Osteoporosis, Gainesville, Texas
Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeleton characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Osteoporotic fractures are associated with significant morbidity, and mortality, as well as increased health care costs. The most common osteoporotic fractures include hip and spinal fractures.
Loss of bone mass can occur with age, from wear and tear that occurs to the body, or from hormonal changes such as in postmenopause. Postmenopausal women experience a sharp decline in estrogen levels, a hormone essential for healthy bones and bone strength. People experiencing this condition are at risk for severe health complications that can interfere with living a quality life.
Screening and treatment of osteoporosis at Vitality Women’s Healthcare is essential in avoiding broken bones and slowing the rate of bone loss.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Bones are in a constant state of renewal, with new bone growth being faster than the breakdown of old bone during your younger years. Peak bone mass is reached during puberty, with those who are active achieving higher peak bone mass than their sedentary counterparts. With age, this process begins to slow down, causing your bones to deteriorate over time.
Unfortunately, detection is often too late. Screening and diagnosis of Osteoporosis and low bone density is typically overlooked for women until the age of 50, commonly diagnosed when there is already a fracture risk present. The primary goal is to address and correct symptoms, such as slowing the rate of bone loss.
Early signs of osteoporosis
Symptoms are not commonly presented in the early stages, making the silent disease difficult to detect without screening or until a fracture has occurred.
Rarely, however, if symptoms do occur, these can indicate osteoporosis:
- Receding gums
- Weakened grip strength
- Brittle nails
Symptoms of severe osteoporosis
The onset of later stage osteoporosis can present many dangers such as broken bones and a higher risk of fracture from falls and even coughing and sneezing. It’s important to screen for osteoporosis so the condition can be treated before progressing in severity.
- Thin and weak bones
- Increased risk of fracture
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Loss of height
- Slow healing from fractures
Several factors can heighten your risk of osteoporosis. Although some are uncontrollable, such as age and gender, you can make appropriate lifestyle changes such as maintaining a nutritious diet and regularly exercising to lower your risk of developing this condition.
Weight-bearing exercises and regular physical activity are generally recommended throughout life to keep your bones strong. This will benefit your overall bone health and longevity.
The leading risk factor is age. As you approach your 30s, your body begins to break down old bone at a faster rate than it can be replaced. This decline in bone density causes your bones to become increasingly fragile and more prone to future fractures. The prevalence of Osteoporosis increases significantly with age.
Osteoporosis is commonly seen in menopausal and postmenopausal women ages 45 to 55. Due to the sharp decline in estrogen, menopause causes rapid bone loss compared to premenopausal women.
Bone loss progresses in men at this age; however, at a slower rate than in women. By ages 65 to 70, this gap begins to close with bone men and women experiencing loss of bone strength at the same rate.
Additional risk factors:
- Being female
- Being an Asian woman
- Family history of Osteoporosis
- Poor nutrition
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Heavy drinking
- Low body weight
- Small-boned frame
Screening for Osteoporosis
Screening for low bone density and low bone mass is the first step in preventing the development of osteoporosis. If low bone density and the risk of osteopenia or osteoporosis is discovered, then a tailored treatment plan can be put in place to rebuild the health of your bones. This can be done with a bone density scan.
Vitality Women’s Healthcare provides screening for low bone density to protect against osteoporosis-related fractures such as the most common, hip fractures.
Medications used to treat osteoporosis have been developed after decades of research with the primary goal of reducing the risk of fractures. Medications reduce the risk of fractures by strengthening the bones, and they can be taken daily, weekly, monthly, every six months or annually.
With our wide range of treatments, we can address various symptoms and conditions that are associated with Osteoporosis. We offer tablets, injections, and IV infusions.
What are the treatments for Osteoporosis?
- Teriparatide injection, a daily injectable.
- Alendronate (Fosamax), a weekly pill.
- Risedronate (Actonel), a weekly or monthly pill.
- Ibandronate (Boniva), a monthly pill or quarterly intravenous (IV) infusion.
- Zoledronic acid (Reclast), an annual IV infusion.
- Denosumab (Prolia), an annual injection.
Are there any risks or side effects?
Each of these treatments have different side effects, with some only applicable to certain groups of people. Patients with a history of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease may not be able to get certain Osteoporosis medications.
When deciding which treatment is appropriate for you, your chances of having a first time or a reoccurring fracture, as well as your medical history and blood results are taken into consideration. We create a personalized approach to reduce risk factors with a treatment that works for your unique circumstances.
Management of osteoporosis is not something a patient should face alone and it is important to discuss with your doctor about the duration of your treatment. Patients will stay on treatments for six months, five years, or as long as ten years, if not life. This is dependent on your specific health needs and if there are any underlying conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or breast cancer.
Treatments will not have an impact on any pain you may be experiencing. However, treatment works to strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of having further fractures in the future.
If you are experiencing pain after a fracture it is important to seek medical attention and guidance on pain management options.
Our range of gynecologic health care services including minimally invasive surgery are here to support your well-being. We are committed to providing specialized care for women, so you can continue living strong and healthy.