Osteoporosis is a common condition that makes your bones fragile, causing them to break easily. Sheryl Simpson, DO, and the knowledgeable team at Howell Family Care diagnose and treat osteoporosis at their office in Howell, Michigan. If you think you may have osteoporosis, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online today.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that even a minor fall or fit of coughing can cause them to break. Osteoporosis most commonly leads to fractures in the hip, spine, and wrist.
Bone tissue constantly breaks down and regenerates to maintain the skeletal structure. Osteoporosis happens when your body doesn’t make new bone tissue fast enough to replace what breaks down.
Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but this condition affects women much more than men. Of the 10 million Americans who suffer from osteoporosis, about 80% are women. This is due, in part, to the fact that women typically have smaller, less dense bones than men.
However, a woman’s risk of developing osteoporosis increases after menopause. Low hormone levels lead to weaker bones, which is why the decline in estrogen levels after menopause is one of the strongest risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
About one in four women over age 65 have osteoporosis, but women of all ages should take steps to prevent this disease. Dr. Simpson and the team at Howell Family Care recommend lifestyle changes, such as taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, to decrease your risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis usually doesn’t cause symptoms until the bones have already become weakened. This is why it’s so important for women to get routine bone density screenings for osteoporosis after menopause.
Signs and symptoms of weakened bones include:
Loss of height
Another more serious sign of osteoporosis is a bone that fractures much more easily than you would expect.
First, Dr. Simpson performs a physical exam and reviews your medical history. If she suspects you have osteoporosis, she may take a bone density test.
If you have osteoporosis, Dr. Simpson recommends the best treatment for your particular condition. Depending on your needs, treatment may include:
Medicines to prevent bone loss and build bone
Hormonal medicines to prevent bone loss
Nutritional supplements like calcium and vitamin D
Lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity
To learn more about preventing and treating osteoporosis, call Howell Family Care or book an appointment online.