is osteoporosis prevented?
With proper care and screening, you can prevent osteoporosis. At Aria Health and Wellness, your provider performs bone density tests regularly to determine your bone mass. If you test positive for low bone density, they take active measures to protect your bones.
To ensure your bones stay as strong as possible, Deborah Davis, APRN, WHNP-BC and Amber Burks, APRN, FNP-C recommend:
Adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D
Smoking and drinking cessation
A well-rounded and healthy diet
Because calcium plays a vital role in bone health, increasing the amount of calcium-rich foods can lower your risk of osteoporosis. You can try low-fat dairy products, dark leafy greens, and fatty fish such as salmon to increase your calcium levels, or one of several foods with added calcium such as orange juice, cereals, and some breads.
Can you treat osteoporosis?
Although osteoporosis has no cure, we will provide treatments to reduce your risk of fractures and prevent further bone density loss.
In most cases, they recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, and if you don’t spend enough time outdoors, you may have low levels.
They may also suggest starting a regular exercise program.
Depending on your age and other risk factors, the team at Aria Health and Wellness may discuss hormone replacement therapy and the role it can play in promoting bone health.
To learn more about osteoporosis and see if you’re at risk, call the office today to schedule your initial consultation.