Your bones are living and growing tissue. When you lose too much bone or make too little bone they become weak and may break from even a minor fall. Health First Medical Group’s Dr. Catherine Rossi explains, “Osteoporosis is a decline in bone strength which includes both bone density and bone quality. Osteoporosis increases fracture risk.” Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
Post menopausal females are most at risk. Women are more at risk than men, however, men can get osteoporosis as well. Females naturally lose bone density following menopause. Individuals who take some chronic medications, such as steroids are at a greater risk for osteoporosis. Other risk factors include older age, prior fragility fracture, low body mass index, parental history of hip fracture, smoking, rheumatoid arthritis, alcohol ingestion and other secondary causes.
Osteoporosis can be diagnosed by getting a DEXA scan. Osteoporosis can be diagnosed by getting a DEXA scan. A T-score of -2.5 or less defines osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis are at a high risk for fracture. Osteopenia is a low bone mass or low bone density. People with osteopenia may not be at a high risk for fracture. FRAX scoring can be employed to calculate the fracture risk for people with osteopenia. Osteopenia is a low bone mass or low bone density. People with osteopenia may not be at a high risk for fracture. People with osteoporosis are at a high risk for fracture. FRAX scoring can be employed to calculate the fracture risk for people with osteopenia.
A healthy diet, weight bearing exercise and adequate dosing of calcium and vitamin D are important for prevention of osteoporosis. General recommendations are 1200 mg of Calcium and 1000 IU of Vitamin D, however this recommendation can vary depending on age, sex, and concurrent medical problems. Calcium and vitamin D are found in dairy products. A person can augment their diet with calcium and vitamin D supplements to reach the recommended level for bone health.
“There are many people who unknowingly are vitamin D deficient, despite living here in the Sunshine state,” she explains. “Vitamin D is formed in our skin through exposure to UV light rays from a precursor vitamin D made in our liver. Oftentimes this method is insufficient and supplemental vitamin D is needed.”
Traditional medications used for treatment include the bisphosphonates, calcitonin, hormone replacement therapy, osteoclast inhibitor treatment, parathyroid hormone treatment, and selective estrogen receptor modulators. You can speak with your doctor on their recommendations for treatment. It is also important to address fall prevention when discussing fracture prevention.
Scientists are currently looking into newer technologies that can detect fracture risk with more accuracy. CT scan technology and a new high resolution peripheral scanner are being investigated. Drugs are being developed that slow down the rate of remodeling. Excess bone remodeling can increase bone fragility. Investigators are trying to identify biomarkers that are a chemical measure of the rate of bone remodeling.New treatments may be identified through the study of a high bone mass gene that has recently been identified. Other newer treatments involve vitamin D analogues designed to minimize bone loss and maximize bone formation. For more information call (321) 242-8790 extension 2532 or visit Health-First.org