Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak and brittle. The National Institutes of Health estimates that osteoporosis is responsible for approximately 2 million bone fractures every year. Females are at greater risk for osteoporosis, especially those who have low estrogen levels after menopause. Certain medications, such as antibiotics and blood thinners, may also contribute to the development of osteoporosis when used for an extended period of time. Early menopause and a family history of osteoporosis can also increase your risk.
Bone loss can often occur without any symptoms. Many people with osteoporosis don’t know they have weak bones until they suffer a bone fracture. Osteoporosis can also cause vertebrae to collapse, which may result in back pain and curvature of the spine.
If you are at risk for osteoporosis or already have the disease, your doctor may recommend certain treatments and lifestyle changes to boost bone mass and help prevent additional bone loss. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can supply many essential nutrients that can help prevent bone loss, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D.
Hormone replacement therapy and new drug therapies can help slow down the rate of bone loss or even help the body form new bones.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Center for Women’s Health at 913-491-6878.