Osteoporosis, the most common and potentially the most debilitating bone disease, has no early warning signs. Osteoporosis is referred to as a silent disease as most patients don’t realize they have it until it’s too late and they break a bone from little or no trauma. It is estimated that osteoporosis is a threat for over 44 million Americans and is responsible for 1.5 million fractures annually.
The average person’s bone mass doubles between birth and age two, doubles again by age 10, and doubles yet again during puberty. It continues to increase until about age 30, when the maximum or peak bone mass is attained. After age 30, more bone tissue is lost than is replaced, resulting in a 5-10% loss of bone mass per decade of life. While age often brings about bone loss, there are a variety of factors that can put you at risk for developing osteoporosis such as a family history of osteoporosis, being female, smoking, some prescription drugs, excessive caffeine, sedentary life style, poor nutrition and excessive alcohol.
In fact, osteoporotic fractures are more common in women than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined; nearly eighty percent (8 million) of those affected by osteoporosis are women. One of the primary factors for development of osteopenia (low bone mass) and osteoporosis is the decline in estrogen at menopause. While individuals cannot change their inherited risk factors (like age), there are ways to prevent or delay onset. It is important to discuss your risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if getting a DEXA scan is appropriate for you. Together, you can develop a plan to protect your bones.
I am hosting the Red Hot Mamas Seminar on Tuesday, August 18 at Portneuf Medical Center. The event will focus on “Bone Issues at Menopause: Osteoporosis and Osteopenia” I will provide tips on ways to prevent or delay the onset, dietary changes, how exercise can impact the health of your bones and body as well as treatment options.
Doors open at 6pm and the presentation will begin at 6:30. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation. Registration is preferred; to register, call Portneuf Community Education and Events Line at 208-239-1401 or register online at portmed.org/rhm. To learn more about upcoming events and seminars at PMC, like us on Facebook.