Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis Treatment Expertise That Helps You Stay Active

We know you want to live an active life, doing the things you enjoy with family and friends. But if osteoporosis is slowing you down, Northside Hospital is here to help. We have a team of osteoporosis specialists – with clinical expertise to keep you strong and healthy through every life stage. 

Your Team of Osteoporosis Experts

If you have any risk factors for porous bones, or if you’ve had a fracture, it’s vital that you are tested to determine if any bone loss exists. At Northside Hospital, our multidisciplinary team includes board-certified rheumatologists, geriatricians, orthopedists, dietitians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians – all working together to help you stop bone loss, increase bone strength and improve your overall wellness.

Osteoporosis means “porous bones.” As we age, our bones begin to lose density, become more fragile and are at higher risk of fracture. Of the more than 44 million Americans with osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone density), half of women and about one-quarter of men age 50 and older will fracture a bone. These fractures can have a lasting impact on mobility and overall health. 

Northside Hospital physicians can diagnose your bone density with the DEXA bone density test, long before there is severe bone loss or injury. In osteopenia, bone density is lower than average but not yet considered osteoporosis. However, the most significant number of fractures occur in patients with osteopenia, many times because the condition has not been diagnosed, so you do not know you are at an increased risk.

Osteoporosis Symptoms

Because you can’t feel your bones weakening, most people don’t realize they have osteoporosis until they have a fracture. Some warning signs of osteoporosis may include:

  • Severe or sudden back pain
  • Gradual loss of height or stooped posture
  • Fractures or breaks after a minor incident, such as a fall, often in the hip, wrists or spine

Osteoporosis Risk Factors 

Doctors know that women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Having a close relative with the condition or being older also puts you at risk. Other key risk factors for osteoporosis include: 

  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of calcium and vitamin D
  • Certain types of medications, such as steroids and medications used to treat endocrine disorders
  • Low body weight

Diagnosing Osteoporosis: Bone Density Scan

Our team uses the most advanced bone densitometry, or DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), to detect bone loss by measuring bone mineral density with low-dose radiation. This bone densitometer test is easy, painless and can determine the quantity of bone mineral present from the amount of x-ray absorption. The spine and hip are the most common sites of measurement.

Osteoporosis Treatment and Prevention

We can help you understand lifestyle changes that can help strengthen your bones and prevent future bone fractures. With these changes, and perhaps medication management, our osteoporosis specialists at Northside Hospital can help you reduce bone deterioration and increase bone density and strength. 

Lifestyle changes, such as improving your nutrition by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, can help you strengthen your bones. Also, starting a weight-bearing and strengthening exercise program or adding calcium and vitamin D supplements to your diet will help. Talk to one of our osteoporosis experts for a personalized treatment plan to improve your bone health. 

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