Dunedin Osteoporosis Doctor

As you age, the risk of breaking bones rises considerably. That is due to the bone disease known as osteoporosis. In fact, the majority of osteoporosis fractures occur in the spine.

If you feel as if you fractured a vertebra, osteoporosis may be responsible. A Dunedin osteoporosis doctor can evaluate your symptoms to help you determine whether this disease is to blame. Speak to a detail-oriented spine doctor to learn how to cope with the effects of osteoporosis.

Understanding Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis occurs when the body does not make enough bone or loses too much bone mass. Literally, osteoporosis means “porous bone.” As bones weaken, they are more likely to break. Although many people associate osteoporosis with hip fractures, spine fractures are actually the most common.

This is usually a “silent” disease. The first symptom is generally some type of fracture. Other times, a patient may think they are losing height, which is usually a clear sign of osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis may also develop a stooped posture, a position once known as “dowager’s hump.” In many cases, osteoporosis severely limits a person’s mobility and can greatly affect their quality of life.

Populations in Dunedin at Risk

While both men and women can develop osteoporosis, the condition is more common in females. Among women, Asian and white individuals have the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis.

Older people are generally more at risk, especially women who have gone through menopause. This is because estrogen production helps keep bones in good condition, but the ovaries stop producing this hormone after menopause. Approximately half of all women and a quarter of all men will eventually suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis.

Those with a family history of the disease are more likely to have weak bones that put them at a greater risk. Also, the smaller the body frame, the more likely it is that someone will experience osteoporosis. Finally, people with certain medical conditions are more likely to develop osteoporosis. These conditions include:

  • Cushing’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Liver disease
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Those who have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, or breast and prostate cancers are at greater risk. Many medications can also result in bone loss, including chemotherapy drugs used in cancer treatment. Some anti-seizure medications, contraception drugs, and various steroids may additionally cause bone loss.

Patients who have eating disorders or otherwise suffer from poor nutrition are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Finally, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and a sedentary lifestyle all add to risk factors.

Building a Treatment Plan

A Dunedin osteoporosis doctor will usually order a bone density test performed to determine the level of osteoporosis. Once the results of the bone density test are in, the doctor can develop a treatment plan.

The treatment for osteoporosis may include prescribing a medication, either taken weekly in pill form or quarterly or annually in an injectable form. Some women may benefit from hormone replacement therapy, which not only strengthens bones but can also relieve other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

The doctor will usually also recommend a diet and exercise program focused on keeping bones healthy. The doctor will also suggest ways to prevent falls that can result in fractures, such as wearing shoes with nonslip soles.

A Dunedin Osteoporosis Doctor Can Help

If you are at risk for osteoporosis and have recently fractured a bone, you may want to talk to a Dunedin osteoporosis doctor. They can help you determine whether osteoporosis is responsible for your injury and can devise a holistic treatment plan to minimize the effects of this disease. Call today to get the help you need.