About 54 million Americans have low bone mass known as osteoporosis. This common condition causes bones to become weak. Women are at a higher risk for the disease than men, making them more likely to have fractures and breaks.
Dealing with osteoporosis in Arizona? Find a Doctor at Dignity Health who can help you get the treatment you need. Our board-certified orthopedic specialists are dedicated to finding a solution to your back pain and other osteoporosis symptoms.
Symptoms of the “The Silent Disease”
Symptoms of osteoporosis are often quiet. You may not feel your bones losing strength. A break or fracture of the hip, wrist, or spine might be your first clue you have it. Pain, especially in your back and spine, may be a signal, too.
Finding the Causes of Osteoporosis at Dignity Health
Doctors have not pinpointed the exact cause of the disease, but gender and age are likely to play a role. You may have unrelated conditions that worsen osteoporosis.
You are more likely to develop osteoporosis if you have any of the following risk factors:
- Female older than 50 — estrogen deficiency causes bone loss. However, men and younger adults are also at risk, especially if a family member has a history of bone fractures or osteoporosis.
- Short stature or slender body type
- Tobacco or alcohol use
- A lack of vitamin D or calcium in the diet
- Too little exercise
- Diabetes, a thyroid imbalance, or certain autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or other medical conditions
Talk to your doctor at Dignity Health if you have any questions about your risk of osteoporosis.
Diagnosing & Treating & Osteoporosis with Expertise
Our orthopedic specialists diagnose osteoporosis with a bone density scan, called a DXA (o)r DEXA. This X-ray test measures the amount of calcium and minerals in your bones.
There is no cure for osteoporosis. However, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and treatments to reduce the risks of complication, such as breaks and fractures. These may include:
- Diet changes to get more calcium and vitamin D, which promote bone tissue growth
- Low-impact, weight-bearing exercises or other activities such as walking, yoga, or riding a stationary bike
- Medications to slow bone loss, including bisphosphonates, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or calcitonin
- Not smoking and limiting alcohol — both cause more rapid bone loss
We know that making lifestyle changes can be difficult — partner with us today to achieve your health goals and relieve discomfort from osteoporosis.
At Dignity Health, we want to care for your bone health and osteoporosis in Arizona. Our mission is less pain, more prevention.