Osteoporosis Q & A
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that results in poor mineral density and lost bone mass. Over time, it causes your bones to become brittle and weak, significantly increasing the risk of a fracture.
Osteoporosis affects people of all genders and races, but it’s especially common in women who are past menopause. There’s no cure for osteoporosis, but healthy lifestyle changes and prescription medication can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
Early on, osteoporosis rarely presents symptoms. As you begin to lose bone density, telltale signs include:
- Back pain
- Loss of height
- A hunched posture
- Bones that break easily
You might also experience difficulty walking or exercising without pain.
When should I visit the doctor about osteoporosis?
Consider making an appointment at Ally Endocrinology if you went through early menopause or have used corticosteroids for extended periods. You should also schedule an appointment if you have a family history of osteoporosis or if one or both of your parents have suffered a hip fracture.
Who is at risk of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis affects all types of people, but certain underlying health problems may increase your risks, such as cancer, lupus, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. You’re also more likely to experience osteoporosis if you smoke, drink alcohol, or live a primarily sedentary lifestyle.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
To diagnose osteoporosis, the team at Ally Endocrinology reviews your medical history, conducts a physical exam, and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms. They then order an on-site bone density scan (DEXA). A bone density test uses low-level X-rays to determine the amount of mineral in your bones.
During a bone density test, you lie on your back on an exam table. A scanner passes over your body and assesses the quality of bone in your hips and spine.
How is osteoporosis treated?
Treatment of osteoporosis depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your quality of life. Typically, the team at Ally Endocrinology recommends healthy lifestyle changes combined with prescription medications like:
- Monoclonal antibody medications
- Hormone-related therapy
- Bone-building drugs
- Estrogen agonists or antagonists
- Parathyroid hormone
- RANK ligand inhibitors
You might also benefit from nutritional supplements. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the team might recommend dietary adjustments, including extra calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.
In addition, the team offers Prolia® injections and Reclast® infusions. Prolia stops bone-removing cells from reaching or damaging healthy bone tissue. Reclast is a medication specifically formulated to prevent bone disease. It’s administered via a needle into a vein.
Additional information on Osteoporosis from NIH.
If you’re concerned about developing osteoporosis, request a consultation at Ally Endocrinology.
Book a consultation online or call the nearest office to speak with a member of the support staff today.