General Internal Medicine Group: Osteoporosis Explained

December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Osteoporosis is a common disease in adult women that results in a loss of bone density. Over time, the human body stops growing, and the bones eventually go through a phase of lessening. Osteoporosis is when bones become weak or brittle, which may make it easier for fractures to occur. It may also cause a loss in height. Pain may result from seemingly every day activities such as sitting, coughing, or hugging.

Although the disease is four times more likely to occur in women than in men, both sexes are at risk for developing osteoporosis if they fail to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In some cases, young people have been diagnosed with osteoporosis as well. Key risk factors include genetic or family history of osteoporosis, light bone structure and body weight, history of frequent bone fractures, smoking, and certain medications.

Before the onset of osteoporosis, some people are diagnosed with osteopenia. Osteopenia is detected with a bone density test at the doctor. In the case of a diagnosis of osteopenia, doctors have a few treatment options that can slow the rate of bone loss. The treatments often include calcium and vitamin D supplements, special exercises, medication, and injections.

Precautions should be taken from an early age to prevent osteoporosis, especially in high-risk groups. A regular exercise program in combination with a balanced diet will keep the whole body healthy and fit. Conducting weight-bearing exercise at least three times a week, such as walking or jogging, is also advised. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, which is found in milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables, fish, and whole grains, also helps defend against the onset of osteoporosis.

About the Group: General Internal Medicine Group is based in North Virginia and is dedicated to optimizing health and well-being for all patients.

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