Osteoporosis is a chronic disease that leads to thinning bones. Because osteoporosis makes your bones fragile, those with the condition are more likely to suffer from bone fractures and breaks.
Osteoporosis is fairly common with an estimated 10 million Americans diagnosed with the disease and another 34 million diagnosed with low bone mass, a precursor to osteoporosis.
Although anyone can develop osteoporosis, certain demographics are more at risk than others. For instance, the condition is more common in women who make up about 80% of the diagnosed population.
Your family history can also put you at a higher risk as there’s a genetic component to developing osteoporosis. Other risk factors include:
If you think you may have or be at risk for osteoporosis, schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center. A specially-trained team member completes a thorough bone density consultation to determine your risk.
After reviewing your personal and medical history, Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah may recommend a bone density scan. It's a noninvasive test that uses X-rays to determine the level of calcium and other minerals in your bones, indicating the density and strength of your bones.
There isn’t a cure for osteoporosis, but with the proper treatment, its symptoms are manageable, and prevention is possible.
Your rheumatologist at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center recommends calcium for continual bone development. Increase calcium with a daily supplement or be sure to eat plenty of calcium-rich foods like yogurt, milk, and dark greens.
Your rheumatologist may also recommend Vitamin D, which maximizes calcium absorption. This vitamin is naturally produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Get around 15 minutes of direct, unprotected sun a day. If you spend a lot of time indoors or live in an area where sunlight is limited, consider taking a supplement.
Dr. Nathaniel and Dr. Rebekah may also recommend supplementing with potassium and Vitamin K, both of which play a major role in bone health. They may also suggest lifestyle changes, such as:
When you’re at risk for developing osteoporosis, preventive measures can make an immense difference. Contact the team at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center by calling or book your appointment online today.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!