OSTEOPOROSIS

WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS?

Osteoporosis is 
a disease that causes loss of bone mass and strength, resulting in very weak bones that can break or fracture easily.  Woman are five times more susceptable than men. Forunately, with diet, exercise, calcium and vitamin D as well as other therapies, osteoporosis can be slowed down, halted and may even be reversed.
Take preventative measures to live a healthier, longer life!
WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO GET OSTEOPOROSIS?

Anyone can get osteoporosis, however, some of us have a higher chance than others:
  • People over 50
  • Individuals with an eating disorder
  • People with small bones, thin frames
  • Women are 5 times more likely than men 
  • Women who experienced  menopause early, before 45 years old

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF OSTEOPOROSIS?

  • Family history
  • Low levels of calcium and vitamin D in your diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Post menopausal women

The Surgeon General's Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis suggests people may be at risk for the disease even if they have a normal test score and recommend additional testing if:
  • they are older than 65
  • they have already suffered a fracture after the age of 50
  • a close relative has osteoporosis or suffered a broken bone
  • the person is a smoker or drinker
  • they are underweight for their height
  • they have poor health or vision
  • they sometimes fall or are not active
  • they never received enough calcium
  • a woman past menopause, is not taking estrogen and is concerned about her bone density
  • they have one of these following medical conditions:
    • Cancer
    • Chronic Hepatic or renal disease
    • Chronic lung disease
    • Cushing's disease
    • Hyperparathyroidism
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Vitamin D deficiency
  • They take anyone of these following medications:
    • Antiepileptic medications
    • Cancer treatment (chemotherapy, radiation)
    • Gonadal hormone suppression
    • Immunosuppressive agents
    • Oral glucocorticoids (steroids)
    • Thyroid medication


WHAT ARE THE SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF OSTEOPOROSIS?


      EARLY WARNING SIGNS:

  • Backache
  • Usually no symptoms (This is why early screening is so important!)
      LATE SYMPTOMS:
  • Curved spine
  • Loss of height
  • Sudden back with cracking sounds (may indicate possible fracture)
  • Fractures that can occur in hip and arm


HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE OSTEOPOROSIS?

There are basically two types of tests to help diagnose osteoporosis:
  • An ultrasound test  which measures bone density through sound waves

  • Central DEXA Test which uses x-rays


Ultrasound testing is the method of choice for osteoporosis screening.  It is completely painless and takes less than 5 minutes to perform.


The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends more detailed central DEXA testing for any patient who receives an abnormal screening score.  


Notice the effects of osteoporosis at ages 55, 65, and 75.

HOW CAN I PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS?
  • Consume enough calcium each day.  Women under 50 need at least 1000mg of calcium daily.  Woman over 50 need at least 1200mg daily.

  • Ensure that you are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D.  Women under 50 need at least 200iu of vitamin D daily.  Women over 50 should get at least 400iu of viamin D per day.





Fractured femur 
WHAT CAN I DO TO MAINTAIN BONE HEALTH?

  • Exercise and be physically active, it strengthens your bones.

  • Take calcium and vitamin D, it stengthens your bones.

  • Maintain a healthy weight, being under weight raises risk of bone loss.

  • DO NOT smoke, it reduces bone mass.

  • Limit alcohol use, it also reduces bone mass.

  • Make your home free from hazards that could increase risk of falling.

  • Talk with your doctor about medicines that weaken your bones.

 
FOODS RICH IN CALCIUM

  • Low-fat dairy products; such as milk, cheese or yogurt.  Make sure you only eat low-fat products as high fat dairy foods, though rich in calcium, usually contain high levels of saturated fat, which can contribute to heart disease.

  • Green leafy vegetables

  • Tofu

  • Canned fish with bones (sardines)

  • Other foods with added calcium: such as orange juice

  • See our section DIET DO'S & DON'TS for healthy food recommendations.