Osteoporosis in Cincinnati, OH
Many women suffer from osteoporosis, a potentially crippling disease, without being diagnosed or treated. Osteoporosis may be effectively treated if caught early. Drs. Chandra Gravely and Cindy Hansel, the board-certified gynecologists (OB-GYN) who head the medical team at the Crescent Women’s Medical Group, can help you treat and manage this condition. Our office is located in Cincinnati and serves patients in Blue Ash and the surrounding communities of Ohio.
What Is Osteoporosis?
As a result of the aging process, bone mass begins to decline faster than new bone can be formed. This process often results in osteoporosis, a potentially crippling disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle and susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis may affect men and women of any age but occurs mostly in women following menopause. Osteoporosis, or “porous bones,” is called the “silent disease” because bone loss has no early warning symptoms and usually causes no pain or discomfort until a bone fractures. The bones in the hip, spine and wrist are most often affected by osteoporosis. Hip fractures, particularly in older adults, often result in disability and loss of mobility and independence. Spinal fractures cause a loss of height, severe back pain, and curving of the shoulders and spine.
How likely am I to get osteoporosis?
About 10 million Americans currently suffer from osteoporosis, while about 34 million more are at risk of developing the disease. Approximately 50 percent of women over age 50 and up to 25 percent of men will suffer a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
Who Is At Risk For Osteoporosis?
Women who have gone through menopause, whether by natural causes or due to surgery or medications, are at greatest risk for osteoporosis, although men may also develop the disease. People who use steroids are also at higher risk for osteoporosis. Asians, Caucasians, and Hispanics are more prone to the disease than other ethnicities.
What Are Common Risk Factors For Developing Osteoporosis?
The cause of osteoporosis is not known, however, a number of risk factors have been identified as contributors to the development of bone loss, including:
- Being Female — Almost half of all women over 50 and almost 90 percent of women over 75 develop osteoporosis.
- Menopausal and postmenopausal women are at greatest risk due to reduced estrogen levels that affect bone density.
- Aging — Risk increases with age.
- Ethnicity — People of Asian or Caucasian descent have the highest rate of osteoporosis.
- Bone Structure — Women who have small bones and women who are thin are at greater risk.
- Nutritional Factors — Insufficient calcium and vitamin D contribute to osteoporosis.
- Cigarettes and Coffee — Smoking or drinking more than two cups of coffee a day has been linked to reduced bone density.
- Family History of Osteoporosis — Several studies conclude that genetic factors affect bone density.
- Medications — Some medications, if taken over an extended period, may contribute to bone loss.
Which Bones Are Most Likely To Break With Osteoporosis?
The bones that usually fracture in cases of osteoporosis are the bones of the spine, hips and wrists.
What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoporosis?
Some patients may experience pain in the bones and muscles, loss of height and forward stooping of the spine while other patients may not experience any symptoms. Sometimes extreme back pain may be caused by fractured vertebra.
How Is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
A complete medical history and physical examination are required, as well as bone density tests, in order to determine whether an individual has osteoporosis. Blood and urine tests may also be required to determine the cause of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Prevention & Treatment
Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, the disease can be prevented and treated. Many lifestyle factors that increase risks, such as improper diet, lack of exercise and smoking, can easily be avoided. As you age, it is important to take additional steps to prevent osteoporosis, or slow down its progress, including:
- Diet — Women over the age of 50 require at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium with vitamin D daily. The best source of dietary calcium is milk and dairy products fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential complement to calcium in maintaining healthy bones. Eat well and take calcium supplements along with vitamin D as recommended by your doctor.
- Exercise — Regular exercise is crucial to maintaining bone mass and increasing bone and muscle strength. Physical activities that keep bones strong are weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and bicycling; resistance exercise, such as weight training; and non-weight bearing exercises, such as swimming.
- Smoking — Women who smoke, particularly after menopause, have a significantly greater chance of spine and hip fractures. Quitting smoking dramatically reduces your risk for osteoporosis.
- Medications — Several types of medications, such as hormone replacement therapy may be effective in preventing or slowing down bone loss and reducing the risk of hip and spine fractures in postmenopausal women. For women who cannot or choose not to take estrogen, other medications are also available.
Osteoporosis often presents no symptoms and is not detected until a bone fracture occurs. At least 25 percent of bone loss must occur before osteoporosis can be diagnosed from a routine X-ray. New technological advances in procedures, such as single- or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry have now produced the most accurate measures of overall bone loss.
- Single X-ray absorptiometry is used to measure bone density in the forearm and heel but is not effective in measuring the bone density of the hip or spine.
- Dual X-ray absorptiometry (Dexa Scan) provides the ability to measure total body bone density or to measure bone density in selected areas, such as the spine or hip.
What Is Bone Density Measurement Or Bone Densitometry?
Bone densitometry is a safe, simple and painless test that is used to diagnose osteoporosis and monitor your rate of bone loss, as well as your response to therapy. A specialized X-ray detector scans your hip, spine, and/or forearm, and measures the density of your bones. The results are compared to a database of other patients of similar age and sex, and to a database of young, healthy bone density values. Bone densitometry testing requires no injections and takes only minutes to complete.
Who Should Have A Bone Densitometry Test?
- All women age 65 or older
- Postmenopausal women with one or more risk factors
- All women who are postmenopausal and have experienced a fracture
Crescent Women’s Medical Group, serving patients in the Cincinnati and Blue Ash areas of Ohio, is a top-quality women’s health facility treating problems such as osteoporosis that affect women. Our team of specialists provides diagnosis and treatment for a variety of women’s medical conditions.