Could you be at risk for developing osteoporosis? The disease, which affects approximately 10 million people in the U.S., according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), weakens bones and increases the likelihood of fractures. Your Argyle, TX, physician, Dr. Christopher Hughes of Argyle Family Practice can help you assess your risk.
Osteoporosis Causes Changes in Your Bones
Osteoporosis causes bones to deteriorate and become more porous. As the bones become less dense, fractures are more likely to occur, even if you only experience a minor fall or injury.
Age Is a Common Osteoporosis Risk Factor
Although you may associate osteoporosis with people in their 70s and 80s, your risk of osteoporosis actually begins to rise at about age 50. Other risk factors include:
- Your Sex: Eighty percent of the people who have osteoporosis are women, according to NOF. Women have smaller bones than men, which makes them less able to tolerate thinning bones. Menopause also increases the risk for women
- Your Frame: People who are thin or have small frames are more likely to develop osteoporosis
- Your Family: Your risk can increase if other members of your family have had the disease
- Your Diet: Your diet may also affect your risk, particularly if you don't get enough calcium and vitamin D
- Your Habits: Drinking alcohol or smoking excessively or not getting enough exercise can also be a factor in osteoporosis
How Osteoporosis Is Diagnosed and Treated
Your doctor may order a bone density scan to determine if you have osteoporosis. The scan measures the density in the bones in your hips and spine. If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe medication that reduces your fracture risk and slows the thinning of your bones.
He may also recommend a few simple strategies that can be very helpful, including:
- Eating a healthy diet that contains plenty of calcium and vitamin D
- Participating in low-impact exercises that strengthen your bones
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol or smoking
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Are you concerned that you may have osteoporosis? Call your family practice physician in Argyle, TX, Dr. Christopher Hughes or Argyle Family Practice, at (940) 226-4850 to schedule an appointment.