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Osteoporosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Author: Andrew Adamson, D.O.

Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when bone resorption occurs faster than the body can create new bone material. Resorption is a natural process in which calcium and other minerals are taken from the bone and released into the blood stream. In a normal, healthy body, new bone material is created at approximately the same rate as resorption so that there’s no significant loss in bone density.

Unfortunately, this process doesn’t always work as efficiently as it should in some people – especially women over the age of 50. For a quick look into the prevalence of osteoporosis in patients over 50, read these FastStats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Percent of men 50 years of age and over with osteoporosis of the hip: 2%
  • Number of men 50 years of age and over with osteoporosis of the hip: 0.8 million
  • Percent of women 50 years of age and over with osteoporosis of the hip: 10%
  • Number of women 50 years of age and over with osteoporosis of the hip: 4.5 million

Who’s at risk for osteoporosis?

There are some risk factors that can’t be controlled. These include being female, getting older, being of white or Asian descent, having a family history of the disease, and having a small frame. Low calcium intake, changes in hormone levels, thyroid and gland disorders, and poor lifestyle choices can also affect your risk level for osteoporosis.

What are the most common osteoporosis symptoms?

Osteoporosis symptoms may include back pain, stooped posture, loss of height, or easy bone fracturing. Many people do not know they have osteoporosis until they experience a fracture and have their bone density tested.

How is osteoporosis tested for and diagnosed?

Your Mesa OB/GYN or primary care physician may be able to test for osteoporosis by evaluating your bone density. This is typically done with a type of x-ray known as a DEXA scan.

What treatment options are available for osteoporosis?

While there is no cure for this condition, your physician may be able to prescribe medication and recommend lifestyle changes that limit further bone loss. Ask your Mesa OB/GYN about bisphosphonates, which can be taken orally or injected, and hormone-related therapies.

Schedule A Screening With a Mesa OB/GYN

To schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN in Mesa, AZ, call 480-844-4702. You can also schedule online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.



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