Osteoporosis is a world-wide disease in both men and women. However, the ratio of women to men is 4:1. Osteoporosis is often referred to as the silent disease. This is because it begins in early life and has no symptoms. It becomes apparent later in life and most often effects women. Bone deposition and bone resorption is an ongoing process within the skeletal system. Diet patterns, exercise, alcohol and tobacco use have a significant effect on bone long term. Osteoporosis is a progressive disease where bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone deposition. Bone becomes thin and weak and a woman’s body is prone to fractures especially hip, vertebrae, and wrist. A sudden fall resulting in a fracture often reveals that a woman is challenged with this disease. It is discovered most often in postmenopausal women due to the loss of intrinsic estrogen which assists the body in absorbing calcium.
In April, 2013 the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) announced its most recent data and revealed that 57 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis or low bone mass both of which put an individual at risk for bone fractures. In May, 2013 the NOF took a stand and began an initiative known as “Break Free from Osteoporosis” in order to increase awareness of risk factors and necessary lifestyle changes for prevention. Learn more by going to http://www.nof.org/connect
But here’s the good news: Osteoporosis is often preventable! The most essential protection against the disease is to live a healthy lifestyle early in life with an aim to build and maintain strong bones. Weight bearing exercise such as walking is a great way to minimize bone loss. There are many wonderful walking trails within Frederick County. Learn more by going to http://www.frederickcountymd.gov/index.aspx?NID=2405
Some Major Risk Factors for Osteoporosis are:
- Aging, especially postmenopausal women
- Family history
- Caucasian race
- Inadequate nutrition
- Alcohol and tobacco abuse
- Immobility or sedentary lifestyle
- Steroid use
Based on these risk factors, you should talk with your doctor about when is a good time to have a Bone Mineral Density Test, calcium and vitamin D supplementation, and always have your height checked. A decrease in your height is a good predictor of bone loss. Having a good relationship with your doctor will help you take better care of yourself. However, sometimes we forget to ask questions or feel rushed when in the office. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/talk-doctor-how-to.pdf How to Talk to Your Doctor or Nurse provides information to ensure quality in the care provided and increase patient satisfaction.
To read more about prevention of osteoporosis, its effects and treatment, follow
To ask a healthcare question about Osteoporosis, contact
Trish Reggio MSN, RN
Women’s Health Navigator at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call her at 240-215-1447.