What Every Woman Should Know About Osteoporosis

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What Every Woman Should Know About Osteoporosis

Bones are living tissues that undergo a constant process of breakdown and rebuilding (remodeling) to meet the changing needs of your skeletal structure. This process naturally slows as you age, after about age 35. However, in people with osteoporosis, the creation of new bone doesn't keep up with the removal of old bone.

Our services at Allergy A.R.T.S. in Amarillo, Texas, include specialty care for osteoporosis. From assessing your risk factors to diagnosing your bone strength to developing a customized treatment strategy, our specialists can help.

Read more from our team regarding the causes and effects of osteoporosis and why women are more vulnerable to this common issue.   

Osteoporosis basics

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by weakened and fragile bones. It occurs when the density and quality of bone are reduced, leading to an increased risk of fractures.

Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but women are much more prone to the condition than men. Research shows that up to 50% of women over 50 have some level of osteoporosis, which affects about 25% of men over 50.  

This discrepancy is likely due to hormonal changes women experience after menopause when the drop in estrogen affects bone health and density.

Other factors that increase your risk of osteoporosis include:

  • Age, more common over 50
  • Positive family history
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor nutrition with diet lacking in vitamin D and calcium
  • Smoking
  • History of diabetes
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Low body weight/small frame
  • Certain medications, including corticosteroids

Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence is critical for achieving peak bone mass. The higher the peak bone mass, the lower your risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.

Proper nutrition, including adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, plays a key role in early bone development.

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

Early symptoms of osteoporosis are subtle at best. You may notice a slight loss in height, a more stooped posture, or lower back pain that doesn’t resolve with activity modification.

However, without bone density testing, osteoporosis usually goes unnoticed until bones begin to break. At that point, fractures can occur with even a minor fall or bump. Fractures related to osteoporosis can occur anywhere but are most common in the hips, wrists, and the spine's vertically stacked bones (vertebrae).

Preventing and treating osteoporosis

At Allergy A.R.T.S., we take a holistic approach to preventing and treating osteoporosis. For instance, a well-balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients is vital for maintaining strong bones. 

Dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fortified foods are excellent calcium sources, while sunlight exposure helps the body produce vitamin D.

Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking and strength training, is another way to keep your bones strong since it helps stimulate bone formation. Incorporating these activities into a regular fitness routine can significantly improve bone health.

Early detection is key to treating and preventing further bone loss. Regular bone density testing, especially for postmenopausal women, is crucial. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans are commonly used to assess bone density and fracture risk.

Depending on test results, your Allergy A.R.T.S. specialist may also recommend medical interventions such as prescription medications to slow bone loss and reduce fracture risk. We also help you develop a prevention strategy that’s customized to suit your lifestyle.

For more information about osteoporosis and your risk factors, schedule an evaluation at Allergy A.R.T.S. today. Call the office or request an appointment online.