Osteoporosis

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I remember walking to and from school and playing “if you step on a crack you’ll break your Mother’s back.”  What do you know about osteoporosis?  Osteoporosis or “porous bone” is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue.  Osteoporosis leads to an increased risk of bone fractures typically in the wrist, hip and spine.  We must have thought that all of our Mothers had osteoporosis.

There are some risk factors that may lead to some of us getting osteoporosis over others.

  • Female
  • White/Caucasian
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Older adults
  • Small body size
  • Low-calcium diet
  • Physical inactivity

Bone is not a hard and lifeless structure; rather it is complex, living tissue.  Bones provide structural support for muscles, protect vital organs and store the calcium essential for bone density and strength. Until the age of about 30, you can build and store bone efficiently.  Then, as part of the natural aging process, your bones begin to break down faster than new bone can be formed.

To determine if you are at risk for osteoporosis, your doctor will ask you a variety of questions about your lifestyle and medical/family history, including if anyone in your family has suffered from osteoporosis.  After his examination, your Dr. may recommend a bone density test.  One good thing about that is that the test is painless, noninvasive and safe.

Paula Mann RN
Advocates On Call

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