Rock Hill GYN & OB is dedicated to your health. Our health care providers perform screening, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for osteoporosis in both Rock Hill and Fort Mill, SC. We invite you to learn more about this condition and to reach out to us to schedule an appointment.
What is Osteoporosis?
Your bones do more than simply provide structure for your body. In fact, they are living tissue. Your bones are not solid all the way through. They actually have an internal structure similar to a honeycomb. As bone tissue breaks down it is immediately replaced, and this cycle persists constantly. When new bone tissue creation can’t keep up with the loss of bone tissue, this is called osteoporosis. As this disease progresses, bones become incredibly weak and brittle and are highly susceptible to fractures and breaks. Even the mildest action like bending or coughing can cause a fracture. It takes years for osteoporosis to progress and you may not discover you have it until you sustain an injury. This is why awareness and prevention are so important to your overall health.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Although any person of any race or nationality can experience osteoporosis, it is most common for menopausal women and women over the age of 60 to be diagnosed with it. The reason for this is because a decrease in the hormone estrogen is one of the leading causes of osteoporosis. Women who are going through menopause experience a natural decline in estrogen.
Additional causes for osteoporosis include:
- Overuse of corticosteroids
- Thyroid disorders
- Lack of muscle use
- Bone cancer
- Specific genetic disorders
- Certain medications
- Low calcium diet
How Can I Prevent Osteoporosis?
The best method of osteoporosis prevention is to start while you are young and healthy with the following:
- Eat a healthy, calcium-rich diet filled with ample vegetables, fruit, and whole grains
- Get enough Vitamin D
- Quit or do not smoke
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Perform daily weight-bearing and strength-training activities
- Exercise regularly
Should I Have an Osteoporosis Screening?
There are certain risk factors associated with osteoporosis that may make it beneficial to undergo a screening. These include:
- Women who are white or Asian
- Women who have a thin or small body frame
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Low estrogen levels due to menopause or surgical ovary removal
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Smoking cigarettes
- Consuming excessive alcohol and/or caffeine
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Taking certain medications for other conditions
- Certain thyroid conditions
Getting an Osteoporosis Diagnosis
While many people are not diagnosed with osteoporosis until they sustain a fracture – usually of the hip, spine, or wrist – there are other signs to be aware of including:
- Gradual loss of height
- Stooped posture
In order to obtain a diagnosis, a bone density scan is required using a low-level X-ray machine called a DEXA. This test is simple and painless, requiring you to recline on a padded surface while a scanner passes over your body. The bones in your wrists, hips, or spine are the most susceptible areas so they are checked during this scan.
Treatment for osteoporosis depends on your specific circumstances, symptoms, and the progression of the disease. It begins with lifestyle changes associated with habits, exercise, and diet, as well as mitigating your risk of falls. Medication may be required. There are many different types of medication depending on the cause and extent of your osteoporosis. These include:
- Monoclonal antibody medications
- Hormone-related therapy
- Bone-building medications
Feel confident that we work closely with you to determine the best form of treatment for you.
Schedule an Appointment
The best path you have towards health is prevention. Adopting a healthy lifestyle at a young age and participating in regular health checks will put you on the right track. Turn to the dedicated medical team at Rock Hill GYN & OB for the guidance you deserve. Contact us to schedule an appointment.