What Should You Know About Osteoporosis?

October 23, 2018 Jeanette Stern

Healthcare Customer Experience

Many people have heard about osteoporosis and they are conscious of the fact that women are more likely to have osteoporosis, especially as they start to get older. However, what many people do not know is what it actually means to be diagnosed with osteoporosis or how to effectively manage it after a diagnosis. 

Osteoporosis: What Is It?

When someone is diagnosed with osteoporosis, this means that the person's bone strength has been compromised. When an elderly person experiences an osteoporosis-related fracture, their risk of death increases, because overall their bodies are weaker and more likely to become ill. When your bone strength has been compromised, this can often lead to breaks and fractures. A person who has osteoporosis can fracture or break a bone even if there has been minimal contact. Fractures due to osteoporosis usually take place in the hip or wrist, but a person can have a break or fracture in any bone in the body.

How Dangerous Are Fractures?

Not only can fractures lead to pain, suffering, and a loss of the freedom; fractures can also lead to excessive pain and an increase in costs. When an elderly person suffers from fractures due to osteoporosis, the risk of death increases because the entire body has now become weaker and more open to developing an illness.

Osteoporosis and its Symptoms

Because osteoporosis does not hurt, or cause pain, one of the first symptoms is a fracture or broken bone. This is one of the main reasons why it is important that everyone be educated about osteoporosis, as there may not be any major red flags that would lead one to get screened---and treated---for osteoporosis.’ When one is screened for osteoporosis, there is a likelihood that it can be prevented and treated before the condition becomes worse.

Women and Men Are Affected

Those who are more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis are generally the ones who do not undergo a screening test. While women are more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, men can also be diagnosed. However, women are generally affected earlier than men. The impact of osteoporosis will usually be felt many years ahead of the disease. The risk of osteoporosis is impacted by the size of one's body and one’s ethnicity. Those who have a low body weight or those who have a family history of osteoporosis are at a greater risk of being affected.

Osteoporosis Prevention

The prevention of osteoporosis should start as soon as one reaches peak bone mass, and this is generally around the age of 30. In order to ensure that our bones remain healthy, there are multiple things we can do, including the following:

  • Exercise more
  • Eat properly
  • Intake enough minerals and vitamins
  • Do not ignore your health

Osteoporosis and its Risk Factors

As mentioned earlier, we reach our peak bone mass and density by the age of 30. After age 40, it is natural for bones to become weaker, without interventions, such as resistance training. However, weak bones can be strengthened to prevent them from becoming so weak that a person experiences a broken bone or fracture.

  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Body weight and frame
  • Medications
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Drinking too much caffeine or soda
  • Being a part of the postmenopausal population
  • Family history

The results of an osteoporosis screening can provide patients with vital information about their bone health so they will be able to take the right steps to prevent bone fractures, breaks, and injuries. It is not easy to reverse the loss of bone mass; prevention is the best way to avoid being given an osteoporosis diagnosis.  In reality, people can be screened and have osteopenia (low bone mass) or osteoporosis, and while there are bone-building treatment options, getting the screening is not a guaranteed way to avoid loss of bone mass. Rather, it enables a person to get intervention and prevent further bone loss.  As you age, an osteoporosis screening can help you know your bone health status, so you can prevent further bone loss, in the event that your bone density has declined to an unhealthy level. 

Contact us today for more information on osteoporosis.


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