A disease characterized by bone loss and diminished bone strength resulting in an increase of fractures. Many factors determine who will develop osteoporosis. The more factors present, the greater your chances are of having or developing the disease. As you review the list of risk factors, remember that early detection and treatment greatly minimize the effects of osteoporosis. It is a preventable, treatable disease.
Osteoporosis risk factors
Gender... Women are four times more likely than men to get the disease, with Caucasian and Asian women most at risk.
Age... Women over the age of 45 and those who have experienced menopause are at greatest risk.
Calcium Deficiency... A low dietary intake of calcium can contribute to lower bone density.
Sedentary Lifestyle... Physical activity increases bone mass, while sedentary lifestyles results in lower bone density.
Body Size... Petite women are more at risk than heavier women... because fat cells are sites for estrogen production.
Family History... A familial history of osteoporosis seems to increase risk.
Cigarette/Alcohol Use... These agents reduce the body's ability to absorb calcium, thus reducing bone density.
Medications... Long-term use of corticosteroids, anti-seizure drugs and excess thyroid hormone can result in osteoporosis.
Reducing Your Risk of Osteoporosis
A diet with ample amounts of calcium and vitamin D and a regular weight-bearing exercise program are key to reducing your risks of osteoporosis. Calcium is essential to the process of bone formation. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.
Calcium rich foods include low fat dairy products, fish, legumes, and leafy vegetables. Vitamin D fortified milk and cereals, egg yolks, saltwater fish and liver are high in vitamin D. Fifteen minutes of direct sunshine may also meet your daily needs for vitamin D.
Although it is best to obtain nutrients from the foods we eat, many people are unable to meet these requirements through diet alone. Use the charts below to calculate and compare your dietary calcium intake to the recommended daily requirements. If you think you need a calcium or vitamin D supplement, ask your physician or pharmacist to recommend one.
Cottage Cheese, 4oz.
Yogurt, plain, 6oz.
Broccoli, fresh, cooked, 8oz.
Salmon, canned, with bones, 3oz.
Recommended Requirements from National Osteoporosis Foundation
Age 50 & younger
Age 51 & older
Age 70 & younger
Age 71 & older
Diagnosis and Treatment
Working With You and Your Physician... The Osteoporosis Center specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases. We use state-of-the-art, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) technology to measure bone mineral density, currently the most precise of all bone density tests. Your bone mineral density indicates the strength of your bones.
Your DXA (Bone Density) Testing
When you come in for your DXA scan you will be asked to fill out a brief medical history form. Our receptionist and technologist will be available to answer any questions and assist you with completing the form.
DXA scans are painless and non-invasive. Many patients have even said they found them relaxing. While lying on a padded table, our DXA technologist performs the scan which usually takes a total of 15-30 minutes. A computer, which is interfaced with the equipment, prints out an image of the scanned area and your calculated bone mineral density.
During the procedure the technologist may gather additional information about your current physical condition and lifestyle. A full report of test results is sent to your physician in 3-5 days.
Insurance Coverage... Our receptionist maintains a list of many of the insurance carriers that cover this procedure. Because carriers frequently change their reimbursement schedules, this list changes regularly. If you are unsure about the terms of your coverage, please call your carrier directly to find out if they cover dual energy x-ray absorptiometry.