NaturoMedica physicians frequently work with patients on improving bone health.
Bone thinning does not happen overnight. Early stage bone loss is called osteopenia and later stage is referred to as osteoporosis. The level of bone loss is most commonly assessed through a test called a “DEXA” or “bone density” scan.
Osteoporosis which means “porous bones” can eventually cause bones to become so brittle that they break from small stresses like coughing and bending. One out of every two women will be affected by this “silent disease” and may not even know it. Unfortunately, bone loss does not cause any pain and many people do not realize there is a problem until they suffer a debilitating fracture. Osteoporosis causes the most injury and disability of any disease affecting older women in the United States. Men frequently suffer from osteoporosis as well. Over 1.5 million fractures per year are due to osteoporosis. It is never too early or too late to worry about bone health.
There is no cure for osteoporosis. Treatment strategies for bone health include preventing bone loss and/or building new bone. Fortunately, osteoporosis is an area where scientific advances are continually being made to aid in treatment, particularly in the arena of nutritional supplementation. NaturoMedica doctors help patients determine which strategies will be most effective based upon individual circumstances.
Treatments may include diet, exercise and lifestyle recommendations, supplements and medications.
Factors that are associated with increased risk of osteoporosis include:
- Being female
- Being past menopause
- Low hormone levels (primarily estrogen in women and testosterone in men)
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive alcohol or caffeine intake
- Insufficient calcium in diet
- Family history of osteoporosis
- High intake of carbonated beverages
- Petite frame or low body weight
- Vitamin D deficiency
- History of eating disorders
- Extended use of certain medications such as prednisone