Bone Health

Knowing Risk Factors for Bone Thinning, Assessing Bone Status: Prevention & Treatment

Bone density depends on complicated set of factors, including age, hormones, gender, physical activity, race, and inherited disposition to bone structure.  Our staff can help you determine if you have, or are at risk for, bone thinning. These team members have many years of experience in evaluating osteopenia and osteoporosis.  By conducting a physical examination and taking a medical history, they can advise on whether further testing might be necessary. Combating osteoporosis helps prevent breaks in wrists, ankles, and other high-fracture areas.

Osteoporosis is sometimes referred to as a “silent epidemic,” in that it typically produces no outward signs or symptoms, and yet bone thinning is present to at least some extent in almost everyone who is middle aged and especially in women in their later years.  It is a natural part of aging; however, for some women, it constitutes a serious health risk.  Bone scanning (bone densitometry) uses a special type of x-ray technology to image bones and determine if they have become significantly porous.

Prevention is one of the most important aspects of combating osteoporosis.  Our staff can recommend a regimen of nutrition and physical activity to maintain bone density.  You can slow bone thinning by getting adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D and by exercising regularly, among other steps.

Women age 65 or older should be screened for osteoporosis, and women age 60 to 64 should be screened if they have any risk factors other than menopause.

Medications called bisphosphonates are also available for treating osteoporosis.  These drugs can increase bone density and thus decrease your risk of fractures.  However, these relatively new drugs are not for everyone.  Only your physician can help you decide if they are right for you.  Some women elect to take these medications for osteoporosis instead of hormone replacement therapy, which is another treatment option that our staff can discuss with you.