Osteoporosis is a condition that results in loss of bone mass, leading to fragile bones that are more prone to breaking. If you’re at risk for the condition, bone density testing helps you prevent its consequences. This guide will help you understand how to reduce your risk and stay healthy.
4 Common Questions About Osteoporosis
What causes it?
Osteoporosis has many causes, including aging, sedentary lifestyles, lack of weight-lifting exercise, unbalanced nutrition, and heredity. Like all parts of the body, bones are composed of cells that constantly regenerate. Osteoporosis happens when the bones produce fewer cells than the ones that die off naturally, resulting in porous and weakened structures.
How can I prevent it?
You’re more likely to develop this condition after the age of 35 and if it runs in your family. Even then, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include maintaining an active lifestyle, avoiding smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, and increasing your intake of calcium.
Weight-related exercise is particularly important. Regular use of the bones keeps them strong and helps prevent loss of mass.
How is it diagnosed?
Common symptoms of osteoporosis include receding gums, brittle fingernails, and weakened grip. Other signs include back pain, gradual loss of height, stooping, or bones that break more easily.
If you notice any of these signs, your doctor may schedule bone density testing. This procedure involves a combination of physical examinations, X-rays, and bone densitometry. These tests help rule out other diseases.
What are my treatment options?
If you’re diagnosed with osteoporosis after bone density testing, there are several ways to slow its progress or reverse its effects. While there’s no cure, a bone-healthy diet helps prevent additional bone density loss. Walking and aerobics are also helpful forms of exercise.
Your doctor may recommend certain therapies, like prescribed bisphosphonates to improve bone health or calcitonin to regulate calcium production. These can slow the depletion of bone mass and encourage the growth of healthy cells.
Main Street Radiology of Bayside, NY, provides bone density testing. Accredited by the American College of Radiology, the team of 40 radiologists utilizes an enhanced radiology technology called a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to accurately detect osteoporosis. If low bone density is found, they will work closely with your physician to develop a personalized treatment plan geared toward preventing fractures. Find out how they help by calling (718) 428-1500 or visit them online for more information about bone testing.