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Resources for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle, breaking easily. It primarily affects older women. 

If you’re looking for reliable care for osteoporosis in the Bay Area, come to your nearest Dignity Health location for treatment options.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is usually not felt until a bone (such as in the hip, wrist or spine) is broken.

Osteoporosis can also cause:

  • A stooped or hunched back
  • Back pain
  • Loss of height

What Causes Osteoporosis

Although experts don’t know the cause of osteoporosis, they do know that age, gender, personal habits, and certain diseases and conditions can impact the risk.

Osteoporosis has been shown to be more likely in people who:

  • Are female and older than 50, although men and younger adults can also develop the disease
  • Are physically inactive
  • Are short and slender
  • Eat a diet lacking in calcium or vitamin D
  • Have a family history of osteoporosis and bone fractures
  • Have diabetes, thyroid imbalance, certain autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, and other medical conditions
  • Smoke tobacco or drink alcohol

Trusted Osteoporosis Diagnosis & Treatment in CA

Your doctors will likely use a bone density test (also called a bone density scan or DXA) to diagnose osteoporosis. This test involves a specialized X-ray used to measure the amount of calcium and other minerals in the bone.

Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, early treatment and lifestyle changes can minimize bone loss and reduce the risk of complications like fractures.

Your doctor at Dignity Health in the Bay Area may recommend:

  • A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D to promote bone tissue formation.
  • Low-impact, weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, yoga or riding a stationary bike.
  • Medications to slow bone loss and treat pain, including bisphosphonates, estrogens (hormone replacement therapy) and calcitonin.
  • Not smoking and limiting alcohol. Both can cause more rapid bone loss.

Use our Find a Doctor tool to locate an orthopedic specialist in the Bay Area near you and find effective treatment for osteoporosis and other orthopedic issues.

Dignity Health offers patients expertise in orthopedics in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Redwood City.