Osteoporosis develops gradually over your adult years, never causing a symptom until one day you suddenly break a bone. At Fort Wayne Endocrinology, Ashok Kadambi, MD, Desiree Heim, NP-C, and Crystal Webb, NP-C, help patients rebuild and maintain strong bones with tailored treatments that incorporate lifestyle changes and bone-strengthening medications. To learn if you should have an osteoporosis screening or if you need help managing osteoporosis, call the office in Fort Wayne, Indiana, or book an appointment online today.
Throughout your lifetime, your body keeps your bones strong and healthy by getting rid of old or damaged bone and replacing it with new bone. As you get older, you lose bone at a faster pace than it’s replaced. This gradually leads to weak, brittle bones; a condition called osteoporosis.
Though all adults can develop osteoporosis, your risk is higher if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, don’t get enough calcium and vitamin D, or take long-term corticosteroids. Post-menopausal women also have a significantly higher chance of developing osteoporosis.
You won't experience symptoms if you have osteoporosis. Your bones can gradually weaken for years, and you won't have a clue unless you get an osteoporosis screening.
The first sign people have of osteoporosis often appears when they break a bone or suffer a vertebral compression fracture. Osteoporosis causes such severe bone weakness that you can break a bone without much pressure.
For example, a vigorous cough or falling from a standing position can break brittle bones. These fractures, called fragility fractures, typically cause intense pain and disability.
Vertebral compression fractures occur when one or more vertebrae in your spine collapse because they're too weak to support the spine’s normal weight, pressure, and movement. These compression fractures most often affect your upper back, where they cause pain and restrict movement.
Osteoporosis is detected with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan. This procedure uses a small dose of radiation to reveal the amount of bone loss. A DEXA scan can diagnose osteoporosis. Your provider also uses the information from a DEXA scan to determine your risk of developing osteoporosis in the future.
In addition to diagnosing osteoporosis, your provider determines if you have any underlying health conditions that might contribute to bone loss. For example, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and an overactive thyroid gland are all associated with osteoporosis. It’s important to treat these conditions to protect your bones and overall health.
Your treatment for osteoporosis may include dietary changes, a routine of weight-bearing exercises, and/or medication to strengthen your bones. Several medications treat osteoporosis, but bisphosphonates are usually the first ones prescribed because they slow down bone loss.
If you need an osteoporosis screening or treatment, call Fort Wayne Endocrinology or book an appointment online today.