Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that leads to a higher risk of fractures, due to a decrease in bone density. Osteoporosis is more common among women than men, especially post-menopausal women. The causes may include the natural aging process (due to a decrease in certain hormones), diet (calcium and Vitamin D deficiency), lack of exercise, a response to certain medications or genetics.
One way to detect bone mineral density is with a bone density test. Rumford Hospital offers dual-energy absorptiometry X-ray imaging – also known as DXA or DEXA – which uses a very low level of radiation to determine the bone mineral content, or density, of the bones. The screening focuses on two or more areas of the body, takes about 15 minutes and is painless. Other tests are also available. Blood and urine tests can then be used to follow up on osteoporosis levels.
Treatment may include medications and/or changes in diet and lifestyle. Rumford Hospital’s Therapy Services has physical therapists who have specialized training in treating osteoporosis. They help patients in treating issues such as back pain and postural changes.
For more information: Visit The National Osteoporosis Foundation, at www.nof.org
Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk for osteoporosis, and whether you should be screened.