By Adam Kaufman, MD
Osteoporosis is considered a “silent disease,” meaning there are often no warning signs and the disease can occur without symptoms. However, patients who have sustained a fracture from a low-energy injury (fall from standing height, for example) may need to be evaluated for weak bones.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation and other international organizations recommend females over the age of 60 and males over the age of 65 be screened for osteoporosis.
Typically, the diagnosis of osteoporosis is made using a low-radiation scan used to determine bone-mineral density. Laboratory tests may also be required to determine other hormone or mineral issues.
Depending on your test results, osteoporosis can be treated in four ways:
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle modifications (diet changes, exercise, smoking cessation)
- Supplementation (calcium, vitamin D)
- Medications. These oral medications have been introduced to decrease bone loss or promote bone deposition to help strengthen bone. As it turns out, these medications are also incredibly powerful at fracture prevention.
But, the overarching question remains, are there things I can do at home to prevent osteoporosis? The answer is “yes.” In order to curb the onset of osteoporosis after the age of 50, here are a few helpful tips to keep you up, on the move and out of the doctor’s office:
- Perform regular weight-bearing exercise (walking, jogging, yoga, pilates) for at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Maintain a healthy diet and talk to your doctor about vitamin D and calcium supplementation
Adam Kaufman, MD, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in osteoporosis, bone health and fracture prevention.
To learn more about how you can prevent low-energy bone fractures, schedule an appointment directly with Mission’s new Fracture Prevention Service by calling (828) 213-1994.